BONNIE PINK – ONE

June 7, 2009 at 10:24 PM | Posted in BONNIE PINK | 6 Comments
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ONE is BONNIE PINK’s 10th studio album and it was released on May 13, 2009. The album reached #5 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 31,730 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

The album starts off in a peppy fashion with Won’t Let You Go, a mid-tempo track that’s like a throwback to BONNIE PINK’s older songs. The music has a retro vibe going on thanks to the upbeat brass and I liked the thumping drums next to the electric guitar chords. The chorus is catchy since she adlibs and sings the line I won’t let you go. She repeats that line a lot near the end too.

The next track shows off BONNIE PINK doing a little bit of reggae! Fuschia Fuschia Fuschia features those familiar, repetitive guitar chords next to a dissonant accordion (at least I think it’s an accordion lol) to create a breezy, almost island-like atmosphere.

I really like Princess Incognito, a quirky and bouncy song about being frustrated over a relationship. Being entirely in English, the lyrics are really creative and my absolute favorite line is from the chorus:

Can’t believe you chose your friend over me. Just because I’m not a guy.

Then we have the sweet acoustic track Joy. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the album because it’s catchy and has a very heartwarming atmosphere. It always puts me in a good mood, even with the air of sadness surrounding the lyrics. Yes, it gives me joy. ;D

A sleek song with jazz undertones follows. Mousou LOVER is a cool track, indeed. I liked the whiplash beats mixed with the low bass in the background. BONNIE PINK’s vocals are pretty sharp as well, especially when she sings the chorus.

Kane wo Narashite seems a teensy bit out of place on this album for some reason. It must be how upbeat and “poppy” it sounds compared to the rest of the tracks. Oh well, it’s still a good track.

Let’s move on to One Last Time, which is the longest song on the album. It clocks in at well over 6 minutes and it kind of drags because of this. It’s probably because the verses are too long while the chorus, the best part of the song, feels too short. The music is nice for the most part and it features a nice combination of melancholy electric guitar and piano.

Here is something more interesting. Rock You Till the Dawn is an upbeat track that is full of attitude and spunk. The electric guitars and beats are great and I enjoyed BONNIE PINK’s lively vocals. The bridge is a memorable highlight thanks to the background vocals repeating “I’ll rock you”.

The next two tracks represent the album’s most surprising songs. Originally released as a digital single, Fed Up feat. Craig David includes some R&B elements like clapping beats next to blaring horns. While BONNIE PINK sings in Japanese during her solo parts, British singer Craig David performs in English. They sing the main line of the chorus, Just because you’re fed up, together. Overall, I think it’s a good collaboration.

PLAY & PAUSE is pretty awesome! It’s kind of similar to the previous track, but more electronic sounding with the synth it incorporates. The upbeat vocals are nice and that little “mini-rap” she does during the bridge was quite surprising. It would have been very cool if the album had more songs like it but whatever. Pump It Up! would have been perfect after this track.

Now we’re back to the rockish songs with Himitsu, a peppy song with a positive atmosphere. The music is bright and cheery with a emphasis on the elevated chorus. To me, it’s a standout amongst the new tracks.

Opening with a campy, offbeat sound is Try Me Out. Like Princess Incognito, the lyrics are in English and I find them quite endearing. Music wise, it’s a simple tune that is mostly comprised of acoustics and percussion. It’s the vocals and adlibbing that make the song shine though.

Happy Ending is next and sounds pretty good at this stage of the album. It’s a strong alternative inspired song and even though I liked Joy a lot more on its respective single, it’s still a high quality track.

At first, PLAY & PAUSE was my favorite new track on the album, but now I can honestly say that it’s Get on the Bus now. Initially, I overlooked this hidden gem. Seriously, it’s a wonderful song despite being more laid back compared to most of the other tracks. The pleasant guitar and drum arrangement is lovely and I absolutely adore the chorus. It’s pretty catchy and the calm vocals are excellent. A fantastic ending track for this album!

