Kaori Mochida – manu a manu

manu a manu

Tracklist:

  1. manu a manu
  2. Megumi
  3. HAJIMARI
  4. Utsukushiki Uruwashiki Hibi
  5. Ame Ha Tsurezure Ni
  6. Yasashiku Naretara
  7. tokyo hotaru
  8. state of mind
  9. Kanashii Toki Mo Ureshii Toki Mo
  10. to -album version-
  11. Yoake

manu a manu

This song is so weird, it reminds of Transient from sfp, the slow voice and minimal arrangement makes it stand out in Kaori’s discography, as well that distortion of her voice was cool. Even though the song was strange, I still like, the downside is that is too short.

Megumi

Then Megumi comes in, and makes you feel that the day begins and it will be good. I like how Kaori makes the song entertaining and funny when singing. The constant drum and piano was good to make that feel of enjoying under the sun. I didn’t heard the single when released, but I think it was a good choice to represent the album. I really like the piano parts that makes some twists in the sound, as well the drums. The song continues with the same flow, and may bore some, but I still like it. Good song.

HAJIMARI

This song begins and I don’t know what to say about it, reminds me the songs from NIU or even to moca. But then after the weirdness of the first part, the chorus comes, and it compensates with some background male vocals and the song starts to be more enjoyable. The drums in some parts were unnecessary, and others nail it. The interlude was so cool, and interesting I didn’t saw that coming. And we return to the same sound from the song. But when you come from Megumi, this song doesn’t surprise me that much, but I can still enjoy it, and I may give it more listens because of the chorus and interlude.

Utsukushiki Uruwashiki Hibi

This ballad is so good, the calming sound and Kaori’s vocals draw me in so easily, I mean Kaori had other ballads previously but not as good as this one. Even the arrangement at the beginning is so simple with the piano sections and followed by Kaori, but then the chorus comes in, and brings more color to the song thanks to the vocals. The pretty sounds after the chorus made the twists now. Even though the length of the song is big (5 mins), I didn’t mind, because the song made me enjoy it every minute of it. I want her to do more ballads like this, because she sounds so pretty and favors her. Those strings during the song, I realized them until the middle of the song, and made a great inclusion to give more variation in the song. One of the best songs of the album.

Ame Ha Tsurezure Ni

The weirdest song of the album. When you hear a song that has a circus depressing tone, makes you wonder, but considering Kaori, she likes to experiment in her songs. During the song, there was predominance of sound, and I started enjoying it more, as more instruments were starting to arise. That accordion during the interlude was so perfect, sounded so french to me. I got to say Kaori took some risks with this, but was great that she tried this. Even the last part of pure instruments, sounded like a circus and you imagine yourself there. Great song.

Yasashiku Naretara

Ok, I correct myself, this sounds more to moca than HAJIMARI. The bare guitar in the song was good, but felt lifeless during some parts. I think she needs to start doing less of this songs, because she has a lot of them (TAO is good) and she can try to experiment more instead of this. The good thing is that during the middle of the song, they try to bring more life to the song, and it works, but then again, sometimes it feels plain. An okay song.

tokyo hotaru

As one of the b-sides included, tokyo hotaru joins the album, even it feels like plain again because of the guitar, this song is much better as the feeling portrayed is better and the sounds begins to increase after that. And those changes of pace makes you pay attention. The strings before the chorus and the chorus itself were great. I think they should have included more than the guitar and basic drums during the verses, because they could have bring more life to the song. But I think the reason I love this song, because of how Kaori sings, and the chorus itself. The end of the song was fun and should have been like that all the song.

state of mind

Another guitar song?!??!?! and in English?!?!?! Ok, my mistake, there’s a beat during the song that makes the song so good and enjoyable. I enjoyed every part of the song, because of the arrangement, makes me almost want to dance, the only problem I see is the english of Kaori (not so good), but is shadowed by the excellent arrangement. Those fading instruments (is that a sax?) were a great inclusion and make me enjoy it more. An unexpected song in the album, but good, I think I would listen it more.

Kanashii Toki Mo Ureshii Toki Mo

The other B-side joins and is more lively than tokyo hotaru, as used for the CM of a beer in japan, is weird to hear it. Being lively was good, as the catchy chorus and the vocals made me like it more. Those piano sections here were good, made a change to the sound during the time they are. But once Kaori enters again the sounds changes and returns to the original one. Sounds like 2 sounds combined with each one having their share, until the end where they seem more combined than in the beginning. Another favorite from the album.

to -album version-

Another A-side in the album but with some several changes, the bigger sound from the A-side into a minimalistic whistling song. I really liked the flow from the original, but this one isn’t too bad. The whistles were so weird but makes it stand out more. But then again when you have a single guitar during almost all the song, it makes you wonder, why that, and not the original one, which I prefer more, even Kaori’s vocals were better in the original, but considering the flow of the album, it could have ruined it, so I think it stand here okay.

Yoake

The background music is so unexpected again, and brings more life to the song, those twnkling sounds and Kaori make it sound a lot like a ballad, but then when more instruments join, the song starts to get better. And Kaori starts to stand out more with her voice, with those “Ahh”, because the arrangement stays the same during a while, and what keeps you entertain was her. I think I can consider it more like a mid tempo song. Another great interlude that stands out so easily, but once it ends, it continues to have the same sound as the beginning, but once is reaching the chorus is where things keep getting better and makes me enjoy the song. It deserves more listens. A great way to end the album.

Favorite songs:

Utsukushiki Uruwashiki Hibi

Megumi

Kanashii Toki Mo Ureshii Toki Mo

Yoake

tokyo hotaru

Impressions:

I start to think this is my favorite album from Kaori, the diversity was so good, and it included less okay tracks than NIU. I think she needs to create better ballads like Utsukishiki, because it was so perfect, and as well her fun side, can be exploited and get some cool tunes. The only downside was that it only included 11 songs, it seemed too short for me, but I enjoy it from beginning to end. Great album, Kaori.

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