Friday, October 30, 2009
Mika Nakashima - Nagareboshi (Shooting Star)
Nagareboshi (Shooting Star) is Mika Nakashima's 30th single . It will be released next Wed on 4th Nov & this comes in less than a month since the release of her previous single CANDY GIRL .
Mika's new song will be used as the theme song for the new House Mate ad . The model and actress, Anne (23) appeared in the ad and music video .
The ad theme is "Let's fly to the same future" .
The main concept of the music video is about alternating scenes between Anne's lover in a long-distance relationship & the storyteller , Mika herself .
Mika plays to enrich the look of many mixed emotions , she said " I had suffered so much in love as well. I thought I should reverse that gap . "
A while back ago , I have reviewed the B-side of Nagareboshi which was Memory ~Feat DAISHI DANCE~ & now it's time for the A-side to take the seat .
Nagareboshi's probably this year's answer to last year's Orion seeing that both of them have similar/association titles & also the style going on in Nagareboshi's a bit similar to Orion .
Except in this case , Nagareboshi's almost 6 mins long .
The good news's that despite the long duration of the A-side , it's a nice sincere ballad coming from Mika which sees her going back to her trademark jazz/ballad roots .
At least there's something about Nagareboshi that kind of keep me coming back for more unlike her 25th single SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~ (Cherry Blossoms ~Flower Haze~) which I find it a major bore .
Mika has been delivering the music goods pretty fast with 2 singles back to back & even though 2009 hasn't wrapped up yet , she's already slated to release her next single called ALWAYS next spring .
ALWAYS will serve as the theme song for the movie Sayonaraitsuka which will open on January 23rd 2010 .
Thursday, October 29, 2009
ai otsuka - aisu x time (ai otsuka x SU from RIP SLYME)
aisu x time (ai otsuka x SU from RIP SLYME) is track #2 in ai otsuka's 2nd best compilation album LOVE is BEST which will be released on 11th Nov .
One × Time is the 2nd A-side of her 17th single Rocket Sneaker / One × Time & in here , it has been renamed as aisu x time .
otsuka came up with the idea of doing a new version of One x Time with a hip-hop flavor . As a fan of RIP SLYME's music , she invited SU to do the collaboration with her .
The aisu in the title refers to the song’s theme of love & the names of the two artists .
Well I can say that it's a really cool concept & this's probably otsuka's 1st hip hop/rap tune for that matter .
I knew that One x Time was going to get a makeover in LOVE is BEST but I didn't expect an almost 360 degree transformation , inclusive of the song title .
aisu x time is an unique collaboration between her & SU I say . I could do less with SU's rapping but I suppose it's pretty decent in here & aisu x time is a lot more slower & sensual sounding than One x Time .
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Kanjani∞ - Kyu(Fly)☆Jou(High)☆Show !!'s B-sides
The following songs serve as B-sides in Kanjani∞'s 10th single Kyu(Fly)☆Jou(High)☆Show !! :
- Brilliant Blue (CD Only Track)
- cinematic (CD Only Track)
- Hitotsu no Uta (Only Song)
Despite the fact that the single will not be released until 4th Nov , the whole single has more or less already have leaked out on the net .
The 1st 2 songs that I will review are only found in the CD only edition of the single .
Brillant Blue is well a brillant piece of tune that the guys have came up with . Compared to the A-side which's plain crazy & whack out , Brillant Blue's a subtle mid tempo track which's piano driven .
It's obviously less crazy than Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! & I appericate this no. in a way to balance things out in the single .
cinematic is like a walk down memory lane & it's 1 of their more prominent & slow Enka driven tunes that they have came up with in recent times .
This's perhaps no surprises I compare cinematic against their past Enka works which're classics & superbs tunes in their own right & so I think it's safe to say that cinematic's on par if not more superior when you compare this song against their older works such as Osaka Rainy Blues & let alone their debut single Naniwa Iroha Bushi .
Hitotsu no Uta (Only Song) is found in all 3 editions of Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! except you can find it as track #4 in the CD only edition of the single while it's track #2 in both CD + DVD's in the single .
This was recorded from the last day of their 2∞9 PUZZLE TOUR in Osaka Dome (just the lalalala portions of the song which was done by all the fans whom were present at that time) & I actually have heard the live take of Hitotsu no Uta quite sometime back ago .
For me to finally hear the studio version of Hitotsu no Uta , it's awesome I say . You can tell that it's a sincere & sweet song that the guys have came up with in here & Hitotsu no Uta sounded a bit like fuka-fuka Love the Earth to me , only that it's stronger & more catchier .
After being impressed with last year's Musekinin (Irresponsible) Hero & let alone their 3rd album KJ3 PUZZLE , I'm so glad to say that Kanjani∞ has once again proven to me on why they really rock literally !
Other than a crazy over the top A-side , the B-sides are really the songs that allow them to shine a lot since it's evident on that they're really talented & yet serious about their music craft .
I so can't wait for even more material of the guys in future . This's a must have single to get before 2009 wraps up in less than 2 months's time .
Monday, October 26, 2009
ARASHI - Tokei Jikake no (Clockwork) Umbrella (My Girl's B-side)
Tokei Jikake no (Clockwork) Umbrella is the 1st B-side taken from ARASHI's upcoming 28th single My Girl which will be released on 11th Nov .
This served as the theme song of the drama 0 Goshitsu no Kyaku starring Ohno Satoshi & his juniors NEWS's Kato Shigeaki & Koyama Keiichiro , Kanjani∞'s Murakami Shingo , Maruyama Ryuhei & Yasuda Shota & also his senior , Joshima Shigeru who's the leader of TOKIO .
The narrration for 0 Goshitsu no Kyaku is done by Kanjani∞'s Yokoyama You .
