Rie fu – at Rie sessions

April 16, 2010 at 9:13 PM | Posted in Rie fu | 8 Comments
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The cover of the CD+DVD edition

at Rie sessions is Rie fu’s 5th album and it was released on March 31, 2010. The album reached #73 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 1,940 copies. Also branded as a collaboration album, Rie fu worked with different artists on every track. Stay with me ~Renai Nante Himatsubushi~ was the main promotional track.

The cover is great. I wish I could say the same about the album…

♦ ♦ ♦

Tsk tsk. I was sorely disappointed by this album. When I wasn’t disappointed, I was probably falling asleep. Before you start calling me a bitter hater ~*~who can’t appreciate her music~*~, let me stop you right there.

First of all, at Rie sessions is a raw album that is pretty simplistic at times. It’s also self-produced and contains her most intimate material to date. However, just because it’s “raw” and “intimate” doesn’t mean it’s good. I thought the album was a huge downgrade compared to the likes of URBAN ROMANTIC and Tobira Album.

The album indeed has a “bare bones” feel and almost every track is slower paced in some way. When it comes to the music, it’s very acoustic and nothing much else. STAR and Sunshine Forehead are the only songs that sound remotely upbeat and different from the rest. Also 9 of the tracks feature guest artists and I only liked a couple of them. Besides these tracks being quite boring, she picked some funky people to collaborate with. For example, Stay with me ~Renai Nante Himatsubushi~ gets ruined by an awkward rapping section and the 2 chicks in Don’t Worry have funny voices.

Honestly, there was only ONE really good song and it was Bright Life. It has the classic Rie fu piano arrangement that makes it stand out. It also helps that it didn’t have a guest artist to mess things up (Gilles was the only other track). As for everything else on the album…they’re not worth mentioning. Sorry~

Yes, I understand the theme of the album but that’s no excuse. at Rie sessions was just so BLAND. I don’t mind the heavy acoustics or the minimal approach of the music but almost everything sounded so lifeless here. You’re better off listening to her debut album or ROSE ALBUM because you’ll hear the same thing but executed way better.

Pros: The album’s middle section and Bright Life. Oh and the cover art! XD
Cons: Uninteresting collaboration songs and an overall sleepy feeling. At least the songs are short?

BASICALLY…I’ll be listening to URBAN ROMANTIC some more.

Overall Rating

2½ stars


1. Stay with me ~Renai Nante Himatsubushi~ (Stay with me~恋愛なんてヒマつぶし~)
    / Rie fu & Lily Franky feat. Bose (Schadaraparr)
2. Just Like You / Rie fu & LEO Imai
3. Irodotte (いろどって) / Rie fu & Mina Ganaha, Mayumix
4. Don’t Worry / Rie fu & KAT, YUKA (moumoon)
5. STAR / Rie fu & Sarasa Ifu, yuyu, Kenji Suzuki
6. Sunshine Forehead / Rie fu & Curly Giraffe
7. My Start / Rie fu & Kenichi Takemoto, Peter Kvint
8. Gilles / Rie fu & NAOTO (ORANGE RANGE), kohei (Hoi festa)
9. Laundry / Rie fu & YUI (RYTHEM), Akiko Nakashima
10. Bright Life / Rie fu & Honoka Sato (aluto)
11. Hitotsu Hitotsu (ひとつひとつ) / Rie fu & Seira, Shiina Junpei, Chris Tomoko, Saki

Note: Aren’t those just the ugliest tags you’ve ever seen? My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue.



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  1. I liked this album for the most part actually. But then again I am a sucker for folksy stuff that makes me feel calm and happy inside ._.

  2. Lex, far be it from me to correct you, but I think you don’t like this album as much because she’s reverted to a very folksy sound. This is more folk than her debut album. Also, she’s been gravitating away from folk with every release, so you’re just not used to it anymore?

    I don’t know, all I know is that I thought that this was a good album. I can’t rank her albums as best or worst, because she’s so consistent in quality.

    Plus, I love Gilles. :D

  3. ^ This. I also love the album and it’s my favorite album from 2010 so far. Well, different people – different tastes :3.

  4. Boooo!

  5. wow, that’s a lot of people to feature!

  6. I usually like what you say but this review I don’t know if I agree with you. Especially what you said about Bright Life. The song that resembles classic Rie fu for me best was Hitotsu Hitotsu. And I think this album is at times a little too simple but I don’t think it’s got to the point where it has lost Rie’s charm. I think the biggest let down for this album was the choice in people to sing with. It is a nice bridging gap between the more electronic sounds of URBAN ROMANTIC and the folksy sound of her earlier work.

  7. I don’t agree w/ your review. honestly this is a good album. bright life of one of my favorites. others include “just like you” and “hitosuhitosu”

  8. Dang, I was looking forward to this release too! D: And especially with such cool looking covers. I’d still like to listen to it, but not as excited anymore. Thanks for the review!

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