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flashback to “heavenly”

flashback to “heavenly”

by Leanne on September 27, 2005 · 8 comments · AddThis

heavenly heavenly
Release Date: 1995.09.01
Peak Position: #3
Label: Ki/oon \ SONY Records
Product Code: KSC2-114
First Press: Picture Label Disc
Other Formats: Mini Disc (Product Code: KSY2-2037)
L’Arc~en~Ciel Official Web site

The album “heavenly” by L’Arc~en~Ciel is oft abandoned by new fans. It doesn’t maintain the importance that “Tierra” had as their debut, nor is it distinguished as being a million seller as with the band’s first #1 junior effort “True”. It’s the middle child of the sakura-era albums that’s lacking much needed attention and needs to be recognized. Prior to the release of this album, one single was produced: “Vivid Colors” (peak at #16), as well as a video single: “and She Said”. About a month after the album’s release the single “natsu no yuu-utsu [time to say good-bye]” (peak at #15) was released, which was a reworked ballad version of the seventh track. Let’s see how this much forgotten album fares.

 

Still I’m With You

This is an excellent opening song for the album. It starts off with tetsu’s high singing of the line “Still I’m With You” then hyde’s stronger vocals start to sing the verses. It’s a happy song, but not too over the top. It’s the type of song that would get you into a cheerful mood pretty easily. It slows down for no less than 15 seconds in the middle with hyde singing “Still I’m With You…” before ken’s guitar solo. In the ending, the chorus and the line “Still I’m With You” are layered together, but it doesn’t sound weird, it actually makes the song fuller.

Rating: ★★★★★ (it really gets you in the mood for what’s to come)

 

Vivid Colors (Album Version)

This is the only single to come from this album, and a pretty good one at that. It starts off with hyde saying “Vivid Colors” and then we’re off for a light and fun pop-rock ride! This song has a very memorable guitar melody and it’s another song that can get anyone in a good mood.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (fun and light)

 

and She Said

I usually refer to this song as the rockier version of “Vivid Colors”. They have very few similarities, but for some reason I think that if “Vivid Colors” went hard rock it would sound like this. “and She Said” is just as catchy as “Vivid Colors” except it has a hard rock sound and more demanding vocals. It also has ken and tetsu chanting “and She Said” before hyde sings each line of the chorus, which adds something extra to the overall feel of the song.

Rating: ★★★★½ (and I Say this song rocks)

 

GARASU-dama [glass ball]

The beginning of this song only has the sound of soft waves against the shore 30 seconds before hyde starts singing softly against the sounds of guitar. It slowly begins to build up, first losing the waves, then adding some more instruments. With this beginning, you’d think this was a ballad, but all of a sudden, two minutes in, the drum signals that it’s time to get going and hyde belts out the next line with a real force. The way the different vocals are layered (the chorus, hyde’s singing of “into the silence”, and tetsu’s “ah ah ah–” together) is perfect. It sounds wonderful. There is so much energy in this song, and a spectacular chorus with hyde’s dramatic vocals makes it listening pleasure. It ends the same way it began, with gentle waves for 20 seconds. This song is brilliant.

Rating: ★★★★★ (wow…)

 

Secret Signs

This song gives out a totally different vibe from the first four songs. It actually reminds me of a scary French carnival at night. It’s pretty upbeat courtesy of the guitar and drums. It’s pretty short, too, at only 3:37. But, it really gets your foot tapping. I like how during alternating verses the instruments are pretty bouncy when hyde is not singing, but when he starts, they slow down and pause for a moment. The third verse is the best: if only for the way hyde sings the last line: “another side of mine in crumbling times”: it sounds almost ethereal. hyde evilly whispers during the guitar solo, which is unexpected. The song ends with the saying of the word “Secret Signs” and with a bang of the drums. Although the song sounds chaotic at times, it’s held together pretty well.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (cool contrasts: kind of dark but upbeat at the same time, chaotic yet orderly)

 

C’est La Vie [that's life]

Once hyde starts singing “Oui, c’est la vie”, it is obvious that this is going to be a catchy song. The chorus is actually the only catchy part of the song, if only for the “oui, c’est la vie’s”. It’s has a light and upbeat feeling that doesn’t let up. It’s pretty fun to sing along to. There really isn’t a reason not to like this song. There are even Christmas bells in some parts of the song! It’s a really cheerful, bouncy, happy song and is easily enjoyable.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (c’est très bon)

