Elegance – The Novembers

Elegance is a continuation of the mindset that started with Rhapsody in Beauty and the two albums fit together seamlessly.

The Novembers continue to stay busy. They released their fifth full length album, Rhapsody in Beauty, a short year ago, then quickly followed that up with their first live DVD. Now, they have released their fifth EP, Elegance.

Within The Novembers’ discography, there is a general trend where full length efforts feature all facets of their sound while their EPs tend to hyper-focus on just one. In Elegance, they emphasize their softer dream pop side, leaving any aspect of noise out. Elegance is a continuation of the mindset that started with Rhapsody in Beauty and the two albums fit together seamlessly.

The effort is aptly titled. Singer and main songwriter, Yusuke Kobayashi, leaves his mark on the album. With his vocals on point in every song, he is the highlight of the album. Opening track “クララ” is a fitting love song. The lyrics tell of the fascination between parent and child, when one sees the world for the first time and the other wants to show the world back to them. The track is airy and dreamy, with a hypnotizing vocal performance from Kobayashi. Like the rest of the album, The Novembers do not rely on their normally heavy guitar driven sound, instead they opt for lighter keyboard and pedal effects.

出る傷を探す血” is a powerful but still mature track, showing the growth within their songwriting abilities.

Second track, ”心一つ持ちきれないまま”, features a more familiar sound. Kobayashi’s voice soars throughout the track, while drummer Ryousuke Yoshiki keeps the everything else grounded. Besides Kobayashi, Yoshiki is the other standout. This is the first album of theirs where I took notice of the drums, as Yoshiki tends to stay the backbone of their songs. The drums on “裸のミンク” are particularly interesting, having a familiar jazz and groove feel to them.

Of course, it is a bit disappointing that Elegance does not showcase a bit more of The Novembers’ noisier side. I find many of their drone and noise influenced works tend to be more compositionally interesting. Closing track, “出る傷を探す血”, brings a more of an aggressive tone. So it’s not surprising that it is my favorite track. “出る傷を探す血” is powerful but still mature, showing the growth within their songwriting abilities.

The Novembers’ always show progression within their musical efforts. With Elegance, they’ve developed the dreamier sound that started with Rhapsody in Beauty. It’s a solid effort, full of incredible vocals and solid composition. However, fans of their more heavier sound will be disappointed. The strongest tracks are the ones that bookend the album, but that’s not to say the middle is boring. Elegance shows a different side to The Novembers, and their sound will continue to evolve, like it always does. (7.5/10)

Founded in 2005, The Novembers are an Japanese alternative rock band whose sound spans multiple genres. Within their ten years, they’ve been prolific, releasing nine albums. Highly active in the Tokyo music scene, they are starting to draw attention overseas. Official site
My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Nirvana, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, ART-SCHOOL, Boris, and fans of drone driven shoegaze.
You can purchase Elegance at The Novembers Official Webstore or at their Bandcamp site

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Comments 2

  1. Pingback: 5th EP「Elegance」 « THE NOVEMBERS

  2. Hello! Great review, thanks a lot for this! Good to have at least a little insight about the lyrics too, haha. Recently found out about this band and Elegance is certainly my favorite album. 裸のミンク and 出る傷を探す血 are certainly my favorite (absolutely love the darker side of the latter, also).

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