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Album Review #4: Sawayama (Rina Sawayama)

Updated: 4 days ago



This series explores the most critical aspect of an artist's work- a studio album!


For this series, I review studio albums that deserve a score from 8.5-10 (out of 10). These are my opinions, so don't expect anything factual.


This also means excluding any albums that aren't counted as studio albums (i.e. single, mini, repackage, etc.).

 

Track 1: Dynasty

Dynasty is a potent album opener. The song's introduction is dramatic, building up to a rock-infused drop with an orchestral touch to help deliver an anthemic sound. The energy keeps going from there, starting Sawayama on the right path!






Track 2: XS

XS is a dynamic pop track infusing a rock guitar with a percussive dance rhythm. Rina provides hypnotic verses, each building to a well-produced, innovative chorus filled with repeated hooks and a couple of rounds of the guitar riff.






Track 3: STFU!

While mu-metal dominates STFU!'s verses, the chorus tells a different story. In contrast to the frantic verses, the hook has a calm Y2K pop sound, comically led by a repeating "Shut the fuck up." The idea of this mixture would've raised some eyebrows, but the result proves otherwise.






Track 4: Comme Des Garçons (Like the Boys)

Opening with an infectious, bouncy bass and synth, Comme Des Garçons is another Rina dance-pop masterpiece. The song keeps its rhythm constant while delivering tasty vocals and instruments. It's the type of track you want at a nightclub!






Track 5: Akasaka Sad

Even though this is my least favorite song from the album, I still enjoy the bizarre production. Akasaka Sad would've benefited from a better chorus and instrumental, but the soundscape is intriguing to dissect. Think of this as a Billie Eilish record but more charming (no hate towards Billie).






Track 6: Paradisin'






Track 7: Love Me 4 Me






Track 8: Bad Friend






Track 9: Fuck This World






Track 10: Who's Gonna Save U Now?

To me, this is the best song from the album.






Track 11: Tokyo Love Hotel






Track 12: Chosen Family






Track 13: Snakeskin

Talk about a grower! At first, I wasn't thrilled with this song's drop, but multiple listens made me realize how enjoyable Snakeskin's drop is. It's the type of dramatic production I love experiencing! However, the star of the show is the build-up. The anticipation for the drop is enough to push this song over the top, ending this album on a high note!


 

Overall Rating: 9/10


My Top 3 Favorites: Who's Gonna Save U Now?, Love Me 4 Me, Comme Des Garçons (Like the Boys)

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