Miliyah Kato

Best Destiny

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Released on the figurative heels of the massively successful Tokyo Star album, Best Destiny covers most of Miliyah Kato's released singles, moving through her progression from straightforward R&B singer into a more enmeshed J-urban artist, adding elements to her sound beyond mimicry of American R&B as she went. The album opens with "Koi Shiteru," built on a thick layer of Shanice's "I Love Your Smile." Within a couple of tracks, the quality of the sample material has increased and "Dear Lonely Girl" is built upon the beats from Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing." On "Jounetsu," she cultivates a more vulnerable vocal format, keeping less production in the mix and emphasizing a rough beauty in her unaffected voice. "Ai Ga Kieta Hi" puts Blessid Union of Souls' "I Believe" over a slight reggae beat, though Kato works on the vocals a bit to make it feel just a bit newer. There's even a bit of Latin influence in "Michelle," a bit of theme music that found its way onto the compilation. The album ends with "Futurechecka," a hit from Tokyo Star originally involving Zeebra that involves more rap than much J-urban music might. In the compilation, there's a surprising range of stylistic elements called into play for Kato, though many of them come from other artists sampled heavily and bludgeoned into a bit of R&B fluff. Kato's got strong abilities, but her later albums are probably better indicators of her potential than a compilation spanning the earlier works as well.