Monday, June 29, 2009

flumpool - Natsu (Summer) Dive

Natsu (Summer) Dive is the 2nd A-side of flumpool's 2nd single MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ / Natsu Dive which will be released this coming Wed .

YesAsia describes it as a rhythm-filled summer tune & it's easy to see why after you give Natsu Dive a listen & everything , from the video to the song , screams out summer & quirky coming from this 4 piece very talented indie rock band .

I must say that Natsu Dive wasn't grabbing at all on 1st listen because I was so used to their real catchy straight up rock songs like Hoshi ni Negai wo & MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ & Natsu Dive took quite a lot outta me to warm up to but after a few listens , I began to enjoy the song just as much as the 1st A-side of their new single .

The B-side Siren will be reviewed in due time .

Sunday, June 28, 2009

ON / OFF - Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi (Two Beats And A Red Sin)

CD Only Cover :

Vampire Knight Special CD Only Limited Edition Cover :

CD + DVD Cover :

Tracklist :

1) Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi (Two Beats And A Red Sin) (Vampire Ver.)
2) Signal
3) Asayake (Sunglow)
4) Sagashimono (A Thing Someone Is Looking For)

Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi (Two Beats And A Red Sin) is ON / OFF's 2nd single . It was released last year on 4th April & it was used as the opening theme song for the anime Vampire Knight .

Kanon Wakeshima's debut single still doll served as the closing theme song for the anime .

This's the twin brothers's 1st top 20 single & it's their 2nd most successful single in terms of chart ranking .

To describe the A-side as having a touch of Gothic atmosphere , it couldn't be more fitting isn't it ? The difference between the Vampire Ver. & the one found in their debut album Legend Of Twins I : Futago Densetsu is that the Vampire Ver. is much longer than the album version .

You can hear an extended 20 seconds + for the Vampire Ver. of Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi in here while you wouldn't get that in the album take of the song .

Still regardless of which , I like both editions as it's quite a dark & angsty song & I think it fits the whole concept of Vampire Knight really well .

There're 3 B-sides in Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi , the 1st is something called Signal .

I frankly find Signal ok which's a typical pop song . To me , there's nothing fantastic to shout about Signal . As a result , I will not consider it as my fave B-side in Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi .

Asayake (Sunglow) is the 2nd B-side & I really like this no. more than Signal . It's a nice soothing ballad which really showed the brothers being really at ease in here , vocal wise .

The final B-side Sagashimono (A Thing Someone Is Looking For) is a real cheery guitar pop tune & I like it that it's real catchy on 1st listen .

Unlike Signal , what Sagashimono has & what Signal doesn't is that the guitar hooks & melody for Sagashimono is easy to remember & catch on as it took me a few rounds of listens to remember as to how Signal sounds .

To me , ON / OFF's 2nd single is a music step up or 2 after their debut single Eien no Setsuna . The A-side itself is already a winner in its own right & the 3 B-sides included in the single more or less serve its respective purposes in complimenting Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi real nicely , hand in hand together .

Saturday, June 27, 2009

ayaka - Minna Sora no Shita (All Under The Sky)

Minna Sora no Shita (All Under The Sky) is ayaka's 11th single . It will be released on 8th July & it comes in 3 months + since the release of previous single Yume wo Mikata ni / Koi Kogarete Mita Yume .

Her new single is currently being used for promotion in the latest ASIENCE sience shampoo ad & this's said to be her last single before she's going on hiatus to seek treatment for
Graves' Disease .

From what I know , there will be 2 different versions of Minna Sora no Shita in that the video version is 1/2 acapella & 1/2 non acapella whereas it wouldn't be the case for the CD version of the song where it's a straight up non acapella affair .

But anyway , from the video version of ayaka's new single , I have to say I haven't heard anything as unique as this of ayaka in a really long time . I was very impressed that the 1st 2-3 mins of the song was acapella & she proves to me once again on why she's 1 of the rare singers in the Japan music scene that's able to carry such a great tune or 2 , be it acapella or not .

& the non acapella aspect of Minna Sora no Shita is also great as well with minimal piano tunes backing her up which serves to highlight ayaka's vocals even better than ever .

Arigatou (Thank You) & a live audio Koi Kogarete Mita Yume (The Dream You Yearned For) recorded from her live stage performance on April 22nd 2009 at Nihon Budokan serve as B-sides in the single & both Minna Sora no Shita & Arigatou were written & composed by ayaka herself .

Friday, June 26, 2009

CD Review :: GReeeeN - Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER-

Cover For Both CD Only & CD + DVD's editions :

Tracklist :

1) Hikari (Light)
2) Kuchibue (Whistle)
3) Haruka (Far)
4) Ayumi (Milestones)
5) Itsumademo (Forever)
6) Tabibito (Traveler)
7) Hareruya (Hallelujah) !!!!
9) Setsuna (Moment)
10) Fuyu no Aru Hi no Uta (Song Of A Winter's Day)
11) Tobira (Door)
12) Sora e no Tegami (Letter To The Sky)
13) Fubouta (Parents' Song)
14) Kiseki (Miracle) [CD Only Bonus Track]
15) Hige , Kosō (Hidden Track)

Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- is GReeeeN's 3rd album . It was released on 10th June , on the same day as the re-released edition of their 11th single Haruka (Far) .

4 singles & a B-side are included in Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- & it has been almost a year since the release of their last album A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu. .

The album also contains an initally untitled hidden track when it was 1st released but the song since have been given a title in the form of Hige , Kosō .

Hikari (Light) is a fast paced mid tempo song which kicked things off in Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- . The melody took me by surprise because it was a bit unusual sounding coming from GReeeeN themselves . But still , this's a relatively catchy tune & a good start on what you should expect in their new album .

Kuchibue (Whistle) is the 2nd's album track & I actually find Kuchibue amusing because it's pretty much a crazy whacked song that GReeeeN delivered but compared to their relatively crazy songs like Boyonka Boyoyonka ~Yukai na Otona-tachi~ (~Adults Cheerful~) Feat 2BACKKA & UNITEBUS & Party People , Kuchibue's considered tame .

What I like about Kuchibue is that after the 2nd chorus was delivered , there's a short instrumental bridge that has really nice synth beat going on which's great .

The next 2 songs are singles that GReeeeN has already released prior to the release of Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- .

Haruka (Far) is the group's 11th single & it's the theme song for the movie Rookies . Their 7th single Kiseki (Miracle) was used for the drama so I guess it's kinda more fitting for the guys to 'return' to provide the theme song for the movie adaption of Rookies .

Like what I mentioned before , a special re-release edition of Haruka was released on the same day as Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- & both editions of Haruka , be it the original or the re-release edition , sound great & I just love the lyrical content of Haruka too .

Ayumi (Milestones) is the quartet's 9th single & it was their 1st single release of 2009 . Not much to comment about Ayumi other than the fact that it's a catchy pop/rock song that GReeeeN has delivered .

Itsumademo (Forever) is the 1st album ballad track & it's such a nice/enduring song which's arranged real simply with a backing of a piano , some percussions & you can also hear echoes of children in the background .

The guys just let their vocals do the work in Itsumademo & this's what I really like about the song in that it's simplicity at its best .

Tabibito (Traveler) & Hareruya (Hallelujah) !!!! are 2 of the album's most upbeat songs . I realised that Tabibito sounded a bit too similar to SUN SHINE !!! & Mata ne. (See You Again.) in the beginning but at least in due time , the song began to take a life of its own .

Hareruya !!!! is probably the album's most crazy over the top track as the guys really just let loose in this party inspired tune & there're some gorgeous Caribbean inspired beats going on before the song concludes & I think this's like the perfect track to blast if you're in the beach .

STORY is the album's 2nd album ballad & just like Itsumademo , it's also another winner in the bag as STORY is just the guys singing alongside with the backing of an acoustic guitar which's lovely & there's no way you cannot dislike such a pleasant guitar pop no. at all .

Setsuna (Moment) is GReeeeN's 10th single & it served as the theme song to the dodrama VOICE which starred Ikuta Toma .

I love Setsuna on 1st listen because it's such a great mid tempo no. & with the backing of fierce beats , this's another single winner in GReeeeN's singles discography .