The song was aired on Aiba's radio show Rekomen - Arashi Remix last Fri & subsequently on Matsumoto Jun's JunStyle too .
Man I have to say that Tokei Jikake no Umbrella is probably the guys's most unique B-side material to date . Immediately when the song begins , loud blaring jazz influenced trumpet beats can be heard & also a strong drum melody can be felt in here coupled with electronic beats .
It's a bit hard to describe Tokei Jikake no Umbrella because it's their most unusual B-side tune that they have put on a single to date .
The Sakurap going on in here is mean , fierce & aggressive which I suspect it's to keep up with the music tone that Tokei Jikake no Umbrella is trying to portray & this's no doubt a perfect contrast to the A-side .
It's really a pity that Tokei Jikake no Umbrella is slotted as a B-side instead of an A-side in My Girl as it has a lot of potential to be an A-side tune despite the fact that I don't like it that the song ended adruptly just like that .
Other than that , an amazing kickass unusual song that keeps me coming back for more & putting the song on repeat mode over & over again .
The 2nd B-side Super Fresh will be reviewed soon & this's only found in the CD Only edition of the My Girl single .
Yuna Ito - Let it Go
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
Let it Go is Yuna Ito's 14th single . It will be released on 11th Nov & this comes about 6 months + since the release of her 3rd album DREAM .
Yuna's latest single offering is a rock tune composed by former Superfly guitarist Koichi Tabo & will be used as the theme song for the movie Tenshi no Koi that's directed by Yuri Kanchiku .
A '70s-styled classic rock number , the song represents a new challenge for Yuna who is best known for her soulful ballads .
Yuna is a big fan of the mobile phone novel that the movie is adapted from . She has already released two songs associated with the novel , miss you & LOVE MACHINE GUN .
Tenshi no Koi stars model Nozomi Sasaki who is actually good friends with Yuna . The film opens in theaters on November 7th .
Honestly I was surprised when I gave Let it Go a listen as this's something different that she has never done before .
The song's a bit unusual by Yuna's standard & for her to slip into a 70's influenced rock no. pretty easily , it's surprising to know just how versatile she's to a certain extent & credits also goes to former Superfly guitarist Koichi Tabo for doing a good job in composing Let it Go .
The B-side Happy Days will be used to promote ABC Mart's Hawkin's Lady shoes (a chain garment store) in their ad .
Sunday, October 25, 2009
BREAKERZ - LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no (Love) Battle~
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Type A Cover :
CD + DVD Type B Cover :
LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no (Love) Battle~ is BREAKERZ's 7th single . It will be released on 4th Nov & this comes in 4 months + since the release of their previous single Hikari (Light) .
Even though this's a single A-side release , the B-side Winter Bell also received a music video of its own .
Written by DAIGO & composed by SHINPEI , man this's probably the trio's most craziest & whacked out song to date !
I thought BAMBINO ~Bambino~ was up there on the crazy factor but after I gave LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no Battle~ a listen , I was in a ... mood haha because this's something that they have never done before .
Whoever have thought that mixing synth & rock would create such a fun & not to be taken seriously tune & the chorus LOVE LOVE LOVE FIGHTER is so infectious , you will find yourself humming along to it sooner or later than you think .
Because the song consists of boxing jargons that DAIGO thrown in here & there , you tend to realise the video setting surrounding LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no Battle~ revolves around boxing & it's amusing so to speak !
Since SHINPEI composed both LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no Battle~ & BAMBINO ~Bambino~ , I do wonder what was going on in his head when he composed both tunes LOL but anyway I leave it as it's .
As mentioned before , the B-side of the single Winter Bell got a video of its own just like the A-side & this's written & composed by DAIGO .
Winter Bell's this year's answer to last year's WINTER PARTY (2nd A-side of their 3rd single Angelic Smile / WINTER PARTY) since obviously or not , both tunes are Christmas inspired .
And I suppose Winter Bell plays a really good & serious contrast to the crazy over the top A-side which's perfect I say .
A minor gripe I find about Winter Bell's that it's really long & clocking in at almost 6 mins , it's something coming from DAIGO who wrote & composed it .
Other than that , it's a really sweet no. & it kind of gets you in the Christmas festival mood early seeing that Christmas's exactly 2 months away .
The other 2 B-sides in the single will be reviewed in due time :
- Birdman ~Acoustic Version~
- LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no (Love) Battle~ Gachiage Battle Remix (CD Only Track)
The original take of Birdman can be found as track #2 in their self titled debut album .
Saito Kazuyoshi - Yah , Mujyo (Cruelty)
1) Yah , Mujyo (Cruelty)
3) Yawarakana Hi (Sun Soft) (Studio Acoustic Version)
Yah , Mujyo (Cruelty) is Saito Kazuyoshi's 34th single & it was released last year on 17th Sept .
This song's found as track #6 in Saito's 13th album Tsuki ga Noboreba which was released on 16th Sept this year .
Well seeing that Yah , Mujyo made the cut in Tsuki ga Noboreba & that I already have reviewed the other 2 singles ie. Don't Worry Be Happy & COME ON ! , I thought I should do it for Yah , Mujyo too .
Even up to now , I'm still quite iffy over Yah , Mujyo . I'm not sure why but somehow or another , the song's 1 of those tunes that I have my days where I like it & days where I wouldn't .
Having said that , it's still a top quality piece of work that Saito has delivered which's something worth admiring for of him .
The 1st B-side FOOLS is an excellent piece of tune that I immediately was drawn into on 1st listen .
The guitar riffs are much more stronger & prominent in FOOLS & this's frankly really catchy . There's no additional words to describe FOOLS , it's just a solid B-side period .
