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A Review of the Album Rainbow the Debut Album of Pop Music Singer Sayaka Yamamoto

Updated on December 11, 2022
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The Regular Edition album cover for Rainbow
The Regular Edition album cover for Rainbow | Source

What Kind of Album Is Rainbow?

Rainbow is the debut solo album that was released by former member of girl group NMB48 Sayaka Yamamoto! Since she has always been one of my favorite J POP idols, that’s a good enough reason to review one of her solo albums. Rainbow was released on October 26, 2016 and it is classified as a J POP album. As usual, whenever it is possible, attempts will be made to list the song titles in English to make it easier for readers to follow along.

In addition, for those of you that are not able to afford buying the CD, the album is available for listening on Spotify. That’s how I was able to really listen to these songs more deeply. However, to call the album Rainbow just a pop music album would be a bit of an inaccurate categorization because songs such as Smile have that pop rock hybrid kind of feel to it, similar to Atsuko Maeda's Seventh Chord song.

Rainbow Song Listing

  1. Rainbow Rose
  2. Snow Love
  3. One Word
  4. I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend
  5. The Baton of Love
  6. Bad Days
  7. Moonlight
  8. Smile
  9. Heart Shield
  10. Taking a Deep Breath
  11. Question Mark
  12. Shards of Happiness
  13. Melody


How Does the Album Rainbow Begin?

Finally there is a chance for this former team captain and beautiful woman to show her talents without being under the guidance and rules of the AKB48 management. For this then 23 year-old Osaka native she was able to join Atsuko Maeda as one of the other famous Japanese idol singers to release a solo album. Rainbow Rose, the first song in this album isn’t some cheesy alternative rock tune, but a rather upbeat for Sayaka to begin her solo career. As always, it is important to get a good start as that is the foundation especially in music.

Speaking of Rainbow Rose, the song is both about love and there being a rainbow of endless possibilities for us to achieve our goals. If the world ended tomorrow as the song says, what kind of person would we even want to be?

There Is a Certain Significance to Discussing This Album Now

As usual, as is the case with albums by Japanese pop music artists, love is one of the most common themes along with romance. Analyzing her very first solo album is only fitting because she will celebrate her birthday on July 14, 2020. It was fitting and great timing for it to end up like this.

"Smile" Performed LIVE

Analysis of the Song One Word

One Word is the third song in this album and lyrically it is about a woman that is trying to clean up the chaos in her life. She feels that just one minute spent with her lover would help her end this cycle of chaos. I’ve heard enough Japanese now that the words namida and sayonara are in my memory and I know what they mean.

Solo Discography Releases by Sayaka Yamamoto

Year Released
Album Title

Objective In Reviewing the Album Rainbow

Besides getting acquainted with what certain words mean, it is my hope combined with optimism that music fans around the world will be able to see that Sayaka Yamamoto is more than just a former member of a Japanese girl group. She is now a solo artist on her way to what looks like a solid, successful career as a pop music artist. Sayaka Yamamoto also has the ability to play the guitar in addition to her singing skills. Even though she may not have one of the highest pitched voices in the industry, she sounds pleasant to the ears.

Songs Such As The Baton of Love and Smile Have Very Important Messages In Them

“The Baton of Love” is a song that has a very important message that we can all remember. That message is that if we have something material and we share it with others, material things can be lost. But if we share the love that is already in our hearts that love should not be lost. Do not worry about losing anything when you love because what we give out to the Universe we get that back in return. However, the way that things are in the United States, it is very difficult to have unconditional love if we are at odds with people that we disagree with. Bad Days is a song lyrically that tries to tell us that even if we are having a bad day, if we connect with our lover then that person will make things better for us. Or is it really that simple? The song is decent but it is not wow kind of material. Smile is a song that has some English lyrics as the song is trying to tell us that the only moment that matters is the here and now, the present moment. Establishing present moment awareness for most of us usually lasts anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes at most so this is extremely challenging to do successfully for most of us. Smile is an attempt to sound like an upbeat pop and rock tune and it mostly works out.

Final Thoughts About the Album Rainbow

Given that Rainbow is the first real solo moment by Sayaka Yamamoto, the love lyrical themes along with the attempt at high-energy pop and rock in the song Rainbow Rose, Rainbow is a decent debut by one of the most popular and beautiful women in the history of NMB48. Sometimes all we need is more than just the word yes, but we need to expose ourselves to a pop music album in a different language to see the richness of the world that we live in. Rainbow is a decent album to listen to even if there isn’t that wow factor as is the case with albums by Morning Musume. However, in terms of the style of the songs, there definitely is a similarity to other J POP groups. The strongest songs in Rainbow are Rainbow Rose, Snow Love, and Smile.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian


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