Fuyu no Aru Hi no Uta (Song Of A Winter's Day) is the only B-side track that made the cut in Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- & this's was originally found in the 2 CDs limited edition of the group's 8th single Tobira (Door) .

Honestly , I was very surprised & happy that they have included this Christmas inspired no. Fuyu no Aru Hi no Uta in the album as I remembered when I 1st listened to Fuyu no Aru Hi no Uta during the time when Tobira was released last Dec , I immediately loved it on 1st listen .

So naturally , I was real stoked to find Fuyu no Aru Hi no Uta as track #10 in Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- as it's a really solid B-side & even though Christmas will not be knocking on your door til 5-6 months + later , it shouldn't stop you from listening to Fuyu no Aru Hi no Uta at all .

& speaking of Tobira , it's slotted in as track #11 & it's the last single to be included in the album . I have no complaints about Tobira at all (as I generally like all of GReeeeN's singles) & Tobira's no exception .

This's a nice mid tempo no. & I like the piano going on in Tobira which really keeps me charmed from the start to the end .

Sora e no Tegami (Letter To The Sky) is yet another fantastic album track & just like Tobira , it's piano driven except in this case , the emphasis on piano is a lot more stronger in Sora e no Tegami .

Fubouta (Parents' Song) I feel is the only weak link in Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- because it took me quite a while to remember as to how it actually sounds . The intro of Fubouta really reminded me of Haruka slightly but other than that , it took me a few listens before I actually can remember on how Fubouta sounds .

After I got that outta the way , it's a nice slow no. but I will not consider it as my fave album track in this context .

Only available in the 1st press CD only edition of the album , it's the quartet's 7th single Kiseki .

I don't know why they decided to include Kiseki as a bonus track but it's something that I don't mind at all .

Besides , it's not their highest selling single for nothing & at this point in time , it's still their only #1 single that they have attained in their career at this point in time & it's a song that I never get bored of listening at all & I just love the lyrics going on in Kiseki too .

Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- is frankly a music step up for GReeeeN from their previous album offering A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu & in general , I really like the whole package that the quartet has delivered in the form of their latest album Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- .

Judging from the sales that their 3rd album has gathered so far at this point in time (it has stayed on #1 for 2 straight weeks & has lodged about 625K worth of physical sales at this point in time) , I guess that's already saying something .

Initally , I was worried on whether can GReeeeN live up to exceptations especially since their 1st 2 albums were good but they really have proven me wrong in here . The album tracks are generally solid if you compare them against the singles .

GReeeeN has come of age & maturity with Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- & if you like to listen to an artiste that blends pop , pop/rock , enka & even folk & rap in their music material , then probably GReeeeN's the perfect artiste to get yourself acquited with .

Thursday, June 25, 2009

ARASHI - ARASHI 5x10 All the BEST ! 1999 - 2009 Compilation Album Details

Tracklist ::

Disc 1 :

4) Typhoon Generation
5) Kansha Kangeki Ame Arashi (Big Gratitude From Arashi)
6) Kimi no Tame ni Boku ga Iru (I Have For You)
7) Jidai (Period)
8) a Day in Our Life
9) Nice na Kokoroiki (Spirit)
11) Tomadoinagara (With Puzzlement)
12) Hadashi no Mirai (Bare Footed Future)
13) Kotoba Yori Taisetsu na Mono (Important Than Words)
15) Hitomi no Naka no (In The Eyes) Galaxy
16) Hero

Disc 2 :

1) Sakura Sake
3) Kitto Dajioubu (Surely Ok)
4) Aozora (Blue Sky) Pedal
5) Love so sweet
6) We can make it !
7) Happiness
8) Step and Go
9) One Love
10) truth
11) Kaze no Mukou e (Beyond The Wind)
12) Beautiful days
13) Believe
14) Ashita no Kioku (Memories Of Tomorrow)
15) Crazy Moon ~Kimi wa Muteki~ (~You Are Invincible~)
16) 5x10

Disc 3 titled ARASHI's Selection (only available in the 3 CDs limited edition) :

2) Yes ? No ?
4) Natsu no Namae (The Name Of Summer)
5) Oh Yeah !
6) Re(mark)able
7) Boku ga Boku no Subete (I Have All My)
8) Still ...
9) Be with you
10) Subarashiki Sekai (It's A Wonderful World)

ARASHI 5x10 All the BEST ! 1999 - 2009 will be ARASHI's upcoming 3rd compilation album .

Scheduled to be released on 19th Aug , this has been almost 5 years since their last compilation album ARASHI 5×5 The Best Selection of 2002←2004 was released .

The normal edition will have 2 discs while the limited edition will contains 3 discs & you will get a 40 page booklet & package .

The 3 CDs limited edition contains a 3rd disc titled ARASHI's Selection which includes 10 songs selected by the members .

1) COOL & SOUL ; track #7 in their 6th album ARASHIC
2) Yes ? No ? ; track #13 in their 5th album One
3) ONLY LOVE ; track #5 in their 3rd album How's it going ?
4) Natsu no Namae (The Name Of Summer) ; track #2 in their 5th album One
5) Oh Yeah ! ; track #1 in their 7th album Time
6) Re(mark)able ; only available in a special disc that's available together with their ARASHI IS ALIVE ! photobook
7) Boku ga Boku no Subete (I Have All My) ; 1st B-side in their 24th single Beautiful days
8) Still ... ; 1st B-side in their 20th single Happiness
9) Be with you ; track #12 in their 7th album Time
10) Subarashiki Sekai (It's A Wonderful World) ; track #6 in their 5th album One

Their 27th single Everything which will be released next Wed , will not be included in here .

It's about TIME that they have decided to put this compilation album out as this year's the band's 10th anniversary & so I feel the title's very fitting & not to mention the tracklist is solid beyond my expectations .

I'm looking forward to the release of ARASHI 5x10 All the BEST ! 1999 - 2009 & no surprises , I will be getting the 3 CDs limited edition when it's made available to be sold here locally .

Monday, June 22, 2009

CD Review :: flumpool - Unreal EP

Slipcase Cover :

Tracklist :

1) Hana ni Nare (When Flowers)
2) Harukaze (Spring Wind)
3) Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~ (~Light Bridge~)
4) 388859
5) Hello
6) labo
8) Mirai (Future)
9) Hana ni Nare (Instrumental)
10) Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~ (Instrumental)

Unreal is flumpool's debut mini album & it was released last year on 19th Nov .

The record contains 2 indie singles Mirai Kanai (renamed as Mirai in Unreal) & labo . You also can find 2 digital released singles Hana ni Nare (When Flowers) & Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~ (~Light Bridge~) in here too .

All the songs that I have mentioned received music videos of their own except for Mirai (Kanai) .

Hana ni Nare is the quartet's 1st digital single & it's also the 1st track to kick things off in Unreal .

It's also the longest no. in the album , clocking in at 6:25 mins & it was used as a campaign song for au KDDI "LISMO" & last year in Sept , it was used as promotion for SPACESHOWER TV's POWER PUSH .

This's the song that more or less started out my flumpool music journey after my friend Eirynne convinced me to try out the band's material . I was immediately hooked onto Hana ni Nare as I really adore the guitar riffs , strings & drums beats going on in the no. .

Despite being the longest track in Unreal , I don't mind it really as it more or less sets the bar on what you should expect for Unreal & also this's such a great song , it's hard not to get hooked when you 1st listened to it .

Harukaze (Spring Wind) is another song that receives a music video of its own & this's a great lovely mid tempo no. & it's yet another catchy song . You can find an acoustic take of Harukaze in the guys's 1st official debut single Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish On A Star) which's lovely to boot .

Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~ is flumpool's 2nd digital single before they started to release singles in physical CD format this year in Feb . It was used as the theme song for the dodrama Bloody Monday .

This's the album's 1st ballad & what a nice no. that the band delivered . Lead guitarist/vocalist Ryuuta is more or less in fine form in Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~ & with such a gorgeous melody going on in Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~ , what's there not to like about it ?

388859 is quite an angsty song & flumpool has so much energy & spunk in delivering this no. . It took me a while to remember on how 388859 sounds like & it doesn't really help that it's the only song on Unreal that has no.s in its song title .

But after that's out of the way , I have no problems remembering how 388859 sounds & I like this song now .

