17. SHAKER (1997.03.21)

01. Mangetsu

A great lead-in song. The gradual build-up leads into a really chill song. I can't quite put my finger on why I like this song so much, but the combination of it's elements make for such a smooth track.

02. Spicy Heart

Strange title aside, this one is alright. It's just a little bit on the disjointed side. I enjoy the singing and some of the more subtle elements, but the bass and some of the random sounds are just a little bit too distracting. Not good or bad...totally listenable.

03. Yoru no nioi

I like this one. It's a little bit on the funkier side, but the breathy vocals don't kind line up with what the music is doing. It's a well-made song.

04. Oishi mizu

This one gets it all right. Everything lines up perfectly. This is a jazzier song that has a pretty decent pulse to it. It's only crime may be that it doesn't do much to stand out. Does that matter too much on an album, though?

05. MOONLIGHT SHADOW -Tsukini hoero (Album Mix)

Awwww yeah. So you may remember my excitement for the Akina Nakamori X Tetsuya Komuro pairing on UNBALANCE + BALANCE. Well he's back! For one song only. This happens to be the lead single from this album and naturally it's quite a bit different from the single version.

Killer song. Admittedly I didn't think too much of it at first because TK was kinda running out of steam at this point of the 90s. The repetition kinda makes this evident. It grew on me, though...and when you have different versions it kinda helps flesh it out a little bit.

It's definitely more of a dance hit than what we heard previously on this album. Naturally...it's what TK was doing during the decade. He got some great vocals out of Nakamori here. The album version has a lot more variety than the single version. The extended intro and outro here are the biggest clues, but there are a lot of little subtle differences peppered in.

06. Akai bara ga yureta

Another dance song. The 180 that this album took is really weird. That said...great song!! The music is on point and Nakamori does an awesome job. Jump ahead to my review of Cage... I feel a rant coming on when I get to a particular track on that album.


Another great song. This is the remix version of APPETITE, which was the second single from this album.

The horns! While MOONLIGHT SHADOW is an awesome song and the better single, this one will get stuck in your head. It's a jazz track that gains some additional pep at times...but the horns!

Really, this is a crazy catchy song. I kinda prefer the single version, though, since it skips out on some of the lazy remix elements that kinda stick out here. It isn't messed with too much...but you can tell when it has been.

08. Yumemiru youni nemuritai

While this is a lighter song, it's certainly much quicker. It also has a nice Latin sound blended it. Good song with some excellent singing, but this is the second change of pace that this album has undergone.

09. Sakura (biya ku)

The title kinda reflects the song. It's a slow song and one that is sung very well. It hardly sounds like Nakamori. Sure there are some minor tells, but this is some serious effort. Very good.

10. Kaze o dakishimete

A jazzier song that is more on par with some of the earlier tracks on the album. Incredibly chill. I like this one as well.

11. Tsuki wa aoku

I know I've long stated that I love Nakamori's albums that go out with a bang, but this one ends on a great ballad...chilling almost.

OVERALL: Akina Nakamori's 90s albums are criminally overlooked. This one is no exception. I liken this album a lot to UNBALANCE + BALANCE. A wonderful album full of great songs...that is just a little too scatter-brained for it's own good. A lot of people worked on it and it was recorded in a lot of places over a long period of time. Seriously...it's lead single, MOONLIGHT SHADOW, was released a full nine months before the album's release.

A *very* worthwhile listen, but I tend to still steer myself to la alteración for some 90s Nakamori goodness. Give this one a shot. It's very broad in it's appeal.

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