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Eriko with Crunch
CD Audio (CDDA), 6 tracks
CAT# TFCC-87054
Produced by Hiromasa Ijichi
JASPAC / Toys Factory
Sold for an equivalent ¥1,050.
First Press Maxi CDS comes with a nice cardboard-like case.
Lyrics booklet unfolds to a mini ('B-3') poster of Eriko Imai.
Released 00 March 15 / Out of Print 02 March 14
ANIMEfringe Reviews:
Eriko with Crunch
By Diana Kou

Even before the final break up of SPEED (Hiroko Shimabukuro, Eriko Imai, Takako Uehara, Hitoe Arakaki), the girls had their solo works distributed, even on their own group albums! Eriko Imai seems to be the only girl that fled to join with another group, that being "Crunch". Just how popular each one remains now is the question.

Personally, I hadn't ever heard about Crunch till Eriko joined. After hearing their work as a new group, however, it makes me wish I had. The upbeat rhythm and hyped lyrics this group features are quite pleasing to anyone into J-pop? but honestly, this sounds more like j-rock/j-dance - - which isn't bad at all! (Better, if anything.)

Eriko Imai had always been my most favorable of SPEED members. She has a certain flavor that makes her stand out from the others, and her joining this group seems to be a wise choice. Seeing as how SPEED's songs mainly let Hiroko and Eriko have the spotlight solos, it wasn't hard to see the group divide, yet, it couldn't be tough enough for hardcore fans.

So what now?

Eriko with Crunch's first maxi single debuted 15 March 2000. Two earlier songs released while Eriko was still part of the SPEED group consisted of "Everyday be with you" (featured on SPEED's single, "Breakin' Out to the Morning") and "Tsumetaku Naide" (featured on SPEED's single, "All My True Love"). After the finalization of SPEED, Eriko with Crunch finally released their first true single, "Red Beat of My Life". It debuted at Japan's top 10 on the charts, precisely at #3, following Hikaru Utada and Dragon Ash. All three hits debuted at the same date.

Track 1: Red Beat of My Life
The prime reason I bought the single! I heard a sample of this song not too long ago, and fell in love. I played it so much my friends got sick of it, but hey. It's one great song. The beat and lyrics are definitely the thing here, as the background singers accentuate the song with a mild twist.

Track 2: We will be together
Not quite as powerful as track #1, but almost as good. This, much like Red Beat, is one of those songs you just have to dance to? or in my case, try to. <L> Either way, I can say the same thing for this song as Red Beat, but as I mentioned already; it's not quite as powerful.

Track 3: Break Down
This is the least powerful track of the single, probably being the reason it is the last of the three. This song is a bit too j-poppy for me, but it still has its good features. From the four E w/ C songs I've heard, this is the least favorable.

Track 4: Red Beat of My Life (instrumental)

Track 5: We will be together (instrumental)

Track 6: Break Down (instrumental)

Group Update: It has been five months since their "Red Beat of My Life" release, but E w/ C is getting ready to release their second maxi single! The title will be "Luv is Magic", coupling with "Yudachi" and "FIND MYSELF". It will be released 2000 August 02, for an equivalent of ¥1,200, catalog number TFCC-87068.

Want to hear a sample of Red Beat of My Life?
3 songs: Red Beat of My Life, We will be together, Break Down
MP3, 22 KHz, 32 kbps, 220KB, 0:55 - click here to listen

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