 

natsu no yuu-utsu [melancholic summer]

This is the original version of the song “natsu no yuu-utsu [time to say good-bye]” which was released as a single after the album. The songs are pretty different, and while some verses are the same, the choruses are different. The background music is also different, but the melody is the same. While the single was soft and more ballad like, this song is a bit faster and harder with a lot more instruments, and the guitar is especially prevalent. However, it doesn’t lose it’s melancholic sound. hyde still sings pretty sorrowfully.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (good, but time to say good-bye was better)

 

Cureless

“Cureless” is a pretty cool mid-tempo rock song. I really like how the lines are presented during the verses before the chorus. It’s as if first hyde is singing to us directly, then from farther away, and then he echoes himself. The last verses are a bit more demanding, and the song ends with a fade. It’s a good song, but there’s not much to say about it. Nothing exciting really happens with the instruments; only how the lyrics are presented as stated before is interesting.

Rating: ★★★½☆ (it sounds better by itself than as part of the album)

 

shizuka no umi de [in the silent ocean]

The song starts with 22 seconds of silence before what sounds like an exotic bird call is heard immediately followed by hyde singing sadly and softly to himself. It sounds like a sad lullaby. It doesn’t start to pick up the pace until about two minutes in with the sound of a talking astronaut. hyde’s still singing very softly, but a little later the song gains more energy. There’s a chorus of hyde, tetsu, and ken chanting “we feel heavenly” in the background along with hyde’s main vocals singing “you would dance…you would dance…I feel heavenly.” And, you will dance. This song makes you feel as if you were floating. It’s long at 7.14, but I actually wished it was longer.

Rating: ★★★★★ (pure excellence)

 

The Rain Leaves a Scar

Now, this is an excellent rock track: it has a sound of desperation along with top-notch vocals from hyde. I really like the screeching guitar that starts this song. I was a little surprised that the band had decided on this song to end the album instead of “shizuka no umi de”, but after a couple of more listens, it works. While “shizuka no umi de” would’ve made a sweeping ending, this one leaves the listener with the satisfaction of having just finished an awesome rock album.

Rating: ★★★★½ (cool ending)

 

Conclusion: This album is truly “heavenly”. It definitely deserves the attention it craves from JPop/JRock/Laruku lovers. While I think in the middle it gets into a bit of trouble, it begins and ends strongly. For the most part, the album is held together pretty well. If you’re looking for a solid and classic Rock album, this is it right here. Skip “True” and “SMILE” — this is it right here: heavenly perfection.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

12 AUSTRALIA January 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

121212

Reply

Random March 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm

How do I leave stars

Reply

Dunesh UNITED STATES May 2, 2008 at 7:42 am

Sakura is the best drummer! and Hyde is my lover!.. and of sakura, too XD

Reply

Natsu UNITED STATES November 18, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Woot for this! D: I’m actually afraid of the album front, and I tend to skip over it. Cause I’m a freak. XDD But I’m not actually that bad…

But this really wants to make me hear the ones I haven’t heard yet :dd
<3 And it makes me wonder what this version of Natsu no Yuutsu sounds like, too. :\

D:< I NEED TO GO FIND SOME MONEYZ TO BUY IT NOW! HOO-WAA! x3

Reply

leo83 MALAYSIA August 25, 2007 at 3:48 am

i think laruku is the best band in japan!!! laruku rawkss

Reply

keiyuki PHILIPPINES July 8, 2007 at 1:21 am

I have the whole Laruku album collection here. I must say that despite not having too much singles debuted out of it, the album is the best album of the Sakura era — Blurry Eyes and Flower may be famous and from other albums, but the completeness of the album is what makes this better than the other Sakura-arc albums.

(Of course, being a biased yukihiro fan, I would definitely say that yukihiro is better than sakura, demo…)

If this album had Lies and Truth and the Fourth Ave. Cafe in it, I would say it’s the BEST album in their first ten years, with or without yukihiro. ^______^

Reply

Keira November 2, 2005 at 10:12 am

Wow, I’ve only heard the ones you uploaded, but I definitely agree. This album is very well done! ^_^ love it!

Reply

Lainay UNITED STATES October 13, 2005 at 9:24 am

The album name sure does summarize the album! The songs in this album (well, atleast the ones that you have uploaded) are all so unique and awesome. Your reviews were very well made, as well. Very “heavenly” article, Leanne. ^^

Reply

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