Hello is a slice of indie rock at its finest . It was a bit boring for me when I 1st listened to it though but after a few listens to Hello , I'm more or less ok with it but I will not consider it as my fave track in Unreal . It's like being included for the sake of inclusion to fill up Unreal , if you know what I mean .

labo is the group's 2nd indie single & it was the opening theme of TBS's CDTV last year in Aug .

Only 5,000 copies of the single were printed to be sold & you have 2 limited versions in the form of a Tower Records & a TSUTAYA RECORDS versions .

I find labo real charming & cute on 1st listen especially those English lines that Ryuuta sings in here & another highlight I feel when comes to labo is the guitar riffs & the drums beats that I adore .

LOST is the 2nd angsty driven no. in Unreal & compared to 388859 , I actually prefer LOST a bit more as it kept me entertained from the start to the end which's what I like that in LOST .

The final track on Unreal (since I will not be reviewing the instrumentals of Hana ni Nare & Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~) is Mirai (Future) . Its original title was Mirai Kanai & it was flumpool's 1st indie single .

I'm not sure why they renamed it as Mirai in here but in anycase , it doesn't matter so much as it's a pretty good slow no. which's pretty much the perfect song to close Unreal off nicely .

I really enjoyed listening to flumpool's debut mini album Unreal on whole . This record's pretty much a straight up rock affair , coupled with shades of indie thrown in for good measures .

I do hope that they're able to release their debut full length album sometime this or next year as this's 1 artiste which has been really growing on me musically ever since I decided to listen to their material from day 1 onwards & they haven't disappoint me on what they had to offer which's great .

Until then , the guys will be releasing their 2nd single MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ / Natsu (Summer) Dive on July 1st so be sure to keep a lookout for that .

Yusuke - Tanpopo (Dandelion)

Tanpopo (Dandelion) is the 1st A-side no. taken from Yusuke's upcoming 2nd single Tanpopo / Kaizokusen / Sono Kobushi . It will be released this coming Wed & it comes 3 months since the release of his debut solo single Himawari (Sunflower) which ranked in as the 5th most sold single in Oricon's mid year single ranking chart which's impressive .

This's also Yusuke's 1st triple A-side single too .

Yusuke follows up the flower theme of his debut single with Tanpopo (Dandelion) which's a simple man's sincere love song .

For me what I like about Tanpopo is the sincerity that Yusuke delivers . I have to admit it's not as catchy on 1st listen as compared to Himawari but you can't help but feel really endured upon listening to Tanpopo which's a nice lovely ballad .

Yusuke's 2nd & 3rd A-sides Kaizokusen (Pirate Ship) & Sono Kobushi (Ken's Door) will be reviewed in due time .

Suga Shikao - Party People

CD Only Cover :

CD + DVD Cover :

Party People is singer/songwriter/guitarist Suga Shikao's 25th single . It will be released on 15th July & it's his 1st single release of the year .

Suga has been in the music business for a very long time now , since debuting in the scene 12 years ago with his debut single Hit Chart o Kakenukero (Dash Through the Hit Charts) & his Wikipedia page describes his music as jazz , funk & soul influence , coupled with beautiful and moving lyrics .

I 1st know about Suga though the Johnny's bands that I support as he's responsible for writing the lyrics to KAT-TUN's debut single Real Face & writing/composing ARASHI's 17th single Aozora (Blue Sky) Pedal & recently when the music video to Party People was released quite recently , I thought why not I gave his stuff a shot .

Like what his Wikipedia has mentioned , Party People's very jazzy , funky & soul inspired which's frankly nice . I like the various mix mash of influences going on in Party People & probably because summer's around the corner in Japan , this's more or less the perfect track to just crank it up a notch or 2 if you're in a beach .

I probably be checking out his older material in due time as I kinda regret not listening to Suga a bit earlier but oh well it's better late than never & I think it will be awesome if he were to cover Real Face & Aozora Pedal as I'm curious to know how he will sound like in both tunes .

Nerui Biiru (Lukewarm Beer) & TOKYO LIFE will serve as B-sides in his Party People single .

Sunday, June 21, 2009

GReeeeN - Haruka (Far) (Re-Release Edition)

Tracklist :

1) Haruka (Far)
2) ROOKIES Main Theme
3) ROOKIES Ai No (Love) Theme

A special re-release edition of GReeeeN's 11th single Haruka (Far) was released on 10th June which took place on the same day as their 3rd album Shio Koshou -SALT & PEPPER- .

The lyrics , music & arrangement of Haruka that's found in here are partly different from its original release date of 27th May .

As such you will not find the B-sides Koe (Voice) & Haruka Kanata (Very Far Away) ~Piano Version~ in here .

There's just some minor adjustments if you compare the re-release & original takes of Haruka . The minor differences includes lyrics wise & also melody wise .

The guys didn't really re-arranged & changed everything but this's still nice if you ask me .

You can find 2 different B-sides in the re-release edition of Haruka which're ROOKIES Main Theme & ROOKIES Ai No (Love) Theme .

These 2 B-sides are basically instrumentals but they're still worth a listen & comparing both tracks side by side together , I prefer the ROOKIES Ai No Theme a bit more than the ROOKIES Main Theme .

ON / OFF - Eien no Setsuna (Eternal Moment)

CD Only Cover :

CD + DVD Cover :

Tracklist :

1) Eien no Setsuna (Eternal Moment)
2) Wasurarenu Hitomi (Forgetting And Others)
3) Eien no Setsuna (Instrumental)
4) Wasurarenu Hitomi (Instrumental)

Eien no Setsuna (Eternal Moment) is ON / OFF's debut single . It was released 2 years ago on 21st Nov & it was used as the ending theme song for the manga turned drama adaption Fuuma no Kojiro .

The duo consists of twin brothers Naoya & Kazuya Sakamoto . Both of them acted in the Fuuma no Kojiro too so essentially they started out as actors before branching out to singing .

Before Eien no Setsuna , they released a single called Yokogao 2 years ago on 26th Jan under Studio Recording but I will not consider it as their 1st official debut single because from Eien no Setsuna onwards , their material has been produced under Music Ray'n .

I have heard quite a lot of non musical stuff about ON / OFF , especially since their 2nd & 3rd singles Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi (Two Beats And A Red Sin) & Rinne (Cycle) : Rondo were used as the opening theme songs for the animes Vampire Knight & Vampire Knight Guilty & so I decided to try out their material .

I really like Eien no Setsuna on 1st listen as it's such an easy listening & catchy mid tempo pop tune . Somemore I love the way that Naoya & Kazuya's vocals were able to compliment each other so easily which's great .

The same thing goes for the B-side Wasurarenu Hitomi (Forgetting And Others) which lies in the same vein as the A-side . Except in this case , Wasurarenu Hitomi is more heavily emphasised on the piano factor in which I can't help but like it on immediate listen & it more or less completes the whole Eien no Setsuna single overall .

I enjoyed listening to Eien no Setsuna & their subsequent works after they released Eien no Setsuna are also worth a listen .

I will be reviewing their 2nd-4th singles & also their debut album Legend Of Twins I : Futago Densetsu in due course .

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Matsushita Yuya - foolish foolish

CD Only Cover :

CD + DVD Cover :

Tracklist :

1) foolish foolish
2) Mr."Broken Heart"
3) foolish foolish (REMIX) [English Ver.]
4) foolish foolish (Instrumental)
5) Mr."Broken Heart" (Instrumental)

foolish foolish is Matsushita Yuya's debut single . The single was released last year on 26th Nov .

Just like many other future fave jpop artistes of mine that I encountered while watching MTV China / Asia , Matsushita's no exception .

I 1st heard a bit of Matsushita's material when MTV China played the video of his 2nd single LAST SNOW 2 days ago & curiosity got the better of me & I went online to search about him but unfortunately biography wise , I don't know much about him .

I only know that he's under Epic Records / Sony BMG & he has only released 2 singles at this point in time .

foolish foolish on 1st listen , is a real smooth R&B influenced track although I did had deja vu vibes while I 1st heard it as it really reminded me of Ne-Yo's So Sick & also Utada's Apple And Cinnamon .

Not that it's a bad thing since I like the songs that I compared against foolish foolish but this's a neat R&B tune .

