Thursday, August 25, 2016
KAT-TUN - BRAND NEW STAGE
2 DVDs Regular
2 DVDs + Bonus CD Limited
BRAND NEW STAGE is a song available as a bonus CD in the limited edition of KAT-TUN 10TH ANNIVERSARY LIVE TOUR "10Ks!" DVD which was released on 17th Aug .
This song was used as NTV's Going ! Sports & News theme no. + NTV's Russia baseball relay Tsugi no Shunkan , Atsukunare THE BASEBALL 2016 theme song .
BRAND NEW STAGE is the 2nd song that the now trio KAT-TUN has recorded together , after Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume that's included in their 1st best album KAT-TUN 10TH ANNIVERSARY BEST "10Ks!" .
Honestly when I 1st heard BRAND NEW STAGE , I thought it sounds quite similar to TRAGEDY's B-side Atsukunare given the upbeat tone of the song but I'm not surprised as both songs were used to promote Going ! Sports & News .
The only thing I don't like is that I wished BRAND NEW STAGE could have been a bit longer as it ended quite abruptly .
Given that KAT-TUN has been on hiatus after they finished KAT-TUN 10TH ANNIVERSARY LIVE TOUR "10Ks!" , this's the next alternative as I suppose they rather release BRAND NEW STAGE together with the DVD instead of waiting until they (hopefully) return back which I'm sure they will do so eventually .
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Fukuyama Masaharu - 1461 Nichi
1461 Nichi is a song by Fukuyama Masaharu & it was released digitally on 5th Aug .
This song was picked to be used as TV Asahi's theme song in covering the 2016 Summer Olympics that's held this year at Rio de Janeiro , Brazil .
Considering that Fukuyama has not been musically active after he released his 31st single I am a HERO last year , it's great that there's finally something new from him .
What surprised me when I 1st heard 1461 Nichi is that it's not a typical sports theme driven song (unlike Namie Amuro's Hero) . Instead , it's a very simplistic acoustic guitar driven no. which's actually nice .
I'm not sure why Fukuyama chose to release 1461 Nichi digitally as this sounds like a late last minute rush release but I guess it's better than nothing . I do hope I wouldn't need to wait almost a year for something new from him though .
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
AKI - HEADZ UP
1) HEADZ UP
2) Fx$k the WORLD!
HEADZ UP is a special single by AKi & it was released on 1st May .
AKi kicked off his HEADZ UP & DO IT! solo tour on 1st May . Among the concert goods made available for sale , a T-shirt + CD combo was sold at 5,000 Yen .
In the HEADZ UP CD , 2 songs are found in the tracklist .
Sharing the same name as the CD , HEADZ UP is a straight up fun upbeat rock song while despite the title for the 2nd song , Fx$k the WORLD! is actually an instrumental no. & no vocals are found in the track .
For now , it's not known if both songs will make the cut in a future AKi release . I hope AKi will consider to include them as not many are able to buy the CD during his solo tour & let alone for it to be sold together with a T-shirt , it's a bit unscrupulous but end of the day it's a marketing tactic .
Saturday, August 13, 2016
GLAY - DEATHTOPIA
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD
2) Chonsoku Destiny
3) JUSTICE [from] GUILTY (GLAY Special Live 2013 in HAKODATE GLORIOUS MILLION DOLLAR NIGHT Vol.1)
4) Binetsu (A)girl Summer (GLAY Special Live at HAKODATE ARENA GLORIOUS MILLION DOLLAR NIGHT Vol.2)
5) Kuroku nure ! (GLAY ARENA TOUR 2014-2015 Miracle Music Hunt)
6) everKrack (GLAY HIGHCOMMUNICATIONS TOUR 2016 "Supernova")
7) coyote, colored darkness (ROCK’N’ROLL SWINDLE at NIPPONBUDOKAN)
8) WOLD’S END (GLAY ARENA TOUR 2007 "LOVE IS BEAUTIFUL")
DEATHTOPIA is GLAY's 54th single & it was released last week on 3rd Aug .
