Friday, May 22, 2015
flumpool - FOUR ROOMS
CD + DVD
1) Toaru Hajimari no Joukei ~Bookstore on the hill~
2) Kanki no Fiddle
3) MY HOME TOWN
4) Daisuki Datta
FOUR ROOMS is a new flumpool release that was put out last week on 13th May .
The quartet's latest release is billed as a concept disc . With regards to FOUR ROOMS , it's made with the concept , "The 4 songs will be flumpool's heart , in other words , engine from now on . " . flumpool gave the title "FOUR ROOMS" as it represents the "4 rooms" that make up the heart .
As the release title suggests , FOUR ROOMS contains a total of 4 tracks . 2 videos were made for Toaru Hajimari no Joukei ~Bookstore on the hill~ & Daisuki Datta .
Except for Daisuki Datta , the other 3 songs in FOUR ROOMS are described to have acoustic sounds . Promo wise , MY HOME TOWN was picked to be used as the image song for SKY ! / WAKUWAKU JAPAN 2015 J-League while Daisuki Datta is currently used as the theme song for Fuji TV's Mezamashi news programme .
For their 1st release in over a year , flumpool exposes the core of their music with their latest release FOUR ROOMS . Featuring 4 songs , FOUR ROOMS explores the 4 sections that make up the sound of the band .
FOUR ROOMS overall is an enjoyable release . Despite the fact that all 4 songs are mainly mid tempo no.s , each track managed to stand out from 1 another without compromising matters .
In addition , the 3 songs except for Daisuki Datta are not typical acoustic tracks as each song has slightly different music elements which distinguished each track in their own unique way .
All in all , FOUR ROOMS is 1 of those releases that's perfect to listen to if you plan to chill out & read a good book while listening to it .
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
ARASHI - Aozora no Shita, Kimi no Tonari
CD + DVD
Aozora no Shita, Kimi no Tonari is ARASHI's 46th single & it was released last week on 13th May .
Released 3 months+ since their previous single Sakura , Aozora no Shita, Kimi no Tonari was picked to be used as the theme song for the drama Youkoso , Wagaya e starring member Aiba Masaki & actress Sawajiri Erika .
The A-side is described as an upbeat pop number . Combining lyrics that give a real sense of how precious the connection between people is & a dramatic melody overflowing with positive energy , its music gives optimism to people living in this cooped-up modern society .
There're a total of 3 B-sides in the single . Available in the CD only edition are Kono Tenohira ni & Nando Datte .
Kono Tenohira ni is quite a catchy mid tempo track while Nando Datte is a rather aggressive no. that contrasts the A-side quite well .
Dandelion is only available in the CD + DVD edition of the single . This finger snapping driven no. is slightly less memorable than the Kono Tenohira ni & Nando Datte but after a while , it's actually quite a good track .
There's definitely no signs of ARASHI slowing down in releasing new material & Aozora no Shita, Kimi no Tonari is overall quite an enjoyable release .
Aozora no Shita, Kimi no Tonari itself feels like a throwback to some of their previous mid tempo singles such as Everything & Hatenai Sora in which I like both mentioned singles so it's fine .
And this time round , the B-sides are a bit more memorable & stronger as compared to what Sakura offered . It reminds to be seen what will be ARASHI's next move but it wouldn't surprise me if they will release another new single and/or album soon since they'll be touring in Sept as part of ARASHI BLAST in Miyagi .
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
V6 - Timeless
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Timeless is V6's 45th single & it was released last week on 8th May .
This's the group's 1st release of 2015 & the release of Timeless is to celebrate the group's 20th anniversary in the business .
The release date of Timeless coincides with the release of V6's debut album SINCE 1995 ~ FOREVER that was released 19 years ago on 8th May .
Timeless is described as a medium ballad & centres on the theme bonds . It was picked to be used as the theme song for the TV Asahi drama Keishicho Sosaikka 9gakari starring member Inohara Yoshihiko .
There're a total of 3 B-sides in the single :
- SPOT LIGHT
- BREAK OUT (CD Only Track)
- Road Show (CD Only Track)
SPOT LIGHT is described as a dance no. & a video was made for it . As for BREAK OUT , it was picked to be used as the opening theme for the anime Fairy Tail .
Timeless is just old school V6 & listening to it proves why they're still going on strong after 20 years . I frankly like it the moment I 1st heard it .
Even though Timeless is a ballad , V6 is still able to make the song enjoyable & well rather timeless sounding . If this song is not a testimony on the group's long lasting longevity , I don't know what else to say .
On that note , happy 20th anniversary V6 !
Thursday, May 07, 2015
Hey! Say! JUMP - Chau# / Wo I Need You
CD + DVD
CD + DVD 1st press
Chau# / Wo I Need You is Hey! Say! JUMP's 14th single & it was released last month on 29th April .
The group's 1st single release of 2015 , both A-sides have promo tie in's . The 1st A-side Chau# which's described as a catchy party tune was picked to be used in the ads of Bourbon's Almond Caramel Popcorn which star the members themselves .
The 2nd A-side Wo I Need You is described as delivering a love message in an enthusiastic way . The song was picked to be used as the ending theme song for TV Tokyo's variety programme Little Tokyo . The members themselves appear on the show as regulars on alternate weeks .
