Kato Miliyah – Ring [4th Studio Album]

July 20, 2009 at 1:12 am (Kato Miliyah) (, )

Ring

Kato Miliyah’s 4th studio album, entitled Ring, was released on 07.08.09. The singles released before the album are as follows: SAYONARA ベイベー / 恋シテル, 20 -CRY- and Love Forever.

The album opens up with SAYONARA ベイベー, which was released before the album. The song starts off with a pretty instrumental that sparkles before becoming more upbeat and actually less interesting. On the first verse, her vocals sound a bit rushed at times and they sound slightly off. There’s also a repeating sound in the instrumentation which proves to be quite annoying. The chorus just sounds generic and and does not catch the listener’s ear at all. It’s really not the best way to open up the album and leaves the listener wondering what is to come.

Aitai is up next. The song opens up again with a nice instrumental, consisting of the piano. This time the music continues its path when Miliyah sings the first verse and it’s a good choice since it keeps this natural feeling. Miliyah’s vocals work very well with the music here and portray such emotion even if her accent sounds strange at times. The repeating words in the chorus are a little annoying but overall this is an enjoyable section of the song that stands out. It’s a much stronger song with a pretty sound the listener can enjoy.

Miliyah’s collaboration with Shimizu Shota, Love Forever, is the following track. Both artists sound completely in control here and their vocals compliment each other very well as well as the music. The atmosphere of the song is supported throughout and keeps the listener’s ear for quite a while. It’s a good way to continue from the last song.

The energy is picked up with Breathe Again. Opening the song is a cool instrumental that stands out because it’s different from all those apart and then Miliyah’s breath is heard before moving into the chorus. There’s such a spirit behind the music and her vocals that it stands out nicely. On the verses, the energy dies down and looms, entrancing the listener’s ear. The problem with the instrumentation is that it doesn’t quite move into an aggression but not quite in a sweetness so it just kind of lies between. Nonetheless, for having a different sound and showing Miliyah’s more upbeat side, the song is catchy.

Up next is Love for you. The song starts off with a calm and sweet instrumental and slowly the energy is building before the beat comes in. Miliyah’s vocals sound very good here and suit the atmosphere perfectly. The chorus features a kind of funky instrumental, which makes it stand out proudly although Miliyah’s accent sounds slightly strange at parts. She sounds fantastic on the third verse when she sings with a rapidity that will definitely catch the listener’s ear. It’s one of the album’s strongest tracks and she really should have more like this.

ありがとう is the sixth track. Again, it’s a slow number which the listener doesn’t really fully get into. It’s just nice but it feels so done before that the interest fades away, particularly when the chorus arrives since it sounds so generic. It’s just not a strong track.

この街のどこかで keeps the same atmosphere from the last track and the listener doesn’t get into the vibe. As usual, the instrumentation is nice but it just feels so done before.

Finally Miliyah picks up things up with Dance tonight. Despite it being a dance track, it carries a mellow vibe that definitely connects it to the rest of the album. A more aggressive instrumental would have been nice but it’s better than yet another slow song.

20 -CRY- is an example of how to do a ballad right. That opening instrumental carries a real coolness to it that will leave the listener wondering what is to come. Then the first verse arrives and the emotions come out of Miliyah’s vocals perfectly. Although the chorus could have a little stronger, her vocals sound very good and compliment the music very well.

She really gets the energy going with Time Is Money, a sleek dance track that will get the listener moving. There’s such a coolness in her vocals and especially in the music, which really grabs the listener into the atmosphere of the song. It’s a cool song and one that shines on this album.

And then she slows things back down with あなたが欲しい. However this song is more interesting than just another slow song since the instrumentation has a slight edge to it, which catches the listener’s attention. It’s nice and slightly better than the others of the same genre.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Love me, hold me. What does make the song slightly different is the jazzy feel the song has although it’s still not particularly engaging.

Happy Celebration is cute and against all the slow numbers, that actually makes it stand out. However it’s definitely way too long and the listener’s interest dwindles over time.

This Is Love is yet another mellow number that leaves the listener wishing there was something better. It just doesn’t sound interesting and the listener needs more.

People is kind of a cute track that is nice although not the most interesting way to finish things off. It just doesn’t capture the interest very well and leaves the listener feeling disappointed.

Album Ranking: C

To be honest, Ring doesn’t have much spark to it. Although slow songs are nice, Miliyah overpacks them on the album when she seems to shine better with the upbeat tracks like Love for you. The album lacks variety and the listener just can’t fall into the overall atmosphere.

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