Way Beyond There
The First Finale in me
Utsukushiku Ikitai -10 years anniversary mix-
repeat -Deep Forest remix-
~In the future~ opens the title track and I’m kinda confused why there’s like guitars that sound like southern sounds. Maybe it’s just me but who knows. I love her power going through the chorus and she sounds great even though she twists her notes between her voice. Even though she’s yelling, it’s not too bad and I love her control here. Musically it does sound different from anything I’ve heard before the album so that’s good.
2. Red fraction
Red fraction is still the angriest track on the album and is still one of my favorites. Noting already that it’s all entirely in English. Even the lyrics are some of the most angsty lyrics I’ve seen a J-pop artist use in a long while and I love it. MELL’s English BTW is passable, but there’s some accenting issues that needs to be worked on.
3. Way Beyond There
Taking on a more punk rock phase, Way Beyond There is definitly an interesting song. The verses are dark and the synths are foreboding as well creating this almost uncomfortable setting. Sadly, the chorus wasn’t anything surprising, but you do hear piano. Her vibrato does kind of bother me in the chorus as well, but I guess it’s a good track.
Our next track opens with a strange synth opening and leads into a string entrance. It’s a pretty long entrance too. MELL is kind of singing without really noticing the music that’s playing. It isn’t until the bridge that she gains control and being a mid-tempo track, it’s nothing really to be happy about. I guess it’s a moving track, but MELL is a little lost in the song.
5. Virgin’s high!
Like I said in the review this song is so strange and not to my liking. It’s back to the rock stuff, but with MELL’s voice being filtered like crazy and all of the mishaps, this song just came out bad. The chorus is probably the only good thing because it’s quite catchy.
6. no vain
Now, I’m happy that no vain appeared on the album instead of “Proof” because it just sounded so much better IMO. Now, I can compare the guitar and synth usage to “Red fraction”. Luckily MELL is singing in Japanese and her voice is lovely to hear. It’s like singing/opera-like. The chorus of the song has to be the coolest thing about it. Definitly a great track.
Permit, is another English-only track and it’s more heart-felt because most of it is musically the acoustic guitar and piano. As it is the first ballad, I actually like it. MELL sounds fairly nice doing the ballad-style and as time goes by her voice gets stronger and louder making a better impression on me.
8. Under Superstition
Love the static opening of this track. There’s something evil looming in the song and I love MELL’s voice sounding like she’s longing for something. Her deep vocals are definitly are great thing here and with the dark atmosphere, it’s one of the better new tracks, if not best on the album.
kicks! is still a weird song with me. Being so upbeat and yet destroying it pretty quickly. MELL through the chorus is so bad because she’s depending too much on the vibratos and it doesn’t sound right with the music. I think this and its sister A-side was the worst coupling in her career.
10. The First Finale in me
The last new track is a ballad and is a beautiful one as well. It’s pretty sad and with just the piano backing up for the first half and then some other sounds coming later, it’s a nice track. MELL through the verses sounded different like her pitch was higher and yet when the chorus she becomes fuller in sound and deeper again. Definitly a high point for the album.
11. Utsukushiku Ikitai -10 years anniversary mix-
Surprised huh? I was when I learned that she was in fact singing for 10 years (even though this is her debut album that came out this year). The original was full of trance and you know me, I love it to death. Main difference between the original and now is that this one seems a lot more happy. MELL also sounds a lot more mature now as well. Definitly a nice touch-up for the ole’ track.
12. repeat -Deep Forest remix-
Our last track is a remix of said track. Now this remix makes the song sound more depressing and foreboding with the piano and eerie sounds. I actually really loved this more than this original because it doesn’t have any truly awkward moments. MELL’s vocals are also more twisted and have an echo effect which added more to its elusiveness. I think her yell/ad-libbing was intoxicating and showed the most emotion of the album. It’s also fully in English as well, which does shock me.
Song of Avoidance
Even though MELL’s been in the music industry for 10 years, this is actually her debut album, so there was a lot of speculation at how good she’ll be doing the J-pop stuff, cause most of the stuff she’s done is trance and dance stuff. My thoughts are is that this album is a good album. There were some tracks that were pretty bad (kicks! and Virgin’s high!). The new tracks were pretty cool though. It’s not the best album of the year, but it stands in its own way.