LOVE & HONESTY: Shine We Are! / Earthsong, DOUBLE, Rock With You, Be the one

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LOVE & HONESTY
BoA
January 15, 2004
Total Tracks: 13
Length: 51:39
Oricon Peak: #1 (2 consecutive weeks)
Total Sales: 749,000 (approx.)
Year-End Chart: #13
United World Chart Peak: #1
Worldwide: 950,000 (approx.)
Label: Avex Trax
Producer: Lee Soo Man (이수만)

~~~

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Rock With You
December 3, 2003
Oricon Peak: #5
Total Sales: 60,000+ (approx.)
Did Not Chart on Year-End
RIAJ: GOLD

Rock With You
4:14

I thought this song was kind of corny. It’s pop/rock at it’s most irritating. The beat isn’t that hot and the instruments in the back sound, I won’t say bad, but they don’t sound that great. So, rock isn’t BoA’s strong suit. Her voice can not seem to gather it’s forces enough to rock out. She manages a growl or two, but it’s nothing spectacular, much like this song. On a positive note, as bad as I feel this song is on a whole, the chorus is insanely catchy and I end up getting it stuck in my head.

~~~

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Shine We Are! / Earthsong
May 14, 2003
Oricon Peak: #2
Total Sales: 144,000 (approx.)
Year-End Chart: #62
RIAJ: PLATINUM

Shine We Are!
4:14

This song is also corny. Listen, I love BoA… just these opening tracks leave so much to be desired for me. The old techno-pop is really getting old for me. But, again, as in Rock With Me, this song has a great chorus, damn it! It’s very happy. Did I mention it was happy? The hook is really cool, though. There aren’t any amazing vocals in this either, it’s just an okay pop song.

<

Earthsong
?:??

I actually don’t have this song. So, I can’t review it. If anyone has it, can I have it? :D

~~~

SOME DAY ONE DAY ft. VERBAL [m-flo]
4:33

I really enjoyed this song. It’s a smooth, Rhythm & Pop number with synthetic sampling for background. Some chimes thrown in there, too. The melody is extraordinarily pretty. It’s simple enough though, it just fits so well with the instrumentation. VERBAL does a good job. His rap is, uh, alright. That’s all I’m gonna say about that. BoA hits some great high notes and belts a good B flat.

LOVE & HONESTY
4:42

The namesake track begins with a classical violins and then jumps into a great R&B beat with a beautiful hook. Verses flow well with the sparse accompaniment. I really enjoyed all the violins in this song. The chorus is really pretty, too. There are some faux key changes in this song, which is awesome, also. Then there’s a real key change at the bridge. This is one of my favorite tracks on this album.

Midnight Parade
4:21
B-side on DOUBLE

Starts off with a weird, machine-like start up into a tight beat. But, the melody line detracks from the beat. I wish they had come up with something less, bad. It’s not a bad song, it’s just not what it could be. There are lots of random sampling in this track, that would be it’s key factor.

~~~

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Be the one
February 11, 2004
Oricon Peak: #15
Sales Total: 24,000 (approx.)
Did Not Chart on Year-End

Be the one
3:47

Arguably one of BoA’s most beloved songs, Be the one was recut from the album based on it’s amazing popularity. Unfortunetly for her, it did terribly on the charts, as you can see. The song is cool, techno pop/rock (a bit more on a the rock side, though). The chorus is reminescent to Shine We Are! in its use of a scale as the hook and then going into a high power melody line. The lyrics seem to be uplifting (from the English spattered throughout it) “No one gonna stop us!”. It’s a cool song, not one of my favorite, but, they seemed to like it.

~~~

EXPECT
4:20

BoA speaks in this song, I like her voice :D. “Life is full fo chances. Why not leave right away? We can go any where… I expect…” The rest of the song seems to be about her going somewhere and doing something. lol. It’s soft R&B number. A fast-paced chorus brings us into soft verses.

OVER ~across the time~
5:49

The Spanish-flavored OVER is an interesting, amazing, unique song for this album. The ba-da-da-ba-ba-da’s are a bit stupid, but the Spanish guitar and bassline aren’t. The flourishes of BoA really add a special dimension and the melody melds into the background, especially in the chorus. This song begins a segment of Spanish-flavored tracks. A risky endeavor considering VALENTI isn’t too far behind this album and it seems so pop friendly, but it pays off like that flawless D (the high note towards the end). This is one of my favorite tracks along with LOVE & HONESTY.

心の手紙
(Kokoro no Tegami)
(Letter of the Heart)
4:49

Another Spanish-flavored track follows OVER. While seeming to channel a bit of S Club 7, BoA pulls off this song very well. Her voice has a bit to much vibrato in it in the verses for me. The chorus and this song are very forgetable, sadly.

~~~

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DOUBLE
October 22, 2003
Oricon Peak: #2
Total Sales: 83,000 (approx.)
Did Not Chart on Year-End
RIAJ: GOLD

DOUBLE
3:28

A heavy Spanish guitar song, like the previous three tracks, the Spanish theme begins to run thin by the time we get to DOUBLE. This song won a MTV Japan award for Best Dance Video in 2003! The song is great dance number, but in the album, you are so tired of Spanish guitars, you might even be tempted to skip it. Good song, though.

~~~

Easy to be Hard
4:55

And we’re back to the pop again. Same style as the first half of the album. A bit different (trilling violins, but not as cool as in ‘LOVE & HONESTY’), but if you want to know what I think of it read the review for ‘Be the one’ or ‘Shine We Are!’…

Song with No Name~名前のない歌~
~Namae no nai Uta~
(~Song With No Name~)
3:06

A pretty guitar picking opens this song as if it’s in a forest, with birds and a stream and BoA begins to sing, finally (!!!) a slow ballad. Plenty of synth in the background and a distorted piano. The lyrics are very beautiful. “It’s all for lovers” and such… it’s just such a breather from the rest of the album. BoA sings very quietly, even in the choruses. It is a very relaxing, calming track.

Milky Way~君の歌~
(~Kimi no Uta~)
(~Your Song~)
3:20

Now, even though Milky Way is a pop song, I really love it. Violins, synth, a drum set (finally, a real, live drum set) and a great, cathcy chorus. This is one of my all-time favorite BoA songs. The Korean version is really awesome, too. It has power, without being overbearing and exhausting like Easy to be Hard. Great, happy ending to an album!

~~~

Overall, this album was good. Not amazing. But good. The single tracks were good (obviously) and there was some definite filler (points at Kokoro no Tegami and give it the evil glare), but it was good. It largest drawback was its exhaustion of a musical genre to the point were you want to skip tracks. Too many songs sound too much alike. But, it’s a good album. I’m give it a…

B-

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~ by vinyabarion on January 8, 2008.

3 Responses to “LOVE & HONESTY: Shine We Are! / Earthsong, DOUBLE, Rock With You, Be the one”

  1. I dunno.. the final grade seems a little harsh to me. The pros of this album far outweigh the cons. True, there are a few undeniably filler tracks and Rock With You was somewhat weak as an opening number, but a B-?

  2. I gave it a B- because of the real lack of variation. One seemed to get bored with all the songs sounding so familiar and only just rehashed. This was a good album, but it’s no PLAY…

  3. Awwww but Love & Honesty and over~across the time~ are some of BoA’s best album tracks ever IMO. Oh well if the album were more diverse you would have given it a higher grade

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