Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Koda Kumi - show girl & Driving
show girl & Driving are track #3 & #7 respectively taken from Koda Kumi's upcoming 7th album TRICK in which show girl will be receiving a music video of its own alongside with another album track on TRICK titled JUST THE WAY YOU ARE .
Recently radio rips of both songs have surfaced on the net which were both taken from Koda's radio show OH MY RADIO ! & as such here I'm to review both songs respectively .
I like the opening of show girl as it has a circus influence/spin to the melody & after that's outta the way , it oddly sounded a bit like Christina Aguilera's Ain't No Other Man , well the bridges of show girl that's with a bit of Kylie Minogue's 2 Hearts being thrown in a bit too .
But other than that , show girl's a very nice/infectious song that gets better as each listen goes by & it's overall a pretty cool R&B infused no. .
In the case of Driving which's #7 in TRICK , it kinda reminded me of a distinct cousin of TABOO as the melodies for both songs are very infectious/catchy on 1st listen & I get lured into Driving as soon as the song kicks in .
Not to mention I also like the synth that's going on in Driving which's great .
Judging from these 2 songs , I can feel that Koda's taking a slightly different music approach with regards to TRICK . If that's so , then I have a feeling that TRICK is going to be 1 heck of an great album , if not probably even better than Kingdom .
Fingers crossed on this .
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
CD Review :: YUI - I LOVED YESTERDAY
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
1) Laugh away
2) My Generation
3) Find me
4) No way
5) Namidairo (Tears)
7) Love is all
8) I will love you
9) We will go
10) OH YEAH
11) My friend
12) LOVE & TRUTH
13) Am I wrong ?
I LOVED YESTERDAY is YUI's 3rd studio album offering . It was released on 9th April this year & it includes 3 singles excluding of Understand which's the 2nd A-side of her 9th single My Generation / Understand .
Understand was eventually included as track 12 in YUI's 1st B-side compilation album MY SHORT STORIES .
Laugh away is the 1st track to kick things off & it's no doubt the best album track in I LOVED YESTERDAY . It's also the only non single to receive a music video of its own & it so deserved it for sure . The guitar hooks are extremely catchy & I like that YUI sounds very upbeat/positive .
My Generation is the 1st A-side song of YUI's 9th single . Her 9th single is also so far her 1st double A-side single release as well . There's nothing extra to say about My Generation other than the fact that it's classic YUI . Incidentally My Generation / Understand is also her very 1st single that shot straight to #1 on the Oricon singles chart .
Find me flows really well after My Generation although I must admit that it took me quite a while to remember how does this album track sounds . It was a bit unmemorable for my liking but now it's good to go for me .
No way is the shortest track in I LOVED YESTERDAY at 1:17 mins . Just like RUIDO in CAN'T BUY MY LOVE , I really like No way & like what I said before , I feel both tracks should have been extended by a few mins or so as I feel RUIDO & No way have great potential to sound rocking as full length tracks .
Unlike RUIDO , YUI incorporated a much heavier hard rock edge in the melody for No way which's great .
Namidairo (Tears) is YUI's 11th single & frankly the sound transition from No way to Namidairo is not there as from a rock song , in comes a rather depressing mid tempo guitar driven ballad .
Having said that , I really like Namidairo as there's something sincere in the way that YUI delivered in this no. .
Daydreamer is what I'm talking about & YUI should have slotted in Daydreamer after No way as both are really heavier & more edgier rock songs . The reason on why I say Daydreamer is 1 of my fave album tracks in I LOVED YESTERDAY as I like the way the melody of the song's being delivered & it's really kicking .
The song can probably be classified in the same music vein as her 8th single , the extremely rocking & very catchy/infectious tune Rolling star .
Love is all took me quite a while to remember how it sounds in which I had the same problem with Find me as well as the music bridge & etc wasn't as strong as I hope it will be but after a few listens , I don't have any problems with this pretty cool mid tempo guitar driven song .
I will love you is probably 1 of the few ballads in I LOVED YESTERDAY & just as the song title suggests , it's a very earnest no. that YUI delivers . Music wise , it's more simplified than her other album tracks . Definitely 1 of my fave songs on the album .
We will go has a really upbeat catchy guitar & drums hook . I find the song a bit shaky initially as it took me quite sometime to remember how the song sounds but after that's out of the way , I have no problems recalling how this feisty no. sounds like now .
OH YEAH is another classic YUI song in which she shows that she has a flair for creating infectious/catchy guitar pop driven no.s & this song's no exception . I definitely love this song on 1st listen & she probably likes the song a lot , so much so that she also released a ~YUI Acoustic Version~ of the song as a digital download in which I have to say both the original & the acoustic version are great tunes .
My friend is probably the only album track which has a piano driven no. & it's also the 2nd ballad of sorts after I will love you . I just like how this song sounds , YUI sounds very calm & lifted while singing My friend . She has pretty good control in her vocals in this no. .
LOVE & TRUTH is YUI's 10th single & it's her 2nd #1 single after My Generation / Understand . The song was used to promote the Japanese movie Closed Note which stars Erika Sawajiri .
This's probably so far the most dramatic & depressing ballad that she has put out to date in her career . Despite this , I just like how epic sounding like she sounds in LOVE & TRUTH . She pour out a lot of feelings into delivering this powerful orchestra like tune which frankly blows me away on 1st listen .
I guess you can say that this's also so far 1 of her most experimental tunes that she has put out to date in her music career too which frankly to me works really well in her favor .
Am I wrong ? is the final track before wrapping things up in I LOVED YESTERDAY . I didn't like Am I wrong ? at 1st because I find it quite on the filler side as I must admit it doesn't sound as good as what I have hope for but it's a decent song to conclude things .
I LOVED YESTERDAY is YUI's most mature sounding album to date although frankly the album tracks were not as strong & didn't had much of an impact/identity as what I have hoped for as her previous album CAN'T BUY MY LOVE managed to accomplish this feat .
It took me quite a very long time to remember how each of the album tracks in I LOVED YESTERDAY sounds like as some of them tend to sound the same as each other & I also had problems with the sound transition/consistency in the album , something that I didn't had any problems with her 1st 2 albums .
Other than that , the singles that made the cut in the album are great & also the more prominent album tracks in I LOVED YESTERDAY sounds even better as each listen goes by & the ones that don't began to form an identity of their own after I gave I LOVED YESTERDAY extensive listens over & over again .
I do hope to see YUI back with new material after she returns back from a well deserved hiatus real soon .
Monday, December 29, 2008
alan - Chi Bi (赤壁 ; RED CLIFF) ~Da Jiang Dong Qu~ (~大江东去~ ; ~The Great River Surges East~) [OST RED CLIFF II]
Chi Bi (赤壁 ; RED CLIFF) ~Da Jiang Dong Qu~ (~大江东去~ ; ~The Great River Surges East~) is a new Chinese song sung by alan & Chi Bi ~Da Jiang Dong Qu~ will served as the theme song to the sequel to the John Woo directed movie RED CLIFF II .
alan has also sung the theme song for the 1st instalment of the movie , titled Xin·Zhan ~RED CLIFF~ .
Like her 6th Japanese single RED CLIFF ~Shin·Sen~ , you will expect a Japanese take of Chi Bi ~Da Jiang Dong Qu~ & the Japanese title of the song's Kuon no Kawa which's said to be released as a Japanese single in due time .
Just when I thought alan wasn't able to top things up with the Chinese & Japanese versions of Xin·Zhan ~RED CLIFF~ & RED CLIFF ~Shin·Sen~ respectively , in comes another mind blowing ballad .
Chi Bi ~Da Jiang Dong Qu~ sounds very epic & mind blowing & frankly I couldn't recognise it was alan on 1st listen as she sounded a bit different from usual in this no. but it's a great song , no doubt about it .
I look forward to hear the Japanese take of Chi Bi ~Da Jiang Dong Qu~ ie. Kuon no Kawa in due time .
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
CD Review :: YUI - CAN'T BUY MY LOVE
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
1) How crazy
2) Rolling star
3) It's all right
4) I remember you
7) Thank you My teens
9) Highway chance
10) Happy Birthday to you you
11) Winding road
12) Good-bye days
13) Why ?
CAN'T BUY MY LOVE is YUI's 2nd studio album offering . This was released last year on April 4th .
The album consists of 4 singles prior to the release of CAN'T BUY MY LOVE & so far this's her most successful album to date , in terms of sales & chart positions . This album became her 1st #1 album & became the 8th most sold album of 2007 .
Not to mention , the 1st week sales of CAN'T BUY MY LOVE outsold the total sales in which what her debut album FROM ME TO YOU sold overall which's impressive .
How crazy is the 1st track to kick things off & this's a really catchy pop/rock YUI offering . I just like how angsty driven the song's & not to mention it has some serious bite .
The sound transition from How crazy to Rolling star is there as both songs are on the angsty rock side . Rolling star is actually the very 1st YUI song that I heard of prim & proper & this's her 7th single . This song was used as the 5th opening theme for the anime Bleach & it's the 2nd time her song was used to promote Bleach , the 1st being her 4th single LIFE which was Bleach's 5th ending theme .
So far this's the only YUI single that she incorporated a much harder rock sound than before as prior to that , her music lean towards more acoustic guitar pop/rock but subsequent from her 2nd album onwards , she shifted gears towards a more heavier & somewhat grunge rock in her music .
Rolling star's 1 of my fave singles of YUI as I really adore the harder rock approach that she used in this no. . Too bad it's short clocking in over 3 mins as it wlll be great if she were to extend it by a few more secs or so .
It's all right has a more acoustic guitar pop/rock & I just like how carefree this song sounds & it's basically a really pretty no. & with such a song , no complaints should be flied at all .
