Japanese, Reviews

The CHEMISTY Joint Album; Music With Swagger (Review)

August 21, 2009 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook The CHEMISTY Joint Album; Music With Swagger (Review)on Twitter

Back in 2000, Sony Music Entertainment Japan held their Asayan talent search–which at the time, was like the Japanese equivalent of American Idol. Chemistry’s Yoshikuni Douchin and Kaname Kawabata ended up winning the contest that year, and have since gone on to release 11 albums including their latest The CHEMISTRY Joint Album.

Featuring collaborations with other artists, The CHEMISTRY Joint Album contains twelve tracks which are a bit more synth heavy than their previous albums and might be marketed a bit more as a general pop album than their typical R&B fare. That said, I wasn’t disappointed, and despite Jayson’s clear disdain for the first single from the album “a Place for us,” I adored every minute of it.

Read more about it after the jump.

“SUPERSTAR” actually makes interesting use of electronic guitars, which is an instrument you don’t see much of in their work. “a Place for us” actually features some interesting use of traditional Japanese percussion which actually inspired my use of it in a doujin release I did for M3 in Japan the other month. “Alive” is a bit more of a pop song which actually has a bit of violin work that stands out from the synth driven bass line.

“Instinct,” much like “a Place for us,” is an R&B track with a female singer whom I believe is Coma-Chi, but I’m not positive since it’s not mentioned on the album itself. She does a great job though and the album reminds me a bit of something we might have heard from M-flo back when they let Lisa do actual R&B tracks before she split from that group.

“Party Nite” is a fast paced dance/pop track which, like the name says, would be great for a party–at night. It uses plenty of time based effects which are no doubt the work of Shinichi Osawa, who uses them frequently with his work. “Why Baby,” is actually a song by Giant Swing which features Chemistry. It’s very chill and if you like laid back R&B, you’ll probably love it too.

Chemistry also included a cover version of “Tsuki no Hune,” which I believe was originally composed by Satoru Ikeda, but I could be wrong about that as I’ve heard the song covered several times by different artists. It’s a beautiful ballad though. It almost comes off as a bit sad though. “Rainbow” is a beautiful duet featuring Keiko Lee, and is definitely more of the R&B fare.

Finally, there are three other tracks. A duet with Tica, and another quick r&b piece by Chemistry, both of which are pretty good. The album is closed out with the track “Zutto Yomikake no Natsu” by Tomita Lab, and features Chemistry, but being a Tomita Lab fan myself, I was pretty pleased that they threw this on there.

While there were quite a few collaborations on this project, it was still very much a Chemistry album and definitely worth picking up if you’re a fan of Japanese pop, or r&b in general. It’s currently available at both CD Japan and Play Asia.  There’s something for everyone and you’ll probably find at least one track you’ll love to death. I found several.

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