BoA – Watashi Kono Mama de Ii no Kana

July 20, 2018 at 9:08 PM | Posted in BoA | Leave a comment

boawatashi1ALBUM REVIEW
BoA – Watashi Kono Mama de Ii no Kana

1. Where am I now
2. Arigatou Sayonara
3. Crow
4. Jazzclub
5. FLY (album version)
6. Right Here, Right Everywhere
7. Manhattan Tango
8. Make Me Complete
9. Lookbook
10. Mannish Chocolat
11. Kiss My Lips
12. Watashi Kono Mama de Ii no Kana

♦ ♦ ♦

boawatashi2Watashi Kono Mama de Ii no Kana is the ninth Japanese album by South-Korean singer BoA, released on February 14, 2018. The album debuted at #13 on the Oricon Charts and has sold 6,090 copies.

The album opens with Where am I now in a surprisingly light and breezy way. BoA does that more often, just listen to ‘First Time’ on her previous album, but this one is much more lighthearted and laid back. BoA’s voice sounds best on this kind of songs and I’m glad this is the opening track.

With Arigatou Sayonara, BoA dives back into 90s R&B/pop and channels her inner Britney Spears circa Hit Me Baby One More Time. Overall, this track just flows very well and has me tapping along to it while listening, but there’s not much going on eventually. Just a nice song that isn’t too bad, probably benefits from it’s catchiness.

Crow quickens the tempo when it comes to the choruses, but then the verses have a more mellow sound. This makes for an interesting song to say the least and this being the first real uptempo track it’s also a very good one with BoA showing off her more confident side.

Apparently Jazzclub was released as the lead-in to the album. I was surprised about it’s contemporary jazz sound, not too much in your face like jazz can be (in my humble opinion). It’s sultry, playful and I really like how BoA’s vocals (and scatting!) mingle very well with the arrangement.

I’m surprised FLY (album version) is on this album since the single version was released back in December 2014. I remember I liked the original, which was a bright midtempo song that would’ve fit well on her album ‘WHO’S BACK?’. This new version has a more pop/rock sound to it and I like it even better now! It really drove the song to the next level.

Time for the first ballad on the album, a digital single released in July 2017. Right Here, Right Everywhere shows once again why BoA is probably the reigning queen of ballads since her voice sounds so beautiful against the piano/guitar arrangement in the background. There’s exactly the right build-up with percussion as the song moves along and her vocals are emotional but not overly dramatic. A good one for sure.

boawatashi3Manhattan Tango picks up the pace again and I was surprised by it from the very first second since it really oozes that tango vibe. It’s both playful and mysterious and is an original spin on what would otherwise have been just another dance track.

Back in our time machine, to January 2016. Make Me Complete was a digital single and it’s completely in English, which feels a bit off on this Japanese record but it’s nice to be able to understand something finally. I notice immediately how much better her English has become and I give in to another beautiful BoA ballad in all its magical splendor.

BoA’s fierce side is back on another A-side, Lookbook, a synth-driven dance song and with that probably the most aggressive song on the entire album. BoA may be the queen of ballads, but if there’s another genre she can pull off like no other it’s this one. I’m really happy to hear this song on the album.

Mannish Chocolat has the weirdest title of all the songs on the album, but it’s good to hear that it keeps the dance vibe that Lookbook had alive albeit in a less heavy way. The repeating of the title words in the chorus remains strange, but it also has a very catchy quality. I’m confused, but I think I’ll have to give in to the fact that, again, I like this one.

Oh look, Kiss My Lips is back again. This is the oldest song on the album since the original Korean version was released on the album with the same name back in May 2015. It’s a welcome addition with its groovy and sexy vibe, very different from other songs on this album but then again this album is already a hibrid of multiple genres so why not?!

Closing the album, we have the title song Watashi Kono Mama de Ii no Kana. It’s the only new ballad on the album but it takes a bit after Right Here, Right Everywhere. All piano and strings and beautiful, emotional vocals by BoA, a typical but wonderful ballad and a nice way to close the album.

If I knew this album was going to be this good, I wouldn’t have waited this long with my return to MA. Albums like this is why I do what I do, I just had the most wonderful time listening to BoA’s newest Japanese studio album and I’m convinced that I’m going to play it many many more times. Not a single bad song there, and even though there were various musical styles brought together, the album is surprisingly cohesive. I can’t help but wonder though: has this album really sold only 6,090 copies or did my source overlook many sales? Let’s hope for the latter option or I will lose my faith in the world entirely, haha.

Favorite songsWhere am I now | Crow | Jazzclub | FLY (album version) | Right Here, Right Everywhere | Manhattan Tango | Lookbook \ Kiss My Lips

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarstarstar
5 stars

boawatashi4

 

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