Yah , Mujyo's 2nd B-side is the Studio Acoustic Version of Yawarakana Hi (Sun Soft) .
Well I never heard how the original take of Yawarakana Hi sounded like but I really like the acoustic version of the song as there's no way you can go wrong with guitar acoustic songs basically at the end of the day .
I have to say that whatever material I have listened to of Saito Kazuyoshi , what stuck me about his music's that you can be assured of top quality guitar driven rock tunes delivered by the 1 man talented musician & the same thing goes for Yah , Mujyo overall too .
I have been very impressed with his 13th album Tsuki ga Noboreba & I can't wait to listen to Saito's future music projects in the near future .
Saturday, October 24, 2009
KinKi Kids - Swan Song
CD Only Regular Edition Cover :
CD Only Limited Edition Cover :
Swan Song is KinKi Kids's 29th single . It will be released next Wed on 28th & this comes in about 9 months + since the release of their previous single Yakusoku (Promise) .
The duo's new song is currently being used as a TV commercial song for music.jp & Swan Song's lyrics was written by Takashi Matsumoto who also worked on the guys's past singles such as their debut single Garasu no Shounen (Glass Boy) , Cinderella Christmas & Hakka Candy .
I guess that explained on why I had deja vu vibes of Garasu no Shouen when I 1st gave Swan Song a listen because it's the same person that wrote for both songs .
Not that it's necessarily a bad thing but I actually like it as Swan Song sounds like a more updated version of their debut single & comparing it to their previous hit Yakusoku , the vibes that Swan Song gave's more upbeat & cheerier too .
The following tunes serve as B-sides in the single :
- Samarekadasu (Swan Song) ~another oasis~
- Omokage (Trace) (Regular Edition Track)
- Shinku no Hana (Scarlet Flowers) (Limited Edition Track)
Friday, October 23, 2009
CD Review :: Dew - PRESENT
2) Thank you
3) Wakaba (New Leaves)
5) My Special Day
7) Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish On A Star)
9) Hello my love
10) Night Wind (album mix)
12) From my heart (album version)
PRESENT is girl duo Dew's debut album which was released via major record label Victor Entertainment .
The album was initally released on 13th May this year at a limited low-priced of 2381yen & eventually it was re-released on 19th Aug at 2762yen .
The girls's 1st 3 singles & 2 B-sides made the cut in PRESENT .
Present is their debut single & what better way to start the album with this no. which shares the same title as their debut album .
Like most of their works , it's acoustic pop coupled with piano melodies & orchestra strings thrown in for good measures .
Considering that I never listen to Present prior to listening to PRESENT , I immediately warned up to their debut single as it's just so enchanting & nice .
Thank you is Dew's 3rd single & this was the song that got me in touch with their material .
Perhaps because of this , it's no surprises that I still like Thank you even up to now no matter how many times I gave this song a listen .
Wakaba (New Leaves) is the 1st album track you're able to find in PRESENT & in here , the girls have came up with a tune that's both light hearted & cheery .
You can feel how carefree they sound like in this easy listening piano driven no. if you ask me .
Someday is probably 1 of my fave album tracks simply because this song's sung in full English .
I was plesantly surprised when I heard Someday because this's the only full English tune in PRESENT & there're no butchering of any English words/prounication going on in here seeing that the girls were educated in Canada during their teens before returning back to Japan .
My Special Day is the duo's 2nd single & it basically follows the same music vein as Present & Thank you .
As a result , It took me a while before I was able to distinguish the girls's 1st 3 singles since they almost tend to sound the same as they're all piano driven tunes to a certain extent .
Forget-me-not is the album's 3rd track & this's a real charming tune . I thought it might be another full blown English tune just like Someday but I was wrong .
I like the usage of percussions in Forget-me-not too & it's 1 of the less piano emphasised tunes in PRESENT too .
Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish On A Star) is the next album tune & such a nice ballad . It's piano driven coupled with beautiful strings .
Fragile is another light hearted no. which almost falls in the same vein as Wakaba in that both songs can be considered as cheery & warm hearted tunes .
Hello my love is the shortest track in PRESENT at 1:32 mins & it almost feels like a church choir inspired tune because of the vibes that Hello my love gave me .
Despite being the shortest track in the album , Hello my love is nice but I'm sure it had the potential to sound great should the girls decide to make a full version of Hello my love in the near future .
Night Wind is the B-side of the girls's debut single present & in here , it has been updated with an album mix .
Unfortunately because I never heard the single version of Night Wind , I have to assume this as a new song on my part but I have to say that I really like the album mix of Night Wind .
It's 1 of the more settled & slower tunes in PRESENT & with the backing up of a piano , you don't need to make any extra efforts to make Night Wind sound great .
Dear is the last album track & frankly I only find this song a standard piano fare delivered by the girls .
Like it was slotted in PRESENT for the sake of doing so .
Having said that , I really like the melody which has some gorgeous piano tinkling & also sweeping orchestra strings attached to Dear .
From my heart is the final track in PRESENT & this's the B-side of the duo's 2nd single My Special Day & just like Night Wind , it has been given an album spin .
Compared to the single version , the album version of From my heart is a lot more slower , acoustic & stripped down & not to mention longer .
Well regardless of which , I frankly like both takes of From my heart as I appericate the effort that the girls go into while trying to compose different melodies for the same song .
PRESENT overall I feel is a strong debut album offering released by Dew . The biggest gripe I find about this album is that a lot of the songs tend to sound the same as there's virtually little if not no room for experimentation/expansion when comes to music that lean towards the acoustic piano pop side .
As a result , as compared to other jpop albums I listened to , this took me a lot more time than usual but the eventual turn out for this turned out to be something worthwhile .
I hope the girls will be able to release something new in due time . I would welcome if they stepped out of their music comfort zone & be bold/daring in trying something that they have never done before .
