Review by David Cirone
Mai Fukui’s earthy voice really shines in “Yakusoku no Bashou,” the theme song for Final Fantasy XIII-2. It’s a wonderfully composed track, and the string arrangement balances her performance perfectly.
“Ikuyabi no Sakura” (theme for the television drama Onmitsu Happyaku Yachou) and the acoustic “Ai no uta” are great showcases for her youthful voice. Fukui has a great ability to show her gentle side without losing any power or nuance. She’s got a great range, and her perfect delivery of “Ikuyabi’s” final notes just made me fall in love with that song.
Upbeat “Tatta Hitori no Mikata” (“Ikuyabi no Sakura’s” coupling A-side) is a lot of fun, breathing some energy into the EP’s middle, and the quick verbal tempo of “Believe” is reminiscent of her early performances with indies rock-rap group POPLAR.
Title track “Beautiful Days” closes the CD with a gorgeous ballad. It’s so easy to get lost in this performance. Moving seamlessly between Japanese and English, Fukui perfectly captures a bittersweet moment of heartbreak and hope.