Included on the album as a bonus track is Ring A Bell, which finally makes an appearance in physical format. It’s the original English version of Kane wo Narashite and it was also BONNIE PINK’s first international digital single. I couldn’t tell you which version I like more since I think they’re both good, but also have their share of faults (based on the lyrics, of course).

So…how does BONNIE PINK’s milestone 10th studio album compare to her previous releases? Honestly, I would say it fares quite well. ONE was definitely a grower though and it took me longer to appreciate this album than Even So or Thinking Out Loud, albums which instantly clicked with me. ONE is more of a reserved package as well but it does have its share of unexpected moments. Like with her previous album Thinking Out Loud, I heard a mix of the old with the new and everything seemed to blend nicely. The overall flow between each track was pretty coherent too. In the end, this is a high quality album that once again proves BONNIE PINK’s expertise in making great music.

Overall Rating

 4½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Won’t Let You Go
2. Fuschia Fuschia Fuschia (フューシャ フューシャ フューシャ)
3. Princess Incognito
4. Joy
5. Mousou LOVER (妄想LOVER)
6. Kane wo Narashite (鐘を鳴らして)
7. One Last Time
8. Rock You Till the Dawn
9. Fed Up feat. Craig David
10. PLAY & PAUSE
11. Himitsu (秘密)
12. Try Me Out
13. Happy Ending
14. Get on the Bus
15. Ring A Bell

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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BONNIE PINK – Joy / Happy Ending

May 1, 2009 at 12:27 PM | Posted in BONNIE PINK | 2 Comments
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Tracklisting
1. Joy
2. Happy Ending
3. You and I
4. Joy (Instrumental)
5. Happy Ending (Instrumental)

This is BONNIE PINK’s 25th single and it was released on April 8, 2009. The single reached #24 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 2,656 copies.

All of the songs on this single reminded me of BONNIE PINK’s early material and they are excellent. The first track is the calm, yet extremely catchy Joy, which is my personal favorite. The music has a musky, acoustic sound that adds some percussion, but it maintains an overall mellow atmosphere. It’s the chorus that really gets to me though. I find it SO infectious and memorable for some reason. The little snippets of English that she adds like “Sunday brunch” and “New Year’s Day” were cute too.

The next track is definitely more on the rockish side. Happy Ending is more aggressive because of the loud electric guitars and BONNIE PINK’s enthusiastic vocals. It doesn’t have the pop sound of Kane wo Narashite and features an alternative influence instead. I think this song perfectly compliments Joy and they balance each other out. They go hand in hand, actually.

The B-side is You and I, which is the most upbeat song on the single due its spunky and uplifting arragement. This is a carefree track and her vocals have some attitude to them, which give the song personality. Overall, it’s a cheery song and a wonderful B-side.

Overall Rating

 4½ stars

BONNIE PINK – CHAIN

December 13, 2008 at 9:00 PM | Posted in BONNIE PINK | 5 Comments
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CHAIN is BONNIE PINK’s first mini-album and it was released on November 26, 2008. The mini-album reached #41 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 5,715 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

Starting things off for this Christmas themed mini-album is the only original song on it. It’s been a while since BONNIE PINK has done some jazzy songs and CHAIN combines traditional Christmas song elements with a jazz band arrangement. It’s quite different from her rock and pop songs but I thought she did a good job with the overall composition. The music is pretty mellow and calm for the most part, but there are nice segments featuring elevated brass and percussion. In the end, it’s a song that’s perfect for the Christmas season!

The other songs on the mini-album are covers of modern Christmas classics. Her cover of Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime happens to be my favorite out of all of them as well. BONNIE PINK does a charming rendition of the song and I liked the rhythmic drums and upbeat brass of the music.

The next song is a cover of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. I never liked this song to begin with so I have the sames feelings for BONNIE PINK’s version. It’s upbeat, has a lot of jingle bells, and other stuff. I honestly don’t care about it. NEXT SONG PLEASE~

Here’s a Christmas classic that’s a lot better. Her cover of Let It Snow is very pleasant and has a great 1940s swing sound to it. What I liked the most about the music was the brass and bass guitar, especially during the nice instrumental sections.

