Friday, February 27, 2009
Kanjani∞ - KJ3 PUZZLE Album Details
Preorder Links :
CD + DVD
KJ3 PUZZLE will be the upcoming 3rd album release by Kanjani∞ . It's set for a 15th April release & it will be released in 2 different editions .
3 singles made the cut in KJ3 PUZZLE namely It's My Soul , Wahaha & their most recent & biggest/best selling single to date Musekinin Hero & the album will contains 15 songs in total .
The guys's new album release's their 1st one since 2007's KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou . The CD only will contains 7 solo songs while the CD + DVD edition will be housed in a special miniature cardboard box & the DVD will contains the singles's music videos .
In addition , there will be special sub units music videos & there are units amongst the member (which they did using scissors paper stone during MUSIC STATION SUPERLIVE) ::
Unit 1 : Murakami + Maruyama
Unit 2 : Yokoyama + Shota
Unit 3 : Subaru + Okura + Ryo
Wow , 4 months+ since the release of Musekinin Hero , the guys have been relatively quiet & KJ3 PUZZLE's their 1st release of 2009 . I'm no doubt stoked about it as this will be the 1st Kanjani∞ album that I will be listening in due time when it's out .
I'm not really sure what to expect for KJ3 PUZZLE seeing that I never heard their older album material but I'm quite certain that it will take me on a fun & crazy music journey .
I'm excited for sure especially with regards to the 7 solo songs that the guys will be dishing out in the CD only of KJ3 PUZZLE , that will be something for me to look out for when the album's out on 15th April .
Thursday, February 26, 2009
abingdon boys school - Freedom (STRENGTH.'s B-side)
Freedom is the B-side no. that's found in abingdon boys school's 5th single STRENGTH. which was released yesterday .
Just like previous B-sides of abs , Freedom's a full Eng song . I love the fact that it's a fast thumping rock tune although I can safely say that it's not my fave B-side of the band as they had better B-sides that they put out in their previous 4 singles .
Initially I find frontman Takanori's vocals a bit weirder than usual in Freedom but once that wall of barrier has been broken down , I more or less can pardon Takanori on that .
After an almost 14 months+ wait , the quartet's finally back with something new in which I'm really happy about being a huge fan of their music . It has been way too long guys & I say welcome back !
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Koda Kumi x misono - It's all Love !
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
It's all Love ! is Koda Kumi's 43rd single . Originally scheduled to be released next Wed , it has since been pushed back to 31st March according to Kumi's official site .
Her new single will be released under the name Koda Kumi x misono which's a collaboration with Kumi's younger sister misono .
2 more songs faraway which will served as the theme song for the manga-based movie Dance Subaru starring Kuroki Meisa as the lead & a solo misono track Tenbin (Balance) ~Tsuyogari na Watashi x Yowagari na Watashi~ (~You Are My Last × Subtenancy Weak~) in which it's written & composed by Kumi's younger sister are included in the single in which It's all Love ! & faraway will be getting music videos of their own .
It's all Love ! is penned by both ladies for that matter .
It's interesting that the Koda sisters are teaming up together to release It's all Love ! . It took me quite a while to get used to misono's vocals as I don't know how she sounds like prior to this .
misono's vocals kinda clashed & doesn't tend to sound in sync with older sister Kumi that well in the beginning of the song but in due time she somehow managed to get the hang of things .
As for the music , it's a mean & somewhat fun mix of pop/rock & I just like the hard edge that's being thrown into It's all Love ! for good measures .
It's all Love ! is definitely a grower for me at this point in time .
faraway & misono's solo track Tenbin ~Tsuyogari na Watashi x Yowagari na Watashi~ will be reviewed in due time .
Monday, February 23, 2009
KAT-TUN - RESCUE Single Covers
CD Only Regular Edition Cover :
CD Only Limited Edition Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
Johnny's net has officially uploaded the covers for KAT-TUN's upcoming 10th single RESCUE on their website .
I start with the bad part of the covers - Kamenashi Kazuya's hair ! Ok 1st the dude sported a perm in the ONE DROP video & now a mohawk ?! T_T . I know I should not drag my fangirling moments in this music blog of mine where I tried to keep things as professional as possible but still this's bad .
Not exactly a good look for him considering that he just turned 23 today . I hope he's not facing an early mid life crisis in here , hairdo wise & Akanishi Jin needs a haircut too .
Having said that , I still think it's not the worst hairdo that Kame had . The worst to me's still the one that he had in the KAT-TUN Live Tour 2008 Queen Of Pirates DVD which was horrible beyond words .
ANYWAY , other than that , I like the colour combinations going on for all the covers , it's a nod to Nakamaru Yuichi's drama RESCUE - Tokubetsu Kodo Kyujotai I would say & oddly enough , the normal CD only cover of RESCUE somehow reminded me of The Click Five's Jenny .
RESCUE is scheduled for a 11th March release & be sure to get your copies to support KAT-TUN .
I will review the B-sides 7 DAYS BATTLE & On Your Mind - Please come back to me - in due time .
Aqua Timez - STAY GOLD
STAY GOLD is Aqua Timez's 9th single . This will be released on 4th March & it comes about 2 months+ since the release of their last single , the very catchy Velonica .
This's the group's 1st single to be released with a DVD & limited copies are printed to be sold .
