Bokutachi ni Dekiru Koto
Tanin no Namida
Saigo no Koi
Anata ni Suki to Iwaretai (Piano Hiki Katari ver.)
Ashita Saku Hana
Happy days (Album mix ver.)
1. Waratte Waratte
We begin Hanako’s album with the A-side that finished up the era. Waratte Waratte is sitll pretty reminescent of the other A-sides of the era. It’s does a pretty arrangemnt, that’s a given. I just still think that since there was already so many ballads, she was getting stale at this state of the era. It has gotten better since I’ve had time to get used to it, but still way too many ballads were all over the era.
At least we get a relatively good upbeat track in the form of Ichibanboshi. Right from start, you hear drums, guitar, bass, and Hanako playing the keyboard. I’m surprised that I’m liking this song a lot more than a lot of tracks I’ve heard. It’s got a cute hook to it and Hanako’s vocals aren’t too bad, but she’s still nasally and that’s a red flag. Pretty sweet.
3. Bokutachi ni Dekiru Koto
Returning from “Waratte Waratte’s” single. Bokutachi ni Dekiru Koto was the more happier track off the single, but at that price, Hanako’s vocals took a dive in the process. Like I said with the leading A-side, this was a bad decision to really have on the single because I couldn’t exactly make it a good track for me. It was boring and even though it is after “Ichibanboshi” it still is pretty boring otherwise.
~Happy birthday to you~. I knew somehow that line was going to be used for the title track. It’s just like “Ichibanboshi” in the way it carries itself and being pretty bouncy and fun. Her vocals aren’t too bad here as well which is showing she’s actually trying. Birthday might come off as a little childish at different points, but this song isn’t half that bad
5. Tanin no Namida
I like the fact that Sanin no Namida is a bit different kind of ballad. I mean it’s only just her and the piano and it sounds pretty especially since Hanako’s softer sounding vocals were working for her a lot more. After a while, bass and drums are added to fill in the more important spots. Another pretty strong track from the album.
6. Saigo no Koi
I know it’s pretty cynical of me to say it, but I’m getting a little tired of Hanako opening each track with a small piano line. Of course it’s another ballad, and it oddly reminds me of “Waratte Waratte” which is bad as it was pretty meh as well. It also brings the worst of her vocals as she cracks bad going for the high notes here. Nothing special here.
Anemone is a strange track right from the start. It starts with an orgel melody and Hanako singing a part of the verse before this light R&B sounds comes in and helps with Hanako’s vocals. Honestly, this is the nicest I’ve heard Hanako right now and the song’s calm and laidback sound just works. It even ends off with the orgel melody. Gotta say, I’m impressed.
8. Aoi Heya
We go back to bland piano music with Aoi Heya. Like a bunch of other tracks on the album, Aoi Heya is just Hanako and piano working their magic across 5 minutes (pretty long for a track that’s almost like a ballad). She really shows off her skills in the song so it does make up for the lack of interest in the singing sections.
Why am I not surprised that Chocolate would’ve been a happy-go-lucky track. It is a bit like the other upbeat tracks but there’s a harmonica solo in the song so that’s what really makes it pop out at me and I really liked it. I’m happy that she excels at these kind of fun tracks and this isn’t bad at all either.
Jeeze, it’s hard to stay awake when the album keeps going back to these overly simple ballads that always seem to make my mind drift off into sleep mode. Once again Hanako shows off pretty good vocals, but it’s hampered by the vacant arrangement of the song, so it’s doesn’t leave a mark on me.
11. Anata ni Suki to Iwaretai (Piano Hikikatari ver.)
Instead of the orchestral number of the original, but it was screwed with and erased what made the original pretty good. Like “Hotarubi” it’s just Hanako and piano again and I dislike what they did on the album version of this track. I really don’t know why they would take out the one thing that made the song listenable out and left it as plain as ever!
12. Ashita Saku Hana
Luckily, the first A-side fills those shoes pretty quickly and it’s a pretty good song to represent the era as well. Having the things that “Anata ni Suki to Iwaretai” didn’t have, Ashita Saku Hana is a way better ballad of the album and mostly it’s because of how broad the arrangement is with the strings that fill in the song’s empty spaces. Probably the best ballad of the album.
13. Happy days (Album mix ver.)
Jeeze way to stick the Happy days near the end of the album. The single version didn’t have a beat like this one did and I loved it because it just added more color to the song. I do enjoy the new additions to the song and it fits with Hanako’s more joyous vocals here. Why can’t she have more tracks like this?
Ending off the album, Tomoshibi once again proves that Hanako can sing really good when she wants to because I find myself enjoying the calmer sound of her vocals. Sadly, the song isn’t anything to write home to about. It gradually gets better when other instruments enter in so I guess it’s an easy song to get along with. What a nice way to end the album (I think.)
Song of Avoidance
I really had a hard time reviewing this album. I mean a lot of the tracks were ballads and you know how I get with them. Hanako did a way better singing on the album tracks rather than the songs that were from her singles so that’s a good thing, but it was hard to pay attention with Hanako and her piano being all over her tracks. I’m for it, she just needs to change it up once in a while….especially if it’s a keyboard….PLAY SOMETHING ELSE ON IT!