Okui Masami [Akasha] (Fifteenth Album)

April 16, 2009

a15

Theme of Akasha
LOVE SHIELD
INSANITY
LOVERS
Shuushoku
Orange
Shape of myself
Melted Snow
TOTAL ECLIPSE
BLUE ~Noble Flame~
Akasha
Venus

The album starts off with the intro Theme of Akasha. Its starts off very sci-fi like, so I was kind a confused. Then it goes into a short of dramatic instrumental piece that sounds very familiar, but is nice on the ears.

The next track on the album is LOVE SHIELD. This is a nice track. I mean it sounds like an anime opening to a fantasy anime and I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually was. The arrangement is pretty typical, but I like the clear, crisp sound of it. Masami’s vocals were also good, especially during the chorus, which is this track’s highlight.

The next track on the album is the blaring INSANITY. This song seems to be more in my face this time around and also a lot more interesting, but I still find that I don’t like it. The spastic arrangement sounds very chaotic and futuristic at the same time which is neat and does kind a give off this feel of insanity. Masami’s vocals were also pretty strong, but I still find myself rather underwhelmed with it.

The next track continues the up-tempo’s with LOVERS. I definitely like this track. The arrangement is very airy and sparkly, typical for a song like this, but I love the consistent pace of it and how it makes me think of the sky. Masami also gave a good vocal performance, I really liked the chorus. This track makes me think of mecha anime and though I’m not really a fan of mecha, that’s not particularly a bad thing.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo Shuushoku. This is a pretty nice song. I mean the arrangement is I believe that of a slow thrummed guitar and some bass, pretty simple, but nice nonetheless. I really liked Masami’s vocal performance, very genuine and it made this song almost pretty in a content and yet sad way. It made me think of people dancing.

The next track on the album is the rather upbeat Orange. I really didn’t expect this song to be so enjoyable, but it was. The arrangement is pretty lively and gives the song a very anthem like feel, though mild. Masami’s vocal performance was quite good in this track as well and she seemed really into it. The chorus is the best part. I think its just me, but this song also made me feel happy and sad at the same time.

The next track on the album is the same Shape of myself. I really wish that Masami would have just kept this track as a b-side. The arrangement is typically sparkly and very anime-ish and became overwhelming at certain points. Masami’s vocal performance was decent, but as typical as the arrangement, so I didn’t really care for it. This isn’t a bad song, but its not a very interesting one either.

The next track on the album is the dull Melted Snow. I liked this song a lot more on the single. I don’t know why this song is so boring to me all of a sudden, but it is. Its amazing how detached I felt from this track, despite liking the winter-y piano arrangement and Masami’s decent and somewhat emotional vocal performance. It was like, I just didn’t care.

The next track on the album is the sci-fi esque-ish TOTAL ECLIPSE. As I’ve said already on the single review of this, I liked this song a whole lot more than ‘insanity’ if only because its a lot more memorable. I thought her vocals were stronger in this and the arrangement a lot more interesting. It seems a bit underwhelming on the album though, but that’s not surprising.

The next track on the album is the psuedo-epic BLUE ~Noble Flame~. The title is pretty corny, but the song is all right. I thought Masami gave a pretty strong vocal performance, but the arrangement seemed to overshadow it, because I really enjoyed the guitar solo and found myself listening to the beat more than Masami’s vocals. This song is pretty hit or miss and kind a went over my head. Its not a bad track though and a decent listen, despite sounding very same and like an opening to some historical anime.

The next track on the album is the title track Akasha. I really hate that this song is so long, because its just unnecessarily long and plays like filler. The arrangement is pretty limp and I hardly cared for it, as it just seemed to be there playing rather blandly. It also seemed like Masami was trying too hard vocal wise and it just wasn’t working, because her vocal performance was weak to the point of being unbearable. This song seems to just drag on and on and on, for no apparent reason.

The last track on the album is the joyful Venus. This would be the perfect song to end a concert or tour with, because it just gives off such a good feeling, but retains that emotion of sadness, because you know this is the end. The arrangement is typically sparkly, but it just gives off such a festive and warm air that brings a smile to your face. I thought Masami gave a very charming vocal performance. It was a decent end to the album.

-GRADE: B-
Rating: ** stars

Okui Masami’s fifteenth album Akasha was pretty same. I don’t know, I haven’t heard many Masami albums, but this is definitely one of her worst. I say this because I am almost certain that there is nothing on this album that we haven’t already heard from her before and better. Despite my dislike of how average this album is I did like a few tracks on here such as ‘love shield’ and ‘orange’ so it wasn’t all bad. I don’t know, Masami has so much music its only natural for something to get lost in translation and we get an album like this. Its not bad, but we’re fifth teen albums in and its still the same song. I am not impressed.

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