single review – Cicada (rice)

Initiating me to the band rice is their latest single Cicada. Instead of listening to the title track, I headed straight to track 3 will as it intriguingly runs for more than 6 minutes. will starts off daintily with just the sound of the piano. Then the vocals started and BAM! I almost fell off my chair. Yuki’s voice is stunning! With VK, almost anything can happen but I was certainly not expecting Josh Groban-esque vocals! Yuki’s singing voice has a rich timbre that suited the piano ballad perfectly – it was deep yet still able to effortlessly hit the high notes.

regular edition

As for the song itself, will sounds interesting up to the chorus where it begins to sound too melodramatic for its own good. Obviously, there was an attempt to make the song epic but it’s not quite achieving that. The song should have faded off earlier than it does considering that the last minute is just instrumental. Better arrangement could have salvaged the song for the extended outro is just plain overkill.

Cicada, on the other hand, is a rocking song with a rather nice intro. The vocals plus single guitar strumming act has been done numerous times before but it doesn’t sound stale in Cicada. Again, Yuki has to be credited for giving the song its own unique flair. The use of what I assume is a pan flue likewise imparted the song with a touch of class. Not sure though if the same adjective could be said of track 2, simply titled as ice cream.

Ice cream is certainly the most upbeat of the 3 tracks in the single. This allowed Yuki to shed the amazing control he displayed in the 2 other songs and let loose with a few vocal acrobatics. However I find the song a bit campy – how else could one describe a song whose chorus consists of repeated mentions of the word ice cream? Nevertheless, the cello as an accompaniment was a nice touch. Still, I couldn’t make up my mind up to now on whether to love or hate the song.

Bottom-line, Cicada is a good release in the sense that the songs were able to showcase Yuki’s mellifluous vocals. Though it has yet to convert me as a fan, I’ll definitely be on the lookout now for more releases from this band called rice.

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