December 27, 2009 at 3:04 PM | Posted in MISIA | 7 Comments

The cover of the regular edition

JUST BALLADE is MISIA’s 9th album and it was released on December 16, 2009. The album reached #4 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 127,331 copies. It features the singles Yes Forever, Yakusoku no Tsubasa, Ginga / Itsumademo, Aitakute Ima, and Hoshi no You ni… (which was released on the same day). Yep, CATCH THE RAINBOW is not included. *sad face*

I love the cover. MISIA is a class act!

♦ ♦ ♦

Music. a composition in free style and romantic mood, often for solo piano or for orchestra.

Don’t the let the title of this album mislead you. Not every track is a ballad but there are plenty of ballades. lol

BUT I will say that ballads make up a majority of the album. This is definitely not a bad thing though. If there’s one thing MISIA can do, it’s create one hell of a ballad and make it dynamic. There’s a lot of variety here as well with the other mid-tempo songs that are thrown in.

First, let’s go over the songs that are the core of this album. Most of these “ballads” are slower paced R&B tracks that feature a hint of jazz. Prime examples include the opening track Sukoshi Zutsu Taisetsu ni, Hoshi no You ni…, and Yakusoku no Tsubasa. There were also some unique songs like Chiheisen no Mukou Kawa e and the earthy Baobab no Kono Shita de.

I personally loved the dramatic songs like Ginga and Aitakute Ima because of their epic arrangements combined with MISIA’s powerhouse vocals. I didn’t like Kuchibiru to Kuchibiru, one of the B-sides from the Aitakute Ima single, that much though since it was kind of boring. Pretty but boring. Give me the other B-side LOVE TRULY over that song any day!

Even though I really like the ballads, I found myself enjoying the occasional upbeat track more. Well, they’re not really that upbeat but they have more going on compared to the rest of the tracks. From the island inspired guitars in Call me Love me to the bouncy piano in Boku no Kimochi, they are really nice songs. The R&B laced Work It Out would be my absolute favorite if it wasn’t so short (it’s less than 3 minutes long). I wish there was more of them too.

I don’t have any major criticisms of this album except for some teensy little things. These are just my personal complaints like putting the piano version of Yes Forever instead of the original and not including the A-side CATCH THE RAINBOW. Then again, I guess those songs wouldn’t fit into the album that well since they’re not ballads. It’s a good thing Itsumademo ends the album as well because I would have wanted a full version if it was placed anywhere else (the song was an A-side despite being only 1 minute 29 seconds long).

Also, if you are new to MISIA, this is album is NOT for you. Veteran fans only! I say this because JUST BALLADE is probably her most mellow work to date and you might get a little bored if it’s your first album by her. Newcomers should try out her last album EIGHTH WORLD instead to see a more exciting side of her.

Pros: Best. Ballad(e)s. Ever. XD
Cons: Some more upbeat songs would have been nice. That’s just me though!

BASICALLY…MISIA is the queen of ballades!

Overall Rating

4½ stars


1. Sukoshi Zutsu Taisetsu ni (少しずつ 大切に)
2. Aitakute Ima (逢いたくていま)
3. Work It Out
4. Chiheisen no Mukou Kawa e (地平線の向こう側へ)
5. Call me Love me
6. So Beautiful
7. Kuchibiru to Kuchibiru (唇と唇)
8. Baobab no Kono Shita de (バオバヴの木の下で)
9. Yakusoku no Tsubasa (約束の翼)
10. Boku no Kimochi (僕のきもち)
11. Yes Forever (Piano Version)
12. Hoshi no You ni… (星のように・・・)
13. Ginga (銀河)
14. Itsumademo (いつまでも)

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!


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