Unlike Velonica , it took me quite a few listens to get the feel & hang of STAY GOLD . It has a slightly more harder rock edge than their previous singles which's cool & I like the guitar & drums going on in the tune as well .
This's definitely a grower & hopefully I will be able to get used to STAY GOLD in due time .
Aqua Timez will be releasing their 3rd album Utai Sarishi Hana a week after STAY GOLD .
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Hidemi Uematsu - Jidai (Period)
Jidai (Period) is Hidemi Uematsu's 2nd single . This comes almost 5 months+ since her debut single release Dear My Friends / Trauma & Jidai's her 1st release of 2009 .
I'm so happy to find that Hidemi has returned back with something new & Jidai's a slow mid tempo folk inspired tune & I can't help but drawn into Jidai the very moment I 1st heard it & I still think that she has 1 of the most distinct & unique voices in the JPop music scene which's great .
The song's calm & is different from what she has put out from her debut single release but this's still good & it's no doubt a great listen .
Ryo-kun will serve as the B-side in the single .
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Aqua Timez - Velonica
Velonica is Aqua Timez's 8th single . It was released on last month on the 14th & it serves as the 9th opening theme song for the anime series Bleach .
This's the 2nd time that their material been used to promote Bleach as their 4th single ALONES was the anime's 6th opening theme song .
I must say that this's a really delicious piece of catchy pop/rock song that this 5 piece under-rated band has delivered . I just like the way that vocalist Futoshi sings in Velonica & also combine that with an infectious pop/rock melody , this combination has a pure winning formula on hand .
I might have been a bit late on discovering this band's music but it's better late than never I suppose to catch hold of their brand of catchy pop/rock music .
The guys will be releasing their 9th single STAY GOLD on March 4th & a week after that , the release of their 3rd album Utai Sarishi Hana (Flower Of Distant Chanting) will commence .
Friday, February 20, 2009
Kuroki Meisa - Like This & Bad Girl
Like This & Bad Girl are 2 songs that will be made available in Kuroki Meisa's upcoming debut mini album hellcat .
Like This is her 1st digital single which was released last year on June 18th as Chaku-Uta and June 21 as full Chaku-Uta . It was used in Toshiba's Sportio (au) commercial which starred Kuroki herself .
Aside from being a singer , Kuroki is also an actress & a model . I already know about her as she acted as Sister Angela in One Pound Gospel with KAT-TUN's Kamenashi Kazuya & I didn't know she also sings on the sideline .
Her voice's pretty a-ok & she does pretty catchy R&B tunes & she shares the same record label as Yuna Ito & YUI ie. STUDIOSEVEN Recordings .
Both songs falls in the same category in that they're guilt free pleasure catchy songs that have strong R&B influenced beats in both tunes .
Like This has some fierce spunk & groovy beats & as the title suggest for Bad Girl , it's quite a dirty gritty piece of R&B no. .
hellcat will consist of 8 songs inclusive of Like This & Bad Girl . I'm quite interested to see how the rest of Kuroki's debut album sounds when it drops in due time as she's really a not bad singer in my books .
BREAKERZ - Smile in Tears & Dandelion ~Acoustic Version~ (GRAND FINALE's B-sides)
Smile in Tears & Dandelion ~Acoustic Version~ are the 2 B-sides found in JRock trio BREAKERZ's 4th single GRAND FINALE which was released 2 days ago .
Written & composed by guitarist AKIHIDE & arranged by the whole group , Smile in Tears sees a fierce mid tempo rock track delivered by BREAKERZ . For me I like that the song started off slowly & then slowly but surely , the song started to lash out at full brutal force .
There's somewhat a calm feeling being displayed in Smile in Tears at the end of the tune but in anycase , this's a really neat B-side . It reminded me a bit of LAST EMOTION if you ask me & it's a perfect contrast to the peppy no. that's of the A-side .
Originally found as track #4 in their 2nd album CRASH & BUILD , it's the acoustic version of Dandelion & words can't express just how am I a sucker for acoustic songs .
I already like the original take of Dandelion that was found in their 2nd album & for the guys to do an acoustic take of the song , it's just wow & you can tell the sincerity that frontman DAIGO displayed when he sings in here .
Once again , the guys have delivered another top notch single & I just like how each of the 3 songs on the single displayed emotions of happiness , moodiness & plain nostalgic feelings in which I feel each song was able to convey each emotion really well .
The guys will be releasing Everlasting Luv / BAMBINO ~Bambino~ on DAIGO's 31st birthday ie. 8th April & I will be keeping my ears out on their future new single release . Until then , I'm just going to enjoy listening to GRAND FINALE at this point in time .
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Namie Amuro - WILD / Dr. Covers
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
The covers for Namie Amuro's 33rd single WILD / Dr. are finally up & running & 1 word = WOW .
They weren't really what I thought it might be but these covers are even better than what I expected them to be . It's very dark & has that sexy edge to it even though frankly I don't know what Namie's trying to portray in this context but in anycase it's working in her favour for sure .
Now I just hope the music videos for both A-sides will be entertaining to watch just as what happened for 60s70s80s .
WILD / Dr. will be released next month on the 18th so be sure to get a copy to support her if you adore her music .
