Lei Aloha was melody.’s 4th studio album. It was released on April 9, 2008 and reached number 15 on the charts with 11,771 copies sold. In all this album has sold over 20,609+ copies. Now despite these low sales total one could say that it was expected. There was only one single released before the album, and virtually no promotions were done to my knowledge. Unlike her previous albums, there is only a CD version of this album, no CD+DVD version. This is also her lowest charting album to date.
2. Say Hello
3. Haruka (Eternal Version)
4. Peace Song
5. Never Goodbye
6. Memories in Time
8. Kiss away
9. Anata no Soba ni
10. No Return
11. Sunset Love
12. Beneath My Skin
Daybreak, the island introduction. This wonderful short, yet beautiful intro opens up this album. It begins with some silence, followed by a harp and ocean waves. Shortly afterwards, background vocals can be heard ad-libbing, then singing in some lovely voices, well they say a few words. Then it ends, and it’s very transitional for an intro. Keeps the whole island theme, so it’s quite nice.
Say Hello, the violin, island tune. After a thirty second instrumental, the chorus can be heard, which is surprisingly in features English. During the chorus an acoustic guitar can be heard and it gives the song that island feel, again it fits in the mood of the album. It moves faster as the song progresses, so that’s pretty good. It doesn’t start out so catchy, but towards the lower part of the middle, it begins to sound so catchy and so wonderful. I really loved how the violin’s played a major roll in the song, it made it sound so classical and so beautiful. Not a bad first new song on the album.
Haruka (Eternal Version), a new ending. Haruka was released as the only single of this album, and it ended up selling more copies than the album itself. Anyway, this song is similar to the original version with the exception of the ending, which was lengthened. It sounds so much better than the original, the music is breathtaking and it’s just so beautiful. There’s a choir in the background singing as the drums play, and you can even hear a violin. I love the whole “Stay together hand in hand,” part, it was just so lovely and inspirational. Anyway, for a short review. This song is a beautiful ballad, one of melody.’s best in my opinion. The chorus is filled with such emotion and power, the vocals fit so perfectly in this song with the music. This song is worthy of the title ballad.
Peace Song, the acoustic, English song. This song is sung in all English, and it’s the only one for that matter. But it’s also the shortest actual song on the album, but it’s still nice. It begins with an acoustic guitar playing, followed by melody.’s vocals. The verses could be better, but the chorus makes up for it. The chorus sounds so much better and the lyrical content is so much better. It might not make sense literally, but figuratively it’s deep. And finally, the vocals were great, and perfect English (I should hope so too because she was born in Hawaii).
Never Goodbye, up-beat island dreaming. This song is actually a nice change from all of her previous songs so far, mostly because it’s so up-beat. It begins with a synth-like opening followed by some background vocals, almost like a choir. From there the acoustic guitar and violins take over. melody. then begins to sing the first verse, which is yet again OK. But, the chorus was much better. It was so catchy and it flowed so smoothly. And some parts were and English, and that was really my favorite part. I loved the background vocals during the bridge, they sounded a little dark but they sounded so great.
Memories in Time, the piano backed interlude. Here we are at the first interlude, or second if you consider the first track an interlude. The lonely piano plays fairly slow in this song. Towards the half point, those same choir voices can be heard ab-libbing, and it’s quite pleasant too. A fine interlude, but that’s about it.
HORIZON, the ethereal ballad. When I first heard this song, namely the beginning, I thought I was about to hear Vanessa William’s Save the Best for Last, but it changed so I was happy that it was going to be original. But this song is original by every sense of the word. I’ve never heard a song from melody. like this at all. It’s a ballad, but features ethereal music, and little vocals distortions. melody.’s vocals were able to reach both the high and low notes, that takes talent and she’s got it. I really loved how the chorus was so mesmerizing in how it was sung and how it sounded. It sounded almost heavenly during some points. This is probably the best song on the album.
Kiss away, unique bagpipes? The song begins with odd sounding bagpipes playing, then the first verse begins. It sounds a little catchy, with the few beats. It’s quite up-beat and it’s not half bad. The chorus sounds almost epic with the climax, and with the great vocals. It’s pretty catchy for the most part, and even those bagpipes sound nice. This song wasn’t what I was expecting, it’s actually much better.
Anata no Soba ni, lit. By Your Side. This song is mostly a ballad, with the exception of the chorus, which sounds more rock influenced. A little toy piano, followed by an electric guitar opens up this song. Then melody. begins to sing. Her vocals sound great in this song, and the music really complements it. The verses seemed to get better as they progressed. But as always, the chorus was outstanding. The electric guitar was used to open it up, and a wise choice. It was even a little catchy, but her vocals were the main highlight, especially when she sang the first few words.
No Return, getting back to dance/pop roots. The sound of a xylophone playing in the most unique pattern opens up the song, followed by the some soft vocals. From there the song takes a turn and becomes very up-beat and fast, almost dance like, but very pop. The verses here seem a little bland, but those background vocals make it sound a little better. The chorus is catchy, to some extent but it’s doesn’t stick out that much. I think the best part was the violins playing. This song kinda sticks out like a sore thumb with all the ballads and island sounding songs.
Sunset Love, the calm interlude. Yet again we have another interlude, are we listening to GUILTY? This interlude is very island oriented, and it’s very calm. It’s almost like music you’d hear at a spa, well a tropical one. The harp was the main instrumental and melody. ad-libbed in the background. Not a bad interlude.
Beneath My Skin, up-beat acoustic happiness. This song was apparently composed by Dai Nagao, the composer for Do As Infinity. At first a beautiful piano opens up the song, followed shortly by an orchestra of violins. Then the violins die down and melody. begins to sing. Again, the verses really don’t jump out at you that much, but that’s not really a shock. Here, the chorus really outshines everything. I loved how it used some English, and how it sounded so up-beat, so lighthearted, and catchy at some points. And it really flowed together so well, the music made it sound great. The acoustics gave it that infamous island sound, and it’s just overall a great song.
DOOR, the acoustic tune. At first it sounded like a guitar opened up this song, either that or it’s an acoustic instrument. Either way it was a nice opening. melody.’s vocals here were pleasant in most cases, and they were really strong throughout the song. The verses were so-so to say the least. But the chorus, well it wasn’t that great I felt. I didn’t find it catchy at all, even with the English. I felt as if I had heard the whole song within one minute, it just felt so repetitive for a song. It could’ve been better, but it could’ve been worse.
Paradise, the acoustic ending. Finally after so many songs, we have another ballad, and just in time too. melody.’s vocals were so beautiful in this song, a real treat. The steady acoustic guitar played throughout most of the song. The verses even managed to sound so sweet and great. The chorus was so lovely, especially how she sung the first few words, lengthening them really and they sounded so much better. And the whole “aloha o’e” during the chorus was just so beautiful, it almost made me cry. What a phenomenal ending for a phenomenal album.
Overall Review: Lei Aloha was an island paradise, full of peace and tranquility. I felt that all of the songs really fit the theme of the album, which was “bonds.” I thought that this album is such a step up from her previous album. All of the songs seemed to have a deeper, more profound meaning. This might alienate some fans, but when you look at the overall theme and meanings you’ll see that it’s worth a listen. This is her best album to date in my opinion. You couldn’t have asked for a better fourth album.
Final Grade: 97A