SOUL QUEST OVERTURE
THIS IS ME
EDGE OF THIS WORLD
Subarashii Mono Sageshi ni Ikou feat. MURO
Ame no Sonata
Kimi ni wa Uso wo Tsukenai
Manatsu no Chameleon
MAWARE MAWARE feat. M2J+FRANCIS JOCKY
LIFE IN HARMONY
1. SOUL QUEST OVERTURE
I’m surprised that MISIA began her album with an introduction more or less such a dramatic orchestral one. I was surprised at the musicality of the intro since there’s so much going for it and the orchestra sounds amazing letting off this dark and frenetic sound. After a little bit, it does cut out and the beat for “THIS IS ME” begins, I loved this intro!
2. THIS IS ME
As the album’s promotional song, THIS IS ME was a shock to the system for me since I’m so used to her ballads and not her getting funky and dance-like. MISIA’s vocals seem to surprise me since they’re so strong and it fits this mood quite perfectly. I have to say, this was an early surprise and I’m happy to have found this song.
3. EDGE OF THIS WORLD
As the first of three digital singles released for this era, EDGE OF THIS WORLD was my first introduction to MISIA and I must say that I was WAY impressed by this song. Like I said, I’m used to her as a ballad artist so likewise with “THIS IS ME”, this was a nice surprise since it’s more electro than any of the other songs on the album. It’s also great to hear MISIA tackle the song in a more opera-like tone than her straight-forward singing. It’s probably one of her best songs IMO…so epic of a song!
4. Subarashii Mono Sageshi ni Ikou feat. MURO
Getting to some new songs on the album, Subarashii Mono Sageshi ni Ikou takes MISIA into an R&B style which is her primary style for her music so I’m not surprised that she sounds rather comfortable singing this tune. I like the chill beat and MISIA sounds really pretty singing. As for MURO, he’s a rapper so that right there means there’s not a lot of value to him being there. I don’t think he really contributed well to the song and I was perfectly fine without him in the song.
The only physical A-side released in the era, Kioku is the first of the actual ballads on the album and this really sets the bar for the other ballads to surpass. Just like “SOUL QUEST OVERTURE”, the orchestra that’s present in the song is just spectacular and really captured a magical moment for MISIA to sing with. Like I said before on the single review, it’s a really beautiful ballad and stands out from the album.
6. Ame no Sonata
Unlike the last song, Ame no Sonata goes for more of a jazzy ballad for the tune and once again I find myself being lulled by MISIA’s soft vocals and the sound of thunder and rain spread throughout. I actually find myself really enjoying this style from her the most since her emotional vocals shined brightly in this song. Amazing tune!
7. Kimi ni wa Uso wo Tsukenai
Hmmm? Another orchestral ballad like “Kioku”? I guess she was smart enough to split the two apart since they’re on the same calibur but this one is a little different because there’s mostly piano and acoustic guitar backing up the arrangement. Still, once the full song enters, it feels like another “Kioku” and I tend to forget this track a lot. I will say the high notes she hits are very impressive!
8. Manatsu no Chameleon
I love the fact that “Kimi ni wa Uso wo Tsukenai” slides into our next track flawlessly. I thought the whistling melody was cute and added a bit of fluff to the tune which could be compared as a lighter “Subarashii Mono Sageshi ni Ikou” since it’s in the same style. I actually think the arrangement reminds me of Mika Nakashima’s older style slightly, but I think MISIA did a pretty good job here! I did think the 70’s funk section was a little out of place, but nothing terrible there.
9. MAWARE MAWARE feat. M2J+FRANCIS JOCKY
Yep the second digital single released, I was unfortunate because I heard the remix of it on “Kioku” before hearing the original. All I knew was that the original was tied-in to the world cup so it has this kind of chanting, celebratory vibe to it that actually comes off refreshing on the album. I’m not sure why not many people like it because this is kind of fun and MISIA does an amazing job singing here. It’s a surprise near the end of the album, I will admit that since it does feel like it belongs towards the front of the album.
10. LIFE IN HARMONY
Then we get into the 3rd and last digital single released and I’m not surprised at all that she chose to make it a ballad. I’m surprised that the song feels like a bit like “Kimi ni wa Uso wo Tsukenai” but more focus with the piano. Once again, I do feel a little bored with the song since it doesn’t flow as grand as “Kioku” but she still sounds great.
11. Ashita e
See what I mean, a little more effort and we get something that actually sounds beautiful like with Ashita e which marks as the album’s final song. Yeah, it might be the simplest ballad off the album only really using piano to get by, but MISIA’s vocal performance blew me away a lot more than other songs. I kind of do wish I wasn’t shaking the sleepy feeling from “LIFE IN HARMONY”, but this actually closes the album in a good way.
Song of Avoidance
I already knew SOUL QUEST was going to be a major leap up after “JUST BALLADE” which shouldn’t surprise many of you MISIA fans out there. I have to say she can pull off any style she possibly want and make it gold (like the upbeat songs). The ballads were the weakest part of the album, but it was only like two songs that I really had gotten bored of first listen. This is prolly one of the year’s more impressive releases IMO.