Japanese pop diva Misia has released her ninth album, Just Ballade. Although it is slightly unusual in content, it is by no means a letdown.
The tracks here are unmistakably Misia, even though she mixes up her usual formula a little, with songs such as Work it Out taking on a strong Mariah Carey element. Call Me Love Me is typical J-pop but the samba-like rhythms laced throughout will get your feet moving.
Misia has had a hand in almost every part of the album's production and provided the lyrics for many of the tracks - unfortunately for most Hong Kong fans, they're all in Japanese.
Yakusoku no Tsubasa is a standout song even among some brilliant recent J-pop releases. It was also used as the theme song for the hit film Cyborg She.
Many of the 14 tracks on the album have been used in television and film. Others, namely Yes Forever(Piano Version), Ginga and Isumademo, have been featured in the advertisements for a well-known Japanese skincare brand.
The album starts out fast and winds down towards the end, which may be a mood killer for some; however, the added bonus of a DVD with six music videos will increase its appeal.
All in all, a great album that you can just sit down and listen to, while you relax and laze away the day.
YP rating: 4/5