misono – never+land

March 14, 2007 at 12:43 PM | Posted in misono | 1 Comment
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The cover of the CD+photobook and CD only editions

never+land is misono’s debut album and it was released on February 28, 2007. The album reached #20 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 12,789 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

The first track on the album is Powder, a short intro that features English lyrics. It’s a quirky song with random lyrics and it acts very well as just an intro. It ends with misono saying “Let’s go to the Neverland” and this when the album really begins.

Track 2 is a slightly abridged version of Lovely♡Cat’s Eye, misono’s 4th single. To be honest, I couldn’t detect any differences in it at all.

The next track is Speedrive, misono’s 3rd single. This song has grown on me over time and now I really like it. The chorus is very catchy and the song itself very upbeat.

Track 4 is probably misono’s most laid back A-side. A.  ~answer~ is the only song on the album that features a full piano and string arrangement and it’s great. It’s too bad that Hot Time isn’t on the album (because I love that song), but I think the main reason is because it is a full blown ballad and it wouldn’t have blended well with the pop / rock feel of the other tracks. It’s strange that the title was changed to just “A.   ” (the ~answer~ part is gone! lol) on the album even though it’s exact same song as before.

Track 5 was the B-side on the Speedrive single. Ari to Kirigirisu ~10 years later~ has an awesome punkish rhythm to it because of the fast electric guitar riffs and percussion. It’s a nice addition to the album because her B-sides are quite good.

We are finally treated to a new track with Suna no Shiro no Mermaid ~Riku to Umi no Sekai~. This song has a great alternative acoustic vibe and the blaring riffs of the bridge are fantastic. This track is a turning point in the album because this is when things start to get REALLY good.

I absolutely loved Kodomo no Jijou > Otona no Shijou 2 because it is probably the edgiest song on the album. misono’s vocals are excellent and are quite aggressive in my opinion.

Track 8 is another laid back song. Glass no Kutsu was originally the B-side on the VS single. Even though it is a calm song, the gentle riffs keep it interesting and flowing with a nice pace.

Track 9 is misono’s debut single and still one of the best songs of her solo career. VS is very energetic because of its electronica influences and fast paced vocals.

There are many reasons why I think Finger 5 Medley is the best song on the album. First of all, it begins with a remixed version of Kojin Jugyou, her 2nd single plus 3 other Finger 5 songs: Koi no Dial 6700, Gakuen Tengoku, and Koi no Daiyogen. This medley is over 7 minutes long and I thought the transition between each song is amazing and misono changes vocal styles with surprising ease. Each phase of the medley features awesome riffs and percussion and I couldn’t help but applaud misono for handling each song with care and precision. The medley ends by going back to Kojin Jugyou for a fantastic finish.

Track 11 is the slightly darker song pinkies, the B-side on the Kojin Jugyou single. When I mean by the dark, the song itself is a little on the depressing side because the riffs sound more serious and the song’s overall mood is somewhat melancholy.

I thought Re: was the perfect way to end the album because the song has the qualities of a gentle lullaby. It features only a simple musicbox and piano chords with very pretty vocals from misono. Her ability to reach high notes isn’t as good as other artists, but she still pulls it off rather nicely.

All in all, I thought never+land was an excellent debut album. There wasn’t a single track that I didn’t like and it kept a consistent pop / rock sound which kept the album from not being too boring. I would have liked it if there weren’t so many B-sides and more new material, but that’s okay. Finger 5 Medley more than well made up for all of it and it really is the pinnacle of the album.

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. Powder (パウダー)
2. Lovely♡Cat’s Eye ~Neko wa Kotatsu de Maruku Naranai no Maki~
     (ラブリー♡キャッツアイ ~ネコはコタツで丸くならないの巻~)
3. Speedrive (スピードライブ)
4. A.  ~answer~
5. Ari to Kirigirisu ~10 years later~ (アリとキリギリス ~10 years later~)
6. Suna no Shiro no Mermaid ~Riku to Umi no Sekai~ (砂の城のマ-メイド ~陸と海の世界~)
7. Kodomo no Jijou > Otona no Shijou 2 (子供の事情>大人の私情2)
8. Glass no Kutsu (ガラスのくつ)
9. VS
10. Finger 5 Medley (フィンガー5メドレー)
11. pinkies
12. Re:

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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1 Comment »

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  1. I love the type of music she makes, but her voice uuh! Get some singing training girl, and then I’ll love you~~


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