Kurayami Monogatari

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Maki Goto – Ai Kotoba (VOICE) November 4, 2011

Filed under: Maki Goto — solarblade @ 8:08 am

Track Listing

  1. What is LOVE
  2. Get Your Way
  3. YOU
  4. Tsukikage
  5. Ai Kotoba
  6. EYES
  7. Paradise
  8. SCANDALOUS
  9. Houseki
  10. “Nee…”
  11. hanauta
  12. Believe
  13. Ashiato

Collabo-works Track Listing

  1. Queen Bee with BIGGA RAIJI
  2. Lady-Rise
  3. Candy
  4. TEAR DROPS with KG
  5. Mine with KEN THE 390
  6. Fly away
  7. Plastic Lover
  8. with…
  9. Golden LUV
  10. CRAZY IN LOVE feat. MAKI GOTO with FALCO & SHINO
  11. Fly away -house nation remix-
  12. Plastic Lover -club mix-

1. What is LOVE

The opening song on Maki’s album was actually one of the two digital singles released in the era.  Funny things just kick off right from the start with something that’s danceable and electro-ish and it just works for me.  It’s just weird though because Gocchin doesn’t sound like herself taking more of a deeper tone which is a new side to her but it kind of works for me because it makes her sound more sexy to my ears.  I like the song though, it’s got a hard sound and the tune is pretty damn catchy!

2. Get Your Way

After the first song, we get a string of new songs starting with Get Your Way which continues to exude this sexual air this early on the album and I can’t help but liking this song also since it’s sticky and gooey but kind of hot since it shows more of Maki’s vocals a bit better than “What is LOVE”.  Another strong song early on!

3. YOU

As the album’s promotional song, YOU at first seriously came off to me as a rejected Ayu song because the arrangement and musical flow of the songs scream Ayu.  However, I think Maki did justice with this song and since it’s the first soft song after the two synth-based songs.  Actually, YOU really did a great thing for Gocchin because it’s the first to show power from her and it worked to her favor IMO.  I ended up loving this one!

4. Tsukikage

After such a powerful ballad in “YOU”, I found it interesting to follow up with another ballad in Tsukikage.  Of course to my ears, it’s a bit more basic since it’s predominantly piano at its core.  It’s got a pretty arrangement though with light synths and something to make it sound a little more oriental as well.  Though, the chorus is a little disappointing since it lacks power, but it’s still a beautiful ballad and fitting after something like “YOU”.

5. Ai Kotoba

The title track comes up next and it just left me dazed and confused during the entire listen.  At first I was surprised she’d choose another ballad since it was only her and piano at first.  Then she totally threw a 180 at the listener by switching into a hard rock track.  To me, this exactly reminds me of Ayu’s “Because of You” because it’s the same formula, just different arrangements and melodies.  I just found it strange to go back and forth but unlike “Fake” where Maki pulled off the style well, she didn’t do as good here unfortunately, but there’s some things that I do like…like the verses and the area before the final chorus.

6. EYES

So we’re back to pre-released songs starting with one of the two promotional songs from her first mini-album, “ONE”.  EYES was definitely a good choice to add on the album since after those serious songs before it, this brightens the atmosphere up.  I like Maki’s vocals in this song and she really tries to be pretty suave in the song.  Of course the added feel of the song under the disco balls is great!  It isn’t my favorite song of the mini-albums but it’s damn close xD

7. Paradise

Another song rushes in before the string of old tracks follow it.  Paradise has a nice follow-up after “EYES” so the placement is definitely not a problem here.  However, to me this song kind of feels underwhelming as well since it doesn’t seem to really grow and the chorus at first is hard to pinpoint.  I’m kind of just shrugging this song off since it doesn’t impress me one bit.

8. SCANDALOUS

The other digital single released in the era brings back the electro beats and easily accessable dance style that Maki did on “SWEET BLACK”.  To me, this was one of my favorites and so much better than “What is LOVE”.  The beginning was dejavu to my ears because there was a short passage that made me thing “Evacuate the Dancefloor” by Cascada but that was shortlived.  I like the song still and even though there’s songs that surpass it on this album, I’d say it did well for itself.

