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REVIEW: [2011.09.07] V.A. - V-ROCK Disney (cover album)

[2011.09.07] V.A. - V-ROCK Disney (cover album)

TRACKLIST:
1. ナイトメア - The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Fantasia)
2. ナイトメア - Friend Like Me (Aladdin)
3. 河村隆一 - 美女と野獣 (Beauty and the Beast)
4. PENICILLIN - Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride (Lilo & Stitch)
5. Plastic Tree - チム・チム・チェリー (Mary Poppins)
6. Sadie - This is Halloween (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
7. 葵 - Can You Feel the Love Tonight (The Lion King)
8. THE KIDDIE - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Mary Poppins)
9. ニンジャマンジャパン - When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio)
10. CASCADE - ハイ・ホー (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
11. DASEIN - ユール・ビー・イン・マイ・ハート (Tarzan)

ナイトメア - The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Fantasia) (1:33)
The intro for this song is very strange, not sure if in a good or bad way. The original starts off really mysterious for that part, but Nightmare's version just makes it sound rather comical, like it was a horn honking. It starts getting better after the other instrumentals come in, but I could do without the distorted vocals, which makes it a little too dark and ominous. The instrumentals were very enjoyable though. One notable thing about classic Disney music is that it always has that gradual build-up effect where you know things are starting to get serious; it's what makes classic Disney songs so awesome, which this track lacks. It was a short track, but it was a good length that stopped just short of repetitive. As a heavy, modern take on an old Disney classic, I would say I definitely approve.
RATING: 6.5/10

ナイトメア - Friend Like Me (Aladdin) (3:21)
Oh man, did I ever enjoy this one! Loved the intro; it started off as only drums, and then bass kicked in, always the sexiest combination. Nightmare knows how to do music properly. This has always been one of the Disney songs that gets me jumping on my feet and singing WAH WAH along with the music, and they definitely pulled that off. I felt like bobbing my head and snapping my fingers to its jazziness. Only thing I need to point out though, I can totally imagine Robin Williams singing this version????? I kind of feel like Yomi was trying too hard to imitate his voice, so I wish he'd stuck with his regular singing. It does get better eventually though. There is a twist in the guitar solo with some interesting effects, and the song is overall downright entertaining and fun.
RATING: 7.5/10

河村隆一 - 美女と野獣 (Beauty and the Beast) (4:15)
The instrumentals in this song was a little on the boring side for me, especially the intro, so it definitely didn't live up to the beautiful music they had in the original. It got better when the vocals began. They were soft and nice, as expected from Ryuichi, who has always a talented singer. It's so diverse and a great fit for the song. When the heavy instrumentals kicked in, I was caught completely by surprise. It made it sound entirely like a different song, so I feel they could have at least made it sound closer to the music and less repetitive if they were going to take it in that direction. I was a just a tiny bit disappointed in this, but I was glad they got Ryuichi to cover this song since his voice is just perfect. Only thing wrong with it was the heavy instrumentals, which are out of place.
RATING: 6/10

PENICILLIN - Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride (Lilo & Stitch) (3:05)
This one is... okay. It's very upbeat and happy, but it's not a very memorable track for me. Instrumentals are very good, and it even includes an awesome guitar solo, but the vocals just don't do it for me. They're just kind of all of the place. I'm kind of sitting on the fence about this one, but it's just a little below average.
RATING: 4.5/10

Plastic Tree - チム・チム・チェリー (Mary Poppins) (4:09)
The original of this is a pretty happy song, about a chimney sweeper enjoying his job, so this slower melancholy take on the song was very strange. Does this mean the chimney sweeper isn't enjoying himself anymore? Ryuutaro doesn't sound like a very happy bloke, but that still doesn't stop his voice from sounding amazingly good. Very soft and soothing. Anyway, chimney sweeping aside, it brings about a haunting feeling, both in the instrumentals and vocals. I especially love the harmonies which accentuated that atmosphere. I also really enjoyed the ending, with what briefly sounds like an accordion; it was a nice touch. Overall, I like this better than the original.
RATING: 7/10

Sadie - This is Halloween (The Nightmare before Christmas) (3:39)
Oh, this is definitely one of my favorites on the album. I lovelovelove The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I like Sadie as well, so my expectations were quite high going into this. I'm glad they were met to the very end. The intro is quite different, and I wouldn't have guessed it was this song. Still, the creepy feeling that the original brought is definitely successfully achieved. The vocals are way too muffled to make out any lyrics, which was a minus for me, but that also just makes it all the more spooky. I love the growling screams, it fits the right parts so well, like the I am the one hiding under your bed / Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red part. I really like the contrast between those heavy screams and the softer singing, I thought that was a clever idea. I do wish they'd included some of the strings since strings are always at sounding creepy. Between this and the original, it's hard to determine which version I'd be more afraid of listening to at night.
RATING: 8/10

