Monday, November 30, 2009

Namie Amuro - FAST CAR & The Meaning Of Us





FAST CAR & The Meaning Of Us are 2 brand new album tracks you can find in Namie Amuro's 8th album PAST < FUTURE which will be released on 16th Dec .

Both songs receive music videos of their own for that matter .

Found as track #1 is FAST CAR & this's a hot jazzy meets R&B no. ! It's no Hide & Seek but you can't deny that this's a pretty strong opening track for PAST < FUTURE .

Also there's no way you can escape the trumpet horns blaring & the hot drum beats blaring from every single angle of the tune .

The Meaning Of Us is found as track #11 & this's a really sweet ballad . I seldom come across Namie dishing out ballads which's a pity because I feel that she excel in both upbeat no.s & ballads .

The song's quite a simple no. that has minor synth & it's piano driven which's really plain lovely . You really don't need extra details to make The Meaning Of Us better as it's already nice in its own right .

There're 2 more album tracks which received music videos of their own in PAST < FUTURE which're LOVE GAME & Defend Love . I sure hope both songs will sound great as so far , whatever that has been released on the net from PAST < FUTURE , I'm liking everything on what I heard so far .

I have a feeling PAST < FUTURE will totally pawn her last album PLAY in possibly every single level , musically & then some .

Sunday, November 29, 2009

CD Review :: alan - my life

CD Only Cover :



CD + DVD Cover :



Tracklist :

1) reflection ~overture~
2) Swear
3) One
4) Mitsumeteitai (I Wanna Be Staring At You)
5) Namida (Tears) (Smooth Jam Mix)
6) Lost Child
7) Butterflies
8) Essence of me
9) Call my name
10) Shiroi Tsubasa (White Wings)
11) Nobody knows but me
12) BALLAD ~Namonaki Koi no Uta~ (~Nameless Love Song~)
13) Kuon no Kawa (River Of Eternity)
14) my life


my life is alan's 2nd Japanese album . It was released on Wed / 25th Nov & this comes barely 8 months + since the release of her debut Japanese album Voice of EARTH .

3 singles & a B-side made the cut in alan's latest album offering .

reflection ~overture~ is the album's introduction instrumental piece . While this's no Tennyo ~interlude~ , it's still a cool opening tune to me & the ending of reflection ~overture~ had some pop beats thrown in for good measures .

Swear is alan's 11th single & this was released 3 weeks prior to my life & it was used as the promo song for the ads surrounding the Bourbon Buranchuuru Mini Series .

I know there're people out there who doesn't like Swear because they're used to her releasing ballads as singles , her vocals sound wooden/dead in Swear , it's a cutesy bubblegum pop tune & the list goes on .

Personally to me , I like the song & it's a refreshing change after she released BALLAD ~Namonaki Koi no Uta~ (~Nameless Love Song~) which I unfortunately didn't like .

It seems odd that Swear's released during autumn/winter in Japan seeing that this sounded like a tune that alan should have released during summer at their end .

One is well the 1st album track you can find & it's a mid tempo piano driven no. . I found it really slow/un-memorable for my liking initally & the electric guitar bridge in the middle of One frankly saved the song from being a total dud .

Mitsumeteitai (I Wanna Be Staring At You) is probably 1 of my fave album tracks in my life simply because it has a gorgeous piano melody .

It's just alan & the piano which accompanied her vocals in Mitsumeteitai . You don't need extra instruments & etc to make the 1st album ballad track stellar as it's already good on its own right .

The Smooth Jam Mix of Namida (Tears) was originally found as the B-side of alan's 7th single Megumi no Ame (Blessed Rain) .

I'm not sure as to why she chose to re-record/re-arranged Namida & let alone include it in my life seeing that Megumi no Ame made the cut in Voice of EARTH but anyway as the 'remix' suggest , this's a pretty cool rearrangement of Megumi no Ame's B-side .

I like the original of Namida already & I'm pretty much fine with the Smooth Jam Mix of the tune which's probably something you might listen to if you're lounging/chilling out at home .

Lost Child is track #6 & just like One , it took me quite a while to remember how this song sounds but I must admit the melody's pretty & the orchestra strings going on in Lost Child is lovely .

Butterflies is a pop tinged no. & this's a pretty catchy album track & it has a cool synth in the background that's thrown in for good measures .

The next 2 songs are basically the odd tunes in the album .

1st of all , Essence of me can probably be considered as my life's interlude because there's barely any lyrics attached to this no. & you can hear alan's yodelling & voice going on in the background .

Regardless of which , the interlude flows quite nicely to track #9 Call my name & I don't know why but I had deja vu vibes of Spiller feat Sophie Ellis-Bextor's Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) when I 1st heard Call my name .

I don't know if that's a good or bad thing but I leave it as it's .

Shiroi Tsubasa (White Wings) is track #10 & this's basically a simple song which has alan's vocals backed up by an acoustic guitar & some minor percussions .

It's no Mitsumeteitai but it's pretty alright for me even though her vocals sounded a bit wooden in Shiroi Tsubasa .

Nobody knows but me is the 2nd last album track & this's a piano driven no. with a gorgeous flute/erhu backing to boot . This's probably the only album track you can hear alan yodelling , be it in the song or the background vocals itself .

1 thing I find the song odd is when she included talking dialogues in the background for Nobody knows but me which I feel that's un-necessary . I figure if that's not present , I would have enjoyed Nobody knows but me a lot more .

The next 2 songs are singles that alan released prior to my life .

BALLAD ~Namonaki Koi no Uta~ is her 10th single & it was used as the theme song for the movie which shares the same title as the song starring SMAP's Tsuyoshi Kusanagi & Yui Aragaki .

This's frankly not my fave ballad that alan released . It doesn't really blow me that away as compared to previous ballads that she put out before but I figure I can close an eye for the song in here .

Kuon no Kawa (River Of Eternity) is her 9th single & this's the Japanese take of Chi Bi (赤壁 ; RED CLIFF) ~Da Jiang Dong Qu~ (~大江东去~ ; ~The Great River Surges East~) which was used to promote the 2nd installment of the John Woo movie RED CLIFF .

alan set a record when this single was released because this's her 1st single to crack the top 10 & let alone top 3 on the Oricon weekly singles chart , making her the 1st China born singer to achieve such a feat in Japan .

Well be it Kuon no Kawa or Chi Bi ~Da Jiang Dong Qu~ , I still adore both takes of the song which're done in 2 different languages . The melody never fails to blow me away & you can feel various emotions going on in here coming from alan who belted out this power ballad .

From 1 power ballad to the next , the final song in my life shares the same title as her 2nd album .

my life the song is used as the theme no. for the PSP game GOD EATER & it's the only album track to receive a music video of its own .

It definitely deserves so seeing that this's 1 heck of an album power ballad & the melody has a really grand piano sweeping orchestra feeling to it & I'm sure a lot of people out there including me will single out my life the song as 1 of the album highlights in alan's 2nd album offering .

So at the end of the day , how does alan's 2nd Japanese album offering stack up against her debut album Voice of EARTH ?

To prevent un-necessary biasness comments from cropping up at my end , I have divided the conclusion of my album review towards my life in from 2 different perspectives , not against & against her latest album .

not against my life ::

- it's quite a mature sounding record to a certain extent as you can detect quite a significance amount of growth in here .

alan's vocals are somewhat more stronger & her Japanese dictation has improved as compared to her early newbie days .

It's not easy for her seeing that it's obvious that Japanese's not her 1st language so kudos for her to release another Japanese album again .

- less singles are found in my life . Compared to Voice of EARTH which had 8 singles , my life sees only 3 singles that made the cut which allows her to give her fans more album tracks .

- Talking about album tracks , there're more upbeat no.s you can find in her 2nd album as compared to just 1 ie. BRAVE in Voice of EARTH .

- alan has left her music comfort zone of doing solely just ballads & did a fair bit of experimentation in my life . Whether the final product(s) is/are good or bad , it all depends to the listener at the end of the day .

- Quite a lot of tracks are missing her signature yodelling . Ditto to what I said in the previous pointer I made .

- she has a lot more personal input in my life where she wrote/compose quite a fair bit .

As follows

Co-composed :

- One
- Lost Child
- Butterflies
- Call my name

Co-written & composed :

- Nobody knows but me

against my life ::

- people who have raved about Voice of EARTH in that it's a great debut album (me not so much as I don't consider it to be my fave debut album of 2009 , that goes to Kuroki Meisa's debut mini album hellcat but it's a different story altogether) panned my life as they feel it's a sellout thing that alan has done .

