This review was requested by my good friend Amber, thank you to her for also translating the Japanese titles into English for me and for some extra info!
Weaver is a 3-piece Japanese piano-rock group who had originally formed as a 4 piece group in 2004 and made their debut in 2009. They have released a number of singles and mini albums since their debut and Jubilation is their latest release. The album contains 7 tracks (one of which being a solo by Yuji Sugimoto) and piano solo versions of 6 of them. I will not include the piano solos in the review, but if you are a fan of piano pieces, I would definitely recommend listening to them.
The first track is their latest single Shine in which the MV was released a while before the album. It is a mid tempo song with a rather upbeat feeling to it. The vocals are very strong and the orchestra really adds an extra amount of feeling to the song. All of the instruments in the song don’t overpower eachother and they all come together really nice to create a large sound in which you can hear everything that is going on. The song remains catchy without there needing to be any hooks to it. A very strong beginning to the album that really shows of their talent in just that one song.
The second track is 春色グラフィティー (Spring Coloured Graffiti) which starts off as a slightly slower tempo piece focusing a lot more on the piano and some percussion. It then gradually builds up with the introduction of the vocals and the orchestra and drums pick up a bit more pace to bring in a bit more power to the song. A rather progressive song that does primarily focus more on the vocals and the piano with the backing of the other instruments. It also ends with a rather fast yet gradual change in pace and sound that lets the song finish rather calmly and build into the next.
キミノトモダチ (Your Friend) is the third track on the album and out of the three so far is the slowest paced one, but like most of their songs it builds up to be very powerful the more the song progresses. With a very lovely vocal melody and as per, the instruments all coming together very nicely. The ending part is one of my favourite parts of the song because it just allows the vocals with a little piano and a small amount of strings play.
This is then followed up with Letter, which brings back a very upbeat feeling to the album. With fast piano lines and a rather upbeat rhythm that I guess to an extent you would be able to dance to. It’s personally not a favourite of mine, but it is still quite a powerful track with some really nice vocal lines in it.
We are then given a very lovely ballad called 『あ』『い』をあつめて (Collecting Love), which starts off with a piano solo which reminds me a little of nursery rhymes until it builds up a bit more and is joined with a synth. The primary focus on the piano instrumental wise allows for Sugimoto to show off his voice very nicely without having to sing power notes. It does build up later on with a number of other instruments joining in, but it doesn’t become overly strong, just enough to show an amount of emotion a bit more. Being the ballad lover I am, this is probably one of my favourites on the album.
The last song as a group on this album is 希望の灯 (Light of Hope) which was written for the victims of the earthquakes in Japan. A drum riff remains prominent in the beginning with the piano and the song remains ballad sounding but, as the name suggests, it showcases an element of hope in the instrumental and the vocals. The vocals really shine in this song and there is a really lovely build up throughout and along with Collecting Love, this is another favourite of mine. It’s the sort of song I could imagine being played in the background of a video showing how Japan rebuilds itself after the incident.
The last track is Sugimoto’s (the vocalist) solo song on the album, 負けんな！(Don’t Lose!) which was included as a bonus track. The song is just the piano and Sugi’s voice which of course is a combination that agrees with me highly. A rather powerful song that really shows off his voice and he hits one or two falestto notes which add a little bit of melodic depth to the song. The piano instrumental in itself is really pleseant and works very well with his voice. Not including the instrumentals at the end of the album, this causes for a very lovely ending to the album as a whole.
This is definitely an album I would recommend to people. If you’re a fan of instrumental music or music that is slightly rock but not too much in your face then this is definitely something I would recommend you listen to. In particular Shine, Collecting Love and Light of Hope. It is a stunning album with some really fantastic songs in it and as I said in the intro, the instrumentals are definitely worth checking out as well as they are wonderful.