The same thing goes for the B-side Mr."Broken Heart" . I think it's a pretty good B-side & honestly , the melody saves the song from being yet another run in the mill R&B no. .

The (REMIX) [English Ver.] of the A-side as what the name suggests , it's a remix no. & it's in full English .

I honestly was skeptical to hear this remix of Matsushita's debut single but then I went ahead & listen with an open mind & I was surprised on what this remix has to offer .

Unlike the original , the remix of foolish foolish is heavily emphasised on the synth & fast paced factor which I suspect it's to conceal Matsushita's 'supposedly' lack of the English command .

Regardless of which , it's not bad , at least I can understand Matsushita's Eng dictation which's pretty alright I suppose .

I generally enjoy foolish foolish , I think it's a pretty good head start for Matsushita Yuya & it's smooth R&B at its best & the tunes are quite solid in their own right .

I will be reviewing his 2nd single LAST SNOW in days to come .

Friday, June 19, 2009

Kanon Wakeshima - Suna no Oshiro (Sand Castle)

CD Only Regular Edition Cover :

CD Only Limited Edition Cover :

Tracklist :

1) Suna no Oshiro (Sand Castle)
2) skip turn step♪
3) Suna no Oshiro (Sand Castle) (instrumental ver.)
4) skip turn step♪ (instrumental ver.)
5) Suna no Oshiro (Sand Castle) (Orgel Version)

Suna no Oshiro (Sand Castle) is singer/songwriter/cellist Kanon Wakeshima's 2nd single . It was released last year on 12th Nov & it was used as the closing theme song for the anime Vampire Knight Guilty .

Just like her debut single still doll , Suna no Oshiro is another haunting & beautiful tune except in this case , it takes on a more darker tone & the cello is even more prominent in here which's awesome .

The credit has to go to Malice Mizer/Moi dix Mois's Mana who's responsible for composing/arranging all of Kanon's material from still doll all the way to her debut album Shinshoku Dolce .

There're certain parts where Suna no Oshiro gets quite creepy due to Kanon's soft spoken whisper/singing but other than that , I feel this's yet another ace tune that Kanon has delivered .

skip turn step♪ is the B-side of the single & compared to the dark & somewhat moody A-side , the mood displayed in skip turn step♪ is slightly more cheery & upbeat & there's an even more heavy influence on the classical side as you can hear the tinkling of the piano going on in here & the presence of Kanon's cello is not as strong as Suna no Oshiro .

Still , I like skip turn step♪ as I feel it's a perfect contrast to the otherwise dark/moody Suna no Oshiro & somemore it's catchy .

You also will find an Orgel Version of the A-side which's creepy in a good way .

Suna no Oshiro is yet another great single that Kanon has brought to the music table & I personally think it's a music step up or 2 from her debut single still doll .

An album review of her debut record Shinshoku Dolce will be up & ready in days to come .

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bond - Four Seasons

Four Seasons is a new batch of 4 tunes that were done by classical crossover quartet Bond . Naming each song after the 4 seasons ie. Spring , Summer , Autumn & Winter , they sampled the famous Vivaldi's Four Seasons in their unofficial comeback after a 5 years hiatus .

Four Seasons is currently being used for promotion for the new Peugeot 330CC car .

Oh man , this's 1 quartet I have waited SO long for something to happen & it has almost 5 years since the quartet released new material .

With the return of Bond , the original 3 members revealed their new member Elspeth Hanson whom replaced Haylie Ecker in which Haylie left to start a family .

I like the various themes & melodies that the new Bond group presented in Four Seasons & it's so cool & you roughly will know what to expect regardless whether you 1st listen to Winter or Spring .

I don't know if Four Seasons will make the cut on their future 5th album (I count their 1st remix album Remixed as their 3rd) but regardless of which , I'm real happy that they're finally back on the scene as I was really missing them & worried after they went MIA for so long but not anymore .

Welcome back girls !

Monday, June 15, 2009

Kanon Wakeshima - still doll

Tracklist :

1) still doll
2) Kuroi Torikago (Black Bird Cage)
3) still doll (Orgel Version)

still doll is Kanon Wakeshima's debut single . It was released last year on 28th May .

The song served as the ending theme of the first season of the anime adaptation of the manga series Vampire Knight .

I actually came across Kanon's unique style of music on MTV China / Asia when they were & still overplaying the video of her 2nd single Suna no Oshiro (Sand Castle) & at that time I dismissed her style of music thinking that it was too creepy for my liking .

But after I found out that she combines classical music and French/electropop elements in her material , I decided to change my mind/perception towards her & I went to listen to her debut single all the way til her debut album Shinshoku Dolce which was just released this year on 18th Feb & found out that she's pretty good & has an unique sense of style , be it for her music or her choice of outfits/clothes which's something that's quite rarely seen at this point in time in the japan music scene .

What's even more something that this soon to be 21 years old singer/cellist is label mates with Ken Hirai ie. they're under the same record label DefSTAR RECORDS which I thought it's cool .

Wikipedia classified her music as Neoclassical & Dark ambient in which I think these are 2 words that're perfect to describe her debut single still doll .

I find still doll real haunting & beautiful & the playing of the cello on Kanon's part just makes things even more creepier in a good way of sorts & the fact that I was brought up with classical music since I was a kid , it kinda speaks volume on why I really like still doll .

The B-side Kuroi Torikago (Black Bird Cage) is less depressing than still doll . Instead what you get for Kuroi Torikago's a more classical influenced mix & it's quite an upbeat/fast paced tune which's a sharp contrast to the A-side .

& of course with the cello being more or less the music centrepiece of Kuroi Torikago , this's yet another winner in the bag for Kanon & the Orgel Version of still doll is just lovely to boot .

still doll overall is a really unique sounding single & for a debut , it's considered impressive & I haven't seen anyone in the Japan music scene that has the same style that Kanon displayed , from her music to her choice of instrument & her vocals .

Given the right amount of time & exposure , I'm quite sure this talented cellist/singer will go far & if classical music is your cup of tea like myself , then all the more you should give Kanon Wakeshima's brand of dark meets goth classical jpop music a shot .

Expect reviews of her 2nd single Suna no Oshiro & her debut album Shinshoku Dolce to be up & running in due course .

All lyrics by Kanon . Music & arrangement done by legendary guitarist Mana of Malice Mizer/Moi dix Mois , who is also a renowned gothic lolita fashon creator .

ARASHI - Everything Covers

CD Only Cover :

1) Everything
2) season
3) Everything (Instrumental)
4) season (Instrumental)

CD + DVD Cover :

1) Everything
2) season


Everything Music Video

Schedule release date for ARASHI's 27th single Everything - July 1st .

Fukuyama Masaharu - Keshin (Incarnation)

Keshin (Incarnation) is Fukuyama Masaharu's 24th single . It was released this year on May 20th & it's his 1st single release of 2009 .

The song is used as the theme song for the drama Majo Saiban which stars Ikuta Toma .

I honestly can say that I have never heard Fukuyama's previous & older works before & he's 1 of the most respected person in the Japan's music industry & he has been around for almost 19 years now since the debut of his 1st single Tsuioku no Ame on Naka (Middle Of A Remembered Rain) .

It was a stroke of luck that the video of Keshin was played on Fri on MTV China's weekly Top 5 J Chart & imagine my surprise that I was immediately hooked onto the song on 1st listen .

It's very catchy & it has shades of jazz & rock influences being thrown in for good measures which's awesome & this gets really addictive as each listen goes by .

Who knows , maybe this will mean that I will be following Fukuyama's music from Keshin onwards ? If he continues to make such great music like Keshin , I will welcome it anytime of the day !

Sunday, June 14, 2009

ARASHI - Everything

Everything is ARASHI's 27th single .

Scheduled to be released on July 1st , this comes in barely less than 2 months since their previous single Ashita no Kioku / Crazy Moon ~Kimi wa Muteki~ & this's their 3rd single release for the year .

Everything & the B-side season (which I reviewed a while back ago) are both used in TV advertisements of the handphone company Au in which the band's the spokesperson for the brand .

This's yet another catchy song that ARASHI has brought to the plate . Just like season , both are feel good pop songs although I can't help but realise that Everything sounded a bit like Wasurerarenai (the 2nd B-side of Beautiful days) to a certain extent .

