Leah Dizon – Vanilla [5th Single]

June 28, 2008 at 6:52 pm (Leah Dizon) (, )

Leah Dizon’s 5th single, entitled Vanilla, was released on 06.25.08. When the single was first announced, the name of Vanilla was titled Let’s Groovin,’ which makes sense as a similar line appears in the song. Vanilla is meant to convey a “true, simple and pure love” and it does a nice job of portraying that feeling. Leah explores with reggae on LOVE SWEET CANDY and the overall atmosphere of the song fits perfectly with the feel of Vanilla. The CD Only version of the single features 悲しみと笑顔の中で, which has a sound somewhat similar to previous songs Softly and Missing from her debut studio album, Destiny Line. Leah co-wrote all three songs present on the single, just as she did for both songs from her Love Paradox single. Vanilla is a great single following Love Paradox and Leah’s new album, which has been announced for an August release according to HMV, looks to be strong with these songs.

Vanilla is a cute dance song with a little funky side to it that makes it really catch the listener’s ear. The song starts off with a sort of funky instrumental before the catchy hook comes in. Leah sings in all English and the first phrase, “just groovin” is where the original title for Vanilla was derived. Then the first verse starts and Leah’s vocals are somewhat deep but they are delivered with enough attitude to really make them pop. The English phrase “I don’t need no silly promises” stands out being surrounded by all Japanese phrases. Once that part of the verse finishes, Leah sings higher and the instrumentation takes on more of that cute sound, just in time for the chorus. The chorus is highly catchy with its kawaii sound and the English phrases that finishes off the line such as “celebrate my love for you” and “I just wanna be with you.” The final line of the chorus, “just having fun and being in love” stands out nicely and transitions nicely into the hook. The second verse features vocals similar to the first but they sound even softer with a certain slickness that works. The English line “I hide my jealousy like a pro” is a nice line that pops. The pure instrumental section really is a standout as the funkiness and fun of the song is spotlighted with a little vocalizing from Leah that sounds great. The hook serves as a perfect close for Vanilla as an addictive section that makes the listener want to get up and dance. Vanilla is a wonderful dance song with cute elements that make it pop and the use of English is strong as Leah sounds perfectly natural singing it. It’s definitely another great A-side after Love Paradox.

Leah experiments with the sounds of reggae on LOVE SWEET CANDY and the experiment definitely worked. The song begins with a twinkling reggae beat that introduces the song nicely and really does evoke a fun atmosphere. The first verse sounds great as Leah’s vocals follow the instrumentation perfectly. They are soft enough to match the sound of the music but show enough power to keep the energy of the instrumentation. The hook before the chorus continues the song’s strength as Leah shows off a little more vocal power and an English line echoes in the background. Leah sounds great on the chorus with even stronger vocals that reach higher and the instrumentation becomes slightly more varied and the sounds after she sings “love sweet candy” really stand out to the listener. The English lines “the sweetest ice cream” and “the taste of a dream” are nice and make the chorus really pop. The final chorus is sung even higher than the other choruses and Leah’s vocals here still sound great and move with the music well. Pure instrumentation brings the song to a great close. LOVE SWEET CANDY is an excellent song from start to finish and is a nice change of pace as Leah successfully explores the sounds of reggae.

悲しみと笑顔の中で is a B-side only present on the CD Only version of the single. The song has a similar sound to songs like Softly and Missing from her debut album, Destiny Line. A twinkling soft instrumentation starts off the song that immediately captures the atmosphere of the song. As the sequence ends, the listener can hear elements of traditional Japanese instruments, which are a very nice touch and add a little spice to the instrumentation. The first verse features some soft and sweet vocals from Leah that sound perfect with the music. The chorus sounds great as the instrumentation really stands out and Leah’s voice mixes with the music to capture the feel of the song nicely. The English line “I’ve been trying to hide my heart” pops very nicely as well. The last few words of the chorus are spotlighted as the music goes softer for a moment. The third verse stands out as Leah sings a little bit stronger and the difference is notable to the listener. Following, she sings in all English and the lyrics are very pretty. She sings “when your heart is lost in your fears, don’t let darkness destroy your hope.” The song is an excellent addition to the single and is a very pretty soft track that should not be skipped.

In order to promote the single, a PV for Vanilla was made. From the moment the video opens, the fun atmosphere is established. The dancing that Leah does with her female dancers fits perfectly with the cute and happy atmosphere of the song. The opening dance sequence features some dancing that resembles putting on make-up and is a great opening for the video. Color is definitely one of the video’s strong suits as the colorful look matches the colorful feeling of the song. The dancing sequences match the funkiness perfectly as Leah and her dancers do some nice dancing. The second verse features a more sexy Leah with a glamorous touch to really make it stand out. Another part of the video features Leah in the kitchen with two other girls and there dancing resembles making a cake. One girl gets a message on her cell phone and after Leah adorably sticks her tongue out, a dance sequence begins. Chairs are a integral part of this dance routine and also display the song’s funkiness. Another scene includes Leah lying on her bed and she sings with a happiness in her eyes. The PV for Vanilla is highly enjoyable and certainly worth watching as it is a perfect visual for the audio.

Single Ranking: A

Leah Dizon’s 5th single is a great follow-up to her hot single Love Paradox. The title track is a wonderful dance track with enough cuteness and funkiness to make it sparkle. Vanilla really does represent a “true, simple and pure love.” Leah experiments with reggae on LOVE SWEET CANDY and the result is absolutely wonderful. The B-side on the regular edition, 悲しみと笑顔の中で, is a sweet ballad that Leah sounds absolutely great on. From start to finish, Vanilla is a strong single and all three tracks are worth listening to. From Love Paradox to Vanilla, Leah’ sophomore album looks to be extremely strong.

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