I remember you is YUI's 6th single & it's 1 of those ballads that you have bittersweet feelings when hearing it as it's 1 of her more sadder ballads that she has released so far in her career .
RUIDO is the only short track/interlude in CAN'T BUY MY LOVE . I think she should have extended it by a few mins or so as I think it really has the potential to sound great as a full length track . It has great guitar hooks & it's kinda Spanish influence as well which's cool .
CHE.R.RY is YUI's 9th single & it's also 1 of my fave songs of her . So far this's the only single that she has released which is cheery/carefree sounding & that it has a more poppier sound as compared to her other single releases . Not to mention the song's cute , be it audio or video wise .
Thank you My teens is also another great album track & it's also incidentally the same name as her 1st DVD release too . I guess the song pays homage to her fans & friends for all the support/encouragement that they gave to YUI while she went onto pursuing her music career . The only grouse about the song was that it's too short clocking in less than 3 mins . It will be nicer if she can extend the song by a few secs or so but other than that , Thank you My teens is a keeper .
Umbrella has some old fashioned guitar hooks going on in the song which's quite a weird way for YUI to undertake . It sounds odd but somehow I like this song & the way the song sounds , despite the mellow old fashioned guitar hooks , it somehow works in her favor .
Highway chance has a more angsty/slightly harder rock edge to it in which I believe YUI sounds great while belting out such angsty no.s just like in evident in her other angsty hits like Rolling star .
Happy Birthday to you you follows in the same vein as CHE.R.RY in that both songs are in the happy/cheery mood & even if you never hear the song , it's kinda no surprises that the song is all about well birthdays & that YUI's singing Happy Birthday to you (you) . This's another song that I adore too as it allowed to show a different side of YUI & that she can write/compose cheery/upbeat songs just as well as her angsty/rock driven no.s .
Winding road was a bit un-memorable for my liking because the introduction was kinda slow & it took me quite a while to warm up to the track but after that's outta the way , Winding road is yet another good YUI song which borderlines on the mellow guitar pop/rock side .
Good-bye days is the final single to be included in CAN'T BUY MY LOVE & it's her 5th single . When this single was released , it was credited as "YUI for Amane Kaoru" because the song was used as the main theme song for the movie Midnight Sun in which Yui plays the lead role Kaoru Amane .
Alongside with LIFE & Rolling star , Good-bye days really strengthen her popularity as so far this's her best selling single despite the fact that it wasn't able to attain #1 status on the Oricon singles chart .
Why ? is the last track to conclude CAN'T BUY MY LOVE & it's a mellow driven guitar no. & there's just something captivating about the melody pertaining to Why ? which intrigued me for quite a fair bit .
The fact that draws me to CAN'T BUY MY LOVE is that excluding the singles which're great , I like the fact that all the album tracks have an unique identity of their own & that they were able to sound different from each other & that as each listen goes by , the album tracks began to sound even better than before .
You can definitely hear/see the growth/maturity that YUI has undertaken from FROM ME TO YOU & to CAN'T BUY MY LOVE . No wonder fans (inclusive of my younger sister who's a diehard YUI fan) have spoken in that they believe CAN'T BUY MY LOVE is her best studio offering that she has put out to date in her music career .
CD Review :: BREAKERZ - BREAKERZ
1) WAKE UP MY SOUL
3) THE TRAIN'S GONE ...
5) Re : born
6) Miss you
7) Nights a Brighter
8) Let ecstasy be ours
9) REAL LOVE
10) I feel ...
11) Kamisori (Razor)
13) Drive the Ocean
BREAKERZ's the debut self titled album of the JRock trio . This was released last year on 25th July & it didn't charted on the Oricon album chart .
No singles were released in physical format . Instead , THE TRAIN'S GONE ... / JOKER & WAKE UP MY SOUL / Re : born were released as iTunes singles prior to the release of their debut self titled album . THE TRAIN'S GONE & WAKE UP MY SOUL received music videos of their own even though they were not released as singles .
WAKE UP MY SOUL is the 1st song to receive a music video of its own in the album . Not to mention it's the 1st a-side of their 2nd iTunes single & I wasn't surprised when they decided to make a music video for this song as it's a really catchy upbeat rock song which's classic BREAKERZ . I just like the way how the guitar riffs were going on in this no. which's great .
BIRDMAN has the title of a weird song . Thankfully the song's pretty good . The way the melody's being brought together with DAIGO's vocals are in synth & blended pretty well together which's good .
THE TRAIN's GONE ... is the 1st a-side of their 1st iTunes single & the 2nd song to receive a music video of its own . I like this song as it's a mellow mid tempo guitar driven no. which's a perfect contrast to JOKER .
JOKER is the 2nd a-side of the trio's 1st iTunes single & I just like how catchy this song's . It's typical rock stuff that BREAKERZ delivers with ease . Too bad it didn't received a music video of its own . I think it should have .
Re : born is the 2nd a-side of BREAKERZ's 2nd iTunes single & I must admit it took me quite a while to appericate Re : born because DAIGO sounded a pitch or two lower than his usual self . But once I look past this glitch , I begin to enjoy Re : born , just as much as I enjoy WAKE UP MY SOUL .
Miss you is 1 of my fave songs on the album simply because it's a really nice mid tempo guitar driven no. which's perfect if you don't like to listen to the trio's heavier rock edge songs .
Nights a Brighter is also another fave song of mine despite the weird song title as I like the fact that it sounds catchy in its own right & not to mention the guitar hooks are really attentiong grabbing as well .
Let ecstasy be ours is the shortest track on the album & also it's the only full English song as well . I had quite a lot of trouble understanding DAIGO's Eng dictation so much so that I had to go & refer to the lyrics sleeve to see what he's singing about .
Despite the language barrier that crippled Let ecstasy be ours , I still like this no. although I have to give credit for delivering a full Eng no. as it's a challenge to do so especially since Eng's not his 1st language .
REAL LOVE is another straight up rock infused no. that BREAKERZ delivered . Frankly there's nothing outstanding about REAL LOVE so I leave it as it's . However in the case for I feel ... , it's different as it's more catchy & at least it had something different it has to offer unlike REAL LOVE .
Not to mention I like how uplifting/soaring I feel ... it sounds as well .
Kamisori (Razor) however , I only find it as yet another staple fare that BREAKERZ will come up with & just like REAL LOVE , it's also nothing fantastic to shout about as well & not to mention it's a tad short clocking in a little bit over 3 mins .
Neo-breaker just like its other uplifting rock songs counterparts , followed in the same suit as in this music style while the final track Drive the Ocean flows in really well as the sound transition from Neo-breaker to Drive the Ocean is there .
I think it's quite a neat way to close off the album with Drive the Ocean as as the song title suggests , it's probably those type of songs that you will be hearing while you're driving near the ocean & etc .
BREAKERZ's self titled debut album has its fair shares of pros & cons . Considering the fact that no physical singles were released from their 1st album , it was quite a task for me to listen especially since some of the songs tend to sound simliar & that it tend to sound samey from time to time .
But time goes by , the songs that already sounds great tend to sound better as each listen goes by & also for those tracks that didn't grab me on 1st attention , they slowly became to form an identity of their own .
CD Review :: GIRL NEXT DOOR - GIRL NEXT DOOR
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
CD+DVD Cover (Recochoku's special cover)
CD + 2 DVDs Cover (mu-mo's special cover)
CD + 2 DVDs Cover (TSUTAYA RECORDS's special cover)
1) Winter Game
2) Drive away
3) Power of love
4) Shiawase no Jouken (The Condition Of The Happiness)
5) WINTER MIRAGE
6) Jounetsu no Daishou (The Compensation Of The Passion)
7) Fine after rain
9) Day's ...
10) ESCAPE (Album Edit)
11) Winter Garden
12) Climber's high
13) NEXT DOOR
14) Guuzen no Kakuritsu [Accidental Probability] (Album Edit)
GIRL NEXT DOOR is the debut self titled debut album of the jpop/rock trio & it's released officially today .
All of the trio's singles & a B-side are included in their 1st album inclusive of 2 double a-side singles in which 2 songs received album edited versions & there're 2 interludes included in GIRL NEXT DOOR which leaves out a total of 6 album tracks in their new album .
For the first time in the world of music , all the songs included in this album are tie-up to the media such as drama series , television shows , or commercials & that goes for the 2 interludes you can find in the album too which's pretty something .
The only album track to receive a music video of its own is also incidentally the 1st song on the album to kick things off in the form of Winter Garden . Initially I didn't like the song as I didn't find it as kicking or memorable as I thought it will be but as time goes by , I like it now .
Drive away is the 1st A-side of the trio's 2nd single . I still like this song as it sounds really upbeat & polished & I like the dash of synth being thrown in for good measures .
Power of love is 1 of the most interesting songs in the album simply because it has an oriental / enka touch to it which already makes itself stand out from the masses . Lead vocalist Chisa's vocals are more or less in fine form in this song & it's a really neat package altogether .
Shiawase no Jouken (The Condition Of The Happiness) is the 2nd A-side of their 2nd single & even up to now , I still don't really like this song as I find it a bit weak as compared to the other A-side singles that they have released so far since Sept this year . You can definitely tell that Shiawase no Jouken is overshadowed by Drive away slightly but still it doesn't hurt to enjoy this no. .
WINTER MIRAGE is the longest track on the album , clocking in at a whopping 6:26 mins ! . Even so , this's probably 1 of my fave album tracks as it's such a nice ballad . The music is quite sad which I believe fits the whole theme of WINTER MIRAGE perfectly .
Jounetsu no Daishou (The Compensation Of The Passion) is the 1st A-side of GND's 3rd single & even up to now , I still like this song . It's somewhat borderline on the angsty side which's a nice change for the trio in terms of musical direction .
