The 69 of 2014

Review

by Leela McMullen, chi.yow, Aki, Amy, posted January 1, 2015

AlbumsSingles

heidi. – Human

Human is a well-titled album that captures the down-to-earth experiences of humanity in a collection of songs that comes out on the positive side through fun beats and creative new themes. heidi. have taken their exploration of the human nature to the next level in this fantastic release.

The opening track and music video number of this album is “Bright” which has a tune fitting the title. After drums fade in with a crescendo to stir up the soul, colorful guitar heads up the dance-worthy beat emphasized by bass and drums and the lyrics and vocal melody paint a vivid picture. The following track, “Crybaby,” is a compounding highlight with an upbeat and inspirational yet romantic theme to the fast and catchy tune. Without letting up, the groovy guitar of “Moment” rushes in to fill the void left in the momentary cease of activity after “Crybaby.” The allure of this track is primarily in the cool guitar line backed up by smoldering rhythm.

Ori” is one of two tracks resurrected from heidi.’s iTunes-limited single, GLIDE, contrasting a swing beat and matching suave vocals with the dark nature of its lyrics for a unique result. The dark theme carries into “Kizuato” which begins with a sumptuous feast of rolling drums and guitars like the breaking of a storm, the vocals then coming in like a light rain. The chorus melody and poignant lyrics are a strong contrast to the verse and stand alone among the album for their bittersweet heartbreak so characteristic of heidi.

There’s a nostalgic sense of the old heidi. in the intriguingly named “Stereotype” which is rife with drum and bass riffs, floating vocals, and a packed intensity that culminates in Nao’s emotional guitar solo. The trip down memory lane continues in “Shiawase ni Zetsubou” which brings back the old jazz of omnibus classic “Hakana Hana” in a fresh new number that slips comfortably into Human.

It’s all hits from here-on-out with heidi.’s first ever towel-swinger, “Gensou Bayashi.” This piece features a fun festival theme complete with traditional-inspired festival instrumentation and lyrics dripping with the Japanese aestheticism of summer fireworks, yet each aspect of the rock foundation is perfectly applied. Then comes the fast-lipped “Beautiful Psycho” which saw a long evolution in the live scene before making it onto the album. It shows a brand new aspect to heidi. in the rapid-fire chorus bordering on rap to offset the dreamy atmosphere of the verses. “Freedom” takes us from the streets of Edo to the highlands of Scotland in an expansive opening guitar solo and equally expansive melody that overflows with positivity and inspiration even as the lyrics cry out to be taught the meaning of freedom.

Livehouse limited, “Ryuusei Dive” is nonetheless the title song of a single that has made a strong impact for heidi. over the last two years. Its heavy bass riffs and swift, searching chorus make it a crowd favorite at lives. However, “GLIDE” provides the crowning jewel of the album. Masquerading as a romantic, mid-tempo tune, this is a song which proudly calls to one and all to join in the bond between heidi. and their fans. It has an anthemic quality and catchy pace that are sure to snag anyone in the sweet spot.

Human soars on merit of a fusion of gripping rhythm, strong melody, and relatable lyrics that strike a chord in the human heart. Staying true to the heart of their music, heidi. strive to expand their sound by incorporating new ideas into that foundation and this album is only the most recent achievement to showcase their continuous positive evolution.

12 track CD

Track list

  1. Bright
  2. Crybaby
  3. Moment
  4. Ori
  5. Kizuato
  6. Stereotype
  7. Shiawase ni Zetsubou
  8. Gensou Bayashi
  9. Beautiful Psycho
  10. Freedom
  11. Ryuusei Dive
  12. GLIDE

Leela McMullen is a strong believer in the philosophy "no music, no life." Having traversed the range of Japanese fandoms, she found her home at last in visual kei and has made it her mission to share what she loves most with the world. Leela completed her B.A. in Japanese language from Griffith University in Gold Coast Australia. She now lives and works in Japan, striving to bring you the goods, hot from the scene. Follow her on twitter for juicy hints of upcoming articles if you've got a bit of Japanese language under your belt! http://twitter.com/#!/LeelaInTokyo

Chi’s interest in visual kei stems from her love of art. The unique aesthetics in combination with the wide range of musical styles within the genre have been what has kept her interest in the visual kei scene for over a decade. The main image her friends and classmates have of her is with a camera in hand, face behind the viewfinder or screen. This image is also occasionally combined with memories of running around her to avoid getting into her panorama shots.

Aki is an adventurous soul and an artistic jack of all trades who has followed her heart and dreams to Japan. Here she has found a way to combine her deeply rooted love for rock and metal with her ever growing love for artistic expression. She has long since confessed to being a helpless music addict with a strong preference for Japanese visual rock and metal, and writing for Rokkyuu has become another way for her to share what she loves with the world.

Amy happened across Dir en grey on a used computer and became enamored by the aesthetics and androgyny of visual kei. Amy studied Japanese at university, including a year studying abroad in Tokyo. Interests include anime and manga, reading, learning languages, playing guitar, and holding on to the futile dream of one day meeting Johnny Depp. Amy hopes to bring the overseas fans closer to the bands they love by translating material related to them.

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