Guess this happens when your expectations of something can be too high as this can seriously backfired big time .

- Gone were the Tibetan inspired like songs you can find in Voice of EARTH & instead , she did various & all sorts of experimentations in her 2nd album in which most of them sounded like something that has been heard/done before .

- Some of the album tracks took a lot more time to listen/remember . If so , alan's vocals sounded wooden/dead & she didn't bring any life/spirit to the tracks especially for the upbeat no.s .

- certain parts of my life were samey sounding & the album begin to lose steam as each album track goes by .

- Essence of me & Call my name being the 2 oddballs in my life .

- A rushed out 2nd album especially since this was released barely less than 8 months after she put out Voice of EARTH .

If she was give more time to make a 2nd album , musically it might have been better & as a result , the dreaded 2nd album syndrome was somewhat being felt in here unfortunately or not .

So whose side do you belong to ?


CD Review :: LOVE - LOVE.IT EP

CD Only Cover :



CD + DVD Cover :



Tracklist :

1) MAGIC
2) STARLIGHT
3) MOONLIGHT
4) RED EYE
5) White choco
6) LOVE no Theme


LOVE.IT is the 1st mini album released by ai otsuka's stage name LOVE who's a pet bunny that she draws .

The mini album was released on 18th Nov , a week after the release of her 3rd compilation album LOVE is BEST .

LOVE.IT contains a total of 6 tracks inclusive of 2 singles .

LOVE no Theme is LOVE's debut single & it was used as the theme song to the anime Oshare Majo : Love and Berry Shiawase no Maho while White choco's LOVE's 2nd single in which both singles were released 2 years ago & last year respectively .

As you can tell or not , I choose to review this mini album in a different manner as compared to the numerous past album reviews that I have done in my blog because basically at the end of the day for LOVE.IT's case , all the 6 songs are the same .

Same in the sense that all 6 tunes have an electro meets somewhat trance pop style .

I'm not sure as to why otsuka choose to release this mini album a week after LOVE is BEST seeing that the mini album performed worst than LOVE's 1st 2 singles (in the 1st week , LOVE.IT didn't cracked the top 50 position on the Oricon album chart) but LOVE.IT's mini album is pretty ok for me even though I'm not an electro/trance person at the end of the day .

It's just that otsuka choose to go into the electro meets somewhat trance pop using the LOVE moniker because I feel if she were to release such material using her real name , her fans might not receive this music direction that warmly in which I think it's evident when you look at how badly LOVE.IT had performed .

This's strictly for die hard ai otsuka fans to listen/enjoy .


Suga Shikao Feat Mummy-D - Hajimari no Hi (The Beginning Of The Day)'s B-sides





The following 2 songs serve as B-sides in Suga Shikao's 26th single Hajimari no Hi (The Beginning Of The Day) which features rapper Mummy-D :

- Oretachi (Our) Funk Fire
- Nekosan (Mr.Cat)

Suga's 1st collaboration single was released on Wed / 25th Nov & the whole single was produced by Suga himself .

Oretachi Funk Fire is a strange song & sounded more like a long piece of funky jazz soul inspired no. interlude .

The reason on why I said so is because there's virtually no vocals of Suga going on in Oretachi Funk Fire . Instead you can find a bunch of non Japanese people singing/humming in here .

I'm not sure why Suga choose to put such an odd tune here but I do admit this's something that you might hear in a club .

The oddly titled Nekosan is the 2nd B-side & in here , this's something that's totally different as compared to the A-side & Oretachi Funk Fire .

You get to hear Suga's vocals on here in this really stripped down / chilled out guitar driven no. .

I didn't find the song grabbing on 1st listen as it's a bit too slow for my liking & I got quite used to the outlandish tunes going on in the single until Nekosan came in .

This time round for Suga's case , I enjoy the A-side seeing that it's his 1st collaboration single that he has released in his 12th year in the business but the 2 B-sides are something that I feel it's not up to mark even though both songs do not have Mummy-D's vocals in both tunes .

Maybe I should give the 2 B-sides a few more listens if that's the case .

Friday, November 27, 2009

school food punishment - light prayer

CD Only Cover :



CD + DVD Cover :





light prayer is school food punishment's 4th single . It will be released next Wed on 2nd Dec & this comes barely less than a month since the release of their previous single sea-through communication .

The song is a rock tune which was recorded with the supervision of Kamiyama Kenji during in the recording process & is chosen to serve as the theme song to the movie of the anime Higashi no Eden , called Higashi no Eden Gekijouban I The King of Eden .

In fact , their major debut single futuristic imagination was used as the ending theme for Higashi no Eden & the movie is scheduled to hit theaters in Japan on November 28th .

For me , what draws me to light prayer is the fast paced of guitar riffs going on in the tune . light prayer's obviously more guitar driven as compared to sea-through communication & also brings back the guys & girl to a less mainstream style that they have adopted which I like .

The following songs serve as B-sides in the light prayer single :

- deviswitch
- sea-through communication -sung in English with symphony-

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kanjani∞ - Fuyu Koi (Winter Love)





Fuyu Koi (Winter Love) is a song taken from Kanjani∞'s upcoming 11th single GIFT ~Shiro~ which will be out on 23rd Dec .

The guys will be releasing 3 singles within 3 days during the Christmas week as follows & all 3 are deemed limited releases just like what happened to LANDS's BANDAGE & KAT-TUN's White X'mas singles :

GIFT ~Shiro~ - --- 23rd Dec
GIFT ~Aka~ - --- 24th Dec
GIFT ~Midori~ - --- 25th Dec

All the 3 GIFT singles contain a total of 7 songs & for GIFT ~Shiro~'s case , there're 2 songs in which the 1st one's Fuyu Koi while the 2nd no.'s Kimi no Uta wo Utau (I Sing Your Song) .

The 3 GIFT singles trilogy's being released in conjunction with their upcoming countdown concerts which will take place at Kyocera Dome in Osaka next month on Dec 30th & 31st & also on Jan 1st 2010 .

Yokoyama You & Murakami Shingo played Fuyu Koi on their radio show Kanjani Eight Yokoyama You – Murakami Shingo no Recomen ! last Thurs & even before you listen to Fuyu Koi , you can sense that the song's a ballad & it's indeed .

Despite the radio rip quality , Fuyu Koi is really gorgeous & beautiful . The most recent ballad I can compare Fuyu Koi against it is the 3rd B-side of their last single Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! ie. Hitotsu no Uta (Only Song) .

The last ballad the guys released as a single was Osaka Romanesque which was the 2nd A-side of their 4th single Osaka Obachan ROCK / Osaka Romanesque so I'm really happy that they have return back to release another fantastic ballad as part of their GIFT - Shiro - single / 3 GIFT singles trilogy after releasing a string of crazy whack over the top tunes .

The 2nd song found in GIFT ~Shiro~ ie. Kimi no Uta wo Utau will be reviewed in due time .


CD Review :: B'z - MAGIC

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



Tracklist :

1) Introduction
2) DIVE
3) Time Flies
4) MY LONELY TOWN
5) long time no see
6) Ichibu to Zenbu (One & All)
7) PRAY
8) MAGIC
9) Mayday !
10) TINY DROPS
11) Dare ni mo Ie Nee (Tell Anyone)
12) Yume no Naka de Aimashou (Let's Meet In A Dream)
13) Freedom Train



MAGIC is JRock duo B'z's 17th album . It was released last Wed on 18th Nov & this comes in 2 years since their last album ACTION !

The duo's latest album contains 2 singles . MAGIC debuted at #1 with 1st week sales of 340,630 which's even higher than the 1st week sales collected by ACTION ! ie. 292,687 copies .

All lyrics in MAGIC were written by lead singer Koshi Inaba while all music were composed by guitarist Tak Matsumoto .

The opening track Introduction was a guitar instrumental requested by Koshi once the rest of the album had been completed .

This track was designed to merge into the opening of the second track DIVE which had previously been on the album's first single .

The slow tempo opening of the single version was removed to provide a more seamless crossover from the end of the introduction track .

DIVE is of course the 2nd A-side of their 46th single Ichibu to Zenbu (One & All) / DIVE which was released on 5th Aug this year & it was used to promote Suzuki's Swift compact car .

Red Hot Chili Peppers's drummer Chad Smith & Mars Volta's bassist Juan Alderete were invited as guest musicians by the duo to play drums & bass for both tunes .

The album version of DIVE is about 18 secs shorter than the single version since the single version's intro was cut off in here in order for Introduction to move into DIVE easily .