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
BREAKERZ - Everlasting Luv / BAMBINO ~Bambino~ Single Details
BREAKERZ/Everlasting Luv / Bambino[Regular Edition] CDA
1200 yen US$13/93.27 Release Date:2009/04/08
Description:New single release from BREAKERZ includes "Everlasting Luv" and "Bambino." Regular edition includes bonus track "Nanzenkai Nanmankai" and postcard. Includes application card (only valid in Japan).
URL - http://cdjapan.jp/d.html?KEY=ZACL-4013
BREAKERZ/Everlasting Luv / Bambino[w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type A] CDA
1238 yen US$13/93.27 Release Date:2009/04/08
Description:New single release from BREAKERZ includes "Everlasting Luv" and "Bambino." Limited edition type A includes bonus DVD with promotional footage of "Everlasting Luv" and bonus video footage. Includes application card (only valid in Japan). *Unless otherwise indicated, DVDs are region-2 encoded (Japan, Europe, and Middle East), and carry no subtitles.
URL - http://cdjapan.jp/d.html?KEY=ZACL-6024
BREAKERZ/Everlasting Luv / Bambino[w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type B] CDA
1238 yen US$13/93.27 Release Date:2009/04/08
Description:New single release from BREAKERZ includes "Everlasting Luv" and "Bambino." Limited edition type B includes bonus DVD with promotional footage of "Bambino" and bonus video footage. Includes application card (only valid in Japan). *Unless otherwise indicated, DVDs are region-2 encoded (Japan, Europe, and Middle East), and carry no subtitles.
URL - http://cdjapan.jp/d.html?KEY=ZACL-6025
1) Everlasting Luv
3) Nanzenkai ... Nanmankai ... (Thousand Times ... 10 Thousand Times ...) ～Acoustic Version～
Gaaa just received this from CDJapan & T_T at ZAIN RECORDS . BREAKERZ just released their new single GRAND FINALE today & in comes another bombshell in the form of their upcoming 5th single Everylasting Luv / BAMBINO ~Bambino~ .
Surprisingly or not , it will not be released in 4 different editions just like their 1st 3 double a-side singles . Instead it will follow the same format release as GRAND FINALE .
2 interesting things to point out that an acoustic version of Nanzenkai ... Nanmankai ... will only be included in the CD only edition of Everylasting Luv / BAMBINO ~Bambino~ & this song was originally found as track #1 in their 2nd album CRASH & BUILD .
Also it will be released on the same day as the frontman DAIGO's 31st birthday which's cool I suppose .
I'm not really sure how their new single will sound like but I have a feeling both might be love ballads of some kind especially with a song title like Everlasting Luv but hopefully I will be proven wrong about it in due time .
Single writing , composing & arrangement credits for Everlasting Luv / BAMBINO ~Bambino~ :
1) Everylasting Luv
Lyrics : DAIGO
Music : SHINPEI & DAIGO
Arrangement : BREAKERZ
2) BAMBINO ~Bambino~
Lyrics : DAIGO
Music : SHINPEI
Arrangement : BREAKERZ
3) Nanzenkai ... Nanmankai ... ～Acoustic Version～
Lyrics & Music : AKIHIDE
Arrangement : BREAKERZ
The JRock trio's brand new 5th single will be out on 8th April aka DAIGO's 31st birthday so be sure to get it when it's out . I know I will to support the guys even though at this rate they're pumping out singles , I'm going to be poor in due time but it's for a good cause so it's ok haha .
Yuna Ito - trust you
CD Only Regular Edition Cover :
CD Only Limited Edition Cover :
trust you is Yuna Ito's 13th single & the main A-side serves as the outro theme song for the 2nd season of the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam 00 .
This's Yuna's 1st single release of 2009 & this comes after 3 months+ since her last single release Koi wa groovy ×2 .
After putting out the highly energetic Koi wa groovy ×2 , Yuna has returned back to what she probably does best , delivering a solid ballad in the form of trust you . It's a very soothing ballad & Yuna managed to work her vocals in fine form in this aspect .
It does sound a bit repetitive here & there but other than that , this new single material of hers is something that I'm currently into at this point in time .
Brand New World , Koi wa groovy ×2 -dj-passion More Passion Remix- & trust you -GUNDAM 00 version- (only available in the CD only limited edition release of the single) will serve as B-sides in trust you .
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
ARASHI AROUND ASIA 2008 in TOKYO DVD Tracklist
1) Love so sweet
2) Oh Yeah !
3) Kitto Daijoubu (Surely Okay)
4) La tormenta 2004
6) Hadashi no Mirai (Bare Footed Future)
7) Aozora (Blue Sky) Pedal
8) Hello Goodbye (Aiba Masaki's Solo)
9) Subarashiki Sekai (It's A Wonderful World)
10) Tomadoinagara (With Puzzlement)
11) Still ...
12) Lucky Man
13) Take me faraway (Ohno Satoshi's Solo)
14) Niji [Rainbow] (Ninomiya Kazunari's Solo)
17) CARNIVAL NIGHT part 2
18) Kaze no Mukou e (Beyond The Wind)
21) Step and Go
22) a Day in Our Life
23) Tell me what you wanna be ?
