Today I’m going to do something a little different, and I have a desire to do this stuff more often. I plan to start reviewing things I’m enjoying while they’re still fresh on my mind, and hopefully some of you will discover some cool things in the process.
Today’s topic is REOL’s new album “Sigma”. I’ll start off by stating that she is indeed Jpop, so if you’re freaked out about that stuff you were warned. Of all of the artists I’ve given a listen, though, I’ve been reminded again and again that REOL is special. She, along with the rest of her crew GigaP and Okiku, is capable of many genres and musical styles, which translates into a large variety of well-produced music.
The group started by covering Vocaloid songs and posting them on NND, a Japanese video site akin to YouTube. REOL’s voice, unique and aesthetically pleasing as it is, seems to fill in quite well in place of the computer generated vocals of synthetic artists such as Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka. Instead of choppy, dynamic vocals, REOL brought a smooth and personalized flow to these songs. There are many examples, but one of her most famous is here for you to enjoy.
The group expanded into original content, and has now bestowed upon us a complete album, and it’s one hell of a ride. Sigma starts off with the energetic banger “VIP KID”. Giving off a bit of a bouncy EDM vibe, it’s a bit of a departure from the high BPM songs she has covered in the past. It quickly becomes apparent as you reach track 2, “Give Me a Break Stop Now”, that there is a lot of energy in this album, and with this one in particular there are not only Kpop vibes, but maybe even a bit of Lady Gaga influence, particularly in the video that was released months prior. This was also the first time we saw REOL in the flesh, and she’s a definite cutie.
Next is “YoiYoi Kokon”, my vote for most energetic Jpop song I’ve ever heard. What makes this one so special is the inclusion of many classical Japanese instruments such as the Koto and Biwa flute. I’d party hard to this at a festival, pigging out on Takoyaki, given the opportunity. After the very retro/chiptune filled “Konoyo Loading…”, the mellow rhythm “RE:”, “L u n a t i c”, and “Kamisami ni Natta Hi”, comes my favorite track of the album “ChiruChiru”. As one of the first songs I ever heard from REOL, it reserves a special spot in my heart. Along with a whimsical augmented reality-esqe video, the song delivers an extremely catchy chorus and astounding harmonies.
Without missing a beat, the energy returns in force with the short “-Final Sigma-“, and the heavy-bass “DetaramE KiddinG”. The album finishes out with some more mellow tunes “Summer Horror Party” and “404 Not Found” and finishes out with one last sub-bumping hit “Viora”.
I’m not about to start some arbitrary rating system that im afraid to rate something badly with, so I’m just going to say that as a still relatively new fan of the work of REOL, I am extremely satisfied with this album. As someone with audio industry experience, I can confirm that the production and mixing is top-notch for this genre, and you can’t deny the vocal and musical talents of the group, whether you enjoy Jpop or not.
Hope you enjoyed the review, and I’m hoping to do more things like this soon. Keep your eyes peeled for my review of “VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action”, a truly unique and brilliant PC game, in the coming week!