Release Date: July 2, 2008
Label: EMI Music Japan
Number of Songs: 13
Personal Rating: 4.5/5
1. Love Forever
2. Tender Touch
3. Kissing Me
4. Unchanging Love ～Kimi ga Ireba～
5. Catch Me
6. Lullaby for You
7. Watashi no Taiyou
8. Naitemo li you
9. You’re the One
10. Lovers DRIVE
11. The Chills
12. Still in Love
It’s been such a long time since Jyongri released her debut album, “Close to Fantasy.” Now she’s back with a twist onto her music with this hit second album! Judging from her past singles, it seems that she had really shook up her style and began to impress J-pop fans and now, video game fans since her song, “Lullaby For You” was featured on the ever popular “The World Ends With You.” Let’s see what she now has in store for us in her second album, “Love Forever!”
Just when I thought that the song title featured on the album was going to be one hell of a song, it actually turns out to be some sort of interlude. It’s okay because I thought that Love Forever was a pretty good interlude. ….Well there are actually vocals in this track. The thing about this track is that Jyongri sings in English in here and that there’s actually a melody in this really short song.
Judging by the title, I was really positive that this album would be filled with love songs. Unlike her “Close to Fantasy” Era, Tender Touch shows that very romantic side of Jyongri, with the piano and strings in the background. Somehow, I guess that she’s still a bit wishy washy about the types of songs she composes because this ballad is much much much more powerful than all of her past tracks! I’m lovin this album so far!
Anyway, there’s Kissing Me that already starts with a remixed rhythm but there’s also that piano instrumental that kinds of share the same style as “Lullaby for you.” In a way, I think Jyongri’s voice sounded more sweet and into the style with this song than in all of the songs featured in her past album. Her vocals are really strong and it shows her true talent as a singer. How could they have not shown it on the past 13-track album? Personally, I think this song represents my definition of a teenage singer with potential.
So it all begins with Unchanging Love ～Kimi ga Ireba～. There are so many Japanese ballads that are called “Kimi go Ireba,” so I would expect this to be some sort of ballad. And it seems that my guess was correct! I thought that the PV and instrumentals for this song was pretty cute. I liked how the chorus was very powerful and how the introduction helps lead to it. Unlike the original version that was featured on one of her past single, this version that’s featured in the album just includes Jyongri whispering during the bridge.
Then there’s Catch Me. Compared to the tracks before, this is more of a dance song than pop or a ballad. This would probably be considered another one of my favorite songs by Jyongri because there’s true meaning within the lyrics and it makes the listeners want to dance with it. (But the song sounds like another one of Utada Hikaru’s R&B songs: very repetitive.) I would give this song a rating of 8 out of 10 if I were judging this song.
Lullaby for You was a great song to start with! I pretty much understand why Square Enix used this song for the “World Ends with You” ending, despite the fact that lyrics are a little bit mature. (The irony about this song is that a phrase of the lyrics says “Is it because I’m still fifteen?” And the main character of the video game happens to be fifteen years old….just something I noticed.) And as many people would have guessed, this is another one of Jyongri’s love songs. At least, there’s a lovely piano melody that is played at the beginning of the song and that the rhythm that plays throughout the song at least suits the mood of the lyrics.
After a large batch of her old songs, we begin again with the new tracks Watashi no Taiyou. This song is pretty upbeat but its not done in a messy job like she did with “Unchanging Love.” In fact, it’s even more overpowering than all of the few upbeat songs in this album since the powerful chorus is something that Jyongri doesn’t really include into her songs.
Another new track is Naitemo li yo which is also pretty uplifting but I prefer “Watashi no Taiyou” over this track. I don’t know but there’s something about the instrumentals and rhythms in the background that kinda bothers me.
Just when I though “Kissing me” won me over, You’re the One steals the show away. It’s another one of her laid back pop songs but it’s not as ‘plain’ as her older tracks. The song shows more of the effort that Jyongri uses and the acoustics in the background sounded more new. I have a feeling that Jyongri is starting fresh with a new lyric and rhythmic style. (Something that’s better than her past works!.)
Another modern song called Lovers DRIVE also happens to be featured in this single. (And once again, it sounds like a R&B type song) I would give the impression that the visual image of the song is a little vague but I really like how the acoustics in the background would give people that modern feel of the singer. (Considering the fact that Jyongri does sing J-pop.) …Probably my least favorite song of the whole single.
The Chills is probably one of Jyongri’s attempt to do an R&B type track durign this er and it turns out that she did a great job! The song wasn’t messy, too repetitive or boring. In fact, it’s pretty uplifting compared to her past R&B songs. The instrumentals included all sorts of clapping and a catchy chorus. Gotta say she did use the best of what she has!
The second to the last ballad featured in this amazing album is Still in Love which actually keeps the mood of this romantic album. Her romantic vocals seemed more lovely than ever with this song and with the minimal use of instrumentals. The song did sound pretty empty but Jyongri’s vocals pretty much made up for it.
Like before, Jyongri always ended her albums with a great ending song. In this case, it turns out to be STARS, the final ballad. Like some of “Dream’s” songs, its pretty boring at the beginning but she picks up that pace near the end which give us more of a “conclusion” feel. (If you know what I mean, lol.) It’s a bit disappointing though, since it wasn’t as well written and composed as the rest of the album. My opinion, I guess.
Personal Rating: 4.5/5