24) Ichioku No Hoshi (One Hundred Million Stars)
26) Hip Pop Boogie (Sakurai Sho's Solo)
28) PIKA★★NCHI DOUBLE
29) Asu Ni Mukatte Hoeru (Bow Wow Against Tomorrow)
30) One Love
31) Kansha Kangeki Ame Arashi (Big Gratitude From Arashi)
32) Fight Song
33) Kaze (Wind)
34) Kotoba Yori Taisetsu na Mono (Important Than Words)
35) Sakura Sake
37) Gori Muchuu (Fog)
Document of KOKURITSU
The DVD tracklist for ARASHI's brand new DVD ARASHI AROUND ASIA 2008 in TOKYO is finally up & running & wow what I can say ? A generous 37 tracks is being included in both discs inclusive of documentary footages .
They did all the hits that they released last year except for Beautiful days & what's interesting to know that except for Matsumoto Jun , the rest of the guys have done their own solos in here (including the excellent Niji which's hands down the best solo work I heard of ARASHI , period) which's a bit weird but it's something that I can look over considering that he's probably the only guy in the group which doesn't have good solos except for I Want Somebody .
I'm surprised to see Ichioku No Hoshi on the list as I don't recall them doing this song live in their tour concerts & this's the 1st B-side found on their 15th single WISH & it's a great one for that matter & it's cool for them to slot this in as track #24 .
A minor gripe I have of the tracklist's that I wish that they performed more songs from their Dream"A"live album & it's not fair in a way that the only album track that they done was Sirius but I suppose being their 2nd Asian tour , they rather would stick to safe songs & perform hits that're more familiar with their fans that're living outside of Japan .
I'm not sure whether will the guys be releasing another DVD in line with their ARASHI Marks 2008 Dream "A" live tour which they did before they embarked on their 2nd Asian tour . I have a feeling it might be released as it doesn't make sense to me for J Storm to just release 1 DVD since the guys did 2 tours back to back last year , I guess it's only a matter of time in finding out whether it will be released or not .
ARASHI AROUND ASIA 2008 in TOKYO DVD will be released on March 25th so be sure to get your copy when it's out !
alan - Voice of EARTH Album Details
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
CD Tracklist :
1) Tennyo (Celestial Maiden) ~interlude~
2) Ashita e no Sanka (A Hymn For Tomorrow)
3) Sora Uta (Sky Song)
4) Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~
5) Hitotsu (One)
6) Kaze no Tegami (Letter Of Wind)
8) Yume (Dream) no Garden
9) Gunjou no Tani (Ultramarine Valley)
10) my friend
12) Tsuki ga Watashi (The Moon Is Me)
13) RED CLIFF ~Shin·Sen~ (~Heart.War~)
14) Megumi no Ame (Blessed Rain)
15) Together (First Press Track)
DVD Tracklist :
1) Ashita e no Sanka (A Hymn For Tomorrow)
2) Hitotsu (One)
3) Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~
4) Sora Uta (Sky Song)
5) Kaze no Tegami (Letter Of Wind)
6) RED CLIFF ~Shin·Sen~ (~Heart.War~)
7) Megumi no Ame (Blessed Rain)
8) Gunjou no Tani (Ultramarine Valley)
9) Gasshou (Choir Chorus) [Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~]
・ outro Gunjou no Tani Making Video
Voice of EARTH is the much anticipated Japanese debut album that will be released by Tibetan-Sichuan born singer alan on 4th March .
All of alan's singles ie. 8 of them are included in Voice of EARTH inclusive of her most recent hit Gunjou no Tani & excluding Tennyo ~interlude~ , you will expect 5/6 new songs of alan .
Unfortunately or not , the album will not contain Kuon no Kawa which's the Japanese version of Chi Bi ~Da Jiang Dong Qu~& that single will be released on 8th April & here I was thinking on whether will it be released as a recut single . Guess not .
The initial pressings for both editions of Voice of EARTH contains a bonus track Together , an 8 page photo booklet among other things .
Liberty serves as the theme song of the the dorama Hikon Doumei which's airing on Tokai TV & Together is the only track on Voice of EARTH that's composed by alan herself & it also be the only album track that will be getting a music video of its own .
Well all I can say that it's great to see that alan's debut Japanese album has seen the day/light since making her Japanese debut 2 years ago with Ashita e no Sanka .
I remembered when she began to put out her 5 elements single project , it got to a point where I wonder will an album be finally materialise especially since there were so many factors which led to the album being pushed all the back to this year but I suppose it's worth the wait .
I really don't know how will the album tracks stack up against the singles as it's definitely going to be a challenge & among the new songs , I'm definitely looking forward to hear Together .
Yume no Garden & Tsuki ga Watashi might be ballads especially with a title like Tsuki ga Watashi & & then straight after the song , in comes RED CLIFF ~Shin·Sen~ but in anycase , I'm not really that good in predicting songs from song titles alone but hopefully I will be proven wrong in due time .
Voice of EARTH will be released on 4th March & go & get a copy to support this really beautiful & talented lady . You wouldn't regret it for sure .
Monday, February 16, 2009
ARASHI - Believe / Kumori Nochi , Kaisei Covers
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Type A :
CD + DVD Type B :
The covers for ARASHI's Believe / Kumori Nochi , Kaisei have been released officially via http://www.johnnys-net.jp & oh this's quite surprising as I didn't expect this at all .