9. Houseki

The other song from the “ONE” mini-album found itself on here and I have to say it’s my favorite song off the album hands down.  I thought at first it was just going to be a pop song at first because of the lengthy intro to the song.  Thank god it changes from that into this electro bomb that filled my headphones with happiness ^_^.  Loving the arrangement (which was done by Shinichi Osawa BTW).  Yeah, it’s definitely a powerhouse.

10. “Nee…”

Which is a little odd that the main song from Gocchin’s 3rd mini-album, “LOVE” comes after all that in “Houseki”.  I must say that since it’s not surrounded by the other ballads from that mini, it works a bit better here and unlike the previous ballads before it, it’s a bit happier in tone which I liked about it more here.  It’s a catchy song after all and she sung her heart out on this one but it isn’t as personal of a song as…

11. hanauta

Which is the third track that found its way onto the album from “ONE”.  Unlike “Nee…”s  romantic overlook, hanauta was a song that became pretty important to Gocchin since it took better life after her mother’s passing which is a pretty sweet thing to do and Maki sounds lovely in this song no doubt.  I do prefer the arrangement in the last song however, but this song has the prettier vocals.  It’s a toss up at this point…

12. Believe

The last new track once again puts me in a position where I get dejavu because it sounds like another Ayu ballad for me!  It’s like a cross between “Tsukikage” and “YOU” which is kind of cool but a little lazy in some parts.  I like how light and delicate Gocchin’s vocals are going through the verses before getting louder during the chorus.  It’s a pretty good song and does pull us out of the ballads before the finale.

13. Ashiato

Which is the main tune from the “Gloria” mini-album hahaha.  I’m not sure if it was really a smart idea for Ashiato to have been the closer when we had “hanauta” which would’ve made so much more sense than this tune which is kind of in its own category.  What I mean is that Ashiato is pop/rock but not in the same veins as the other rock songs which makes it the oddball tune.  I liked it though and is one of the album’s more catchier songs…but still isn’t a good outro to the album.

Collabo-works Disc

1. Queen Bee with BIGGA RAIJI

Then we get into the second disc which is a little disappointing but that’s more for later.  The first 8 tracks are exactly from the “SWEET BLACK” mini-album which is a shock since I wouldn’t have thought she’d add ALL the songs.  Queen Bee is still one of my favorite Gocchin tracks since she joined avex.  I mean of course people still complain that BIGGA RAIJI kind of takes a lot away from the song, but personally I’ve come to fully enjoy him in the song since he gives an attitude to the song that couldn’t have been done better with any other MC.  I love the beat of the song and Maki just sexes the song up to such a good degree and I just MMMMMMMPH.  It’s a damn good song!

2. Lady-Rise

I mean I hate the fact that Lady-Rise is three minutes long, but damn just like “Queen Bee” it’s pretty damn fierce for Maki to pull a sexy song out of the hat prior to her debut mini-album (even though she dabbled in that in her final H!P album).  To me, “Fly away” didn’t do much for me when she began, but her second of the digital singles in that era was hot and full of attitude so of course I’m going to take more notice!

3. Candy

While I have kept tabs on the previous two tracks on my iPod, I totally forgot what most of the other songs sounded like.  Candy was a surprise for me because it’s more along the lines of what I would listen to since it continues this aggressive sexual nature that has kept me interested in the other dance tunes.  I need to keep my eyes on this one since I really liked this tune a bit!

4. TEAR DROPS with KG

The previous three songs were dance tracks for the most part and then TEAR DROPS kinds of slams the brakes down for a piano-based mid-tempo kind of track.  Also it’s a little weird getting into collaborations (no, I mean other artists singing).  To me, I feel like TEAR DROPS would make for a great winter-themed PV for some reason.  KG does an alright job in his parts but Maki sounds a bit more cleaner (at least to me). 

