UVERworld

Neo Sound Best

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

With little new material (other than the wicked saxophone-boosted re-recording of "D-tecnoRize"), Neo Sound Best is still a worthwhile release that offers a concise summary of what's essentially the most fun and upbeat nu metal band in the world, at least in the 2000s. Granted, UVERworld's studio albums weren't much different in sound or quality anyway, so owning Neo Sound Best is only slightly better than getting the CDs that provided the tunes for this record -- but it is better, after all. The collection packs UVERworld's prime material -- tunes that showcase not just the band's ability to stretch the start-stop riffs over a speedy, almost punkish rhythm section, but also add all sorts of vocal hooks and techno beats to sell the songs. Like many Japanese bands, UVERworld overdo their compositions: the arrangements jump all over the place, with hand clapping, rapping, power pop crooning, gang choruses, acerbic industrial guitars, post-grunge riffs, Spanish acoustics, and background pianos all crowding to prevent the songs from sticking in your memory. But this is still pop music in the best sense of the word, constantly melodic, easily accessible at every turn, never losing steam, brimming with youthful optimism, and full of condensed groove. If the band has got that much fun stuff to cram into every song, who's really going to fault them for this? UVERworld's music was always a hit with anime series and TV dramas, and, indeed, Neo Sound Best plays like one big credits symphony, but in this case, the credits may be better than the actual show -- not demanding attention, but entertaining and mood-boosting nonetheless. Quite possibly, this is the best thing the 2000s Oricon charts have to offer.

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