CD Review :: abingdon boys school - ABINGDON ROAD
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
2) PINEAPPLE ARMY
3) and I love ...
5) SOUEN (Blue Flame) -SOUEN- (-Blue Flame-) Feat BASI , Sakkon , FUNKYMIC from Insist
6) Shiosai (The Sound Of The Sea)
7) From Dusk Till Dawn -INCH UP-
9) BLADE CHORD
10)Kimi no Uta (Your Song)
11) Sweetest Coma Again
12) Gold Eclipse
13) Valkyrie - Lioleia Mix-
ABINGDON ROAD is abingdon boys school's 2nd album . It was released last month on 27th Jan & this comes nearly 3 years since the release of their self titled debut album .
The album debuted at #2 with 1st week sales of 34,478 copies & you can find 5 singles , a B-side & a cover song in the jrock quartet's latest album offering .
All lyrics were written by frontman/lead singer Takanori Nishikawa . It's only for SOUEN (Blue Flame) -SOUEN- (-Blue Flame-) - that he cowrote with BASI , Sakkon , FUNKYMIC from Insist .
Most of the music was composed by guitarist Shibasaki Hiroshi & synthesizer/programming/leader Kishi Toshiyuki except for their 4th single BLADE CHORD which was composed by their other guitarist SUNAO .
STRENGTH. is their 5th single & what better way to kick off ABINGDON ROAD with this great straight up rock song !
The song was used as an opening theme for the anime Soul Eater & can be considered as their comeback single as they did not release anything 2 years ago after they put out BLADE CHORD so it was a big relief when they finally returned with STRENGTH. .
PINEAPPLE ARMY is the 1st album track & yes I still have ??? whenever I see this song in my mp3player .
The guys didn't lose their marbles & despite the odd funny title , it's actually a normal thumping rock tune .
I was hoping for something crazy & over the top but that didn't happened .
and I love ... is track #3 & it's the longest track in ABINGDON ROAD , clocking in at 5:58 mins .
I can't help but realised that and I love ... sounded identical to Via Dolorosa which was taken from their self titled debut album as track #3 too ironically .
Still , I really like I love ... as it's probably 1 of their more emotional driven songs in their 2nd album .
JAP is the group's 6th single & it was used as the opening theme for the anime Devil Kings (Sengoku Basara) .
I frankly have no complaints towards JAP at all . Way before it was released physically , I already love what JAP had to offer for me & it's a straight up no frills catchy rock song .
SOUEN (Blue Flame) -SOUEN- (-Blue Flame-) is the only song that features the voices of other artistes & this time round you can find the voices of BASI , Sakkon , FUNKYMIC from Insist .
Just like LOST REASON Feat Home Made Kazoku's Micro in the group's 1st album , this goes for no exception for SOUEN -SOUEN-'s case .
I like to say that this's 1 of the more stronger prominent tracks in ABINGDON ROAD . I thought the song might be overcrowded with the vocals of 4 people but surprisingly , all 4 of them harmonise themselves pretty nicely in this rock meet hip hop / rap song .
Shiosai (The Sound Of The Sea) is track #6 & this's 1 song that took me a lot to remember .
There's frankly nothing fantastic to shout about for Shiosai as it's a pretty standard rock fare that the guys delivered & as a result , I will not consider this as a fave song of mine .
From Dusk Till Dawn is the group's 8th single & it was the last single included in ABINGDON ROAD prior to the release of the album .
The song was used as an ending theme for the anime DARKER THAN BLACK -Ryūsei no Gemini- & in here , it has been renamed as From Dusk Till Dawn -INCH UP- .
Compared to HOWLING -INCH UP- which I can't tell any difference from the single & album version , that's not the case for From Dusk Till Dawn .
In the introduction for From Dusk Till Dawn , you can hear about a 38 seconds - 40 seconds of Takanori singing the song acapella acoustic which was done beautifully & very raw in emotions .
I was surprised when that cropped up & I really thought the guys might probably have rearranged the whole song in this manner but sadly that only lasted for less than a minute & after that's out of the way , the original take of the song begins .
