Kurayami Monogatari

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Mao Denda – I AM December 9, 2009

Filed under: Mao Denda — solarblade @ 4:35 am

Track Listing

  1. Always Love
  2. Bitter Sweet
  3. Zutto
  4. Nakitaku Naru Kedo
  5. Hare Tokidoki Ame
  6. Let it go
  7. Breathe In Love
  8. Be My Hero
  9. ONEWAY Exp.
  10. Butterfly
  11. My Style
  12. Little Mary
  13. Someday
  14. Mimi Moto ni Iru yo… ~Ring the Bells REPRISE~ (First Press Limited)

1. Always Love

Opening with a short opening, Always Love is a pure accappella track that has Mao singing by herself and some BKGD vocalists.  It’s short, sweet and vocally nice.  Still a little shorter than I thought it would be.

2. Bitter Sweet

So it’s obvious that Mao would begin the album with the first A-side released in the era.  I really enjoyed the mix of a ballad and R&B track because it shows off Mao’s vocals quite nicely.  Her voice is just heavenly and the chorus is quite catchy and cool.  It’s one of the cooler songs I’ve heard this year, so it’s at the top.

3. Zutto

We get into our first new track off the album and it’s a really interesting.  The beginning makes you think it was going to be somewhat of a ballad, but it quickly turns into a sexual-sounding dance track.  It’s definitely following “My Style’s” dance style.  I love Mao’s whispering vocals and it just is smooth and catchy.  One of the better songs off the album.

4. Nakitaku Naru Kedo

Being the 2nd A-side released in the era, Nakitaku Naru Kedo is prolly me least favorite, but it’s not bad, it’s still a pretty good song.  The only reason that the song is the lowest is that her high notes were really off and made me wince quite a bit.  It’s good, but it’s just too much like “Bitter Sweet”.

5. Hare Tokidoki Ame

Being the lone B-side to make it on the album, Hare Tokidoki Ame would probably not have been the choice to make putting it on here.  It’s catchy though so it’s not too bad but seriously, “Lights and Shades” and “Mata Aeru Kana” would’ve been better choices.  On the album, Hare Tokidoki Ame sounds like some AYUSE KOZUE stuff so I found it a bit enjoyable.

6. Let it go

So Let it go, another song that borderlines between a ballad and an R&B track, I kind of like the sexier and smoother vocals from Mao here.  Sadly, it doesn’t really stem out to be that memorable, but the chorus is cute IMO

7. Breathe In Love

Marking as the first ballad off the album, Breathe In Love does a great job showing off Mao’s vocals.  Her vocals are straightforward and really good and strong.  However, the music does seem a little bit easy to read since after a while it gains a beat to make things more catchy.  It’s alright, but there’s just not enough to make it grand.

8. Be My Hero

I’m starting to get somewhat bored with the R&B stuff she’s putting out on the album and Be My Hero is a great example of something that just feels tacked on the album with little or no thought going into it.  The deeper bass synths were interesting, but otherwise it’s another track to just simply pass up.

9. ONEWAY Exp.

Thank god that ONEWAY Exp. came after the last song.  I really love the electro sound going on at the beginning and Mao saying ~love train~.  There’s a little mix of R&B, funk, and disco.  I really enjoyed this mixture altogether.  Definitely brought me back into the album.

10. Butterfly

While I was expecting something cute, it just another lackluster R&B track from here.  She does bring back the whispering vocals that really sound amazing in this song.  If the arrangement of the song wasn’t so dry and if Mao’s vocals in the chorus weren’t so thin, this would’ve been a much better track.

11. My Style

Clearly, My Style is just an amazing track.  Mao is definitely giving emotion through the song.  Add on the fact that the arrangement of the song has a lot of synths and it’s just full of life.  It’s one of the best songs off the album for sure.

12. Little Mary

I’m not sure what to think of Little Mary.  It’s for sure a ballad of course, but there’s just something about the song that feels like a gospel song.  Thank god the song picks up right at the chorus because Mao was starting to bore me with this song.  The chorus feature, I think her strongest and nicest vocals in a ballad so far. 

13. Someday

Ending off the album, Someday tries to be somewhat better altogeher, but it feels rather unfinished as a song.  It’s pretty short since it’s the album ender, but Someday would’ve been better with more music, than the very sparse shakers…Not the most impressive but I guess it’s alright.

14. Mimi Moto ni Iru yo… ~Ring the Bells REPRISE~

Released as a digital single before “My Style’s” release, Mimi Moto ni Iru yo was Mao’s debut single back in 2000.  So I guess it was fitting to reprise the song almost 10 years later.  I’ve never gotten to hear the original, but I do like this version since there’s strings and piano here.

Tracks Recommended

  • My Style
  • Zutto
  • Bitter Sweet
  • ONEWAY Exp.
  • Mimi Moto ni Iru yo… ~Ring the Bells REPRISE~

Song of Avoidance

  • Be My Hero

So it’s been exactly 9 years since her last full length album and surprisingly it wasn’t that bad of an album.  There were a few problems where the arrangements became a little too stale, but the singles and a few new tracks made up for that.  I hope it doesn’t take another 9 years for her next one…