5. Mine with KEN THE 390

At least the other actual collaboration sounds rather upbeat and pulls us back into the dance-like atmosphere with a pulsating beat.  To me, I was surprised that it was a new version of “Hear me” but replaced all-around but kept a little bit in the way of lyrics.  KEN THE 390 is just all kinds of awesome in the song and brings fire to the already tight song!  I mean this collaboration could have not been any better IMO.

6. Fly away

I remember this being first released SOOOO long ago.  At that time, I was just not that impressed with it though I will give credit nowadays because the beat is quite fierce and Maki sounds quite nice with the clapping rhythm.  I still find the chorus to be a little bit of a downer when compared to the hot verses.  Still, since then the song has seriously grown on me and man, if it wasn’t for “Queen Bee”, “Lady-Ride”, or the next song I probably would have paid SO much more attention to this song…

7. Plastic Lover

I still think that this song and “Queen Bee” seriously is the best songs that the mini-album had to offer.  I mean of course this track was sliced from a longer version (which is fortunately on here as well), Plastic Lover is just an amazing club-banger for me.  It’s got the right amount of beats and the synths flow so smoothly…and then add the glorious high note Gocchin hits and you get this awesome song! 

8. with…

Since with… was originally what closed the SWEET BLACK mini, I felt that this song probably would’ve fit moreso on “Ai Kotoba” since it kind of just felt weird since besides “TEAR DROPS” it didn’t fit the mold of the other songs since it was more of an R&B kind of song.  It’s a sweet song though and Maki’s vocals are light and fluffy which works for the setting.  I still think all-around this and the song mentioned should not be hear amongst all the dance tracks.

9. Golden LUV

The other four tracks on the second disc are kind of bonuses since two are where Gocchin was the featured artist and two are just simply remixes of “SWEET BLACK” songs.  I loved that her ravex song got to see light again (third time reviewed BTW).  It’s been a while since I’ve listened to the song and I found that it fits with the other dance tracks awesomely.  I thought it would’ve worked if it was after “EYES” or something TBH.  It’s just lively and I loved the beats and mood of the song, it’s just disco and wacky all rolled in one here ^_^

10. CRAZY IN LOVE feat. MAKI GOTO with FALCO & SHINO

Funny enough, the other original song was the only one I have never heard prior to this album release and I’m not even sure where it even came from.  CRAZY IN LOVE (a song that’s actually DJ MAYUMI’s) this sounds a lot like what American sounded like at the time since it reminds me of a certain Keri Wilson song.  I wonder if there’s a relation since it’s Maki and two MCs….Odd…The song overall is alright, but I’m not a big fan of this one.

11. Fly away -house nation remix-

Like I said the other two tracks are lengthy remixes of “SWEET BLACK” songs even though they were already well-known by that time.  If memory serves me correctly, I think we had the Fly away remix before the original mix was released which is a surprising move.  I have to say that even though I’m not a fan of long intro club remixes, the main feel of the song once Gocchin starts to sing is pretty awesome.  I get a dreamscape kind of feel for it and at the same time, I can move my hips to the track.  It turned the dark dance track into a bright and floaty mix and I must say I’m impressed.

12. Plastic Lover -club mix-

Onto the first version of Plastic Lover released, It’s a little shorter than the remix of “Fly away” funny enough but I must say that the core of the mix of Plastic Lover stayed the same which awesome.  It does sound a little different if the headphones are on which is pretty awesome.  I mean in literal sense, it just adds more punch which is awesome since I love the song already. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Houseki
  • What is LOVE
  • YOU
  • Ashiato
  • hanauta
  • Plastic Lover
  • Queen Bee with BIGGA RAIJI
  • Lady-Rise
  • Fly away
  • Fly away -house nation remix-

Song of Avoidance

  • Paradise
  • CRAZY IN LOVE feat. MAKI GOTO with FALCO & SHINO

As it’s Maki’s only album under avex and the last thing she’s going to release before going into hiatus, Ai Kotoba (VOICE) is definitely going to be somewhere on my top 10 albums of the year.  There’s just something great she pulled here and while I doubted her during her mini-albums, she came together for the album and she pulled it off quite well.  A lot of variation here to be found! 

