misono – Sei -say-

August 28, 2008 at 8:13 PM | Posted in misono | 5 Comments
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The cover of the CD only edition

Sei -say- (生 -say-) is misono’s 2nd album and it was released on July 16, 2008. The album reached #20 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 10,770 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

The perfect way to start things off for this album was the quirky yet intuitive Misono Aji. This short intro track is less than two minutes long but I loved the overall sound it presented. misono’s playful vocals next to the upbeat electric guitar chords were quite catchy especially during the middle sequence. This could have been an excellent full-length song in my opinion.

Now we move onto the furious guitar riffs that begin Zasetsu Chiten, the first of misono’s Rock Project singles. Like I said before, this is a very solid rock song with a great arrangement that’s very upbeat. I also think misono gives one of her better vocal performances in it as well.

For me, the best of the Rock Project singles was definitely Ninin Sankyaku. I enjoyed the consistency of the music but also the darker rock sound that it had. It also helped that the chorus is very catchy and misono’s performs it very well.

Just like her debut album, there are also some B-sides included. The first one is Gizagiza LIFE and it’s from the Juunin Toiro single. The music is more on the medium tempo side but it still provides some progressive riffs and nice percussion sections. It’s an okay song even though it tends to drag a little bit near the end.

Up next is another B-side and it’s from the Zasetsu Chiten single. black & white ~Kuroi Sunglasses Kaketa Hi Kara~ is a dark and sinister sounding track that consists of muffled verses followed by a loud chorus. Accompanied by penetrating riffs, misono sings the chorus with elongated notes. This song has grown on me a little because it has a nice alternative sound, but it’s still pretty average.

A new song finally appears and much to my surprise, almost all of the new songs on this album are pretty good. Triangle opens with intimidating single note riffs but it blossoms into this gorgeous mix of percussion and light strings when the chorus arrives. I really liked how all of the instruments intertwined for the bridge too.

Heeeeey, what’s Hot Time doing on THIS album? The song is pretty old considering it was originally released during the never+land era but it didn’t make the cut in the end (the other A-side it was released with, A.  ~answer~, did though). Anyways, I still really like this song and I have gotten over misono’s screechy vocals that appear during the chorus. For being her first A-side to be a ballad, it also seems to flow quite nicely on this album since it follows Triangle.

Her 3rd Rock Project single, Mugen Kigen, is next and when it comes to the overall arrangement, this is one of her better songs because it sounds more unique compared to her other singles. It has grown on me a good amount and I do like sweeping riffs in the music as well as misono’s strong vocals.

The title of the next track is really weird but the song itself is pretty good. Oiji-chankko Obaa-chankko Hinatabokko translates to “grandpa and grandma sunbathing” so I didn’t know what to think at first. Strange title aside, I liked how dynamic the music was and how it changed from the verses to the chorus. The verses feature a calm piano with light guitar chords but that transitions into an aggressive chorus.

My favorite single from this album was by far Pochi and I still adore the song to this day. This was the first single that misono released for the album so it wasn’t a part of the Rock Project. The music is a lot more on the pop side and it’s overall atmosphere is cheery and cute anyway. I loved how the verses exploded into the extremely loud chorus and then into a really charming piano sequence.

The next track is similar to Pochi but a little more rock influenced. I thought that Hankouki was fantastic but too short for it’s own good (it’s less than 3 minutes long!). That’s okay because the song is really fun and catchy. It just might be my favorite new track on the album.

I have a love and hate relationship with Juunin Toiro, the 2nd Rock Project single. The song is a good example of great instrumentation that sounds awkward because of the vocals. Upon further inspection, it’s only the chorus that sounds funky. Everything else is fine so let’s leave it at that.

What I liked the most about Tamago were the brazen drums and jazzy guitar chords. There is a nice buildup into the chorus where it features pleasant vocals and stronger riffs but the bridge has awesome ‘break off” parts too. This was another high quality song from misono.

A somewhat new version of the acoustic based Last Song is next. It was originally the B-side on the Mugen Kigen single. It’s still the same dreary and strained song as before and the only new thing about it is the extending ending. You hear misono talking a little and then she introduces the title of album’s final track…

“Kimi to Watashi no Uta” is also an acoustic based song but it sounds too similar to the previous track. Her vocals are a little strained here as well and I thought that this was a really weak way to close the album. As the final track, it could have been better executed because it is very plain.

Sei -say- was a pretty good sophomore effort from misono. As evident from the singles of her Rock Project, the album as a whole is a lot more rock oriented. Even though it is structurally similar to her debut album never+land, it’s not quite on the same level because I wasn’t too fond on some of the previous released tracks. Junnin Toiro and the B-sides instantly come into mind. However, the new tracks are great and they were done very well. I just wish there were more of them because just like her debut album, the tracklisting is very dependent on older A-sides and B-sides.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Misono Aji (美苑味)
2. Zasetsu Chiten (挫折地点)
3. Ninin Sankyaku (二人三脚)
4. Gizagiza LIFE (ギザギザLIFE)
5. black & white ~Kuroi Sunglasses Kaketa Hi Kara~ 
      (black & white ~黒いサングラスかけた日から~)
6. Triangle (トライアングル)
7. Hot Time (ホットタイム)
8. Mugen Kigen (夢幻期限)
9. Oiji-chankko Obaa-chankko Hinatabokko (おじぃちゃんっこ おばぁちゃんっこ ひなたぼっ子)
10. Pochi (ポチ)
11. Hankouki (反抗期)
12. Juunin Toiro (十人十色)
13. Tamago (たまご)
14. Last Song ~Sei ver.~ (ラストソング ~生 ver.~)
15. “Kimi to Watashi no Uta” (「君と私のうた」)

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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5 Comments »

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  1. D: Sorry for the slightly late reply, was out the whole day.

    I’d love to exchange links with you! What with your site being so well-known and all… (*is jealous*) xD

    Linked!

  2. You know, I’ve been thinking about trying to listen to Misono again because I liked her debut single.

    Although for me, the album cover is really turning me off.

  3. Nice review. :3 I wish the album would have had more new songs though. <-<

  4. Pretty decent album. misono is such a hit and miss artist with me and it’s usually because of her voice. For the most part, the songs are quite good, I just wish someone else was singing them, lol.

  5. I can never really seem to sit through this album, but it does have some great songs on it.

    Her first is still better, really.


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