Destiny Line – Ai no Matador –

Leah Dizon – Destiny Line [Debut Studio Album]

Posted on: June 22, 2008

Leah Dizon’s debut studio album, entitled Destiny Line, was released on 09.14.08. Leah took an active role in the album, writing lyrics for 10 of the 14 songs and even composing one song (Again and Again) with her brother Brad. In order to promote the album, a commercial tie-in was called in. Are you feelin’ for me? was used as the Lotte Rich Fruits Chocolate CM song. Three singles were released prior to the album: Softly, 恋しよう♪  and L·O·V·E U.

IMPOSSIBLE, a fun pop song, is the album’s opening track and a good one at that. The song begins with a fun and poppy instrumentation before the verse starts. Leah sings in English and sounds so perfectly natural here as her vocals work well with the music to capture the song’s atmosphere perfectly. A combination of Japanese and English constitutes the chorus, which is very catchy with Leah showing off more of her vocal power. With the third verse, the instrumentation is pushed to the back so that the beat is heard but the music is barely audible in order to put an emphasis on Leah’s vocals again as she sings in all English. The song ends much like it began with the poppish instrumentation bringing the song to a close. IMPOSSIBLE is a great album opener showing off Leah’s ability to speak both English and Japanese over a fun beat; her vocals also bring the song to life.

The B-side of her first single, Everything Anything, appears as the second song on the album. The track opens up with a slower instrumentation with an uptempo element to it. The first verse comes in as Leah sings in a higher range over simplistic instrumentation. With the verses, there is a more poppy sound than the rest of the song possesses but it doesn’t sound out of place at all. The chorus really displays the power of the music as it comes to alive and Leah’s vocals still sound nice with the music. The pure instrumental section does a great job of catching the fun and pretty sounds of the music before the chorus appears again. Leah shows off some nice adlibbing towards the end of the song before sweet instrumentation finishes the song off. Everything Anything is a nice pop song with a more slower feel to it and is a nice addition to the album.

Things are slowed down even further with the next song, Missing. An acoustic instrumentation opens the song before Leah brings the emotion in her voice for the first verse. Leah does a good job of keeping her vocals soft enough to work with the sound but maintaining that emotional presence that makes the song interesting. The chorus is pretty simplistic at the first appearance as it is entirely in English as Leah sings “missing you; I miss you more.” Later the chorus consists of those same lines echoing in the background as Leah sings Japanese over it. The constant repetition of the English lyrics can make the seem monotonous at points but it doesn’t put that much of a negative spin on the song. Leah’s vocals at the end of the song do a nice job of bringing the song to a close. Missing is a nice acoustic ballad with some good vocals. Although it does get a bit repetitive at times, it’s not a song to skip on.

恋しよう♪ picks the spirit of the album with a light pop sound with elements of summer. The chorus opens up the song strongly with a happy atmosphere, captured both in English and Japanese lyrics as well as some great vocals from Leah. With the verses, Leah delivers her lines with a certain rapidity and in a lower range that serves as a great contrast from the chorus. The pure instrumental section before the third verse captures the atmosphere so well that the listener can’t help but love it and the third verse continues the strength of the song as Leah brings some great vocals and shows off her range. Leah finishes the song off with some more great vocals to bring the song to an excellent close. The song is an excellent representation of the cute sound that Leah can bring to life.

運命線, the title track, is a nice pop song with a slower sound. A very natural sound opens the album with birds chirping before the instrumentation comes in. The feel midtempo with distinct pop elements that make it interesting. The first verse features lower vocals from Leah as she sings but once the chorus comes in, her vocals show more strength and range as she goes into her higher vocal range. The third verse features English lyrics as well as some very nice vocals, which make it pop. A sound with a more slow sound finishes off the song very nicely with some nice vocals from Leah again. It’s a nice title track with a nice sound.

Another B-side, Could you be that one?, appears as the sixth album track. The opening instrumentation begins slower and softer before getting poppier and louder as Leah delivers some adlibs. The first verse is more on the mellower sound so that the arrangement of the verses and the chorus resembles a few other songs on the album. The chorus features both English and Japanese lyrics and features a nice pop sound to keep the listener interested. The third verse changes things up and is the strongest verse with a slightly different sound and good vocals from Leah. The song is very simplistic and is the song’s shortest song, preventing it from becoming monotonous and repetitive. The song picks up the uptempo atmosphere of the song very nicely and segues into the next song on the album.

Are you feelin’ for me? is a hot dance track and the best song on the album. A dark instrumentation opens up the song with some somewhat chilling vocals from Leah that make it all the more enjoyable. The song is entirely in English so that Leah sounds perfectly natural. The first verse features some nice vocals over the same dark beat. The chorus picks things up to evoke a more light image before quickly returning to the dark atmosphere of the verses. The transition and combination of these two feelings really fit to make the song addictive. A sort of talking-rapping section shows off Leah’s slickness before the second chorus comes in and fits with the overall atmosphere of the song. The hot dark instrumentation brings the song to an excellent finish. Are you feelin’ for me? is a perfect offering from Destiny Line as it shows Leah in her element both language-wise and sound-wise.

