It is no secret that Seiko Oomori is a workaholic; not only does she consistently deliver wonderous solo albums, often more than one a year, she also works on her own idol group project ZOC (who literally only released a double album last month) and then -on the side- has churned out many, many songs for other artists- mainly from the idol industry. With Persona #1, Seiko Oomori celebrates her 7th anniversary on avex with a new album consisting of self covers of some of the best songs she has given to other artists, ranging from Ladybaby to Sayumi Michishige (who Seiko Oomori absolutely ADORES).
This album straight off the bat is a wild one- unlike her main releases that have a flow and feel quite serious in tone- Seiko has used this opportunity to let loose and explore a whole range of new sounds- from jazz, to trap, rap (see the MIKEY feature on the new version of ‘Mugen Climax’) and even smidgens of dubstep and witch house. The whole thing is a joy to listen to; instantly gratifying and approachable- and yet, surprisingly, has quite a bit of replay value to be had because of the amount of work put into it.
These aren’t simple re-recordings, these are absolute, from the ground up reworkings of the songs previously released. Some took even this hardcore fan a few moments to register what exactly the original was- take for example the new jazzed up version of ‘14-Sai no Oshiete‘, which was originally performed by short-lived Rinne Yoshida unit Zunne from JC-WC (that version was recorder heavy and sounded like an indie pop song). Another totally different sounding track is ‘‘+゜。:゜+(´∀
*)+゜:。*+Pikarin FUTURE+゜*。:゜+(*´∀)+゜:。+‘, originally performed by Shiina Pikarin. Now it’s a glorious old-school J-pop blazer; its amazing beats and production really elevating the song to new heights. The chorus is glorious- the potential I always felt that track had is fully ignited here.
The album is topped off with her most glorious single since ‘Magic Mirror‘ in my opinion, and is totally new to this album. That single being the almighty, sweeping ballad ‘Rude‘, that is sure to become a staple in live shows and live streams. It’s so, so powerful, and is the most similar song to what was presented on her amazing 2020 album ‘Kinstugi‘.
While overall, I don’t consider this album to be a masterpiece, for a ‘side’ record, it’s still absolutely essential for fans. On a sheer value for money level, it should be noted that this album’s CD+Blu Ray edition comes with 6 full concerts- clocking in at over 9 HOURS. Absolutely worth the pickup if you’re a Seiko Oomori fan.
8/10. Seiko Oomori continues her golden run of consistency with this fantastic self covers album, a fun release that is probably also the most approachable for a casual follower since ‘Sennou‘. Probably the best Jpop release you can pick up right now, and that’s not hyperbole.