Monday, July 14, 2008

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

Since almost 1/2 of 2008 has fly by , I thought it's time to do a list dictating the best & the worst music material that were released for the 1st 1/2 of 2008 .

There's not really a particular order for that matter in how I ranked the best & the worst in the categories that will be listed in time to come .

Be warned though - almost 99% are JPop related stuff since I decided to take the plunge & dive into listening to JPop full time since last Oct after I decided Eng music was getting too boring for my liking .

Anyway here goes nothing .

Best Albums

1) KAT-TUN - KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES-

The sextet's 2nd original & overall 3rd album , KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES- at the moment easily goes down as my fave album that was released this year in April .

Prior to this , I have not listened to their 1st 2 albums so I didn't know what to expect but KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES- is just plain brilliant & amazing from the start to the end .

Also KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES- is the very 1st Johnny & Associates album that I came across .

I pick KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES- as the most surprising album of 2008 & also T∀BOO's like the best opening song of an album that I came across for the year .

Not to mention considering that there're only 3 singles on the album , it's quite a task to get the other 8/12 songs to sound just as good if not even better than the singles counterparts but I can proudly say that both the singles & non singles on the album stands strong on firm grounds .

Stand out singles - Keep the faith , LIPS

Stand out non-released singles - Everything . The 4 tracks that're available on the limited edition deserves a worthy mention for that matter . SIX SENSES's super catchy it hurts ! Ai no Command can practically give Keep the faith & LIPS a hand for their $ , hard rock at its best !

2) ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

ayumi's 9th studio album (10th album overall) is a joy to listen . It presents 1 of her most darker & serious works to date .

Stand out singles - talkin' 2 myself , glitter , fated

Stand out non released singles - Marionette , untitled ~for her~ , Together When ... , (don't) Leave me alone , decision , GUILTY

3) Electrico - We Satellites

The band's 3rd album & their 1st as a quartet . It's a great listen from the beginning to the end & it showcases their new organic sound in the form of a more harder , darker , gritter alternative/indie touch to the songs on the album .

Stand out single - Save Our Souls

Stand out non released singles - Shadow , The Slaves And The Digits , Hail To The Friends

4) ARASHI - Dream"A"live

Dream"A"live's ARASHI's 8th album . It's a good record although on 1st listen , it's not as grabbing as their previous albums Time & ARASHIC but once I listened to Dream"A"live a few more times , it's an enjoyable 1 for that matter .

Stand out singles - Happiness , Step and Go

Stand out non released singles - Move your body , Do my best , My Answer , YOUR SONG , Once Again , Take me faraway (leader Ohno's solo which I personally think it's the best solo song on Dream"A"live coming from him)

5) ayaka - Sing to the Sky

A neat 2nd album coming from 1 of Japan's most talented singer/songwriter to date . The non singles weren't as strong as the ones found on her debut First Message but once you give more time to warm up to them , it grows on you .

Stand out singles - Te wo Tsunagou (Let's Hold Hands) / Ai wo Utaou (Let's Sing Love) , Okaeri (Welcome Home), WINDING ROAD with Kobukuro

Stand out non released singles - Good Night Baby , Kimi ga Iru Kara (Because I Have You) , Mahoutsukai no Shiwaza (The Magician's Deeds) , For today

6) Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

Even though I'm not as crazy over him as before , I still think FAKIN' POP is 1 of his best albums that he has put out despite the fact that almost 1/2 the album was released prior to the announcement of a full length album , his 1st since 2004's SENTIMENTALovers .

Stand out singles - POP STAR , Kimi no Suki na Toko (The Place You Like) , Elegy (Aika) , Canvas / Kimi wa Su.te.ki (You're Won.derful) , Bye My Melody

Stand out non released singles - Utsukushii Hito (Beautiful One) , Shashin (Photo)

7) Yuna Ito - WISH

A HUGE improvement from Yuna's debut album HEART considering that the non singles on her debut were weak & frankly kinda suck even though some of the non singles on WISH are quite bad & borderline on filler material . She should stop doing those dancey upbeat no.s , it's not doing good for her , period .

