Haru Nemuri - Shunka Ryougen Music Album Reviews

Haru Nemuri - Shunka Ryougen Music Album Reviews
Blending elements of J-pop, rap, and hardcore, the experimental Japanese artist’s latest album presents a convincing balance of nihilism and hope.

Kimishima Haruna’s artistic world revolves around springtime, in both its renewing beauty and its violent contrasts. The title of her 2018 studio debut, Haru To Shura, referenced both spring and a demon of war from Japanese folklore; her newest album, Shunka Ryougen, roughly translates to “spring fire lighting the field ablaze”; her stage name, Haru Nemuri, means “spring slumber.” In parallel, Haru’s bright, euphoric J-pop is shot through with incongruous screams of fury, a vibrant juxtaposition of life and death. Self-described as a poetry rapper, she performs with electrifying abandon, breathlessly illustrating the crush of her helplessness and existential anxiety. Across Shunka Ryougen’s sprawling 21-song tracklist, her voluble poetry investigates destruction—whether to the environment, to authorities, or self-inflicted upon herself.

Haru’s sound is hemmed with an experimental, noise-rock edge, an eccentricity flavored with Aurora’s superlunary alt-pop, the rich detail of Fugazi’s punk, and the proud “RIOT GRRRL” label in her Twitter bio. In 2018, Haru To Shura infused breakneck, upbeat J-pop with the sound of DIY reinvention. Shunka Ryougen sustains the voice and tempo, but takes on a colder, more mechanical cast. Though it cycles a flurry of musical ideas, the record avoids overshadowing Haru’s presence; instead, it works alongside the searing dynamism of her voice. The cybernetic rhythm and Haru’s glacial Auto-Tune electrify tracks like the erhu-tongued “Souzou Suru” and the eerily bare “Sister With Sisters.” The martial march of “Déconstruction,” a single threaded with references to Fight Club, introduces Shunka Ryougen’s obsession with catalysts as Haru instructs: “Let’s start our paradigm shift/Like the project mayhem.”

The recurring motif of déconstruction refers to Jacques Derrida’s philosophy of dismantling form and medium to better understand concepts themselves, an idea Haru vibrantly reappropriates into the tangible context of her music. Frenzied, she fires off a litany of invective—spitting “asshole!” at a “pedigreed politician” on “Old Fashioned,” arguing with herself about the efficacy of her own lyricism and punctuating the quarrel with a self-directed “shut the fuck up!” on “Heart of Gold,” and personifying global warming as a flaming angel as she cries “Who the fuck is burning the forest?” on a track of the same name. There’s an inexpressible depth of conviction in Haru’s delivery; her voice is a finely reactive instrument that can switch from a desperate, out-of-breath invocation to a primal scream at the drop of a pin. When she asks, “Why do you want to die? Why do you want to live?” on the title track, her voice deepens into a growl that knifes into her vocal cords. It’s so vivid you can practically feel her gripping you by the collar and demanding an answer. Destruction is not only external: “Never Let You Go,” Shunka Ryougen’s crown jewel, deconstructs the very idea of Haru Nemuri—the moving, self-destructive cry of its chorus confesses that Haru’s “whole body is hoping to disappear.”

Ultimately, she offers herself a solution steeped in both obliteration and renewal: “Breathe in, breathe out, and become a song.” Despite all of Haru’s frustration and fury, her poetry finally blossoms into joy. Optimistic punk records aren’t anything new, but Shunka Ryougen is convincing in its balance of nihilism and hope. After more than an hour of Haru’s candid self-doubt and self-confessed misery, the logic of her decision to embrace love for its own sake is sincere and unsaccharine. The bouncy melody and glittering poetry of “Ikiru,” which translates to “live,” sounds like a traditional romantic love song. But instead of singing to a lover, she adopts Nietzsche’s concept of “amor fati” and declares her love for the struggle of being alive—both the good and bad. Radiantly, she ends Shunka Ryougen with a full-hearted, hard-won call: “How beautiful life is!”

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Haru Nemuri - Shunka Ryougen Music Album Reviews Haru Nemuri - Shunka Ryougen Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, May 04, 2022 Rating: 5

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