LISTEN TO MY HEART
Every Heart -Minna no Kimochi- (-ミンナノキモチ-; Everybody’s Feelings)
Kimochi wa Tsutawaru (気持ちはつたわる; My Feelings are Being Handed Down)
Share Your Heart (with me)
Dreams Come True
ID; Peace B
Nobody But You
Nothing’s gonna change
LISTEN TO MY HEART (Hex Hector Remix)
the meaning of peace and love
The album starts off with one of BoA’s most well known and overrated songs, LISTEN TO MY HEART. I went through a period of absolutely loathing this song, because that’s what happens when an artist tends to sing the same songs over and over, and have so many other wonderful songs that they could be singing. Still this is a nice little mid-tempo, up-tempo track, with some nice vocals from BoA. I have to say though it’s so overrated, it’s still a really good song, and a hard one to truly hate.
The next track is very reminiscent of LISTEN TO MY HEART, but definitely one I like more: POWER. I wonder why BoA never sung this for any of her tours? It would be a great song to sing to get the crowd moving. BoA’s vocals are a lot more clear and powerful in this track, especially during the chorus, which is really fun and catchy. This is sadly one of BoA’s most underrated and obscure songs. Pity.
Next up is the most well known BoA song EVER, if only because it was one of the ending theme’s to InuYasha, Every Heart -Minna no Kimochi- (-ミンナノキモチ-; Everybody’s Feelings). I remember hearing this song when I was first getting into J-Pop, and thinking that it was an incredibly beautiful song. I still do, though it’s been replaced with other BoA ballads that I think are better, this song still withstands the test of time; with one of BoA’s best vocal performances, it’ll always be a favorite of mine.
BoA picks up the pace with the edgy dance-track Don’t Start Now. BoA is very adept at making some pretty catchy and danceable tracks, and Don’t Start Now is one of her best, it reminds me a lot of Be The One for some reason. Nice vocals and beat, which sounds very techno-ish, or girlband-ish.
Keeping the up-tempo tracks coming we transition into the next track, Kimochi wa Tsutawaru (気持ちはつたわる; My Feelings are Being Handed Down). I love how it starts off with this sort of whimsical, fantasy like instrumental, and then BoA comes in with ‘check it up, i check it up, i just want to get your love, check it up, i check it up, can you imagine, check it up, i check it up, i just want to get your love, I’m here, try me baby!’ and it hooks you. The song is hard-hitting and never slows down, which is good, because it’s gives you no opportunity to become bored or distracted.
We get a break from the up-tempo tracks with a down-tempo one, Share Your Heart (with me). This is another underrated and obscure song from BoA, with distinct rnb elements that really make it pop and shine. BoA may never be a popular rnb artist, because it’s not really her image or her style, but when she does try, she produces some real gems. Not her best down-tempo track, and it’s forgettable in a sense, but with BoA’s heartfelt vocal performance, it’s a great listen.
The next track is the up-tempo and rather mind-numbing Dreams come true. The chorus sounds all right, but the verses are very stiff and awkward, and not to forget this sounds like something that would be featured on the Disney Channel or something, and if there are any songs I hate with a passion it is those songs sung by Disney-boppers and tweens. I like the end when BoA says: ‘dreams will come true’, because they do.
The pace keeps moving with Amazing Kiss which is a far cry more better and engaging than Dreams Come True. I remember hearing this song a long time ago and absolutely hating it, hearing it again I can’t believe I did, and really wish BoA would sing this song in her tours, because it’s a lot more crowd-amping than both LISTEN TO MY HEART and the abysmal Valenti. BoA’s high note towards the end is very noteworthy in it’s accuracy, she does have a great voice.
BoA brings it down just a tad with the mid-tempo Happiness. I always think of Dreams Come True when I hear this song for some reason, but it’s of course a lot better, with better vocals as well. It’s one of those songs that you would have a hard time singing along too, unless your native tongue is Japanese or you’re fluent in it. It somewhat brings the enjoyable quality of this song down, but it’s still a good track.
I’m not a fan of Korean songs translated to Japanese songs or vice versa so I went into the Japanese version of BoA’s first ever single and classic, ID; Peace B with absolutely no expectations. I still like the Korean version more, but the Japanese version isn’t bad either.
No matter how many times I hear this next track I always go into it thinking it’s going to be a ballad. Nobody But You is a fast-paced, up-tempo pop track, that never let’s up and goes down the same route as Don’t Start Now in terms of attitude. Though I like Don’t Start Now a bit more than this, Nobody But You is definitely more memorable.
The second (third actually) to last track is the beautiful ballad Nothing’s gonna change. I use to always hear this song on DBSK’s banjun dramas, I knew it was BoA but I had no idea what the song was. Now I do. The Korean version is better in my opinion.
Why did BoA feel the need to put this terrible remix on here? LISTEN TO MY HEART (Hex Hector Remix) is one of the WORST remixes I have ever heard. EVER.
The last song on the album is BoA’s rendition of her collaboration with Koda Kumi, the meaning of peace and love. I’m almost tempted to say this is better than their original collaboration, but it’s not. It is however better than Kuu’s version. BoA’s vocals are very clear and fresh and makes her solo of this song a very enjoyable listen.
Rating: *** stars
BoA hardly comes out with amazing songs, in retrospect the majority of her songs are very average; every once in a while though she manages to come out with something that wows, the best examples that comes to mind would be OUTGROW ~Ready butterfly~ and Girls On Top. As her debut into the Japanese market LISTEN TO MY HEART delivers in leaps in bounds. It’s actually one of the best debut albums I’ve ever heard, and thankfully, something I absolutely adore BoA for, interlude free. We have great up-tempo songs like Amazing Kiss and Nobody But You, mid-tempo tracks such as Happiness and the meaning of peace and down-tempo such as Share your heart (with me) and Nothings gonna change. Plus I did like the Japanese version of ID; Peace B and I normally wouldn’t. This is one of BoA’s best albums Japanese or Korean, and in my opinion should have been the one to sell a million+ records, instead Valenti took that honor, and it hardly deserves it.