Friday, July 31, 2009
Aqua Timez - Nagasugita Yoru ni (On The Night Too Long) & Perfect World -blue forest ver.- (Purmeria ~Hana Uta~'s B-sides)
Nagasugita Yoru ni (On The Night Too Long) & Perfect World -blue forest ver.- are the 2 B-sides that're found in Aqua Timez's 10th single Purmeria ~Hana Uta~ (~Flower Song~) which was released 2 days ago .
Purmeria ~Hana Uta~ served as the theme song for GOKUSEN THE MOVIE .
On 1st listen , Nagasugita Yoru ni was weird for me to handle . Lead singer Futoshi did a bit of rap in the beginning of the song which surprised me . Then again not really because he did so here & there in the band's 8th single Velonica .
I frankly am not sure whether is it a good or bad thing to include rap like vocals in a pop/rock song but somehow or another , it strangely works in the favour for Nagasugita Yoru ni .
Melody wise , I have to say it's a very charming one . I love the keyboards & synth going on in here which's cool .
The 2nd B-side Perfect World -blue forest ver.- is more of a song that's easier to warm up to as compared to Nagasugita Yoru ni .
This's a nice heartwarming mid tempo pop/rock no. & compared to the A-side , it's a lot more slower which I like as it's a perfect contrast & compliment each other very well .
This's the 1st time I have chosen to listen to a full Aqua Timez single & I have to say Purmeria ~Hana Uta~ is really solid on every single level .
The type of music that the guys & girl has brought to the table is mainly pop/rock but they have really good inspiring & touching lyrics & you put that together with gorgeous melodies , it's a win win situation at the end of the day .
I'm glad that I decided to give Aqua Timez's music a try ever since I got caught by the music bug in the form of their super catchy hit Velonica & I say it's never too late to listen to this talented 5 piece band at all .
Thursday, July 30, 2009
ARASHI - ARASHI 5x10 All the BEST ! 1999 - 2009 Compilation Album Covers
2 CDs Regular Edition Cover :
3 CDs Limited Edition Cover :
Disc 1 :
2) SUNRISE NIPPON
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)
14) PIKA★★NCHI DOUBLE
15) Hitomi no Naka no (In The Eyes) Galaxy
Disc 2 :
1) Sakura Sake
3) Kitto Dajioubu (Surely Ok)
4) Aozora (Blue Sky) Pedal
5) Love so sweet
6) We can make it !
8) Step and Go
9) One Love
11) Kaze no Mukou e (Beyond The Wind)
12) Beautiful days
14) Ashita no Kioku (Memories Of Tomorrow)
15) Crazy Moon ~Kimi wa Muteki~ (~You Are Invincible~)
Disc 3 titled ARASHI's Selection (only available in the 3 CDs limited edition) :
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
Source - Johnny's Net
Schedule release date for ARASHI 5x10 All the BEST ! 1999 - 2009 - Aug 19th .
Both the regular & limited editions will contain a new song called 5x10 .
Lyrics - ARASHI
Music - youth case
Arrangement - ha-j
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Electrico - What do you see ?
What do you see ? is a new song that is contributed by local band Electrico .
The song has been selected as this year's National Day Parade 2009 theme song , making them the 1st local rock band to be given this chance to write an NDP no. .
The chinese version of What do you see ? will be sung by the 1st season winner of Project Superstar ie. Kelvin Tan (陈伟联) & it's called Jiu Zai Zhe Li ; 就在这里 (Right Here) .
From a 5 piece & back to being a trio (with its original members when the band was formed in '96) , the guys have seen their fair share of woes during the past 2 years when ex guitarist Daniel Sassoon left last May & this year , with ex keyboardist Amanda Ling making her exit in June , just mere weeks before the National Day Parade will commence on 9th Aug .
Anyway , back to the song . It has been quite a long time since I last reviewed an English song , let alone a local band's material since it's no open secret that I don't support the local music scene anymore & let alone listen to English music as I have officially crossed over to listen & support JPop music full time since last April/May , during the time when I opened the door to support Johnny & Associates boybands (which's something I don't regret doing it but that's another story which I will not write in here) .
But when I saw the video of What do you see ? being played on Channel 5 last week , I guess for old times sake , I decided to sit up once again & listen/watch What do you see ? since Electrico was the 1st local band that I used to support/champion so much for before the JPop invasion hit me .
I know that there's a lot of mixed reactions surrounding What do you see ? in that it's a Coldplay/U2 rip off , it's too slow/mellow , the lyrics are too difficult to remember & etc especially since it's this year's NDP theme song but you have to cut the guys some slack as it's frankly not easy to write/compose a song from scratch .
Even I myself have to admit What do you see ? took me a lot of listens to warm up to as it was not as memorable as what I was hoping for but the song's definitely a grower .
& judge that for yourself . Instead of being so critical/nit picky towards your fellow S'poreans , the least you can do's to shut up & give them your moral support . I believe that's all what they asked for & not asking you to put your $ where your mouth's at .
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
CD Review :: ON / OFF - Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu-
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Type B Cover :
Tracklist for both editions :
1) Aoi Hikari no Genseki (The Gemstone Of Light)
2) Eien no Setsuna (Eternal Moment)
3) Sen no Nemuri no Hate (End Of Many Thousand Sleep)
4) Hana Kagari (Bamboo Flower) -Hana Kagari- (-Bamboo Flower-)
7) Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi (Two Beats And A Red Sin)
9) Rainy Lady
10) Sagashimono (A Thing Someone Is Looking For)
11) Rinne (Cycle) -Rondo-
12) Kokuhaku (Confession)
13) Yakusoku no Hane (Wings Of Promise) White Feathers
CD + DVD Type A Cover :
1) Aoi Hikari no Genseki (The Gemstone Of Light)
2) Eien no Setsuna (Eternal Moment)
3) Sen no Nemuri no Hate (End Of Many Thousand Sleep)
4) Hana Kagari (Bamboo Flower) -Hana Kagari- (-Bamboo Flower-)
5) Asayake (Sunglow) *
8) Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi (Two Beats And A Red Sin)
9) GO∞2 *
10) Wasurarenu Hitomi (Forgetting And Others) *
11) Sagashimono (A Thing Someone Is Looking For)
12) Rainy Lady
13) Rinne (Cycle) -Rondo-
15) Hane Kaesu Yuuki (Courage Driven Back) *
16) Kokuhaku (Confession)
17) Yakusoku no Hane (Wings Of Promise) White Feathers
* CD + DVD Type A Version Only
Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- is twin brothers ON / OFF debut album . It was released on 22nd April this year .
The twin brothers's 1st 4 singles are included in Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- & it was released in 3 different editions .
I will review the album based on the CD + DVD Type A tracklist because you're able to find all their 4 singles & 8 B-sides in here as compared to the CD only & CD + DVD Type B editions of the album .
Regardless of which edition of the album you have , you only get 5 new songs from the twins at the end of the day .
Aoi Hikari no Genseki (The Gemstone Of Light) is the 1st album track you're able to find & this's a great way to start things off if you ask me !
I like that song's so upbeat & peppy & no surprises it immediately put me in a really good mood & this should roughly give you some idea on what to expect in due time when you listen to other tracks found in Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- .
Eien no Setsuna (Eternal Moment) is the guys's debut single which was used as the ending theme song for the manga turned drama adaption Fuuma no Kojirou in which both Naoya Sakamoto & Kazuya Sakamoto starred in the drama themselves .
This's still a great debut song . No matter how many times I played it , I never get sick of this really catchy pop influenced no. .
Sen no Nemuri no Hate (End Of Many Thousand Sleep) is the 3rd B-side you can find in ON / OFF's 3rd single Rinne (Cycle) -Rondo- .
I love Sen no Nemuri no Hate on 1st listen . If you were to compare it against the rather complex sounding A-side , this's a really solid mid tempo ballad that Naoya & Kazuya delivered & it didn't take me that long to get hooked onto Sen no Nemuri no Hate that's for sure .
Hana Kagari (Bamboo Flower) -Hana Kagari- (-Bamboo Flower-) is the duo's 4th single & this's their most recent single release before they dropped Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- .
Even though Hana Kagari -Hana Kagari- did not performed/sold as well as their 2nd & 3rd singles , this's still an A-side song that I enjoyed .
