Mai – MAISELF

November 30, 2006 at 6:25 PM | Posted in Mai | Leave a comment
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The cover of the CD+DVD edition

MAISELF is Mai’s solo debut album and it was released on September 6, 2006. The album reached #38 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 4,114 copies.

Looking at the cover, it’s safe to say that Mai is finally wearing clothes, but she’s really not. It’s actually body paint so the only thing that she’s wearing are the roller skates. It’s quite a creative, yet naughty cover. =D

♦ ♦ ♦

The album opens with Reborn, Mai’s debut single as a solo artist. The most notable thing about this song are her electronically distorted vocals, which makes the song have a futuristic feel. It’s very appropriate as the first track.

Now we move on to what is the best new track on the album. It’s a little luck features a very catchy chorus and nice techno beats. I also like the fading vocals and synth at the beginning and end of the song too.

The next track is a little boring in my opinion. However, Mai’s vocals in Precious moment are nicely done, but don’t save this song from its lazy synth arrangement.

Track 4 is another personal favorite of mine on the album. Rosy Rosa Lollipop opens with strong beats and then some acoustic guitar. I think the chorus is completely in English but it’s kind of hard to understand.

The next track is Mai’s 3rd single. Princess ∞ Candy is a little more pop influenced than her other 2 singles.

I got a little bit annoyed by the repetitive music of track 6, Bye Bye Blues. It’s continuous and doesn’t really change it all at any point which makes the song sound really monotonous.. I like the English vocals of the chorus though.

Track 7 is the most sensual song on the album. Here we go again has a better sound than the other album tracks. The distorted background vocals are a nice addition to the song too.

Track 8 is the cutesy pop ballad of the album. Sincerely yours has a nice chorus, except for the screeching high notes.

Track 9 is my favorite song on the album. It’s also Mai’s best song as a solo artist PERIOD. Eyes was also her 2nd single. 

The final track, Te wo Tsunagou, begins with calm low pitched vocals from Mai and a soothing string arrangement. When the chorus arrives, the song becomes an upbeat mix of pop and techno. It’s a good way to end the album because this is one of the better tracks.

On the CD only edition, the Moushiwake Single MEGA MIX appears as a bonus track. It features most of her A-sides and B-sides and they are clumped together to form a hectic 5 minute mashup. It features the following songs in this order: RainbowPrincess ∞ Candy, Reborn, Eyes, and Squair. As you can see, one B-side was left out and that was Moon Tears.

There was only one problem I had with this album. The singles are excellent, but the new album tracks are somewhat disappointing. You can easily tell how refined and polished the single tracks are just by listening to the overall BGM. Reborn and Eyes are easily the best songs on the album because they are the only ones with a true electronica sound. I also wished Mai added the B-sides from her singles to add some variety. Squair and Rainbow would have been excellent editions. All in all, this is an okay album. Mai can REALLY do better with her new style of music and I hope her next releases feature stronger beats and more electronica and trance influences.

Overall Rating

3 stars

Tracklisting

1. Reborn
2. It’s a little luck
3. Precious moment
4. Rosy Rosa Lollipop
5. Princess ∞ Candy
6. Bye Bye Blues (バイバイ・ブルース)
7. Here wo go again
8. Sincerely yours
9. Eyes
10. Te wo Tsunagou (手をつなごう)
11. Moushiwake Single MEGA MIX (申し訳 Single MEGA MIX) [CD only bonus track]

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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