Doing a three single project is bound to be a strange proposition, and when you’re an artist as eclectic as Seiko Oomori, things are bound to get messy, fast. That isn’t necessarily a negative though; these three singles have allowed for Seiko to experiment with more sounds than she has done in the past, and the free-flow approach is open and unhinged. It feels like a whole bunch of ideas that mostly work, thrown together haphazardly in true Oomori style.
Working with numerous producers, musicians and idols throughout the project will likely leave anyone confused of what Seiko Oomori is ‘supposed to be’ even more confused. It’s absolute chaos is what gives it form, a big, beautifully messy picture of Oomori’s insecurities and refusal to conform to any standard sound. She possesses this uncanny ability to flip from wild-child to gorgeous songstress without any kind of warning, and it for certain is bound to appeal to (or detract from) different people in different ways.
For this listener, the most appealing tracks are those that try something a little different to what we’ve gotten before, I love the Noko (from Shinsei Kammatechan) featuring “Hikokuminteki Hero” with its fantastic, unforgettable chorus and insane bridge for example. But I also love the fact that she still puts in more classic sounding tracks; b-sides such as Asa+ and the demo reel that came with the fanclub version of POSITIVE STRESS (which for hardcore fans, is likely the best part of the whole trilogy). Each disc offers a taste of something else, it’s always fascinating to see what’s up next.
Sure there’s some strange moments and the song choices and ordering may be somewhat all-over the place, and as a listener you may or may not like some of the guests involved, but you can’t not marvel at the absolute determination there is behind the project. Personally I can’t stand Ano from You’ll Melt More‘s voice, but hey, it works here in Gutto Kuro SUMMER. Others may not like the more mainstream sounding tracks like the TK produced “POSITIVE STRESS” (though just as many people will likely love it) and more than enough people have expressed their disdain for the most insane track of the lot- the Namahamu to Yakiudon starring “YABATAN Densetsu” (which I, surprise, surprise, absolutely love).
Depending on the person you are, and how far your taste reaches, will really decide on how many of these tracks are going to hit home. Sure, one could argue that Oomori is just ‘trying the glove’ on certain sounds, and that would be an astute observation- but for this listener, I find it fascinating to see just how many different genres she is willing to give a nod to in her constant expansion of sound.
It then, is markedly appropriate that the final A-Side we heard from this project “Orion-Za” is an absolute centre-point between the Oomori of PINK Records label days and her new glossy AVEX sound. A quiet, gentle ballad with amazing chord progression and heartfelt lyrics seem like the only way you could end this, and in it’s own way, the anticlimactic nature of it after such bombast makes it ever more explosive when listened to as a whole.
Overall, Seiko Oomori’s trilogy of singles is a topsy, turvy mixed bag of mostly gems which wears it’s heart on it sleeve. There is bound to be something here for everyone, but it is also very unlikely that every track here is going to appeal to a single person. While it’s hard to say that it’s as good as any of her full length albums, it’s certainly still no throwaway project. There’s enough great tracks here to make it worth your while, and even the ones that didn’t hit the mark are still enjoyable for the most part.