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And I Love You

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Album Review

On their 14th studio effort, the Dreams Come True outfit provided what was essentially a collection of singles and B-sides, with a bit of filler thrown in to round out the set. The individual tracks can often stand on their own decently, though the coherence is low and the repetition feels fairly high over the course of the whole CD. The album opens with a very nice, if simplistic, R&B ballad complete with slight touches of gospel in the chorus. From there, it devolves into a standardized series of ballads and pop anthems. Though the tone and songs feel much like those of any other modern J-pop group with a tendency toward contemporary R&B, there are a few high points along the way. "Appeal," while a simple midtempo ballad, gives lead singer Yoshida Miwa a chance to show off a nicer range. "Sayonara 59ers" provides a brief glimpse of some Spanish guitar from time to time, mixing some very nice (though brief) solos with an otherwise standard arrangement. "Carnaval" tries to incorporate Brazilian elements, but instead comes out sounding more like a failed Miami Sound Machine track. "Nocturne 001" is an outstandingly standard R&B piece, but gives Miwa an opportunity to show off a deeper element in her vocals, not often called for in the other tracks. She indeed has some vocal chops, though they are rarely seen in their full glory. "Nocturne" provides just a glimpse of that glory. There's a bit of failed funk in "Unpretty Day," but the album otherwise never quite takes off after the early tracks. The album never quite presents itself as bad, but it never quite presents anything beyond the mediocre, either. Dreams Come True provides glimpses of greatness here, but only of the most fleeting nature.


Formed: January, 1988

Genre: J-Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With roots in jazz and classic R&B and music employing touches of techno, the Japanese pop/rockers Dreams Come True became one of the country's biggest stars in the '90s, when they sold most of the total 50 million units they shifted during their career. They were also one of the few Japanese bands to try winning the West before the "anime boom" of the 2000s, with vocalist Yoshida Miwa even scoring an appearance on the cover of Time magazine. Dreams Come True didn't make a big name for themselves...
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