The melody , lyrics & the calmness that this mid tempo piano driven ballad brought to the music table , it's a win win situation at the end of the day .
Asayake (Sunglow) is the 2nd B-side you can find in the duo's 2nd single Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi (Two Beats And A Red Sin) .
This's also the 1st track you're only able to find in the CD + DVD Type A of the album .
Compared to the angsty driven A-side , Asayake is such a sweet & tender ballad . I love the way Naoya & Kazuya sing in synch in here which goes to show that they really do know how to deliver the goods when they have to & this's evident in Asayake .
From the 2nd B-side in Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi , in comes the 1st B-side in the form of Signal .
Even up to now , I will not consider Signal as my fave B-side of ON / OFF but I must admit that after being drilled many times , I finally can remember how Signal sounds like .
It was initally very un-memorable for me as I found it to be such a boring mid tempo pop song but not anymore .
LOST is the 2nd new album track & it's acoustic guitar driven & coupled with shades of percussions , you get this pretty hot & sexy no. .
The only thing that creeps me about LOST is in the latter 1/2 of the song , you're able to hear laughter going on in the background which's a bit freaky but other than that , LOST is a really ace no. that I enjoyed .
Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi is the brothers's 2nd single & it was used as the opening theme song for the anime Vampire Knight . This's their 1st single to debut in the top20 of the Oricon singles chart when it was released .
Compared to the Vampire Ver. which you can find in the single , the version you can find in Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- follows exactly the same as the music video in the sense that both Naoya & Kazuya immediately start the song without a 20 seconds + extended introduction .
Well regardless of which , I love both the album & the Vampire Ver. of Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi as it really was able to capture the essence of Vampire Knight & this's 1 awesome angsty tune that the duo has brought to the music table .
It's also 1 of the more darker songs you can find in Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- which's great .
The next 2 songs are tunes that you're only able to to find in the CD + DVD Type A of the album .
GO∞2 is the 2nd B-side you can find in their 3rd single Rinne -Rondo- .
This's frankly still a really unique song , be it from the song title to the music structure , GO∞2 has both aspects nailed downpat & I never get bored listening to GO∞2 at all , no matter how many times I listened to it .
Wasurarenu Hitomi (Forgetting And Others) is the B-side you're able to find in the brothers's debut single Eien no Setsuna .
If you were to compare it against the upbeat/soaring A-side , Wasurarenu Hitomi is a pretty sad & strong ballad which's a perfect contrast to Eien no Setsuna I would say .
Sagashimono (A Thing Someone Is Looking For) is the 3rd B-side you can find in the duo's 2nd single Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi .
I wouldn't deny that I like Sagashimono a lot as it's such a carefree & summer inspired song & what better way to crank this song up a notch or 2 during this period of time , especially since the season in Japan currently's summer .
Rainy Lady is the 1st B-side of their 3rd single Rinne -Rondo- .
Just like Sagashimono , Rainy Lady is a very upbeat & peppy song which balances off really nicely in Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- .
I like that you're able to find both songs back to back together & somemore they give the same vibes but yet they sound different from each other which's great .
Rinne -Rondo- is ON / OFF's 3rd single & it was used as the opening theme for the anime Vampire Knight Guilty .
This's the twins's 2nd single to debut in the top20 in the Oricon singles chart . Not to mention , it's their most successful single in terms of chart & sales & it's easy to see why as so .
Even up to now , it's still a tough choice for me to decide whether I like Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi or Rinne -Rondo- more seeing that both were used to promote Vampre Knight & Vampire Knight Guilty respectively but nevertheless , I adore the manner that Rinne -Rondo- presents itself .
From the lyrics to the melody , Rinne -Rondo- got both aspects downpat & I like it that 1 moment it's fast & the next , it's slow with shades of classical influences which's just plain lovely .
twinkle is the 3rd new album track & hmmm on 1st listen , I found it very Christmas/wedding inspired for some reasons .
Not that it's a bad thing but at least Naoya & Kazuya sounded very much at ease singing this really cool song .
Hane Kaesu Yuuki (Courage Driven Back) is the B-side you can find in their 4th single Hana Kagari -Hana Kagari- & this's also incidentally the last B-side you can find in the album & also the final track you're only able to find in the CD + DVD Type A of Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- .
Just like Sagashimono , Hane Kaesu Yuuki is also yet another summer inspired song & both songs are perfect to be played during a beach party .
The last 2 songs are brand new tunes you can find in Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- .
Kokuhaku (Confession) is a gorgeous guitar driven no. . It's frankly no surprises that I immediately was drawn into this song as really , there's no way you will dislike guitar pop songs at all & this's evident for Kokuhaku .
Yakusoku no Hane (Wings Of Promise) White Feathers is the final track of the album & to me this's the only weak link in the guys's debut album (aside from Signal still) .
It took me quite a lot of listens as to remember how Yakusoku no Hane White Feathers sounds like as it wasn't as memorable as what I was hoping for & it didn't helped matters that it's a lot more slower & mellower than other songs you can find in Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- .
But after that's outta the way , it's a pretty decent no. to close things off & the echoes you can hear prior to the end of Yakusoku no Hane White Feathers somehow adds a nice touch/edge to prevent itself from becoming a filler tune you can find in the record .
ON / OFF's debut album Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- is certainly a really solid pop offering album which the guys offer a mixture of straight up pop songs & ballads thrown in for good measures .
The biggest gripe that I had with Naoya & Kazuya's 1st record offering is that they have included all of the B-sides you can find in their 1st 4 singles (assuming if you have bought the CD + DVD Type A edition0 which only leaves 5 new songs you can find in here at the end of the day .
But thankfully , the majority of the B-sides are already really solid in their own respective right & the 5 albums tracks are ain't too shabby , especially when you compare the B-sides & album tracks against the 4 singles which're already awesome .
I do hope that the duo will not stop releasing new material as this's 1 duo that has been growing on me pretty nicely since I decided to give their music a try & I say it's never too late to try ON / OFF's music , especially if you're looking for some back to basics & good 'ol pop tunes .
Monday, July 27, 2009
school food punishment - beer trip & futuristic imagination -AVALON Remix- (butterfly swimmer's B-sides)
beer trip & futuristic imagination -AVALON Remix- are the 2 B-sides you can find in school food punishment's 2nd single butterfly swimmer which was released last Wed .
Honestly , it took me quite a lot of listens to remember as to how beer trip sounds because it wasn't as memorable as I was hoping it will be .
It's a lot more mellower/slower/random sounding as compared to butterfly swimmer but after a while , I managed to get the hang of beer trip .
The -AVALON Remix- of their debut single futuristic imagination is basically a 5:22 mins instrumental piece . You're not able to find any vocals of lead vocalist/guitarist Yumi & I was not able to detect traces of how the original take of the song in the -AVALON Remix- of futuristic imagination .
I don't know if that's a good or bad thing but I'm fine with it as it's a nice instrumental no. at the end of the day .
In general , butterfly swimmer is a pretty good follow up after the release of futuristic imagination . The 2 B-sides in the guys & girl's new single took a lot more time than usual for me to remember/warm up to but after a while , both songs are real solid & that goes for the A-side too .
I look forward to see what else this talented band is up to next in due time .
Matsushita Yuya - Honesty
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
Honesty is Matsushita Yuya's 3rd single . It will be released next month on the 26th & this comes about 7 months + since the release of his previous single LAST SNOW .
After delivering 1 heck of a good ballad , Matsushita returns with Honesty , which's a really strong R&B influenced no. & I have to say that it's so groovy & upbeat on 1st listen , it's no surprises that I was instantly hooked onto Honesty soon after that .
I really like the various layerings going on in Honesty & I can sense that Matsushita really had a great time recording Honesty . I wouldn't blame him if he did seeing that it's such a fun song to listen to & it's quite a perfect party song to groove along to , whether you're in an indoor or outdoor party .
I can't wait to see what else Matsushita has in store music wise as I think he's 1 artiste that has been improving musically as each single release of his goes by .
The following songs will serve as B-sides in the single
- Negai ga Kanau Nara (If My Dream/Wish Comes True) ...
- Honesty -acoustic version-
- Achira e (Over There) (CD Only Track) . This served as the ending theme song for the musical adaption of the manga series Kuroshitsuji in which Matsushita portrayed Sebastian Michaelis .
Sunday, July 26, 2009
UVERworld - GO-ON
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
GO-ON is UVERworld's 13th single . Scheduled to be released on 5th next month , this's the group's 1st single release of 2009 .
