Hoshimura Mai – Shunkan, Strobe

Release Date: May 30, 2007

coverdl5thTracklist:

1. Shunkan, Strobe.
2. Anata ≧ Atashi
3. Sakura Biyori -Piano Version-
4. Shunkan, Strobe. (Instrumental)

Ahhh, Hoshimura, you are always so original. Shunkan, Strobe. is a unique song, especially in the chorus. My favourite part is the staccato melody in the beginning of the chorus. Like a lot of her songs, this song has a strong piano accompaniment, which suits the mood nicely. However, Hoshimura’s vocal power seems to be lacking in Shunkan, Strobe. Other than the chorus, this song is pretty pales in comparison to some of her other songs.

Is Anata ≧ Atashi supposed to be some sort of math equation…? (Question marks appear over Taelin’s head.) This song has a jazzy feel to it, bring back some of Hoshimura’s old style from her debut album. It has a carefree melody that carries itself through the piece in the same consistant manner. Too bad it’s just a bit too…consistant, to the point of boredom.

Ooooo, Sakura Biyori -Piano Version- is even prettier than the original verison, since it’s just the piano accompaning Hoshimura’s vocals. As with all acoustic versions, it loses that dramatic feeling, but it’s pretty nonetheless. And s***, it’s short too…

Overall Rating:
3/5

Hoshimura Mai – Sakura Biyori

Release Date: March 7, 2007

Tracklist:

1.Sakura Biyori
2. Wonder Land
3. Yagetsu
4. Sakura Biyori (Instrumental)

Sakura Biyori is the 10th ending theme song to the anime Bleach, just for your information. This song starts off with a light guitar introduction that gives off a rather traditional sound. The melody of this song is simple, yet really likable to the ears. My favourite part as to be the chorus though; the calm and simple verse just suddenly powers up to a massive chorus. It’s quite a stunning song.

After such a calm song, Wonder Land brings us back into Hoshimura’s familiar territory: piano rock. Unlike the previous song though, her voice is not as strong, and seems slightly strained on the higher notes. The melody is typical, making this song quite uninteresting. There was a guitar solo near the end, which was the nicest part of this song.

Wow, the piano introduction to Yagetsu is the prettiest thing ever. This song is so much calmer compared to the first two tracks. It only has a keyboard accompaniment. The title actually means ‘night moon’, and this song gives off that feel of a quiet night with the moon shining overhead. Though it is simple, the melody is quite beautiful too; it has some nice intervals which makes the song sound like a lullaby.

Overall Rating:
4.5/5

Hoshimura Mai – Soup

Release Date: July 9, 2003

Tracklist:

1. Stay With You
2. Love is trouble
3. GET HAPPY
4. a day in the life
5. Futari
6. Maibenshon
7. VACATION
8. Cherish
9. Koi no Chikara
10. Maifonia
11. Kazoku
12. Story

The introduction to Stay With You sounds like some excerpt from a classical piece, until Hoshimura starts singing. From there, the song transform from classical to rock in a split second. This is my first time listening to her sing rock, to be truthful, and she has a very strong voice for it. The chorus has a fast paced, and interesting melody that instantly catches one’s attention. While retaining the rock side of the song, Stay With You also has a jazzy piano accompaniment beneath the thumping beats.

Synth-ed guitars and thumping beats start off Love is trouble, the next track. Hoshimura’s voice has a really edgy feel in this song, and is a bit more ‘girly’ here than the last song. Too bad she uses Engrish instead of English (luckily it was only 2 phrases). The background music slightly overpowers her voice at times though, but it’s the main source of entertainment anyway.

GET HAPPY has a really nice melody, accompanied by strong beats. Like the last song, Hoshimura is slightly covered by the background music, but not as much here. The piano glissandos are quite enjoyable to listen to though; very pretty!

In contrast to the previous tracks, a day in the life has a soft beginning, with only a piano as accompaniment *turns up volume*. This song is a nice change from the rock we’ve been getting for the three tracks. It has a gentle melody, but still packed with power. The bridge part near the end of the song has an urgent feeling to it, powering up the song for the final run of the chorus. The vibrato in Hoshimura’s voice in the last line was an added bonus.

Futari‘s beginning sounds like something out of a Mario game, to be truthful. Hoshimura’s voice in this song sounds a bit muffled, but still bearable, though she does strain a bit on the higher notes. This song has a brassy feeling to it (maybe because of the trumpets that come in sometimes). The melody is the best thing in this song though; it’s really, really catchy.

I seriously went ‘WTF?’ on the opening of Maibenshon. It’s all synthed up and weird (in a good way maybe?). Oh, it turns out that it was an interlude…

The opening of VACATION is similar to the earlier tracks, with a strong piano accompaniment and beat. Unlike the previous tracks though, Hoshimura’s voice seems rather weak, or maybe it’s just the quality of the mp3 here. The melody of the chorus is really weird though, but the piano interlude is quite virtuostic (I know I spelt this wrong…).

Cherish starts off quite soft, before the everything else comes in. This song bores me, because it sounds a lot like the previous tracks, but as usual, Hoshimura’s voice is quite strong.

Strong vocals start off Koi no Chikara. Finally, a song that features Hoshimura’s voice, and doesn’t cover it. I love how she jumps an octave at times in this song. In general, this song is a playful song, with a jazzy piano accompaniment (lost of jazz chords and scales).

A light piano accompaniment introduces the next track, Maifonia. The beginning interlude is quite pretty; it reminds me of neo-Classical music, with a mix of Debussy and Mozart to it. (Turns out that it was an interlude too.)

The next song, Kazoku, has a more keyboard-like sounding piano accompaniment. This song is a calm piano ballad, and contrasts nicely with her piano rock selections earlier in the album. Hoshimura’s vocals really shine in this song; the melody has a wide range, making it quite are to sing.

Story, the last track of the album, has a synth-ed up accompaniment, with some happy beats in the background. The vocals seem a bit strained on the higher notes, and the music overpowers them anyway. Not my favourite song from her.

Overall Rating:
4/5