Album Review: RIRI – RIRI


Release Date: February 14, 2018


  1. RUSH
  2. Next to You
  3. That’s My Baby
  4. Heart Can’t Lie
  5. Crush on You
  6. Be Alright
  7. Keep Up
  8. Promised Road
  9. RUSH -Seiho Remix-
  10. I love to sing

Total Runtime: 00:36:28

Recommended for: people who love R&B with hint of pop and EDM

NOT recommended for: people expecting a pop/mainstream album

RIRI, a Japanese pop and R&B singer, released her major debut album under Sony Music Japan. She started her career as a singer professionally in 2016, when she was signed with MIC-A-HOLIC Inc., the agency responsible for AI’s career, and where AI acts as a producer and adviser. In 2017, she signed with Sony Music Japan. After signing she started working on her major debut album, RIRI, which was produced by hitmakers that worked with American superstars Beyoncé and Ariana Grande! The album was recorded in Los Angeles, California.

Since this album combines old songs from her previous mini album and new songs, I’ll only review her new songs.

Track Review:

Track Three: That’s My Baby

That’s My Baby is a fun, upbeat R&B track that features RIRI’s higher notes. This is one of her catchiest songs with the whole line “That’s my baby, baby, baby….” and it really gets you into the beat. I feel like this song has a similar vibe to Ariana Grande’s older songs from her first album, such as Baby I, whose producer, Damon Sharpe, worked with RIRI on this track! Compared to her first single, RUSH, That’s My Baby gives off a more playful, flirtatious vibe compared to the “I’ve got a crush on you” vibe in RUSH.

Track Five: Crush on You

Crush on You was one of the two tracks that was released before the full album’s release. I’ve been replaying this track the most, since it’s pure R&B and vocals. The lyrics talk about a girl who doesn’t believe everything her lover says, that he’s way too bad to love but he’s too good not to crush on as well. Crush on You has a similar vibe to RUSH, although Crush on You‘s topic is about a relationship that might not be working out, but it’s too good to leave it. RIRI delivered her usual strong vocals but nothing out of the ordinary.

Track Seven: Keep Up

Keep Up, the second of the two pre-released tracks, is one of her more EDM tracks on this album, her vocals still shined through. Although it’s not my favourite track on the album, the bridge is really nice. Since a lot is going on in the chorus, the stripped back instrumentals in the bridge were nice, as I can just focus on RIRI’s vocals. I think if they remastered this song and toned down the beats it would be one of my favourites. I feel like this track compared to the others is not about love but self motivation, with lines like “…Show them that it ain’t nothing…Keep on shining like diamonds diamonds.”

Track Eight: Promised Road

Promised Road‘s lyrics were completely written by RIRI, which I think she did a great job on since it perfectly captures her emotions. This is probably one of the best pop ballads she’s done so far, even though all of them are great. The song itself is very optimistic, similar to E-girls’s Kitakaze to Taiyou. During the climax of the song RIRI delivered a beautiful high note that set the bar high. The instrumentals are pretty interesting because at first I thought it was a mid-tempo ballad, but then the beat started picking up into a up-tempo pop track.

The album is available worldwide on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music and for purchase on iTunes/Google Play. Let me know what you think of RIRI’s debut album down in the comment section below.

Review overview
Summary This debut album is definitely the best RIRI could've done, it really captures her as a vocalist and an up&coming R&B artist. RIRI is an album that I can say can be listened from beginning to end without skipping, there's literally no bad tracks.
Sakura Harano
Japanese entertainment centered 🌹 a フェアリーズ and Camila Cabello fangirl

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