Saturday, August 4, 2012

[Album Review] Crystal Kay - VIVID


VIVID is Crystal Kay's 10th overall studio album and her 1st since her label switch from Epic Records to Delicious Deli Records over at Universal Music. This release comes with a CD+DVD limited edition containing the music videos for 3 of her past singles, "Superman", "Delicious na Kinyoubi" and "Forever" along with the making-of footage to "Forever" as well as the regular edition with only the 14-track CD.

First of all, I think the cover says nothing about the word "VIVID". I was expecting Crystal Kay to dish up some A+ shade to BoA's horrendous Vivid single cover but noooo she's just standing there looking boring. I don't hate it entirely, I just think it looks too simple for an album with a title like that. One thing I do like about it is how pretty Crystal looks. Once again, Crystal Kay does her classic one-edition-one-pose-the-other-another-pose combination for this release despite her label switch. Lovely.

The album starts off with my jam of the year so far, Forever. Gurl be seeing it in my eyes! I don't know why people don't just want to dance when they listen to this song because every time the chorus starts playing I start trying to dance like she did in the music video, except worse. This song definitely sets the mood for the entire album and gurl can see it in my eyes anytime of the day!

As if Forever alone wasn't enough, the next song, Be Mine, blew my mind away. It may seem like your run-off-the-mill electronic pop song that's a K-Pop leftover but somehow it's catchy yet doesn't sound generic. And the moment the chorus starts it just gets better and better like UH HUH UH HUH UH HUH and I start popping my booty ALL THE GIRLS WANT HIM ~he's such a good guy~ MINNA DAISUKI! KARE NO KOTO GA UH HUH UH HUH UH HUH HEY BE MINE BE MINE CRYSTAL KAY BE MINE!!! This is definitely one of the best songs on the album, and if you don't pop your pussy to this I don't know what else will.

Take It Outside to me is like another version of Haru Arashi but still sounds hot as hell. Once again when the chorus kicks in you just want to get down on the floor. Not to dance, but to do repeated kowtows in front of Crystal. She would also like to remind Kylie Minogue that her biggest mistake after rejecting Toxic is rejecting Yo Yo, which may just be a blessing in disguise because Crystal needs a track this hot to revive her career.

Speaking of Kylie Minogue-sounding tracks, What We Do sounds disturbingly like Countess Luann's Chic C'est La Vie, except this is so much better than that mess of a song, although it just drags on and on towards the end but ok.

No introductions are needed for Superman, Haru Arashi and Delicious na Kinyoubi. Despite them being the first few singles leading up to the album, I am still hooked onto them when listening to the album. The first few beats in the beginning of Superman tells it all.

If you're craving for some R&B ballads the closest you'll ever get to them are Come Back To Me, Memory Box and Rising Sun on this record. Kuri didn't totally abandon her roots in this album as some of the tracks still have some good ol' R&B influence. My personal favourite among the 3 is Come Back To Me which makes me want to cry, not because of how sad it sounds but because of how good the album is.

While I'm not a big fan of having remixes placed after the main album, in this case I thought they actually fitted well with the album. My personal favourite is Forever (Kazuhiko Maeda Remix) which I think is as good as the original mix itself. Nonetheless, it would still be great if done without because Rising Sun would've made a hell of a good closer for the album.

As a whole, I am EXTREMELY impressed by this album as well as her label's efforts in its promotion, packaging, marketing etc. It flopped on the charts, but at least it didn't flop as hard as Spin The Music. In fact, that Spin The Music was a waste of everyone's time, which is a pity because the album is actually decent, but it clearly showed the immensity of the fucks that her previous label actually gave to her, or rather the lack thereof. The only thing I wish they'd done for VIVID was to make more music videos because the videos on this album alone shits all over her entire videography. Ok maybe except Superman cuz that was an editing mess.

Older fans of Crystal Kay probably wouldn't like this record so much as this record is obviously going for a more commercialised dance-pop sound, but honestly speaking I think it's great that she's changing up her sound. I listened to the first disc of the BEST of CRYSTAL KAY and it bored the shit out of me because of how same-y the songs sounded. At least this was an experiment that passed with flying colours and you will deal.

Most importantly, this album has no areas that would make you want to fall asleep. Spin The Music is already a snoozefest from Kimi ga Ireba to Goodbye, and Color Change! just made me instantly fall asleep the moment the first note to Kaerimichi started.

Plus, unlike an album that starts with a J and ends with an APONESQUE, the album is actually coherent. Despite the album being a wholly dance-pop record, each song has its own uniqueness and thus doesn't make every track sound the same, and that is one thing I found that was well-executed with this album.

I'm very proud of Kuri for having made this label change and this wonderful comeback. I hope to see more greatness coming from this new big step to her career! At least she's not stuck in a rut like musical legend Aoyama Thelma.

Listen to previews here.


Album highlights: Forever, Be Mine, Yo Yo, Come Back To Me, Superman, Haru Arashi, Fly High, Delicious na Kinyoubi, Rising Sun, Forever (Kazuhiro Maeda Remix)

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