PRIMA ROSA was Hitomi Shimatani’s 6th studio album. It was released on March 7, 2007 and reached number 16 on the charts with 13,789 copies. In all this album has sold over 24,818+ copies. On the CD only version, the CD is a CD-ROM that includes three live performances.

PRIMA ROSA - Hitomi Shimatani

1. Ramblin’
2. Kimi no Koe
3. Hareta Hi wa…
4. Dragonfly
5. Psychedelic Future
6. Camellia (PRIMA ROSA Version)
7. Destiny -Taiyou no Hana-
8. Prague no Onna
9. Koimizu -tears of love-
11. El Dorado
12. Haru Machibito
13. Brand new Dream

Beginning PRIMA ROSA is sensational Ramblin’. The distorted vocals in the beginning were odd but once that stopped things got better. It features the electric guitar, bells, piano, and some percussion. And the music is very fast paced for the most part, and a little rock at times, but it still retains that pop feel. The song seemed pretty up-beat, especially the up-tempo chorus. Which was pretty catchy, not to mention Hitomi’s vocals were amazing. The background vocals during the bridge weren’t all that great, but I didn’t mind the opera like vocals. What an energetic way to begin PRIMA ROSA.

Another new track is Kimi no Koe lit. Your Voice, which is more crossover oriented than the previous track, well the strings elements anyway. There are some minor rock elements, including the guitar and drums, along with some pop . It’s still pretty up-beat like the previous too, however it’s still lighter and smoother in terms of music. But her vocals were a little better here, especially when she hits the high notes. The instrumentals were great too, similar yet again to the previous track. It’s more of a continuation of the previous track, just with strings, still good though.

Still very strings oriented is the up-beat Hareta Hi wa… lit. Clear Day. The opening instrumentals give you a sign of what to expect, which is very up-beat. The percussion is very good, it provides some constant beats that are very catchy. The strings however are so wonderful, and seem to give life to this song, making it a little cheerier. And I’m pretty suer there’s an acoustic guitar playing throughout the song. Either way it’s all good. Again Hitomi’s vocals were great, just not as strong as before. But the climax was a little odd, but it led to a rather catchy chorus. And the English in it wasn’t all that bad either.

Giving off a rock vibe is the abnormal Dragonfly. It was the final single in the PRIMA ROSA Era, and ended the era on a very blaring note. But let the fact that it’s a rock stop you from listening to this great tun. It might be rock and synth but it’s pretty good. The guitars playing sounded invigorating, and the chronic drum beats were incredible. The vocals are great and as is the melody. And the chorus is catchy in its own way. It might be different but this time it’s good.

With a title like Psychedelic Future I expected somewhat of a 70s song for some reason. And yet with a unique title, comes a unique song, although it’s not so 70s. But with the blaring brass, it does sound a little nostalgic, somewhat Motown reminiscent. However the song wasn’t all that great in my opinion. Hitomi’s vocals were great but I just couldn’t get into the melody. That and the chorus isn’t all that catchy. And despite the English in the song, it doesn’t help that much. This song is mediocre at best sadly.

Next is Camellia (PRIMA ROSA Version) which is a new take on the original. Although the original was very dance and somewhat synth oriented, this version utilizes some of the crossover elements. The song mostly sounds different in the beginning but after a while it gains its original instrumentals plus some strings. The chorus sounded a little more epic in this version, it’s actually a very nice touch. Plus, the song still retained some of its dance roots. This version is a nice improvement from the original, especially the strings.

Continuing the crossover style is the strong, classical Destiny -Taiyou no Hana-. Despite featuring strings this song is rather aggressive and dramatic, similar to Shinku. That being said, a lot of people seem to love this song, as do I. The overall melody is indescribable, it’s so amazing. The instrumentals give this song an epic feel that’s so invigorating. The vocals are as perfect as ever, they seem to go rather well with the music. And the chorus is absolutely divine. It sounds so powerful and perhaps even heavenly. Not to mention that it was released as part of a double A-Side single, and the far superior title track.

Getting back to some of her cultural roots is Prague no Onna lit. Prague Woman. And like the title suggests, this song is somewhat eastern European. The instrumentals remind me of some mascaraed ball or some gypsy music for some reason, it must be the strings and clapping. It also features some constant clapping along with some strings I believe. The up-tempo music is incredible and so catchy, not to mention you can dance to it. Overall it’s one of the more unique songs on the along with one of the most memorable.

