Seiko Oomori has just released her first single after her maternity break- serving as a lead in to her upcoming album “TOKYO BLACK HOLE” due out March. After binge listening (something that is super easy to do when it comes to Seiko Oomori), this is what I think about it:
Seiko’s first post-birth release was quite a big announcement for yours truly at the time (avid Seiko Oomori fan here) and also a strange one- the main A-side was “Aishiteru.com“, a song we already had from the “Wonderful World’s End” soundtrack. I then read further into it- only to find out something that made me more than just a little worried: it was to be produced by Kameda Seiji. For those of us that have been following Kameda Seiji and in particular, his work with Shiina Ringo/Tokyo Jihen– it is well known that he’s a notorious softy– and “neuters” quite a lot of the work that he’s involved with. DAMN IT I DONT WANT HIM FUCKING UP MY OOMORI!. Lucky then, those fears were blind and he actually does a nice job adding extra layers to the mix and truly brings out the infectious melody of the track. It isn’t as deep as other songs in Oomori’s catalog, but when it’s this damn cute- it really doesn’t need to be. A real “bop” added to Oomori’s catalog, I’m sure a lot of people will love this one.
“Gekiteki JOY! Before After” is the track that will likely come off as the crown jewel of this release. Originally penned for the “Heavy Shabby Girl” short film, it is a beautifully structured, lyrically potent (thank you Tokyo Girls Update for the thorough lyric investigation), amazingly produced and catchy as fuck track that effortlessly hits a home run. It is the first time male backing vocals have appeared on an Oomori song, and this really was quite suprising on first listen. The chorus is great, and I found it hard to get out of my head long after the song was over.
“Fan Letter” is not going to be a public favourite here- but for oldschool Seiko Oomori fans, its always delightful to know that she hasn’t left her roots behind. The original version of the song came out a while ago on her youtube channel to say thankyou to her fan’s support, and it’s a short, sweet and heartfelt ditty that has been boosted with her now trademark vocal layering. The major label mastering really brings some extra warmth to the track rather than detracting and weakening it, which is pretty amazing really. I’m glad AVEX still allow room for the songs like these.
I have no real complaints here, sure it doesn’t have anything on par with “Magic Mirror“, but Oomori is perfectly comfortable here and it’s a nice return single. It’s lovely when an artist gets into a groove that sticks- and Oomori has obviously found that groove. Perhaps she’s a bit more upbeat now, but other than that, after childbirth she’s still releasing top tier tracks and this single is evidence of it. It whets my appetite for the album immensely- and it’s going to be a LONG wait for it.Come on March!
Oh and the boxset must be mentioned- from the pictures I have seen, it looks AMAZING (and about the size of a laptop). I guess that has something to do with it’s 10,000 yen price tag. Once I receive I’ll surely be uploading some photos, so stay pressed if you’re interested.
8.5/10 Welcome back Oomori. Another great release in the bag.