Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Koda Kumi - EX TAPE , NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU & HURRICANE

CD

CD + DVD

CD + Blu-ray

EX TAPE , HURRICANE & NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU are 3 new songs that're included in Koda Kumi's Summer collection album SUMMER of LOVE .

SUMMER of LOVE was released last week on 22nd July . It comprises of past Summer songs of Koda's + the 3 new songs as mentioned .

Prior to the physical CD release of SUMMER of LOVE , EX TAPE was 1st released digitally on 8th July .

EX TAPE is a smooth sounding no. with a catchy melody that's impossible not to get drawn onto . As for HURRICANE , it's a rather fast paced no. with an aggressive bass that can be heard being emphasised a great deal prior to the choruses in the song .

Unlike EX TAPE & HURRICANE which have music videos (that has a connecting plot that's interlinked with each other) , NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU doesn't have a music video . UTA , a producer who has worked with the DOUBLE & Namie Amuro collaboration song BLACK DIAMOND , as well as JUJU's PLAYBACK & AI's Happiness , worked on this song .

NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU is a R&B ballad that carries the Koda standard that will be heard for decades to come . Koda's comments on NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU , "When I heard the melody , I imagined singing it in the breeze . I wanted to use word from nature like wind , cloud & sun . I didn’t want to force it , so I tried to sing as naturally & gently as I could . It was difficult because It was new territory for me , but I think it came out well."

I like the new material that Koda recorded to be included in SUMMER of LOVE but for me , I'm not happy with the way that this release's being marketed as it downright should be released as Koda's next Summer single , seeing that the 3 new songs are equally good/strong .

Let alone , it doesn't help that I'm quite turned off in the way the tracklist (be it CD , Blu-ray and/or DVD) is as quite a lot of good songs from Koda's past Summer singles have been excluded .

For me , if I want to have the full experience , I rather buy all of Koda's past Summer singles & not this release . It's a bit unfortunate as the new material served as a dangling carrot in order for fans to buy SUMMER of LOVE as I'm sure if this doesn't happen , fans will not be motivated to buy this release .


Saturday, July 25, 2015

CD Review :: Domoto Koichi - Spiral

CD

CD + DVD

1) Fame
2) MUSE
3) Just A Woman
4) Bongo Drum
5) Boogie Night
6) STELLAR NIGHT ~Hoshi no Balcony
7) I Just Want You
8) Knock me down
9) The mAsque
10) DEAD END
11) Night Wanderer
12) Over You
13) Love Professor
14) SHOCK ! (CD Only Track)
15) SHOW ME UR MONSTER (CD Only Track)
16) INTERACTIONAL (CD Only Track)

Spiral is Domoto Koichi's 4th album & it was released on 8th July .

Koichi's last solo album release was 2012's Gravity . No singles are included in the album . Instead , Koichi's 1st DVD/Blu-ray single INTERACTIONAL / SHOW ME UR MONSTER are both included as bonus tracks in the CD only edition of Spiral .

Serving as the lead album promo track & opening no. , Fame is the only new album track that received a music video .

Gravity's Danger Zone ~to the unknown world~ was an awesome opening no. & likewise for Fame . I did not find Fame catchy on 1st listen but the more I listen to it , it's quite evident on why Koichi chose this song to kick start Spiral .

The next song MUSE is also another stellar no. . The beginning doesn't sound very exciting but towards the later part of the track , it sounded like another different song altogether .

Just A Woman is the shortest track in Spiral with it being under 3 mins . That said , this's a catchy no. that has a fast paced no. with a strong dance melody to back up the song .

Bongo Drum follows after Just A Woman . As the song title suggests , there's slight beats of bongo drums in the track . It's 1 of the more slower mid tempo no.s in Spiral but I actually quite like it .

Likewise , the same thing goes for Boogie Night which's a groovy funky no. . The song is further enhanced with strong sounding trumpet songs which makes it a fun track to listen to .

STELLAR NIGHT ~Hoshi no Balcony is the 1st album no. that's a ballad . This Orchestra grand sounding no. blew me away when I 1st heard it & it showcases that Koichi is equally adapted in handling both dance no.s + ballads rather seamlessly well .

I Just Want You & Knock me down are 2 interesting back to back mid tempo tracks . These 2 songs are somehow interlinked (unintentionally if not purposedly ?) with each other especially the way I Just Want You ended & when Knock me down began .

At this point the album has been slowed down considerably but now the beat is back in full swing from The mAsque onwards .

There's a lot of things going on in The mAsque as Koichi's vocals are distorted with autotune in the song . Whether was it done purposely or not , I like The mAsque as it's just really cool .

DEAD END follows after The mAsque . I was a bit scared when I 1st heard DEAD END as this Halloween inspiring no. was a bit freaky sounding on 1st listen .

Perhaps taking a note or 2 from SHOW ME UR MONSTER , I can imagine Koichi making a Halloween inspired music video if he were to make a video for DEAD END .

Night Wanderer is 1 of my personal fave tracks in Spiral . It's autotune driven just like The mAsque but Night Wanderer is spell bounding & aggressive sounding from the moment the song starts .

Over You is the 2nd album ballad in Spiral after STELLAR NIGHT ~Hoshi no Balcony . The fact that there're not that many ballads in the album , the ballads have to be able to stand up against the other tracks in which I think both STELLAR NIGHT ~Hoshi no Balcony & Over You were able to do that .

Love Professor is the last track in the CD + DVD edition of the album . Despite the rather funny song title , this catchy dance no. is actually quite a fitting no to conclude things .

There're 3 bonus tracks in the CD only edition of Spiral with the 1st no. titled SHOCK ! .

