Release Date: December 7, 2011
- Koi no Kakera
- Naite Bakari Datta
- Kimi no Sei ~U Knocked My Heart~
- All About Me
- Dance With U
- Let It Go
- Too Late
- Still In Love
- Cry For You
- Forget About U feat. NERDHEAD (AK Version)
Ayuse Kozue is probably a name that isn’t familiar to a lot of people. She might be most recognizable to viewers of MTV Japan as she was a VJ there during the summer and fall of 2006.
Otherwise she is most likely not on a lot of people’s radars outside of those who follow the Japanese R&B scene.
U&I is her third studio album and it features the theme song for the TV show Ryuha-R, Naite Bakari Datta.
A lot of the material on this album falls squarely within mid-tempo R&B/Pop with light touches of Hip-Hop. That may sound really boring to you and to be quite honest, much of what is here is fairly unexciting to say the least.
Ayuse has a beautiful voice and she’s comparable to BENI in terms of clarity and possibly range but unfortunately she’s given material that doesn’t really give her a chance to truly shine. She gets lost in generic R&B at its best.
There are some small slivers of light on this album that are exceptions to that statement. Both of the collaborations with NERDHEAD (Koi no Kakera and Forget About U) were the liveliest of the songs present and it’s sad that there weren’t more similar to these two.
Still In Love gets special mention simply because among the ballads it’s the one that has the most potential to leave a lasting impression. It definitely has that break up/make up sex kind of vibe that will help get many get their bedroom boom on.
Unfortunately the rest of this album can be considered a wash or a write-off, especially if you’re extremely picky about your R&B.
I find that disappointing and while I can’t stop you from listening to U&I, at least you have been warned.
U & I