I think the majority of the people who gets A-One’s albums is because of T.Stebbins, a great vocalist who’s really fit for the Eurobeat scene. I am not going to lie, I am like that aswell. However, as much as I like T.Stebbins and his voice, I do not neglect to give the rest of the singers the praise they need, aswell as the artists who makes the music. So here we go, this is the review of the fifth volume TOHO EUROBEAT.
1: BURNIN’ BLOOD – 【Extend Ash ~ Hourai Victim + Reach for the Moon, Immortal Smoke】
This track has a very elegant and powerful intro. It has a sense of a badass atmosphere, until the song actually kicks in. The track hooks you up from the very first moment, and it’s a great start for the album. The actual intro lead is really generic though, but very catchy which is good. It’s a track which does not leave you bored as soon as the vocals kicks in, which are pretty good. I do however feel that some of the lines are out of place, and some of the pitches aswell. Chorus is pretty meh and actually slightly boring, but it does the job. A solid track, kind of meh but a very good opening track.
2: No Routine – 【Voyage 1969 + Gensokyo Millennium ~ History of the Moon】
This is a filler track in my opinion. It’s neglectable, but it has some charm to it. However overall it’s too generic, there’s nothing really interesting in the track at all. But I do must say, the vocals are great. Rute is a great vocalist and has a powerful voice which transmit emotions very well. This is in my opinion the only interesting about the song in general. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t listen to it at all. It’s funny though, but his voice sets the tone for the entire track and enhance it with the dedication of how well the vocals actually are made.
3: Still in Love – 【Nostalgic Blood of the East ~ Old World + Plain Asia】
Another one of the boring tracks. Intro is very dull and does not hook one at all. Overall sound is flat and washed out, probably to match the vocals which is also kind of dull. They’re not very bright, which in my opinion Eurobeat should be. There’s also no power in them at all, except for the start of the chorus which later just falls flat again. There are a couple of highlights in the track which was pretty much the only thing that kept me continuing listening.
4: LUNATIC – 【Flight of the Bamboo Cutter ~ Lunatic Princess + Voyage 1970】
Oh boy, here we go. This is the track with T.Stebbins on vocals, the one I’ve waited for. And jolly, as usual it’s good. And no, I am not saying this because I am a T.Stebbins fan. It is good, and I will prove it. But it also flaws.
The intro is a bit tedious, and in my opinion a tad too long and uninteresting. However, this also works as a buildup for whatever to come next, and as soon as the keyboard comes in hell is unleashed. Or should I say heaven? Whatever. The transition to the keyboard is great, it’s powerful and melodic. That is however, the only major highlight of the track which is a shame. In general, the entire track is a bit repetitive and also flat. I can’t help but feel that the track is not extremely well thought out, and a bit generic aswell. There’s nothing “smart” about the track which also is a shame, it held good potential. T.Stebbins however provides us with vocals of a god, especially in the chorus where emotions are powerfully potrayed. The verse is a little meh, I am not a very big fan of that. The track overall is good, but it could have been improved. A shame.
5: God Bless You!! – 【Imperishable Night ~ Eastern Night + Retribution for the Eternal Night ~ Imperishable Night】
A very happy and upbeat song which is further enhanced by the childish vocals. They are not really my cup of tea, but damn they are good. Pitches and timing are amazing, and fluctuates between the verse and chorus without being changed in style or emotions. Chorus is the main highlight of the track, a very fine chorus at that. But overall, the song is just a bit too childish for my taste. I can’t make myself like it, but I can’t dislike it because of the amazing vocals. It’s a love and hate thing, forgive me.
