GIRL NEXT DOOR

GIRL NEXT DOOR was GIRL NEXT DOOR’s debut album. It was released on December 24, 2008 and reached no. 3 on the Oricon Charts with 171,165 copies sold. The band has released three consecutive singles every month beginning with their debut in September and on the fourth month released their debut album. This album was released in a CD Only and a First Press Limited CD+DVD edition. However there were also another set of covers that come with the album if purchased from two other stores. And apparently for the first time in music history, each song featured was used in as a tie-in, whether it be a CM, drama, or insert song.

GIRL NEXT DOOR - GIRL NEXT DOOR

Tracks:
1. Winter Game
2. Drive away
3. Power of love
4. Shiawase no Jouken
5. Winter Mirage
6. Jounetsu no Daishou
7. Fine after rain
8. Breath
9. Day’s…
10. ESCAPE (Album Edit)
11. Winter Garden
12. Climber’s high
13. NEXT DOOR
14. Guuzen no Kakuritsu (Album Edit)

Review:
Beginning GND’s debut album is the fun-filled Winter Game. This song is best known as the promotional track of the album and even had a PV to go with it. Anyway this song is somewhat similar to the band’s previous works with the guitar and the keyboard, but the thumping beats make it stand out. And the wind roaring during the chorus was pretty ingenious and outstanding. I also have to praise the band for the climax, which was pretty powerful, fast, but powerful. An energetic and exciting way to kick off the album.

One of the singles released prior to the album was Drive away. It’s pretty similar to the previous song, except the keyboard seems to have a more dominant role than the guitar. The constant chords are pretty energetic and fun for the most part, and even the guitar sounds amazing. The song is pretty catchy overall, and the guitar riffs after each chorus is great. I wish there was a bit more English, but I’ll take what I can get.

Another one of the new songs on the album is called Power of love. Immediately I could hear something in this song that made it stick out from all of their songs. It might be because the music is a little more romantic like, or that it’s a little darker, either way it’s welcomed change; there’s even a little exotic vibe to it. Anyway, Chisa’s vocals are a little different in this song, they’re not so happy like most of the songs, during the chorus they’re even pretty fast. During the chorus things were still a little softer, but once things speed up it got a little more interesting. This song isn’t really all that bad, at least it sticks out.

Shiawase no Jouken is an older song that’s still very reminiscent of the 90’s. It’s a bit different from some of the other songs, but instrumental wise it’s basically the same. There are some minor differences like the melody and the aggressiveness of the song, but for the most part it doesn’t stick out all that much. It’s stereotypical 90’s pop that’s basically found its way to the 21st century, which could be both good and bad depending on how you look at it. I don’t have a problem with this song, I just wonder how long it will be remembered.

The next song Winter Mirage is one of the band’s more unique songs to date. This song doesn’t begin all energetic and thumping, instead it begins with the keyboard and the serene strings that really sets the tone of this song. It’s the closet thing to a ballad that the band will release, and that’s what makes it so incredible. The music for the most part is very calming and not too overwhelming. The chorus is particularly incredible. It’s more laid-back and winter oriented than any other song. The strings make it so classical and the synth makes it so new and spectacular. One of the most spectacular songs to date.

Out of all the singles that GND has released, Jounetsu no Daishou was my favorite. While it does feature those thumping beats, this song is different compared to all of the other songs they’ve released. There’s just something about this song that makes me feel so happy and so calm. The song’s translation is Compensation of Passion, and that really sets the tone. The song is more synth oriented than anything and isn’t so stereotypical like some of the other songs. It’s almost like a ballad too at a few points. And Chisa’s vocals are just magnificent.

The first words that come to mind when I think of Fine after rain is dark. Compared to the other songs, it’s just a bit darker, one heavy on the synth and electronica and techno side of things. But despite that the song is still true to its pop roots. The electronic distortions during the climax threw me off, as did the chorus. It was so different, the melody and rhythm was completely different and on top of that the sound as a whole was so different and yet so amazing.