SHOCK ! is a good song even though it feels a bit overwhelmed as there're other better no.s in Spiral . Still , this's something I don't mind to listen on a regular basis .

SHOW ME UR MONSTER & INTERACTIONAL are the last 2 bonus tracks in the album . Before Spiral was released , the album was preceded by Koichi's 1st DVD/Blu-ray single INTERACTIONAL / SHOW ME UR MONSTER .

I enjoyed both songs when the DVD/Blu-ray single was released so I have no complains seeing both tracks included in Spiral as I don't see why they should not been included in the tracklist at all .

KinKi Kids' Domoto Koichi is back with his 1st solo album in nearly 3 years ! Spiral features brand new songs that travel across genres , from dance music to heartwarming ballads .

All the while I always prefer Koichi's solo works as compared to his bandmate Domoto Tsuyoshi a lot more and it feels quite surreal that it took Koichi this long to finally release new solo material again .

Gravity was a surprisingly good album at that time Koichi released it almost 3 years ago . I was impressed with his comeback single INTERACTIONAL / SHOW ME UR MONSTER & Koichi didn't disappoint with what he had to offer for Spiral .

Spiral is an enjoyable album from the moment I listened to it until the end . It's a good successor from where Gravity left behind as most of the new material in Spiral are top notch , solid & memorable .

Let alone , the sound consistency of Spiral is there . It might be mainly a dance album (with ballads thrown in for good measure) but there're many different dance genres in the record which makes Spiral a really fun album to listen to .

I was skeptical before I listened to Spiral as I was worried if it might sound like Koichi's 2nd album BPM (which's my least fave album from him) but thank goodness Spiral more than exceeded my expectations , given that a lot of talented people wrote/composed the album .

If there's 1 minor downside to Spiral , it's the lack of compositions from Koichi which unfortunately he didn't composed any song/s this time round . I thought it's a pity as I admired/enjoyed Koichi's music compositions a great deal . As such for him not to do any in Spiral , it's a bit of a waste .

Other than that , Spiral is definitely a great music return for Koichi . I just hope I will not need to wait another 3 more years for Koichi to release new solo material again but on the other hand , I do not mind new KinKi Kids material either .

On that note , Spiral is most possibly 1 album that will be going to my fave Top 10 album list for 2015 .


Friday, July 24, 2015

SPYAIR - Fire Starter

Cover for both CD & CD + DVD

1) Fire Starter
2) JUST LIKE THIS 2015

Fire Starter is SPYAIR's 16th single & it was released on 22nd July .

Released about 4 months since their previous single ROCKIN' OUT , the A-side was picked to be used to promote NTV's drama THE LAST COP .

Prior to its physical CD release , Fire Starter was 1st released digitally last month on 19th June .

A ferocious Rock number packed with energy , the lyrics of Fire Starter float on top of a big-boned wild sound & convey a piercing attitude that prevails even in this world full of conflict . Visually , the single's artwork cover is based on red & compliments the band's attitude .

Fire Starter is another memorable thumping Rock no. but what makes this song stands out from the group's past single offerings is the inclusion of guitarist UZ who contribute in rapping in the song .

This's something that they've never done before & it's actually pretty cool for UZ to rap in the verses of Fire Starter while vocalist IKE sings his heart out .

JUST LIKE THIS 2015 serves as the B-side in the single . This song is a re-recorded/updated version of Just Like This , which was originally found as 1 of 3 B-sides in 2nd single Last Moment .

The group chose to re-record JUST LIKE THIS as it's a song where the band went back to their roots 10 years after their formation & 5 years after their major label debut .

I only started listening to SPYAIR's B-sides from their 6th single My World onwards so I will treat JUST LIKE THIS 2015 as a new song to me .

When I 1st heard JUST LIKE THIS 2015 , it sounds a bit like their 4th single Samurai Heart (Some Like It Hot !!) as for both songs , they kept repeating the song's title name in the background . But song wise , JUST LIKE THIS 2015 contrasts Fire Starter well with the former being a more mid tempo no. unlike the A-side where it's a straight up Rock no. .

Celebrating their 5th year major label anniversary this year , SPYAIR most definitely has come of age with them delivering their 2nd single release of 2015 , Fire Starter .

I'm probably biased but I feel that SPYAIR is 1 of the few groups that they've been putting out consistently good material . Up to now , I have been seldom disappointed with their music . It's a rarity for something like this to happen but if this keeps up , I don't see why they're going anywhere anytime soon .

I can't wait to see what they have up in store after Fire Starter but for now , this's a single well checking out .


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

CD Review :: Kis-My-Ft2 - KIS-MY-WORLD

CD

2 CDs + DVD A {2nd CD is a live CD}

2 CDs + DVD B {2nd CD is a remix CD}

1) "4th" Overture
2) Brand New World
3) Kiss Damashii
4) Another Future  
5) FOLLOW
6) Kimi ni Aeru Kara
7) if
8) Wonderful (Yokoo Wataru & Fujigaya Taisuke)
9) BE LOVE (Tamamori Yuta & Miyata Toshiya)
10) Double Up (Nikaido Takashi & Senga Kento)
11) Akashi (Kitayama Hiromitsu & Fujigaya Taisuke)
12) Shake Body !! 
13) Perfect World  
14) Thank you Jan !
15) KISS & PEACE
16) Doki Doki de YEEEAAAHHH !! (CD Only Track)
17)) Halley (CD Only Track)

KIS-MY-WORLD is Kis-My-Ft2's 4th album & it was released on 1st July .

Released about a year since their previous album Kis-My-Journey , KIS-MY-WORLD was released to commemorate how far the group has grown 4 years after making their debut in the music business .

