Yui Horie [Darling] (Sixth Album)

May 27, 2009

a.06

Lalala Song of Love (ラララ愛の歌, Lalala Ai no Uta)
Time machine
Days
Kamisama Onegai
Koi Suru Tenkizu
Say cheese!
Tsurarenai Kotoba
Hikari
Love Me Do
Lovely Everyday
Kirei na Kaze ga fuiteru
Zutto
Hello
Little Honey Bee

The album starts off with the light Lalala Song of Love (ラララ愛の歌, Lalala Ai no Uta). This was a really nice song and it does give off the feeling of love, an innocent, untainted type of love. The arrangement was light, very mild and of course sparkly. It made me think of milk for some odd reason. Yui’s vocals were rather lovely in this, I mean she sounded like a little girl, but it was actually quite endearing and really brought home that feeling of love I believe this song was trying to convey. This is a pretty, yes pretty, start to the album.

The next track on the album is the mind-numbing Time machine. Ah, this song was a bit grating. I mean its not entirely bad, a bit cute, well a lot cute, but I just can’t get into this. The arrangement is just way too poppy and sparkly, it was almost like she was throwing sparks of light at you, because the arrangement seems to come at you in a rush. Yui’s vocals were more little girl like in this and it was just… scary in a sense, because aren’t you a grown woman, why are you singing like you’re twelve?

The next track on the album is the up in the tempo Days. This song is rather spazzy, but not in a chaotic way, but in a tolerable and pleasant way. This song is really capable of brightening up your day, I felt my mood lifting a little while listening to this. The arrangement is so typical, with the added sparkles, but it fits, it works. Yui’s vocals were of course that of adolescence, but it suited the song and made me smile a little. Its not the best of songs like this I have heard, but its a decent listen.

The next track on the album is Kamisama Onegai. This song is pretty tame compared to what I have been listening to so far. Its a bit of a relief, but at the same time its a bit boring and maybe that’s because the peppy-ness of the other tracks stood out and the somewhat mid-tempo flow of this song tends to linger in the background. The arrangement is a bit windy but nice, I liked how it seemed a bit acoustic rock. Yui’s vocals are also pretty controlled and it made this song seem a bit serious. Its all right, but its not a song I’d listen to just because.

The next track on the album is the up-tempo Koi Suru Tenkizu. Well, as up-tempo as a song like this gets anyways. It was a bit overly cute, but I didn’t find that a problem. The arrangement was pretty interesting, I really liked the trumpets. Yui’s vocals were pretty engaging, she really got into the song and made it a lot fun, listening-wise anyways.

The next track on the album is the super happy Say cheese!. I guess I like cute things more than I thought I did, though that’s no surprise seeing as my favorite word in Japanese is ‘kawaii’ this song is so sugar high, you’d have to be high on something to enjoy this. I mean its not bad and I like it, but this is just one of those songs you’d enjoy more if you were wasted on karaoke night. It sounds so anime, it just might be, but I’m talking the opening to one of those stupid ecchi anime’s I hate, or Sugar Sugar Rune, Lucky Star… those types of anime. Yui sounds like an eight year old girl, but it fits.

The next track on the album is the tame Tsurarenai Kotoba. This is pretty low key compared to the tracks I’ve been listening to, but its nice. I heard the drums mostly in the chorus and it gave the song a sort of light edge that was actually a relief from all the sparkling anime pop. Yui’s vocals were good as well, soft, despite still having that child-like tone.

The next track brings the pace back up with Hikari. Hmm? I really don’t like this. The arrangement is just a rush of techno and it sounds so 80’s, gay club like and makes me think of seizure inducing flashing lights. Its also relentless, especially during the chorus. Yui’s vocals kind a clashed with the music, because the arrangement seems a bit edgy considering and her vocals were of course child-like and kind of slow compared to it, so it kind a drowns her out. This song is pretty hit or miss.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo Love Me Do. This is a pretty interesting song, though not one I would listen to regularly. The arrangement is light, but that’s about it, I mean its nice, but it only does what it should. Yui’s vocals were girl-like of course, but she brought a bit of charm to this. The only problem I had with this track was that its kind a long, it didn’t bother me, but I noticed so that isn’t really good. This song also reminds me a bit of the ‘wedding bells’ opening to the anime Wedding Peach.

The next track on the album is Lovely Everyday. This is a pretty cute song, seriously. The arrangement plays pretty much like the previous track’s only doing what it should, but its a lot more engaging. I also like Yui’s typical girl-like vocals in this, because they fit right in. The backing verses were definitely kawaii, ah, so cute!

The next track on the album is the twinkly Kirei na Kaze ga fuiteru. I think that’s a stretch, but the arrangement is typical, but nice on the ears in a sense. I like Yui’s vocals during the chorus, though I thought she sounded a bit sad, or just the atmosphere just sounded a bit down to me. I don’t like the chorus, because its pretty strained, which I found amazing, cause it doesn’t ask for anything. This song had potential, but I just didn’t feel anything but an odd sense of annoyance while listening to it. I did like the verses though.

The next track on the album is Zutto. I knew I was going to like this song, but that was mostly because of the chorus. The arrangement was typically sparkly and anime-ish, but it was very nice on the ears and had enough going for it to keep your interest. Yui’s vocals were same, but I really did like her performance in this track, she seemed so into it and that definitely bumped up the enjoyment factor and made the song a fun an enjoyable listen.

The second to last track on the album is the up-tempo Hello. This song is a bit on the rock side arrangement wise, but it seemed a bit cliche, like I’ve heard it before, a thousand times before. Yui’s vocal performance was decent, but it definitely could have been better. I mean she sounded like an ear-sore and then the arrangement seemed to overpower her.

The last track on the album is the nice Little Honey Bee. What a cute title. This song is lead by the piano, which is simple, of course. Yui’s vocal performance was same, but endearing. This was an all right end to the album.

-GRADE: B
Rating: ** stars

Yui Horie’s sixth album Darling was pretty good. I’ve been listening to a few new seiyuu artists lately and I have to say she’s impressed me the most so far. I honestly didn’t think adding more seiyuu singers to my blog would be so difficult, but maybe its because there sound is so much more different from Maaya, Megumi and Okui’s sound and its a sound I don’t too much like. This album was not as difficult to review as I thought it would be, I pretty much breezed through it, only encountering writer’s block a few times. The stand-out track is of course LaLaLa Song of Love, but there was a few other good tracks thrown in there as well, just not as memorable. I look forward to reviewing more of her music, though I really think its going to take a while for her voice to grow on me.

*This is an old review, this is the first of a slew of reviews I did before I decided to go on my hiatus. [February 2th, 2009]

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