Anime, Japanese, Reviews

Becca Blowout: A Synopsis of a Few Releases (Review)

January 31, 2010 | | 5 Comments Share thison Facebook Becca Blowout: A Synopsis of a Few Releases (Review)on Twitter

Back in July 2009, I traveled to Otakon and had the privilege to meet Becca for an interview. At that time, she was working on getting ready to release her single for the US, having already broken through in Japan with her album Alive. At this time, she has released her second album in Japan, as far as I know, however, I’m here today to cover a few of her other releases, such as Alive, both the US and Japanese version, which, surprisingly, aren’t exactly the same, as well as the first US single, Kickin’ Screamin’ EP.

How are the albums overall? You’ll just have to find out after the jump!

So, the single, Kickin’ & Screamin’ EP, features two of my favorite Becca songs, both of which come from animes she has worked on. “I’m Alive” is probably my favorite Becca song of the two. The ending theme to Kuroshitsuji, it is an extremely catchy rock piece with a fun tempo, a great melody, and an addicting sound. The second anime song, from Ultraviolet Code 044, in which Becca also voices a character, is “Guilty Pleasure.” It’s a slower rock piece, and I absolutely love the energy in this one too. “Lose You Now” is a soft pop ballad that features piano, strings, and guitar work. It’s quite emotional and features a strong melody. The other theme is exclusive to the US version of Alive. “Kickin’ & Screamin” is pretty nice. It has a “harder” sound then some of her other themes with some catchy sections throughout the piece. I’m a fan of the guitar work in this one.

While both versions of Alive share many similar themes, there are some themes that are exclusive to each region. In the US, the two themes exclusive to this release are “Kickin’ & Screamin” and “Shibuya.” I first heard “Shibuya” during the concert at Otakon and I found it pretty interesting. Becca blends together English and Japanese. It has a pretty decent melody, but I found it to be pretty standard pop rock. For the Japanese release of Alive, the two themes exclusive to this release are “Better Off Alone” and “Outside of You.” The former is a fast tempo rock piece that seems pretty standard to me. I wasn’t really feeling this one too well, but I’m sure some people will appreciate the melody and the instrumentation. The latter, while doing research for this write up, seems to be a cover of Hilary Duff’s “Outside of You.” Having not heard the original, I can’t really compare the two, but this version seems to have a very pop rock feel to it. It’s pretty decent, but it’s one I probably wouldn’t come back to again.

The rest of the songs in this write up are shared on both the US and the Japanese release of Alive. “Turn to Stone” is another fairly standard pop rock theme. It features some nice lyrics that hint at some heartbreak. Overall, it’s not too bad of a theme and one I would probably come back to from time to time. “Empty” is another ballad, but it’s primarily rock-based, unlike “Lose You Now,” which seemed to feature a more lush set of instrumental accompaniment. It has a slightly faster tempo than “Lose You Now,” but I don’t think it stands out as much either. It’s still an enjoyable listen though. I really enjoyed “Make You Mad” as well. It has some really catchy guitar riffs and the melody, for the most part, is fairly interesting. The tempo really keeps the listener engaged and the lyrics aren’t too bad either. The last two songs I’ll mention are “Perfect Me” and “I Drove All Night.” The former is another superb theme. It features some subtle electronic influences and the rock accompaniment is really catchy. The chorus is absolutely astonishing when it comes to the melody while the verse melodies, although subdued a bit, are quite beautiful as well. Lastly, “I Drove All Night” is a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s version. This is a classic song to me. I really enjoy the original and Celine Dion’s cover, so I was interested in hearing Becca’s take on it. Was I disappointed? Not at all. It’s an awesome version and Becca’s voice is quite powerful. Do I prefer it to the other versions? No, I don’t, but it’s not terrible by any means.

So there you have it. A nice synopsis of some of Becca’s earlier releases. The full-length US release of Alive is scheduled for March 2nd in both digital and physical formats. I’m not sure if Becca’s second Japanese album was released yet, but I’d imagine that “Shibuya” and “Kickin’ & Screamin’” are going to be featured on it. In the end, if you are a fan of catchy pop rock, then it might be worth checking out some of Becca’s themes. As for which version to get, it all depends on where you live. If you have a few options though, I’d go with the US version. I didn’t find the exclusive songs on the Japanese release to be all that thrilling. If you want more information about Becca in the meantime, feel free to check out her official website.

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