Leah’s debut single, Softly, is the eighth song on Destiny Line. A soft and twinkling instrumentation opens the song up and immediately, a warm feeling is established. With the first verse, Leah’s vocals are soft and have the emotional presence required to bring the song to life. The hook begins to introduce more of an instrumental presence with Leah singing her way through it nicely. The chorus sounds great with beautiful music and some more wonderful vocals from Leah. The third verse brings even more interest as Leah steps up vocally by reaching more into her range as the instrumentation is taken to new places. The sweet and sparkling music brings the song to an excellent close. Both the beautiful instrumentation as well as Leah’s vocal talents combine to make Softly an unforgettable piece of the album.

The next song, Time (Clock Of The Heart), is a cover of the 1982 Culture Club song with the same name. The track begins with an uptempo and poppy sound before the first verse arrives, with some very nice vocals. This song is another one sung entirely in English and once again, Leah sounds as comfortable as ever as she sings her way through over a very memorable instrumentation. The chorus features some back-up vocalists and their presence isn’t needed as Leah more than handles herself. The instrumentation is definitely noteworthy as it changes and becomes addictive for the listener. Leah does a great job on Time (Clock Of The Heart) and although the back-up singers prove to be pretty annoying, the song still is one of the most memorable on the album.

The uptempo vibe of the album is kept up with アイシテル~Love Story. A strong R&B instrumentation opens up the song as Leah sings in English during the verses with a certain slickness. It is during the verses that Leah sings more in the lower range and it fits perfectly with the instrumentation. Both the hook and chorus are a combination of English and Japanese over a hot beat to make them stand out strongly and there is a certain confidence exuted from the song that makes the listener really feel the song. The third verse shows off Leah’s vocals as she reaches higher and the English lyrics keep it interesting. The following instrumental section spotlights just how good the R&B sound really is and how well Leah’s voice works with this sound. Instrumentation brings the song to a nice finish, rounding off the song as being strong from start to finish. The song is another great song on Destiny Line and it stands out very well.

A fun pop atmosphere comes in with Wonderlin,’ the eleventh song on the album. The song opens up very quickly with a very interesting instrumentation with some vocals from Leah. Her vocals here are pretty soft and sometimes the music drowns her out but she still manages to hold her own. The chorus once again consists of English and Japanese to really bring that cute pop atmosphere to the forefront. The pure instrumental section continues to emphasize that cute sound and it creates the image of a carnival, which fits perfectly with the lyrics and Leah’s vocals. Wonderlin’ is a nice change of pace, presenting a fun pop song that will have the listener engaged from the very opening of the song.

Leah’s third single, L·O·V·E U, comes as the next song on Destiny Line. The cute and innocent vibe from the last song carries over to this song. The track opens up with a happy and poppy instrumentation with Leah singing in English. The first verse then comes in and unlike in other songs, Leah keeps her vocals stronger so that the transition into the chorus is flawless. The chorus is a combination of English and Japanese to really make the listener pay attention to both languages. The arrangement and overall atmosphere established is reminiscent of 恋しよう♪. The pure instrumental section really does display just how cute and happy the song is and it is something that Leah continues to excel in. The happy and poppy instrumentation brings the song to an excellent finish. The song finds a good home on Destiny Line and is a track to be remembered.

A more American feeling is established with the semifinal song, Drive me crazy. The song opens up with an interesting and uptempo instrumentation before the first verse arrives. The English lyrics along with Leah’s vocals create a very slick and cool feeling that keeps the listener hooked as the song transitions into the hook, which shows off Leah’s vocals as she reaches higher than before. The chorus is easily the most addictive part with more aggression and good vocals to keep the listener feeling the song. The only Japanese in the song comes in once the chorus comes into play and that decision makes the song all the more slick. The following instrumentation has hints of Japanese instruments that actually work with the song. The third verse sounds a bit strange as the instrumentation sounds really different and almost sped up. As the song comes to a close, Leah shows off a fun flare in the background as she shouts things such as “crazy” and finishes off the song excellently. Drive me crazy is one of the more memorable songs on Destiny Line and should definitely be listened to by Leah fans.

The album finishes on an excellent note with Again and Again. She composed the song herself with the help of her brother Brad to really bring the personal touch. The song opens up with a beautiful and somewhat mysterious instrumentation with the sound of water drops falling. The first verse features English lyrics and the somewhat trembling element to Leah’s vocals really create the emotional presence that fuels this ballad. The chorus brings in the Japanese and is the most addictive part of the song as Leah shows off her vocal talents. The pure instrumental section spolights just how pretty the music is and is an integral part of the beauty of the song. Again and Again is a perfect finish for the album as an emotionally charged track with great vocals.

Album Ranking: A

Leah Dizon’s debut album, Destiny Line, features a variety of sounds. Leah brings strength on her uptempo and dance numbers such as IMPOSSIBLE, Drive me crazy and Are you feelin’ for me? She sounds perfectly natural here and this type of music is something that she should continue to follow. The cute songs on the album, 恋しよう♪, L·O·V·E U and Wonderlin,’ are all good examples of what Leah can do with a happy atmosphere. The ballads such as Softly as well as Again and Again show off Leah’s vocals over beautiful instrumentation to make the listener really follow Leah into the music. Her debut album is definitely something that should not be missed and hopefully she has a future filled with success.

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