Rie Fu [Rose Album] (Second Album)

December 24, 2008

Sono Mama de (そのままで; The Way You Are)
5minutes
Funny Dream
I Wanna Go To A Place…
Realize
Tiny Tiny Melody
Conversation
They Always Talk About
Kiss U Goodbye
Vintage Denim
Rose
Long Long Way (Album Version)
Negaigoto (ねがいごと; Wishes)

The album starts off with the mellow Sono Mama de (そのままで; The Way You Are). When the song first started I actually thought it was going to be pretty fast, but that could be because I was thinking of the opening track on her first album. The arrangement made me think of air, it just gave off such an atmosphere of calm. Rie’s vocals were good as usual, kind a low rising a bit in all the right places. This was a nice start to the album.

The next track on the album is the ordinary 5minutes. I did not use to like this song, I thought it was beyond boring, a bit monotonous and… what? I don’t think that now. I think I like this song because its so freaking relevant. It just never seems like its enough time to do anything, and you’re just rushing trying to get it all done.

The next track on the album is the slow-paced Funny Dream. This is a pretty indifferent song, and that is where its charm lies. Rie sings this song in a way that says, ‘i really don’t care’ its like she’s telling this person about this dream she had, it wasn’t a very exciting dream or anything, but she just felt that she should tell him. Its pretty interesting and a decent listen.

The next track on the album is one of my favorites, I Wanna Go To A Place…. This was one of the first songs I heard by Rie and it remains one of my favorites today, because it is so very poignant. I love the simple violin arrangement, because its so basic, but it just drives this whole song, that and the piano. Rie’s vocals were really good in this, especially when it got to the chorus and her voice rose just a bit, it just always gets to me especially the: ‘…and every time i look, i thought you were there, but it was just my imagination, i don’t see it anymore, ’cause i see through you now…’ and of course, ‘i wanna go to a place where i can say, ‘i’m all right’ and stay there with you…’

The next track on the album is the somewhat assertive Realize. This is a pretty neat song, as to where Rie’s vocals don’t sound so lazy high, but she puts a bit of attitude into her tone that really catches your attention. The main instrument is the drums, and they went perfectly with the whole flow and mood of the song, which gives off a somewhat dark and calculating atmosphere. Rie’s vocals I already stated were a bit less casual and a lot more assertive, it was a good vocal performance and the chorus was the best part, and is actually what makes this song relevant.

The next track on the album is the soothing Tiny Tiny Melody. This is one of the first Rie Fu songs I ever heard, and I just find that I adore it so much and its one of those songs you never get tired of. The drum arrangement is just so calming and washes over you in the nicest of ways. It really makes you think of walking along the shoreline, while the sun is setting. Rie’s vocals are gorgeous, and this is where the casualness of her voice really shines. I just love this song.

The next track on the album is the mellow Conversation. This is a song that doesn’t really ask for much, and that’s why I like it so much. The arrangement is calming, and slow, and gives you the feeling of being exhausted or tired. Rie’s vocals are lovely. The chorus is the highlight.

The next track on the album ups the pace with They Always Talk About. This song brings me back to Realize in terms of Rie having a bit of bass and attitude in her voice. I also got such a Michelle Branch vibe from her in this song. The arrangement was a light rock, pretty fitting and Rie’s vocals were good, especially during the chorus and the, ‘yeah!’ parts.

The next track on the album is the drab Kiss U Goodbye. This song is just really lethargic to me, and nearly put me to sleep. The arrangement is pretty interesting, it sounds like an unplugged performance, since everything sounds so live. The drums, the guitar, the bass. It gives you such an intimate feeling, and that is where my like for this song ends. Rie’s vocals are fine, but they’re so lank and sometimes sounds like she’s singing in the background. Her vocals just sound so boring and uninspired that I couldn’t even be bothered to care for it after a while. The clapping at the end was also pretty random, but brought me back to the whole live feel of the song. Too bad its a downer track.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo Vintage Denim. You know how you sit there waiting for a certain song (or whatever) to go somewhere and it never really does, but you find that you like it anyways? That would be this song. It never goes anywhere. The verses went completely over my head and if the song had stayed at that pace, I wouldn’t have liked it at all, because the verses really made no sense to me. The chorus (and the nice piano melody) is what saves this song in the end. The harmonious pretty-ness of it is what got me.

The next track is the acoustic-driven Rose. I had to listen to this song three times, in order for me to figure out whether I liked it or not. On one hand its terribly stagnant and never seems to really go anywhere, and then on the other hand I like how intriguing the song is vocal-wise and how it doesn’t ask for much. I like the mellow yet hurt air it gives off, I think in time it’ll grow on me.

The second to last track on the album is the down-tempo Long Long Way (Album Version). I’ve always enjoyed how slow and soothing this song is, it really makes you feel like you’re on some long journey to somewhere. The arrangement consists of a calm piano piece, that just plays so nice. Rie’s vocals are gorgeous and I love how she sings this in such a wistful and or longing way. It really makes this quite the touching little track: ‘so tell me all the things you would…go any, go any, go any…’

The last track on the album is the lovely Negaigoto (ねがいごと; Wishes). I love this song. Its one of the first Rie songs I ever heard and it continues to be my favorite today. Its something so magical about this song, but maybe that’s because the title translates to, ‘wishes’ Rie’s vocals were great, I adored how she sung the chorus, it really make this song stand out, and was a near perfect album closer. I also really liked how the piano took the song out; special.

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

Rie Fu’s second album Rose Album is, of course, a good album. I can’t really say this was better than her debut album, because its really not, but it does have one thing that her first album didn’t really have and that’s variety. There was less somber piano driven songs, and more songs with an acoustic guitar edge, and it just felt like Rie was in lighter spirits. The main reason why I don’t think this album is better than the first, despite me liking the majority of the songs on here, is because its not really all that memorable, and I can’t really see myself listening to this album all the way through. I mean the only songs you’ll catch me listening to on a regular basis with this album is: I Wanna Go To A Place…, Tiny Tiny Melody and Long Long Way. I found this album a bit difficult to review as well, because I don’t know, I tend to like every Rie Fu song I listen to, and I really don’t like saying the same thing over and over again. Rose Album was a good album from Rie, its a bit weak compared to her first album, if only because it played like a test subject (or an awkward dream as compared to Rie Fu which played like a sad beautiful dream), but its still a solid album from her.

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