Miyu Nagase – Gateway to Tomorrow

December 11, 2007 at 9:13 PM | Posted in Miyu Nagase | Leave a comment
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Gateway to Tomorrow is Miyu Nagase’s debut album and it was released on November 21, 2007. The album reached #45 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 5,108 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

The opening track is also the only single that Miyu Nagase released for this album, Key ~Yume Kara Samete~. This song is a strong indicator of what the rest of the album sounds like: high quality pop rock that leans a litte bit more towards pop. Nagase’s voice has matured over the years and I noticed this because it’s stronger and deeper. To be honest, most of the album’s new tracks are a lot better than this one. 

Which brings me to GAME, the edgiest and most rock oriented song on the album. It features gritty riffs and blaring percussion at an upbeat pace that I really enjoyed. Nagase’s rougher than usual vocals are awesome and she sings with vigor and speed, especially during the exciting chorus. She’s got a hit right here and this song SHOULD have been released as the single.

Like I said before, the album has it’s fair share of pop tracks, and I absolutely adored Days. It’s one of my favorite tracks. The chorus is very catchy with its quick vocals and light hearted atmosphere. The music just seems to flow really well with the addition of some light beats and pop synth. 

Nagase follows it up with free, an acoustic based track. The verses are uninteresting, but the chorus is quite catchy. She once again sings at a swift pace accompanied by light riffs and thumping drums. This is another high quality song that shows her more mature side.

Track 5 was another favorite of mine. Sunao ni Narezu ni is one of the few rockish ballads off the album and it’s wonderful. It begins with soft acoustics and drums, but then elevates to the powerful chorus. Nagase hits some nice notes in this song and she pulls them off nicely. The ending’s electric guitar solo is great as well and I liked the way it fades away into a lonely acoustic guitar.

The next track, winter memories, is a little all over place. It somewhat has a ‘winter vibe’ to it because of the crystalline like chimes that appear frequently, but the music is mainly a mish-mash of electric guitar during the strong chorus and jazzy percussion in the verses (which I thought was kind of neat). I could have done without the unnecessary Engrish that ends the chorus though.

I had the same issue with futari as I did with free: somewhat uninspiring verses. The lead-in to the chorus, however, is nicely done. I liked Nagase’s ad-libbing and they lead to an excellent chorus. The progressive electric guitar riffs that accompany her slower paced vocals are amazing.

Up next is a really fun upbeat track that I really enjoyed. with U is a bright and cheery song and I thought everything from the vocals to the music had a positive feeling to it. It’s an pleasant and uplifting pop rock number.

Namida no Kanata is kind of like opposite of the previous track. The opening is somewhat depressing because of the piano and low pitched vocals, but it quickly changes to a rockish and edgy chorus. The addition of the strings give the music more feeling as Nagase’s vocals begin to elevate.

The piano intro of promising is instantly broken by a catchy chorus with some English: Oh fly away, don’t be afraid. This is another powerful song that’s heavy on the rock side, but Nagase’s vocals aren’t strong like they were in GAME. The melody of the chorus doesn’t really allow that though since the music is a little more laid back.

Nagase ends the album with a laid back pop tune. Hikari Sasu Basho is also quite cheery and it uses a familiar guitar riff along with light percussion…except for the additional synth that feels out of place. Her vocals are nice, crisp, and go along really well with the pop sound of the music. This track was a nice way to close the album.

Gateway to Tomorrow is an impressive debut album definitely resparked my interest in Miyu Nagase. Despite staying in her comfort zone of pop rock music, she performs these kinds of songs very nicely. Almost every song on the album has an interesting hook to it, and there are some really good standout tracks presented here. Her “new” solo music might sound similar to the material while she was the lead vocalist of ZONE, but she adds her own style into the mix. I’ve said before that I would like to see her tackle the mainstream pop genre again after those 2 singles released in the winter of 2004, but she does exactly that with some the album’s tracks and I hope that she continues to do it.

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Key ~Yume Kara Samete~ (Key~夢から覚めて~)
2. GAME
3. Days
4. free
5. Sunao ni Narezu ni (素直になれずに)
6. winter memories
7. futari
8. with U
9. Namida no Kanata (涙の彼方)
10. promising
11. Hikari Sasu Basho (光さす場所)

Note: My favorite songs are highlighted in blue!

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