Thursday, October 22, 2009
UVERworld - Kanashimi wa Kitto (Sorrow Will Surely)
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
Kanashimi wa Kitto (Sorrow Will Surely) is UVERworld's 14th single . It will be released next Wed on the 28th & this comes 2 months + since the release of last single GO-ON .
The guys's new song is currently used to promote the drama Shoujoko Seira .
After the charged up energetic GO-ON , the band decided to mellow & slow things down a bit in the form of Kanashimi wa Kitto . I was a bit caught off guard with this song because the music structure's a bit unusual & different from their usual works .
It's a bit hard to describe it but UVERworld's latest A-side offering has a subtle & good mix of orchestra sweeping melody coupled with mellow guitar riffs & drum beats , making Kanashimi wa Kitto a star already in its own right .
It will take sometime for me to adjust to the song but I'm sure in due time , I'm going to like it just as much as their previous single offerings .
The following songs will serve as B-sides in the single :
- Gekiha (Defeat)
- Mikageishi (Beauty Shadow Will) -single ver.- ; This's found as track #3 from their 4th album AwakEVE .
Ken Hirai - Hitori ja nai (Not Alone) & Catch you (Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru's B-sides)
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
Hitori ja nai (Not Alone) & Catch you are the 2 B-sides tunes you can find in Ken Hirai's 31st single Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru (I Fall In Love With You) which was released yesterday .
The A-side served as the theme song for the movie Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu starring Inoue Mao & the movie will open in cinemas this coming Sat .
Written by Kouki Mitani & composed by Ken , Hitori ja nai is a cheery & light hearted mid tempo tune .
I just like it on how inspiring & carefree the song sounds like & it's definitely less depressing than the A-side for sure .
The usage of a flute & children choir in the background's great too & kudos to Ken for doing a neat job in composing Hitori ja nai .
In addition , the song was used as the ending theme of an animated recreation of The Return of the Musketeers called Shin Sanjuushi , which was broadcasted via NHK in October .
Also , Ken has a habit of performing this song in his Ken's Bar concerts so it's great for Hitori ja nai to finally get the studio treatment .
The 2nd B-side Catch you is a sharp contrast in the single . It's basically a really upbeat tune which almost follows the same music direction as Ken's previous single CANDY .
Catch you frankly scared me initally on 1st listen because of the tone that the song gave me . Maybe because I was freaked out by CANDY sounded like overall which probably might explain that I had the shudders when I listened to Catch you .
You can tell that I prefer Hitori ja nai a lot more than Catch you in here .
After some heavy experimentation in CANDY , Ken Hirai more or less returned to what he does best in the form of Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru .
His trademark style can be felt a lot more in his latest single as compared to CANDY which I like as it brings back to the good old days & comparisons against some of Ken's classic ballads that he has released in the past which're on the same wavelength as Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru .
I'm awaiting for even more better things from Ken in time to come now .
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
ai otsuka- Futatsu Boshi Kinenbi (Two Stars Remembrance Day) ~Shinkon Hiyori~ (~Day For Newlyweds~) & Pocket ~Last Love Letter~
Futatsu Boshi Kinenbi (Two Stars Remembrance Day) ~Shinkon Hiyori~ (~Day For Newlyweds~) & Pocket ~Last Love Letter~ are 2 re-recorded/re-arranged songs you can find in ai otsuka's upcoming 2nd best compilation album LOVE is BEST which will be out on 11th Nov .
These 2 songs are found as track #7 & #15 respectively in LOVE is BEST .
Futatsu Boshi Kinenbi ~Shinkon Hiyori~ was originally found as track #8 from her 2nd album LOVE JAM & in here , it has been given a ~Shinkon Hiyori~ makeover .
Compared to the original , the ~Shinkon Hiyori~ take of the song sees otsuka opting for a fresh & somewhat spiffed up updated sound which tends to lean more towards the Jazz/Lounge side .
I can't detect any wedding influences in here but I frankly like this new arrangement of Futatsu Boshi Kinenbi & then again I always have like the original rendition of the song from her LOVE JAM album so yup .
Pocket was her 16th single & in here , it has been transformed into Pocket ~Last Love Letter~ .
Basically if you know how LOVE LETTER (the song) & Ai (Love) sound like , then the ~Last Love Letter~ of Pocket lies in the same vein as both songs that were being mentioned .
You can hear the earnest sincerity that otsuka's coming from in here & as such , it's more emotionally driven/charged up which I find it enduring on her part .
The last 2 songs that were re-arranged/re-recorded ie. aisu x time (otsuka ai x SU from RIP SLYME) & Amaenbo (Spoiled Child) ~Wedding~ will be reviewed in due time .
Saturday, October 17, 2009
alan - Swear
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
Swear is alan's 11th single . It will be released on 4th Nov & this comes in 2 months + since the release of her previous single BALLAD ~Namonaki Koi no Uta~ (~Without The Name Of Love Song~) .
Her new song will be used in the new ads for Bourbon 'Buranchuuru Mini Series' .
I was honestly surprised when I got to listen to Swear as this's something different that she has never done before in her career .
I'm not sure why she chose to release Swear as an autumn single because this really would have been the perfect summer single for her as it's light , poppy & breezy .
You can't help but feel really calm & carefree when you listen to Swear if you get my drift & for once , I can see that she's trying to break away from doing ballads which's definitely a change that I welcome from her big time as too much of a good thing can lead to something bad .
Beauty will serve as the B-side for Swear & her 2nd Japanese album my life will be released on 25th Nov .
