CD Review :: Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE
CD + DVD
1) Loose Leaf
4) Travel Machine
5) Ouin Kenbun Roku (Rhyme From Around The World)
8) Moon Rise
11) X Y Z
12) Daijoubu (Alright)
13) MESSAGE BOX
MESSAGE is Hilcrhyme's 2nd album . It was released last week on 24th Nov & this's the duo's 2nd album release for 2010 .
The duo's debut album Recital was released at the beginning of 2010 & in MESSAGE , it contains 3 singles & a B-side .
Just like for Recital , all lyrics in MESSAGE are written by vocalist/rapper TOC while the music compositions are all taken care of by DJ KATSU .
Loose Leaf is Hilcrhyme's 5th single & it was used as the theme song for the drama adaptation of the manga Yankee-kun to Megane-chan .
This's pretty much the very 1st song I heard of the duo which gave me a taste on what to expect for what Hilcrhyme has to offer . Loose Leaf's still a great catchy no. even up to now which I really enjoy .
BOYHOOD is the 1st album track & this's a nice song that's quite easy listening on the ears . The song's mainly Piano driven which's great but it's being combined with Hilcrhyme's signature hip hop/rap sounds which makes BOYHOOD a class of its own .
SKYDRIVE is the only interlude instrumental in MESSAGE but it flows well to the next track in the album which's Travel Machine .
Travel Machine is the duo's 6th single & this's the most recent single included in MESSAGE before the announcement of the album .
Even up to now , Travel Machine is still a great catchy memorable A-side for me to enjoy . It's Piano driven just like BOYHOOD but the difference between both songs is that Travel Machine has a more seamless & smoother music flow .
Ouin Kenbun Roku (Rhyme From Around The World) is the B-side of the duo's 4th single Daijoubu (Alright) .
Back when I reviewed/talked about Daijoubu , I already said that Ouin Kenbun Roku is an awesome rocking track which contrasts the A-side very well & needless to say , I'm real thrilled to see Ouin Kenbun Roku making the cut in MESSAGE as it's 1 of my fave B-sides of Hilcrhyme .
No.109 is the next album track & for this song , quite a fair bit of auto tune was being used which's something I normally don't hear in the duo's discography .
As such , I find No.109 to be quite refreshing even though there's 1 part of the song which kind of grated my ears a bit as TOC's rapping got a bit too much for me to handle .
Determination follows suit & this's also another piano driven track , just like BOYHOOD & Travel Machine .
Unfortunately for Determination's case , I do not find anything special if not memorable on the song & I think it doesn't help that I can't hear any of the word Determination being mentioned in here too .
There're other album tracks which're better than Determination & as so , I will not consider Determination as a fave album song of mine .
Moon Rise follows after Determination & this's some really funky stuff . On 1st listen , Moon Rise reminded me of Little Samba ~Jounetsu no Kinyoubi~ (~Passion Fridays~) which's the B-side of the duo's debut single Jun'ya to Manami to a certain extent because both songs execute the somewhat same sound .
It's not a bad thing for sure since Little Samba ~Jounetsu no Kinyoubi~ is 1 B-side that I enjoy so I can assume/see Moon Rise as a sequel of sorts .
SH704i is an interesting song because in the beginning , you can hear the sound of a handphone ringing & after that's over & done with , you can tell SH704i began to take a life of its own .
SH704i is something that I enjoy but the only thing I dislike's that it ended adruptly without me realising it as so .
Shampoo is MESSAGE's lead album promotion track & it's also the only album song which receives a music video but the video's not included in the DVD tracklist of the album .
Well , I wouldn't lie that Shampoo caught my attention as song title wise , it's unusual to sing about Shampoo but I wasn't surprised when a music video was made for the song as it's 1 simple under-stated track & it's also 1 of the more somewhat mellow tracks found in MESSAGE .
If Shampoo is the mellow side of things , then X Y Z will be its somewhat more edgy driven cousin in which X Y Z is bounded by a rather strong acoustic guitar backing which makes things really cool .
Daijoubu (Alright) is Hilcrhyme's 4th single . It was used as the ending theme songs for Onegai ! Ranking and MUSIC EDGE + Osaka Style , as well being used in the ads for Recochoku .
It's also the last single included in MESSAGE as well .
I love Daijoubu even up to now & I think out of all the piano driven tracks found in MESSAGE , Daijoubu probably is the strongest out of the lot .
Also , what I like about Daijoubu is that the guys didn't need to complicate things further melody wise , it's just TOC rapping/singing with a simple under-stated piano melody which's great .
MESSAGE BOX is the final track before wrapping things up & this's a nice cheery sounding no. which I took it to liking at 1st listen .
I like the subtle soft sounds of the acoustic guitar being used for MESSAGE BOX & I think this's perfect to conclude MESSAGE with this song .
Truth be told , I was surprised when Hilcrhyme announced the release of their latest 2nd album offering MESSAGE .
I was worried whether will their music be hampen in terms of quality as sometimes if you release an album so soon after your debut , it might speak of a music disaster but I'm happy to say that they didn't suffered this mishap .
I think comparing their debut album Recital & MESSAGE is something that I'm not able to do because for Recital , they went for this really big grand Orchestra like setting while for MESSAGE , the duo went for something more stripped down & less intimating .
I still think Hilcrhyme's 1 of the most unique/great sounding artistes around . I usually don't listen to a lot of hip hop/rap stuff but Hilcrhyme has that X factor in their material which I really enjoy & I look forward to see just what other great stuff they have in store when 2011 swings by .