Natsumi Abe – Screen

December 18, 2008 at 11:38 PM | Posted in Natsumi Abe | 1 Comment
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Tracklisting
1. Screen (スクリーン)
2. Sayonara Sae Ienu Mama 
    (さよならさえ言えぬまま)
3. Screen (Instrumental)

This is Natsumi Abe’s 11th single and it was released on December 3, 2008. The single reached #29 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 5,985 copies.

Screen is Natsumi Abe’s first original single in quite a while to be produced by Tsunku and it definitely has that “Tsunku sound”. Compared to her last couple of singles, this is a much more upbeat and aggressive song. The music is on the mature side as well and it features a percussion driven arrangement with electric guitars and several chimes. Abe does a pretty good job on her part and she displays fuller vocals too.

There is such a thing as the occasional good Hello!Project B-side! I actually prefer it over the A-side, believe it or not. Sayonara Sae Ienu Mama is calmer but includes great acoustics and beats. The main reason why I like this song more than Screen is because the arrangement sounds less cluttered and more refined. Abe’s vocals are better as well. 

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

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Natsumi Abe – Iki wo Kasanemashou

May 1, 2008 at 5:19 PM | Posted in Natsumi Abe | 1 Comment
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Tracklisting
1. Iki wo Kasanemashou (息を重ねましょう)
2. Shousetsu no Naka no Futari 
    (小説の中の二人)
3. Iki wo Kasanemashou (Instrumental)

This is Natsumi Abe’s 10th single and it was released on October 24, 2007. The single reached #13 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 11,531 copies.

Iki wo Kasanemashou was the first song that I ever heard by Natsumi Abe and I instantly liked it on the first listen. It’s a really enchanting track with a relaxing island sound. The gentle electric guitars create soft, simple chords reminiscent of island reggae and they are what set this song apart Abe’s other works. The percussion during the verses had a nice beat to it as well. This song was really refreshing to me and it perfectly suited for Abe’s softer vocals too. 

The B-side, Shousetsu no Naka no Futari, is quite good too. It’s a calm piano ballad with pretty vocals and the like. The arrangement is kind of typical, but I thought it still sounded nice at certain parts. The bridge is a good example since it has that slow, but ambient buildup into the final chorus.

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Natsumi Abe – Too far away ~Onna no Kokoro~

April 18, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Posted in Natsumi Abe | 2 Comments
Tags:

Tracklisting
1. Too far away ~Onna no Kokoro~
   (Too far away~女のこころ~)
2. Too far away
3. Too far away ~Onna no Kokoro~
    (Instrumental)

This is Natsumi Abe’s 9th single and it was released on May 9, 2007. The single reached #15 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 11,817 copies.

After a pretty good mini-album (25 ~Vingt-Cinq~), Natsumi Abe released this cover of Shinji Tanimura’s 1988 song Far away. Too far away ~Onna no Kokoro~ is a reimagining of the song performed from a woman’s perspective in a classic ballad form. The lyrics of the verses have changed while the chorus remains intact. Abe handled the song pretty well even though the song itself isn’t really all that exciting (until the end at least). Except for the loud percussion during the chorus, the music is on the tame side.

The B-side is actually just a piano version of the previous track with the original lyrics of the 1988 song. Too far away has a really pretty, yet melancholy arrangement that seemed to go better with Abe’s vocals.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

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