This comes about 7 months+ since the release of their 4th album AwakEVE .
The guys's new song serves as the ending theme no. in the 1st season of NTV's broadcast of the American TV series House .
Just like their previous single Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi (Fleeting and Everlasting Sorrow) which incidentally's their 1st #1 single , GO-ON is a straight up , mean & in your face rock tune .
I love the instrumental piece that's going on in the guys's brand new song offering & frontman TAKUYA∞ sounded like he had a lot of fun rocking & singing in this kick ass no. in which it's no surprises that I immediately was hooked onto GO-ON on 1st listen .
the truth & Madara Chou (Variegated Butterfly) will serve as B-sides in the single .
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Aoyama Thelma - Wasurenaiyo (I Wouldn't Forget)
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
1) Wasurenaiyo (I Wouldn't Forget)
2) Don't Stop
3) Wasurenaiyo (I Wouldn't Forget) (Instrumental)
4) Don't Stop (Instrumental)
5) Wasurenaiyo (I Remember) (Acoustic Version)
Wasurenaiyo (I Wouldn't Forget) is Aoyama Thelma's 7th single . It will be released next month on the 5th & this comes about 5 months + since the release of her previous single Todoketai ... (I Want To Send ...) Feat KEN THE 390 / Konomam Zutto (This Much Remains) .
Even though Wasurenaiyo is not scheduled to be released until 5th Aug , the whole single has already leaked out to the net .
The A-side serves as the theme song to the film HACHI Yakusoku no Inu which's the Japanese version of the Hollywood film Hachiko : A Dog's Tale while the acoustic take of the song will served as the ending for the film .
Wasurenaiyo on 1st listen is frankly yet another typical Aoyama mid tempo ballad that she has delivered , especially if you compare it against other A-side material that she has released in the past .
But at least the upside of Wasurenaiyo is that I like the music arrangement going on in here & not to mention , if you look at both single covers , those are some of the best covers that Aoyama has brought to the table to date & I thought she wasn't able to top things up after releasing really good single covers for Todoketai ... Feat KEN THE 390 / Konomam Zutto .
The B-side Don't Stop is a HOT upbeat R&B no. & this's what I'm talking about ! The introduction's quite cheesy & un-necessary but after that's outta the way , what you get for Don't Stop is a really solid , rocking & club banging no. .
Someone said that it sounds similar to Rihanna's Pon De Replay which I guess it's so especially since both songs have pretty strong Carribean beats but this's 1 great B-side in which it definitely should have been slotted as an A-side since it's brimming with a lot of potential to be 1 .
The acoustic take of Wasurenaiyo is lovely even though I'm not really sure if you can classify this as 'acoustic' though since music arrangements wise , it's still equally as 'complicated sounding' as the original & somemore it's even longer but it's fine for me because at the end of the day , be it the original or the acoustic , I like both takes equally as much as the other .
Aoyama Thelma once again has brought to the music table another pretty good & solid R&B single & I have to say that the highlight for me is definitely Don't Stop & I feel that her new single should have been released as a double A-side since like what I said before , Don't Stop has a lot of potential to be an A-side song instead of a B-side no. .
Friday, July 24, 2009
Kuroki Meisa - Wasted & Bad Girl (BACHLOGIC Remix) (SHOCK -Unmei-'s B-sides)
Wasted & Bad Girl (BACHLOGIC Remix) are the 2 B-sides you can find in Kuroki Meisa's debut single SHOCK -Unmei- (-Fate-) which was released this Wed .
I was surprised when I 1st heard Wasted & it's very different from what you're able to find in her hellcat mini album as it has shades of electro & punk going on in here which's very cool .
Not to mention , I appericate the fact that Kuroki had a hand in co-composing it , just like what she did for SHOCK -Unmei- (in addition in cowriting it) & I think this's some really good catchy stuff & Kuroki's voice sounded a bit more lower than usual in Wasted but I suppose that was probably done on purpose .
The BACHLOGIC Remix of Bad Girl is a lot more mellower than the original take of the song you can find as track #3 in hellcat . I'm not sure if this's a good or bad thing & considering that I'm usually not that big on remixes , I'm fine with this , it's just that it lacks the spunk & bite that the original version of Bad Girl had .
I frankly must admit that I was initally no doubt disappointed with SHOCK -Unmei- as I feel it sounded like a step down or 2 from the material you're able to find in hellcat but the 2 B-sides included in Kuroki's debut single are solid & now I consider the single as a really neat package that has been put together pretty nicely .
I definitely look forward to see what else Kuroki has in store in the near future as she's 1 artiste that has her own set of surprises & so far , she hasn't disappointed me in what she has to offer , music wise .
Thursday, July 23, 2009
CD Review :: Fukuyama Masaharu - Zankyou
1) Gunjou (Ultramarine Blue) ~ultramarine~
2) Keshin (Incarnation)
3) Ashita no (Tomorrow) ☆SHOW
4) Nagareboshi (Star Stream)
5) Koufuku Ron (Theory Of Happiness)
6) 18 ~eighteen~
7) Saiai (Beloved)
8) Sou (Idea) -new love new world-
11) Konya , Kimi wo Daite (Tonight , Hugging You)
12) Tabibito (Traveler)
13) Tokyo ni mo Attanda (It Was In Tokyo)
14) Michishirube (Guidepost)
15) 99 (Instrumetnal)
Zankyou is Fukuyama Masaharu's 10th album . It was released last month on the 30th .
Fukuyama's last album offering was Go-nen Mono which was released 3 years ago .
3 singles , 2 B-sides & a collaboration single are included in Fukuyama's brand new album . An instrumental tune called 99 is only available in the 2 different CD + DVD editions of Zankyou .
Gunjou (Ultramarine Blue) ~ultramarine~ is the 1st track to kick things off in Zankyou & it was used as the ending theme song for TV Tokyo news program World Business Satellite .
I was really blown away when I 1st heard Gunjou ~ultramarine~ because it's an epic & grand sounding tune & you have a sweeping orchestra melody going on in here which's awesome & the ending of the no. is plain lovely .
Keshin (Incarnation) is Fukuyama's 24th single & it served as the theme song for the drama Majo Saiban which starred Ikuta Toma . It's also the latest single to be included in Zankyou before the album was released last month .
This's the very 1st song that I heard of Fukuyama as before that , I had no idea as to how he sounds like but when I saw the video of Keshin that received its fair bit of airplay a while back ago on MTV Asia & MTV China , I was immediately drawn & hooked onto Keshin at an instant .
There's no way you can escape the infectious & groovy melodies going on in Keshin that's for sure & it's probably the most aggressive/in your face song you can find in Zankyou too .
Ashita no (Tomorrow) ☆SHOW is track #3 & it's the 1st B-side song you can find in Fukuyama's 23rd single Sou (Idea) -new love new world .
This's a real cheery guitar driven song . I love it that it's catchy & uplifting at the same time when I 1st heard Ashita no ☆SHOW & you definitely can feel a lot of positive vibrations coming from this song which's great .
Nagareboshi (Star Stream) is track #4 & this's a really mellow & chilled out song . I have to admit that it took me quite a while to remember as to how Nagareboshi sounds like as it was really boring & un-memorable for my liking on 1st listen .
After a few more listens or so , I began to soften up to the song & I considered it as a really solid guitar ballad .
Koufuku Ron (Theory Of Happiness) is track #5 & I find this to be a really charming tune . It's just Fukuyama with his trusty guitar in this song & with a few percussions thrown in for good measure , the final product you get for Koufuku Ron is this really peppy & upbeat song .
18 ~eighteen~ is track #6 & just like Ashita no ☆SHOW , both songs have the same catchy & uplifting characteristics . Except for 18 ~eighteen~'s case , the music arrangements are a lot more toned down which's nice & Fukuyama's vocals are in fine form in this song .
Saiai (Beloved) is Fukuyama's 2nd collaboration single which was released last year on Oct 1st which you can find this song in the single KOH+ & it's a collaboration with Japaneses singer/actress Kou Shibasaki .
Unlike other songs you can find in Zankyou , Saiai is a gorgeous piano driven ballad that I really like on 1st listen . I love it that I was drawn into Saiai immediately & you can tell how much music input that was went into Saiai .
