Everybody loves a story, even with an idol group. Anyone can sing a song about a journey ending or a long battle, but when the group has been doing so much more than releasing songs and performing lives, those lyrics feel so much more lifelike. And this new RILISREVERSE mini-album? Absolutely bursting with life.
“LIBERATION” is hot off the heels of original member Mikoto’s graduation. If you’ve been a fan for a while, you’ll recognise her as HAMIDASYSTEM’s Me and if you’ve been following things closely, you’ll know that her choosing to stay in the company after the group’s disbandment is essentially the reason RILISREVERSE were created at all. Her reasons for leaving are no secret as she outright told her fans during a livestream – university needed to take a priority and trying to balance being an idol with the threat of failing school was taking a toll on her mental health. The self proclaimed “fragile princess” had left her castle, leaving her knights all alone.
But what does one do during hardships? The group’s latest oneman performance was titled “KEEP MOVING FORWARD,” and that’s exactly what they did. Sonically, lyrically, group…ally. LIBERATION as an EP sees a departure from Sayshine as the group’s regular composer, with a whole new cast of musicians that each bring a new style to the group while still maintaining their identity. For instance, the penultimate track “Kanshouteki Moratorium” (Sentimental Moratorium) is heavy on the electronica compared to the rest of the release but doesn’t stick out awkwardly – everything slots right into place. The lead track “Jibun Kaihou Sengen” (Self Liberation Declaration) feels more pop-rock than anything else in their catalogue but the lyrical content is unequivocally their style, closing with the line “I’ve destroyed my old, pathetic self.”
A departure from an old producer, a departure from an old member and a departure from an established sound – with RILISREVERSE’s theme of releasing negative emotions and reversing them, their latest entry in their discography is more expressive than ever. There’s a bright future ahead for these girls, so give their mini-album a stream and let them be the soundtrack to your journey as you keep moving forwards.