3 singles & 3 B-sides are included in KIS-MY-WORLD . The tracklist of the CD only edition of the album has 17 songs , inclusive of 2 bonus tracks Doki Doki de YEEEAAAHHH !! & Halley .

Aside from this , 4 songs in the tracklist are sung by duo pairings within the group .

"4th" Overture serves as the opening track & the album doesn't waste any time in jumping straight to the 1st new track in KIS-MY-WORLD titled Brand New World .

Brand New World is the only new album track that has a music video & this catchy futuristic upbeat fast paced sounding no. rightfully deserves every reason in getting a video seeing that on 1st listen , the song makes a great positive memorable impact .

The next 2 songs are singles that were released prior to KIS-MY-WORLD .

Kiss Damashii is Kis-My-Ft2's 13th single & it was the latest single that was released before KIS-MY-WORLD was released .

Described as a rock & dance number . Kiss Damashii is the group's 3rd single song that was used in the ads of Glico's Watering KISSMINT , after their 3rd single SHE ! HER ! HER ! & Ki・Su・U・Ma・I ~KISS YOUR MIND~ which's the 1st A-side of 7th single Ki・Su・U・Ma・I ~KISS YOUR MIND~ / S.O.S (Smile On Smile) .

Another Future is Kis-My-Ft2's 11th single . This was used as the theme song for the 2nd season of the drama Nobunaga no Chef starring member Tamamori Yuta .

FOLLOW is the 2nd album group track . Another standout no. , FOLLOW is a tough aggressive sounding that compliments the tough edgy image that Kis-My-Ft2 portrays .

Kimi ni Aeru Kara originally served as the 1 of B-sides of Kis-My-Ft2's 12th single Thank you Jan ! . This song was used in the ads of Kowa's Nukunuku Touban .

I generally liked all the 3 B-sides from Thank you Jan ! so I have no complaints in seeing Kimi ni Aeru Kara making the cut in the album as it's still a good ballad .

Likewise from 1 ballad to another , the 3rd group album track if showcases the soft side of Kis-My-Ft2 . It's hard not to find any fault with if as the emotional vulnerability of the song is done well .

The next 4 album tracks are handled by duo pairings within the group .

Wonderful is sung by Yokoo Wataru & rapper Fujigaya Taisuke . This duo pairing song is a heartwarming no. as it features the voices of children in the background & this gives off a warm fuzzy feeling coupled with nice extra touches in making Wonderful stands out on its own .

BE LOVE was sung by Tamamori Yuta & Miyata Toshiya . Out of the 4 duo pairing songs , I find that BE LOVE to be the weak link as compared to the other 3 tracks .

I feel that BE LOVE is a rather pleasant sounding uptempo song in which both Tamamori & Miyata's vocals compliment each other . However , there's something lacking in the song which prevented it from sounding a lot more better than it should have been .

The 3rd duo pairing song Double Up is handled by Nikaido Takashi & Senga Kento . This's a pretty cool edgy track as both guys sing & rap co-currently . In which the end result , Double Up flows seamlessly from start to finish .

Akashi is the final duo pairing song & for this , group leader Kitayama Hiromitsu & Fujigaya tackled it together .

I enjoyed Kitayama & Fujigaya's FIRE!!! tremendously from Kis-My-Journey & once again they didn't disappoint with what they had to offer for Akashi .

FIRE!!! was a straight up no nonsense great upbeat no. & this time round , Akashi is a piano driven ballad which both guys handled it extremely well . The fact that Akashi is the only ballad out of the 4 duo pairing songs , it was probably done on purpose but even if so , it worked to their advantage well .

The next 2 songs are B-sides tracks originally included in the group's singles .

Shake Body !! served as 1 of the B-side tracks from Kis-My-Ft2's 13th single Kiss Damashii . This song was used in the ads of Kowa's Mushiyoke Touban .

Perfect World served as 1 of the B-side songs of the group's 11th single Another Future . This track was used in the ads of DHC Yakuyou Acne Control Series .

In addition , Perfect World was Kis-My-Ft2's 2nd B-side to receive a video after Tanagokoro which's the B-side of their 8th single Kimi to no Kiseki .

I liked both Shake Body !! & Perfect World at the time when I reviewed/wrote on both Another Future & Kiss Damashii . As such , I have no issues in seeing both songs made the cut in KIS-MY-WORLD , especially Perfect World as I still consider this track to be more superior than Another Future itself .

Thank you Jan ! is Kis-My-Ft2's 12th single . The final single song to be included in the album , Thank you Jan ! is now considered as the group's best selling single to date .

KISS & PEACE is the final album group track (in the tracklist for both 2 CDs + DVD of KIS-MY-WORLD) . This's the 2nd ballad included in the album after if & it's a fitting no. to conclude the album .

Doki Doki de YEEEAAAHHH !! & Halley are included as bonus tracks in the CD only edition of KIS-MY-WORLD .

Out of the 2 bonus songs , Halley had a promo tie in in that it was used as the theme song for Fuji TV's Moshimo Tour .

Doki Doki de YEEEAAAHHH !! is a fun upbeat sounding no. that's not meant to be taken seriously while Halley is an empowering no. that gives off good positive vibes upon listen .

Kis-My-Ft2 continues their unstoppable rise to the top with the release of their 4th studio album KIS-MY-WORLD & they have been on a music roll ever since they made their music debut presence felt with their 2011 debut single Everybody Go .

Kis-My-Journey was a surprisingly enjoyable album & once again , the group didn't disappoint with what they had to offer for KIS-MY-WORLD . No disrespect to NEWS and/or Hey ! Say ! JUMP but to me , KIS-MY-WORLD has so far been 1 of the better Johnnys albums that had been released this year especially after I was rather disappointed with both albums that NEWS & Hey ! Say ! JUMP released prior to Kis-My-Ft2 .