Not to mention earlier on I saw a 41 secs preview of the Believe video & it's very truth part 2 in that it has quite a dark theme going on which's probably paying homage to the lyrics of Believe which's somehow like ayumi hamasaki's fairyland in that both songs have happy melodies but yet the lyrics are saying something otherwise .
& out of the 3 covers , I say the CD + DVD Type A is the better one . Ohno should have smiled or don his Uta no Oii-san outfit for the CD + DVD Type B since Kumori Nochi , Kaisei's his own solo song that's came up specially for promotion for his drama .
In the case for the CD only cover , the guys looked a bit disoriented & a bit off key but at the end of the day , it's the music that matters so yeah .
Believe / Kumori Nochi , Kaisei is scheduled for a 4th March release & be sure to get your copy in due time when it's out !
Sunday, February 15, 2009
ARASHI - Tobira (Door) [Believe / Kumori Nochi , Kaisei's B-side]
Tobira (Door) is the B-side found in ARASHI's Believe / Kumori Nochi , Kaisei (After Sunny , Sunny) in which the single will be out next month on the 4th & you only can find Tobira in the CD only edition of the guys's new single .
So more or less the whole single has already leaked out on the net at this point in time except for the covers & the videos for Believe & Kumori Nochi , Kaisei .
This's sure 1 very upbeat & peppy tune that the guys have delivered . It does sound like Believe in a way music & style wise but still you can't help but be drawn into this pretty catchy B-side .
The single overall is yet another solid single that the guys have come up with . My only minor gripe about it is that I wished that Tobira was a ballad seeing that both A-sides are upbeat no.s so I thought it might be nice if Tobira doesn't fall into this category but that proved otherwise .
Still I like ARASHI & it's nice for them to start 2009 with a pretty good foot note .
ayumi hamasaki - Sparkle
Sparkle is the 2nd A-side in ayumi hamasaki's 45th single Rule / Sparkle & it's used to promote Honda Zest Spark in its advertisements .
Unfortunately or not , Sparkle did not receive a music video of its own which's probably the 1st double A-side of ayumi where you only get 1 instead of 2 music videos .
Unlike the charged up rock no. that's of Rule , Sparkle sees ayumi taking a different music direction . It's very electropop with dark shades of trance & techno thrown in for good measures .
I wasn't expecting that much before I heard Sparkle but I must say that I'm real impressed on what I have heard for her 2nd A-side & musically she has gone a different direction which's really cool .
Both songs will be eventually included in her 10th album NEXT LEVEL which will be out on 25th March & the DVD tracklist will comprises of 6 videos . I do hope that Sparkle will get 1 because it will be a pity if that didn't materialised as it's such a great song .
But until then , Rule / Sparkle will be released in due time on 25th this month & be sure to get a copy when it's out .
Friday, February 13, 2009
ARASHI AROUND ASIA 2008 in TOKYO DVD & ayumi hamasaki's 10th Album - NEXT LEVEL Details
Arashi/ARASHI Around Asia 2008 in Tokyo DVD
5524 yen US$60/91.74 Release Date:2009/03/25
Description:Live DVD release from Arashi featuring footage of the live "ARASHI Around Asia 2008 in Tokyo" at Kasumigaseki (NAASH.) This is their second concert tour in Asia. Includes the tracks "truth / Kaze no Mukou e," "One Love," "Step and Go," "Re(mark)able (the track created for this Asian Tour)," and more! Also includes documentary of rehearsal, recording of the track "Re(mark)able," and more.
URL - http://cdjapan.jp/d.html?KEY=JABA-5046
Ah this's so awesome ! I somehow was able to sense that sooner or later the guys will be releasing a DVD for their 2nd Asian tour which took place last year & naturally I will be waiting for the OS press of this to be out in due time as I don't see the need to spend so much $ on a Japan press where I can get an OS press for 1/2 the original cost .
There's so far no word on whether are there any 1st press items available for their new DVD . Only time will tell I guess . That & also whether or not Beautiful days is included in the tracklisting .
------------------+++------------------It has been announced via ayumi hamasaki's official website (http://avexnet.or.jp/ayu/en/index.html) that her 10th & overall 11th studio album NEXT LEVEL will be released on the same day as ARASHI's DVD ie. both releases will be out on 25th March .
The album will be released exactly a month later after her 45th single Rule / Sparkle in a whopping 4 different editions in CD , CD + DVD , 2 CDs + DVD & a 2GB thumbdrive & the thumbdrive is expected to be priced at ¥6800 .
This's sure a 1st for me in seeing an album that will be released in a thumbdrive & it's specially customised & fitted with her 10th anniversary logo .
So far there's no additional information on the tracklist of NEXT LEVEL but from what I gathered so far , there will be 13 tracks on the CD & 6 videos are included in the DVD inclusive of the making of behind the scenes footage for each video .
In the case of the 2nd CD pertaining to the 2 CDs + DVD , it will contain live audio footage taken from her Premium Countdown Live 2008-2009 A concert in which this's something I can do without seeing that I'm not big on live audio material to begin with .
If NEXT LEVEL were to be released in CD + 2 DVDs in which the 2nd DVD contains footage from her Premium Countdown Live 2008-2009 A gig then it's something I might consider to get .
