Posts Tagged ‘album’

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[Album] Asian Kung-Fu Generation – Magic Disc

2010年 7月 7日

Well, I’ve been slacking off since this is an album. It’s interesting that the band is on the cover this time. I don’t think they have had one with them on it yet. Very colorful!

This starts off with Shinseiki no Love Song. It’s a pretty chill song and the vocalist starts off doing this rap-like singing. The accompaniment is very sparse, using some repeating effect and having their drums avoid using the cymbals. The guitar plays chords and the bass sets the tonality with an active line. Later in the song, it becomes more active. The guitars switch to a sort of overdrive tone and play repeated chords and the bass, instead of providing a line repeats notes in your typical fashion.

Magic Disc is quite different, but still has a sort of relaxing feeling. The bass sticks out a lot, is repetitive and whatnot. It carries the tempo and makes it easy to predict what the guitars are going to play and what the vocal will sing. Still a pretty nice song to listen to though. The vocal is given an echo effect sometimes and he uses a more of his range in this song as opposed to the first one. Also, has anyone else noticed that he NEVER uses vibrato?

Soushiyo kind of lilts. I can just see it now, a bunch of people just leaning side to side. More rock-like I suppose since the guitars are featured more, but still very chill. Seems to be what they wanted. Oh yeah, there’s finally a guitar solo!

Sayonara Lost Generation is… what do ya know. Another laid-back song. The singer uses a very small range with that rapping style. The guitar and bass play pretty much the same thing, but with interspersed sections of rock. This is why it takes me so long to review these guys. Everything starts to sound very similar so I can’t listen to them long.

Here’s my review for Maigo Inu to Ame no Beat

Ahhhck… Getting sick of how little resistance there is to the ears here. On with it: Aozora to Kuroi Neko…. Another damn chill song. Well, this song is a bit more alive I think. Overall, the environment remains the same. Just a few crashes here and there and some more guitar prominence. The vocals are more melodic.

Kaku Seibutsu no Blues…. Seriously guys, can’t you do anything more fun-sounding like you used to? Repetitive bass again. Spread out guitar chords. A small synth orch buildup to just about nothing new. Slight change in vocal melody. Gah, this is getting painful.

Last Dance wa Kanashimi wo Nosete, FINALLY SOMETHING NEW. God damn. Anyway, it’s a pretty upbeat song. You get some… cow bell? percussion part. It sounds decent. At least it’s alive compared to everything before this. He uses falsetto quite a bit in this song. I don’t think that it works out too well. The backing vocals are all falsetto too.

Up next is Microphone. Another more upbeat song. Starts with a repetitive intro, which unfortunately keeps on going as the main melody. And… going into the second verse, the accompaniment is the same, but it’s okay because it changes. We get some electronic addition too. There are signs of their old style spread out. Repeating chords and some rhythm trips.

Rising Sun… I wonder why they didn’t mix these songs between the chill ones. This one is a bit unique in the fact that they use acoustic guitars for the intro and throughout the song. It sort of gets covered by the electric when that one is playing. The vocal melody is kind of awkward at times in my opinion. Rhythms remain the same most of the time and the bass does nothing interesting at all. There’s a little synth noise also. I don’t know how to describe it, but it doesn’t hurt the song at all.

Yes. Now that’s an interesting song name. Oh no, he starts it off by purposely singing off key. This is not turning out well. Only at the ends of verses he gets back on. This kind of thing is a no-no for me. I love to have a solid tonality going on. Towards the middle, it kind of sounds like a bunch of noise and weird singing. Kind of a weird song, but maybe if I give it a chance I could like it.

Daidai is the last new song we have. It sounds like their traditional style before this period of boredom. The guitar does anyway. The vocal melody sounds similar to all the rest of the song. If only he could do… or used (if he can do) vibrato. That would add quite a bit more depth to their music. There is a section which reminds me of another of their songs… I can’t come up with a name though.

Here is the review for Solanin

Overall: Damn, that was an ordeal to get through. There is just about nothing new, unless you like their new boring music. The song order could have been changed to keep my patience for longer.

