Some of you may know this circle as forestpireo, a very vocal-focused group producing mostly pop music. Expect lots of happy-sounding vocals and pretty much normal sounding j-pop style instrumentals.

Usually I don’t really like pop-style music that much, but forestpireo is a circle that does pop extremely well. I liked some of the songs from their previous albums, and ever since I’ve tried to keep up with their work, but most of it has been pretty disappointing since T★GIRLS.02, which was probably the best album they’ve made so far.

Recently most of their albums have been extremely heavy on vocals, whereas their previous work had some instrumentals to pad the vocals out. I’m not sure if this is an intentional stylistic change, but I do miss the instrumentals somewhat and wish they would add them back.

This circle also has  pretty absurdly large number of vocalists, with their profile page listing 4 vocalists as working with their circle. My favourite vocalist for this group so far is kana, who is also the vocalist for the two linked songs. Most of her recent work has also not been quite as good, but I look forward to seeing how she does in this album with her two tracks.

Circle Name: ふぉれすとぴれお
Album Name: Melody Memories
Website: http://forestpireo.jp/work.php (No page for this disc yet)

  1. Demon Strundum
    A vocal oriented song right from the get-go, with plenty more to come. Starts off with some weird humpty dumpty lyrics in english, which is strange to say the least. Has a fair bit of english mixed into the lyrics, most of it with terrible pronunciation and grammar as you would expect. As for the vocals themselves, they’re done by someone called ルシュカ, who has a vocal range that I’m pretty comfortable listening to, unlike some other upcoming songs. The arrangement for this song is pretty good, all the different instruments balance each other out and support the vocals well while not feeling empty during the off-vocal bits. U.N. Owen is rendered beautifully by a soft piano in the background, which imbues this track with an eerie atmosphere whenever it plays. Not a bad song, and a good way to start off the album.
  2. under the moon
    Sounds fairly different from the previous track, with a much more energetic feel and a quicker beat. Also appears to incorporate more electronic elements, while retaining the overall pop feel of the album. Vocals by かざはな and まめこ for this, who have nice contrast with their voices. It’s a pity that they both sing at the same time though, I would have preferred alternating vocals like in Saigetsu. I don’t have much to say about the instruments – they sound okay, but it’s nothing outstanding like in the previous track and feels somewhat weaker.
  3. 幾星霜
    A much more mellow song, coming at a pretty odd timing. I don’t like that Forestpireo albums tend to be composed of many single tracks rather than as a whole album at once, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any better or worse, just that it’s not really going to be enhanced by listening to the entire album at once. Vocals by めらみぽっぷ this time round, who has a pretty nice voice but probably needs more practice. While her vocals are excellent in the mid-ranges for pitch, she starts to strain her voice at the higher pitches, which is quite distracting. The instruments also feel rather weirdly arranged, and lacks any semblance of balance. A disappointing track overall.
  4. Sing Away
    Has a much more cheerful feel than the previous, making for a pretty disconcerting transition. The overall feel of the song is quite good, and the arrange appears to be up to par most of the time, but the vocals by のあ could use some improvement. It’s quite a cute sounding song, but the vocalist appears to have quite a naturally mature voice, so she strains quite a fair bit to match the cuteness of the song. I would have liked to see a different vocalist, perhaps kana or 3L. Not too bad, but not great either.
  5. I Love☆You
    Forestpireo sure loves their stars. Anyway, this is more of what I remember as being forestpireo’s distinctive style for their vocal songs. An insanely diabetes-inducingly cute sound to it, with a correspondingly cute sounding vocalist to match the instruments. Vocals are done by ななひら, and when I say cute I really mean it. Her voice range is absurdly high, and it sounds like a fairy is singing the entire song most of the time, and the result is an extremely painful track for me to listen to. It’s far too sweet for me, so I can’t really listen to it at all.
  6. いけない二人は今日もボルケイノ☆
    The first of two tracks that feature kana, this one is a dual vocal with both kana and ななひら from the previous track. While kana is also a pretty cute sounding vocalist, her voice isn’t nearly as high pitched as nanahira’s, and is much more tolerable. I don’t really like nanahira’s parts in this track because I just can’t tolerate her at all, but kana’s bits are pretty good. It’s a pity that the backup instrumentals aren’t really very strong, and don’t really feel appropriate most of the time. Could have done better there.
  7. Call off Fall
    kana’s only solo track on this album, with a much darker feel than most of her songs tend to have. I don’t really think that’s appropriate considering her vocal range – she tends to do best when given cute-sounding/light and fluffy songs, but she does a pretty admirable job with this track too. However, her lack of vocal training does show quite a fair bit when she’s in the lower vocal ranges(2:25), resulting in rather strained sounding vocals at times. The instruments are doing a pretty good job for once, with good balance of the instruments and vocals, and a good sound to it overall. Not bad at all, but not as good as their previous releases either.
  8. スターライト・マジック
    The starting instrumental bit in this is quite possibly one of the best intros for any song that forestpireo has done, with a very interesting mix of different sounds while maintaining a very electronic feel to it. It’s a pity that this takes a back seat to the vocals(done by 梢依), since they really sound like that could have carried the entire track on their own. The vocals are also good, but they don’t really match up to the off-vocal bits and are quite a disappointment. I really would like to hear more instrumental tracks from forestpireo, since the few they do release tend to be quite excellent.

