Release Date: March 2nd
Number of Editions (2): Regular Edition, Tower Records Edition w/alternative cover
Charisma.com’s new record boasts heavy beats, but forgets about consistence and balance.
As the trend of creating new hybrids of music genres shows no sign of slowing down in Japan’s “rebellious” side of the industry, the effective life span of these projects is another matter: Many have born as much as many have died, while only few have shown concrete signs of a well calibrated career. As one of the most acclaimed and relevant emerging acts of the last years, Electronic Rap duo Charisma.com represented one of these exceptions, and have delivered nice records during their period of formation thanks to a blend of pleasant and occasionally retro Electronic beats and venomous rapping. After their entrance in the mainstream industry with a contract under Warner Music Japan, though, the duo’s solid formula apparently started to weaken, a prediction hinted in their major debut mini album OLest (released just eight months ago) that sadly finds a solid confirmation in the group’s new mini album Aidoro C.
Despite some issues here and there, their previous release somehow managed to deliver a more or less consistence experience and some very nice tracks. Instead, Aidoro C spaces from mediocre to disappointing levels with only a few peaks to claim, as DJ/producer Gonchi and MC Itsuka seem to have lost the balance that made their sound so successful and well crafted in the last few years. In the midst of several influences, the duo tries to satisfy the standards of several sonorities, but fails in fully delivering any consistence performance in the attempt: The opener Sapuriminal Diet makes the catchy and contagious vocal lines in the chorus its strong point, but also drowns them in a messy EDM bombardment that unavoidably shifts the attention away from Itsuka’s rapping, that also suffers from an overall inconsistent structure, resulting in what is a mess of track with an overly cheesy chorus. Sadly, inconsistency is the key word in Aidoro C, something noticeable as the short tracklist flows by, with Koshikake Rap (that features little to no rap, ironically) offering build ups and nasty distorted synths taken straight from dubstep and watered down in an overly repetitive execution, while Toshindai Gray shifts the focus back on Itsuka’s bars to only fail on the instrumental side with repetitiveness and uninspired sonorities. Leaving aside a few exceptions, the entirety of this record either sacrifices Itsuka’s rapping for huge and messy EDM wall of sounds, or exposes the first to minimize the latter, showing no sign of the balance that once raised interest in the japanese Electronic scene.
Luckily enough, there are some exceptions and throwbacks to the duo’s pre-Major period, as PH4, GODcostumer and Bell Sassa deliver light and well done compositions that temporarily revive the formula and set the bar back to a decent level, despite hardly reaching the quality of their earlier works. It’d be wrong to deny that these tracks are nice and refreshing, but at the same time they represent the only good thing to pick out, while uncovering the sad reality behind this record: It’s mostly an inconsistent mess that’s all over the place.
It’s hard to imagine why Charisma.com lost their touch in composing exciting and well balanced music, and wether it’s a loss of inspiration or the pressure coming from their Major status, you don’t get away with a few good numbers in an eight-tracks record. The hope is that the duo will take more time to build their next effort with more consistence and balance.
Vote: 5.5 / 10