I’m pretty proud of that title, by the way. And anyone who has seen the track-list for GACKT’s Summer ’09 decade marking fourth release, LOST ANGELS, ought to be pretty impressed that I was able to use the entire track-list for one post title!
I think I made my suspicions about GACKT and his tenth anniversary countdown singles pretty clear when they started coming out last Summer…What with GACKT dressing as a host-girl and everything. They seemed really suspicious, that is, until fall/winter when GACKT went and got a sidesaddle perm. And then they seemed perfectly normal. Just took some contrast.
The four-part countdown releases were an interesting mixture of music. From electro-pop bubblegum sensation Koakuma Heaven, to mediocre Faraway, to mainstream-feeling but powerful anyway Flower, there were ups and downs, as well as many ?? moments from fans across the globe. For anyone who was startled by the “newness” which seemed to strike a strange panic into GACKT fandom, LOST ANGELS came as a gentle, reassuring pat, as if to say, “Don’t worry, it’s still GACKT.”
Comprised of a-side LOST ANGELS, and 2 b-sides (Suddenly and No Reason), LOST ANGELS was the most Gacktese of all the countdown singles. A powerful, magical piece with all the Gacktian fixings, LOST ANGELS is a ballad that sparkles with all the newness of freshly fallen snow, while retaining a fundamental core of (particularly Diabolos era) the ballads we already know and love.
The piece is a combination of intensity and mellowness, with relatively flat, elegant verses paired with rolling, rockin’ choruses, and some beautiful vocals that were last heard on Journey Through the Decade. LOST ANGELS is packed with orchestral strings arrangements, piano, and nicely undulant guitar parts. Although some of the lyrics are pretty familiar fare with all the usual dakishimet-ing and kimi wo wasurenai-ing, the chorus especially has really nice new vocabulary– the warai aetara‘s are particularly gripping and satisfying. The whole piece has a gentleness, as if it’s not trying to take over the world– just trying to touch its heart. And it certainly does that.
Although also not mind-blowingly original or b-sides of the era or anything, honestly the following songs feel like a continuation of (dare I say it?) my favorite original album, Rebirth. The album packed with songs nobody can remember the name of, finally gets an energetic sequel with No Reason and Suddenly. Thought I already kind of hurt their compositional feelings with the paragraph’s opening statement, honestly, I think both b-sides rock. They feel like like that older era of GACKT, back when he was particularly progressive and experimental; back when he used weird, dissonant effects and driven, gloomy melodies. Oh wait, he still does– but you know what I mean.
The second song, No Reason, is in my personal opinion the true heart of the single. Cool, aloof, prickling with edginess, and with a bit of an attitude, No Reason is a truly cool song, and despite also having a low-key nature, for me at least, it stands out the most out of the three tracks.
Akin to incredible ancestors such as Emu ~for my dear~ and CUBE (don’t even get me started on either of these masterpieces), Suddenly starts out slow, plodding steadily into a pretty goose-bump worthy chorus, which seems to end way too abruptly, and we’re back into that eighteen-million-measures-long GACKT signature verse pattern….This is just an honest-to-goodness awesome gloomy, grumpy, low-key rock ballad that actually wins in its lack of obvious firepower.
In conclusion, this is a great, emotional single full of all the basic GACKT goodness we can never get enough of. Well-balanced with its selection of pieces, LOST ANGELS delivers tenderness, cool edgy attitude, and moody melancholia respectively in its lineup. This is absolutely a must-have for any self-respecting GACKT fan.