Sunday, January 31, 2010
Aoyama Thelma - Believe (Fall in Love's B-side)
Believe is the B-side song you can find in Aoyama Thelma's 8th single Fall in Love which was released on Wed / 27th .
The single was released under the billing Aoyama Thelma x SOL from BIGBANG .
Believe has been chosen to be used as the theme song for TV Tokyo's broadcast of the 2010 Winter Olympics & as expected , it's very different from Fall in Love .
It's a ballad & you will not get to hear the vocals of BIGBANG's SOL on here as well .
Frankly , Believe is probably 1 of her weakest B-sides to date & perhaps it was overpowered by Fall in Love by a great deal seeing that I enjoyed the A-side quite a lot .
But there's no deny how much emotions Aoyama put into the B-side but it's just that this's something I probably wouldn't see myself listening to on a frequent basis .
Aoyama Thelma started 2010 with her 3rd collaboration single which features BIGBANG's SOL . There have been mixed reviews about her lates collaboration but I personally really like it as I feel both Aoyama & SOL's vocals harmonise very well together .
The single was let down slightly by Believe but other than that , this's something that I will be listening to for a while .
She will be releasing her 9th single Kaeru Basho (Place To Come Home To) on 3rd March so keep a lookout for that .
Kareu Basho will be used as an ending theme song for the movie Doraemon The Movie : Nobita's Great Battle of the Mermaid King which will be released in Japanese cinemas on March 6th .
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
BENI - Sign's B-sides
The following 2 songs served as B-sides in BENI's 6th single which was released last Wed on 20th Jan
- Gon' luv u
- KIRA☆KIRA☆ DJ HASEBE REMIX
The single debuted at #50 with 1st week sales of 1,596 copies .
I initally thought that there was a typo error surrounding Gon' luv u but anyway , this's 1 really great catchy B-side !
Compared to the A-side which's a R&B ballad driven no. , this's not the case for Gon' luv u as it's a really fun , dancey & energetic song .
It has shades of pop thrown in for good measures too & you can sense that BENI probably had a good time recording this song .
The DJ HASEBE REMIX of her last single (which's also a recut single from her BITTER & SWEET album) which's KIRA☆KIRA☆ is the 2nd B-side you can find in Sign .
Compared to the original take of the song , the DJ HASEBE REMIX gears towards a more hip hop flair & really cool DJ beats .
KIRA☆KIRA☆ is actually a very poppy R&B no. but in here it has been replaced with a more groovy urban sound which I really like .
Sign is the 1st single that I listened to BENI in full & I have to say that I really like what she has to offer .
The A & B-sides are distinct/strong & there's something being offered to everyone on here , R&B and Pop wise .
Give Sign a listen & you will not regret doing so , I'm quite sure of that .
BENI will be releasing her new single bye bye on 10th March . This served as an outro theme to the TV series HEY ! HEY ! HEY ! & it's produced by Daisuke "D.I" Imai .
bye bye will be released on the same day as her Bitter & Sweet Release Tour Final DVD .
flumpool - Zanzou (After Image)
CD Only Regular Edition Cover :
CD Only Limited Edition Cover :
Zanzou (After Image) is flumpool's 3rd single . It will be released next Wed on 3rd Feb .
The guys's brand new single has been chosen to be used as the theme song for the drama Bloody Monday 2 .
The original cover of Zanzou only depicted lead singer Ryuuta and two shadows , but fans expressed their desire to see all four band members , so it was later changed to another image which's used for the regular edition pressing of the single .
Just so you know , Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~ (~Light Bridge~) was used in the 1st season of Bloody Monday so it makes sense for flumpool to do this again for the 2nd time round .
Zanzou has been described as a heartfelt ballad about the pain of losing a loved one .
You can feel the various emotions that lead singer/guitarist Ryuuta has poured in this song even though I have to admit it's not as memorable as what I was hoping for on 1st listen .
Still , you can't deny the fact that Zanzou is a really earnest & sincere sounding ballad that's delivered straight from the heart by flumpool .
The following serve as B-sides songs in the Zanzou single :
- Kotoshi no Sakura (Cherry Tree Of This Year) (Graduation Remix)
- Over the rain ~Hikari no Hashi~ (~Light Bridge~) Live at Nippon Budokan (Limite Edition Track)
Monday, January 25, 2010
Koda Kumi - SUPERSTAR
SUPERSTAR is found as track #3 in Koda Kumi's upcoming 8th album UNIVERSE which will be released alongside with her 6th compilation album BEST ~third universe~ on 3rd Feb .