Stand out singles - Mahaloha With Def Tech's Micro , Anata ga Iru Kagiri ~A WORLD TO BELIEVE IN~ With Celine Dion , Urban Mermaid

Stand out non released singles - alone again , MY HEART WILL GO ON , Tokyo Days

8) Utada Hikaru - HEART STATION

Just like Ken Hirai's FAKIN' POP , almost 1/2 the album was released prior to the announcement of HEART STATION although I must say that it's a step up or 2 from her previous Japanese album ULTRA BLUE .

I'm still shocked & can't believe that sales of HEART STATION has overtaken ULTRA BLUE domestically in Japan considering that almost 1/2 the album was already released before that happened & HEART STATION's officially the highest selling female Japanese album for the year in Japan .

Stand out singles - HEART STATION / Stay Gold , Flavor Of Life -Ballad Version- (I respect & appericate this song now more than ever before since I watched Hana Yori Dango 2) , Prisoner Of Love , Beautiful World (I don't really dig the other A side Kiss & Cry as much as Beautiful World)

Stand out non released singles - Fight The Blues , Celebrate , Nijiiro Bus (Rainbow Coloured Bus)

9) Ashlee Simpson - Bittersweet World

Bittersweet World's Ashlee's most daring album to date musically . It's a big improvement from the pop/rock roots that she used to sport in Autobiography & I Am Me .

It's a fun record to listen to without taking yourself seriously for that matter .

Stand out singles - Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya) , Little Miss Obsessive Feat Plain White T's Tom Higgenson

Stand out non released singles - Boys , Rule Breaker , Murder Feat Izza Kizza , No Time For Tears , Hot Stuff , Ragdoll

10) Jesse McCartney - Departure

As the album title suggests , Jesse's 3rd album is a departure from the trademark bubblegum pop , pop/rock style he used to sport in his debut Beautiful Soul & 2nd album Right Where You Want Me .

He has traded in all that for a more grown up sound in the forms of dance beats & edgy 80's style as evident in Departure .

Stand out single - Leavin'

Stand out non released singles - It's Over , Make Up , My Baby , How Do You Sleep ? , Told You So , Rock You Feat Sean Garrett

11) Gavin DeGraw - Gavin DeGraw

Gavin's 2nd self titled album is an extremely entertaining & delightful album to listen to . It's a well worth wait considering that his debut album Chariot Stripped was released 4 years ago .

Stand out single - In Love With A Girl

Stand out non released singles - Next To Me (Wait A Minute Sister) , Cop Stop , I Have You To Thank , She Holds A Key (rumored to be the next single) , We Belong Together

Best Singles

1) ARASHI - One Love

This's so far 1 of my fave singles coming from the guys & not to mention for the year !

One Love - such a great upbeat wedding inspired song , you can't help but love it on 1st listen & I think it fits the whole Hana Yori Dango Final movie theme concept extremely well

How to fly - available only in the regular edition of One Love , How to fly's a very unusual B side , musically . It took me a while to get used to it but I adore it now .

FINAL Remix [WISH , Love so sweet & One Love] - available only in the limited edition of the single . For the first time in ARASHI's music discography , a song remix of all the three songs that were used in the 2 Hana Yori Dango dodramas & Hana Yori Dango Final movie was included .

It has been a very long time since I last enjoyed a remix & the FINAL Remix is just beautiful stringing together all 3 songs that were used in the Hana Yori Dango franchise . A fitting way to close off the 'trilogy' of sorts with a big bang .

2) ARASHI - truth / Kaze no Mukou e (Winds across)

Even though techincally truth / Kaze no Mukou e (Winds across) is not scheduled to be released til 20th of next month , I'm already liking this double A side despite the fact that I have not heard the full version of Kaze no Mukou e , seen the PVs for both songs , seen the singles covers & heard the B side Smile for that matter .

truth - 1 of the most unusual singles that ARASHI has put out in recent times in that it's probably their 1st official dark/sombre single since they have put out a string of singles that're upbeat/poppy/cheery for the past 9 years even though they have some serious/dark songs in their albums which they SHOULD have released like Cry for you in their Time album .

