Mika Nakashima – ALWAYS

January 24, 2010 at 8:50 PM | Posted in Mika Nakashima | 5 Comments
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ALWAYS is Mika Nakashima’s 31st single and it was released on January 20, 2010. The single reached #3 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 21,175 copies.

She looks like a real doll. LOL!

♦ ♦ ♦

A ballad that isn’t about stars!? Get out.
Joking aside, ALWAYS is very nice. As I would expect from Nakashima, the song has a flowing, pristine quality surrounding it. While the arrangement is pretty basic with its pretty strings, piano, and drums, Nakashima gives a stellar vocal performance which gives the music life and radiance.

The A-side was lovely but I thought what made this single were the B-sides. Starting with BABY BABY BABY, a jazzy song with an intimate setting. I always love it when Nakashima releases her smoky jazz side because she does it so well. Next to the vivid acoustics that make up most of the song, there’s also a cool electric guitar solo near the end.

SPIRAL was a pleasant surprise with its various electronic elements. I would say that it took some notes from FOCUS, but even then it’s still quite different. The song is filled with light beats and buzzing synth but there were awesome piano sequences as well. This was my favorite track on the single.

Pros: An incredibly solid single. It’s even better than Nagareboshi.
Cons: The B-sides EASILY overshadow the A-side. Is that even a con though? XD

BASICALLY…this is definitely the strongest single of Mika’s new era!

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Tracklisting

1. ALWAYS
2. BABY BABY BABY
3. SPIRAL
4. ALWAYS (Instrumental)
5. BABY BABY BABY (Instrumental)
6. SPIRAL (Instrumental)

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5 Comments »

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  1. I loved spiral, especially the piano part right at the end, and it did seem to have a similar… atmosphere as focus. I personally found them to be most similar in the way the vocals sound in relation to background/instruments, particularly in the beginning.

  2. ^ I 2nd that.

  3. spiral is the stand-out track for me. i think this is the direction that mika should focus more on with her A-sides. go mika!

  4. spring is almost here and i’m still listening to -and loving- spiral! i definitely agree with wbee… mika should go this direction!

  5. ‘Always’ the single is by far the best single from Mika’s upcoming album, ‘Star,’ which is scheduled for an October 27, 2010, release.


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