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Following the success of the marvelous debut of X Japan, releasing very strong material and crafting great songs and showing a lot of unit between the band members, these guys unleashed their third studio album after almost 2 years from releasing its successor, entitled Jealousy. However, the production of the new album changed dramatically, it’s definitely much better than the first two. But you keep wondering if the music changed too, to a better scale? Well, that’s another story.
The production improved a lot than in the previous albums, but in the other hand, the music failed to do the same, unfortunately. If you listened to the first albums you will be definitely so disappointed by this one. In contrast, if this is your first experience with X Japan then you will probably like it. The deal is real simple, X Japan’s Vanishing Vision and Blue Blood are world class, but this one is simply just your average good metal album, no more nor less. The overall musicianship and style is not the same, here the sound is softer, less heavier and hard to get used to, it gets even cheesy and dull in some songs. The track Desperate Angel describes well everything about the new trend of X Japan. The main chorus is completely boring and the riffs are more akin to western rock. The album is full of fillers and unnecessary short instrumental tracks like White Wind From Mr. Martin ~Pata's Nap~. The album mainly features a lot of acoustic parts in most of the songs, and the music in general is less faster than the usual X Japan sound. The only exception here is the second track Silent Jealousy, the song that has one of the great solos and really strong riffs and awesome chorus.
Yoshiki’s role has shrinked drastically on the drums aspect. I can’t hear him blasting as in the first releases, neither performing fast patterns, although in both Silent Jealousy and relatively in Stab me in the back I can see the usual Yoshiki but that’s all about it. In the other hand, he shone playing nice piano solos and delivering nice symphonies in the track Say Anything the best song on this album along with Silent Jealousy. Say Anything is similar to Endless Rain from Blue Blood. Toshi did a great job on this track with beautiful emotional tone. This song was a nice closure to upsetting third album.
All in all, X Japan payed the price of releasing world class albums. It’s not easy to stay on the top, everyone knows that. However, this does not mean that this album is terrible, don’t mistake me. The music that you will listen to here is completely acceptable and you will enjoy some tracks definitely. Silent Jealousy and Say Anything for example retains a lot of the renowned sound of X Japan in the late 80’s.
Written for Encyclopaedia Metallum 31-03-2011