By Paris365 on December 03, 2012

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Mastersix Foundation / Sony Music Entertainment

Erica Hashimoto -- often mis-spelled as Erika -- was born in 1988 in Shizuoka, Japan. She made her major label review on Sony Records' sub-label MASTERSIX FOUNDATION in 2011. The Way I Love You is her third single, following Flowers and I Know. (This writer especially liked "Flowers" and the B-sides on said single.)

"The Way I Love You" begins with Erica singing over a punchy beat, very short flourishes of synth, and piano. As the song nears the chorus, electric guitars and additional beats enter the mix, the guitars especially providing quite a hook, almost giving the song a metal vibe. However, the layers of vocals during the chorus drown them out for the most part. I should also note that the programmed beats seem to be replaced by live drums during most, if not all of, the chorus. "The way I, I, I, way I, love you," goes part of the infectious chorus. Erica sings it perfectly with passion in her voice but not the lovey dovey mushy stuff. No, she sounds like a confident woman in love, not a girl experiencing puppy love.

B-side "The Way I Hate You" is basically an alternate, yet very different, take on "The Way I Love You." It begins with a piano solo, leading you to believe it's going to be a mellow version of the song, but then the piano ends and crunchy electric guitars, slick bass guitar and potent live drums take over. It turns out "The Way I Hate You" is actually a blaring metal version of "The Way I Love You." "The way, I, I, the way I, I hate you," she sings somewhat angrily during the now kick ass chorus. "I want to feel your passion," she sings before the chorus repeats. Perhaps this take on the song is supposed to be directed to a man who refuses to acknowledge her feelings? "The way, I, I, tempt you," she sings once during the final chorus and I believe I detect a touch of sarcasm there. Either way, this take on the song has an intensity that the previous one is lacking, so I would have to say that I prefer this version.

The second and final B-side is called "ENJOY&HAPPY." It starts off with glimmering synth and just a touch of guitar noodling. But it isn't long before Erica starts singing and bass and drums enter the mix. It really isn't all that catchy, to be perfectly honest, but the chorus does kick things up a notch, saving the song, but just barely. You really can't tell if the song is intended to be pop or rock, which can sometimes be a good thing, but here it just makes the song feel indecisive. (This single also includes an instrumental version of the title track as well as a DVD featuring music videos for "The Way I Love You" and "The Way I Hate You.") -Michael McCarthy

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