Album: Kamen (single)
Artist: Yoh Kamiyama
Label: Sony Music Labels Inc.
Non-Airable Tracks: N/A
Kamen (not the rider) shows an interesting shift in Kamiyama's recent releases. His most recent singles, Girl and Irokosui, both feature a much slower, more relaxed beat compared to Kamen's jazzy feel. This isn't significantly out of Kamiyama's lane--his past albums have covered a range of tempos and tones, and this combination of a dark subject matter and upbeat music reminds me of a few of his tracks, but specifically of Sugar Highway from his album SHIAWASE NA OTONA, released in 2019 (although the music itself is very different). This reflection and returning to past ideas was also a theme in my review of Eve's most recent single, and I think it's a pretty interesting trend.
Personally, I really like Kamen, more than I think I've enjoyed his other recent releases (except maybe Laundry). The use of heavy brass and drums really gives the piece an energetic feel, and while the song certainly isn't jazz, the use of swing notes in the brassline during verses adds to the up-beat tone of the piece. I found it to be a very enjoyable listen, especially since while Kamiyama has songs similar in tone in his discography, I haven't heard this kind of instrumentation from his works before (at least, none that I have listened to). I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a funky, energetic beat with strong vocals and a jazzy vibe.
Reviewer’s Name: Vio Stavropoulos
Date of Review: 12/10/2021