An alternative version of CHAIN appears as track 5. The Birth Cry version features a simpler sound with mainly just piano and jingle bells but it includes the organ as well. If anything, the organ makes the song sound more religious than festive. I prefer the original version by a considerable amount.

Ending the mini-album is a cover of The Christmas Song. BONNIE PINK’s version is done with light electric guitar chords but it’s kind of boring with only just that. There could have been more to make things more interesting at least. Hell, BoA made a better version of this song! LOL

For a small collection of Christmas songs, CHAIN isn’t bad. Six tracks is a kind of small for a mini-album though and this release could have easily been labeled as a “large single” (7 to 8 tracks is the ideal size for a mini-album IMO). I had the same problem with Crystal Kay’s mini-album Shining since that only included 5 tracks. At least CHAIN is way better than Shining as far as Christmas mini-albums go. The title track is good and some of the covers are well done, so this mini-album was alright.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

Tracklisting

1. CHAIN
2. Wonderful Christmastime
3. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
4. Let It Snow
5. CHAIN ~The Birth Cry~
6. The Christmas Song

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

BONNIE PINK – Kane wo Narashite

August 26, 2008 at 7:07 PM | Posted in BONNIE PINK | 7 Comments
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BONNIE PINK - Kane wo NarashiteTracklisting
1. Kane wo Narashite (鐘を鳴らして)
2. Pump It Up!
3. A Perfect Sky (Björn Remix)
4. Kane wo Narashite (Instrumental)
5. Pump It Up! (Instrumental)

This is BONNIE PINK’s 24th single and it was released on August 6, 2008. The single reached #9 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 32,087 copies. The title track was used as the theme song for the Japanese release of the video game Tales of Vesperia.

Earlier in April, BONNIE PINK released her first worldwide digital single titled Ring A Bell for the video game Tales of Vesperia. The song was in English and I thought that it was a pretty good pop rock track. I liked the various electric guitar riffs and the upbeat nature of the music was nice and steady too. Kane wo Narashite is the Japanese version and it was written AFTER Ring A Bell so she translated the lyrics and did some changes to make it sound more cohesive in the language. I think that she did a good job on that part, give or take a few clunky spots.

The B-side is something completely new from BONNIE PINK and I loved it. Pump It Up! has an awesome 80s dance inspired sound filled with catchy synth riffs and beats. The chorus is fantastic and I liked the muffled voice in the background that said Let me hear you. The song as a whole is very infectious and the melody is something that hasn’t left my head.

As much as I love A Perfect Sky, the Björn Remix is absolutely terrible. It was originally included as a bonus track on the Swedish release of the Thinking Out Loud album and now it’s on this single for some reason. I pretty much hated everything about this remix but the newly added background vocals were the worst thing about it. They’re just so annoying! The music is really corny because of the awful clapping beat and synth lines too. Honestly, I feel like deleting it off my computer.

Overall Rating

4 stars

BONNIE PINK – Thinking Out Loud

August 13, 2007 at 12:57 AM | Posted in BONNIE PINK | 4 Comments
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Thinking Out Loud is BONNIE PINK’s 9th studio album and it was released on July 25, 2007. The album reached #5 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 97,918 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

I thought Gimme A Beat was a fantastic way to open the album. It’s an incredibly catchy and upbeat song that opens the album with a bang. This song was originally the B-side on the Water Me single.

I loved the atmosphere that the next track creates. Broken hearts, city lights, and me just thinking out loud opens with the ambient sound of a busy city crowd and brilliantly flows into a percussion intro with BONNIE PINK’s vocals right after. The jazzy electric guitar chords in the song are excellent and reminded of the songs from the beginning of her career.

The opening synth of track 3, Burning Inside, reminded me of the songs of her last album Golden Tears but some electric guitar comes in a little bit latter. Just like many of the songs on this album, it’s very catchy.

