01. anata no soba de (あなたのそばで; Next to You)
Crystal Kay released “anata no soba de” on May 16, 2007, and the single charted at 30 on the Oricon charts. This low position compared to her previous singles could be explained by the fact that this single is a stand alone single, a la Utada Hikaru’s “Be My Last.”
“anata no soba de” is mid-tempo R&B based off of a clapping rythym and keyboards coupled with vocal layering. Kuri’s vocals are smooth throughout the song, but the problem with the song is that it is capable of so much more. The chorus is capable of being so much more powerful than it is, especially considering how the bridge builds into the chorus. Instead, the chorus is slighter faster paced, poppier, and lighter. It’s well done R&B from Kay, but she could have easily made the song into an anthem by speeding it up instead of leaving it as mid-tempo.