Rating: 6/10 (This is being generous)

Tracklist:

  1. Shinseiki no Love song
  2. Magic Disc
  3. Soshiyo
  4. Sayonara Lost Generation
  5. Maigoinu to Ame no Beat
  6. Aozora to Kuroi Neko
  7. Kaku Seibutsu no Blues
  8. Last Dance wa Kanashimi wo Nosete
  9. Microphone
  10. Rising Sun
  11. Yes
  12. Daidai
  13. Solanin

-KWZ

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Kana Nishino- to LOVE

2010年 6月 30日

Would be perfect except for I hate those shoes x_X Also… I think we get the same expression from her in every cover. Nevertheless, it still looks pretty.

Prologue ~What a nice~ is a gentle pop song complete with harp, piano, and Kana’s smooth vocals. It sounds kind of like a lullaby. The only thing that bothers me is the combination of English and Japanese… I would have preferred consistency with just one language.

Go here for my review of Best Friend.

The next song, Summer Girl feat. MINMI is the perfect song for a fun summer night. This song is high energy and screams “dance.” MINMI and Kana are a great pair together… I love the way MINMI’s deep vocals contrast with Kana’s higher-pitched ones. The chorus is adorable especially, “I want some dancing and some romancing.” The instrumentals of this song are great too… we get a nice combination of piano and brass that make this song fun to listen to.

I think it’s safe to say that Kana Nishino is neither fully an R&B artist nor a pop artist. She’s a great combination of the two, and Hey Boy proves this. This song was interesting because of the electric guitars: they are pop-rock but retro at the same time. It took a while for me to like this song, but it really is catchy and reminds me of a fusion between the 50s and modern times xD.

Go all the way back here to see my review of Motto…

I think this song, love & smile, is a good transition from Motto… While the previous track is a bit melancholy, love & smile brings us into happier times, but subtly. This song has more of an R&B vibe, but the plucked strings throughout the song give it a bit of pop flair too. The only thing thing that bothers me is the way she sings “I’m searching for what you have,” where she sounds like “I’m searching for wert you have.” Her English isn’t terrible, but her mistakes are noticeable.

The first new ballad of the album is Kono Mama De. This song is basically your typical R&B ballad, which we’ve heard all over the map in 2010. The verses of this song are really beautiful, especially with the layering they do with Kana’s voice. I’m not a huge fan of the chorus because it sounds a little typical. There’s a really beautiful acoustic guitar solo in the middle (unfortunately Kana sings over it with some lifeless vocals).

Go here to see my review of MAYBE.

For some reason I was looking forward to WRONG more than any other song when I saw the track list. It’s a great transition from the previous track because it uses lots of synth. I love this song because of the tremendous amount of power and attitude it possesses. What’s great about this song is the combination of ethereal stuff mixed in with guitars. Also, Kana’s vocals are nice and strong here.

Okay now for the obligatory WTF track. I cannot be the only one who thought Come On Yes Yes Oh Yeah!! sounds like it belongs in a porno. The beginning is totally hardcore hip-hop (well as hardcore as Kana can get). Fortunately we get into more Kon’ya wa PARTY UP territory pretty soon. In fact, the two songs have tons of similarities to one another. They have the same tempo, atmosphere, and even similar lyrics. Now, I don’t know what I think about Kana rapping, but at least this song is… original.

Who the hell thought Dear… should be placed right after this song? Anyway, see my review of MAYBE to see my review of Dear…

You can find Aitakute Aitakute here.

You are the one is a ballad that gets ready to close up the album. Unlike Kono Mama De, this song is much more powerful and original. There’s this cool synth during the chorus, during which Kana sings with some solid vocals. Many of the songs on this album are hybrids of different genres, and this song is no exception. This time it’s synth and R&B. Very nice song.

Last of all is Epliogue ~to LOVE~, which is kind of a another version of the prologue. I like the epilogue more because it seems more solid in the instrumentals and not so “fairy-ish.”

Overall: We’re definitely moving our way up with Kana Nishino. It’s miles above her previous album, LOVE one. That being said, I still think Kana has a long way to go before she reaches her full potential.