Well regardless of the single or album versions of DIVE , I still like both takes of the no. & just like Ichibu to Zenbu , this's a fast & mean rock influenced tune .

Time Flies is MAGIC's 1st album track & this's a less aggressive song unlike DIVE but it's still an upbeat no. & I really like the guitar riffs going on in Time Files .

MY LONELY TOWN is the duo's 47th single & this was released last month on 14th Oct . It's the last single to be included before MAGIC was released .

The song was already played during the duo's most recent B'z SHOWCASE 2009 -B'z In Your Town tour and also as a part of their performance at the popular rock festival SUMMER SONIC '09 in August this year .

Also , this's their 1st single to be released in CD & CD + DVD's editions in their 21st year together in the business .

Despite the fact that somehow I overplayed MY LONELY TOWN to a certain extent , the song never fails to captivate me because I really like the way on how the song started off really mean/kick ass & then somehow it mellowed down in the middle & the cycle goes on .

Also with a touch of classical/violin influence thrown in for good measure , you know you're listening to something that's really solid .

long time no see is the 2nd album track & it has been selected to be used as the theme song for the upcoming drama Salaryman Kintaro 2 , which is set to begin airing in January 2010 on TV Asahi .

This's yet another fast paced album track just like Time Files but the difference's that it's more upbeat & guitar driven . Not to mention , I can detect a lot more synth going on in long time no see too .

Definitely another great kick ass rock track to watch out for .

Ichibu to Zenbu is the 1st A-side of the duo's 46th single Ichibu to Zenbu / DIVE & it was used as the theme song for the drama Buzzer Beat which starred NEWS's Yamashita Tomohisa & Kitagawa Keiko .

I never watched Buzzer Beat but this's the song that kicked start my B'z's music journey as I just absolutely adore how the song sounds . I mentioned before that it sounded like something on what Franz Ferdinand might come up with but obviously B'z does it better with plenty abomb .

I noticed that the album version of Ichibu to Zenbu where it seems that the drums beats are much more louder as compared to the single version . I'm not sure if it's just me or something though but ah well .

PRAY is the 1st album power ballad & it served as the theme song for the movie TAJOMARU .

I was really drawn into PRAY the moment I 1st listened to it . It sounded like the B-side of MY LONELY TOWN ie. Kirei na Namida (Beautiful Tears) but the only difference's for PRAY's case is that it's much more emotional driven & the melody's just so beautiful & really , kudos to both Koshi & Tak for making this song a masterpiece in its own right .

MAGIC shares the same title as the album . I reviewed this song before but that time I only heard a radio rip of the tune .

Now that I have heard the studio/clearer version of the song , I'm fine with it . It's just that I wouldn't really consider MAGIC to be my fave album track .

Mayday ! is track #9 & just like the song title suggest , it's probably those kind of songs you might hear if a disaster's about to strike or something -_- . But jokes aside , it's quite a heart thumping no. for that matter .

TINY DROPS is the 2nd album track that's a power ballad & this was first played on the bayfm radio show .

This's probably the only album track that has a piano driven melody which's very pretty to say the least & lead singer Koshi pretty much conveyed the message of TINY DROPS across the board .

The song's more depressing sounding than PRAY but considering that these 2 tracks are the only power ballads in MAGIC , this's a keeper .

Dare ni mo Ie Nee (Tell Anyone) & Yume no Naka de Aimashou (Let's Meet In A Dream) are the 2 album tracks that I had a bit of a difficulty telling them apart from each other as both of them tend to sound alike .

It took me quite a while to distinguish both songs but at least now I know Yume no Naka de Aimashou is the song that has trumpet beats thrown in for good measures while for Dare ni mo Ie Nee , the guitar riffs are really cool in there .

Freedom Train is the last track you can find in MAGIC . Despite the case , this's actually the 1st song that the guys recorded .

I thought that might be a Kobukuro cover seeing that they had a song which has the same title but thank goodness that's not the case .

Freedom Train's basically a really enpowering no. & as such , I think it's quite fitting for the duo to close things off with this tune .

MAGIC is the 1st B'z album I listened to & I have to say that it's a really solid rock album offering .

Before this , I went with an open mind but I somehow know that the album's going to sound really epic seeing that this's coming from the best selling Japanese act of all time & when you have Tak Matsumoto who was responsible for composing KAT-TUN's debut single Real Face & Real Face #1 , you know what good things you're getting in MAGIC .

The production's really solid & both Koshi & Tak's roles in the group are very well defined & their talents in each field go hand in hand together .

The only thing I wish I heard more from MAGIC is more ballads seeing that out of 13 tracks , only 3 songs are in the ballad department inclusive of MY LONELY TOWN .

It might have been better for the duo to come up with more ballad inspired like tunes in their next single/album seeing that they're versatile in both rock thumping songs & ballads as evident in the ballad version of Ichibu to Zenbu .

But other than that , a solid rock & roll album to check out before 2009 wraps up & looks like I'm officially onboard the B'z's music wagon from now onwards .



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

abingdon boys school - From Dusk Till Dawn





From Dusk Till Dawn is abingdon boys school's 8th single . It will be released on 16th Dec & this comes in 4 months + since the release of their last single Kimi no Uta (Your Song) .

The band's new song's currently used as the ending theme for the anime DARKER THAN BLACK -Ryūsei no Gemini- which started airing in Oct this year .

Their 2nd single HOWLING was used as the opening theme song to the anime series DARKER THAN BLACK -Kuro no Keiyakusha- .

Also From Dusk Till Dawn's so far their only single release which just contains the A-side which explains on why it's going for a really cheap price/cost of 525 Yen .

I have been waiting for them to release a mid tempo ballad after their 3rd single Nephilim & I finally got my wish in here after listening to From Dusk Till Dawn .

Frontman Takanori just let his vocals work in this soaring uplifting no. coupled with great guitar riffs . It's no Dress nor Nephilim but I can't help but being drawn into the song instantly .

Also , kudos to guitarist Shibasaki for composing such a great melody for From Dusk Till Dawn as well .

The guys seldom do mid tempo tunes which's a pity but they probably should change their mindset in due course when this happens & I hope that analogy will apply to their 2nd album ABINGDON ROAD which will be out on 27th Jan 2010 .

ABINGDON ROAD will consists of 5 singles inclusive of From Dusk Till Dawn , their cover of Luna Sea's Sweetest Coma Again & 6 new album tracks .

This will be their 1st album in nearly 3 years after the release of their self titled debut album 2 years ago on 17th Oct & naturally being such a big fan of this extremely talented rock quartet , this might be the album to kick off 2010 with a great big bang !



Monday, November 23, 2009

Aoyama Thelma - OH BABY Koishitetai (I Want To Fall In Love)





OH BABY Koishitetai (I Want To Fall In Love) is Aoyama Thelma's 1st digital single & it was released last Wed on 18th Nov .

Her new song serves as the theme no. for the drama Mezamashi Doyoubi Mega .

Now this's what I'm talking about ! Despite being her 1st digital single which it should have gotten a physical single release instead , I'm so relieved that Aoyama has returned back to do an upbeat R&B no. after releasing a whole string of mid tempo/ballad no.s after her debut single ONE WAY .

Song wise , OH BABY Koishitetai is real catchy/good which frankly gets extremely addictive after a few listens or so . It's not like I'm Sorry but this's enough for me to keep me satisfied .

Aoyama will be releasing her 1st single of 2010 ie. her 8th single titled Fall in love on 27th Jan 2010 & this no. features Korean boyband BIG BANG's Sol & it's her 2nd collaboration single after Todoketai ... (I Want To Send ...) feat KEN THE 390 .

Fall in love will be released under the billing Aoyama Thelma x SOL from BIGBANG .

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hidemi Uematsu - Baby (Dear Lady's B-side)





Baby is the B-side tune you can find in Hidemi Uematsu's 3rd single Dear Lady which was released on Wed / 18th Nov .

Just like the A-side , the lyrics & music for Baby is solely written/composed by Hidemi herself .

Wow , all I can say's that Baby is a really emotional driven B-side no. . Unlike the A-side where it's quite carefree sounding , you're not getting it for Baby's case .

Hidemi managed to tap in & drew in her emotions while delivering this powerful piano driven song . Her vocals did went over the top in some parts of the song but you can appericate the rawness that's being given off in here .

Hidemi Uematsu never fails to deliver the goods & when she does , she nail every single music aspect downpat & the same thing goes for her latest single Dear Lady too .

I sure hope that she will release her debut album soon . It's kind of long overdue if you ask me .

