Abe Mao – Anata wo Suki na Watashi (album review)

Abe Mao - Anata wo Suki na Watashi

Abe Mao – Anata wo Suki na Watashi

Here it is; Abema’s new album (5th in her discography). Before I start dissecting it, I just want to say that I liked it better when her album titles were one word. I said the same with her previous album, Tatakai wa Owaranai, and I’m saying it again with Anata wo Suki na Watashi.

Now, first things first. With the exception of Tsutaetai Koto/I wanna see you, I’ve always much preferred Abema’s album-only songs to her singles, especially the a-sides. I suppose this is simply a matter of releasing radio-friendly songs vs releasing what the artist really wants. Looks like the trend continues into this album, and I’m fine with that as long as I get the Abema songs I want somewhere, in one release or another.

That said, let’s get on with the songs:

1. HOPE
Starting off the album with an upbeat rock track. All of Abema’s albums start off like this, and it’s a great way to get pumped up for the rest of the album. That said, HOPE doesn’t have the influence of, say, Mada (from her album Pop). Still, it does its job.

2. Anata ga Suki na Watashi
The single that the album gets its title from. Well, almost. That’s no typo there with ga/wo. This is probably one of Abema’s better a-sides, though still an average rock track.

3. Sore Ijou Demo Ika Demo Nai
Our second new song, and this is badass. I already knew this was my type of Abema song from the intro, but the chorus only added to that. Those guitar riffs, both electric and acoustic, are just great.

4. Doko Itta?
Another new song, and it’s one of those “just my guitar and I” songs that I love from Abema so much. There’s really nothing better that listening to this woman mash those chords while singing emotionally.

5. Mijikai Kotoba Tatta Sore Dake Sono Hitokoto Dake
This is one of those single b-sides that I just love to death. This should have been the a-side instead of Saigo no Watashi. Anyway, this is much like Doko Itta?, but edgier. It reminds me of that live acoustic version of Deadline from Abema’s Live No.2. I loved that performance, so having a similar recorded song is awesome.

6. boyfriend
Rather than the song itself, I like the PV.

7. Tenshi wa Itanda
Sweet, happy, pop-rock track. This works perfectly as the halfway mark on the album.

8. Will you save me
Engrish! The whole thing! But considering I could make out most of the song, maybe we can say English? I actually don’t mind when artists try something like this, as long as the lyrics are actually grammatically correct. Abema’s accent just needs a little working on, ‘s all. Otherwise, Will you save me is an average happy-sounding rock track.

9. Kaeshite
Abema’s trolling is back! We didn’t have her usual troll song on the previous album, so Kaeshite was quite the delight. Had me laughing for the rest of the song as soon as I realized that 90% of the lyrics were “give me back the 30,000 yen”. Also of note is the fact that this is Abema’s most electro-sounding song to date. I wonder if this is a jab at anything.

10. Kowai Hanashi
After going through a variety of strong emotions, we finally get to the ballads. I daresay 3 ballads to close the album is kind of stretching it, especially when none of them is particularly outstanding. I need something like Kotoba or Itsu no Hi mo again.

11. Saigo no Watashi
zzzzzzz. What I said above.

12. Aishiteru
Lastly, another boring new ballad.

This brings the total of new songs on this album to 8. I couldn’t ask for more, honestly. It’s also nice to see the album following a certain format, going from pure rock, to those badass acoustics, to sweet pop-rock, to some experimenting, and finally ending on a slow, calm (and somewhat boring) note.

Over all, a very solid album this time around. I was quite disappointed back with Tatakai wa Owaranai, so I’m glad to hear more of the Abe Mao that I like again here. Now if only her ballads would go back to having that old emotionality.

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