SCANDAL’s Kiss from the darkness shines brightly with their former style of pop-rock in combination with strong rhythms and uplifting lyrics. They demonstrate the likeability and mastery that has made them a reliable hit-maker for over a decade. Now, their biggest competition is themselves as they venture out on their self-owned label, “her. And they successfully remain relevant with contemporary pop styles while also tapping into their earlier hard rock roots.

With the first track on the album, they infuse electronic dance music for Tonight. In which, the arrangement pushes the electronic beat to the front of the soundscape after kicking off with a guitar intro. This contemporary rhythm is provided by the upstart DJ and Jpop recording artist SASUKE as lead vocalist Haruna Ono sings about making a perfect world with simple and clear feelings. With that positive message and enjoyable cadence, this pop tune has the potential of becoming their next hit song. Some will know it as the theme for Tokyo TV drama I’ll be fine in the afterlife. The next track, taking a turn back to familiar territory with punky style is last year’s Masterpiece. After a quick crash of guitars and screams, the ladies get listeners amped up on high energy with a fun beat. While the tune rocks along, the lyrics remind us of the beauty of nature and to take joy in the adventures of life.

In regards to songwriting, each member has contributed over the years of successful albums and popular songs but Rina Suzuki and Mami Sasazaki do the heavy lifting in compositions for Kiss. Together they drive hard rock chops with powerful messages of hope, fate, and tragedy. It’s lyrics from drummer Rina like in Saishuheiki Kimi about doing what is necessary to overcome challenges with self-reliance as espoused from the title that translates to, “The final weapon is you!” Although there has been some criticism about Haruna’s singing on this one with the deliberate use of auto-tune. While she is a talented and exceptional singer, it must have been a creative decision to digitize her voice for the video-game inspired theme. Fortunately, that concern is alleviated on A.M.D.K.J. as Haruna sings with clear ferocity and lead guitarist Mami striking hard on the power chords. Also, spotlighted previously as the theme to GeGeGe no Kitaro.

But it is not all hard rock as they apply a softer touch with Mabataki, an almost forgotten second song from the double release from Masterpiece. The duet between bassist Tomomi Ogawa and Haruna is heartfelt and tries to bring a little sunshine with springtime dreaming. Here they evoke upbeat, positive affirmations for a somber day much like Haruka from BABY ACTION. Plus, Fuzzy feels just right as that “are we or aren’t we” dilemma from a torrid romance. Although, the breezy nature of the track may only last as long as a summer vacation.

Unfortunately, the album does have a few songs that fall short of outright success. Tomomi with guest Yusuke Takeda from RADWIMPS try to turn a common choir into something thoughtful and introspective with Laundry Laundry. But, the folksy number is a little too simple to be memorable. Plus, Haruna brings the chill pop for NEON TOWN ESCAPE though it seems a bit standard as a pop song and adds little to the album. Thankfully, the Mami pinned Ceramic Blue is a delight of uplifting pop-rock and splashes in sound like waves in a swimming pool. That’s followed up by the equally appealing and retro-flavored bubblegum pop of Kinenbi. Ultimately ending with the soulful Tsuki  that would be the best song to slow dance to at a Valentine’s Day party. Finally—spoiler alert! Each CD has the one bonus track, YOU GO GIRL! It’s a powered-up pop song with a hip-hop chorus that could be great on your exercise workout playlist.

This talented quartet has more in store ahead as this album will serve as the launchpad for a worldwide tour. Dates have been announced for shows across Japan as well as North America and Europe. Besides that, for those new to SCANDAL or long time bystanders, Kiss from the darkness is a worthwhile addition that adds to their modern songs like those from YELLOW and HONEY. While also reminding us of what we loved from TEMPTATION BOX and Queens are trumps. They continue a tradition of delivering empowering and strong hits in new ways while being true to themselves.

Kiss from the darkness is available now in various editions from one of the links listed below.

Kiss from the darkness

Regular edition

CD

  1. Tonight
  2. Masterpiece
  3. Fuzzy
  4. Saishuuheiki, Kimi
  5. Laundry Laundry
  6. NEON TOWN ESCAPE
  7. Ceramic Blue
  8. Kinenbi
  9. Mabataki
  10. A.M.D.K.J. (ending theme to anime GeGeGe no Kitaro)
  11. Tsuki
  12. Bonus track

Buy at CDJapan and JPU Records

Limited edition type B

CD

  1. Tonight
  2. Masterpiece
  3. Fuzzy
  4. Saishuuheiki, Kimi
  5. Laundry Laundry
  6. NEON TOWN ESCAPE
  7. Ceramic Blue
  8. Kinenbi
  9. Mabataki
  10. A.M.D.K.J. (ending theme to anime GeGeGe no Kitaro)
  11. Tsuki
  12. Bonus track

Bonus

  • Magazine

Buy at CDJapan and JPU Records

Limited edition type A

CD

  1. Tonight
  2. Masterpiece
  3. Fuzzy
  4. Saishuuheiki, Kimi
  5. Laundry Laundry
  6. NEON TOWN ESCAPE
  7. Ceramic Blue
  8. Kinenbi
  9. Mabataki
  10. A.M.D.K.J. (ending theme to anime GeGeGe no Kitaro)
  11. Tsuki
  12. Bonus track

DVD

  • Documentary movie

Buy at CDJapan

Limited edition type C

CD

  1. Tonight
  2. Masterpiece
  3. Fuzzy
  4. Saishuuheiki, Kimi
  5. Laundry Laundry
  6. NEON TOWN ESCAPE
  7. Ceramic Blue
  8. Kinenbi
  9. Mabataki
  10. A.M.D.K.J. (ending theme to anime GeGeGe no Kitaro)
  11. Tsuki
  12. Bonus track

DVD

  • This edition includes a bonus DVD with music videos, including the songs above and more (subject to change).

Bonus

  • Box packaging with a T-shirt (Size: Large) featuring cover artwork.

Buy at CDJapan

More Info:
Official Website
YouTube
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter (Haruna)
Twitter (Mami)
Twitter (Tomomi)
Twitter (Rina)
Instagram
Instagram (Haruna)
Instagram (Mami)
Instagram (Rina)

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