Tomiko Van – FAREWELL

September 13, 2006 at 1:21 PM | Posted in Tomiko Van | Leave a comment
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The cover of the CD only edition

FAREWELL is Tomiko Van’s solo debut album after the disbandment of Do As Infinity and it was released on March 29, 2006. The album reached #7 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 36,591 copies. 

Van did not release any singles prior to the album’s release but the songs farewell and Hold Me… were released as PVs. The music presented on this album is drastically different from her work in Do As Infinity. The songs are mainly soft ballads with some jazz thrown in.

♦ ♦ ♦

The first 2 tracks on the album, farewell and morning glory, are both mid-tempo ballads. farewell features more a traditional Japanese sound because of the low key strings while morning glory is a little more jazzy.

The next 2 tracks are definitely more in the realm of pop. Urara. and Essence feature electric guitar and upbeat percussion.

Track 5, horoscope, is another ballad. This song is done very well in the same style as farewell and morning glory.

Tracks 6 and 7 are in my opinion, the best songs on the album. complacence and Nue no Naku Yoru are very reminiscent of her Do As Infinity songs. I think of them as sweet nostalgia. Both songs feature more aggressive electric guitar riffs and percussion. complacence is amazing because of its awesome chorus and Nue no Naku Yoru features an impressive acoustic guitar intro with some enka elements thrown into the music.

Prepare for a borefest with tracks 8 and 9. HOLY PLANET and Before Sunset just drag on and on and both of the songs seem to have nothing going for them.

Track 10 is the most jazz influenced song on the album. Hold Me… is a little boring, but Van’s vocals are very gentle and her voice is perfect for the genre. The music itself is very jazzy as well, but it kind of sounds like lounge music at the same time too.

The final track is a cover of A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes, a song from the Disney movie Cinderella that Van performed for the Japanese release of the movie’s soundtrack. This song took me by surprise and I thought Van did a REALLY good job with her English vocals. They’re pretty understandable but her ‘Engrish’ is still pretty evident.

Veteran Do As Infinity fans (like myself) will find this album sort of hard to get used to. The music is a lot more laid back and relaxed but there’s still a great variety of music presented in this album. The only songs I disliked were HOLY PLANET and Before Sunset because they were a little too laid back for me but aside from that, this is a great debut album. I like Van’s new style of music and I fully support her solo career. She is truly saying farewell to the music she has done in the past.

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. farewell
2. morning glory
3. Urara. (うらら。)
4. Essence
5. horoscope
6. complacence
7. Nue no Naku Yoru (鵺の鳴く夜)
8. HOLY PLANET
9. Before Sunset
10. Hold Me…
11. A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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