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Last updated 10.23.2001
Easy Listening
Catalog #: VICL-60760
Release Date: 8/8/01
Running Length: ~35 minutes

Easy Listening

click above to switch between front
and back cd cover images


Track List
  1. Inori
  2. Blind Summer Fish
  3. Doreddo 39
  4. Afternoon Repose
  5. Bitter Sweet
  6. Another Grey Day in the Big Blue World
  7. Birds
(Right click on highlighted tracks and select "Save Target As" to download sample mp3s. The mp3s are archived in Zip format. If you don't have a zip uncompression program, I recommend Winzip.)
Review
Easy Listening is Maaya's first mini-album and contains about half the number of songs an average full album would. Once again, there is variety of tracks on this cd. There some slow songs, some fast ones, etc. Fans of Maaya's English singing will be happy to know that there are two English songs on Easy Listening.

Track 1, Inori, starts off the album with a soulful song that has some faint background vocals. When I first heard this song, I was completely enchanted by it. For some reason it reminds me of Watashi wa Okano Uekara Kabin wo Nageru from Maaya's Lucy cd.

The second track, titled Blind Summer Fish, is an upbeat song that also makes good use of background vocals. Maybe it's just me, but the Japanese seem to like write a lot of songs using the word "fish".

Doreddo 39 seems a quite bit different from Maaya's previous songs in that Kanno used a tribal beat for this track. I didn't enjoy this track that much at first, but it quickly grew on me. The beat is quite catchy and makes me want to dance in my chair while listening to it.

Afternoon Repose is the first English song on this album. After re-listening to this song, I thought to myself that it might as well be titled "Easy Listening". Afternoon Repose is a light hearted song, something that I could imagine myself listening to on an easy listening radio station (a Japanese station probably).

Track 5, Bitter Sweet, is the song I least enjoy. In some ways I feel it's an experiment gone horribly wrong. Kanno used some deep bass instruments for this track, perhaps in an attempt to capture the style of the R&B songs in the US. In any case, it's a decent song, but nothing that great. It's one of Maaya's less stunning songs in my opinion.

The sixth track, Another Grey Day in the Big Blue World, is the other English song. Unlike Afternoon Repose, this is moody song with a sad tone. This is my favorite song on Easy Listening, although I can't quite place why. Maybe it's the lyrics themselves, or the beautiful piano music. In any case, another great English song from Maaya.

Ah, the end so soon... Maaya finishes this album with a nice upbeat song titled Birds. Many Maaya fans I've talked to like this track the most. It's definitely a good song, but for some reason I don't like it as much as people. What I enjoy about this song is where Maaya starts singing in English, "I... will...I will be there..."

Liner Notes

Track notes
Totally produced by hog
All backing vocals by Maaya Sakamoto

Musicians
Guitars: Fujii Kenji
Percussion: Misawa Mataro
Oboe: Satosi Tomofumi
Clarinet: Togame Shouji
Synthesizer manipulating: Urata Keishi assisted by Takubo Seiichi
Humming: Shanti Snyder