Buono! - SHERBET review

So, scarcely a week since my last review and now I've got another one to do. I think it seems like my next few posts at least will all be reviews, as the new Momusu album is out soon too, so I may as well get them all done.

Preamble: Well, that is one slightly pastel-coloured cover. Colours are random, but Airi's face is lol. In fact, this whole cover looks like they're looking into a male changing room or something. Miya's very interested, Momo's protecting her tits but can't look away, and Airi's mock shocked. Still, lol.

1. FEVER. Well, this is interesting. Good rock right from the start. No cowbell though. Fevers can only be cured with cowbell. Vocals are of the usual high standard. The prechorus with the high-pitched melody over the vocals is interesting and different. The vocal melodies throughout are good. Unafraid to use all three vocalists as, you know, vocalists. You get harmonies and in the unison bits you can tell them apart. There's also some interesting use of layering on the vocal tracks. Musically, it's pretty standard rock, nothing mindbreaking or groundbreaking, but the solo's nice and the music doesn't suck, so that's good. It's fast-paced and energetic, which is what was lacking in the few rock songs on partenza. Keychange for the final chorus is cliche and pointless. Still, good. 9/10

2. GO!GO!ゴーダ. This is short and random but lulz. Decent rock, guitars and bass work well together, vocals continue in the same way as they did in Fever, with call and response, harmonies, layering and usage of all three girls to provide counterpoint melodies to the lyrical melody. This is what idols should do more. Still, incredibly short. 7/10

3. 初恋サイダー. Album version has a more "live" sound than the single version, by which the amps are a bit more valve-y, the drums are a bit more buried in the mix, and the keyboards are quiet as fuck. On the other hand, it's still a win song. Those harmonies in the chorus. That intro riff. The whole upbeat rock is good for me, I really do like this song. Piano solo! Full of win. There's no musical difference between the single version and album version, so I don't have to moan about anything. Only stylistic changes are the flange guitar at the beginning of the second verse not fading in and out, and the end sounding more like a live concert with the drawn out final chord with drum spam. Still, full of win. 10/10

4. 未来ドライブ. At the beginning this song sucks, the synth bass and annoying weedy synth, added to the RnB beat really annoys me. But then the verse comes in with a more funky feel, and it gets better. The vocals again raise the standard of the music (thank fuck they're not drowned in autotune, that would ruin anything), and the harmonies in the chorus are thankfully intact. The weedy synth "solo" is annoying, the synth strings solo slightly better. The refrain falsetto by Airi is pretty good, but it's not perfect (that's a first, a note Airi struggles on). Still, props for the attempt, you have to be a really strong singer to get anywhere near that. Less bad than I originally thought. 6/10

5. BELIEVE★★★. And back to rock. This reminds me of Swedish rock, like The Hives. The beat is a staple of old 50s rock, the guitars stick to the beat pretty well. Vocals again are strong, with harmonies and all the other good stuff. Chorus has some cool little synths blipping around in the top corner of the right pan, which is an odd effect but works. Guitar solo is pretty win, but should have been longer. 7/10

6. 夏の星空. A slow ballad, with nice enough instrumentation, vocals again shining over the rest of it though. Bassline is good, but the lack of overt rock instrumentation is a bit of a disappointment, considering the epicness of Blue-Sky-Blue and Tabidachi no Uta, which were both true rock ballads. As it is, we're just stuck with an acoustic guitar stuck far over in the right pan, and quiet as hell. Still, in the chorus it gets a bit more centre. Not a bad tune though. The mid-8 sounds a bit like an AKB ballad refrain, until the Clapton-esque guitar solo comes in. If you can call it a solo, hits about 10 notes in the space of 20 seconds. Still, while not as amazing as I would have hoped, still a decent enough song. 7/10

7. Never gonna stop! Rock again, and that intro riff is weird but cool. Verse is a nice little buildup with a cool chord progression. The little riff over the top is cool too. Chorus is, finally, anthemic, helpfully aided by the layered harmonies making it sound as if there's a whole fucking army of idols singing it. Been learning from Queen? Vocals are good in any case, mixing between unison, harmonies and back to the layering again. Prechorus is a nice little buildup to the chorus which could get stadiums rocking. Guitar solo is pretty decent, not amazing but Buono never get amazing solos. Pretty amazing song though, the little break between the final (keychanged) chorus and the intro/outro is amazing. All in all, win. 10/10

Overall: Well, faith in Buono = restored. Vocally it's better again, Momo's probably about as good now as she'll ever be, but Miya and Airi still seem to be getting better, which is disturbing as in Airi's case she's already in the top 5 current idol singers. How much higher can she get? Music in the rock bits was, thankfully, amazing. They seem to have done a bit of an Opeth and swapped out the "70s-esque rock but with 2010s-esque production" from We Are Buono for a complete "classic rock with classic rock production" here. Those valve amps in Hatsukoi Cider and Never Gonna Stop = win. The two song that broke the style were decent enough songs, and not too distracting (unlike the shit from partenza). Broken down, the ratings give me a whole number (for a change), and I'd say that sums up this album pretty well. It's good, and I want more of this. This is what Buono are good at, and I hope that their brief flirtation with the shit present on partenza is now well behind them.


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