Music review: Crystal Kay - Flash

Crystal Kay - Flash | Random J Pop
I was wishing on chicken bones and Super Mario plush dolls that Flash would end up materializing into a full length album at some point. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. At least not at this point in the year. But a mini album is better than no album at all. And in true Crystal Kay style she keeps the quality high. She does not skimp on the goods just because this isn't a full length. The music is solid. CK's game is air tight. And the goodness served up is almost too good to the point where by the time the "Outro" rolls around, you're wanting to slap a bitch for not giving us 5 more tracks. Mission accomplished.

The first thing which will catch you about Flash is its intro. It's big. It's dark. Epic and grandiose. It's what Ayumi Hamasaki should have had as an Interlude on Rock 'n' roll circus. It feels a little out of place and almost like it's too big and too much. But it's a great piece of music which has shit loads of impact and draws you in. An insta-sign that no corners were cut for this mini album. None.

"Flash" worried me a little when I first heard the song, because it's sound was such a drastic departure for Crystal. And it was difficult to hear in the space of 30 second how well she'd work the song. But having heard "Flash" in full, I can safely say Crystal does 80's electro pop with flying colours. Nothing about the song feels forced or over-egged and Crystal sounds completely at ease. Her vocals are the most aggressive and assertive she's ever put down on a track. She really does command your undivided attention with the way she rides the beat, and goes from vamp like croons to the sexually sweet highs. Great song. This could have potentially been Crystal biggest single if Epic actually gave more of a shit in the way of promotional campaigns.

"Victoria" is the weakest song on Flash. But Crystal's weakest songs are different to other hoes weakest songs, in that they're still actually good - just not great. The 80's style production is very reminiscent of "Flash", and the whole thing has a very Whitney I'm your baby tonight and "So emotional" type vibe about it, with a hint of Michael (Crystal even lets off a high pitched ♪ Heeeeeee!!! ♪). More in the way of that signature Crystal style vocal production would have made this a hell of a lot better, as there are sections where you're waiting on Crystal to slay with the harmonies and she never does. But "Victoria" is a good song. It grows on me the more I listen to it, because the production is so tight.

When "Never say goodbye" first dropped, my first thought was "Oh dear Jesus. Crystal took it there with this sicky sweet, overly camp J-Pop trash" and didn't know whether I could get on board with the song. But Japanese production is not like everywhere else's. They're BIG on melodies. And in true Crystal Kay style the song goes through chord changes and switches, and wins you over as it does so. Then of course there are Crystal's vocals, which are irresistible. "Never say goodbye" is more of the Crystal we've grown to love over the past few years wrapped in a euro-dance package and it works better than it should. Think "Step by step" taken down a few notches, with a bit of a Kylie Minogue vibe. A really nice Summer song.

"Happy" brought f**king tears to my eyes not even a minute into the song. Those who witnessed Crystal shut it down with her cover of "Human nature" know Crystal has skills when it comes to picking the right Michael song to cover. "Happy" isn't Michael Jackson's most well known song - which is why I love even more than Crystal covered it. She completely owns the song and makes a classic out of a classic. Other bitches need to siddown until Crystal says they can stand up. As with "Hold on", "It's a crime" and "I can't wait" - this song would make folk in the West take notice of Crystal in a big way. Brilliant rendition. The song is pretty much magical. I swear I saw Peter man fly past my window as I listened to it last night. Either that or somebody tried to break into my bedroom window.

"I pray" is a complete return to that completely classic Crystal sound: Acoustic guitars, pianos, orchestrated strings and on-point vocals from start to finish. A nice closer to the album, made even more heart felt and beautiful by the sunning outro which follows it near seamlessly.

Flash is a really nice mini album, which more than serves its purpose. It showcases a new direction for Crystal, without alienating old fans and (hopefully) attracting new ones. It's satisfying, but leaves you wanting more. And the whole thing ties together nicely, with songs which flow nicely into one another and a really epic sounding intro to yank you in and beautiful outro to bookend the album.

Flash is possibly one of Crystal's most Western ready sounding releases since her it's rubbish but I don't really want to say it is because I love Crystal release Natural. Which again, makes it a shame that Sony have pretty much embargoed their artists music from iTunes. With electro pop joints to rope in the synth loving crowd, a stunning rendition of a Michael Jackson song and a great deal more smattering of English across songs than Crystal's past albums - there would be a sizeable amount for Western fans to latch onto.

Crystal put more into a mini album than most bitches put into full length albums. Korea and Japan need to fix up and look sharp. It's a shame Crystal's music doesn't reach as many as it should. But fans should be grateful she continues to put out quality music at the very least. Flash is as worthy a purchase as a CK full length. Do not let the short track list deter you.

8 out of 10
Album highlights
■ Flash
■ Never say goodbye ★ J's fave
■ Happy
■ I pray
■ Outro


  1. Very nice review. It sounds great! I too am saddened by the lack of Crystal on iTunes. :( It's such a shame that I can't just hop on there right now and simply buy this.

  2. I was doing math homework when "Happy" came on, and I just stopped and closed my eyes. I felt it in my soul.

  3. wicked review j but i loved Victoria had a bit of sex and the city sexy/hot chick feel to it :P..But never say goodbye was my one from the start everytime i hear it i think it should be a theme ending for a game... Flash is epic kinda wishes over and over was one plus sum more tunes but its still friggin HOT.


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