COUNTDOWN: are you in?

by Leanne on October 10, 2005 · 17 comments · AddThis

Release Date: 2005.10.05
Peak Position: #1
Label: HAUNTED RECORDS \ Ki/oon \ SONY Records
Product Code: KSCL 888
First Press: none
HYDE Official Web Site

After only reuniting with L’Arc~en~Ciel for two years, HYDE has returned to his solo project; which is slowly becoming less of a “project” and more of a career. It seems he has abandoned the idea of being an “interesting” artist with his contrasting angel (ROENTGEN) and devil (666) albums, and prefers to be a full fledged rock soloist. Don’t worry Laruku fans, although tetsu has confirmed hyde working on his solo project for the rest of this year, expect a new single by the band early to mid 2006.

HYDE returns to us with “COUNTDOWN” a hard rock number being used as the Japanese theme song to the movie “STEALTH” (starring Jamie Foxx) and lyrics crying out for peace. He has been recently going down a very open political road since the album “AWAKE” (L’Arc~en~Ciel) and shows no signs of shutting up., Let’s review!

COUNTDOWN single cover

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This is by far the hardest of HYDE’s singles. It may actually be HYDE’s best hard rock single. I really was impressed in the quality of this song. It maintains the style of his “666″ album, yet sounds fresh; it doesn’t belong with the tracks of the album. Like his fifth single, “HORIZON”, the verses of this song are slow while the chorus is faster and catchy. Unlike “HORIZON”, which was melancholic and soft, “COUNTDOWN” has a darker and harder feel. I really enjoyed HYDE “counting down” from 13 to 1, as well as the whispers in the last verse. HYDE describes the song as a track to match a sleek black stealth bomber, and I think he’s right on target with this one!

iPod iPod version (0 MB)

Sidenote: the PV is amazing! See some screenshots here.

Rating: ★★★★½



This is the english version of the title track, and I must say that I was surprised. I understood HYDE’s english without any lyrics, even moreso than his last two albums. That’s quite an achievement. Don’t confuse me saying this with him speaking without a Japanese accent: it’s just perfectly understandable and anunciated english. Since language is all that’s changed, and the song sounds the same, what’s the harm in giving it the same rating?

Rating: ★★★★½


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This is a “hard-rock tune rearrangement” of HYDE’s first single “evergreen”. This fact may scare away fans of HYDE’s “ROENTGEN” album, but don’t let it. This was the biggest surprise on the single, and an extremely good one at that! I hesitate to say that it’s better than the original; the original had a simple beauty that I doubt many others can recreate, but I will say that it’s refreshing. It starts off very simple with only one guitar, but after the first verse, it picks up in more or less the same tempo as the original. HYDE’s vocals are superb (especially when singing the line: “This scenery is evergreen”). I wouldn’t be disappointed if he decided to continue to release rocked out versions of his “ROENTGEN” songs. Note: this is the english version of “evergreen”.

Rating: ★★★★★


Conclusion: Don’t pass this single up. When I first heard that HYDE was concentrating on his solo activities for the remainder of 2005, I was disappointed to say the least. The two contrasting albums made his career so much more interesting and L’Arc~en~Ciel was supposed to be a unit now. After this single, however, let’s say I forgive him. “EVERGREEN <DIST.>” is not to be missed! This is an extremely strong single, and fans of HYDE will not be disappointed in the slightest.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Related Posts:

  1. HYDE’s debut: “evergreen” In 2000, much to fans' surprise, L'Arc~en~Ciel announced that they were going to be on a brief hiatus. hyde was the last of the members to release solo material, and his can be considered as the most experimental of the group. In October of 2001 he released his debut single as HYDE titled "evergreen". No doubt many fans of the band were surprised at the direction HYDE had chosen for his solo project. Let's see how the (then) new HYDE fairs. ......
  2. HYDE’s Season Calls Him "SEASON'S CALL" is HYDE's fourth #1 single, and it's also the first time he's had two #1 singles in a row! What's interesting to note is that the song is actually composed by KAZ (ex-Oblivion Dust, ex-Spin Aqua). So how does HYDE and KAZ fare together? Let's see.........
  3. Just have a little FAITH HYDE of L'Arc~en~Ciel releases his third solo album "FAITH", doing an incredible amount of research to make this album a reality. This album is heavy on Christian religious symbolism and imagery but still has HYDE's edge. His lyrics follow suit with "MASQUERADE" of his previous album ,"666", questioning God/god's intention. Now, let's see how this album fairs with his angel and devil albums before it. ......
  4. flashback to “heavenly” 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. Let's see how this much forgotten album fares.........
  5. GLAMOROUS SKY Yazawa Ai's masterpiece manga "NANA" has been gaining a lot of attention this year: first with its very own tribute album, a dedicated café, and now a movie starring Nakashima Mika herself as the rocker-chick Oosaki Nana. To play with the "realism" of the movie a single has been released entitled "GLAMOROUS SKY" under the psuedonym "NANA starring MIKA NAKASHIMA". Staying true to the style of Yazawa's character, the single contains four rock tracks, the title track being composed by the famous rocker HYDE himself.........

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

keiyuki PHILIPPINES July 8, 2007 at 1:43 am

Countdown gave me the tingles! ^_______^ Haido-sama really owns the song~

the cover made haido look like a crossdresser (which he really was before, but never leaning on being a homo [aah no offence meant for homos, I love 'em])

evergreen is punked! whoaaaaa~ I hope to hear shallow sleep punked soon!


