Every Little Thing – CHANGE

April 5, 2010 at 2:55 PM | Posted in Every Little Thing | 3 Comments
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The cover of the regular edition

CHANGE is Every Little Thing’s 9th album and it was released on March 24 ,2010. The album reached #8 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 20,556 copies.

I really like this cover for some reason. What is Kaori wearing though? lol

♦ ♦ ♦

You know what? I was expecting CHANGE to be a disappointing album because of producer Mitsuru Igarashi but he actually did a decent job here. I pretty much hated his ~production skills~ when I first heard DREAM GOES ON (I gave that single a scathing review) but the music got better as the era continued. Tsumetai Ame and the lead-in single Change were big improvements.

The main thing that I disliked about Igarashi’s music was his tendency to add unnecessary amounts of dated synthesizers and layer them over a band arrangement. That’s why CHANGE has some similarities to Every Little Things’ REALLY old material, which I’m honestly not a fan of. If you follow the group, you’ll remember that he was the founder and the primary composer. After their 3rd album eternity in March 2000, he left the group and vocalist Kaori Mochida and guitarist Ichiro Ito continued on as a duo.

There is definitely a throwback 90s vibe on the album, but not just any 90s sound. It has that special “avex brand” of Japanese pop that dominated the decade. Every Little Thing, along with other popular avex artists like Namie Amuro, hitomi, and Ayumi Hamasaki all rose to fame at this time. On CHANGE, there is a mix of the retro and modern but I thought it was done more tastefully compared to his first offerings DREAM GOES ON and its B-side spearmint.

The band arrangements of the group’s last couple of albums (commonplace, Crispy Park, and Door) are still a dominant feature on many of the album’s new tracks. Most of the songs are pleasant mid-tempo numbers like Aoi Kirameki, Wasure e Nu Hito, and 12 Kagetsu. There are some upbeat tracks and they appear after the instrumental Heart Rate Of The City. For instance, Mayonaka no Highway was alright but it gets overshadowed by the Celtic influences in Sketchbook. After another instrumental (Snowscape), the album goes back to slower paced songs and closes with a polished new version of Tsumetai Ame.

Yes, CHANGE was better than I thought it would be but it’s still pretty weak when compared to past albums. Overall, a majority of the tracks are generous to the ears but they lack a certain flair. I don’t want to call them “lazy” but the arrangements do come off as uninspired. I just wish there was more going on in the music. I’m just glad Mitsuru Igarashi didn’t go crazy with the synth and kept things clean.

Pros: Nice, simple music. If you like old ELT, this album is for you.
Cons: A little monotonous at times. Nothing really stood out on my first listen, either.

BASICALLY…I hope for something more exciting next time.

Overall Rating

3½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Change
2. Aoi Kirameki (青い煌めき)
3. spearmint
4. Wasure e Nu Hito (忘れえぬ人)
5. 12 Kagetsu (12ヶ月)
6. Heart Rate Of The City (Instrumental)
7. Mayonaka no Highway (真夜中のハイウェイ)
8. DREAM GOES ON
9. Sketchbook (スケッチブック)
10. Snowscape (Instrumental)
11. Hachisu -Ren- (蓮 -れん-)
12. Tsumetai Ame (Album version) (冷たい雨)

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

3 Comments »

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  1. agree CHANGE just didn’t do it for me, i actually enjoy their 90s stuff but still this was just a bland album i could have done better with Crispy Park which is pretty much their NOW 3rd lamest album but this album is even worse than no.2 Door

  2. Indeed, that album was pretty boring and bland.

  3. I agree. This album don’t have that ELT feeling, but it was kinda surprising that Igarashi didn’t came back to his old style at all.

    I like both ELT styles, but i was always wondering how could it be if Igarashi just compose like he did for Dream, in the song Transit – Independence -, that was a pretty good arrangement, without that “oversinthethysed” sound and showing more the girls’ voices. For me, that is a masterpiece of Igarashi, but unfortunately it didn’t happen in this album.

    Thanks for the review.


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