Fine after rain is the 3rd album track & I find this to be pretty catchy although frankly it's nothing outstanding in my books & not to mention it just ended abruptly without telling but the melody is really nice & scored brownie points .
Breath is the only B-side which made the cut in GND's debut album . Breath was 1st found as the 1st B-side in the trio's debut single Guuzen no Kakuritsu & naturally for me I was thrilled when Breath made a 2nd appearance in the album simply because it's 1 of my fave b-sides of the trio . I still like Breath even up to now & it's great that GND decided to include it a 2nd time as it's still nice to hear Breath despite many listens .
Day's ... is the 1st interlude in the album & for an interlude , it's sure long at 2:17 mins . It basically constitutes mash up versions of their 1st 3 singles in instrumental format which's pretty cool .
ESCAPE is the 2nd A-side of GND's 3rd single & it's also the 1st song to receive an album edit version & I suppose it's fitting because from Day's ... to ESCAPE , it flows in really well & the sound transition is there . There's no much change to the melody of ESCAPE though .
I still feel that ESCAPE's a very interesting song as it basically sounds like a mix mash of their 1st 3 singles Guuzen no Kakuritsu , Drive away & Jounetsu no Daishou . If you listened to ESCAPE , the opening sounds like Jounetsu no Daishou , the verses will remind you of Guuzen no Kakuritsu while the chorus's kinda similar to Drive away .
Winter Garden is a very Christmas inspired song & you can't help but feel really happy / uplifted when you hear this song . This's also another fave song of mine in their new album & it just makes me real excited for Christmas to arrive in style even though technically I don't celebrate it .
Climber's high is the final album track & it's another classic song that GND has delivered . Initially it started out mellow but then slowly but surely it lashed out at full swing which's really admirable . It sounded a bit angsty as well but that I really don't mind at all .
NEXT DOOR is the last interlude on the album & if you have been following the trio's music career since they made their debut in Sept this year , you would have immediately recognised the tune which's basically an extended introduction version of what you might heard in the MUSIC VIDEO - SPECIAL VERSION of their debut single Guuzen no Kakuritsu (Accidental Probability) & needless to say I never get failed to get blown away with this interlude no. no matter how many times I listened to it .
I should note that NEXT DOOR is also the title of their fanclub as well which opened just recently on Mon .
Guuzen no Kakuritsu is the final track to wrap things up & it's also the 2nd song to receive an album edit in a nod to make the sound consistency of NEXT DOOR to Guuzen no Kakuritsu flow . I think it's the perfect way to conclude simply because it's the trio's debut single & outta the 3 singles that GND has released , I still think this single's the best no. that they have put out to date .
I didn't know what to expect at all when I gave GND's self titled debut album a listen but I must say that it has more or less exceeded my expectations . All the singles that were included are great & not to mention the album tracks were able to sound just as great as its singles counterparts , if not even better than the singles themselves .
What a great way to end off 2008 with this pretty neat album from this really talented trio & I can't wait for them to release even more material when 2009 rolls by .
CD Review :: GReeeeN - A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu
CD Only Cover :
1st CD + DVD Cover :
2nd CD + DVD Cover :
Reissue Cover :
1) SUN SHINE !!!
2) Mata ne. (See You Again.)
3) Kiseki (Miracle)
4) Kimi Omoi (Your Feeling)
5) Hito (Human)
6) Sayonara Kara Hajimeyou (Let's Start With A Goodbye)
7) Chikyuu-gou (Earth Number)
8) Tabidachi (Journey)
9) no more war
10) BE FREE
11) Boyonka Boyoyonka ~Yukai na Otona-tachi~ (~Adults Cheerful~) Feat 2BACKKA & UNITEBUS
12) Namidazora (Sky Of Tears)
13) Yozora no Kiseki (Night Sky Miracle) ~Orgel version~ (CD + DVD Track)
A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu is GReeeeN's 2nd album & it was released on 25th June this year .
4 singles inclusive of their 1st double a-side are included in A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu & the album was even more successful than their debut album A , Domo. Hajimemashite , be it in sales & chart positions as A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu debuted at #1 giving GReeeeN their 1st #1 album & A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu became the 10th most sold album of the year .
I adore the opening track SUN SHINE !!! & as the title suggests , it's a very uplifting catchy song & I say it's a perfect way to kick things off . It has a very summer approach as well too . The rapping that the guys gave added a nice edge to SUN SHINE !!! I should say .
Just like SUN SHINE !!! , Mata ne. (See You Again.) is also another cheery upbeat song that GReeeeN has delivered but the difference between both songs is that there's no rap going on in Mata ne. . Not to mention the melody for the song's much stronger than SUN SHINE !!! .
Well enough has been said about the quartet's best selling / 7th single Kiseki . The song was used as the theme song for the dodrama Rookies & I cannot stress just how fantastic the song's & it definitely deserves to be the group's 1st #1 single & also becoming the 4th most sold single of 2008 as well .
I 1st came across Kimi Omoi (Your Feeling) in their 8th single Tobira which's why I'm still baffled as to why Kimi Omoi was included in Tobira where it's already found in their 2nd album . But in anycase , I like this song so it doesn't matter so much to me at all .
Hito (Human) is the quartet's 4th single & last single release of 2007 . Hito presents a slightly more harder rock edge to their music . It serves them well even though frankly this's not my fave single coming from GReeeeN .
Sayonara Kara Hajimeyou (Let's Start With A Goodbye) is probably 1 of my fave album tracks in A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu . I just like how different & somewhat enka inspired Sayonara Kara Hajimeyou sounds & the guys even thrown in a bit of rapping here & there in this mid tempo song . It's quite a bold move to go for but this strange combination somehow works in their favor .
The starting of Chikyuu-gou (Earth Number) was a bit un-memorable for my liking but at least the song began to pick up the pace after you listen pass the introduction . Just like SUN SHINE !!! , Chikyuu-gou has a somewhat summer feeling to the song as it sounds really peppy & upbeat .
Tabidachi (Journey) is GReeeeN's 6th single & CDJapan describes the song as "the perfect track for the Japanese graduation season" which I believe that's so . Not to mention it's another fave GReeeeN singles of mine . I just like how positive & catchy Tabidachi sounds .
no more war is 1 of those songs that just stick out like a sore thumb in an album . The reason why I said so is because I didn't really know what to expect when this song was played after Tabidachi . Having said that , I will keep a note on no more war as the song title itself is interesting & I like the music arrangement going on in here as well .
BE FREE is the 1st A-side of their 5th single . I really like BE FREE the very 1st time I heard it & I still believe it's a much stronger A-side than its other A-side counterpart Namidazora in which I feel is kinda overshadowed by BE FREE .
Boyonka Boyoyonka ~Yukai na Otona-tachi~ (~Adults Cheerful~) is the only track featuring the guest vocalists of 2BACKKA & UNITEBUS . Boyonka Boyoyonka ~Yukai na Otona-tachi~ is a crazy & guilt free song & it kinda reminded me of their other party influenced songs like HIGH G.K. LOW ~Hajikero~ , Party People & Raggae Raggae .
Namidazora (Sky Of Tears) is the 2nd A-side of their 5th single . I don't know why but initally I had a lot of dislike towards Namidazora as I find it quite boring & too slow for my liking . But as time goes by after I discovered/listened to the rest of the band's music discography , I began to show a new form of respect towards Namidazora .
Only available in the CD + DVD edition of A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu , it's Yozora no Kiseki (Night Sky Miracle) ~Orgel version~ which's basically an orgel version of their hit Kiseki .
In case you're not sure how does the Orgel version of Yozora no Kiseki sounds like , just think of the music that will be playing when you open up a musical box & I think it's a perfect way to wrap things up with an orgel version of the quartet's biggest hit to date .
A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu definitely has suppressed my expectations of GReeeeN . Compared to A , Domo. Hajimemashite , A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu offers a much more extensive music catalog & the album tracks are more slicker & polished as compared to the tracks you can find in their debut album .
I generally enjoyed A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu a lot more than their debut album & not to mention , the singles that made the cut in their 2nd album are fantastic . 2008 has been a great year for GReeeeN & I hope they can continue to deliver the goods in the new year in time to come .
Monday, December 22, 2008
CD Review :: YUI - FROM ME TO YOU
1) Merry . Go . Round
2) feel my soul
3) Ready to Love
4) Swing of lie
6) Blue wind
7) I can't say
8) Simply white
9) Just my way
10) Tomorrow's way
11) I know
13) Spiral & Escape
FROM ME TO YOU is the debut album released by YUI . Her 1st album was released 2 years on Feb 22nd & her 1st 4 major label singles are included in this release .
As such you will not find her 1st indie single it's happy line in FROM ME TO YOU but the song eventually was included in her 1st B-side compilation album MY SHORT STORIRES as track 14 .
The album start things off with a really peppy no. titled Merry . Go . Round & I think it's a pretty good song to kick off FROM ME TO YOU & this pop/rock no. is also catchy in its own right .
This followed by YUI's 1st debut single release on a major record label which's feel my soul . The song was used as the opening theme no. to the J-Drama Fukigen na Gene .
The next 2 songs are album tracks in which are some of my fave songs on YUI's debut album . I like how somewhat angsty driven Ready to love is & the same thing also goes for Swing of lie but compared to Ready to love , Swing of lie incorporates a much harder rock sound edge to it .
Track 5 is YUI's 3rd single LIFE & the song was used as the 5th ending theme song for the anime Bleach & this's the song which kinda helped YUI to gain some international fame outside of Japan alongside with her future 7th single Rolling star which was Bleach's 5th opening theme .
In anycase , LIFE's 1 of my fave YUI singles & I just like what carefree/poppy the song sounds & it was backed up by a rather interesting & creative music video too .
Just like LIFE , Blue wind is also another carefree/laid back song . I like that Blue wind is a mid tempo guitar driven song & it's something that I don't mind to listen to when you simply just want to kick back & relax .
