“masshiro na yuki, masshiro na mirai” was released on December 5, 2007 and did not chart in the Oricon top twenty. That shouldn’t discourage you from listening to at least the lead track.
“masshiro na yuki, masshiro na mirai” is impressive. The intro of the song is acapella with very strong solo vocals. These strong vocals continue even as the instrumentation picks up; the first verse is soft and acoustic sounding with a guitar, and eventually a piano and drums as the song hits the bridge. At the chorus, Eri Takenaka’s voice explodes in strength along with instrumentation. Very powerful and with a great hook – “masshiro na yuki, masshiro na mirai.” The end of the chorus has the instrumentation stop for mere moments, turning the spotlight on Eri Takenaka’s voice which is superb. By and far, the star of this track is her voice. The production is great, but her voice as the song crescendos is purely amazing. Honestly, I was surprised at the strength of this track when I heard it, it’s worth a listen.
“cherishing” has odd sound, where the guitar is sided towards the right. That’s very offsetting considering the only instrument in the beginning is guitar. The problem doesn’t really right itself until the middle of the song, where thankfully the track. But this B-side has nowhere near the power of the A-side, although “cherishing” does better showcase Eri Takenaka’s range.
“setsunairo -acoustic live ver.-” is better than the other B-side, but the acoustic nature of the track leaves it bare, with only a piano. It’s nice, but of course I’m still partial towards the lead A-side. Still, this song is a very pleasant, soft listen.
You needn’t look at the huge J-pop acts to find gems, this single shows that. Although the B-sides have somewhat poor production, the A-side is great. It weights the grade of the single towards an A in this case. My recommendation: Get it.