I think truth fits the whole theme of the suspense dodrama Maou extremely well in which Ohno plays the lead actor Naruse Ryo , a 2 faced lawyer .

Kaze no Mukou e - so far I have only heard a 2:20 mins preview but I'm liking this no. . It spells summer all over the place & is it's the theme song for the NTV Beijing Olympics .

Sakurap makes an appearance in here too yay !

3) ARASHI - Step and Go

I still find it hard to believe that back then when this single was released in Feb , I was so cheesed off that it slaughtered Ken Hirai's Canvas / Kimi wa Su.te.ki and Utada Hikaru's HEART STATION / Stay Gold .

I think it's quite ironic that I really enjoyed the whole Step and Go single now .

Step and Go - 1 of their most edgy & heavily synth songs to date , it's so catchy on 1st listen it hurts .

Fuyu wo Dakishimete (Give a tight hug to winter) - available only in the regular edition of the single , this's the song which probably propel the high 1st week sales of the single (the 1st week sales of Step and Go outsold their previous single Happiness in a week !) since the A side did not receive any major theme in .

Fuyu wo Dakishimete was used in the C1000 Lemon Water ad . On 1st listen , the song doesn't grab me but the more I listen to it , the more awesome the song sounds & it spells summer all over the place .

The melody is very breezy & dreamy & gotta love the saxophone !

4) Namie Amuro - 60s70s80s

Namie's 1st triple A side single & her 1st no.1 single in 10 years . All the songs on the single are amazing in its own right . All 3 songs were used in Vidal Sassoon hair shampoo & conditioners ads .

Despite the fact that all the songs uses samples from each era , it presents a fresh & unique concept & Namie's vocal touch to the songs make them sounds even better than before .

NEW LOOK - represents the 60s & the song samples The Supremes’ Baby Love . Quite an old school inspired song , I like !

ROCK STEADY - represents the 70s & it samples Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady . It's the most edgy song found on the single .

WHAT A FEELING - represents the 80s & it samples Irene Cara’s Flashdance … What a Feeling . This's probably the most catchy tune on 60s70s80s & I love the disco vibes going on in here .

5) YUI - SUMMER SONG

Her 13th single & 3rd no.1 single after My Generation / Understand and LOVE & TRUTH

SUMMER SONG - as the title suggests , it's a summer song & it's a very happy cheery pop/rock no. .

Oh My God - 1 of her more stronger B sides although I can't help but feel a bit short changed in that the song's under 3 mins . It probably will sound better & more complete if it's a bit longer .

Laugh away ~YUI Acoustic Version~ - great acoustic touch to 1 of my fave songs from her I LOVED YESTERDAY album . Just when I thought Laugh away can't get anymore better than this , the ~YUI Acoustic Version~ take on the song is just fabulous .

6) Anna Tsuchiya Feat AI - Crazy World

Crazy World - It's my fave collaboration for the year , hands down . This's 1 of Anna's most unique single that she has put out to date , 2nd behind BUBBLE TRIP .

It's a challenge to mix rock and R&B together but Crazy World thankfully didn't sound as messed up as it's . I love the song on 1st listen & rapper AI did a great job adding in her midas touch to a song that's already fantastic .

The melody easily switch from Rock to R&B in a flash & I love the short electric guitar solo going on in the middle of the tune .

What you gonna do ? - just like Anna's previous B sides , What you gonna do ? is sung fully in Eng & you can hear AI backing Anna up vocals wise in here .

What you gonna do ? is quite an unusual B side when I 1st heard it but it grows on me as time goes by .

7) Anna Tsuchiya - cocoon

cocoon - great rock song which's accompanied by an interesting video . Anna sure does look good even in dreadlocks .

u - 1 of Anna's most aggressive B sides to date which has shades of punk going on .

Guys - available only in the CD only edition of the single , Guys presents a more stripped down vibe coming from Anna . It's just Anna being backed up musically with an acoustic guitar . Simple but sweet to the point .

8) Tackey & Tsubasa - Koi Uta / PROGRESS

Koi Uta - 1 of my fave songs coming from the 2 T's & it's their 1st ballad that they have put out .