I find the melody of I can't say intriguing in that it's 1 of the more prominent & distinguished songs in FROM ME TO YOU . YUI managed to make I can't say sounds different as compared to the other angsty driven songs on her 1st album which's great .
In the case for Simply white , it took me a while to get used to how it sounds because it sounded a bit dated for my liking but no doubt it's unique in its own right .
Sounding like a distinct cousin is Just my way . I can't help but compare both songs side by side together because they tend to sound a bit similar to each other but it doesn't mean it's a bad thing as in actual fact Just my way's 1 of my fave songs on the album .
Another fave YUI single of mine is track 10 Tomorrow's way which's her 2nd single release after feel my soul . A while ago , my younger sister used it as her handphone ringtone & it's easy to see why she choose to do that . I like the melody of the song & not to mention it's a nice mid tempo guitar driven ballad as well .
A heavy guitar based driven song is up next in the form of I know . YUI doesn't sound angsty but rather she sounds pretty much at ease in this no. & her vocals are ain't 1/2 bad in this somewhat mellow driven no. .
The 2nd last track on the album is also incidentally the final single included in FROM ME TO YOU which's TOKYO . TOKYO's her 4th single & the song recounts her feelings as she left her hometown of Fukuoka to go to Tokyo in a bid way to pursue her music dreams . It's 1 of those songs that you have a nostalgic feeling upon hearing & it's probably 1 of YUI's most personal songs that she has released to date as well .
The final track to close off the album is the somewhat dreamy Spiral & Escape . Unlike the rest of the album tracks on FROM ME TO YOU , the melody & hook pertaining to Spiral & Escape is pretty unique in its own right . I like this song as I think it's a pretty neat way to wrap things up & the choice of using a synth for the melody , it's a smart way of doing it to make Spiral & Escape sounds even better than its other album tracks counterparts .
For a debut album , FROM ME TO YOU is a record filled with catchy guitar pop/rock songs that lean more towards the acoustic guitar side . You can tell that in certain songs YUI sounds quite raw & unpolished but at the end of the day , you have to give credit to her for writing , composing & producing the whole album which's admirable for such a young talented jpop singer/songwriter .
KAT-TUN - ONE DROP Single Details
KAT-TUN/One Drop[w/ DVD, Limited Edition] CDA
1600 yen US$18/91.01 Release Date:2009/02/11
Description:Ninth single release from KAT-TUN includes theme song to the TV drama "Kami no Shizuku" starring Kazuya Kamenashi, "ONE DROP" and insert song to the TV spot "D-T-S." Features alternate jacket. Limited edition includes bonus DVD with promotional video and making-of footage. *Unless otherwise indicated, DVDs are region-2 encoded (Japan, Europe, and Middle East), and carry no subtitles.
URL - http://cdjapan.jp/d.html?KEY=JACA-5128
KAT-TUN/One Drop[Regular Edition (First Press)] CDA
1143 yen US$13/91.01 Release Date:2009/02/11
Description:Ninth single release from KAT-TUN includes theme song to the TV drama "Kami no Shizuku" starring Kazuya Kamenashi, "ONE DROP" and insert song to the TV spot "D-T-S." Features alternate jacket. This edition includes bonus track.
URL - http://cdjapan.jp/d.html?KEY=JACA-5130
KAT-TUN/One Drop[Regular Edition] CDA
952 yen US$10/91.01 Release Date:2009/02/11
Description:Ninth single release from KAT-TUN includes theme song to the TV drama "Kami no Shizuku" starring Kazuya Kamenashi, "ONE DROP" and insert song to the TV spot "D-T-S." Features alternate jacket. Regular edition includes two karaoke tracks of the each song.
URL - http://cdjapan.jp/d.html?KEY=JACA-5131
I just received this piece of info from CDJapan & OMG I'm so EXCITED for this even though I find the title of their upcoming new single to be a bit eh for my liking .
I suppose ONE DROP is titled as such to pay homage to the brand new drama that Kame will be starring in as it deals with wine in which the same thing happened when LIPS was released a while back ago too .
I'm not sure how will ONE DROP sounds like though but in anycase , I'm very ecstatic for their 1st single release of 2009 & I can't wait to get a copy of it in due time now .
ONE DROP will be released almost 2 months + after White X'mas I should add . Hopefully a 4th album will bear fruit in due time since their 3rd album the fantastic & amazing KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES- consists of 3 singles thrown in the mix so hopefully news of a 4th album will come in full swing soon .
Saturday, December 20, 2008
CD Review :: GReeeeN - A , Domo. Hajimemashite
Slipcase Cover :
Reissue Cover :
1) Michi (Road)
2) Day by Day
3) Ai Uta (Love Song)
4) HIGH G.K. LOW ~Hajikero~
5) NEW LIFE
6) Koinu (Puppy)
7) MISS YOU
8) Tegami (Letter)
9) Party People
10) Raggae Raggae
11) Midori (Green)
A , Domo. Hajimemashite is JRock/Pop quartet GReeeeN's debut album . This was released last year on June 28th in Japan & 3 singles are included in the quartet's debut album offering .
& what better way to kick things off with the group's major label debut single Michi (Road) . This's a nice mid tempo song that's easy & pleasant sounding to the ears .
I find Day by Day to be a really cute song as I feel it's a really catchy no. backed up by the tinkling of the piano & strong backup vocals of the other 3 guys in the band in which they assist lead singer HIDE .
The next 2 songs are singles that they have released prior to A , Domo. Hajimemashite & incidentally track 3's the group's 3rd single Ai Uta (Love Song) & this's the song which has been considered to be the quartet's breakthrough hit before their 7th single Kiseki came in the pic & took things a notch or 2 higher for the guys this year when Kiseki was released .
It's easy to see why Ai Uta did wonders for GReeeeN as it's such a great song & not to mention the lyrics & melody harmonise real well together . Before Kiseki was released , Ai Uta was the group's best single in terms of chart & sales wise .
Moving a single back , it's their 2nd single HIGH G.K. LOW ~Hajikero~ . I find it odd & weird that HIGH G.K. LOW ~Hajikero~ is the group's worst single in terms of chart & sales performance which's a pity because unlike Michi or Ai Uta , HIGH G.K. LOW ~Hajikero~ is an upbeat peppy no. which was used in an ad to promote Coke Cola which explained the somewhat Coke influenced going on in HIGH G.K. LOW ~Hajikero~ .
The last 7 tracks in the album are non singles tracks . Just like HIGH G.K. LOW ~Hajikero~ , NEW LIFE is also another upbeat song which has strong traces of guitar going on in the melody & I like this no. , it's a good no. & the sound consistency from their 2nd single to this album track's there .
I find Koinu (Puppy) to be extremely Christmas inspired especially at the beginning of the song where it sounds like something you can easily find straight out of a traditional Christmas carol song . Koinu's actually 1 of my fave songs on A , Domo. Hajimemashite & I find it to be a cool no. .
Initially I thought MISS YOU will be a ballad even though I was only 1/2 right as it's a mid tempo no. . At the beginning I find the song to be a bit un-memorable for my liking . As a result I had to take a few more listens before I got used to how the song sounds like .
1 of my fave album tracks is track 8 which's Tegami (Letter) . This's a really nice ballad driven song & it sounds like a less complicated version of Ai Uta in terms of the music structure .
2 upbeat party inspired tracks back to back Party People & Raggae Raggae takes track 9 & 10 . The music direction for both songs are different in the sense that Party People has a rather strong violin introduction while for Raggae Raggae , it has a somehow reggae inspired tune going on in the song .
The final track to close off the album is titled Midori (Green) which's a bit ironic considering it's also a nod on the band's name in terms of Japanese context but in anycase , I was very surprised when I 1st heard Midori as it's a soothing piano driven song & not to mention the melody's really captivating too which's a great way to conclude things nicely .
I didn't really had any expectations when I gave A , Domo. Hajimemashite a listen but I was surprised at what this talented quartet has to offer . The only thing I didn't like was the somewhat huge list of 7 album tracks after HIGH G.K. LOW ~Hajikero~ as I feel the guys should at least spread out Ai Uta & HIGH G.K. LOW ~Hajikero~ instead of lumping them together side by side .
Regardless of which , it's good to see that GReeeeN is able to be versatile in ballads & as well as upbeat songs as evident in their debut album A , Domo. Hajimemashite .
CD Review :: BREAKERZ - CRASH & BUILD
1) Nanzenkai ... Nanmankai ... (Thousand Times ... 10 Thousand Times ...)
2) NO SEX NO LIFE
3) B.R.Z. ~Ashita e no Kakehashi~ (~Bridge For Tomorrow~)
5) Day Soldier
6) IN THE SKY
7) Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish On A Star)
8) gimmick ?
9) CHICKEN RACE
11) SUGAR BABY
CRASH & BUILD is BREAKERZ's 2nd album . This was released last Dec on the 5th in Japan & it charted at #300 in the Oricon album chart .
No singles were released from this album . Nanzenkai ... Nanzenkai ... (Thousand Times ... 10 Thousand Times ...) & NO SEX NO LIFE received videos of their own even though they were not released as singles .
I like the way Nanzenkai ... Nanzenkai ... start things off with CRASH & BUILD . No wonder it received a music video of its own as this song's a pretty good catchy mid tempo catchy rock no. that the trio has decided to open the album with .
NO SEX NO LIFE is the 2nd song to received a music video of its own & this's actually 1 of the my fave songs on the album despite the title of the song . This's a really mean angsty rock song & I just like the way the guitar riffs are going on in here which's great .
The next track B.R.Z. ~Ashita e no Kakehashi~ (~Bridge For Tomorrow~) is also another uptempo rock tune but unlike NO SEX NO LIFE , it's a somewhat more calmer version even though it places heavy emphasis on the drums & guitars .
