GReeeeN

A Domo Hajimemashite

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The debut album from Greeeen, a quartet of dental students, wasn't as big of a splash commercially as their sophomore effort, but did show a sense of things to come. The album opens with their debut single, Michi, a mid-tempo piece that typifies their delivery style with slightly punchy vocals alternated between members, a stepped-cascade melodic line, and an interesting form of disconnected harmonies, where the members may alternate parts but cover a tonal range in series. With more commercial pieces included (including an actual commercial jingle for Coca Cola), the tone turns more upbeat as the album progresses, incorporating strong touches of rock and power pop as the mood calls. New Life brings the forms together in a mid-tempo ballad, with higher-pitched vocals leading to a slightly more plaintive sound. Though the sound remains fairly engineered, it's the moments such as that in New Life (and briefly in the following Koinu) that give the band a sense of authenticity. When the vocals belie a sense of emotional vulnerability in their imperfections, it allows the music to break free of the mold of straightforward male power pop. When mixed with the interplay of voices and ranges among the group members (note the well-constructed and dancehall-inspired Reggae Reggae), those moments of vocal vulnerability form the key to Greeeen's sound and popularity. Compositions are tight and performances are generally deliberate and forceful, with a good outcome overall. Some newcomers may do better with the band's second album (A Domo Ohasashidesiburu) which is a bit more mature and radio-friendly, but their debut was a good first step.

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