RIHWA: 約束 [YAKUSOKU]

By Paris365 on November 09, 2012

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Release Date

10/3/12

Genre

J-Rock

Label

Toys Factory

Rihwa's new single, "約束" ("Promise"), is a lovely ballad that begins with soft piano as she sings the first verse, gently-played guitar eventually joining the mix before it hits the chorus. Once it reaches that point, hushed drums, swooning strings and electric guitar begin. But, while the music is very endearing, it's Rihwa's beautiful voice and emotional performance that makes the song a truly emotive winner.

The first B-side, " 好きなのに" (Google translation: "Even Though I Like"), isn't a ballad at all but a nice, mid-tempo pop rocker with some great guitar hooks. It's also quite the addictive earworm with its sweet melody, which Rihwa's vocals carry perfectly.

The second B-side, "Whatever," is actually a punchy English-language song with a punk vibe. But the lyrics are kind of boring. The first verse, for example, is about doing laundry. "Washing, drying, folding, and over and over again," she sings. Of course, she's ultimately delivering the message that she has more important things to do than laundry, so it's not all bad. "Whatever you say," she sings during the chorus. "You are so boring, I don't feel like talking to you," she sings later. I suppose the chorus is meant to be sarcastic then. She's clearly fed up with the person she's singing about if the verses are any indication, so she must not mean that she's really going to go along with whatever said person says. In fact, she sings, "whatever I say" at one point. She has such a pretty voice during "約束" that I never would have guessed she could carry a punk rock tune, but she pulls it off nicely. Granted, this is more Avril Lavigne than "Anarchy In The U.K." but she still deserves props for doing something different and singing in English. -Michael McCarthy

Labels and artists interested in being featured here may contact Michael McCarthy at cinema365@gmail.com. Follow Michael on Twitter https://twitter.com/paris365.

NOTE: As seems to be the usual with artists on Japanese record labels, I couldn't find any full-length videos by Rihwa on Youtube. But here's a commercial for one of her previous singles that should at least give you a general idea as to what she sounds like.

See video

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