04. NEW AKINA Ètranger (1983.08.10)

01. Sayonara ne

Great, great start to the album. This song may be a little more on the neutral side, but it certainly is a better start than how Fantasy started. Sayonara ne is a well put together song.

02. Venus tanjo

Sweet is possibly the best way to describe this. Slow and sweet.

03. Sukoshidake Scandal

OK, how was this one not a single?

This is one of those power songs that could have easily mopped up the singles chart with little extra effort. Not to mention, it does flesh out Nakamori with a little more dimension that was lacking in her work leading up to this. The only thing I think it has going against it is that if it were a single, it may have been just a little bit too predictable...

04. Kanshou Kikou

A ballad that is actually a very good production. The piano work is incredibly catchy and there are some incredibly subtle effects mixed in. The singing doesn't let it down at all, but it's probably the least notable thing about it. I say that in the nicest way possible.

05. Renaissance -yasashi-sa de kaete-

The guitar work is sooooo dreamy. An incredibly catchy synth-heavy song that really pushes the edge of normalcy. If you ever have the opportunity to hear this song, you might be at a loss for words as well. It's a damn good song, though. Weird, yet incredibly normal.

06. Mon amour (Glass ni hanbun no tasogare)

The first in a seemingly endless line of song with the word "amor/amour/amore" in it.

It's also pretty bad. The music really lets this down. It genuinely sounds like they just pressed the DEMO button on a lone keyboard...and the ending is DREADFUL.

07. Stripe

A fairly standard filler song. It's a middle of the road synth-rock song. I don't really have an opinion one way or another on this one. You know what's in the middle of a road? ...........a Stripe.

08. Wa kuruba iro no kaze

A great little soft song. The singing is incredibly steady and the music is very well done. It might be easy to accuse it of being generic, but this is good if you really listen closely to it.

09. Tokiniha annui

Kinda reminds me of Joken Hansha from Prologue/Slow Motion. Weird, but not weird considering that was only a year prior. It's very good, but I suppose we can now call her early voice "Serious Akina".

10. Kakugo no aki

I kinda wish they would have swapped this with Tokiniha annui...or why not go weird and end with Renaissance?

This song is a largely standard ballad. It's mostly dominated by an acoustic guitar, but it does have some moments of activity. Come to think of it.......this album should have ended with Renaissance. I might just have to update my playlist to make this happen.

OVERALL: Her singing just keeps getting better and better. While I've owned these albums for a long time, I don't think I've ever listened to the chronologically. It certainly gives me a new respect for her talent. The nerves have been thoroughly shaken down by this point and her new trick for this album is her ability to play with her voice as needed. To this day, she has this uncanny ability to squeeze her way into basically any song perfectly.

However...we're barely over a year into her career and we now have four full albums and five singles. Get some rest, huh? Especially when you consider that this album is completely devoid of songs from singles. Ten brand new songs...wow. Great album, though. At this point I really think I enjoy Prologue the most, however.

PREVIOUS: Fantasy [Gensoukyoku]


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