The Forgotten #5 – ViViD
Um…how did I forget that I managed to snag like the SOLE album available for ViViD in the US? Oh, sure, you can buy their imported CDs which…yeah…will break your wallet, but I do try to buy digital music now for the fact that I’ve kind of run out of room for physical books, CDs and even DVDs. I get stern looks when I bring these items home with me, lol. When I was completely cleaning and rearranging my room, I realized just how big my collections are and I can’t say I blame my grandparents for being slightly vocal about not wanting me to clutter up the house (basically meaning my room now).
Anyways, to get back on the topic at hand, I do try to buy digital releases now thanks to my lack of space. The problem is that when it comes to Japanese music, it is VERY difficult to find recent digital releases in the US. In fact, iTunes lost a lot of Japanese music in their US store when iTunes Match was released (if I recall correctly). You can sometimes find some releases on Amazon and Google Play that aren’t found in iTunes, but the selections there really aren’t all that impressive either. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered ViViD’s album Infinity available for purchase. I promptly bought it, but thanks to the great computer crashes and all that jazz, I no longer have the digital album on my PC. Thankfully, Amazon had its cloud at the time and any new purchases are automatically made available for you to stream (and redownload). I love that feature. It would be nice if they did do what iTunes did and made all the old purchases available, but I’ll take what I can get. So, I was pursuing my Amazon Cloud just to check out what music was there the other day and I was totally shocked to discover some of the Japanese albums I had purchased, but aren’t currently on my PC. How could I forget about such treasures?
You know…I honestly cannot recall when I actually discovered this Japanese band which consists of 5 members: Shin (vocals), Ko-ki (drums, synthesizer, turntables), Reno (lead guitar), Ryoga (rhythm guitar), Iv (bass). I fell in love with visual kei and jrock back in 2007 when I somehow managed to discover Alice Nine. ViViD formed in 2009 (or someone around there) and made their indie debut at that time, but I honestly don’t think I probably knew about them until 2010-11. Was it with “Dear” that I first discovered them? They have never been heavy on my music radar, but as I’ve been relistening to their album Infinity, I can’t figure out why that would be.
Infinity is ViViD’s first full length album ever and consists of several of their singles since their major debut in 2011, plus some new tracks. With Japanese music, you do find a lot of male vocalists with a high, almost female-sounding, pitch and range. This is not true of ViViD’s vocalist at all. Shin’s voice is on the lower end of the spectrum. While not wholly unique, he still has a great voice and I do love ViViD’s music even if I don’t follow them as closely as I do say LM.C, Alice Nine, and the GazettE. ViViD’s music is not just pigeonholed into rock or pop or poprock. They have a strong rock focus, obviously, but they do have some harder rock sounds, some grunge, and some pop elements.
I admit that I am not a huge fan of instrumental tracks, but track #8 “Explosion” is an awesome rock instrumental track that doesn’t bore me at all and that I can listen to all day If I wanted to. Oh, and track #10 “RIDE on Time” is awesome. I really like Iv’s bass playing in that song…probably because there is some solo bass time and the overall feel of the song is kind of funky. Speaking of solos, the guitar solos in “Blue”…shiver-inducing awesomeness. In track 3, I really wonder how Shin manages to sing so fast. I can’t even sing fast in English, let alone in another language. He does it quite well. Props to the people who can do that. Overall, a great mix of songs and styles that doesn’t bore. I now wish that you can get more of ViViD’s music a lot more easily, but, alas, this is the only album of theirs available, to my knowledge, digitally in the US. Normally, I would share song snippets or videos…but this is Japanese music and thus…I can’t always find the official videos or versions of the songs on Youtube 😦 But if you check out Amazon and iTunes, you can preview this album, which is a start.
Infinity – ViViD
Released 27 June 2012
Buy on Amazon | CDJapan | iTunes | YesAsia
01. live your life
4. memories in white
6. kakera (カケラ; Pieces)
7. Natsukaze ~endless love~ (夏風 ～ｅｎｄｌｅｓｓ ｌｏｖｅ～; Cold Summer ~endless love~)
9. Yume ~Mugen no Kanata (「夢」 ～ムゲンノカナタ～; “Dreams” ~Beyond The Fantasy~)
10. RIDE on time