DREAMS COME TRUE’s new song takes off from their deep and solid body of work to leap into an exciting future direction. Tsugi no Se~no De! ON THE GREEN HILL-DCT VERSION riffs off the building blocks of Oi Ocha × Sonic the Hedgehog × DREAMS COME TRUE style for their take on a pure pop song!
I’m in big trouble! There’s so many things I want to say about this new song that there’s a traffic jam inside my head. What do I say first? It’s like that blissful moment when you spread your record collection on the floor with anticipatory joy to choose what to listen to first.
Tsugi no Se~no De! ON THE GREEN HILL-DCT VERSION was released at midnight on Wednesday, July 7th. Listening to it was a revelation. There is so much to unpack in the title alone. Many people were already aware of the song as it is the soundtrack to Ito-en’s Oi Ocha tie-up song for their ad campaign on television and internet media. The web commercial features appearances by DCT in a collaborative partnership.The vision of verdant nature in the song brings to the mind’s eye the rolling hills of a vast tea plantation. The tilde notation ( ~ ) within the Se~no part of the title is a playful reference by DCT to the tilde in ITO EN’s best selling tea brand,
The lyrics of the song are not just a paean to the magnificence of Nature. It’s a quiet message of support, a gentle pat of comfort and encouragement on the backs of everyone navigating their daily lives during the pandemic. It’s a message that falls into the same Venn vector of their hit, NANDODEMO, updated to fit the current zeitgeist. Didn’t part of the title catch your attention? ON THE GREEN HILL can be a natural reference to the green hues of a tea plantation, but the GREEN HILL is part of another song title.
Thirty years ago, a song titled Green Hill Zone was written for Sega’s Mega Drive game software Sonic the Hedgehog. To tell the truth, Sonic is more popular in America and the UK than in Japan, and the character remains
popular still. In recent memory, Sonic The Movie was hot news when it was released last year (the sequel is due to be released in April 2022.) Along with the fun of the game itself, and the uniqueness of the characters, the song’s undulating melody leaves a distinct impression, so much so that every fan of the game can sing it. The song is a classic that is widely loved. And the composer who created the song is MASATO NAKAMURA, that is, DREAMS COME TRUE’s maestro, Masato Nakamura.
This single uses Green Hill Zone as a base, and reincarnates it into a completely new song. Taking into consideration the creative process and style involved, the song is a miracle of synchronicity and timing.
The song overflows with Sonic-ness (if I may say so) resulting from the magnificent strings and horns intro. The melody line flows exactly as in Green Hill Zone, though a new chorus melody is added. The synthesizer sound recalling game music, the four-on-the-floor kick that comes in from the second chorus, and the combination strings and horns arrangement is an assured and condensed presentation resulting from over 30 years of DREAMS COME TRUE’s creative experience. What is surprising to me was the languid pace of the sung melody compared to the BPM throughout the song. There is a gap, in a very good sense, between the melody and the beat, which sets the song apart from the standard flow of current Vocaloid songs.
Considering how most songs derived from game music is developed, it would be no surprise that a song of this type would be a “fast” one, that is, incorporating the feeling of speed. It is not the intent of DREAMS COME TRUE to do so. I feel the intensity of originality. Masato Nakamura knows that Miwa Yoshida’s poetry and voice are the greatest weapons in such a bold move.
No matter how you come to listen, whether via the “points” of a subscription service or the “lines” of following DREAMS COME TRUE, I can guarantee you will feel the joy of discovering their creativity.
I’d like to add that the creation of the DOSCO prime album, a process which reformatted twelve of their top hit songs into disco format, was a task that reaffirmed the essence of their creativity. There is no doubt that this confidence made it possible to successfully carry off the feat of creating a
DREAMS COME TRUE pop song melded with Green Hill Zone.
To take ITO EN’s Oi Ocha, which popularized Japanese green tea globally, and to multiply that by Sonic the Hedgehog’s Green Hill Zone, which also recognized worldwide, and to use both to make an original pop song is something that only DREAMS COME TRUE can do.
Masato Nakamura’s comment in an interview when the DOSCO prime album was released remains engraved in my mind. He stated, “I’m looking forward to working creatively, going back and forth between ‘over there’ and ‘over here.’
‘Over there’ refers to the main DREAMS COME TRUE entity, while ‘over here’ refers to the virtual reality world of MASADO & MIWASCO. True to his word, the MASADO and MIWASCO version is included in this single.
Compared to the original, the latter is more in line with game music. For example, the sounds similar to the sound effects when winning consecutive coins, and Sonic doing his trademark backspins are incorporated. I’m impressed and surprised at how the sounds are utilized. It is not just a matter of simply sampling and collaging those in-game sounds. It is a result of a deeply thought out, true creative process. The MASADO & MIWASCO VERSION is a master lesson in how to build dance music.
Everyone recognizes the fact Masato Nakamura and Miwa Yoshida comprise the band that is DREAMS COME TRUE. At the same time, however, DREAMS COME TRUE is an entity that is a three-dimensional map which springs outward from its musical core in every creative direction. Sonic the Hedgehog, just as one example, includes DREAMS COME TRUE’s influence and touch not only in the game, but in films and anime.
You can’t keep your eyes off the adventures of the immensely talented duo traveling in the vast DREAMS COME TRUE universe!