Johnnys albums can be notoriously difficult to listen but somehow Kis-My-Ft2 managed to evade this 'curse' . For starters , their past album releases have different music structures & the same thing applies to KIS-MY-WORLD . Perhaps due to this , Kis-My-Ft2 keeps things fun , fresh & engaging when comes to their albums .

If there's 1 downside to KIS-MY-WORLD , it's the lack of new group material seeing that it's the 1st time they've included B-sides in their album as they didn't do that for their previous 3 albums . I suppose that's done to make up for things but for me it's a minor issue as Kimi ni Aeru Kara , Shake Body !! & Perfect World do deserve to make the cut , especially Perfect World .

All in all , it's heartening to see Kis-My-Ft2 progress + mature considerably music wise from their debut album Kis-My-1st & now with KIS-MY-WORLD . And now I can't wait to see what they have in store for their future 5th album .

KIS-MY-WORLD is 1 of my fave Johnnys albums that's released this year & it's an album not to be missed .


Wednesday, July 08, 2015

CD Review :: Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

CD

CD + DVD A

CD + DVD B

1) Fantasist (Instrumental)
2) JUMPing CAR
3) Walk
4) SHen SHera SHen
5) Weekender
6) Kira Kira Hikare
7) Ai yo, Boku wo Michibiite Yuk
8) Fever
9) Boys Don't Stop
10) Dangerous
11) Chau♯
12) Yowamushi★Shooter
13) Asu e no YELL
14) Farewell
15) Very Very Happy

Bonus Tracks In Each Edition :

16) Viva ! 9's SOUL (CD Only Track)
17) Puppy Boo (CD Only Track)

18) Koro Sensations (Hey ! Say ! JUMP ver.) (CD + DVD A Track)
19) DISCO JOCKEY !!! (CD + DVD A Track)

20) UNION (Arioka Daiki , Yaotome Hikaru & Yabu Kota)
21) 3-gatsu 14-nichi ~Tokei (Yamada Ryosuke & Okamoto Keito)
22) Pet Shop Love Motion (Chinen Yuri , Nakajima Yuto , Takaki Yuya & Inoo Kei)

JUMPing CAR is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 4th album & it was released last month on 24th June .

Released about a year since the group's previous album smart , JUMPing CAR includes 2 double A-side singles . Through this album , the members want to tell their fans , "during fun times & sad times , get on the 'JUMPing CAR' & move forward with us !"

I will review the album based on the standard tracklist of 15 songs seeing that different bonus tracks are included in all 3 editions of JUMPing CAR . As such , this's done to prevent any bias from happening .

Fantasist (Instrumental) serves as the opening track & the 1st new song in the tracklist shares the same title as the new album .

As the song title suggests , JUMPing CAR is a Summer inspired track that has the inclusion of various special car horn effects pepped in the melody .

Likewise , the next 2 album tracks Walk & SHen SHera SHen are equally fun engaging numbers . Walk has a pretty cool xylophone driven melody while SHen SHera SHen is actually not bad once you get past the rather strange song title .

Weekender is the 1st A-side of the group's 13th single Weekender / Asu e no YELL which was picked to be used as the theme song for the drama Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo N(neo) starring members Yamada Ryosuke & Arioka Daiki .

Kira Kira Hikare is the only new album track to get a video & promo wise , it was used in the ads of House Vermont Curry .

I think out of the many happy sounding tracks in JUMPing CAR , Kira Kira Hikare definitely stood out in its own unique way & I guess because of this , a video was made for the song .

Ai yo, Boku wo Michibiite Yuk is the 1st of a few serious grown up tracks & this song to me is a standout no. because after a series of tracks that's targeted to the group's more younger demographic fans , something like Ai yo, Boku wo Michibiite Yuk is a welcome change .

The next song Fever is probably the weak link in the album as I don't think this song stoods out that much on 1st listen . It's only after a few listens that I get the hang of it but considering there're other tracks in JUMPing CAR , Fever is something I will skip if I have the option to do so .

Boys Don't Stop & Dangerous are arguably the best tracks in the album aside from Ai yo, Boku wo Michibiite Yuk . I like aggressive edgy grown up sounding songs & both Boys Don't Stop + Dangerous do not disappoint .

Let alone , both Boys Don't Stop & Dangerous are the type of songs that the guys should be doing on a more regular basis now .

Chau♯ is the 1st A-side of the group's 15th single Chau# / Wo I Need You . Despite being a double A-side , the 2nd A-side Wo I Need You is excluded from JUMPing CAR .

Described as a catchy party tune , Chau♯ was picked to be used in the ads of Bourbon's Almond Caramel Popcorn which starred the members themselves .

With a title like Yowamushi★Shooter , it's perhaps no surprises it's yet another fun loving track that's Summer inspired .

Asu e no YELL is the 2nd A-side of the group's 13th single Weekender / Asu e no YELL . The last single included in JUMPing CAR , it was used as the theme song for the drama Suikyu Yankees. that starred members Nakajima Yuto & Takaki Yuya .

Farewell & Very Very Happy are the final 2 album tracks in the standard tracklist . In a strange twist of fate , both song titles do not do justice to the songs themselves .

In fact , Farewell is actually a peppy sounding no. while Very Very Happy is actually a sad sounding ballad . Was this done on purpose I'm not sure but this goes to show at times you don't judge a song based solely on the title .

Speed into Summer with Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 4th studio album JUMPing CAR ! Just ahead of their nationwide Summer tour Hey ! Say! JUMP LIVE TOUR 2015 JUMPing CARnival that will kick off this month on 25th July , the popular Johnny's group returns with a release that guaranteed to get you in the mood for Summer .

