WHITE, released on 9.28.11, is Angela Aki’s 5th album.
The album starts off with 「始まりのバラード (Hajimari no Ballad)」 with an overall orchestra instrumental. Angela Aki’s vocals are very sweet and delicate, and I find her tone of vocals to fit the title of the song really well (Hajimari no Ballad = Ballad of the Beginning). Classic of Angela Aki ballads, she grows stronger in the bridge and goes full out in the chorus, bringing energy into the song. I love the song for its simple, yet strong composition.
「津軽海峡・冬景色 (Tsugaru Kaikyou Fuyu Keshiki)」 is a Ishikawa Sayuri cover. It’s a dramatic, quick paced piano instrumental that gives off a slightly traditional sound to it, especially in the way Angela Aki is singing emotionally with the song. I don’t know the original song, but I think that she does a really great job in recreating it with her vocals.
「I Have a Dream」 is a sweet ballad, this time about the all popular phrase, “I Have a Dream”. It’s a simple piano and orchestra combination, with Angela Aki carefully singing, making pauses every now and then to emphasize steady pacing, but still moving forward.
Next up is 「フリオ (Julio)」 with the usual acoustic guitar instrumental as Angela Aki sings to fast paced lyrics. The song is very refreshing and it’s a simple, but fun song to listen to. Though when Angela Aki sings, “Juli-Juli-Julio~” it sounds a bit weird xD. Besides that, its a really nice song.
A murmured “tick tick toc…” starts off 「My Grandfather’s Clock」, which is a sweet ballad song sung in English about her grandfather’s clock. I think you should listen to this song personally since its easy to understand and you’ll only be able to hear her emotions as she speaks about her grandfather’s clock if you listen to the song yourself.
「モラルの葬式-revival- (Moral no Soushiki -revival-)」 starts off with some, for a lack of a better word, Indian yelling and sounds that make it sound like a ritual. Angela Aki’s vocals are normal but the sounds in the background are distracting from her strong vocals. There’s a point where she gradually goes up in rhythm (kinda like going down the piano scale) but it feels kinda awkward and out of place.
A sort of harmonic chanting starts up 「ふるさと～HOME (Furusato~HOME)」 and for some reason it kinda reminds me of those seasonal Christmas songs, haha. The choir takes up the first minute before the piano comes in and Angela Aki comes in as well. It’s a classic piano ballad with its simple supporting choir. I do love the line “Home is calling”.
A strange “beep beep!” starts off 「目撃車 (Mokugekisha)」 but it goes into a normal piano instrumental as Angela Aki sings to a mid-tempo ballad. It’s your typical Angela Aki ballad, but with a more energetic, but still toned down flair to it.
「Honesty」 is another English song with a piano instrumental in a ballad about honesty as the title suggests. It’s kinda interesting how she sings how honesty is a lonely word and that everyone is untrue.
Ending the album is 「One Family」, this time with a mix of acoustic guitar and piano. For some reason, I was kinda expecting this song to be in English too, haha. Oh, well, the chorus is somewhat in English when she sings, “We’re brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers.”
Sometimes I don’t know whether or not I like the fact that piano ballads are basically Angela Aki’s staple genre. I mean, it’s fine, but I wish she’d do something drastic to re-invent the type of songs she keeps putting out. I don’t have any particular song that I enjoyed A LOT, but all of the songs off this album are really good and deserve a listen.