the Fourth Avenue Cafe

by Leanne on September 2, 2006 · 0 comments · AddThis

the Fourth Avenue Cafe
Release Date: 2006.08.30
Peak Position: #5
Label: Kioon/SONY RECORDS
Product Code: KSCL-1027
First Press: Picture-labeled disc

On August 30th, L’Arc~en~Ciel had finally released a new single. Yet, unlike most other singles, fans weren’t wondering how it would sound or what the lyrics would be about. They weren’t waiting for the PV to air. Instead, they were rejoicing that the single had been released at all. “the Fourth Avenue Cafe” is their most legendary single that was never released, and precisely for that reason.

The song “the Fourth Avenue Cafe” was briefly used as the ending theme song to the popular anime series “Rurouni Kenshin”, and as such was going to be released as a single after their breakthrough album “True” was released. Unfortunately, their status as top-artists didn’t last when the then drummer, sakura, was arrested for Heroin possession. Japan is a country of absolutely zero-tolerance for drugs, and as such the whole band was affected by the negative impact. The theme song was replaced with T.M.Revolution’s song “Heart of Sword”, which had been used during the series’ previous season. Their CDs were pulled off shelves, magazines with their image were not sold, and billboards and ads featuring them seemed to disappear. As did the band. They had reached top of the music scene only to tumble down quickly with countless scars and bruises. Fortunately we know that they would eventually pick themselves up healed for the most part, but with minor scars still remaining, never to return to how they were before.

The single was never released, although some JRock fans assert that it had, but only through a limited release (it hadn’t). However, when SONY had decided to re-release Laruku’s first couple of singles as 12″ (with the exception of “shinshoku lose control” which was the only single released as a 12″ during that frame of time), the missing single was included. This is every L’Arc fan’s delight: finally having a sip of café au lait in the newly opened “the Fourth Avenue Cafe”.

the Fourth Avenue Cafe single cover

1) the Fourth Avenue Cafe

The single version of the song has very few differences from the album version on “True”. Hyde’s young voice is forceful for the chorus, yet quickly calms into melodic and smooth singing for its verses. Like most of the songs featured on “True”, the song has a strong horn sections and a jazzy-esque feel

Rating: ★★★★½

2) D’ARK~EN~CIEL (1)D’ARK SONG (2)D・A・R・K〜D’ARK IN MY LIFE〜 (3)ACCIDENT (4)INSANITY

This is one track on the single which contains fours songs from D’Ark~en~Ciel. D’Ark~en~Ciel is the predecessor of P’UNK~EN~CIEL and features DARK TETSU on vocals, HYDE DARK on guitar, Suck・D’ark・la on bass, and Kën D’Ark on drums. D’Ark~en~Ciel had only performed live before this, so this would have been the first time a recorded song from the band was released.

Rating: ★★★★½

Conclusion:

Perhaps the fact that this single was released so late will attribute to better sales. All 15 singles released managed to reach the weekly Top 30 Oricon charts. It’s interesting to compare the style and tone of this single with the singles that were to follow. There’s no doubt that Laruku took an obvious darker and more serious tone following the events surrounding sakura.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

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