Angela Aki – WHITE

10/01/2011 at 5:12 AM | Posted in Angela Aki | 1 Comment
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Angela Aki – WHITE

1. Hajimari no Ballad

2. Tsugaru Kaikyou Fuyu Keshiki

3. I Have A Dream

4. Julio

5. My Grandfather’s Clock

6. Moral no Soushiki -revival-

7. Furusato~HOME

8. Mokugekisha

9. Honesty

10. One Family

Now, WHITE was supposed to be a mini album, and I think by that tracklisting, you can kinda tell. I mean, there isn’t too much wrong with it but anyway, yeah, just thought I should say that.

The album starts off with the first A-side of her one and only single this “era” “Hajimari no Ballad” like I said 3 odd months ago, typical Angela track right here, but can’t complain much because even her most typical boring track is better than your faves.

Score – 8.5

The first new track on the album is a cover (boo) of a song by famous enka singer Ishikawa Sayuri, “Tsugaru Kaikyou Fuyu Keshiki”. It starts with some intense, strong sounding piano that quiets down as Angela starts to sing. You really get a feeling for its enka history right off the bat. Angela’s vocals have probably never been better as she gives one of her greatest vocal performances on an album ever. The song is filled with staggering high notes, low notes, and falsetto, all of which Angela pulls off effortlessly. There isn’t much to say about this song, only because it’s so good and you have to go listen to it!

Score – 10

Off of her single, I much preferred “I Have A Dream” to Hajimari no Ballad. Though both songs are good I just felt like I Have A Dream has that extra special something to it.

Score – 9

“Julio” starts off really upbeat with nice acoustic guitar and some really fast lyrics from Angela. I can’t help but think about her last foray into acoustic guitar Kagayaku Hito, don’t worry, this song is a lot less boring. I thought the repetition of Julio in the chorus kind of sounded funny but I think it works regardless. The use of organ here is kinda cool as it’s not something typical in Angela’s songs and gives it a very different kind of atmosphere. The harmonized vocalizing at the very end of the song is a great way to end everything.

Score – 8.5

“My Grandfather’s Clock” is an English song with a little bit of melancholy to it with lyrics every bit as related to the title as you would think, though there’s nothing wrong with it. The song itself is a bit toned down with mostly just piano and Angela’s voice and I think it works here.

Score – 8

Now, “Moral no Soushiki -revival-” is a, dare I say it, revival of one of my favorite songs from Angela’s album TODAY. As much as I disagree with her even touching this song to begin with, I’m trying to look at this from a fresh perspective. OK, who am I kidding, she doesn’t ruin it, but let’s just say I don’t know whether I should be intrigued or annoyed by the vast amount of chanting (?) she has added to the background of the song. Eh, I’m just kind of annoyed. When I first heard she was going to redo it, I had high hopes but after listening, I’m kind of disappointed.

Score – 7

Following that self cover is “Furusato~HOME” which is of course a self cover of her first single. It starts off with a chorus singing… something, it’s kind of dragged out and I can’t tell if it’s new lyrics or lyrics from HOME. That same chorus accompanies Angela with vocalizing in the background as she sings and then later with actually singing along a bit. The vocalizing from Angela at the end is nice, but I like the original better.

Score – 7

In a really whimsical turn “Mokugekisha” starts off with Angela saying “BeepBeep!” and the following piano kind of matches. Throughout the song, which is simply piano backed by some percussion, you really get a sense that Angela is having fun while singing it. Even so, I wasn’t entirely blown away by this track even though it injects a serious bit of needed upbeat-ness to this album.

Score – 7.5

Things get slowed down again for another English song. “Honesty” again has lyrics very befitting of the title. The chorus has a nice strength about it that is only really felt thanks to the lyrics as the music doesn’t really deviate much that is until the bridge hits which was nice to mix it up. Again, not totally blown away but decent.

Score – 7.5

The album closes off with “One Family” which after discussion and listening sounds like a possibly rejected song from her last album LIFE. At first, it sounded a little bland to me but as soon as everything picks up and the chorus starts, Angela really puts a lot more feeling into the vocals and brings it home. This was probably the best track to end the album off on, it really feels right.

Score – 9

Final Note

OK, so this doesn’t feel sloppy, but, it does feel a bit tossed together kind of neatly… I guess it’s because I think this was supposed to be a mini cover album… or maybe that was just a rumor. I don’t know, I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever fully consider this to be a full on Angela Aki album, but I’m satisfied with her for the time being, I suppose.

Overall Rating



1 Comment »

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  1. Agreed, it’s a great MINI album, cannot wait for her to return with something to dazzle us, was in a charity shop in Glasgow today when I found the Sakura-Iro single in the shelves, needless to say I first died of shock and then bought it haha. One of the few japanese artists I would happily listen to for hours. Especially simply beautiful songs like Tegami. And any version of Tegami at that.

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