DREAM is the third album released by Ito Yuna. Although less successful than her previous two albums, it was a moderate success, peaking at #7 and selling over 35,000 copies. The album featured three singles, all of which released with varying success. The album’s biggest hit, “trust you”, was a top five hit, while the other two reached #20 and #44 on the charts.
Released: May 27, 2009
1. love you
2. Ima Demo Aitai yo… (今でも 会いたいよ…; Right Now, I’m Missing You)
3. Brand New World
4. Koi wa groovy×2 (恋はgroovy×2; Love is groovy groovy)
5. trust you
6. BAILA BAILA
8. miss you
9. LOVE MACHINE GUN
10. No one else
12. groovy×2 (hidden track)
Starting the album off, love you wasn’t what I was expecting. I was thinking this would be a ballad, but instead we get an upbeat song that has a blasting blend of brass and percussion. The music can get a little over powering at times, but the melody is actually pretty catchy. I just wish it was more in the forefront instead of the percussion. Still, this is a great way to start things off and it is one of her better upbeat songs.
Ima Demo Aitai yo… features the hip-hop duo, Spontania and is an answer song to their other collaboration, “Ima Demo Zutto”. This is a change in sound for Ito as it goes more towards the light R&B route, which was popular around the time of the album’s release. It’s a stunning song that focuses on a piano line and touches of synths and strings. I don’t think Spontania’s inclusion really does much for the song, but Ito sounds great in that emotionally charged chorus.
Keeping up the momentum is Brand New World, a pounding dance/pop song. This is a pretty generic sounding song, but it still has a pretty nice melody and I like the happy energy that it emits. I would say that I enjoy the verses more because Ito sounds much more confident here and her voice fits this song perfectly. Another solid tune.
The album’s first single comes in the form of the latin-inspired Koi wa groovy×2. I love how much attitude there is in the verses and Ito is really bringing her A-game here. The chorus is a bit repetitive, but I love how powerful and full it sounds. The music is exciting and the melody is still pretty catchy. The hook is a bit odd sound at times, but it still works in the overall delivery. It’s a really fun tune.
The switch into trust you is so odd because we go from an explosive pop song into a gentle ballad. trust you is my favourite song on the album and one of my favourites from Ito. It starts off as a calming pop ballad with some R&B elements to it before building into a more powerful song. The chorus is really beautiful with the sweeping strings and soaring melody. Ito has always been able to pull of a great ballad and it’s no surprise this was the most successful single.
BAILA BAILA goes the more Hawaiian route, which is a great return to the roots for Ito. It is pretty upbeat but still has a relaxing quality due to its summery vibe. The music is especially fun with the mixture of xylophones, drums and bass. It’s probably the weakest song up to this point, but it’s still a pretty fun song.
Another summery tune comes with BREEEEEZIN!!!!!!!, which tries to go for a cooler route with its surf-rock style. With that said, I don’t really like this song that much because the chorus melody is completely overpowered by the music. It’s really disappointing because the verses sound so great, but I just feel like all I hear in the chorus is a blur.
miss you brings us the last single in the form of another ballad. I like how the song is a bit of a contrast to “trust you” as Ito doesn’t go full on belting for the chorus. Instead, we get something a bit softer that works beautifully with the melody. With that said, I don’t find the chorus to be as memorable. It’s still a stunning song that brings a bit of variety to the slower songs.
LOVE MACHINE GUN goes the rock route and its an exciting change. The verses are really cool as Ito’s voice is distorted, but everything still helps build up the energy. My only problem is when things go into the pre-chorus and chorus. It decides to leave a lot of that hard-hitting attitude behind and go for a bit of a brighter sound. I just find it a little disappointing.
I’m glad there is another ballad. No one else is a mix of “trust you” and “miss you” because it blends the softer side of things with a gentle R&B beat. Unfortunately, it is the weakest of the slower songs because the melody is just forgettable. It’s a bit too slow and drags on without having any stand out points to it, although it does get better as more instruments start coming in.
Body starts off in a really interesting way and sets things up for a cooler dance tune. This one doesn’t explode with energy, but keeps things a bit slower. It’s a change from the usual soaring dance tunes that Ito has done in the past, but it’s a welcomed addition. I don’t think it’s particularly catchy, but it’s a really cool song.
groovy×2 comes as the hidden track after Body, which is the English version of “Koi wa groovy×2” sung by Ito’s alter ego, Christine Ito. It’s still as good as the original, but I think I might like this version a little more. The attitude just reminds me of a stomping 70’s disco song.
Overall: This is easily Ito Yuna’s best album and it’s no surprise why. There was still a lack of a strong cohesion, but most of the songs were really good. They had great music and great melodies. The upbeat songs were exciting and fun and there was a mixture of genres, while the ballads were pretty sweet. I think some songs could still be tweaked, but this is a pretty solid album.