SCANDAL – YELLOW Review

SCANDAL-YELLOW-Cover

Release Date: March 2, 2016

Track Listing

  1. Room No. 7
  2. Stamp!
  3. LOVE ME DO
  4. Morning Sun
  5. Sunday Drive
  6. Konya wa Pizza Party
  7. Heaven na Kibun
  8. SUKI-SUKI
  9. LOVE
  10. Sisters
  11. Happy Birthday
  12. Chiisa na Honou
  13. Your Song – English ver. – (Bonus Track)

Review

YELLOW is the seventh studio album from the Japanese Pop/Rock band SCANDAL. It features the previously released singles Stamp! and Sisters. It also contains two theme songs, Morning sun (theme for the movie Neko Nanka Yode mo Konai) and Chiisana Honou (theme for their documentary film SCANDAL Documentary film HELLO WORLD).

SCANDAL has come a long way since its humble beginnings performing on the grounds of Osaka Castle Park. Entering their tenth year as a band, they are now polished musicians, songwriters and producers. With that said it should be no surprise that they have taken full creative control of this album. After all, no one knows more about what to express musically than the band members.

Of course, this does come with a few compromises. SCANDAL has always been known to effortlessly walk the line between pop and rock. Some have dubbed them a “bandol” (a cross between idols and a band) because of this. On YELLOW, we see SCANDAL slowly crawling away from the pop side both in image and music, transitioning into edgier and experimental territory.

Right from the start, there are songs with a bit more bite, as exemplified by the opening track, Room No. 7. It’s a quick instrumental that should give you an idea of the template many of the up-tempo songs on this album will sound like. The logical follow-up to that track is Heaven na Kibun. It has a heavier sound accented by a somewhat eastern European-like guitar riff. This is certainly not the typical SCANDAL song, and it may take extra spins to absorb completely.

The greatest shift in sound is evident in the Reggae-infused track Love. For you old(er) people out there, think of UB40-type songs. Maybe you youngsters should look more towards a group like MAGIC! if you want some comparable artists to reference. The rest of the songs on this album represent what makes SCANDAL so endearing. There’s the playfulness of Love Me Do and Konya wa Pizza Party to keep Pop heads happy. While tracks like Happy Birthday and the bonus track Your Song will keep those who like straightforward Rock in line.

As a whole, YELLOW is a very fun album to listen to, and if you’re new to SCANDAL, this is probably as good a place as any to start in their catalogue as it does represent them at their most mature point musically. If they have you hooked, I highly recommend you work through the rest of their discography.

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Greg is the creator, administrator, editor, code monkey, overlord and general jack of all trades at Selective Hearing. He can be found lurking among the overseas Asian pop fandom and bumming around Japan every year for some reason or another.