|Hi Iro no Kakera
|Yuki Suzuki, Naoki Maeda
|July 29, 2009
|1. Hi Iro no Kakera
|3. Hi Iro no Kakera (Instrumental)
|4. Signal (Instrumental)
Review: We all know in terms of anime, books, and people, a first impression is everything. Suzuki Yuki’s debut album as an individual artist definitely starts her off on the right foot. Perhaps it is due to the all-too-common image of bikini-clad crazies screaming on a stage being regarded as ‘music’ in recent years, that I instantly classify all singers who sell themselves with their image as people who can’t sing for nuts. Because of this, I wasn’t very eager to listen to Suzuki at first. However, Suzuki has proven her worth as a singer in just one single, making me realize that, perhaps, I have been a bit too biased after all.
“Hi Iro no Kakera’s” opening demonstrates that this track definitely won’t be mediocre because its style, albeit old-sounding, is different from the usual J-pop openings to be enjoyable. Suzuki’s low voice suits this song almost perfectly. Because this is her debut album, it is important she give us something to identify her with, and the one thing that was imprinted firmly in my mind is her confidence as a singer. Everything about her, from her vibrato to her decrescendos tells me that she definitely knows what she’s doing. The music is also worth mentioning, especially with the consistent bass which, during the chorus part, brings out this song’s strength. Its use of the distortion of the guitar and drum set also brings attention to the main melody, while the piano gives it some class, which many new songs lack. So in terms of standing out, not many songs can do better.
However, there are a few things that can be improved upon. The opening sequence, though very unique, was too short, making it feel haphazard, even a little messy, because it wasn’t closed up properly. Finally, Suzuki’s rapid change from her low chest voice to her head voice brings in too big a contrast, since the latter is actually quite sweet and gentle compared the former.
The song which actually raised my impression of Suzuki significantly is the B-side. Of course, this is one of the best B-sides I’ve heard to date. What we associate with B-sides are generally fewer instruments, and less attention paid to it. I do not deny, music-wise, that “Hi Iro no Kakera” is superior. But the two things that strike me in this track are Suzuki’s wonderful expression and that, as a singer, she definitely does not think that B-sides are insignificant. Her emotions that she conveys through “Signal” are just as good, if not better than it was in “Hi Iro no Kakera.”
“Signal” is more of a rock song than the previous track. The reason “Signal” is so powerful and delivers it message of belief and resolve so well is because Suzuki convinces herself as she sings the song, pouring forth a confidence which pulses through every line of this song.
Personally, the way I judge singles is by following the guideline of A-side sets the image, B-side sets its worth. If the A-side lacks a very specific feel or style, the single is halfway down the drain. If the B-side shows very obvious lack of attention, it gives me the impression the artist isn’t even that serious about his or her work. So if I were to judge “Hi Iro no Kakera” based only on these two criteria, it would be almost perfect. However, I do not deny that being a new artist, Suzuki has much room for improvement and much more room to discover her strengths and styles.
I can’t honestly say that with “Hi Iro no Kakera,” my views on those image-flaunting singers have changed for the better. But Suzuki! I’ll make an exception for you as I eagerly await your next single!
Rating: Very Good
07-Ghost Opening – “Hi Iro no Kakera”