Nishino Kana – LOVE one. [Debut Studio Album]

June 24, 2009 at 3:39 am (Nishino Kana) (, )

LOVE one

Nishino Kana’s debut album, entitled LOVE one., was released on 06.24.09. The singles released before the album are as follows: I, glowly days, Style, MAKE UP, 遠くても featuring WISE and 君に会いたくなるから. 君の声を was the album promotional track and had a video to support it.

The album begins with *Prologue* ~Kirari,~ a shortened version of Kirari from the MAKE UP single. It begins on a very peaceful and angelic note and Kana’s vocals really support that sweetness as there is a beautiful innocence in her voice that will strike the listener immediately. The chorus has a kind of toy soldier feel with the drum beats and this really stands out and catches the listener’s ear. It’s such a dreamy song that is the absolute perfect way to open up this album.

Kana and WISE team up for the first full track, 遠くても. The song takes off with a midtempo instrumental and some vocalizations from Kana that sound wonderful. With the chorus, she sounds very pretty and the emotion is definitely in her voice, particularly when she sings “always love you.” On the first verse, she continues the strength of the song with more good vocals and the sweetness of the instrumentation stands out nicely. WISE talks a lot throughout the song and it’s kind of annoying. The part when they switch off singing “love” sounds really weird because WISE doesn’t really give the emotion to make it believable. Luckily his rap section is a lot better and surprisingly suits the song’s overall sound very well. This is one of the more memorable singles from the group and is a welcomed addition to LOVE one.

doll really takes things in a different direction for Kana. The song starts off with a cool dance instrumental with some distorted vocals in order to catch the listener’s attention. On the first verse, her vocals are great because they give that attitude that makes the listener fall in love with the sleekness of the song. The chorus is sparkling and cute while still keeping that awesome dance instrumental so it comes out as the perfect combination. Without a doubt, doll is one of the stronger songs on the album and it’s a shame that a song like this didn’t make it to single status or even album promotion.

It’s another new track up next with Girlfriend. Opening the song is an actually pretty obnoxious line from Kana as she sings “I wanna be your girlfriend” Her vocals just sound so whiny and awkward that it definitely does not make a strong first impression. After that though the instrumentation comes in and the listener can slowly movve into the song’s core. Again, her vocals give attitude and the instrumentation is just so trippy that one can’t help but feel it. Although she does sound a little whiny on the chorus, it does stand out. Lyrically, it’s definitely a story that a lot of people can relate to, wanting to more than a friend with someone. If the chorus was stronger then Kana would be set for this song but it’s a little annoying at points.

This time Kana teams up with VERBAL for 君の声を, chosen as the album promotional track. The song begins with the usual midtempo piano driven instrumental with great vocals from Kana, showcasing emotion for the listener to feel. The first verse has that natural R&B feel to it that suits Kana’s vocals quite well. The chorus doesn’t change much from the verses but it sticks to the magical formula so it works. VERBAL sounds a lot better when he can deliver his lyrics with rapidity and unfortunately he can’t do that here since he’s keeping with the tempo. So his section could have been stronger but it’s still nice. This is a pretty enjoyable song and it’s choice to be the album promotional track could be understood.

Up next is Style, released as the third single before the album. Opening the song is a relaxing and cool instrumental that will stick in the listener’s mind. Then Kana makes things even better when she comes in on the first verse with some great vocals. What really makes the song shine is the chorus as she brings even better vocals and the instrumentation becomes sparkling and cute. Since its release on the single, it has come on a long way and sounds even better on the album.

Life goes on… is a ballad about moving forward. The song begins with a pretty instrumental with a different feel than the others. She sounds very nice on the first verse, providing smooth vocals that just melt over the music. The chorus is nice and the sound of water drops is a very nice touch but this section of the song just doesn’t grab the listener like the choruses of other songs. It’s just not very engaging, leaving the listener wanting a little more. It’s a little boring and doesn’t stand out.

Her debut single, I, is the eighth song on the album. The song starts off with an interesting instrumental and her vocals sound a little strange at the beginning, as if they’re missing that certain magic that is clear in her newer songs. There is kind of a poppy rock sound that makes the listener want to dance along with her. The chorus stands out primarily because of the higher-pitched vocals and at some points, she sounds like she is straining. Honestly, it’s not a very strong but at least this song proves that Kana has really come far vocally and the producers have found music to support her voice.

We’re back with a new song with candy, sung primarily in English. It opens up with a very interesting and cool instrumental so immediately the listener knows something wonderful is about to come through. She sings in all English with “It’s like candy, candy, there’s so many, I can’t get enough.” Like in a few of her other songs, her voice really brings that attitude that makes the song so addictive. It was surprising to hear “cause the boys look so good and I gotta make a choice” and it’s clear that there is a sexual atmosphere surrounding the song. This song definitely has one of the most interesting and addictive instrumentals on the entire album, making it one of the standout songs. It would be great if Kana pursued this genre further because she really adapted to it well.

MAKE UP was the strongest A-side from the batch of singles and it still shines on the album. The song starts off with a cool sleek instrumental that will make the listener want to get up. Then comes the story of the song with the first verse and there’s something very likeable about her vocals. They just sound so natural and relatable somehow. The chorus is what makes this song stand out with great vocals from Kana. She reaches those high notes very nicely and there are those moments when the instrumentation goes up in tone for just a moment but it’s very noticeable and strong. On the third verse, her vocals are distorted slightly but they really sound amazing here and fits with the music even more strongly than before. With its electronic sound embraced wondefully, Kana really sparkles on MAKE UP.

glowly days, the second single, follows. It starts off on a pretty and sweet note. Her beginning vocals are very nice and show improvement from I. The instrumentation really sounds nice with the various strings of piano notes catching the listener’s ear. On the first verse, it loses that same prettiness although Kana continues to bring great vocals. On the chorus, there are still moments when she sounds like she is straining to hit those higher notes but she still sounds pretty good. It’s one of the weaker tracks on the album but it’s still worth a listen.

One of the B-sides, celtic, appears next. That opening instrumentation of piano notes is really pretty and it sets up Kana for a strong introduction. It almost feels like a ballet when she sings that first verse, giving vocals that will stand out to the listener. The chorus could have been stronger since it feels like she packed on the cuteness a little too much. Nonetheless, the instrumentation keeps its sweetness so the listener’s attention is kept throughout the song. It was a wise choice to include since it suits the overall album atmosphere well.

君に会いたくなるから is the final full track on the album. Unfortunately, it’s one of the weaker songs and it doesn’t grab the listener like the others. It’s another midtempo number but it just lacks that magic that the other songs like 遠くても and 君の声を have. Kana’s vocals are nice but the instrumentation doesn’t demand attention from the listener.

Closing the album is *Epilogue* ~LOVE one.~ Like the prologue, the song Kirari is used. An instrumental version is used while Kana speaks over it. She sounds so cute and kind of like a kid, which is only brought out by the lullaby-like sound of the instrumentation. It actually would have been a cool idea just to have the pure instrumental play as the ending track but either way, it ties the album together and it was a great way to do so.

Album Ranking: A

I was pleasantly surprised by how strong Kana’s debut album was. With a whopping six singles included on the album (as well as one B-side and two tracks featuring parts of a B-side), the new tracks found their way to the listener’s ear. doll, candy and Girlfriend all stand out strongly. A few of the singles: MAKE UP, Style and 遠くても all sound great as well. The prologue and epilogue both use one of her best songs ever so they shine as well. It’s a fantastic album and definitely worth the listen and purchase.

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