You'll be the judge when you compare both songs side by side together .

This's the group's 6th single release that hasn't make the cut in an album & it still reminds to be seen on whether or not will they be releasing a new studio album or a best compilation album this year since this year's the group's 10th anniversary .

Anna Tsuchiya - Brave vibration

CD Only Cover :

CD + DVD Cover :

Brave vibration is Anna Tsuchiya's 10th single .

Scheduled to be released on July 1st , this's Anna's 1st release of the year & it comes in almost 9 months since the release of her 2nd album NUDY SHOW !

Anna's new single is currently being used for promotion in the new Shiseido ANESSA ad .

It's great to have Anna back & she returns back to the music scene with a pretty good new song in the form of Brave vibration .

For me what I like about Anna's new single's is that it's a nice feel good no. & since summer's just around the corner for Japan , I guess it makes sense to release a summer inspired tune which's great .

It's a good pop/rock tune which I like & the guitar riffs going on are pretty old fashioned & old school to a certain extent . I still hope that she didn't ditch her rock roots entirely which was what she 1st majored in a few years ago when she embarked on her solo career .

There will be 2 B-sides found in Anna's Brave vibration single . The 1st one's titled Sweet Rishi Boy while the 2nd B-side's titled Loser !

Saturday, June 13, 2009

UVERworld - Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi (Fleeting And Everlasting Sorrow)

Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi (Fleeting And Everlasting Sorrow) is UVERworld's 12th single .

It was released last year on Nov 19th & it's the group's 1st #1 single . The song was used as the first opening theme song for the second season of the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 anime series .

It's easy to see why Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi deserves to give UVERworld their very 1st #1 hit single as this's a straight up no nonsense great rock track .

For me what I like about the song is that this 5 piece band's able to mix up different genres of music & in the case of Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi , they thrown in a bit of electro & punk & this gives you a real catchy tune .

If you're an anime buff , I'm quite sure you have heard their previous singles that were used in promotion for other animes besides Mobile Suit Gundam 00 such as Bleach (debut single D-tecnoLife) , Blood+ (4th single Colors of the Heart) , Toward the Terra (7th single endscape) & D.Gray-Man (10th single Gekidou) .

I'm going to be keeping tabs & keeping up to date with UVERworld from today onwards after given recommendations by my friend Lisa .

Friday, June 12, 2009

GIRL NEXT DOOR - If (Infinity's B-side)

If is found as the B-side in GIRL NEXT DOOR's 5th single Infinity which was released on Wed .

This is so far the longest track & let alone B-side in their discography , not counting remixes in the mix .

If clocks in 6:37 mins which beats their previous song WINTER MIRAGE which you can find in their self titled debut album & that clocks in at 6:26 mins .

I must say that If is 1 of their most unique & stronger B-sides material of GND . I was a bit shocked when I found out how long the song's but after I got that outta the way , I appreciate If & it does sound like Breath & WINTER MIRAGE to me except it's longer & better .

You can hear an electric guitar that's being played before If concluds which gives a nice touch to the song which already sounds great in its own right .

You can also find 2 remixes in the Infinity single , namely the Diamond Mirror SCP version of Jounetsu no Daishou (The Compensation Of The Passion) & the ice cream mix of Seeds of dream .

I'm not really a remix person as what I said before but I generally like both remixes & ice cream mix of Seeds of dream sounds like a video game to me which's cool .

The trio will be releasing their 6th single on 5th Aug which's titled Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you & this's their 1st triple A-side single & Be your wings's the only A-side that will be getting a music video .

If you enjoyed Infinity in which I did overall as compared to Seeds of dream , then stay tune for even more new material of the guys & girl .

I hope a 2nd album will materialise soon .

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tegomass - Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival) & Hanamuke (Farewell Gift)

CD Only Cover :

CD + DVD Cover :

Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival) is Tegomass's 4th single . Scheduled to be released on 8th July , this comes in almost a year & 1 month since the release of their last single Aiaigasa & the A-side will be reviewed alongside with the 1st B-side ie. Hanamuke (Farewell Gift) .

Tanabata Matsuri will not be included in the duo's debut album Tegomasu no Uta which will be released a week after the single ie. 15th July .

Their new single will be their 2nd material to release in Sweden after debut single Miso Soup & it will be released in Japan & Sweden at the same time .

The full versions of Tanabata Matsuri & Hanamuke were recently played on member Masuda Takahisa's radio show titled Master Hits & ok on 1st listen , the A-side caught me by total surprise because it's quite different from the usual material that the duo has released in the past .

I guess you can say that Tanabata Matsuri has a more country feel to it & it's 1 of those kinda songs that you might hear if you go line dancing haha . It still has that cute factor present in Tegomass's music which's a good thing & it's pretty darn catchy too .

Whereas for the 1st B-side Hanamuke , it's a really sweet & nice ballad that Masuda & Tegoshi Yuya have come together to sing which's more their style & it's less experimental .

It's a perfect contrast to Tanabata Matsuri & I really like the way their vocals are able to harmonise themselves real well & in synch which's great .

2 more B-sides that will only be found in the CD only edition of the single ie. Boku Rashiku (To Be How I Am) & Owara naide (Don't End It) will be reviewed in due time .

Sunday, June 07, 2009

V6 - Spirit

CD Only Cover :

2 CDs Only Cover :

CD + DVD Cover :

Spirit is V6's 35th single . Scheduled to be released in 2 Wed's time ie. 17th June , this comes almost 9 months since their last single LIGHT IN YOUR HEART / Swing ! & it's the group's 1st single release of the year .

Ah I was getting a bit worried after the senpai's of Johnny & Associates went all quiet on me after releasing LIGHT IN YOUR HEART / Swing ! so I'm real glad that they're finally back with Spirit .

Perhaps it's because it's now summer in Japan (as there's no difference in terms of the weather climate in S'pore) , they choose to release this really soaring , uplifting & peppy tune which I can't help but feel immediately cheered up on 1st listen which's great .

This's the type of song that will bound to put a smile to your face after you listen to it & I wouldn't blame you as the lyrics & music goes hand in hand together very well .

I hope V6 will release their new album soon . I will definitely take a listen & am game for it .

Saturday, June 06, 2009

flumpool - Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish Upon A Star)

CD Only Regular Edition Cover :

CD Only Limited Edition Cover (includes four jacket-sized 3D cards) :

CD + DVD Cover :

Tracklist :

1) Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish Upon A Star)
2) Merry Go Round (Kaiten Mokuba)
3) Harukaze (Spring Wind) 「No Reply」 Unplugged
4) Hoshi ni Negai wo (Instrumental)
5) Merry Go Round (Kaiten Mokuba)(Instrumental)
6) Harukaze (Spring Wind) 「No Reply」 Unplugged (Instrumental)

Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish Upon A Star) is flumpool's 1st official debut single which was released on 25th Feb this year .

I don't count Hana ni Nare (When Flowers) & Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~ (~Light Bridge~) as singles because they were released digitally & somemore Hoshi no Negai wo is the band's 1st single to be released in physical CD format .

Hoshi ni Negai wo is such a great rocking single . I love it that I was so instantly hooked onto this soaring rock indie no. which has great guitar riffs & drum beats to boost & this's some seriously catchy stuff that I absolutely adore & there's no deny that you're able to get hooked & hummed along to Hoshi no Negai wo in a matter of time .

The B-side Merry Go Round (Kaiten Mokuba) is a relatively calm tune which's a perfect contrast to the uplifting A-side & lead singer/guitarist Ryuuta's vocals are at fine form in here .

Found as track #2 in their debut mini album Unreal , it's the 「No Reply」 Unplugged version of Harukaze (Spring Wind) which's basically a gorgeous stripped down acoustic no. . The original version of Harukaze is relatively upbeat & has more instrumental layers attached to it but not in this case where it's simplicity at its best with Ryuuta's vocals being backed up by an acoustic guitar & some percussion & piano which's just plain lovely .

I really enjoyed Hoshi ni Negai wo on whole & I must say that I was very impressed with the whole quality & production of this very talented quartet's material . I was blown away by the different styles that was being offered in Hoshi ni Negai wo .

If this keeps up , this great band will bound to have even more wonderful things install for them in due time .

