Heartsdales [Sugar Shine] (Second Album)

December 2, 2008

BODY ROCK
CANDY POP feat. SOUL’d OUT
Baby Boy
Oh Girl feat. Yamamoto Ryohei
Rum Interlude/Voice Mail
Summer Time Blues
Thru With You
Right Now
Rainy Days
Should Have What!? feat. DOUBLE
Jewels Interlude/Radio Freestyle
Block Shot Hustlaz feat. Furinkazan
So Tell Me (DJ fumiya REMIX)
Ooh Wah!
What’s My Name?
Baby Shine feat. AI (Deckstream Remix)
Wet’N Wild feat. SUITE CHIC
Woman (Sugar Shine version) (Nakanishi Keizo feat. Heartsdales)

The album starts of with the track BODY ROCK. I didn’t think I was going to like this song, but its pretty OK. The arrangement is typical, has a bit going for it and is fitting. I thought the verses from both JEWEL and Rum were forgettable, but the chorus as well as the hook made up for that. This is a pretty nice and laid-back start to the album.

The next track on the album is the pop-friendly CANDY POP feat. SOUL’d OUT. This is my second favorite song by the Heartsdales and the second song I heard by them. I love this song, its just so much fun. The arrangement is just so pop, and its really a breath of fresh air, because this song wouldn’t have worked to the tune of any other beat. It engages you and keeps you interested in the song, and it stays consistent, light and carefree. I thought the verses were really good in this song, especially JEWEL’s who is the stronger of the two. This is one of the best collaborations I have ever heard, and I love how they feed off each other, its just makes this song so catchy and just a lot of fun. ‘I want to touch it!’ Oh, this song is just so enjoyable, and it so feel-good. I love it.

The next track on the album is the fun Baby Boy. I really enjoyed this song, even if it is a song I wouldn’t much enjoy. The beat was rnb and catchy, though it retains a pop flavor. It seemed like both JEWEL’s and Rum were having a good time with this song, and the chorus was definitely the highlight.

The next track on the album is the surprising Oh Girl. This is a collaboration feat. Yamamoto Ryohei. This song really surprised me. I mean I liked how party-esque and up-beat the arrangement was without going all out. The verses were good as well, especially Ryohei’s parts, in which he sung in some sort of whisper like way, I’m not sure if it was intentional but it worked. He sounded good, and brought a lot of personality to this track.

The next track is the Rum intermission Rum Interlude/Voice Mail. It consists of a few voice mails tacked together to a funky beat.

The next track is the stagnant Summer Time Blues. This song is really stale to me. The arrangement doesn’t really give me the feel of summertime so much as a bunch of kids banging on pots. I mean it feels like they’re at some kids slip and slide party, because it was so lukewarm and uninteresting. The verses were pretty forgettable, I didn’t really care for them. This song can be fun in its own lame way, but its pretty forgettable to me.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo Thru With You. Oh, I love this song: ‘I give all my love to you, but there’s always girls around you, if you’re playing games on me, I am thru with you!’ The chorus is what really sold me to this song, and is the reason why I adore this song so. The arrangement is not overly rhythmic, but it has enough going for it to get you moving somewhat. I loved the verses, they went perfectly with this song. This is one of their best, definitely.

The next track on the album is the so-so Right Now. I mean so-so in a this had the potential to be a good song but it came off as very stale and boring. The arrangement was mind-numbing, and you just had no choice but to listen to it, it was really annoying. Their verses are pretty forgettable and the chorus was stagnant. Normally Heartsdale’s chorus’ are fun and can actually breath life into an otherwise mediocre song… not in this case.

The next track is the army-esque Rainy Days. This song sounds like something out of the army, or a marching song or something, because the arrangement consists of whistling and clapping, and it just makes me picture myself doing push-ups in the rain, with the army commander standing over me yelling. I thought the verses were good, very aggressive and really went well with the strange yet creative arrangement of the song.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo Should Have What!?. Its a collaboration that feat. one of my blogs feat. artists double. This song was made good by double’s really good vocal performance during the chorus, I really loved how she sung it. I don’t think this song would have been dull without her, because their chorus’ are always good, but she really fit with this track.

