Review Summary: The legendary Japanese soul/pop artist's debut album delivers as much (if not more) than what is expected.
What can be said about Misia? Misia debuted in Japan in the late 90's with a style that combined soul with bareboned J-Pop, which was at an all-time high in Japan. This style separated Misia from the rest of the Japanese pop competition, and made her an immediate hit in Japan. Misia later went on to sell millions-upon-millions of records in Japan alone, and is known for populating the R&B style in Japanese music. Her 1998 debut album, "Mother Father Sister Brother", is arguably her most solid work to date, as it not only shows her unique soul-like style, but also shows off her remarkable vocal style.
The album opens up with the dramatic intro, "Never Gonna Cry (Strings Overture)", before jumping off into one of the album's best moments, "K.I.T", which shows off her sheer vocal talent, all over a catchy R&B production. A superb track by itself. "Koisuru Kisetsu" takes the R&B touch, and softens it up a bit, to great success. This shows the Japanese vocalist at a much more tender period, but definitely not limiting her vocal abilities at all. "I'm Over Here ~Kizuite~" is a more traditional R&B track, and is once again conquered by Misia's emotional and strong vocals. "Tell Me" is another huge bright spot for the album, as it shows a bluesy influence, and amplifies the singer's talent to the max. The production is dreamy, and Misia's singing manages to caress its way into the soul of the listener. "Kiss ***e Dakishimete" isn't one of the album's most exciting points, but is far from a horrible track. "Kiss ***e Dakishimete" prefers to embark on a much more emotion-based scenery, and abandons all of the bouncy/upbeat elements shown in tracks before. Not an exciting track, but is regardless one of the most beautiful songs on the album.
"Cry" brings the album's tempo up a bit, as it shows the singer cutting even more feel into the album. The progressive, smooth stabs in the song work tremendously well with the style of Misia as well. Yet another brilliant track. "Chiisana Koi" is a very syrupy track, that oozes soul from every pore, from Misia's moving vocals, to the track's bare production. "Hi no Ataru Basho" starts off as a highly sensitive track (reminiscent to "Kiss ***e Dakishimete"), but then blasts off into a bouncy, yet very fragile, soul track, that shows Misia's skill with traditional R&B. "Hoshi no Furu Oka" is a very gentle ballad, which once again, orchestrates Misia's powerful vocal skill, over a very dreamy production track. In other words, the track is a ballad that is executed just right. The next track, "Tsutsumi Komu You ni... (Dave ''EQ3'' Dub Mix)" shows the album on basic R&B grounds, but still maintaining a unique style, mixed with a bluesy/swing-like sound. The album then closes off with the track, "Never Gonna Cry!", which is a track that, shockingly, explores disco grounds. The track is one of the album's weakest points, but is great for doing parties and such. The track just lacks the soul and emotion of the album, which makes it an awkward track for the powerful album.
Before Misia, R&B was scarce and not very well known among Japanese music fans. But when "Mother Father Sister Brother" hit the Japanese market, it not only exposed the soulful world of R&B to the Japanese mainstream market, but also exposed the talented world of Misia to the world as well. Without a doubt a solid album, and it is also regarded as one of the most impressive debut albums released by a Japanese artist. A damn good album all around with very little flaws intact.