Their debut mini album Unreal will be reviewed in days to come but until then , do yourself & give Hoshi ni Negai wo a listen . It's highly recommended especially if you love some good rock & indie material .

Friday, June 05, 2009

Shota Shimizu - Utsukushii Hibi yo (Beautiful Days)

Cover For Both CD Only & CD + DVD's Editions :

Utsukushii Hibi yo (Beautiful Days) is the 1st A-side of Shota Shimizu's 4th single Utsukushii Hibi yo / Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani (Goodbye To The Usual) which will be released on 15th July & this comes 2 months + since the release of Love Forever , a lovely duet that he did with Miliyah Kato .

Utsukushii Hibi yo / Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani is Shota's 1st single to feature 2 A-sides back to back with each other .

I guess this's quite a standard good R&B mid tempo fare that Shota has delivered . It kinda sounds like his previous singles that he released in the past but there's just something enduring & great about Utsukushii Hibi yo that I really like .

Not to mention you can't help but feel really heart warmed when you hear Utsukushii Hibi yo too .

The 2nd A-side Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani (Goodbye To The Usual) & the B-side Kaze no you ni (Like The Wind) will be reviewed in due time .

Koda Kumi - Hashire ! (Run !)

Hashire ! (Run !) is the 3rd song found in Koda Kumi's 44th single 3 SPLASH which will be released on 8th July .

After the pop no. Lick me ♥ & the dance track ECSTASY , in comes Hashire ! which's described as a rock tune by CDJapan .

Honestly I was expecting another great Ningyo-hime after I found out that Hashire ! is going to be rock but this's not really full blown rock like Ningyo-hime . It's more like pop/rock with pretty good guitar riffs thrown in for good measures .

Just like the other 2 songs in 3 SPLASH , Hashire ! is real catchy & I found myself getting hooked into it as each listen goes by .

Koda has been bringing the music goods this year after the release of TRICK & It's all Love ! that she did with her younger sister misono & in comes another pretty solid single in the form of 3 SPLASH & all the songs will get music videos of their own .

I hope the videos will be something worth checking & looking out for .

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

flumpool - MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~

CD Only Cover :

CD + DVD Cover :

MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ is the 1st A-side of flumpool's 2nd single MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ / Natsu (Summer) Dive which's scheduled to be released on 1st July .

This's the group's 2nd single release for 2009 & it comes about 5 months + since the release of their debut single Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish On A Star) .

MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ is used for promotion for the movie MW which stars Yamamoto Yusuke who incidentally has a role in ROOKIES -Sotsugyo- too .

Hailing from Osaka , Japan , this 4 piece band's music roots lies in indie & rock . Formed 2 years ago , the band's original name was cube .

The eventual name that was chosen for the band flumpool is derived from the English word four since they're a quartet . They took the first letter f along with the word meaning mass 'lump' and the word 'pool' & combine all the 3 words together to give you flumpool .

My friend Eirynne name dropped flumpool a while back to me & suggested to me to give these guys's music a listen & well here I'm to review on the quartet's new material !

This's the kind of stuff that I really love , it's very indie , rock & pretty much old schooled to a certain extent . Lead singer & guitarist Ryuuta's vocals are in fine form in here & I just love how everything all falls into place .

It's slightly less catchy than Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish On A Star) but this's still really good stuff & I can see a lot of raw potential brewing in this quartet that at this point in time , has already released 2 indie singles , 2 digital singles & a mini album Unreal & now since Feb this year they have officially start to release singles in physical CD format .

Expect reviews of their debut single Hoshi ni Negai wo, their debut mini album Unreal to be up & running in due time & that goes for Natsu Dive too but at the meantime , I'm going to enjoy listening to MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ .

Great stuff , an artiste to keep a lookout for in 2009 .

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Best Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2009

Since 1/2 of 2009 has fly by , I thought it's time to do a list dictating the best music material that were released for the 1st 1/2 of 2009 .

There's not really a particular order for that matter in how I ranked the best in the categories that will be listed in time to come in the form of Best Albums , Best Singles & Best Songs .

Because of the sheer bulk of material that I listened to falls under Johnny's & Associates bands , I will spilt the list into 2 parts to make things fair in a way as I don't want to clutter everything .

Part 1 falls under non Johnny & Associates bands that I listen to which has caught my attention from material that they released from Jan all the way to June this year .

In anycase , let's hit it !

Part 1 - Non Johnny & Associates Bands

Best Albums

1) ayumi hamasaki - NEXT LEVEL

2) alan - Voice of EARTH

3) Koda Kumi - TRICK

4) Kuroki Meisa - hellcat

5) Utada - This Is The One

6) Yuna Ito - DREAM


Best Singles

1) abingdon boys school



- Everlasting Luv / BAMBINO ~Bambino~


- I am xxx

4) ayaka

- Yume wo Mikata ni (Make Your Dream(s) Your Ally) / Koi Kogarete Mita Yume (The Dream You Yearned For)


- Seeds of dream

6) GReeeeN

- Ayumi (Milestones)
- Setsuna (Moment)
- Haruka (Far)

7) Mika Nakashima

- Over Load


- Sailing free

9) YUI

- again

10) Kobukuro

- Niji (Rainbow)

11) Hidemi Uematsu

- Jidai (Period)

12) Yusuke

- Himawari (Sunflower)

13) Miliyah Kato X Shota Shimizu

- Love Forever

14) Namie Amuro

- WILD / Dr.

15) ayumi hamasaki

- Rule / Sparkle

16) Koda Kumi x misono

- It's all Love !

17) Yuna Ito

- trust you

18) flumpool

- Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish Upon A Star)

19) alan

- Gunjou no Tani (Ultramarine Valley)
- Kuon no Kawa (River Of Eternity)

Best Songs

1) Aqua Timez

- Velonica
- Honto wa Ne (Oh Really ?)
- Niji (Rainbow) ~Album ver

Part 2 - Johnny & Associates Bands

Best Albums

1) KAT-TUN - Break the Records -by you & for you-

2) Kanjani∞ - KJ3 PUZZLE

Best Singles


- Believe / Kumori Nochi , Kaisei (After Sunny , Sunny)
- Ashita no Kioku (Memories Of Tomorrow) / Crazy Moon ~Kimi wa Muteki~ (~You Are Invincible~)




- Koi no (Love) ABO


- Kyoka Suigetsu (Mirror Flower Water Moon)

5) Takizawa Hideaki

- Ai Kakumei (Love Revolution)
- Sha La La / Mugen no Hane (Wings Of Infinity)

6) KinKi Kids

- Yakusoku (Promise)

7) Tsuyoshi

- Sora (Sky) ~ Utsukushi ware no Sora (The Beautiful Sky)

CD Review :: Yuna Ito - DREAM

CD Only Cover :

CD + DVD Cover :

Tracklist :

1) love you
2) Ima Demo Aitai yo ... (I Still Miss You ...) Feat Spontania
3) Brand New World
4) Koi wa (Love Is) groovy ×2
5) trust you
8) miss you
10) No one else
11) Body
12) groovy x2 (Hidden Track)

DREAM is Yuna Ito's 3rd album . It was released last Wed & this comes a year & 3 months since the release of her last album WISH .

3 singles , 2 B-sides are included in Yuna's brand new album offering .

The energetic sounding love you is the 1st song to kick things off & I did said a while back ago , I still am having miffled reactions towards the opening track of DREAM as sometimes I like it , sometimes I don't .

Not to mention , it does get repetitive as time goes by but right now I'm ok with it even though some people have commented that it unusually sounds the same as Amerie's 1 Thing which I can't help but agree with them to a certain extent .

Ima Demo Aitai yo ... (I Still Miss You ...) featuring the hip-hop/reggae duo Spontania is the only collaboration found in DREAM & this's an answer call song to Spontania's 11th single Ima Demo Zutto (Now And Forever) which was released this year on 28th Jan & this's the only album track on DREAM which received a music video of its own .

Ima Demo Zutto featured Yuna on vocals while in Ima Demo Aitai yo ... , it's the opposite so naturally if you compare both songs together , they tend to be simliar sounding to a certain extent .

While Ima Demo Zutto is a really good depressing ballad , you will not get it in Ima Demo Aitai yo ... where it's a rather upbeat & peppy tune which's such a nice change if you ask me .