After 3 thumping rock tunes , in comes Dandelion which I feel it's 1 of the star tracks on CRASH & BUILD simply because it's such a great guitar driven song . It's quite a mellow ballad which's great . Not to mention the way DAIGO harmonise himself with the melody is perfect .
Day Soldier follows after Dandelion . I had to take a while to remember how Day Soldier sounds like as it was a bit un-memorable for my liking but now after a few listens , I don't have any problems remembering how Day Soldier sounds like now because the introduction's very distinct with the thumping of the drums .
Now this's what I'm talking about a classic catchy rock song in the form of IN THE SKY & as the song title suggests , it's a very uplifting & soaring tune which will immediately put you in a good mood & this's another standout track in the trio's 2nd album .
Just like Dandelion , Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish On A Star) is another slow jam no. but however unlike Dandelion , Hoshi ni Negai wo begans slowly & then slowly transforms itself to a mid-tempo rock driven no. which's a nice change of pace .
In the case for gimmick ? , it's a typical rock song that you will expect of BREAKERZ . Although it's nothing fantastic to speak about , this's still a decent rock song that they managed to pull off together .
The same thing goes for CHICKEN RACE as well . At least I find this slightly more catchy that's of gimmick ? although I can't help but find this song title strange & weird & you can hear the sound of glass being broken to bits & pieces at the end of CHICKEN RACE .
EMILY is 1 of the songs on CRASH & BUILD that has a more harder rock edge & I really like this song as it reminded me of the guys's previous more hard rock songs that they offered such as LAST EMOTION & not to mention I feel that they does best when comes to such angsty rock songs .
The final track to conclude things is the catchy sounding SUGAR BABY . The guys performed this song at SHINBUYA-AX & naturally I was thrilled when the guys did this because it's 1 of my fave tracks on the album & besides I think it's a nice way to wrap things up nicely .
Even though there're no singles being released in CRASH & BUILD , this 2nd album offering from BREAKERZ is still worth a listen , that's if you would like to satisfy your JRock fix as CRASH & BUILD offers a substantial mix of angsty rock songs & ballads thrown in the mix for good measure .
Friday, December 19, 2008
Yamashita Tomohisa - Yubiwa (Ring) & Himawari [Sunflower] (Daite Senorita's B-sides)
Yubiwa (Ring) & Himawari (Sunflower) served as B-sides in Yamashita Tomohisa's debut solo single Daite Senorita .
The 1st B-side Yubiwa is said to be a fan's favourite & that the song is written & composed by Yamapi himself . This song's an upbeat & neat no. & it has traces of Spanish influences which immediately you can draw comparisons with other songs which're Spanish influenced as well such as Seishun Amigo which Yamapi sang alongside with KAT-TUN's Kamenashi Kazuya , Daite Senorita itself & most recently Hey ! Say ! JUMP's Mayanoka no Shadow Boy .
Only available in the CD only edition of the single it's Himawari & unlike the A-side & Yubiwa , Himawari is a mid tempo piano driven no. which it's a perfect contrast to the other songs which're upbeat & groovy . Yamapi's vocals are pretty much in fine form in this song & it's a pretty good way to close off the single in a neat manner .
Thursday, December 18, 2008
CD Review :: ai otsuka - LOVE LETTER
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
1) LOVE LETTER
2) Rocket Sneaker
3) Bye Bye
4) Kurage , Nagareboshi (Jellyfish , Shooting Star)
5) Ningyou (Doll)
6) Kimi Fechi (You Fetish)
7) Creamy & Spicy
10) Shachihata (self-inking rubber stamp)
11) One × Time
13) Ai (Love)
LOVE LETTER is ai otsuka's 5th album . This was released yesterday in Japan .
4 singles inclusive of a double a-side single & a future recut single are included in otsuka's latest album . Prior to yesterday's official album release of LOVE LETTER , the album was already leaked out on the net excluding track 5 Ningyou (Doll) & as such I had about a month or so to get used to the album tracks but at that time there weren't an official tracklist of the album til recently .
For the 1st time in otsuka's music career , she begins her new album with a song of the same title & I don't think it's a good way to start things off as the song's kinda a bit unmemorable for my liking as it's a typical piano driven ballad that otsuka normally will come up with .
Things would have been a bit better if she started things off with the 1st A-side of her 17th single which's Rocket Sneaker . I like the song , too bad the video left something to be desired about which kinda spoil the whole atmosphere of the song .
At least the sound transition from Rocket Sneaker to another new album track is there . Bye Bye is a rather nice upbeat guitar driven no. for that matter of fact . It's frankly nothing particular outstanding though .
I should make a note in that recently it has been announced that Bye Bye will released in due time as a recut single & her overall 19th single next year on Feb 25th & this will be otsuka's 2nd recut single release , the 1st being her 7th single Kuroge Wagyu Joshio Tan Yaki 680 Yen .
Track 4's probably 1 of the best otsuka ballads/singles that she has came up in recent times in the form of Kurage , Nagareboshi (Jellyfish , Shooting Star) which was released to celebrate her 5th anniversary in the music business . This's 1 ballad that I just can't get enough of no matter how many times I listened to it & no doubt it's 1 of the star tracks in LOVE LETTER .
Ningyou (Doll) is the track that wasn't leaked out together with the rest of the album when that happened last month but was it worth the wait ? Absolutely as the sound transition from Kurage , Nagareboshi to Ningyou is there . While you can easily lump LOVE LETTER & Ningyou in the same pic , I prefer Ningyou slightly over the former because it's classic otsuka stuff & at least there's something memorable about the whole package Ningyou has got to offer .
I find the next track Kimi Fechi (You Fetish) cute & it sounds quite dreamy . otsuka allowed her vocals to go with the flow in this no. & this's quite an interesting song , be it the song or the title itself .
& speaking of the title , the next track is titled Creamy & Spicy in which erm I guess it refers to the type of food that she likes to eat that's cooked in this manner ? Regards of which , this's 1 album track that I actually don't mind to listen again as it's a nice & rather simple easy listening guitar driven no. .
The next 2 songs are the 1st 2 album tracks that received videos of their own . 1st up in line's Do☆Positive & as the title of the song suggest , this's a peppy upbeat cheery no. & the music video of Do☆Positive sure fits the theme of the song pretty well .
In the case for 360° , this I feel it's another star track on LOVE LETTER because I really like the music going on in 360° although the lyrics gets a bit repetitive on otsuka's case but other than that , this's a really neat song .
Track 10's titled Shachihata (self-inking rubber stamp) & this song's just so weird on all levels . otsuka just keeps on singing the word Shachihata from the start to the end & nothing else & not to mention she doesn't sound like her normal self in this song . The music which has influences of swinging big jazz which's practically the only saving grace in Shachihata .
The next 2 tracks are singles songs that otsuka has released prior to LOVE LETTER . One × Time is the 2nd double a-side of her 17th single . Unlike Rocket Sneaker where it's an upbeat no. , it's different for One × Time where it's a pleasant piano driven no. .
Pocket's her 16th single & it's an enduring ballad which I adore . I like the sincerity that otsuka puts in this song but it's unfortunate that from Pocket onwards , it's the 1st single since then to start selling less than 100,000 copies .
The final song to close LOVE LETTER is incidentally the last album track to release a music video of its own which's Ai (Love) which's the longest track on the album , clocking in at a whopping 6:27 mins .
Initially I didn't like Ai as it was very long & almost borderline on the boring filler factor but something happened after I watched the video to Ai which changed my perception on the song in which I'm ok with Ai now .
To me , LOVE LETTER's definitely not ai otsuka's best album that she has put out to date . I had a strong dislike towards the album at 1st when the album excluding Ningyou was leaked out last month as I felt her new record's not as fantastic as her previous 4 albums in which something was seriously lacking in her new material & that there wasn't any oomph factor going on in the album tracks in LOVE LETTER .
While my perception towards LOVE LETTER has changed quite significantly since then , I hope that otsuka will be able to step up on her game & come back stronger & musically better in her next album offering .
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Aoyama Thelma - You're My Only Shinin' Star & Walk (Daikkirai Demo Arigatou's B-sides)
You're My Only Shinin' Star & Walk served as B-sides in Aoyama Thelma's 5th single Daikkirai Demo Arigatou which debuted at #14 in the Oricon weekly singles chart .
The 1st B-side You're My Only Shinin' Star is a rather slow mid tempo R&B no. . For me I like the way that Aoyama sings with all of her might in this song which's something that doesn't really happens in her case . The music of You're My Only Shinin' Star is also quite memorable too .
In the case for Walk , it's the only upbeat no. found in the single & this's my fave song & not to mention B-side between the 2 because I like that it's very uplifting & it's also pretty catchy in its own right .
Not to mention Aoyama wrote the lyrics for Walk so you have to hand it to her really .
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
KAT-TUN Live Tour 2008 Queen Of Pirates DVD Cover & abingdon boys school's New Single - STRENGTH. Details
The DVD cover for the KAT-TUN Live Tour 2008 Queen Of Pirates DVD is finally up & running & 1st impression in that it oddly reminds me of the anime One Piece logo but other than that , it's a pretty simple cover & I believe it fits the whole theme of the DVD quite well .
KAT-TUN Live Tour 2008 Queen Of Pirates DVD will be released on the brand new year in Japan & be sure to get your copy in due time !
Single release from abingdon boys school featuring outro theme to anime series "Soul Eater "
abingdon boys school will be releasing their 5th single titled STRENGTH. on 25th Feb '09 & this's their 1st single release in a year & 2 months since their last single release BLADE CHORD .
STRENGTH. will be used as the outer theme song for the anime Soul Eater in which incidentally Takanori's T.R.Revolution's reasonance was used as the opening theme song for the anime .
