Please Don’t Steal This Album
To reiterate a really bad joke I made when the title of YUI‘s second studio album, CAN’T BUY MY LOVE, was announced…
You can’t buy her love, but you can buy her music.
Yeah, I told you it was bad. Thankfully, the album’s anything but! (That aside, don’t you just love these titles that allow for silliness? I remember seeing an Edison Chen album titled “Please Steal This Album”- hence the title of this post.)
Following SONY’S pop-rock trend, YUI’s latest involves more electric guitars and faster pop beats that are more likely to appeal to the casual listener’s ear. I’m lacking the mood and the mental capability to do a track by track review, so just light random comments this time around.
Let’s start with the cover. I really like the specific style SONY has taken with YUI’s album cover designs. YUI’s name, the title of the album, and then the random data that you know, isn’t required on the cover, just somewhere on the packaging, like the serial number or the number of tracks. And all in a gritty, all-capitals font. It’s cute, and lends more of a raw, or maybe even indies, image to YUI as an artist.
In contrast to her first album though, where the text took up half the cover, it’s been reduced and YUI has more of presence. She really looks as though she were born with a guitar in hand. I’m pretty sure that’s the same outfit she wore on the cover of FROM ME TO YOU, too, further solidifying the connection and image between the two albums. (Yes, I do know there were two covers for this album – but I like this one better, don’t you?)
The album jumps right into the catchy, upbeat songs, opening with tracks like How crazy and Rolling star (the single that renewed a lot of Bleach fans’ interest in her) and ends with slower songs like Why? and Good-bye days, her biggest hit and with good reason. While the gradual progression of “all upbeat songs leading to all slow songs” tends to kill an album’s pace (and my interest in it), there’s a bit of a variety spaced in between which helps this particular album.
YUI’s also kicking styles around, with songs like Highway chance, where the guitars cut away during the verses and them jump back for a stronger chorus that almost sounds rock. And then there’s RUIDO, an odd interlude-type track that brings to mind ORANGE RANGE in its skipping-about funky style.
Yes, there are songs I don’t like on the album. But in this case it’s more like they’ve yet to grow on me. For example, Umbrella, a mid-tempo acoustic pop song that sounds a bit slower than it actually is because of YUI’s vocals. But with time, I’m sure I’ll come to like them for what they are.