Thursday, March 06, 2008

CD Review :: Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers



Tracklist :

1) Omoi ga Kasanaru Sono Mae ni ... (The Memories Pile Up Before Me)
2) jealousy
3) Iwanai Kankei (Unsaid Connections)
4) Kimi ga Boku ni Hyoui Shita !! (You Depended on Me !!)
5) Hitomi wo Tojite (Close Your Eyes)
6) Seishun Days (Days of Youth)
7) style
8) signal
9) Kagiana (Keyhole)
10) nostalgia
11) Kimi wa Tomodachi (You're My Friend)
12) Sentimental


SENTIMENTALovers was Ken Hirai's 6th album . It was released on 24th Nov '04 . SENTIMENTALovers debuted at no.1 on the Oricon weekly chart & sold 1,660,885 copies in 2005 & became the 3rd most sold album of '05 .

4 singles were included in the album which are highlighted in bold .

I only became a big fan of Ken's music recently ever since I discovered his music in mid-Jan this year & the 1st thing that caught my attention of him was his soulful voice & then his looks which have been known to set housewives in Japan fluttering . I'm not spared too & I have to admit , a hot guy is hard not to resist & for the record he's a pure / 100% Japanese & he's not mixed .

& so I took a crash course & listen to his 1st best album titled Utabaka Ken Hirai 10th Anniversary Complete Single Collection '95 - '05 which's essentially a 2 disc compilation of all the singles that Ken released since his debut in '95 all the way to '05 to celebrate his 10th anniversary in the music business at that time .

He's gonna release his 7th album FAKIN' POP next Wed in Japan & I thought what better way to review his last studio offering .

The album start things off with his 22nd single Omoi ga Kasanaru Sono Mae ni ... (The Memories Pile Up Before Me) which was his 3rd no.1 single . The song was 1st used in the Toyota Corolla Fielder CM though later in Sept '05 , it became the theme song for the special two day drama Tsumiki Kuzushi Shinsou ~Ano Kazoku , Sono Ato no Higeki~ .

When I 1st heard Omoi ga Kasanaru Sono Mae ni ... (The Memories Pile Up Before Me) , I thought it was an un-memorable track because if you were to compare his no.1 singles Ooki na Furudokei (A Big Old Clock) , Ring & POP STAR against Omoi ga Kasanaru Sono Mae ni ... , Omoi ga Kasanaru Sono Mae ni ... seems to be the weakest outta the lot .

But after intensive drilling of the song into my head , I can remember the song as to how it sounds like & now I'm glad to see Omoi ga Kasanaru Sono Mae ni ... (The Memories Pile Up Before Me) kicking things off on SENTIMENTALovers & I really like the song now especially the harmonica going on in the melody .

The next 3 tracks are groovy no.s in the form of jealousy , Iwanai Kankei (Unsaid Connections) , Kimi ga Boku ni Hyoui Shita !! (You Depended on Me !!) . I love the melodies of jealously & it's such a smooth song & a great track to dance along with .

Iwanai Kankei (Unsaid Connections) was the 1st song I heard from SENTIMENTALovers & this's also another top notch song from Ken . I like that Iwanai Kankei (Unsaid Connections) is extremely upbeat & cheery without going over the top .

Man , I dig Kimi ga Boku ni Hyoui Shita !! (You Depended on Me !!) . It's such a happy song & I also like the keyboards that's backing up in the song . You can't help but realise that all 3 songs are unique & special in its own right . Not to mention distinct too which's fabulous .

Track 5 on the album is the song that started it all for me which's Hitomi wo Tojite (Close Your Eyes) . This's the song that got me interested in Ken in the 1st place . My younger middle sister played me this song which was like the only song she liked from Ken at that time & the next time you know , the rest's history .

Hitomi wo Tojite (Close Your Eyes) is a great power ballad & it's easy to see why it deserves to be the top selling single in Japan for '04 for Ken despite the fact that it did not debuted at no.1 on the Oricon weekly singles chart . It had to settle for no.2 instead .

Soon after , the album picks up the pace with Seishun Days (Days of Youth) which's another very nice no. . I like the trumpets that were used in the song which makes the song stands out & that the melodies takes the song up a notch or so .

