URBAN ROMANTIC

URBAN ROMANTIC was Rie fu’s 4th album. It was released on April 8, 2009. There were two singles released prior to the album, originally HOME was thought to be released on the album but was not featured.

URBAN ROMANTIC - Rie fu

Tracks:
1. Something In My Head
2. Sunny Days
3. Hey I’m Calling Up
4. Business
5. Anata wo Omoeba Afureru Namida
6. Romantic
7. drummy
8. She Can’t Say No ~no to ienai onna~
9. Money Will Love You (English Version)
10. Itsuka Kono Michi no Saki ni ~All The Way~
11. PRESENT
12. SUKI
13. Romantic (Strings Version)

Review:
Leave it to Rie fu to have the first song of the album in English. But that’s always a good thing, for the most part. I mean Rie fu does have some of the best English songs, and she proves it with Something In My Head. It’s somewhat of a throwback to 70’s music with all the synth. The strong use of percussion, guitar and the tambourine (really retro). However the mellow beats and the crisp vocals really make it exciting oddly enough. But what makes this song is obviously the chorus. The climax gets it off to a great start and Rie fu finishes it with her extraordinary vocals and catchy lyrics. Somewhat of a flashback to the past wouldn’t you agree? And it feels so good hello goodbye…

Well as if a blast from the past wasn’t strange enough perhaps Sunny Days will make you think twice. It’s not nearly as retro or as exciting but the music has such a sense of nostalgia to it. The feel good piano chords, the soft percussion, and even the organ towards the end, it’s really repetitive but somehow Rie fu makes it work. However I did like how the music eventually changed from just a mundane piano song to more of a church oriented rebirth. Yet it’s still a little strange, it’s got to the the music.

The synth opening really got me excited about Hey I’m Calling Up, but that was just the beginning sadly. After that it transformed into more of a tradition folk song, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s up-beat though, not nearly as energetic or enthralling as 5000 MILES but it does have it’s own unique charm. That being said I’m definitely not going to remember this song after this album sadly. One thing I did like was that during the chorus her vocals sounded wonderful, must’ve been the background vocals, either way it was nice.

Things get down to some more modern music with Business. This song is somewhat of a fusion of Rie fu’s new and old music, new being synth and old being folk / rock. It’s a little more edgy with the electric guitar and percussion but it’s also a little more modern and new with all the newfound synth. I’m not to sure about the whole jazzy piano in between some parts but for the most part it was amazing. The melody and rhythm were just insane, I mean not all crazy but it was catchy. It’s a really unique song that stands out.

One of the hottest messes around happens to be Anata wo Omoeba Afureru Namida. And like most hot messes it’s arrangement and composition vary. It’s got a lot of things going on when it comes to the sound. One second it’s a piano ballad yet one second later it’s a thumping up-beat rock song, and then it’s infused with some great synth riffs. It’s just a really unique song. As to the actual structure etc. It begins much like a ballad, romantic piano chords playing while the music picks up and the tempo increases. But when the chorus comes so does the guitar and synth, making one impressive combination. As usual Rie fu displayed her excellent vocals that were impressive and crisp. And as usual her English was flawless.

And now we come to Rie fu’s BEST song in ages!!! Romantic is without a doubt one of her best songs despite the temporary divergence from folk. It began the URBAN ROMANTIC Era with the newfound synth as well as the elaborate cover. Anyway it’s an amazing synth ballad that utilizes the strings as well as the piano. It’s very mesmerizing and sounds just beautiful.

One of the boring songs on this album is drummy. Seriously everything about this song screams mundane and mediocre. Yeah I’ll give it to Rie fu for having some great vocals and the synth does sound great. But it lacks so much. There’s hardly any climax and besides the vocal distortions this song is completely boring. It does sound better towards the end with the new instruments but for the most part it’s just the drums. If you have any sense you’ll just press the skip button.

