Ken Hirai – JAPANESE SINGER

07/16/2011 at 8:57 PM | Posted in Ken Hirai | Leave a comment
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~Album~

Ken Hirai – JAPANESE SINGER

1. Sing Forever

2. Itoshiki Hibi yo

3. CANDY

4. Onegai Julie

5. Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru

6. Sayonara My Love

7. R&B

8. Girls 3x

9. Aishiteru

10. BLIND

11. Miss Summertime

12. Yume no Mokou de

13. Anata to

After quite a long time, Ken Hirai releases another album and it’s the first of his albums I’ll be able to review on here. Quite afraid because there are a lot of single tracks that I didn’t like on here, so I’m really hoping for some decent album tracks.

This album starts off with a single, go figure, there are 5 of them after all… Anyway “Sing Forever” is horrible. Well in my opinion it is. I really hated it and it’s one of my lowest rated songs to date.

Score – 4.5

Next is another single song, the most recent actually “Itoshiki Hibi yo“. I won’t say much because I JUST reviewed it but needless to say I didn’t exactly love this one either.

Score – 6.5

And yet another single song, we go from latest to oldest with “CANDY“. I think the drought between singles caused me to think more of CANDY than I should have because it’s honestly not that great. Over time I’ve realized that, there are some redeeming factors but the song is just kind of meh for me.

Score – 7

FINALLY, our first new track is “Onegai Julie”. It’s a fun sounding song with a lot going on. It utilizes a fast beat with some interesting synth sounds and some quirky sound effects. One of the more prominent things I hear in this song is saxophone throughout which manages to make the song sound more whimsical. Just a decent track, kind of feels like B-side material to be honest.

Score – 7.5

Now we get to probably my favorite Ken Hirai song of all time “Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru“. It’s just an amazing ballad, the vocals are top notch and Ken utilizes just the right amount of range. The music is just perfect for this kind of song and I love the acoustic guitar featured throughout. I’m not sure what I thought was missing when I first reviewed it because now I think it has it all.

Score – 10

“Sayonara My Love” just starts with piano and suddenly strings come in with other beats and synths making this song sound very R&B. Ken’s voice is just perfect here, nice and smooth, how I like it, utilizing just the right amount of strength. I didn’t really care for the kind of water droplet sound that continues through almost the entire song but it doesn’t detract that much from the song as a whole.

Score – 8.5

“R&B” is, SURPRISE, an R&B song! Shocking I know. Ken seems to be singing about the fact that he’s a Japanese R&B singer and he actually utilizes a lot of English in this song. I feel like it tries to sound like western R&B music a little bit with some of it’s synths and the background deep voiced “Ehh” going on. I really enjoyed Ken’s vocals especially when he almost whispers towards the latter half of the song but overall the song is mediocre.

Score – 8

Right off the bat “Girls 3x” sounds a little secret agent-ish? If that makes sense. Ken obviously had fun singing this song and he’s singing some of the fastest Japanese I have ever heard and he really plays with his voice. Musically, there is a lot going on and it’s really fast paced. A female vocalist even comes in and joins Ken after the first chorus which given the song’s title is kind of fitting I suppose.

Score – 7.5

The only thing “Aishiteru” suffers from is being kind of forgettable. A lot of stuff about it is good but it just manages to bore slightly which is disappointing because I feel it had some serious potential. My opinion of it hasn’t even changed since first reviewing it.

Score – 6.5

An interesting title, “BLIND” also has an interesting sound. It starts of with a slightly haunting piano sound that is quickly accompanied by short and sweet violin, I was disappointed it stopped so quickly to be honest, but it continues in other parts of the song so I was pleased. There’s an interesting marriage of traditional instruments and synthetic sounds going on here that like I said, makes a slightly haunting background sound.

Score – 8

Right off the bat I really liked “Miss Summertime”s energy and most of the instruments used which gave it a slight Latin and jazzy sound. Overall though I didn’t really care for the vocals and flow of the song as well as some of the effects used in the song.

Score – 7

“Yume no Mokou de” is a mid tempo ballad with a decent amount of emotion that is carried through in Ken’s vocals. Once again I think I really liked the music by itself but with Ken my opinion is a little more muddled.

Score – 7.5

“Anata to” starts to end the album off with a really great grand piano sound, yet when Ken’s vocals come in I’m once again turned off as the two seem to clash for me. Overall it ends up sounding a little bland, boring even, which is odd because I normally like soft piano music like this. A fitting end for this album I guess.

Score – 6.5

Final Note

Not a particularly strong album in my opinion and my faith in Ken is waning. One of the only things that save this album is song released as a single a long while back. I’m overall disappointed but I think I was prepared for it. I will continue to hope that what Ken releases in the future is better than what is on this album.

Overall Rating

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