Review Summary: An incredibly powerful sample of raw human emotion, pure and simple. An album unparalleled in its sheer power and naked beauty.
Summer. The lunatic sun's rays pelt your skin. Your eyes are invaded by all the colours around you and a cool breeze flows through the air. It's perfect, you're with your friends, there's nothing you'd change.
Picture this in your head. Now that you are in this place imagine that there is music that follows you around for the entire course of the day. One album, BUCK-TICK's legendary opus Kurutta Taiyou.
Chapter 1: Speed/ MACHINE/MY FUNNY VALENTINE/Henshin (Reborn)/Angelfish.
You meet up with your friends in town, there are people everywhere. It's noisy, the combination of the wind and the sun makes your skin feel dry although the wind cools you down and blows your hair. This is how "Speed" feels. First the noise hits you and all you want to do is enjoy yourself with your friends. Atsushi Sakurai's voice gives off a burst of energy that empowers you to just unleash "DIVE OFF OF THE SKYSCRAPER WITHOUT HESITATION!" The song has such a raw atmosphere. The music drives you, it's in your soul. The drive is unrelenting. "MACHINE" pushes you on. It's drive beat getting your blood flowing. The guitars run, creating a scene of everything rushing past. Atsushi Sakurai sings with his voice low at first before picking up in the second half of the song to build the intensity. The song is just such a powerful force, the melody makes you feel so free and gives your body the illusion that it can do anything you want it to. "MY FUNNY VALENTINE" comes in at full swing from the get go, you're really enjoying the summer. The song has a real soothing groove to it an almost euphoric feeling. "MY FUNNY VALENTINE" has such a special quality to it that is very hard to find in music, you can easily get lost in it. Every component to it is flawless, the melody, the vocals, the guitar harmony, the bass, the drums, everything. It's the kind of song that is unparalleled by it's contemporaries. "Henshin (Reborn)" is fast paced, energetic and exciting. Sakurai delivers his vocals as if he has given all his energy after every line. The song gives you a moment to catch your breath in the middle but comes back stronger than it started. So much is going on at once and the heat is getting to you, but you can't get enough, the long summer day has so much more to offer. "Angelfish" gives you a release of pure human emotion. There are beautiful women everywhere. Your hormones are racing and that's exactly how the song manifests itself. Hot, steamy, sexual passion exudes from the songs slow, sleazy guitars and Sakurai's incredible voice. The song feels like it has something inside it, clawing at it from the inside trying to escape, exactly how you feel. How is it that the song encompasses these feelings as perfectly as it does? That's its brilliance, the same incredible brilliance that can be found through out the entire album. All of this pure emotion and the album is just getting started, the day is still young and so are you.
Chapter 2: JUPITER/Sakura/
You take the time out to relax, have lunch in the park. The sky is gorgeous. The clouds float by like a dream. The breeze passes through the trees and through the grass. You reflect on everything. You are happy, more than you ever have been and yet sadder than you have ever been. "JUPITER" is this astounding sense of euphoria and deep melancholy that you are feeling. Sakurai delivers his vivid poetry over a simple acoustic guitar playing and A major/ D minor chord progression and a chorus of voices resonate to the core. This passage at the beginning of the song is this reflection you are having while staring at the sky. A smile spreads across your face and the entire band joins the song and your senses overflow. Your happiness is contagious and spreads to your friends, everyone is enjoying themselves, but not as much as you are. The song is such an emotional journey, you will never truly understand why you feel so emotional. "Sakura" is the albums crowning achievement. For a moment everyone disappears, you are alone in an empty world with yourself, it makes your soul ache. You are so lonely, you feel as though a part of your soul has been severed from you and you are a standing rooted to the spot watching it leave. The beautiful oriental feel of the song captures everything from the cherry blossoms surrounding you to the glistening tear rolling down your cheek. The song is so simple but yet so incredibly strong, strong enough to drag down the heavens. The song ends and you wipe your eyes and come to your senses...
Chapter 3: Brain, Whisper, Head, Hate is Noise/M.A.D/Chika***su no Melody/
The lunatic sun is getting lower and lower in the sky. You feel a droning drum rhythym and guitars bending and swirling around your head. There is so many things you and your friends still want to do and it creates a hectic atmosphere represented by the perplexing "Brain, Whisper, Head, Hate is Noise". You don't know what to do and your mind is fighting with itself. There's so much going on in this song. A chorus of voices, Sakurai singing his incredible melody and Imai occasionally menacingly says "Brain, Whisper, Head, Hate is Noise" into your left ear, the guitars swirl and bend and the drums mindlessly drone in the background. The middle of the song is strange and unfamiliar, it's all just so confusing. But through it all, Sakurai encourages you onward, but the sun is sinking fast, creating tangerine and cerise hues across the horizon. "M.A.D" is red, angry and wounded. As night begins to embrace the earth you think about anyone who's ever left you. You begin to drown in a sea of red at this sudden absence of emotional companionship. You're going mad with desire, you want them back, you need them back and you are going mad. This song is cuts so deep like that, unrelenting. "Chika***su no Melody" is the days swan song, that last little burst of excitement as the veil of night is draped over the sky. The world may be getting ready for bed, but there's no way that you've had enough. The song is quick and makes effective use of repetition, it's that final mad dash as the sun sets effectively ending with white noise. The summer day is over, you're exhausted but you make your way home regardless and drop down on your bed.
Chapter 4: Taiyou ni Korosareta
Your heavy eyes close, you descend into the dark realm of your tired psyche. It's been a long, eventful summer day and you feel absolutely drained. It is as if you have been killed by the sun. "Taiyou ni Korosareta" is the perfect way to conclude this. The song echoes into an empty chasm. An instrument that sounds like a bell chimes while subtle drums and bass and scratches from a guitar provide ambience. Sakurai's voice sounds painful and emotional. The day is over, killed by the sun. The song builds to a fiery crescendo, everything is unbottled and emotions fly rampant. Sakurai's voice reaches out to anyone who can hear him. The song is much different than anything else on the album. It's a completely new feeling, it's the feeling that everything is over. It is the end, you have been killed by the sun. You drift off into the abyss.
Kurutta Taiyou is a monument. It is a flaming ball of energy, a hue of emotion. It is not something that can simply be read about. No, it needs to be heard. It connects with your soul, it flows through you and you'll never forget that feeling. It's passion in its purest form, it's unlike anything of its time. BUCK-TICK have always been an incredible force and shall continue to be with this standing as their defining work, their own completely unique creation, Kurutta Taiyou: Lunatic Sun.