Review: Shinamayu – Henshin

Henshin is the third record put out by pop rock group Shinamayu. All the releases have been on the major record label For Life Music Entertainment, but it is one of the smaller major labels (“major label” in Japan means in one of the labels that belongs to the Recording Industry Association of Japan (日本レコード協会)) and their scale for concerts is very much in line with a popular indie band.

henshin-rgb

Track List

  1. Koi wo Shite Iru Me wo Shite Iru (恋をしている目をしている)
  2. not yet
  3. Sunday Fright (サタデーフライト)
  4. Dance Shakaijin (ダンス社会人)
  5. Bambi
  6. Kasa (傘)

As with their previous full-length album Maenarae, a few tracks are written by composers, with the majority of the song writing credits going to “Shinamayu” and arrangements by the band and an additional individual. On Henshin, tracks 1 and 2 are written by two different composers, and the rest of the tracks are by the band. Although I like the band as a whole, their songs are rather lacking in consistency. From Maenarae, I loved about three tracks and the rest spanned the spectrum of fine to bland. One of the things that helps draw me into the band is their energetic live presence. All three official members (the drummer is a support player, although it’s always the same drummer) have fun on stage. Takuma’s guitar abilities are really impressive and singer Mori Yui is incredibly charismatic. With their latest release, I can’t even honestly say there is a single track that I really like. All the rock has dropped out of their sound, and although I like pop, none of these songs stands out. I guess the catchiest is the lead track, Koi, but it pales in comparison to their best efforts from the last album. Overall, Henshin was a big disappointment and I hope they turn it around with their next release.

Standout Tracks

  • None [EDIT] With additional listens, Bambi has grown on me quite a bit

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