On the lighter side is the ballad Koimizu -tears of love-. The strings arrangement is serene and sounds beautiful. It’s also one of her better ballads, which makes it even better. And if that wasn’t good enough, her vocals are amazing. Plus the strings and drums are excellent and the melody is great. But I do think it could have been better.

Following in the footsteps of Prague no Onna is PASIO. It’s another one of her cultural songs, especially the Spanish guitar. And the accordion, very cultural. The chorus is fast paced and the climax is amazing, and the chorus is pretty catchy as well. But what I loved even more were her vocals, they were so impressive.

Still Spanish sounding is El Dorado. And honestly it sounds Spanish, and it means The Golden One, and it’s also also a legend, point is, it’s Spanish, and she’s getting back to her roots. The music is pretty up-tempo and all the instrumentals are reminiscent of Spanish festivals. And let’s not forget the great strings, the acoustic guitar, and castanets too, I think. Hitomi’s vocals were amazing and so awesome. Overall the song was rather catchy, especially the instrumentals during the climax and chorus. It proved to be a flawless combination.

Oddly positioned is the traditional, pop sounding Haru Machibito. It’s up-beat, happy, and just plain fun. And the instrumentals are great. It’s traditional but with the guitar, keyboard, strings, and harp it’s very modern. And although it’s oddly placed in this album it’s pretty good. The guitar was amazing as well as the vocals. Give this lovely little number a shot, you won’t regret it.

Ending the album is Brand new Dream. It’s one of her crossover songs that utilize the strings. But it seems to be different from her other songs. It’s more calming yet at the same time more epic. And although it’s not all that catchy it sounds great. It ends the album on such a positive and light note.

Overall Review: PRIMA ROSA was diverse excellence. One good thing about this album was all the different genres. There was some rock, pop, Spanish, and some crossover. It was all good, and for the most part amazing. I wish that the arrangement were better but it’s minor. The new songs were memorable for the most part and enjoyable. The singles were great though, so that made up for some of the forgettable songs. This album is better than Flare, that’s for sure.

Final Grade: 100A+

8 Responses to “PRIMA ROSA”
  1. blackmager says:

    This must have been hell to type with one hand.

    Personally, I think Prima Rosa was average.
    After taking a listen to her crossover concept album, along with her single Destiny Taiyou No Hana, I was hoping for something better.
    But the album is good for someone looking to get a good taste of all her music.

  2. Die says:

    Yes it was, I got a bit lazy towards the end. I agree it could have been better, but I loved the album anyway. It’s better than Flare. And soon
    I’ll begin reviewing Heart & Symphony.

  3. Julian says:

    Er, do you know anything about music? This is a very boring read. Not all songs that use strings are crossover songs.

  4. Die says:

    I do, but i was kinda feeling a little lousy after my surgery, once i can type with both hands i’ll re-review this.

  5. Julian says:

    Sorry I don’t mean to sound cruel or anything, but theres a difference between reviewing and stating opinion.

    I wouldn’t call most of those songs “crososver” songs becuase, well really, they’re not. They’re just pop songs basically. And Puraha no Onna sounds eastern European, not western european πŸ˜› Like traditional folk music, gypsy music, like what you’d find in Hungary, etc etc.

  6. Die says:

    It’s ok, we all have our opinions, and I know it’s constructive rather than just harsh. but as you can guess, i was on my meds lol incapacitated. and i agree with the whole gypsy thing, it also reminded me of that a little.

  7. glass says:

    ..I really dont want to get into this but…

    gosh I was so touched because Die is suffering from arm injury yet he/she still write reviews!
    I always go to this site because, ahhh I said so many times because I think I have similar music taste and opinion with Die πŸ˜€ and I love the review!

    so not everyone thinks the same…
    and I think Die can write whatever she/he?…want to write because its her/he’s review blog and its just stating her/he (-_-…)’s own opinion and suggestions..

    I tried to write review for a few songs but I just couldn’t do it…it is seriously really hard to listen the whole album and come up with reviews…

    Please don’t get mad at me…I just feel you can “suggest” or state your opinion, but you sounds a little preachy…like Die is all wrong and stuff…:-(

    ahh I made myself like a fool..

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