WILL was Aoyama Thelma’s 3rd album. It was released on June 15, 2011 and debuted at no. 61 on the Oricon Weekly Charts.
1. Fighting Soldier
3. WITHOUT U feat. 4Minute
4. LET’S PARTY!
5. Hitori ni Shinaide
7. CRAZY CRAZY LOVE
8. STRONGER THAN EVER
9. I’m All Yours
11. Fallen Angel
12. ONE LOVE, ONE HEART, ONE DESTINY feat. SUPER CRISS from FIRE BALL
13. Uso Demo Iikara
15. Zutto. (Wedding Acoustic Ver.)
16. WITHOUT U (English Ver.) feat. 4Minute
I’ve been dragging my feet (or hands I suppose) when it comes to reviewing this album because I really don’t think it’ll be all that great. So let’s see shall we!
Thelma starts things off with the infectious Fighting Solider. It’s a cross between R&B and dance, namely due to all of the synth elements. I personally love the song because of all of the beats, and because the chorus is just so infectious. The melody is top notch, this would have been good as a single. It easily could have been speed up a bit more and have been a vibrant dance song.
Up next is Zutto. It’s a wedding ballad, but in all honesty, it doesn’t do much for me. It sounds rather mediocre to me. Luckily WITHOUT U is a great duet. It also happens to be a wonderful R&B ballad, and the rapping isn’t so bad either. LET’S PARTY! breaks the ballad trend, but it’s good. It’s a fun summertime song. It’ll have you jumping and dancing, especially with all that catchy brass.
Hitori ni Shinaide is another ballad. It’s a typical ballad, featuring a classical arrangement with some slight R&B elements. Other than some rather mature sounding vocals, there’s nothing that really sticks out of this song.
I wasn’t expecting much from GOODBYE, but it turned out to be quite different than what I expected. Initially I thought it was going to be a ballad, but after listening to for a little, I found out it was more of an energetic dance song. It’s slightly above mid-tempo, and it’s heavy in synth riffs and acoustics, that is until the chorus. The chorus is by far more infectious, it’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s when the song gets faster. More exciting than I could have imagined, it’s on par with Fighting Solider.
Wasn’t sure what I’d hear with CRAZY CRAZY LOVE, but it ended up being a good song. The rock arrangement along with some synth really made it stick out; not to mention the energetic and up-beat feel. I thought STRONGER THAN EVER was going to be another ballad, that’s not exactly the case though. The constant piano chords and beats make it an aggressive R&B semi-ballad. That and the slight rock elements. It could have been a bit better though, maybe add some different music during the chorus; still pretty good IMO. I really thought that I’m All Yours would be another ballad. Yet again I was wrong. It’s an up-tempo, acoustic, thumping love song. I’d say it has some island influences, makes it memorable compared to your average album song.
The next two songs both happen to be ballads, as well as singles. First up is the lovely 23. This was one of my favorites from Thelma, namely because despite it being a rather sad ballad, it’s up-beat and has dance qualities that make it memorable. The second is from her latest single, Fallen Angel. Another typical R&B ballad, with all those great qualities that really make it something worth listening to.
Where would Thelma bill without a duet? Nowhere, that’s how she got so popular. The main duet on this album is ONE LOVE, ONE HEART, ONE DESTINY. I find it rather childish, nothing all that special. Thelma’s vocals are great and all, but I can’t get over how islandy this song sounds, and it’s not good in this case. I love brass as much as the next person, but this pushes it to the limit. A bit too laid back for my tastes.
The final two tracks on the album are both ballads. Uso Demo Iikara is typical ballad, classical in nature and very long. While I applaud her vocals, everything else was just bland. That isn’t true of the title track WILL though. It’s acoustic based, which always gives the song a more natural feel. It sounds amazing, and then when the chorus comes, there’s a burst of music and it’s the best part of the song. It’s catchy, it’s beautiful, it’s magical, what else do I have to say? Definitely one of the better songs on the album, it’s quite enjoyable.
So the real final tracks are both bonus tracks, and different versions of the originals. Up first is the Wedding Acoustic Version of Zutto. It’s an acoustic version, you do the math, or common sense in this case. While it makes the ballad more raw and powerful, it still doesn’t do anything for me. The English Version of WITHOUT U was just as enjoyable as the original version. This is one of those English versions that’s actually good. Just as inspiring as the original.
This album was a lot better than I thought. I wish it would have done better on the charts, because it deserves more than this. I have to say that I liked the majority of the songs on this album. Most were catchy and infectious, if not, they were beautiful and just awing, and then some were just boring. I really liked this album, I just wish LOLLIPOP was on it!!! It sounds like she’s matured a lot since her first album, so I’m quite pleased with this album. Definitely will be listening to some of the songs forever! They’ll be on my playlist for quite some time. I just wonder if Thelma will be with her record label for that long, who knows?
Fighting Solider || 23 || WILL || GOODBYE