Darling to Madonna
Zutto Zutto Zutto Kimi ga Suki da
Sekaijuu ni Kimi wa Hitori Dake
Koko Kara Hajimarunda!
Kaze no You na Melody
Sayonara Namida (Acoustic Version)
Kikkake wa YOU! (Acoustic Version)
If the era hasn’t told me enough, I wasn’t surprised Yuu would open her sophomore with a kind of electropop song like Dramatic. Though I am happily taken that Yuu’s vocals are clean and not synthesized like it has been with many other songs in the era. Yuu’s vocals are clean cut and matches with the dance beats and glossy sound. A pretty opening track for sure!
2. Darling to Madonna
Moving onto the 2nd A-side she released for this album, Darling to Madonna had a little deja vu moment to “Dramatic” with the electro vocal bits. However, the song stood out from the previous track with a more powerful arrangement than basically had more guitars included. I think without that important addition, it would’ve just been a clone to other songs she’s released.
3. Zutto Zutto Zutto Kimi ga Suki da
Onto our next new song, Zutto Zutto Zutto Kimi ga Suki da feels like it’s trying to be “Darling to Madonna” without the glossy synths and left the guitars. I do like some of the track luckily, but the chorus felt weaker than the rest of the tune IMO. I don’t know it just didn’t do much for me in the long run.
4. Ren’ai Enbo
Though I have to say, if she were to have a song that was more pop/rock to work, Ren’ai Enbo is that song. The intro was hard-hitting and quick and then lets up to a pretty funky track as Yuu sings. If there was any qualms, it’s that Yuu’s voice doesn’t have that rock voice so it’s kind of shaky to me and her voice could’ve been way powerful in the chorus. Otherwise, this song is definitely my favorite of the new tracks on the album.
5. Sekaijuu ni Kimi wa Hitori Dake
I had totally forgot this was an A-side XD. As the album’s first ballad, Sekaijuu ni Kimi wa Hitori Dake never really impressed me (simply because the other A-sides from that single were leagues better overall). I mean it’s nice that Yuu kind of ditched the synthpop for a bit with this song. Her voice doesn’t seem to emote well for me but I suppose it’s something she could work on.
6. Koko Kara Hajimarunda!
Moving to the 1st A-side of the era, Koko Kara Hajimarunda! was the first single that really had to glossy synthpop sound that kind of pushed me away from her music for a while. I am a bit happy that it is seperated from tracks like “Dramatic” and “Darling to Madonna” or it would’ve been overload for me. Coming back to this song does sound like it’s in its own area because it’s not a bad song, but Yuu’s deadpan voice doesn’t really help me enjoy the song and while it sounds better than it did when the single released, it’s not that far up.
7. TO BE…
Our next ballad, TO BE… is a bit more thought out of a piece than “Sekaijuu ni Kimi wa Hitori Dake” because she actually put a little more effort in the song and she actually sounds a LOT better and less nasally as well. Plus, the song sounds really good overall with the arrangement being more engaging by mixing the dance beats with strings and piano…it was a surprising new song and it’s up there with “Ren’ai Enbo”.
8. Kaze no You na Melody
Funny how Yuu included all the original B-sides (but left off the songs she covered from the album). Kaze no You na Melody was the B-side from “Koko Kara Hajimarunda!” and honestly it’s a lot like “Darling to Madonna” by mixing that synthpop with guitars. The tune has slightly grown on me since the single review, but I still can’t shake the unoriginality here and Yuu’s high notes are a bit meh.
Another ballad on the album…seems weird to have gone back and forth between them. Unmei doesn’t have the right markings like “TO BE…” had so it’s a lot more downtempo. Sadly due to that, the song just kind of goes over my head as the melody is forgetful and Yuu’s vocals aren’t nothing to write home about. Just wasn’t good here.
10. Twinkle Days
As the last original song off the album, Twinkle Days slides in as the final track and it was also the B-side from “Darling to Madonna” and funny enough after “Unmei” going back to the synthpop stuff was a bit jagged. I will say that of the other synthpop tracks, this is the most beat-heavy but it includes many of the same techniques and tricks as those songs. Not bad, and it’s better than a lot of songs on the album.
11. Sayonara Namida (Acoustic Version)
The album ends off with two acoustic tracks of songs from her debut album, “One for YOU!”. Sayonara Namida got simpler by going down to just acoustic guitar and piano and it sounds rather present. Her voice has a little more life in it. I quite like this version, but the original is still better to my ears. Not bad though!
12. Kikkake wa YOU! (Acoustic Version)
The other song is of her debut A-side and it’s great that this acoustic kept up with a more upbeat pace than “Sayonara Namida”. I’ve said in the past that I didn’t like Kikkake wa YOU! all that much, but the acoustic version gave us a different approach and it’s gotten me to appreciate the tune a bit more, but the original still is a hard listen.
Song of Avoidance
Honestly, coming into Kikka’s sophomore album, it really is a sophomore slump more than anything else. On the album there wasn’t as much variety like there was in “One for YOU!” and the songs on the album were either synthpop tunes or really generic sounding tracks with some exceptions. Though I’m all for Kikka doing an acoustic album. Also after this album she released a best album…necessary??? Meh, this album just didn’t do good for me.