Yuya Matsushita – I AM ME

June 24, 2010 at 9:16 PM | Posted in Yuya Matsushita | 5 Comments
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The cover of the CD only edition

I AM ME is Yuya Matsushita’s debut album and it was released on June 2, 2010. The album reached #15 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 6,701 copies. It was preceded by 5 singles: foolish foolish, LAST SNOW, Honesty / Negai ga Kanau Nara…, Trust Me, and YOU.

Just like his debut single, the photoshoot for the album took place in New York City (the place where he realized his dream of becoming a singer when he was in 9th grade).

♦ ♦ ♦

Even though I have already heard most of this album, I was still anticipating it. XD Technically, there are only THREE new tracks! What I AM ME lacks in new material it makes up for in overall flow and consistency. It also helps that nearly all the A-sides and B-sides featured on the album are insanely good. With a whopping 18 tracks, this is one of the longer Japanese albums I have heard. Minus the short intro track and the three interludes, there are 14 full-length songs.

I normally complain about interludes being pointless and all (AYU!), but I thought the interludes here divided the album into clean and even segments. Considering the fact that they all transition into a ballad makes things better, too. For example, the first interlude samples the piano arrangement of Mr. “Broken Heart” and the third interlude features the strings later heard in Hallucination. Those songs also happened to be B-sides. Speaking of B-sides, I was soooo glad I’m Sexy wasn’t included (that song is funny in a bad way).

His debut single foolish foolish and its B-side Mr. “Broken Heart” establish him as this laid back R&B singer and he continues the sound with the next couple of songs. The winter ballad LAST SNOW and the slightly more upbeat Honesty and Negai ga Kanau Nara… were also pretty good (the album version is a slight downgrade though). It’s not until the 4th and 5th singles Trust Me and YOU where we see a different side of him. Those songs were addicting dance tracks filled with heavy beats and synth.

His digital songs released back in December and January are on the album as well. Koe ni Naranakute and first snow (an answer song to LAST SNOW) are collaborations with a female duo named Sista. However, they’re my least favorite songs because I didn’t like Matsushita’s weird rapping during the verses. He just doesn’t sound good at all.

And lastly, the three new tracks. XD This is the Japanese music industry so I’m not surprised anymore (look at the tracklisting for JASMINE’s debut album). Agitation and Kiss me are both upbeat but don’t have the aggressiveness of Trust Me or YOU. They sound closer to his first 3 singles and that’s not a bad thing. Sayonara Toki Made no Sayonara was by far my favorite. The pop rock arrangement makes it stand out and I thought it was really catchy.   

Despite the lack of new material, I was very pleased with I AM ME. Even if there is a huge amount of old material, it’s always interesting to see how everything sounds together. This is an extremely cohesive album with songs that are diverse enough to keep you listening. I know I’ve been gushing over his fierce dance songs but he performs mid-tempo R&B tunes and ballads very well, too. There’s just enough balance of all these elements to make the album work out perfectly in the end.

Pros: An awesome debut album. It also has impeccable flow.
Cons: I don’t like the collaboration songs. They’re the only tracks that I skip.

BASICALLY…Yuya’s got a very promising career ahead of him.

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Prologue ~I AM ME~
2. YOU
3. foolish foolish
4. Interlude I
5. Mr. “Broken Heart”
6. LAST SNOW
7. Koe ni Naranakute feat. Sista (声にならなくて)
8. Agitation
9. Interlude II
10. Futari (ふたり)
11. Negai ga Kanau Nara… -Album Version- (願いがかなうなら・・・)
12. Trust Me
13. first snow feat. Sista
14. Sono Toki Made no Sayonara (その時までのサヨナラ)
15. Interlude III
16. Hallucination
17. Kiss me
18. Honesty

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

Yuya Matsushita – YOU

May 10, 2010 at 8:55 PM | Posted in Yuya Matsushita | 2 Comments
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The cover of the regular edition

YOU is Yuya Matsushita’s 5th single and it was released on May 5, 2010. The single reached #18 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 4,849 copies.

Great cover. HE SO FLY. *lame song reference*

♦ ♦ ♦

I officially like this dude now. If you thought his last single Trust Me was good then you’ll most likely enjoy YOU. To me, the song is a lot like Trust Me in terms of overall structure but I thought it was improved upon. Everything is more aggressive and “in your face”. Matsushita’s vocals match the upbeat music pretty well, too. I’m glad that he’s performing hot dance songs like this because his earlier music has been mostly mid-tempo R&B tunes.

The B-side on his last single was a ballad and here we are with another one! Hallucination is veeeeery dramatic from start to finish. The music is loaded with sweeping strings and piano that perfectly flow with Matsushita’s strong vocals. Yeah, he’s got a great voice. It’s not too shrilly or weak and he’s got good tone. Anyway, the song ranks up there with LAST SNOW (his 2nd single) as one of his best ballads.

If you’re interested, his debut album I AM ME is out next month. I’ll be reviewing that, too.

Pros: Overall, this is his strongest single so far.
Cons: Like Trust Me, the A-side has a funky, out of place bridge section. >_>

BASICALLY…it’s not often that I get impressed by a male singer. ;D

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Tracklisting

1. YOU
2. Hallucination
3. YOU (Instrumental) [Limited edition bonus track]

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