TaylorSha UNITED STATES June 18, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Good review. I couldnt have typed any of this better myself. I enjoy listening to Countdown. The first word in the second verse I was amazed…yeah I know…its just a word. Anyhoot. Evergreen [dist] is not bad but I prefer the original probably because I understand the words better. In this song I guess from me being used to hearing him singing in Japanese the words sound like Japanese lol.

My favorite two from this album are “Countdown” and “Season’s Call”. I even learned the lyrics to “Season’s Call” thats how awosome I think it is. The video is simple as well. Love the beginning of this song where its just the music playing without the lyrics and his vocal ability is good. I havent heard a few of the others. So Im off to listening.


Shinrai January 31, 2007 at 11:17 pm

I never realized that I’ve already made a comment here. =D


Shinrai January 31, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Thank you for sharing! I love the rock version of Evergreen; touched me more than the original [ballad] version. It actually me to tears! How uncanny. =p


cat UNITED KINGDOM December 13, 2006 at 4:55 pm

wow! Evergreen was absolutly amazing, i love how HYDE sings the line “the scenery is evergreen”, plus his english was amazing! Definatly a favourite, and a great intro to HYDE!

I loved countdown too, the actual countdown sounded really cool : )


Shinrai November 24, 2006 at 9:39 pm

I like the english ensemble (rock version) of EVERGREEN. It actually moved me to tears. *lol* I think it was because of the music’s “intensity”. But I still like the ballad version, both in Japanese and English.



DarkKnight November 9, 2006 at 10:16 am

HYDE ROCKS! This is my favorite song of his so far.


Josef October 27, 2006 at 8:17 am

My opinion: Countdown is not as good as Horizon.
Both versions of evergreen are great, well, AWESOME!
Season’s Call (newest single) is great, better than Countdown.

If only all his songs are in english, I would’ve appreciated extremely more his talent of creative writing.


happy PHILIPPINES August 22, 2006 at 8:52 am

blew my mind away, i can actually understand hyde’s english… for a japanese, he’s damn good.. he has every right to be proud of his achievements including his mastery of the english language..hyde you rock bigtime!! \m/


Todd Squad UNITED STATES June 26, 2006 at 6:55 pm

Hyde phreakin rocks :) The Rock version of evergreen is just amazing. I think it should be released as a single in the states.


Fukki UNITED STATES March 10, 2006 at 12:10 am

Hyde’s always been one of my favorite Japanese Rock star.
I was well, a little disappointed to hear that Hyde will be working on a solo album since i was a bigggggg fan of L’arc~en~ciel and L’arc~en~ciel Rock; my favorite Laruku songs are All dead, InnerCore, Shout at the Devil, The rain leaves a scar, and Existence. Anyways I listened to Countdown maybe not because I wanted to but when my friend was playing in her mp3player. When I heard it, I thought it was so cool and I immidiately bought the album. I still think it is so cool and I am kinda looking forward to Hyde’s new performances.


Lesca January 21, 2006 at 9:29 pm

This was an astounding single. I absolutely adored it, and I went out to buy it, even. I’ll be sad that hyde’ll be working on this more than L’Arc, but I can’t say completely. I’ve always been impressed by his solo releases. I guess, this is just more of hyde’s own talent shining through ^^


Miya November 5, 2005 at 10:37 am

I have to say… Hyde’s voice quality on this song is just… wow. The song itself is amazingle catchy, and has a nice climax-feel to it, but you can actually feel Hyde’s progress on this.

Am I mistaken?

All I have to say is: hooray for the new single, and WE WANT MORE!

Nice reviews :D


blablablaidontknow UNITED STATES October 15, 2005 at 1:34 am

i like countdown! omg, this song is so good, one of his best songs i think! and i love the PV too it’s so cool. 2 things that i dont like from this single are:
1. the cover
2. evergreen [dist.]

overall, worth to buy!


Jason October 12, 2005 at 4:32 am

Maybe I attached too much with English rocks, so the COUNTDOWN is considered a normal rock song to me, but his vocal sounds really cool and nice, great performance.

My favourite is the evergreen (dist.), his vocal for this song is even better than the previous one, I really enjoyed this song and repeated this song for this 3 times. The chorus part is totally blew me off, that’s so attractive!!


Lainay UNITED STATES October 11, 2005 at 6:30 pm

Thanks for this article!! Omg, HYDE is awesome!! I’m totally in love with COUNTDOWN, who possibly couldn’t? It’s so fricken awesome! So is Evergreen ~! Itsa fricken awesome single!! And a fricken awesome article! ^^

BTW, I like the cover. He looks…*drools*. XDDD


eyn CANADA October 11, 2005 at 6:14 pm

I’m truely amazed by how good both of the songs you posted are! I really like COUNTDOWN as soon as I listened to it, it’s a very nice rock song with a wicked melody that I find very catchy and interesting. I also enjoyed the electric guitar in this song. Those PV screencaps look very promising, I’ll definitely try to download and watch the PV if possible.

Just when I thought COUNTDOWN is pretty darn good, EVERGREEN totally blows me away and I’m not prepared for it at all! It’s a very nice soft rock (compare to COUNTDOWN) and the melody is again, brilliant! I have to put my hat off to HYDE for singing a full English song with such emotional vocal.

Overall, this single rocks my socks! Yes, I’m totally blown away by how good this actually is. ;) Pure awesome, 5/5 for this single! My only complaint is probably the rather stupid cover. :p


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