3rd Station is the third album released by Goto Maki. It was her first album to chart outside the top ten and it only sold 32,000 copies. The three singles were relatively successful, with all charting within the top ten, but they weren’t able to replicate the successes of her past singles.
Released: February 23, 2005
1. Ekizo no DISCO (エキゾなDISCO; Exotic Disco)
2. Sayonara “Tomodachi ni wa Naritakunai no” (さよなら「友達にはなりたくないの」; Goodbye “Don’t Want To Be Friends”)
3. Yokohama Shinkirou (横浜蜃気楼; Yokohama Mirage)
4. Singapore Transit (シンガポールトランシット)
5. Rairai! “Shinfuu” (来来!「幸福」; Welcome! “Happiness”)
6. Watarasebashi (渡良瀬橋; Watarase Bridge)
7. Positive Genki! (ポジティブ元気!; Positive Energy!)
8. Sayonara no LOVE SONG (サヨナラの LOVE SONG; Goodbye Love Song)
9. Renai Sentai Shitsu Ranger (Goto Version) (恋愛戦隊シツレーンジャ (後藤Version); Love Squadron Ranger)
10. Station (ステーション)
11. 19sai no Hitorigoto (19歳のひとり言; The Monologue of a 19 Year Old)
I wasn’t really expecting what I got with Ekizo no DISCO. This is much different from her past songs because it is much more in the sexy zone. The music is a bit crazy with its pounding beat, flying synths and breathy vocals. I feel like it would have been better if Goto didn’t sing it in this way though because it sort detracts from the melody and leaves a weird contrast between it and the heavy arrangement. It’s a fun opener, but not quite my cup of tea.
The transition into Sayonara “Tomodachi ni wa Naritakunai no” is a weird one as this one is one of her more mature and serious sounding songs. It’s definitely slower, but it isn’t quite in ballad territory and I love how nice her vocals sound here. The verses are particularly nice and there is a slow but strong build-up into the chorus, which definitely has more tension and emotion to it. It’s also quite catchy. Probably one of my favourite Goto songs and easily her best H!P single.
Yokohama Shinkirou is such a weird change with its pop/rock power. I’m not sure if I like this single that much, but I do like the energy that it has. There is a lot of strength in the arrangement with its mix of synths, guitar and percussion, but it is in the melody that things sort of lose its effect as it is quite repetitive and a bit out of control. It’s still a solid tune.
Singapore Transit is yet another change in sound as here we are given something a bit lighthearted and sweeter. This mid-tempo pop tune starts off a little boring for me as the verses aren’t particularly memorable. However, the chorus is so much better. There is a bit of unpredictability in the melody and it helps to create a more interesting sound. It’s not that bad of a song.
I was expecting Rairai! “Shinfuu” to be a crazy song and it is. Actually, I find it a bit odd that this song is included. It’s just really out there and sounds more like a song for a kids show and not something that would fit on here. Certainly Goto has done songs like this before, but not quite to this extent. It’s definitely a fun song and has a pretty catchy chorus, but the music just flashes by and there isn’t much to grasp on. Just a bit much for me.
Watarasebashi is a cover of a song by Moritaka Chisato and was already covered by label-mate, Matsuura Aya. This is a pretty gentle ballad and it’s quite beautiful. I think Goto’s vocals match this song wonderfully and while the song doesn’t have the most interesting arrangement, the melody is actually pretty nice to listen to. Not her strongest ballad, but definitely a solid cover.
Positive Genki! is probably my least favourite song on here. I’m fine with fun and upbeat pop/rock tunes, but the riffs here are just really tiring and they last throughout the entire song. It’s just overpowers the rest of the song. The chorus isn’t that catchy either and it can barely get through this song.
The album’s first single comes in the form of a classic love ballad. Sayonara no LOVE SONG used to be one of my favourite songs by Goto because I always felt it was quite beautiful. There are some really stunning parts to it, but I feel like it doesn’t quite hit the spot I want. There are some really charming parts to its arrangement like the light guitar and percussion. However, while the song is sweet, it just ends up a bit dull in general.
Renai Sentai Shitsu Ranger (Goto Version) is a solo version of a song by sub-unit, Nochiura Natsumi, which featured Goto in it. This is an upbeat pop tune with some rock elements to it, but I don’t quite like this version. I used to like this song a lot, but this one is just lacking a bit. The music is just very noisy and the melody isn’t that catchy either. It is better sung as a sub-unit.
The title track, Station, is a really cool pop tune that I was waiting for. After a few lackluster songs, here we are given something more mature and a bit more dance-focused. I love the beat and I feel like it swirls around with the synths. This also feels like a better match for Goto’s voice. The song isn’t as catchy as I want it to be as the melody is a bit repetitive, but it works nicely with the powerful music.
19sai no Hitorigoto ends things on a more dramatic and touching note. The song is a ballad, but it has a bit more power to it when compared to the other ballads on here. The arrangement is definitely pushed forward by the heavy percussion and I really like it. The melody gets a bit lost as Goto’s voice is a bit too soft for this kind of song, but it is still a nice tune.
Overall: This album is a little stronger than her second one, so at least there is some sort of improvement. My biggest complaint with the album would probably the lack of focus there is. There were so many changes in style and sound between each track that it felt like there was no cohesion at all and was just a jumble of songs. This could be good if the songs were stronger, but here, quite a few were just lackluster and lacking in clear focus within the songs themselves.