Despite that disappointment , there's no deny that From Dusk Till Dawn is beautiful . There's no much mid tempo / ballad driven songs in ABINGDON ROAD & this's the closest I would associate From Dusk Til Dawn as so .
Siren is the last album track you can find in ABINGDON ROAD & it's also a full English song too .
If you find that girl's voice in the background familiar , that's because she's the same person whose voice that you can hear in the backdrop for their 2nd single HOWLING & DOWN TO YOU .
Her name's Lynn Hobday & she contributed additional words for Siren too .
Despite being a full English song & that Takanori's dictation was somewhat lost in here , I actually really like Siren . It borders almost on the rock metal side of things which gives the song the edge it really needs / deserves .
BLADE CHORD is their 4th single & it was used as the theme song to the Wii and Playstation 2 game Sengoku BASARA2 .
This's the oldest single you can find in ABINGDON ROAD as it was released some 3 years ago on 5th Dec & it's the only song that guitarist SUNAO composed too .
Even though BLADE CHORD's 3 years old , I can never get enough of the song . It's very unique in terms of the sound & also it has that interesting edge it deserves to .
Kimi no Uta (Your Song) is the group's 7th single & it was used as the opening theme for the anime Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. .
This's also the last single you can find in the album & despite being the weakest performed single to date , there's something about Kimi no Uta that I really like .
It's probably because of the music video which kind of influence me in saying so . Then again , I feel all the singles that made the cut in ABINGDON ROAD are fabulous in their own respective right .
Sweetest Coma Again is track #11 & the original artiste who wrote/composed this was Luna Sea .
Just like the group's cover of BUCK TICK's Dress in their 1st album , they have included 1 cover song in ABINGDON ROAD .
I was very happy to see Sweetest Coma Again in here as I have heard their take of this song a very long time ago when the Luna Sea Memorial Cover Album -Re:birth- was released way back in 19th Dec '07 .
For me to hear the song again , it's fantastic & brought back a lot of memories for me . This's the closest I would associate the group as metal as it's a lot more edgier than what they usually does .
After a very pretty 1:53 mins Gold Eclipse interlude , the guys dived straight into the B-side of JAP which's Valkyrie .
In here , it has been given a Lioleia Mix .
The Lioleia Mix of Valkyrie is a lot more aggressive / tougher & meaner than the original which I like . I actually find the ending of Valkyrie -Lioleia Mix- a bit amusing for my liking .
And the album finally closed & wrapped things up nicely with the 2nd interlude of the album which's titled nocturne . I think the ending piece of the puzzle fit things well with it being the last track in ABINGDON ROAD & all .
Not to mention , I can't help but find nocturne serene & peaceful calm sounding too .
Some 3 years + since the release of abingdon boys school's self titled debut album , they have finally put out their 2nd album ABINGDON ROAD .
I have to admit that abingdon boys school was the very 1st jrock group that I listened to of when I began my jpop music journey some 4 years back & I still have a lot of respect for them .
The fan in me would say that ABINGDON ROAD is pretty much chapter 2 of what they does best in that it's a straight up rock affair record .
On the other hand , I feel the album suffered in the sense that the album tracks doesn't seem to live up to expectations when you compare it against the singles which're all stellar in their own right .
Perhaps time also plays a factor in here since like what I said before , waiting for them to release ABINGDON ROAD almost 3 years since their debut album is no laughing matter .
Also , there doesn't seem to have much experimentation / growth for ABINGDON ROAD too . They could have mixed & match things up with other music genres with rock & that worked quite nicely for SOUEN -SOUEN- where they mixed hip hop , rap & rock together .
But at the end of the day , I guess it's better than nothing . I honestly have no idea when they will release something new in 2010 as their release pattern's pretty hard to predict but ABINGDON ROAD's worth a listen , especially if you like some good 'ol rock material .
Still , I will recommend their debut self titled album as that's 1 fantastic solid release . If not , listen to both albums wouldn't hurt things either .