Ranbi, Kenji and myself had a Destination listening party earlier this evening. and i say we must do this more often!
i have a nagging suspicion my swanky new audio system has a part to play with it – WE LOVED THE ENTIRE ALBUM FROM THE GET GO! track after track, Akina dished out the very nice surprises. say Beniyo!
let’s count the ways i love this latest gem, a wondrous pot of gold at the end of over 3 years of waiting.
1) the flow of the album is excellent.
2) 12 tracks at a total running time of just slightly above 52 minutes, it leaves you panting for more. i couldn’t believe i’ve heard all 12 tracks when the last sassy note on Grace Rain lingered out… I WANT MORE!!! at least a good 3 tracks more!!
3) Akina sounds different on most of the tracks. there’s even a track which rings of tonal qualities circa Crimson era. Akina employs various singing styles on the various numbers. Grace Rain sees her marrying a new and her current style of belting.
4) It’s one of the most positive albums she’s done lately! apart from the sensous Grace Rain (picture the slithering off of lingerie straps… plush velvet cushions… ostentatious opulence), and 嘘つき, the rest are pretty upbeat! I wouldn’t even compare this to Shaker nor VAMP. it calls to mind an updated version of Femme Fatale (where she hailed “Take Up A New Fashion!!”). the songs are immediately accessible due to the attitude Akina infuses, appealing composition (but not overtly textbook melodious, which means endless replays without getting bored!) and you know… you can tell Akina had fun recording this! i particularly enjoy the assertive incorporation of the more modern musical elements and how that permeates the overall aural experience.
5) arrangements of the songs are exciting and offer much pleasant surprises at unexpected nooks and corners.
6) and yes! the diva finally understands the concept of “album versions”! there’s concerted efforts in embellishing GAME and her two latest singles. Hana yo Odore ends on sucha powerful punch, shaking my walls… leading into…
7) my FAVOURITE song (for now) – LOVE GATE!! super infectious track complete with hook, line and sinker. she delivers the instantly-likeable song with finesse – and a dollop of Akina Attitude with a Capital A. this song actually makes the other tracks sound “mild”. i love the way she opens the song! Lights, Camera, Action! so shiok!
8) the artwork for the album is commendable. and i haven’t spotted any typo errors, yet!
9) i love the 25th Anniversary motif! it’s going to look gr8 on the tees we’re printing to wear to the concert!
10) the album booklet carries a flowery, almondy scent!! could be the ink tho. haha.
words can’t describe the joy (and gratification) i have hearing Akina in top form again, making the type of music i’ve always hope she’ll make. this is truly a wonderful and timely gift for her fans. i’m just so glad it isn’t some sappy soppy ballady album that’s marking the 25th Anniversary. instead, this is an offering that explodes forth with so much indelible attitude, positive energy, and vocals.
the journey was as enjoyable as the destination. Akina has arrived, in style, once again.