Release Date: February 14, 2018
- Platinum Syndrome
- Take Me Out
- Oh! No!
- Midnight City
- Short Short
- Mado wo Aketara
- Electric Girl
- Koisuru Universe
Released on February 14, 2018 HONEY features 10 tracks written and produced by the band themselves including their 10th anniversary single Take Me Out, Koisuru Universe and the album’s lead song Platform Syndrome.
Much like their last studio album YELLOW the members of SCANDAL have taken more creative control over their music. Unlike on YELLOW, there is less experimentation going on throughout. Instead you get a lot of the catchy guitar driven pop music they are renown for.
Starting off fast with Platform Syndrome this album moves at a blistering pace at first with follow up songs such as Over, Oh! No! and Midnight City keeping the momentum going. On the latter two tracks it is important to note that it is not Haruna singing lead. On Oh! No! Mami takes vocal duties while Rina is the lead for Midnight City with assistance from Haruna on the chorus sections.
Both women have different vocal styles from Haruna and bring a different type of swagger to SCANDAL’s music. While it may be normal at this point to hear Mami take lead on songs, Rina doesn’t step in front of the mic as often as her band mates. Hearing her sing might take some getting used to for those who are not accustomed to her taking the lead position. Unfortunately there is not a lot of Tomomi taking any vocal parts like she has in the past. That fact may disappoint more than a few fans of the band when it comes to HONEY.
Just past the mid-way point of the album is where the music takes a short adjustment in direction away from rock towards a pure pop type of sound. Short Short has a sweetness to it that is not present in any of the other songs. Mado wa Aketara on the other hand is the only hint of a slow or ballad type of song and is the one that may resonate the most with listeners due to its lyrical content. Both tracks briefly show a different side of SCANDAL before they return to up-tempo rock songs to close out the album.
Overall HONEY can be thought of as a throwback to a simpler sound for SCANDAL stripping away some of the more superfluous elements from their music for something more concise. It may not appeal to everyone, especially those who were expecting some continued growth from the group after YELLOW. The other drawback with this album is that its running time is incredibly short. SCANDAL go through each song with such ease that its 40-minute running time feels much less than that. The pacing of HONEY will either be perfect or there needed to be more content to fill more time. Much will depend on your thirst for more music from SCANDAL.
Despite those two very minor issues HONEY is still a fun and engaging listen and it is highly recommended you give it a go.