The second disc could’ve been handled better IMO.  I mean I wish she didn’t bring the ENTIRE SWEET BLACK mini onto the disc because everyone knows it pwns most of the songs on Ai Kotoba for sure.  I would’ve been with a few from it and pick and choose through the remaining songs from the mini-albums AND WHY IS THERE NO “Non stop Love Yoroshiku!!” since it is a “collaboration” with DJ OZMA (yes I know it’s not credited as DJ OZMA but it’s the same dude under it).  I don’t know I just wish the second disc was handled differently!

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Maki Goto – LOVE May 5, 2011

Filed under: Maki Goto — solarblade @ 4:13 am

Track Listing

  1. “Nee…”
  2. lalala
  3. Sora to Kimi no Aida ni
  4. Aitai
  5. your song

1. “Nee…”

Beginning the mini-album off, “Nee…” is the promotional song and a bit of a surprise since it’s a ballad of all things.  She isn’t unfamiliar in the genre since she did “hanauta” off her last mini-album and such.  Still after the last mini, this song doesn’t really pull any strings and slightly comes off flat.  I do like Gocchin’s voice in this song though so it’s more of a good song vocally but boring song musically.

2. lalala

I really did think she did pick things up with lalala.  It’s kind of like the upbeat stuff she used to do under H!P with being happy and upbeat.  Add in the strings and latin guitar and we end up with a good mixture.  I also felt Gocchin’s vocals were more relaxed and pretty with this tune.  It’s a light and fluffy pop tune and I really enjoyed this (especially more so being after “Nee…”

3. Sora to Kimi no Aida ni

A Miyuki Nakajima cover, Sora to Kimi no Aida ni reverts back into the ballads again and as much as I’m surprised, it’s actually not that bad of a song to be honest.  There’s this low-lying synth playing in the background giving the song a darker glow.  The acoustics are quite nice and then after that the song opens up into this mid-tempo….almost Ayu-fied song but with Maki’s vocals.  It’s alright overall, but I wish it didn’t add the beats….it just felt bland after a while.

4. Aitai

Guh, I didn’t think most of the mini-album was going to be full of damn ballads.  Well this isn’t a pure one, more like an R&B track that’s pretty slow.  It’s pretty plain and simple of a song and doesn’t really stand out much unfortunately.

5. your song

Closing the mini is your song, which is probably the best song on the whole thing.  I found it very amusing that the opening with the guitars remind me a lot of “Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~” since it’s kind of the same upbeat and energetic performance we got.  I like Gocchin’s vocals here since they aren’t tight and pitchy.  Good closure to be honest ^_^

Ehhhh…I loved “ONE” and enjoyed “Gloria”, but her third mini-album, LOVE was just a bit of a bore when compared to the other two.  I do think that lalala and your song were pretty good songs, but the other three were ballads and well definitely not memorable at the least.  It’s just lacked a lot for me and made me sleepy most of the time.  Worst mini yet….can we get an album now?!?

 

Maki Goto – Gloria January 14, 2011

Filed under: Maki Goto — solarblade @ 6:11 am

Track Listing

  1. Ashiato
  2. Hanataba
  3. Koi Hitoyo
  4. Fake
  5. Age♂Kyoku

1. Ashiato

Opening the mini with the promotional track, I was pretty surprised that it was actually a jumpoff from her style that she was pulling off back on both “SWEET BLACK” and “ONE”.  Instead we get a pop/rock side to Gocchin and it actually sounds lively and it does show off more of Maki’s vocals which is great, but it’s definitely out of her zone, but she gave it a try and it’s catchy for the most part, good choice for a promo song.

2. Hanataba

I actually thought we’d only have one song that came out that way, but it seems to be the theme for the mini-album.  Unlike “Ashiato’s” more brand of pop/rock, Hanataba seems to represent the lighter R&B sound and I would’ve expect something like this after “SWEET BLACK” so it comes off as a sweet tune.  The piano solo was a nice twist to the song, but Maki gave it life.