It was a surprise for the guys to release a new album so soon after smart given that for their past album releases , they were released within a 2 years time interval frame . (2010's JUMP NO. 1 , 2012's JUMP WORLD & last year's smart)

JUMPing CAR on whole definitely is Summer inspired which's showcased in most of the new tracks . For this aspect , the group nailed it well but to me , I find myself not enjoying the album as much as I hoped for .

For starters , I only really like 1 single song (Weekender) out of the 3 single songs included in the album & also with JUMPing CAR deemed a Summer album , it's understood that most of the new songs are fun loving no.s but after a while not only do they get rather cheesy , it feels as though the more I hear of such songs , the more I find myself not liking them as each listen goes by .

Ai yo, Boku wo Michibiite Yuk , Boys Don't Stop & Dangerous are the real gems in JUMPing CAR seeing that in recent times , I'm starting not to like the group's cutesy inspired no.s which still applies to Chau# & given that all 9 members are already adults , it doesn't reflect well for them to continue to release such material any longer .

The group's younger demographic fans will not complain over the release of JUMPing CAR but for me I feel that their previous album smart was a lot more better as it included more grown up edgy sounding tracks & singles that I still like even up to now (such as Ride With Me & AinoArika) .

On that note , I hope in their next music move the guys will seriously consider to release more songs that will be geared more towards their older demographic fans as I can't imagine them releasing something like their debut single Ultra Music Power now which frankly will make me cringe .

But for now , since it's Summer , JUMPing CAR is essentially the album to plug in/listen to but after that , it's best to listen back to smart .


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NEWS - Chumu Chumu

CD Regular

CD Limited

CD + DVD

Chumu Chumu is NEWS's 18th single & it was released last week on 24th June .

The group's 6th album White was released in Feb . Chumu Chumu is the band's 2nd single release this year after they released KAGUYA in Jan .

Chumu Chumu has an Indian theme & it's described as an upbeat love song that everyone can sing & dance to . Chumu means kiss in Hindi , which is the official language of India .

To say that Chumu Chumu is instantly addictive on 1st listen is an understatement . There's frankly no way to escape the infectious song that's of Chumu Chumu .

Perhaps taking a cue from Ken Hirai's Sore Demo Shitai which's also Bollywood inspired , Chumu Chumu is an unique take/spin to NEWS's past Summer inspired songs (such as SUMMER TIME) , making this song 1 of their most boldest music risk they undertook which served them well .

There're a total of 4 B-sides available in all 3 editions of the single . Hi wa Mata Noboru is a grand sounding ballad that has a sweeping gorgeous Orchestra melody to boot .

Sweet Martini & Sasabune are available in the CD regular edition of Chumu Chumu . Sweet Martini is a nice smooth mid tempo track that's easy on the ears while Sasabune is the 2nd B-side which's a ballad with this piano driven no. being an understated song .

Megalomania is only available in the CD limited edition of the single & this track brought me serious dejavu vibes as when I 1st heard it , I feel it sounds like a long lost twin of ARASHI's Move your body (which's track #2 from their 9th album Dream"A"live) .

I thought I was the only 1 that Megalomania sounded very similar to Move your body but turns out I'm not the only 1 who felt this way . And frankly I will not be surprised if the writing/composing team worked on both songs but this's something I don't mind as Move your body was 1 of the standout tracks in ARASHI's Dream"A"live & likewise for Megalomania too .

NEWS declares Summer the season of romance with Chumu Chumu ! The title of the group's 2nd single of 2015 means "kiss kiss" in Hindi , is an Indian influenced peppy love song that's perfect to bop along to !

After being quite disappointed in their latest album release White , I'm glad to say that singles wise , NEWS are still in the A game as I feel Chumu Chumu overall is a solid single .

Aside from the A-side which's 1 of their most musically experimental to date , a special mention also has to go to the 4 B-sides in the single as each B-side are equally good & were able to stand up against Chumu Chumu .

In addition , to me the B-sides in Chumu Chumu should have been included in White as I consider them a lot more stronger as compared to most of the White's album tracks (except for BYAKUYA) which sounded too safe for my liking .

All in all , it's good to know that NEWS got back in the zone with their latest single release & if their future singles will have the same if not better/higher standard than what Chumu Chumu offered , then all's well .


Saturday, June 20, 2015

CD Review :: Namie Amuro - _genic

CD

CD + DVD

CD + Blu-ray

1) Photogenic
2) Time Has Come
3) Golden Touch
4) Birthday
5) It
6) Scream
7) Fashionista
8) Fly
9) B Who I Want 2 B Feat HATSUNE MIKU
10) Stranger
11) Every Woman
12) Space Invader
13) Anything
14) What I Did For Love (David Guetta Feat Namie Amuro) -Special Track-

_genic is Namie Amuro's 11th album & it was released on 10th June .

Namie's last album release was 2013's FEEL & unlike her previous studio albums , no singles are included in _genic , ie. her 41st single TSUKI & 42nd single BRIGHTER DAY are excluded from the tracklist .

With the release of _genic , this's Namie's 3rd album that she sung mostly in English , after 2012's Uncontrolled & FEEL .

_genic contains a total of 14 songs & it centres on the theme revival . Namie worked with spirited producers from Japan & overseas where they incorporated the album with 80's beats & 90's R&B grooves .

A total of 5 songs in _genic received music videos .

Kicking off _genic is Photogenic in which lyrically it gives the album its name . Unlike Namie's past albums where the opening track will get a music video , Photogenic unfortunately didn't received 1 .

For me , I like Photogenic as it's a smooth mid tempo no. . While it's slightly not as upbeat/addictive sounding as FEEL's Alive , Photogenic is still pretty good & the special camera sound effects being used in the song gives off a nice extra edge/touch .

