A Personal Mood Kayou Review

HEY GUYS!!!! I got my copy this evening! Much thanks to the ever trusty Ranbi-Courier service. top notch delivery! LOL.

SOOOOO. i’ve heard the album a few times by this point of writing. and the more i let it play without paying it attention, the more i enjoy it!! *excuse me, while i hit repeat*

if you’d indulge me – i’m going to give you a track by track, blow by blow account as i play the album now.

氣氛歌謡 Openning (Instrumental) – yes, with typo when you do the iTunes import. the opening and ending tracks are both instrumentals (as with the rest of the Uta Hime series. with the exception of Folk Akina i think). Jerry’s description of “Toilet Break” was spot on! except to that, i would add THE OSCARS TOILET BREAK!!! the type of big band music they play when the camera pans up and down and across the big Oscar Statue… across the sea of celebrities seated… before they switch to the commercial break! it sets the mood for the rest of the album, and is an upbeat, broadway showy opener. rather Double Decade, except more retro. Rating: 8/10

経験 – YAMETTE! it’s super retro and a fun number. the arrangement is similar to Shojo A from Double Decade. i love her voice on this track as the pitch is perfect for her current voice. a strainless, smooth delivery. this track runs at 2:12 minutes. a sign of old times when tracks were super short and zippy! Rating: 8/10

恋の季節 – a wonderful big band follow-thru from the earlier track. the highlight here is when she does her “lu lu lu”. trumpets galore! Rating: 7/10

夢は夜ひらく – The mood switches completely with this smokey number. i’ve read comments from Japanese fans that this was a lil disappointing after the first 2 upbeat tracks. but i BEG TO DIFFER and couldn’t disagree more, i think this is THE standout track in this album. she starts off with her heavy-hearted vocals, with basic piano accompaniment. after the first verse, the moody drumbeats enter, and the rest of the song mesmerises with the lazy laidback sultriness. this is the longest track on the album at 4:29 min, which is “normal” length by current standards. Rating: 9/10

他人の関係 – this was performed during last year’s Dinner Show. frankly, i HATED it, and was wondering why she’d cover such a blase song. her live delivery was also kinda sleep-inducing. BUT, this recorded version carries attitude, and for some reason, when i listen to this, i can’t get a slithering Akina outta my head. You’ll want to slither with her too! You’ll know what i mean when you hear this. this was also one of the 3 tracks on the DVD (more on the DVD later). Rating: 8/10

面影 – The arrangement is Oboe infused. Very excellent. She sings with her falsetto throughout the song, and i personally detest her recent taking to masking her vocal flaws with this singing technique. the manner in which she delivers the high notes – argh. very irritating. this will be the track i skip. especially when i’m in a bad mood (no pun intended). Rating: 5/10 (would have failed this if not for the arrangement)

雨の御堂筋 – PHEW. done with that dreadful song. are you ready guys, cos from this point onwards, it’s all the good stuff. We’re getting started! this song has a very live concert feel. this song reminds me of SHAKER’S “夢見るように眠りたい” Rating: 8/10

ラブユー東京 – I LOVE THIS!!! This great track is bouncy and she made this a totally new song from the original. Fresh coating. Rating 9/10

絹の靴下 – the energy sustains from the last song. I love an upbeat, genki Akina. the band is getting busy! Shortest song on the record at a mere 2:09 minutes. Just when you want more, she stops! Rating: 8/10

コモエスタ赤坂 – Here Akina switches to Bossonova. it’s lovely. the only minor gripe i have is why does every bossonova song she do has to sound like the Akina True ’95 version of “Slow Motion” & “Second Love” arrangement? listen to the piano bit around 1:40 min. you’ll know what i mean. This is probably the only song which I felt the original was better. Rating: 6/10

非情のライセンス – Ooh! Acidy Jazzy territory we’re treading here. I love the sound. She hasn’t had this sound on record before, but it’s something she usually does live with old songs during her concerts. Rating: 7/10

伊勢佐木町ブルース – this is the song which is most wildly anticipated. we wanna know what magic Akina can do with her low pipes on this masterpiece. ok, you’d expect the highlight to be the “Ah-Ah” bits right? but no… i tell you, you’ll have goosebumps when she unleashes her “Doo Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo Baaaaaaa” on your quivering ears and hair follicles. her Ah-Ahhhh bits carry a thirst quenching effect that is deeply embedded, somewhere only we can imagine. okay, that didn’t quite come out right. ew. hee hee. but yeah, it’s the perfect closing act. she leaves you high and dry, wanting more. 9/10