The next track on the album is an intermission from JEWEL’s. Jewels Interlude/Radio Freestyle. It was a lot more interesting than Rum’s that’s for sure, she even free styled: ‘I be the butter on your pancakes, juicy jam, cream filling, sweet as fly honey.’ Lolz.

The next track on the album is the super lame Block Shot Hustlaz. It feat. some guy named Furinkazan. This song was already bad from the pointless techno-computerized beat, to the underwhelming verses from both JEWEL’s and Rum, or was it just JEWEL’s? Though this song is brought down even further by Furinkazen’s tedious verses. This song is just fail in every sense of the word. I never want to hear it again.

The next track on the album is a remix of So Tell Me a DJ fumiya REMIX. I was really irritated when I saw that this song was remixed, because its my favorite Heartsdale song, and I hate remixes, they nine times out ten butcher the original. After listening to this, I still don’t like it, but it could be worse.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo Ooh Wah!. I say mid-tempo because it never quite gets fast enough. The arrangement is interesting because it has an distinct Spanish flare about it that makes it very rhythmic, so this is definitely a song you could dance and party too. I thought the verses from both JEWEL and Rum were good, even if I can’t recall anything pass the shouting of, ‘wow!’ in the chorus. I think its strange that I can’t really pinpoint their voices, especially considering that JEWEL’s voice is a lot deeper than Rum’s. Anyways, I did enjoy this song, or well, the chorus.

The next track on the album is the casual What’s My Name?. This song came across as very brief to me. Anyways, I thought this was a pretty interesting song. The arrangement isn’t anything to write home about, it plays just to give the song something to stand on, but its fitting. The verses went well with the flow of the song as well, though once again I only latched on to JEWEL’s voice. I like how laid back the, ‘what’s my name?’ in the chorus was said. Its almost laugh-worthy really, just thinking of someone asking somebody else that with no expression and no emotion.

The next track on the album is another better suited for a single release than an album’s, Baby Shine feat. AI (Deckstream Remix). I don’t know if I prefer this more than the So Tell Me remix, but maybe not since this remix really annoyed me.

The next track on the album is Wet’N Wild feat. SUITE CHIC. SUITE CHIC was a Namie Amuro creation, but I don’t recall hearing her. Anyways, I like this song, it carries that edge and sexiness that was so missing from this album, since they went more pop and rnb than rnb and hip-hop. This song also sounds like something Koda Kumi would have done back in her Secret days.

The last track on the album is the pro-women’s lull Woman (Sugar Shine version) (Nakanishi Keizo feat. Heartsdales). I really dislike JEWEL’s English, its clear, but very awkward. I thought this was a nice little down-tempo song, even if its pretty boring and forgettable. I thought Nakanishi Keizo was an all right person to collaborate with, but in truth Bennie K. really did the collabs like this justice with their song LOST PARADISE feat. TSUYOSHI. This was an all right, but weak ending to the album.

-GRADE: B-
Rating: *1/2 stars

Heartsdales second album Sugar Shine was about ten steps down from their debut. I had a hard time reviewing this album, because I may love rnb, but I am not a fan of rap and I have a hard time putting their songs into words, which is why I focus mostly on the chorus’ which are sung, and how well their vocals went with said chorus’ and the arrangement of the songs. I thought this album was entirely too long. It really was. I mean I always say I wish Asian albums were longer, but in all truth I’m kind of glad they aren’t, because then they just drag on pointlessly and drag the quality of the album down with them. The main problems I had with this album was that there were way too many filler tracks on here, it was almost ridiculous. There was no theme for this album, it was just ‘lets pile a whole bunch of songs on this album and release it!’ I mean what was the point of remixing So Tell Me and Baby Shine and then tacking them on the album, when they would have played better on a single? I thought their collabs with the exception of Furinkazan were good, though all of them except the one with SOUL’d OUT played like filler, and really had no purpose on this album outside of taking up space and lengthening the album unnecessarily. They do have a few good tracks on here: CANDY POP and Thru With You standing out the most, and actually being the most memorable tracks. Sugar Shine was more or less a flop, they could have done so much better than this–instead it all just came across as very lazy and tacky.

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