Its been a long time. I had been on a short hiatus due to my trip to japan. It was an amazing trip indeed. I decided to review Sakuramichi today because I heard this song at Daiso Harajuku and I was so happy to hear one of my favorite groups. Tohoshinki have had a long journey filled with worthy accolades and painful struggles. The duo had restarted Tohoshinki to its second act which is at its end. With Yunho’s military service in a few months, Tohoshinki’s future and its return to reignite its third act will take some time. From Tone to Time to Tree and to With, there lies a legacy created by the twin tohoshinki. Apart from breaking records, they have shown great effort in standing up against the difficulties. So, what does this have to do with my review? Many of you might be thinking of this question. Till now, “Tohoshinki” has not found a niche genre of music as of yet. But, “Tohoshinki” has been able to take the trend and make it their own. That is their ability. But, “Sakuramichi” provides a definite standpoint that they will always excel at ballads. From various comebacks, the ballads have never ever diminished away from any of their albums. Is it because they will become ballad singers in the future? Not necessarily. From the advent of “Tohoshinki”, their prowess is something which has only improved and there is no other greater way to show it than 2 good quality ballads which they have always performed well. “Tohoshinki” will be a name which will be a legacy to catch up to in the future. That will never change and “Sakuramichi” proves testament to that.
1. Sakuramichi- Being Tohoshinki’s last japanese single before their enlistment and the single for their 10th anniversary in japan, Sakuramichi is a hallmark in their career. It was introduced as the spring graduation song for the sakura season and its theme is about facing difficulties with a positive attitude. It was penned and composed by Katsuhiko Yamamoto. The song is a very emotional one with very expressive vocals and a smooth delivery. Tohoshinki definitely nailed this ballad showing their prowess and how far they came in 10 years. The song starts out with clear harmonization and a gentle piano. The melody is beautiful and touches the heart. As the song progresses, a steady R&B beat is added with the inclusion of bells and strings towards the end. The song shows Tohoshinki at their best with their wonderful vocals complimenting the song. The production is very clean and strong. The middle 8 changes the song’s pace and leads to the emotional final chorus. This is one of their better ballads in their discography. Unlike Chandelier, there was a clear exhibition of emotions. Even though Changmin is not really suited for ballads, he showed an exceptional performance and Yunho did well as usual. Sakuramichi was a very good ballad with a beautiful melody and arrangement. So, nothing can go wrong with a true and tested formula. With an emotional piece of art, tohoshinki bid a temporary farewell to the japanese market and promise to return back.
2. Kimi No Inai Yoru- The B-side to Sakuramichi is also a piano and strings ballad. The song has a sombre mood with toned down verses leading to an emotional chorus. Changmin does a decent job here and Yunho does good here too. It is very similar to Sakuramichi in sound, but Sakuramichi is the better ballad. They give us an emotional performance with good harmonies and they slow down the vocal pace to show their feelings while singing. It sounds very genuine indeed. It is a standard ballad while looking at it objectively and they did well. The middle 8 was nothing spectacular and the final chorus is all the more emotional. The song ends with an emotional and lingering note with “Wish upon a star”.
With this, the review of Tohoshinki’s last single “Sakuramichi” ends. Sakuramichi was a spectacular ballad and showed their amazing vocals with a good melody and arrangement. Kimi No Inai Yoru was a decent ballad, but nothing out of the ordinary. Tohoshinki officially launched their 2 year hiatus after the release of this single with an very apt theme which also addressed their upcoming hiatus. Tohoshinki will be back and it’s just a matter of time till we wait for their return. They also released their 8th korean album “Rise as god” as a gift for their fans.As for the single, it’s a pretty good one, so it’s time to wait for their grand return in the upcoming future for better music and concerts.
Kimi no inai yoru- 3/5
Total Score- 7.5/10