Passpo☆ - One World review

And at long last it ends. The review reign of terror that has lasted since August has come to an end. And what better way to end it than with the group that I've always meant to review properly, but just never got around to doing.

So yes, Passpo. Those flight attendant people who randomly got number one on the single charts last year thanks mostly to releasing about 15 versions of one single. But hey, if it works. Music-wise they're right up my street. Good pop, good rock, and a mix of both with damn good hooks and not bad vocal wise. So, onwards to the review.

Preamble: Blue, white and silver. Very airline-like. I just hope their seats recline and that boarding times aren't as bad as all the airlines I've been on lately.

1. Departure. As you'd expect from them, this is an intro to let you know the flight is leaving. Follows on from "Boarding" on the last album. However, unlike the Super Girls album intros, this actually has some musical worth. Some very progressive, interesting, synth work. Actually, reminds me of a more straightforward-rock orientated Ayreon. Which is saying something. Guitar work is also pretty damn good. Quick lead work is awesome. All in all, best idol album intro ever? 10/10

2. Next Flight. Ah yes, Passpo meets "LA Metal", whatever that means, considering much of the LA scene was just grimy hair metal, and this sounds nothing like that. On the other hand, it is a nice piece of anthem rock. The riffs are decent, the vocal melodies are good throughout, and the chord progressions don't suck too much. Chorus anthemic bit is epic. Guitar solo isn't amazing, decent bit of technique and soloface but not enough. Still, not bad at all. 9/10

3. Final Vision. That intro/verse riff is so modern pop it's weird. Sounds very western faux-rock from recently, which becomes even more apparent in the chorus. It is, however, saved slightly by the vocal melody in the chorus. Some screwy rhythmic devices also bring this slightly above the level of the best western pop songs from lately. Still, even the best western pop songs are shit to those with ears, so that's not saying much. 5/10

4. Love Diary. A poprock piece with a really weird not-orchestral hit synth being awesome at the beginning. Verse chord prog is decent and vocal melodies are okay. Prechorus is epic though, good vocal melodies and chord progressions leading into a very good chorus. I like this. Though dat Engrish. "Do you sink about me tooのか?" = lol. Second time around copy/paste, but am liking still. The solo is fucking awesome. Whammy bar to hell and then nice soloface and then bass breakdown. Buildup chorus doesn't buildup much of anything. If anything smashes it down. Still, nice. 10/10

5. WING. The next from their world tour of rock, we get "German metal". Again, I'd like to know what the hell they've been listening to in order to get this idea. My idea of German metal is Helloween and Blind Guardian, power metal beasts and speed metal pioneers. This honestly sounds like some poppy visual kei band, aided in that description by a PV filled with vampires. Honestly, outside of Cradle of Filth that kind of shlock just doesn't happen in metal. Anyway, back to the song. The riffs aren't too bad. The vocal melodies in the verse are strong. Prechorus is horrible. The chorus has some incredible amount of unison overdubs, which I suppose could be a shoutout to Hansi's overuse of the technique in Blind Guardian... shame it's a crap melody. Copy/paste for the second time adds nothing. The mid-8 is a nice little random break from the key of the main song. Then we get a quick deconstruction, then back into the chorus. Not terrible, but not amazing. 6/10

6. WANTED!! Nice little riff at the beginning, though unfortunately it doesn't really progress at all. Chord progression is okay. Then we get a better intro with an actual riff. Sounds a bit like Turbonegro, which is cool. Verse and prechorus are decent enough I suppose. Chorus is back to that intro okayish chord-prog. Could take it or leave it. Monologue in mid-8 with that nice riff from the beginning is cool, and then the chorus with just bass and drums is actually cool. Then builds up into final. It's not bad. 7/10

7. 夏空HANABI. This was supposed to be Japanese punk. For a change, it sort of succeeds. I also like the introduction of Japanese folk instruments. Intro riff is nicely paced, and short as fuck. Verse has harmonies, decent riffs and a nice chord prog. Preprechorus has some nice guitars and vocal melodies. Prechorus is decent, but not amazing. Then chorus is cool with good melodies and progressions. Post-chorus riff is nice. Second verse deconstruction is good, gives the illusion of slowing it down while still going at fucking breakneck speed. The Japanese instruments at breaks in the chorus are win. The guitar solo is typical for Japanese punk, which is to say, not amazing. Buildup prechorus is interesting guitar-wise. Little post-final chorus ending bit I like. 10/10

8. 君は僕を好きになる. Pop rock again, not a bad intro riff. Verse is quite stripped down at first, with okay vocal melodies. Then it kicks in and we get a normal verse which is okay. Prechorus is nothing special really. Chorus is really pop but has a really bad hook, which isn't helped by keychange in the middle of the chorus. Leave that shit to the end of the song. We then have a weird modulation from the post-chorus riff into the verse again. Second verse is much shorter. Doesn't improve though. Guitar solo is terrible. We then get a mid-8 which is the best part of the song. Then a buildup chorus which is already keychanged. Wish this songwriter would make up his fucking mind. Ending solo is pretty naff. 5/10