This's 1 of 2 album tracks to get a music video , the 2nd being You're So Beautiful .
If you know her past cutesy songs such as Birthday Eve , WONDERLAND , then you probably will have a rough idea on how SUPERSTAR sounds like .
Except in this case , I actually do not mind the song as it's such a fun one & it's nice of her to put out such songs once in a while if you ask me .
Her vocals does get a bit grating on here but after you get that out of the way , SUPERSTAR might put you in a mood & feel that you're at least a superstar for a day .
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Mika Nakashima - ALWAYS's B-sides
The following 2 songs serve as B-sides in Mika Nakashima's 31st single ALWAYS which was released on 20th Jan :
- BABY BABY BABY
BABY BABY BABY is written by Mika herself & it's used to promote LOTTE Ghana Chocolate in their ads .
What a surprise when I 1st heard BABY BABY BABY . It has traces of soulful gospel in here which made Mika's unique presence felt to begin with some 9 years ago when she made her debut in the jpop music scene .
I was really charmed by the song on 1st listen & this's a great mid tempo no. , no doubt about it .
The 2nd B-side SPIRAL is cowritten by Mika & it's used to promote Kanebo KATE in their ads . Mika has been their spokeswoman for 8 years now & counting .
SPIRAL reminded me of the B-side of ORION ie. FOCUS on 1st listen . Especially the introduction which's quite evident but the way the song ended , it's so cool with piano beats thrown in for great measures .
I have to say that I still do not have that much love for ALWAYS but wow , the 2 B-sides on the single are a total winner to me . I find myself listening to the B-sides a lot more than the A-side & either 1 if not both should have been slotted as the A-side(s) as they have so much potential to be one .
At most , I hope to see either 1 or both songs make the cut in Mika's next album .
Friday, January 22, 2010
CD Review :: BENI - Bitter & Sweet
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
1) Bitter & Sweet Intro
2) Kiss Kiss Kiss
3) Zutto Futari de (Always The Two Of Us)
4) Koi Kogarete (Yearning For Love)
5) Dakishimete (Hold Me) Feat Dohzi-T
6) Anything Goes !!
9) GO ON
10) Shinjisasete (Make Me Believe)
12) nice & slow
13) Beautiful World
14) Mou Nido to ... (Once Again ...)
15) Kiss Kiss Kiss DJ HASEBE REMIX (Bonus track)
Bitter & Sweet is BENI's 4th album . It was released last year on 2nd Sept .
Despite being BENI's 4th overall album , this's her 1st record that was released under Universal Music Japan & also under her 'new' stage name BENI as before that , she was releasing material on the avex trax label under the name Beni Arashiro in which Arashiro is her mum's middle name .
The 1st 5 singles & 2 B-sides that BENI released under Universal Music Japan can be found in Bitter & Sweet .
After a 1:17 mins Bitter & Sweet Intro , BENI dives straight into 3 singles in which the 1st being her 10th single Kiss Kiss Kiss .
Kiss Kiss Kiss was used as the theme song for the Kao Biore BODY DELI ad as well as the theme song for Recochoku .
This was the song that I 1st heard of BENI & which also got me interested in her music/voice . I still like the song even up to now as it's 1 smooth R&B tune .
Zutto Futari de (Always The Two Of Us) is her 4th single & it was also used as the theme song for Recochoku .
This's one really nice ballad . The mood that it displays as compared to Kiss Kiss Kiss is a really nice contrast & I can understand on why she chose to put both songs side by side together .
Koi Kogarete (Yearning For Love) is BENI's 3rd single & it was used as the theme song for Nippon Television Network series Warriors Music MUSIC FIGHTER POWER PLAY .
I like the guitar riffs going on in Koi Kogarete . It's also a lot more poppier than her other singles too as it doesn't have that much of a strong R&B flair / flavour but this's 1 song that I definitely give the thumbs up .
Dakishimete (Hold Me) is the 1st album track you can find & this one features rapper Dohzi-T & it's also the only collaboration single you can find in Bitter & Sweet for that matter .
