NANA starring MIKA NAKASHIMA – THE END

March 25, 2007 at 2:13 PM | Posted in Mika Nakashima | Leave a comment
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THE END is Mika Nakashima’s 4th album and it was released on December 13, 2006. It’s also her first and last album under the ‘NANA starring MIKA NAKASHIMA’ name. The album reached #2 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 181,571 copies. The album contains all the songs from her NANA singles plus 4 new songs and a new version of Hitoiro.

♦ ♦ ♦

The opening track on the album is quite possibly the best rock song that Nakashima has done. Hitoiro is beautifully crafted with matching lyrics to boot. I also think it’s the best song the album and not just because it’s different from the rest of the tracks. Compared to what’s ahead, this song features a more complex arrangement as well as gothic undertones.

The next track is Hitoiro‘s grungy counterpart EYES FOR THE MOON. It was also the B-side on the Hitoiro single.

Track 3 is GLAMOROUS SKY, Nakashima’s first NANA single. This is the most uplifting song the album because it is the only one that doesn’t have the ‘grunge’ sound that the other tracks have.

The first new track on the album is the explosive BLOWING OUT. It is a furious song that never lets up and the English lyrics are kind of interesting. The electric guitar riffs are powerful, especially during the bridge.

Track 5 is MY MEDICINE, the first of the 3 B-sides originally on the GLAMOROUS SKY single to be included on the album. This song’s lyrics are completely in English and I thought they were quite good.

The next track, NEGLEST MIND, is a little more laid back but still has a punkish feel to it. I always thought this song’s title was silly because ‘neglest’ is NOT a real word.

REAL WORLD is my favorite of the 4 new tracks because I thought it was the most memorable for me. The riffs are very catchy and Nakashima’s vocal style in the song is great in the fact that she doesn’t sound rushed. Her vocals are actually quite ethereal even though she sings strange lyrics like Kimi no Jesus.

The 2 tracks were the other 2 B-sides from the GLAMOROUS SKY single. I liked ISOLATION more than BLOOD because of I thought the vocals and overall sound were better. I give to credit to BLOOD for having a creepy and sinister sound though. They are both somewhat depressing songs to say the least.

Track 10 is the ALTAnative version of Hitoiro. This new version is a new take on the song because it focuses more on the electric guitar and percussion rather than the obscure instruments of the original. I still prefer the original because I thought the vocals were a LOT better and the new version sounds kind of generic.

The final track on the album is just plain awful. This song is a cover of Sid Vicious’ version of MY WAY (the original being performed by Frank Sinatra). What kills this song are the additional (and extremely annoying and unnecessary) background vocals which make it sound very low-budget and not to mention CRAPPY. Since Nakashima is singing Sid Vicious’ version of the song, she sings words such as ‘cunt’ and ‘fuck’. On a funny note, none of these words are censored but the word ‘cat’ is (because she loves kitties, you know ^^).

THE END was an interesting album to say in the least. It has some great rock songs on it even though a lot of them sound too similar to each other. MY WAY is by far the worst song on the album and it left an extremely sour taste in my mouth. I always believe that the final track on any album should be a very important because it can either make or break its overall structure. Anyway, let’s pretend that song never existed. The album as a whole is pretty good even though it lacked a little variety and substance. As a fan of Nakashima’s original jazzy pop material, I am very glad that she is done with this NANA phase for good.

Overall Rating

3 stars

Tracklisting

1. Hitoiro (一色)
2. EYES FOR THE MOON
3. GLAMOROUS SKY
4. BLOWING OUT
5. MY MEDICINE
6. NEGLEST MIND
7. REAL WORLD
8. ISOLATION
9. BLOOD
10. Hitoiro <ALTAnative>
11. MY WAY

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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