Misia – Eighth World [8th Studio Album]

March 30, 2008 at 2:40 pm (Misia) (, )

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Misia’s eighth album, entitled Eighth World, was released on 01.09.08. Eighth World features a variety of singles ranging from a jazzzy feel to aggressive pop to powerhouse ballads. Only two singles were released prior to the album: ANY LOVE and Royal Chocolate Flush.

以心伝心, the opening track, is a powerhouse pop song that is a perfect way to introduce the album. The song opens up with a very cool instrumental that sets up an introduction for the chorus to come powering in. Clearly the strongest element of the song, the chorus features powerful vocals that support the instrumentation well and then a small and catchy instrumental part to transition into the verse. During the verses, the marching-beat element of the instrumentation is brought out stronger and the vocals still maintain their strength. Following the set of the second verse and chorus is an interesting break that features an unidentified man talking along with some short ad-libs from Misia. The section has a hip-hop like element that keeps the song catchy and going in a different direction. Following is a section that emphasizes the instrumentation with Misia singing “I can feel you.” Finishing off the song is instrumentation and gives the song a finished feel. 以心伝心 is a perfect way to open up this album due to its catchiness and Misia’s vocal strength.

ANY LOVE, the first single from this era, appears as the second song on Eighth World. The song quickly opens up with some great ad-libbing from Misia, which flows well ino the first verse. The way that she sings the lines makes them stand out as there are slight pauses after each one. She also draws out the final notes of the words…The chorus is a bit slow and too similar to the verses. With some subtle varieties in the instrumentation or even a small build up to the chorus would have made it pop more. Overall the song is a bit lacking because it never reaches that potential point but Misia uses some nice vocals to make it a nice song to listen to with closed eyes.

The second single released before the album, Royal Chocolate Flush, is the third track on the album. To properly open the track is an unidentified speaker who says “Ladies and Gentlemen, Get Set, Go!” and then the true song begins with a powerful and aggressive instrumental. The first verse relies on a amazingly catchy instrumental and strong vocals from Misia that combine to make a danceable and enjoyable track. The transition into the chorus is smooth and introduces the powerful section. The following hook features some more mellow vocals from Misia that work well with the music. The constant subtle variations in the instrumentation that run throughout the song keep the listener engaged and ready to dance. Royal Chocolate Flush is definitely single material and its release before the album was wise and it sounds even stronger on the album.

November – Interlude – is the fourth song and one of two album interludes. This interlude is pretty simple throughout the entire song and begins with the playing of the bass, which sets up the song for a jazzzy feel. Following is a moment of silence before the instruments come together. The piano makes a smooth entrance to the song and blends well with the bass. Nearing the end is some distorted vocals from Misia that make their way onto the song. Although there isn’t much on the track, the interlude is interesting and makes a good entrance into MISSING AUTUMN.

The swwet and soft song, MISSING AUTUMN, is up next on Eighth World. The song opens up with Misia speaking over a beautiful instrumental with the piano spotlighted. The verses are mellow and feature some nice vocal accompaniment from Misia and then there is a smooth transition into the chorus. Because of the arrangement, there is a certain uptempo element that is introduced that only comes in with the chorus. Misia’s use of English during ad-libbing sections makes them pop as she sings “I’ll be missin’ you.” MISSING AUTUMN is a nice and soft enjoyable track but it doesn’t too far apart from the other jazzy tracks. With a little more diversity in the arrangement, MISSING AUTUMN could have stood out even more.

To Be In Love, the biggest ballad on the album, follows MISSING AUTUMN. During the verses, Misia uses softer vocals to support the piano-driven instrumentation. The hook serves as a bridge into the chorus by introducing some new instruments. The chorus features Misia’s range as she holds true vibrato and draws out certain notes to spotlight her vocal abilities. The music is so beautiful on this track that it makes the song so very enjoyable and Misia’s voice suits the song perfectly. Towards the end, her vocals show even more power as she projects loudly but still supports the instrumentation well. As the powerhouse ballad of the album, Misia shined on To Be In Love and placing it as the middle track really draws attention to it.

The seventh song, 裸足の季節, is a nice and smooth track. The song begins with soft instrumentation before moving into the chorus, which really brings a lounge vibe to life with her powerful vocals. The verse features some nice vocals from Misia that blend well with the jazzy feel of the instrumentation. As always, Misia’s vocals are on and they shine so powerfully on this song. Following the set of the second verse and chorus, this true strength is seen as she hits a note in the upper register, showing off her range. The removal of the primary instruments during one of the choruses really spotlights the smooth beat and with the vocals sound great. The song ends with some true ad-libbing to bring this soft song to a perfect close. This track is one of the jazzy album songs and Misia sounds so at home here that it makes the song enjoyable and relaxing as well.

