AKB48 – 言い訳 Maybe [13th Single]

October 14, 2009 at 11:44 pm (AKB48) (, )

Iiwake Maybe

AKB48’s 13th single, entitled 言い訳 Maybe, was released on 08.26.09.

言い訳 Maybe is an upbeat summery track.The song begins with an upbeat summery instrumental that suits the song well. Then comes the first verse and the girls sound very nice here. Despite the upbeat instrumental, a relaxing and calming feeling comes through to soothe the listener. They sound quite when they sing “maybe” but overall, the chorus is a little dry in that nothing amazing comes through to make this section really stand out. It’s nothing fantastic but it’s cute.

飛べないアゲハチョウ is a much stronger song. Opening the song is a cool and funky instrumental that will catch the listener’s attention quickly. On the first verse, the vocals have a mature feel to them that is catchy to the ear and suits the energy of the music perfectly. The chorus keeps the energy from the verses while still sounding slightly different to keep the interest up. The ending of the chorus especially stands out as they break it down by emphasizing the syllables.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 言い訳 Maybe was made. The video basically features the girls dancing on a school lawn and riding bikes. There’s something sweet and natural in its simplicity so it comes across as a successful PV.

Single Ranking: B –

Without a doubt, 飛べないアゲハチョウ should have been the A-side. It has a mature feel that is really pleasing to the eyes and shows off the girls’ cool side perfectly. The A-side is nice as well but it’s nothing that impressive so it sounds kind of typical. Hopefully they will do more songs like 飛べないアゲハチョウ since that is where they shine.

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YUI – It’s all too much / Never say die [15th Single]

October 14, 2009 at 11:22 pm (YUI) (, )

YUItoo_muchCDDVD

YUI’s 15th single, entitled It’s all too much / Never say die, was released on 10.07.09. It’s all too much was used as the theme song to the movie KAIJI while Never say die was used as an insert song.

It’s all too much is a cool rock track. The song begins with a dark rock instrumental that has a sort of mysterious feel to it. Then YUI comes in and her vocals are quite soft and fragile while carrying a sort of darkness to them as well that suits the music well. Her vocals aren’t too powerful on the chorus and don’t really emote as strongly as they could have to really make this section stand out like it should. It’s not a great song but it’s worth the listen at least once.

Never say die takes on the sort of rock sound from the first track but this time around, it’s higlighted by an upbeat cheery feel. Unfortunately, the end product isn’t anything to write home about. YUI’s vocals sound a bit more complimentary to the music but overall, the song just doesn’t engage the listener.

In order to promote the single, two PVs were made: one for each A-side. They both essenially featured YUI just rocking out with a band as she sings the song with a few other scenes to intercut. The Never say die PV features scenes from the movie.

Single Ranking: C

It’s just not a very interesting single that YUI delivers this time around. Perhaps next time, the instrumentation will have some more magic to it and suit her voice better.

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Goto Maki – SWEET BLACK [Mini Album]

October 4, 2009 at 11:00 pm (Goto Maki) (, )

Goto Maki SWEET BLACK

Goto Maki’s first mini album since her departure from Hello Project and entry into avex, entitled SWEET BLACK, was released on 09.16.09. The SWEET BLACK project was started for Maki as a way to get her back into the game through a radio program and digitally released singles: Fly away, Lady-Rise and with. Plastic Lover was included on a HOUSE NATION compilation CD.

The album kicks off with the dancehall styles of Queen Bee. The song opens up with BIGGA RAJJI shouting and introduing himself, Maki and Aili and immediately the song’s one flaw pops up: his voice. It’s just grating and annoying that it really does take away from the strength of the song but once the listener can get past it, the song is smooth sailing. Maki sings part of the chorus, which consists of a repeated “boom” and “Queen Bee” at the end. On the first verse, Maki provides smooth and sleek vocals that suit the instrumentation perfectly. There is an underlying element of sexuality that comfortably comes through her vocals and spices up the song. The hook that follows the chorus features a slightly softer sound but it still fits with the rest of the song so it stands out quite nicely. If this snogwas sung just by Maki, the song would have been a lot better. Nonetheless, Queen Bee serves as a good album opener and shows Maki’s true energy.

