Meisa Kuroki
April 8, 2009
Oricon Weekly: #9

Meisa Kuroki, as broke to me on MinnaStar, is the next Namie Amuro. Naturally, I was a bit worried about this because who could ever do the Amuro-thing without actually being… well… Namie…

The first single, [Like This], is definitely STYLE-era Namie. Pseudo hip-hop beats, lyrics like “Baby gimme a stroke!” (quite obviously a nod to [WANT ME, WANT ME] and the sort of production you could slide across a room on. The song carries itself well. The vocals are strained during the chorus and the dancing a bit stiff when compared to Namie’s but overall a good start, it should only go up from here.

Second single [Bad Girl] doesn’t entirely follow this Namie train. While obviously sexually themed, it follows the Koda archetype. If [Like This] was slippery, [Bad Girl] is K-Y Jelly. The song is excellent club/bedroom music and almost begs for some kind of pole dance or thrashing around provocatively on a bed, which she does very deftly I must say.

Her first mini-album, entitled hellcat is a dissertation on sexuality. She’s isn’t playing around with it either (forgive the pun, or take it… wait… you know what? NVM…) The album is first class, slinky, all-the-good-tracks-on-a-Koda-Kumi-album affair. Opening track, [Hear the Alarm?] is fun and electronic, bordering on the 80s. Criminal is forgettable and the next track is far superior and should be her next single; [No, no, no] a tropical, dance-y tune with a catchy hook and chorus. It follows in the same vein as [Like This] but much more refined and finds Meisa softly lifting the chorus instead of blasting through it like with its predecessor. At this point, I have to agree with MinnaStar, her vocals tend to be on the Yuu Yamada side, but less strong, more sexual. [SEX] is about international crisis… ha! Gotcha… it’s about doing it and one of the album’s best lines “Goin’ crazy ‘cause I’m thinkin’ ‘bout sex” entirely encompasses the mini-album. The album slows down (but not much) with [Lost] a piano, 808-driven R&B number that shows a bit Meisa’s vocal abilities, but they aren’t entirely there. Her high notes are very tense and probably altered with pitch-correcting software. This song reminds me strongly of an updated version of Koda Kumi’s feel my mind-era half-ballads. The mini-album comes full circle with another electronic bash called [THIS IS CRAZY]. Heavy vocoder accompanies her voice and catchy chorus. A good note to end hellcat on.

Overall, good song selection but Meisa’s lack of vocal prowess drag down a wonderful party album. I look forward to some vocal training and where she continues to take her image. She’s absolutely stunning and a great dancer, I wish her only the best and a great debut album.

Three and Half Stars

~ by vinyabarion on April 23, 2009.

One Response to “hellcat”

  1. I’ve found myself addicted to [Lost] for awhile, now and I can’t quite explain what it is about the song I adore so much.

    All in all, I agree with you. This is a surprisingly good album in which Meisa’s vocals are the only true weak link.

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