MUNEHIRO - Limited

review - 08.24.2007 08:00

Contrary to the title, MUNEHIRO's newest shows her unlimited talent.

Limited is MUNEHIRO's third album and her first on a major label. It was released in August 2007, nearly a year after Up and Coming, to the delight of her impatiently waiting fans. The cover of the album shows MUNEHIRO in a sexy, short golden dress doing the splits. The booklet has more photographs of her in various positions showing off her flexibility, and somehow she manages to look sensual and stylish in the skimpy dress instead of coming off as blatantly sexual.

Of course, just like her previous albums, Limited starts off with an intro track: It's TIME -Intro-. It begins with the sound of clocks ticking and then striking, creating a cacophony. MUNEHIRO whispers "wake up, wake up" over the noise until the first actual song of the album, MUSIC, starts - and it's a song that will definitely wake you up! The track opens with such a catchy, adrenaline-pumping lead in that falling prey to its dance-vibes seems only natural. MUNEHIRO's vocals are fierce and confident and the power of the song is cranked even higher by the 80's style synthesizer sounds placed strategically throughout.

Shock Eye of Shonannokaze is featured on the next song, Simple Answer. Indeed, it's an uncomplicated, easygoing reggae inspired song that has the ability to really lift one’s spirits. From the carefree song we continue to Saigo no Yoru, in which MUNEHIRO shows off what she's best at with the slow-paced reggae song. Although the song has a melancholic feeling to it, filled with the yearning for a lost love, her voice is strong and passionate as though she’s saying she’ll somehow get through it.

A short song follows, and at the length of a minute and a half Onna no Higen is really more of an interlude. The ticking clocks from the intro are featured again and MUNEHIRO sings just a few sultry lines while accompanied by a piano.

Touch me comes next. It starts out with a funny, playful reggae intro with the sound of chimes. Then the rhythm changes to dancehall to match the agressive English chorus of "Touch me, you're mine baby, Touch me, I’m yours baby". Though the song isn't really fast, it's still suitable for dancing, but the next song - SWEET & BITTER, featuring BOY-KEN - is even better for it. The man in question drives the song with his vocals, which are about as graceful as...a tank. The style is common for dancehall and works well overall, but the track is not a personal favourite.

Then it's party time again - or more literally, a festival, with the song Matsuri. It opens with the strains of traditional Japanese music but the mood quickly changes, though the sound of the koto remains. MUNEHIRO has proved before how well this instrument mixes with the modern dancehall style and this time is no exception. The rhythm is so intense and catchy that it's hard to remain still!

Onna no Tawagoto is another short, instrumental interlude that brings back the sound of the ticking clocks. Then it breaks into the explosive sounds of Kagayaku Onna, which returns the mood to a party atmosphere. The song has a fierce rhythm as well and is moves fast from melody to vocals.

Two reggae songs follow, Bird and PUZZLE. Bird is quite fast paced and the vocals are synthesized to sound hollow and give the impression of spaciousness. PUZZLE is much slower and features more English lyrics.

Limited, the title of the album and last track on it, is a slow, soulful ballad. MUNEHIRO is accompanied by acoustic instruments, most prominent of which are the acoustic guitar and drums. The album ends with a coda, Finale -Outro-, which continues the cacophony of clocks from the intro and brings everything together.

Once again, MUNEHIRO has delivered a great album with a variety of styles. While paying homage to the reggae and dancehall styles she manages to add her own style in, making the songs unique. Hopefully, now that she has signed to a major label, the wait for a new release will be shorter this time!
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