Best tracks:

  • Summer Girl feat. MINMI
  • WRONG
  • You are the one
  • MAYBE
  • motto…

Rating: 8/10

Track list:

01 *Prologue* ~What a nice~
02 Best Friend
03 Summer Girl feat. MINMI
04 Hey Boy
05 もっと…
06 love & smile
07 このままで
08 MAYBE
09 WRONG
10 Come On Yes Yes Oh Yeah!!
11 Dear…
12 会いたくて 会いたくて
13 You are the one
14 *Epilogue* ~to LOVE~

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BENI- lovebox

2010年 6月 14日

Classy as usual. It does remind me of the last single’s cover though… maybe she cleaned her room?

It has taken me a while to do this review, primarily because I was rather bored with BENI’s new album. Lovebox intro is kind of cute because of the playground/kid noises in the background. Aside from that it’s just a mid-paced, repetitive, R&B track. Not very memorable.

Go here for my reviews of Yura Yura and Sign.

Hitomi Tojite is the first new song on the album. It’s you’re typical BENI-R&B track with catchy lyrics. This song reminded me of too many… KIRA KIRA, Yura Yura, etc.

See the link for Yura Yura to read my review for Gimme Gimme♥.

Fortunately, the album picks up a bit with Girl’s Night feat. JAMOSA. The girl-talk in the beginning of the song reminds me of Yuna Ito’s Stuck On You. This song is a bit more upbeat than BENI’s typical works, which is a good thing. JAMOSA’s vocals aren’t perfect, but BENI’s are!

a million jewels has a more hip hop vibe, reminiscent of Western works. I found myself bored throughout most of this song because it lacked any particular engaging catch.

Kimi Ja Nakyua becomes one of the more poignant songs on the album. While the continual snapping throughout the song annoyed me to no end, the rest of the song is pretty good. The strings make this song more heartfelt and authentic, helping it standout among her numerous mid-tempo songs.

Go here to read about bye bye.

MOVE makes me think of a toned down version of Anything goes!!, from her last album. While it does offer a break from the mid-tempo songs that dominate the first half of the album, I just wasn’t feeling it. Dislike for the most part.

We finally move into more aggressive music with break the rules. What attracted me to this song were the numerous synth affects (vocal and instrumental). There’s nothing wrong with R&B, but too much is too much sometimes. break the rules does just that in terms of what BENI usually sings.

While we don’t have a new Beautiful World on this album, he is mine is the song that comes closest. BENI tones things down a lot with this R&B number. You get a little bit of the ethereal feel with this song, making you want to relax. BENI’s vocals are on par as well (heh, well aren’t they always?)

Okay more mid-tempo stuff with My Friend. Unlike the other mid-tempo works though, I actually liked this song. There’s nothing particularly ground-breaking, but there are so many elements working together that this song comes out well.

Last brand new track is message, arguably the most sincere track on the album. Message is the closest thing you’ll get to a ballad from the new songs. I didn’t think it was anything too special, but it was a nice way to wind things down.

Finally we have Zutto Futari de unplugged ver., a beautiful arrangement of one of BENI’s most famous songs. Unplugged in this case implies lots and lots of strings (and a little piano). This is a tried and true ballad- I like it even more than the original!

Overall: Not going to lie, this was not as impressive as her last album. However, there are lots of new tracks to listen to and there’s something for everyone.

Best Tracks:

  • Girl’s Night feat. JAMOSA
  • break the rules
  • he is mine
  • zutto futari de unplugged ver.

Rating: 6.5/10

Track list:
1. Lovebox Intro
2. Yura Yura (ユラユラ)
3. Sign (サイン)
4. Hitomi Tojite (瞳とじて)
5. Gimme Gimme♥ (ギミギミ♥)
6. Girl’s Night feat. JAMOSA
7. a million jewels
8. Kimi Ja Nakya (君じゃなきゃ)
9. bye bye
10. MOVE
11. break the rules
12. he is mine
13. My Friend (マイ・フレンド)
14. Message
15. Zutto Futari de unplugged version (ずっと二人で unplugged version)

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4minute- Hit Your Heart

2010年 6月 4日

I like this cover for the most part (even if it looks like they’re all photoshopped). At least they’re trendy, right?

Who’s Next? (feat. 비스트) is kind of an annoying hip hop track in my opinion. I would have enjoyed this track MUCH more had it not been for the horrendous male vocals (yeah not a fan of B2ST). Overall this track seemed a bit sloppy and rushed (it’s only 2 min). It has a nice moment about half-way through, but unfortunately it doesn’t last long enough.

