Release Date: September 16, 2009
- Queen Bee feat. Bigga Raiji
- Lady Rise
- Teardrops with KG
- Mine with KEN The 390
- Fly Away
- Plastic Lover
Sweet Black is a cross-media collaboration between J-WAVE, Avex and mixi. While not officially a Maki Goto album it’s close enough to be considered one. One has to wonder how does Avex Maki compare with UFA Maki now that this album has been released?
Well there is a rather noticeable shift in sound for her. It was hinted at on her final UFA album (How To Use Sexy) but with Sweet Black the change is completed. Gone are the cutesy pop songs and in are more contemporary R&B and Dance productions. And she sounds much better on those kind of tracks.
I’ve always liked Goto’s voice but never really got into her solo works when she was graduated from Morning Musume. I just didn’t like many of her songs during her solo career at UFA. I have no idea why, I just didn’t dig her as much.
I liked looking at her but that was about it. Now that she’s moved over to Avex perhaps I have a fresher perspective. I mean there’s nothing from Avex to compare her to as she’s never done anything for them previously.
There are a couple of previously released songs on this album (Fly Away, Lady Rise) but the rest are new works.
Queen Bee is a dance hall flavored club banger featuring a rapper by the name of Bigga Raiji. I found the dude’s voice to be somewhat annoying but not enough to make me hit the stop button. There was more than enough Goto to make those feelings of ill will go away.
Tear Drops features KG and is a simple & sweet piano driven ballad. It’s a soothing track that allows Goto to show off her vocals a little bit.
She doesn’t do any vocal gymnastics or anything but she does show a bit of power in her vocals that weren’t present in some of her older songs. KG wasn’t bad either. I wouldn’t mind hearing more from him in the future.
The last track I’d like to mention is Plastic Lover which is reminiscent of her collaboration with Ravex (Golden Luv). I wouldn’t mind hearing a few more club style tracks from Goto because I think she has the chops to pull them off pretty convincingly.
Overall a great album. If there is one complaint I have it’s that it’s too short. 2 more tracks would have been nice, but otherwise some quality stuff.