Kreva [Kreva no Best Ban] (First Best Album) ~special review~

January 20, 2009

Strong Style
Because
Kureba Iinoni feat. Masamune Kusano from SPITZ
Aggressive
The Show
Have A Nice Day!
H.A.P.P.Y
It’s For You
Kokumintekigyouji
Start
Itsusaigatsusai
Funky Glamorous feat. Mummy-D from Rhymester
Hitori ja nai no yo feat. Sonomi
Timbre
Kibou no Honou
Akasatana Hamayarawaon (Bonus Track)

The album starts off with the intro Strong Style. Wow, this was a pretty good opening an for it to be less than two minutes it for some reason seemed to play like a full song. Kreva’s rapping was pretty darn good and it almost sounded like he was free styling… maybe he was?

The next track on the album is the slightly mid-tempo Because. This is a pretty interesting song. I like how it started off with the clapping, the echoing and how his vocals seemed to stop and go. The beat is very rhythmic I actually found myself moving to it and I also like the disk scratching throughout it was a nice touch. The chorus is a lot more interesting than the verses, it also sounded sad to me for some reason. The verses were good in there own right, but they didn’t draw me in like the chorus did. I’m actually into his rapping voice, it doesn’t turn me off.

The next track on the album is the down in the tempo Kureba Iinoni feat. Masamune Kusano from SPITZ. This isn’t a bad song, but after a while it does get a bit exhausting. I was really into the song in the beginning, probably because Kreva was rapping and I liked how slow and thoughtful he sounded while doing so, it matched well with the slow pace of the beat. Then Masamune comes in and his voice is just not really good and in the end he really just ruined the song for me. Also, for this to be a minute under five it certainly seems to play for a much longer period. I mean it got to the point where I was just tired of listening to it.

The next track on the album is the rather mellow Aggressive. This song doesn’t really sound as aggressive as the title entails. I had to listen to this song twice and I kind a think I like it. The arrangement was unexpected, it seems very pop or light rnb and that really threw me through a loop because I like it and its probably the whole reason why I sort of find myself inclined to like this song. Kreva’s rapping was good, I mean he kind a blended in with the song, but in the end the arrangement completely overshadowed his vocals. The music box melody at the end was a bit surprising as well. This song is pretty nice on the ears.

The next track is the crowd upping The Show. I can honestly see this song being played at the start of a concert and getting everyone up and pumped. It does sound like a great opening, I mean with the: ‘one for the money! two for the show!’ and honestly that line is so re-used but you never get tired of hearing it. I really liked Kreva’s vocals in this, I’m really warming up to his rapping voice, for a Japanese artist he really can rap. The only problem I had was that the song felt like it should have been more up-tempo than it was, it sounded too mellow and laid-back for a song called, ‘the show’ other than that its a pretty good track.

The next track on the album is the in your face Have A Nice Day!. I’m very new to Kreva, but this is so far my favorite song by him. It has such an infectious vibe to it even if I hardly noticed the verses and paid more attention to the chorus. I like the attitude he put into this, it just gave me the impression that he was saying ‘fuck you’ to whomever and ‘have a nice day’ was just a nicer and more safer way of saying just that; his flow was pretty consistent to: ‘have a nice day, have a nice life!’

The next track on the album is the soulful H.A.P.P.Y. This song can easily go right over your head if you don’t pay attention to it, but I found that I liked it. The arrangement is pretty good and it really pounds into you, most notably those backing vocals; it definitely gives off a soul like vibe and sounds very throw-back to like the 70’s. I actually can’t really recall Kreva’s parts, since I was too absorbed in the arrangement, but from what I managed to catch, it was pretty good and went well with the soul, rhythm and blues flow of the song. He also sounded like he was telling a story, like about his life, ups and downs. I got that kind of feeling from this song.

The next track on the album is the mellow It’s For You. This song doesn’t really have much going for it, but I did enjoy the rather calm flow of it. The arrangement is really nothing spectacular and sounds very typical and as if I’ve heard it before only in a different way. Kreva’s vocals didn’t really pop out at me either, but he still managed to get his point across. This is a nice little song, though a bit unmemorable.

The next track in the intro-song Kokumintekigyouji. I’m so mad that I can’t seem to think of the name of the musical piece he uses. I think its a composition by either Beethoven or Mozart, possibly Bach, but I really don’t know. Its a shame because the composition is one of the most used and its very common. I thought it was pretty creative how he incorporated it into this a bit under two minutes song.

The next track on the album is the calm Start. This is another misleading title, because I actually thought the song was going to be a bit more up-tempo. I still liked this track though, considering. The arrangement is appropriately sad and a bit interesting, I found myself paying more attention to it than Kreva’s vocals, even though it doesn’t really do much. Kreva didn’t do much with his vocals either, just rapped this song the way it was suppose to be rapped I guess. Its all right, but a lot of people will find it unmemorable.