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yamashita Tomohisa - Loveless's B-sides





A whopping 7 B-sides can be found in NEWS leader's Yamashita Tomohisa 2nd solo single Loveless which was released on Wed / 18th Nov .

He will kick start his 1st solo tour called SHORT BUT SWEET today which will be held at the Yokohama Arena from 21st - 23rd Nov .

Due to demand , Yamapi will also be performing at Jan 6th & 7th at Osaka-jo hall next year .

I will be reviewing 6 B-sides because I don't see the need to review the instrumental of the A-side & like what I mentioned before , these songs can be combined into 1 edition & thus making it a mini album of sorts for Yamapi's case .




CD Only Regular Edition Tracks :

- Crush On You
- Dance Jam
- After the Rain
- Loveless (Instrumental)


Crush On You has a very electro disco pop vibe which took me by surprise when I 1st listened to it .

I thought it might going to sound really cheesy/dated but surprisingly that's not the case .

The same electro disco pop vibes can be felt in Dance Jam as well . Yamapi's vocals sounded a bit distorted here . I'm not sure if it's done on purpose or something though but I'm fine with the 2 upbeat B-sides tunes in the CD only regular edition of Loveless .

After the Rain is the only B-side that's a ballad & it's probably no surprises that I really like this no. out of the bunch as compared to Crush On You & Dance Jam .

The song gives off a really sad & somewhat subtle bittersweet mood which's almost simliar to the A-side except for After the Rain's case , it's more emotionally driven which I really like .

Yamapi didn't went over the top in this no. which's a good thing .







CD Only Limited Edition Tracks :

- Run From You (CD + DVD track also)
- ME
- Moon Light


Run From You & ME are the only 2 B-sides which Yamapi sang in full English & are upbeat dance no.s with ME written by zopp .

I have to admit that both tunes are hot to crank up in a club but unfortunately Yamapi's (lack of) English pronounication/dictation somehow got lost in between both songs , so much so that I had to refer to the lyrics sleeve of my Loveless single when I listened to both tracks .

English's not a 1st language for most Japanese but still at most you should brush/work on your pronounication/dictation if you want to carry off a full English song which's usually risky business .

But you have to give Yamapi credit for trying in here as it's frankly not easy to carry off such a task at all .

Moon Light is the only song that Yamapi wrote in the Loveless single & in this no. , he has a fave Spanish phase that he included in the song which's "a luz da la luna" aka light of the moon .

It's a slight Spanish tinged no. which almost bear some simliar traits to his debut single Daite Senorita (aside from the song title) & this's quite an unusual song of the good kind .

I was feeling a lot more of Moon Light & considering that he wrote it , it's really a nice mid tempo tune .

Basically at the end of the day , the 6 B-sides you can find in Yamapi's Loveless single are pretty good & it's something different from what he might usually do in NEWS .

The only thing I didn't like about some of the songs is that it's too Americanised sounding especially for Run From You & ME . If the lyrics for both songs weren't full English no.s to begin with , the songs might sound a bit better since it's quite obvious that Yamapi still has some work to be done for his English pronounication/diction .

Other than that , this's a pretty good worthwhile single to listen/check out for & since NEWS wouldn't be releasing anymore material for 2009 , this will be keeping the NEWS fans happy for a while .

Friday, November 20, 2009

alan - my life





my life is found as track #14 in alan's 2nd Japanese album which shares the same title as the song .

The album will be released next Wed on 25th Nov & my life (the song) is the only album no. which receives a music video of its own & is used as the theme song for the PSP game GOD EATER .

I guess it's easy to see why my life deserves to get a music video of its own because it's really an awesome ballad & alan did not need to make use of her signature yodelling in this no. .

Instead , she just let her vocal chord work to almost full maximisation & the ending result gives you this really powerful & yet understated ballad . It helps that the melody surrounding my life is plain gorgeous too .

Except my album review of my life in due course .


ai otsuka - Amaenbo (Spoiled Child) ~Wedding~





The ~Wedding~ version of ai otsuka's 3rd single Amaenbo (Spoiled Child) is found as track #11 in her 2nd compilation album LOVE is BEST which was released last Wed on 11th Nov .

LOVE is BEST debuted at #1 with 1st week sales of 56,366 copies .

I honestly cannot detect any form of wedding influences going on in here if you ask me .

Anyway I realised that otsuka's vocals are more stronger & emotionally driven in the re-recorded version of her 3rd single if you were to compare it against the original take of Amanebo which was released way back in 3rd April 2004 .

Also melody wise , the changes in the updated version of Amaenbo is pretty minor to a certain extent .

Having said that , I feel it's nice of her to do to re-record & re-arranged some of her songs that're found in LOVE is BEST but hopefully in her next compilation album or let alone single/album , she might do even more of such things as I frankly enjoyed it .

I gladly welcome let's say an updated version of Planetarium , Kingyo Hanabi , Cherish & Kurage Nagareboshi , that will be awesome .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

LANDS - BANDAGE





BANDAGE is LANDS's 1st & most probably last single . It will be released next week on 25th Nov .

LANDS is the name of a band that KAT-TUN's Akanishi Jin 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 .

Aside from the movie , the music video for BANDAGE is also shot by Kobayashi himself .

Well I blogged about the live version of BANDAGE a while back ago & the studio version doesn't stray that much from the live take .

Both are equally awesome & you just need Akanishi's vocals to make the song work completely in his favour & this's no surprises seeing that he's the 2nd co lead vocalist in KAT-TUN .

It's said that there's supposedly 3 more LANDS songs that were sung/made specially for the movie . It's a pity in the BANDAGE single , only the A-side & instrumental piece are included .

I figure at least 1 should make the cut in the single but I suppose I will not rule out the 3 songs being included in the BANDAGE movie soundtrack in the near future .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SID - one way's B-sides





The following songs serve as B-sides in SID's 4th single one way which was released last Wed on 11th Nov :

- Kaitou (Mysterious Thief) Neon
- Douyoubi no Onna (Saturday Woman) (Live from SID TOUR 2009 hikari)

one way debuted at #3 with 1st week sales of 42,622 copies .

On 1st listen of Kaitou Neon , the feeling the song presented to me's that it's a lot more poppier than their usual works which's kinda simliar to songs that you can find in their Hikari album like track #5's Nakidashita Onna to Kyomukan (Weeping Woman And Emptiness) & track #7's Tsumiki Kuzushi (Destroying Toy Bricks) .

I also had that same feeling after I gave the A-side various spins too .

Douyoubi no Onna is recorded from their Live from SID TOUR 2009 hikari . I'm not sure if this song can be found in 1 of their indie albums but anyway it's a nice song .

I love it that it's a stripped down acoustic affair & lead singer Mao just let his vocals work in his favour here .

one way is the 1st SID single that I listened to of in full & even though I initally was disappointed with the A-side because I found it un-memorable , I grew to like it after listening to it many times over & over .

Also the B-sides are pretty solid . The single overall has a more poppy sound & less hard rock edge but it's still classic SID at the end of the day .

Great stuff , I can't wait to see what else the talented quartet has up their sleeves next !

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shota Shimizu - Kimi ga Suki (Love You)

Cover For Both CD & CD + DVD Editions :





Kimi ga Suki (Love You) is Shota Shimizu's 5th single . The original release date for the single was 28th Oct .

Because of the recent release of his 2nd collaboration single for the year ie. Oyasumi no Kiss wo (Kiss Me Goodnight) ~Good Night My Love~ with DOUBLE , it was pushed all the way back to 9th Dec next month .

Kimi ga Suki doesn't stray that much from his usual solo singles & let alone Oyasumi no Kiss wo ~Good Night My Love~ .

Not that it's a bad thing seeing that he's 1 of the few artistes that I do mind him to do R&B mid tempo no.s/ballads as to me he just cannot work an upbeat R&B song well at all & that goes for rapping too .

Shota's new solo single is quite Christmas inspired sounding if you take a closer listen to his latest no. .

The following songs serve as B-sides in Kimi ga Suki :

- Family Feat Ken The 390.shun & Coma-chi
- One Last Kiss ; found as track #5 in his debut album Umbrella

Friday, November 13, 2009

Yusuke - Ichou (Gingko)

CD Only Cover :



CD + DVD Cover :



Tracklist :

1) Ichou (Gingko)
2) Umi no Ie (House Of Sea)
3) Ichou (Gingko) -instrumental-



Ichou (Gingko) is Yusuke's 3rd single . It was released on 4th Nov & this comes 5 months + since the release of Tanpopo (Dandelion) / Kaizokusen (Pirate Ship) / Sono Kobushi (The Fist) which was his 1st triple A-side single & 1st #1 single .

