Staff picks for March are here! Head on down below to see them all.
It may be true that Yumi tries to follow the Western trends again, even if those are “alternative” rnb trends, but this time she executes them well. The record is an urban bliss from start to finish and “One In A Million” is an obvious nod to Aaliyah. The choice of color (passionate red) definitely influenced the concept in a favorable way as Yumi brought the lush to the table and while figuring out the next color might be fun, the way everything seems to work here is rather amazing. The last and the least is the album cover, especially the alternative one, that symbolizes her further departure from the previous works and artistic / personal growth evident from the songs as well.
not not me
As a natural consequence, “not not me” takes a few steps back and tries to fix the things that didn’t work out in the previous releases, and luckily, it succeeds in the task. The record takes back the essential Rap component, as Itsuka’s venomous verses finally come back here as relevant element, promptly alternated by her simple yet pleasant singing in the chorus sections. At the same time, the instrumentals try to adopt different influences: from the pop rock elements of “#hashdark“, the funky riffs of “lunch time funk“, to the subtle Tropical house influences of the mellow title track, the beats here stick to a classic hip hop formula slightly revisited to welcome a vast array of sounds. It’s clear that the record is focused on getting back the balance of Charisma.com’s sound while adopting bits of different genres at the same time, and while it doesn’t exactly work all the time (“classic glasses” is the most striking example), the fact the duo is taking the time to go back and figure things out is appreciable.
“Not not me” is a record that doesn’t necessarily stand out for anything in particular, yet it flows very well, and it’s an overall pleasant listen that will satisfy Charisma.com‘s fans, as well as casual listeners. The duo surely plays it safe in certain areas, yet the subtle intention of finding a way to evolve their sound is clear, and we hope to see it materialize in their next project.
Nevertheless, it is still a great song that showcases that the union of this three units can be much more than what they are disjointed, and I’m not refering to comparing the straight-up subjective quality of their individual music (which I personally also enjoy), but the ability to create and try new things with this experimental super-unit that wouldn’t be possible without each other.
not not me
In “not not me”, DJ Gonchi and MC Itsuka are confident, they mark their steps, they take over the album and they go for it all the way, just as they did with Ai Ai Syndrome and DIStopping, even if they are exploring a different direction, or to be precise, several different directions: I can’t recommend enough “YAJIUMA DANCE”, “Chicken boom”, “not not me” and “Muko ni Oide”, and they all sound so different one from the other! This album is extremely enjoyable, a welcome back to Charisma.com after a couple of albums that, without being by any means bad, didn’t live up to the potential this duo has. In conclusion, the Charisma.com this album shows is completely not not them. In other words, this album is completely them.