Party Queen – The Verdict
Ok, to be honest I was not anticipating this album in the slightest. After the dull mini album Five I wasn’t expecting much. To my surprise, Ayu has somewhat redeemed herself. Party Queen turned out to be a pretty nice listen- who’d of thought?! I did get more hyped for the record when the full version of ‘How Beautiful You Are’ was released. While the vibratto meter is off the charts here, the arrangement and feel of the song are actually quite nice. This single however gave me false hope for the covers, which were an absolute train wreck. Just incredibly cheesy and a horrible way to represent the album in my opinion. However, the music content is pretty good! Generally speaking just about every track is listen worthy.
I find myself returning mostly to the middle of this album, which features the signature Ayu sound we’ve heard time and again. That being said I think the production value of these songs is much improved over some of her more recent ‘standard fare’ songs. I’m especially enjoying ‘Call’ and ‘Return Road.’ However, my love for Return Road ends when the music video starts… Quite honestly all the pvs for this era were painfully unimaginative and boring. At least Virgin Road had gunshots and a car explosion! I’m still liking most of the material for this release though. The title track could be better, but it’s fun and groovy! I’m still trying to understand why this song was chosen to market a line of bras… but that also brings up the answer to the timeless tootsie pop question- the world may never know. The biggest disappointments for me on this record are ‘NaNaNa’ and ‘Eyes, Smoke, Magic.’ NaNaNa’s chorus and beginning are awesome, but a huge portion of the song is polluted with a bunch of annoying and pointless speaking. Had that not been there it probably would be one of my favorite tracks. Eyes, Smoke, Magic sounds like something stolen from some haplessly unaware theater production. I really can’t stand showtunes at all. She pulled off the track well, I just don’t care for it. All in all this is a huge step up from her past 2 efforts. I’m happy she’s finally making a nice comeback. There’s still room for improvement, but this is definitely a start!
Best Tracks: Call, Return Road, Letter, Shake It, Reminds Me
Not as Nice: NaNaNa; Eyes, Smoke, Magic
Standing Against Past Releases:
Next Level>Rock’n’Roll Circus>Party Queen>>Love Songs>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Five