Shi by GOMESS // Album Review

, ,
Low High Who?
Shi is the best album GOMESS has come out with. Let's ignore the fact there’s only two to choose from. Ai was an extremely hit or miss album; there was only truly one song I enjoyed. Shi, on the other hand, is an extremely well-put, well-constructed, well-written album. It is raw and reflective, calming and chaotic, and above all, genuine. Questioning life with curiosity, anger, confusion, and every emotion you could imagine, GOMESS channels those feelings into music. What he creates is not only powerful but profound. You may not have had the same experiences as he has but you can empathize and learn about what he went through/is going through.

This album is dark, noticeably in Shi and refreshing, exemplified in Shuuen (the only isolated vocal track). It is also very atmospheric, as demonstrated in Yuukai and Kurage. The variety is much more diverse than what his first album offers.

One of the best songs, in my opinion, is LIFE. It is very reminiscent of Ningen Shikkaku. He talks about struggling to come to terms with himself and dealing with his panic attacks. I'm attracted to the lyrics that go like “Ore wa Alien, Kimi wa Ningen” which briefly translates to “I’m an Alien, while You’re Human”. That lyric breaks my heart. In Ningen Shikkauku, there's this line in the chorus going about how he doesn't think he's human. The idea of being an alien born into a human shell is central to GOMESS' works. Finally at the end, he raps with a questioning tone, “Ore wa Alien, Ore wa Ningen”. I almost lost it when I saw, on the tracklist, there was a song called Alien.

I talked about the theme of struggle earlier and it is evidently present throughout the album. There are topics that are extremely important to him and after reading more about him and watching a tv special about him, I understand a little bit more about the person that is GOMESS. He was bullied as a child and became a hikikomori for a bit. He still experiences panic attacks, even after lives. If you ever watch the Heart Net's File #21 episode, you will see how much he goes through and how brave he is. I really want to see him explore and express new experiences through his music.

The only true downside to this album is the placing of the song, Jikan. That song deserves to have the last place. It isn't because most Japanese albums typically have a slow song placed at the end. It's because of the nature of Jikan. It builds and builds and builds and then stops. It's as if you were running until you had nowhere left to go and in the end, you were left breathless, tired. It is the perfect place to end such a beautifully and painfully human album.

Because if anything, this album will leave you breathless.


Support the Artist through