Nakashima Mika – Nagareboshi Review

17 Nov

Today, I’m starting something new on this blog by actively reviewing songs, albums, singles and releases. Hopefully I’ll also have time to review other things, such as movies, television shows, books and videogames. I hope to strike a nice little balance between news, personal musings and reviews. Wish me luck! Please also feel free to leave me feedback about my reviews; it’d be greatly appreciated.

For the first review, I’m going to review Nakashima Mika’s Nagareboshi (translated as Shooting Star).

中島美嘉 – 流れ星
2009.11.04

1. 流れ星
2. Memory feat. DAISHI DANCE
3. 流れ星 (Instrumental)
4. Memory feat. DAISHI DANCE (Instrumental)

Mika’s new song continues to to show her love of soul music. The song has a great soulful vibe, helped by her mellow vocals. Mika seems most comfortable singing songs with an r and b or jazz touch to them. When I first became interested in Mika’s music, I loved her distinctive soulful voice combined with pop melodies. But nowadays as her music as progressed and I’ve come to appreciate so much in the music I hear, it is her more jazz orientated releases that I find coming back to time and time again. The best quality about Mika’s work is that her voice soothes you like the sweet smell of spiced apples in Winter time. This song is no exception. In fact, the production values, complete with bells and shimmering noises make this a great Winter song. Listen to it as you walk down the dark street and you’ll definitely feel warmer.

The b-side is another DAISHI DANCE production, Memory, following on from 2008’s SAKURA ~Hanasugami~. Memory is actually taken from DAISHI DANCE’s latest album, Spectacle. It’s quite a nice little electro-pop song, although it’s not electro-pop like Lady Gaga or Black Eyed Peas. It’s more kind of… late 90s Ibiza trance music. Lots of piano. I actually quite like it though, the melody is very simple yet really endearing. Something about the simplicity I guess. Mika sings in English for the entirety of the song which is a pleasant surprise. She’s by no means perfect at it, but kudos for trying. The song reminds me a little of Lumines era Nobuchika Eri.

The PV for Nagareboshi is very emotive. Scenes of Mika are cut with scenes of a woman travelling on a train. Mika looks beautiful in a gorgeous dress whilst she swings at night-time. I’m not sure why, but she looks pretty all the same. The actress on the train is very good and you really get quite emotional as you watch her. It’s all rather voyeuristic, but interesting nonetheless. The single sleeve is also pretty; I think Mika looks amazing in her dress. I don’t know who the designer is, but it’s very cool.

Overall, this is a pretty nice little release, it’s not going to set the charts on fire (it hasn’t, it debuted on the weekly Oricon charts at number 10; which is still a pretty good success). I think Mika might have lost something along the way… I’m not sure what, I can’t explain it. Actually, perhaps it’s the fact that she’s making music that she wants to in the way that she wants to, but this just might not be commercial enough.

Rating – 6/10 peaches.

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