Maki Goto – LOVE

May 9, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Posted in Maki Goto | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

  1. “Nee…”
  2. lalala
  3. Sora to Kimi no Aida ni
  4. Aitai
  5. your song

When Maki announced that she was going to release another mini-album, shortly after Gloria, I became frustrated. LOVE is her third mini-album, fourth if you include SWEET BLACK, and she still hasn’t had a full-length album under avex. I find that ridiculous and it makes me wonder what Maki and avex are thinking. There are some good things about the album though. It takes her in a different direction than the other ones as its ballad heavy and it shows some growth in Maki because she wrote all of the songs, minus the cover.

lalala has a vibrant, summery feel and it’s a standout track. The guitar melody is fantastic and along with Maki’s energetic vocals make for memorable verses. The chorus is really fun because of the fresh vocals, great backing vocals and contagious arrangement. The “lalalas” are super cute and go so well with the summer vibe. Two guitar melodies are played during the bridge which sounds so good and the slowed down chorus is lovely. Sora to Kimi no Aida ni is a Miyuki Nakajima cover and it’s a lovely ballad. Maki’s vocals are strong, emotional and she sounds stunning. The arrangement is gorgeous with a piano, guitar and some chimes which set a romantic yet depressing feel all at once. The chorus doesn’t change much but Maki’s vocals are so good and I love the tone of her voice. The highlight is that the song changes tempo halfway though and it almost becomes a rock ballad. I wasn’t expecting the change and it definitely gives the song some edge. The second chorus is so much better with the added instruments and there’s a lot more power and feel behind the melody and vocals.

The ballad, Aitai, opens with a delicious piano melody and once again, Maki’s vocals are lovely. The verses start out soft with Maki’s sweet vocals and halfway through, the arrangement slightly increases tempo as snapping beats and more percussion is added. The chorus is your run of the mill, soaring ballad sound but it’s really nice. The piano plays a more central role in the chorus and it’s quite catchy. It’s not spectacular by any means but it’s also not too bad. The ad-libs at the end were a nice touch and worked as a great conclusion. The final song, your song, is the second up-tempo and it goes in a rock direction. After the last two ballads, an upbeat song is a breath of fresh air and this is the perfect song to revitalize and close the album. The guitars are fierce, vibrant and they’re just what the album needed. Maki sounds full of energy and she nails the chorus with her fantastic vocals. This is an all round fun song and the best one on the album.

Conclusion: I came into LOVE thinking I was going to dislike it but I was surprised by how good it is. I am a little disappointed that she still hasn’t released a full-album because the mini-albums are getting annoying. While  it’s smart of her to try out different styles with the mini-albums, it feels like she’s having an identity crisis and doesn’t know what direction she wants to go in. It’s ironic that the album is ballad heavy but the upbeat tracks are superior to the ballads.

Recommended Tracks: your song, lalala and Sora to Kimi no Aida ni

Note: The review for “Nee…” can be found here.

Rating


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2 Comments »

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  1. I have listened to this album so much since it was released t, but my fave were lalala ( I am biased towards upbeat) and the Sora to Kimi no Aida ni was the best.

    However I don’t think she is really having an identity crisis rather AVEX is pushing one style of singing to a full mini-album for to gain more exposure and begin her re-climb back to good graces. Like instead doing a fast song the made a whole mini about it like Eyes and then rock with Gloria kinda as if Kumi would make a mini for each style she puts on an album. So they are hoping each style draws more fans though I think Maki needs one really really good and crazy marketing campaign like CMs and duets with really famous AVEX artists./ I have no clue if any of that makes sense lol

    oh and your reviews are really good, you and Plastic Candy are my fav. music blogs

    • I get what you’re saying. Maybe identity crisis is too strong of a statement. I like when artists play around with different styles because it shows their versatility but when it’s for mini-albums I feel like the change in styles is too sudden. Hopefully these releases work out for her and get her popular because she’s a really good singer. Thanks you for all the comments you’ve been leaving! I’m so happy that you enjoy my blog. Plastic Candy is one of my favourite music blogs too lol. Alvy does a great job.


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