Music Review - Original Synths

Move Like This: Adam Ford's Tokyo City Lights - Music Review

 Original Synth

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You need to know that Adam Ford is no longer a detective from Los Angeles.  This was the case with Los Angeles Cold Night.  You also need to know that his wife, having met her in the prequel release Miami Dreamscapes, and his child have been killed.  As a result, this former homicide detective is back to doing what he does best:  kicking all sorts of ass.

Because, yes, heads will roll.  Tokyo City Lights, the concluding statement from this anti-hero, is out. 

Adam Ford’s third and final chapter in the “Life” trilogy begins with an anthem that will definitely get you hitting all sorts of new heights in your synthwave journeys.  The song, “Hiroshima – New Fights”, has a certain euphoria attached to it.  The handclaps at the beginning serve as a signal to the pulsating noise before to get it together and, as everything comes into focus with an upbeat expression, all we can do is dance, dance, dance our way through the epic mood-changing turnstile that is Tokyo City Lights.

What an incredible way to travel, right?  I am suggesting a theme of travel because, damn, all I picture with this release is one grand arc of swift movement as we scale our way toward REVENGE.

With Oceanside85 providing the vocals for the next adventure, “Sapporo – Loneliness” begins with a bit of an emotional shift.  We get another groovy melody (Adam Ford’s specialty) and more wind effects (important to notice here), but, thanks to her expressive voice, there is a promise in the chorus to catch us when we fall.  Chelsea’s voice – matched with the effervescent 80’s tone established thanks to those rich arpeggios – is everything and we must trust in her guarantee to ALWAYS be there.

The third track is another vocalized track thanks to Ideon who acts as a guide through a new landscape.  “Tokyo City Lights” is a burst of neon in the surrounding darkness of Adam Ford’s story.  It begins with a whirring of synths as Ideon sings about being lost in time.  We, too, are transported somewhere else.  The shimmering synths continue, but things feel a bit more chaotic. 

There is a new dusk here; a speck of worry in the misty eyes of Adam Ford.  Something is off that the narrator is only now realizing . . .

. . . which brings us to the beauty of “Kyoto – Yakuza Suicide” and “Nagoya – Running Late (Interlude)”.  Here, the story Adam Ford has constructed really takes flight.  These moody gems prepare us for the truth behind the Police Department that he once put his trust into and the shady organization really pulling its strings.

adam ford

The soothing vocals continue with “Yokohama - Lost Memories” as Roxi Drive guides us through our lead’s awakening.  Suddenly, he gets it.  And his rebirth from all the lies he’s been surrounded by will be an eye-opening one.  Revenge is coming.  The retro electric feel to this song, stroking us gently with a strong rhythm, is strong and haunting, bringing us close to the taste of blood, as evident by the steely waves of “Kyoto – Shinjuku Getaway”, a pulse-pounding effort to get us up and moving again.

The chilled tones, frozen with the lust for murder, seep out through the speakers thanks to the vocals from Levinsky in “Tokyo – Funeral”, a song that has us all facing the music.  Heads are going to roll, we are told.  And, yeah, we really do believe it.  Corruption.  Lies.  It’s all being exposed and Adam Ford wants us to know that death is the only outcome for these villainous stooges. 

adam ford

And then the shift occurs.  A downturn, if you will.  We are closing in on the great release and it feels . . . necessary.  Things switch to outrun as “Shiobuya – Night Drive” kicks into high gear.  Suddenly, we are on the run alongside the vengeance that has just taken place.  There is a bit of EDM mechanics bouncing around in its engine, yet this song brings us to the epic conclusion. 

With emotional vocals handled masterfully by Ethereal Delusions, “Tokyo – Encore”, brings us to the finale that we’ve been expecting for this desperate man.  He sings passionately here.  And the beauty of his effort is all sorts of Depeche Mode-like as a new fate is accepted.  Head bobbing and glitchy, this is a masterful composition that completes the story in an appreciated manner. 

Whether on foot or via car, the exciting chase that Tokyo City Lights becomes, over the course of 10 cinematic tracks, is a bold statement crystallizing the importance of synthwave as it relates to the listener’s imagination.  Never before has revenge sounded so . . . spectacular.  Catchy and thrilling in its rollout, Adam Force's trilogy is now complete.  Buy the ticket, take the ride, and move like this.


Support Adam Ford and buy Tokyo City Lights here: adamfordsynth.bandcamp.com/album/tokyo-city-lights

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