Release Date: September 29, 2019
- Sofa and Cushion
- Your Hand
- I Love You
- Kmt Dance
- Stay With Me
- Kiss from Chu
- Promises That Day
In mid-September it was announced on Showroom that SKE48/AKB48 member Matsui Jurina was set to release her solo debut album sometime in 2019. Well that sometime came rather quickly as her album titled Privacy dropped at the end of September rather than the rumoured October time frame.
The album’s title refers to the difficulty of living life in the public eye as an idol and sacrificing one’s privacy in order to do so. Matsui wrote lyrics for each track adding a bit of a personal touch to the album.
Kmt Dance is the lead single from Privacy. Released digitally on platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music, it was a serviceable introduction to her solo career but it was not exactly the best representation of who she is as a solo artist.
On this album she goes in the opposite direction of her SKE48 and AKB48 works. The opening portion of Privacy is very adult contemporary and lite radio friendly as demonstrated by songs such as Sofa and Cushion, Monochrome, I Love You.
The tempo starts to pick up a little bit once you hit Kmt Dance, Yolo, and Kiss From Chu. Taking the big picture of the album into account these 3 songs sound out of place of given their placement in the track listing. But it can’t all be mellowness and having something completely different does prevent one from being worn out from hearing the same type of songs back to back.
With that in mind Stay With Me and Promises That Day fare better in fitting in with the atmosphere of the album as a whole.
As mentioned in the review of Kmt Dance Matsui is not exactly the going to blow you away with her limited vocal range. Thankfully she’s not stretched to any ridiculous limits trying to emulate power pop diva gymnastics. She does a pretty good job with the three opening songs mentioned above if you’re interested in hearing the better of her excursions outside of the confines of the 48 universe.
In the end Matsui Jurina’s solo debut shows a few more colours to her as an artist. The path she has chosen to follow is a surprise that may take some listeners some time to get accustomed to. The only real drawback to this entire album is that her weak vocals hinder the songs from reaching their maximum impact. If you can get past that one aspect then you will find this to be a fairly okay 38 minutes of pop music.
Whether this is a sign of things to come (such as possible graduation) is up in the air. Based on this album she could probably get away with being a decent solo act if given the right material and guidance.