Hyde

Hyde

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On his first compilation album as a solo act (and first self-titled album no less), Japanese rocker Hyde shows off his biggest and best hits aside from L'Arc-en-Ciel pieces. The sound is distinctly non-Japanese in its composition, taking strongly from Stone Temple Pilots in the first few pieces, with minor notes of Godsmack's Sully Erna embedded in Hyde's sound. At the same time, however, there's simplicity in the progression of chords and sound structures. Even though the sound is original to Japanese rock, the overt earnestness in the vocals belies someone seemingly trying too hard. Hyde wants desperately to sound like Scott Weiland, to sound like Chris Cornell, to sound like stereotypical angst-ridden American rock from the early portion of the 2000s. After the initial Stone Temple Pilots sound that the album opens with, by the fourth track, "Jesus Christ," Hyde is reaching for a fusion of Chris Cornell's Audioslave work and something verging on Evanescence's Amy Lee. When the string introductions start up in "Shining Over You," it's a sign that Hyde's crooning is only going to get more plaintive, more warble-laden, and it's a style that takes some getting used to in the Japanese realm. Minor chords are plentiful and vulnerability in the vocals seems to be more act than authentic -- and that is much the course of Hyde's solo work at large. The compilation puts Hyde in his best light, but with its mix of melodrama and overly stereotypical compositions, it will still be an acquired taste for many.

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