Kaori Natori – Subete ga Aru Basho

January 7, 2008 at 8:19 PM | Posted in Kaori Natori | Leave a comment
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Tracklisting
1. Subete ga Aru Basho (すべてがある場所)
2. Tenki Ame Sugireba (天気雨すぎれば)

This is Kaori Natori’s 9th single and it was released on December 5, 2007. The single failed to make an appearance on the Oricon Weekly Charts.

Subete ga Aru Basho is Kaori Natori’s first single to be a ballad and it is very impressive as she branches out into broader genres of music. Her voice suits this bittersweet love song perfectly and I liked some of the pop elements added to the music’s traditional ballad sound. The additional drums are nice but there are some moments where strange, distorted sounds can be heard (like a distant electric guitar for instance). It’s random but hardly deviates from the main arrangement.

I enjoyed the B-side even more. Tenki Ame Sugireba opens with a lively piano and then some pretty strings. This song is more upbeat than the previous track and Natori’s vocals are just plain gorgeous. The chorus was my favorite part of the song because it feels so uplifting and it flows gracefully as it transitions from the verses. I honestly think it’s one of her best songs to date and it’s not even in the dance pop genre that she normally performs. I’m honestly liking the direction that she’s taking with her music.

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Kaori Natori – Shower wo Abiru Mae ni

December 28, 2007 at 8:23 PM | Posted in Kaori Natori | 1 Comment
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Tracklisting
1. Shower wo Abiru Mae ni (シャワーを浴びる前に)
2. Wagamama Dorei (ワガママ奴隷)

This is Kaori Natori’s 8th single and it was released on August 22, 2007. The single failed to make an appearance on the Oricon Weekly Charts.

It seems that Kaori Natori is taking the pop route with Shower wo Abiru Mae ni since it’s one of her least aggressive singles to date, but at the same time she’s proving herself as a more versatile artist. The breezy and flowing quality of the prominent synthetic strings along with the gentle drums are a unique feature of the music and they accompany her voice perfectly. Her breathy, yet strong vocals are great as well. It’s not exactly the aggressive type of song I was looking for, but I was pleasantly surprised with what was presented.

For the next track, Natori once again sings with breathy, sultry vocals but now to the tune of more edgy, almost new wave sounding music. Wagamama Dorei has an unique electric guitar riff and some slower paced, almost early 80s inspired synth. Natori is certainly full of surprises because this is one of her more unique songs to date and it just works. It’s an extremely well done B-side with high production value.

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Kaori Natori – This time

December 3, 2007 at 8:27 PM | Posted in Kaori Natori | Leave a comment
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Tracklisting
1. This time -Original Version-
2. Lovespace -FreeTEMPO Mix-
3. This time -X’mas Version-
4. This time -Instrumental-

This is Kaori Natori’s 7th single and it was released on December 6, 2006. The single failed to make an appearance on the Oricon Weekly Charts.

This time is an upbeat winter themed track that includes some dance elements (reminiscent of her past works). The calm atmosphere that opens the song is broken with a nice beat and some jazzy brass later on. Natori’s vocals are pleasant as usual and she gives a good performance. Like I said before, she excels in the adult contemporary genre. However, I didn’t find this track as memorable as her earlier songs because the music seems lazy and lacks any interesting hooks (except for the beginning of course).

The next track is a really nice remix of Lovespace, her 5th single. It quickly opens with vocals and rhythmic piano, but fast dance beats and synthetic strings emerge after the first chorus. The music is an improvement over the original, which I didn’t really care for until now.

I thought the X’mas Version of This time would be different but nooooooo. Everything is exactly the same except for ONE little detail. In the original version’s chorus, Natori sings This time for you in English, but in this version, she sings Christmas for you…and that’s it. Now that’s what I call lazy. XD

Overall Rating

3 stars

Kaori Natori – Stay

November 5, 2007 at 8:29 PM | Posted in Kaori Natori | Leave a comment
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Tracklisting
1. Stay
2. You and I
3. Stay -Instrumental-

This is Kaori Natori’s 6th single and it was released on August 30, 2006. The single failed to make an appearance on the Oricon Weekly Charts.

Stay really surprised me when I first heard it because it is extremely different from anything Kaori Natori has previously done. It’s probably her most unique song to date as well because Natori normally sings mature dance / pop music with an R&B edge (with the occasional slow track), and this song is something completely out of her genre. For starters, it’s a rockish track with electric guitar, drums, and even a prevalent string arrangement. Natori’s smooth vocals actually compliment the music rather well, and she adds more emphasis into her voice during the chorus.

The B-side, You and I, is more like Natori’s actual style of music. It’s a calming track with great acoustics and light beats. She’s definitely in her comfort zone with this track because the vocals are very nice and controlled. It’s the perfect balance to the A-side.

Overall Rating

4 stars

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