Maki Sweet Black PromoThe second song was the second digitally released single, Lady-Rise. Opening up the song is a hot upbeat instrumental and instantly, the listener knows something great is about to come up. On the first verse, Maki’s vocals continue to carry a tone of sexuality and coolness to them that really makes the song come alive. Right before the chorus, the music builds up a little and Maki gives slightly stronger vocals and although the changes might only be small, they are really effective at introducing the chorus. The chorus features more catchy energy that will keep the listener dancing and one moment that stands out is when Maki calls out the title of the song. The third verse is a nice break-down moment and re-introduces the chorus with a bang. Maki even cutely shouts “Ow!” to really punctuate the coolness of the song. It’s a fantastic song that hasn’t lost any of its magic since its release.

Maki enters the world of the dark disco with the next track, Candy. The song starts off with a cool and mysterious upbeat instrumental that kind of channels Maki’s old sound before avex. She sings “”am I greedy?” and the sexuality comes running out from that moment as it continues to run through the whole song. The verses sound quite nice and set up the atmosphere of the song very well but the chorus does lose a little bit of that strong energy. It’s just lacking that sort of magic that the verses have to really draw in the listener. She sings “are you a man?” and “are you the man?” It’s a nice song but it’s still missing that spark that the other songs have.

Maki teams up with KG for one of the album’s two ballads, TEAR DROPS. The song begins with a beautiful piano opening which really reflects the sorrow of the song and immediately brings out the emotional atmosphere for the listener to feel. Maki sounds fantastic on the first verse, her vocals really portraying fragility and sadness that suit the song. KG also gives some great vocals that compliment Maki’s and keep the emotions rolling from the heart. The chorus features the piano slightly more prominently and there is a sparkling atmosphere that runs through the music that really stands out. On the third verse, Maki sings “sweet, sweet, my tear drops” and “sweet, sweet, your tear drops” before KG  belts out a powerful vocal. TEAR DROPS is easily one of the album’s best songs and the better of the two ballads.

Back at a-nation ’08, Maki debuted a song entitled hear me. Well the beat was kept and with some rewording of the Maki SWEET BLACK Promo 2lyrics and a guest appearance from KEN THE 390, Mine was born. The song takes off with a hot instrumental and KEN THE 390 introducing the song in a combination of English and Japanese for Maki to follow. She sounds great on the first verse, her vocals suiting the sleek atmosphere of the song perfectly. The chorus is catchy as expected although it doesn’t flow as well as the chorus of hear me. KEN THE 390 never has verses that last very long so the focus stays on Maki, which is good but he might as well not have been there at all. To finish off the song with a little extra sweetness, Maki giggles. Although Mine is certainly a catchy song, it just doesn’t flow as well as hear me and it lacks the magic in certain spots.

Maki’s first avex digital single, Fly away, is up next. An orchestral instrumentation starts things off to really begin with a bang before the hot dance instrumental comes booming in. Maki’s vocals here are superb, really staying sleek and cool to fit the atmosphere of the song. The English parts “imgination” and “get alive” stand out and the background vocals provide a slightly haunting feel to the song. The chorus features lines that begin with “fly away” and Maki aces every single one, keeping the listener’s interest without fail. The third verse really stands out as it feels like the build-up to the climax, the instrumentation becoming slightly quieter and more mysterious. Maki follows with some cool vocalizations that really do add a lot of flavor to the song. Like Lady-Rise, Fly away maintains its special magic and remains a strong number to enjoy.

Plastic Lover serves as the album’s semifinale. Starting the song off is a light electronic instrumental that takes the listener into a new world. Then the beat comes thumping in and the edgy electronic side comes out to play, grabbing the listener’s interest immediately. Maki smoothly sings “so what” as the start of the first verse and from there, the sleekness really comes through perfectly. Throughout the verse, the coolness keeps streaming and sets up the listener for an enjoyable chorus. The instrumentation is more energetic and Maki gives some great vocals, particularly at the end when she holds the higher one. During the second verse, there is an angelic part that makes the listener feel like he/she is flying as there is such a levity in both the music and Maki’s vocals. The pure instrumental section sounds great and re-introduces the chorus fantastically. The music during those last few vocal moments really catches the ear and Maki’s final line features some great vocal strength. Plastic Lover was abolutely amazing when it was released on the HOUSE NATION compilation and it shines just as bright on SWEET BLACK.

