The second of News’ double a-side single releases, Hikari No Shizuku, which translates to Drop Of Light, is a very different beast from their other single, Touch. In short, it’s a traditional News ballad, making use of the guys’ powerful harmonies and performance style. As a ballad, it’s not the best they’ve ever released, but it’s no slouch either.
With ballads like this, it’s all about the build and payoff. The verses here aren’t incredibly memorable, but the chorus delivers. In particular, I’m a fan of that slight melodic change that rounds out the endings of each chorus. There’s some nice rock-influenced production going on there that feels like it’s ready to explode into something bigger before getting swept back into the verses. It doesn’t really progress from there, but the sentiment is just enough to give the song the extra oomph it needs to stand out.
As usual with ballads like these, the guys don’t disappoint vocally. Whether you care for the tones and cadence of their voices is going to depend on how much familiarity and appreciation for the jpop genre you have, but there’s certainly no questioning their ability to summon the gravitas necessary to deliver a track like this. Member Tegoshi (the blonde one) justifiably receives much praise for his powerful vocals, and a song like this really lets him shine. The rich tone of his voice makes the track sound almost like it could fit as part of a rock opera on Broadway. That said, the song’s true power is only unleashed when all four voices come together during that surging chorus.