Commune is the second album released by YUKI. The album showed a change in sound as it focused more on acoustic songs than rock tunes. The album was preceded by three singles. Unlike the singles from her first album, the singles this time weren’t as successful, with biggest hit peaking at #10. The album itself peaked at #11 and sold 90,000 copies.
Released: March 26, 2003
1. Swells On the Earth
2. Naki Souda (泣きそうだ; I Think I’ll Cry)
3. Good Times
4. Strawberry (ストロベリ)
5. Rock’n Roll Star (ロックンロールスター)
6. Stand Up! Sister (スタンドアップ！シスター)
7. Hummingbird (ハミングバード)
8. Sentimental Journey (センチメンタルジャーニー)
9. Funky Fruits (ファンキーフルーツ)
10. Koibito Yo (version) (恋人よ; Sweetheart)
11. Communication (コミュニケーション)
12. Sabakuni Saita Hana (砂漠に咲いた花; A Flower That Bloomed In The Desert)
The album opens on an interesting note with Swells On the Earth. It’s a cool intro that pretty much gives us a glimpse of what the album will be like. It’s a gentle tune that focuses on the acoustic. Naki Souda has a lot more energy and sort of brings back the energy from her first album. I do like the power this song has and YUKI’s voice suits this song quite nicely. I just wish the melody was more memorable. The music is cool and I love the cool riffs, but I don’t quite remember how the actual song goes. It’s fun, but not really what I was looking for. Good Times is more mellow, but definitely more interesting. I love the spacey vibe of this song, especially in the verses. The song pretty much stays at the same level until two-thirds into the song when things just explode. It’s an interesting twist and much needed as the song did get a bit dull before this part. I like the contrast of the two parts. Strawberry changes things up once again as it plays around with the vocal delivery. I can’t really say this is my kind of song though. It’s not bad and the hook is a bit catchier, but it also doesn’t have much impact. I just don’t really remember this song that much, but I do appreciate it trying to do something different. Rock’n Roll Star finally brings something more acoustic. When it comes to YUKI’s early releases, her acoustic songs always came off more charming to me. I do like this one more than the other songs. The music is light and YUKI gives an interesting vocal performance. Stand Up! Sister is the album’s first single and it is one of the stronger songs on the album. It has a midtempo acoustic sound to it, but does bring more energy. I quite like the verses with the use of background vocals, but it’s the chorus where things shine. The song is quite catchy and I feel like it’s finally the first song that really gets stuck in my head. It’s not her best song, but it’s a solid tune. The album’s third single, Hummingbird comes popping up right after. Another acoustic pop song, this one is definitely more laid back. It reminds me a bit of Prism from YUKI’s last album as the vibe feels more like it is traveling. I do wish the hooks were a bit more memorable as I forget how it goes. There are some really charming parts to it though and I really like it when the strings come in. The album’s second single follows. Sentimental Journey continues the acoustic vibe of the last few songs, but I do think it is stronger than the last one. The song is a bit long, but the chorus is definitely better as the melody goes up and down and brings some unpredictability. It’s quite relaxing, but touching at the same time. Funky Fruits brings exactly what is expected. It has that 60’s psychedelic sound to it and it is a fun change. I actually like the verses more than the chorus though. It starts off sounding like it is going to build into something great, but I feel like it just takes too long to get there and the chorus itself is quite repetitive and short. Not my kind of song. Koibito yo (version) was original released on the album’s first single as a B-side track. I’m not quite sure of the original, but this version is a really weird song. The vocals are distorted in a way and it sounds like YUKI sounds like she is singing from afar. The music has a more reggae quality to it that comes up around halfway through. It’s definitely an interesting song to say the least. Not sure if I like it. Communication finally brings a bit more energy as it has a more uptempo swing to it. Unfortunately, I just do not like this song that much. The vibe feels so sleepy and like YUKI has very little emotion in her voice. The melody and the music just continue at the same pace throughout so it feels like there is very ltitle change as well. Sabakuni Saita Hana ends the album in an interesting way. Although it is a slower song, it has an interesting arrangement and it reminds me of an older style of music. I do think it gets a bit dull as the song goes on though as it does last around five minutes and the changes in it aren’t that big.
Overall: I can understand what this album is trying to do. It feels like it is playing up a lot of older styles of music, which is a nice thing to hear. However, it also feels like the album isn’t very contemporary. Rock is a harder genre for me to get into, but I feel like this album just wasn’t for me. Compared to her first one, this one seemed a lot less accessible and the music and vocals were just very different. It’s a cool release and I want to like it, but it doesn’t quite do it for me personally.