葵 - Can You Feel the Love Tonight (The Lion King) (4:36)
The original of this song is one of the best Disney songs out there, so it's really hard to live up to that name, and I'm sorry, but Aoi just can't pull that off. I'll first start off by saying that I was never a big fan of Aoi... I didn't like Ayabie very much due to his vocals (but now that he left the band, and Yumehito is on vocals, I find myself liking their music a lot more). The instrumentals are enjoyable until the chimes and synth come in, which are just unnecessarily. It started giving me a headache after a while, which I've named as the Aoi Syndrome. It's the kind of synthpop I enjoy listening to Tommy february6's songs, but it COMPLETELY does not suit this one. His voice did improve drastically since I first heard it in Ayabie though, so I'll give him that. And his English too, it was pretty good.
RATING: 3.5/10

THE KIDDIE - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Mary Poppins) (3:51)
Thank God for THE KIDDIE for saving the second half of this album. Now, I am partial towards THE KIDDIE, being one of my favorite bands, so of course I would love this. The intro was great, it was so happy, poppy, spirit-lifting and just made me want to dance. And Yusa's English. WOW. He rocked that word so hard. Even though he still can't say atrocious quite right, he obviously practiced supercalifragilisticexpialidocious quite vigorously. The tempo of the song gradually quickens near the ending, which was another amazing feat, given how fast he was able to sing the word. He really sounded like he was running out of breath and slurring the syllables, but ah, it was so cute. Yusa is just simply adorable, and I love the "yee-haw!" he does near the middle right before the amazing, fast guitar solo. Hey, what can I say? I'm a fan. It would have been better if they covered more of the song other than just the chorus, though; therefore, it's not the best cover on the album, but it's definitely up there.
RATING: 7.5/10

ニンジャマンジャパン - When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio) (2:35)
I have actually never heard of this band before this album came out, and I can say right off the bat that I am not fond of the vocals. It's very high-pitched, and I can sense Aoi Syndrome starting to develop. Then lo and behold when I look up the band, the vocalist is actually Sarino (ex-Shelly Trip Realize, TINC)! Imagine my horror since I've always liked Shelly Trip Realize. Anyway, there's really now way you can remake this kind of song into a Jrock version and have it sound anything like the original, so I went in automatically expecting it not to. The beginning is beautiful, although not as amazing as the orchestral version, but it does fit the overall atmosphere of the song quite well. It obviously doesn't hold a candle to the original, but vocals aside, it was enjoyable nonetheless. Very positive and upbeat, but I probably wouldn't listen to it any more than this one time.
RATING: 5/10

CASCADE - ハイ・ホー (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) (2:46)
Again, another band I've never heard before today. As soon as the song began, I was like WHOA, caught completely off-guard. I was speechless and had no idea what to make of it. The vocals are just... plain bizarre. I've never listened to this band before, so I don't know if this is the vocalist's real voice or he's just putting it on for the purpose of the song. I couldn't even focus on the instrumentals because the vocals were so distracting. The repetition of the heigh-ho in that kind of voice got annoying quickly. Easily the worst song on the album, and all I can say is that I'm glad it was a short one.
RATING: 2/10

DASEIN - ユール・ビー・イン・マイ・ハート (Tarzan) (4:51)
The original version by Phil Collins is a very difficult song to follow up on, but this done nicely. The vocals are very nice and soothing and does the song justice. It's a fitting end to the album and leaves you off with a good feeling that makes you forget about some other tracks that are better off left unmentioned. Nothing else really to say about it other than that it's beautiful in all aspects.
RATING: 8/10

Honestly speaking, I wasn't familiar with about half of these artists, but from this album, I've learned of which ones were worth checking out and which ones I should stay far away from. ALSO CAN I JUST SAY, how can you have a Disney tribute album without A WHOLE NEW WORLD? Any time I even hear the word Disney, that is the song I look forward to listening to the most, and they didn't have it. Sosososo disappointed about that. I'm sorry, but Lilo & Stitch? How can you have Lilo & Stitch but not have A Whole New World? COME ON.

Overall, I think they could have done a better job with this. Some tracks are amazing, but unfortunately, there are also a few that lower my rating drastically. I really wish I could give it a higher rating, but this is my general feeling towards the entire album altogether. They could have chosen better artists and better songs to cover.

OVERALL RATING: 5.5/10
Tags: genre: jrock, review: cascade, review: dasein, review: penicillin, review: plastic tree, review: sadie, review: the kiddie, review: ナイトエア, review: ニンジャマンジャパン, review: 河村隆一, review: 葵
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