Day 49: TK from Ling tosite Sigure – “contrast” Review

Day1Day2Day3 was a project blog that has since then been discontinued. For my new stuff, check out www.boldlydelicious.com!

I have decided to let Day 50 be the final day of this project. The concept has proven too tiring in many, many ways. More on what I’ll do once I’m done with Day1Day2Day3 tomorrow, stay tuned!

Day 49: TK from Ling tosite Sigure – “contrast” (2014)

cover

Genre: Rock / Alternative

Tracklist: contrast / Dramatic Slow Motion / Crazy Tampern / illusion is mine (Live) / 涙の旅路

Ling tosite Sigure have made quite a name for themselves lately, achieving both critical acclaim and surprising mainstream success with their newest offering – but one person who has benefited from that newfound success more than anyone else is vocalist and composer TK. His new EP contrast quickly found its place as one of my favorite (early) releases of the year.

contrast opens on the title track, a wonderfully soothing, yet cutting, composition of piano, guitars and strings. The build-up is tense, characterized by cut-off drums and elaborate, filled sounds. TK proves that he is a master of, well, contrast! Creating a dynamic, engaging track that is incredibly easy to get lost in. The vocals especially are serenading, yet also just the right amount of nasal to get under your skin.

A heavier, more typically rock introduction sums up Dramatic Slow Motion in just a few beats. It’s a pumping, driving song. Understated without being empty, instead delivering much the same mood and emotional force of the prior track. The electronic elements are a bit more pronounced, giving more emphasis to the clash of genres, the production a bit more rough, but it all comes together nicely.

There seems to be a progression here, from the low key to the more outright, punk-influenced rock tracks. Crazy Tampern is rough, heavy and frantic, which is both what I like and what I dislike about this song. It adds a sense of urgency and fun, but at the same time takes away from the melodic nature and feels just a bit messy. Crazy Tampern is a great song, but not as affecting as the rest of the EP.

If it didn’t say so right on the tin, you may not even notice that illusion is mine is a live version. It’s a gorgeous, fragile rendition, wonderfully performed and emotionally sincere. Simply gorgeous to listen to.

It’s a bit disappointing to find that the final track, 涙の旅路, follows a rather basic pop/rock ballad formula that I don’t find fitting for his vocals. It’s a pretty enough guitar track, but contains little of interest.

contrast is one of those EPs that contain heaps of talent and some gorgeous tracks, but are ultimately pulled down by one less fantastic song. Still most certainly worth checking out, contrast is worthy of being enjoyed frequently.

Rating: 4/5

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