L'arc~en~Ciel - Butterfly
Of his band’s latest studio album - the first in five years - vocalist hyde says that Butterfly marks a monumental occasion in their twenty year history. In the spirit of things it’s not difficult to appreciate what he’s getting at but, at face value,L’arc~en~Ciel’s twelfth album is undoubtedly a little patchy.
Butterfly isn’t a piece of work with too many surprises up its sleeve: only four tracks are exclusive new recordings (‘Shades Of Season’ written by drummer yukihiro being the most memorable), whilst many will have heard the rest long in advance as it collects hit singles released between 2008 and 2011. It just about gets away with the inclusion of last year’s singles ‘Chase’, ‘XXX’ and ‘Good Luck My Way’ - all of which are richly produced as expected - but there’s no shaking an overall sense of laziness; a quickly cobbled together album timed for their recently passed world tour. As a testament to their years together, Butterfly doesn’t provide itself as being a worthy summation of their achievements and it certainly won’t rank as one of their greatest outings in the years to come. That hasn’t stopped it selling a ridiculous amount of copies back home but then fans will be fans and this is perhaps for the most hardcore only.