Unfortunately, Nagusami Blue is my least favorite song on the album (but that’s not saying much). I had no problem with the music but actually BONNIE PINK’s vocals. The chorus has a part where she sings blue, blue, atari wa blue and I didn’t like it all because it seemed that she was really straining her voice. During this part, she is also singing at a higher pitch than what she normally does. However, the music more than makes up for it because I thought the constant percussion beats were awesome and the piano solo during the bridge was beautiful.

When I first heard the next track, I instantly thought of the song Surprise! (her 2nd single back in 1996) because it shared many of the same elements. Imagination features BONNIE PINK singing at a lower pitch and furious, edgy electric guitar riffs. This song is also the first of only 2 English tracks on the album.

Track 6 was definitely the biggest surprise on the album. The new version of A Perfect Sky totally blew me away. The ‘philharmonic flava’ in the title actually means that this is an ORCHESTRAL version of the song. Instead of the fast paced synth of the original, the song opens with a dramatic string section. As the song progresses, elements of the original version begin to come in little by little until it actually becomes the original. At this point I was completely stunned. Finally, towards the end, the strings reappear and blend in with the original’s pop synth arrangement. This is by far one of the best album remixes I have ever heard.

Track 7 is the soothing Lullaby. This is a gentle song with a nice percussion beat that eventually progresses into the explosive chorus. The song still maintains that gentle atmosphere despite all the band instruments.

This album just keeps getting better and better and the next track doesn’t disappoint. Sakamichi is a fast paced song with quick riffs and percussion. This is probably the most rhythemic song on the album because it keeps the same pace throughout the entire song and it never lets up.

There is one thing I have to say about Water Me: AMAZING. Everything about the song gives me goosebumps because it excels in musical arrangement, lyrics, and overall vocals. The mix of piano and strings really add to the haunting and almost depressing atmosphere of the song. The electric guitar solo during the bridge was a nice touch as well.

Catch The Sun is my favorite of the album’s new tracks because it so damn cute. The clapping rhythm in the song is infectious and background vocals that sing catch the sun are very catchy. Overall, this a very friendly song that is easy to get into.

The other English song on the album is Chances Are. The lyrics are very thoughtful and along with the strings in the background, the song is gorgeous. It’s a shame it’s under 3 minutes making it the album’s shortest song.

I really liked the fact that the album ends on a positive note with Anything For You. Even though it’s my least favorite of the album’s previously released tracks, it closes the album quite well, especially with the song’s ending synth.

What I liked the most about Thinking Out Loud is that mixes the old with the new. Many of the new album tracks are reminiscent of her earlier ‘rock’ style (Broken hearts, city lights, and me just thinking out loudImaginationSakamichi)  while the others showcase her more modern sound (Gimme A Beat, Burning Inside, Anything For You). Every song is brilliantly and carefully crafted and I was amazed at each song’s production value. Everything is top notch and I enjoyed this album more than her previous one (the almost as good Golden Tears). I totally recommend this album because it appeals to both sides of her fanbase. Veteran fans will enjoy the return of the older rock sound and newer fans will like the more modern songs that they are more familiar with.

Overall Rating

5 stars

Tracklisting

1. Gimme A Beat
2. Broken hearts, city lights, and me just thinking out loud
3. Burning Inside
4. Nagusami Blue (慰みブルー)
5. Imagination
6. A Perfect Sky (Philharmonic Flava)
7. Lullaby
8. Sakamichi (坂道)
9. Water Me
10. Catch The Sun
11. Chances Are
12. Anything For You

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

BONNIE PINK – Water Me

June 20, 2007 at 12:56 AM | Posted in BONNIE PINK | 1 Comment
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Tracklisting
1. Water Me
2. Gimme A Beat
3. MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR
4. Water Me (instrumental)
5. Gimme A Beat (instrumental)

This is BONNIE PINK’s 23rd single and it was released on June 6, 2007. The single reached #7 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 31,269 copies. The title track was used as the theme song for the drama Watashitachi no Kyoukasho.

I absolutely loved Water Me. The song reminds me a lot of her 2003-2004 works because it has a melancholy alternative sound similar to past songs like Last Kiss. The piano is such a great addition to the song and it has a nostalgic feeling to it. The chorus is definitely the best thing about the song and BONNIE PINK’s vocals are very heartfelt. Another thing about the song that is unique is the blaring electric guitar solo during the bridge.