6: Promise the Moonlight – 【Song of the Night Sparrow ~ Night Bird + Deaf to all but the song】
This is a very solid track. It holds itself true to the original songs atmosphere. However, it also adds another element to this. A very elegant emotion, thanks to the vocals. Compared to the first track, the power and confidence in aki’s voice really shines here. And the track is a bit better thought out aswell. This shows off her talent, which I believe aki has a lot of. She’s a great vocalist, as long as one does not hamper and let her sing out with all her might. Not only will she perform better, but the song in general will feel more alive. Just like this one. The track is good and catchy but generic. And has no highlights. awwdammit
7: 月の媚薬 – 【Illusionary Night ~ Ghostly Eyes + Stirring an Autumn Moon ~ Mooned Insect】
This track has a very gentle feeling to it. A dreamy atmosphere and a longing for letting emotions out. It’s a very brittle track, both in sound and how it’s built. One can say, it’s not a solid track. It’s a hate or love track. As for me, I don’t like it… at all. The overall sound is pretty decent but the way its potrayed, I don’t like it at all. It tries too hard to be something it’s not, like a whisper in the wind. That gentle, but it’s far too heavy to be. It is a decent track but there’s only the intro that I like about it. The vocals feels lacking and are kind of uncomfortable to the ear. It’s not a very good track in my opinion, but that’s perhaps because I just don’t like it… at all.
8: Let It Be – 【Nostalgic Blood of the East ~ Old World + Plain Asia】
This is to be honest one of the most well made tracks on the album. It’s fresh, it’s has a great intro (which of course is generic) and it has a lot of highlights. The touches of keyboard is just phenomenal and it’s not very repetitive even though it’s repeating a lot of the strings. However, the keyboard is just such a match with the vocals, like resonating with the emotions. Vocals are great and just fits the overall sound of the song so well. However, it’s not my cup of tea, or beat. It’s slightly dense and not very bright however compared to most of the other tracks on the album I would lie to say that this is one of the songs that fits in the same category. Cause it’s not. It’s an amazingly well done track.
9: Cage to Heart – 【Cinderella Cage ~ Kagome-Kagome + Lunatic Eyes ~ Invisible Full Moon】
Another amazing track. A track that hooks you up directly with an extremely powerful intro. The song seems very powerful in general with a resonating vocalist with a powerful voice which matches the sound of the song. Just like the track before this one, it’s an almost perfect match. Verse is great, powerful and catchy which is enhanced with an actual electric guitar. The riffs could be improved though, they stay very far back in the beat and are very “muddy”. One has to listen for it to actually hear it properly, but perhaps that’s what they wanted. Chorus is decent, it’s a bit brighter and not as powerful as the rest of the song. It’s a solid track though, perfect length despite of its hasty nature. I give it a thumbs up, another great track on this album.
10: KAKEHIKI – 【Maiden’s Capriccio ~ Dream Battle + Love-Colored Master Spark】
It seems that all the good tracks comes at the end. This however is my favorite one on this album. Not only NAGISA on the vocals, but it’s a colloboration with AXEL.K aswell, both two high on my list of great vocalists. This track does not have any splashes of strings (except for the solo and a very minor part in the first verse), but hell it does not need it. This track has almost everything a good Eurobeat track needs to have. It’s powerful because of the change in vocalist through the verse aswell as the duo in the chorus. It has emotions thanks to the talent of the vocalists. It’s interesting because it’s versatile in sound, it fluctuates throughout the entire song and it’s damn catchy aswell. This my friends, is the best track on the album. It’s a great way to end the album on.
This album is nothing outstanding at all. It’s decent overall, it has some muddy and “meh” tracks, but some golden tracks aswell just like in every decent album there is. There’s nothing to be stoked about in this one, except for the last track. The album is however quite solid as a Eurobeat album, the artists clearly know what they are doing but some of the tracks seems a bit rushed, or lacks originality. Some of the vocals could improve aswell, I do not know why but Japaneses seems to like to hire vocalists that does not fit the sound at all. It’s not of my business, after all most of the Touhou music scene is just for fun and many of the artists collaborates for the fun of it, for playing music together aswell as creating it. However, I still think that the overall sound should change to fit the vocalist to that. It’s a better “tribute” to the vocalist, aswell as makes the track sound better in general. Overall, the albums would feel more worked on and get a better score by doing so. 6/10