SWEET BLACK was SWEET BLACK feat.MAKI GOTO’s debut mini-album. It was released on September 16, 2009 and reached no. 26 on the Oricon Weekly Charts with 5,630 copies sold. In all this mini-album has sold over 7,019+ copies.
1. Queen Bee with BIGGA RAIJI
4. TEAR DROPS with KG
5. Mine with KEN THE 390
6. Fly away
7. Plastic Lover
After two years without any physical release Maki Goto is BACK!!!! After transferring to AVEX she got her groove back. She began to release a total of 3 digital singles, all of which appear on this mini-album, and was put in the limelight again.
For those that don’t know SWEET BLACK is a collaboration between Maki with mixi aka the Japanese facebook. Goochin’s still the one singing, the whole SWEET BLACK feat.MAKI GOTO is just to establish a tie with the brand. But the whole theme of SWEET BLACK for those that don’t know is that it’s supposed to represent that women can be positive and active, SWEET, while being cynical and negative, BLACK. It’s pretty much an oxymoron, but sill pretty great.
How to describe Queen Bee…. Well some think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, and others just hate BIGGA RAIJI. I have to say that I agree with both. This song is one of her greatest because she’s trying some new genres. This is obviously a reggaeton song, and it’s a pretty damn good one too. There are lots of catchy beats and Goochin’s vocals are amazing despite not being all that powerful. The one thing that did kill it was the obnoxious rapping with BIGGA RAIJI. So it’s infectious, yet still annoying xD. But it’s a distinct song nonetheless.
I’ll be honest with you, I remember when Lady-Rise came out and I wasn’t much of a fan, the same thing goes for now. It was her 2nd digital single and all, but I find it to be a rather lackluster rock song. Her vocals pretty much stay the same and there’s no real amazing climax. It’s quite boring and the whole “Lady-Lise” thing gets annoying fast.
Goochin yet again tackles another genre with Candy. This song is more of a fusion of rock/electronic. The guitar riffs and the synth beats make for one intoxicating combination to say the least. The melody isn’t the catchiest thing, but the song itself sounds great. It’s pretty much an auto-tuned version of Lady-Rise, but with catchier beats.
One of the best songs on this mini-album by far is TEAR DROPS with KG. This slower paced ballad is filled with harmonic vocals from KG and Goochin. KG’s vocals fit well with Goochin’s vocals, although her’s were a bit stronger. Like most ballads the main instrument is the piano, along with some acoustics, and some synth influences. There wasn’t much of a climax but the music overall was incredible enough to make up for that. And the mood overall was a peaceful, beautiful night. Best duet on the mini-album by far.
Now as far as rappers go, if you hated Queen Bee because of BIGGA RAIJI then hopefully you’ll like Mine with KEN THE 390 instead. This song is more R&B/Hip-hop oriented and it features some infectious beats as well as a good amount of synth. The overall melody could have been better but it still sounds great, as well as a little exotic with some of the instrumentals.
And time for my favorite track. Fly away was released way back, January to be exact, and it got me hyped up for this mini-album. It’s one of her most unique songs because she’s never done anything quite like it. It’s an synth/electronic ballad. The synth beats and music make you go crazy while the piano keeps you down to earth. The combination of the two is just astounding. The chorus is phenomenal as well as the melody, making it THE catchiest song on the album, screw Queen Bee. It’s just that good.
Now time for the club song. Plastic Lover is a combination of electronic/dance music and it’s one hell of a combo. The beats are insane and the music is mind-blowing. The melody is insane to match the fast music. I personally prefer the remix on House Nation’s Aquamarine but this is fine. Oh and the auto-tuned vocals were awesome.
The final track is the ballad with… This was her 3rd digital single and it as released back in April. Being a ballad it’s one of her softer songs. But despite this being only a ballad it does feature some synth elements as well as some acoustics. That being said the music isn’t all that great as a whole. I have to say that it’s a lackluster ballad. Still nice, but some better vocals and music, as well as a better melody, would have made it more enjoyable.
Final Thoughts: In the words of Gossip Girl: THE BITCH IS BACK! After no releases she’s back in the flesh and better than ever. I love the fact that with this mini-album she’s trying new things. You have reggaeton, R&B, electronic, dance, pop, and naturally flawless ballads. As a whole I’d have to say that I enjoyed this mini-album. Her vocals were great, more strength would have been better but overall no problems. Most of the tracks were catchy, energetic, and just plain amazing. She even wrote some of the songs herself which make me appreciate them even more. And without Tsunku she’s finally able to be a better artist. And she looks amazing now, not like she didn’t before but she’s regained that sexy but not slutty image.