1. to Mother – a piano ballad from yui. She released this song as a single before this album hit the market. This song is the pioneer of evidence that yui is truly a versatile musician. She’s experimenting with instruments in this album too. This song was a perfect song for mother’s day but yui released it soon after the day. She commented on this song that its been a while she wrote for herself and she wrote to and about her mother hence the title. She maybe feeling homesick or nostalgic on this one when she wrote it. The song has a good melody attached to it giving the song a nice soft piano ballad feeling…
2. again – The first song she released after having her hiatus and is the OP song of the late epic great anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which now follows the manga story and it was really better than the old one(will have a review on it soon as long i have time). This song contains proof than yui can make, write, compose any kind of music and attach her trademark impression of her. The first time i heard this, i was like,” wow, such a kick ass song for her comeback!” Apparently too, in this song, she can sing fast paced too like rapping but has a wonderful melody…
3. Parade – Now this what i call relaxing summer beach music. Accompanied by percussions and accordion effects on keyboards, the song feel like a holiday in Paris or outing in a summer sunny beach. Holidays in the Sun indeed. One of the best relaxing songs in the album.
4. es.car – a rock-ish song with a touch of strings and keyboard piano. This song reminds of her debut album “From Me to You”. The way she sings and the feel of the song, brings me back when i first time i heard yui’s album. The piano solo also in the bridge is wonderful to hear. She really is experimenting on putting more instruments on her songs.
5. Shake My Heart – Another song with a summer beach or European vacation feel. Of course, the song is truly relaxing too. The chorus is accompanied by a choir. She also added her newly addicted instrument which is the Shaker, a small object creates a “maracas” sound once you shake it… This song is also varies from her style. When i listen to this song, i feel at peace and want to take a vacation at a tranquil beach.
6. Gloria – The song she released at winter time which really feels like a winter song. She just added the song in the album because its one of her singles. Another good song from her, this her 2nd song since she gathered an all female band as her back-up band and contains a definite keyboardist. So most of her songs after that has keyboards in it. Loved the way she adds the keyboards, made her songs more textured.
7. i do it – This the song she wrote for the girl band trio “Stereopony” when she was in hiatus. Lucky for the singer of the band Aimi, which is a big fan of her. She just came to visit the sony studio where the girl band was recording. They were introduced and in the end, they jammed and made a new song. Stereopony released the song afterwards but yui as song writer credit. So basically, this a self cover of her song she wrote for someone or band. She derived a few beats and rhythm riffs on her version, but overall, both versions rock.
8. Please Stay with Me – Another song that reminds her old style. This song really reminds of her song “Tokyo”. This song is also used as a theme of a Japanese Rom-Com Drama Series called “Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku” which means Summer Romance Shines a Rainbow Color featuring Matsu Jun, a fan girl material actor because he is super duper handsome, but for me, i liked the drama because of yui’s dear friend Yuko Takeuchi(Closed Note, Sidecar ni inu, ima, Ai ni Yukimasu).
9. Summer Song – A very old song of hers. This was not on the 2nd album because it was released after. Then yui announced her hiatus after releasing My Short Stories, “a best of” album containing all the b-sides(other songs that was put on her singles) she released. She is one the youngest and earliest to release a “best of” album in the Japanese Music industry. The song has indeed a feel of summer. This is perfectly added on a summer themed album. This song apparently also is like a sequel of her song Laugh Away.
10. Cinnamon – This song singing style is also the same back in the “From Me to You” days. The song has a unique melody too. A cheerful song too. Apparently the song also has a summer feel even though its a little bit fast paced. More textures too in the song because of the keyboard.
11. Driving Happy Life – Her “happiest” song of the album which is her trademark in every album. A lively feel song thats good for running. Also this is also a good driving song. Can imagine driving along the sea at the side with the windows open feeling the sea breeze. while listening to this song. Cheerful summer themed song.
12. its all too much – This song was used as the theme song of the movie “Kaiji: Worlds Greatest Gambler”, which was really awesome. Actors from the live action movie of Death Note once again together in this remarkable movie, along with “Never say die” song. This song’s PV showed the first time yui in short hair(she was really cute on this one) and the first song with an all female band. This song is pure awesome. Killer guitar riffs and wonderful keyboard accompaniment.
13. Kiss me – Another song from her thats tied to her first album. A yui love song but now very textured by various instruments.
Overall Thoughts: Once again, yui has matured by adding more depth in her songs. Although she was experimenting by adding more instruments in her songs, she made her songs more textured, and i loved every song in the album. She really is a versatile musician and songwriter. Glad also that she retained her old style in singing. Her first album was what made me love her music the most. This album gave me a nostalgic feeling of her. Plus this album has a positive aura. There is a lot of light shining in this album. Whenever i listen to this album, makes my day more brighter. Good relaxing music too. This time she created a cheerful album thats really best suited to cheer up moods. Judgement? i recommend on listen to it on a regular basis, both in a happy and depressive mood.
here’s some trivia: Yui is one of two female artists only that was able to reach #1 in the overall charts for 5 consecutive times in Japan history.
– again, its all too much/never say die, Gloria, to Mother, and Holidays in the Sun all rose to #1 in the charts consecutive and respectively at first week of release.
The other artist is Utada Hikaru.
*edit: damn having too much typos…>_<