Kimura Kaela – +1

August 24, 2008 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

Tracklist
1. NO IMAGE
2. Jasper
3. Yellow
4. STARs
5. Famiredo
6. dejavu
7. Samantha
8. +1
9. No Reason Why
10. Kagami yo Kagami
11. Hayaru Kimochi Teki My World
12. 1115
13. Humpty Dumpty

Kimura Kaela’s fourth album was released on April 2, 2008. It peaked at #3, currently selling over 150,000 copies.

For some reason, the entire Yellow single is included on the album. Well, I should be thankful that they didn’t include the b-side to Samantha. But if they’re going for b-sides, Jasper’s b-side would have been a good addition. dejavu and No Reason Why are pretty good, though, so I suppose it’s not the end of the world. Onto the new tracks.

The album’s namesake, +1, is a decent track. It starts off with Kaela’s voice slightly distorted with some really light synth. I like the chorus, but the rest of the song feels so painfully slow. Listening to the internal rhythm in the verses, I feel like the tempo should be like…twice as fast.

STARs is a pretty straightforward pop rock track. It has a few of Kaela’s trademark funky rhythms. Although the melodies aren’t really that memorable, it’s fun to listen to. And for some reason, it feels kind of long, even though it’s really not.

The intro to NO IMAGE is weird and strange and does nothing for the rest of the song. What an ironic way to open the album. I don’t really like this song that much, but it gets slightly better at the chorus when she’s not just singing against the bass beats. I guess it’s not a bad song, but it doesn’t live up to Scratch’s opening track, L.drunk (which I adore by the way).

The intro to Kagami yo Kagami sounds so familiar but I have no idea where it’s from. But it’s sounds really ominous, which is ironic because the first phrase she sings is “aishiteru” or “I love you.” I like the verse and chorus melodies for this song, but those guitar riffs backing it up sound so out of place against it.

Famiredo is a pretty solid track with a driving beat and a pretty catchy melody. It’s a lot better than a lot of her more recent stuff, which I guess is good but doesn’t say too much because I haven’t liked a lot of it. I do like this track though, and I think I could have the chorus stuck in my head all day.

Once Hayaru Kimochi Teki My World gets out the intro, I really like it. It’s really high energy with blaring guitar riffs and super loud percussion. The bridge is kind of weird, like it fits but it also feels out of place at the same time. But overall, it’s not bad.

1115 is one of my favorite new tracks. The chorus is really catchy, especially the repetition. The first verse feels really raw, but the rest of the verses are a less heavy. Plus the arrangement is really well done and the intro sounds great.

The album closes with Humpty Dumpty, a soft track that uses nursery-rhyme-like piano and ethereal synth. It sounds like a children’s song, but not not as much as Utada Hikuar’s Boku wa Kuma, because it still uses a pretty standard VCVC type format and even has as nice interlude in the middle.

+1 didn’t enjoy the success of Scratch and rightly so. I have to admit it’s hard to pull off a great album when there have been some mediocre singles but it is still very possible. I love Scratch and every time I hear more of Kaela’s music, I just unconsciously compare it to the track I love to much on Scratch. While there are some quality tracks on +1, there’s less of those than of mediocre song. Also, it would have been nice to see a few more softer songs or ballads, like Humpty Dumpty.

Buy this album: CD only | CD + DVD

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Entry filed under: Japanese Albums. Tags: , .

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