Metis - ONE LOVE

review - 03.17.2008 08:00

A collection of reggae singer Metis' best works!

ONE LOVE is reggae artist Metis’ full album, released in the summer of 2007. It’s mostly a best-of album with songs from previous releases, but also contains a number of new songs, all showing Metis’ incredible vocal talent. Where a lot of female singers usually have a high-pitched voice, hers is deep, incredibly intense and holds an amazing amount of power.

Starting off with the introduction ~imagination, with sound effects that sound like a heavy rainstorm in a tropical country, Metis sings and chants over acoustic percussion. Even though the vocals are slightly distorted and sound faint, the listener is already introduced to her strong, powerful voice. The intro launches into the next song Answer, from her first reggae mini-album. The slow reggae rhythm is unmistakable and whereas it might start to sound repetitive on its own, Metis' voice turns it into a very enjoyable song. Also, in the lyrics, reggae spirit is added as she sings in English "reggae music is trying to teach you joy from despair."

The following track, Ume wa Saitaka Sakura wa Madakaina (album version), has a similar feel with its slow reggae rhythm. The song also features Metis singing in a new way, her voice low and the lyrics sung in a style close to rapping. However, the song isn't aggressive like usual rap and has a nice flow to it.

The first new song on the album, Brand New Day, comes next. It's an optimistic, upbeat song with a catchy rhythm. Somehow, it's very reminiscent of songs by Jackson 5, mostly because of a beat that features hand clapping in the chorus and a horn section. Though it's definitely an enjoyable song, it doesn’t really show the strength of Metis' voice, though it does feature a pretty great rap by her.

After Brand New Day is the song Ring, which was released as the B-side of her successful single Respect! It's not quite reggae but definitely has a soulful feel to it, and it’s full of underlying tension, which fits extremely well with Metis' emotional singing. In the intro of the song, Metis sings a few lines in Jamaican patois, something that she has mastered surprisingly well. Following is MUSIC, an upbeat, merry sounding song in which Metis sings about the importance music has to her.

The interlude ~noon seems to split up the album, and the second half of the album contains mostly newer songs. It starts off with the second new song of the album, Natsu no Owari, which translates to "the end of summer." The song has a slow reggae rhythm and it has a bit of a nostalgic touch to it, really conveying the sadness of summer coming to an end.

The track melts into Kachoufuugetsu, a beautiful slow ballad. Then the tempo suddenly starts to pick up with the upbeat Mi strong woman. With the summer-themed Mina SUMMER, it starts to pick up even more. The song is done in quick soca style, with a skipping rhythm and an uplifting feel to it that makes it really suitable for dancing.

Respect! is up next, starting with an introduction of Metis singing a cappella, her voice crystal clear as it rises to incredible heights. The rhythm that is added is soca again, giving it a summertime feeling. The lyrics are sung incredibly quick and carry an uplifting message. With the lyrics of One by One, Metis shows her respect to the Rastafarian religion. The song is slow, with mostly percussion and vocals and it really shows off her voice, as well as the backing vocals.

Then comes the last track of the album, Aogiri no ki no shita de... and undoubtedly, the best was saved for last. The song mostly focuses on Metis' voice and starts totally a cappella, her voice crystal clear and full of emotion. A piano accompanies her during the latter half of the song and is joined by a string section, and the result is simply amazing. ~dawn is the last interlude and also the outro of the album, wrapping it up nicely.

ONE LOVE not only showcases Metis' talent but also gives the listener a wonderful collection of songs from her whole career in one release. Though fans might be disappointed if their favorite songs weren't picked to be on the album, they have to agree that this selection simply represents her songs and incredible vocals the best!
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