So, Matsuura Aya recently released her 7th album, click you link me. Matsuura has been veering towards a more mature style for a while now and this album enters new territory with a sort of psuedo-jazz feel. I’m not sure how I feel about this, I’m not a huge fan of jazz but I do like Matsuura, so I’ll now give a track by track review.
- The Difference – This is definitely jazz, or at least wannabe jazz. The “plug” of the song, is “the difference that makes the world go round” which Matsuura sings accompanied by backing singers throughout the song. This song was one of the first previewed from the album and it got a lot of bad press, it’s not been well recieved and it is a different style for Matsuura but you know, I don’t actually dislike it. I wouldn’t listen to it when out running or anything as it’s quite laid back and chilled, but it’s not an awful song. Sometimes a little bit cringey, there is a speaking section by an unamed singer and it’s almost a social commentary on various things such as “the money the vatican has…” – a bit much Matsuura, don’t you think? Anyway, it’s not great, but not all that bad, I could listen to it as BGM. 6/10
- Feel Your Groove – This is a self cover, originally found on her Naked Songs album. The arrangement for this version is quite different and I can’t say I’m a fan, it’s a little cringey and way too lounge-music-esque. I don’t love the original either, but it’s nowhere near as awkward as this. I think it’s the jazz flute that makes my stomach turn the most. 2/10
- Suna wo Kamu You ni…NAMIDA – Another self-cover, I really like the original version of this song, and this “jazzmake” of it…isn’t too bad. I prefer the original and I don’t think this adds a great deal to it, it’s not awful though, just not anything special. Matsuura does have lovely vocals though. 4/10
- Yokohama Rondo – I really like the opening of this track actually, not a jazz flute in sight. Matsuura also has lovely vocals in it and it’s more ballad than jazzy, still has a bit of a lounge feel but it’s more listenable than the self covers really. I would listen to this when studying or relaxing, thankfully this track offers something new and worthwhile from Matsuura. 8/10
- Home nite – This too actually is alright, not as good as Yokohama Rondo, but…it has a charm. It’s pleasant and the arrangement is understated. 7/10
- Click you Link me – The title track, definitely more of a jazz-pop-lounge arrangement here, a bit more upbeat than the other tracks though. It’s okay, not something I’d want to listen to often, but not awful. Doesn’t leave a lasting impression really, the chorus is quite nice I guess. 5/10
- Katari Tsugu Koto – Okay, this track starts in a totally different vein to the others with some koto playing. Matsuura’s vocals are nice and the arrangement is delicate and not overpowering, this is nice and doesn’t fit with the album too much, which isn’t a bad thing in this case really. It sounds almost like an alan album track.8/10
- Interlude ~Okay~ – So weird. Not really reviewable, lasts only 33 seconds, thankfully.
- Watarasebashi – A self-cover of a cover, this time with the original singer, Moritaka Chisato. I really, really like this song, it’s a classic. This version is okay, I prefer Matsuura’s original cover and indeed Goto’s version of it. Still, it’s pleasant enough. 7/10
- dearest. – Another self-cover from her Naked Songs album. I think I may actually prefer this version to the original, which is marginally shocking. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original, but it’s not awful, and definitely something I could listen to in the background. Matsuura sounds good. 6/10
- only one – A very chilled track, it’s not standout by any means but it’s not awful, pretty much how I feel about most of the album really, isn’t it? 6/10
- Hitori – Shock! Another self-cover, this time the c/w to her single Kizuna. I like the original quite a lot, this version not so much, the arrangement is a bit too lounge again. 5/10
- Minna Hitori – An appropriate end to the album, pretty much like the other tracks, not awful, not standout, pleasant vocals, hints of jazz-flute making me feel faint. 5/10
Overall Rating: 5/10 Passable
Some Oricon Ranking data is available for the album, over it’s first three days it charted at 37 and 47 on two days only.