Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Kanon Wakeshima - world's end, girl's rondo
CD + DVD
1) world's end, girl's rondo
3) world's end,girl's rondo (Instrumental)
4) continue (Instrumental)
world's end, girl's rondo is Kanon Wakeshima's 6th single & it was released last week on 15th Oct .
Kanon's latest single release comes in about 6 months + since the release of her previous single killy killy JOKER .
Both the A-side & B-side in the single were written & composed by Kanon .
world's end, girl's rondo was picked to be used as the opening theme no. for the anime selector spread WIXOSS while the B-side continue was used in the ads of WIXOSS TCG card .
Both songs have the mainstream cellist influence that Kanon is known for but my problem for both tracks is that they sounded quite similar .
The only time where I was able to tell each track apart was when continue had a rather strong distinct cello in the 2nd verse of the song , something that world's end, girl's rondo didn't had .
All in all it doesn't mean that I didn't enjoyed world's end, girl's rondo overall . I still hope that Malice Mizer/Moi dix Mois guitarist Mana would return back to work on Kanon's material because up to now , I feel that Kanon's older works still sound the best when Mana worked on them .
That said , hopefully Kanon's next music release will be an album as it has been 4 years since her last album Shoujo Jikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ was released .
Friday, October 17, 2014
CD Review :: Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) Theme of YOU
2) Birthday Suit
3) YOUR STEP
5) Konya ga Kakumei Zenya
7) ice cream
9) Kimi no Hitomi no Naka ni Mieta Marukute Aoi Hoshi
10) Love & Hug
11) Modorenai Kara
12) Daite Senorita -2014 version-
13) B-A-N-G (CD Only Track)
YOU is Yamashita Tomohisa's 4th album & it was released last week on 8th Oct .
Yamapi's 1st mini album Asobi was released on 20th Aug & just like Asobi , no singles are included in YOU . Yamapi's last full length album release was last Sept's A NUDE .
YOU is preceded by lead promo single YOUR STEP .
Just like A NUDE , a variety of artists were involved in the production of YOU . Participating this time are Naoto Inti Raymi , Nanao Tavito , 2PM's Jun. K , Hitoto Yo , Kawatani Enon (indigo la End , gesu no kiwami otome) , ICEDOWN , Andy Platts (Mamas Gun) , Ishizaki Huwie , STY , Koide Yuusuke (Base Ball Bear) , Jeff Miyahara , banvox , Fukuhara Miho , Def Tech's Micro , Yanai Michihiko .
YOU was made thinking of all the fans who always have been supporting Yamapi . About YOU , Yamapi said , "Since the songs are like gently getting closer beside you , to music that is strongly pushing your back , this album gathers songs you will listen to through various situations . "
Yamapi further commented , "This time too , splendid artists participated in the production of this album , the contents are rich with the variety of genres & melodies . Because of this , even if there are people who haven't heard my album , even if there is just one who listens , I'm happy if my fans who have supported me will accept this album for a while , I think that is good ."
For the 1st time , YOU has an opening introduction track Theme of YOU in which this was followed by the 1st album track Birthday Suit which's is a nice mid tempo track that's quite catchy & memorable .
YOUR STEP is the album's main promo track & this served as the theme song of Yamapi's variety show Otona no Kiss Eigo . In addition , it's the only new song in YOU that received a video which's the 1st video that Yamapi personally had a hand in directing .
The lyrics of YOUR STEP were written by Naoto Inti Raymi & the song has both an English + Japanese renditions . The version found in the 3 'normal' editions of YOU is the English version while the Japanese version is only available in the special Yamapi shop edition of the album .
If YOUR STEP was released as a single , it would have been a worthy successor to Yamapi's previously Summer inspired single SUMMER NUDE '13 as YOUR STEP is top notch . I can understand why this song was picked to promote YOU as it deserves so & Yamapi's English dictation in the song is surprisingly quite good .
Issho. is the next song & funny enough just like YOUR STEP , both songs have the feeling that I want to go on vacation upon hearing both tracks . While YOUR STEP is very upbeat , Issho. is very laidback/chilled out .
Konya ga Kakumei Zenya follows after Issho. & this's 1 of my fave songs in YOU as it's uptempo song that has a lot of character which I was drawn to the very 1st time I heard it .
Brodiaea is the 1st album ballad & for this , 2PM's Jun. K + LEL co-composed while Yamapi co-wrote it together with Kenn Kato .
ice cream is track #7 & it's an uptempo song . I thought it was going to be something cheesy but thankfully it's not the case .
Anthem follows after ice cream & this's also another personal fave track of mine as it sounds empowering/inspiring .
Likewise , the same thing goes for the next track Kimi no Hitomi no Naka ni Mieta Marukute Aoi Hoshi which's yet another song that's worth checking out .
Love & Hug is another holiday inspired song just like YOUR STEP + Issho. except in this case , Love & Hug felt as though it contains traits of what both songs have .
Modorenai Kara is the 2nd album ballad after Brodiaea & this was written/composed by Kawatani Enon . Honestly I feel that both ballads found in YOU are equally good which allowed Yamapi to showcase his vocals to a certain extent .
