miyavi - miyavi uta ~dokusou~

review - 20.09.2006 13:00

A review of miyavi's third major album and latest release.

A mere month after the release of his second major album, MYV*POPS, miyavi wastes no time and comes right at us with his latest gem: his third album miyavi uta ~dokusou~. It was released the day before his 25th birthday and it's apparent that he has love on the brain.

While MYV*POPS showed us his pop-ish and upbeat side, this album is nearly its polar opposite. It features miyavi referencing or singing about love (or the loss of it) in every which way, shape and form while also demonstrating his mastery over the acoustic guitar.

After listening to the first few seconds of the album's powerful opening track, Jikoai, Jigajisan, Jishiki Kajou, I'm instantly hooked as I'm a sucker for the way miyavi plays acoustic guitar. I skipped a few tracks ahead to try to get an overall feel for the album and I'm delighted to find out that the entire album focuses mainly on his acoustic guitar skills!!

That being said, I'm not going to review every track of this album but that doesn't mean that the unmentioned tracks should be disregarded. There are a few songs that really stand out amongst the others and I'd like to leave you, the readers and perhaps future listeners, wondering what else miyavi has in store.

Songs like the fun Kimi ni Funky Monkey Vibration, Please, Please, Please. and Boku wa Shitteru. are insanely addictive and will have you humming or singing along long after they're through. Boku wa Shitteru. is the most powerful of the three, lyrics wise, and while it's about a sad and odd love, it's also very beautiful and catchy. miyavi lays his heart and soul bare and his words, which seem physically painful for him to even sing at times, can touch you deeply and make you feel the pain right along with him if you're the empathetic type.

Baka na Hito is a breakup song and it's clear that he loves the person the song is about, though he's heartbroken at the way their relationship fell apart with all the pretenses and lies. An "A-san" is mentioned but it's not certain as to whether he means it as a nickname or just as a generic means of referring to an anonymous person. At any rate the song is, despite its content, rather upbeat and has a Latin feel.

Dear my love... stands out from the rest and is arguably the best track of the album. It has a wonderful, semi-upbeat melody and tranquil feel but with twinges of wistful sorrow woven within. His vocals are soft and distorted and there's also a choir singing softly in the background. Overall, it's very beautiful and makes me reminiscent of some of his earlier work.

To my surprise, the song We love you ~Sekai wa Kimi wo Aishiteru was also included on this album. (It's also featured on MYV*POPS.) This version is much more pleasant than the other and doesn't have the backup singers that can eventually get on some listeners' nerves. Rather, it features a nice and melodious samba beat that gets increasingly infectious as the song progresses. Another song along a similar vein is Aishiteru Kara Hajimeyou. It's a soft and powerful ballad with many heartfelt "aishiteru"s and it can lull the listener into a peaceful, relaxed state.

The album's last track, [Non-secret track] Are you ready to love? features an insanely fast melody that only miyavi himself is capable of pulling off so effortlessly. On top of it are loud shouts, distorted vocals and screams of "I love you" that tie everything together and make this a great ending track.

OVERALL RATING: 8.5/10 miyavi took a chance and pushed the boundaries by making an album like this and it's definitely a chance well taken. miyavi uta ~dokusou~ is a brilliant display of his acoustic guitar mastery coupled with his strong, passionate vocal delivery, catchy melodies and heartfelt lyrics. All tracks need a thorough listening or two before the effort put behind them can be fully understood and appreciated. Not a single track needs to be overlooked and, simply put, it's brilliant!!
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