Sowelu – Shiawase no Chikara

June 6, 2007 at 2:46 PM | Posted in Sowelu | Leave a comment
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Tracklisting
1. Shiawase no Chikara (幸せのちから)
2. I Wonder
3. Piano Man
4. Shiawase no Chikara (Instrumental)

This is Sowelu’s 14th single and it was released on January 24, 2007. The single reached #20 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 8,224 copies. The title track was used as the theme song for the Japanese release of the movie The Pursuit of Happyness.

Sowelu was one of the first artists I listened to when I first got into J-pop a couple of years ago. Her brand of catchy pop with a noticable tinge of R&B in such songs as Rainbow, No Limit, and Last Forever made me a fan. Even though I thought her last album 24 -twenty four- was pretty disappointing, I still really like her.

Shiawase no Chikara is an uplifting ballad but at the same time it’s rather plain. The song has a simple piano and string arrangement that doesn’t really shine until the chorus. The thing I liked most about the song was Sowelu’s vocals. Even though she is mostly a pop singer, she sings ballads wonderfully well.

The first B-side is I Wonder, another pop influenced track that is reminiscent of many of the tracks from her last album 24 -twenty four-. It’s more upbeat than Shiawase no Chikara and has a nice, laid back sound, but I still wished that Sowelu would return to the pop and R&B style that made me a fan of her in the past.

I honestly thought that Sowelu’s cover of Billy Joel’s Piano Man was the best track on the single. She has also covered other famous American songs including Bette Midler’s The Rose and Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. For those who didn’t know, she is English fluent and her pronunciation is pretty top notch. Anyway, I really liked the arrangement of this cover and she does an exceptionally good job during the catchy chorus.

Overall Rating

4 stars

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