I'm not sure why Photogenic didn't received a video as frankly it should have gotten 1 .

Time Has Come is the 2nd song & this's 1 of the standout tracks in _genic . Likewise for Photogenic , a video should have been made for Time Has Come too as this song has a catchy memorable hook that I was instantly drawn into the moment I 1st heard it .

The next 2 songs are 2 tracks that received music videos . Golden Touch is 1 of the rare no.s in _genic in which it contains lyrics of both Japanese (not that much) & English .

Golden Touch is a rather straightforward sounding no. . I like the strong beats incorporated in the song , it's just that somehow I'm slightly not that blown away by it even though it's hard not to like it .

Whereas the next track Birthday , this's Namie's 1st birthday song that was produced by SeventyEight Productions . Concepted after birthdays , the lyrics expresses the feelings to spend that "One special day" in the "best possible way" .

Lyrically , Birthday is my fave in _genic as the lyrics managed to capture the essence/main core of the song . Namie doesn't have that many cutesy sounding songs but Birthday is nice without sounding childish .

It & Scream are the next 2 songs in _genic which're also equally good . I wasn't sure what to expect prior to hearing It but it's 1 of those songs that I find myself humming to as the whistling effect that accompanied the song makes It a class of its own , no pun intended .

As for Scream , the melody of the song is the draw factor as at times without knowing , I can get sucked into this vortex like sounding track . I thought Namie was literally going to scream in the song & while that didn't happen , Scream got a bit repetitive after a while .

Fashionista is the 3rd track to receive a video & this's 1 song that definitely deserves to get 1 . I was a bit disappointed with the video as I thought a different vision/concept should have been visualised but aside from that , Fashionista is 1 of the highlights found in _genic .

Another standout track , Fly is also another personal fave of mine as I like the melody of the song . Although lyrically it's quite questionable , if I chose to ignore that , Fly is actually another song that could have been considered to have been accompanied with a video .

B Who I Want 2 B was composed by upcoming UK underground producer Sophie who has worked with Diplo & Madonna . For this track , it features the vocals of Hatsune Miku who's a humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesiser application that was developed by Crypton Future Media .

This song was originally credited as B Who I Want 2 B Feat U hum sneak it . U hum sneak it is an anagram of Hatsune Miku .

Depending on how you look/hear , B Who I Want 2 B could either fall in the strange random or just weird sounding category . For me I'm somewhere in between especially since I'm not familiar with Vocaloid sounding music but the fact that Namie sings a duet with someone that's not human , well that's for people to decide .

Stranger is the 4th track to get a video in _genic & it's the 2nd song after Golden Touch to have both Japanese + English lyrics .

This song without any doubt deserves to have a video made & it's easily the main star in _genic simply because it's an extremely catchy EDM driven no. . I like a bit of EDM music & Namie nailed it well when comes to Stranger .

Likewise the next song Every Woman is also stellar too as it's literally a no nonsense track that puts you in a good mood upon hearing it . Lyrically , Every Woman is also not that bad too .

From 1 weird sounding/random song title to the next (after It) , in comes another 1 which's titled Space Invader . I must admit before I heard the song , I had no idea what's Namie going to sing about but contrary to what I assume (being invaded by aliens from outer space ?) , Space Invader actually centres on a relationship where 1 party felt his/her space has been invaded .

Anything is the 2nd last track in _genic & it's also the final song in the album to receive a video .

From here onwards , things slow down considerably & Anything is a ballad which was produced by James Keyz Foye who has previously worked with Beyonce .

All the while I'm only partial to Namie's ballads as to me I feel that's not her main forte . But Anything is perhaps the most simplified sounding song in _genic in that it's just Namie mainly singing alongside with an acoustic guitar .

Lyrically , Anything is quite inspirational & empowering sounding as well .

Included as a special track in _genic , What I Did For Love is credited as David Guetta Feat Namie Amuro in which David Guetta is a French DJ/producer .

What I Did For Love was originally released as the 3rd single off David Guetta's latest album Listen & it featured UK recording artist Emeli Sande on vocals so Namie's version is somewhat a cover .

I thought What I Did For Love is quite a fitting track to conclude _genic & I assumed it was a ballad but it was a nice surprise that 1/2 way , it transformed into an aggressive dance sounding no. which's pretty cool .

The only thing I don't like was that What I Did For Love ended quite abruptly without knowing but other than that , Namie's take on the song is quite good .

J-pop's queen of "hip-pop" is back ! After a wait of nearly 2 years , Namie Amuro unleashed her 11th album _genic ! Unlike her previous albums , all songs in _genic are never-before-released new songs .

After getting in touch with her emotional side with Namie's 1st ballad compilation album Ballada , _genic takes a 180-degree turn to the style of retro 80's dance music & 90's R&B groove beats .

1st of all before I go on further , let me say that I've been a fan of Namie's music for almost close to 10 years . As such , to me I really like _genic a lot as for Namie to release an album without the inclusion of singles , it takes guts if not a certain amount of risk to do that .

To me I personally feel almost every single song in _genic is equally solid/good . It's not easy to create an album where there're no singles & let alone in making sure each of them has their own unique identity but to a certain extent , _genic managed to accomplish that quite flawlessly/effortlessly .

Namie's strength in her music all the while mainly lies in upbeat dance tracks which I suppose it's what she tried to emulate for _genic . Describing a song as a dance track is 1 thing but releasing an album that has many different music elements that defined it as so is another .

Namie's previous album FEEL was & is still amazing but for _genic , it feels more like a throwback to what 80s/90s music sounded like unlike FEEL where its overall mood was more futuristic sounding .