Despite Chau# / Wo I Need You being a double A-side single , Wo I Need You did not get a video .
Between both A-sides , I slightly prefer Wo I Need You over Chau# as I'm not really a fan of the group's cutesy inspired songs . Wo I Need You is a bit more grown up sounding , unlike Chau# which's something their younger demographic fans might like but not me .
There're 2 B-sides found in Chau# / Wo I Need You in which each of them are sung by the sub units of the group .
Through which's a ballad is handled by the older sub unit Hey ! Say ! BEST while for KAZEKAORU which's an upbeat pop number , the younger sub unit Hey ! Say ! 7 were in charge of the song .
Frankly both B-sides are surprisingly quite good & at times I find myself listening to both tracks more than the 2 main A-sides of the single .
Hey! Say! JUMP kicks off 2015 with their 1st single release of the year , Chau# / Wo I Need You , making this their 4th double A-side single after 2008's Your Seed / Bouken Rider & last year's AinoArika / Aisureba Motto Happy Life + Weekender / Asu e no YELL .
The general feeling I get towards Chau# / Wo I Need You is that this's 1 of my least fave singles from the group as I feel it's actually the B-sides that're the main stars in the single & for me to say that , I think it's not a good sign .
Considering that everyone in Hey! Say! JUMP are now adults , it will be better for them to focus more on edgy grown up sounding tracks even though at times there's a reason on why they still will put out cutesy inspired no.s with a sizeable portion of their fanbase are teenagers .
Hopefully their next release will blow me away as their past 3 double A-side singles were quite good but not this time round for Chau# / Wo I Need You .
Monday, May 04, 2015
Kanon Wakeshima - RIGHT LIGHT RISE
CD + DVD
1) RIGHT LIGHT RISE
2) Mayday !
3) RIGHT LIGHT RISE (instrumental)
4) Mayday ! (instrumental)
RIGHT LIGHT RISE is Kanon Wakeshima's 7th single & it was released last month on 29th April .
Kanon's new single was released about 2 months+ after the release of her 3rd album Tsukinami .
Described as a light upbeat pop tune , RIGHT LIGHT RISE was picked to be used as the ending theme song for the anime Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no Wa Machigatte Irudarou Ka .
Visually , RIGHT LIGHT RISE is a feast for the ears as the covers are eye catching . Track wise , the A-side feels like a marching band cheer song which has a cheerful upbeat personality .
Mayday ! serves as the B-side in the single & unlike the A-side , as the song title suggests it's an aggressive Rock driven no. that contrasts RIGHT LIGHT RISE quite well .
After releasing her most commercially successful album to date , Kanon Wakeshima is not slowing things down & in comes her latest single offering RIGHT LIGHT RISE .
It was a surprise to see Kanon release something a new single so soon after Tsukinami especially in the past where her music releases were really slow if not sporadic .
As for RIGHT LIGHT RISE , it's overall a fun & rather enjoyable release even though a rather big down side is that there's an absence of cello for both tracks in the single which I'm a bit sad over it since Kanon's main music instrument is cello .
I'm not sure if this's done on purpose but Kanon's cello inspired works is something unique/distinct to her as up to now , I haven't come across any female solo cellist musicians .
In addition for a change it will be good for Kanon not to provide any songs for Animes because in the process she might get pigeonholed as her singles have been provided to be used for 1 Anime after another . For once I would like to see her venture/branch out of her comfort zone .
At the meantime at least I can take comfort in that I wouldn't need to worry whether or not Kanon will be musically active or not .
Thursday, April 30, 2015
INKT - Physalis
Physalis is a song found as track #2 in INKT's new mini album of the same name that was released on 25th April .
Physalis (the EP) was only released in a CD + DVD edition . Physalis (the song) is the only new track in the mini album that gets a video .
Headed by former KAT-TUN member/rapper Tanaka Koki , INKT got off to a roaring start last year with the release of their self titled debut album . Now , the rock band has returned with a mini album Physalis that reveals to listeners more of INKT's sound .
I enjoyed Physalis (the song) and this track showcased a different side from INKT , compared to the tracks that were found in their debut self titled album .
For their 1st release , I suppose INKT wanted to do a bit of a test on how fans will react to their music especially given the fact that it's fronted by an ex Johnny's but I think the band slowly wants to move away from the initial phrase and to focus on what they do best .
All in all , it's heartening to see Tanaka still being involved in the music business even though he's not a Johnny's anymore . After the initial shock announcement of his departure from KAT-TUN , it's good knowing that this has not stopped Tanaka from continuing to make music together with a group of talented musicians .
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Kobukuro - hana
hana is a single by Kobukuro which was released digitally last week on 20th April .
The duo's brand new song was picked to be used in the ads of Lotte GHANA's mother's day campaign . In addition , hana is used to promote their brand new tour , KOBUKURO LIVE TOUR 2015 "Kiseki" .
The music video that accompanied hana has a heartwarming approach which I guess it's what Kobukuro is trying to deliver with regards to what the song's about .
hana definitely struck a chord with me when I heard/watched the video at the same time & the fact that Mother's Day falls on 10th May , it couldn't be a more fitting song in celebrating this impending special occasion .