Daite Senorita -2014 version- is a re-recorded version of Yamapi's debut single Daite Senorita that was released 8 years ago on 31st May .
I wouldn't lie that this was the 1 track that I was looking forward to hear the most as the original take of Daite Senorita was already very good but ironically I feel Daite Senorita -2014 version- is the weak link in YOU .
For Daite Senorita -2014 version- , it's very Rock driven which's 1 music genre that I feel it doesn't suit Yamapi & that's what I felt upon hearing the updated version of Daite Senorita . In this case , I definitely prefer the original version by a long shot .
B-A-N-G is exclusively available in the CD only edition of YOU & it's pretty good as Yamapi showcased his falsetto vocals here to a certain extent .
Yamashita Tomohisa concludes 2014 with the release of his 1st mini album Asobi & now his 4th original studio album YOU .
I must say releasing an album without any singles preceding it is a risky move as I wouldn't know if the album will flows well or not but Yamapi managed to defy all odds & put out yet another solid well rounder release .
Just like Yamapi's last album A NUDE , YOU is yet another album that's filled with a lot of different music genres that makes listening to it a real joy + when you get a group of established people to work on YOU , the result's quite evident .
I enjoyed listening to YOU from the start til the end & just like Asobi , both releases of Yamapi are definitely a shoo in in my top 10 fave album releases of 2014 .
Do yourself a favour & check out YOU which's a highly recommended album worth checking out , you will not be disappointed in doing so .
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Matsushita Yuya - Eternal now
1) Eternal now
2) All My Love (LIVE)
3) Helpless (LIVE)
Eternal now is Matsushita Yuya's latest release & the single was released digitally last month on 27th Sept .
Matsushita's latest digital release comes in about 5 months + since the release of his previous digital single Slow Dancin' .
In Eternal now , there're the inclusion of 2 B-sides in which both songs are live versions of tracks that were already included in Matsushita's 3rd album #musicoverdose .
All My Love is included as track #3 in #musicoverdose while Helpless is included as track #5 in the tracklist .
Eternal now was written by Matsushita . The song has a warm ambience & while Matsushita usually sings about heartbreak , this time round he's singing about love that's fit to suit a wedding .
I enjoy Eternal now quite a lot & this mid tempo ballad is quite a nice change from what Slow Dancin' offered . Let alone , I appreciate the personal input that went into creating Eternal now since Matsushita wrote the song himself .
Matsushita's next digital single Whisper my name will be released on 18th Oct .
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Kuriyama Chiaki - Dilemma
Dilemma is Kuriyama Chiaki's 2nd digital single & it was released last week on 1st Oct .
Kuriyama's last physical single release was last Nov's 0 . 0 was 1st released digitally last May before being released in physical CD mode .
Dilemma was picked to be used in the ads of Zenyaku Kogyo Company's cold medicine Jikinin IP . Regarding the song , Kuriyama commented , "This time it's a Rock song with a sense of speed . I think the sound matches the image of the CM that has changed from 'near future' to 'mysterious' . "
Kuriyama couldn't have described Dilemma any better as that's what I felt when I 1st heard the song . I love her previous stuff which's mainly Rock music but Dilemma has plenty of attitude + spunk .
Let alone , Dilemma gives off quite a strong futuristic vibe which adds a lot of character to the song . Even though Kuriyama generally doesn't release music that often , the quality of her music is quite solid , as evident to what she delivered this time round with Dilemma .
It reminds to be seen if Dilemma will be released in a physical CD mode just like what happened to 0 but I do hope that she can eventually release a new album as it has been 3 years since she released her debut album CIRCUS .
Monday, October 06, 2014
FLOWER FLOWER - Subarashii Sekai
Subarashii Sekai is FLOWER FLOWER's 5th digital single & it was released on 1st Oct .
The digital release of Subarashii Sekai comes in about 2 months + after the release of the group's previous digital single Aki / Natsu .
Subarashii Sekai was 1st performed last year when FLOWER FLOWER went on tour .
Promo wise , Subarashii Sekai was picked to be used as the ending theme for TV Tokyo's late-night drama Tamagawa Kuyakusho OF THE DEAD that premiered on 3rd Oct . The drama stars Hayashi Kento & was directed by Kawahara Masahiko .
Tamagawa Kuyakusho OF THE DEAD is a horror-comedy that follows the struggles of Akabane Shinsuke , a ward office worker who is in charge of capturing zombies . The supporting cast of the drama is made up of Hirose Alice , Kaneko Nobuaki , Katagiri Jin & Toyota Ellie .
Subarashii Sekai is something that I immediately was drawn to the moment I heard it as it's quite a different music style FLOWER FLOWER delivered , as compared to Aki / Natsu .
In this case , Subarashii Sekai is a very upbeat & uplifting song that has great catchy guitar hooks which will be impossible not to like on 1st listen .
FLOWER FLOWER's debut album will be released on 26th Nov & I'm most certain Subarashii Sekai alongside with their past 4 digital single releases will be included in the tracklist .