I really like Dakishimete on 1st listen . This's 1 really smooth & mid tempo no. & I do think that both BENI & Dohzi-T's vocals be it singing or rapping harmonise themselves very nicely/well in Dakishimete .
Anything Goes !! is the next album track & to me , I didn't find anything wow about this song . It's just a typical standard R&B no. that has quite an Americanised flair to a certain extent .
I guess this was probably slotted in the album for the sake of doing so but this might be a song that you can plug it loud & proud in a party / club .
stardust is the B-side of BENI's 4th single Zutto Futari de .
Wow compared to the A-side , stardust contrasts Zutto Futari de very well . I never heard the B-sides for the 5 singles in Bitter & Sweet . As such , I was very surprised & yet impressed when I 1st heard stardust .
It's catchy , poppy & you can hear some synth beats thrown in for good measures . BENI probably had a lot of fun recording this peppy song & I sure do have good vibrations after listening to stardust .
KIRA☆KIRA☆ is her 5th single & it's a recut single from the album .
Other than song titles association , I'm not going to lie that I really like KIRA☆KIRA☆ & I kind of understand on why this was chosen to be a recut single from Bitter & Sweet .
Basically the song's pretty , no questions asked .
GO ON is the next album track & this took me quite a while to remember as I did not find it as memorable as I was hoping for .
Having said that , after a few more listens , as compared to the other songs on Bitter & Sweet , GO ON can be considered to be more simple/flashy in terms of the overall mood / feeling it presents .
Not to mention , you can feel the emotions well going on in the song coming from BENI herself .
Shinjisasete (Make Me Believe) is track #10 & the funny odd thing's that I had Kiss Kiss Kiss vibes when I 1st heard Shinjisasete .
Except in this case , Shinjisasete is a lot more slower than Kiss Kiss Kiss & even the other album tracks too .
I don't know if this's a good or bad thing but just like GO ON , Shinjisasete tried to keep things as simple as possible & it frankly does work to a certain extent .
nice & slow is 1 hot track that I really like & it's probably 1 of my fave album tracks on Bitter & Sweet .
This has really nice sleek futuristic beats & the synths going on in here are very pretty .
I really like nice & slow & it seems to get better as each listen goes by which's fabulous .
STAY is the B-side song of BENI's 1st single Mou Nido to ... (Once Again ...) .
Just like nice & slow , both songs have the same vibes that they gave off & seeing that I do know how the A-side sounds like , I say STAY contrasts Mou Nido to ... very well/nicely .
Beautiful World is another great album track & this's probably the most unique song you can find in Bitter & Sweet .
The reason why so is because it has gospel influences which's unusual as I think this's something you usually don't get coming from BENI .
A combination of Gospel and R&B might sound like a music recipe for disaster but surprisingly it works in BENI's favour & it's evident when you listen to Beautiful World .
Mou Nido to ... is BENI's 1st single & the final single in the album . This's actually an answer call song to the long charting hit Mou Ichi do ... which she collaborated with Dohzi-T .
The song's also her 1st single release under Universal Music Japan too .
Mou Nido to ... is probably the only single that's not heavily R&B/synth emphasised & also it's mainly acoustic guitar driven which I really like . I do not know how Mou Ichi do ... sounds like but I leave as it's .
Found as a bonus track in BITTER & SWEET , it's the DJ HASEBE REMIX of Kiss Kiss Kiss .
It's an open secret in this blog of mine that I'm not that of a big fan of remixes & I'm quite handicapped when comes to commenting/reviewing about remixes/interludes .
Anyway , compared to the original , the DJ HASEBE REMIX of Kiss Kiss Kiss sees a much more heavily R&B melody & also you can hear some cool DJ beats in the backdrop too .
Bitter & Sweet is the 1st album that I listened to of BENI & I have to say I'm quite impressed on what she has to offer .
I thought she might be another pretty typical R&B singer/songwriter but there's just something different on what she has offered in Bitter & Sweet .
I wasn't impressed with a couple of the album tracks on the record as I believe those are slotted in for the sake of doing so but aside from that , the singles , B-sides & the other album tracks are really something & worth checking out for .
I might have been a bit late in discovering BENI's music but it's better to be late than never .
