Review Summary: Definitely not a "Boom", but still a damn good album.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
In the early 90's, J-Rock was at its prime. With bands like Boowy and Southern All-Stars starting off the scene's boom in the 70's and into the 80's, the scene really exploded in the 90's when alt rock bands like Glay, Spitz and The Pillows started to become posterboys of Japan's future rock scene. But there still is one band that managed to maintain its popularity, and push it through the 90's. That band is called Unicorn, and was formed in the mid 80's. Throughout their years as a band, they experimented with various styles of rock, including post-punk, indie rock, new wave, and progressive rock. But when the alternative rock style started to take over in the early-mid 90's, Unicorn decided to make the move towards that fanbase with their 1993 album, "Springman", to many confused longtime fans.
The album starts off with a few traditional Unicorn tracks, that blends modern rock with traditional rock-n-roll, but when the fourth track, "Subarashii Hibi", starts, you literally think it's a different band. A very chilled, laid back, 90's flavored track, this is one of the tracks where they make a stab at the alternative audience. A damn good song, but highly different from the already eclectic sound of Unicorn. The next few tracks continue the highly alternative sound of the album, but some tracks have a more Unicorn-like twist to them (meaning that some have a traditional rock-n-roll sound to them).
However, when the seventh track, "Moto Rounin Fists Out", starts, it makes a return to the normal Unicorn sound, which makes the album a very dizzying spectrum indeed. However, when the eleventh track, "Bara to Yuutsu", starts, it once again switches back to the alternative sound of the typical Japanese 90's rock era. This will last until the fourteenth track, "Tsunki no Wagner", when the bipolar alternative/classic sound of the band is completely thrown out the window, in attempt for a soft piano-driven track. A very nice turnaround in the album, and a good lead-in for the final track, "8 Tsuki no", which is basically still their alternative sound, but this time, with more of Unicorn bite, which makes for a satisfying ending track.
As you can see, it's very easy to see why longtime Unicorn fans were scratching their heads when they first popped this album in. However, "Springman" is still a very good album in retrospective, just not a good album to start off with. If you are interested in starting off with the band, my recommendation would be to go with their debut, "Boom", which is arguably their strongest work to date, or even "Hige to Boin". But if you are a fan of the band, and you're willing to give it a shot, then by all means, give the album a try.