Every Little Thing – Door

April 8, 2008 at 11:26 AM | Posted in Every Little Thing | 4 Comments
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The cover of the CD only edition

Door is Every Little Thing’s 8th album and it was released on March 5, 2008. The album reached #2 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 85,076 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

I hate how good Every Little Thing’s instrumental tracks are because they could make such awesome full-length songs. This is the case with the opening track GATE #8 because it features a great accumulating guitar that starts the album off with a breath of fresh air.

At least it transitions into the incredibly catchy Masaka no Telepathy, which felt like a continuation of the opening instrumental. It’s a very upbeat song comprising of infectious piano, strings, and drums. I especially liked the rhythmic drums of the chorus. Kaori Mochida’s vocals sound better than ever too.

The next track is a new and improved version of Kirameki Hour, the first single released for the album. The “Door version” of the song features new vocals and a retouched arrangement. It sounds more softer than the original thanks to the added piano and chimes. The music does sound more polished even though they didn’t get rid of that little ticking sound, but that’s okay.

Up next is a cheery, percussion based song. Paris no Musume has upbeat drums with distant bells and horns in the background. The bridge is the highlight of the song because of its cool bass solo. Mochida’s vocals are pleasant to ears too.

The album’s latest single was the dramatic Sakurabito. With a traditional Japanese ballad flair, the verses are calm and elevate to a more powerful chorus. Even though it’s my least favorite of the album’s singles, it still offers some variety.

I thought the funky synth of the the next track, WONDER LAND, was pretty surprising after the end of Sakurabito.  The title “wonderland” seems to be pretty common amongst J-pop artists these days. That’s besides the point though. The band delivers another fun and upbeat song and because of the synth pop sound of the music, it reminded me of their older works back when the band was a trio.

The band’s cover of Noriyuki Makihara’s Fuyu ga Hajimaru yo is next, with the original artist providing background vocals during the chorus. I finally got a chance to hear Makihara’s original song and the cover is radically different in terms of overall style. It’s more upbeat, follows a brisk pace, and the arrangement has a winter atmosphere to it. The original had a band arrangement and was sung at a slower pace.

The album’s next instrumental is the calm and relaxing B.L.V.D., a simple piece that acts as a bridge after the wintery Fuyu ga Hajimaru yo and into the rockish NEROLI. The instrumental is progressive, becoming louder further in but still maintaining a laid back sound.

NEROLI is probably the most aggressive song on the album, drifting away from the soft rock sound of the other tracks. The electric guitar is much more involved in this song, playing a big part in the overall arrangement. I liked the alternative sound of the riffs and the nice solo during the bridge too. It was nice hearing Mochida put more emphasis into her vocals too.

I absolutely loved the next track because it is one of the band’s most unique songs. Karakara has a vibrant island sound mixed with a little reggae on the side. While the music has a common tropical island theme, it sounds excellent in the context of the album. I’m glad the band was stirring the pot a little with this song. Mochida’s voice fits right in with the music too, complimenting it quite well.

The lovely winter love ballad Koi wo Shiteiru follows, and it’s my personal favorite of the album’s singles. The grand arrangement is what makes this song shine and the sweeping strings, drums, and gentle riffs give the music a beautiful ambiance.

The album is drawing to a close and the next song is a calm ballad. gladiolus (as in the flower) is a pretty song with excellent, stronger vocals. The music begins rather calmly with gentle strings and chimes, but soon includes short riffs of the electric guitar.

I was very pleased to hear Ophelia_act2 as the album’s final track. For those who didn’t know, the original “demo version” or act 1 of the song appeared as the B-side on the Sakurabito single. Act 2 actually features lyrics and a much more involved, ambient sound. The accordions of act 1 are gone and replaced with strings and acoustics instead.

Door is really soft rock at its best, I can’t stress it enough. Even though the album is primarily soft rock, songs like NEROLI and Karakara added some much needed flavor. Every Little Thing has gone through several changes with their music and the phase they’re going through right now is a welcome addition to the various styles they have performed. I did find this album to be on the same level as their previous one (the more rockish Crispy Park) in the music department, but what sets Door apart is the overall performance of vocalist Kaori Mochida. Her voice sounds stronger and fuller than in Crispy Park, even though it will never be the same like when the band first debuted because of complications from touring and bronchitis. That’s okay though because she’s still a great singer, her voice has just changed over the past 10 years, that’s all.

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. GATE #8 (Instrumental)
2. Masaka no Telepathy (まさかのTelepathy)
3. Kirameki Hour (Door version) (キラメキアワー)
4. Paris no Musume (パリの娘)
5. Sakurabito (サクラビト)
6. WONDER LAND
7. Fuyu ga Hajimaru yo feat. Noriyuki Makihara (冬がはじまるよ feat. 槇原敬之)
8. B.L.V.D. (Instrumental)
9. NEROLI
10. Karakara (カラカラ)
11. Koi wo Shiteiru (恋をしている)
12. gladiolus
13. Ophelia_act2 (オフェリア_act2)

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

4 Comments »

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  1. A great review Lex. This was my first voyage into Every Little Thing and I couldn’t agree more with your words, save for Sakurabito (b/c I really like it ^_^).

  2. A thank you so much for this review.
    ^^
    I’ve been trying to get into something different, but I really didn’t know where to start.

  3. Amazing album! Definitely another great album from ELT. Great review!

  4. This review is great, and it hits all of the right points…I hope Door sells well enough…ELT is a great band…


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