Aqua Timez - Ehagaki no Haru (Spring Of The Illustrated Postcards)
Ehagaki no Haru (Spring Of The Illustrated Postcards) is Aqua Timez's 11th single . It will be released next Wed on 27th Jan & it's currently used for promotion in the ads of Ajinomoto Knorr Cup Soup .
After releasing their 1st best compilation album The BEST of Aqua Timez which gave the group their very 1st #1 , they have returned back with yet another touching/beautiful song in the form of Ehagaki no Haru .
Written by lead singer Futoshi , the lyrics for Ehagaki no Haru are very well driven & meaningful . Coupled with a gorgeous melody which combined elements of keyboards synth , guitar riffs & even orchestra influences , the final product gives you Ehagaki no Haru .
Ehagaki no Haru is probably now 1 of my fave Aqua Timez songs/singles & it's easy to see why & I was no doubt captivated by it on 1st listen .
Even before the full song was out , I was already raving over the preview of Ehagaki no Haru & I'm happy that they have come back with another lovely tune .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- Nagareboshi no Uta (Shooting Star Song)
- Sora ni Chikai Machi (A Road/City Close To The Sky)
alan - Diamond
CD Only Regular Edition Cover :
CD Only Limited Edition Cover :
CD + DVD Edition Cover :
Diamond is the 1st A-side taken from alan's 12th single Diamond / Over the clouds which will be released on 3rd Feb .
This makes a 1st for many things for alan . This's her 1st double A-side single & her 1st single to be released in 3 editions .
Diamond has been chosen to be used as the ending theme song for the anime InuYasha Kanketsuhen while Over the clouds will be used as the opening theme no. for the PSP game GOD EATER .
Despite being her 1st double A-side single , only Diamond gets a music video .
If you find the melody for Diamond extremely familiar , that's because the melody of the interlude Essence of me (track #8 in her 2nd album my life) has been utilised .
With the melody of Essence of me , alan has incorporated vocals (obviously) & also the usage of guitar which gives you this really solid no. in the form of Diamond .
I guess I can say that Diamond's not exactly a full blown ballad but it's very pretty & I already like it on 1st listen . It helps that the melody for Diamond was something I already heard before & I think it's perfect that it has been chosen to promote InuYasha Kanketsuhen as it really deserves to .
The 2nd A-side Over the clouds will be reviewed in due time .
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
CD Review :: GIRL NEXT DOOR - NEXT FUTURE
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
3) Winter Crystal
4) Sora e (To The Sky)
6) Seeds of dream
9) Muboubi na Jun'ai (Defenseless Pure Love)
10) Suzukaze Kaoru Hana (Cool Breeze , Fragrant Flowers)
12) Be your wings
13) Koi no Mahou (Magic Of Love)
15) Infinity ~Ballad Version~ (Hidden Track)
NEXT FUTURE is GIRL NEXT DOOR's 2nd album . It will be released tomorrow on 20th Jan & this comes almost a year & a month since the release of their self titled debut album .
All the singles that the trio released last year made the cut in NEXT FUTURE . However , Wait for you which's the 3rd A-side of their 1st triple A-side / 6th single Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you is not included in their new album .
NEXT FUTURE marks a 1st for GIRL NEXT DOOR as you can find a hidden track in their 2nd album in the form of the ballad version of their 5th single Infinity .
Just like Winter Game from their 1st album , Jump is the 1st & only album track in NEXT FUTURE to get a music video .
I know I wrote before that Jump didn't had a good lasting impression on me but I'm feeling some good things over the song now . I'm not sure why but I guess after hearing a much better/higher quality of Jump , that somehow changed my opinions over the song now .
The ending of Jump flows straight & quite nicely to Infinity which's the group's 5th single .
Infinity was used as the ending theme song for the drama Atashinchi no Danshi & this's so far the trio's only #1 single to date .
Despite this , I had & still have odd dislikes over Infinity . I'm not sure if it's because of the video that turned me off in a way or 2 but I'm not going to deny that the song's catchy but I don't really consider it as a fave single of the group .
Winter Crystal is the 2nd album track & this's a successor of sorts after the trio included Winter Game , WINTER MIRAGE & Winter Game in their 1st album , title wise .
On 1st listen of Winter Crystal , I have vibes of Jounetsu no Daishou (Price Of Passion) but I get that out of the way , this's a pretty good strong winter inspired no. .
