HEART

HEART Cover
伊藤由奈
(Yuna Ito)
HEART
January 1, 2007
Oricon Peak: #1
Total Sales: 527,655
Oricon Year-End Chart: #14 (523,715)
United World Chart: #1
 Label: STUDIO SEVEN Recordings
Parent Label: Sony Music Japan
RIAJ: Double Platinum

~~~

After a whirlwind of success (approximately 805,503 in single sales), Yuna Ito released her first studio album, HEART. It (obviously) did very well, but is the music any good? If you like my opinions, read on!

~~~

WORKAHOLIC
4:19

Immediately, Yuna starts off the album with a jumpin’, up-tempo track full of unclouded thoughts. A 60s vibe carries the insanely catchy and fun melody line with finesse. The bridge features a great booming bassline and cool remix-like features. Violins give us a more contemporary feel. The song is pretty self-explanatory. She works really hard, and she has over the last year. Excellent opening!

ENDLESS STORY
5:03

‘ENDLESS STORY’, arguably her most popular song, is an interesing transition but gives the audience what they were looking for in the second track: something familiar. It serves to pull the listener into a bit of nostalgia and hook them for the next few songs.

losin’
4:09

Here, ‘losin” is used to guide us into a happier song. The transition for these three tracks (ENDLESS STORY, losin’, and Know-how) are excellent.

Know-how
5:21

With a quiet keyboard, and tropical drumming, we float into ‘Know-how’, a summery number with a pointed Hawai’ian feel. The melody and Yuna’s voice are perfect for each other. It shows off her range in an up-tempo number. A backup choir adds harmony during the chorus and the tropical beat doesn’t let up. The bridge is an intrumental, choir-fed, ad. lib. session of Yuna and she does a great job. The song is highlight for this album.

Precious
5:45

‘Precious’ is inserted here to transition into a the slower middle tracks of HEART. This album suffers without the B-sides from this single.

Tender is the Night
4:17

With a strong early-90s feel, a tenor saxophone brings into a throw-back track where Yuna Ito’s vocals are outstanding but the song is cheesy. The chorus isn’t very memorable and the lyrics are worse. The best part is Yuna falsetto which is shown off in the verses. The rest of the song is a throw-away.

Fragile
3:27

Quick violin trillings opens into a steady beat and another cheesy song. Funk guitars are used along with the violin trillings from the opening. The harmonies become pretty on occasion, but the song is rather annoying at times. The chorus is almost non-existant and that really detracts from the song.

Nobody Knows
5:20

This song borders on okay. The synthpad and keyboarding are used for the most part for the background. The melody is a bit better and the lyrics feel less cheesy. The chorus is better with a good hook. I like the distorted voice in the background and that really is the highpoint in the song. It fades into…

Faith
4:43

This song may be found at its single review, Faith / Pureyes. I wish they had put ‘Pureyes’ on this.

Stay for Love
4:20

You can find this B-side at its single review Truth.Of all the B-sides of all her single, this is the song they put on HEART? Bad descision I say.

Truth
5:38

This single ballad can be found at Truth. This single track goes here as it is the last chance for a ballad, NOT!

Perfume
4:57

A very slow, thoughtful song, ‘Perfume’ gives us yet another ballad. I think I hear chirping in the background. Its very long and boring. It’s pretty though, but at this point, I’m in ballad fatigue which is bad because guess what’s next?

Precious -wedding extended ver.-
6:02

In Yuna’s attempt to replicate Namie Amuro’s CAN YOU CELEBRATE? we get the seventh ballad on this album. A Japanese gospel choir opens and then a lone violin plays with Yuna as she sings ‘Precious’. A harp and a piano join at the pre-chorus. Cymbals and wedding bells add themselves at the chorus and swell to the end. She performs well and the song is very sweet. Its a good ending to HEART.

~~~

So, if you were wondering, you can put too many ballads on an album. You can be too cheesy. Yuna’s vocal were top-notch and the songs were okay for the most part. This album really suffered without all the great B-sides from her singles. And why not put ‘stuck on you’ on here? I’m not sure it deserves the grade it got. When I first listened to this album I was appalled at its mediocrity. It seemed so stupidly cheesy and juevenile. On the second listen-through, I found it bit better. The only thing that this album truly boasted was the first track and a few great singles.

B
85%

HEART Promo

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~ by vinyabarion on February 23, 2008.

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