Mondo Grossoの大沢伸一+Fantastic Plastic Machineの田中知之+
土屋アンナ、安藤裕子、東方神起、後藤真希、BoA、DJ OZMA、MONKEY MAJIK、LISAに加え、安室奈美恵と、
昨年は紅白歌合戦にも初出場するなど怒涛の快進撃を続ける新世代ユニットGIRL NEXT DOORのヴォーカル千紗の参加が決定!
6.Believe in LOVE feat. BoA
7.NEWエキセントリックガール feat. 千紗(GIRL NEXT DOOR)
8.Golden LUV feat. MAKI GOTO
9.V.I.P.P. (Very Important Party People) feat. TRF & VERBAL(m-flo)
10.1 more night feat. MONKEY MAJIK
11.悪い子みつけた。 feat. 安藤裕子
12.I RAVE U feat. DJ OZMA --【楽曲試聴】
With avex now investing in live action and animated entertainment, the project being developed was "Ratom", a character that looked like Tezuka Atom (aka Astro Boy) combined with the avex style. In the music realm of ravex, the music is created by Shinichi Osawa (Mondo Grosso), Tomoyuki Tanaka (Fantastic Plastic Machine) and Taku Takahashi (m-flo).
Personally, I found the two CD single ravex releases to be average. I definitely had high expectations with the collaborations between Shinichi Osawa (Mondo Grosso), Tomoyuki Tanaka (Fantastic Plastic Machine) and Taku Takahashi (m-flo) and for the most part, the two CD single releases were a mixed bag for me with some collaborations really catching my attention and some songs, falling flat.
But what I have been waiting for is the album "trax" to definitely see what other collaborations were in store for music fans.
The album kicks off with "I RAVE U (Original)", a musical track that is definitely reminiscent of that old school Julianna's Tokyo style back in the early 1990's and music that avex was known for.
The second track off the album is "ROCK U" featuring a collaboration with pop diva Namie Amuro. Overall, a pretty solid track showcasing lyrics by VERBAL and nearly an all English track. Upbeat, utilizing Osawa and Tanaka's style of digital music.
The third track features a collaboration with popular Korean group (and popular in Japan) Tohoshinki. Featuring lyrics by Tomoyuki Tanaka and music by rave with Yuzuru Tomita. The song gets a bit repetitive as the group is constantly repeating "Tonight's the Night" but once it gets to the main lyrics, I don't think anyone listening to the song will think this is a Tohoshinki track. Definitely a Shinichi Osawa style of track. Overall, a pretty cool track despite the repetition during the beginning of the track.
The fourth track features a collaboration with LISA for the track titled "HOUSE NATION", an all-English track written by her and you definitely hear the styles of Osawa, Tanaka and Takahashi in this upbeat dance track. Another solid track on the album.
The fifth track "Bangalicious" features a collaboration with ANNA TSUCHIYA featuring English lyrics written by LISA. And the lyrics matches ANNA TSUCHIYA's bad girl style. More beat driven with that hard synth tone in the background. Another catchy, upbeat and enjoyable track on the album.
The sixth track "Believe in LOVE" is a mid-tempo synth pop track feat. BoA with lyrics by EMI K. Lynn If anything, of the three musicians of ravex, the song is definitely Shinichi Osawa-driven it would seem. Magical and dreamy synth.
The seventh track "NEW Eccentric Girl" features a collaboration with Mia Chisa of the group GIRL NEXT DOOR and features lyrics by BOO. The track tends to utilize a lot of vocoder but overall an upbeat dance track.
The next track is by former Morning Musume member Maki Goto with "Golden LUV" featuring lyrics by Boo. An upbeat, dance track that is just catchy, addictive dance track. One of my favorites on the album.
The ninth track "V.I.P.P. (Very Important Party People" is an interesting collaboration by TRF and VERBAL (of m-flo) and is the only track not featuring the three men of ravex but features Tetsuya Komuro providing the lyrics and the music and features cuts of digital slabs of music along with TRF's "Survival Dance" in the background. If anything, the music is VERBAL-based while TRF is just a sample from "Survival Dance".
The tenth track "1 more night" features a collaboration between ravex and Monkey Majik. The song is an all English track written by both Monkey Majik's Blaise and Maynard. Overall, a solid, dance track.
The eleventh track "Aikomitsuketa" featuring a song written and sung by Yuuko Ando. The most mellow track on the album but overall, a solid track featuring a smooth beat that tends to have an experimental digital sound to the track.
The album ends with "I RAVE U" featuring a song sung and written by DJ OZMA. Utilizing the old school rave sound, DJ OZMA lends his style of vocals to the track. For those familiar with DJ OZMA's music with his style of vocals and the female participation in the vocals, the song utilizes that similar style but with the old school rave synth track in the background.
As for the album insert, the booklet features the lyrics to all songs and also production credits. It's important to note that there is another version of the album which contains the music videos for each of the tracks. I have not seen the music videos for a lot of the songs but I have seen a few from the CD+DVD singles which were typically the music and animation imagery of Osamu Tezuka animation from the past.
Unless, you are a hardcore Tezuka fan, personally the few music videos what I have seen really doesn't inspire me to buy the CD+DVD version and possibly, the normal CD version is all one would need.
Overall, "trax" is a good album featuring collaborations with three of Japan's popular digital producers. For most fans of Shinichi Osawa (Mondo Grosso), Tomoyuki Tanaka (Fantastic Plastic Machine) and Taku Takahashi (m-flo), the collaboration with the three men along with the popular artists on this album is one of those rare treats that just don't happen quite often in Japan.
Overall, the concept of "ravex" was quite interesting and I think that the live performances by the three musicians at various clubs in Japan definitely drew a lot of interest.
As an album, I appreciated this release far more than the CD single releases. Hearing the Namie Amuro and Tohoshinki collaboration was quite exciting and it was great to finally hear the final tracks of those songs (smaller samples were included on the first ravex single). Also, the album would feature Tetsuya Komuro's first recorded song on an album post-arrest. So, I found that quite interesting to see another digital producer on this album outside of the main three.
For the most part, a solid compilation album and definitely one of those rare music collaborations from Japan worth checking out.