Sora e (To The Sky) is the next track & this's 1 cheery no. . Underneath all the synth & layerings , there's a slight detection of electric guitar riffs going on here .
Funny enough , I took a liking instantly towards Sora e on 1st listen which I believe it's a good sign .
Tri△ngle is 1 of my fave album tracks in NEXT FUTURE as it's 1 of the more angsty emotionally driven tunes & also it fits the album in the sense that it has some really cool sleek futuristic sounds to it .
Aside from the title , I like the whole feeling that Tri△ngle brings to the table as well .
Seeds of dream is the group's 4th single & it was used to promote Glico Ice no Mi in their ad .
I remembered way back last year when this song was released , I did commented that I thought Seeds of dream was their weakest sounding single but not anymore . I'm fine with it now .
Artemis is the 1st instrumental/interlude piece in NEXT FUTURE & clocking in at 3:52 mins , it might sound daunting to you but it's very beautiful .
The melody of Artemis has some shades of their debut single Guuzen no Kakuritsu (Coincidental Probability) which's fantastic as it's orchestra driven . It's only towards the last few seconds of Artemis that it borrowed shades of melody pertaining to the next song you can find after Artemis ended / flowed nicely towards Orion .
Orion is the group's 7th single & it's the last single included prior to the release of NEXT FUTURE .
The song was used as the theme no. for the drama Untouchable .
This's their 1st winter inspired ballad that was released as a single . I really like it as it's so touching / emotionally driven . You can feel quite a lot of emotions that lead singer / frontwoman Chisa carried in here . It's a pity that this's their worst charting single to date since all this while prior to Orion , they have been attaining top 5 status in the singles & album department .
Muboubi na Jun'ai (Defenseless Pure Love) is another fave album track of mine . Just like Tri△ngle , Muboubi na Jun'ai has a really cool sleek / futuristic sound .
It's quite aggressive & angst driven which's a bit different from what the trio usually does which I like .
Suzukaze Kaoru Hana (Cool Breeze , Fragrant Flowers) is the last interlude piece in NEXT FUTURE & funny enough , this's a total contrast to Artemis , duration wise .
While Artemis clocks in at 3:52 mins , Suzukaze Kaoru Hana is only a mere 29 seconds long which I find it a bit odd seeing that the 2 instrumental interludes in NEXT FUTURE are on wide ends of the spectrum , duration wise but anyway Suzukaze Kaoru Hana flows nicely to the next album track sa・ku・ra .
sa・ku・ra is the longest track in NEXT FUTURE , clocking in at 6:48 mins . I think it's ok to consider this as a ballad as there're not many ballads you can find in their 2nd album .
It does have resemblances to WINTER MIRAGE except for sa・ku・ra's case , it's less draggy I feel & there's just something about the song that captivates me .
Be your wings is the 1st A-side of their 6th single Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you .
The song was used as the opening theme song to the PlayStation Portable game Tales of VS. .
I have no complains towards Be your wings ever since I 1st heard it & the music video's also 1 of my fave of the trio too so no further questions asked on that .
Koi no Mahou (Magic Of Love) is the final album track & frankly this's 1 song that took me quite a long time to remember .
I frankly don't find Koi no Mahou anything special . It does have a futuristic sound to a certain extent but not as much as compared to Tri△ngle & Muboubi na Jun'ai .
But since it's slotted as the 2nd last track in NEXT FUTURE , I guess I can close an eye or 2 on this .
FRIENDSHIP is the 2nd A-side of the group's 6th single Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you & it's also the last song of the album .
I did mentioned before that I had deja vu vibes of ayumi hamasaki's Boys & Girls when I 1st heard FRIENDSHIP .
They're not as strong/prominent as before but this's 1 fun 80's sounding song that I still like & I think it's a good way to wrap things up in NEXT FUTURE .
I'm not sure if NEXT FUTURE is a fitting album title for GIRL NEXT DOOR's 2nd album but I guess it probably can be so to a certain extent .
Some of the album tracks do fit the whole next future concept & those tracks are strong / futuristic sleek sounding .
There's definitely growth / improvements that I can sense when I compare both their albums side by side together & I sure hope that they will continue to make waves & go places in the jpop music scene for the type of music that they make .
YUI - It's all too much ~YUI Acoustic Version~ (GLORIA's B-side)
The ~YUI Acoustic Version~ of It's all too much is found as the 2nd B-side in YUI's 15th single GLORIA which will be out tomorrow on 20th Jan .
