‘Touch the Sun’ was the ninth album to be released by Japan’s premier all girl rock band Show-Ya. The album was released on 21 February 1995, and only in Japan. It would be their only album with singer Steffanie Borges and the only one sung entirely in English. With lyrics in English, Show-Ya clearly had their eyes focused on the international market. The fact that the album only gained a release in Japan kinda nullified this intent though. This album never gained favourable reviews, and long term Show-Ya fans canned it completely. Which I thought was a little unjust. It was always unfair to make comparisons between this album, and the previous Show-Ya albums like ‘Outerlimits’. Different band, different sound, and in 94/95, the music landscape had changed considerably since the late 80’s when metal albums like ‘Outerlimits’ were absolutely everywhere. In 94, grunge/alternative rock was the big thing – and bands like Ratt, Poison, and Dokken were back to playing the clubs. Acts like Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden were the ones that were selling, so it was not uncommon for more established hard rock bands to change their sound in this direction. Kiss did it with ‘Carnival Of Souls’, and others too. I’m not saying that Show-Ya went alternative, but with Steffanie out front, they were a totally different band to the famous Keiko Terrada led line up. As such, I think the comparisons are unnecessary. Fans who wanted a foot to the floor metal album, as they’d been used to, were in for a change – and I actually think the band showed a lot of musical diversity, dare I say growth, on this album, that was not evident on previous Show-Ya efforts. (In fact, other than Phantom Blue’s ‘Built To Perform’, foot to the floor metal albums were pretty scarce around 94/95). The opening track, ‘Echo Thru The Night’ is a kick ass hard rock number, heavy on the melody and catchy chorus. A great opener, and it highlights Steffanie’s likeable vocals quite nicely. ‘Little Miss Dangerous’, was the album’s first single and has an alternative edge to it, particularly around the verses, but the chorus (‘Hey Little Sister’) is BIG and this song ROCKS! but what do I know – I also dug Soundgarden back then, there, I’ve said it. There are some very pleasant ballads on this album, including ’Dream’, a stripped back affair which just starts out with acoustic guitar and Steffanie’s voice. I could listen to that all day. The lyrics are great too. “You can fly on the wings of time, you can dream to the songs you sing, dream away”. It’s nice to hear Steff’s voice in stripped back mode. Yet oddly, some bongos make an appearance about half way through the tune, and I could have done without that, mainly cos’ I HATE BONGOS (far too often the instrument of choice for any lazy dope smoking hippie), yet that aside, it’s still a nice tune. ‘Who Are You’ has a smell of Seattle about it, but that’s OK, as I said, even $immons and Stanley headed that way back in 94. ‘Don’t Wanna Talk About It’ is a bit of a filler, but the slack is quickly pulled back on ‘Somebody’, one of the highlights of the album. It has a nice piano run through it, an emotional vocal from Steff and a nice melody to boot. As for the song ‘Show-Ya Rock’, well, personally I dig it. I’d read some other comments that said it was bit contrived, but I don’t see that. It’s got a nice groove to it, and a big catchy chorus. The song is highlighted by some appealing organ via Miki Nakamura and a hooky little guitar riff. Who else but Miki Igarashi guitar? An amazing guitar player. Very underrated and critical to the Show-Ya sound. Turn this up! We will show ya how to rock! Check out the video for this, with Steffanie decked out in Cowboy hat and leather shorts – well, I can’t find too much wrong with it:) The very likeable ‘Touch The Sun’ rounds out the album. Again, this song an edgy shuffle to it, kinda 2/4 time, and is awash with organ. Starting off with an acoustic guitar and Steff’s vocal and her dreamy lyrics – it get two thumbs up from Cowboy Col. She really sings her heart out on this. Catchy chorus. The song builds up before the drums and organ come crashing in. The sound is big, the song is great. Steffanie rocks. The album is 8 out of 10.