2008 In Review ~Part 2: The “Other” Albums~December 31, 2008 at 11:00 AM | Posted in ~Features! | 9 Comments
Part 2 of my 2008 In Review special will cover any other album that was released this year. This includes B-side compilations, concept albums, and cover albums. I have 2 special album reviews at the end as well because I felt that they should be noted. Let’s get things going with…
Ai Kawashima – Café & Musique ~Rojou Shuu 3 Gou~
This was Ai Kawashima’s THIRD concept album and this one had an acoustic theme. It features self-cover versions of her Indies songs and they have been rearranged to sound more acoustic with a laid back café lounge sound. While I think the concept of this album was ambitious, a lot of the songs end up sounding the same as a result. Every track just blends into each other so it’s hard to tell them apart. Her last concept album, which had a piano theme, was a lot better.
KOKIA – Christmas gift
I have to admit that I was too lazy to review KOKIA’s full length Christmas album because it seemed tedious but Christmas gift does have some good songs. The album mostly comprises of covers but some original tracks do appear near the end. She sings all kinds of Christmas tunes but most of them appear on a whopping 13 minute medley. Not all the songs are Christmas related though like her covers of Amazing Grace and Hallelujah.
Ai Kawashima – Coupling Best
Released on the same day as her single collection Single Best, this B-side compilation album kind of serves as its companion. It’s also 2 discs long and it’s funny that it features more songs than Single Best. Kawashima’s B-sides are actually pretty good but I think Disc 2, which feature the more recent songs, are better. The collection also includes a new song titled Deep Love that appears as the final track on Disc 2.
YUI – MY SHORT STORIES
I was so happy when it was first announced that YUI would release a B-side album because honestly, her B-sides are awesome. The interesting thing about MY SHORT STORIES is that it feels like a studio album thanks to the tracklisting. The only song that I don’t like is Driving today because it’s so boring but everything else is gold. A new track titled I’ll be was included as promotion as well and it’s a nice way to open the album. Other artists that should release a B-side album are Yuna Ito, K, and Ai Otsuka…
Tomiko Van – VOICE 2 ~cover lovers rock~
Tomiko Van’s 2nd cover album…or as I like to call it, “VOICE 2 ~Electric Boogaloo~”. Compared to her first cover album, this one is a lot better because it features covers of upbeat rock songs instead of boring adult contemporary songs. Similar to Hitomi Shimatani’s Otoko Uta ~cover song collection~, all of the songs were originally performed by male artists. There are some notable tracks including her versions of IT’S ONLY LOVE, You’re the Only…, and Aisubeki Hito yo to prevent a feeling of sameness. The first track, Cherry, was used to promote the album too.
Younha – Someday
This is one of the few instances where you’ll see a Korean album on this blog but I just HAD to mention Younha’s Someday because it is positively amazing. This was her 2nd Korean album and it’s a huge improvement over the first one. Someday covers a lot more genres including pop, jazz, rock, and even a little R&B. There are so many good songs on this album but one that particularly stands out is My Song and…, which is in English. Younha’s English sounds damn near perfect so props to her. If you like Younha’s Japanese music, I think you would LOOOOOOVE this album.
So that’s it for Part 2! Get ready for Part 3 which will be coming AFTER New Year’s Day as my first official post of 2009. Part 3 will be all about singles and more singles so look out for it. ;D