Kuraki Mai – 24 Xmas Time [30th Single]

November 25, 2008 at 8:19 pm (Kuraki Mai) (, )

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Kuraki Mai’s 30th single, entitled 24 Xmas Time, was released on 11.26.08. Although a month away from Christmas, the single does a perfect job of bringing that wintertime feeling close to the listener’s heart. The title track was used as the theme song for the TV series Koisuru Hanakimi while the B-side was used as an insert song.

24 Xmas time is a nice chill midtempo number that immediately resonates with the listener. From the moment the instrumentation opens, the listener knows that they are going to be taken on a journey. Mai opens up with the chorus and the certain fragile element of the song really works here in keeping that gentleness present. It’s the verses, however, that make this song so addictive. Her vocals sound absolutely wonderful here and that gentleness works even better as the music takes on a lighter tone as well. She sings “I wanna take a chance,” which provides the chorus with a nice build-up. The third verse is a rap from KEN-RYW and he does a very nice job of keeping the flavor up. What’s interesting about this song is that from the sound alone, it’s not particularly wintery but rather a pop song with a winter bell that appears at times. It’s actually a good way to approach so that Mai’s style still can come through. 24 Xmas Time is definitely her best song post ONE LIFE and what a way to introduce the sounds of winter.

The B-side of this single is All I Want. This song definitely captures the wintery atmosphere as well as a longing for a loved one. Mai’s vocals really portray the emotions well and show off her range nicely. Right before the chorus, she sings “All I want for Christmas is you” and that line alone makes the listener feel the song’s meaning. It’s a great song and a good compliment to the A-side.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 24 Xmas Time was made. The video is pretty simple, centering around Mai singing into a microphone (on a microphone stand) with dancers behind her. One enjoyable part of this video is that Mai’s personality really comes out, such as when she is putting on a little blush and then she jokingly dabs some at the camera. She’s cute and fun here, which makes the video all the more enjoyable.

Single Ranking: A

After releasing various singles, Mai finally comes to one that is addictive on the first listen. 24 Xmas Time is a fabulous laid-back song that shows off Mai’s voice and goes back to her older sound. All I Want is a good compliment, taking the ballad route and getting the emotions out there strongly. This is easily her best single post ONE LIFE and worth checking out.

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