On the other hand , _genic is Namie's 3rd straight album she released that sees her singing mainly/mostly in English . As such I'm very sure naysayers / Namie's English speaking fans will nitpick the way Namie sings in _genic & that goes for her English pronunciations and likewise lyrically on the way certain songs sound like in the album .

While Namie's Japanese speaking fans might question why Namie is once again singing in English where in the 1st place Japanese is her main language as when she released Uncontrolled , it was an unusual if not unheard move for a Japanese female solo artist to do something like this & subsequently she did it again with FEEL & now for _genic .

I'm in no position to critic what Namie should/will do in her next move in her music career but regardless of what it happen , I will respect her actions as not everybody is as lucky as her to have a resurge in popularity & Namie definitely worked very hard to get back in the zone after what she experienced in the past .

On that note , is _genic a shoo in being the best album to have been released this year ? Probably so , that's if you're into sleek sounding dance music that pays homage to what 80s/90s music sounded like .



Blog Personnel



Karen Pang

# 10th Jan

# #1 BREAKERZ fan in Singapore since 2008 debut single ♥













# My music blog consists of JPop/Rock singles & albums reviews that I put my heart , efforts & soul into writing them as I'm disgusted with the way that JPop/Rock music is being treated/written/reviewed in Singapore so to the local media (yes you TEENS , Teenage Magazine & The Strait Times) , screw you all . I basically can write better JPop/Rock reviews , period

# My LiveJournal

# Tagboard has been removed as I can't be bothered to deal with un-necessary spam comments any longer ~_~



















♥ ♥ ♥ BREAKERZ ♥ ♥ ♥



















Upcoming JPop/JRock Releases

 
# Fukuyama Masaharu's Fukuyama ☆ Fuyu no Dai Kansha Sai Sono Jiu Shi THE BEGINNING DVD + Blu-ray , 010815 , Sat

# ayumi hamasaki's 5th mini album sixxxxxx , 050815 , Wed

# flumpool's 13th single Natsu yo Tomenaide ~You're Romantic~ , 050815 , Wed

# Ken Hirai's 38th single Kimi no Kodou wa Kimi ni Shika Narasenai , 050815 , Wed

# BENI's 18th single Forever , 120815 , Wed

# Fukuyama Masaharu's 31st single I am a HERO , 190815 , Wed

# Aqua Timez's duo best albums 10th Anniversary Best RED & 10th Anniversary Best BLUE , 250815 , Tue

# KinKi Kids's KinKi Kids Concert「Memories & Moments」 DVD + Blu-ray , 260815 , Wed

# UVERworld's 28th single I LOVE THE WORLD , 260815 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme's 18th single Ienai Ienai , 020915 , Wed

# Saito Kazuyoshi's 44th single Semete Ikouze! / Kizuguchi , 020915 , Wed

# ARASHI's 47th single Ai wo Sakebe , 020915 , Wed

# Aoyama Thelma's 1st mini album GRAY SMOKE EP , 160915 , Wed

# Tackey & Tsubasa's 16th single Yamanote Sen Uchi Mawari ~Ai no Meiro~ , 230915 , Wed

# SID's 20th single title tbc , release in November


# SID's bassist Aki's 1st solo live DVD + 1st mini album , details tbc , release in Winter 2015





Album Reviews


# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

# Kis-My-Ft2 - KIS-MY-WORLD

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road

# THE TURTLES JAPAN - ELECTRONIC HUMANITY

# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL

# MUSCLE ATTACK - ATTACK

# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White

# FLOWER FLOWER - Shiki EP

# AKi - ARISE

# FLOWER FLOWER - Mi

# ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN

# Anna Tsuchiya - LUCIFER EP

# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Asobi EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-Journey

# ayumi hamasaki - Colours

# KAT-TUN - come Here

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

# Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN

# Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - THE BEST

# JASMINE - Welcome to Jas Vegas

# SID - OUTSIDER

# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

# Hilcrhyme - FIVE ZERO ONE

# DAIGO - DAIGOLD

# Koda Kumi - Bon Voyage

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP

# ARASHI - LOVE

# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx

# SPYAIR - MILLION

# BENI - Red

# ON/OFF - DICE EP

# NEWS - NEWS

# Namie Amuro - FEEL

# AKIHIDE - Amber

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

# girl next door - Life of Sound

# V6 - Oh ! My ! Goodness !

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE again

# Mika Nakashima - REAL

# flumpool - experience

# ayumi hamasaki - again EP

# Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

# ARASHI - Popcorn

# Domoto Koichi - Gravity

# SPYAIR - Just Do It

# SID - M&W

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Ero

# Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP WORLD

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-1st

# Acid Black Cherry - 『2012』

# Shota Shimizu - Naturally

# ayumi hamasaki - Party Queen

# Matsushita Yuya - 2U

# KAT-TUN - CHAIN

# Kuroki Meisa - UNLOCKED

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - BUTTERFLY

# ayaka - The beginning

# Koda Kumi - JAPONESQUE

# Kuriyama Chiaki - CIRCUS Deluxe Edition

# girl next door - Agaruneku !

# Hilcrhyme - RISING

# ON/OFF - Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu-

# BENI - Fortune

# YUI - HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - 45 STONES

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Mahou

# SPYAIR - Rockin' the World

# BREAKERZ - GO

# ayumi hamasaki - FIVE EP

# B'z - C'mon

# School Food Punishment - Prog-Roid

# ARASHI - Beautiful World

# Aoyama Thelma - WILL

# Ken Hirai - JAPANESE SINGER

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - Destination

# Tackey & Tsubasa - TRIP & TREASURE EP

# Shota Shimizu - COLORS

# Koda Kumi - Dejavu

# SID - dead stock

# flumpool - Fantasia of Life Stripe

# Yamashita Tomohisa - SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD

# Kuroki Meisa - MAGAZINE

# ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

# BENI - Jewel

# Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - ARE YOU READY ?

