Greetings denizens of The Fan, MakiMaki reporting in!
“What are you doing here MakiMaki?” you ask?
Well let me start by welcoming you to the first entry of a new monthly series of articles that will feature reviews of a variety of singers and bands, as well as other random thoughts revolving around the realm of the Asian music scene!
Follow me as I make the transition from DJ to music reviewer. I hope that you will find the articles entertaining and informative. The goal is to continue to broaden the horizons of our faithful listeners (as well as myself) on all things related to Asian music! Popular groups, indie bands, you name it; if it has music attached to it, I’ll try to review it!
Let’s get this inaugural review started with a talented, self-proclaimed Hybrid Girl (ironically the name of her latest album) named ReniReni.
The following comes straight from her website:
ReniReni (Reni Mimura) is a New York based electro pop singer who is well-known for her futuristic adorability, profound ideology and high-energy onstage presence.
She has been in the music scene since 2006, getting her big break in by winning a talent search competition in Japan. She moved to New York in 2008 to bring her musical style to the U.S.
I think she has a cute charm to her. You can tell she loves doing what she does based on her live performances (can you say maid café MOE MOE MOE!?!?) and from the warmth of her Tweets and Facebook messages; She’s pretty active on both, commonly referring to her fans as her Angels. Very cute.
ReniReni has released two albums: Sakura in 2009 and Hybrid Girl in 2012. I’ll be focusing on Hybrid Girl for this review..
Hybrid Girl: released October 1, 2012
1. Suspect A
Cute and fun track to start things off. Reni’s vocals are mixed with a Vocaloid-like quality. She sounds out of tune at times when she presses her voice to higher octaves (can’t tell if it was on purpose; it has to be, considering how well she sounds on other tracks). (7/10)
2. Hello Sunshine
Nice upbeat track. Reni’s vocals are strong throughout the song. Rhythm has a bit too much keyboard/synth, which drowns out Reni’s voice at times. (9/10)
3. Rock Paper Scissors
A departure from her poppy, techno tracks. It appears to be pretty popular with her fans. However, I’m not sure if it suits her style. Then again, she does say she is a Hybrid Girl, so I can only guess that this was an attempt to change things up. I enjoyed her techno tracks much more. (5/10)
Great beat track with a classic electro vibe. I didn’t like the chorus parts of the song, but the rest of the vocals were nicely mixed. Had a gothic sound to it at times, which worked well. (8/10)
5. My Shy Master (Initial P Remix)
Decent track, with plenty of synth and music effects that are typical of ReniReni songs. It’s a nice, high energy track after a slow start. (7/10)
6. Kitty (Initial P Remix)
Catchy beat. ReniReni pushes her voice nicely without going too far. Great rhythm, old school-house music feeling to it. It’s really mixed well between her voice and the synth tracks. Ends a bit abruptly, but still loved it! Probably my favorite track on the album. (10/10)
7. Judgmental Dramatic Monday
Great song. Vocaloid-like mixing of Reni’s vocals works for this song as well. Whoever did the mixing for this album deserves some props. It has a bit of a techno vibe, and is much less frantic in speed than her other tracks. Mellowness that works. Reni sounds great. I prefer her vocals in this range than some of her other tracks. (8/10)
8. Love Love Lovely NY
Quirky tribute to New York. Again, good rhythm music. Lots of nyans and meows throughout the song. Vocals get a bit monotone as the song goes along.(7/10)
Overall, I give ReniReni’s Hybrid Girl a solid 7/10.
High points include some very good techno/electro tracks with some homage to classic house music. Reni’s vocals shine throughout most of the tracks, with a few exceptions. She brings her pixie like energy into many of the songs which make them enjoyable to listen and dance to. Low points include some over use of synthesizers that overshadow Reni’s voice at times and, though it seems that the most popular track from this album is her rap track, I consider it to be the weakest song. That being said, ReniReni is indeed a Hybrid Girl. I applaud her for mixing it up when, in my opinion, her best efforts are when she stays within the electro/techno sound.
I look forward to her next album; I think she might have found a new Fan in me!
Find out more about ReniReni and preview/purchase her music at her website.
Download the album from iTunes
Follow ReniReni on:
Well, that’s all for this shiny new article! Thanks for taking the time to read it. Post your comments, suggestions, gripes, etc. so I can fine tune my reviews!
Stay tuned for next month’s review!
Until then, keep yourself tuned to 91.8 The Fan, where you get Everything You Want, and Nothing You Don’t!