Eri Nobuchika – nobuchikaeri

November 3, 2007 at 10:37 AM | Posted in Eri Nobuchika | 2 Comments
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nobuchikaeri is Eri Nobuchika’s debut album and it was released on December 21, 2005. The album reached #65 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 4,055 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

The album opens with the short instrumental Forest of Dreams (Intro). The music is surreal and quite ambient even though it is mainly composed of synth.

Lights, her debut single, is the track that really sets the stage for the album’s unique and harmonic sound. It’s an amazing song that combines so many musical elements that range from dance to even classical thanks to an explosive chorus and beautiful bridge.

Out of all the new tracks on the album, SING A SONG sounds the most electronic. It opens with some gentle synth and a nice beat that gradually flares up when the chorus arrives. This is where the song becomes much more aggressive as the synth gets louder and stronger. Nobuchika’s vocals are layered to match the music too.

After the abrupt ending of SING A SONG, the jazzy piano chords of Sketch for Summer begin. This is probably the first track on the album where Nobuchika really showcases that stellar voice of hers in a slower paced song. The music is quite a change from the electronic sound of the 2 previous tracks.

Kutsu wo Narasou is also a unique addition to the album. The song features Nobuchika accompanied by only a gentle electric guitar in the background, once again showing off her impressive vocals. The song is rather simple, but still very pleasing to the ears.

Remember the short instrumental that opened the album? It’s actually from the beginning of the next track, Inner Glow. The most astonishing aspect of this song is that it’s performed entirely in English. Nobuchika’s English singing skills are surprisingly good for someone who doesn’t have any knowledge of the language (from what I’ve heard). Plus, the lyrics are gorgeous and extremely descriptive: Take me to the river where the mountains grow so I can walk to the edge of waterfalls.

An improved version of I hear the music in my soul appears on the album (even though it’s not labeled as a new mix). When I mean by ‘improved’, it’s SHORTER. 2 minutes have been cut off from the original mix so it doesn’t sound as repetitive. This track originally appeared as the B-side on the Lights single.

Next up is Voice, the mesmerizing song that combined the Spanish guitar with heavy electronic synth. The song is literally a musical powerhouse because it is LOUD, especially during the song’s insane bridge section.

Kodou is the other jazz inspired song on the album. Its structure is similar to that of Sketch for Summer’s as it doesn’t get interesting until further into the song.

Desert of Dreams (Interlude) definitely marks a change in the album’s sound. What is presented is a strange mix of R&B beats and acoustic guitar with some muffled strings in the background.

What makes Yume no Kakera quite different from the rest album is that it’s inspired by Arabian music. The song’s intro is reminiscent of ethnic Arabian sounds and you will hear them throughout the entire song. Plus, a nice R&B beat is present along with rhythmic piano chords. Nobuchika’s vocals are gorgeous, especially when she sings the elongated notes of the chorus. It’s also the longest track on the album, but those 8 minutes just seem to fly by.

I thought the album’s final track, Hidamari, was a little underwhelming. It’s a simple acoustic song with the occasional strings that feature higher pitched vocals from Nobuchika. I guess you could say that I was expecting more from this song, since it followed the amazing Yume no Kakera. It’s an okay song, but nothing extremely special.

nobuchikaeri is definitely one of the most unique J-pop albums out there. You won’t see a fusion of various musical genres in your ordinary J-pop album like on this one. Eri Nobuchika dabbles into a different genre with almost each track and with that fantastic voice of hers, she’s definitely more than capable to handle anything. Even though this album was released back in the winter of 2005, it still sounds very fresh. I highly recommend it for ANY J-pop fan.

Overall Rating

5 stars

Tracklisting

1. Forest of Dreams (Intro)
2. Lights
3. SING A SONG
4. Sketch for Summer
5. Kutsu wo Narasou (靴を鳴らそう)
6. Inner Glow
7. I hear the music in my soul
8. Voice
9. Kodou (鼓動)
10. Desert of Dreams (Interlude)
11. Yume no Kakera (夢のかけら)
12. Hidamari (陽だまり)

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

2 Comments »

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  1. Oh Yeah! Here is probably the best JPop album I’ve ever listened to! Definitely a 5 star album! Great Review, Lex!

  2. This girl NEEDS PROMOTION!
    The problem is that no one knows about her.

    I bet if she got some decent advertising, her album will be at least top 10.


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