Closing the album is the spring ballad, with…Opening the song is a very calming and soothing instrumental that catches the ear of the listener and evokes a feeling of true love. Then Maki sings the first verse and her vocals are quite pacifying, suiting the atmosphere of the song very well. There is just something very sweet and natural about the chorus that just can’t be ignored as it works its way into the listener’s heart. The repeating words also stand out and catch the ear of the listener nicely. with… is a very good way to end SWEET BLACK, giving the listener a smile to finish with.

Album Ranking: A

The image of SWEET BLACK is to reflect the duality of a girl’s heart, featuring both a sweet and mature side and that is what Maki has perfectly captured with this album. Although TEAR DROPS and with… are the album’s only ballads, they both shine in their own right with the former being the sorrowful one and the latter being the hopeful one. There is a host of dance numbers, which is where Maki shines. From the playful sexiness of Lady-Rise to the cool and sleek Fly away to the fun and energetic Plastic Lover, Maki really does give it her all. Perhaps the only mis-step on the album was Candy, which was just lacking a little something to really make it stand out. Also BIGGA RAJJI was annoying and Mine didn’t live up to the amazingess of hear me but both of the songs still managed to catch attention. Hopefully SWEET BLACK is an indication of the high quality music we can expect from Maki in the time to come.

Top 5 Most Memorable Tracks: Lady-Rise / TEAR DROPS / Mine / Fly away / Plastic Lover

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Koda Kumi – Alive / Physical thing [45th Single]

October 3, 2009 at 10:23 pm (Koda Kumi) (, )

510px-AlivePhysical_ThingCD

Koda Kumi’s 45th single, entitled Alive / Physical thing, was released on 09.16.09. Alive was used as the theme song to the movie Kamui the Ninja.

Alive is a very calm and soothing ballad that leaves the listener in a dreamy state. The song quickly starts off with the first verse and there is a real sense of emotion flowing from Kumi’s vocals that suit the magical atmosphere of the instrumentation. It really does have an image of slowly drifting off into a faraway magical world. The chorus maintains the sweet gentleness of the verses with just slightly more powerful vocals. The whole song really does flow quite nicely although it would have been nice if there were some parts that had a more dynamic and grand feeling to really make the chorus stand out to the listener’s ears. Nonetheless, it’s a very pretty and gentle ballad that captures the element of loneliness perfectly while giving hope for a brighter future like a dream.

Balancing out the single is the ero-kakkoi song, Physical thing. Beginning the song is some vocalizations from Kumi before the hot thumping beat comes in to drive the listener wild. Kumi’s vocals ooze sequality and brings the emotions of the lyrics out very nicely. She sings “You see me, I see you, it’s easy, keep it real simple” before diving into the chorus, continuing the heat strongly. The pure instrumentation section is awesome and the repeating “physical thing” part really shines. The third verse is interesting in that the lyrics reflect a kind of insecurity and longing to not be alone. The ending features a quickly repeated “thing,” which just sends things off on a perfect note. Although it’s a short song, it’s Kumi’s best song after the release of TRICK.

In order to promote the single, two PVs were made: one for Alive and one for Physical thing. The Alive PV is absolutely gorgeous, featuring Kumi lying underneath a beautiful sky in a very pretty dress. Her sorrow is overwhelming and soon her tears fall onto the earth, turning her surroundings into a forest. That is where the other Kumi comes in, who is wearing a beautiful lightly colred dress. She looks like she is from a fairy tale, which suits the atmosphere of the song perfectly. That Kumi walks towards the future with hope in her heart that the loneliness will eventually pass. Although simple, the video was done perfectly to suit both the song’s lyrics and overall sound. The video for Physical thing really does fit the lyrics of the song, showing off Kumi’s sexy side. In this video, Kumi is featured drinking and with a cigarette, really oozing that ero-kakkoi style. She looks fantastic and it’s always welcomed when her sexy side comes out.

Single Ranking: A

Koda Kumi continues her string of good singles with Alive / Physical thing. Alive does bear a resemblance to faraway, carrying a magical kind of sound but the former is more soothing and peaceful, carrying a similar sound throughout the whole track. On the other hand, Physical thing kicks up her ero-kakkoi sound a la TABOO. Hopefully her upcoming album will feature tracks like Physical thing, which instantly grab the listener’s attention on first listen.

