Kimi no Uta, abingdon boys school‘s latest single, hit shelves 8/26/09– an aural bite of candy not only for longstanding abs fans, but also for fans of the new anime series Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, which began airing in Japan in July, host to Kimi no Uta as OP. This is always a good sign, because in Japan, anime is advertising.
Only a band like abs could trust such a petite single to be audacious enough to cause this kind of tremor in the music scene. This summer was a minefield of incredible releases, many of which upped the expected song-count for the now oxymoronic ‘single’s. Although 2 tracks can hardly be considered skimpy, the B-side to Kimi no Uta isn’t an original song– the follow up track is an English version of the recent hit JAP. While this may please on a fan-service level, independently (and in Japanese) JAP was such an unbelievable song, listening to it debauched by English lyrics seems potentially like a meander down a dark path. It could be, but honestly it’s difficult enough to understand the Engrish lyrics that you hardly notice them anyway. As much as I believe in the sheer force of abs‘ power, IMPO Kimi no Uta would have suffered going solo.
The B-side, well, on the side where it belongs, Kimi no Uta itself is deserving of taking the single’s title slot. It opens abruptly, without any kind of intro to ease us into it– by now, however, our nerves are strong enough to take this level of awesomeness on the fly. Nishikawa starts singing the second the music begins, and the melody (both vocal and instrumental) is…a bit odd? Not sure how to articulate my first impression of Kimi no Uta, but when I first heard it, I wasn’t that impressed. The melody seemed somehow slightly flat, and Nishikawa’s vocals were oddly reminiscent of his Revolution gig.
However, about 30 seconds in, my opinion erupted from its moody cocoon and beat new wings. Contrary to my initial response as Kimi no Uta, all OP charm and no meat, this new realization was that Kimi no Uta was a revelation. A revolution! Where a lot of abs fare has been heavy and heavier, Kimi no Uta takes a break from that swing, taking it easy on the turn-table mixing and hardcore guitars to deal us a hand of a mellower mix. They utilize the duo-guitar super-team of SUNAO and Shibasaki Hiroshi by playing one heavy guitar-lick and one tinkly, wiry, finger-picking strain on the other, to create a double-layer of sound, giving the whole thing a ton of subtle but powerful oomph in all the right places.
What really steals you, though, is the guitar solo/instrumental break. This is the point where you expect everything to get bumped up a notch– but they tease you, and satisfy perfectly at the same time– a delicate and beautiful thing. The break is perfectly jazzy, downplayed, and then pouring us right on into hard-rock the way we like it– but how we’ve never heard it before. Not lately, anyway. These guys are killing it, playing on their skills and beefing up their originality and creativity.
In short, the song is an excellent peak of talent, subtlety, and playing on strengths. They’ve downplayed the hard-rock thing to work with some different mediums, bringing in that OP feel, a little of Nishikawa’s T.M. poppiness, and yet dishing out core abs.
Kimi no Uta is an excellent addition to abingdon boys schools‘ repertoire, and I highly recommend that any and all snag a copy to add to their shelves–listen and let the coolness astound you.