An album I have personally been looking forward to, Yasuha Kominami‘s second full length and return to the music scene after a year and a half silence (and 2 and half years since her debut LP “Chimera“), “Boku wo Sukuttekurenakatta Kime he” has finally landed. So was it worth the wait? Let’s have a listen!
The opening track sets a really interesting picture, with its neat layering and electronic effects. However, this is is also the most interesting track of the album and the rest falls into the same sound Kominami has delivered on pretty much everything before. While I personally don’t mind this so much- I wonder why there was such a long gap between albums if she was essentially going to deliver the same.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t any good tracks- damn, I got really pumped in “Kumo no Ito” (which I have been informed sounds very similar to KANA-BOON, a band I have no idea about/experience with :-p). The lead single “Kizu” is by far the best ballad track on it, it’s quite beautiful and builds up nicely. Kominami’s vocals are at the top of her game and it’s overall the best of the new tracks. “Tsugo no Hi no Uta” has pretty interesting instrumental flourishes, nice guitar work and a cute chorus (which would have been totally WONDERFUL if it wasn’t for the production- which I will talk about later). “POP LIFE” is one of the best pop songs Kominami has released in her entire career. “LET IT DIE” captures some corny faux-rock fun (that guitar work is positively nu-metal!)- whether or not she intended it to be cheesy is another question.
There are however, some real duds too. The second track “Boku wo Kyuusai Suru Uta” is quite, well, embarrassing to say the least. The male backing vocals are pretty awful. Some of the slower ballad tracks just drag on and don’t really go anywhere. The inclusion of songs we already have had (NOMAN, 3355411 for example) for quite a while also don’t help give a great impression on early listens. I was tempted to simply skip over them, not because they’re bad, just because I was keen to hear the new material.
Unfortunately, most of the new material are ballad tracks. These ballads ultimately are the main killers of the album. They dominate the tracklist and because they’re so average and bland, it feels like you’re listening to any random J-pop artist. Things do pick up later in the album but by that point, it’s likely too late for anyone to care. A shame, really.
The production, for lack of a better word, is weak. Drums are quite tinny and the bass is almost non-existent. Kominami’s vocals are amazing as usual (and are truly one of the saving graces of the album that stop it from being total trash) and they at least got the balance right there, she never sounds overpowered or drowned out. In the end though, it all feels mostly lifeless, you keep waiting for something to hit you that never does. I hate to say it, but sadly, it’s a little bit depressing to behold at times.
Ultimately, it’s a no frills affair. Noone is going to be surprised by it, it’s a Yasuha Kominami album through and through. And it’s hard not to feel disappointed by it. There’s nothing traditionally wrong with it, but there’s nothing that really pops. Kominami had the opportunity to deliver something interesting, but opted to deliver more of the same- and diluted it even further. As a fan, I will likely listen to it a few more times (and try desperately to savor the good parts), but for anyone new to her- well, it’s not going to leave any kind of lasting impression.
5.5/10 Light, fleeting rock that should have been something more. Too many ballads. I love you Kominami, but damn, take the safety off!