A rather lovely alternative-rock album that has only four tracks, all of them with the same female vocalist, 556t.

The actual name of the circle is 回路, -kairo- is actually a romanization of it. I’ll just refer to them as Kairo since that’s kind of a weird name to say in English and as such it must be highly amusing to say it.

I haven’t really heard any songs from Kairo before this album, so I only picked this up by sheer chance. It’s an original album, which I usually don’t enjoy as much as remix albums, but this turned out to be quite good. Usually if an inexperienced circle does an original album, it tends to be rather sloppy in terms of composition and balance, but this album manages to strike up a nice balance between smooth arrangement, high emotion and a very good sense of progression throughout the album.

Circle Name: 回路-kairo-
Album Name: 夜明けのセカイと思考回路
Website: http://www.k-a-i-r-o.com/sekairo.html

  1. moon
    Starting off with a rather melancholic track, this track initially gave me quite a feeling of trepidation. The introduction isn’t anything stellar, and I was quite worried that it was going to turn out to be a rather boring ballad or something like that, but the instant the guitar kicked in I knew that this album was indeed going to be pretty awesome. I haven’t heard of the vocalist 556t before I stumbled across this album, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from her either. As it turns out, she has a rather pleasant mature-sounding voice that’s not too high and maintains a good amount of emotion throughout her vocals as well, which is very pleasing when combined with the excellent timing on the guitar. My only complaint would be that it’s rather repetitive and doesn’t really maintain a good speed throughout the track, with too many breaks inbetween the more emotionally charged bits, which I like better.
  2. lain
    Another relatively melancholic-sounding track, further building up a rather sad atmosphere around this album. I don’t particularly mind, since I like emotional rock songs anyway so this is a plus point for me. The pacing of this track is excruciatingly slow for me, but it’s all part of a greater effort to build up more and more emotion before finally breaking out the anthem once the first bit of the song is over – and boy is it great when it gets going. 556t handles the vocals beautifully once again, with just the right amount of emotion, and showing a good amount of skill. It’s rather tough to manage to sing like that without sounding weak at some point or another, so I really admire the job she does with this track. As for the arrangement, the use of more distorted vocals during some bits adds a nice amount of variety and sets up some good transitions into more normal-sounding vocals that seems to give it more power and strength. The choice of when to introduce the guitars and bass is also quite well thought out and makes this one of the better tracks in the album.
  3. Lost
    By this point in time I’m rather worried that the entire album is going to sound very sad and melancholic overall, which while nice isn’t exactly a feeling that’s good for an entire album to try to convey. One or two sad-sounding tracks is nice, but having too many sad tracks in an album just makes it sound rather dead and boring. While the introduction does initially build up a rather sad feeling, as the track progresses this is replaced with a rather more cheerful, hopeful feeling as the main instruments kick in. The vocals still convey alot of sadness in the voice and lyrics, but it’s not as severe as the previous two tracks and overall the mood of the track is much lighter than before. Excellent choice of arrangement in this track, and very good track placement in the album as well.
  4. tune the world
    Again with a rather melancholic start, though not nearly as much as the previous tracks as well. The lighter piano at the start seems to sound alot happier than the piano start of the previous track, while the lower chords of the piano maintain a bit of an ominous feel. Once the vocals start however, it’s clear that this is indeed a much lighter song, probably the happiest-sounding song in this album. It’s rather impressive that 556t maintains a high standard of quality across these 4 rather different vocal style songs, with a much happier vocal touch in this than in all the others. The arrangement in this track is also fantastic, managing to build up subtly and slowly across the entire track before finally climaxing one last time near the end with the pleasant-sounding yet highly meaningless lyrics “tune the world”. I’m always a bit sad when I listen to the last song in any album, since it means the album is coming to an end soon, but with this song my sense of joy overcomes my sadness. Rather rare that I find something that’s as good as this, one of the most beautiful ending tracks I’ve ever heard, and the best track of this album without a doubt.

This is actually a rather old release, and I’m only reviewing it now since it seemed like a good timing with all the various rock/rock-style albums I’ve been reviewing, particularly Aftergrow’s album, Like A Shooting Star EP. I think it’s fairly difficult to try to describe emotional rock songs like these, since alot of it is more what I feel rather than what I hear, and this album makes me feel alot of things. It might not make you feel the same, or it might not make you feel anything at all, and as such I don’t know how I can explain this properly to everyone without having someone in the world not understand.

Perhaps it’s best that you just listen to it, rather than reading me blab on about it. I can’t stress enough how excellent I think this circle is – this is probably one of the best rock circles I’ve heard, and there’s no one else that can match them. The track composition, the vocals, the album arrangement, everything is fantastic and I can’t really find any major fault with it at all. Seriously, go listen to it.