3. Koi Hitoyo

Seeing as this is the only cover song, Koi Hitoyo (originally done by Shizuka Kudo) to me reminds me of my slight dislike to “Wagamama”.  I mean the acoustic R&B feel feels kind of weird to me and the way Maki is singing the song is kind of eh to me since the chorus consists of the same note syndrome that hurts it quite a bit.  So basically this was my least favorite song from here.

4. Fake

I will say that I was also shocked to see that Maki also tried out the more angsty side to rock and it actually sounds like it would be suited more better for Ayu.  I guess there’s something about that just doesn’t seem right in this song and I can’t put my thumb on it besides the fact Maki and rock don’t mesh very well.  Maybe it’s just takes time to get used to this new style she’s under.

5. Age♂Kyoku

Though there is a song that’s kind of reminescent to either her dance style back on “ONE” and maybe a slight push further back to her H!P days.  I’m surprised that it’s the only one that has a dance style going and has the most amount of synths playing around.  While it isn’t jaw-dropping like other songs of hers, it’s fun and has a lot of energy (maybe the yelling guys are a bit much, but still…).

Wow, what a departure for Maki since joining avex.  All we really have seen was either dance, R&B, or ballads, but with Gloria it’s a totally different playfield and I’m not sure if I had enjoyed entirely.  Like I can see where some songs are catchy and such, but it’s a style unfitting for her.  I will say it was a risky, but interesting change of sound!

 

Maki Goto – ONE July 27, 2010

Filed under: Maki Goto — solarblade @ 2:17 am

Track Listing

  1. Houseki
  2. EYES
  3. Wagamama
  4. Ienai Kedo
  5. hanauta

1. Houseki

Ahhh, beginning this mini-album up and the first of the promotional songs, Houseki starts off like it was a ballad.  At least that’s what I thought it was before the song starts adding Shinichi Osawa’s synth arrangement to the song and the entire mood just switches into this dance groove.  While yes, the last time she practiced with synths were on her “SWEET BLACK” album, I think this was perfect for her because it’s edgy and yet has this happy feeling going throughout.  Definitely a great opening song!

2. EYES

I guess continuing into the 2nd promotional song off the album, EYES is definitely what some retail sites described the album.  It’s funky and has a 60’s/70’s disco style going for it and I actually enjoyed it partly because of the whole bass melody and interesting amound of synths.  It’s like they took “Plastic Lover” and added brass and safer vocals and we got EYES.  Still good dance tune as well.

3. Wagamama

Synthetic acoustic guitar really does sound kind of strange to listen to since it’s so buzzy and just fake-ish sounding.  At least Maki is making something of it because of all the songs, this sounds a bit westernly and I do enjoy the change in sound she went for the song.  I mean it might not be like the previous two songs, but I think it’s rather softer side to Maki was different enough for me to enjoy.

4. Ienai Kedo

So we actually get some actual acoustic to begin Ienai Kedo, but it switches to the deepest dance songs off the album.  You can thank Shinichi for bringing his electronica genius into this song because it sounds great (like his other works).  It might not have the melodious factor that “Houseki” has, but it’s catchy and Maki’s vocals sound really nice here.

5. hanauta

As the mini-albums final track and lone ballad, hanauta is more of a personal song since she wrote it for her mother who passed away before the announcement of ONE.  It’s the most simplest song being only piano, strings, and R&B beats together.  She did justice here and she sounds pretty darn good as usual.  I don’t know if it’s her best ballad since I never followed her H!P solo career until her final album and that had good ballads on it, but I think she could do wonders to ballads in the future.

 

 

I think most people are running the thought “WHY DIDN’T SHINICHI MAKE THIS A FULL ALBUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  To be honest I would agree with that because Shinichi producing is almost mind-blowing, especially when it comes to his solo work, his ravex work, and Eri Nobuchika’s album.  We might have another case of Eri out of Shinichi stays because ONE is a pretty good mini-album for Maki.  I think her voice is more than suited for this style and while all the songs (exception of Wagamama, which is a bit strange for both Shinichi and Maki) it was magic.  I hope to see more work with these two.