Yusuke's latest offering debuted at #2 with 1st week sales of 109,719 copies .

The A-side is a touching love song which sampled the classical music piece Pachelbel's Canon in its melody . It's also the CM song for a Marukome miso soup commercial starring Yusuke himself .

If you find the melody of Ichou familiar but yet you don't know what's the title of the melody that Yusuke sampled , at least now you know so & I have to say I find it very clever of Yusuke to do this up tempo meets Christmas inspired no. .

It's risky business to do such a thing but he did it really well & I really like Ichou on 1st listen as the song's modern , upbeat & updated .

In the case of the B-side Umi no Ie (House Of Sea) , I was unfortunately really bored with it on 1st listen because I thought it sounded really monotone & a lot more slower than his previous B-sides & that goes for Ichou too .

I'm fine with it now since I suspect he included Umi no Ie to balance things out but I will not consider this as a fave Yusuke B-side of mine .

Yusuke has released 3 solo singles so far this year & I do hope that he's able to put out a debut album before the year ends . If not a debut album that will be released in early 2010 will be great since so far the singles that he has released have been really top notch & of good substance/quality .




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

alan - Beauty (Swear's B-side)





Beauty is the B-side song you can find in alan's 11th single Swear which was released last Wed on 4th Nov .

The A-side served to promote Bourbon 'Buranchuuru Mini Series' in their advertisements .

alan more or less has gone back to her ballad roots when comes to Beauty & I have to say that I was very enchanted by it on 1st listen .

The melody's really beautiful & she sounded a lot more like herself in here as compared to Swear which's definitely not a style that you will associate with her .

Not to mention Beauty plays a really good contrast agains the upbeat poppy Swear too .

alan released something that she has never done before & what you get's Swear in which I do welcome this from her since if she keeps on releasing ballads after ballads in her career , there's little if not no room for her to improve & it might get stagnant on her part .

To me she can deliver equally good in both upbeat & ballad tunes in which I do hope to see that happen in her upcoming 2nd album my life which will be out in exactly 2 Wed's time on Nov 25th & Swear made the cut in my life .


BREAKERZ - Birdman ~Acoustic Version~ (LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no (Love) Battle~'s B-side)



The ~Acoustic Version~ of Birdman is the 2nd B-side tune you can find in BREAKERZ's 7th single LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no (Love) Battle~ which was released last Wed on 4th Nov .

The original take of Birdman was originally found as track #2 in their self titled debut album & in here , the lyrics were written by frontman DAIGO & composed by guitarist AKIHIDE .

Since I have heard the original version of Birdman before , I can say that for the acoustic version , it's a lot more mellower & striped down which's really nice .

I wasn't feeling that much love for the original take of the song honestly when I 1st listened to their self titled debut album so this's a refreshing change & Birdman was frankly 1 of the last few songs I expected them to re-record/re-arranged too .

Only found in the CD only edition of the single , it's the Gachiage Battle Remix of the A-side & just like the original version , both versions of LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no Battle~ are written & composed by DAIGO & guitarist SHINPEI respectively .

This's the trio's 1st A-side to be given a remix which you can find in the single itself . I don't count their 3rd single Angelic Smile / WINTER PARTY because you can find rearranged versions of both songs in their 3rd album BIG BANG ! & not on the single .

The Gachiage Battle Remix of LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no Battle~ is much longer than the original version at 4:31 mins & the remix of the A-side emphasise a lot more focus on electro/synth .

I'm usually not big on remixes but I'm pretty alright with this one as it seems to me DAIGO sounded pretty good doing electro/synth .

After releasing BAMBINO ~Bambino~ as their 1st non full on rock single , the guys have done it once again in experimenting/releasing their 2nd non full on rock no. & I have to say that bring it on SHINPEI haha as he's responsible for composing both songs in the 1st place .

But it's nice to know that they balanced things out real nicely & going back to their roots with regards to the 2 B-sides you can find in the trio's latest single offering .

Their 4th album FIGHTERZ will be released next month on 2nd Dec & really , I cannot wait for that to happen .

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Saito Kazuyoshi - Otukaresama no Kuni (Country Of Fatigue)

Cover For Both CD Only Regular & Limited Editions :



Tracklist :

1) Otukaresama no Kuni (Country Of Fatigue)
2) Koufuku na Choushoku Taikutsu na Yuushoku (Happy Breakfast Boring Dinner) (Live At Shinagawa Stella Ball 2008.8.25)
3) I Love Me (Live At Shinagawa Stella Ball 2008.8.25)
4) Wedding Song (Live At Shinagawa Stella Ball 2008.8.25) (Limited Edition Track)



Otukaresama no Kuni (Country Of Fatigue) is Saito Kazuyoshi's 35th single . It was released last year on 3rd Dec .

Aww , I felt it's a huge pity that Saito didn't included Otukaresama no Kuni in his latest/13th album Tsuki ga Noboreba for some weird reason(s) because I really love Otukaresama no Kuni on 1st listen .

Somehow or another , you're able to feel a sense of warmth after you listen to Otukaresama no Kuni if you ask me & the fact that it's guitar driven it's really nice I say .

All the B-sides in Otukaresama no Kuni are live audio material recorded from his 15th anniversary concert that took place last year on August 25th at the Shinagawa Stellar Ball .

Seeing that I never heard the 3 B-sides before , I treat them as new songs on my part .

I thought that Koufuku na Choushoku Taikutsu na Yuushoku (Happy Breakfast Boring Dinner) is the most random/odd B-side I listened to of Saito because in here , it features him rapping which he never does before (to me that's) .

Also it's really long for a B-side at 7:06 mins too . I actually find the song amusing & that goes for the title too LOL but I don't think it's a song that I tend to associate Saito with well .

I Love Me is what I'm talking about ! I love the fast paced guitar strings going on in this live version of the tune & it does bear similarities to the album tracks you can find in Tsuki ga Noboreba such as LOVE & PEACE .

Except in this case , I Love Me is a lot more meaner , energetic & fast paced which I really like on 1st listen .

Only found in the limited edition of the single , it's the live version of Wedding Song .

After 3 upbeat songs , it's a great way to close the single off with this stripped down acoustic guitar & minor drums driven no. & it's a really touching ballad & it reminded me of Encore except in here , there's a usage of an acoustic guitar unlike Encore where Saito used a piano for its melody .

I have never seen Saito perform live but I can say that from the live tracks , he sounded the same as what I hear on a CD which's really something & not easy to pull off .

Just like his previous singles that I listened to of such as Yah , Mujyo , Don't Worry Be Happy & COME ON ! , Otukaresama no Kuni is another Saito single that I'm really impressed of & enjoyed listening to .

I sure hope that Saito will release a new single as soon as possible as I haven't been disappointed on what I have heard coming from this extremely talented singer/songwriter .


Yuna Ito - Happy Days (Let it Go's B-side)





Happy Days is the B-side song you can find in Yuna Ito's 14th single Let it Go which will be released tomorrow on 11th Nov .

The B-side is used to promote ABC Mart's Hawkin's Lady shoes (a chain garment store) in their ad .

Happy Days execute almost the same style as Let it Go except in here , it takes on a more laidback style without the inclusion of a banjo which you can hear in Let it Go .

It sounded a bit generic but I like the B-side because it's more stripped down & acoustic driven to a certain extent & Yuna sounded a lot more herself belting out this no. here .

Yuna's latest single pushed some music boundaries for her where she ventured into new music genres that she has not done before & I have to say that while it's risky for her , she pulled it off pretty well & delivered something unique/different this time round as compared to the ballads that she's famous for to begin with .

Nice , I can't wait to see what else she has in store in due time .

Monday, November 09, 2009

Namie Amuro - COPY THAT





COPY THAT is an album song taken from Namie Amuro's upcoming 8th album PAST < FUTURE which will be released on 16th Dec .

The song is found as track #2 in PAST < FUTURE .

Just like MY LOVE which I reviewed a while back ago , COPY THAT also serve as a new ad song for Vidal Sassoon , the same thing that goes for the songs in her 60s70s80s single & also for Dr's case .

I already knew it somehow or another , that I will like the full version of COPY THAT as I really love the preview snippet of the song going on in the Vidal Sassoon ads , as compared to MY LOVE & I was right when I finally got to listen to COPY THAT in full .

It's basically like WILD & Dr. in terms of the music structure where it's pretty random & you don't know what beats will be thrown in your face too except for COPY THAT's case , the beats are more edgier , harder & funkier which I absolutely adore .