Now we’re talking. HuH is a sexy, upbeat, dance track. The verses are sassy and aggressive, while the chorus has a lot of passion and power. This song has hip hop influences, but thanks to the vocals of 4minute and background synth we have a much more dance-friendly track. Easily the best track of the album.

Invitation continues with a streak of solid hip hop based dance tracks. Invitation is much more aggressive than the previous track because of its “in the club” feel. The rappers of the group (Hyuna, Sohyun, Jiyoon) a chance to shine.

My second favorite track on the album is I My Me Mine. This track is much more my style because we’re in the electronic/dance genre. This song is incredibly infectious, and I was completely impressed. What I like about this song is that it has a style with which the girls are comfortable, but still maintains originality.

Things lighten up a bit with Bababa. To me I think of your typical happy Koda Kumi song when I hear this song. This song isn’t necessarily a standout, but at least it’s memorable.

4minute hits us with another stellar track with Highlight. As this song says, Highlight is “hot hot hot hot.” While I’m normally a critic of vocal editing (and even the affects are a little much here) it’s done in good taste.

Last we have 태연하게 당연하게 (Cool and Natural), the slow track of the album. This song has a laid back romantic feel to it, fairly typical kpop fare. I liked the smooth rapping sections in the song because I thought they gave the song some nice contrast.  I still don’t understand how a ballad can be only 4:03 min ._.

Overall: Outstanding work by 4minute! I’d recommend this to anyone eager to try Kpop
Rating: 9/10

Best tracks:

  • HuH
  • I My Me Mine
  • Highlight

Track list:

  1. Who’s Next? feat. Beast
  2. HuH
  3. Invitation
  4. I My Me Mine
  5. Bababa
  6. Highlight
  7. Taeyeonghage Dangyeonhage
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KOKIA- REAL WORLD

2010年 4月 26日

When I first saw this cover I thought it was just a green screen, but KOKIA actually went to Tunisia for inspiration for the album. Awesome!

Just to let you guys know, ever since  Lex recommended this album I’ve been whoring it for the past two weeks. I can’t get enough of KOKIA’s glistening vocals!

Birth is an unusual way to open up an album because it’s such a soft and slow song. This song is so peaceful with the gentle strings and muted drums. Although it isn’t my favorite song off the album, it’s still a great example of KOKIA’s musical prowess.

Road to Glory ~ for Dragon Nest is a 5 minute journey of epicness. The beginning is very mysterious, almost ominous. But about a minute into the song we hear some layered ethereal vocals from KOKIA. This song tells a story, and that’s what gives it this magical element. The chorus in this song is mind-blowing; it makes you feel like you’re on top of a mountain.

U-CHA-CHA continues the exotic feel of the album. The beginning is rather quiet with some of KOKIA’s vocals singing from the distance. Personally I felt like it took this song a little too long to arrive to the main theme, but I can tell some people will love this track.

The title track REAL WORLD is next. This song opens with almost a R&B/pop vibe. The song is up-lifting and filled with positive emotion and sass. I did not like the chorus too much  because of the way “real world” was pronounced (Re-al world). Also, I wasn’t too much of a fan of the gospel feel during the chorus.

Back to the Tunisia tracks, Saishuu Jouei is one of the best on the album. Like the songs before it, this song also tells a story. This time KOKIA says “welcome to the magic world,” and indeed that’s where we are. This song made me think of riding on a camel in the middle of the desert. The way the vocals are layered during the chorus causes an other-worldly affect to the song.

Love is Us, Love is Earth is another track inspired by KOKIA’s trip to Tunisia. Unlike the previous track, this one has a more acoustic vibe in favor of ethnic melodies. A soothing ballad, Love is Us, Love is Earth shows off KOKIA’s radiant vocals. The song really picks up speed during the second half.

Dugong no Sora is one hot track. The mysterious beginning alerts us to some desert instrumentals, which carry us into the main melody. This song is over 7 minutes long, but amazingly it didn’t feel like anything was being dragged out. This song is great for people who love ethereal music that makes them feel as if they were floating (or at least that’s how it makes me feel). One of the best songs on the album.