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alan – BALLAD ~名もなき恋のうた~ [10th Single]

October 3, 2009 at 8:21 pm (alan) (, )

BALLAD CD Only

alan’s 10th single, entitled BALLAD ~名もなき恋のうた,~ was released on 09.02.09. The title track was used as the theme song of the movie with the same name. Also included in the single is 幸せの鐘, which was prior released as a digital single.

BALLAD ~名もなき恋のうた~ is a gorgeous longing love song. The song begins with some beautiful and angelic vocalizations from alan, introducing an almost haunting atmosphere that instantly draws the listener in. Then she gives some of her signature wails to build the anticipation even more before moving into the first verse. She sounds great on the first verse, her vocals staying a little low but portraying such emotion that cannot be ignored. The chorus brings out the emotions even more as alan’s vocals become more powerful and the music becomes more dramatic. The lyrics of the song speak of wanting to see someone precious once more because there is distance that weighs on alan’s heart. Thus the story of the lyrics is definitely brought alive through her strong vocals and the fantastic instrumentation. It’s a great song and one that hits the heart of the listener without fail.

alan BALLAD promoThe B-side is 幸せの鐘. Opening the song is some soft and calming instrumentation and then alan sings the first verse. Her vocals here are soft and soothing, really suiting the calm atmosphere established by the instrumentation. Right before the chorus, the music really stands out and offers the perfect transition into the chorus. The chorus sounds strong with more emoting vocals but it still maintains that sense of calm, tying the song together. It’s nice to have the song released physically and it serves as a nice compliment to the A-side.

In order to promote the single, a PV for BALLAD ~名もなき恋のうた~ was made. The video is pretty simple, only featuring a few scenes. One has alan standing and singing next to a man playing the piano. The room is simply decorated but done so that it reflects alan’s overall style well. There is another scene in which she is sitting on a couch and singing. Near the end, she cries and it really does feel real so that’s a successful element of the video. The setting outside is absolutely gorgeous and its natural beauty also reflects alan perfectly. It’s a very nice video that suits the atmosphere of the song well.

Single Ranking: A –

alan delivers another amazing single in which she brings the songs to life. BALLAD ~名もなき恋のうた~ is a very pretty ballad that perfectly communicates the feeling of wanting to see someone while 幸せの鐘 carries its own naturalness to it that catches the listener’s ear. With her next single and album on the way next month, I’m sure alan will be able to maintain the high quality music she has been delivering thus far.

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Shimatani Hitomi – 白い蝶のサンバ and 長い間 [New Songs]

September 29, 2009 at 11:13 am (Shimatani Hitomi) ()

Shimatani Hitomi BEST & COVERS

In order to promote Hitomi’s latest BEST album, BEST & COVERS, released on 07.26.09, two new songs were added to the collection: 白い蝶のサンバ and 長い間.

白い蝶のサンバ is a fun upbeat song that suits Hitomi perfectly. The song begins with the smooth sounds of the guitar and then when the full instrumentation comes in, the listener is taken to another world. Hitomi sings rapidly and her vocals are just so sweet that they fit the music perfectly. The chorus is nice although it doesn’t stand out as strongly as one might expect from the strength of the verses. It’s a very nice song and a good addition to the COVERS disc.

長い間 is a soothing ballad that Hitomi brings to life with emotional vocals. It has a very romantic atmosphere about it that is hard to resist. It serves as a good way to close the compliation off.

Song Rankings: B +

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Shibasaki Kou – ラバソー -lover soul- [17th Single]

September 29, 2009 at 10:56 am (Shibasaki Kou) (, )

lover soul

Shibasaki Kou’s 17th single, entitled ラバソー -lover soul,- was released on 09.16.09. The title track was used as the theme song to the dorama Otomen.

ラバソー is a cool upbeat rock number. The song begins with a cool rock style that has an element of mystery to it, that intrigues the listener. Then Kou comes in on the first verse and her vocals are quite nice here, staying with the cool music perfectly while still carrying a certain levity in her tone. The beginning of the chorus could have been a little more striking but it does end quite nicely. The pure instrumental section really spotlights the sleekness of the music, making it one of the best parts of the song, if not the best. Kou delivers another catchy number that suits her style well and keeps the listener entertained throughout.