Oh man you have no idea how happy I was when CDJapan sent me an email regarding this matter as I have been waiting for the longest time for new abs material ! Aside from their 1st DVD release this year , they have been very quiet until news surfaced of a new single release for 2009 !
It's rumoured that the B-side will be JAP which I reviewed back a while ago in my music blog & of course the song's the main theme song of the latest game in the "Sengoku Basara" series : "Sengoku Basara battle heroes" which will be released in the spring of 2009 .
Nothing has been confirmed with regards to the name of the B-side of STRENGTH. but if it's true that JAP will be the one as per said , then it will be the 1st time that abs will be including a non full English B-side song .
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Fave New Acts Of 2008These few new acts that I came across this year prove to me that they're probably here to stay in many more years to come in the Japan's music scene .
Well it's no surprises that this JRock trio is officially my fave new act that I have came across this year & frankly it's by a stroke of luck that I came across their music while sitting like a couch potato in front of the TV watching MTV Taiwan way back in Aug , because you will either know or don't know about this trio who debuted & formed last April .
But in anycase , the trio has been relatively successful this year releasing 3 singles & their 3rd full length album , all propelling them to the top10 positions in the album & singles chart & they frankly have come a long way especially in the case of the frontman DAIGO who used to have a solo career by the name of DAIGO☆STARDUST .
2008 has been a great year for the talented pop/rock quartet with scoring their biggest hit/best selling/1st no.1 hit single Kiseki in which it became the 1st single this year to stay on top of the #1 spot for more than 2 weeks . In fact just after a mere 2 weeks , Kiseki has outsold the total sales of their then highest selling single Ai Uta which was incidentally the band's breakthrough hit .
Kiseki became the 4th most sold single in Japan while their the 2nd album A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu. became the 10th most sold album in 2008 & this's the album which kept ayaka's Sing to the Sky from the top spot & also this's their 1st album to reach the top spot as well .
Some might say that the way the band present & market themselves is a smart marketing plot , seeing that none of the members have ever shown their faces to the public whether in the public sphere as a part of GReeeeN , whether in their promotional videos , CDs , television performances , or the Internet .
In their only performance on TV-U Fukushima's music show Music Bar Palo Palo (broadcast on January 19 , 2007) , the group even went as far as censoring their faces during the performance.
GReeeeN cites keeping their professional lives in dentistry compatible with their musical ventures as the reason , but lead singer HIDE has hinted that after all of the members pass the state examination in dentistry and receive permission from the directors of the hospitals they work for , the group may consider a public appearance since all but 3 of them have graduated from Dental school with the exception of Soh .
Well regardless whether do they plan to show their faces to the public eye in due time or not , it doesn't matter to me that much as long as they continue to deliver the goods . I enjoyed all of the singles that they have put out so far since their debut single Michi & here's to more great material coming from the guys .
Ah yes , the Tibetan singer who became the 1st Chinese act to sign a contract with avex trax & she made her Japanese debut last year with debut single Ashita e no Sanka & this year she has released an impressive 6 singles in which 5 of them from her 3rd single Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~ onwards centres with a traditional Buddhist element from the Japanese Godai or Tibetan Bön in which in order of the element/single that she released are Earth , Sky , Wind , Fire & Water .
I think she's 1 really talented lady & for her to make her mark in the Japan music scene it's a bold & tricky move on avex's part especially since her Japanese's still not fluent as of now but I think she can go pretty far & she's the one who's responsible for singing the theme song for the John Woo movie RED CLIFF & she will also be singing the theme song for the sequel to the movie titled Chi Bi (赤壁 ; RED CLIFF) ~Da Jiang Dong Qu~ (~大江东去~ ; ~The Great River Surges East~) .
It's already pretty much long overdue on alan's part to put out her debut Japanese album & I hope to see it finally materialised in the brand new year .
4) GIRL NEXT DOOR
Label mates with alan , it's the trio GIRL NEXT DOOR who debuted in Sept as part of the Avex Group's 20th anniversary celebration . The band consists of vocalist Chisa , guitarist Yuji Inoue & Daisuke Suzuki on keyboard in which Daisuke used to be a member in the band Day After Tomorrow .
Chisa tends to be the centre of attention in GND since the other 2 guys usually takes a backseat in the promotion aspect of the group .
I like their sound as they mash up pop/rock/dance/trance & creating pretty much an unique sound of their own & of course the single which caught my attention of the guys's their debut single Guzen no Kakuritsu & since Sept , they have released 3 singles , 1 per month in which all 3 of them debuted & placed in the same position in the Oricon singles chart , ie. at #3 .
The trio will be releasing their self titled debut album on Christmas eve & I cannot wait for that to happen .
5) Hey ! Say ! JUMP
The only Johnny & Associates band on the list , it's the 10 piece group HSJ which's practically the biggest group ever formed in the Johnny's Entertainment talent agency .
The group's considered an expansion of the original Hey ! Say ! 7 . The name Hey ! Say ! refers to the fact that all the members were born in the Heisei period and JUMP is an acronym for Johnny's Ultra Music Power .
Within HSJ , you have 2 sub divisions groups namely the former Hey ! Say ! 7 & Hey ! Say ! BEST (Boys Excellent Select Team) which consists of older members in HSJ .
Frankly they're 1 group I was reluctant to give their music a listen especially since they're so young to begin with but I was very surprised when I gave their 3rd single Your Seed / Bouken Rider a shot & that they sounded pretty mature for their age & of course the follow up single to that Mayonaka no Shadow Boy is just a great music stepping stone for the guys too .
Just like alan , they're pretty much long overdue to release their debut album seeing that they already have released 4 singles as HSJ & 1 single Hey ! Say ! as Hey ! Say ! 7 .
6) Aoyama Thelma
No 1 expected Aoyama's 2nd single Soba ni Iru ne Feat SoulJa to become a sleeper hit when it was released on 23rd Jan & that it became her 1st no.1 single & eventually becoming the highest selling female solo single of the year .
So much so that in Sept , the Guinness World Records certified the song as the best-selling digital download single in Japan with over two million "full-track" downloads . Including non full-track downloads , it sold over 8.7 million downloads by November .
The 1/4 Trinidadian & 3/4 Japanese singer began releasing material since last Sept with debut single ONE WAY & since then she has followed it up with her debut album DIARY & 5 more single releases this year .
7) Hidemi Uematsu
Not much is known about this 22 year old singer/songwriter . All I know's that she released her debut single Dear My Friends / Trauma this year & that she's under Pony Canon in which former ex label mates GLAY & ARASHI were under Pony Canon before transiting to Toshiba EMI & J Storm / Johnny's Entertainment respectively .
I like that Hidemi's voice's really unique & that it's 1 of the most distinct voices I have heard in recent times .
So far after releasing Dear My Friends / Trauma , she has been quiet on the music front . I hope to see her releasing somemore material & probably a debut album in 2009 .
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Christine Ito (Yuna Ito) - groovy x2
groovy x2 is a song sung by the alter ego of Yuna Ito who goes by the name of Christine . This song's basically the full Eng version of Yuna's 12th single Koi wa groovy x2 .
It was released on 10th Dec & it looks like groovy x2 is only available for download .
Ok I'm frankly not sure as to why Yuna decided to come up with an alter ego of herself in the 1st place but other than that , there's not really much things to say about the Eng version of Koi wa groovy x2 as basically the melody & etc is the same .
The only difference's that Yuna sung it in Eng & I must add that it was nice to hear the Eng take to her latest Japanese single & also could tell that she's very at ease singing groovy x2 since English's her 1st language to begin with .
I don't know why she decided to release groovy x2 but it's nice for a change & I suspect that she might have done so to probably boost the sales/ranking for Koi wa groovy x2 as this's unfortunately her lowest charting/selling single in Japan to date .
So far I have seen a video preview of groovy x2 & I guess the full version of it will be out in due time ?
Friday, December 12, 2008
Anna Tsuchiya - GUILTY
GUILTY is a new song sung by Anna Tsuchiya & this song is used as the outro theme song for the CG animated movie Resident Evil : Degeneration (Biohazard Degeneration) .
I managed to hear the movie edited version of GUILTY the other day & I just like it a lot . It's basically classic Anna going back to her rock roots & as expected , the song's sung in full English .
I'm not sure whether will this be made available in her future album or that it will be released as a future single . Not to mention , I don't know whether will a full version of the song surfaced in due time because the movie edited version that I have heard , it clocks in under 3 mins in which I'm sure the song will sound even better should Anna decided to extend it by a few more secs or so .
Thursday, December 11, 2008
CD Review :: Mika Nakashima - VOICE
Both CD Only & CD + DVD Covers :
Tracklist for both editions :
2) SAKURA (Cherry Blossoms) ~Hanagasumi~ [~Flower Haze~] (DAISHI DANCE) [Album Version]
3) FOCUS (Album Version)
4) Eien no Uta (Endless Song)
6) Anata ga Iru Kara (Because You Are Here)
7) MY GENTLEMAN
8) TRUST YOUR VOICE
9) IT'S TOO LATE
10) I DON'T KNOW (MICA 3 CHU)
11) SHUT UP (MICA 3 CHU)
13) FLOWER OF TIME
14) Koe (Voice)
VOICE is Mika Nakashima's 6th studio album (inclusive of her NANA inspired album THE END) . Her new album was released on 26th last month in Japan & it's her 1st album to reach #1 on the Oricon album chart since THE END & her previous studio album YES which both albums charted at #2 & #3 respectively .
5 singles , 4 B-sides & Mika's 1st digital download single Anata ga Iru Kara make the cut in VOICE which just leaves only 4 brand new songs in Mika's brand new album .
This's the most no. of B-sides I have seen on an album's tracklist too I must add .
