Single review: Crystal Kay - Lovin' you

Single review: Crystal Kay - Lovin' you | Random J Pop

Ever since the commercial tanking of Crystal Kay's 2012 album Vivid, Crystal's musical trajectory had taken a turn downhill faster than BB-8 in the quicksand dunes of Jakku.

The sound that Crystal had cultivated for herself over her entire career has been completely jettisoned in favour of run of the mill ballads. This kick started with the 2015 release of "Kimi ga ita kara", but continued on the following year with "Sakura" and is now a hat trick with "Lovin' you".

Crystal Kay has always done a good job of ballads. The turning point was "Kitto eien ni" which was one of her best ballads up until that point in her career, acting as a 'coming of age' song of sorts for her. Then every album which came after featured a typical J-ballad, and some great ones at that. ("Kaerimichi" is my shit). But whilst from this point on Crystal was noted for her ability to hold a ballad, it was not what she was known for. These were mere footnotes in a career built of uptempo Pop and R&B. But now the tables have completely turned, with ballads now becoming Crystal's headliners. I would be okay with this shift if it came with some advancement on her sound and the songs were good. But I honestly cannot distinguish "Kimi ga ita kara", "Sakura" and "Lovin' you" from one another. There is nothing which defines each song. And whilst this formula is serving Crystal with moderate chart success, it's coming at the cost of her sound becoming completely generic and run of the mill.

As was the case with Crystal's early 2016 release "Sakura", the hotness which the A-side doesn't bring lies in the B-side. "Silent goodbye" is a slow burner of a song, which builds into a bright chorus. It's a song which could fit very easily onto Vivid or Shine - as it tethers the brightness of former with the throwback vibes of the latter.

The true gem on this single however is "Suki". This song was originally released by Dreams come true in 1994. The original version of the song is very sparse and slow, with little in the way of instrumentation. Crystal's first cover of the song appeared as a B-side on the 2008 physical release of "One" and was a high energy dance cover. The version which appears on Lovin' you is much more in keeping with the original. Crystal had performed this very same rendition of "Suki" way back in 2010, but no studio recorded version of it was ever made available. So it's nice to have a studio recorded version of this after so long. Crystal's version stamps the original into the ground and kicks it under a bus. Listen to the original version and count how many times Dreams come true lead singer Miwa Yoshida's misses notes. Your final final tally will read like the damage HP of Level 80 attack in a Final Fantasy game. "Suki" acts as a perfect reminder off that classic Crystal Kay, in case her recent releases had you losing hope that she was dead and gone.

"Lovin' you" is yet another unmemorable release for Crystal Kay. Definitely grab it for the B-sides. But if you are a CK fan who started to ride from Call me Miss... onward, then you will be pretty damn disappointed.

RATING: 3/10


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