manu a manu
Utsukushii Uruwashiki Hito
Ame wa Tsurezure ni
State of mind
Kanashii Toki mo Ureshii Toki mo
to -album version-
1. manu a manu
A short introductory piece, manu a manu is Kaori singing under a filter in an unusually hypnotic way. As for arrangement, it’s just a piano though it’s played like chords. It’s pretty basic, but I guess it’s nice as a short intro.
Moving onto the first full track, Megumi was the primary A-side of the second single released. I’ve always thought of Megumi as the morning song because of its bright atmosphere and happy-go-lucky sound from Kaori. She still sounds a little bit lazy but it’s not bad and she puts a bit of effort into keeping things bright. I like it and brings good things out from her.
As the first new track, HAJIMARI to me was a little strange because it’s bouncy and kind of like the stuff from “moka”. You know, the laidback coffee-drinking sound. Her voice has also seem to gotten into a cute mode which bothers me a little bit, but it’s not overbearing. Not bad, but nothing exciting either.
4. Utsukushii Uruwashiki Hito
As the 3rd A-side, Utsukushii Uruwashiki Hito is probably my favorite released in the era. I just like how simple and how much it feels like a lullaby to my ears. Add in that Kaori’s vocals aren’t as odd like in “HAJIMARI”. Then again, I was surprised that this was the longest track on the album at 5:40. Yeah, this was a pretty sweet track ^_^
5. Ame wa Tsurezure ni
Back to new tracks, Ame wa Tsuresure ni to me is coined as the new weird song for Kaori. I mwan it has glockenspiel and accordion which kind of makes it sound like a depressing circus song. I guess you can say that it’s surprisingly unique for the album. Kind of a cynical kind of tone but I’m sure it’s lighthearted with the lyrics…I don’t know…but I like this XD.
6. Yasashisa Naretara
I’m kind of off and on with Kaori’s ballads but Yasashisa Naretara is quite boring to me for being just her and acoustic guitar. It just sounds a little too basic and needed some background support IMO. I just don’t find anything remotely interesting about it (sounds like “green” but less instrumentation).
7. tokyo hotaru
Unfortunately, the boredom continues with the B-side from “Utsukushii Uruwashiki Hito”. Actually the way it starts feels like it’s more of a continuation from “Yasashisa Naretara” but this actually gets the boost of extra instrumentation as time goes on. That’s really the only big change to be had. Her voice does sound stronger but she has moments of bad vocals, but I like this a bit more than the last track.
8. State of mind
Another one of these tracks? I’m already starting to doze off in this album. At least things pick up shortly after and starts to get better though I’m noticing that Kaori is pretty bad at English because I couldn’t tell what she was saying most of the time. It’s another “moka”-inspired song but I think I like the other one much better.
9. Kanashii Toki mo Ureshii Toki mo
It’s funny, since I can barely remember this song as it was the secondary A-side off the second single during this era. However, like “tokyo hotaru”, this song kind of sounds like a night time tune and it works because it contrasted from “Megumi’s” sunny disposition. I kind of enjoy the song still a lot more than a lot of others on this album.
10. to -album version-
As the first single released last year (though it kind of was pushed back because it was originally supposed to release in March, but the earthquake set it back quite a bit). I was a bit surprised that this song got a new version but it was needed since I couldn’t remember A THING about it. It’s a bit more minimalistic with less strings involved but being replaced by whistling XD. I do feel as if it’s a bit more campfire friendly but it’s a lot better (and more memorable) than its original counterpart.
Closing the album out, Yoake has a nice ending feel to it since it’s slow and the arrangement is simple but different. It’s a relaxing track which has a kind of old time feel to it which sounds good. Kaori also sings nicely and it closes the album on a nice note.
Song of Avoidance
I might actually consider this to be her best album yet. While I do think that this album did start to get boring in the middle, everything else was a lot more memorable and stronger of a release than both “moka” and “NIU”. Maybe it’s a turning point for her? Keep things more interesting and leave out the boring songs XD