2U, released on 2.22.12, is Matsushita Yuya’s 2nd album. The limited edition of the album includes a DVD of his movie Hikari, Sono Sake e.
The album starts off with 「Theme of 2U」, which begins with the sound of a dialing tone and car keys before a bright synthesizer comes in and MatsuYuya says, “Hello world… this is 2U!”
It goes in nicely into the first song, 「SUPER DRIVE」, which is quick paced with a synthesized instrumental. Matsushita starts off the song by spelling out super drive before going into a heated verse as he sings, “baby stop~” The bridge is fairly simple as he sings, “super drive, super drive, hurry up” over and over before going into the chorus where “oh!”s in the background are heard. Tbqh, this song itself sounds “hot” in the sense of how he’s singing, but it’s not really my kind of song.
「Naturally」 is a sweet R&B styled song. Matsushita’s vocals are smooth and go along with the instrumental nicely, along with the female vocals that come in every now and then. From when I watched the performance, it seems like most of the song is English with pieces of Japanese here and there. The song gives a fresh, relaxed feeling, which is what I got from his PV for the song as well. Matsushita’s rap fits in pretty nicely into the song, though I’m not too terribly crazy about that rap.
「Beautiful Days」 is a very cheerful electronica song that actually really reminds me of something from the 90s. MatsuYuya’s vocals are slightly edited and there’s a strange enunciation in his vocals, but it’s not too bad. I kinda wish his vocals were louder compared to the instrumental, but I am seriously really getting oldschool/90s vibes from this song.
A peaceful piano instrumental makes 「INTERLUDE I」 before it goes into,
「4 Seasons」, an upbeat piece with a synthesized instrumental. 4 Seasons is really lively and bright. However, it’s a bit of a lackluster song, though still quite fresh sounding.
「Paradise」 is a sweet repetitive electronica beat combined with Matushita’s bright vocals, creating a lovely combination together. After his first few lines, there is a moment of pure instrumentation plus some background vocals, before he goes into his lines again. The beat kinda reminds me of Pi’s Loveless for some reason. Anyway, Matushita’s combination of slow and quick paced lyrics make for a moving tempo that moves us along into his “paradise”. It’s a rather refreshing R&B piece, it feels a bit reminiscent to Honesty.
「Life in the dark」 starts off with this weird autotune voice and a busy busy instrumental. MatsuYuya begins singing, his voice a bit echo-y and not really that clear. I think they were probably trying to blend in his vocals with the instrumental, but I don’t really like how it sounds. The instrumental has lots of electronica and some keyboard. I just think this song is a mess.
This time, 「INTERLUDE II」 uses a band for a peaceful, but somewhat chilling instrumental.
Immediately, MatsuYuya begins with, “Everytime I think why, everytime I know why,” in 「Last Dance’ 06」. It’s a full English song, interesting. It has mainly a mixture of orchestra and acoustic guitar instrumental in a bit of a R&Bish type ballad. His accent is nearly gone now and he has almost clear enunciation in this song. There are a few unclear spots, but nothing too indiscernible.
「2 of Us」 is another R&B song with a keyboard instrumental and the classic “clap” background sounds. MatsuYuya’s vocals are clear against the instrumental and he does an overlap of his vocals a couple times in the verses leading into the chorus.
「キミへのラブソング ~10年先も~ (Kimi e no Love Song ~10 nen Saki mo~)」 is a simple mid-tempo ballad. There is a mix of keyboard, drums, and some guitar to make a simple, but effective instrumental. MatsuYuya sings at a good pace along with the instrumental in a somewhat low key (not like the slightly higher key that is usual with his R&B songs). The song is pretty slow paced and repetitive, so it might get boring after a while. I think it’d be a nice song to pass the time away with. Or maybe even sleep to, haha.
「Bird」 is a very pretty ballad piece, a bit of a familiar ballad, but still pretty nonetheless. Matsushita sings in a solemn voice (which in my head, for some reason, brings the image of light streaming through the treetops of a forest) and the combination of the instrumental with his vocals bring a calming, but meaningful piece.
「A Song for You」 brings back a slightly more upbeatness to the album with snapping and a light synthesizer/electronica instrumental. MatsuYuya’s vocals are quick as he matches up with the beat of the instrumental, but again, like a few of his songs, the instrumental is overpowering his vocals.
Continuing the upbeatness, 「Beauty & Beast」, MatsuYuya sings, “I can’t say ‘I love you’!” with some random English phrases sprinkled into the opening chorus. The instrumental is a bright electronica instrumental with some keyboard, too. Before going into the first verse, MatsuYuya raps and once it goes into the first verse, the electronica instrumental quiets down a bit.
「Secret Love feat. BRIGHT, SHUN」 gradually builds up into an electronic instrumental, kinda like the sounds of a video game. Matsushita’s vocals really do not stand out against the instrumental, instead opting to blend into the instrumental this time along with the guesting vocals. The female vocals make for a nice change of pace as she backs the song as much as Matsushita does. This song is upbeat and fast paced, creating a bit of a rushed, but adrenaline filled mood.
Last up is 「Step by Step」 which starts off with a twinkling instrumental along with an orchestra. The electronica that comes in later brightens up the song, which really brings in the image of going “step by step at a time”. The instrumental quiets down once it gets to the verses with only the piano, orchestra, and guitar but they come back again for the choruses.
So, more than half of the songs on this album were previously released A-side/B-sides from his singles, so there wasn’t really that much that was new… However, out of the new songs, I really liked Last Dance’ 06 and 2 of Us. I also really liked how the album started off with energetic, fast-paced songs and then going into a more “diluted” upbeat theme, then the ballads, then back into the energetic mood.