 

SWEET BLACK feat. MAKI GOTO – SWEET BLACK September 18, 2009

Filed under: Maki Goto — solarblade @ 3:37 am

sweetblack

Track Listing

  1. Queen Bee with BIGGA RAIJI
  2. Lady-Rise
  3. Candy
  4. TEAR DROPS with KG
  5. Mine with KEN THE 390
  6. Fly away
  7. Plastic Lover
  8. with…

1. Queen Bee with BIGGA RAIJI

One of the two tracks to represent this mini-album, Queen Bee is damn good.  The sound and feel of the tune is a little bit towards Reggaeton and that fits with BIGGA RAIJI since it’s his forte and such but then when you hear him rap….things just don’t click and his awkward tone just bothers me to no end.  Maki though is the highlight of the song because all the parts she has are gold, especially the chorus….Way catchy.  Even though the song has transition problems this is one of her best tracks right now *shoots RAIJI*

2. Lady-Rise

Before the awesomeness that is “Queen Bee”, Lady-Rise was at the time my favorite Maki tune.  Released as the second digital single…Lady-Rise is the shortest track at right under 3 minutes and that actually disappointed me hardcore.  It’s got the right amount of punch that she’s had since her last H!P album and shows the right amount of sexy that made songs like “SOME BOYS! TOUCH” work in her favor.  Pretty sweet tune!

3. Candy

I really like the more electronic sound Candy has.  There’s something that’s really cool and heavy that I love about this song.  I don’t know why but this clapping beat is just catchy.  There’s this one part where her voice is filtered out and that was when I had to say this track is epic and I can’t believe she didn’t release a PV for this.   

4. TEAR DROPS with KG

In an album that looks to be covered in dance tracks, TEAR DROPS fills up nicely as one of two ballads off the mini.  I really like how the song starts with a nice piano intro and then synths and more stuff gets added along.  KG’s vocals fit just right and harmonize quite nicely with Maki’s vocals as well.  It might not be the strongest song, but this is a nice tune.

5. Mine with KEN THE 390

While it looks to be a new track, Mine is actually “Hear me”, which was Maki’s first track under the avex label.  Now I’m not sure why there was a title change, but KEN THE 390 is featured now and gave the song flavor.  Once again, Maki gives a pretty good performance….maybe the chorus where her higher register comes into play in the chorus is a little thin….but I love KEN’s part in the song….talk bout adding punch….

6. Fly away

The first digital single from Gocchin, Fly away does sound a little like “Lady-Rise” but there’s something that keeps it from sounding like a clone and thank god.  It’s sad that I don’t remember this track as much as the other two digital singles.  I wouldn’t say it’s any better than a good portion of the other songs, but it was good when it came out.

7. Plastic Lover

It’s awesome to see that Plastic Lover from the HOUSE NATION album “Aquamarine” made it onto this album.  Since it’s not extended, I was so happy to see this electronica track.  That being said, it’s radically different from anything previous and makes me wonder why SWEET BLACK hasn’t gone through this genre as much.  Maki sounds so good with the arrangement here as it’s perfect.  I have to say, this song is instant win with me.

8. with…

The third and final digital single of the era, with… was unsurprisingly a ballad.  I’ll admit it, I wasn’t too fond of this track when it came out.  I can admire the acoustic arrangement, and the R&B sound that went with it.  It still isn’t stuck in my mind still, but it’s a rather nice track to end this mini-album with.

 

 

Finally!!!  I’ve been rather hyped up for this release after hearing good songs and what I got from this was really good.  I think she chose great songs to represent this whole project.  I’ll admit there were a few low-liked songs, but a good portion was really good.  I can’t wait til she release stuff in her own name.  I do wish that SWEET BLACK wasn’t a project thing, so she could’ve added her collabs with DJ MAYUMI and ravex…now that’d be awesome ^)^

 

Maki Goto – How to use SEXY October 4, 2008

Filed under: Maki Goto — solarblade @ 4:57 am
Tags: , , ,

Track Listing

  1. How to use Loneliness
  2. GIVE ME LOVE
  3. SOME BOYS! TOUCH
  4. City Wind
  5. Nee Samishikute
  6. Glass no Pumps
  7. DAY BREAK
  8. Wow Suteki!
  9. Secret
  10. LIFE

1. How to use Loneliness

Isn’t sexy and loneliness two totally different things?  Well, we start off the album with it’s pseudo-title track.  Interesting the songs sounds a little like what Koda Kumi would do because of the sexy atmosphere.  The song sounds a little flirty and yet keeps the innocence with the piano lines that keep appearing.  Definitly a strong start to the album and Maki sounds great here for her 1st track.