9. 2DAYS. Ah, better. Dirty synth intro, then a nice poprock riff intro. The verse has a decent if not amazing vocal melody and chord progression. Prechorus is much better, but suddenly the chorus is awesome with some more of that massive unison sound and then epic harmonies and melodies and everything. Second time around is unfortunately exactly the same. Mid-8 has a cool little chord prog and processed vocals, then we get a soft verse into a weird new section with hints of chorus, which structurally turns me on. Then chorus. Then end. Win. 10/10

10. Tap My Toe. This is the best hook I have ever heard. And it's almost omnipresent. Song itself is also fucking awesome. Hints of new romantics, metal and everything. Syncopated bass in verse is epic, as is the vocal melody. Break into chorus is almost Rammstein-esque. In fact, the drums are very Rammstein throughout. The chorus continues with that epic hook. Break before the second verse has some vocal processing but it works. Second verse gradually gets heavier and then gunshots. Then hook!chorus again. This is like the best 80s pop song I've ever heard. Even if it is 30 years late. Mid-8 has some dirty bass synths, which are cool. Then some post-rock guitar riff, and then buildup chorus with that hook over Vangelis-esque synths. Then slow buildup, adding drums only, then still slowly, bringing in the rest of the instruments. They just composed this hook and made the song around it, but it works. Really fucking well. Only the second idol song I have ever done this for, but it honestly cannot be helped. 11/10

11. Pock☆Star.  Random intro there. Then suddenly "Bang!" and a cool straightforward rock riff. Verse is all unison as fuck and punk. Then back into intro. Then slow bit, then slowed down intro riff, then "bang!" then chorus. Hook isn't bad, I suppose, but considering what came before it, shit, nothing can measure up. Chord progressions throughout are decent, structurally this is good. Guitar work isn't bad. I like the rhythm sound. Vocal melodies are good, if they are overshadowed by every "Bang!" Mid-8 has a nice little punk riff. Then really slow synth bit with nice vocals. Then just back into chorus. I suppose "Pock" accurately represents Passpo's genre though. 9/10

12. ピンクのパラシュート. When they use English for just about every title on this album, why use Japanese when the title has two loanwords and works perfectly fine in English grammar once you remove the の? I've no idea. This is a really happy upbeat pop punk song with lots of little happy synths floating all over the place. Chord progressions are good, vocal melodies would be good if they weren't delivered under the influence of helium. Prechorus has some nice drum work. Chorus is decent, though these helium voices are too loud in the mix. Need to learn from BiS to keep shit quieter. Guitar solo is fucking insane. Marty McFly style. Then suddenly it's like Buono's Internet Cupid, before going back into pop punk. This is all over the place. The end gains it more points. Not horrible. 7/10

13. 君色のサンバ. Unlike Hyadain's Samba de Toriko, this is actually samba. With a cool electric guitar over the top, but still. Verse melody is decent, bassline is cool but not the best I've heard from samba. Supplementary instruments are cool. Chorus is much the same, just with a not-really hooky vocal line. The solo is decent until near the end where it just goes fucking crazy. Still, I'm not an expert in samba, I honestly don't know whether this is a good example of the genre or not. But I enjoy it, so I'll give it this. 8/10

14. With XXXX. That synth at the beginning is pretty spacey, then it goes into more pop. Shame. Still, intro is nice enough. Verse has a decent chord progression and an actually quite good vocal melody. Prechorus isn't as good, unfortunately, and the chorus tries. It really does. It's not as anthemic as it probably aims to be. Still, not bad. Second time around nothing really changes. Mid-8/solo isn't particularly good. Buildup chorus is quite boring. 6/10

15. Dear My Friends. Punk as fuck and good vocals at the beginning. Reminds me of Momusu Otomegumi's legendary punk song. Just this has more dbeats and is faster. Verse melodies and chord progs are good. Guitar rhythm is win in the second part of the verse. Prechorus continues in the awesomeness. Chorus has a damn good hook. Would be one of the best on this album if not for Tap My Toe. Post-chorus vocal melody following chord progression is cool. Then soloface solo. Then buildup chorus. This is so punk it didn't even bother to have a second verse. Buildup chorus has handclaps though. Weird. Then we get some oi-punk at the end. Really, all I want in a punk song. 10/10

Overall: Well, with the presence of my favourite idol song since 2010 this gets a decent rating. Most of the songs are at least passable, very little stuff I can't tolerate. On the other hand, 15 songs on an album is probably a bit overkill (though I can't talk...). Still, if some of the worse songs were cut away there'd still be an acceptable album left. Anyway, as it is...


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