This was released 7 months + since GLAY's previous single G4・IV .
Desutopia was 1st released digitally on 9th May which topped various online charts at the time of release . This was picked to be used as the 1st opening theme no. for the anime Kuromukuro & it was composed by guitarist HISASHI .
There're 7 other songs in DEATHTOPIA & the 2nd song in the tracklist Chonsoku Destiny received a video , just like Desutopia .
In addition , Chonsoku Destiny was also used as the 2nd opening theme no. for Kuromukuro after Desutopia .
The other 6 songs are live tracks which were recorded from different concerts over the years & all of them were composed by HISASHI as well .
GLAY's latest single DEATHTOPIA packs in plenty of bang for the buck . I enjoyed Desutopia at the time when it was released digitally so I'm pleased that it made the physical single cut as it deserves so .
It would be better if Chonsoku Destiny was a ballad to contrast Desutopia but aside from that , this's another solid single coming from 1 of the most respected JRock groups .
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
UVERworld - WE ARE GO / ALL ALONE
CD + DVD
1) WE ARE GO
2) ALL ALONE
3) Colors of the Heart (Live at Marine Messe Fukuoka 2015.12.30)
4) Kokoro ga Sasu Basho to Kuchiguse Soshite Kimi ga Tsuite Kuru (Live at Zepp Tokyo 2008.06.02)
WE ARE GO / ALL ALONE is UVERworld's 29th single & it was released last month on 27th July .
UVERworld's last single release was last Aug's I LOVE THE WORLD while their last double A-side single release was 2013's Fight For Liberty / Wizard CLUB .
The 1st A-side WE ARE GO was picked to be used as the opening theme for TV Tokyo's anime Pazudora X . Vocalist TAKUYA∞ commented , "We felt it was our mission to create a song that thoroughly pursued our individuality . I think it's a song that we can enjoy with our friends during our concerts ."
Pazudora X is an anime adaptation of the Nintendo 3DS game software Pazudora X Kami no Shou / Ryu no Shou which was released on 28th July .
The 2nd A-side ALL ALONE is used as the 1st theme song of UVERworld's original footage project 1byousaki Mukau Mono to Tada Otozureru Mono . This project was originally drafted by TAKUYA∞ & Nakamura Teppei who has worked on many of UVERworld's music videos , serves as the director and scriptwriter .
Instead of new B-sides material , 2 live audio tracks are included in the single . Colors of the Heart is UVERworld's 4th single & the live take of the song was recorded almost 11 years ago at Marine Messe Fukuoka .
While Kokoro ga Sasu Basho to Kuchiguse Soshite Kimi ga Tsuite Kuru is found as track #16 in UVERworld's 2nd album PROGLUTION & the live rendition was recorded 8 years ago at Zepp Tokyo .
Almost a year since their last single release , UVERworld is back to break some new ground with their latest single WE ARE GO / ALL ALONE .
I LOVE THE WORLD is still a great UVERworld single song & luckily WE ARE GO / ALL ALONE managed to live up to expectations especially since UVERworld hasn't release anything this year , until now .
UVERworld's music is notorious to get into as all the while their music is not easy to get into but thankfully , WE ARE GO / ALL ALONE is a win in the bag .
I liked Fight For Liberty / Wizard CLUB & although as usual it took me a while to get into WE ARE GO / ALL ALONE , end of the day I enjoy the single .
Preference wise , I prefer WE ARE GO as it has a great upbeat melody that's heavily drums driven with saxophone sounds thrown in for good measure while ALL ALONE is a bit difficult to get into initially as it's almost 6 mins long but this mid tempo song contrasts WE ARE GO quite well .
Hopefully it wouldn't take UVERworld this long to release another single again but for now WE ARE GO / ALL ALONE is worth checking out .