For now I will settle on the CD + DVD . As much as I like the thumbdrive with it being very pretty & all , it's not realistic & it's so expensive for me to afford seeing that it's said outta the 2GB space , only 800MB will be used to contain the material for NEXT LEVEL . Somemore I already have a thumbdrive that's 8GB so it defeats the whole purpose anyway .
CDJapan gave details of the thumbdrive as follows on their site & it's under the collectible segment - "Memorial tenth album release from Ayumi Hamasaki in USB memory stick! This USB stick contains her 13 new songs, six music videos, and lyrics data of the album on non-erasable area (details subject to change) and the USB Memory stick comes in a shape of Ayu's logo. Also includes a chain that enables you to wear the stick as a pendant. Rest of the capacity of the memory enables to use as a normal USB memory (1.3GB approx.)."
NEXT LEVEL & ARASHI AROUND ASIA 2008 in TOKYO DVD are both scheduled for a 25th March release so be sure to get them in due time when it's out !
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
CD Review :: Aoyama Thelma - LOVE !
Cover For Both CD & CD + DVD :
1) Soba ni Iru ne (I'm By Your Side) Feat SoulJa
2) Daikkirai Demo Arigatou (I Hate You , But Thanks)
3) Nando mo (How Many Times)
4) Mamoritai Mono (I Want To Protect This)
5) Suki Desu. (I Like.)
6) Konomam Zutto (This Much Remains)
7) Last Letter
8) LOVE DJ KAWASAKI REMIX
LOVE ! is Aoyama Thelma's 1st love song compilation album & it was released yesterday .
4 singles excluding her debut single ONE WAY are included in this somewhat mini album & initially I counted this as her 2nd album .
However after consulting my friend Travis his opinions on this issue , I decided to count this as a compilation album as it doesn't make sense if this's her 2nd album since already 1/2 the album is filled with material that she has released prior to LOVE ! & not to mention the tracklist's somewhat limited/meagre .
Soba ni Iru ne (I'm By Your Side) Feat SoulJa is the 1st track listed on LOVE ! & it's Aoyama's 2nd single & enough has been stressed on the fact that this's still her biggest hit to date as subsequent single releases of her so far unfortunately weren't able to match up to the same success that Soba ni Iru ne has obtained , be it chart position or sales wise .
I still like this song even though it has been almost a year since it was released .
Daikkirai Demo Arigatou (I Hate You , But Thanks) is track #2 & her 5th/most recent single prior to the release of LOVE ! . I remembered before this single was released , I was still somewhat baffled with the strange song title but in due time I'm ok with this no. & it's pretty much a standard R&B tune .
Nando mo (How Many Times) is Aoyama's 3rd single & this's so far her only single release to be released in 2 different formats & it's easy to see why as this's 1 of her better mid tempo R&B no.s & there's a slight R&B edge it portrayed as compared to her other mid tempo tunes that Aoyama has released .
From another mid tempo no. to the next , in comes Mamoritai Mono (I Want To Protect This) which's her 4th single release . I somehow always have a soft spot for Mamoritai Mono though . Maybe because of the serenity/calmness that the song displayed or probably the single cover & promo pic for Mamoritai Mono played a part in this aspect too but other than ONE WAY , Mamoritai Mono's 1 of my fave Aoyama single releases .
Suki Desu. (I Like.) is the 1st new song in LOVE ! & it's track #5 . I reviewed this song a while back ago separately on its own & so here I'm doing it again .
I still find this song a bit un-memorable & it lacks the spark/oomph factor as compared to other mid tempo album tracks that Aoyama has done but it's no doubt a grower for me .
Konomam Zutto (This Much Remains) is track #6 & it's currently used in promotion for the dodrama Q.E.D. & out of the 4 new songs in LOVE ! (not counting Last Letter because it was already available in her debut album DIARY) , this probably's my fave album track in this compilation simply because I like the sincerity that Aoyama conveys in this song & also most importantly , it's catchy & memorable unlike Suki Desu. although I oddly find the song similar in sounding as Mamoritai Mono & Nando mo .
Last Letter is track #7 & this was originally found as track #5 in Aoyama's debut album DIARY . I'm not sure why it's slotted in here again but it was nice hearing Last Letter after a while .
LOVE DJ KAWASAKI REMIX is the longest track in LOVE ! & at 7:05 mins , it's something & in this context , it's a mid tempo tune (like again) & I was a bit bored with LOVE DJ KAWASAKI REMIX as it got a bit un-memorable for my liking & it's not easy trying to keep my excitement level up in this but for a remix , it's decent fare considering that in the 1st place I'm not big on remixes .
again is the final track in LOVE ! & this's a cover of Janet Jackson & it's the only full Eng song on the album . I don't know why Aoyama choose to cover this song but anyway I'm real impressed with this tune that she has delivered .
I never heard the original done by Janet before but Aoyama more or less did herself a good job in here as her Eng command/dictation's real good
As the name of the album suggests , LOVE ! is a collage that's filled with some of Aoyama's best love songs .
A major gripe that I had with this album is that she should have spread out the 4 singles evenly instead of lumping all of them together as it doesn't sound like a good idea putting all the material she released already in the front row & then in the process the album tracks are neglected .
