Home > J-Pop, Music, Reviews > Music Review: “Parade” Galileo Galilei Debut Album

Music Review: “Parade” Galileo Galilei Debut Album

For a debut album, Parade is one that any new band would be proud of!

Galileo Galilei are causing quite a sensation at the moment within the Japanese music industry: Their debut single, “Hamanasu No Hana” has surpassed one million download sales in Japan and their first major label album Parade gained top five success in the country’s Weekly Oricon Album chart.  If that wasn’t enough there’s even been a film made inspired by their music. Kanseitou (Control Tower) was stirred by the core emotion of the songs and uses the lyrics as motivation for the film’s narrative.

It’s obvious from the outset that Parade is quite a treat for the listener. Well-crafted songs with strong melodic structure and production values make this anything but an average debut album. You’d expect a collective of song of this worth wouldn’t be produced until much later in a bands’ recording career, and it gets even better the more times it is heard.

Yuki Osaki’s vocals are very rich, expelling energy and excitement; words which also describe drummer Kazuki Ozaki’s (yes they are brothers!) busy playing, which at times is so individualistic and almost dominating within many tracks that it attempts to steal the attention away from the rest of the instruments being played, especially on the tracks “Hamanasu No Hana” and “Yotsuba Sagashi No Tabibito”.  Luckily the jingling of Fumito Iwai’s guitar fights back with a sound that is clean and crisp, harking back on occasion to bygone days and rousing up memories of bands like REM and Supergrass as the subtle bass playing of Hitoshi Sako binds it all together.

The album opens with the catchy “Boku Kara Kimi E” and will have you bobbing your head within hearing the first few bars; it is a song that would easily stand on its own.  Twany guitar chords lead the next song in. The rhythem of “Wakkanai”  is very much in keeping with the previous track accompanied by a lively brass section pumping all the way through it. By the third track, “18”, with its infusion of fun and exhilaration, you begin to wonder if this is actually a greatest hits album, even though Galileo Galilei are a new act, because so far each song sounds like a hit.

Things become a little more progressive with “Hamanasu No Hana”; tight heavy guitar licks precede a sophisticated pop vocal. “Yotsuba Sagashi No Tabibito” has an eighties feel to it with the cheerfulness of The Housemartins.

The smooth tempo of “Yoruno Madobeto Yotsubano Clover” comes at exactly the right moment with its wonderful backing vocals and a flurry of notes played on keyboard. The groups’ high-energy is thrust upon “Natsuzora”, and then comes some nifty guitar work on the excellent track “Flappy” – possibly the best song on the album.

The groove changes direction from here on. Although there are some good moments on “Doudemoii”, on the whole it seems a little out of place with the rest of the album.  Likewise, “Siren” just doesn’t live up to the solidness of the other tracks.

Deciding to close the album with “Kanseitou” was probably not the wisest move as its tempo would have been more suited slotted in at number 7 or 8; concluding with “Siren” or “Natsuzora” may have fared better.

Besides these little niggles there’s something very comfortably familiar about this music offering from the Hokkaido four-piece .  For a debut album, Parade is one that any new musical act would be proud of.  It’s well-polished and contains strong recordings with only minor disappointments. It’s easy to understand why Galileo Galilei is causing such excitement within the pop world. And this is just the beginning!

Track listing:

1. Boku Kara Kimi E

2. Wakkanai

3. 18

4. Hamanasu No Hana

5. Yotsuba Sagashi No Tabibito

6. Yoruno Madobeto Yotsubano Clover

7. Natsuzora

8. Flappy

9. Doudemoii

10. Siren

11. Kanseitou (Acoustic)

Parade, Galileo Galilei’s critically acclaimed debut album is available now in the UK from major digital outlets and demonstrate why these Hokkaido boys are setting the standard for Japan’s teenage rock movement.

‘Parade’ is available from iTunes and Amazon:

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/kanseitou-acoustic/id449702695?i=449702781&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Parade/dp/B005BRF28M/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314771268&sr=301-1

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Categories: J-Pop, Music, Reviews

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