Sou -new love new world- is Fukuyama's 23rd single & this's a solid upbeat song . I frankly didn't know what to expect before I heard this tune but I was real impressed after hearing it & the synth that's going on in here gives a nice edge/touch it needs to stand out from the other songs in Zankyou .
phantom is track #9 & it's also the longest song in Zankyou , clocking in at 6:42 mins . This's a straight up no nonsense mid tempo guitar no. . I initally thought that I might get bored of phantom especially since the duration of the song's almost 7 mins but I'm surprised that I was being kept pretty much entertained by phantom from the start to the end .
The highlight of phantom's after Fukuyama delivered the 2nd chorus , you can hear a really great instrumental piece that I simply adore .
The only grouse I feel about phantom's that the closing of the song should have been shorter since I find it a bit un-necessary to have almost like a 3 mins instrumental for an ending but I suppose this's what makes phantom stands out in its own unique way so I guess I can pardon Fukuyama for that .
survivor is track #10 & as the song title suggests , it's a very catchy & uplifting song that you bound to feel positive vibes after hearing this pretty good no. & the drum beats are a lot more prominent in here as compared to other songs you can find in Zankyou .
Konya , Kimi wo Daite (Tonight , Hugging You) is track #11 & to me this's probably a weak link in Zankyou because it took me almost like forever to recall as to how Konya , Kimi wo Daite sounds like .
But after I got that outta the way , I came to appericate this pretty slow no. even though I will not consider this as my fave song in the album .
Tabibito (Traveler) is track #12 & this's used as the theme song for the upcoming Ueno Juri film , Killer Virgin Road .
Honestly on 1st listen , I find Tabibito really interesting as it's a bit different & unique as compared to other tunes in the album & the melody has a really infectious hook which got me to like Tabibito in due time & I found myself humming along to the song after a few listens which's nice .
Tokyo ni mo Attanda (It Was In Tokyo) is the 1st A-side of Fukuyama's 22nd single Tokyo ni mo Attanda / Muteki no Kimi which was used as the theme song for Tokyo Tower - Mom & Me, And Sometimes Dad . As such , you will not find the 2nd A-side Muteki no Kimi in Zankyou .
It's the 2nd longest track in Zankyou after phantom , clocking in at 6:21 mins .
The song frankly did not catch me on 1st listen . I found it really lengthy & pretty much was bored by it but after a while when I got myself familiar with other songs in Zankyou , I cast a different light/opinion towards Tokyo ni mo Attanda & now I find the song to be a really enduring & charming ballad .
Despite the long duration of the song , you can't help but felt a sense of nostaglia feeling when you listen to Tokyo ni mo Attanda .
Michishirube (Guidepost) is the final song you can find in the CD only edition of Zankyou since I will not be reviewing the instrumental piece 99 . This's the 1st B-side song of Fukuyama's 24th single Keshin & Michishirube was used as the ending theme song for NTV news program NEWS ZERO .
I think it's a perfect way to close Zankyou off with this powerful & inspiring song . I really like Michishirube when I 1st heard it as it's such an uplifting no. , there's no way you will not like it at all .
Zankyou's the very 1st album I listened to of from Fukuyama Masaharu & I must say that this's a very solid album as Zankyou offers a really good mix of mid tempo guitar driven songs & ballads thrown in for good measures .
Considering that he has been in the music business for 20 years , it's no laughing matter at all & it's easy to see as to why he's 1 of the most respected singer/songwriter/guitarist/actor around .
I kinda regret not listening to Fukuyama much much earlier because I'm quite sure that the rest of his discography's equally as great as Zankyou , be it for the album tracks & the singles which made the cut in his brand new album but I still say that it's never too late to start right now & what better way to do so than in the form of Zankyou , ain't it ?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
ayaka - Kaze ni Naritai (We would like to become the wind)
Kaze ni Naritai (We would like to become the wind) is a 1995 cover song of The Boom that ayaka contributed in a compilation cover album called Boomania -The BOOM Special Best Covers- .
You can find ayaka's take of the song as track #4 in Boomania -The BOOM Special Best Covers- & it will be released tomorrow .
I don't know how the original take of Kaze ni Naritai sounds like but I really love what ayaka does in here . It's really lounge & bossa nova inspired which caught me by surprise on 1st listen because none of her material falls into this 2 music genres since she usually tends to focus on pop/rock more with a little touch of folk sometimes when comes to her 2 duets tunes that she did with fellow label mate & folk duo Kobukuro aka WINDING ROAD & Anata to .
But hey , she did something cool & refreshing with regards to The Boom's Kaze ni Naritai & it's a perfect song to listen to if you want to just sit back , chill out & relax .
Monday, July 20, 2009
Shota Shimizu - Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani (Goodbye To The Usual)
Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani (Goodbye To The Usual) is the 2nd A-side of Shota Shimizu's 4th single Utsukushii Hibi yo / Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani which was released last Wed .
It took me quite a while to remember as to how Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani sounds like when you compare it against Utsukushii Hibi yo because both tend to have the same mid tempo R&B sound .
But in due time , I managed to distinguish between Utsukushii Hibi yo & Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani after a few listens between both A-sides . Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani's a nice song which has shades of slight electric guitar riffs going on in here .
The B-side in Shota's 1st double A-side single is something called Kaze no you ni (Like The Wind) . Just like the 2 A-sides , it's also yet another mid tempo R&B song but thankfully & frankly this's a good B-side that I came to like as time goes by .
Shota's latest single Utsukushii Hibi yo / Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani is frankly a good R&B package that has been put together pretty well . Just like Aoyama Thelma , the major gripes I have towards full blown R&B artistes is that once you start to release a mid tempo R&B song , the rest of your material will tend to follow suit & sound the same when you compare each song side by side together .
It's a bit unfortunate but for Shota's case , I came to enjoy Utsukushii Hibi yo / Sayonara wa Itsumo Sobani & I hope he's able to put out somemore good R&B tunes in the near future .
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Kobukuro - FREEDOM TRAIN & Kimi to Itai no Ni (I Want To Be With You) (STAY's B-sides)
FREEDOM TRAIN & Kimi to Itai no Ni (I Want To Be With You) are the 2 B-sides you can find in Kobukuro's 18th single STAY which was released on Wed .
Unlike the emotional driven ballad STAY , FREEDOM TRAIN is a perfect contrast to the A-side . It's an upbeat & cheery folk driven song which you can notice in here that it's mostly Kuroda singing most parts of the song & Kobuchi's doing mainly background vocals which's a nice change .
Whereas for Kimi to Itai no Ni , it's basically almost like a live version song that was done in the studios . I don't know why nothing was mentioned in the song title about this but it doesn't stop me from enjoying Kimi to Itai no Ni as it's such a good acoustic & stripped down no. which I can't help but feel real endured towards it .
The folk duo Kobukuro has delivers yet another great & very enjoyable single . It was a joy listening to STAY from the start to the end & I like that each song offers something different for the listener to enjoy .
The guys will be releasing their 7th album CALLING which will be released next month on the 5th & I can't wait for the album to be out in due time .
GIRL NEXT DOOR - Be your wings
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
Be your wings is the 1st A-side of GIRL NEXT DOOR's upcoming 6th single Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you . It will be released next month on the 5th & it comes in about 2 months + since their 1st #1 single Infinity .
The 1st A-side serves as the theme song for the new Tales of VS game & it's the trio 3rd single release of the year .
Despite the fact that it's the trio's 1st triple A-side single , only Be your wings & FRIENDSHIP will get a music video each .
Honestly on 1st listen , Be your wings reminded me of a cross mix between WINTER GAME & ESCAPE . I don't know if that's considered a good or bad thing but at least Be your wings to me's some catchy stuff .
Plus , it helps that the Be your wings video is officially 1 of my fave GND videos now & I have been putting it on repeat mode which's great .
Especially the fact that I was being disappointed somehow or another with the video for Infinity despite liking the song but I couldn't bring myself to like the Infinity video as much as I want to .
So in a way or 2 , it's great that the trio managed to deliver another great & extremely entertaining video which elevates the status of Be your wings to a whole new music level or 2 for me .
The other 2 A-sides FRIENDSHIP & Wait for you & also the Ferry Corsten Remix of Jounetsu no Daishou (The Compensation Of The Passion) will be reviewed in due time .
