Aoyama Thelma – Emotions [2nd Studio Album]

September 10, 2009 at 7:00 pm (Aoyama Thelma) (, )


Aoyama Thelma’s 2nd studio album, entitled Emotions, was released on 09.09.09. The singles included on the album are 届けたい… and 忘れないよ.

The album’s introduction is pretty pointless, just featuring Thelma walking along sidewalk with the sound of heels filling most of the track. Then some music comes in and she does some vocalizations. It really wasn’t necessary and did not need to be put on the album.

The second track on the album is 忘れないよ. The song begins with a soft midtempo instrumental that gives a very calming feeling to the listener and establishes the atmosphere of the song quite nicely. She sings “yet I still belive in you” and there’s such emotion in her that really catches the ear and starts things off perfectly. She continues to sing with smooth vocals and emotion, making the song a good listen until the chorus. There’s a magical feeling in the instrumentation that shines, bringing the feeling of distance to life. It’s a very pretty song and is a very strong first full track.

Following is the cute and happy song, Happiness. The song starts off with part of the chorus and there’s a sparking sweetness that comes frmo the instrumentation. Again, it’s a midtempo number but it stands out from the last one as there’s a real feeling of true happiness that comes out. During the verses, there are points where her voice sounds too high and awkward but she stays pretty well throughout, vocally. It may be a little cheesy but it’s cute and it’s nice to see her give a different side to a slow song.

二人の約束の日 is the fourth song on the album. It’s yet another midtempo number and this time a sorrowful feeling arises with the beautiful sounds of the piano. There’s nothing really about this track that makes it super memorable or stand out from her other slow songs. As usual, the music is pretty and so are her vocals but it’s not enough to really wow the listener.

The next track, I’m Sorry, picks up the pace a little bit. The song opens up with the piano and this time, the beat is much more clear. There is almost a coldness in her voice as she sings in the first verse, really standing out to the listener. The chorus is much more upbeat and actually a good moment to dance to. Yet the emotions still are rushing through like a flood, making for an interesting combination. She ends it perfectly with her deep and smooth vocals as she sings “I’m sorry…” The pure instrumental section sounds really cool and is definitely one of the song’s standout points. I’m Sorry may not be the most groundbreaking song but it shines on Emotions.

KEEP ON is the next song. It starts off with a funky instrumental that makes the listener want to dance along and then Thelma starts singing the first verse. As usual, her vocals are smooth and carry over the music strongly. There is this attitude in her voice that is reminiscent of Don’t Stop. The problem with the song is that the instrumentation pretty much stays the same throughout, making it a little tiring for the listener. Overall the song would have been much better if the music got spiced up here and there.

素直になれなくて is the following song and it brings the atmosphere back down. Beginning the song is part of the chorus and there is a lot of vulnerability in her vocals, which makes the listener want to keep going. On the first verse, her vocals are very pretty and portray a lot of emotion. Her voice is perfectly complimented by the mellow atmosphere of the music. It’s a great song and definitely one of the more memorable songs on Emotions.

KEN THE 390 joins Thelma for 届けたい…Back when it was released as a single, it wasn’t very memorable and it still doesn’t have that magic that warrants many listens. It’s just another one of Thelma’s ballads that are nice but nothing special.

Baby, I Love You continues the string of dull numbers as it’s yet another slow song that fits the Thelma formula. Much like the last track, there’s just no spark to make it pop and stay in the listener’s head.

Up next is the upbeat and cool LOOK. Finally she goes for something upbeat and there’s just something entrancing about the instrumentation. It actually shines over her vocals and just draws the listener into the world of the song. Although there are some strange cartoon noises that pop out quite frequently. Despite being a pretty repetitive song, it’s nice since it’s different and provides the album with a little balance.

Thelma joins VERBAL for the semifinale, WANNA COME AGAIN. It follows the coolness of the previous track and has an aggressiveness in the instrumentation that isn’t very common in her songs. As usual, VERBAL delivers his coolness with his great voice and spices things up. The chorus is a little disappointing since it feels like she’s almost out of breath. Overall though, the song is definitely one of the gems of the album and is worth a listen.

Of course the album ends on a slow note with Cinderella Story. It’s another generic track that isn’t even worth a listen.

Album Ranking: C +

Although it’s true that Thelma can deliver some great ballads, she needs to experiment more with her music. She has done some great upbeat songs in the past (MADONNA and Don’t Stop) and it’s baffling as to why they’re never A-sides. Since all of the singles are pretty much ballads, the album tracks need to create a balance and that’s not what happened here. Also, the flow is pretty bad, distracting the listener from the overall package.

5 Most Memorable Tracks: WANNA COME AGAIN (featuring VERBAL) / I’m Sorry / LOOK / 忘れないよ / 素直になれなくて

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