L'arc en Ciel

 

CHASE
Written by Lorna Ransome
L'Arc en Ciel are a band that consistently releases instant fan favourites and live setlist essentials. The latest edition "CHASE" being no exception to this.

The title track starts off with what can only be described as space-like sound effects, a mix of radar/satellite beeps and waves with the echoed word "Calling." Immediately it's clear that "CHASE" will be nothing like the previous release "XXX", apart from the repetition of the opening throughout. Some would agree this might just be the sign of a typical L'Arc song...which in their case is never a bad thing.
Ken's guitar is only played in short bursts, as the synthesizer and drums (Yukihiro) seems the main focus around the vocals (Hyde) throughout the verses, it isn't until the chorus that all the instruments come together and Tetsuya's bass is heard more prominently, alongside his usual harmonious backing singing to Hyde's powerful lead.
The quality in which all the instruments are played and the overall composition is precise; there are no solo's as such or instrumental breaks but it's hard to fault the band for this alone. The backing and instruments never distract from Hyde's vocal performance and the clarity in which he sings the lyrics in both English and Japanese.
The song ends how it begins with the sound effects eventually fading out and everything coming to silence.
Overall the song contains a memorable beat and catchy vocals that are guaranteed to have you singing along a second time round.
"My Dear" –L’Acoustic version- is the second track on the single. The song contrasts nicely with "CHASE", being almost entirely made up of vocals and piano, creating another beautiful ballad.
"CHASE" is another great release from L'Arc and will be released December 21st via Gan-shin, it consists of 4 tracks in total, the title track being "CHASE" and "My Dear" –L’Acoustic version-, then followed by "Hydeless" versions of both.

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XXX

Written by Rachel Yarwood

L'arc en Ciel's brand new single, and their second single release after beginning their 20th Anniversary celebrations, is out on sale from the 12th October and features four tracks in total.

The regular edition of "XXX" features the title track "XXX" plus "I'm So Happy - L'Acoustic Version". The remaining two tracks are the 'Hydeless', or instrumental, version of these two songs.

It is obvious to tell that as soon as the opening dance-like beat begins, followed not too far behind by the sensual chorus sung by Hyde, that "XXX" is going to be one of the many L'arc en Ciel songs that will make it to the top list.

Hyde's vocals themselves are wonderfully emotive; the connotations that flow from his singing and the lyrics (if the name of the song itself does not throw a question into the air) are expressed even more through the accompanying video.

The video itself is very glamorous, almost like the type of private party thrown by a millionaire perhaps that you read about in books, with glitter, golden apples and plenty of gorgeous women. It is a very sultry piece, completely fitting to the sound of the music and lyrics.

There is a smooth bass line (Tetsuya) running through the verses, and from the music video we get clips of him on a lovely, classic, double bass that fits right in place with atmosphere of the song and the visuals on screen.

Ken's guitar and the drumbeat from Yukihiro are the two main things that bring the rock factor of L'arc en Ciel back into the mix. On the one hand, we have this dance element, which is then accompanied by an orchestra of violins, which as odd as that may sound works extremely well. The drums then add to the upbeat quality of "XXX" fantastically, whilst Ken's solo towards the end lifts the mood of the song even further, giving it that whole exciting and spirited element.

L'arc en Ciel have certainly done their fans proud once more with this release. Not only does "XXX" offer us that more sexy side of the band, but we have the jazzy side of L'arc en Ciel coming through from "I'm so Happy - L'Acoustic Version", which makes this new single one that will be just as tempting as forbidden fruit. 



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Hurry Xmas
Written by Rachel Yarwood

"Christmas time has come to town"... and from this new single from L'arc en Ciel, you'd wish it had come sooner.
I think that this Christmas hit from L'arc en Ciel would even have Scrooge dancing if he were alive today! Seriously, get your shoes out people because this one is bound to get you up and taking a twirl around the room.
"Hurry Xmas", L'arc en Ciel's newest single of the soon to be closing year, does not just have one version of this song, but it has a Silent Night and a 'Hyde-less' version also. The other remaining song "I wish" follows suit with not just the original but with a Tetsu 'P'UNKless' version on top which they have been doing for many of their singles prior to this one. Who said you never got your money's worth with single releases? So just in case you didn't get the message that Christmas is on it's merry way, you are surely bound to after listening to the whole single, perhaps you shouldn't listen to it all in one go though...
The symphonic opening to "Hurry Xmas" is very reminiscent of a winter land theme used in a film and instantly your attention is focused, engaging you completely in the song. The overall style is rather jazzy and Hyde's vocals especially are not just strong, as we would expect nothing less, but his voice suits this style very well and he compliments it with no faults to speak of at all.
Because of the general style and theme of "Hurry Xmas", Tetsu's bass plays quite a dominant part and you can hear practically every single note from beginning to end with absolute precision and skill.
This new tune from the band is an exceptional release, not just an exciting new song to listen to, but it is fun filled and a truly great one to dance and let yourself go to.
In all honesty, if you grabbed all your favourite Christmas songs (by Japanese artists, keep to the topic guys) and had to pick one that you would rate higher than this, PV can also be included in the draw, I will be very surprised. Perhaps it's the first initial amusement and the completely undeniable catchiness of the song as a whole, which makes me say that, but as far as Christmas songs go, damn this one is good!

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Goodluck My Way
Written by Rachel Yarwood
L'arc en Ciel's new single "Good Luck My Way" is officially out on sale on the 29th June and is the band's 37th single to date. The regular edition features four tracks, "Good Luck My Way", "Metropolis" (P'unk en Ciel), a Hydeless version of "Good Luck My Way" and lastly a P'unkless version of "Metropolis".
This new single from the four-piece rock band may be just a little deceiving at the beginning to suggest that this song may be a ballad. However, when you think that they are currently celebrating their 20th anniversary, you may just be inclined to believe that they will not be heading in this direction...
And you would be right.
Before the first minute of this new song is up, the mellow yet still beautiful introduction, gives way to something more upbeat, combining a mixture of the old and of the more current sound of L'arc en Ciel, perhaps something that will appeal to new and long time fans alike.
Tetsuya (bass), supported by Yukihiro (drums), keep this fast rhythm flowing spectacularly through out the song. The strong yet catchy drum beat and smooth bass lines run effortlessly together, from beginning to end with superb continuity, whilst Ken (guitar) leads the way with a wonderfully lifting melody.
“Good Luck My Way", is everything that has, is, and will continue to be what L'arc en Ciel are.
Sure enough, they may not have taken any dramatic chances with this song, but have stuck to something, which could be argued as comfortable. However, it cannot be denied that they have not pulled it off with skill and to great effect which will undoubtedly have given their fans world wide something to shout about. More importantly, for those across the world who have been anticipating a bigger world tour, the definite success that this year has shown so far will only add to the unquestionable excitement for what lies ahead for 2012.