The melody's quite sad as you can tell but it's a great ballad coming from the guys .

PROGRESS - the mirror image of Koi Uta , PROGRESS sounds like previous upbeat tunes that they have put out before although I can't help but wonder if it's better to leave PROGRESS as a B side .

Best Songs

1) Tegomass - Aiaigasa (Sharing an Umbrella)

This's such a sweet charming song coming from the duo . It's hard not to fall in love with Aiaigasa .

2) GReeeeN - Kiseki (Miracle)

I'm predicting big times will befall this current IT JPop/rock quartet in due time especially since this song has done them wonders for their career after their breakthrough hit Ai Uta (Love Song)

3) Namie Amuro - Do Me More

the 1st track & 1st new song coming from Namie's upcoming BEST FICTION album , Do Me More's a guilty pleasure song to listen to & it's going to be used in the latest batch of Vidal Sassoon ads .

I have seen the promo shots for the Do Me More PV & 1 word = HOT

4) Namie Amuro - Sexy Girl

the last track & 2nd new song on the BEST FICTION album , Sexy Girl is a more edgy & gritter song than Do Me More .

It's still a great listen .

5) V6 - Chou (Butterfly)

I dig this Spanish influence no. coming from the guys .

6) KAT-TUN - LIPS

Described as "Hard Rock" by the sextet's unofficial leader Kame , this's really well hard rock at its best . The B side LOVE is to die for too .

7) KAT-TUN - DON'T U EVER STOP

This song's currently in the running for being the top selling single of Japan & it's easy to see why . DON'T U EVER STOP is fast paced & the melody's interesting & unusual .

Love the beatboxing provided by Nakamaru in the midst of the tune .

8) NEWS - Taiyou no Namida (Tears of the Sun)

The sextet's most serious song that they have released to date . I love the enka going on in the melody .

9) NEWS - SUMMER TIME

Funny that I didn't like SUMMER TIME when I 1st heard it . I really like it now & as the title suggests , it's a summer song . The B side EASY COME , EASY GO is really cool too .

10) ayaka - Meiro (Maze)

Meiro (Maze) is found as the B side of ayaka's 9th single Okaeri . This's 1 of the more edgy & unique sounding B sides that she has put out to date . It's a pity it didn't make the cut on Sing to the Sky , it should have been included !

11) Electrico - Everybody's Here

This's the last song to feature guitar works from former lead guitarist Daniel Sassoon who left the band in April this year .

I love the message behind Everybody's Here & it's great to find a song that everybody can easily relate to .

12) Electrico - Save Our Souls

The 1st lead in single taken from Electrico's We Satellites . I took it to the song immediately when I 1st heard it .

The more times I listened to it , the better the song seems to sound as each listen passes by .

13) T.M.Revolution - reasonance

it's great to have brand new T.M.R's material since it has been almost 3 years Takanori has put out a single under his T.M.R solo project .

Now I'm waiting for new material coming from abingdon boys school !

14) ayumi hamasaki - Mirrorcle World

1 word = masterpiece

The melody of the song's nothing like anything I have encountered & to transform Mirror to Mirrorcle World , it's really something . Hats off to ayumi for a great song .

Definitely 1 of her best tunes that she has put out to date .

15) YUI - Laugh away

The 1st track on her 3rd album I LOVED YESTERDAY , it's 1 of my fave YUI tunes coming from her alongside with other great ones like Rolling star , CHE.R.RY

16) Ken Hirai - Cry & Smile !!

The B side available in Ken's 28th Single - Canvas / Kimi wa Su.te.ki , Cry & Smile ! presents a more soulful , finger snapping & gospel side of Ken .

17) Hey ! Say ! JUMP - Your Seed

Your Seed's 1 1/2 of HSJ's 3rd / 1st double A side single Your Seed / Bouken Rider . This's 1 fantastic & catchy song with a bit of traditional chinese influence thrown in for good measure .

The erhu that's going on in the melody of Your Seed's stunning & gives the song the edge that it needed .

