Megumi Hayashibara [Enfleurage] (Sixth Album)

April 2, 2009

IT’S DESTINY-Yatto Meguriaeta- (New Version)
REINCARNATION
Harikitte Trying!
Forever Dreamer
Touch and Go!!
Watashi dake no Yume e
Daremo Shiranai Mirai wo Dakishimete
Sunday Afternoon
Yoru wo Buttobase
SPACE LONELY SOLDIER (Aki version)
Until Strawberry Sherbet
My dear
Kokoro no PLANET (NUKU NUKU version)
FAI-FAI-TU!
Machi e Deyou

The album starts off with the feel-good IT’S DESTINY-Yatto Meguriaeta- (New Version). Oh, this is definitely one of my favorite Megumi songs and as a new version its pretty darn good. I love how light the arrangement is, it doesn’t do much but it really makes you give way to a true smile, grab some of your friends and go have a good time and enjoy life. Megumi’s vocal performance was just very charming, I really couldn’t help but smile and sing along, especially on the, ‘hey! hey!’ parts. Ah, good start the album.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo REINCARNATION. I honestly keep thinking this song should be faster than it is, but it never gets to that point. I had to listen to this twice, because I wasn’t sure if I too much liked it, I still don’t think I do, but I’ll say its half and half. I liked the verses, Megumi’s vocals were good, not saying they were bad during the chorus, because they weren’t, its just that though the chorus was a bit more quick paced it just didn’t jump out at me. I think that in turn brings this song down a bit. Its still an all right listen though.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo Harikitte Trying!. This song is pretty cute. The arrangement sounds like a small band, because of the trumpets? I heard throughout, it was nice and went well with the carefree nature of the song. Megumi’s vocals were light, though a touch on the serious side. This is one of those songs you play every once in a while, but its always a nice listen.

The next track slows it down, but only by a little with Forever Dreamer. This is a nice song and its perfect for putting you in a relaxed sort of mood. The arrangement is airy and that along with Megumi’s light vocals makes this song quite a good listen and also gives it a very old-fashioned flare. I also really like the title.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo Touch and Go!!. Wow… the title is rather misleading, because I honestly expected this song to be much more up in the tempo. It does a complete 180 though and plays like smooth Jazz, so nice on the ears. I love, love the saxophone (what a sexy instrument). I really like how it took the song out. Megumi’s vocals are rather nice, she really sounded like she was in love and it gave the song a rather romantic atmosphere.

The next track on the album is the mild Watashi dake no Yume e. There’s nothing that really stands out about this track, but I like the pace, the typical arrangement which makes me think of fun days in the sun and Megumi’s rather nice vocal performance.

The next track on the album is Daremo Shiranai Mirai wo Dakishimete. I’m pretty half and half with this song, but I think I like it. The arrangement is typical, sparkly and overall cute-sy but not to the point of nausea. I’ll say the same for Megumi’s vocals, which really didn’t do much for me, but they weren’t bad either. The chorus stands out, its pretty OK. This is also one of the many songs that you wouldn’t dance too, but sway enthusiastically side to side to and maybe do some stupid hand gestures while you’re at it.

The next track on the album is the surprisingly not down-tempo Sunday Afternoon. I really thought this was going to be down-tempo, I would have liked it more if it had been too. This track plays similarly to the previous track, in which I’m kind a on the fence with it. I somewhat enjoyed the chorus, but the song doesn’t really do much. Hmm?

The next track on the album is the up and down Yoru wo Buttobase. This song is weird to me and I would say half and half, but I do know I like it. The arrangement is very Jazzy, but in a modern show tune type way, its neat. I like how Megumi’s vocals were a bit slow during the verses and sped up during the chorus, it made the song interesting and edgy.

The next track on the album is the catchy SPACE LONELY SOLDIER (Aki version). This is your typical old-school anime-ish song and oddly enough I kept thinking about Trigun while listening to this. The arrangement is synth based; fitting. Megumi’s vocals are good and she brought a lot of personality and Cowboy Bebop flare to this song (well because of the title really…)

The next track on the album is the quirky Until Strawberry Sherbet. This track is pretty crazy, I can’t really understand what is going on because there is some sort of duel vocal thing Megumi’s got going on in the verses, then everything gets sugary sweet towards the ultra kawaii chorus, which I just adore. I don’t know, this song is just really cute and fun. A tiring, yet always enjoyable listen.

The next track on the album is the rather stale My dear. I don’t know this song had potential, because I really like the innocent and carefree nature of the arrangement. I also sort a liked Megumi’s light vocal performance, but at the same time she sounded a bit sharp and that threw me off a bit. I also don’t really like the flow or the pace of this track, but its not a bad listen.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo Kokoro no PLANET (NUKU NUKU version). This song sounds very old-school, but in a nostalgic way. The arrangement is synth-based, but it sounds very melancholy and Megumi’s rather sorrowful though oddly dramatic vocal performance only enhances that. Its like one of those songs you would use in memory of someone in a clip show whose passed.

The second to last track on the album is the nauseating FAI-FAI-TU!. I mean that in a good and bad way, but mostly bad. I kind a expected this song to be overly cute-sy, the title really gave it a way, but at the same time, titles can be misleading. The arrangement is typical, I hardly noticed it really. Megumi’s vocals were very child-like and it seemed like during the chorus she was kind a over-doing it a little. This song is all right, but its a cute track I don’t really care for.

The last track on the album is the mellow Machi e Deyou. This song is so retro, or should I say throw-back to the 50’s. I kind a wanted to laugh while listening to this, because the whole execution is just really corny. Its a cute song though, just not my cup of tea.

-GRADE: B
Rating: ** stars

Megumis Hayashibara’s sixth album Enfleurage was all right, but a bit forgettable. I hate how I can say so much about a Megumi song but when it gets down to summarizing the album I’m always left at a stand-still. I honestly never know what to say, because I know I’m going to end up having to say the same things over and over. It could be the curse of being a seiyuu singer, everything seems to sound the same and every once in a while you get a song that completely separates itself from the rest, but that’s few and far between. Or it could be that she has so many albums and so many songs it all just seems to bleed together, I don’t know. I mean Center Color out of all of her albums just stands out the most to me, this doesn’t seem to be any different from Bertemu. I don’t know. Enfleurage is a decent listen, with some good authentic Megumi songs, just don’t expect to hear anything you haven’t already heard.

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