The 1st song to kick start VOICE is Mika's 23rd single LIFE in which it's her best selling single outta the singles that made the cut in the album . I haven't listened to LIFE for a while now & it was so nice to hear it once again & I think it's quite fitting to start things off with such a mid tempo ballad .
Likewise , the next song is another single track which's her 25th single . However instead of the original , the SAKURA (Cherry Blossoms) ~Hanagasumi~ [~Flower Haze~] (DAISHI DANCE) is included & it's an album version in that the music arrangement differs slightly from what you might find in the single .
Still I'm glad that Mika included the DAISHI DANCE remix of SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~ instead of the original as I wasn't too fond of the original mix of SAKURA (Cherry Blossoms) ~Hanagasumi~ as it was somewhat boring for my liking & the DAISHI DANCE remix managed to transform the original SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~ to a really upbeat & catchy song .
I'm usually not fond of remixes but in this case , it's an exception .
From an A-side to a B-side , in comes FOCUS which's the B-side of Mika's latest/27th single ORION & just like SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~ (DAISHI DANCE) , you also got an album version of FOCUS .
For me I'm thrilled that FOCUS is included as this's 1 B-side which I feel is 1 of the best ones that Mika has delivered in recen times & I really like the midtempo jazz influenced no. , be it the single or the album version . FOCUS has a lot of love , so much so that it's the only B-side in VOICE to receive a music video of its own .
The next 2 songs are singles back to back in which 1st up in line is the reggae inspired tune Eien no Uta (Endless Song) which's Mika's 25th single . I just like how different & fresh Eien no Uta sounds as it's something that Mika doesn't usually do as her music forte lies in jazz influenced no.s .
Eien no Uta still sounds great no matter how many times I listened to although I make do without the rapping of the guy's voice in the beginning of the song .
ORION is her latest/27th single which was released a mere week before VOICE was released . The song is used as an insert song for the dodrama Ryūsei no Kizuna in which Mika had a minor role & the music video of ORION featured actress Toda Erika in which she also starred in the drama .
Honestly I was pleasantly surprised when ORION did even better than I expected it to be especially since SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~ & I DON'T KNOW weren't able to crack the top10 so naturally I thought the same fate will befall on ORION but boy was I wrong . ORION managed to crack the top10 , peaking at #6 , making this her 1st top10 position since Eien no Uta .
Song wise , I must admit I didn't like it when I 1st heard it as it sounded like another typical ballad that Mika would do but I like the song now especially since now I know the significance of the song .
Anata ga Iru Kara (Because You Are Here) is Mika's 1st digital download single & obviously I was so glad to see this being included in VOICE as I remembered way back in June when I 1st heard Anata ga Iru Kara , I was really blown away on the simplicity & sincerity of the ballad & that it's what Mika does best in delivering such heartwarming ballads .
The next 2 songs are album tracks . MY GENTLEMAN boosts of a simple guitar driven tune which's accompanied by Mika's powerful pipes . It's quite cool for her to reach the high notes without straining herself in any single bit .
In the case of TRUST YOUR VOICE , this's 1 really jazzy peppy no. . I find this to be a really upbeat cheery song & it's definitely 1 of the stronger album tracks in VOICE , seeing that prior to the release of VOICE , I have already heard 10 songs out of 14 so TRUST YOUR VOICE's a really good song .
The 2nd last B-side on VOICE , it's IT'S TOO LATE which's the B-side of LIFE . The song was used in the Kanebo Kate advertisement in which Mika endorsed . Now this's another great B-side that I'm very happy to see on VOICE simply because I just like how jazzy & extremely catchy/infectious it sounds & that it's a perfect contrast to the A-side that's of LIFE .
Mika's 26th single takes the 9th & 10th spot in VOICE . I DON'T KNOW is a collaboration with owarai group Morisanchuu & the single was released under the name MICA 3 CHU (Mikasanchuu) & it was marketed as girl angry rock .
I DON'T KNOW is the 1st time Mika has sung a commercially released song entirely in English (not counting her NANA works as MY MEDICINE & MY WAY weren't released as singles) .
I remembered when I 1st heard I DON'T KNOW , I was amused with the song & also the video too . I can understand Mika's Eng dictation although it somehow got lost in the way but at least I know what she's singing about . She's basically fed up in changing everyone's opinions about herself & decided that enough's enough & she just said the 3 magic words - I DON'T KNOW !
Likewise for SHUT UP which's the B-side of I DON'T KNOW , lyrically , it's more or less than the same as what you will hear in the A-side although I find it a bit funny that you can string together a sentence with the title of both songs - I DON'T KNOW , SHUT UP . LOL
I should point out that these 2 songs are the only rock influenced no.s in VOICE so you might somehow find them to be the sore thumbs in the album .
& speaking of sore thumb , the final B-side in VOICE takes place in the form of conFusiOn which's the B-side of SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~ . Out of the 4 B-sides which made the cut in VOICE , conFusiOn is the one that I disliked the most simply because it sounds well confusing & that there's neither a head or a tail in this no. .
I rather You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To feat Katteni-Shiyagare to have replaced conFusiOn instead as the former's 1 seriously addictive B-side that I enjoyed tremendously in Mika's Eien no Uta single .
The final 2 songs in VOICE are incidentally the last 2 album tracks . FLOWER OF TIME is the longest song in the album , clocking in at a whopping 6:30 mins ! Despite the duration of FLOWER OF TIME , this's 1 song that I enjoyed as it brings back to Mika's jazz roots . I find FLOWER OF TIME sounded a bit the same as HELPLESS RAIN though but it's ok as I enjoyed both songs .
The very last song to close off VOICE , is Koe (Voice) & I think it's quite fitting that the final track on the album's titled as such . Koe boosts of some fantastic great violin strings & also an orchestra of sorts backing Mika up . It's a bit different from what she does but this's such a great way to end things off nicely .
At 1st I thought I was going to dislike VOICE as I practically heard 10 outta 14 songs which made the cut in Mika's new album but surprisingly , I actually like it & that the sound consistency of the album is there .
Except for the sore thumb that's of conFusiOn , the rest of the songs found in VOICE are great & considering that most of the material are singles releases , it's surprising to know that they managed to sound unique in their own right & not to mention the 4 new songs that I heard are real gems as well .
It's great to see Mika claming back the top spot with VOICE after THE END & YES & this goes to show that if at 1st you don't succeed , try again & she has done so in claming back the top with this neat album in the form of VOICE .
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Fave Songs Of 2008The Fave Songs Of 2008 list as suggested , comprises of songs that were released in the year of 2008 .
The differences between the Fave Singles Of 2008 list & with this one is that the Fave Songs Of 2008 list mainly focus on the A-side songs & that I did not listen to the B-side/s which served alongside with the A-side/s .
1) Namie Amuro
- Do Me More
- Sexy Girl
The only 2 new songs available in Namie's million selling best compliation album BEST FICTION , Sexy Girl & Do Me More presented on what Namie did best , mixing great R&B melodies with infectious catchy beats . Namie had a great 2008 , let's hope this will keep up for her in 2009 .
- Bleeding Heart
This song is only available in the FLOWER FESTIVAL～VISION FACTORY compilation album in which the songs have a spring theme . Bleeding Heart is found as track 8 in the album .
Too bad the song didn't made the cut in OLIVIA's Trinka Trinka EP as I think it will make a great addition to the mini album .
3) Anna Tsuchiya
Used as the outer theme song to promote the movie Resident Evil : Degeneration (Biohazard Degeneration) , GUILTY presents what Anna does best & that she returned back to her rock roots in fine form .
Hopefully this will mean that GUILTY will be available in her future 4th album as she should have included the song in her NUDY SHOW ! album which I enjoyed tremendously .
4) ai otsuka
- Kurage , Nagareboshi
otsuka released 2 singles this year namely Rocket Sneaker / One × Time & Kurage , Nagareboshi . Unfortunately I only find Kurage , Nagareboshi to be an amazing song as all along , her B-sides are always in the case of miss & not hit for me .
In the case for Kurage , Nagareboshi , it's like the love child of her previous beautiful songs Kingyo Hanabi & Planetarium . otsuka had a pretty rough year with both singles selling poorly & that her 5th album LOVE LETTER being leaked out a month before the official release date (next Wed) . Let's hope she will have a much better run in with luck in 2009 .
Johnny & Associates
The guys released Chou , the 1st DVD single VIBES & also LIGHT IN YOUR HEART / SWING ! .
There's just something about Chou that grabs me . I just like how Spanish influenced it sounds & it's nice to see the guys incorporating & exploring other music genres & incorporating them into their music which's great .
- I'll be
This has to be 1 of the catchiest YUI songs I ever came across . The only new song found in her 1st B-side compliation album MY SHORT STORIES , this brings to what she does best , in that producing such a fun catchy up beat pop/rock no.
The only new song that Takanori has put out this year , this brings back to what he does best although I frankly find it less catchy than his other classic songs such as BOARDING & INVOKE .
Still reasonance's worth a listen & speaking of Takanori , his sideline band abingdon boys school's going to release their 5th single STRENGTH next Feb & I really cannot wait for that to happen .
GReeeeN & BACK-ON joined forces with the older brother GReeeeN's lead singer JIN in the production front & formed BAReeeeeeeeeeN & this's the group's debut single .
I found the B-side colorful unfortunately un-memorable but thankfully Ashiato's good as it managed to fuse together's GReeeeN's distinct music style & BACK-ON's rapping to create such a cool song .
I don't know if BAReeeeeeeeeeN will be a temporary or permanent group , it reminds to be seen whether will BAReeeeeeeeeeN be releasing anymore singles in due time or not .
- BE FREE / Namidazora
The quartet released 4 singles this year , namely BE FREE / Namidazora , Tabidachi , Kiseki & their latest single Tobira . Tobira's the only single that I listened to thoughtout & I enjoyed it .