On the other hand She Can’t Say No ~no to ienai onna~ is anything but boring. It’s her signature folk music that’s wonderful and just nostalgic. And it also happens to be another song that’s in English. Anyway the instruments are pretty simple, piano, acoustic guitar, nothing special but somehow she makes it sound like an amazing. The melody is so-so and the verses aren’t all too exciting but the chorus however is PERFECT! Yes it is simple but it sounds a little aggressive with the piano chords somehow, that and inquisitive. Do you want to be her perfect friend?

I can honestly say that I didn’t enjoy Money Will Love You as much as I loved some of her other material but I admit it was nice. Well with the English version things have changed a bit. It’s still Rie fu’s signature folk music, acoustic guitar and all, but she’s managed to turn a mundane folk tune into a nostalgic easy listener. The melody is the same that’s probably why I like it so much. But one of the oddest things was that part of this song was in Japanese??? I mean English version you’d figure it’d be in all English, but I really don’t mind. Still sounds great, especially with her vocals.

Get ready for one of the craziest things you’ll ever hear. Let’s face it, most of us things Rie fu’s all innocent and sweet right? Um not anymore, well not with Itsuka Kono Michi no Saki ni ~All The Way~. The rock guitar opening sounded different but great. But that’s not what shocked me. he fact that Rie fu said something along the lines of couples fuck it up. Other than that it’s just another awesome Rie fu song full of great vocals, creative melodies and a catchy chorus.

I’ve tried to like PRESENT but I’ve just given up. Sure it’s a great ballad but it doesn’t appeal to me like Romantic does. It’s still a nice ballad with the epic piano chords and the dazzling strings but if the melody isn’t all that great then how do you enjoy it. It’s still forgettable even as I listen to it

I have to say that the same goes for SUKI. It’s another calming, gentle ballad that’s really lovely when it gets down to it, but lacks that WOW factor. Yeah it’s a nice song but it’s just too forgettable. One the bright side though it sounded great towards the end with Rie fu singing in English. Very similar to PRESENT in most respects.

And now for the most awaited track ever! It’s the Strings Version of Romantic. I remember hearing a live rendition and how magnificent and beautiful it was. It’s not too hard to guess but the synth elements that made it so much fun are removed and instead an array of strings and piano have been added giving it more of a ballad feel and making it more romantic in a sense. There are some major differences though. The music has been sped up a bit and the vocals sound a lot more refreshing and personal. It has its own unique charm that lets it hold its own against the original version.

Overall Review: URBAN ROMANTIC was folk magic with an urban twist! Where Ayu has failed Rie fu accomplished taking her album to the next level. I really can’t say how good her previous album was but this album ROCKS! It features some of her softer more tradition folk songs with her newer synth style that really gives the album a duality, new and old Rie fu music. She included some great songs that you’d expect from Rie fu, folk pop, and then some new synth infused songs. But then she also included some ballads, some good and some bad. But I have to say that I’m impressed with Rie fu and her newfound style and album.

Final Grade
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Comments
6 Responses to “URBAN ROMANTIC”
  1. hyperballad says:

    i loved this album, i wish she can get more recognition though..she got lots of talent…her album art is so cool, its always the similar style haha

  2. Die says:

    yeah i love this album, it’s amazing. and yes i love the cover art lol, forgot to mention that in the review but after writing that over the course of 4 days i got tired and lazy lol, might post another review in 2 days or so

  3. hyperballad says:

    hey i just notice the album title is “urban romantic” and her single is “romantic”!!! hahaha they connects…

    sorry for this useless discovery, but i just thought..well nothing really lol

  4. Die says:

    lol yes that’s the title xD

  5. Selryam says:

    HURRAH FOR NOT LIKING PRESENT!! It isn’t terrible, but really, it’s just so hard for me to take in, so I know what you mean.

    This was definitely a great album, it was nice to see Rie move away from pop-rock and folk and include a few new elements in her music.

  6. Ironic Clown says:

    Rie fu = ❤

    However I do have to admit that this isn’t her best album

    Lovely review (:

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