How to use SEXY
How to use SEXY was Maki Goto’s 4th album. It was released in September 19, 2007 an reached number 18 on the charts with 11,727 copies sold. In all this album has sold over 14,996+ copies, making it her lowest selling studio album to date. It was released in a CD only edition, and a limited edition CD+DVD edition that featured new PVs. The album included the singles Glass no Pumps, SOME BOYS! TOUCH, and Secret.
1. How to use Loneliness
2. GIVE ME LOVE
3. SOME BOYS! TOUCH
4. City Wind
5. Nee Samishikute
6. Glass no Pumps
8. WOW Suteki!
The album definitely gets off to a strong start with How to use Loneliness! Now the music does remind me a little of Namie Amuro’s WANT ME WANT ME, but it’s so much better and has so much originality. Now it does remind me a bit of SOME BOYS! TOUCH, but only to a certain degree, otherwise this song is such a powerhouse of synth and infectious beats. The opening is a fusion of that seemingly Indian-like music, along with some infectious synth. The vocals are quite different from her previous songs, a lot lower, yet more sultry. And all the echoing didn’t hurt. Anyway, the beats keep you interested and with that the verses even sound good. What’s better though is the chorus. I loved the ad-libbing in between and the music, so aggressive; and for once it was so addictive. The bridge was fantastic too, a mixture of Indian-like music and some of that awesome piano chords, a lethal combination. If this wasn’t the best album opener I don’t know what is. One thing I know is that she might be able to use loneliness, but looks like she won’t need to.
Well if you love synth, there’s a good change you’ll love GIVE ME LOVE. And to be honest with you, when I first heard the piano opening for a second I though it’d be almost like Dancing Queen, but afterwards it transformed into a thumping synth tune. The beats had an ethnic vibe to it, African I want to say. Anyway I started to get tired of the song within the first minute, but I listened a little longer and it began to grow on me, especially when the piano and other instrumentals entered. And after a while the infectious synth beats begin to sound really good. Not a bad follow up.
And just when things can’t get any better, or naughtier in this case, SOME BOYS! TOUCH appears. It was by far the naughtiest sounding song from any of her singles, and trickiest too. It’s not half as bad as it sounds, that being said, it’s still amazing. Maki’s vocals are sexy and they seem to complement the heavy synth beats. The song features some great heavy snyth beats along with an fantastic strings section, namely the chorus. And initially the song sounds sinful with the heavy dark dance-like music, the chorus is actually more pop than anything, very nice arrangements. Undeniably the best song from her singles. Just listening to this song makes me feel guilty.
Time for the laid-back City Wind. Honestly from the thumping beats I almost though I was listening to Say It Right. But thankfully I wasn’t in this case. Afterwards the beats were joined by a piano, giving it a little more distinction. And truthfully it gave it a little club feel, like back in the old days, like 30’s or so. And for some reason I can’t help but imagine a lounge singer when I hear this. The occasional synth before and during the chorus was great, and despite it being mid-tempo, the song was rather catchy. I think the instrumentals were the real treat though rather than Maki’s vocals. But all and all, this song was really good.
From the start of Nee Samishikute with the acoustic guitar, later followed by some odd synth features, I knew that it’ be somewhat of a pop song. The one thing I liked about it was the fact that it moved rather quickly, didn’t mope around. Vocals were not a big issue either, very good at a few points. The pianos playing didn’t hurt either, and the background instrumentals really made the song pop out at you. The climax was rather relaxing, and had somewhat of a classical feel to it. But the chorus was so excellent. Towards the end of it it was good, well the vocals really stuck out at me, but it was really good.
One of the most pop oriented tracks on the album is up now, Glass no Pumps. Originally released as the first single and beginning the How to Use SEXY Era. It’s very cutesy, bubblegum like pop, that being said it’s not all that terrible. Turns out that the song is rather enjoyable. The synth beats in between the chorus are surprisingly catchy. Overall the song is pretty fun to listen to in general, very hard to resist it’s cute sound.
Another experiment of Maki’s is the song DAYBREAK. It’s very jazz inspired, nice percussion and brass instrumentals, and the snaps are nice. Despite the jazz music, her vocals were amazing, not weak at all. I was actually shocked to hear just how good she sounded in this song. That and the fact that the song wasn’t so slow paced. It made for an interesting yet wonderful combination.
While Glass no Pumps was very happy pop, WOW Suteki! is mostly pop with a lot of synth riffs. And although the music does get annoying from time to time, the vocals are good at least. Even though it sounded like that stereotypical flying saucer sometimes. Either way the song was just odd. That being said it did feature a rather catchy and wonderful chorus. I guess the instrumentals aren’t all that bad.
After all that pop, it’s time for some beautiful ballads, the first one up is a fusion of ballad and pop entitled Secret. Now it’s mostly a ballad but it does exhibit some pop qualities. The instrumentals with the bells, piano, and strings were so awing, just what a ballad needs. But what I loved even more than that were the vocals, they sounded so personal, so intimate, and so sincere. I really hope that she’ll continue to release more songs like this, especially if it’s this good.
Ending this song on such a beautiful and serene tone is LIFE. The orchestra in the beginning really made the song sound so beautiful and so heavenly, which is a nice change from her previous songs. The vocals were also so lovely too, lots of emotion in theme rather than just singing. And the instrumentals were so magnificent, namely the orchestra. The verses weren’t boring at all, they were actually very beautiful, and they moved along so smoothly. Now despite the song not being all that catchy, it makes up for it in the sound department. Again it’s one of the best ballads from Maki that I’ve heard. But I wasn’t fond of the ending, I think it just needs to end a little earlier, or extend the track. Either way, it’s was the perfect ending to an impressive album.
Overall Review: How to Use SEXY was sultry perfection. You’d have to be crazy if you can’t see that Maki Goto knows How to Use SEXY! The arrangement of the album was perfect. From the infectious, addictive opening track to the solemn closing ballad, this album had it all. For the first album that I’ve heard from Maki I must say that I was impressed. The opening track was phenomenal and so so sexy! And from there the album got better, to where it ended on a very good note. And I was impressed that most of the songs featured so much synth, to give it a central, more unified theme. As for the ballads, well they were phenomenal as well. The scans were so SEXY too, man she looked hot too! Anyway after this album, I can’t wait to hear her new material. It’s pretty evident that Maki Goto can use SEXY! So what have you learned?
Final Grade: 100A+