hitomi – LOVE LIFE 2 [11th Studio Album]

June 26, 2009 at 2:27 am (hitomi) (, )

LOVELIFE2

hitomi’s 11th studio album, entitled LOVE LIFE 2, was released on 06.24.09. Fight for Your Run☆ was released as a digital single while WORLD! WIDE! LOVE was released physically.

Just You is the album’s opener. It starts off with a nice instrumental, driven by the guitar and then hitomi sings the first verse. Her vocals are very nice here and match that natural atmosphere established by the instrumentation. With the chorus, a little rock flare comes in and changes things up a little bit. However it’s not particularly grabbing. Perhaps if it were more aggressive, it would have caught the listener’s ear more. It’s a nice song but not one that really stands out as being a strong album opener.

WORLD! WIDE! LOVE!, released before the album, is up next. A very summery and happy instrumental starts the song off and it feels like a story is about to follow. On the first verse, hitomi’s vocals are slightly distorted but they sound very smooth and sleek here, staying with the music perfectly so it doesn’t come across as distracting. Overall, the chorus could have been stronger since it’s not particularly memorable with only the title of the song standing out in that particular section. On ther other hand, the pure instrumental sections sound great and have a coolness that just brings out the spirit of summer. It’s a very enjoyable song and definitely a great way to follow up the album opener.

The same vibe continues with 探し続けてたもの. Opening the song is a nice instrumental with the guitar and piano serving as the primary instruments. When hitomi sings on the first verse, there is such a simplicity and sweetness that works very well with her voice. Additionally, the image of nature comes alive in the listener. The chorus stands out as she gives stronger vocals and the emotions come out quite nicely. There’s just something very natural and nice about this song that will catch the ear of the listener even though it carries a similar vibe to the previous songs.

エターナル☆サンシャイン is the fourth song on the album. A nice summery upbeat pop instrumental with those rock tints start off the song and her vocals sound great on the first verse. There’s a lot of energy and spirit in the music that will definitely catch the ear of the listener. Although the transition from verse to chorus is so smooth that it might go un-noticed, it kind of ties the whole song together. It’s nice but after the first three tracks, the style of the song becomes a little much for the listener and leaves the thought if she will try out something different on the album.

Well that thought continues with the next song 旅立ちに吹く風, because carries the same instrumental atmosphere as the previous songs. It’s the same instrumental sounds driven by the guitar and the same vocals which are nice and go with the music. I mean, it’s not a bad formula but it’s beginning to set an album pattern, which ties the package together but doesn’t offer much variety.

Honestly, Memory sounds like an exact copy of the last song. Generally with this album, the songs have their slight differences from the one they are placed next to but this song sounds so similar to 旅立ちに吹く風 that it might be a little hard to distinguish the two.

Fight for Your Run☆ at least gives a little more variety. The opening instrumental has more aggressive rock tints so the listener’s interest is piqued. On the verses, there is a nice relaxing feeling with something just bubbling and ready to explode. Unfortunately, the take off never happens when the chorus comes. Again, the song could have been stronger with a more aggressive instrumental but that’s neither here or there.

Hello-goodbye! finally gathers up the listener’s interest and takes it for a ride. The song starts off with a cool breezy summery instrumental and that guitar only makes things even better. Those opening vocals have a way of demanding attention in time for the first verse. Her vocals are excellent here and portray the happy energy of the music perfectly. She really stands out when she repeats “hello” and then sings “good-bye” and it will be sure that the listener will remember that part. Even though it carries the same kind of vibe as the other songs, it stands out for really bringing out the happy summer party out.

Just as quickly as variety and newness entered the album, it left with Beat☆. It goes back to the same old guitar driven instrumental and vocal style. That’s not a bad thing but having so many tracks with the same nature really begins to annoy the listener and long for more coolness like Hello-goodbye!

The album’s semifinale is ココロの草原. Welcome back the summery beach sound with the opening instrumental. Then comes the first verse and the image of walking along a beach while the sun is beginning to set vividly comes alive through the instrumentation. hitomi’s vocals sound great alongside the music and will catch the listener’s ear. It’s nice to have some different instruments stand out in the music like the trumpet and it kind of gives the song that extra flavor to make it stand out.

VISION ~Don’t Stop The EARTH~ is what closes the album. It’s probably the slowest song on the album and a nice way to close the album even though it has the same atmosphere as the other songs. However it slows things down a bit so it manages to catch the listener even a little better.

Album Ranking: B –

Honestly, this album was just on the line of getting in the C range but was saved by Hello-goodbye! and WORLD! WIDE! LOVE!. Yet another album that carries a sound running throughout the album that becomes uninteresting. It’s always good to tie an album with a common theme but sometimes the sounds of different songs blur together too closely. Hello-goodbye! and WORLD! WIDE! LOVE! are the true album standouts for their different and cool sounds. Finally hitomi is back after a pregnancy and long hiatus so hopefully we won’t have to wait so long for new music from her. However, it would be nice if she could try out some new sounds next time. Although it is nice to hear hitomi sounding so happy and free on her songs. It seems like having a baby has her done her spirit good.

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hitomi – WORLD! WIDE! LOVE! [29th Single]

June 4, 2009 at 1:35 am (hitomi) (, )

WORLDWIDELOVE

hitomi’s 29th single, entitled WORLD! WIDE! LOVE!, was released on 05.20.09.

WORLD! WIDE! LOVE! is a sweet pop number. The song begins with a pretty upbeat instrumental that gives a true feeling of hope and love. hitomi then comes up on the first verse and it sounds like there’s almost some distortion on her voice. She actually sounds really cool while keeping that cute personality that makes her shine. The chorus is a little expected but it’s really cute when she simgs “world wide love.” The section of vocalizations is pretty cool just because the distortion makes them sound different than usual. It’s an enjoyable happy song that is perfect for the arrival of summer.

The single’s B-side is ココロの草原. This song differs greatly from the A-side since it takes on an old-school jazzy feel. It’s actually pretty catchy and hitomi provides some great vocals that compliment the music perfectly. Surprisingly, it also has a kind of summery feeling to it so it serves as a good connector to the A-side in terms of atmosphere. It’s an enjoyable song that will make the listener want to get up and dance.

In order to promote the single, a PV for WORLD! WIDE! LOVE! was made. The video is kind of strange since hitomi doesn’t even appear in it. It is set at a girls’ school and features a bunch of girls with blindfolds on just having fun. They wander the campus and go swimming in the pool. Then they remove the blindfolds and have fun at the beach. It’s kind of strange but it does fit with the atmosphere of the song.

Single Ranking: B

WORLD! WIDE! LOVE! was a nice return for hitomi to come back with, prepping for her new album LOVE LIFE 2. Hopefully she’ll give us a little more aggression or something like GO MY WAY.

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