Definitely 1 of my fave album tracks in DREAM & let alone duets to have been materialised this year .

Brand New World is found as the B-side in Yuna's 13th single trust you . It was used as a tie-up song for the Commercial of Hawkins Sport .

This's 1 of my fave B-sides of Yuna & naturally I'm real happy that she has decided to include it in DREAM as it's such a nice , easy listening pop tune .

Koi wa (Love Is) groovy x2 is Yuna's 12th single & it was used to promote the clothing line company Gap's 2008 Holiday Collection "Winter Neutrals" campaign .

I'm still baffled as to why Koi wa groovy x2 tanked so badly in Japan when this was released last Nov on the 26th & somemore this's her lowest charting single to date (#44) because this was honestly the song that really changed my whole perception on the fact that she was not able to carry off dance songs as well as her ballads .

But man after I heard Koi wa groovy x2 , I was immediately won over because this's such a highly energetic & Carribean beats driven tune & here I was thinking it might be a ballad since it was released during Winter last year but I was so wrong on that .

trust you's Yuna's 13th single & the last single to be released before DREAM's materialised . It was used as the ending theme song for the second season of the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam 00 & this's Yuna's 1st top 5 single since her 8th single Mahaloha which was released 2 years ago .

This's the 1st ballad you can find in DREAM's tracklist & frankly it's not her best ballad that she has delivered but still it's a really nice sweet no. & chart performance/sales wise , trust you's the most successful out of the 3 singles you can find in DREAM seeing that miss you & Koi wa groovy x2 both unfortunately tanked .

BAILA BAILA is DREAM's 2nd album track & it means Dance Dance in Spanish .

On 1st listen , BAILA BAILA is very Carribean & Hawaiian inspired & I can't help but compared it against her other Carribean/Hawaiian inspired tunes such as Mahaloha & Koi wa groovy x2 to a certain extent .

Other than that , it's a very chilled out laidback tune that you can definitely can see yourself listening to if you're in a beach .

BREEEEEZIN !!! is the last B-side you can find in DREAM & this was originally found as the B-side in her 11th single miss you & just like BAILA BAILA , the mood & vibes given by BREEEEEZIN !!! gives you the feeling that you just want to go to the beach now & kicked back while listening to both BAILA BAILA & BREEEEEZIN !!! .

& speaking of miss you , it's quite a concidence that the B & A-sides are being slotted in between with one another as miss you's track #8 .

I remembered when I 1st heard miss you , it's quite a sad tune as it has quite a bittersweet melody as compared to the otherwise positive & energetic sounding BREEEEEZIN !!! .

Definitely not a song to listen to especially if you're feeling depressed & etc . If not , this's a solid no. that Yuna has delivered .

LOVE MACHINE GUN is track #9 was used as the insert song for the cell phone novel Tenshi no Koi (Angel's Love) .

I remembered when I heard the preview of LOVE MACHINE GUN , I was going DAMN what a hot track & for the full track to have finally seen the day & light in DREAM , I was really happy about it because it's such a great song .

It's something different that Yuna has delivered to the plate as it mixes pop , some rock , great guitar riffs & electro & it gives you 1 of the star tracks in DREAM ala LOVE MACHINE GUN .

I'm still a bit upset that GATE did not make the cut in DREAM because just like LOVE MACHINE GUN , previews of both songs were released last year & from what I heard in the preview of GATE , it sounded like a really epic ballad . Shame it didn't saw the light in DREAM but in anycase , at least LOVE MACHINE GUN is here so it's some sembalance I can find in here .

No one else is the only album track that's a ballad . It was quite un-memorable for me on 1st listen as it sounded like a really boring & typical standard Yuna ballad fare .

But in due time , I realised that No one else is such an enduring no. , that's driven simply by an acoustic guitar & some percussion beats & I suppose it's the sincerity that Yuna delivered in here which won me over slowly in a matter of time .

Body is the final album track in DREAM & this tune was co-written & co-composed by Yuna .

On 1st listen , I had deja vibes because I found the melody for Body oddly similar to A Long Walk whicn you can find as track #9 in her 2nd album WISH . The lyrics for Body are a bit sexually driven which I wasn't used to as this's Yuna Ito we're talking about .

I will not consider Body as my fave album track in DREAM , just that I was a bit shocked with the mood & vibe that was given in Body's context .

Body's actually stands at almost 10 mins+ because it's stringed together with a hidden track (a 1st for Yuna since her last 2 albums didn't have any hidden tracks) which's the English version of Koi wa groovy ×2 which's titled groovy x2 .

You have to wait for about 1 - 1 1/2 mins after Body concluded in the 4th min mark before you can hear groovy x2 .

groovy x2 was released last Dec on the 10th under Yuna's alter ego Christine Ito who's oddly said to be her 'sister' . The song was only available for download until it makes its way here in DREAM .

There's nothing much to comment about groovy x2 since it's essentially the English version of her 12th single Koi wa groovy ×2 & seeing that I like the Japanese take , naturally , I like groovy ×2 & somemore English being Yuna's 1st language , she sang groovy ×2 with much ease & gusto .

I don't know about you but I frankly enjoy DREAM & here I was thinking that I might not but it's definitely a music step or 2 from WISH & let alone her debut album HEART .

It seems to me that Yuna's moving towards a more dance oriented sound especially since in DREAM , you're only able to find about 3-4 ballads & dance/summer inspired tunes more or less dominated DREAM .

Initally I wasn't able to accept the fact that she's able to carry off dance no.s as I feel that ballads is what she does best but after she released Koi wa groovy ×2 , I was really won over .

I'm not sure how will long time fans of Yuna will feel towards this album , I think they might be in for a shock of the good kind since it's very dance driven but in any case , it's nice to see Yuna stepping out of her music comfort zone & tackling different genres & this's evident in her latest album DREAM .

YUI - Sea & Summer Song ~YUI Acoustic Version~ (again's B-sides)

Sea & Summer Song ~YUI Acoustic Version~ are the 2 B-sides which you can find in YUI's 13th single again which will be out this coming Wed .

Compared to the 1/2 mid tempo 1/2 angsty driven A-side , the 1st B-side Sea is a relatively calm & gorgeous no. . Surrounding the song is a really subtle orchestra feeling which I can't help but be captivated over it .

On 1st listen , Sea's definitely not catchy at all as compared to some of her previous B-sides but in due time , the song gets better as each listen goes by .

The ~YUI Acoustic Version~ of her previous single Summer Song is a standard acoustic fare that YUI has been dishing out since her 2nd single Tomorrow’s way .

You can tell that in the beginning of Summer Song ~YUI Acoustic Version~ , the guitar riffs are the same as the original take of the song but after that's out of the way , the melody is totally different .

I always like her acoustic songs so this's no exception . I do hope that somewhere down the line , she can consolidate all of her ~YUI Acoustic Version~ songs & release them in a compilation album , just like what she did for MY SHORT STORIES where she consolidated all of her B-sides from her singles .

Hopefully an idea like this will bear fruit in the future .

YUI has made a really good comeback after a 5 months well deserved hiatus & this shows in the form of her new single again . I'm so glad that she's back honestly & the quality of again shows that her break really helped her , musically & then some .

I look forward to even more releases from her but til then , I will make do with again .