  9. Once again the introduction is superbly done, especially with the timing on the guitar’s introduction. The vocals actually match up to the instruments this time, with 南条あきら lending the track a very sad overall feel. She does a pretty good job of maintaining the melody while being very emotional with the lyrics, and it even makes me feel quite sad(actually it makes me shiver but I don’t think that’s quite the goal here). I don’t usually think of Invisible Full Moon as a very versatile original, but this track proves that you can even make a sad-sounding remix of it work. Truly an excellent job with the arrangement on this track, quite possibly the best track on the entire album.
  10. Amazing world
    An absolutely terrible transition, completely ruining the mood from the last track. I wish I could like this track but the positioning in the album really just makes me want to strangle it and end the album at track 9. Nevertheless, this song doesn’t really sound all that bad on it’s own, but it’s not really excellent either. It’s a vocal remix of Cosmic Mind, which has quite a fair bit of potential to create something superb, but the vocalist 梢依 doesn’t suit the melody at all – I think it would have been better with someone who has a lower voice, such as Ayakura Mei. Not as good as the previous track, and makes me hate it because of the positioning.
  11. 見果てぬ夢の続きを
    This track shows it’s colours right at the start, starting with the vocals right away. I’m not quite sure I like the vocalist, ランコ, too much – she seems to have a rather blurry and indistinct feel to her voice. I can’t quite pin her vocal range very well because everything sounds somewhat slurred, but I don’t think it matters too much because the result is a pretty good sound overall. The instruments in the background are a weird choice – they don’t really seem to do anything too well and I’m pretty confused as to what this track is supposed to be. It feels like it’s going to be a cute song at times, but other times it seems like it’s going to be a ballad and other times it seems like it’s going to be some weird mexican instrumental or something. Quite an odd track.

I criticize forestpireo alot for not having more instrumentals and good album arrangement in this review, and if it were a regular circle that has X number of arrangers doing all the arrangements it would be accurate criticism. However, forestpiero is really a circle that has a large majority of their tracks done by guest arrangers/vocalists, so their style does tend to change alot from track to track, while maintaining an overall pop/electropop feel to it.

Arrangement quality and vocal quality will vary alot because of the nature of the circle, so it’s actually pretty amazing that they manage to not have too many bad tracks in this environment. I think that this doesn’t really excuse their poor album coordination though, and that’s probably something that would benefit alot from improvement.

Nevertheless, forestpireo albums remain quite high quality and are very popular amongst most people due to most of it being in the pop genre, and this popularity is indeed well deserved. I only wish that they would learn to arrange their tracks better to maintain a better overall mood for the album, since the way it is right now means that the mood changes rapidly from track to track with little to no reason.

As for the instrumentals, I think that comes down to a choice for the arrangers they use – this time they had arrangers that didn’t want to produce instrumental tracks, and so the result was an album that had only vocal songs. It’s a pity, but the album doesn’t suffer too much as a result since most of the vocals are quite well done and results in a balanced feel between the instrumental and vocal bits.

This is probably the most I’ve ever typed for an album review (Almost 1900 words!), so I’ll stop after recommending a few similar circles. Circles that have a style that’s similar to forestpireo include IOSYS, Silver Forest, Innocent Key and SoundHolic, all of whom you’ve probably heard at least once. They tend to be the most popular circles in the Touhou doujin music scene since they produce pop-style vocal-focused songs, which is pleasant for most people. I think that most people who like forestpireo would likely like the above circles as well, since the style is extremely similar.