So I’ve been listening to the “hide TRIBUTE II -Visual SPIRITS- ” album that was recently released and I will share some of my thoughts…
By the way, you can buy the album at CD Japan!
First of all, knowing that current musicians want to participate in something like this, to honor the memory of one of the greatest guitarists, singers and composers ever… hide… really warmth my heart. Thank you. It’s a beautiful thing to do.
At the same time, there’s a reserved and judging part of me, simply since hide’s work – to me – is holy and perfect as it is. It’s always scary when other people touches things that you hold really dear. And since I find hide’s music so uniquely “his”, expressed with his emotions, his thoughts, his passion, his talent and intensity… then it’s tricky imagining how a new version of it could ever live up to it’s original.
So I simply has to relate to it as another band’s way to express his work, in their own way, and somehow make it into something new: a product that is a mixture of their own and hides. :-)
Ok, let’s start with track number one…
Tell me with heidi.
It’s good. And I think it reminds a lot of hide’s version of it. I would almost say it’s a little bit too similar, it doesn’t feel like they added anything new to it. Ok, it’s a little bit faster maybe? The music is good, the singing is OK, but I miss hide’s voice which was more mature than Yoshihikos.
DICE with Matenrou Opera
OK, this one is a really scary one, ’cause DICE is my absolute favorite among all hide’s song. But actually, I’m very impressed. Matenrou Opera’s cover of DICE is really great! And they truly has put their own style to it. I almost did not recognize which song it was in the beginning with the power metal sound, the synthesizers and Sono’s opera-like singing. But it’s very skillful performed and Sono sings with that passion, aggressiveness and intensity that is needed for that song. Many thumbs up from me!
You can listen to it here:
Oblaat with Gotcharocka
This version of Oblaat is quite similar to hide’s version, but it is also performed in true Gotcharocka-style. It’s good and the singing is rocky, “punkish” and full of attitude – just like hide’s. This is rock’n’roll!
D.O.D. [Drink or die] with Hitsugi (Nightmare)
At first I just read “Nightmare”, listened and thought… this can NOT be Nightmare! This can NOT be Yomi singing? Or do he garble his voice? Ok, then I saw it was Hitsugi singing (the guitarist) and that was a good choice. His voice is perfect. He got this crazy singing full of attitude needed for this song. It’s very well and skillful performed, technically, musically and emotionally. I feel like heavy partying now!
ピンク スパイダー (Pink Spider) with Sadie
This is one of the holiest songs and I must unfortunately say that I don’t like this. It should have been done perfectly and it’s not. Mao’s voice doesn’t fit, it’s too blend, and well, I don’t like it. hide’s passion is gone, that desperation in his voice, varied with a dreamy longing. I get the feeling that Mao just sings a lyric, he doesn’t deliver a message – like hide did. And maybe it’s hard to do. hide did it perfectly, ’cause it was his own thoughts and emotions. I guess only he knew how to do it.
Ever free with defspiral
This is a song of breaking free, a wish to “get out”. hide performed it with intensity and passion. I don’t think defspiral do that. Just like Sadie, it feels like they simply follow instructions – there’s no real passion behind it. Just that simple part when they repeat: “Let me, let me free, let me out!” … it should be expressed desperately, shouting! Screaming! You don’t break free by whispering “let me out…” Otherwise I think the music is good and the song is OK, but… well, it doesn’t live up to the original.
DOUBT with Machine
hides version of DOUBT is very heavy, it’s true rock’n’roll ala hide and full of attitude. You can truly feel how he screams out to the world his disgust for what’s untrue. Machine’s version sounds very different, at least in the beginning, and maybe it’s just a matter of taste, but I’m not that fond of the singer’s voice. They have dampened the tempo and some of the intensity and despise gets lost in the verses. The chorus is better though, faster, more aggressive.
Hurry go round with Cell
It’s not bad. It’s not great. I might repeat myself, but no one can do it better than hide. I don’t feel that this cover is an improvement or have any interesting twist. To me it’s rather blend.
Misery with DaisyStripper
I like a lot of DaisyStripper’s songs and I like the singer’s voice, but in this context… I don’t know. It’s beautiful singing, but no real depth. Misery is also an important song to me and hide’s version actually makes me cry. Simply ’cause he delivers it with such deep feeling, a bit sad, but first of all genuine. His goodness shines through his words. And I think about his friendship with Mayuko. Oh yes, it’s a tough song that DaisyStripper grabbed. I give them creds for that.
Beauty and Stupid with DOPPEL
One thing that I love with hide’s version of this song is that he sounds a bit crazy. Love makes people crazy. A bit insane. And he also have a comical touch to it. I miss that spark in DOPPEL’s version. Maybe I’m too hard on them, but I think it’s a bit blend. All over again, the desperation and attitude is lost. I think this version is a bit slower too. I like it fast. ^^ It’s probably a matter of taste all over again. I mean, this version has a bit funky beat, which is night, but… it seem to be hard to express the same intensity as hide always brought. Maybe that’s one of many things that made him so special. Creds to DOPPEL though for daring making it different.
DAMAGE with The Kiddie
I don’t consider this to be any of hide’s best song, but I think The Kiddie has made a decent cover of it. Very different! It doesn’t have that rock’n’roll-feeling, the riffs are heavier and the singing less aggressive. But I like the new sound. It’s totally OK.
Junk Story with UNDER CODE PRODUCTION
Well, I’m a big fan of Kisaki and Riku, but I’m not totally sold on this version. I think. Yes, it’s very different, much more soft. I like the synthesizer melody. Can’t help feeling though that “too many cooks spoil the broth” in the chorus. It’s not synchronized enough, gets a bit messy. At the same time it’s charming. Hm… yeah, it’s still good. I will keep listening to it. :-)
50% & 50% with Mix Speaker’s,Inc.
I like Mix Speaker’s,Inc. and I like the opening of this version. Different, a little bit mysterious. A totally different rhythm and other instruments. Credits to them for their courage to make such changes. I think it’s good, even though the original is more catchy.
I guess that’s all. Have I been to harsh on them? After all, it’s lovely that they made this tribute and yes… it’s hard to live up to something that’s legendary and holy. For many of us.