L’Arc~en~Ciel have celebrated their 20th anniversary with an world tour and like that, international indie artists share their love on Vivid Covers: A 20th Anniversary Tribute To L’Arc~en~Ciel.
Vivid Covers features 13 tracks from a wide array of bands from a wide variety of places. Bands like Lemon Drop Kick, Keshiki, and more take turns reworking L’Arc~en~Ciel’s hottest hits.
At first, anyone other than Hyde belting out L’Arc~en~Ciel songs sounded crazy. Then I was really curious and wanted to hear what direction the artists each decided to take.
The first third of the album is its strongest. The lead track, “Niji” by Keshiki is good but tame and the vocalist actually sounds like Hyde. Lemon Drop Kick bring some well, kick with their rendition of “New World”. They play it a little safe but it doesn’t detract. “DIVE TO BLUE” by LF-Laissez Faire- feat. Dimension follows that up and comes together well.
Caffe-in take things to the next level from where Lemon Drop Kick left off and give a fun pop-punk punch to “flower”. It’s a bit rough around the edges but they are able to deftly capture the song’s energy while making it their own.
A few tracks later, Unshin takes on “Sunadoeki”. It starts with funky mandolin bits but a piano and guitar work that runs through both verse and chorus take control. Kaoru Enjoji’s minimalist piano ballad version of “Anata” is a change up that contrasts with a crop of metal-ish tracks that follow. I was thankful for it later.
It’s probably not a coincidence that my favorite tracks were ones by bands with female vocalists. The covers by Caffe-in and Unshin shine the brightest. Their work and the other artists’ efforts like those mentioned about make the release worth checking out. The rest of the tracks aren’t misses but they aren’t executed as well as these.
There’s another tribute album that comes out June 13th. It features covers by a mind-blowing combination of Mötley Crüe Vince Neil(!), ZEBRAHEAD, Boyz Ⅱ Men(!!), POLYSICS, SID, Hemenway, and more. Get further on L’Arc~en~Ciel’s official site.
Check out the first track on Vivid Covers: A 20th Anniversary Tribute To L’Arc~en~Ciel, “Niji” by Keshiki: