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SINGLE REVIEW: Shota Shimizu- HOME

Shota Shimizu- HOME

Shota Shimizu is a new artist, having just debuted on the twentieth of this month, but was having so much success with his debut that I decided to check him out. I saw his performance on Music Station yesterday which was absolutely amazing, and I decided that I would begin reviewing him. With a voice like that, I’m willing to trust that he’s not going to suddenly suck on his next single. Here’s Shota Shimizu’s ‘HOME’.

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HOME opens up with sweet piano and violins that create a heartfelt and gentle atmosphere. Theres a dash of chimes and the percussion appears. Definitely and R&B artist. The music of the song remains relatively constant throughout, the gentle piano making appearances only in instrumental breaks and at the poles of the song. It’s always there under a layer of percussion, but it’s only the focus of the song in a few select places. I did like the blending of the beat and piano, though. It creates a very interesting contrast; ballad-esque, but more upbeat because of the speed of the percussion. I hear some vocal one parallels to the guys of GReeeeN, but overall his performance is much more solid than any of them. The most impressive part of this song is Shimizu’s vocal range, which is showcased wonderfully in the chorus. He can safely go quite high, which is something that a lot of artists struggle with. His execution is deliberate and very well done. He obviously has a combination of natural talent and intense practice, professional or otherwise. I like the direction of the composition, though it doesn’t have a lot of progression until near the very end. I liked the evolution of the song’s sound. My only problem was that Shimizu’s power note felt kind of lack-luster. His vocal tone is nice, but I’m still not sure about his ability to pull off long and powerful single notes. As a whole his delivery is solid, but that note left much to be desired. He makes up for it at the end with the simple vocalizations, but there’s still something about his power notes that seems incomplete and lacking. Either way, I am incredibly impressed with this debut single, and I can see completely why he’s having so much success.

Vocal Performance Grade: A — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

I liked the synthetic musical introduction to MUSIC feat. BOY-KEN, but unfortunately the song was ruined by BOY-KEN. It’s really sad considering that Shota’s vocals are gorgeous, but the featured artist is trying way too hard to be a hardcore rapper, and it sounds awful. He sounds like a pit-bull with bowel irritation, and he makes the song absolutely dreadful. The plus side is that Shota’s delivery here is possibly even better than it was in the previous track. The music is pretty boring throughout being that it’s all just the same synth and percussion repeating itself. I can’t stress enough how idiotic this collaboration is. There’s a chance that it’s even worse than Kono Uta wo…….. by K x ET-KING. I can’t imagine that Shimizu listened to this song and was like ‘Yeah! I love this!’. You’d have to be completely stupid. The song had a lot going for it outside of the collaboration, but it was just destroyed. I can’t really pick out the composition because half of it is spoken [badly]. Shimizu’s runs were good, but the rest was absolute crap. This was a huge mistake and would completely change my mind about buying the single. This song isn’t even worth listening to unless you want to be annoyed. Or laugh.

Vocal Performance Grade: D+ — Musical Performance Grade: C- — Composition Grade: C-

Overall Grade: D-

We’re finally treated with a ballad in the form of Miss You. The song begins with soft vocals, great piano chords, and a beautiful melody. They are soon accompanied by similarly faint percussion. The song has a wonderful progression, and I’m pleasantly surprised with this B-Side. The only issue I have is that his power notes still feel a bit weak, even though his average delivery is incredible. He has a fantastic voice, and this song just further supports that. There isn’t a single part where I don’t enjoy is performance, it’s just that he doesn’t do any of that note holding that you see frequently in ballads. He manages to sound sad and desirous, which works out well for the idea of the song. I like the contrast of the verses and chorus because it makes the song less boring. The composition has fantastic direction which leads to a great climax. The background ‘ooh’ing was a great effect because it really helped build the atmosphere. This song is just as good as the A-Side, which is amazing considering how much I liked it.

Vocal Performance Grade: A+ — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

SINGLE GRADE: A-

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