Single Review: Kana Nishino – “Best Friend”

Tracklist:
1. Best Friend
2. ONE WAY LOVE
3. 今夜はPARTY UP (Kon’ya wa PARTY UP; Tonight We Party Up)

This is Kana Nishino’s tenth single, which was released on Feburary 24, 2010. The single peaked at #3 on the Oricon Weekly Chart and has sold a total of 42,021 copies so far.

Everything’s pretty, I like it. But gurl needs to learn how to smize.

~

The first time I heard Best Friend, I pretty much thought it was a generic pop song and I didn’t think I’d like it very much. But after giving it a few more listens, my opinion has made a total 180˚ turnaround – I ended up LOVING this song and now it’s one of my favorites that Kana has ever made, right up there with 君の声を. The music is simultaneously pretty, upbeat and nostalgic, and Kana seems more in control of her voice than ever before. I tend to question Kana’s proficiency as a singer whenever she isn’t releasing a single, but songs like this remind me of why I like her.

Speaking of 君の声を, ONE WAY LOVE lifts its title from a prominent lyric from the aforementioned song, but instead of overtly ripping it off, it makes the line into something new and interesting. I’m really pleased with the way Kana managed to match her vocal performance with the mood and genre (R&B) of the song. It shows that she’s really improving as a performer.

今夜はPARTY UP is a bit of a vintage 90s/80s style pop dance song, and I like it. It combines a carefree sound with music that’s part R&B, part electro. Her vocals are very in control, and even English sounds pretty good. Like I said before, I am frequently impressed with how Kana improves by so much with each release. Your versatility is showing, girl!

Summary: Best single from Kana so far, wouldn’t you agree? There isn’t a song on this single that I didn’t like, and that’s really saying something. Kana is shaping up to be a superstar in the world of J-Pop because of her ability to improve on her weaknesses by leaps and bounds in a very short amount of time. All I can say is, way to kick off the new year and GREAT job!

Single Grade: A+

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