Sunday, May 27, 2012

Album Review - SHOW-YA - Genuine Diamond

Most people that have been listening to Japanese rock music for a while would know the name SHOW-YA. An all-female band, whose roots come from Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, they formed in 1982. Thirty years later, they are rock n roll legends in their own right. Their newest album, GENUNIE DIAMOND, was released in March of this year.


1. Bloody Rose ~薔薇の紋章~  - this song begins with a strong bass line, leading into a pretty sick opening solo. Terada's vocals harmoniously drift over the music, and for a moment, we are all transported into 1985. Sweet guitar licks give a bite to what could have otherwise been a sweet melody. The song then breaks into a heavy, overdriven guitar solo, and ends on an energetic note, ready to carry us into the next track jumping and headbanging.

- distorted and harsh hiss of the guitar contrasts with a high tinkling of the keyboards, giving an edge to the classic sound of this power ballad. The main attraction here is the powerhouse vocals. This is the kind of song you would hear in a crowded arena, circa 1988, and you would love it. Strong beat and bass take over for the bridge, the growl of rhythm guitar contrasting with the high wailing of the lead. A sudden pause, and amidst a heavenly drifting melody, Terada's voice carries the melody of the song. For the ending, we return to the triumphant chorus of the song once more.

3. 流星少女~Shooting Star 196X~
- The song begins with Terada speaking in Japanese softly, into an echoing darkness. The sound of the merry-go-round then drifts, a childlike melody that is eerie and innocent. Rhythm guitar then begins to play, and Terada starts singing the first verse. Suddenly, the powerful headbang-worthy metal kicks in, in a breakdown that would start a pit at the right kind of venue. Fast paced and with a strong beat, this is a great song to drive around to, or slay demons, whichever may be your favorite activity. One badass solo later, we find ourselves with an ending that ties in perfectly with the beginning of the next song.

4. 息ができないほど This one is a very melodic power ballad, lasting over 5 minutes. The vibe is much more 70s than 80s in this one. A really long guitar solo is the highlight of the song - listen to this one with your eyes closed and the headphones on.

5. Count8
- We are back to the 80s, with a bluesy vibe. The bassline is a big draw in this one - for fans of acts like Kiyoharu and his solo project, it's a great song. Otherwise you might find this one a little dull. A very short song, and practically indistinguishable from the one that comes after it.

This song blends in perfectly with the one that came before - to the point I couldn't tell where GET MY BEAT began.

7. Life With You
- One wonders if they suddenly stepped into a Mariah Carey song in a church somewhere. Terada's singing is accompanied by piano, in a typical pop-ballad fashion. This one is really not my cup of tea.

8. 性~SAGA~
- Distorted whine of guitars begins this song, and kicking into the very familiar melodic metal. You'll find this pretty similar to the other songs on this album - it's quite repetitive after a while. However, the high vocal parts in the chorus are definitely impressive.

It's another song that's great for headbanging, following the same formula. Good balance of melodic parts and heavy metal, and highly technical. However, by song 9, it is very very very boring to hear yet another variation of what is basically the same song AGAIN.

10. Rolling Planet
- Very energetic, and catchy, but if you heard the first 9 songs of the album, then you've heard this song before.

11. In my arms -
Acoustic guitar ballad!! As expected, an 80s revival album really wouldn't be complete without one of those. It's a beautiful song, but at this point everything on the album is blending into one.

- The song begins with FAIRY being screamed out, and a heavy rock anthem launching into life. This song actually appeared on a previous album - Ways from 1986. This is a re-recording of the old hit.

All in all it is a pretty good collection of songs, that works great as background music. However, listening to the whole thing in one go is not advised. They are great musicians, with highly technical skills, but by now each song follows a predictably successful formula.


If you are interested in buying this album, you can get it at CDJapan. You can like SHOW-YA on Facebook HERE.

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