Readers of my website may remember how I discovered the Japanese singer YUI after watching the movie Midnight Sun and foretold that she is a new artist to look out for. I even went in great effort to import her first album “From Me To You” from HMV Hong Kong. Within one week of release, YUI’s 2nd album “Can’t Buy Me Love” totally shattered the sales record of her previous album. If fans like me can just buy the record off the shelf without sampling a single song, there must be some kind of craze going on.
YUI’s strengths lie in her talents in songwriting, guitar playing, and her simple yet pleasant appearance that melts the crowd – more than make up for her vocal ability for someone who is only 20 this year. Then again, what is wrong with girlie voice? Jazz singer Lisa Ekdahl seems to sound like a girl no matter how old she was when each of her album was recorded. While YUI’s first album “From Me To You” probably made famous by her movie “Midnight Sun” because she did showcase some of her songs in the said movie, “Can’t Buy Me Love” does not have the same advantage. I have to admit sometimes visual impact can be powerful and of course what I am trying to assess is if “Can’t Buy Me Love” lives up to expectation.
“Tomorrow’s Way” from her first album is probably my one of my top 10 all time favorite Japanese songs right now. “Good-bye Days”, the theme song of her movie did not appear in her first album (her 1st album was released before the movie) but happy to say, it is inside this new album. Same goes to “I Remember You” that was featured in her movie. Though these two songs sound a little bit dated, it is good that they are featured somewhere. The two major singles coming out from “Can’t Buy Me Love” are “Rolling Star” and “CHE.R.RY”. Both are featured below. My favorite song of this new album is perhaps “Umbrella” – a song that may come close to “Tomorrow’s Way”.
All in all, I enjoy “Can’t Buy Me Love” and am glad that YUI has kept up with the good work. Her next single “My Generation / Understand” is nowhere to be seen in this new album of hers. I sense a third album in the making knowing how productive Japanese artists can be. YUI writes all her songs – both music and lyric – and if she can keep up with that pace, it is indeed admirable.