Judging from the 2 songs that have leaked out , I have a feeling PAST < FUTURE is probably going to be on par if not more superior sounding than 2007's PLAY .

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Suga Shikao Feat Mummy-D - Hajimari no Hi (The Beginning Of The Day)

CD Only Regular Edition Cover :



CD Only Limited Edition Cover :



CD + DVD Cover :





Hajimari no Hi (The Beginning Of The Day) Feat Mummy-D is Suga Shikao's 26th single . It will be released on 25th Nov & this comes in 4 months + since the release of Party People .

Suga's brand new single which's an electric sound-based song is currently being used as the opening theme song for the anime Tegami Bachi & it's his 1st collaboration song & the whole single's produced by Suga himself .

The single features rapper Mummy-D , part of groups RHYMESTER and Maboroshi and also a well-known name in the whole Japanese music scene , as he has already collaborated with several different kinds of artists , from KREVA to Sheena Ringo .

I absolutely love Hajimari no Hi on 1st listen . Compared to Party People , Suga's latest offering takes on a more electropop spin while retaining his signature jazz/funk style .

Also the fact that it's so carefree sounding , it's nice really .

The only grouse I feel about the song is yes Mummy-D's rapping . I felt that it kinda spoiled the song to a certain extent but at least the sound transition from Suga's singing to Mummy-D's rapping , it's ain't bad but I definitely could do without Mummy-D's rapping anytime of the day .

Aside from this , a great catchy tune to hum along to & considering that this's Suga's 1st collaboration single , good job I say !

The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :

- Oretachi (Our) Funk Fire
- Nekosan (Mr.Cat)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

SID - one way

CD Only Cover :



CD + DVD Type A Cover :



CD + DVD Type B Cover :




one way is SID's 4th major label single . It will be released next Wed on 11th Nov & this comes in 4 months + since the release of their debut major label album hikari .

The song was used as an ending theme for TV program Uchikuru!? .

Honestly , one way was not as memorable/attention grabbing as what I had hoped for on 1st listen as compared to Uso (Lie) & let alone Monochrome no Kiss .

But I have to say after a few listens , it's a really peppy upbeat jrock no. & it just makes you want to get out of your chair & just rock out & have a good time .

The following songs serve as B-sides in one way & this will be the 1st single of the guys that I will be listening to of in full :

- Kaitou (Mysterious Thief) Neon
- Douyoubi no Onna (Saturday Woman) (Live from SID TOUR 2009 hikari)

Friday, November 06, 2009

2 New Johnny's Releases - KinKi Kids's J album (9th Dec) & KAT-TUN LIVE Break the Records DVD (16th Dec)



Tracklist :

1) Swan Song
2) Houseki wo Chiribamete (To Mount Gem/Jewel)
3) Ashioto (Footsteps)
4) Yakusoku (Promise)
5) Tsubasa (Wings) -little wing-
6) walk on ...
7) Secret Code
8) Yuutsu to Niji (Depression/Gloom And Rainbow)
9) I will
10) Missing
11) Kaze no Sonnet
12) Ai ni Tsuite (About Love)(CD Only Track)



KinKi Kids will be releasing their 11th album titled J album on 9th Dec in 2 editions , a CD only & a CD + DVD edition .

The CD only will have a bonus track Ai ni Tsuite (About Love) while the DVD contents for the CD + DVD's will have the 3 music videos for Secret Code , Yakusoku (Promise) , Swan Song & TV spot .

If that's not enough , a 28 page booklet's being thrown into the mix for both editions but I'm not sure if the booklet will be the same or different .

This's their 1st album release in 2 years since 2007's Φ (Phi) & it will contain 3 singles , including their most recent / 29th straight no'1 single Swan Song .



Disc 1 Tracklist :

1) RESCUE
2) ONE DROP
3) LIPS
4) Yorokobi no Uta (Song Of Joy)
5) Keep the faith
6) DON'T U EVER STOP
7) White X'mas
8) SADISTIC LOVE
9) 1582 (Kamenashi Kazuya's Solo)
10) PIERROT (Tanaka Koki's Solo)
11) WIND (Taguchi Junnosuke's Solo)
12) Peak
13) Jumpin' up
14) NO MATTER ・ MATTER
15) WATER DANCE
16) MOON
17) Real Face

Disc 2 Tracklist :

1) Hana no Mau Machi [The Town Of Dancing Flowers] (Ueda Tatsuya's Solo)
2) WHITE WORLD (Nakamaru Yuichi's Solo)
3) WONDER (Akanishi Jin & Crystal Kay Duet)
4) WILDS OF MY HEART
5) NEIRO
6) SHE SAID ...
7) Peacefuldays
8) Harukana Yakusoku (A Promise Made A Long Time Ago)
9) Will Be All Right

Disc 3 (Only available in the limited edition)

documentary & interview which were recorded during the Summer Tour from Okinawa to Hokkaido & this includes the MC talk too .



KAT-TUN will be releasing their brand new DVD titled KAT-TUN LIVE Break the Records DVD on 16th Dec .

The concert was flimed on June 15th at the Tokyo Dome & it will be released in 2 different editions .

The limited edition will contains a bonus disc which has a documentary & an interview attached to it .

The guys's solos that were taken from their Break the Records -by you- & for you- album are all left intact except for Akanishi Jin .

Instead of care , you're able to find a new song that he did a duet with Crystal Kay called WONDER which was 1st premiered during their tour sometime back ago when he did so onstage .

All the singles that they have released are included except for their 2nd & 3rd singles SIGNAL & Bokura no Machi de (In Our Town) respectively .


ARASHI - Super Fresh (CD Only Track) (My Girl's B-side)

CD Only Cover :



CD + DVD Cover :





Found in the CD only edition of ARASHI's upcoming 28th single My Girl which will be out next Wed on 11th Nov , it's the 2nd B-side called Super Fresh .

Just like the 1st 2 songs found in My Girl , Super Fresh was played on Aiba Masaki's radio show Rekomen - Arashi Remix last Fri so more or less My Girl's single has leaked out in full , just not in high quality mode .

I thought their 1st B-side Tokei Jikake no (Clockwork) Umbrella was crazily weird in a good way but I guess I have to take this statement back after I heard Super Fresh .

This's basically the strangest B-side I heard of the guys & I thought Tokei Jikake no Umbrella was weird enough for me to handle but not now after Super Fresh came into the picture .

The most unique thing about Super Fresh is definitely the melody . It has a really sleek & futuristic robotic electronic sound coupled with odd trumpets blaring in & being thrown in for good measures .

It sounded like a really weird combination but it oddly worked in the guys's favour , especially since they never done something like that before in their music career & that goes for Tokei Jikake no Umbrella too .

Super Fresh will take sometime for me to get used to but I say it's brave & bold of them to get out of their music comfort zone & do some heavy experimentation which basically can be summarised for the guys's latest single offering .

The A-side is a pretty standard pop fare these days for the guys but the 2 B-sides are stellar/spectacular . They went for experimentation sounds which frankly at the end of the day , is something that I welcome if not they will be stuck in a music rut if this keeps up .

2009 is their 10th anniversary & things have been even more better/great/amazing as compared to last year where they enjoyed a revived surge in popularity after releasing their 21st single Step and Go & since the 2009 Oricon chart is coming to an end soon & if this keeps up , they will have (un)officially swept the top spot for the Oricon's yearly #1 album , single & DVD in which they have already achieved for all 3 charts from 3 different aspects at this point in time .



Thursday, November 05, 2009

flumpool - Mitsumeteitai (I Want To Stare At You)





Mitsumeteitai (I Want To Stare At You) is found as track 3 in the flumpool's upcoming 1st full length debut album What's flumpool !? which will be released on 23rd Dec .

The quartet's new song is used for promotion in the ad for au's LISMO ! de Koi♥suru Campaign , which revolves around the drama Koibana ~Suika to Bansoukou~ .

This also basically means that Mitsumeteitai will be the theme song for the drama as well .

Koibana ~Suika to Bansoukou~ will only be available to au users & like Frame , Mitsumeteitai will be a download single .

Hmm on 1st listen of Mitsumeteitai , I think this's probably this year's answer to last year's Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~ (~Light Bridge~) because the styles for both songs are almost the same to a certain extent ie. mid tempo driven rock ballads .

Except , there's a pretty strong emphasis of piano going for Mitsumeteitai .