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Saito Kazuyoshi - Don't Worry Be Happy
Cover For Both Regular & Limited Editions :
1) Don't Worry Be Happy
2) Kuronuri no Sedan (Sedan Of Black Coating)
3) Hello Goodbye ~Epilogue~
4) Don't Worry Be Happy ~Acoustic Version~ (Limited Edition Track)
Don't Worry Be Happy is Saito Kazuyoshi's 36th single . It was released this year on 6th May & it's Saito's 1st single release of 2009 .
Just like Suga Shikao & Fukuyama Masaharu , Saito Kazuyoshi has been in the music business for a very long time . In fact , Saito has been active in the Japan's music scene for 16 years & counting .
Also his music works are produced by Victor Entertainment in which he's label mates with SMAP .
I 1st heard about him when NEWS / Kanjani∞'s Ryo Nishikido name dropped Saito's name when Kanjani∞ appeared on HEYx3 a while back ago during the time when they were promoting their 3rd album PUZZLE & Saito's responsible for writing & composing a song on the album of the same title which's frankly no doubt my fave album track in Kanjani∞'s 3rd record .
So naturally , I decided to check out Saito's music especially since I love what he contributed to Kanjani∞'s PUZZLE album .
I guess it's easy to see why Ryo's such a big fan of Saito's music because when I 1st listened to Don't Worry Be Happy , I was pretty blown away on the quality of Saito's material .
It was a bit cheesy on 1st listen but I just like how peppy Don't Worry Be Happy sounds .
The B-side Kuronuri no Sedan (Sedan Of Black Coating) is a gorgeous & very catchy piece of guitar driven no. . It's not as cheesy as Don't Worry Be Happy but I can't help but be drawn into Kuronuri no Sedan on 1st listen as I was immediately hooked onto the song .
Somemore I love how old fashioned Kuronuri no Sedan sounds like to a certain extent .
Hello Goodbye ~Epilogue~ is basically a 5:04 mins instrumental piece . I was expecting another B-side song but this does nicely for me .
Only found in the limited edition of the single , it's the acoustic take of the A-side . It's basically Saito & just his guitar in here & the ending result you get's a really laid back & scale down song which's great to listen if you're chilling out .
Saito Kazuyoshi's latest single's a single that I was really impressed & kept entertained from the start to the end . I kinda wished that I discovered his music much much earlier because he offers something different to the music table & I love the arrangement/melodies he gave to the songs in Don't Worry Be Happy & considering that he has been around for 16 years & counting , it's saying something .
He will be releasing his new single titled COME ON ! next month on the 5th & I can't wait for more great material coming from this respected singer/songwriter .
BREAKERZ - Faraway so Close. & B.R.Z ~Ashita e no Kakehashi~ (~Bridge For Tomorrow~) Acoustic Version (Hikari's B-sides)
Faraway so Close. & B.R.Z ~Ashita e no Kakehashi~ (~Bridge For Tomorrow~) Acoustic Version are the 2 B-sides you can find in BREAKERZ's 6th single Hikari which was released on Wed .
Written & composed by AKIHIDE , Faraway so Close. is a solid B-side that BREAKERZ has brought to the table & it's a perfect contrast to the ballad Hikari .
This's a mean upbeat in your face rocking B-side & credits has to go to AKIHIDE who is responsible for other excellent tunes that he wrote/composed you can find in the trio's discography in the form of Smile in Tears , Sekai wa Odoru (The World's Dancing) & Aitakute (I Want To Meet You) .
Originally found as track #3 in their 2nd album CRASH & BUILD , it's the acoustic version of B.R.Z ~Ashita e no Kakehashi~ which you only can find in the CD only edition of Hikari .
I was frankly surprised when I 1st heard the acoustic take of B.R.Z ~Ashita e no Kakehashi~ as it's very jazz & bossa nova influenced to a certain extent & it's so different when you compare the other acoustic versions that the trio has included in their last 2 singles like Nanzenkai ... Nanmankai ... (Thousand Times ... 10 Thousand Times ...) & Dandelion .
What I like for all 3 acoustic songs is that each of them sounds different/unique from each other which's great . The original take of the song found in CRASH & BUILD is a tune I will not consider as my fave track in their 2nd album but my opinions probably might change now after hearing the acoustic take of the song .
Once again , BREAKERZ has delivered another amazing single to the table & it's great that things gets better for them as each single release of theirs goes by & they have come a long way since making their debut/music presence felt in the Japan music scene 2 years ago .
So far , the trio has released 3 singles this year & frankly I will not be surprised if they were to release their 4th album before 2009 wraps up . I guess it's only a matter of time for that to happen but until that happens , I happily will listen to Hikari on full blast in my laptop .
Friday, July 17, 2009
ARASHI - Everything (Acoustic Mix)
music.jp listed an acoustic mix of ARASHI's 27th single Everything a while back ago in their ads & this probably can be considered as a digital exclusive acoustic mix .
Considered as the 1st single of the guys to be given the acoustic mix treatment , it's no surprises that I really like it & it helps that I'm totally big on acoustic songs as it gives you the stripped down , bare essentials on what you need to hear when comes to acoustic songs .
I'm not sure on whether will the guys do this in future single releases of theirs but if so , it's something I definitely would welcome big time .
Until then , look out for the release of their 3rd compilation album All the BEST ! 1999 ~ 2009 which will be released next month on 19th .
Thursday, July 16, 2009
ON / OFF - Hana Kagari (Bamboo Flower) -Hana Kagari- (-Bamboo Flower-)
1) Hana Kagari (Bamboo Flower) -Hana Kagari- (-Bamboo Flower-)
2) Hane Kaesu Yuuki (Courage Driven Back)
Hana Kagari (Bamboo Flower) -Hana Kagari- (-Bamboo Flower-) is ON / OFF's 4th single . It was released on 4th March this year & it's their 1st single release for 2009 .
This was released a month before the duo released their debut album Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- on 22nd April .
Unlike their 1st 3 singles , Hana Kagari -Hana Kagari- only was released in 1 edition (not counting yokogao in the picture) & it did not receive any major tie in promotion for a drama or an anime .
I guess because of this , Hana Kagari -Hana Kagari- did not perform as well as the twin brothers's 2nd & 3rd singles Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi (Two Beats And A Red Sin) & Rinne (Cycle) -Rondo- since both were used as opening theme songs for the animes Vampire Knight & Vampire Knight Guilty .
Hana Kagari -Hana Kagari- only managed a peak position of #47 as compared to Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi & Rinne -Rondo- which debuted at #19 & #18 on the 1st week of release .It's a pity because I frankly enjoy Hana Kagari -Hana Kagari- as it's such a nice soothing ballad that Naoya & Kazuya has brought to the music table . It honestly can't match up to their debut single Eien no Setsuna but still this's good stuff .
The B-side Hane Kaesu Yuuki (Courage Driven Back) on 1st listen was a shocker for me because it sounded like some really dated cheesy 90's pop song . But after I got that outta the way , I find Hane Kaesu Yuuki pretty ok for my liking & it's quite summer inspired if you realised how Hane Kaesu Yuuki sounds .
The duo has once again bring everyone a really pleasant & enjoyable single . Both the A & B-sides complement & contrast each other pretty nicely for that matter .
I will be reviewing their debut album Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- soon .
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Utada Hikaru - Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix
The -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix of Utada Hikaru's song Beautiful World was released last month on 28th via iTunes as a promotional song for the movie Evangelion 2.0 .
You can find the original take of Beautiful World as track #3 in her 5th album HEART STATION .
I always have liked Beautiful World ever since I 1st heard it & naturally I was stoked when PLANiTb choose to remix Beautiful World in line for promo with regards to Evangelion 2.0 & the result you get in this case's a really beautiful & somewhat calm & slightly aggressive remix of Beautiful World .
I'm usually picky when comes to remixes but in this case , this's 1 remix that will be lingering around in my mp3player for a very long time to come & I'm real impressed on the music structure pertaining to the -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix of Beautiful World which's plain lovely to boot on every single level .
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Tegomass - Tadaima , Okaeri (Welcome Back I'm Home) & La La Sakura (Swedish Edition Of Tanabata Matsuri's B-sides)
Tadaima , Okaeri (Welcome Back I'm Home) & La La Sakura are 2 new B-sides you can find in the Swedish edition of Tegomass's 4th single Tanabata Matsuri . It was released in Sweden on the same day as Japan ie. last Wed .