18) Aoyama Thelma - Soba ni Iru ne Feat SoulJa

Soba ni Iru ne is newcomer Aoyama Themla's 2nd single . This features rapper SoulJa & it's Aoyama's 1st no.1 single & her breakthough hit since her debut single ONE WAY's debut chart position was no.98 on the Oricon singles chart when it was released last year .

I love Soba ni Iru ne on 1st listen as it's an easy & pleasant R&B / Pop tune that goes easy on the ears & now I understand why this's currently the top selling single in Japan for the year .

19) Aoyama Themla - Nando mo

Nando mo is Aoyama's 3rd single after the release of Soba ni Iru ne . While it's not as musically strong or catchy as her debut single ONE WAY & Soba ni Iru ne on 1st listen , it's still a nice tune & it's perfect to listen to during the summer .

Worst Albums

1) Vanessa Hudgens - Identified

As a fan of Vanessa's debut album V , I was expecting better things when she released Identified but unfortunately all the tunes on the album on 1st listen are really bland & it seems like she has shifted her music focus to more dancey upbeats no.s which frankly doesn't work in my opinion .

The only saving grace's the 1st single from the record Sneakernight .

2) Koda Kumi - Kingdom

As much as I hate to say this but I personally think that Kingdom's not musically as strong as her last album Black Cherry which to me it's a great album .

There's just something about Kingdom that lacks the brilliance of Black Cherry & frankly some of the non singles on Kingdom are like they play 2nd fiddle to the singles which's a big shame .

Worst Singles

1) Koda Kumi - MOON

Just like FREAKY , I personally think that MOON's following in FREAKY's footsteps in that the main A side Moon Crying is not as strong as the other 3 B sides found on MOON with the exception of the terrible collaboration That Ain't Cool that Fergie came onboard to do with Koda .

& also I enjoyed the B sides Once Again & Lady Go ! more than Moon Crying & That Ain't Cool .

I think sales of MOON could have been better if not for the Moon Crying & That Ain't Cool PVs which frankly they could have been better especially That Ain't Cool which's NOT cool to begin with but considering that MOON is her 1st single to be released post scandal wise , it's not bad already I guess .

It's quite a shame to see 1 of my fave Jpop acts having a creative music slump of sorts at the moment . I just hope that she's able to weather this storm soon .

Either that or I put it down to that stupid scandal that she un-intentionally got herself into trouble for at the beginning of the year .

2) ai otsuka - Rocket Sneaker / One X Time

Not sure why Rocket Sneaker / One X Time did quite badly in terms of sales where it current sales tally's even less than her previous single Pocket & her debut Momo no Hanabira (Peach Petal) .

I put it down to lousy single covers & the boring low budget PV of Rocket Sneaker . Rocket Sneaker by right is supposed to be a fun song but I don't know why the PV dictates it otherwise .

otsuka should have made a PV for One X Time too , that might have stopped sales from getting sluggish for that matter .

Worst Songs

1) Shuuchishin - Shuuchishin (Shame) & Nakanaide (Don't Cry)

God knows why this Jpop trio's selling like crazy , sales wise where both their songs sound really dated & bland although I slightly prefer Nakanaide than their debut single but still this's bad .

Their debut single almost snatch the weekly top spot away from ayumi hamasaki's Mirrorcle World & their 2nd single Nakanaide almost did the same thing for ARASHI's One Love !

& their debut single of the same title has not left the top 20 Oricon singles chart since it was released on 9th April this year & sales of the single has clocked in at 415,852 copies & counting :O

Last I heard , they will be forming a new band with PABO & calling themselves erm Aladdin & that Aladdin will be putting out a new single titled Hi wa , Mata Noboru that will be released on 30th this month .

I only can wish them nothing but good luck for that matter !

2) TOHOSHINKI - LAST ANGEL -TOHOSHINKI ver.-

I really have nothing against korean boyband TOHOSHINKI since I like Lovin' you but still LAST ANGEL -TOHOSHINKI ver.- which's found on their 3rd Japanese album T is BAD BAD BAD !

