‘I Love You‘ is the title of Megumi Nakajima‘s first full-length album which was released on Jun-9. I meant to do a mini review when it came out but ended up putting it on hold till I had time to listen to it properly. More than half of the songs on the album were from her previously released solo and ani-singles which I’d covered before so I won’t be talking about them here. Instead, I’ll just focus on the new tracks.
What of Megumi’s singing? I think that she has improved vocally from before although I’d prefer if she didn’t used her anime-singing voice too often. It didn’t help that most of the songs on the album are cutesy, mainstream j-pop songs with bubbly vibes and beats which she sung in her anime voice. They are average songs at best. I found that the better tracks are the ballads where her voice sounds much more natural. I much rather hear her sing in her own natural voice, anyway.
The other thing I should mention is that this album is a so-called concept album where each song is a love letter representing a different month of the year. It’s a love song to her fans for each month of the year so to speak. There’s also a bonus CD that came out with the limited edition which featured theme/insert songs from anime series ‘Macross Frontier’, ‘Basquash’ and ‘Kämpfer’ including one from an online game. The one to take note is her solo, non-May’n rendition of ‘LION‘.
So there you have it.
Onwards to the songs and my short quibs after the image cut.
01. Shining On (April)
– Track 2 from Mamegu’s 2nd single
02. Raspberry Kiss (May) **
– Digital release. First time I heard of it. Cutesy disco-pop sung in in a cutesy voice. Has a nice melody but that’s about it.
03. Yubisaki no Ame (June) **
– Like this one a bit more. Nice song for June. Laid back vocals and a relaxing melody. Reminds me a bit of Rispara.
04. Sunshine Girl (July) **
– Ah, this sounds very ‘White Album’. Upbeat and energetic tempo. I like her vocals here as it sounded stronger and much more herself.
05. Sorairo Love Letter (August) **
– Teen-pop. Not quite what I have in mind for August. The harmony puts me off and the chorus bores me after a while.
06. Call Me (September) **
– This one is a mid-tempo number which I like quite a bit. Sort of a winding down song that you listen to late in the evening after dinner. Again, she managed to showcase a different range in her voice.
07. Jellyfish no Kokuhaku (October)
– 1st ED theme to anime ‘Kobato.’ One of the better ballads on this album.
08. Be Myself (November)
– Track 2 from her 1st solo single
09. White Heart Rhythm (December) **
– Ah, the jingles. I supposed that is to be expected as this is the December song. Lite, bubbly j-pop number. Not really liking how she sings in some parts. Feels like she’s trying too hard somehow and ends up sounding overly forced.
10. Tenshi ni Naritai (January)
– Title track of her first solo single
11. Watashi ni Dekiru Koto (February)**
– YESSS!!! My favourite song from the album and it’s also the 2nd outro theme for TV anime ‘Kobato.’ Been looking forward to hearing the full version and ah, very nice indeed. Love the piano and light orchestral arrangement. Mamegu sings with much emotion on this lovely, sentimental ballad with a stirring melody.
12. Nostalgia (March)
– Title track from her 2nd solo single
Tracklist – 8cmCD:
01. Lion -Ranka ver.- (TV Anime Macross Frontier OP2 theme)
– Nice surprise. I actually like this May’n-less rendition.
02. After the Heart Rain – (TV Anime Basquash Insert Song)
– Track 6 from fictional group ECLIPSE’s debut album. ‘After the Heart Rain’ was one of the better songs from IDOL Attack. I like her voice here and the song’s decent as well.
03. Sugao de Fall in Love – (TV Anime Kämpfer Character Song)
– I never managed to finish Kämpfer, kinda dropped it after just a few episodes in. Cutesy-pop again.
04. Tatarus – (Online Game Tatarus Theme Song)
– Never played the game. The theme song is not really happening with me. It is a real pity because Mamegu’s voice sounds the best here than it’s ever been. Completely in a different gear which is quite a refreshing change. The song’s melody or the lack of it made the track less memorable. Didn’t like the arrangement as well.
Overall, just an average album with a handful of decent songs (ones that appeal to me anyway). Could have been better of course. Most recommended track is ‘Watashi ni Dekiru Koto’…yeah, can’t hide my bias. 😛