My review was featured on J!-ENT (2007):
With the sad and depressing news of the death of Sakai Izumi, lead singer of the popular band ZARD, I pulled this album out and just listened to it over and over.
With the October 2006 release of “Golden Best ~15th Anniversary~” being an ultimate album for ZARD fans wanting to catch up on ZARD music from 1991-2006, their first collection of hits “ZARD BLEND ~SUN & STONE~” still remains close to my heart.
When this album came out, it was the first best collection of songs in one album personally selected by Sakai Izumi.
I always found it interesting that of the 20 CD singles that she released from 1991-1997, her favorites were eight CD singles and five of which were selected from three previous albums.
I love ZARD’s music and most of all Sakai Izumi’s song writing.
Whereas Sakurai Kazutoshi is the guy known for Mr. Children with his song writing, Sakai Izumi is among the very few female artist known for her song writing skills.
The songs are written from the heart and the lyrics paint a picture of an image that she wants to get across to the listener.
Songs such as “kimi ni Aitaku Nattara” about being in a relationship but wanting some space and clearly writes about when she’s ready to see the person, she’ll let them know.
In “High Heel Nugisutete”, she writes about wanting to go to the ocean and kick off her high heels and writes about how all her friends have changed and moved on except one person.
For “Rainen no natsu mo”, Sakai writes about celebrating the one year anniversary with a new love and wanting to make sure for next summer, they are together.
Sakai’s lyrics are well-written, words that are carefully chosen and one of the main reasons why her work is adored.
ZARD /Sakai Izumi never had to rely on being on television or have nationwide tours to promote themselves.
The quality of Sakai’s music speaks for itself.