Butai no ue de by Bitei Matsuki with Souki Urakami

Butai no ue de

22.05.02 / Bitei Matsuki

Listen Where You Like

Full Review

I’d never heard of this composer or singer before, but I’m officially a fan after hearing this song.

Composition

This whole thing is just incredible. The horn parts are well constructed and the rhythm section just burns through the song. The melody makes it clear that this is definitely a feature piece for the guest vocalist, and it shows off his range quite well. I just…I just hate the glockenspiel doubling the melody. Every J-pop song ever does this and I don’t know why…please stop.

Performance

The whole band is incredible here, lots of jazz players brought in to work on the song it seems. Solos are just fantastic and everything about them screams style and taste. The vocalist is on top of the part and sings with class and a special flare. The playing and singing just draw you in and keep you listening.

Meaning

The meaning is not really as specific as this style demands, so I feel like they missed the mark here. These songs are supposed to give you characters with payoffs, hopefully romantic or playfully flirty. This seems like a love letter, but its written to or about some kind of dream world with only vague mentions of romance. Luckily this is more of a show piece for the vocalist, so content can be forgiven, but I hope this isn’t how they usually write.

Production

They had some great recording work for this piece, really capturing all the depth and emotion of each part. The mix is incredible for something this busy, and after some research it seems like the track was mastered at a Victor run studio. So the work is pro level and it sounds like it. My only nitpick is that the piano can be a bit too loud at times. Clearly he’s the band leader here, but I wonder what it would sound like with it moved into the background a bit.

Presentation

CATS IN SPACE! So the cat iconography is the composer’s branding, which makes sense for the focus of the song as a set piece for the two stars. Not something I’d have picked from a shelf, so I don’t know if it does the best job conveying the value of the music here. Kind of a shame, and I think they could have done a better job given the amount of work they put in everywhere else. The music video goes a completely different direction with a fun 8-bit art style. That definitely raises the score a bit.

Verdict
Overall
4
  • Composition
  • Performance
  • Song Meaning
  • Production
  • Presentation

Verdict

This song blew me away. Kudos to the duo and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on both of them for upcoming releases.

Reviewed: 22.05.26 / Reviewer: EB

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