Friday, October 16, 2009
LANDS - BANDAGE (Live Version)
BANDAGE is a new song that's sung by a newly formed group called LANDS . In case you're wondering on why I'm using a picture of KAT-TUN's Akanishi Jin , let me explain a bit further & no KAT-TUN has not been disbanded :O
LANDS is the name of the band that Akanishi formed in his debut movie BANDAGE which will open in cinemas in Japan on 16th Jan 2010 .
Before 2009 wraps up , Akanishi will make his solo CD debut under the name LANDS & the movie has been in the works since last year .
The movie depicts the friendship of the 4 members of LANDS as they aim for success & in here , Akanishi plays the band's leader/vocalist Takasugi Natsu .
The movie's theme song shares the same title as the movie itself & it's written & composed by Kobayashi Takeshi who's the producer of Mr.Children's & Remioromen's music discography . BANDAGE the movie sees Kobayashi as his 1st movie in the director's seat .
Akanishi 1st performed BANDAGE at the Tokyo Girls Collection on September 5 , with Kobayashi accompanying him on guitar .
Well I really adore the live take of BANDAGE after the full live version of the song surfaced yesterday & if you're expecting LANDS to be doing the same type of material that KAT-TUN's famous for , then you will be surprised .
The live take of BANDAGE that I heard , it's a very old school & 90's driven rock tune which I guess fits the movie plot well since it's set in the 90's & with Kobayashi Takeshi onboard , he has done a great job in writing/composing BANDAGE .
Considering that Akanishi's the 2nd co lead vocalist in KAT-TUN , it's no surprises that he was able to handle BANDAGE real easily & I just like how BANDAGE the song fell into place .
Just like his solo tunes such as care , BANDAGE's another winner in the bag for him .
BANDAGE will be released as a single on Nov 25th & in due time , I will be reviewing the studio version of the song .
B'z - MY LONELY TOWN
Cover For Both CD & CD + DVD Editions :
1) MY LONELY TOWN
2) Kirei na Namida (Beautiful Tears)
3) Ichibu to Zenbu (Partly & Completely) -Ballad Version-
MY LONELY TOWN is B'z 47th single . It was released 2 days ago & this comes in 3 months + since the release of their previous single Ichibu to Zenbu (One & All) / DIVE .
From 1 explosive single to another , in comes MY LONELY TOWN . I just really like the whole feeling that was presented in the song .
It's a subtle mid tempo rock song but yet you can feel so much emotions being drawn into here & the strings & orchestra feeling you're able to listen out for , it's just great basically .
The B-side Kirei na Namida (Beautiful Tears) is another great rock tune that the duo has included in their latest single offering .
Except in this case , the guitar riffs have been toned down quite considerably & the emphasis's a lot more on vocalist Koshi which's nice as this gives him the spotlight to allow his vocals to shine on this emotional driven no. .
I will not review the ballad version of Ichibu to Zenbu here seeing that I have done it a few posts back & at this point in time , it's still a really beautiful ballad .
Once again , B'z has delivered the music goods in this solid rocking single . I thought Ichibu to Zenbu / DIVE was great but they have came back with yet another fantastic & stellar single for me to rock out & listen to .
The guys will be releasing their 17th album MAGIC on 18th Nov & both Ichibu to Zenbu / DIVE and MY LONELY TOWN will be included in their upcoming new record .
Thursday, October 15, 2009
school food punishment - fiction nonfiction & butterfly swimmer -Q;indivi Yusuke Tanaka Remix- (sea-through communication's B-sides)
fiction nonfiction & butterfly swimmer -Q;indivi Yusuke Tanaka Remix- serve as the B-sides in school's food punishment's 3rd single sea-through communication which was released last Wed .
Aggressive is 1 word I would use to describe fiction nonfiction because BANG on 1st listen , the song greeted me with fierce & fast guitar riffs coupled with electronic & fast thumping drum beats & you can definitely sense that I prefer fiction nonfiction a lot more than beer trip (B-side of their 2nd single butterfly swimmer) .
Unlike beer trip , I have no problems remembering on how fiction nonfiction sounded like & I felt it should have been released as an A-side with sea-through communication as it's a nice song that has a lot of leg & kicks .
The -Q;indivi Yusuke Tanaka Remix- of butterfly swimmer is a reallly cool remix . Unlike the original where it was mellow here & there , in here , the band went all out in full force & just delivered 1 upbeat stomping of a remix .
I guess because of this , I somehow prefer the -Q;indivi Yusuke Tanaka Remix- of butterfly swimmer a lot more than the original take .
3rd time's the charm is really a good phase to sum up school food punishment's 3rd single offering .
All the tunes on here are stellar & they went & tune up their guitars & drums in delivering a fierce release that has pretty much a lot of bite to it .
It's said that they will be releasing their 3rd mini album in due course which really hope it's true .
If not , I gladly welcome another single & let alone a full length debut album as these guys are so talented/under-rated in their own respective way .
Kanjani∞ - Kyu (Fly)☆Jou (High)☆Show !! (Zoom !!)
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Type A Cover :
CD + DVD Type B Cover :
Kyu(Fly)☆Jo☆Show !! is Kanjani∞'s 10th single . It will be released on 4th Nov & this comes in almost 6 months + since the release of their 3rd album KJ3 PUZZLE & this's the guys's 1st single release of 2009 .
After the release of their 5th concert DVD TOUR 2∞9 PUZZLE last month on 23rd , the guys are back with Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! & this's basically in the same vein as other crazy over the top tunes that they have released in the past such as their previous single Musekinin (Irresponsible) Hero .
Somehow or another , Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! sounded like Osaka Obachan ROCK to a certain extent .
The song is definitely a tune full of laughter & can put anyone in a good mood after listening to it but something in me is really hoping that Kanjani∞ might do an Enka influenced tune in the near future for old time's sake as their inital music roots were very heavily Enka driven just like their debut single Naniwa Iroha Bushi which I really like a lot .
