Monday, July 19, 2010

Jpop Review- Mai Kuraki- Wish You the Best

Mai Kuraki is dubbed the princess of Jpop. Her debut album Delicious Way was a big hit in Japan and is the tenth highest selling album in japanese history.
Wish You the Best was Mai Kuraki's first compliation and the first Japanese album to hit #1 on the united world charts. Mai Kuraki has the most number of top ten singles for a female artist and she still holds this record

This album contains all her singles from her debut to her fourth album.

Love , day after tomorrow- A rather odd title. It is a catchy R&B song. Aika Ohno is a very talented composer and a new singer like Mai Kuraki managed to make a stong debut in the jpop world due to her. The chorus is the strong part in this song.

Stay by my side- It is an R&B ballad. IIt is slower comapred to Love, day after tomorrow and I would stay inferior. I consider it an above average songs though Mai Kuraki fans love this song a lot. It was her first #1 single.

Secret of my heart- It was used as a detective conan opening. It sounds like a summer song with optimistic instrumentals. Overall, a good song. It debuted at #2 behind Fukuyama Masaharu's Sakurazaka.

NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP- I consider this one of Mai Kuraki's funniest songs. Her engrish is prominent in this song and she sounds strange trying to ape westerners. 'You know there's nusing I won do' the chorus especially lacks clarity. The rap is cool though.

Delicious way- Another average track. Sounds too optimistic but lacks the 'wow' factor of Secret of my heart. I don't like this one.

Simply Wonderful ~radio edit~- Another so-so song. Better than the previous one though. The guitar is too strong- it is catchy but doesn't fit into the song.

Reach for the sky- This song is laid back and midtempo. It provides a break from a string of R&B songs. Nothing special though.

Tsumetai Umi- It is one of her popular singles. An above average R&B track. Mai Kuraki tries to hit some really ambitious notes here. I liked Start in my life more than Tsumetai Umi but Tsumetai Umi will definitely be prefered by R&B fans.

Stand Up- Her voice sounds constricted in this one. She tried to sound cool but the power she conveys is not enough to pull off the song. I found it pretty average (nothing special) with standard acoustic guitars.

always- It is a very strong single but it does not manage to surface in this album since there are better tracks.

Winter Bells- It is her best selling winter single. It gives a joyful and pleasant feeling. A very good and balanced song overall.

Feel Fine!- After a long string of not-so-well-selling singles, this one managed to sell above 400,000 copies. It is a good summer song although Mai Kuraki does not sing it to its full potential. Her voice lacks power. It has an optimistic summer feel but is quite agressive.

Like a star in the night- This ballad has a wonderful piano prelude. It is one of her soothing and well composed ballads. Mai Kuraki does not sing this one well either. The piano prelude is good but the song is only average.

Time after time ~hanamau machi de~- It has some oriental instruments in the background and gives a japanese vibe. But it sonds boring after a few listens.

Kaze no lalala- A refreshing spring song. The chorus is especially well composed. It has a relaxing effect. One of the songs Mai Kuraki actually manages to sing to its full potential.

Tonight, I feel close to you- The only BAD song on this album. Mai Kuraki doesn't sing english well. The melody is plain and boring and the arrangement is typical.

Overall, the album has wonderful songs which Mai Kuraki could've sung better. Mai Kuraki's voice essentially lacks power and her songs require power so, this fault is flaunted and not concealed in songs like Feel Fine. But Mai Kuraki is one of the good artists in the jpop scene because her songs are well composed and arranged and her songs are not a waste of money.

This album is worth a try since it has some really good songs and overall is a great buy. I bought the Korean version of this album and received a photobook and photo with lyrics. The photobook was so-so. Mai Kuraki doesn't make great photobooks like Ayumi Hamasaki. I also got a mini CD of 'Chance for you', an album track in Fuse of love. It was nice.

Overall- 4.7/5


Composition (Aika Ohno is great)
The extra CD and photobook (if you ordered the korean version)


Mai Kuraki's voice faulters in some tracks
Her english is terrible
Initial songs are repititive

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