This may be the first time I've written about Tomohisa Yamashita on the bias list, but don't let that undermine my appreciation for him as an actor. Yamashita made his debut as a member of the Boygroup News and published his first solo work in 2006. In 2011 he left News to fully follow his solo activities. He is a big name in Japan as a performer, actor and all-round TV personality and has become more productive as a musician after a break in mid-2010. Although Nights Cold isn't as rhythmic or optimistic as many of his recent works, it's a great showcase for his charms.
I always liked Yamashita's voice. It is not the strongest sound you will ever hear, but it is expressive, structured and unique. Nights Cold is not a ballad, but its thoughtful atmosphere and slow pace give it the opportunity to make its performance more nuanced. The track is superbly produced, driven by percussion steps, violin tips and some wonderfully placed backing vocals that give the song a bit of theatricality. Nights Cold is divided equally between English and Japanese texts. As his first publication, which is offered worldwide on digital platforms, I wonder whether this approach is aimed at crossover attractiveness.
Regardless of the language, the feeling of the song hits hard. The arrangement of Nights Colds delivers moments of satisfactory construction. The breathless ascent into falsetto during the first pre-choir is my favorite and an extremely appealing melodic turn. The structure of the song is fluid, which justifies repetitions and prevents it from feeling too general. It's a great counterpoint to this summer's more explosive tracks.
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