Sunday, October 05, 2014
ayumi hamasaki - Terminal
2) Terminal (Dub mix)
3) Terminal (HACKJACK remix)
Terminal is ayumi hamasaki's 52nd single & it was released on 1st Oct .
Originally supposed to be released on 17th Sept , Terminal was 1st included as track #6 in ayumi's 15th album Colours that was released on 2nd July .
ayumi's last recut single release was 2002's Daybreak . The thumping trance number Terminal was produced by popular Dutch trance producer Armin van Buuren who's also known as one of the top DJ's in the world .
There're 2 remixes included in the single in which the Dub mix was 1st released digitally last month on 17th Sept prior to the physical CD single release . The Dub mix was also produced by Armin van Buuren .
I was really surprised when it was announced that Terminal was going to be released as a recut single . It's 1 of my fave songs from Colours but in retrospect , it's a very pointless release as I feel this release was put out for the sake of doing so .
In addition , the 2 remixes found in the single somehow cheapens everything as both remixes don't really have ayumi's vocals present while the Dub mix is essentially like a vocal less version of the original take of Terminal even though I do enjoy the HACKJACK remix to a certain extent .
That said , at the end of the day this's still a pointless release for ayumi to release . Terminal should have been released prior to Colours , if not both releases wouldn't be doing so poorly .
As a long time fan of ayumi , it does saddens me to see her music career reach this state as I never thought the day would come . Somehow or another , I hope she will be able to bounce back & it will be great if that happens in line with her impending 20th anniversary . If not , the future of her music career will be something very bleak that I'm not looking forward to see it happen if not visualise .
Thursday, September 18, 2014
DAIGO - CHANGE !! / Shinpaishou na Kanojo
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) CHANGE !!
2) Shinpaishou na Kanojo
3) SUPER JOY 2014 (CD Only Track)
CHANGE !! / Shinpaishou na Kanojo is DAIGO's 3rd single & it was released last week on 10th Sept .
DAIGO's debut album DAIGOLD was released on 5th March . In CHANGE !! / Shinpaishou na Kanojo , all songs in the single were written & composed by DAIGO .
The 1st A-side CHANGE !! is a punk rock tune & it was picked to be used as the theme song for the live action version of Cardfight!! Vanguard the movie starring DAIGO himself .
Cardfight!! Vanguard the movie(s) have an anime & a live action versions in which both movies opened in Japanese cinemas on 13th Sept . In addition , CHANGE !! was also used as the official image song for Cardfight Vanguard!! . Song wise , CHANGE !! was arranged by BREAKERZ's guitarist SHINPEI .
In a recent interview , DAIGO mentioned that he actually wrote/composed CHANGE !! 2 years ago but at that time , he felt the song was not suitable for BREAKERZ to release it as a single .
Also , when DAIGO received the commission to provide the theme song for the live action version of Cardfight!! Vanguard the movie , he felt that CHANGE !! was suitable to be used to promote it & subsequently , the lyrics felt into place .
The 2nd A-side Shinpaishou na Kanojo is described as something that resembles J-pop from the 90's . Promo wise , Shinpaishou na Kanojo was picked to be used as the ending theme song for TBS's Hiruobi for this month .
CHANGE !! is a punk rock inspired number while Shinpaishou na Kanojo is a really cute pop song that contrasts things very well . Lyrically , Shinpaishou na Kanojo is an affectionate romance track which's charming .
SUPER JOY 2014 is only available in the CD only edition of the single & this is a newly recorded updated version of SUPER JOY which was originally released as DAIGO☆STARDUST's 6th single .
The original take of SUPER JOY was 1st released way back on 22nd Sept 2005 & it was the final single DAIGO☆STARDUST released in his discography .
I was ecstatic when I found out DAIGO chose to re-record SUPER JOY as this's 1 of my fave singles that he used to release when he was DAIGO☆STARDUST but what really surprised me was upon hearing SUPER JOY 2014 .
Both the original & re-recorded versions of the song sound completely different . SUPER JOY is a straight up no nonsense rock song while SUPER JOY 2014 has been transformed into a piano driven ballad .
I never would have thought DAIGO could have re-worked SUPER JOY into a ballad but the end result is just fantastic .
3rd time's the charm for DAIGO & once again with regards to the release of his latest single offering CHANGE !! / Shinpaishou na Kanojo , it's proof on why he deserves to have my respect/support after such a long time in BREAKERZ's fandom .
The release pattern for DAIGO's solo singles is quite similar to BREAKERZ but frankly , it's something I do not mind because all the while I always have loved the guys releasing double A-side singles as they generally have executed/nailed the main aspects well & the same thing goes for CHANGE !! / Shinpaishou na Kanojo which's pretty much an all rounder single that has something for everyone to enjoy .
It's hard to believe BREAKERZ have been on hiatus for almost 1 1/2 years now but I do hope that in 2015 , the guys will eventually reunite for good . If not , I will still continue to support each of their solo endeavours as much as I can . Until then , CHANGE !! / Shinpaishou na Kanojo is highly worth checking out .