The B-side is the extremely catchy Gimme A Beat. The song is very upbeat with a lovely chorus. At certains points in the song, the instrumentation seemed to overpower BONNIE PINK’s voice. With that aside, this is an excellent B-side and I’m glad she included it on her latest album Thinking Out Loud.

The 3rd track is a cover of The Beatles’ MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR. The main thing that I didn’t like about the cover is that it is way too rushed and the overall sound of the song is just plain strange. BONNIE PINK should have picked a different Beatles song to cover because this one did not suit her well.

Overall Rating

4½ stars

BONNIE PINK – Anything For You

April 24, 2007 at 12:52 AM | Posted in BONNIE PINK | Leave a comment
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Tracklisting
1. Anything For You
2. Love Song / m-flo loves BONNIE PINK
    (UC a.k.a DJ UPPERCUT REMIX)
3. Anything For You (Instrumental)

This is BONNIE PINK’s 22nd single and it was released on March 28, 2007. The single reached #9 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 19,900 copies.

Anything For You is another electronic pop inspired song produced by Burning Chicken. I didn’t find it as good as A Perfect Sky because it lacked a certain spark and polish. Don’t get me wrong, this was still an enjoyable song but the synth was a little grating this time around. I thought the chorus was very catchy and the guitar arrangement was excellent though.

The B-side is a remix of Love Song, a song that she originally performed with m-flo in their popular ‘m-flo loves’ series of singles. I don’t really like m-flo and even with the greatness that is BONNIE PINK singing alongside them, I still didn’t like the original version of Love Song. The remix is a LITTLE better but nothing spectacular. When I mean by better, it doesn’t sound as annoying.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

BONNIE PINK – A Perfect Sky

March 20, 2007 at 12:42 AM | Posted in BONNIE PINK | Leave a comment
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Tracklisting
1. A Perfect Sky
2. Free
3. interlude -siesta-
4. A Perfect Sky (Instrumental)

This is BONNIE PINK’s 21st single and it was released on June 28, 2006. The single reached #5 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 133,315 copies. The title track was used in advertisements for ANESSA haircare products.

Ah, A Perfect Sky…the song that turned me into a BONNIE PINK fan. This song is just plain awesome. The chorus is extremely catchy and the music is upbeat with great synth riffs. The song itself is just very serene and light-hearted with lyrics about having fun and looking for the right person (the “a perfect sky” lyric is what this refers to).

The B-side, Free, has a great drum intro and the song is jazzy and relaxing. Her vocals are relatively calm and breezy as well. It’s a great follow-up song.

Not many singles have interludes, but interlude -siesta- begins right where Free left off. Free ended with the sound of rushing ocean waves and the interlude consists of just a simple acoustic guitar with the waves remaining in the background. This transitions into the instrumental of A Perfect Sky.

Overall Rating

5 stars

BONNIE PINK – LOVE IS BUBBLE

March 19, 2007 at 12:39 AM | Posted in BONNIE PINK | Leave a comment
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Tracklisting
1. LOVE IS BUBBLE
2. Orange (2005.9.27 Live at 
    Shinsaibashi CLUB QUATTRO) (オレンジ) 
3. Do You Crash? (2005.9.21 Live at SHIBUYA-AX)
4. LOVE IS BUBBLE (Instrumental)

This is BONNIE PINK’s 20th single and it was released on May 10, 2006. The single reached #28 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 13,608 copies. The title track was featured in the movie Memories of Matsuko.

If you are a diehard BONNIE PINK fan, then LOVE IS BUBBLE will totally knock you off your seat. What makes this song completely different from ANYTHING that she has released in the past is the fact the music is 1940s / 1950s big band swing. The brass and percussion section play a huge part in this song and it never lets up. This is an extremely fun song with awesome English lyrics: Money for me, pleasure for you and But I could be lovable if you pay me double. Like I said before, you will find this song to be really surprising because it is reminiscent of American swing. It’s definitely her most unique song in my opinion and I love it.

