I adore Higedan. They’re one of the few Japanese bands I still avidly follow and continually get impressed by. Their ascent into super stardom in their home country of Japan has been nothing short of incredible and with songs like Pretender, Yesterday and Stand By You, it’s hard not to see why. The groups unique synth keyboard based sound is wonderful but it’s really frontman Satoshi Fujihara’s incredibly engaging vocals that truely transform Higedan into one of a kind. And that’s although new single Laughter stretches on for nearly 6 minutes, it’s an absolute triumph.
While Laughter‘s run time might seem a little daunting in times where many tracks barely scrape the three minute mark, I’m telling you right here that the songs 6 minutes go by much faster than you would expect. Although much of the track rests on a satisfying yet standard soft rock instrumental, there’s a sense of constant momentum. Not a single moment feels overdrawn and plodding and for a song of its length this is a great accomplishment. If I were to chalk this down to one thing, it’s got to be the group and especially Fujihara’s mesmerising performance. Although most of the song rests on a satisfying but rather standard rock instrumental, Fujihara attacks every single line with so much emotion that it transforms every second of Laughter into something worth hearing. It carries a sense of importance, a need to be heard. A characteristic that I look for in any great song.
But Laughter‘s crowning moment comes after its second chorus where it explodes into one of the years most grandiose and cathartic bridges. It’s one of those times where a track manages to truely ascend from a standard pop song into a real “musical moment”. The combination of Fujihara’s chill inducing sustained high note and the breathtaking choir coupled with that soaring instrumental is just pure perfection. It sounds like the kind of music that would soundtrack one’s transcendence into heaven and is the kind of grandiose operatic soundscape that can nearly move me to tears. It’s one of those moments that manages to catch you off guard in the best way possible and I adore songs that make me feel that way.
Final Rating: 9.25 / 10
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