Megumi Hayashibara [feel well] (Eleventh Album)

April 5, 2009

Over Soul
don’t be discouraged
Rumba Rumba
Hajimari wa Koko Kara
Sakura Saku
Namida no single rain (2002 version)
lost in you
trust you (2002 new arranged version)
brave heart
unsteady
Tokyo Boogie Night (2002 version)
Toki wo Koete
Cincia Aisuru Hito (Dear Tsubame Version)
feel well
Booska! Booska!!
Hare Tokidoki Hare

The album starts off with the up-tempo Over Soul. I have to admit this is technically not a song I would normally like, but I can not deny that I somewhat enjoyed listening to it. Its your typical anime opening song, sounds like an opening you’d here on an shonen show with the quick arrangement and fast though consistently paced vocals. This song isn’t particularly catchy, but I did like Megumi’s vocal performance, mostly during the chorus and the tracks flow.

The next track on the album is the hard-hitting don’t be discouraged. This song sounds so old-school anime-ish, I really like that. Its one of those songs that would play well at a concert and have all the fans screaming before it evens starts. I like how catchy it is, the chorus really stands out in that regard and how aggressive Megumi’s vocals are. I mean its like she really wants you to not be discouraged, not be afraid and not to give up.

The next track on the album is the mild Rumba Rumba. This is a rather cute song that captured my attention instantly and kept it throughout. The arrangement has such a Caribbean like flare, equipped with traditional instruments and it really gives you such a free and easy feeling that is rather refreshing. Megumi’s vocal performance was decent, but a bit much, she sounded like one of those people who sees a baby or a cute kid and just has to comment on how cute they are, it was a bit unsettling.

The next track on the album is the mellow Hajimari wa Koko Kara. This keeps the vacation themed songs coming and this one was a bit more tamer than the previous track. I thought the vocal performance was better in this one, much more smoother and tolerable and though the arrangement was nice, ‘rumba rumba’ was a lot more interesting though, variety wise.

The next track on the album is the frenzied Sakura Saku. Umm… I remember listening to this song a while ago when I was first getting into J-music through anime and well I kind a liked it then, not so much now. The arrangement is rather different for Megumi as its pretty synthed up and sounds a lot techno and electronica, which isn’t bad, it does go with the whole flow of the song and makes for an interesting listen. Megumi also managed to keep up vocal-wise and it was rather intriguing listening to her sing in such a quick and slick way. This isn’t a bad song, but its one that gets pretty annoying, pretty fast.

The next track on the album is the light Namida no single rain (2002 version). After the up-tempo, mad frenzy of the previous track, I was very glad that Megumi had decided to slow it down. The arrangement is really nice, it plays so well on the ears, simple and when its given time to shine its even more of a good listen, because it gives you such a carefree and content vibe. I thought Megumi’s vocals were lovely, very warm and she made this song quite the charming listen.

The next track on the album brings the pace back up with lost in you. I actually expected this song to be more down-tempo, I kind a wish it had been, but I still enjoyed it. The arrangement is typical, but it fits and keeps the song interesting. Megumi also gave a good vocal performance. This isn’t the type of song I go for, but I’d listen to it again.

The next track on the album is trust you (2002 new arranged version). This song is rather interesting. The arrangement is really nice, I love how it takes the song out with the violin, good touch. Megumi’s vocal performance was love, especially when it got to the chorus, you almost have to double-take, because the way she sings it is so cute, but she’s serious. This song gives off a longing yet content type vibe and makes me nostalgic.

The next track on the album is the addicting brave heart. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks from Megumi and most certainly one of her signature songs. The arrangement is pretty simple, but very infectious. Megumi’s vocals were slightly cute and the chorus is just so catchy you’re almost compelled to sing along with her. This is a fun song.

The next track on the album is the wonky unsteady. This song had the potential to be pretty good, but it just comes across as very plain and average to me. The arrangement was fitting, but it played mostly like tinkly air. Megumi’s vocals were very strained and it came across as very odd and off-putting to me. I also thought the backing vocals were tired.

The next track on the album is the mildly pumping Tokyo Boogie Night (2002 version). This is a pretty cool song. I mean its not a song I’d listen to on a regular basis, because its pretty average and doesn’t really do much to hold my attention, despite being pretty interesting. The arrangement has a dash of rock, laced with synth and makes you think of the nightlife though a rather fun nightlife, as opposed to a dangerous one. Megumi’s vocals are cute, but they hold an edge that I liked. The chorus is the best part and truthfully the reason why I think I enjoyed this song as much as I did. I really enjoyed the guitar taking the track out, nice.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo Toki wo Koete. This song is pretty simple, as simple as songs like this gets and its works.

The next track on the album keeps the down-tempo’s coming with Cincia Aisuru Hito (Dear Tsubame Version). This track is similar to the previous as its a very simple tune that doesn’t really do much of anything, but its a nice blue-sy listen. Its really for those into slow songs mainly, so I guess I qualify.

The next track on the album ups the pace with feel well. This isn’t a bad song, but I don’t too much like it. The arrangement is a bit sparkly, which isn’t surprising, but it just seems to jump out at you. Megumi’s vocals are nice and cheery, and this song gives off an atmosphere that definitely reflects the title. It just doesn’t do much for me, or I’m just on the fence, I honestly don’t know, but I’ll go for the half and half.

The next track on the album is the painful Booska! Booska!!. Oh my… I really want to puke. I like cute songs, but this is a sheer overdose and my mouth is aching because of it. The tea party arrangement and Megumi’s cutes-y vocal performance (in which she sounded like a five year old girl) literally made my mind numb.

The last track on the album is the brief Hare Tokidoki Hare. This song seems awfully short to me, but that’s not why I dislike it. Well, I don’t dislike it, it just does nothing for me. The arrangement is pretty nice, the tinkle of the piano was charming and made me think of two-stepping for some odd reason… Megumi’s vocals were decent despite her sounding like a more mature sounding five year old girl. This isn’t a bad song, but I don’t really care for it and it also seems to just end. I didn’t really like that.

-GRADE: B+
Rating: ** stars

Megumi Hayashibara’s eleventh album feel well was a pretty good album. I expected it to be pretty pass, or so-so, but it kind a exceeded my expectations. Its hard to summarize a Megumi album, because like all seiyuu singers they seem to bring the same material with each album, with a few tracks shining brighter than the others, thus making the album stand out more than it would have. Megumi has a ton of albums, so I’m worried about saying the same thing over and over. I decided during my first album review of her to keep the overall relatively short. This was a good album, with the first half being a lot better than the second half.

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