The following songs serve as B-sides in Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! :
- Brilliant Blue (CD Only Track)
- cinematic (CD Only Track)
- Hitotsu no Uta (Only Song) (track #4 in CD only edition of the single . This's found as track #2 in both CD + DVD's Type A & B editions)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Prague - Slow Down
Cover For Both CD & CD + DVD Editions :
1) Slow Down
2) Kagefumi (Stepping Shadow)
Slow Down is JRock trio Prague's debut single . It was released on 9th Sept .
Consisting of Yuta Suzuki - vocalist/guitarist , Tsuguhito Konno - bass & Kensuke Ito - drums , their material's released under Ki/oon Records (Sony Music) , which's the same record label as SID & L'Arc~en~Ciel .
I guess because of this , somehow or another , this brand new trio's material is no surprises quite simliar to both bands that I have mentioned .
Slow Down took me quite a lot of listens to remember because it's quite messy & choppy to a certain extent . At the end of the day , it's still a standard rock tune to me .
But the saving grace of Slow Down is that I like the guitar riffs & the drum beats going on in here .
I prefer the B-side Kagefumi (Stepping Shadow) more than the A-side by a long shot because Kagefumi sounded a lot more better/solid than Slow Down .
I feel that Kagefumi has that 'something' which kept me comimg back for more unlike Slow Down .
Prague's debut single Slow Down was a music stepping stone for the trio & the ending result's not bad at the end of the day .
I think given the right amount of time/exposure , these guys have the potential to be better when comes to their future releases .
& speaking of future releases , they will be releasing their 2nd single Light Infection 9th Dec .
Light Infection serves as the 8th opening theme song for the anime Gintama & judging from the preview that I have heard on the net , it looks like that I might be liking Light Infection a lot more than Slow Down but we'll see about that .
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
B'z - MAGIC
MAGIC is found as track #8 in B'z upcoming 17th album which shares the same title as the song .
The album MAGIC will be released on 18th Nov & it will contain 2 singles , inclusive of their 47th single MY LONELY TOWN which will be released tomorrow .
Honestly , it took me quite a while to warm up & remember how MAGIC sounds like . It's at the end of the day still a kick ass straight up rock tune but it somehow doesn't have the magic (pun intended) & spunk that instantly got me hooked onto their music , just like what Ichibu to Zenbu (Partly & Completely) did to me .
However , all hope's not lost for MAGIC as after a few listens , I began to like it just as much as their previous tunes & I respect the duo since they have been around for 21 years & they're still going on strong even up to this date .
Their 47th single MY LONELY TOWN & 17th album MAGIC will be reviewed in time to come .
Monday, October 12, 2009
ARASHI - My Girl
My Girl is ARASHI's 28th single . It will be released on 11th Nov & this comes in 4 months + since the release of their 1st million selling compilation album ARASHI 5x10 All the BEST ! 1999 - 2009 .
The guys's latest new single is currently served as the theme song for Aiba Masaki's drama which shares the same title as the song & this's Aiba's 1st lead role in a drama .
The song was aired on Aiba's radio show Rekomen - Arashi Remix last Fri (on the same day that the 1st episode of My Girl the drama was broadcast) & subsequently on the other members Matsumoto Jun's JunStyle & Ninomiya Kazunari's Baystorm radio shows respectively .
Well all I can say that , My Girl's a really nice mid tempo moving ballad . It might sound cheerful & all but if you listen/take a closer look at the lyrics , it somehow has a sad bittersweet feeling attached to it which's so different as compared to the melody .
It's definitely less depressing than Ashita no Kioku (Memories Of Tomorrow) & I just like My Girl basically at the end of the day . It has shades of their previous single Everything to a certain extent .
There will be 2 B-sides made available in My Girl . 1st up is Tokei Jikake no (Clockwork) Umbrella which's the theme song of the drama Guest of Room no.0 starring member Ohno Satoshi & the 2nd one Super Fresh is only made available in the CD only edition of the single .
Hidemi Uematsu - Dear Lady
Dear Lady is Hidemi Uematsu's 3rd single . It will be released on 18th Nov & this comes in 8 months + since the release of her previous single Jidai (Period) .
I'm so happy that this very under-rated artiste is finally back with something new & this time round , Hidemi once again didn't disappoint me with what she has to offer in the form of Dear Lady .
Solely written & composed by her , Dear Lady is a gorgeous easy listening piano driven no. & coupled with her signature vocals & style , the song's already a winner in its own right .
It's less complex sounding as compared to her 1st 2 singles but still I really like it & it shows that Hidemi indeed has a flare in composing/writing once more .
Baby will serve as the B-side for the single .
Sunday, October 11, 2009
ai otsuka - Is
Is is found as track #1 from ai otsuka's 2nd compilation album LOVE is BEST which will be released on 11th Nov .
This will be used in TV commercials for TOPVALU HEATFACT , a company that produces undergarments .
This's the only new song to be found in LOVE is BEST , alongside with 4 new recordings/rearrangements of her songs .
The song was previewed on otsuka's Saturday radio show & I find Is pretty ok for my liking .
It sounds like a hybrid mix of Sakuranbo (Cherries) & PEACH if you ask me . Is is relatively catchy but that's just it .
I hope the video for Is might somehow change my opinion about the song in due time .
Saturday, October 10, 2009
GIRL NEXT DOOR - Orion
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
Orion is GIRL NEXT DOOR's 7th single . It will be released on 25th Nov & this comes in 3 months + since the release of their 1st triple A-side single Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you .
This's the guys & the girl's 4th single release for 2009 after Seeds of dream , Infinity & Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you .