& like what I said before on full R&B blown albums , it's not easy carving a niche in this area as most of the material an R&B artiste will churn out , will have a tendency to sound the same if not similar to its singles counterparts .
Also it wouldn't hurt to include some new material in here as I can't help but feel a bit short changed in that I'm only getting 4 new tracks in this new record that Aoyama released .
Other than these few gripes that I had on LOVE ! , it's a decent compilation album & if you're in need of some love especially since Valentine's Day's hovering around the corner , then you probably want to get this copy of LOVE ! & also to show your support towards Aoyama .
Monday, February 09, 2009
ARASHI's Ninomiya Kazunari - ORION (Mika Nakashima's Cover)
Yesterday , ARASHI's Ninomiya Kazunari played a cover version of Mika Nakashima's hit ORION which he sung himself on his radio show Baystorm in which of course ORION's used as an insert song to promote Nino's drama Ryusei no Kizuna .
I usually am quite picky when comes to artistes covering really good songs but I have to say that Nino really did justice to the original that Mika sang . The most significant difference in Nino's case is that he incorporated an erhu & a violin in the music background which's awesome .
I think it's cool for him to cover really good songs from time to time & then playing them on his radio show Baystorm & not to mention , I also enjoyed his cover of GReeeeN's Kiseki too .
Some of his solo songs that he wrote/composed in which my fave outta the lot has to be Niji which's found in the band's 7th album Time which's 1 solo song that's highly recommended to listen/check out .
Sunday, February 08, 2009
BREAKERZ - GRAND FINALE
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Type A Cover :
CD + DVD Type B Cover :
GRAND FINALE is BREAKERZ's 4th single & it's the trio's 1st release for 2009 which's scheduled to be released on 18th this month .
CDJapan describes the main track that's based on the theme of "graduation" .
The release of GRAND FINALE comes after 3 months+ of releasing their 3rd album , the fantastic BIG BANG ! & for once it's not a double a-side single release since they put out 3 double a-sides back to back when they began releasing singles last July .
Well it's no secret that I'm a massive fan of this very talented JRock trio & I really love GRAND FINALE on 1st listen .
For a song that's based on graduation , it's surprising to note that this song's very uplifting/catchy/rocking & it does sound a bit like a cross between SUMMER PARTY , Angelic Smile & WINTER PARTY .
Still I'm not complaining & I just love how GRAND FINALE turns out to be .
Smile in Tears & an acoustic version of Dandelion will serve as B-sides in the single .
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Namie Amuro - Dr.
Dr. is the 2nd A-side of Namie Amuro's 33rd single WILD / Dr. . Dr. is used in the latest Vidal Sassoon TV ad in which Namie's the spokeswoman for the company .
Dr is a dramatic ballad inspired by Maurice Ravel's classic orchestral piece Bolero .
Even though by right WILD / Dr. is not scheduled to be released til 18th next month , the single has already leaked out , excluding the instrumentals .
My 1st impression of hearing Dr. is that it's basically a hot mess of the good kind in that the song utilise quite a lot of different samples which're stringed together with synths .
It sounds weird but it actually works in Namie's favour & just like WILD , Dr. gets really addictive as each listen goes by .
Just when I thought Namie wasn't able to come up with a great single that's of 60s70s80s , in comes another smashing great single in the form of WILD / Dr. & it's so far 1 of my fave single releases of 2009 .
Hopefully a new album will follow suit as it has been 2 years since her last album PLAY was released .
ARASHI - season
season is a new song sung by ARASHI & just like the 1st B-side in their Beautiful days single that's Boku ga boku no subete (I Have All My) , season is currently being used in the TV advertisements of the handphone company Au in which the band's the spokesperson for the brand .
I just like how catchy & carefree the song sounds & you can tell that the song's very enka influenced which's awesome .
I'm not sure whether season will make the cut in their future 9th album although I really hope to see it on the tracklist eventually . The same thing goes for Green as well as I really like the live version that they sung last year when they were on tour .
But before that can happen , the guys will be releasing Believe / Kumori Nochi , Kaisei which will be out in stores next month on the 4th .
GReeeeN - Setsuna (Moment)
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
Setsuna (Moment) is GReeeeN's 10th single . Scheduled for a 11th March release , this's the quartet's 2nd single release of the year & it comes in almost a month or so since the release of their previous single release Ayumi .
The group's brand new single serves as the theme song to the brand new dodrama VOICE which stars Ikuta Toma .
This's 1 artiste in which they have been delivering the goods & I have to say that so far they have not disappoint me with their brand of catchy pop/rock & Setsuna is yet another fantastic & a great sing-a-long tune .
Oh sure it probably sounds like any other songs that they do but personally I love their music & you basically can't find any fault with their material at all .
Ameagari (Right After Stopped Rain) will serve as the B-side in Setsuna & if this's not enough for your GReeeeN's music addiction , they will be singing (& releasing in due time) the theme song for the Rookies movie which's not surprising considering that their biggest hit to date Kiseki was used for the Rookies drama .
& maybe before or after that's done , a 3rd album will follow suit .
Friday, February 06, 2009
Namie Amuro - WILD
WILD is the 1st A-side of Namie Amuro's upcoming 33rd single WILD / Dr. . Her 1st single release of 2009 is set for a March 18th release . This comes in almost a year since Namie's last single release , the highly successful & her 1st triple A side 60s70s80s & also nearly 8 months since the release of the monster huge million selling compilation album release that's of BEST FICTION .
