Single review: “441” by miwa

miwa is a Japanese pop singer-songwriter. She made her major debut under Sony Music Records in 2010 and is managed by Tristone Entertaiment Inc. 441 is her 6th single.

Release date: 29th of June, 2011

Track List:
1. 441
2. Chasing hearts
3. Haru ni Nattara (acoustic version)
4. 441 (instrumental)

1. 441
The A-side starts off with miwa singing the chorus while she plays her acoustic guitar. It seems pretty laid-back at that point, but then more instruments join in to suddenly make it a pop-rock song. Huh, so, from acoustic to pop-rock. Nicely done! I really liked that surprise transition. The rest of the song is quite upbeat and sounds like a spring-themed track with a touch of summer as well. Kinda reminds me of the original version of Haru ni Nattara in terms of the how the instruments sound. I like this one.

2. Chasing hearts
Now I’m here wondering why the song that’s tied to the second Fullmetal Alchemist Movie is the B-side. I always thought that songs with anime ties would usually be the A-side because it seems like a better promotional strategy that way. But, oh well. Anyway, Chasing hearts is a breezy, acoustic and somewhat pop-ish track that keeps up the whole spring mood. I think there are even handclaps in the chorus, or at least something that sounds like handclaps, making the song sound quite playful and cute. But as predicted, the song is very good. Yes, very good.

3. Haru ni Nattara (acoustic version)
miwa released Haru ni Nattara as the last single for her first full album, guitarissimo. I already really enjoyed this song as its original, cheerful & catchy pop-rock version, so I was curious to see how it would be as an acoustic track. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the song in its acoustic form as much as I did with the original! If I am not mistaken, I’ve identified that the instruments used in this song include her usual acoustic guitar, maracas, bongo drums and strings. The arrangement, as well as miwa’s vocals, sound so relaxing and definitely very spring-like.

miwa’s 6th single did not disappoint! Sure, the song with the anime tie-in is stuck as the B-side, but it was a nice lead-in to the acoustic version of one of my favorite songs from her. The A-side’s solid transition from acoustic to pop-rock was… inspired. The whole single is certainly quite refreshing & breezy and I just liked it all, basically.

Rating: 4.5/5

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