Millennium Parade’s debut album ‘THE MILLENNIUM PARADE’ finally came out, and it’s the most delightful surprise we could experience this year.
t is fascinating to see how sometimes music translates into art that brings out all the creativity in an artist, from writing lyrics to ideas for music videos. It is even more amazing when all the elements of a musical work seem to almost merge as they are on the same wavelength, expressing the same message despite being completely different art forms. Millennium parade did just that with their debut album THE MILLENNIUM PARADE (released February 10, 2021 via Sony Music).
For those who don’t know them, they are a Japanese collective project organized by Daiki Tsuneta. Those who follow J-Pop will already know who we are talking about, namely the frontman of the band King Gnu. Behind every single piece in the collective there is a huge amount of work, including the involvement of designers and film directors. Therefore, THE MILLENNIUM PARADE is truly an experience that combines all the senses in an exquisite way, rather than just a debut album.
It is no coincidence that one of their most successful tracks, “Fly with me,” has become the official theme song for the “Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045” reboot series (available on Netflix). In their videos, millennium parade combine Japanese traditionalism with a futuristic world, in a steampunk atmosphere that hardly goes unnoticed. Similarly, their music is a mix of electronica and jazz, with a hip hop influence that never hurts. The collective’s experimentation and creativity is perceptible in every track, in a journey that spans an entire night – or, who knows?
Maybe a night, maybe a lifetime, or maybe it’s a dance that never ends.
THE MILLENNIUM PARADE is a chaotic record, but in a good way, with the concept of “Hyakki Yagyo” (a popular part of Japanese folklore, referencing an uncontrolled horde of supernatural creatures known as oni and yōkai) not surprisingly taking centre stage: An endless parade that takes place at night and drags a hundred demons along with it.
Likewise, the listener’s soul is swept up in this journey and becomes enthralled until it no longer wants to leave the magical parade.
There would be no point in recommending Millennium Parade for their individual tracks, so that’s definitely what we’re not going to do. Of course, each track brings something unique to the album, making it decidedly colourful – and no one can deny that. But we can compare the album to a mosaic of multi-material tiles. We may not notice it at first glance, but every detail, no matter how tiny, makes its own magnificent contribution to the work. It is thanks to the details that THE MILLENNIUM PARADE becomes a respectable debut album. Precisely because of this, one should consider the album not as a collection of individual tracks, but more as a ‘whole’ made up of tracks, a unique experience.
From “Hyakki Gyayo” to “FAMILIA”, each song has a unique musical mastery behind it, mixing genres that ordinarily would seem irreconcilable. All this, in a record that smacks of hope born out of chaos, a demon parade to save us from our inner demons. We can already be sure that THE MILLENNIUM PARADE is indeed one of the best debut albums of the last period.