Single review: “ViViD” by May’n

May Nakabayashi, better known by her stage name May’n, is a Japanese pop artist. ViViD is her tenth single.

Release date: 24th of July, 2013

Track list:
1. ViViD
2. Wild Rose
3. ViViD (without May’n)
4. Wild Rose (without May’n)

1. ViViD
An electronic musical swell and funky guitar lines, within a few seconds, breaks out into a bright and bouncy track, bursting with happiness and energy. The verses are driven by dance beats, supported by electric guitar rhythms, and ruled by the vocals. May’n brings her unique edge and colorful vocals, which are properly utilized so as to give the whole song more impact. I know that if some other, typical J-Pop artist were to sing this, ViViD would not be as good. The chorus explodes with fun and catchy lyrics, and May’n uses vocals of different varieties at appropriate times, including breathy, tight but powerful, as well as a thinner and higher voice. You would find that not everything here is the most original, but it’s a lively and spirited track that I’m sure would please a good number of people out there, one of them being me. (:

2. Wild Rose
Diverging from the energetic pop-rock sound of the A-side, we now get a ballad beginning with a simple piano melody, a background of twinkling bells and not-so-obvious strings. I found it very pleasant to hear that bass lines were quite prominent in this song, working with the constant piano melodies and light percussion to form the simple, peaceful verses. The pre-chorus allows the arrangement to slowly build up, making louder the previously introduced instruments, leading up to a chorus of breathy, whispery vocals over sweeping strings that, overall, convey emotions of longing and all of its synonyms.  I’m surprised that May’n can pull off a ballad like this, especially with a voice that seems more suited to edgier songs, but she did it. Quite nice, I’d say.

Not the first single I’ve heard from May’n, but this is the first one I’ve reviewed. Still, I’d like to thank Yuki Nagato of Japanese Melodia for suggesting May’n over in the Recommendations page. ViViD, as the opening theme to Blood Lad, is very high-spirited, and I really like how catchy it is. Wild Rose, on the other hand, is a touching and relaxing ballad that I’m satisfied with, but is still not better than its A-side, in my opinion. Overall, I find this a favorable release!

Rating: 3.5/5