Review Summary: The groundbreaking third studio album isn't anything too spectacular, but is a great place to start off the Glay journey.
If one could accurately describe a definitive band of 90's Japanese rock, one of the most common answers would be Glay. Formed in the late 80's by some high school kids, Glay became so well known that by 1993, after years of promotion, the band was recognized by legendary musician, Yoshiki (of X Japan fame) and were signed immediately after he saw one of their lives. After a few years of slowly breaking ground in the scene, the band got their first taste of national super-stardom with the 1996 album, "Beat Out!".
The album starts off with "More Than Love", which has a very brief brooding introduction, before kicking off into a power pop direction. A great way to start off the legendary album. The album then goes into "Yes Summerdays", which has a cloudy feel to it that sort of contradicts the upbeat feel of "More Than Love", and turns the album in a new direction. "Genshoku no Sora (Cloudy Sky)" is an interesting track that is chockful of powerful progressions, but is also one of the less impressive tracks on the album. "Trouble on Monday" is a pretty good track that is centered around swing-like rhythms. The track is one of the more better songs on the album and is a great pickup from "Genshoku no Sora". "Together" is a track that is essentially one big ballad that is fronted by the piano (naturally). As sappy as ballads typically are, this one is pretty damn good, and is full of soul and emotion. A unique turn in the album, as it brings the album back down to pop grounds.
"Tsuki ni Inoru" is another solid track that is pop-meets-alternative rock, with a nice pinch of progressive rock thrown in. A breathtaking track, and definitely a keeper. "Ikiteku Tsuyosa" is a bit of a disappointing followup to "Tsuki ni Inoru", but is a decent track. "Shuumatsu no Baby Talk" is a bizarre track, as it features futuristic synths in the beginning, followed by a pulsating rhythm, and finally evolving into a semi-approachable track. Not a typical Glay sound, but goddamn, is it good. "Glorious" is a classic among Glay fans, and features pop rhythms, laced professionally with straightforward rock. Another standout track for the album. "Kisaki no Hate" is next, and features a dramatic change, which boasts a bubblegum pop rock sound that would make even Mr. Children blush. A damn good track, but an extreme change in the album's sound, even with the pop/rock track of "Glorious" backing it up. The album then closes with the soft track, "Miki Piano", which is exactly what it sounds like: a gentle, pop track, fronted by the piano. A decent track, but is not a good closing track by any means.
Overall, "Beat Out!" was a huge success for a band, and helped blow them up to nationwide superstars. However, despite its success, the album itself is nothing too impressive, and has a few minor (yet still highly visible) flaws, but nothing too bad. The album is good, but is nothing superb or extraordinary.