Saturday, August 06, 2016
Namie Amuro - Hero
CD + DVD
2) Show Me What You've Got
3) Hero -Instrumental-
4) Show Me What You've Got -Instrumental-
Hero is Namie Amuro's 43rd single & this was released last month on 27th July .
This was released 2 months + since Namie's previous single Mint .
Hero was picked as the theme song for NHK's broadcast of the Rio 2016 Olympics & Paralympics . It's described as an uplifting song filling the listener with hope & courage inspiring them to become their own hero .
Imai Ryosuke & SUNNY BOY were in charge of the lyrics & composition respectively .
NHK requested Namie to sing the theme song because "her powerful voice has the ability to make an impression in people's hearts" & also because "she has supporters from many generations ." Namie commented , "I'm very honoured . I want to sing this song with a feeling of support ."
Hero was also used on NHK's broadcast of the All-Japan Artistic Gymnastics Competition on 3rd April & the Japan Swim 2016 on 4th April .
Show Me What You've Got is the B-side in the single & a video was made for the song . It's described as a sing-a-long party track that tells you to have confidence in yourself & have fun as you are .
Namie Amuro champions a message of hope and courage in her latest single offering , Hero . The moving song begins with a slow tempo and elegant melody to symbolise the sanctity & grandeur of the Olympics + then switches to dance beats that signifies Namie's presence .
To say that Hero has a patriotic tone is an understatement seeing that the 2016 Summer Olympics officially kicked off yesterday & the release of this single to coincide it was a smart marketing tactic .
All the while , I never been a fan of Namie's ballads but something about Hero is different . I thought it would be a straight out ballad but it's only the 1st part of the song that's so while subsequently , it's surprisingly upbeat .
What actually surprised me of Hero also is the duration as it's almost close to 6 mins long . I think it would have been better if Hero was shortened as towards the end it get a bit repetitive .
Also , I know quite a lot of people don't like Show Me What You've Got but it's a rare occasion where you don't see the aloof Namie but the fun loving Namie instead .
Show Me What You've Got is fun , cheery & meant not to be taken seriously . If not , what's the purpose of having a B-side that's different & contrasts the A-side in the 1st place ?
All in all just like Mint , I enjoy Hero a lot . I'm curious to see what Namie plans to do next since her upcoming new tour namie amuro LIVE STYLE 2016-2017 will start this month until end of March 2017 .
I will be surprised if in between Namie might release a new studio album if not then I probably have to wait until her tour finishes .
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
NEWS - Koi wo Shiranai Kimi he
CD + DVD
2 CDs + 2 DVDs special box
Koi wo Shiranai Kimi he is NEWS's 20th single & it was released last month on 13th July .
NEWS released their 7th album QUARTETTO in March .
Koi wo Shiranai Kimi he was used as the ending theme for member Kato Shigeaki's live action drama adaptation of the novel and popular animated film Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo .
Shige described Koi wo Shiranai Kimi he as "a ballad about the sadness of summer ending" on the official NTV website for the drama .
There're a total of 3 B-sides in the single . Smile is available in all 3 editions while Samaraba & Distance are only available in the CD only edition of Koi wo Shiranai Kimi he .
Out of the 3 B-sides , Samaraba is the only 1 that's upbeat sounding while the other 2 are mid tempo but not as depressing sounding as the A-side .
NEWS offers the ultimate sad Summer love song with their latest single Koi wo Shiranai Kimi he .
It's ideal not to listen to Koi wo Shiranai Kimi he if you feel depressed/emotional because this song conveys a lot of sad emotions which's very different from NEWS's past Summer single , SUMMER TIME which was cheery & jovial .
For this single , I'm not liking it as much as I was hoping for . I guess after they released Hikari no Shizuku / Touch , I was hoping for an upbeat Summer single but apparently that's not the case .
Likewise I only find the B-side songs ok & for the 1st time , I felt disconnected when I listened to them .
I do hope that NEWS can release something upbeat in their next single although I'm not saying they shouldn't release ballads as they had some good ones but for now I go back to listen to Touch instead .