Yuna Ito’s 14th single was released on November 11, 2009 It reached #36 on Oricon and sold 2,858 copies. The A-side was used as a theme song for the film 天使の恋 (Tenshi no Koi).
Looking very Lee Hyori there, Yuna. But classy. I like the classy.
I was pleasantly surprised by Let it Go – it has a nice rockish feel, but in a less poppy, more folk-y way. This is pretty different from the bulk of Yuna Ito’s singles so it took a play or two for me to wrap my head around the idea. The nice acoustic guitars are sound really pleasant and breezy, and Yuna’s voice is pretty strong, although it sounds a bit too diva to mesh with the music 100%. On the whole I felt this song was a nice change of pace, and I prefer it almost completely over some of Yuna’s other songs, like Koi wa groovyx2.
Happy Days plays with a more upbeat pop feel, with a clapping rhythm, layers of guitars and some piano too. The English lyrics felt kind of random, but that’s neither here nor there. I especially liked the strings that come during and after the chorus because they’re very uplifting. The vocals during the verse aren’t anything special but they really shine during the chorus. My only real bone to pick with this song is how it ends on a sort of random lyric, but I’m not too bothered by it since I think Happy Days is something of an improvement over Yuna’s other B-sides.
Summary: When Yuna Ito tries to do upbeat, it normally is a hit-or-miss affair, and I think this one actually works on all the levels that matter. Both songs combine pleasant arrangements and vocals that are nice, though not spectacular. It’s clear that Yuna is trying to break away from her perceived image as a “ballad singer” by experimenting with new genres, and I think that’s natural. Whether or not Let it Go‘s type of soft rock will become Yuna’s new niche remains to be seen, but I’d like to see her to some more searching. You’re getting there, Yuna!
Single Grade: B+