Ena Fujita is a multi-talented artist. An actress, singer-songwriter, a gravure idol and last, but not least, a cute woman, who has managed to combine all these various activities over the years. She is equally good at modelling, holding lives and, of course, composing music. We’ll stop at this latter point, because not so long ago, on June 26th, Ena released her new album, Iromono. It's really hard to recognise the previously bright pop-singer here, since her alternative rock side has come to the fore and this is exactly what makes this long-player a noteworthy work.
doesn’t hold back anymore and has finally freed her inner rock demon. It already appeared on stage in previous years in the form of the singer’s alter-ego, vocalist Tiramisu
from an “English” rock-band Dolce
. However, the dark side didn’t influence Ena
’s main character much until now. The first track of the release, Ienai Koto wa Uta no Naka
, and the final one, Tsuki ga Tabeteshimatta
, offer an adrenaline jump start and a really hot ending. Both dynamic songs, which were previously released as singles, instantly turn up the heat. Also, it's kind of difficult to get them out of your head. However, these versions of the tracks were remixed specially for the album — now the bass line is more prominent, but it comes at the cost of a slightly messed up overall sound, as the original versions were a bit clearer.
On the other hand, Eien no Oto was transformed into an acoustic ballad, which is great, because the singer always performs this type of slow heartfelt song really well. The situation with WAR I NEED is different. The solid and powerful alternative rock track was inherited from Dolce and re-recorded, too, now offering a heavier sound. However, something went wrong here, perhaps, at the mastering stage. The opening part is significantly louder than in other tracks; the instruments merge into a mess, forcing you to lower the volume.
Fortunately, this is the only track with such a problem on the release, and Ena
has a lot more to offer — groovy Cho DIE
(you should definitely watch the bloody video above!), catchy Endroll
and daring punkish, somewhat raw Kyoukaisen
. This last one can be easily called the best track of the album. The track skilfully inflames the atmosphere with the powerful bass line and angsty vocal, only to suddenly kick you into the exploding choruses. Here, Ena
’s peculiar voice combines with an adrenaline-inducing sound in such great proportions that it may be difficult to pass through Kyoukaisen
without listening to it over and over again.
Perhaps, because of such a spectacular and powerful track the next two songs, Touka Koukan
and Kareta Hana
, feel slightly dull. Or maybe they just can’t compete against the touching Ano Hi no Hifi
, which get cozy among more aggressive pieces closer to the end of the album.
turned out to be a surprisingly interesting release, especially in terms of the rock tracks. Ena
continues to walk off her pop style, now offering a heavier, more powerful sound and this approach definitely pays off. The album is much like its cover — hot, flirty and cute in one edition, and saucy in another. The new release has its downsides, but they are not likely to become a show-stopper. It will be good to see the singer-songwriter keep moving in the direction she chose with Iromono
. The darker image and heavier sound suit her really well.