I remembered I detest Koda Kumi's take on LAST ANGEL which features the TOHOSHINKI boys when I 1st heard it but after I heard the -TOHOSHINKI ver.- of LAST ANGEL , my perception on Koda's version has changed overnight .

& for the record , Koda should have been the 1 to get a solo take on LAST ANGEL & not the TOHOSHINKI boys .

3) Matsumoto Jun - Naked

Naked's found as a solo song in the disc 2 of ARASHI's Dream"A"live album & it's done solely by Matsumoto Jun .

When I 1st heard it I was creeped out by it & not to mention it's like the weakest/weirdest/strangest song on the Dream"A"live album . Also it doesn't help matters that dear 'ol MatsuJun doesn't have good vocals to carry the song .

Also there's not a head or tail to Naked on 1st listen . It doesn't help matters that with a song title like Naked , it kinda makes things even more complicated .

I guess the only good thing coming from this is that apparently when MatsuJun did Naked during their recently concluded ARASHI Marks 2008 Dream-A-Live tour , he was topless when he sang that so you know ... *grins*

Great Acts That I Discovered / Chanced Upon This Year

I chanced upon acts like ayumi hamasaki , Koda Kumi , Mika Nakashima , Yuna Ito , ayaka , abingdon boys school , OLIVIA , Anna Tsuchiya , otsuka ai last year so the next few artistes are who I came across this year .

1) ARASHI

I never thought that I have jumped aboard the ARASHI music bandwagon & then subsequently got Jun-baited along the way .

I used to have a negative perception of bands who're under Johnny Entertainment but ARASHI & a few other bands has changed all of that & they have earned my respect .

They have been around for 9 years & to be popular after being together for so long & to keep getting stronger from time to time , that's really something .

Also they have some great harmonies & melodies going on in their songs which's awesome & they proven to me that they're not just pretty boys & flash in a pan .

2) KAT-TUN

Curiousity got the better of me when I was hovering under the radar in wondering how come this sextet has smashed tons of records since their official debut in the scene 2 years ago despite the fact that they were formed way back in 2001 by KinKi Kids's Domoto Koichi in which the sextet worked as his backup dancers before moving on to singing and performing on their own .

Now I know why .

They have a niche factor going on as compared to the other JE bands in that they have 2 lead singers , a rapper & a beatboxer & I must say that they have done a great job infusing Rock and R&B extremely well together especially since I love KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES- to death .

& despite the image that they portrayed themselves to be being all moody/pissy onstage , they're actually very funny in real life . I have seen quite a few Eng subbed episodes of HEY ! HEY ! HEY ! episodes that they appeared on & they're just hilarious to boot .

3) NEWS

Another sextet under Johnny Entertainment . They have good melodies going on in their songs & it does help that they have a hunky dory leader in the form of Yamashita Tomohisa or affectionately known as Yamapi .

4) Tegomass

Consisting of NEWS's members Tegoshi Yuya & Masuda Takahisa , Tegomass (pronounced as Tegomasu by right) . The group's name comes from the start of each member's last names .

Tegomass was formed during the time when NEWS was suspended for a year due to the misdeeds caused by 2 of their former members .

I realised that in NEWS , Tegoshi & Masuda doesn't stand out as individuals but when you put 2 of them together , they're just too cute for words & their vocals compliment each other really well .

They have some weird/funny/silly song titles like their debut single Miso Soup but their latest release Aiaigasa (Sharing an Umbrella) is very charming & sweet .

5) Ken Hirai

I was obsessed & nuts over this guy for the past 6 months til recently when I discovered JE boybands .

I still like him in that his music's really unique & it's not the typical Jpop kinda fare that you will chance upon . It's a case of either you like it or you don't since Ken has a unique voice & he dabbed in R&B , Soul & Jazz .

Also he doesn't have that typical Japanese look going on in him which makes him quite unique for that matter .

& of course the long term speculations on whether is he gay or not which up to this date , he has refused to confirm or deny it , just like Clay Aiken .

6) Tackey & Tsubasa

Another duo under JE except their works are produced by Avex Trax .

