Fukuhara Miho – LOVE ~winter song~

Release Date: December 3, 2008

coveraTracklist:

1. LOVE ~winter song~
2. I BELIEVE
3. All in time
4. LOVE ~winter song~ (Instrumental)

LOVE ~winter song~ is a Christmas song, complete with the choir in the background and the instrumentals. Fukuhara comes in a capella with the choir in the background for a few seconds before the Christmas-like instrumentals come in. It’s a very happy kind of song, but one you could listen to over and over again, and cheer you up every time. Overall, it’s a very holiday-seasoned song, with Fukuhara’s strong vocals pushing the piece forward.

Yet another Christmas song from Fukuhara! I BELIEVE is a cover of the English song by the same name (I have no idea who sang it originally though). As usual, her English is next to perfect. It’s a sweet song about dear ol’ Santa Claus, asking him for a wish. Her voice falters in one place though, but the Christmas spirit in me is telling me to ignore it…

All in time is going back into Japanese, with a more mellow feeling to it. It’s basically a slow paced ballad, but it’s has that epicness to it. Must be because of the soaring melody line and Fukuhara’s soothing vocals! The melody is absolutely georgous and yet sad too. It sounds a lot like BoA’s power ballads, but with a bit more voice. The acoustic guitar in this song is absolute ❤ though!

Overall Rating:
4.5/5

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Fukuhara Miho – Yasashii Aka

Release Date: November 5, 2008

fukuharayasashiidvd3832tk3Tracklist:

1. Yasashii Aka
2. UPSIDE DOWN
3. Himawari -Acoustic Version-
4. Yasashii Aka -Instrumental-

Yasashii Aka is a ballad, but it has that power that Fukuhara always brings in. The background music consists of a typical band, but her voice is never covered by it. Rather, they nicely compliment each other (it’s hard to find a strong singer in the popular music industry these days). Also, in addition to the band, there are also some strings in the background after the chorus for the emotional effect. Fukuhara’s voice is as strong as ever, but it seems to lack emotion (maybe it’s from her lack of vibrato that some singers use for emotion). Nonetheless, a very strong A-side.

We revert back to Fukuhara’s souful roots with UPSIDE DOWN: an upbeat, edgy song. The background music sounds like something out of Hoshimura’s older album (must be because of the piano in the background); the thumping beats bring out the character of the song very well. Fukuhara’s vocals sound freer when singing this genre, rather than the ballads she sings. (I guess everyone has their natural element…)

Ah, what do we have here? Himawari -Acoustic Version- is calmer than the original version, and ohmigod, I just fell in love with the piano accompaniment. Fukuhara’s voice is also calmer in this version, to suit the mood an acoustic instrument brings. Although it lacks the power of the original, the acoustic version has its own charm (maybe something you would listen to while watching the stars or something…I’m not a country girl; I wouldn’t know how that’d actually feel like…*rambles*)

Overall Rating:
4/5

Fukuhara Miho – Himawari

Release Date: July 16, 2008

Tracklist:

1. Himawari
2. Everyone needs Someone
3. No Warning (When You’re Hit by Love)
4. Himawari -instrumental-

The A-side, Himawari, is a light ballad that overflows with emotion. In the beginning, the instrumentals give off a dreamy feel to it. When Fukuhara’s vocals come in, the background music drops down to only a keyboard. The chorus is what captures my attention though; it comes through with so much power and emotion. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for ballads, but I find this song to be truly beautiful. The melody in the verses is stunning melody; it gives off an inspirational feeling. Himawari even ends in a splendid way; the music starts to fade out as Fukuhara ad libs.

Next up is the first B-side, Everyone needs Someone. Unlike the A-side, this song has a happy, steady beat to it. Once again, the chorus captures my attention; it’s just so catchy, and Fukuhara has layered vocals there. Everyone needs Someone has an edgier feel to it than Himawari, giving it some hip and attitude. The bridge section near the end is the best though; the layering of the voices has a really neat effect.

A jazzy guitar solo starts off the last B-side, No Warning (When You’re Hit by Love). In contrast to her previous tracks, this song has brings us back to her CHANGE days. The lyrics are completely in English, and has a very snazzy feel to it. No Warning (When You’re Hit by Love) is a powerful song with some American influence to it.

Overall Rating:
5/5

Fukuhara Miho – CHANGE

Release Date: April 16, 2008

Tracklist:

  1. CHANGE
  2. Koi wa Rhythm ~Believe My Way~
  3. BECAUSE YOU LOVED ME

2. CHANGE
The beginning reminded me of that Olympic song that Ayu sang. A very soulful voice, and very strong too. Her music has this edginess that I’m not very used to at the moment (my usual selections are ballads). The percussion completely rocks this song. The chorus itself is very catchy with the “We’re gonna last forever” line. Fukuhara has pretty good English, probably perfect. CHANGE sounds like inspirational music to me.

2. Koi wa Rhythm ~Believe My Way~
This is a pretty fast paced song, and has Fukuhara’s signature soul in it. It’s pretty much almost the same as CHANGE, except more ’80’s. The instrumentals are pretty solid, and, as usual, Fukuhara’s voice is awesome. Her versatility shows here when she jumps an octave in about 2 seconds. I can just imagine this song being played in a restaurant, with a saxophone as accompaniment.

2. BECAUSE YOU LOVED ME

I think she’s the only person that can truly cover Celine Dion, with the proper feel. Maybe it’s because their voices are so alike (I mean it in a good way). Of course, Dion’s voice is more solid, but Fukuhara’s getting there. I think she’s the only Japan-born Japanese that has perfect English. No ‘fobbiness’ at all! Fukuhara captures the soul of this song, and shapes it in her own way.

Overall Rating:
4/5

I don’t usually listen to soul, so I’m not really used to it. Fukuhara Miho MAY prove to be an exception.