氣氛歌謡 Ending (Instrumental) – the second original composition by the sound producer and arranger 村田陽一 (he did the arrangement for the entire album – boy is he the Akira Senju of Big Band sound! think he was responsible for the many tracks on Double Decade as well), rounds up a fun journey through the 70s cityscape with Akina. 8/10

All in all, i agree with Jerry that it’s a novelty album. i haven’t heard Akina exercise such variation with her singing styles within one album for a long time. at the end of the day, nothing hits the fans’ spot better than an original feast…. much like relieving a sore knot on your back with accupressure massage.

until August, we’ll make do with a chi chi relaxing, pampering swedish massage that doesn’t quite take away the nagging need for something more substantial.

———————-

DVD – Oh crap. Excerpts from 3 songs. More of the same. Akina sings with headphones. Akina sings with mic. Akina touches headphones. Akina in mixing room. Akina with headphones. Akina touches headphones. You get the drift.

———————-

CD Art – You won’t see her face anywhere. Not even a toenail. Or a strand of frizzy hair from her auntie hairdo. although i can’t see how looking having a cover like an omnibus compilation album will help sales, the art direction of the album is tight. i like the images used in the lyrics booklet. they’re from the library archives which she attributed. and what a delight the CD face is! A vinyl print! =)

———————-

i’ve done my job! now we’d like to hear reviews from all of you! =)

dannybunny

Akina fanboy since 14. Still undecided which are his top ten favourite Akina tracks as it's mission impossible. Digs "Everlasting Love" a whole lot more than the average Akina fan.

6 thoughts on “A Personal Mood Kayou Review

  1. ok.. its on repeat for me throughout my work.. love this “record” tons!

    Opening: really Oscar-inducing-toilet-break-in-between-music… but sets the mood for the return too… lol… good for use in podcast… kekeke. ^^

    経験: Yamatte! i wanna dance with Akina to this beat.. rock and rolla! happy song! ^^

    恋の季節: hohoho.. love this song… reminds me of James Bond or Wonder woman jumping around somehow… you know those drama in the 70s.. big hairdo… and also somehow my first trip to Japan… lol

    夢は夜ひらく: i wanna sip white wine with this song… sitting by the window… watching the rain and the street of shinjuku… thats the feel i had listening to it.. kekeke.

    他人の関係: hahahaha…. ok.. somehow i have this image of Akina in 70s outfit, and like Dan said… she slithering away… ^o^

    面影: nice arrangement.. but like Dan dun particularly enjoy her singing.. i will just listen thru for this… without paying much attention.. kekeke..

    雨の御堂筋: this is like the prelude to the next song… getting u prepared for the hype and goodness… fast track from Akina … i likey.. ^^

    ラブユー東京: I really wish she can make those 70s like music video with this track and track 2…not those cheesy one.. but funny and nicely shot ones! sure very cute one… love this song too!!!!

    絹の靴下: i love how the previous song ends and the beginning of this songs blends in… this is like the ending song of some drama… just keeps u wanting more.. more.. more!!!!

    コモエスタ赤坂: chill out! coffee/wine/champagne break! Lounge feel…

    非情のライセンス: this sounds like some spy movie… so chill chill yet very mysterious… ^^

    伊勢佐木町ブルース: well.. I love the original alot… AND I LOVE AKINA’S EVEN MORE!
    *GOOSEBUMPS* thru out for me…. the “doo bee” and the “ah ah” really… so… li hai…

    Ending: well.. really ending of Oscar… good flow of energy from start to end… ^^

    Overall.. this “record” really showcases the range of Akina’s voice and singing power… try ask Seiko to sing these!!! *muahahahahha*

    the poster is sooo fierce! i likey too! kekekee…

    I LOVE YOU, AKINA!!!

  2. Thank you for great detail review. Akina is Alive!

    I must admit that I have not ordered this album. Those days that I ordered all her album are gone. I will sure share my review when I get a chance to listen to this album.

    Love to hear review from all other vampiers!

  3. Tower Record is the only shop can get free poster. I got one in Tower Record Shinjuku. No free poster for Tsutaya and HMV

  4. Before going through in detail with each track, I must say that this is truly one great album from Akina. My applause goes to the producer and arranger 村田陽一. I love the arrangement from all tracks but one (more to that later). This album has exceeded my expectation and by far one of Akina’s best albums in recent years. Many songs suite Akina’s current voice very nicely.