The next two songs didn’t exactly resonate with me as well as some of the other songs. Kodoku na Ikimono was one of the singles to appear on the album. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a great piano-based ballad. I still love this song, but Dugong no Sora is kind of a hard act to follow!

I tried very hard to like single mother. Like KOKIA, I also have a single mother (my father passed away this past year) so I appreciated the song’s message. I guess I just didn’t like the lullaby feel of the album or the chorus that accompanied. It is still a well-produced song, but I think I was so caught up in the Tunisia-inspired songs that this one slipped under the radar for me. Don’t let my review deter you from these songs… they’re still beautiful.

Continuing the ballad theme is Kimi ga Sagashite (another thing… don’t listen to this album if ballad’s aren’t your thing). KOKIA’s vocals are much softer in this song, erring on the side of breathy even. You can experience the vast range of KOKIA’s vocal ability by listening to this song.  Kimi ga Sagashite kind of has a pop/R&B vibe to it too because of some of the synth in the background.

Oto no Tabibito might be my favorite song on the album. This song is sexy like an Arabian night. I thought of the desert nighttime with swift, warm breezes and perhaps a bit of sadness. This song is definitely a ballad, but it differs from all the other ones on the album. The layering of KOKIA’s voice creates a mystical vibe for the song.

Watashi ga Mitamono is a bit similar to Kodoku na Ikimono in that it is another slow piano ballad. The chorus in this song is really beautiful, and it combines one of my favorite instruments- solo cello. This track isn’t as lively as some of the others, but still beautifully done.

Yet another ballad ensues. Kono Chikyuu ga Marui Okage de has a positive and hopeful tone to it. It was a well-produced song, but I didn’t find this one as memorable as some of the other piano ballad songs.

Concluding the album is The woman. The woman is the final track of the album, and by far the most depressing song. This song is kind of lullaby like in that it could easily soothe you to sleep, but it isn’t boring at all. KOKIA does an excellent job at reaching notes in the upper register. Good job KOKIA!

Overall: Why did I forsake KOKIA’s music for so many years?! BUY THE ALBUM BITCHES.

Rating: 9.5/10

Best tracks:

  • Road to Glory ~ for Dragon Nest
  • Saishuu Jouei
  • Dugong no Sora
  • Oto no Tabibito
  • The woman

Track list:

  1. Birth
  2. Road to Glory ~ for Dragon Nest
  3. U-CHA-CHA
  4. REAL WORLD
  5. Saishuu Jouei
  6. Love is Us, Love is Earth
  7. Dugong no Sora
  8. Kodoku na Ikimono
  9. single mother
  10. Kimi wo Sagashite
  11. Oto no Tabibito
  12. Watashi ga Mitamono
  13. Kono Chikyuu ga Marui Okage de
  14. The woman
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Ayumi Hamasaki- Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus

2010年 4月 9日

This is a HQ cover, but Ayus eyes are looking a liiiittle to wide for my likes. Also I’m not too much of a fan of the Brit theme. Nothing against Brits, but the image doesn’t match the style of the music presented in this album.

THE introduction sounds very profound right? xD Anyway this is one of Ayu’s most ominous intros to date. We open up with some dark synthetic elements that gradually creep up into a main theme. It’s not my favorite of Ayu’s intros, mostly because I don’t like the melody line. Also… this is the only song relatively “circus” themed…

Looks like Ayu’s going into forays with the power/symphonic metal genre with microphone. A baroque style melody played by organ begins this piece, but its delicateness is interrupted by a slew of metal chords. Pretty soon we’re in your run-of-the-mill Ayu pop-rock song. But what makes this one different is the soft, delicate parts that lead up to the powerful chorus. Admittedly I didn’t like this song when it was first leaked, but it has recently gained my approval. It is one of the best tracks on the album.

I first thought count down would be an interlude track because of the static synth in the beginning. But actually, this song is a whole different style altogether. A dark and ponderous piano melody follows us through the song. Also, all the mysterious synth in the background reminded me of the ethereal stuff of salyu or Hikki. Nevertheless, the song loses the mysterious affect during the chorus because of the rock albums. Do we have a repeat of GUILTY?

I’m kind of surprised that Ayu put Sunset 〜LOVE is ALL〜 before Sunrise… anyway I actually like this song (yes just shut up). It’s definitely a summer ballad, but it’s very uplifting and sweet. Still, kind of an unusual transition because the songs around it are so moody.