The next track on the album is Itsusaigatsusai. This song is pretty interesting and I’m not sure why it appealed to me, but even though I wasn’t really interested in it I still found that I paid attention to it. The arrangement was minimal, its pretty light and sounds very resort or island-y. Kreva’s vocal performance was really casual and that along with the arrangement made this song rather refreshing.

The next track on the album is the edgy Funky Glamorous feat. Mummy-D from Rhymester. This song wasn’t really all that interesting to me and honestly it was a bit annoying. Mummy-D is the guy from that one Kuri track ‘baby cop’ I adore that song and his weird vocal tones matched perfectly with the flow of that track. I’m not saying that it doesn’t match with this, but that track was more on the cute side, this is a pretty serious song and he just sounds so: ‘i really can’t take this guy seriously’ I mean his voice is just so overbearing that I heard him more than I heard Kreva, because he completely drowned him out with his hoarse sounding voice. The arrangement is also pretty juvenile and generic.

The next track on the album is the simple Hitori ja nai no yo feat. Sonomi. I’m actually quite surprised that I like this track, but I guess its because its so free and easy. The arrangement is really nothing, but that constant sound, I can’t really describe it, but its rather addicting and I seemed to focus on that more than anything. Kreva’s vocal performance was fitting, though with such a minimal beat it almost sounded like he was free styling, everything just seemed fresh and un-hurried. I really like the pace of this track and the arrangement, its a nice listen.

The next track on the album is Timbre. This is a strange and unique title. When the song first started it sounded like the beginning chords of MIA’s ‘paper planes’ so I was a bit confused for a second and then it became its own and I was straight. Its a rather good arrangement and I love how it took out the song. I also liked how Kreva sort of dragged out his vocals, it made the song a lot more interesting. I also really liked the chorus: ‘your my baby!’

The second to last track on the album is the odd Kibou no Honou. This song is different, but at the same time its a bit irritating. Its a hit or miss track that’s for sure and though I liked it in a sense I realized that this is definitely one of those songs you listen to once and never again, because it is very forgettable. The arrangement is pretty much non-existent, I really don’t know why he bothered to even include it. I think he was singing on this as well, but his voice is under vocoder and he drags out the notes so he sounds a bit monotonous and after a while grating. This track is all right for people who like songs like this, me on the other hand, I got tired of it pretty quickly.

The last track on the album is the down-tempo Akasatana Hamayarawaon (Bonus Track). This song doesn’t really do much, but it still manages to get its point across. The arrangement is pretty quiet, though nice and I believe I heard a trumpet or horn throughout? Kreva does some slick rapping; I like how it always comes out sounding so casual. This song is pretty mellow and sounds like he’s giving thanks, though I could be just interpreting it as such. This was a nice album closer, though not a very memorable one.

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

Kreva’s first best album Kreva no Best Ban was a pretty good listen, it really was. This was actually a request and when I found out that he was a J-rapper I was a bit wary. I’m a major rnb whore, but hip-hop I don’t too much care for and you’ll rarely if every hear me listening to rap songs of any sort. Kreva has a good flow, I’ll readily admit that, not once while listening to him did I think he sounded corny or lame or even wannabe, in fact it seemed to all be very natural and I loved his casual way of rapping. I enjoyed the majority of the songs on here, but everything was either down or mid-tempo and I kind a wish he would have had more up-tempo tracks, just to flesh everything out more. I would have liked to hear more hard-hitting, club joints or at least a couple more songs like Have A Nice Day!. This album was pretty difficult to review, though there was a bit of variety and each song offered a new and fresh sound, so it wasn’t too hard. Kreva no Best Ban has a nice selection of the best songs from his career and I’m surprised he’s not more well known because he has some good tunes under his belt and for a J-rapper he’s pretty good. I would definitely recommend him to those more in the J-Urban scene and I’d suggest you start with this, you really won’t be disappointed.

Ah… aCChan I did my best, I hope this review helped you out.

One Response to “Kreva [Kreva no Best Ban] (First Best Album) ~special review~”

  1. aCChan Says:

    yes, thank you for this review!! I’m not that into hip hop as well, but my friend is, and I was unsure whether to get this CD for her birthday or not.. Thanks to you, I’ll buy it for her!! I dl-ed the album finally bcoz i was curious, and i gotta say I agree to what u say about his loops and beats! so addictive❤ Tho i love kibou no honoo so much bcoz the lyrics seems meaningful and the verse is good..

    Arigatou again, .. I really appreciate ur effort you really help me decide, g.r.e.a.t.job❤


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