# Mika Nakashima - STAR

# Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)

# GLAY - GLAY

# Anna Tsuchiya - RULE

# NEWS - LIVE

# JASMINE - GOLD

# Domoto Koichi - BPM

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE ! 2

# Hilcrhyme - Recital

# ARASHI - Boku no Miteiru Fukei

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~

# YUI - HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP NO.1

# KAT-TUN - NO MORE PAIИ

# BENI - Lovebox

# Matsushita Yuya - I AM ME

# Acid Black Cherry - Q.E.D.

# Acid Black Cherry - BLACK LIST

# school food punishment - amp-reflection

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Ai EP

# BREAKERZ - B.R.Z ACOUSTIC EP

# ayumi hamasaki - Rock'n'Roll Circus

# V6 - READY ?

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - HELLO CRAZY GENTLEMAN

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - The space toy

# Shota Shimizu - Journey

# Koda Kumi - UNIVERSE

# NEVER LAND - Beautiful Days EP

# abingdon boys school - ABINGDON ROAD

# BENI - Bitter & Sweet

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - NEXT FUTURE

# LANDS - Olympos EP

# flumpool - What's flumpool !?

# Kuroki Meisa - ATTITUDE EP

# Yusuke - Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo.

# KinKi Kids - J album

# Namie Amuro - PAST < FUTURE

# BREAKERZ - FIGHTERZ

# alan - my life

# LOVE - LOVE.IT EP

# B'z - MAGIC

# Dew - PRESENT

# Saito Kazuyoshi - Tsuki ga Noboreba

# Aoyama Thelma - Emotions

# SID - hikari

# Kobukuro - CALLING

# Domoto Koichi - mirror

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Uta

# ON / OFF - Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu-

# Fukuyama Masaharu - Zankyou

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shinshoku Dolce

# GReeeeN - Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER-

# flumpool - Unreal EP

# Yuna Ito - DREAM

# Kanjani∞ - PUZZLE

# KAT-TUN - Break the Records -by you & for you-

# Kuroki Meisa - hellcat EP

# Kanjani∞ - KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou

# ayumi hamasaki - NEXT LEVEL

# Utada Hikaru - DEEP RIVER

# Utada - This Is The One

# Kanjani∞ - KJ1 F·T·O

# ARASHI - Dream"A"Live

# Kanjani∞ - Kansha ni Eight EP

# alan - Voice of EARTH

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE !

# Koda Kumi - TRICK

# Aoyama Thelma - DIARY

# YUI - I LOVED YESTERDAY

# YUI - CAN'T BUY MY LOVE

# BREAKERZ - BREAKERZ

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - GIRL NEXT DOOR

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu

# YUI - FROM ME TO YOU

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Hajimemashite

# BREAKERZ - CRASH & BUILD

# ai otsuka - LOVE LETTER

# Mika Nakashima - VOICE

# BREAKERZ - BIG BANG !

# NEWS - color

# Anna Tsuchiya - NUDY SHOW !

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 3 : Senior Year

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - KISS

# BREAKERZ - Ao no Mirai EP

# ai otsuka - LOVE PUNCH

# ai otsuka - LOVE COOK

# ai otsuka - LOVE JAM

# KAT-TUN - cartoon KAT-TUN II You

# OLIVIA - Trinka Trinka EP

# NEWS - touch

# NEWS - pacific

# ARASHI - Iza , Now

# ARASHI - One

# NANA Triple Billing

# OLIVIA - The Cloudy Dreamer EP

# Anna Tsuchiya - strip me ?

# ARASHI - ARASHIC

# KAT-TUN - Best of KAT-TUN

# Anna Tsuchiya - Taste My Beat EP

# ARASHI - Time

# Electrico - We Satellites

# ayaka - Sing to the Sky

# ayaka - First Message

# KAT-TUN - KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES-

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~BOUNCE & LOVERS~

# Jesse McCartney - Departure

# The Veronicas - Hook Me Up

# Ken Hirai - LIFE is ...

# Ashlee Simpson - Bittersweet World

# Ken Hirai - gaining through losing

# Yuna Ito - HEART

# Utada Hikaru - HEART STATION

# Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

#
Yuna Ito - WISH

# Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers

# Koda Kumi - Kingdom

# ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

# abingdon boys school - abingdon boys school

# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

# ayumi hamasaki - RAINBOW

# The Great Spy Experiment - Flower Show Riots

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~second session~

# The Click Five - Modern Minds And Pastimes

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 2

# Koda Kumi - Black Cherry

# Namie Amuro - PLAY

# Maroon 5 - It Wouldn't Be Soon Before Long

# ayumi hamasaki - Memorial address EP

# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

# Mika Nakashima - YES

# Jamie Michael - People Watching

# ayumi hamasaki - A BEST 2 -BLACK- & A BEST 2 -WHITE-

# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean




Other Posts Worth Checking Out


# Fave Songs Of 2010

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2010

# Fave Albums Releases Of 2010

# Fave Songs Of 2009

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2009

# Fave Albums Releases For 2009

# The Best Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2009

# Fave New Acts Of 2008

# Fave Songs Of 2008

# Fave Singles Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2008

# The 1st Song I Heard From My Future JPop Acts

# The Best & The Worst Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2007

# The Click Five - The Band Behind The Band Documentary

# 987 Control Songlist Set

# Hot Review Of Maksim's Electrik

# Lu Yong Find My Shoes Journey

# Eric Dill Of The Click Five Got Punk'd !




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Credits

designer - Chronicles

imageeditor - adobephotoshop

music - radioblogclub

image - fortminorwebsite

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