Theme of 2U
Life in the dark
Last Dance ’06
2 of Us
Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~
A Song For You
Beauty & Beast
Secret Love feat. BRIGHT, SHUN
Step by Step
1. Theme of 2U
The album of course opens with an introduction and it’s kind of cool that it opens with a phone message and Yuya saying ~hello world~. I thought it was kind of cute and the instrumental has this synthy feel to it (which is a thing he’s had has had a lot in this era. Does set the album quite nicely right from the start.
2. SUPER DRIVE
Getting into our first batch of full songs, we begin the vocal songs with Yuya’s 4th A-side and it’s pretty much the “YOU” of the era. Meaning it’s quite upbeat and has a heavy beat and some angsty lyrics from Yuya. I still pretty enjoy in today but I still find the repetitive nature to be irking at points and the song reminds me of “Womanizer” still for some weird reason. I still prefer “YOU” as the upbeat dance track and some others haha.
Moving down to the third A-side, Naturally lightens up the mood by moving back towards an R&B style which actually sounds pleasant to my ears. At first I was wondering who he collaborated with because it sounds there’s a girl singing along in the verses. It’s a nice track and doesn’t offend anyone, I like it!
4. Beautiful Days
As the first of 6 new tracks (not counting the intro/interludes) I was wondering what they would sound like because the album is very heavy on A-sides/B-sides. Though, I hate to say it, but what the hell happened here with Beautiful Days. It sounds like almost late 80’s/early 90’s pop music. You know corny lyrics and that sugary bounce that was relevant. I like Yuya’s vocals in the song, but this is just a little too cheesy for me lol.
5. INTERLUDE I
Like his last album, there are interlude that are mainly piano-based interludes. The first one plays off the melody of our last track, “Beautiful Days” but without the cheese factor so it sounds better with just only piano. I hate to admit it but it didn’t work bridging the gap between the last track and our next one.
6. 4 Seasons
Considering that “Beautiful Days” is poppy, and INTERLUDE I was just a short piano entry, 4 Seasons is kind of odd because it went back to upbeat stuff. Being a little more electronic than other songs on the album, it’s been a long while since I’ve heard this track (which was the secondary A-side from the first single of the era. I love the synths in this song for sure and I loved Yuya’s vocals in this song since he was having fun. There are times, where I felt where the music could’ve benefitted with a louder chorus, but I still enjoyed this a lot and could possibly stand as my favorite A-side of the era.
Which is great because I’m happy they stuck Yuya’s 2nd A-side right after because of the similar bright/danceable atmosphere here. I will say that there isn’t as much synths here which is cool and all that but it kind of feels like a bunch of other songs he’s done which kind of makes me frown a little bit. It’s alright though and does fit perfectly after “4 Seasons”.
8. Life in the dark
I’m surprised he only chose two B-sides to make the album cut, even moreso that I wasn’t expecting this one to have been that XD. It hasn’t been that long since I’ve reviewed it last and I still think that like “Paradise”, it’s a bit normal and to the book for him. Though I will say the auto-tune at the beginning threw me off…but as for the rest of the song, I like it but not as much as some other songs here.
9. INTERLUDE II
Playing the melody of our next track for the INTERLUDE, I was happy it worked a bit better but more surprised that instead of piano, we get strings playing it! It’s short but did its job quite nicely.
10. Last Dance ’06
Two more new tracks appear next starting with Last Dance ’06 which is considered the album’s first ballad (well, sort of). I love the arrangement out of this one because it has a lot more strings involved and then I listen a bit more cloesly and it turns out that Yuya is singing the song entirely in English which is awesome! Though he slurs quite a bit in the song, it doesn’t take away from the experience to be honest. I fairly enjoyed this and the acoustic guitar solo was pretty too heh.
11. 2 of Us
Does this count as a title track? I’m not sure, but our next new song is a bit like “Naturally” with the relaxed nature but still having a solid R&B beat going. I’m starting to notice that the previous track, this one and the next two are the ballad section of the album so this is where I mostly like to slip in interest. Instead of string like the last track, it’s piano-led. It’s alright but I don’t remember anything important about it.
12. Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~
LOL at the fact it’s the only song on the album that’s written in kanji. As the 5th A-side released, Kimi e no Love Song is like “2 of Us” but seeing as this came first this clearly was the better one in that case. I liked it on the single because it was a while since we’ve had our last ballad A-side. I also enjoyed it better than “Bird” too. However, on the album and at this point my mind was kind of drifting away because of my boredom.
I never expected to see Yuya begin his sophomore era with a ballad and Bird was so long ago I nearly forgot it existed. If you haven’t guessed already by this point I’m barely awake and just trying to get through these songs quickly. Given that there’s been SOOO many slow songs in this era, I was just kind of OK with this but seriously drove me to a slumber.
14. A Song For You
Shaking the pending cobwebs off the album, A Song For You starts to move the album back to its danceable tunes which I’m totally grateful for. It’s kind of poppy like “Beautiful Days” was but less cheap and sad of a song this time. Once again, like “Naturally” it’s pleasant to the ears for sure but that chorus was a little weird…was he stressing his voice?
15. Beauty & Beast
Yup, the album is getting more into a synth-based atmosphere and Beauty & Beast took the good things from “A Song For You” and straightened it out and made it so much better. I mean Yuya is actually rapping in the song (and not that weird stranger danger voice from the first album). It’s a great track but is definitely surpassed by our next one.
16. Secret Love (feat. BRIGHT, SHUN)
If there was one track that deserved to be on the album that wasn’t an A-side, it was this one from “Paradise”…why? It’s rare to see collaborative songs (that are B-sides) to not be on the album and it’s definitely Yuya’s BEST song in the entire era for me so I was ecstatic to see this on here, though near the end?!? I love the punching beat of the song and it’s just aggressive (even more than “SUPER DRIVE” lol). Add in the girls from BRIGHT who sound really hot in the song and SHUN’s rap and you got a great tune here! Yeah, I’m stanning this song!
17. Step by Step
Finally reaching to the final song of the album, Step by Step basically halts the previous track quite abrasively it kind of sounds like a lot of the first half of the album…actually more like “Kimi e no Love Song” almost. Just like most of the other new tracks, it’s nice but nothing that screams totally amazing.
Song of Avoidance
To me, I think the sophomore woes hit him. I mean this is a solid ass album if I must say so but like the problem I had with “I AM ME”. it’s too filled with already known songs…then again 6 new songs (minus the intro/interludes) is nice. I also felt that the songs weren’t leaving as big of marks as most of the songs did from his debut but he was consistent on the album and kind of made areas. Though I don’t like the 4 slower/ballad songs squished together…nearly bored me to death. Otherwise, it’s a good sophomore album, just not as great as his debut…though Secret Love slays everything in his discography as of this review LOL