The other 3 singles that they have put out aren't 1/2 bad themselves & of course enough's being said about the guys's best selling single to date , the wonderful Kiseki . After their breakthough hit Ai Uta , they managed to top things even further with the greatness that's of Kiseki .
2008 has been great for this quartet & I can't wait to see what other things they have up their sleeves in 2009 .
5) Aoyama Thelma
- Soba ni Iru ne Feat SoulJa
- Nando Mo
This lady released 4 singles within a year , namely Soba ni Iru ne Feat SoulJa , Nando Mo , Mamoritai Mono & her latest single Daikkirai Demo Arigatou . Only Sobra ni Iru ne & Nando Mo are the 2 songs that I have singled out in this context .
No 1 expected Aoyama's 2nd single Soba ni Iru ne Feat SoulJa to become a sleeper hit when it was released on 23rd Jan & that it became her 1st no.1 single & eventually becoming the highest selling female solo single of the year .
So much so that in Sept , the Guinness World Records certified the song as the best-selling digital download single in Japan with over two million "full-track" downloads . Including non full-track downloads , it sold over 8.7 million downloads by November .
- Toki no Ashioto
The only new material the award winning folk/rock duo has put out this year , this's classic Kobukuro & I just like how sincere Kobuchi & Kuroda sound in this no. & that they're able to harmonise their voices together extremely well in this heartwarming folk/rock ballad .
- DRINK IT DOWN
L'Arc~en~Ciel released DRINK IT DOWN & their latest NEXUS 4 / SHINE in which I find the latter to be a great double A-side single . Recently they re-released their 33rd single Hurry Xmas as Christmas's around the corner .
It's funny that at 1st , I dismissed DRINK IT DOWN saying that it was too creepy for my liking but now I absolutely adore it . I just like how the song sounds & that it's extremely fitting & perfect to serve as the theme song for the Devil May Cry 4 video game .
KISS is a really enjoyable album & I hope the guys can come back with something good & new in 2009 .
GLAY released VERB & Aka to Kuro no MATADORA / I LOVE YOU wo Sagashiteru this year in which the latter's a really cool double a-side single .
VERB's the one that was responsible for keeping Koda Kumi's MOON single away from the top spot & it's easy to see why that's so . The way that the guitar riffs sounded distorted in an unusual manner , makes this song unique in its own right .
9) Utada Hikaru
- Eternally - Drama Mix-
Released only as a digital single , Eternally - Drama Mix- was used to promote the drama Innocent Love . The original version of Eternally was found in Utada's 2nd Japanese album DISTANCE which was released 7 years ago & it's still nice to hear this song as it never fails to sound fresh & unique be it the original or the -Drama Mix- of the song .
Utada had a pretty good 2008 with her 5th Japanese album HEART STATION becoming the highest selling female solo album of the year after being certified Million by RIAJ . Let's hope that she's able to deliver the goods in 2009 .
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
CD Review :: BREAKERZ - BIG BANG !
CD Only Cover :
CD Only Cover + 80 Page Photobook :
CD + DVD Type A Cover :
CD + DVD Type B Cover :
Tracklist For All 4 Editions :
1) BIG BANG !
2) SUMMER PARTY
3) Sekai wa Odoru (The World's Dancing)
5) Shakunetsu (Burning)
6) Koko Kara Dashite (Let Me Get Out Of Here)
8) LAST EMOTION
9) BUZZER BEATER
10) Angelic Smile ~BIG BANG ! MIX~
11) Aitakute (I Want To Meet You)
12) Sentimental Scrap
13) WINTER PARTY ~BIG BANG ! Version~
BIG BANG ! is BREAKERZ's 3rd full length album . It was released last month on the 26th in Japan in 4 different editions .
The album debuted at #8 in the 1st week , making it the most successful album that the JRock trio has attained so far , seeing that this's the 1st album release of theirs to achieve a top 10 position , something that their 1st 2 albums (debut self titled album didn't charted while CRASH & BUILD charted at #300) & their 1st mini album Ao no Mirai (debut position #123) weren't able to accomplish .
The guys's 1st 3 double A-side singles are included in the album as it's only this year in July , the trio started to release singles officially even though they were formed last April .
I'm not surprised that they kicked start BIG BANG ! with a new song that's of the same name as they did the same thing for their Ao no Mirai EP .
BIG BANG ! is such a great way to start off the album as it's 1 great angsty catchy rock no. although I can't help but realise it sounded a bit like NO SEX NO LIFE but still this's 1 of the stronger & more prominent album tracks you can find in BIG BANG ! .
The next 2 tracks are the 1st double a-side/s of the band's 1st & 2nd singles respectively . Track 2 is the very 1st song that I heard of the trio which started my BREAKERZ journey in the form of SUMMER PARTY .
I still love this song & of course if not for the fact MTV Taiwan who kept on playing the video on heavy rotation at that time when it was released , I wouldn't have sit up & take notice of the guys's music in the 1st place .
Track 3's Sekai wa Odoru (The World's Dancing) & this mid tempo rock song's still a neat little gem .
I really like the hard work & effort that guitarist AKIHIDE put into , be it writing or composing the song as the melody's so beautiful & both the guitar & violin solos added a nice touch to Sekai wa Odoru .
From 2 singles to an album track , in comes GUILTY . Just like BIG BANG ! , the song's also another guilt pleasure song worth enjoying . I just like how the guitar riffs & drums able to harmonise themselves well together .
The next track's the 2nd A-side of the trio's 2nd single in which I still feel it's 1 of the group's stronger singles that they have put out in their career .
Shakunetsu (Burning) was used to promote the Japanese release of the movie Wanted which starred Angelina Jolie & of course with a song title like Shakunetsu , expect nothing but sheer brutal angst brewing within the song at its best .
From a single , the next 2 songs are album tracks . Koko Kara Dashite (Let Me Get Out Of Here) is a strange song on 1st listen because lead vocalist DAIGO sounded like a notch or 2 lower than his usual self but aside from that , this song's good in an unusual & weird manner .
In the case of ROSE , this's 1 really peppy no. & it's 1 of the rare songs on BIG BANG ! that presented a more cheery self as some of the album tracks borderline more on the angst side so ROSE was a really nice breath of change for the trio .
LAST EMOTION's the 2nd A-side of the group's debut single & it's a perfect contrast to ROSE & also to SUMMER PARTY as well .
While both songs are upbeat no.s , it's not in the case for LAST EMOTION . Even if you don't listen to the song , you still can make a guess in that it's an angsty rock no. & I believe the guys excelled in delivering such songs with ease .
& speaking of angsty no.s , track 9 also falls in the same category . Now , I remembered I was going LOL when I saw this song title & no surprises that this caught my attention straightaway .
Surprisingly with a song title like BUZZER BEATER , it's actually 1 of my fave songs on the album simply because I just like how the melody of the song sounds & especially at the beginning with the fast thumping of the drums mixed together with the sound of the guitar riffs which's courtesy of guitarist SHINPEI who composed BUZZER BEATER .
In comes the group's 1st A-side of the latest 3rd single . It's titled as Angelic Smile ~BIG BANG ! MIX~ but er honestly I really cannot tell the difference between the single & album versions of Angelic Smile as they both sounded the same to me , music wise .
The trio probably added the words ~BIG BANG ! MIX~ to make it look cool & hip but in anycase , another nice mid tempo rock song I must add .
The next 2 songs are the last album tracks on BIG BANG ! . Aitakute (I Want To Meet You) is the only non single ballad in BIG BANG ! & it's such a beautiful song . Not to mention I like that the sound transition from Angelic Smile ~BIG BANG ! MIX~ to Aitakute .
I like how DAIGO sounded really sincere & moving in Aitakute & the credits really have to go to AKIHIDE who was responsible for writing & composing Aitakute which's great .
Aitakute is really a gem worth keeping seeing that this's practically the only non single ballad available in the album as the angsty rock no.s outweight the ballads in this case .
& speaking of AKIHIDE , he also has a hand in writing & composing the next song Sentimental Scrap . Other than BUZZER BEATER , this was the 2nd song title which caught my attention as for a title , it's just weird .
Aside from the music that I enjoyed , I feel that this's the only weak link in the album as I had to take a few more listens than usual in order to familiarise myself as to how Sentimental Scrap sounds like but aside from that , this's a pretty neat song .
& what a better way to close things off with the group's 2nd A-side of their 3rd single which's titled as WINTER PARTY ~BIG BANG ! Version~ .
However unlike Angelic Smile ~BIG BANG ! MIX~ where I can't tell the difference between the single & album versions of the song , at least in WINTER PARTY ~BIG BANG ! Version~'s case , I could as the beginning of the song sounded a bit different than the single version .
Although the differences are minor but still , you got to love WINTER PARTY ~BIG BANG ! Version~ especially since Christmas's around the corner .
It's cool that DAIGO had a hand in writing & composing both the album & single versions of WINTER PARTY . Not to mention the video for the song's probably my fave of the guys too .
BREAKERZ has certainly made a BIG BANG ! impression of themselves in their latest album release . If you have been following the trio's music journey since their formation last April , you would have noticed that they have come of age & have matured significantly .
After 2 albums , 1 mini album & 3 singles releases so far , they have finally put out an album that showcased at what they're really good at .
It's great to see their hard work & efforts have finally paid off as BIG BANG ! is the 1st album for them to achieve top 10 status during the 1st week in the Oricon weekly chart .
The music of what they have to offer's no doubt a straight up JRock affair but they managed to showcase pretty much quite a variety of different music styles they incorporated & mixed the styles together up in their music & this's what BIG BANG ! basically has to offer , an album filled with great catchy angsty rock no.s with ballads thrown in for good measures .