Friday, August 24, 2012

ALBUM REVIEW - SHINGO☆西成 - ブレない (Burenai)

Where to begin...SHINGO☆西成 is a rapper from Nishinari, Osaka Japan and is signed to LIBRA RECORDS and SHOWA RECORDS, one for management, the other for distribution purposes. SHINGO☆西成 has made a name for himself as one of the top emcees in the game and the face of Hip Hop in Osaka. Anyway, on to the album!

I recently purchased ブレない (Burenai) off of HMV and well before I could even wake up today, the power went out and so once I woke up I opened up the package and checked out the booklet, all the things you don't get from MP3's these days, very nostalgic to say the least and that was increased with the fact of no power I had no way to listen to this album besides the trusty portable CD player!

ブレない starts off with a very powerful and almost militaristic song, this song is where the albums title comes from and it's produced by Pentaxx.B.F. The beat is definitely one that you'll bob your head to and possibly even punch the air (I did, but I may get a little TOO enthusiastic ^^:) if you do, hey at least you'll get in a short exercise session in the form of sparring! 直感 is next and is a very Reggae-esque song, but with SHINGO☆西成's flow so it's his own special blend. The beat is produced by DJ NAOtheLAIZA and is very catchy as is the chorus. 心とふところが寒いときこそ胸をはれ (What a long title!) has a very Reggae-esque feel to it and makes you think of chillin' on the beach and it's no surprise seeing as it was produced by DADDY DRAGON of Dragon Farm Records, known for being one of the most popular Reggae producers in Japan. 青いサムライ starts off with melodic acappela singing and has a very upbeat Reggae-like beat with with a simplistic drum, horn and a heavy bass at times with...rhythmic hitting on what sounds like hollow wood? It's a very catchy and mellow beat courtesy of EVISBEATS前田和彦 (Kazuhiko Maeda).

大阪UP is quite possibly the most addictive song ever created and it's not a coincidence that it was produced by DJ FUKU (420/728)大阪UP is clearly a song about SHINGO☆西成 repping his city and will have you repeating the hook "OSAKA UP!" over and over and the clapping in the beginning and end become second nature after listening to it enough. まんまんちゃんあん and starts off with a beat that could very well be in an gangster film. The beat is very musical as in like an orchestral of traditional music from Italy, but with a heavy bass drum and rhythmic clapping. The beat is courtesy of a guy that I've seen his name on a lot of tracks lately, Michael James.

あいつは悪いヤツじゃなかった…でもいいヤツでもなかった (longest song title I've ever seen.) is a throw back to classic rock mixed with SHINGO☆西成's rapping and singing, the beat is courtesy of 哲也山崎 (Tetsuya Yamasaki). AAAAA follows and is a pure punk song and has a very catchy hook in the form of "A! A! AAA!" replacing the traditional "oi!" AAAAA is produced by Ghost Riders. 足痛いけどノッてきた! has a very Dub (not to be confused with Dub Step) feel to it and has the only featured artist on it in the form of 村越周司. The beat is produced by ISSEI. バナナ (yes that says banana), Banana has another great beat, this one has a very upbeat dub-like feeling to it, it's also produced by DJ FUKU (420/728).

トタン comes next and features some beautiful mellow acoustic guitar, drums, and keyboard throughout. I'd have to call it close to a slow reggae song because it has the feel of Jamaica and the beach. The beat is courtesy of TRAMP. The final song on this album is called もしも君が今… and starts off with soft almost Jazz piano then drums, rhythmic finger snapping (closest I can describe this.) and a harp. This is a beautiful song and shows that no matter how fast or slow a song is, SHINGO☆西成 can adapt and his flow is always perfect. This very beautiful, mellow beat is a perfect way to wind down after a very energetic album and it is courtesy of MI3.

Every song on this album is a masterpiece and could quite possibly be the best Hip Hop album to come from Japan this year (it's still early to declare that). Like I said in the beginning I bought this great album from HMV. You can check out the PV for 大阪UP on YouTube.

Pentaxx.B.F. - TWITTER
DJ FUKU (420/728) - TWITTER
哲也山崎 - TWITTER
Ghost Riders - TWITTER
村越周司 - TWITTER

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