Aoyama Thelma’s 4th single starts off with the a-side 守りたいもの (Mamoritai Mono; I Want To Protect This). I’m not sure how Aoyama went from ‘soba ni iru ne’ to throwaway ballads such as ‘daikkirai demo arigatou’ and this, but she really is going to have to pick her game up with the next two singles I have to review or I have no hopes for her second album. The arrangement is tame, typically weepy and a tad bit on the sparkly side. Its nothing interesting, but its nice on the ears. Aoyama’s vocal performance is also pretty nice, though she’ll win no awards for it. This is a pretty bland a-side, it does nothing to stand out and is too safe to be even remotely memorable, I’ve forgotten it already. I like it because despite it being so underwhelming, its still a decent little ballad, other than that its as unmemorable and cliche as songs like this get.
The next track on the single is its b-side MADONNA. This is a lot more interesting and engaging than the a-side. We speed things up a bit, with an rnb laced with hip-hop beat and some nice and aggressive vocals from Aoyama. I’ll admit the part where she says: ‘all my females, gotta get down’ really gave me a Jay Chou moment, so that was weird, especially considering that I think this song is sampled, because it sounds familiar, or maybe its just me? I really like the chorus. This is a nice, catchy and somewhat danceable song and in my opinion should have been the a-side.
Rating: ** stars
Aoyama Thelma’s 4th single Mamoritai Mono was all right, but the b-side certainly saved this single from a C. Mamoritai Mono is a nice ballad in its own right, but it does nothing to stand out and thus becomes forgettable. MADONNA is a pretty nice dance track and played like a-side material as opposed to its counterpart.
*This is an old review, this is the first of a slew of reviews I did before I decided to go on my hiatus. [ April 16th, 2009]