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Takako Uehara - "first wing"
Total Play - 46:46
Total Tracks - 12
¥3,059 / $31 Retail Price
RK Works
Toy's Factory
Released July 26, 2000
Out of Print July 25, 2002
Initial Pressing Bonus Purchasers receive free large double-sided posters.

ANIMEfringe Reviews:
Takako Uehara - "first wing"
By Dai Kou

Model and singer Takako Uehara was among the first members of legendary J-POP Girl Group SPEED to release a solo single. Now after the group's break up just last March, Takako stands as the first ex-member with her first solo album. "How is it?", you say? Honestly, I adore this album. Not too much of this, not too little of that. Everything seems to be just enough to enjoy this series of songs.

Info byte : Album versions were all newly recorded versions, as to the versions appearing on singles.

1. So Blue -
A nice intro-song for the album - - From here, the listeners know that Takako's way of singing is soft and smooth, overall, "pleasant". The theme of this song is… odd as it may sound …good traveling music. Rating : 9 / 10

2. Bird's cage -
During the first few seconds, this song sounds like something of Disco nature. Tee hee. Not to worry, because much like a majority of tracks on this album, the song features a big fiasco of guitar and brass, proving for not only a cheery / upbeat nature, but 'happy time' music. Rating : 8 / 10

3. step the time -
Definitely a Louisiana feel of a song, this has to be one of my favorite tracks. The distant harmony and tempo of the song just captures a certain something. Rating : 9 / 10

4. my greatest memories -
One of her best and signature tracks, album version. This was Takako's final single before proceeding to release her album. The music for this track is very delightful, and several lines in the song are quite taking. ^^ Rating : 10 / 10

5. Sail -
If you're an old Street Fighter II fan, perhaps you'd think the same as me when hearing the first few seconds of intro in this song - It strangely resembles Ryu's background music from the original sequel of the game! Nevertheless, another great song with much depth and tone. Rating : 9 / 10

6. riaritei [reality] -
A little more jazz and spunk was presented in this song, making it almost something of SPEED material. Rating : 8 / 10

7. Come close to me -
Takako's second single release, album version - - Definitely one of the best songs, and probably the reason it was released as a single. Among those who have heard the CD, this seems to be the most favorable of those I have surveyed. Popularity of this song probably comes from the lyrics content and presentation of the song in its entirety. Rating : 10 / 10

8. Empty -
Another jazzy-sort of song - - I could definitely picture this song with some sort of abstract music video for some weird reason. I found that most of the tracks on this album aren't near 'bad' at all, but some lack more than others do, perhaps this being one of the few. Rating : 8 / 10

9. first wing -
Obviously the title track for the album - - This seems to be a mild dance track, but very nice itself. Rating : 9 / 10

Another mild dance track almost styled like one of Madonna's Ray of Light. A great song, none the less. It flows nicely, and I find that Takako's voice works best with tracks like this. An eerie surrounding, but speedy environment could describe the feeling of this song. Rating 9 / 10

11. for you -
I suppose the best description for this song could be its likeness to a poem. Takako recites a lengthy bit of words with a nice mix of mid-tempo dance beat, as well as guitar in the background. Rating 8 / 10

12. my first love -
The most favorable of tracks on this album, 'my first love' was Takako's first solo single, and surely one of her best, if not the. The lyrics for this song really shine and give you that warm lovely-dovey feeling. For example, here is a chorus : "my first feeling, with those wings. my first sweet love, take me away. my love, for the first time, beyond it all". Awww.

"first wing" is surely a good album for those who are taken by singers with soft, but enjoyable voice such as Takako Uehara's. If you happen to sample parts of this album, or have it yourself and would like to comment upon it, drop me a line and let me know what YOU think about it!

Want to hear a sample of First Wing?
3 songs: Come Close to Me, Sail, So Blue
MP3, 22 KHz, 32 kbps, 170KB, 0:55 - click here to listen

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