Release Date: June 6, 2018
- Mikansei Girl
- Good Night
- Hikari no Hou (Suzuki Airi x Akai Ko-en)
- Be Your Love
- STORY (Suzuki Airi X SCANDAL)
- Kimi no Suki na Hito
- Tabun ne,
- Iin Janai
- perfect timing
- Candy Box
- Watashi no Soba de
- #DMAF (Suzuki Airi x SPICY CHOCOLATE)
- start again
For many idol fans Suzuki Airi is known as member of the Hello! Project groups C-ute and Buono! She graduated from H!P in the summer of 2017 when C-ute was disbanded and the members went their separate ways after 12 years of service.
In the midst of C-ute’s graduation Suzuki made her intentions known to continue her modeling career and engage in the pursuit of a solo singing career the following year. In May of 2018 the videos for the songs DISTANCE, start again and #DMAF were released. These songs gave a taste of what to expect from the 24-year old outside of the confines of Hello! Project.
The concept of Do me a favor is to showcase the two sides that have influenced Suzuki through her music career so far. The “dance side” features tracks inspired from her time in C-ute and the “band side” are tracks inspired from her time in Buono!
It is the first half of the album that allows Suzuki to shine and presents the direction(s) she could go in her solo career. The second half feels like the energy drops into some pleasant but ultimately forgettable filler until it picks back up again near the end.
Songs like DISTANCE, Good Night, Be Your Love and start again fit well with filling the quota of the “dance side” of this album. They also happen to be fresher pop songs than those that she was doing at the tail end of her career with C-ute and Hello! Project.
When it comes to the “band side” there are songs such as Mikansei Girl, Hikari no Hou e, STORY and Watashi no Soba de. The ones of most interest are the collaborations with Akai Ko-en (Mikansei Girl) and SCANDAL (STORY). If Suzuki chooses this musical path in the future it may serve her better in the long run rather than diving into the crowded pool of female pure pop singers.
If she continues into Urban/Pop crossover territory like in her collaboration with SPICY CHOCOLATE (#DMAF) that would also be a welcome detour from her idol pop past.
The expectations when it comes to Hello! Project alumni and solo careers are usually inflated by their core fan base. And while that isn’t necessarily a bad thing (we all want our favourites to succeed) sometimes the hype train can lead to a major derailment when the end product delivers poorly.
In the case of Suzuki Airi being one of the lead singers (or the lead singer depending on how you look at it) of C-ute would probably put her in that category of less than realistic expectations for her solo work.
However, Do me a favor feels different. Like there was some actual effort put into presenting Suzuki Airi in the best possible way and separate her from what she has been associated with for so long. Granted this album is probably a little too long in the tooth with filler tracks, but what is presented here is enough to show that she has the potential to carve out her own path as a successful solo act.