Ai Otsuka – LOVE PiECEOctober 8, 2007 at 7:33 PM | Posted in Ai Otsuka | 1 Comment
LOVE PiECE is Ai Otsuka’s 4th album and it was released on September 26, 2007. The album reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 376,115 copies.
♦ ♦ ♦
The very energetic Mirai Taxi opens the album with a nice synth line. The song also has a nice rockish sound to it that blends in very well. The chorus features distorted vocals followed by Ai Otsuka’s unaffected vocals.
Yumekui follows right after and features an even stronger rock sound with more progressive chords. Otsuka’s vocals actually compliment this song really well, especially during the chorus.
The next track, Mackerel’s canned food, is a more cheerful song. It’s very upbeat with a steady percussion beat and Otsuka’s vocals are very playful throughout the entire song. The chorus is a little on the silly side with its lyrics, but it’s very catchy.
Track 4 is PEACH, a song that has grown on me a considerable amount since it was released as a single. I think the chorus is very infectious and the best part of the song. Otsuka’s vocals don’t sound as good like in the previous tracks though.
The album slows down and takes on a somber tone with the next track, Kumuriuta. It opens with gentle vocals and acoustic guitar followed by some piano. The chorus is just plain gorgeous and it really shows that ballads are Otsuka’s strongest asset.
I absolutely loved Hoshi no Tango. It’s an extremely pretty mid tempo song with relaxing piano and acoustic guitar chords. Otsuka’s vocals are at their best as well. The only gripe that I have about this song is its length. Being under 3 minutes, it’s way too short for this exceptional track.
All I have to say about the next track is HOLY CRAP. Katorisenkou takes the “crazy Ai Otsuka song” to a new extreme with its mindless KA KA KA KA chorus and grungy vocal sytle from Otsuka. The screeching electric guitars are awesome and add to the already present insanity of the song. In the end I LOVED IT since I have always been a fan of Otsuka’s “drug induced” songs, or whatever you want to call them.
I loved how the ending of Katorisenkou flowed right into the opening riffs of Frienger. Despite being the oldest track on the album, I have always enjoyed it and it still sounds fresh to my ears.
Continuing the album’s trend of overly upbeat songs is CHU-LIP. This song has a stronger brass arrangement and along with a catchy chorus and quirky vocals, it’s another high quality track.
HEART is a wonderful, relaxing song that just flows with style and precision. The gentle electric guitar chords and beats are great and Otsuka’s vocals are just radiant.
I thought Renai Shashin was the perfect way to end the album because it’s such a heartfelt song. The lyrics are sincere even though they’re constantly repeated (in the chorus at least), and the music is very nice. The light beats together with the sweeping strings and piano make for one extremely pretty pop ballad.
LOVE PiECE is definitely Ai Otsuka’s most mature album to date. Unlike her past works, this album flows extremely well from beginning to end and each track compliments the one that followed it. I also thought there wasn’t a single bad song on the album as well, something that her last album LOVE COOK didn’t accomplish. In conclusion, LOVE PiECE is definitely an enjoyable listen that mixes her fun, upbeat tracks and her signature love ballads all in one very neat and solid package.
1. Mirai Taxi (未来タクシー)
2. Yumekui (ユメクイ)
3. Mackerel’s canned food
5. Kumuriuta (クムリウタ)
6. Hoshi no Tango (星のタンゴ)
7. Katorisenkou (蚊取線香)
8. Frienger (フレンジャー)
11. Renai Shashin (恋愛写真)
Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!