The only b-side to be featured on the album was Breath. I’ve always loved this song, mostly because it’s so different from their normal works. It’s one of their oldest songs date wise, but it’s also one of their strongest. It’s pretty epic as far as most of these songs go and the instrumentals are just incredible. They’re a little dark at times, but the overall feel is pretty good. Another thing I loved about this song was the fact that it was a little mid-tempo, and not just up-beat and fast paced. And the fact that it’s like a ballad doesn’t hurt either. This might just be a b-side but it’s one of their best songs overall.

Breaking free from their typical stereotypical pop sound is Day’s… Instead of being so happy-go-lucky pop, it’s more of an acoustic song. But there’s one thing I forgot to mention…it’s an interlude! It might not say an interlude, but considering there are no vocals, and just instrumentals, it’s safe to assume that. It’s nice though, gives the album some variety.

Next is the album edit of ESCAPE. The song itself was pretty unique when compared to their original works, and with the album edit, it’s even more unique. Instead of the original opening with vocals, it skips right to the instrumentals. And honestly as far as I can tell that’s the only difference between the two, that and this version has been shortened. The strings are just as refreshing as ever and the music is as magical as before. A wonderful addition to the album.

Yet another winter themed song appears on the album, this time it’s Winter Garden. I really expected a ballad, but instead, I got a childish song. I’m not trying to be mean, but it’s just so weird. It’s not half as up-beat as their previous works, which can be seen as a good thing because it gives the album a little variety, but in this case it’s not. The beats are somewhat annoying, and the fact that the rhythm and tempo are so slow doesn’t help the song, instead it ruins it. I just have to say that this song is a little too simplistic for me.

Making up for the previous song is Climber’s high. Honestly, the title makes me laugh a little, but when it comes to music, vocals, etc. it’s great. While it does feature that 90’s pop sound, it’s different. The format and arrangement are a little different from all of their previous works, which makes it nice. The chorus isn’t as fast or as catchy as some of the songs, but it’s awesome to say the least. Perhaps it’s not such a bad song, it could use some work, but it’s fine for now.

Leading to the final track is the instrumental NEXT DOOR. Instead of sounding all pop like, it’s very similar to a ballad. It has the strings, the piano, the percussion, and even a cymbal. It’s sounds pristine, and classical, and little eloquent. It’s the perfect instrumental, reminiscent of winter.

Ending the album is the first single that the group released back in September, Guuzen no Kakuritsu. Like ESCAPE, the album edit appears on the album, and it’s pretty much the same for the most part. This song is devoid of the original opening, it goes straight to the aggressive guitar and keyboard, skipping over the innocent opening. But despite all of that, the song is pretty much the same, and just as amazing and fun as ever. It does have the 90s pop, but since it’s their debut song, I can tolerate it. The lyrics are great, a little romantic and optimistic but there’s nothing wrong with that. The melody is extremely infectious and gets in your head so easily, no wonder it did so well as a single.

Overall Review: GIRL NEXT DOOR was debut pop supremacy! Despite being a throwback to all the pop of the 90s, GND can certainly hold its own. I was thrilled to listen to the whole album and I enjoyed most of the songs present. However, there were a few that I felt were a little too different, or too repetitive, that was the only major flaw. But at the same time, I did love how there was a central sound that was very connecting, holding the album together. A few tracks could have been better, but overall it’s an impressive debut.

Final Grade: 96A

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Comments
3 Responses to “GIRL NEXT DOOR”
  1. glass says:

    nice review~

    her bow tie is a little too big….

    i like their style, more of a dance/pop than slow ballad-sh..

    it sold pretty well eh.

  2. FuyunoPropeller says:

    Wonderful review! I myself am a fan of GND 🙂

    I don’t understand the hatred with these guys :S Yes, almost all of their songs sound alike, but CHISA’s voice and the different instruments used in the songs are enough to be amazing. My only problem with them is CHISA’s hair. XD

  3. Die says:

    it does sound similar but there are some songs that are really different and break the mold. Chisa’s hair is crazy lol.
    I think later this week i’ll be adding a few more pictures to this reviews, so check back later

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