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Archive for the ‘Goto Maki’ Category

Goto Maki’s 4th studio album, entitled How to use SEXY, was released on 09.19.07. The album was Maki’s last album on H!P as she was recently signed to avex trax. This album showcases the more mature Maki and she does a great job of making the image that she wished to pursue come to life. Three singles were released prior to the album: ガラスのパンプス, SOME BOYS! TOUCH and シークレット.

The album’s opener is the exotic and sexy How to use Loneliness. The song opens with an exotic and somewhat mysterious instrumentation before the song’s hot dance beat comes in blasting. The first verse features some good vocals from Maki that work well with the music to keep the atmosphere alive. It’s the chorus where Maki shows a little more vocal power as she holds her notes nicely and the catchiness is kept up strongly. The pure instrumental section is absolutely amazing as it spotlights just how strong the instrumentation of the song is. This section really hooks the listener and these little instrumental breaks are easily the most addictive parts of the song. The song finishes with the chorus followed by instrumentation to bring How to use Loneliness to a wonderful close. This song is a perfect album opener that shows off Maki’s mature sound and hooks the listener at first listen.

Maki takes fun pop sounds and gives them a touch of sexy on GIVE ME LOVE. From the little instrumental breaks with cute vocals, that cuteness factor is established from the first listen. Although the song definitely has a cute feel, the lyrics really reflect Maki’s more mature image. The verses feature lyrics that are delivered with some rapidity to them to make them stand out well. The hook serves as a bridge as the instrumentation begins to vary slightly as an introduction to the chorus, which comes after Maki sings the title of the song. The chorus is extremely addictive as Maki shows off more vocal power over the fun and exciting instrumentation. The pure instrumental section is very nice and offers a perfect opporuntunity for a dance before the final chorus comes in. The song ends just how it began with the same small instrumental break with cute vocals. GIVE ME LOVE is the perfect follow up to How to use Loneliness and keeps the energy of the album flowing strongly.

SOME BOYS! TOUCH, a perfect demonstration of the sexier image and sound that Maki wished for, appears as the third track. The song opens up with a hot dance beat that just oozes a sexual energy. During the verses, there is almost a whispering element to Maki’s vocals, which only adds to the sexiness. The chorus stands out strongly as Maki’s vocals are stronger and work with the music to capture the listener in Maki’s world. The pure instrumental section is wonderful as it shows off just how addictive the music behind the song really is and offers a slight variation of instrumentation as instruments such as the guitar are spotlighted. The song concludes with the same hot instrumentation as Maki is heard whispering “touch…catch” repeatedly. As the perfect combination of catchiness and sexiness, SOME BOYS! TOUCH is a golden song on the album.

The mood is slowed down with City Wind, a slow addictive song that Maki also brings elements of sexiness to. The song opens up with a slow and sensual instrumentation that gives off a dark image before the first verse comes in. The softness to Maki’s voice works perfectly with the music to capture the sorrow of the song while still keeping the sexy element to the forefront. The chorus features more perfect vocals to move with the music and stands out from the song very well. The pure instrumental section is wonderful as Maki is heard whispering over the dark instrumentation to evoke a feeling of her breath being echoed through the city wind. The song ends with more instrumentation, really spotlighting the thumping beat which makes the song different. After three upbeat tracks, City Wind is a perfect slow song that Maki brings to life with wonderful lyrics and a great voice.

Up next is another slow song, the pretty ねえ 寂しくて. The song opens up with a very pretty instrumentation before the chorus appears. Maki’s vocals also have a slight whispering element but her vocals are shown off nicely. The first verse comes and Maki’s vocals stay in the lower range and they still sound great over the music. The overall feel of the song is somewhat similar to City Wind but it is portrayed in a different way and sounds great. The pure instrumental section is absolutely beautiful as the softness and “fragility” of the instruments are spotlighted. Instrumentation finishes the song off very nicely, rounding out the song as pretty from start to finish. The song is a nice and pretty track that fits perfectly after City Wind and leads the listener throughout the entire song.

Maki’s first single of the era and her first step into her new sexy image appears as the sixth album track, ガラスのパンプス. The catchy chorus opens up the song strongly as Maki’s vocals command attention over the addictive pop sound of the instrumentation. Maki also holds the last note of the chorus very well, finishing off the section perfectly. The verses feature vocals that are less powerful but still work with the music perfectly to keep the listener interested. The pure instrumental section is a nice breakdown, allowing a perfect re-introduction of the chorus. The same hot pop instrumentation finishes the song off in an absolutely perfect way, bringing the last aggressively addictive song on the album to a close. The song is one of the album’s best offerings and is definitely a track that should not be skipped.

Maki steps into the realm of jazz with the next track, DAYBREAK. The song opens up with a light and uptempo jazzy instrumentation before the hook starts. Maki’s whispering but nice vocals work very well here and making the chorus very addictive. During the verses, Maki’s vocals are hushed but they go with the music well. The full chorus sounds great and its transition into the hook is flawless. The pure instrumental section exutes a feeling of falling in love, which really fits perfectly as the listener is taken through the song much like a story. Finishing off the song nicely is the hook, which is a wise choice as it is the catchiest section of the song. The “acid jazz” song, DAYBREAK, is a wonderul part of the album that is truly worth listening to.

WOW 素敵! is a return to that fun pop sound that Maki can do so well. The first verse feature lower-toned vocals but once the instrumentation has small sections of change, the vocals are higher. The combination of the two make the verses stand out perfectly and is a nice introduction to the chorus, which features a great fun pop sound with more powerful vocals from Maki to make it the best section of the song. The pure instrumental section is nice and offers a little insturmental variety that is somewhat hidden by Maki’s vocals. As the album’s last upbeat song, WOW 素敵! is a nice light-hearted pop song that listeners can definitely appreciate.

The semifinal song is the emotional ballad シークレット. The song begins with a beautiful instrumentation primarily driven by the piano before the first verse comes in. Maki’s vocals here clearly have the emotional presence that is required to bring the song to life. The chorus features more powerful vocals while still keeping that element of fragility of the song’s atmosphere. The third verse features a slightly different instrumentation and some really great vocals from Maki. Wonderful instrumentation with some soft vocals from Maki bring the song to a close. The song is an excellent semifinal track and is one of the more emotional tracks on the album, showing Maki can do upbeat and ballads.

The orchestal ballad, LIFE, is the perfect way to end How to use SEXY. Opening up with strong orchestal instrumentation, it transitions into the first verse perfectly and gives Maki an opportunity a chance to show her vocal talents off. The verses sound great as Maki’s vocals are more in the lower range. It’s the chorus that really stands out as the music works perfectly with Maki’s vocals to capture the emotion of the song. The lyrics of the song are beautiful and really do make an impact as the album’s closing song. The pure instrumental section spotlights just how beautiful the music is and re-introduces the chorus nicely. It’s the final chorus, when Maki sings acapella that she really shines. The final note of the song is held with power and pride. LIFE is the perfect way to end the album as an emotional masterpiece with personal and beautiful lyrics.

Album Ranking: A +

Goto Maki’s 4th studio album shows off just how much of a singer Maki is. Her sexiness comes through strongly on the dance tracks: How to use Loneliness, SOME BOYS! TOUCH and ガラスのパンプス. Elements of cute form with sexy elements on the infectious GIVE ME LOVE and WOW 素敵! She also does fantastically on the slower songs, particularly City Wind and delivers her all on the final two ballads. The album is filled with excitement, variety and interest and is an album that should definitely not be skipped out on. With her recent departure from H!P and entrance to avex, hopefully she will follow a style similar to that from this album.