From free to POP!

POP Tracklist:

1. Mada
2. I wanna see you
3. Monroe
4. Anata no Koibito ni Naritai no desu
5. Tsutaetai Koto
6. Tsugou no Ii Onna
7. 15 no Kotoba
8. Mou Hitotsu no MY BABY
9. loving DARLING
10. Wakarumo
11. Poker Fces
12. Itsu no Hi mo
13. Salaryman no Uta

After introducing her in her own post on this blog you may know that I really like Mao Abe and so I was anticipating her second effort very much. I already listened to POP around 4 times and I can’t really say bad things about it.

So, this time it won’t be a track-by-track review because there are some simple types of songs that you can find on this album.

Let me start with those typical Mao Abe songs that sound just like the rock tracks from her first album “free”. For instance the single Tsutaetai Koto or the new track Wakaruno. It’s just her style and no one can blame her for doing what she does best. As long as it doesn’t get boring. For me, all YUI songs tend to sound the same but I don’t get this feeling with Mao. Do you know what I mean? Maybe it’s because it’s only her second album so far.

And for those who are wondering: Yes, she actually does new things. Monroe sounds a bit like those electro-pop songs you hear these days. And she does it quite well. Everything else that is new are just some variations in her typical sound but that’s good enough for me. You have to start somewhere.

It’s kind of sad that there isn’t a second deadline on POP but at least we get three acoustic songs with this album. Tsugou no Ii Onna and Mou Hitotsu no MY BABY are really beautiful ballads with strong choruses and I like them a lot. Especially because they sound like live versions. I first listened to the album on my portable mp3-player and thought it jumped to the end of the album and there’s a live bonus track or something. Salaryman no Uta also got this live-feeling feature but it goes into a very lively direction because it sounds a bit like she’s just playing for fun. It’s a nice ending for the album.

Just like on free she also shows on POP that she doesn’t just manage to rock and make really good acoustic tracks but also some songs that are more poppy and sweet. You would think that that’s the majority on an album that has such a title but in fact, it’s well-balanced. I wanna see you was a single and is one of those sweet tracks as well as 15 no Kotoba in some ways.

As you can see the album is very simple. There are just like three types of songs but at least Mao knows how to work with them and it never gets boring. She didn’t take huge steps but she delivered something well made. There’s not one song I would call bad, maybe just not as good as the other songs and I’m satisfied with that. She’s still young and I think she’s intelligent enough to see when she has to mix it up a bit. I don’t think we have to wait for the next single for too long.

POP gets a clear B from me. Recommended!

*favourites in italic


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