Saturday, February 18, 2012

Review: Crush!2 -90's best hit cover songs-

Various Artists - Crush!2 -90's best hit cover songs- (2011, Japan) Rating: 3/5
Favorite Tracks: Mizerable, Yurameki, Shiroi yami, Rocket Dive

Looks like they decided to make a sequel to this classic 90's compilation. Did they comply with my wishes from the first review? No, but it's okay, there's always a third album, right? This time around I didn't go back to compare the original with the covers that I wasn't familiar with, so please forgive me for that.

Ayabie's Aoi opens the album up with a familiar Gackt classic by the name of "Mizerable". I wasn't sure how well Aoi would do with this song, since I kinda have an attachment to it, but he did a pretty good job with it. The music arrangement accommodated with his voice and he pulled it off without sounding amateurish. Next is Annie's Black cover of SOPHIA's "Gokigen tori ~crawler is crazy~". I'm actually familiar with the band doing the cover's music, but SOPHIA...not so much. For all I know, the song is pretty upbeat and it sounds alright. Nothing extravagant, but good enough for Annie's Black, a band I hardly listen to but enjoy. ADAPTER's cover of CASCADE's "FLOWERS OF ROMANCE" is the next track and it's very electronic based. I'm not sure if this is ADAPTER's original sound or how CASCADE's original sounds like this. It's alright, but I don't like the distorted vocals in it. I was surprised to see another Dir en grey cover included in this second compilation. I was even more surprised that R-shitei (R-15) was covering "Yurameki". Honestly, this was a good choice for the band as MAMO's vocals are very similar to Kyo's vocals during his GAUZE era. They didn't change too much with the music like Merry did in the previous album, which is a little saddening, but nonetheless, this was a very good cover of an old Dir en grey song that I love. I believe I mentioned I'm never very familiar with LUNA SEA songs, but I do enjoy the band. So, it was interesting seeing amber gris covering "SHINE", since I'm somewhat familiar with what both bands sound like and they're a little different. The vocals and music sound pretty much on point and the band preserved the essence of LUNA SEA without losing a little taste of their sound in the cover. -OZ- is next with Rouage's "Shiroi yami". It definitely sounds like a 90's visual kei song and nothing like an rough -OZ- sound, which is interesting to hear that they're capable of such control. I commend them on that. Two bands I'm not familiar with at all, but it's GUILD's cover of SIAM SHADE's "Gureisharu LOVE". It's pretty light-hearted and fun with some great guitar work and strong basslines. I was surprised and pleased that Chemical Pictures had a part in this album, unfortunately I have never heard of THE YELLOW MONKEY's "JAM". Despite that, the music was simplistic and beautiful and TenTen's voice was quite lovely with his own little flair. I could never get into ZUCK, but this is their cover of Kawamura Ryuuichi's "BEAT". It's a slower song than the previous track, but the vocals don't sound too awful which is always a plus. Not a BUCK-TICK fan, but I enjoy a couple songs by them. This time around is 9GOATS BLACK OUT covering "SPEED", which I think suits them in some odd way. Maybe it's the vocals or something, but it's nice to hear them do something more upbeat than their original mellow sound that could either be beautiful or boring. Never could get into T.M. Revolution, but I think I like a couple of his songs. Anyway, vNEU covered the fun upbeat "HOT LIMIT". It's very electronic based and simplified which I didn't really like that much, especially compared to the original and HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR's cover of it. I love Pierrot, but I don't particularly like Hanashounen Baddies, but I was willing to listen their cover of "Kumo no ito". They managed not to butcher the song too much either. The vocals were on point, attempting that Kirito flair, and the musical arrangement stayed the same. Next up is HERO's cover of GLAY's "Yuuwaku". Not a fan of either. The vocals are a little annoying and whiny in this upbeat tune, so I'll just move along to the next track. Now for another couple bands I'm not familiar with which is Blu-BiLLioN covering La'cryma Christi's "Mirai Kuro". The music is pretty, but the vocals are just as bad as HERO's which makes it unbearable to listen to in some places. Megamasso's hide cover of "Rocket Dive" was my first taste of this album and I saw the complaints that some hide fans had, but honestly, I thought this was a good fit for them. Inzargi did well with the vocals and the music is still energetic and captured the energy hide had when he performed it. Moran closes out this compilation with one of my favorite Malice Mizer songs, "Illuminati". I like the musical direction they went with this song which was more of a rock sound than their Victorianesque signature that Malice Mizer is known for. I thought it was a very good cover, even though I was a little skeptical how this would turn out. I'm glad I was reminded not to worry about Moran, because they produce good work.

Overall, I thought this was another good compilation and I'm crossing my fingers for another. Maybe just a full on cover album that isn't just 90s visual kei. It would be interesting to hear Loki doing a deadman cover or ALDIOUS performing a SHOW-YA song.

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