Saturday, May 03, 2008

CD Review :: Ken Hirai - LIFE is ...



Tracklist :

1) Strawberry Sex
2) REVOLVER
3) ex-girlfriend
4) Ring
5) Come Back
6) somebody's girl Feat AI
7) I'm so drunk
8) Missin' you ~It will break my heart~
9) Sekai de Ichiban Kimi ga Suki ? (What Do You Like Most in the World ?)
10) Memories
11) LIFE is ...
12) Ooki na Furudokei (A Big Old Clock)



LIFE is ... is Ken Hirai's 5th album . It was released on 22nd Jan '03 & the album's peak position on the Oricon album chart was no.1 . LIFE is ... sold 752,951 copies in '03 & became the 10th most sold album of the year .

Technically , 5 singles & 2 B sides are found from LIFE is ... . The song LIFE is ... was re-arranged for the drama Black Jack ni Yoroshiku and it was released as Ken's 18th single LIFE is ... ~another story~ .

The album starts things off with 1 of my fave Ken's singles titled Strawberry Sex . The song's Ken's 15th single & I really like it , be it song & PV wise . The PV's 1 of my faves from Ken simply because it never fails to make me laugh so hard & badly everytime I see it .

If you think the PV concept of fake star's naughty , Strawberry Sex's up there but the humor factor's going on in there which kinda dampens the sex factor . I think Ken was having a bit more fun than usual unlike fake star & if I'm correct , the PV for Strawberry Sex was shot in Las Vegas .

Track 2's a song titled REVOLVER . REVOLVER is my least fave song on the album because of the chorus which's quite annoying when you keep hearing Ken going 'oh my god' in EVERY single line of the chorus . It's quite a put off but I like the music of REVOLVER .

Next in line's the B side of Strawberry Sex titled ex-girlfriend . ex-girlfriend is 1of my fave B sides from Ken because it's such a smooth no. & it's a contrast to Strawberry Sex which's upbeat . This 1 I like !

Track 4's Ken's 17th single Ring which's incidentally his 2nd no.1 song on the Oricon . Ring was used as the theme song of the drama Psycho Doctor's .

After Ring , it's a song called Come Back which received its own PV . I can't help but dislike Come Back a bit . I don't know why but I suspect it's due to the PV which's quite slutty & a total waste of time/$ spent on DefSTAR but what the heck , I think Come Back's good enough to rival Strawberry Sex .

somebody's girl is the 2nd B side included in LIFE is ... & it's the B side of Ring . somebody's girl features rapper AI & I find this B side decent & it probably be better without the apperance of AI . Then again it's just me .

After somebody's girl , it's another non released single , the oddly titled I'm so drunk . I can't help but laugh when I saw the title of I'm so drunk but thank goodness it's not as cheesy as I thought it will be .

After 3 upbeat no.s , the mood's slowed down considerably with Ken's 14th single Missin' you ~It will break my heart~ . This's 1 of my fave songs on the album & it's a strong ballad & somemore the song was composed by Babyface & you know you can't go wrong with this .

Ken did an Eng take on Missin' you ~It will break my heart~ which's titled It will break my heart ~English version~ & he also covered Babyface's When Can I See You in which both songs are served as B sides songs in the single of Missin' you ~It will break my heart~ & I must say his Eng dictation is really good .

Personally I really like the ending chorus of Missin' you ~It will break my heart~ which's sung in full Eng .

Next in line's Sekai de Ichiban Kimi ga Suki ? (What Do You Like Most in the World ?) which's my fave non-released song in LIFE is ... . The lyrics & melody are awesome & it's 1 of the rare songs that Ken did not write nor composed on the album but yet I really adore Sekai de Ichiban Kimi ga Suki ? (What Do You Like Most in the World ?) big time .

Sekai de Ichiban Kimi ga Suki ? (What Do You Like Most in the World ?) is a song you probably might find in his Ken's Bar cover album or you might imagine it being played in some jazzy bar/club . I absolutely like the melody of Sekai de Ichiban Kimi ga Suki ? (What Do You Like Most in the World ?) as it's such a smooth jazzy no. .

Track 10's titled Memories . I find this to be a weak link in LIFE is ... as the melody doesn't seem to fit well in the album & to me it's there for the sake of being there ie. a filler track but it's a decent one . I had to take sometime to remember how Memories sound like as initally I find the song quite easy to forget .

After that , track 10's the title track of the album . As I mentioned before , LIFE is ... was re-arranged for the drama Black Jack ni Yoroshiku and it was released as Ken's 18th single LIFE is ... ~another story~ .

Basically both versions have the same lyrics . The only difference is the melody . LIFE is ... is solely backed up with a piano so the mood's a bit sombre while the tune of LIFE is ... ~another story~ has more instruments & strings going on in there making it more cheery than LIFE is ... but regardless of which , I like both versions .

Last but definitely not least to close things off , it's Ken's 16th single Ooki na Furudokei (A Big Old Clock) . Now if you have heard this song & wonder why does the melody sounds so strangely familiar , that's because Ooki na Furudokei (A Big Old Clock) is a Japanese cover of Henry Clay Work's 1876 My Grandfather's Clock , the very same tune that you hear it being played in nursery schools .

It might sound strange for Ken to cover a famous nursery ditty but it did wonders for him . Ooki na Furudokei (A Big Old Clock) became 1 of the biggest hits for him & in '02 . Not to mention , it's his 1st no.1 single & it's his most successful single to date , chart performance wise . I don't think any of his other singles managed to stay at the top spot for 4 weeks .

Ooki na Furudokei (A Big Old Clock) is Ken's 2nd highest selling single , clocking in at 772,000 copies , the 1st's of course Hitomi wo Tojite (Close Your Eyes) at 899,000 copies which was the top selling single for '04 .

Ken did an Eng take of the original My Grandfather's Clock which's found as in the B side of Ooki na Furudokei (A Big Old Clock) titled Grandfather's clock .

Just like gaining through losing , LIFE is ... has its share of pros & cons on the album . There were only about 3 tracks that I didn't really like in LIFE is ... but other than that , this album , alongside with his other ones gaining through losing , SENTIMENTALovers & of course the most recent one FAKIN' POP is a keeper !


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

# GLAY's best album REVIEW II , 2020

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# Matsushita Yuya - BLACK NEVERLAND

# NEWS - WORLDISTA

# Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme

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# NEWS - EPCOTIA

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# 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

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# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

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# SID - OUTSIDER

# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

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# DAIGO - DAIGOLD

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# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

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# ARASHI - LOVE

# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

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# 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

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# Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

#
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# Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers

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# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

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# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

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# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

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# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

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# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

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# Utada - Exodus

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# 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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