UP TO YOU Review

UP TO YOU Tracklist:

1. MadNesS vol. 1
2. PROMiSE
3. ChaNge the WoRLd
4. Why oh Why
5. HEy GirL
6. KiSS KiSS xxx
7. RaiN
8. Oh Oh…
9. Something Missing
10. One of a Kind
11. WoNDeRLaND?
12. Shibuya de Punch
13. YOU
14. UP TO YOU

Some days or maybe even a week ago I received my copy of this great debut album and it came with a little extra. A piece of newspaper about Japanese baseball thanks to my middle man! I found that cool but not as cool as my CD+DVD album. And after writing about her last single before this album I wanted to make sure you also know what I think about the new songs.

Of course all four A-sides can be found on this album. The similar sounding PROMiSE and ChaNge the WoRLd very matching placed right after each other. The catchy KiSS KiSS xxx not long after those two and almost at the end of the album there’s the beautiful ballad YOU. I think it would have been better to put it at the very end but who cares?

But not only the A-sides are here for your pleasure but also the B-sides. The attitude-rich HEy GirL from the first single, One of  a Kind and the a bit weird WoNDeRLaND? which I still find has too much mixes of English and Japanese. But there are also the Kind-of-B-Side Why oh Why which is a new version of YOY from the YOU single. I don’t exactly know which one I prefer. YOY sounds really playful but Why oh Why has the richer sound. I think it depends. And so there’s one last song that we already know which is the title song UP TO YOU. It actually is a new and now part-Japanese-part-English version of the all-english Fuck You And Your Money from her indies album. It’s now more like the rest of the album, going into the dance-direction and not so much rock. I think it lacks the power of FYAYM and it just doesn’t fit the position as album-closer.

That means there are 9 songs that we (kind of) already knew before the album was released, leaving us with 5 new songs. But in reality it’s only 4 because MadNesS vol. 1 is the intro. The only Japanese word in it is her own name and it is kind of crazy with little different instrumental parts and the lyrics are also fun. “Switzerland~”. There even are some references to the songs from her indies album.
Track 7 is the next new song RaiN. It’s laid back and simply consists of an acoutic guitar and some other sound effects but you don’t drown in it. The chorus is exactly like what we know from MiChi and maybe you could describe it as a slower version of KiSS KiSS xxx.
Oh Oh…
starts like it could be another song like RaiN and the whole song through you won’t get another impression. At least not if you only listen to the instrumentation. It’s MiChi’s vocals and the lyrics that make it different. We got this really soft drum beat and then again MiChi is full of attitude which is a really nice and not so often seen contrast. I already mentioned Fuck You And Your Money but even though the title implies it, the F-word never is heard in this song. In Oh Oh… it is.
With Something Missing we could almost be on her indies album again with the heavy vocoder and stuff. But that’s only for the verses since the choruses sound like her singles which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just her style and it’s still good. I would have loved more power but like this we get some feelings in the bridge.
The last one of the new songs is Shibuya de Punch and it might be the most creative song with the different vocal styles like the “normal” singing, the singing under the vocoder and her “asking”. The music also makes some changes from a really modern, fast song to a more laid back and simple styled one with some influences of traditional asian music, I think. With it’s long outro it lais the path for YOU after it.

Since I also got the DVD that came with the limited edition of the album I will shortly say something about it. The PVs are good and creative for a newcomer. Sure, PROMiSE and ChaNge the WoRLd are kind of similar but you can’t help that. I would have loved to see some Making of or a new PV for one of the album songs but at least there’s the CD+DVD version and you don’t have to purchase the PVs extra (Damn You, Chihiro!)

I can’t really say much negative about this album. We got a lot of songs we already know but some of them were new mixed or even with new lyrics and all in all are 5 new songs a good amount for an album. Which singer gives you an album of 14 tracks with only one Intro?! And all in all are the songs great anyways and if you don’t have the singles you don’t have the heard-too-often-effect. I only hope that MiChi tries out a bit more or finds her way back to the “extremer” music like on MiChi MadNesS.
I think my money was well spent.

P.S.: My favorite tracks are in italic.

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