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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Looking back on a legend: X's Jealousy

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I will never forget the first time I ever heard the legendary sound of X (now X Japan.) I just closed my eyes and felt the music take over. The very first X album that I came to own was their third full-length studio album, Jealousy, which was originally released in 1991 and remastered in 2008. When asked to revisit this amazing album, I jumped at the opportunity to say the least.


The album begins with a touch of magic as the majestic, enchanting sounds of Piano String en Es Dur takes you on a journey. From the first few moments I hear the piano serenade my heart, I felt my senses tingle. As the piece crashes down in the last few moments, I felt myself snap back into reality which leads beautifully into the next masterpiece, Silent Jealousy.


Starting off with a beautiful piano solo filled with emotions of sadness and pain, "Silent Jealousy" kick starts into a powerful, heavy hitting turbulent whirlpool that sets in 0:43. As the electrifying energy ravages the piece with an entourage of jammed pack ferocity, Toshi makes himself known at 1:23. I felt as if my heart was racing with every beat, riff, and note. This especially holds true in the solos at 4:34-5:18 when hide starts and was shortly followed by Pata. At the moment that their dynamic powers combine, it was as if I could feel their electric heartbeats come alive. Shortly following this duet, the intensity heightens as Yoshiki kicks it up a notch with his industrial drumming, as if beating life back into the piece with his punch.


Overall, this piece possesses an elegance to it that in its own way makes it aggressive and light at the same time. This especially happens during the middle of the song with the combination of the piano and hearing the hauntingly, soft voice of Yoshiki echoing from the distance at 3:45-4:20. In this section, the energy of the piece slows down to a light gentle breeze which is vastly different to the ferocious, highly charged nature of the rest of it. As the song comes to an end, it feels as though they are making one last stand as their energy intensifies until the very last second.


From the moment the next track Miscast takes hold, I can sense an explosion of an oncoming storm full of anger and madness that ignited at their core. From start to finish, it reminds me of a falling fortress that is being shaken back and forth as it is being consumed by fire and thunder. The fire of the guitars and thunder of the bass blend perfectly together along with Toshi’s edgy vocals. To add to the edginess, the occasional background vocals of Pata and hide definitely add a bit of spice to this already intense piece.


Coming off of the inferno is the next track “Desperate Angel”, which may I add is one of my favorites on this album. With lyrics written by Toshi and music by Taiji, this piece possesses more of a teasing and playful feel than the rest of the album. Whenever I listen to this song I can’t help but dance to it as if possessed by its seductiveness. From the moment I heard the first few beats of this song, I felt myself transported to 80’s glam metal days and I loved it. With its steady drum beats, like an excited heart ready to explode from my chest, and its smooth riffs and vocals, I honestly can’t get enough of this song. In fact, one of my favorite parts of this song is when the pace calms down and you can feel the sexual tension in Toshi’s voice along with soft touches of the instruments in the background at 3:12-3:42 until the beats kicks back up.


Moving away from the seductive energy comes a more relaxing, chill melody of "White Wind from Mr. Martin ~Pata’s Nap~". Every time I listen to this song a nostalgic feeling takes over me as I remember fun times with friends and family. Although it is the shortest track on this amazing album, it’s the lightest and most peaceful songs that I always go back to listen to. I find myself wanting to listen to this song whenever I want to relax and after a long day. It adds a perfect touch of magic to this album.


Moving on from the calmness comes a song full of love, pain, sadness and deep longing called "Voiceless Screaming". There is something almost mystifying and haunting about this song that I can't seem to place my finger on. It evokes so many emotions and feelings that it just leaves me breathless. In regards to the seamless music composition, I honestly believe that Taiji Sawada left behind a masterpiece before he departed from the band shortly after.


After the remnants of reflection turn away, a violent rush of energy breaks down the door in the form of "Stab Me In the Back." With this sexually charged roller coaster filled to the brim with violence, words cannot describe what went through my mind when I first encountered this song. From its fast-paced, killer sound to its edgy vocals, it sent my mind to another world of mayhem. My favorite section is definitely the out-of-this-world guitar and drum duet at 2:37-3:00 which gave me goosebumps with its electricity. I can't get enough of it.


As the darkness disappears, an entrancing instrumental piece takes you away called "Love Replica." Whenever I listen to this piece, it reminds me of a merry-go-round at a carnival of love. It puts me in a good mood as I feel like I am floating in the air to the beat.


Grounding myself back to reality, I am welcomed by what feels like a playful slap in the face as the "Joker" makes himself known. With its catchy lyrics and playful arrangement, I felt as if I wanted to run around a playground whenever I listen to it. One of my favorite aspects of this song is that it feels like you are witnessing or overhearing a conversation.


The last piece in this masterpiece of an album brings to life a deep longing to break the silence between two lost souls. “Say Anything” bewitches you with its beautiful arrangement mixed with a soft, delicate rock rhythm with a slight touch of orchestra. Whenever I listen to this piece, I can’t help but feel deep emotional responses flowing from my heart as I feel theirs in every note. From each section, and all pieces of the whole, I felt my body shake slightly with this emotion. At the end, it provided a great way to end an amazing album that was filled with passion, heart and intensity.


 

After revisiting and listening to this album for this feature, I unmistakably realized why I enjoyed it so much. From the passion, intensity, and at times playfulness felt in each song, I remembered why X still continues to have such a deep impact on the Japanese music industry.


XJapan-jealousy


More about X Japan:


Official Site| Facebook| Youtube| Twitter | Yoshiki's Official Facebook| Yoshiki's Official Twitter


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This article of X's Jealousy was written by Ayva Trance (Rita Nokkaew). We would like to thank Sony Entertainment for giving us the opportunity to review this amazing album!

Music is an universal language. Follow me on Twitter: @AyvaTrance

Edited by: Alicia Thomas

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1 comment :

  1. Leo Villanueva21/8/13 00:01

    I love it! Great Review on an amazing, timeless album :)

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