2. GIVE ME LOVE

Put a little more energy and dance and we get this track.  It follows the same sexy pattern and same sense of fun at the same time.  The swooping synth line after the chorus did bother me a little bit as I’m listening to it.  Other than that, this was just another offbeat track.

3. SOME BOYS! TOUCH

This was the song that got me into Maki in the first place.  It oozes sex appeal from every direction, but it really strikes you in the verses ~Yasashiku Touch….Catch….Touch..Catch..Touch~ I mean and how she’s says it is like she really wants it badly.  The chorus has a march like percussion sound which surprised me.  Funny, at how upbeat the song is in the chorus.  I do love the synth here as well!

4. City Wind

Heavy thumps of sounds start up this otherwise soothing pop track from Maki.  The R&B influence is obvious, but how she tackles the song really gave the song some needed boost.  I would have preferred her to have left the thumping out.  The sitar that’s in it was also an interesting addition adding mystery.  Other than that this song is very calm and pretty good.

5. Nee Samishikute

This song is also R&B oriented with that bubbly beat.  Somehow I didn’t connect to this song as I wanted to be.  I found it to be oddly boring and dragging itself the whole track.  I am once again reminded of Koda Kumi’s music with this track which I guess is surprising.  I just kind of wished she didn’t drag the song to boredom though.

6. Glass no Pumps

I knew immediatly knew this would’ve been so similar to a Morning Musume track.  The only thing though, it’s one lady.  As it was her first single of the era.  The thing that made the song as good as her others is that her sexyness was all over the song.  The chorus was also very catchy.  ~GARASU no PAAAMPUUSS~  Yeah, this song is ridiculously catchy.

7. DAY BREAK

Ahhhh, a nice soothing pop track.  Though it’s very jazzy as well and her voice suits this style very well.  Her lower register is like whispering in the verses.  The fantastic music really brought out how versitile Maki can be which is good for her.  I think it’s one of her standout tracks from this album as it so far doesn’t sound like anything else she’s done.

8. Wow Suteki!

I love the entrance with the song.  Sounds some like retro stuff.  The verses sounds pretty funky then she goes up into a medium register and sounds pretty cool.  Then the chorus sounds like another Morning Musume, which isn’t always bad, but you would wanna stray away from it right?  Since, yknow your a solo artist trying to make a name in the world…I still enjoy the song with it’s classic feel and touch.

9. Secret

After all them fun songs, she needs at least one ballad right?  Sounds of water dripping and some R&B stuff introduces into this simplistic ballad.  Though once again, I’m feeling the boredom of the song.  Musically, I know that they are trying to prevent that with some timpani rolls and some other random moments.  At the end of it all, it just didn’t capture my attention. 

10. LIFE

Dissonant strings open this last song up and this one actually caught my attention.  Maki sounds very mature in the song and sounds like Hitomi Shimatani practically.  A full orchestra is actually backing the music for Maki and it’s one of her better ballads from this album.  Beautiful song overall and a great album finisher as well.

Tracks Recommended

  •  SOME BOYS! TOUCH
  • LIFE
  • DAY BREAK
  • Wow Suteki!
  • Glass no Pumps

Song of Avoidance

  • Nee Samishikute

This is actually Maki’s 4th and final Hello!Project album.  To be honest, I haven’t heard her earlier albums, but this is very good for an album from them.  Since, y’know, I’m used to all the Morning Musume stuff.  There’s a lot of style she tried out for this album and they mostly pretty well done minus a few boring ones.  Since then she’s now signed to AVEX and I can’t wait to see what’s in store from her.