Adesso e Fortuna ~ Honoo to Eien (CD+DVD only)
Asu e no Kizuna
1000 no Omoi
La La La ~Sekai wo Hitotsu ni~
Mirai e… -Album Version-
Asu e no Kizuna -Ballad Version- (CD+DVD only)
1. Adesso e Fortuna ~ Honoo to Eien
Huh…the album begins differently depending on which version of the album you get. The CD+DVD version starts us off with Adesso e Fortuna. Of recent releases from HIMEKA, she keeps things light and adds in a little touch of ansion. I like the use of castanets with the strings, piano, and harp to make it more of majestic kind of opening. HIMEKA hasn’t lost her great vocal ability either and adds a powerful touch to the song (though some parts it felt like an enka song) still, this was great but the it felt like the end was a little odd coming after a solo from the arrangement…I thought there was gonna be one more roll through the chorus…guess not.
2. Asu e no Kizuna
The CD only version of the album begins with HIMEKA’s introduction to the J-pop world, Asu e no Kizuna. I still remember the melody of the song even after how long it’s been out. While her vocals have gotten better since then, HIMEKA does sound a little stressed and squeaky at some points. Still, the fact that the melody is so strong and the vocals that are strong stood out the most for me. One of the few debuts that really stood out to me in 2009.
3. 1000 no Omoi
Our next new song takes HIMEKA’s anison style to more of a synth-based style. I will say that while the strings are going to be a bit of a bother since most of the songs on this album features them, 1000 no Omoi fixes it up with a pretty catchy beat and powerful chorus. Another great song here from her.
I’m not a big fan of HIMEKA getting all acoustic at the beginning to Crossroad because her vocals sound a little too raw and she kind of hits unusual notes. Likewise, the song quickly adds strings and percussion along with the acoustic guitar and it sound like a different song but I’m kind of bored with this one. I will say the whole ~I choose my life~ in the start of the chorus stuck to my mind. Still, kind of forgetful.
One of the few interesting ballads on the album, HIGURASHI kind of feels like a great ending to an anime since it’s got those strings that actually doesn’t sound bad here at least not until the solo parts come in, then it kind of gets forgetable. It’s dramatic in a good way and the verses were definitely stronger than the chorus IMO.
6. Hatanaki Michi
Following in the footsteps of “HIGURASHI” and also “Asu e no Kizuna”, HIMEKA’s second A-side comes in and I thought also carried itself pretty strongly. The melody is one of the best things about the song for me and she sung much more strongly as well. Yeah, there’s just nothing in the song that disappoints me at all.
Just seems that Hikari follows alongside the other upbeat songs here but is a little lighter than the other ones. While she has great vocals in the song which shows a lot more work has been done with HIMEKA’s vocals since her debut. The song itself is kind of tiring since it’s just like the other light ones. At least the vocals saved the song from being a total blur.
8. My door
Another ballad starts with My door which of course is piano/strings based. To me it’s kind of the throwaway song despite having great vocals. She’s showing a lot of control between her soft and loud vocals but the arrangement is just so blah for me.
9. Genkai DREAMERS
Genkai DREAMERS tries to kick things up a notch with the harder sound from the guitars and such and funny enough it sounds rather good and not as boring like the last song. HIMEKA’s voice does sound a little different but she really gets the song going and I’m loving the chorus where her voice just booms in the song. Loving this!
10. Secret Eden
The last of the new tracks, Secret Eden is kind of another bummer song for me since it sounds like a more dramatic version of “Hatenaki Michi”. It’s just a little too typical anime-esque for me and doesn’t have a good drive like some of the other songs unfortunately.
11. La La La ~Sekai wo Hitotsu ni~
As we near towards the end of the album, we find ourselves at the lone digital single released. I will say that it was nice to hear it since it was poppy and brighter than any other song on the album and it let HIMEKA utilize a much cuter tone for the song but I felt like it was a shelved H!P song oddly enough. Actually to be more specific, it sounds like “Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobitatsu Kara”. It’s that same happy song…it’s just weird.
12. Mirai e… -Album Version-
Closing the CD only edition is HIMEKA’s third A-side which was edited on the album here. Being about 35 seconds longer than the original, I was curious to what really changed in the song but it seems that HIMEKA resung the song and there’s an extra instrumental part. Nothing totally out of the ordinary here. Mirai e… never really caught on me as well as the other two A-sides but this is still a pretty ballad and appropriate for the last track.
13. Asu e no Kizuna -Ballad Version-
However, if you bought the CD+DVD version, you close with a ballad take of Asu e no Kizuna which is just beautiful on all aspects. Replacing the whole anime arrangement for just a piano (and later on strings) is pretty ballsy and really speaks for itself with how great HIMEKA sung the song. I have to say, I actually prefer this over the original *gasp*
Song of Avoidance
I took two years+ but we finally got HIMEKA’s debut album and well it’s definitely proven that she’s an amazing singer and very talented in all the songs she sung in. HOWEVER, the production team really failed to bring it, at least in my opinion, they were slacking it big time. The first three songs and the last two + Hatenaki Michi were the highlights. I don’t know why but the rest of the album just felt like cheap rehashes of the songs that were great and disappointed with me. So the album ended up really being half/half in the end. Maybe her sophomore album will be so much better because she deserves great producers for her great voice!