    01. 氣氛歌謡 Opening 
    Nice opening number. However, I’m not sure if it’s needed here because the next track has a very strong opening itself. In fact, I felt like it’s even stronger to open this album with second tract directly.
    02. 経験 (辺見マリ)
    This is a great opening track and I think it really helps set the tone of the album. Although it’s not the best track for me from this album, I cannot think of any better track to open this album with. Akina’s voice is a little strain here but I can understand what sound she tried to do. The lower tone will not make it as lively as it is.
    03. 恋の季節 (ピンキーとキラーズ)
    This is one of the best tracks of the album for me. This song makes me move my not-so-little shoulders. I love that it came after previous track 経験. It’s like a one-two punch. First punch is to and but the second is a knock out and it works with me. Ron(my partner), who I cannot call an Akina’s fan yet, moved and danced along with this song. The intro gave me an impression of some old anime’s opening song. It ends very strong as well. Perfect song!
    04. 夢は夜ひらく (藤圭子)
    After receiving one-two punch, this song came at a perfect time. It’s very beautiful and suite Akina’s current voice very nicely. It uses one of Akina’s best assets, which is delivery a sincere emotional song. I don’t know the meaning of the song but it gave me a feeling of a woman with fond memory.
    05. 他人の関係 (金井克子)
    What an opening intro again! Its beautiful and very sensual rhythm will make you glide with it. The only comment would be that it got a slightly repetitive toward the end but only very very minor.
    06. 面影 (しまざき 由理)
    I have a different opinion with this song than Danny. I do like this song and I think it’s quite special. I rarely heard jpop ballad with significant horn instrument as a key instrument. Most of them are with piano. I think the horn instrument suites Akina’s current voice. The voice and the horn are complimenting each other very nicely. I think the track sit well at its location as well. If this is a cassette tape, it will be the last song of Side A so it’s a very nice ending of Side A.
    07. 雨の御堂筋 (欧陽菲菲)
    This is the only song in this album that I dislike. I think it’s out of place and doesn’t belong to this album. The sound and arrangement are out of place. If I have choice, I will replace this track with either the opening or the ending instrumental. It will be a nicer way to move along to the track no.8.
    08. ラブユー東京 (黒沢明とロス・プリモス)
    This is another great song and it’s like a part two of 恋の季節 in this album. It has a similar sound.
    09. 絹の靴下 (夏木マリ)
    This is another set of one-two punch following ラブユー東京. It’s very lively and fun. The only downside is I felt like Akina’s voice is a little tire in this song.
    10. コモエスタ赤坂 (ロス・インディオス)
    Akina has me with this song as soon as “como estas senor?” came up. Very beautiful song and well place song after the one-two punch. It’s also very refreshing to listen to some laid back style from Akina as well.
    11. 非情のライセンス (野際陽子)
    This is one of those nice to have but I can live either with or without it. It’s ok for me. It’s the only song that I felt Akina’s singing and the music did not compliment each other. It’s not terrible but I think it’s not perfect and could have been better.
    12. 伊勢佐木町ブルース (青江三奈)
    To show how great this album is, Akina ends this album with a very strong track. Akina really muscled out her technique and skill with this track. This is the kind of song that I love to get more from Akina nowadays. As much as I love those powerful voices or dancing songs, I prefer this type of song that suites Akina’s current voice. It really separate Akina from other singers in term of voice and technique. I could not have enough of this song.
    13. 氣氛歌謡 Ending 
    I would replace track no.7 with this number. I did not feel that there is needed for this ending instrumental here because 伊勢佐木町ブルース ended very beautifully and gave me want it a little more, which is a way to end an album.

  5. I don’t have my copy (Amazon.co.jp is out of stock and shipping is scheduled for July 5th) but I just wanted to mention that track 06 面影 is the only track entirely played by 村田陽一’s band (see his blog). Hope this helps those who are like/dislike the song.

  6. After hearing it through for the first time I think it’s a pleasing release, but I find Akina’s takes on these songs a bit modest at times. I’m expecting she’ll be giving a more bombastic performance on stage perhaps. Really hope there will be a DVD out.

    And I’m glad to notice her voice really does sound much clearer nowadays.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s