Kagrra,’s latest release 月に斑雲 紫陽花に雨 (Tsuki ni murakamo hana ni ame) highlights the band’s advantage over the large crop of visual kei bands out there – Isshi’s unique voice, beats that are very easy on the ears and the excellent blend of pop-rock with traditional Japanese music.
The title track is a very soothing yet energetic number that could have anyone tapping their feet along with the beat. However there is nothing much in Tsuki ni… to distinguish it from what Kagrra, has done before. It gave off the impression that the band was playing safe. Far from being a disappointment, Tsuki ni… could still use some more tweaking given that after all, it is the title track.
The second track, 戯曲 華一匁 (Gikyoku Hanaichimonme) has the oomph that was missing in Tsuki ni… Boisterous and still suave at the same time, Gikyoku Hanaichimonme gives off a big band vibe. The piano beats are a welcome addition too. Gikyoku is enjoyable to listen to and is no doubt much more deserving of repeated listening than the other 2 tracks in this maxi-single.
Capping off the tracklist is 日ノ本 (Hinomoto). Hinomoto sounds like Tsuki ni… but strangely enough, I like it better than the latter. Maybe because it’s more upbeat. Kagrra,’s Neo-Japanese sound is also more prominent in this one. The flow is concrete and the band sounds like they are really enjoying what they’re playing.
As mentioned in the intro, 月に斑雲 紫陽花に雨 plays on Kagrra,’s strengths. But for their succeeding releases, I do hope the band would considering experimenting a bit more. Kagrra, is still on a league of its own but a little more innovation would not hurt. This is because in the long run, even uniqueness becomes stale.