Chandlier appears as the eighth song and is a creative and wonderful album track. The song begins with a jazzy and relaxing feel within the instrumentation brought by the playing of the xylophone. The first verse is smoothly transitioned into and Misia’s vocals show such strength while still complimenting the atmosphere of the song. Her vocals show even more range on the chorus as she opens in a higher register and continues to show off her pipes throughout the rest of the chorus. Following the second verse and chorus is a small instrumental section that first is introduced by some jazzy shaking noises and then the instruments are re-introduced alongside some whispered vocals by Misia. The song ends with some very cool vocals from Misia as the instruments become spotlighted and then a fading ends the song strongly. Chandelier is an excellent song that found its place on the album and the contrast between the mellow feeling of this song and the more aggressive atmosphere of the next interlude is amazing.

The second and final interlude, Hybrid Breaks – Interlude, – is the ninth track on the album. The track opens strongly with guitar playing, which remains throughout the entire interlude. Over time, more sounds come into the track and soon some more distorted vocals come into the picture amplifying the creativity of the song. Following a man’s voice, the instrumentation changes slightly as drums are introduced. Finishing off the interlude is a dramatic instrumental finish followed by an unidentified man speaking “Welcome to the Eighth World.” This is the superior interlude and would have made a very strong album introductory interlude.

Making the transition from Hybrid Breaks – Interlude – is Dance Dance, the fun and poppy dance song. It opens up with a very light-hearted dance vibe and from the beginning English lines, the feeling is kept. The chorus is very sweet and fun and it is particularly the ending tone of the chorus that captures that feeling. The verses see a relaxing of the instrumentation to focus more on the beat and the vocals, which are controlled but still display enough power. The song continues by taking some twists and turns in terms of lyrics by switching into some English lines as well as some instrumental changes. Dance Dance is certainly an happy and uptempo track made for dancing and for smiling as well. Its addition to the album was a wise one.

太陽の地図, the eleventh song, is an uptempo poppy song. The song opens up strongly with a mellow chorus, which consists of English “good day for you, good day for me” sung with powerful vocals. A stronger sense of the upbeat atmosphere comes in after the chorus as a new instrumentation is brought in. The first verse begins happily with “wake up!” and continues strongly with strong vocals that support the instrumentation well. Finishing off the first verse is a strong vocal from Misia that introduces the chorus well. The slight change in the instrumentation of the third verse, heard by subtle twinkling sounds, makes it stand apart as a strong and enjoyable section. The use of English phrases help the song pop by spotlighting them as introductory phrases of their respective sections. Finishing the song is the fading of the chorus, which provides a smooth exit of the song. The song is a nice and upbeat song that finds its home on the album.

Up next is the sweet ballad そばにいて… The song begins with a very soothing and almost child-like atmosphere. The instrumentation centers around the piano and Misia’s vocals blend well with the sound. The transition into the chorus is flawless as there is absolutely no instrumental change and her vocals remain relatively at the same levels. While it keeps the flow, it creates an over-simplistic vibe and with at least a subtle change, it could have stood apart more. The piano solo was a nice addition as it really puts a spotlight on how sweet and soothing the music and Misia’s vocals work well with the music but there should have been more variety to really show the versatility of the track. The song is nice but it’s nothing that stands out as being amazing.

The penultimate song on the album, 君は草原に寝ころんで, is a sweet and creative track. The song begins with a soft piano instrumental supported by some smooth vocals by Misia. Soon other instruments are brought in and introduce the first verse. There is a certain jazzy element that works so well and during the first verse, the vocals support the instrumentation very well. The chorus is as smooth as the rest of the song with drawn out notes that show Misia’s true vocal strength. There is an angelic quality in Misia’s voice that is truly brought out on this song and this comes out even stronger when she effortlessly hits a note in the upper register. With the album almost coming to a close, the placement of the track is perfect for a relaxing and enjoyable song.

Finishing off the album is 太陽のマライカ. A nice ballad to end the album begins once again featuring an instrumentation centered around the piano. Unlike some of the other ballads, the other instruments besides the piano combine to make an enjoyable experience that work well with Misia’s voice. The arrangement is strong here as Misia delivers her lines strongly and there is a strong introduction to the chorus. Overall the song is a nice way to end the album and it stands apart from the rest of the ballads for being different.

Album Ranking: A –

Misia’s eighth studio album, Eighth World, has its strengths and weaknesses. Misia shines on tracks such as Royal Chocolate Flush, 以心伝心, Chandelier and Dance Dance even on Hybrid Breaks – Interlude. – The versatility of these tracks show off just how much of a threat she really is and what she can do. The biggest weakness on the album comes through on some of the ballads, which feature over-simplistic arrangements that are too central on the piano. More subtle changes in instrumentation would have made them pop more. However Eighth World is an amazing album that features some true strong tracks and is a signal to even more strength for her next album era.

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2 Comments

  1. redracer said,

    What is a “threay “?

  2. amaiyume said,

    hahaha, I meant “threat”
    thanks for catching that!!!

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