Orion will be used as the theme song for the drama Untouchable that will begin airing on 16th Oct & it has been described as a medium ballad for winter with beautiful strings in the instrumentals .
Well , I can say that I was really impressed with Orion on 1st listen & it's really beautiful .
I guess in here the trio decided to slow & tone things down with this pretty & emotional driven ballad & the strings & piano being used in Orion adds a nice touch to the song , making it a class tune on its own already .
It's a bit similar to some songs that you can find in their self titled debut album but I digress .
Toki no Shizuku (Time Drop) & the GOGO's Remix of Drive away serve as B-sides in the single .
Friday, October 09, 2009
B'z - Ichibu to Zenbu (One & All) -Ballad Version- (MY LONELY TOWN's B-side)
The -Ballad Version- of Ichibu to Zenbu (One & All) is the 2nd B-side taken from B'z upcoming 47th single MY LONELY TOWN which will be released next Wed .
MY LONELY TOWN comes in 3 months + since the release of their previous single , the awesome Ichibu to Zenbu / DIVE .
Ichibu to Zenbu was of course used as the opening theme song for the drama Buzzer Beat starring NEWS's Yamashita Tomohisa & in here , both the original take of the song & the ballad version were used interchangeably in the drama .
While the original version of Ichibu to Zenbu is a mean & awesome kick ass rock tune , in here , it has undertaken a 360 degree music transformation .
Instead , what you get is a moving & emotional driven tune & I'm really amazed on how versatile lead singer/songwriter Koshi is in here .
Also , the melody surrounding the ballad version of Ichibu to Zenbu is breath-taking so to speak .
I can't decide which version I like more as both are equally good though .
The A-side MY LONELY TOWN & the 1st B-side of the single Kirei na Namida (Beautiful Tears) will be reviewed in due time .
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
ayaka - Minna Sora no Shita (All Under The Sky) (Piano ver.)
The Piano ver. of ayaka's 11th single Minna Sora no Shita (All Under The Sky) is only found as a bonus track in the 2 CDs limited edition (comes either with a photobook or a DVD) of her 1st compilation album ayaka's History 2006-2009 which was released last month on the 23rd .
While the original version of Minna Sora no Shita has a great sweeping orchestra feeling attached to it , as the Piano ver. of the song suggests , it's basically just ayaka & a piano which accompanied her vocals .
She doesn't need any extra music instrumentals to accompany her in this already great track I feel & this takes on a more organic & laid back feeling surrounding Minna Sora no Shita .
YUI - again ~YUI Acoustic Version~ (It's all too much / Never say die's B-side)
The ~YUI Acoustic Version~ of again serves as the B-side for YUI's 14th single It's all too much / Never say die which's released officially today .
again is of course her previous single & YUI always has a habit of incorporating ~YUI Acoustic Version~ of her A-sides since the release of her 3rd single Tomorrow's way until now .
I don't need any extra words to describe the ~YUI Acoustic Version~ of again because compared to the original which's an in your face mean rock influenced tune , in here , it has been stripped down to an acoustic no. which I really like & you still can sense some angst in here to a certain extent .
Then again , I always have like her acoustic songs that she did for her past A-sides & this one's no exception .
After the explosive again , YUI managed to top things up yet again (pun intended) with her 2nd double A-side It's all too much / Never say die which I feel it's a solid single overall .
I really hope she can release a new album before 2009 wraps . If not , another new single does nicely for me .
In whichever case , It's all too much / Never say die's worth a listen & a great way for you to get to know 1 of JPop's most talented singer/songwriter/guitarist YUI .
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Mika Nakashima - Memory ~Feat DAISHI DANCE~
Memory is a collaboration song between Mika and Dance Clubs DJ DAISHI DANCE . This can be found in DAISHI DANCE's 3rd album called Spectacle. which will be released on 7th Oct
The song is used in the latest Kanebo KATE commercial & it's the 2nd song that both artistes work together on , the 1st being on Mika's 25th single SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~ (Cherry Blossoms ~Flower Haze~) which the DAISHI DANCE remix made the cut in her 6th album YES .
I really like the DAISHI DANCE remix of SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~ which to me's way better than the original take so naturally when I heard both artistes are coming back to do another song together , I was quite excited over it & when I finally got to hear Memory , I was no doubt pretty impressed .
It's real lengthy at over 6 mins + but the melody of the song kept me very entertained pretty much from the start to the end .
From what I have heard , Memory's almost a full blown English song . Mika's command of the language does get lost somewhere as Memory goes by though .
Still , I feel Memory's a nice no. & I definitely welcome both artistes to do another song together in the future .
UPDATE - The song will serve as a B-side tune in Mika's brand new/30th single Nagareboshi (Shooting Star) which will be released on 4th Nov .
The A-side will be reviewed in due time .
Friday, October 02, 2009
CD Review :: Saito Kazuyoshi - Tsuki ga Noboreba
Cover For Both CD Only Regular & Limited Editions :
1) COME ON !
2) LOVE & PEACE
3) Eiga Kantoku (Movie Director)
4) Don't Worry Be Happy
5) Koukai (Regret) Shuffle
6) Yah , Mujyo (Cruelty)
7) Tengokuno Tsuki (Month Of Heaven)
9) Bitch !
10) Summer Days
11) Hello Good-bye
Tsuki ga Noboreba is singer/songwriter/guitarist Saito Kazuyoshi's 13th album . It was released last month on the 16th & it contains 3 singles .
The album debuted at #7 in the weekly Oricon album chart with 1st week sales of 21,422 .
COME ON ! is Saito's 37th single & the most recent single to be included in Tsuki ga Noboreba before the album was released .
As expected , COME ON ! is still fresh in my mind & the music arrangement for this really upbeat & peppy tune is just something .
