For my first post as part of the site’s revival, I’ll be taking a look into a mini-album released by J-rock band, Frederic, who burst into the mainstream with “Kanashii Ureshii” from the anime series, Koi to Uso. One of their older mini-albums, OTOTUNE may share its name with the musical alteration device in pronunciation, but will it be like Auto-tune: at times grating, at times unnecessary? Perhaps, but it’s best to take a good listen.
FUTURE ICE CREAM
Whatever your favorite flavor is, this “FUTURE ICE CREAM” is one ice cream you want to get your tastebuds on. While it has the feel of a typical J-rock song, this is a fun summer jam that has you imagining you’re being blown away by a cool wind. Synthy in its verses, powerful in its chorus, this introductory track is a surefire treat.
FOR YOU UFO
Fast and full of Frederic’s signature synth-rock style, even aliens could take a liking to this slick, cool track. The song is quirky in every sense, incorporating a broken-styled chorus to its use of pianos in every turn. An incredibly catchy, almost head-invading, song, “FOR YOU UFO” is one UFO FOR YOU.
The band go ham on the “hello” with vocalist Kenji Mihara’s powerful vocals introducing “Hello Goodbye” before delving into a fast-paced guitar-driven sound. This is a track that feels very J-rock in sound; it is packed with emotion and hits. It’s a darker sound as compared to the other tracks on the mini-album, but it still maintains a catchy sound as it says “goodbye”.
Quirky and upbeat, “Toumei Ningen” is a song that is clearly visible in imagination. With a weird and slightly off-beat instrumental break, to a distinct Japanese sound, Frederic blends these and their sound together to make a song that feels fun and catchy. Invisible or not, this may be the “person” just for you.
The most laid-back track on the album, undoubtedly. With its jukebox 50’s-like feel, as well as a Santana-like instrumental, “USO” is a song that is soothing. It has a catchy but mid-like tempo, and a few “ba-ba-ba’s” here and there. Despite it being a little boring in sound, it is one that puts you in a very relaxed mood. I’m not lying.
Living up to its name, “Triangle Summer” is a fast, breezy, and slick summer rock jam. The track contains elements of a Beach Boys’ song, giving it a familiar summer sound, meshed with Frederic styling. It’s a cool tune that makes you feel like you’re riding the waves. Much like the number of sides of a triangle, give this one three tries, and you’ll feel the breeze.
Makka na CAR
Bright Red CAR
Arguably the slickest and funkiest track on the album, “Makka na CAR” is a jam that will have you head-bopping and toe-tapping in your own car. With synths that makes the listener travel to the past, and a cooled-down guitar beat, one gets a chill eighties rock vibe. It almost feels like Frederic is taking you on a sensual trip.
The mini-album ends on a turn-over note with “Hikkurikaesu“, going from the funky sound of the previous song to a synth-rock jam. Starting off with a slow sound, the track develops into a fun, catchy tune that carries Frederic’s love for synth. Ending off the mini-album, it closes with a jam-out end, which almost begs for you to turn-over to the start again.
If you’re one of the people like myself who has come across Frederic by way of interesting anime like Koi to Uso, and you’re itching for more good, fun stuff, then this mini-album is most certainly a way to go. While it offers nothing new in terms of Frederic’s sound, each song carries its own unique funky quality. Auto-tune may be redundant as a musical trait, but try this OTOTUNE out.
MUST-LISTEN: FUTURE ICE CREAM, 真っ赤なCAR