See here for my review of BALLAD.

Okay now we’re jumping into what I’d like to call “Avril Lavigne Territory.” A melancholy acoustic guitar and cello bring Last Links its melody. This is definitely another rock track, but not the “Rule” kind. Actually this song reminds me of some of her older works like: (Miss)Understood, Memorial Address, etc. It’s a good song, but not necessarily different from anything we’ve heard yet.

Next we have montage, the appropriately titled interlude. Okay… montage is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever heard Ayu do. It starts with a dark synth, but explodes into this melody lead by an organ. This whole thing is like a piece of Baroque musical literature (except for it sounds a little more modern/romantic at the end). We have strings, organ, and harpsichord. Just… very different. This interlude would have been better placed at the beginning of the album to prelude microphone.

Don’t Look Back is one of the most innovative tracks on the album. The beginning is sexy as hell, with the Middle Eastern instruments and melody. I was kind of disappointed that the influence didn’t remain as strong throughout the chorus. During the verses there was this cool whispering voice that outlined Ayu’s vocals. My favorite part was the instrumental bridge in the middle song. It was so different from anything else on the album.

Jump!, the second interlude, brings us back to our NEXT LEVEL roots. It’s littered with synth and Ayu sustaining various notes. Also there are a number of fragments during the song wherein the background vocals repeat “jump!” over and over. This interlude was a bit of a hot mess, not going to lie.

Lady Dynamite was one of the few tracks I decided not to listen to until the album was leaked. At least Jump! was an appropriately placed interlude. Lady Dynamite follows much of the pop-rock model we’re used to seeing in Ayu’s music. Although not necessarily innovative, Lady Dynamite is one sexy and empowering song.

Sexy little things begins with a highly futuristic synth sound. But what was cool about this song is that this synth was transformed into creating a jazzy melody. The chorus was my favorite part of the song, because we haven’t really heard Ayu done this kind of sexy before. This is one of the best tracks off of the album IMO (even if it is a little weird ;]).

Yes I loved Sunrise 〜LOVE is ALL〜 too. This is the upbeat version of Sunset, which was placed earlier in the album. This song is one of Ayu’s famed summer songs, and it incorporates background vocals, which charge the chorus.

The third ballad, meaning of Love is next. Fortunately, Ayu rarely messes up a ballad. Meaning of Love is a little traditional in terms of instrumentals and melody, but it is still beautiful to listen to. Everything in this song is carefully placed and uplifting. My only concern with it is it precedes another ballad, You were…

You were… is another ballad that was released this past December. My problem is that, although pretty, contains many of the same ballad elements that meaning of Love has. Now You were… is easily more wintery, but its beauty is undermined by the grandiose ballad before it. I reviewed You were… with BALLAD.

Lastly is the album version of RED LINE 〜for TA〜. I’m still confused as to why she chose to end the album with this song… BALLAD, the most grandiose and powerful song on the album should have been placed here. Honestly there aren’t many differences between this version and the single version. The only main difference is that it’s much longer, and the chorus and guitar solos are extended until Ayu’s a capella section at the end. Couldn’t we just have this version and screw the single version?

Overall: I’m not really sure what to think right now. This album is all over the place in so many different ways. There isn’t a “bad” song on the album, but I think what I’m missing is the cohesiveness that’s present in Ayu’s other works (example… montage and microphone). Lots of rock on this album (hence the title… but where the hell was the circus? Oh well, that theme’s overdone anyway).

Best tracks:

  • BALLAD
  • Don’t Look Back
  • meaning of Love
  • Sexy little things
  • microphone
  • count down?