The first B-side is Sweet Dream. It follows the style from the first A-side but has a slightly lighter feel to it. It’s not a bad song but its similarity to the A-side makes it feel kind of like a cheap copy.

Nervous also takes cues from the A-side but does it so with a different sound so that it sounds different enough. This song has a darker feel to it that Kou adapts well to.

In order to promote the single, a PV for ラバソー was made. The video mainly features Kou rocking out with her band in a dark alley. Also included are scenes of Kou in black and a devil Kou.

Single Ranking: B +

Kou did a pretty good job with this single as the A-side is catchy and fun.  It has a mysterious feel to it that intrigues the listener. Although the B-sides aren’t as strong, the A-side makes up for it. Hopefully she will do at least one more single before the year is over.

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Hamasaki Ayumi – Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ [46th Single]

September 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm (Hamasaki Ayumi) (, )

SunsetSunrise

Hamasaki Ayumi’s 46th single, entitled Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL,~ was released on 08.12.09. While Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~ was used as the theme song to the dorama Dandy Daddy?, Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ was used as the Panasonic LUMIX Fx60 CM song. Both songs share the same melody with different tempos.

Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~ is the upbeat version of the song with electronic influences to spice things up. The song begins with a relaxing and cool instrumental that has a summery feel to it and then Ayu begins singing. Her vocals are quite nice and the beat of the song is clearly aggressive, providing an interesting contrast. The energy comes out more strongly on the chorus in which Ayu chants happily. There’s just something missing from the song that keeps it being particularly memorable despite its difference from past summer songs.

Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ slows things down for the ballad version of the song. Although the verses are nice, the chorus just feels a little awkward. It worked much better in Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL.~ Ayu’s vocals are good but the music just holds it back from being a great ballad.

In order to promote the single, two PVs were made: one for each A-side. They are set at the same setting and fit their respective song well. For Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL,~ Ayu and her dancers sing and cheer happily for the crowd but for Sunset ~LOVE is ALL,~ she sits down and sings as the audience listens. Honestly, both videos are pretty boring and a lot more could have been done with them.

Single Ranking: B –

Ayu has had some great summer songs (glitter, Greatful days) but this one just didn’t stand out. It didn’t go too well for Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ either. Perhaps she shouldn’t have used the same melody because it’s hard to take it two different ways successfully (Koda Kumi nailed it with her single of a similar idea). Hopefully Ayu will bring something stellar for her next single because she definitely still has still got it!

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C-ute – EVERYDAY 絶好調!! [10th Single]

September 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm (C-ute) (, )

EVERDAY

C-ute’s 10th single, entitled EVERDAY 絶好調!!, was released on 09.16.09. It will be C-ute’s final release with Umeda Erika as she will go to study to be a fashion model.

EVERDAY 絶好調!! is a fun end of the summer relaxing track. The song begins with a fun groovy instrumental that carries a summery feel to it, catching the listener’s ear quite nicely. Then comes the first verse and the vocals support the breezy atmosphere perfectly, establishing a strong and natural sound. The chorus is sweet and fun, following the verse smoothly and keeping the listener interested. The pure instrumental section has kind of different style, which makes it really stand out before moving back into the chorus. After their last single, C-ute bounces back with a fun and sweet number that shows their true colors.

The girls bring the heat even more with the B-side, 甘い罠. Beginning the song is an aggressive poppy rock instrumental that definitely demands attention at the first moment. On the verses, the girls provide strong vocals that portray attitude and suit the music very strongly. The chorus keeps the coolness going as they come together with Maimi and Airi standing out as they usually do. The sound at the end is always fun and gives the song a slightly breezy feel. The pure instrumental section stands out nicely before moving into the chorus. This is definitely stronger than the A-side and should have been promoted as such.

In order to promote the single, a PV for EVERYDAY 絶好調!! was made. The video is quite simple, featuring the girls dancing on a rooftop. The dance sequence actually fits the sweet atmosphere of the song well so nothing intricate or too flashy is needed although it’s always nice to see.

Single Ranking: A

After a disappointing last single, C-ute steps it up for Erika’s last one. EVERDAY 絶好調!! is a fun breezy track that captures the feelings of the end of summer quite well while 甘い罠 features a more aggressive song that one can dance to. It’ll be interesting to see how the girls take things with only five members.

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Aoyama Thelma – Emotions [2nd Studio Album]

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

Emotions

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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