Release Date: February 12, 2020
- Saishuheiki Kimi
- Laundry Laundry
- Neon Town Escape
- Ceramic Blue
SCANDAL return with a new album titled Kiss from the Darkness almost two years to the release date of their previous album HONEY. Much like their last 2 albums this is a self-produced effort with each member contributing the to the lyrics and music in one way or another.
A preview of what to expect came in 2019 with three single releases.
The first was the double a-side Masterpiece/Mabataki released in March.
The follow ups Fuzzy and Saishuheiki Kimi were released as digital downloads in fall and winter respectively.
The final track before the album’s release was A.M.D.K.J., released digitally in January of 2020.
These tracks alone represent the type of music contained on this album where SCANDAL’s trademark hard rocking sound is infused with elements of modern pop music.
The opening song Tonight is a great example of SCANDAL tweaking their music to accommodate different ideas. It is probably the most “Pop” that the band has sounded so far. Otherwise it is business as usual where SCANDAL stick with what they do best on tracks such as the aforementioned single releases along with the album cuts Ceramic Blue and Kinenbi.
The most interesting tracks on Kiss from the Darkness are Laundry Laundry and Neon Town Escape. Laundry Laundry is best described as folksy? There is a very innocent charm to it that is only enhanced by Tomomi’s vocals. Neon Town Escape on the other hand is similar in tone to Tonight where the music goes off into a funky world that SCANDAL is not normally associated with. It is hard to pin down what genre of music this fits in but it’s fun to listen to.
Kiss from the Darkness takes a lot of different concepts and throws them into a blender with SCANDAL’s tried and true sound. The final result is much like HONEY where it won’t satisfy everyone.
The main complaint is a lack of a central theme or idea to tie all the songs together. That makes the flow from track to track feel muddled when played from beginning to end straight through. For most listeners that can probably excused since they will just pick and choose the songs they want to play randomly anyway. Also the fact that the majority of the album is already previously released material with only a few new songs might rub some the wrong way.
Those however are little nitpicks. Kiss from the Darkness is still a great album even with those faults.