They have some nice songs & their upbeat no.s are really good like Venus , Yume Monogatari (Account of a Dream) although I hope to see them releasing more ballads as singles in the near future as Koi Uta was really fantastic .

& of course personally to me , Tackey's downright a himbo haha . Like who else can draw a praying mantis that looks like an electric toothbrush haha !

7) GReeeeN

My younger sister commented that the music style of this current IT JPop/Rock quartet is like Aqua Timez .

While I can't comment that , I'm going to follow this quartet's music from now on ever since I got charmed by Kiseki (Miracle) & their breakthrough hit Ai Uta (Love Song)

8) Kobukuro

I never thought folk music could have sounded this good when I chanced upon this folk rock duo which 1st caught my attention when they did WINDING ROAD with ayaka .

I listened from their 11th single Koko ni Shika Sakanai Hana (The Flower Which Only Blooms Here) onwards which was their breakthrough hit & I must say that both guys Kobuchi & Kuroda (hence the duo name Kobukuro) have some great melodies & songs going on in their music & both their voices compliment each other really well .

Although their singles tend to be very long stretching sometimes on the 6 min side , I'm not complaining .

From the soaring uplifting Kimi to Iu Nano Tsubasa (Wings that are named you) to the amazing ballad Tsubomi (Flower Bud) & Sakura , there's something for everyone .

I look forward to their 2nd collaborative single with ayaka which's titled Anata to (With You) which's incidentally will be their 1st single released for the year since they have not put out anything new since Aoku Yasashiku (Bluer , Kindly) which was released last Nov !

9) YUI

My younger sister's a die hard/hardcore fan of this talented girl & it's easy to see why .

Some of YUI's songs are really good & catchy although I can tell when you compare her alongside with ayaka , her vocals kinda overshadowed by the latter but still I think both ladies are extremely talented in her own right .

10) T.M.Revolution

I have heard a few songs coming from T.M.Revolution before as he contributed songs to popular animes like Gundam Seed but it's just that at that time I didn't know who he was . It was only until I chanced upon abingdon boys school which led me to give his solo works a shot in which I'm glad that I did .

I usually don't fancy those trance/techo no.s to begin with but T.M.R's an exception .

11) Hey ! Say ! JUMP

This 10 piece member band hails from Johnny Entertainment . HSJ's a very young band with the average age of the group is 15 with the youngest member being 13 & the oldest 18 .

I was initally skeptical to give their music a shot especially when I found out how young they're but after I heard their latest single Your Seed , I was pleasantly surprised with how mature they sounded in Your Seed as compared to their 1st 2 singles Ultra Music Power & Dreams come true .

They have a lot of potential brewing in them & I predict pretty good things that will be showered upon this group in time to come .

12) Aoyama Thelma

My friend got hooked onto Anna Tsuchiya's music no thanks to me & in return of a favor to him of sorts , I decided to give newcomer Aoyama Thelma's music a shot & even before that happened , I have already heard quite a fair bit about her as her 2nd single Soba ni Iru ne feat rapper SoulJa is currently in the running for the top selling single in Japan .

I like what I'm having from this newcomer who debuted just last year on the scene & her style of R&B / Pop is not bad really .

Soba ni Iru ne was the 1st single I heard of her & I also adore her debut single ONE WAY too .

I think she can go pretty far if she keeps up .




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 New JPop/JRock Releases


# Hilcrhyme's 23rd single Jijitsu Ai Feat HY's Nakasone Izumi , 280819 , Wed

# SID's 6th album Shonin Yokkyu , 040919 , Wed

# BREAKERZ's 20th single Yamiyo ni Mau Aoi Tori , 040919 , Wed

# ayumi hamasaki's ayumi hamasaki 21st anniversary -POWER of A^3- DVD + Blu-ray , 040919 , Wed

# ARASHI's 57th single BRAVE , 110919 , Wed

# NEWS's NEWS 15th Anniversary LIVE 2018 "Strawberry" DVD + Blu-ray , 110919 , Wed

# GLAY's 15th album NO DEMOCRACY , 021019 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme's 2nd remake album MOON ~Remake Best 2~ , 091019 , Wed

# 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

# 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

# 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