Song Review: “Pray For You 2021” by Naomi Suzuki

UK-based Japanese singer Naomi Suzuki has released two remixes of her song, “Pray For You 2021.” One of these remixes is in English, while the other is in Japanese. Between these two, Suzuki has released a catchy and meaningful song that is likely to resonate with listeners around the world.

Lyrically, “Pray For You 2021” begins with “Clear road ahead that is calling me/Like a bell full of hope that will set me free.” Naomi Suzuki’s usage of simile in the second line of the song hints to listeners that, in a sense, “Pray For You 2021” is a poem set to music. She goes on to reflect on the current status of humanity, indicated through lyrics such as “Greed takes priority” and “You can’t ignore all the things we stole from planet earth.” These lyrics prove “Pray For You 2021” to be a song where listeners will reflect and think, rather than simply listen passively.

In the first chorus, Naomi Suzuki sings “Pray for you/Why did we give it all away/I pray for you/Tears falling from the sky.” At this point, Suzuki has tapped into multiple emotions; with “Tears falling from the sky,” she paints a picture of the dire situation. Unlike most other songs, the choruses of “Pray For You 2021” alter lyrics. In the second chorus, Suzuki follows the line “Pray for you” with “Hang on and we’ll see it through at last,” and in the third chorus, she follows it with “We need to gain the strength to find a way.” This demonstrates Suzuki’s vast lyrical ability, and her ability to diversify lyrics instead of focusing on basic repetition. Through this, Suzuki is able to tell a more complete story than she would have, had she chosen repetition over the quantity (and quality) of lyrics.

Outside of the choruses, perhaps the most memorable lyric in “Pray For You 2021” is “Mother nature/Wash away the poison from our history.” Here, Suzuki is bluntly indicating there have been missteps in the development of humanity. On behalf of humanity, Suzuki is seeking to reconcile with nature over the ways we have hurt it. It is a key line that summarizes the message of the entire song.

As there are versions of “Pray For You 2021” in both English and Japanese, there are two different music videos. It should be noted, though, that neither version is fully in one language. In the English version, the bridge is sung in Japanese; in the Japanese version, the words ‘pray for you’ are sung in English.

In the music video for the English version, viewers will see Naomi Suzuki standing alone in the street in the daylight, at times dancing. This empowers the idea of reflection and thinking; by being alone, Suzuki is able to get away from the hustles of everyday life and think about humanity’s connection with nature.

At other points of the music video for the English version of “Pray For You 2021,” viewers will see Naomi Suzuki performing subtle dances in front of a dark backdrop. This backdrop unleashes various special effects, including the appearance of stars in space, as well as lasers and a lit up Earth that appears to be dancing along.

In the music video for the Japanese version of “Pray For You 2021,” viewers will see Naomi Suzuki strolling down a different empty sidewalk. In addition, Suzuki appears in the middle of an open field, something not seen in the music video for the English version of the song. At times, she stands in front of a backdrop, but this one is lit in bright colors; swirls of blue and white is the first effect viewers will see.  Eventually, viewers will find Naomi in front of a back drop featuring scenery in Japan, helping distinguish this music video from the English one.

Both the English version and the Japanese version of “Pray For You 2021” showcase Naomi Suzuki’s strong vocals. She has a smooth, flawless falsetto that she uses throughout a good portion of the song. Her voice is very gentle, giving a soft-spoken sound that allows listeners to feel at ease. One can easily envision Suzuki performing the song well in all settings, whether it be at a large venue or a small acoustic performance. Given her strong voice, it is safe to say she is an artist who has the ability to connect with listeners through various styles and even various languages.

The instrumentation featured on “Pray For You 2021” consists mostly of a steady drum beat and horns. These horns are extremely prominent, becoming an integral element of the song. The horns harmonize with Suzuki in the chorus, elevating its sound to being as powerful as possible. Simply put, Suzuki could not have picked a better arrangement to accompany her vocals.

The horns are given a solo three minutes into the song. As this happens, both music videos display Naomi Suzuki’s name. This seemingly applies that the song is about to fade out. Rather, the end of the horn solo is followed by a third chorus. With the false expectation that the song is wrapping up, listeners are given a pleasant surprise to hear Suzuki’s vocals return one more time.

In general, “Pray For You 2021” is a song about both sadness of the past and hope for the future. After all, despite many lyrics with negative connotations, Naomi Suzuki also sings “The future doesn’t have to be so sad.” Suzuki’s message of saving the planet is one that everyone needs to hear as a refresher of humanity’s delicate relationship with the earth.

There is no shortage of ways to connect with Naomi Suzuki. Her music is on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/artist/2XENTI7KCuj9AD3qLs1jxY) and she can be found on Twitter (https://twitter.com/NaomiSuzukiP), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/suzuki.naomi/), and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/naomi.suzuki.9659 and https://www.facebook.com/ajunity.naomisuzuki). Check out her videos on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS8V4BXOMO9Sjeh9X84G6WA) as well as her website (https://www.naomisuzuki.co.uk/).

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