For the global community, LiSA is most likely known ‘merely’ as the one who sings the catchy J-pop tunes which help propel the anime phenomenon that is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. For native Japanese and true pop punk devoters, however, LiSA is heralded as the symbol of a new era. In a career already spanning fifteen years and counting, it would be a gross understatement to label LiSA as an anisong filler. Nonetheless, if one is curious as to who exactly LiSA is beyond the hype, look no further from her latest EP titled Homura. The 5-song collection, ironically, is the perfect summary of the hard work and legacy of the modern legend with the real name Risa Oribe.
The opener (‘homura’), once its association with Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is set aside, is a brilliant exploration of the dynamics between grief and strength. Blending glitzy J-pop production with punk melodrama, here LiSA ponders why tragedy is required to bring out the best of the mortals (‘Held captive by nostalgic memori?s’/’Wailing at the cruelty of this world’/’There will be even more as I grow older’/’I never want to lose anything again’). Despite her youthful soprano, it should be noted that LiSA is already in her mid-thirties, therefore she knows exactly the story she is telling. The instrumental version of ‘homura’ also serves as the closer of the EP, shaping a full-circle experience for the listeners later on.
The titanic opener is then followed up with lighter glam rock jam ‘lost romance’. Never sparing one second, the 33-year-old songstress immediately showcases her edge which has grown sharper after maintaining impressive consistency in one of the most crowded music industries in the world. As LiSA romanticize longing and seclusion (‘I was happy just to be by my side’/’I can't help because I like it, a dream of glory, a fleeting feeling is an illusion’/’Endless love’), she makes a convincing case of the grey shades of life which, narratively speaking, complements well with the EP’s opener.
The rest of the EP brings out LiSA’s brighter, more playful side. ‘Leopardess’ finds LiSA embracing her sexuality without going all-out man-prowling (‘Forcible Leopardess’/’It's cute to be scar?d’/’Bad game, curious parade’). Meanwhile, ‘My Friends Forever’ has LiSA cross over to adult contemporary side. Lyrically, it’s a happy ending for an EP that is started as an overwhelming pop punk thunderstrike (‘After meeting you’/’I fell in love with myself a little’/’Quarrel and reconciliation’/’I love everything’/’Your joy is my joy’).
Is Homura LiSA’s best work to date? Absolutely not. However, it’s an effective introduction for new fans, especially the ones who are curious about all the hype surrounding her but have no interest in listening to an elongated body of work. The finest quality about Homura? The EP is a surefire attraction, most likely seductive enough for new fans to scroll down LiSA’s discography and her much better creations. Its shortcoming? Listeners who are strangers to J-pop and pop punk might find the EP erratic and lack focus. Nonetheless, as her official introduction beyond her native Japan, it’s more than sufficient.
IN A NUTSHELL:
+ Homura is a well-packaged introduction for new fans and global audience who are interested in getting to know LiSA, offering her finest skills as a J-pop icon and pop punk Visionaire
- The brief content, rowdy production, and all-Japanese lyrics might still turn off listeners who are strangers to the genre and J-pop culture
‘homura’, ‘My Friends Forever’
Felix Martua adalah penulis, editor, traveler, kurator, dan cataloger bilingual (Bahasa Inggris dan Indonesia) untuk musik, hiburan dan all things pop culture. Felix bisa dihubungi via firstname.lastname@example.org