Music Review – HYDE


Hey there!  Here’s my little survey of HYDE’s work.  For those who don’t know, HYDE, or Takarai Hideto, is a musician best known as the vocalist for L’Arc-en-Ciel.  I wanted to do quick review of some of his solo work, and thus here we are.

I’ll start off with HYDE’s first single album to drop, back in 2002, Roentgen.  The album as a whole seems to be a slow burner, with most of the songs having very sober or solemn overtones, with slow to medium tempos.  Here’s “Secret Letters” from that album, so that you can hear what I’m talking about.

Other songs one the album, like “New Days Dawn” and “A Drop of Color” have similar tones, with dark minor chords played out by guitar and violin accompaniment.  Don’t get me wrong though, I think HYDE’s vocal style fits well with this kind of music.  My only concern was that it seemed to much like what he was doing with L’Arc-en-Ciel.  I find that most artists tend to have side solo careers in order to experiment with their music styles.

In later albums, HYDE begins to pick up the pace.  Take 2003’s 666 for example.  With songs like “Midnight Celebration” and “Fruits of Chaos”, you can tell that he’s returning to his darker Visual-Kei roots.  “Sweet Vanilla” is another good example of this darkness.  However, if you listen closely, you can hear his attempts to try and stray from the darkness.

With stock Visual-Kei music, you tend to have an unrelenting dark chord progression that comes out sounding very “grungy”, if that’s an actual word.  Basically, it feels like your listening to black tar heroin.  I’m not exactly sure if that makes it harder or easier for you to understand what I’m talking about, but I think it’s a good analogy nonetheless.  Anyways, I find that with songs like “Sweet Vanilla”, you can hear HYDE’s attempts to push the limit as to how much you can escape that tar pit of Visual-Kei, and sometimes he gets a decent distance from the darkness.

This turned out to be a pattern his music.  In his 2006 album Faith, you can hear his movement farther from his Visual-Kei darkness, but still keep faithful to the kind of repetitive nature of the music.  For example, here’s “Mission”, with a chorus that has high intonations and positive chord progression, but that eventually leads back into a danker baseline.

You can almost here him trying to fly as he sings his way out of the standard fare of Visual-Kei.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t conclude this review with my favorite of HYDE’s songs, and probably the one he is best known for, “Season’s Call”.  So, here you go.

This is actually the first song I heard of his, as it’s also the 2nd opening song of the anime, Blood+.  I became a fan soon after listening to a bunch of his other stuff.  I hope you liked the review and will take the opportunity to try some more of HYDE’s stuff if you haven’t already.  That’s all for this review, have a great day!

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