The next two tracks are live versions of older songs she performed in 2005. The first one is a live version of Orange, her debut single from 1995. The BGM is pretty much the same as the original studio version and BONNIE PINK is one of the few artists that actually sings as good, if not better live compared to the studio recordings.

The live version of Do You Crash? is amazing as well. This song was originally her 3rd single from 1996 and her voice in this live version still maintains the low pitch of the original recording, so it sounds almost identical. The fast paced verses are exceptionally well done and this live version is superior to the original 1996 version because of the use of electric guitars. The ending is simply amazing and I really felt I was right in the audience.

Overall Rating

4½ stars

BONNIE PINK – Golden Tears

March 18, 2007 at 12:31 AM | Posted in BONNIE PINK | Leave a comment
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Golden Tears is BONNIE PINK’s 8th studio album and it was released on September 21, 2005. The album reached #12 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 42,058 copies. The album also celebrates her 10th anniversary in the music industry.

♦ ♦ ♦

The album opens with So Wonderful, the only single that was released for this album. Many of the songs on the album feature the synth pop style of this song.

However, about half of the album also has a laid back acoustic pop sound and Paradiddle-free is the first of the songs. This song is completely in English and I thought the lyrics were really clever:

Don’t be sad, we’d better not make noise, bang bang bang. We’d better not say a word, a word, a word.

I loved the groovy vibes of Coast to Coast. The acoustics and light percussion are very nice and the melody of the chorus is infectious.

The music of Addiction is a little bit darker but it includes unique R&B undertones. The verses are in Japanese but the chorus is in English:

Wanting to be something that is never yourself, it’s called addiction. Let me be the first to regret.

We are treated to another English song with track 5, Mirror. This song is more laid back with light but constant acoustic chords. BONNIE PINK has a gift for writing in English and she’s one of the best lyricists out there.

Track 6 features the same synthesized strings heard previously in So Wonderful. Nichinichisou has an extremely catchy chorus with lovely vocals.

Track 7 is the original version of Robotomy. This version is slower and more acoustic and percussion based. I prefer the Flaming feathers mix that was on the So Wonderful single because its use of aggressive synth. Compared to the remix, this take on the song is rather boring.

Monster is definitely one of my favorite songs from the album because it’s very upbeat with excellent synth and I absolutely love the lyrics (this song is completely in English as well):

I created a monster. I’m the one to blame, I’m the one who’s failed, and it screams and cries for help like a fool. I created a monster, lucky me.

I thought the next track was okay and nothing special. Rise and Shine only felt like filler material for me, but that’s okay.

Track 10 is Cotton Candy, a song that was originally on the So Wonderful single. This song was produced by Tore Johanssen, a long time producer and friend of BONNIE PINK.

Out of all the synth tracks on the album, I thought Nocturne had the oddest arrangement. This song is laid back and features acoustics as well.

You Got Me Good was a breath of fresh air for me. The mix of light electric guitar and blaring percussion is awesome and the chorus is very fun. The way BONNIE PINK mixes Japanese and English lyrics together in this song is another unique aspect about her.

The final track on the album is probably the most sinister sounding song as well. The synth arrangement of Believe is relatively dark and I thought the low key strings were an excellent touch to the song. This song was used as the main theme for the Hong Kong movie Velvet Rain.

Golden Tears is another high quality album from BONNIE PINK and it doesn’t disappoint. This album does contain her most unique material because of its use of synth thanks to producer Burning Chicken. I also believe that the album contains her best English material because songs such as Paradiddle-free and Monster had something a lot of American songs are missing these days: DEPTH. While I thought some of the songs weren’t as memorable as ones on previous albums such as Even So or Present, it doesn’t denote the fact that this is still a great album.

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. So Wonderful
2. Paradiddle-free
3. Coast to Coast
4. Addiction
5. Mirror
6. Nichinichisou (日々草)
7. Robotomy
8. Monster
9. Rise and Shine
10. Cotton Candy
11. Nocturne
12. You Got Me Good
13. Believe

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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