Kaori Mochida – moka

August 31, 2009 at 9:48 PM | Posted in Kaori Mochida | 2 Comments
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The cover of the CD+DVD edition

moka is Kaori Mochida’s debut solo album and it was released on August 12, 2009. The album reached #9 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 11,431 copies.

Cute cover! ♥
…Even with that poncho thing she’s wearing. XD

♦ ♦ ♦

First of all, don’t expect a pale imitation of Every Little Thing’s music when you listen to moka. For example, as much as I liked Tomiko Van’s last album Van., I admit that it had a lot of songs that were performed as if she was still in Do As Infinity. That is definitely not the case with Kaori Mochida’s first solo album. Like the title of the album implies, moka (as in Mochida Kaori) is distinctively “her”.

I noticed that the album is divided into two different musical styles: breezy island inspired and folkish acoustic pop. No matter what it is, the music is laid back and relaxing. Songs like Hajimari to wa and Kimi no Kureta Sekai have a tranquil beach sound that I enjoyed while Tao and the singles are composed of folky acoustics (Ame no Waltz and Shizuka na Yoru). Some of the tracks can get boring at times but I have to say that this album is quickly growing on me. What I liked the most about moka is that it’s full of music that is perfectly suited for Mochida’s voice. It’s gentle and soothing!

But that is also the main fault of the album as well. If you’re not into this kind of music, you will find it pretty sleep inducing. This goes out to people who are familiar with Every Little Thing’s music too. There is no upbeat pop rock or whatever because you have to remember: this is Kaori Mochida, NOT Every Little Thing. With that being said, I believe that this album is worth listening to in the end when given the chance.

Closing this review, here’s a little tidbit from the song ABC, which is one of my favorite songs off the album because I think it’s cute. It’s like Utada Hikaru’s Boku wa Kuma but with the alphabet! XD

P is for pie
Q is for queen
R is for rain
S is for smile
T is for train

Pros: With its distinct sound, moka is purely Kaori Mochida and that’s a good thing! I loved those island themed songs too.
Cons: The album can and will bring about a yawn or two, especially if you are expecting something upbeat.

BASICALLY…I liked this album but I don’t know if the casual listener will.

Overall Rating

 3½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Hajimari to wa (はじまりとは)
2. Drop
3. Tao (タオ) 
4. weather
5. Ame no Waltz (雨のワルツ)
6. ABC
7. Real and Imagined
8. Please Me (プリーズ ミー)
9. Shizuka na Yoru (静かな夜)
10. Kimi no Kureta Sekai (君のくれた世界)
11. Nemure Nemuru (ねむれ ねむる)
12. Every day Love

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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Kaori Mochida – Shizuka na Yoru / weather

August 16, 2009 at 9:01 PM | Posted in Kaori Mochida | 2 Comments
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Tracklisting
1. Shizuka na Yoru (静かな夜)
2. weather
3. MOON RIVER

This is Kaori Mochida’s 3rd single and it was released on July 29, 2009. The single reached #20 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 4,331 copies.

Kaori Mochida quietly made her reappearance as a solo artist with Ame no Waltz and she’s back with some more laid back goodness. I gotta say that I like Shizuka na Yoru despite its overall drowsy atmosphere. The song has a sleepy introduction that features Mochida’s gentle vocals with a simple piano. It’s after the first chorus that the song picks up and when it does, it sounds pretty. The string arrangement is splendid and very soothing to the ears, much like everything else that follows. The ending was another highlight thanks to the adlibbing.

The second A-side has a cheery feel to it. In weather, the arrangement is more upbeat and Mochida’s vocals have some zeal to compliment the bright piano chords and percussion. I could see the musical direction that Mochida is going with her solo material and I honestly don’t have a problem with it. This is pleasant, relaxing pop and you get much more of it on her debut album moka.

The single includes a cover of the popular American classic MOON RIVER, which has been covered by countless artists. Mochida’s version is performed with an acoustic guitar and I thought her English singing was alright. The acoustics create this “Italian gondola” vibe so I thought that was nice. In terms of other J-pop artists, I liked her version more than Ken Hirai’s. lol

Overall Rating

3½ stars

Kaori Mochida – Ame no Waltz

February 5, 2009 at 8:14 PM | Posted in Kaori Mochida | 5 Comments
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Tracklisting
1. Ame no Waltz (雨のワルツ)
2. Drop
3. Kokoro (こころ)

This is Kaori Mochida’s 2nd solo single with avex and it was released on January 28, 2009. The single reached #11 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 11,619 copies.

It took me a couple of listens to start liking Ame no Waltz because it’s quite the change from the music of Every Little Thing. Mochida worked with the band SAKEROCK for this song and they have created an arrangement that goes very well with her voice. Filled with distant horns, percussion, and guitar, the music presents a calm and tranquil atmosphere. For me, this is a song that’s perfect for a rainy day.

I have to admit that the next track is more interesting though. Drop is an acoustic based song and it’s more upbeat, even though that relaxing vibe still remains. I gotta say that Mochida pulls off the minimalist sound quite well and I thought her vocals were good. This is a not a bad B-side at all.

A simple acoustic ballad is next and it’s the only song on the single that I wasn’t really feeling. Kokoro is pleasant to the ears but that’s about it. However, the song does get a little better towards the end when the guitar chords elevate for the bridge.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

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