Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CD Review :: Ken Hirai - gaining through losing



Tracklist :

1) She is !
2) KISS OF LIFE
3) L'Amant (The Lover)
4) Miracles
5) TUG OF WAR
6) Merry-Go-Round Highway
7) TABOO
8) Sweet Pillow
9) LOVE OR LUST
10) World's End
11)
even if
12) Gaining Through Losing



gaining through losing is Ken Hirai's 4th album . The album was released way back in 4th July '01 . Its peak position was no.2 on the Oricon album chart & it sold 1,067,780 copies in 2001 , making it the 21st most sold album of the year .

4 singles & 2 B sides are included in the album prior to the release of gaining through losing .

The album starts things off with a groovy no. She is ! I like the way trumpets & the likes kicks things off nicely with quite a big bang of sorts .

Track 2's Ken's 13th single KISS OF LIFE which I like immediately on 1st listen . Can tell that it's a fan fave especially when he does this song during his Ken's Bar & live concerts where there're a lot of cheers coming from the crowd whenever he does this song live .

After KISS OF LIFE , it's followed by a non released song called L'Amant (The Lover) . I think the song title's french but in anycase , I only find this song a-ok . It's a nice uptempo no. & I remember he did this live at his gaining through losing live tour '01 at the budokan & that version sounds much much better than what you hear on the album !

Next in line's Miracles , which's Ken's 12th single . It's a ballad . When I 1st hear it in his Utabaka best album , I did not really like it . It was only until I hear a snippet or 2 when it was played at the CNN talkasia interview then I was like oh this song's good & turns out it's !

Track 5's the B side of Miracles , titled TUG OF WAR . I find this to be a weak B side & it's quite a filler track on the album . Not to mention , I can't find the words TUG OF WAR in the song :S . I think I have to give this song a few more listens before it registers in my head .

Up next it's the 1/2 way mark in the album with a strange song title Merry-Go-Round Highway . When I 1st saw this song's title , I was like huh , what's that ? but it turns to be 1 of my fave songs on the album .

I really like the music melody going on in Merry-Go-Round Highway & it's pretty catchy & it's not as cheesy as I thought it will be .

The next track's the B side of Ken's 10th single LOVE OR LUST called TABOO . The lyrics of TABOO are pretty interesting to say the least . But other than that , I'm feeling TABOO more than TUG OF WAR .

Track 8's Sweet Pillow . Yet another strange song title but I really like this well sweet no. . I would classify Sweet Pillow as a midtempo ballad of sorts . The lyrics are a bit cheesy though .

After Sweet Pillow , it's LOVE OR LUST . The song features vocals from DOUBLE & you can hear her vocals in the background quite clearly . While this's 1 of my fave A sides from Ken , I can't say the same for the PV .

I heard that it was filmed in Mexico & it's quite random & which idiot would wear a suit in the blazing heat in the desert ?? Not to mention it ain't helping matters that Ken fainted purposely or accidentally at the end of the PV . For that I have no idea .

Anyway , to pick up the pace , track 10 World's End is up next . Just like TUG OF WAR , I feel that World's End borderlines on the filler factor & I have to admit it does take sometime for me to familiarise with both songs . I'm sure in due time , I will remember how both songs sound like but you should hear the falsetto on World's End coming from Ken , it will make your hair stand literally .

Track 11 is even if which's Ken's 11th single . Now I have to confess , I hated the song when I 1st heard it on his Utabaka best album . I don't know why that's the case cos I personally think the song was quite boring & un-memorable but after watching live performances of even if from his Ken's Bar & live concerts , I adore this more than before .

Seems to me that even if is his preferred song for an encore . Ken did a piano encore of even if at his Ken's Bar '07 Winter & also at his live tour '01 gaining through losing at the budokan 7 years ago .

In fact 1 of the most memorable performances of even if that he did was his budokan concert & it was quite a touching live performance when I saw it on youtube & later on in his concert DVD .

Why ? because the poor dude was crying when he was singing the song ! in fact I never seen a guy who has cried so much in my life at all . The reason why that happened was because that was the last performance of the tour .

The guitar player was crying at the side of the stage . Ken saw that and all the memories of working with the band members came up and he realised that after that night , they had to say goodbye til the next tour . So he couldn't help but cried . It's quite heartbreaking .

He choked up 1/2 way throughout his performance but it was great to see the crowd cheering & clapping to spur him on to finish the song .

I think it's a great way to close the album with Gaining Through Losing . This's my fave song on the album . Even though it's the longest track in the disc clocking in at 6:15 mins but I adore this big time .

In case you're wondering why the melody sounds unusually familiar , because the melody's the same one as what you will hear on F4's debut single Meteor Rain . Basically both songs uses the same melody & I have a feeling that Ken was approached & asked whether can the melody be used for Meteor Rain .

Anyway I don't know the story behind Meteor Rain but that's just my assumption but the reason why I like Gaining Through Losing is because it's such a soaring uplifting no. & not to mention it's quite gospel influenced & the closing chorus of the song is just plain brillant .

Initially I was skeptical to give this album a listen because it was released 7 years ago & I thought the non released songs will sound outdated & all but my fears were squashed when I gave gaining through losing a shot .

The album's worth a listen & with fantastic A sides & non released songs such as Gaining Through Losing & Merry-Go-Round Highway , you know you can't go wrong in here .



Blog Personnel









Karen Pang

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# 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


# Ken Hirai's 46th single #302 , 041219 , Wed

# UVERworld's 10th album UNSER , 041219 , Wed

# KinKi Kids's 41st single Hikari no Kehai , 041219 , Wed

# Kis-My-Ft2's LIVE TOUR 2019 FREE HUGS! DVD + Blu-ray , 111219 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme LIVE 2019 "MILESTONE 10th" DVD + Blu-ray , 181219 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme LIVE 2019 "MILESTONE 10th" live album , 181219 , Wed

# BREAKERZ × Detective Conan COLLABORATION BEST , 181219 , Wed

# L'Arc-en-Ciel's LIVE 2018 L'ArChristmas DVD + Blu-ray , 181219 , Wed

# AKIHIDE's 7th album Hoshikai no Shounen , 150120 , Wed

# GLAY's GLAY 25th Anniversary "LIVE DEMOCRACY" Powered by HOTEL GLAY DAY1 "Yoi GLAY" DVD + Blu-ray , 150120 , Wed

# GLAY's GLAY 25th Anniversary "LIVE DEMOCRACY" Powered by HOTEL GLAY DAY2 "Warui GLAY" DVD + Blu-ray , 150120 , Wed

# GLAY's best album REVIEW II , 2020

# NEWS's 11th album STORY , 2020

# flumpool's 5th album title tbc , 2020

# BENI's mini album title tbc , Spring 2020




Album Reviews


# SID - Shonin Yokkyu

# KAT-TUN - IGNITE

# B'z - NEW LOVE

# GRANRODEO - FAB LOVE

# Kis-My-Ft2 - FREE HUGS!

# Matsushita Yuya - BLACK NEVERLAND

# NEWS - WORLDISTA

# Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme

# Yamashita Tomohisa - UNLEASHED

# 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

# 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

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# BENI - Fortune

# YUI - HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - 45 STONES

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# 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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