Review Summary: One of the most ambitious releases from Japan's one-man-band.
Without a doubt, one of Japan's most respected solo musicians around is Miyavi. Miyavi, essentially, is a one-man band, who mastered the guitar at the age of 17 and joined his first band, Due le Quartz, that year. The band was a huge success in the Japanese indie visual kei scene, but broke up in 2002, due to the leave of bassist, Kikasa. Since then, Miyavi has been on a roll in the Japanese music scene, touring overseas frequently, and pretty regularly releases album. However, with "Miyavizm", it shows the (then) young musician striving to make a name for himself, and to separate himself from the rest of the visual competition. Needless to say, those endeavors worked, and this album helped make Miyavi the superstar/idol he is today.
The album starts off with "Sukkyanen Myv ~Myv Man Koshiki Oenka~ (Zenpen)", which is a 2-minute introduction, showing Miyavi shredding away, with a ferocious drum performance, and shows Miyavi bellowing away. A very good, crunchy and entertaining introduction. The next few tracks follow a very similar pattern to "Zenpen", until "Pop 'n Roll Koshien (Baseball)" comes on, which has a sweet and sour kind of sound to it, and is the first track on the album where Miyavi actually sings. The track is a very addictive one as well, equipped with a pop melody, and Miyavi's strong, yet approachable vocals. A very effective track that breaks away from the continuing pound of heavy, and somewhat repetitive, tracks that were in a string previously. "Aho Matsuri" is a very interesting track, which mixes traditional Japanese themes with an electrorock kind of sound. While, perhaps not as much of an addictive track as "Pop 'n Roll", it still is a strong and effective track in the album. "Sai Sai Sainara Bye Bye Bye" is a damn good track which blends the album's early heavier tracks with the last two more pop-friendly tracks, and ends up sounding superb. One of the biggest highlights on the album so far. "Ame ni Utaeba ~Pichi Pichi Chapu Chapu Ran Ran Blues~" shows Miyavi experimenting with a bluesy sound, while maintaining the sharp rock edge of the album. The track shows off Miyavi's more vocal side, with a psychedelic-like guitar leading the way. Another interesting track for the rather diverse album. "Rock 'n' Roll is Not Dead" shows off Miyavi's industrial side, which further pushes the album's diversity into unseen dimensions. A damn good track, especially the guitar breakdown halfway through the song, except that the track lacks some of the excitement of the previous tracks.
"Papa Mama ~Nozomarenu Baby~" shows off a more metal-side of Miyavi, which captures a bit of the pop-metal feel of bands like The Gazette (who were becoming monstrous at the time of this album), only "Papa Mama" adds a bit of emotion which The Gazette couldn't even capture. "Sukkyanen Myv ~Myv Man Koshiki Oenka~ (Kohen)" is virtually an instrumental, which shows off Miyavi's talent as a sheer entertainer, and makes as a good interlude. "Rock no Gyakushuu -Super Star no Jouken-" is a heavy, yet poppy, track which has a driving and pulsating rhythm to it. All-in-all, it really is nothing that special, at least when compared to the upcoming track, "Freedom Fighters". "Freedom Fighters" shows Miyavi crooning over a highly energetic punk sound, and is one of the most satisfying songs on the album. The sheer energy of the song is enough to hype the listener up, and sends off a powerful vibe, which blends both a feelgood and a sheer power type of feeling, and works as an outstanding closer to such an energetic and entertaining release.
In short, "Miyavizm" is possibly one of the strongest examples of Miyavi's superb talents as a musician. However, the only major downside is that the album doesn't quite show off all of the musical talent Miyavi has, or is capable of. However, the album is very entertaining, and since it's only 12 tracks, it's not overbearing at all. Since it's reasonable in length, if you're interested in the talented musician's works, then this is a very good album to start off with. If not, well then, you're missing out.