1. Darling (ダーリン)
2. gendai toukyou ki tan (現代東京奇譚)
3. THE COMMON BLUES ~ tsukinami na buruusu (月並みなブルース)〜
“Darling” was released on December 5, 2007 and debuted at number 1 on the Oricon daily chart, where it stayed the week.
“Darling” is a jazzy number with snapping backing up a bongo like percussion, with lounge-like instrumentation by keyboards backed by strings at times. The song starts well and Keisuke Kuwata’s voice comes in, fitting in well with the ambiance. The song is relaxed and cool, nothing too stressed. The bridge picks the song’s pace up a bit going into the emotional chorus which features a memorable melody. Despite Keisuke’s voice being fairly weak, it has a lot of character, which works well in this particular atmosphere. It is a superb lead track.
“gendai toukyou ki tan” is a ballad, which is another one of Keisuke’s strengths. His voice really shines through during the chorus of the song, backed by haunting violins and a happy flute. The tune during the chorus is memorable and as you reach the crescendo, the song powers up, featuring a beautiful harp. The power isn’t taken in by Keisuke (he does for one moment let his voice build before a big finale), but the instrumentation is top notch. This B-side could easily be the second A-side on the single. It’s well produced.
“THE COMMON BLUES ~ tsukinami na buruusu ~” is jazzy, perhaps overly so at times. A whole bridge is dedicated to a saxophone solo, whereas Keisuke’s voice is very gritty and low. This song is far from flattering despite being different. It provides the single with diversity alongside a solid instrumental, but besides that, the vocal performance leaves much to be desired.
Over all, Keisuke Kuwata did well with this single. His tracks are well produced, and his voice shines through on the songs with emotion. Compared to his past singles this year, however, this is not his best work. Still, you can’t ignore the first two tracks on this single, they’re nice and passionated, both in their own way.