Saito used a variety of instruments such as electric guitar , acoustic guitar , synthesizer , electric bass , drums & tambourine just for the music component for COME ON ! which really is impressive .
LOVE & PEACE is the 1st album track & just like COME ON ! , it's another solid catchy rock driven tune . The instruments that Saito's used is the same as COME ON ! except with the inclusion of a cowbell which sounds odd but it really works in favour for LOVE & PEACE .
I really like the song on 1st listen as it somehow has more stronger guitar riffs as compared to COME ON ! which's neat .
Eiga Kantoku (Movie Director) is track #3 & it's the 1st album ballad you can find in Tsuki ga Noboreba .
This's not a typical rock ballad . Saito used acoustic guitar , acoustic 12 strings guitar , piano , farfisa micro organ , synthesizer , electric bass , drums & tambourine in creating an unique sound for Eiga Kantoku .
The final product results in this somewhat old school piano driven no. which's plain lovely .
Don't Worry Be Happy is Saito's 36th single & this was the song that started my Saito music journey .
I still find it really cheesy & I realised he even included the usage of a bongo in the music component of the song & I remembered I wrote before that I love the B-side Kuronuri no Sedan (Sedan Of Black Coating) a lot more than Don't Worry Be Happy too .
But considering that Don't Worry Be Happy opened the doors in me discovering his awesome unique blend of music , I guess I can cut some slack in here .
Koukai (Regret) Shuffle is track #5 & this's the longest track on Tsuki ga Noboreba , clocking in at 5:58 mins .
The song I feel , it's really charming as it's more synth driven as compared to other songs you can find in Tsuki ga Noboreba . Also , with the usage inclusion of a acoustic baritone guitar , it's cool I say .
Yah , Mujyo (Cruelty) is Saito's 34th single & it's a nice old fashioned guitar driven song . I'm frankly am netural towards Yah , Mujyo as it's a tune I neither like or dislike so it's OK I guess .
Considering that he was awarded the Gold Award at the 50th Japan Record Awards for this song , I guess it's saying something in this aspect .
Incidentally , Saito's 35th single Otukaresama no Kuni is absent from Tsuki ga Noboreba .
Tengokuno Tsuki (Month Of Heaven) is the album's 2nd ballad . Unlike Eiga Kantoku which was piano & various instruments driven , Tengokuno Tsuki sees Saito with his trusty acoustic guitar only on hand .
To me , what I like about Tengokuno Tsuki is that Saito kept things simple in that he didn't went for something over the top in here & the result gives you a really easy listening & chilled laidback tune .
Phoenix is 1 song that I feel it's probably 1 of the stronger album tracks in Tsuki ga Noboreba . It's so in your face in a not very dramatic manner & the music melody for Phoenix is just gorgeous .
Saito even incorporated the use of a slide guitar in Phoenix's melody & the song's just bursting with tons of energy & class which I feel it's kick ass .
Bitch ! is the shortest track in the record at 1:47 mins & it's no surprises I went LOL when I saw Tsuki ga Noboreba's tracklist & this song immediately caught my attention , title wise .
I find Bitch ! really amusing & it's very drums & acoustic guitar driven . Too bad it's sorta like a long interlude as I'm quite sure it has the potential to sound even better should Saito have chosen to expand the song by a few mins or 2 .
Still , Bitch ! is something I like & definitely not what I expect from Saito at all & the lyrics are quite in your face & somewhat vulgar so yeah haha .
Summer Days is another cool old fashioned guitar driven no. . I can imagine myself listening to Summer Days if I'm in a beach & just chilling out there .
It took me a while to get the hang of Summer Days as I didn't find it as memorable as what I was hoping for but I'm fine with it now .
Hello Good-bye is track #11 & ah I was so surprised to find this song included in Tsuki ga Noboreba .
The reason on why I said so is because in the Don't Worry Be Happy single , you're able to find Hello Goodbye ~Epilogue~ , which's an instrumental piece .
In here , Saito incorporated lyrics into the song while retaining the instrumental piece for Hello Goodbye ~Epilogue~ & it's no surprises that this's 1 of my fave tracks in the album as I immediately recongised the tune for Hello Good-bye as it's .
You also can find Saito singing the album title Tsuki ga Noboreba in Hello Goodbye too .
Encore is the final track in Tsuki ga Noboreba & I think Saito did a great job in closing things off with such a fine understated no. .
He just made use of a piano & mellotron for the melody & it's the 2nd album track that's piano driven after Eiga Kantoku .
Except in this case , Encore's a lot more simpler in terms of music arrangement & it's just Saito singing alongside with the piano which I really like that coming from him .
Tsuki ga Noboreba is the very 1st record I have listened & also bought of Saito Kazuyoshi & I have to say that I feel this's an amazing album that was very enjoyable from the start to the beginning .
I somehow know that the album was going to be great as I was really blown away with the quality that he dished out in the singles of Don't Worry Be Happy & COME ON ! but my expectations in this case were really blown away & Tsuki ga Noboreba was a lot more better than what I expected to be .
As you can tell in the earlier review of this entry , Saito incorporates a wide range of music instruments for all the 12 songs you can find in Tsuki ga Noboreba & what amazed me's that he played every single instrument that was listed & here I was assumingly that he's only talented when comes to guitar but not anymore .
The whole album's really top notch & the quality's there which's no surprises as it was mastered by Ted Jensen at New York's Sterling Sound .
Saito has been in the business for 16 years & it's great that he's still around , making great understated music as it should be & I'm so glad to have chance upon his music , after I found out he's the one who did an amazing job composing/writing Kanjani∞'s Puzzle .
A highly recommended album & I can't wait to see what else Saito has in store in due time but I do want to hear his take of Puzzle in the near future if that's possible !