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Anyway, I've only listened to a little more than half so far. The only songs I've haven't heard in full yet are Happy Birthday and Your song (English ver.). I have to say that YELLOW is probably their best work yet. HELLO WORLD is probably more "complete" sounding as a whole, but I'd say the members definitely deserve high praise for their first completely self-produced album. I like the term "concept album" for YELLOW, seeing as they try out so many different styles. While I think it definitely has more mainstream appeal, it's not for everyone, especially if you prefer SCANDAL's earlier works.
As expected, I really liked Heaven na Kibun. It's Nirvana-inspired, 90's grunge rock really resonated with me. (w) I kinda want to hear it sung with rough male vocals, like HYDE's voice in VAMPS. Maybe I'll try it one day....
Off topic, I really want to see SCANDAL challenge a really dark, heavy, visual-kei-ish rock song one day. Maybe even with screams, death voice shouts and growls, the works. Sure, it may alienate a lot of their fans, but it definitely would be fun to hear...!
OK, back on topic...Room No.7's funky rock sound was nice, as well. Since I like sad ballads, Morning sun and chiisana honoo are high on my favorites list. Really nice, emotional lyrics. Konya wa Pizza Party was the fun, punkish, party rock I was hoping it would be. Sunday Drive is nice as a cruising song.
Now, LOVE....I was really looking forward to hearing this one, and I was amazed at how well the girls pulled it off. I don't listen to much reggae, but I do hear a lot of Hawaiian music. A lot of Hawaiian band fuse some reggae into their sounds, so it's not a completely unfamiliar genre. This mixture sound is what I think the girls were aiming for, similar to what Aqua Timez and Def Tech does. It has this Jawaiian (Japan+Hawaii version) sound that resonates well with islanders. I really want to hear them perform this at the Waikiki Shell live.
All in all, yes, this is a more poppy-sounding release. Under the giant umbrella that is "J-Pop," YELLOW is no doubt, J-Pop rather than J-Rock. However, I'd say they're different from most pop. Since their indies days, I've always seen SCANDAL as a "girl band." Being a fan ZONE and their "Rockin' Pop" from before, girl bands tend to have a "guitar pop" sound, straddling the fine line of pop and rock. YELLOW is no different in that respect. Some songs sound more rock, others sound more pop.
I'm excited to see where SCANDAL will go from here, with all of the knowledge and experience they now have. I hope they continue experimenting with different sounds to produce their own definition of "Happy Rock." It would be fun if they try a completely different sound for each release like what GazettE does....
(I'm really sorry for the length...!) m(_ _)m