Sound: I'm just going to rate and give a brief review of every track on the disc. All tracks are played by a single acoustic guitar. Scroll down to "overall impression" for lengthly notes.
01. Desire: 10/10 (perfect album opener) okay so masa wastes no time getting you into the groove of things as per. The song is filled with slides and slaps and just dosnt let the mood drop, even the bridge manages to retain some of its upbeat.
02. Fun-Key Talkin': 9/10 I found this one a little hard to get into at first, I found it a little too out there (for my generic tastes anyway) but now that I have listened to the album several times its grown on me significantly and is now one of my favourites. The breakdown is something you look forward too on this song, where as most of it is just crazy as hell its good to have a relaxing break.
03. Let Yourself Go: 8/10 A little slow funk for you to sink your teeth into, by the time the chorus hit it lets most of the oomph go but its replaced by thumps on the guitar body which increases its overall impact. This one you can pretty much just sit back on and let masa lead you all the way through. Really relaxing. But unfortunatly its one of those tracks you probably wont remember when the album has finished.
04. Spider: 10/10 Its themed, as you can probably already tell. You really do just instandly think of a spider. The verses are nasty (in the good way) and the chorus sounds like it has both hands slapping. You just want to shake your head with it when it crashes down on top of you.
05. Call Me Old-fashioned: 9/10 The slowest piece on the CD yet, I have a feeling theres some time signiture changes in this one and theres definatly increases and decreses in tempo in the verses. The chorus is pretty strict tempo though, when I heard it I instantly thought of slow ballroom dancing but thats just me. I cant really say it takes me back as im so young but it does give an impression of how times have changed.
06. Million Ways To Love You: 8/10 Back to the groove and crazy funk. I should imagine this song would be a pain in the ass to tab out. I have a feeling this song starts out playing the chorus as well. It sounds like theres multiple finger strokes going on at points, which is a technique I can't master for the life of me. The breakdown is spectaculer, you just want it to come around for a second time.
07. My Very Own Mirror Ball: 7/10 Its not as all over the place as the last piece which helps bring down the mood a little. Its not a particuler favourite of mine, I dont have much to say about but it, it dosnt fall too far from the tree. If you heard it you would still think "oh!, thats gotta be a masa piece"
08. Take It Or Leave It: 9/10 A another really good themed piece. You instantly get a picture of someone giving an offer to someone else. Its hard to explain how this one goes. By the way the chorus works its magic I think the guy declined the offer but still, I would probably take anything masa's put on the table.
09. You're You And Im Me: 9/10 Slow piece. I get the feeling its about accepting the differences in other people and how you cant understand there perspectives in a disagrement. and eventually agreeing to disagree.
10. Roller Coaster: 10/10 I can't say enough good things about this song, as soon as it starts your forehead collects wrinkles and your eyes are squeezing shut tightly and you can just feel the awsomeness of this song go through you. If there was a greatest hits this song would be on it.
11. Cat And Mouse: 10/10 The albums theme, wisely chosen Masa. Double handed tapping in this one I think. Though its short its sweet and above all else thorough.
12. Keep The Faith: 8/10 After the last two songs it sort of sucks really haha (just kidding) its just not as memorable, sort of like the 3rd track which is why I'm giving it a 8 out of 10. I get a feeling if you were to play this one on its own randomly one day you would pick up on some hidden magic which you wouldn't get from listening to the album as a whole.
13. Silk: 10/10 Slow and melodic. The sort of super melodic that masa does only once or twice on an album as a special treat. There are some really deep/low chords on this one. Your glad this song comes when it does. Its a nice break.
14. Uki Uki: 9/10 I have no idea what uki uki means but its another little light hearted song. Its probably good its where it is on the album, I don't think it would work nearer the beggining. Its got its perfect little niche between Silk & Sakure.
15. Sakura: 10/10 (The perfect album ender) Very melodic, much like silk. Only better! (naah not really, its just more my thing xD) Its a shame on this occasion that masa dosnt stick to your standard rules for writting a song, theres a part that feels like its leading into a chorus and its awesome! But only it sort of dosnt sound like a chorus so I have no idea how to explain it. I guess you'll have to listen to it yourself. // 10
Lyrics: I have to look at this as what masa might be trying to say through his music. He portrays the song titles in an extraordinary unique way that can't be compared to any other solo acoustic guitarist.
I recomend spider & cat and mouse if you want a really good taster of what Masa's saying. // 8
Overall Impression: You would think masa having had 10 full length albums before this would have run out of ideas but this albums proof that the old dog hasn't run out of tricks that haven't been seen before. As far as comparing it to his other albums goes, I could happily recomend this one above all others to a friend knowing that if they looked through his back catalogue they would find more of the same.
The production/mixing/mastering and all that stuff is perfect. Not too loud, not too quiet. Its spot on.
I have to be honest and say I would be dubious about buying again if I lost or had this stolen. Purely because I paid about 25 not including shipping to get this disc from Japan to my house but then again considering these CD's are hard to come buy that might be the very thing that drives me to buy it a second time.
Something else I love about Masa is that he includes the tuning to all of his songs inside the booklet. Its just a shame that there so complicated, it makes trying to figure it out for an average joe like me nearly impossible. // 10