Archive for the 'Rie Fu' Category

Rie Fu: romantic

Rie Fu, romantic1. romantic

2. In The Airplane

3. Money Will Love You

romantic is Rie Fu’s eleventh single, released on November 12th, 2008. It reached #100 on Oricon.

Produced by Taku Takahashi from the popular techno group m-flo, romantic is the most unique offering by Rie Fu since… well, ever, really. We all know her area is folk-based pop songs, usually featuring mostly slow, low-scale instrumentals and with an emphasis on the vocals. romantic takes all that and puts it on its head: we have a new-age techno song with fast, very prominent and catchy instrumentals with a much lower emphasis on the vocals. I really liked what Takahashi did with the vocals, giving them depth and width through a relatively thin layer of vocoders, yet removing the power and importance Rie Fu usually gives to the vocals. This song is a virtually perfect mix of techno and Rie Fu’s style of music. And I love that cover! It really reflects the content.

In The Airplane is another experiment, although one step closer to Rie Fu’s comfort zone. The verses seemed very unpromising at first, but the chorus made everything so much better, with its interesting use of . I really liked the feeling of being ‘in the airplane’: that feeling of deep sadness of leaving a place you want to stay in, but the joy of going back to another place and seeing other people.

Money Will Love You is the Rie Fu song on this single. It’s a relaxing ballad, better than “Home”, but in the same style. It’s relaxing and interesting, with that particular charm she puts into every song. This may be the beginning of Rie Fu’s rise, if she sticks to a more popular style, although I’m disappointed it only reached #100. Who knows, maybe money will come to love her one day? This is a fantastic single, and I think all songs have A-Side potential.

Rie Fu: Home

Home, Rie Fu

1. Home

2. Wait for Me

3. (They Long to Be) Close to You

Home is Rie Fu’s tenth single, released on January 23rd, 2008. It reached #98 on Oricon. It was selected as the theme song for the movie Koneko no Namida (kitten’s tears).

Home starts out pretty boring, but evolves into a more involved song. It’s an uplifting song, but not very since it’s not as outgoing as 5000 Miles. After all the effort of Tobira Album, Rie Fu must have felt more exhausted, because this song kind of, well, sucks. I won’t hide it from you; I don’t like this song. It’s just straightforward boring and mainstream. It draws its inspiration from The Carpenters, obviously so, but she fails to create something as good as their songs. Home is one of those singles released after an album which reflects the exhaust of the author, but in terms of quality. Too bad, actually.

Next comes the fantastically boring Wait for Me. For four minutes and a half, I waited for some kind of wonderful refrain, but in vain. What happened to the old, wonderfully talented Rie Fu?!

Rie Fu’s version of The Carpenters’ (They Long to Be) Close to You is the best song on the single, and it’s saving grace. She could hardly remake it, since one of her greatest sources on inspiration are The Carpenters, and this song is by far their most known. Although I prefer the original version, it’s nice to finally hear the version of one of her favorite songs that I couldn’t wait to hear sung by her.

Rie Fu: Tobira Album

Tobira Album, Rie Fu

5000 Miles

Come to My Door

Tsukiakari

Kimi ga Ukabu yo

Tobira

On It’s Way

Until I Say

Smile

Feel the Same

Dreams Be

Sunshine of My Day

London

Anata ga Koko ni Iru Riyuu

*****

Songs in bold are previously released singles. Songs in blue (with a link) have already been reviewed. Those songs will, however, be reviewed in context of the album once more.

*****

Tobira Album (Door Album) is Rie Fu’s third studio album, released on November 27th, 2007. It reached #20 on Oricon and has sold 6 203 copies.

The album opens with the upbeat, uplifiting 5000 Miles. As usual with her singles, this song is another charming, beautiful and entrancing song. I really liked when said “take your time, but I can’t wait anymore,” beginning the chorus. This is one of those songs that really makes you feel good. (The opening line is weird, “your temperature, please”…)

Come to My Door is a slower song than its precedent, and the verses aren’t great, but the chorus really made up for that. The guitars used in this song were really neat.

Tsukiakari (moonlight—single originally released on May 23rd, 2007) was my first single by Rie Fu, and although it is no longer my favorite song by her, it remains a wonderful song. It makes use of only the piano for the verses, and then adds more for the chorus.

Kimi ga Ukabu yo (I’m thinking of you) is a sweet song, opening with high notes on the piano. I didn’t really like the vocals, but, as usual, the chorus is pretty nice.

Tobira (door) is an acoustic ballad which began well, but got boring toward the middle because it doesn’t really feature much variation in the score.

Next is On It’s Way, a song which I liked more than Tobira, but not much. The vocals during the chorus didn’t please my ears very much, and I didn’t appreciate the powerful bass in the back.

Until I Say (single originally released on July 19th, 2006) is a wonderful song sung almost all in English. It sounds kind of like Tsukiakari, but once you get into the song, you realize that it has its differences. The chorus reminded me of 5000 Miles, so perhaps her inspiration for that song came from that part of this song. I really liked the line “close your eyes and cry ’til I say I love you”.

Smile is far more powerful a song than Until I Say, and kind of shocked me, but in a positive way. It’s a little repetitive in the rhythm, but it doesn’t emphasize that, so it didn’t annoy me too much. All in all, Smile is pretty average compared to Rie Fu’s other album songs.

Feel the Same, another sweet song in the style of Kimi ga Ukabu yo, but with even higher notes on the piano. The vocals on this song didn’t stun me, but they really appealed to me (I love her voice). The music is pretty much just a repetitive rhythm played on the piano, but that’s OK because of the vocals.

Dreams Be, the B-Side on Tsukiakari, is an uplifting song that I thought was just great after Tsukiakari (I was actually expecting the two to be one after the other since they contrasted well). I don’t know exactly whether to like or dislike the guitar solo, but let’s say it was OK.

Sunshine of My Day is a fresh rock tune which she sings pretty well. It kind of stands out of the crowd with all these soft tunes, although I suppose Dreams Be kind of did the transition.

London begins with a soft guitar tune and evolves into a pleasing soft rock ballad which I really enjoyed, although when she hits the notes high with her vocals it’s kind of awkward…

Anata ga Koko ni Iru Riyuu (why you’re here—single originally released on October 24th, 2007) is a very nice, slow ballad with a sad connotation to it. The chorus was kind of bizarre and I didn’t like it as much as the verses. But those violins were absolutely gorgeous; definitely my favorite single of the Tobira Album era.

Tobira Album is definitely yet another step up from Rose Album. With all those great singles she released, a string of consistently beautiful songs, in my opinion, I was awaiting this kind of an album. Rie Fu is one of the few artists who are talented yet receive an amount of attention non-proportional to their talent. She is also one of the few artist who manages to create very good B-Sides and album songs. The overall feel of Tobira Album, just plain, sheer, joy for the most part, also improved my view of this album.