Rating: 8/10

Track list:

01. THE introduction
02. Microphone
03. count down
04. Sunset 〜LOVE is ALL〜
05. BALLAD
06. Last Links
07. montage
08. Don’t look back
09. Jump!
10. Lady Dynamite
11. Sexy little things
12. Sunrise 〜LOVE is ALL〜
13. meaning of Love
14. You were…
15. RED LINE 〜for TA〜 [album version]

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Rie fu- At Rie Sessions

2010年 4月 7日

Very cool cover. For some reason it makes me think of thunderstorms on Japanese fishing towns… or maybe that’s because I just watched Ponyo…

So this is kind of a different album for Rie fu. Each song is actually a collaboration. Many of these songs are hit-and-miss. Also, this album uses a LOT of English. So, is the album as good as the cover? Let’s find out…

The first song, Stay with me ~Ren’ai Nante Himatsubushi~ is a collaboration with Lily Franky and BOSE. The verses are great, but the chorus is incredibly repetitive. I loved this song the first listen… but after a while I just wanted to shoot myself. I basically didn’t know who most of the collaborators on the album were, so I had to look up Lily Franky and BOSE (kind of creepy lads to be honest). The duet between Lily Franky and Rie fu at the end was pretty though.

Just like you is perhaps one of the most repetitive songs Rie fu has ever done. It has a pretty acoustic feeling in the beginning, which I adore. Unfortunately the chorus is just Rie fu and LEO repeating “just like you,” over and over. Nonetheless this is a good song that could have used a little more length and depth.

Irodotte begins with an a capella duet between Rie fu and one of the singers (or both of them? Who the hell are Mina Ganaha and Mayumix anyway?) This song has a moderate pace and it’s kind of a cute song. The instrumentation is pretty repetitive unfortunately.Unlike the previous track, this song is too long.

Next up is Don’t Worry, including KAT and Yuka from moumoon (artists I actually know, yay!) This track is beautifully done, and all the artists are on their a-game. This song is an acoustic track with a cute chorus. This is a throwback to a lot of Rie fu’s early stuff. The verses are the best part of this song IMO.

Okay, it’s time for an oddity: STAR. The song begins with some funky synth beats that remind me of music from… past decades. Rie fu collaborates with Ifu Sarasa (who??) and Kenji Suzuki (guitar). Regardless of the weird instrumentals, this is a pretty cute. This song could have totally fit on her past album because of its retro feel. One of the better tracks on the album.

Sunshine Forehead is also kind of odd to me. It has this earthy flute flowing through the song, which makes me think of hippies. Curly Giraffe is apparently the alias of Kiyoshi Takakuwa, a bassist for the band, Great3. Either way, this is too hippie-like for me to enjoy. Also, I am not a fan of the accompanying male vocals.

My Start continues with the retro feel of the album. I haven’t heard of Kenichi Takemoto or Peter Kvint either, so that took away from the song. The second verse is my favorite part of the song because of the uplifting lyrics. This song is entirely in English.

Haha so I definitely love the beginning lyrics of Gilles. “All day all morning we are stressed because we have to get up.” Come on, I think every student can relate. I actually know the collaborators in this song (at least the former):  NAOTO from ORANGE RANGE and kohei from HOI FESTA. I wish this song had a little more life to it though; the chorus seemed kind of flat.

Laundry is another 3-female collaboration, this time including  YUI from RYTHEM and Akiko Nakashima. I think all the ladies harmonize quite well together. This song is definitely a mellow track, and even includes a segment of falling rain. This is a nice way to begin winding down the album.

Bright Life is a lovely song, and working with Satou Honoka from aluto was a smart choice. This song reminded me of Rie fu songs like Long Long Way (one of my favorite Rie fu songs ever). This song is totally acoustic, and uses piano and strings exclusively. Beautiful.

Lastly we end with the folksy Hitotsu, Hitotsu. Rie fu joins forces with Seira, Shiina Junpei, and Chris Tomoko (I don’t know any of them xD). The clapping during the verses is really cute. Although this is a mellow, acoustic song, it ends the album like a lullaby.

Overall: It’s hard to wrap up this album in just a few words. Some songs are fantastic while others aren’t up to par. Overall this is Rie fu’s most retro/folksy album to date. Even if you don’t like all of the songs this album is still worth getting.

Best tracks:

  • Hitotsu, hitotsu
  • Bright Life
  • STAR
  • Don’t Worry
  • Laundry

Rating: 8.5/10

Track list:

  1. Stay with me ~Ren’ai Nante Himatsubushi~
  2. Just Like You
  3. Irodotte
  4. Don’t Worry
  5. STAR
  6. Sunshine Forehead
  7. My Start
  8. Gilles
  9. Laundry
  10. Bright Life
  11. Hitotsu Hitotsu