As such you will not find Hanamuke (Farewell Gift) , Boku Rashiku (To Be How I Am) nor Owara naide (Don't End It) in here as these 3 B-sides are only found in the Japan edition of the duo's single .
This's the 2nd single of the duo that received a Swedish release , the 1st being their debut single Miso Soup .
I really like Tadaima , Okaeri on 1st listen because of the bag pipes going on in the melody & no surprises I was immediately hooked onto this easy & pleasant piece no. .
In the case of La La Sakura , I initally thought that it might be a cheesy song judging from the song title but surprisingly , it sounded even more mature & grown up than what I perceived .
It does get a bit cheesy here & there but it's a decent B-side tune at the end of the day .
Monday, July 13, 2009
ayaka - Arigatou. (Thank You.) (Minna Sora no Shita's B-side)
Arigatou. (Thank You.) is the B-side you can find in ayaka's 11th single Minna Sora no Shita (All Under The Sky) which was released last Wed .
Both Minna Sora no Shita & Arigatou. were written & composed by her .
I really love Arigatou. on 1st listen because it's a very upbeat , positive sounding & cheery tune .
The fact Arigatou.'s being backed up musically with gorgeous bagpipes at the start of the song kinda reminded me of her 9th single Okaeri which's great seeing that I enjoyed Okaeri .
You also can find a live audio of the 2nd A-side of her previous single Koi Kogarete Mita Yume (The Dream You Yearned For) which was recorded from her live stage performance on April 22nd 2009 at Nihon Budokan in the single here .
If you have heard & seen her live performances , you would know that be it on CD or live , she sounds exactly the same which's something that's not easy to attain at all .
The live version of Koi Kogarete Mita Yume is really long at 6:10 mins but considering that ayaka sounds on par if not even more superior than what you can hear on a CD , I can pardon her somehow or another & I like the slight change of music arrangement in the live take of the song .
ayaka has delivered yet another solid single in the form of Minna Sora no Shita & unlike her previous single Yume wo Mikata ni / Koi Kogarete Mita Yume , this time round , I really like every single music input that went to Minna Sora no Shita .
This's her last single release before she will go on hiatus to seek treatment for Graves' Disease & I do hope that she will be able to make a speedy & full recovery & be back before anyone knows it .
Sunday, July 12, 2009
ARASHI - Green
Green is a song that's sung by ARASHI & it was used to promote an event called Green from Touch Eco a while back ago .
This song & I go way back if you ask me since I heard a live version of it that was ripped directly from their ARASHI Marks 2008 Dream"A"live Tour last year & a CD studio version of Green did not surface until this year .
I think it more or less fit the concept of Green from Touch Eco really well as the event was used to promote in saving the environment & it's definitely nice to see Green in getting the studio treatment after I have waited so long for this to happen .
I don't know whether or not will Green make the cut in their future 9th studio album , I guess I will wait & see whether will this happen in due time or not .
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Tegomass - Boku Rashiku (To Be How I Am) & Owara naide (Don't End It) (Tanabata Matsuri's B-sides)
Boku Rashiku (To Be How I Am) & Owara naide (Don't End It) are 2 B-sides you only can find in the CD only edition of Tegomass's 4th single Tanabata Matsuri which was released this week in Wed .
Tanabata Matsuri was released a week before the duo's debut album Tegomasu no Uta will be released this coming Wed on the 15th .
Frankly , both Boku Rashiku & Owara naide are 2 very upbeat catchy songs but what separate both songs are the music structures . Boku Rashiku's basically a full blown pop song whereas for Owara naide , it initally has a strong piano backing & then electric guitar strings can be heard subsequently which gives Owara naide the much needed edge it needs .
Just like the duo's previous singles , I enjoy Tanabata Matsuri on whole & it's pretty something for the B-sides to sound on par if not even better than the A-side & it's a commending effort for both Tegoshi & Masuda to tackle such an issue .
I will be reviewing Tadaima , Okaeri (Welcome Back I'm Home) & La La Sakura which're 2 brand new B-sides you only can find in the Swedish edition of the single in due time .
Suga Shikao - Nerui Biiru (Lukewarm Beer) & TOKYO LIFE (Party People's B-sides)
Nerui Biiru (Lukewarm Beer) & TOKYO LIFE are the 2 B-sides you can find in Suga Shikao's 25th single Party People which will be released this coming Wed on the 15th .
Unlike the A-side , Nerui Biiru is a lot more mellow & slower . Still , it has that great smooth sensual funky soulful jazz factor going on in here in which I really dig & enjoy .
The 2nd A-side TOKYO LIFE follows almost in the same music direction as Party People . It took me quite a while to distinguish between the B & A sides because they tend to sound similar in a way when you put both songs together side by side .
It took me quite a while after a few listens but now I really dig TOKYO LIFE just like as much as the other tunes in the single .
This's the 1st single that I have listened of Suga & I must say that I really love what he has to offer & with his unique voice & great blend of jazz/soul/funk material , it's quite easy to see why he has been around the music business for so long & hats off to him .
I'm going to be following his music now from Party People onwards & I say it's never too late to discover his music at all .
Kuroki Meisa - SHOCK -Unmei- (-Fate-)
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
SHOCK -Unmei- (-Fate-) is Kuroki Meisa's 1st official single . It will be released on 22nd July & it comes in about 3 months+ since the release of her debut mini album , the awesome hellcat .
Her official website described SHOCK -Unmei- as a hot dance track & it's currently used to promote a new drink by KIRIN called Cola Shock which's basically an "adult" beverage as it's cola x vodka & she's the spokesperson for the drink .
Honestly , I was a bit disappointed when I finally got the chance to listen to SHOCK -Unmei- as it sounded like a music step down or 2 from the material you're able to get hold of in hellcat .
It was only after a few more listens to SHOCK -Unmei- then I finally soften up to the song & realised it's actually quite a catchy & solid R&B tune that Kuroki has delivered & there's a splash of classical which you can hear which I feel it gives a nice touch/edge on what SHOCK -Unmei- needed .
Also I should add that this's the 1st song that she has a hand in cowriting it as she never wrote any lyrics in her debut mini album hellcat (she co-composed 3 songs) & she also co-composed SHOCK -Unmei- too so kudos to her for giving her own personal input & efforts in this A-side .
Wasted & Bad Girl (Bachlogic Remix) serve as B-sides in the single .
Friday, July 10, 2009
school food punishment - futuristic imagination
Cover for both CD Only & CD + DVD editions :
1) futuristic imagination
3) you may crawl -Takkyu Ishino Remix-
futuristic imagination is school food punishment's major label debut single . It was released this year on 27th May & it was used as the closing theme song for the anime Eden Of The East .
Man , the A-side is an aggressive mean mix of post rock & electronica . Lead guitarist/singer Yumi really let her powerful vocals shine in here . I just love how fast paced futuristic imagination's & I guess this's the single that more or less established the quartet in the jpop music scene since this's considered as their 1st material to be released under a major label ie. Sony BMG Japan .
The B-side flat is a relatively calm electronica driven no. which's a perfect contrast to futuristic imagination . This's 1 B-side that I really like as the quartet toned & mellowed down quite a lot to bring you this great electronic driven song which's great .
The Takkyu Ishino Remix of you may crawl is interesting , be it title or the song itself . I never heard how the original version of you may crawl sounds like but in here , the Takkyu Ishino Remix of it is OK to me even though it does get repetitive here & there as each listen goes by .
school food punishment's debut single futuristic imagination is a great listen from the start to the end & for a debut release , it's considered really impressive . I was kept entertained by the quartet's unique music brand of post rock & electronica & it's a great music stepping stone for the 3 guys & girl .
I can't wait to see what else they have up their sleeves but until then I await in anticipation to hear the rest of the material in their 2nd single butterfly swimmer which will be released on 22nd July .
Thursday, July 09, 2009
ayumi hamasaki - Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~
Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~ is the 1st A-side of ayumi hamasaki's upcoming new 46th single Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ in which it will be released next month on 12th Aug .
This comes 5 months + since the release of her 10th album NEXT LEVEL & it's her 3rd straight A-side single release , after Days / GREEN , Rule / Sparkle & then now Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~~ .
The 1st A-side serves as the theme song for the new drama Dandy Daddy ? .
