Meisa Kuroki / ATTITUDE / January 01, 2010
01. Are ya Ready?
I don’t count interludes anymore; if a song isn’t good enough to be expanded into a full-length track, forever bound to be the humless drone of a filler, bulking up another otherwise mini-album (and why isn’t “SHOCK -Unmei-” and/or its B-side on this album? I’ll give you the intro but I’ll swap the two interludes), then quantity over quality stops being an overused adage and starts becoming a lifestyle (Ayumi Hamasaki what?). Meisa Kuroki may live in fear of the full-length album but she’s not afraid to take initiative: ATTITUDE sums up the lyrical content, from “Are Ya ready?” to “Stand Up!” where Kuroki’s career as front door actress, back door singer continues to affirm her pan-talented abilities.
But the record is constantly hampered by meandering, improvised piano interludes, sometimes accompanied by indiscernible mumbling or tuneless cooing. It’s easy to conclude that Kuroki’s brief dabbles in song may leave the listener wanting more, but hellcat left little to the imagination and ATTITUDE simply carries the narrative further, without elevating it beyond its already limited pop scope. There’s actually little to discuss beyond the album’s potential – and I really do hesitate when I say potential, as debut albums can have potential, but sophomore albums begin confirming or disproving predictions – since “Are ya ready?” aside, this album might as well have been composed parallel to her first album, though with far more weak tracks. To be fair, the promotional video for “Are ya Ready?” is all kinds of diva-in-the-making (wait, doesn’t that denote potential again?) and visually illustrates how well one hundred mirrored Kurokis fit the mold. But smart art direction alone does not a superstar make.