Anna Tsuchiya – NUDY SHOW!November 6, 2008 at 8:55 PM | Posted in Anna Tsuchiya | 8 Comments
The cover of the CD+DVD edition
NUDY SHOW! is Anna Tsuchiya’s 2nd studio album and it was released on October 29, 2008. The album reached #10 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 39,460 copies.
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This is Anna Tsuchiya. Welcome to the NUDY SHOW!
After the sounds of changing TV channels are heard, the overture officially begins with that phrase. It’s a short and rockish instrumental that serves well as the opening track. Even though it features that annoying “Let’s the get the rat” lyric from Virgin Cat, it’s okay.
The beginning of Cockroach really caught me off guard because it starts off quietly with weird synth but then bursts of electric guitar suddenly appear. The music is cool and has a nice punk attitude to them but those girly background vocals that appear during the verses felt kind of unnecessary to me. Anyway, this song is okay but definitely one of the weakest of the new tracks.
The R&B rock hybrid Crazy World is up next and I think that this song is pretty good now. The aggressive chorus has become my favorite part because it’s catchy and it has a great hook. Heck, even AI’s rapping isn’t so bad anymore.
Well, Virgin Cat is still awful. Check out my review of the single to see the reasons why I hate it so much. The thing is, I’m all for artists “branching out” and trying new styles of music. However, if the song is just plain bad then that’s another story.
For the album’s main promotional track, GINGER, Tsuchiya collaborated with the band MONKEY MAJIK. This song is in English and features the two vocalists of MONKEY MAJIK (Maynard and Blaise Plant) providing background vocals during the chorus. Even though the song is your standard rock track, it’s executed very well. Being right under 3 minutes in length, it’s a shame that this song is so short because it’s really good and extremely catchy. It’s one of my favorites among the album’s new tracks too.
Originally appearing as a B-side on the cocoon single, u is a quick paced rock song that mixes in some synth. The lyrics are also in English. It’s a nice addition to the album and one of her better recent B-sides too. If only Imitation night could be on here as well…
The next track, the appropriately titled Dirty Game, is an aggressive and punk inspired track. This song is like a better version of Cockroach but it’s a lot more involved with its use of electric guitars. It’s not bad, but there are better songs ahead.
Style is pretty interesting and it has a more poppy sound. Next to the electric guitars, there is also a catchy clapping beat. Like the title implies, I think that this IS a pretty stylish song and the chorus is fantastic. Tsuchiya’s vocals certainly bring some character into the song, the bridge being a notable part.
The next track presents something new and features a strange, almost dance-like sound. Masquerade is upbeat and has the normal electric guitars but they are clouded by a strong beat with some funky synth. I think that this is probably one of her most experimental songs to date because it is borderline dance and includes vocal distortions.
Now we have the song that was Tsuchiya’s first venture into a mainstream pop sound. I really like BUBBLE TRIP and I think it’s an insanely catchy song. The music is fun and has an offbeat rhythm to it, which I thought went well with Tsuchiya’s vocals.
Serenade is one of the few slower songs on the album and it’s very pretty. The acoustic arrangement is excellent and it was nice listening to the gentler side of Tsuchiya’s voice, despite her natural raspiness. What I liked the most about this song is that the chorus is comprised of almost nothing but adlibbing.
The first ballad to appear is the gorgeous Shape of your love. Beginning with a sad piano, the song picks up for the chorus when some guitars and drums come in. I liked the lyrics as well. They are quite sad and Tsuchiya expresses a good amount of emotion. This song is like a rockish version of Forever, the only ballad that was on her debut album strip me?.
I honestly don’t like the album version of cocoon because it simply doesn’t compare to the original, which I thought was pretty good. This new version has been drastically toned down and this is not the same aggressive rock song as before. Instead, the music sounds more acoustic. If anything, the best parts of the song have been removed and we are left with something that sounds very cheap.
Fortunately, the album’s final phase is pretty awesome with the last couple of songs. It starts with LUCY, her 3rd NANA single. I have never been a big fan of this song, but I think it’s all right. I can’t deny that it’s full of energy and spunk so it earns a place on the album.
I have to admit that RIDE ON! is pretty cool and it is full of attitude. Next to the constant riffs, Tsuchiya’s vocals are strong but also get muffled every now and then. Luckily, I think the parts that feature the muffled vocals are nice, especially when she sings the fast paced verses. Anyway, a great addition to the album.
However, BLOOD ON BLOOD is even better and I absolutely love the electric guitars in this song. They sound so dark and sinister as they transition into the first verse. This is definitely the edgiest and most rock oriented song on the album and Tsuchiya performs it extremely well. The sweeping chorus is a highlight as well as the awesome guitar solo of the bridge.
Ending the album is the deep sadness version of Kuroi Namida, Tsuchiya’s 2nd NANA single (it appeared as track 4 on that single). Even though I personally prefer the original version of the song, the deep sadness version makes for a great final track. While the original version focuses more on an alternative rock sound, this version is like a ballad and it adds piano and depressing strings. The chorus does feature guitars and they blend nicely with the strings in the background.
NUDY SHOW! is quite the experimental album. We all know that Anna Tsuchiya’s main niche is rock and alternative, but she mixes it up a little by fusing in a little pop, especially during the first half of the album. The 2nd half sees a return to the style of her debut album though. With her more pop influenced tracks, it’s sort of a hit and miss for me. I enjoyed songs like BUBBLE TRIP and Crazy World, but I despised Virgin Cat. I have nothing against her trying out new things, but it depends on whether or not it actually sounds good in the end. So leaving it at that, I will say that NUDY SHOW! is pretty good but I thought her debut album strip me? was a lot better. There are songs that do stand out, but not without the occasional filler track.
3. Crazy World / Anna Tsuchiya feat. AI
4. Virgin Cat
5. GINGER / Anna Tsuchiya feat. MONKEY MAJIK
7. Dirty Game
10. BUBBLE TRIP
12. Shape of your love
13. cocoon ~NUDY SHOW! version~
15. RIDE ON!
16. BLOOD ON BLOOD
17. Kuroi Namida ~deep sadness version~ (黒い涙)
Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!