Yuna Ito – DREAM

June 13, 2009 at 11:51 PM | Posted in Yuna Ito | 7 Comments
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The cover of the CD+DVD edition

DREAM is Yuna Ito’s 3rd album and it was released on May 27, 2009. The album reached #7 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 32,373 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

Opening the album is the infectious love you, an upbeat pop number filled with loud brass and constant percussion. It’s the chorus that gets to me since it has a catchy mix of English and Japanese lyrics. The song is also effective in setting up the album’s summer feel.

 The next track is definitely one of my favorites off the album as well as an awesome collaboration. Ima Demo Aitai yo… is the answer song to R&B duo Spontania’s Ima Demo Zutto which also featured Ito. The original was kind of clunky as a whole so I thought Ito’s version was much better. It’s more upbeat to sound less like a ballad, the vocals are better, and the arrangement has been revamped with added strings and beats. Everything, but the overall melody being the biggest factor, sounds a lot more polished as well. Released as a digital single first, it also served as the album’s main promotional track.

I’m glad Brand New World is on the album! It’s a fun pop song that is extremely catchy and uplifting. I really like dance beats and upbeat synth that play next to Ito’s exuberant vocals. This song was originally the B-side on the trust you single.

The party continues with Koi wa groovy×2, a song that I didn’t really care for at first. I’m pretty fond of it now since it follows Brand New World and heck…it IS groovy. It does make for the ideal celebration song.

We slow down a bit for trust you, my favorite A-side off the album. It is indeed a strong ballad that showcases a more emotional side of Ito when it comes to the vocals. She sounds absolutely radiant when she performs the passionate chorus.

The next 3 tracks are what I like to call the album’s “summer beach” phase. It starts with BAILA BAILA, an amusing song that sounded like it took its inspiration from a party in the Caribbean islands. Sure, it comes off as cheesy, but I can’t help but find it quite charming at the same time. Incorporating steel drums and brass, the music is very cheery. You try getting that “BAILA BAILA HIGHER HIGHER” phrase out of your head!

When I first saw the tracklisting, I was immediately opposed to having BREEEEEZIN!!!!!!! on the album…but this was solely because I wanted Mafuyu no Seiza. XD Oh well, but this is why I mentioned the album having a “summer beach” phase because the song fits in perfectly here. It’s not a bad song anyway so I’ll just shut up and start breezing. (lol) It originally appeared as the B-side on the miss you single.

I still love miss you, a bittersweet song with a beautiful island influenced sound. The arrangement just screams “I like long walks down the beach and getting my heart broken”. D<
Anywho, it’s a fantastic song that is soothing, yet sad.

OMG OMG! LOVE MACHINE GUN isn’t just an amazing song, but also her best upbeat track EVER. This song took me by surprise because it has a powerful, floor shaking sound. Featuring a furious mix of synth, drums, and electric guitars, the music is loud and in your face. I love the intense chorus as well and Ito sings with incredible energy. This song is HOT and the best new track off the album.

No one else is definitely more reserved when compared to everything else on this album. The music is mostly on the acoustic side, but there are also prominent beats and strings that come later on. The progression of the song is nice and I liked how Ito’s vocals got stronger towards the end.

ARE YOU TRYING TO BE SEXY, MISS ITO!? I’m not gonna lie though because I totally dig Body. It’s a mid-tempo track but it has some hot clapping beats and an overall sensual atmosphere. On top of that, the lyrics and Ito’s lower pitched vocals show a more mature side of her. I’m pretty sure that there are plenty of people who want your body, Yuna. ;D

But wait, there’s more! The album doesn’t exactly end with Body and you have to wait over a minute until the secret bonus track groovy×2 appears. It’s the English version of Koi wa groovy×2 and it was originally released as a digital single in late 2008. Also, it is performed as her groovy, English speaking alter ego Christine Ito (who needs to release her own album, pronto!). Aside from having English lyrics, the song opens and ends differently compared to the Japanese version.

The third time’s a charm for Yuna Ito because I was really impressed with DREAM. Aside from having some really excellent material on it, the album is by far her most well-rounded and cohesive to date. Honestly, HEART and WISH are messy and disjointed when compared to DREAM. Unlike those past 2 albums, this one has a solid foundation with new tracks that aren’t half-assed filler. It’s true that there could have been more because of the previously released songs but that’s beside the point. Ito has stepped it up and delivered an album that is not only wonderful, but extremely easy to pick up.

Overall Rating

 4½ stars

Tracklisting

1. love you
2. Ima Demo Aitai yo… (今でも 会いたいよ・・・) / Yuna Ito feat. Spontania
3. Brand New World
4. Koi wa groovy×2 (恋はgroovy×2)
5. trust you
6. BAILA BAILA
7. BREEEEEZIN!!!!!!!
8. miss you
9. LOVE MACHINE GUN
10. No one else
11. Body
Hidden bonus track: groovy×2

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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7 Comments »

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  1. HOTNESS.

    At least she’s learned something. Hopefully she doesn’t flop next era. x:

  2. Cool, I’ll have to try her out :)

  3. the cover looks so cheesy! I have yet to listen to it yet, but there’s only five new tracks! and it’s kind of short compared to the rest of her albums.

    but still, gotta listen to it before I start judging… =)

  4. i LOVED THAT ENGLISH VERSION OF KOI WA GROOVY X2

    LOVED IT

    i want an english album!

  5. ^ AGREE. CHRISTINE ITO NEEDS TO BREAK AMERICA.

  6. Christine Ito? This is the first I’ve heard of her. xD
    After reading your review, I realize I must’ve been in shock and closed minded with my first listen of the album b/c I was actually slightly confused and slightly disappointed. (and I rely way too much on Firefox’s auto spell-checking… damn you IE!).
    HOT for LOVE MACHINE GUN though! <3
    I'm also listening to Bonnie Pink's ONE, though it is harder to get into. :)

  7. I really love Yuna and think she is terribly under-rated! She has an amazing voice and I don’t know japanese, but they way she sings it really doesn’t matter. I am still very touched by her music. Yuna! I’m hoping you will come to Hawaii and do a concert!!!


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