Regardless of which , I really like Mitsumeteitai & the video's just plain heartwarming & great in that you don't need flashy special computer graphics to convey the meaning of a song at the end of the day .

I'm glad that Mitsumeteitai will be included in What's flumpool !? because it deserves it & just like for Frame's case too .

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

KinKi Kids - Swan Song's B-sides





The following songs serve as B-sides in KinKi Kids's 29th single Swan Song which was released last Wed on 28th Oct .

- Samarekadasu (Swan Song) ~another oasis~
- Omokage (Trace) (Regular Edition Track)
- Shinku no Hana (Scarlet Flowers) (Limited Edition Track)

Swan Song's the duo's 29th straight #1's single for that matter .

Since releasing their debut single Glass no Shounen (Boy) 12 years ago , every single of theirs have debuted at the top spot which resulted them in being listed in the Guinness World Records for having the record of the most number of consecutive #1 singles .

Also , this's the duo's 1st single release since both of them turned 30 respectively .

Anyway back to the B-sides of Swan Song themselves . I really like Samarekadasu ~another oasis~ on 1st listen simply because the melody's plain gorgeous & I love the erhu & enka feeling going on in Samarekadasu ~another oasis~ which I find it absolutely lovely .

Only found in the regular edition of Swan Song , it's Omokage . The song I feel's a bit boring , a bit too slow & un-memorable for my liking . It took me quite a lot of listens to exactly remember how Omokage sounds like , of sorts .

As such , I will not consider this to be my fave B-side in Swan Song but I give Omokage credit for having a really beautiful melody .

Only found in the limited edition of Swan Song , it's Shinku no Hana & this's the only upbeat B-side you can find in the single .

Hmmm on 1st listen for Shinku no Hana , I had deja vibes of their 7th single Flower because other than the same associations of the song titles , the styles are almost the same to a certain extent .

Both songs are very Carribean & beach inspired . I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing but I suppose Shinku no Hana's nice to listen to if you're throwing a beach party .

After being in the business for 12 years , KinKi Kids have proven themselves on why they still have it going on & that they're 1 of the most respected seniors in the Johnny's & Associates talent agency .

I sure hope this will not be a Swan Song for the guys as I'm hoping that they will plan something good & hopefully big when they rolled out their 30th single .

When the guys released their 20th single Anniversary , they included a -20th.memorial version- of the A-side in the single so maybe something simliar might result again in the future .

The duo will be releasing their 11th album titled J album on 9th Dec & Swan Song has made the cut on the album as the very 1st track .

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

DOUBLE & Shota Shimizu - Oyasumi no Kiss wo (Kiss Me Goodnight) ~Good Night My Love~

Cover For Both CD Only Regular & Limited Editions





Oyasumi no Kiss wo (Kiss Me Goodnight) ~Good Night My Love~ is a brand new duet sung by DOUBLE & Shota Shimizu . This will be released next Wed on 11th Nov .

This new duet no. was used as the theme song to NTV's Sukkiri Morning !! program .

This's Shota's 2nd duet that he did/released this year after he 1st released Love Forever that he did with Miliyah Kato on 13th May which I really like .

Even before the song/video was released , I already can sense that it was going to be a winter ballad in which I was right !

Unlike Love Forever which was a mid tempo R&B no. , that's not the case for Oyasumi no Kiss wo ~Good Night My Love~ in which in here just like Miliyah , I don't know how DOUBLE sounded like prior to this duet .

But I have to say that DOUBLE's vocals compliment Shota's vocals very well when you put both of them together . She kind of overpowered him to a certain extent especially in her solo parts of the song .

But other than that , there's no doubt that I find Oyasumi no Kiss wo ~Good Night My Love~ really beautiful & heartwarming & there's a sort of bittersweet feeling vibes that I can feel from this tune .

At the end of the day , this's another solid duet that I really like coming from Shota & let alone for the year .

I will not be reviewing the other versions of the A-side which you can find in this single ie. the TV MIX , Piano ver. & Hisashi Nawata Remix .




Namie Amuro - MY LOVE





MY LOVE is a new album song taken from Namie Amuro's upcoming 8th album PAST < FUTURE which will be released on 16th Dec .

This's found as track #10 in the tracklist of PAST < FUTURE .

It has been 2 1/2 years since Namie released her last studio album PLAY & MY LOVE is currently being used in the new Vidal Sassoon ad alongside with another new song COPY THAT which made the cut in her 8th album .

Honestly when I heard the previews of MY LOVE & COPY THAT in the 2 respective Vidal Sassoon ads , I didn't really like the preview for MY LOVE as compared to COPY THAT ! .

But when the full version of MY LOVE leaked out , I surprised myself that I like it even though I somehow feel that it lacked the oomph & punch as compared to let's say WILD & the songs found in her 60s70s80s single .

It does not help that I find MY LOVE a bit repetitve over & over again but it's no doubt that the song's catchy & I guess it shows that sometimes , a song preview doesn't do justice to the full version of the tune eventually when you get to hear the full song in due time .

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Yamashita Tomohisa - Loveless

CD Only Regular Edition Cover :



CD Only Limited Edition Cover :



CD + DVD Edition Cover :





Loveless is the 2nd solo single by NEWS's leader Yamashita Tomohisa . It will be released on 18th Nov & it has been described as a mid-tempo R&B ballad with a beautiful piano melody .

This's Yamapi's 1st solo single since the release of his debut single Daite Senorita which was released on 31st May 2006 & that served as the theme song for his drama Kurosagi .

In Nov 21st - 23rd , he will be embarking on his 1st solo concert which will be held at the Yokohama Arena . Due to demand , Yamapi will also be performing at Jan 6th & 7th at Osaka-jo hall next year .

Honestly , I think no 1 in the NEWS & let alone Johnny's fandom were expecting another solo single from Yamapi & let alone myself because I honestly thought that Daite Senorita was like a 1 off solo thing from him & that goes for Shuuji to Akira's Seishun Amigo too .

So when this piece of news was announced a while back ago , I think it pretty much caught everyone by surprise .

But anyway , I really love Yamapi's latest solo offering & before that I was worried on whether will it be a MOLA part 2 but I'm glad to say that it's not the case !

Yamapi sounded more polished in here & his vocals are much more stronger as compared to his solo tunes that he dished out on his own & let alone in NEWS's material & it's a nice bittersweet ballad I have to say .

The following songs will serve as B-sides in the Loveless single & if you realised , if you combined all the songs together , it could have been a mini album in the mix .

CD Only Regular Edition B-sides :

- Crush On You
- Dance Jam
- After the Rain
- Loveless (Instrumental)

CD Only Limited Edition B-sides :

- Run From You (CD + DVD track also)
- ME
- Moon Light


Blog Personnel









Karen Pang

# 10th Jan

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











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

# My LiveJournal

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



























♥ ♥ ♥ BREAKERZ ♥ ♥ ♥



















Upcoming New JPop/JRock Releases


# Shota Shimizu's LIVE TOUR 2018 “WHITE” DVD + Blu-ray , 191218 , Wed

# KinKi Kids's 40th single Aitai, Aitai, Aenai. , 191218 , Wed

# Tackey & Tsubasa's final release , best album Thanks Two you , 261218 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme's Hilcrhyme LIVE 2018「One Man」DVD + Blu-ray , 090119 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme's live album Hilcrhyme LIVE 2018「One Man」, 090119 , Wed

# UVERworld's UVERworld TYCOON TOUR at Yokohama Arena 2017.12.21 DVD + Blu-ray , 160119 , Wed

# Aoyama Thelma's 15th single In This Place~2-ri no Kizuna , 160119 , Wed

# V6's 50th single Super Powers / Right Now , 160119 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme's self titled 8th album , 300119 , Wed