Track 7's Ken's 19th single style . It's a cool song which I dig on 1st listen . I don't really understand what's going on in the video especially the ending which was very unsatisfactory . Not to mention Ken shaved his head in the PV T_T & for the record Ken you don't look good bald *guffaws* .

Track 8's signal which follows the same vein as style . I can't help but wonder that the melody sounds strangely familiar & similiar to that of Modjo's Lady , Hear Me Tonight . Not that it's a bad thing but at least style's memorable in its own right .

The next 2 tracks are the ones that doesn't really sit well with me . When I 1st heard Kagiana (Keyhole) , I thought it was really & very very cheesy & somemore the song makes me cringe up to now . I'm not sure what Ken's singing in the song but I have a feeling it's a naughty no. & the lady in the background of Kagiana (Keyhole) ain't helping matters too .

Track 10's nostalgia & it's a ballad but for some reasons , when I heard nostalgia , I find it very depressing . I usually like Ken's ballads but nostalgia was a bit too much for me + the melody of nostalgia switch my mood to PMS mood which's definitely not good so nostalgia is strictly a song that I will listen on repeat mode provided if I'm having a lousy day .

Next in line's Ken's 21st Single Kimi wa Tomodachi (You're My Friend) . I'm feeling the song as it's catchy , has finger snapping beats going on in there + the PV is kawaii too ! It's a cartoon PV & it's an enjoyable video to watch .

I think it's a great way to close the album with a nice ballad in the form of Sentimental . The song was used as a radio single to promote SENTIMENTALovers and it was given its own PV . I really like it & I feel Ken really shines in his ballads .

SENTIMENTALovers suppressed my expectations from Ken & it was even better than I expected it to be . Initally I was skeptical on whether I should gave his last studio album offering a shot but I'm really glad that I decided to went for it .

I'm just really glad that I decided to give his music a listen . He has been around for 13 years & it's no laughing matter . My only regret was that I didn't gave his music a listen a bit eariler than expected but I supposed it's better late than never .

Now that I've been fired up from listening to SENTIMENTALovers , all the more I can't wait for FAKIN' POP to be released in Japan next Wed .


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

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Upcoming New JPop/JRock Releases


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# ARASHI's 5×20 All the BEST!! CLIPS 1999-2019 DVD + Blu-ray , 161019 , Wed

# Koda Kumi's 17th album title tbc , Autumn 2019

# GLAY's best album REVIEW II , 2020

# NEWS's 11th album STORY , 2020




Album Reviews


# B'z - NEW LOVE

# GRANRODEO - FAB LOVE

# Kis-My-Ft2 - FREE HUGS!

# Matsushita Yuya - BLACK NEVERLAND

# NEWS - WORLDISTA

# Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme

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# BENI - CINEMATIC

# ayaka - 30 y/o

# GRANRODEO - M・S COWBOY no Gyakushuu EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - SENSE or LOVE

# Koda Kumi - DNA

# Shota Shimizu - WHITE

# SID - Ichiban Sukina Basho EP

# Aoyama Thelma - HIGHSCHOOL GAL

# ayumi hamasaki - TROUBLE EP

# Hilcrhyme - One Man EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Yummy!!

# NEWS - EPCOTIA

# FLOWER FLOWER - Spotlight

# Koda Kumi - AND

# B'z - DINOSAUR

# ARASHI - 「untitled」

# BREAKERZ - X

# Aoyama Thelmas - 10TH DIARY

# SPYAIR - KINGDOM

# SID - NOMAD

# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

# Ken Hirai - Utabaka Dake ni.

# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry

# Kis-My-Ft2 - MUSIC COLOSSEUM

# Mika Nakashima - TOUGH

# NEWS - NEVERLAND

# Koda Kumi - W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN

# MUSCLE ATTACK - HERCULES ROAD

# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG

# NEWS - QUARTETTO

# AKi - EPHEMERAL EP

# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP

# BREAKERZ - 0-ZERO-

# 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

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# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

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# Koda Kumi - Dejavu

# SID - dead stock

# flumpool - Fantasia of Life Stripe

# Yamashita Tomohisa - SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD

# Kuroki Meisa - MAGAZINE

# ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

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# 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 ?

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# Shota Shimizu - Journey

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# 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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