If you're expecting another glitter , BLUE BIRD part 2 then prepared to get your perception changed on this big time .
When I 1st heard Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~ , it definitely sounded like something that you can find in her NEXT LEVEL album as Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~ lies in the electro pop genre which's frankly a change that I welcome as her previous summer singles glitter , BLUE BIRD & fairyland , tend to sound the same if you listen to all 3 songs back to back with each other but it's different for Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~ .
No surprises , I was instantly hooked to Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~ on 1st listen & it basically screams out summer all over the place & for once , it's great to see ayumi breaking out of the whole glitter / BLUE BIRD / fairyland music rut .
The 2nd A-side Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ & a Special Mega-Mash-Up-Mix (July 1st / Greatful days / fairyland / BLUE BIRD / glitter) will be reviewed in due time .
Anna Tsuchiya - Sweet Rishi Boy (Anna Tsuchiya mush up ☆Taku Takahashi) & Loser ! (Brave vibration's B-sides)
Sweet Rishi Boy (Anna Tsuchiya mush up ☆Taku Takahashi) & Loser ! are the 2 B-sides songs you can find in Anna Tsuchiya's 10th single Brave vibration which was released last Wed .
Brave vibration debuted at #13 in the weekly chart , making this her most successful single since her 5th single LUCY , single wise .
Credited under the name Anna Tsuchiya mush up ☆Taku Takahashi , Sweet Rishi Boy is 1 of Anna's most interesting B-sides that she has put out to date . It's kinda Indian/Bollywood inspired mixed with a more modern electro dance vibe which I feel it's very unique .
It took me quite a while to soften up to Sweet Rishi Boy as this's the 1st time that Anna has delivered such a song but after that's outta the way , I came to conclude that Sweet Rishi Boy's really something ace & solid that Anna has brought to the music table .
The 2nd B-side Loser ! is more like Anna's style . If you realise , the lyrics for Loser ! is kinda like a follow up to her 7th single cocoon & whereas melody wise , it's more or less something similar that you can find in her 3rd album NUDY SHOW ! , tunes such as masquerade , Style & Dirty Game .
Loser ! serves as the theme song of her self-directed short film Fish Bone which is part of the omnibus feature Blue Pacific Stories .
Not that it's a bad thing because I like NUDY SHOW ! so I basically have no problems with Loser ! as the genres that Anna did in NUDY SHOW ! , it really fits her vocals to a tee .
I really enjoyed Brave vibration on whole as there's something that Anna has offered for everyone , be it a fun summer A-side tune down to Bollywood inspired & angsty driven B-sides , this girl can do no wrong for me at all .
It's definitely a HUGE music step up from her last single Virgin Cat in which it obviously didn't sit very well with her fans & at least this time round , Anna has more or less return back to fine form which's great .
I look forward to see what else she has up her sleeves in due time & hopefully , GUILTY will be able to get a physical CD release on a single or maybe it will be included in her future 4th album .
ON / OFF - Rinne (Cycle) -Rondo-
CD Only Cover :
Vampire Knight Guilty Special CD Only Limited Edition Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
1) Rinne (Cycle) -Rondo-
2) Rainy Lady
4) Sen no Nemuri no Hate (End Of Many Thousand Sleep)
Rinne (Cycle) -Rondo- is ON / OFF's 3rd single . It was released on 15th Oct last year & it was used as the opening theme for the anime Vampire Knight Guilty .
Kanon Wakeshima's 2nd single Suna no Oshiro (Sand Castle) was used as the closing theme song for the anime .
Rinne -Rondo- is the twin brothers's most successful single , in terms of chart ranking & sales & it's their 2nd Top20 single when it debuted at #18 in the 1st week of release last year .
It's hard for me to decide & choose whether I like Rinne -Rondo- or their 2nd single Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi more because I feel both songs were able to capture the atmosphere on what you expect with regards to the Vampire Knight & Vampire Knight Guilty .
In the case of Rinne -Rondo- , what I love about the song's that it's 1/2 mid tempo & 1/2 slow & during the 'slownesses' part of the tune , it transformed into a somewhat classical inspired piece which I think it's very cool .
There're 3 B-sides in Rinne -Rondo- . The 1st one being something called Rainy Lady & this's a nice B-side . It somehow sounds very carefree to me & I like the simplicity of Rainy Lady as compared to Rinne -Rondo- , melody wise .
GO∞2 is the 2nd B-side & this , be it song title or song , it's interesting because it's pop , but it's not the kinda straight up pop material that the brothers dish out . It has an unique edgy feeling attached to it which I think it's really cool .
The final B-side Sen no Nemuri no Hate (End Of Many Thousand Sleep) is incidentally the only song in Rinne -Rondo- that's ballad driven except for Sen no Nemuri no Hate , it's more on the mid tempo upbeat side so it's not exactly a full blown ballad .
Still , this's nice as I feel it wraps up the whole Rinne -Rondo- single nicely & for me , I really enjoyed everything on what ON / OFF's 3rd single has to offer as the whole single's pretty much solid in its own right & every song in the single is really well defined & crafted .
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
flumpool - Siren (MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ / Natsu Dive's B-side)
Siren is the B-side that you can find in flumpool's 2nd single MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ / Natsu (Summer) Dive which was released last Wed .
It took me forever to remember as to how Siren sounds like because it wasn't as memorable as what I had hoped for & it's different for Hoshi ni Negai wo's B-side Merry Go Round (Kaiten Mokuba) where I was instantly hooked .
After 5 listens or so , I more or less was able to get the hang of Siren as it basically sounds like what you expect when you listen to Natsu Dive , just that it's a less catchier version of the A-side but it's definitely a grower for sure .
flumpool's new single MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ / Natsu Dive is a pretty good follow up from their debut single Hoshi ni Negai wo . Except for Siren which I feel it's the weak link here , both A-sides are pretty much solid in their own respective right .
I can't wait to see what else this talented quartet has up their sleeves in due time & who knows , maybe they will release their full length debut album this year ?
Anything goes I say .
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Aqua Timez - Purmeria ~Hana Uta~ (~Flower Song~)
Purmeria ~Hana Uta~ (~Flower Song~) is Aqua Timez's 10th single . It will be released this month on 29th & it about 4 months + since the release of their 3rd album Utai Sarishi Hana .
The band's brand new no. serves as the theme song for GOKUSEN THE MOVIE in which Aqua Timez provided the opening theme song for the 3rd season of Gokusen in the form of their 6th single Niji .
I guess just like GReeeeN , it kinda make senses for Aqua Timez to provide the theme song for the Gokusen movie & this time round , they return back with a really good catchy no. in the form of Purmeria ~Hana Uta~ .
It's kinda summer inspired to a certain extent & the melody going on in the song is just plain lovely & I love the keyboards & synth in here which's nice .
Nagasugita Yoru ni (On The Night Too Long) & Perfect World -blue forest ver.- serve as B-sides in the single .
Monday, July 06, 2009
Yusuke - Kaizokusen (Pirate Ship) & Sono Kobushi (The Fist)
CD + DVD Type A Cover :
CD + DVD Type B Cover :
Kaizokusen (Pirate Ship) & Sono Kobushi (The Fist) are the 2nd & 3rd A-side singles of Yusuke's 2nd single Tanpopo / Kaizokusen / Sono Kobushi which was releasd last month on 24th .
Tanpopo / Kaizokusen / Sono Kobushi's his 1st triple A-side single & not to mention his 1st #1 that he obtained as a solo artiste (his 2nd #1 overall if you count his works that he did with the now defunt band Shuchishin) .
YesAsia described Kaizokusen as an energetic Soca dance number & I think this more or less define on what you should expect when you listen to Kaizokusen .
For me , I find Kaizokusen to be completely random & somewhat over the top . It does get a bit psycho & crazy when you listen to the chorus in which I can't help but find it so amusing & different when you compared it against the ballad Tanpopo & let alone Sonote .
The 3rd A-side Sono Kobushi is surprisingly the only A-side that did not receive a music video of its own . YesAsia described Sono Kobushi as the fact that it belts out the courage for life with a strong melody and rock beats .
Personally I prefer Sono Kobushi much more than Kaizokusen as it's more catchy & grabbing on 1st listen . The chorus for the crazy Kaizokusen kinda turned me off a bit slightly & thankfully that didn't happened for Sonote's case & somemore , it's a real energetic & peppy no. .
