Eren - Eren-chan, Chantoshite! album review

So, my first post in ages (again, sorry) and the first since moving to Japan. Honestly, I've got three posts on the go apart from this one, but I can't find the motivation to finish any of them.

Enter Eren. I've spoken about her before. She's a socially aware idol who failed every audition before deciding to go it alone. Her singing voice is unique, and her charm is her utter awkwardness.

As I'm awkward too it usually ends up in misunderstandings.

But anyway, to the music.

Preamble: The title,. which means, "Eren-chan, do it properly" is pretty much spot on. This is very much an indies record. The case it comes in is one of those cases that used to hold singles in the UK, back before singles became basically obselete. The booklet, on the other hand, is very pretty.

1. カラシメンタイコ. Ah, Karashi Mentaiko. Still one of the most fun audience participation songs I've ever been in the crowd for. The guitars and arrangement in general are well done. Especially the main riff. Eren's voice just sits above everything and somehow works. I'm not entirely sure how Eren's voice fits with anything, but somehow it ends up making sense when you hear it. The chorus is really catchy and fun. Obviously, experiencing it live is how I'd want everyone to be introduced to it. The wota do whack it up a notch. The middle-8 has a really nice riff, and then the guitar solo is so much fun she tells people to air guitar instead of wotagei. Honestly, a damn good way to start off the album. 9/10

2. それゆけ!でことらんど. A really bizarre and cutesy intro leads into... more really bizarre and cutesy stuff. The arrangement is really minimalist. Snaredrum, tuba, organ, and some noises. And Eren singing. Though that might qualify as "some noises" too... Then suddenly techno with Eren rapping over it. Talk about change of mood. Then back to the intro as if nothing happened. Then it ends. Really short. 6/10

3. ナポレオン・ボナパルト. And now we reach Napoleon. Thrash metal time. And the intro has the most dissonant solo I've ever heard. Except in my own house. Because I can't solo for shit. Then suddenly Eren thinks she's Tom Araya and riffs that could have come from Slayer start blasting out. Again, never thought Eren's voice would fit so well with the genre. It's really confusing but works. She starts narrating in the prechorus. Solo again and this time it's technically proficient. And long. I approve. Even blastbeats at the end. And I mean, end. No buildup, it just stops. Honestly, thrash metal better than most of the big four have released since the 80s. 10/10

4. 社交辞令. Shakou Jirei is where the whole "socially aware" tag comes from. It means lip service. It's also the most catchy fucking song ever. It's great. First time I ever saw Eren she started performing this. I got so into it I was dancing (yes, me) by the end. That's disturbing. Really, the catchiness of this thing is disturbingly high level. It's also a well put together song. Rather than leading up to one big hook, the whole damn thing is a hook. The mid-8 has another sexy guitar solo. She must like them. 10/10

5. いちころのトキメキ. Another rock-ish song. The guitar riffs in this aren't as amazing, but the lead guitarist is pulling off a lot of solo-face orgasm, so I can forgive them. Then we come to ska. Because ska. Really quite a nice bounce as well. All you can ask from ska really. Unfortunately this is the first time Eren's voice doesn't seem to fit in. The producer's worked miracles thus far, had to run out of luck and/or ability eventually. Not the best. 6/10

6. 体調不良. Taichou Furyou... this thing is so minimalist it's almost impossible. Starting from just glockenspiel, then suddenly gaining a buzzsaw synth and techno drum kit, then it builds to include some higher synths and DJ scratching, then some bouncing synth. The prechorus has some nice tranceyness. Then we get the chorus which builds even more on the textured layers. The second verse brings us back to basics then starts building again. It's really just an exercise in how to use minimalism in pop music. But it works. 9/10

7. 心の声。そして満ち足りた時間、あるいはかけがえのないもの. Idol Grindcore. The world is not ready. But another style that her voice really shouldn't fit but does, this time to the extent that you could imagine Napalm Death songs matched with her voice. The music pulls no punches. This is actually grindcore. Reminds me of From Enslavement to Obliteration. The little hooks in the chorus also seem to point at the thrash- and death-metal leanings of a lot of early grindcore bands. She also yells "FAKJEA!" which makes me laugh every time. Her narration also returns. We get a nice little breakdown with some evil sounding narration and then a guitar solo. Another long and sexy one. I love this. Fucking worth breaking the limiter. I should stop doing that... 11/10

8. 悩んでもへこたれても. And back to the pop music. So happy and synthpop it's insane. Reminds me of Splen. Never been a bad thing that's reminded me of Splen. Eren's voice fits, once again (seriously, the producers must be magicians or something). The chord progressions are damn good, the synths are nice. The bassline is pretty sexy as well. Another guitar solo. 8/10

9. 就職しないとナイト. Another song that is amazingly fun live. Punk as fuck. Reminds me a bit of Blue Hearts or something. About as blunt and to the point as you'd expect. Even got a punk chorus singing backup. The tropes are all there for the perfect punk song. Bass is loud as fuck. Eren is screaming like a nutter. The guitars are slightly too technically proficient, but honestly, this is pure fun punk. 10/10

10. なぜか涙がでちゃうんだ. Piano ballad time. Eren singing a ballad seems quite ludicrous. And it is. The vocal melodies are gorgeous, actually. The arrangement also nice. Eren's voice just really isn't a ballad-singing voice. There's a guitar solo, but there would be. Honestly, the song is worth a good 8 points. But the voice loses them. Sorry Eren. You're not a ballad singer. 5/10

Overall: Honestly, the miracles the producer achieved is insane. Only two songs in which Eren's voice seems out of place. For those who haven't heard Eren's voice, it's really quite reedy. Think of Moon Kana but not out of tune. It really is that high pitched. So for eight of the ten songs to somehow incorporate it successfully is out of this world. Also, despite the genres being all over the place, the vocals tie it all together in its Erenism. Songwise, they're all pretty damn good. One benefit to being a live idol is that there's immediate crowd reaction, so chances of anything shit making it to a record is reduced. Such is the case here. The only minor irksome point is the production levels. Despite the producer being a miracle-worker, you can only do so much on a limited budget, so the sound can get a bit thin at times, but all said and done a damn good album.


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