WILD is used to promote Coke Zero while the 2nd A-side Dr. will be used to promote Vidal Sassoon's hair products in which Namie's the spokeswoman for both companies & WILD has been described as a mix of electro , euro , house , R&B & that it's an exciting & powerful dance number with wild & varied vocals .
To say that WILD's extremely addictive , that's an understatement to say the least ! You can definitely tell that it's quite different from the usual stuff that Namie has done in the past .
For me I just like how WILD sounds & the way that Namie work her vocals in this pretty heavily synth no. , it's really nice & the song's very catchy as each listen goes by .
It does have some similar sounding traits to Full Moon before the song starts & ends but other than that , WILD's a really neat song & needless to say , I can't stop listening to this song at this point in time .
The 2nd A-side Dr. will be reviewed in due time .
Thursday, February 05, 2009
ai otsuka - Bye Bye
Bye Bye is ai otsuka's 19th single & her 2nd recut single after her 7th single release Kuroge Wagyu Joshio Tan Yaki 680 Yen .
Unlike her past single releases , Bye Bye will only be released in a CD + DVD edition which the DVD will contain the video of the song & there will be limited pressings available .
Found as track 3 in her latest 5th album LOVE LETTER , Bye Bye's scheduled for a 25th release this month & it's used in the commercial for the Japanese beer company Asahi's new refreshment drink "Slat" . (yeah I know it's weird especially since the title of the song doesn't gel well with the endorsement product in question so don't ask) .
I should add the single cover , promo pics & the video were all shot in US , California .
Frankly , this's 1 song that I'm glad she decided to release as a recut single as I feel it's 1 of the more stronger album tracks in LOVE LETTER although I wished it might have been better if maybe Ai or Creamy & Spicy were to be the ones getting short listed .
For me I like how laid back & care free Bye Bye sounds & the video pretty much did justice to the song .
My concern's that being a recut single , how will it fare when it's out in due time since it's notoriously known that recut singles don't tend to sell/perform well but there're some exceptions like Utada Hikaru's Prisoner Of Love .
Only time will tell whether Bye Bye's able to stack up against the masses as otsuka's up against some heavyweights on 25th that week with the likes of fellow label mate ayumi hamasaki & abingdon boys school .
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
The SHIGOTONIN - Namida Karerumad (Til Tears Would Be Shed Totally) [Kyoka Suigetsu's B-side]
Namida Karerumad (Til Tears Would Be Shed Totally) is the B-side no. found in Johnny & Associates's latest temporary unit trio The SHIGOTONIN's 1st & possibly last single Kyoka Suigetsu which's released officially today .
Unlike the old school enka inspired like tune that's of the A-side Kyoka Suigetsu , Namida Karerumad is a more simplistic song in that it's a very simple no. driven by the strumming of an acoustic guitar which's really laidback & it balances things really well alongside with Kyoka Suigetsu .
The little rap that was done in the midst of Namida Karerumad adds a nice touch to the song & all the guys's vocals were able to harmonise really well together .
I didn't know what to expect when I 1st heard The SHIGOTONIN's Kyoka Suigetsu single but after that , I was real impressed on what surprises that they had up their sleeves .
Kyoka Suigetsu is a nice little package overall & I can't wait to get my copy of their single in due time when stock comes in .
Sunday, February 01, 2009
alan - Gunjou no Tani (Ultramarine Valley) Acoustic Version
Gunjou no Tani (Ultramarine Valley) Acoustic Version is available in alan's 8th single Gunjou no Tani & unlike her past 7 singles , her latest & 1st single release of 2009 does not contain any B-sides .
As a result , you have to settle for an acoustic version of the A-side & frankly I was real surprised when I heard it earlier on as I thought an acoustic guitar might be used for it but instead an erhu was used in place for the acoustic version of Gunjou no Tani which's really cool & alan's vocals are pretty much in control in here .
I like both the original & acoustic takes of the song if you ask me & I feel it's 1 of alan's best singles that she has put out to date so far in her career .
Gunjou no Tani is set for release this coming Wed & exactly a month later on , her much anticipated debut album Voice of EARTH will be released & I can't wait for that to happen .
Awesome stuff .
ayumi hamasaki - Rule (OST Dragonball Evolution)
Rule is the 1st A-side song taken from ayumi hamasaki's upcoming 45th single release Rule / Sparkle which's scheduled for release this month on 25th & it's her 1st single release of 2009 .
This new release of ayumi comes in almost less than 2 months since her previous release Days / GREEN .
The 1st A-side will served as the international theme song for the movie Dragonball Evolution & wow can I say ? Rule is pretty much quite a fast paced hard rock no. & it's 1 of her most hard rock songs to date & you pretty much can slot in Rule in the same place as GAME , is this LOVE ? & her most recent stuff such as talkin' 2 myself & album tracks like (don’t) Leave me alone as well .
I love rock music & it helps that I really adore Rule the 1st time I heard a 55 secs preview of it & when the full version's finally up & running , I was really blown away literally & I suppose it fits the whole theme of Dragonball Evolution really well for that matter .
The 2nd A-side Sparkle is used to promote Honda Zest Spark in its advertisements .