# Mika Nakashima's compilation album Yuki no Hana 15 Shuunen Kinen Best-ban BIBLE , 300119 , Wed

# Kanon Wakeshima's 1st best album DECADE , 130219 , Wed

# Koda Kumi's remix album Driving Hit's 9 -Special Edition- , 200219 , Wed

# GLAY's GLAY × HOKKAIDO 150 GLORIOUS MILLION DOLLAR NIGHT vol.3 (DAY 1 & 2) DVD + Blu-ray , 050319 , Tue

# Yamashita Tomohisa's 9th single Never Lose , early 2019

# B'z's 21st album title tbc , in 2019

# GRANRODEO's 8th album title tbc , in Spring 2019




Album Reviews


# GRANRODEO - M・S COWBOY no Gyakushuu EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - SENSE or LOVE

# Koda Kumi - DNA

# Shota Shimizu - WHITE

# SID - Ichiban Sukina Basho EP

# Aoyama Thelma - HIGHSCHOOL GAL

# ayumi hamasaki - TROUBLE EP

# Hilcrhyme - One Man EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Yummy!!

# NEWS - EPCOTIA

# FLOWER FLOWER - Spotlight

# Koda Kumi - AND

# B'z - DINOSAUR

# ARASHI - 「untitled」

# BREAKERZ - X

# Aoyama Thelmas - 10TH DIARY

# SPYAIR - KINGDOM

# SID - NOMAD

# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

# Ken Hirai - Utabaka Dake ni.

# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry

# Kis-My-Ft2 - MUSIC COLOSSEUM

# Mika Nakashima - TOUGH

# NEWS - NEVERLAND

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

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN

# MUSCLE ATTACK - HERCULES ROAD

# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG

# NEWS - QUARTETTO

# AKi - EPHEMERAL EP

# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP

# BREAKERZ - 0-ZERO-

# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

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

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road

# THE TURTLES JAPAN - ELECTRONIC HUMANITY

# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL

# MUSCLE ATTACK - ATTACK

# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White

# FLOWER FLOWER - Shiki EP

# AKi - ARISE

# FLOWER FLOWER - Mi

# ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN

# Anna Tsuchiya - LUCIFER EP

# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Asobi EP

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

# ayumi hamasaki - Colours

# KAT-TUN - come Here

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

# Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN

# Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - THE BEST

# JASMINE - Welcome to Jas Vegas

# SID - OUTSIDER

# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

# Hilcrhyme - FIVE ZERO ONE

# DAIGO - DAIGOLD

# Koda Kumi - Bon Voyage

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP

# ARASHI - LOVE

# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx

# SPYAIR - MILLION

# BENI - Red

# ON/OFF - DICE EP

# NEWS - NEWS

# Namie Amuro - FEEL

# AKIHIDE - Amber

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

# girl next door - Life of Sound

# V6 - Oh ! My ! Goodness !

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE again

# Mika Nakashima - REAL

# flumpool - experience

# ayumi hamasaki - again EP

# Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

# ARASHI - Popcorn

# Domoto Koichi - Gravity

# SPYAIR - Just Do It

# SID - M&W

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Ero

# Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP WORLD

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

# Acid Black Cherry - 『2012』

# Shota Shimizu - Naturally

# ayumi hamasaki - Party Queen

# Matsushita Yuya - 2U

# KAT-TUN - CHAIN

# Kuroki Meisa - UNLOCKED

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - BUTTERFLY

# ayaka - The beginning

# Koda Kumi - JAPONESQUE

# Kuriyama Chiaki - CIRCUS Deluxe Edition

# girl next door - Agaruneku !

# Hilcrhyme - RISING

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

# BENI - Fortune

# YUI - HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - 45 STONES

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Mahou

# SPYAIR - Rockin' the World

# BREAKERZ - GO

# ayumi hamasaki - FIVE EP

# B'z - C'mon

# School Food Punishment - Prog-Roid

# ARASHI - Beautiful World

# Aoyama Thelma - WILL

# Ken Hirai - JAPANESE SINGER

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - Destination

# Tackey & Tsubasa - TRIP & TREASURE EP

# Shota Shimizu - COLORS

# Koda Kumi - Dejavu

# SID - dead stock

# flumpool - Fantasia of Life Stripe

# Yamashita Tomohisa - SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD

# Kuroki Meisa - MAGAZINE

# ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

# BENI - Jewel

# Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - ARE YOU READY ?

# Mika Nakashima - STAR

# Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)

# GLAY - GLAY

# Anna Tsuchiya - RULE

# NEWS - LIVE

# JASMINE - GOLD

# Domoto Koichi - BPM

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE ! 2

# Hilcrhyme - Recital

# ARASHI - Boku no Miteiru Fukei

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

# YUI - HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP NO.1

# KAT-TUN - NO MORE PAIИ

# BENI - Lovebox

# Matsushita Yuya - I AM ME

# Acid Black Cherry - Q.E.D.

# Acid Black Cherry - BLACK LIST

# school food punishment - amp-reflection

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Ai EP

# BREAKERZ - B.R.Z ACOUSTIC EP

# ayumi hamasaki - Rock'n'Roll Circus

# V6 - READY ?

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - HELLO CRAZY GENTLEMAN

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - The space toy

# Shota Shimizu - Journey

# Koda Kumi - UNIVERSE

# NEVER LAND - Beautiful Days EP

# abingdon boys school - ABINGDON ROAD

# BENI - Bitter & Sweet

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - NEXT FUTURE

# LANDS - Olympos EP

# flumpool - What's flumpool !?

# Kuroki Meisa - ATTITUDE EP

# Yusuke - Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo.

# KinKi Kids - J album

# Namie Amuro - PAST < FUTURE

# BREAKERZ - FIGHTERZ

# alan - my life

# LOVE - LOVE.IT EP

# B'z - MAGIC

# Dew - PRESENT

# Saito Kazuyoshi - Tsuki ga Noboreba

# Aoyama Thelma - Emotions

# SID - hikari

# Kobukuro - CALLING

# Domoto Koichi - mirror

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Uta

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

# Fukuyama Masaharu - Zankyou

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shinshoku Dolce

# GReeeeN - Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER-

# flumpool - Unreal EP

# Yuna Ito - DREAM

# Kanjani∞ - PUZZLE

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

# Kuroki Meisa - hellcat EP

# Kanjani∞ - KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou

# ayumi hamasaki - NEXT LEVEL

# Utada Hikaru - DEEP RIVER

# Utada - This Is The One

# Kanjani∞ - KJ1 F·T·O

# ARASHI - Dream"A"Live

# Kanjani∞ - Kansha ni Eight EP

# alan - Voice of EARTH

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE !

# Koda Kumi - TRICK

# Aoyama Thelma - DIARY

# YUI - I LOVED YESTERDAY

# YUI - CAN'T BUY MY LOVE

# BREAKERZ - BREAKERZ

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - GIRL NEXT DOOR

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu

# YUI - FROM ME TO YOU

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Hajimemashite

# BREAKERZ - CRASH & BUILD

# ai otsuka - LOVE LETTER

# Mika Nakashima - VOICE

# BREAKERZ - BIG BANG !

# NEWS - color

# Anna Tsuchiya - NUDY SHOW !

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 3 : Senior Year

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - KISS

# BREAKERZ - Ao no Mirai EP

# ai otsuka - LOVE PUNCH

# ai otsuka - LOVE COOK

# ai otsuka - LOVE JAM

# KAT-TUN - cartoon KAT-TUN II You

# OLIVIA - Trinka Trinka EP

# NEWS - touch

# NEWS - pacific

# ARASHI - Iza , Now

# ARASHI - One

# NANA Triple Billing

# OLIVIA - The Cloudy Dreamer EP

# Anna Tsuchiya - strip me ?

# ARASHI - ARASHIC

# KAT-TUN - Best of KAT-TUN

# Anna Tsuchiya - Taste My Beat EP

# ARASHI - Time

# Electrico - We Satellites

# ayaka - Sing to the Sky

# ayaka - First Message

# KAT-TUN - KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES-

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~BOUNCE & LOVERS~

# Jesse McCartney - Departure

# The Veronicas - Hook Me Up

# Ken Hirai - LIFE is ...

# Ashlee Simpson - Bittersweet World

# Ken Hirai - gaining through losing

# Yuna Ito - HEART

# Utada Hikaru - HEART STATION

# Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

#
Yuna Ito - WISH

# Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers

# Koda Kumi - Kingdom

# ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

# abingdon boys school - abingdon boys school

# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

# ayumi hamasaki - RAINBOW

# The Great Spy Experiment - Flower Show Riots

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~second session~

# The Click Five - Modern Minds And Pastimes

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 2

# Koda Kumi - Black Cherry

# Namie Amuro - PLAY

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

# ayumi hamasaki - Memorial address EP

# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

# Mika Nakashima - YES

# Jamie Michael - People Watching

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

# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean




Other Posts Worth Checking Out


# Fave Songs Of 2010

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2010

# Fave Albums Releases Of 2010

# Fave Songs Of 2009

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2009

# Fave Albums Releases For 2009

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

# Fave New Acts Of 2008

# Fave Songs Of 2008

# Fave Singles Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2008

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

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

# Fave Albums Of 2007

# The Click Five - The Band Behind The Band Documentary

# 987 Control Songlist Set

# Hot Review Of Maksim's Electrik

# Lu Yong Find My Shoes Journey

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




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