I really enjoy the whole different music styles (ballad , crazy whack out pop & pop/rock) that Yusuke has brought to the music table this time round with his 1st triple A-side single & it's easy to see why it deserved to be his 1st #1 as a solo artist .
Not to mention , it's great for Yusuke to step up his music game after his debut solo single Himawari which was a really good start for his solo career .
Hopefully a debut solo album will be released in due course sometime later this year . If not another single will do nicely for me in whichever way possible .
Sunday, July 05, 2009
CD Review :: Kanon Wakeshima - Shinshoku Dolce
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
1) sweet ticket
2) Shinku no (Crimson) Fatalism
3) Kagami (Mirror)
4) still doll (album ver.)
5) Maboroshi (Illusion)
6) Ennui Kibun (Mood Insipidity) !
7) Suna no Oshiro (Sand Castle)
8) Monochrome frame
9) L'espoir ~Mahou no Akai Ito~ (~A Magical Red Thread~)
10) Kuroi Torikago (Black Bird Cage)
11) skip turn step♪
12) Shiroi Kokoro (White Spirit)
13) sweet dreams
Shinshoku Dolce is singer/songwriter/cellist Kanon Wakeshima's debut album & it was released this year on 18th Feb .
2 singles & 2 B-sides are included in Kanon's 1st record . All lyrics in Shinshoku Dolce were written by Kanon whereas for composing & arrangement were done by legendary guitarist Mana of Malice Mizer/Moi dix Mois , who is also a renowned gothic lolita fashion creator .
sweet ticket is the opening track of Shinshoku Dolce & it's a very nice haunting instrumental piece which more or less sets the bar on what you should roughly expect for Kanon's debut album ie. classical & French/electropop .
Shinku no (Crimson) Fatalism is the 1st album track & it's a very upbeat classical driven tune . You get a mean mix of violin & cello strings in Shinku no Fatalism which I like .
The cello presence is more felt in Kagami (Mirror) & it's a bit more fast paced than Shinku no Fatalism & frankly I really like the 1st 2 album tracks in Shinshoku Dolce & hats off to Mana who's responsible for composing/arranging the whole of Shinshoku Dolce & the tunes are not as creepy as some of the rest of the material you can find in here .
still doll's Kanon's debut single & it was used in the ending theme of the first season of the anime adaptation of the manga series Vampire Knight .
The album version of still doll differs from the original take in the sense that there's an extended chorus (about 25 secs or so) , opening wise when you listen to it in Shinshoku Dolce .
This's the song which more or less established Kanon's unique music presence in the jpop music scene & yes it's a creepy & dark tune in a good way depending on how you look at it .
I used to be intimidated of still doll & let alone her 2nd single Suna no Oshiro (Sand Castle) but after I got that fear outta the way , I began to appericate still doll as a really good stepping stone & a nice start for Kanon .
Maboroshi (Illusion) is a real charming no. because compared to other album tracks you can find in Shinshoku Dolce , Maboroshi is xylophone driven . I realised that Kanon sounded a bit squeaky than usual in here but I put it down to the fact that it was probably done in purpose & of course you can hear shades of her trademark cello strings going on in here too .
Ennui Kibun (Mood Insipidity) ! is the 4th album track & this's quite an interesting song . It's probably the most poppy tune you can find in Shinshoku Dolce & Kanon sounded like she was having a lot of fun in recording Ennui Kibun ! .
Suna no Oshiro's Kanon's 2nd single & it was used in the anime Vampire Knight Guilty as the outro theme song & interestingly enough , she & the twin brothers ON / OFF provide both the closing & opening theme songs for both animes respectively .
This was the 1st song that I heard of Kanon after MTV China & MTV Asia overplayed the video of Sunao no Oshiro .
I was creeped out by Suna no Oshiro initally as I found it too dark for my liking but in due course , I look at it in a different manner as it's 1 of her more darker tunes in Shinshoku Dolce & the cello is more prominently felt in here if you were to compare it against other tunes .
& speaking of creepy , the same thing will go for track #8 Monochrome frame which more or less lies in the same vein as Sunao no Oshiro & in Monochrome frame , Kanon's vocals are more distorted than usual & I'm quite sure it was done on purpose too .
Nevertheless , Monochrome frame is a real solid moody tune .
L'espoir ~mahou no akai ito~ (~A Magical Red Thread~) is the only album track in Shinshoku Dolce has french lyrics thrown in for good measure which I find it cool .
As for the song , L'espoir ~mahou no akai ito~ is surprisingly a catchy no. which's relatively upbeat & it's 1 of the more somewhat cheerier tunes in Shinshoku Dolce which I feel it's neat & of course , the cello adds a nice touch to L'espoir ~mahou no akai ito~ & I like the big band drums in here too .
The next 2 songs are B-sides found in Kanon's 1st 2 singles .
Kuroi Torikago (Black Bird Cage) is the B-side of Kanon's debut single still doll & I'm still amazed at how good Kuroi Torikago sounds , no matter how many times I listen to it because I just love the whole feeling that the song brings , from the angsty driven mood , lyrics , melody as everything's really executed very well downpat .
skip turn step♪ is the B-side of Kanon's 2nd single Suna no Oshiro . This's an ace song because I like how charming the whole no. & it's a perfect contrast to the otherwise moody A-side that's of Suna no Oshiro & with a title like skip turn step♪ which's piano driven , what's there not to like about ?
Shiroi Kokoro (White Spirit) is the final album track in Shinshoku Dolce . I guess you can say that this's the only ballad you can find in Kanon's debut album & what a gem it's .
Kanon sounded real calm & at ease in Shiroi Kokoro & the melody's very captivating & it helps that it's piano driven just like skip turn step♪ except in this case , Shiroi Kokoro's more emphasised on the violin & cello strings whihc's nice .
sweet dreams is the final track in the album & it's basically an instrumental piece & to me , it sounded like an orgel version of track #1 sweet ticket .
Not that I'm complaining because I adore sweet ticket so I suppose with a title like sweet dreams , it's a fitting title to wrap Shinshoku Dolce nicely .
Wow what can I say ? Shinshoku Dolce is 1 heck of a solid debut album . I was generally impressed on how the whole album sounded on whole & considering that this's the 1st classical driven & French/electropop inspired record I have listened to , jpop wise , it's pretty something .
The album overall on whole was not as creepy as what I thought it might be & there's a good mix of upbeat & dark/sombre no.s which're all classical & cello driven & like what I said before , kudos to Mana for overseeing the arrangement/composing of Shinshoku Dolce .
The only gripe I have of Shinshoku Dolce is that there're certain parts of the album that tend to sound samey/the same as some songs took me even longer than expected to remember but considering that this's Kanon's debut album , it's a commending effort & I should cut her some slack on this aspect .
It's great that now I respect Kanon Wakeshima's unique brand of music & getup that she has brought to the Japan music scene & gone are the days when I would freaked out by her material but not anymore .
If you want to listen to something unique & not to mention if classical/cello meets dark ambient music is your thing , then Kanon Wakeshima's debut album Shinshoku Dolce might be the album for you .
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Kobukuro - STAY
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
STAY is Kobukuro's 18th single . It will be released on 15th this month & it comes 3 months + since the release of their previous single Niji (Rainbow) .
The duo's new single serves as the theme song to the TBS drama series Kanryoutachi no Natsu , which's based on a novel by the late Shiroyama Saburou .
Man it has been a while since the folk duo put out such an amazing ballad & here I was real worried on whether have they lost their touch in ballads after releasing 2007's Tsubomi which's credited as their breakthough hit & it won them the Grand Prix award & it's still their only #1 hit single at this point in time in their career & not to mention their best selling single single to date too .
But they have proven me wrong in this aspect in the form of STAY .
I love it that it's such a soaring no. & it has a very simple but yet modern orchestra piano driven melody . Kobuchi & Kurochi (hence the duo's name Kobukuro) worked their vocals & magic in STAY & needless to say , I felt very inspired after hearing the duo's brand new no. which's awesome .
This's 1 artiste that has been impressing me as each single goes by & STAY thankfully didn't fall short of expectations .
FREEDOM TRAIN & Kimi to Itai no Ni (I Want To Be With You) serve as B-sides in STAY & they will be releasing their 7th album titled CALLING next month on the 5th so look out for that !