Blog Personnel

Karen Pang

# 10th Jan

# #1 BREAKERZ fan in Singapore since 2008 debut single ♥

# My music blog consists of JPop/Rock singles & albums reviews that I put my heart , efforts & soul into writing them as I'm disgusted with the way that JPop/Rock music is being treated/written/reviewed in Singapore so to the local media (yes you TEENS , Teenage Magazine & The Strait Times) , screw you all . I basically can write better JPop/Rock reviews , period

# My LiveJournal

# Tagboard has been removed as I can't be bothered to deal with un-necessary spam comments any longer ~_~

♥ ♥ ♥ BREAKERZ ♥ ♥ ♥

Upcoming New JPop/JRock Releases

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 7th album PARADE , 301019 , Wed

# Atae Shinjiro (AAA) × Aoyama Thelma duet Suki Suki Suki , 301019 , Wed

# Koda Kumi's 17th album re(CORD) , 131119 , Wed

# Kis-My-Ft2's 25th single Edge of Days , 131119 , Wed

# ayumi hamasaki's LOVEppears / appears -20th Anniversary Edition- , 101119 , Mon

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

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

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

# BREAKERZ × Detective Conan COLLABORATION BEST , 181219 , Wed

# UVERworld's 10th album title tbc , 2019

# GLAY's best album REVIEW II , 2020

# NEWS's 11th album STORY , 2020

# flumpool's 5th album title tbc , 2020

Album Reviews

# SID - Shonin Yokkyu


# B'z - NEW LOVE


# Kis-My-Ft2 - FREE HUGS!

# Matsushita Yuya - BLACK NEVERLAND


# Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme

# Yamashita Tomohisa - UNLEASHED


# ayaka - 30 y/o

# GRANRODEO - M・S COWBOY no Gyakushuu EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - SENSE or LOVE

# Koda Kumi - DNA

# Shota Shimizu - WHITE

# SID - Ichiban Sukina Basho EP

# Aoyama Thelma - HIGHSCHOOL GAL

# ayumi hamasaki - TROUBLE EP

# Hilcrhyme - One Man EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Yummy!!


# FLOWER FLOWER - Spotlight

# Koda Kumi - AND


# ARASHI - 「untitled」


# Aoyama Thelmas - 10TH DIARY



# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

# Ken Hirai - Utabaka Dake ni.

# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry


# Mika Nakashima - TOUGH


# Koda Kumi - W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN


# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG



# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP


# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

# Kis-My-Ft2 - KIS-MY-WORLD

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road


# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL


# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White





# Anna Tsuchiya - LUCIFER EP

# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Asobi EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-Journey

# ayumi hamasaki - Colours

# KAT-TUN - come Here

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

# Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN

# Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - THE BEST

# JASMINE - Welcome to Jas Vegas


# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

# Hilcrhyme - FIVE ZERO ONE


# Koda Kumi - Bon Voyage

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun


# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP


# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx


# BENI - Red



# Namie Amuro - FEEL

# AKIHIDE - Amber

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

# girl next door - Life of Sound

# V6 - Oh ! My ! Goodness !

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE again

# Mika Nakashima - REAL

# flumpool - experience

# ayumi hamasaki - again EP

# Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

# ARASHI - Popcorn

# Domoto Koichi - Gravity

# SPYAIR - Just Do It

# SID - M&W

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Ero

# Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP WORLD

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-1st

# Acid Black Cherry - 『2012』

# Shota Shimizu - Naturally

# ayumi hamasaki - Party Queen

# Matsushita Yuya - 2U


# Kuroki Meisa - UNLOCKED

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - BUTTERFLY

# ayaka - The beginning

# Koda Kumi - JAPONESQUE

# Kuriyama Chiaki - CIRCUS Deluxe Edition

# girl next door - Agaruneku !

# Hilcrhyme - RISING

# ON/OFF - Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu-

# BENI - Fortune


# Saito Kazuyoshi - 45 STONES

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Mahou

# SPYAIR - Rockin' the World


# ayumi hamasaki - FIVE EP

# B'z - C'mon

# School Food Punishment - Prog-Roid

# ARASHI - Beautiful World

# Aoyama Thelma - WILL


# GIRL NEXT DOOR - Destination

# Tackey & Tsubasa - TRIP & TREASURE EP

# Shota Shimizu - COLORS

# Koda Kumi - Dejavu

# SID - dead stock

# flumpool - Fantasia of Life Stripe

# Yamashita Tomohisa - SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD

# Kuroki Meisa - MAGAZINE

# ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

# BENI - Jewel

# Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - ARE YOU READY ?

# Mika Nakashima - STAR

# Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)


# Anna Tsuchiya - RULE



# Domoto Koichi - BPM

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE ! 2

# Hilcrhyme - Recital

# ARASHI - Boku no Miteiru Fukei

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~


# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP NO.1


# BENI - Lovebox

# Matsushita Yuya - I AM ME

# Acid Black Cherry - Q.E.D.

# Acid Black Cherry - BLACK LIST

# school food punishment - amp-reflection

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Ai EP


# ayumi hamasaki - Rock'n'Roll Circus

# V6 - READY ?


# DAIGO☆STARDUST - The space toy

# Shota Shimizu - Journey

# Koda Kumi - UNIVERSE

# NEVER LAND - Beautiful Days EP

# abingdon boys school - ABINGDON ROAD

# BENI - Bitter & Sweet


# LANDS - Olympos EP

# flumpool - What's flumpool !?

# Kuroki Meisa - ATTITUDE EP

# Yusuke - Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo.

# KinKi Kids - J album

# Namie Amuro - PAST < FUTURE


# alan - my life


# B'z - MAGIC


# Saito Kazuyoshi - Tsuki ga Noboreba

# Aoyama Thelma - Emotions

# SID - hikari

# Kobukuro - CALLING

# Domoto Koichi - mirror

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Uta

# ON / OFF - Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu-

# Fukuyama Masaharu - Zankyou

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shinshoku Dolce

# GReeeeN - Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER-

# flumpool - Unreal EP

# Yuna Ito - DREAM

# Kanjani∞ - PUZZLE

# KAT-TUN - Break the Records -by you & for you-

# Kuroki Meisa - hellcat EP

# Kanjani∞ - KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou

# ayumi hamasaki - NEXT LEVEL

# Utada Hikaru - DEEP RIVER

# Utada - This Is The One

# Kanjani∞ - KJ1 F·T·O

# ARASHI - Dream"A"Live

# Kanjani∞ - Kansha ni Eight EP

# alan - Voice of EARTH

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE !

# Koda Kumi - TRICK

# Aoyama Thelma - DIARY





# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu


# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Hajimemashite


# ai otsuka - LOVE LETTER

# Mika Nakashima - VOICE


# NEWS - color

# Anna Tsuchiya - NUDY SHOW !

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 3 : Senior Year

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - KISS

# BREAKERZ - Ao no Mirai EP

# ai otsuka - LOVE PUNCH

# ai otsuka - LOVE COOK

# ai otsuka - LOVE JAM

# KAT-TUN - cartoon KAT-TUN II You

# OLIVIA - Trinka Trinka EP

# NEWS - touch

# NEWS - pacific

# ARASHI - Iza , Now

# ARASHI - One

# NANA Triple Billing

# OLIVIA - The Cloudy Dreamer EP

# Anna Tsuchiya - strip me ?


# KAT-TUN - Best of KAT-TUN

# Anna Tsuchiya - Taste My Beat EP

# ARASHI - Time

# Electrico - We Satellites

# ayaka - Sing to the Sky

# ayaka - First Message


# Koda Kumi - BEST ~BOUNCE & LOVERS~

# Jesse McCartney - Departure

# The Veronicas - Hook Me Up

# Ken Hirai - LIFE is ...

# Ashlee Simpson - Bittersweet World

# Ken Hirai - gaining through losing

# Yuna Ito - HEART

# Utada Hikaru - HEART STATION

# Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

Yuna Ito - WISH

# Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers

# Koda Kumi - Kingdom

# ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

# abingdon boys school - abingdon boys school

# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

# ayumi hamasaki - RAINBOW

# The Great Spy Experiment - Flower Show Riots

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~second session~

# The Click Five - Modern Minds And Pastimes

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 2

# Koda Kumi - Black Cherry

# Namie Amuro - PLAY

# Maroon 5 - It Wouldn't Be Soon Before Long

# ayumi hamasaki - Memorial address EP

# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

# Mika Nakashima - YES

# Jamie Michael - People Watching

# ayumi hamasaki - A BEST 2 -BLACK- & A BEST 2 -WHITE-

# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean

Other Posts Worth Checking Out

# Fave Songs Of 2010

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2010

# Fave Albums Releases Of 2010

# Fave Songs Of 2009

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2009

# Fave Albums Releases For 2009

# The Best Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2009

# Fave New Acts Of 2008

# Fave Songs Of 2008

# Fave Singles Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2008

# The 1st Song I Heard From My Future JPop Acts

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

# Fave Albums Of 2007

# The Click Five - The Band Behind The Band Documentary

# 987 Control Songlist Set

# Hot Review Of Maksim's Electrik

# Lu Yong Find My Shoes Journey

# Eric Dill Of The Click Five Got Punk'd !


# October 2006

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