2018/04/14

12. Stock (1988.03.03)


01. FAREWELL

It doesn't take you long to realize you're in for a great ride.

Since the last three albums had their own themes (multiple themes in some cases), this one kinda simplifies it all. Rock. That's it.

FAREWELL is an excellent choice to open the whole thing. This song...and really the album that follows is Nakamori at her absolute best. Spoilers, right? Just the sheer strength of her vocals are intense and is backed by music that is equally as intense.

02. Yume no fuchi

After three albums of Nakamori playing up a gimmick of some kind, it's nice to hear her true vocals once again. Not only that, there has been some growth. Yume no fuchi is a continuation of FAREWELL, even if it's smidge softer. It kind of reminds me of some of EUROX's songs from MEGATREND that didn't have anything to do with Fushigi. It even had a big-time lyricist... Ryo Asuka, who is better known as ASKA of CHAGE and ASKA. You've probably at least heard of him...but maybe not for the best reasons these days.

03. CRYSTAL HEAVEN

Awesome song. Fantastic use of backing vocals on this song in particular. While this isn't the catchiest of the songs on the album, this one is an absolute belter as well.

04. Mada juubun janai

A bit slower, but still undoubtedly a rock song. So far, not a weak song to be heard on this album!

05. FIRE STARTER

Why in the world was this song not a single? I mean it. Maybe it's a little too extreme, but considering this album only peaked at number two, this song absolutely could have sold the extra albums to bump it to the top spot.

FIRE STARTER is easily the biggest earworm from this album. It's probably the heaviest of the songs as well. Not so much with the music, but Nakamori just sells the hell out of it. On top of all of that, her English is perfect during the few random English lines. Awesome, awesome song. Satisfaction Guaranteed!

06. NIGHTMARE

Some of music from this song sound kinda familiar...

This song also rules. Like many of the other songs, it's a wonder why this wasn't sold as a single. It's catchy as all hell and just incredibly well made.

07. I WANNA CHANCE

I rank this among my top tracks on the album. If you listen to it, you might wonder why at first. It's one of the "softer" songs on the album, but it absolutely stands out for one thing and one thing only...

I WANNA CHANCE!

There is absolutely nothing catchier than those lyrics and the music behind it when they're sung.

08. POISON LIPS

Great song, but I think this might be my least favorite on the album. It's just a little too predictable.

09. Shojo Densetsu

The intro of this song sounds suspiciously similar to the song of a cartoon plumber when he reaches for the stars...if you catch my drift.

This is one of the slower songs on the album, but it's so well made. You really have to dig in and listen to the details on repeat listens.

10. FOGGY RELATION

I've talked in the past about how Nakamori has a penchant for ending albums strong. This just might be my favorite finale of them all. The song is on the sweeter side, but has an insanely killer hook to it. It's...really the perfect ending to a perfect album.

OVERALL: As it turns out, I am writing this review on the 30th anniversary of this album's release! Yeah, it's the third of March, 2018. Sheer coincidence!

I know I intended to finish this series of posts off with a Top Seven List of my favorite albums, but I'm not going to make you wait. This is my favorite. Start to finish, Nakamori absolutely KILLS it. The last time we really got a normal album from her was D404ME from 1985. This album is her grand return to normalcy and really a showcase of personal growth. Those years of unusual albums masked some of her growing talent. This album was like the grand reveal of an incredibly rare flower blooming.

Some of that credit can certainly go to Kenji Kitajima of FENCE OF DEFENSE who worked on the arrangement for much of this album. While the staff list is quite varied, his influence is absolutely heard the most throughout.

This album is highly HIGHLY recommended. Just keep this in mind... In 1988, Akina Nakamori was rocking harder than Seikima-II.

PREVIOUS: Cross My Palm
NEXT: Femme Fatale

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