Kuraki Mai – PUZZLE / Revive [31st Single]

May 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm (Kuraki Mai) (, )


Kuraki Mai’s 31st single, entitled PUZZLE / Revive, was released on 04.01.09. While PUZZLE was used as the theme song to the movie Detective Conan: The Raven Chaser, Revive was used as the next theme song for the Detective Conan series.

PUZZLE is an addictive upbeat pop song that will…That opening instrumental sounds great and has an element of mystery to it that definitely stands out. Then Mai and a rapper say some English lines together in order to introduce the song. Following is the first verse and Mai delivers that attitude that only she can and her vocals sound perfect for this type of song. What really makes this song so amazing is the chorus as she stays in the higher range and speaks with some rapidity. That last line of the chorus is single-handedly the standout point of the song as the instrumentation gets aggressive for a moment and so do Mai’s vocals. Much like 24 Xmas Time, an unidentified rapper is present and he really does his thing. There’s a sleekness in his voice that draws the listener in and he makes way for Mai to come back in. He comes back in for the final words of the song as he says “when the lights glow, we shine like a Hollywood night show.” PUZZLE is definitely the stronger A-side and is one of Mai’s strongest tracks.

Revive is an upbeat Spanish-influenced track that carries a coolness to it. The song begins with the Spanish guitar, really seducing the listener into another world. Then the beat comes in and makes the music even stronger. Mai then sings the first verse and there is something very alluring about her voice. At some points, it feels like she’s trying to fit too many words into the line but it’s not too bad. The chorus is interesting because it is kind of divided into two parts and it makes it sound like she is speaking with another her. One part is sung lighter and higher while the other is more commanding and powerful. So the combination of the two works in Mai’s favor as it grabs the listener’s attention. She ends singing “resume and revive” and the English serves as the perfect way to close the song. There is an unidentified man speaking a little bit of Spanish and then Mai gives some very nice vocalizations that have an angelic quality to them. She gets a little funky at the end as she says “I show you the new world, I can do the revive.” The song closes with more great instrumentation, leaving the listener wanting more.

In order to promote the single, a PV was made for each A-side. The video for PUZZLE is pretty simple as it just features Mai singing with dancers in a red room with a string of lights running down the middle of the wall. There are also black-and-white close-up scenes of Mai singing into a microphone and color ones of her with rose petals blowing in the wind (and the petals all come back together to form one whole rose at the end). The Revive PV features two different Mai’s, differentiated by the color surrounding her: one with red and the other with blue. The only differences between them are the hair and the dresses. She looks gorgeous though and the red background looks really deep and pretty. It would have been nice if there was some sort of story going on in the video since it feels like the kind of song that tells a story.

Single Ranking: A +

Following her latest album, Mai keeps up the quality. PUZZLE is an addictive upbeat track that will make the listener want to dance along while Revive draws on Spanish influences to keep the listener interested all the way through. I can’t wait to see what she’ll bring next since she’s on a roll.

1 Comment

  1. Jinhwa said,

    I like your review. I also like her latest album “Touch Me” a lot. And also can’t wait for whatever she will bring up next.

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