It's all too much was the 1st A-side of her last single It's all too much / Never say die & in here only the 1st A-side was given an ~YUI Acoustic Version~ .
Compared to the original & the ~YUI Acoustic Version~ take , the ~YUI Acoustic Version~ of It's all too much sees YUI going for a stripped down acoustic guitar driven sound coupled with her angsty driven voice .
You still can feel some angst in here but it's more softer & subtle if you were to compare against the original & just like her previous ~YUI Acoustic Version~ takes of past A-sides , this's 1 that I really like being a big fan of acoustic music .
YUI started 2010 nicely with this really good follow up in the form of GLORIA after It's all too much / Never say die .
I'm quite certain that she will be releasing a new album soon since she didn't do so last year after she came back from a 5 months hiatus & she has more than enough singles to put out a new record now after 2008's I LOVED YESTERDAY .
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Matsushita Yuya - Trust Me
CD Only Regular Edition Cover :
CD Only Limited Edition Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
Trust Me is Matsushita Yuya's 4th single . It will be released next month on 17th Feb .
Matsushita's 1st single release of 2010 has been described on his website as an upbeat tune & it also serves as the ending song for a new anime called Durarara !! which started airing on January 8th .
Just like BREAKERZ , I have been following Matsushita's music career pretty much since his debut after I heard his 2nd single LAST SNOW & it's great to see him mature/progress musically as each single goes by & Trust Me is no exception too .
After releasing 2 digital singles which both features girl duo Sista , the fantastic Koe ni Naranakute (It Doesn't Become A Voice) & most recently first snow (which will be reviewed in due time) which's an answer call song to LAST SNOW , Matsushita is back with this really great groovy no. .
Just like Honesty , Trust Me is 1 really infectious R&B upbeat no. . I think it's more meaner & edgier as compared to his last single & I find myself liking this song as each listen goes by .
Then again , when I 1st heard the preview of Trust Me , I knew it somehow or another this's going to be another great song that I was going to enjoy listening to & true enough , it's true .
Futari (Two Of Us) is the B-side of the single & it's served as the theme song for the movie Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo .
Friday, January 15, 2010
CD Review :: LANDS - Olympos EP
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CD Only Regular Press Cover :
2) Genki (Health) ska version
3) Hatachi no Sensou (20 Year Old War)
4) Yuuki (Courage/Bravery)
5) Kodou (Beat/Pulse/Throb)
7) Hatachi no Sensou (20 Year Old War) -Y's edition-
8) Genki (Health) perfect issue
9) Sankyuu (Thank You)
10) Genki (Health) Acoustic (Hidden Track)
Olympos is LANDS's debut/last mini album . It was released 2 days ago on 13th Jan .
Only 1 single is included in Olympos & the album is being released in 2 editions .
First press editions come with a 24 page booklet & the regular edition will be released in about 2 weeks's time . This edition has a 18 page booklet & the pictures differ in both versions .
LANDS is KAT-TUN's Akanishi Jin & Mr.Children's & Remioromen's producer Kobayashi Takeshi's pet project .
The name LANDS came about from a band that Akanishi formed in his debut movie BANDAGE which will open in cinemas in Japan tomorrow .
Set in the 90's , 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 & arranged by Kobayashi . BANDAGE the movie sees Kobayashi as his 1st movie in the director's seat .
Olympos features a great deal of lyrics & music input by Kobayashi . Not only that , he also produced the album & is responsible for the album cover & jacket sleeves too which's really impressive .
Olympus & the ska version of Genki (Health) are tracks #1 & #2 & basically both songs have the same vibes that were given off from each other .
Both songs surprised me when I 1st listened to them as they have influences of rock & also ska which I wasn't expecting that from LANDS at all .
Surprisingly , Akanishi sounded pretty much at ease when he sang such songs because obviously you don't get to see or should I say hear such music influences in KAT-TUN (yet) so for both songs , it's quite a breath of fresh air for me .
You even can hear slight bossa nova influences going on in the ska version of Genki too with loud trumpets blaring out from the side which's cool .
Hatachi no Sensou (20 Year Old War) is track #3 & this's 1 song that I has been waiting to hear of in full simply because alongside with BANDAGE (the song) , the preview for Hatachi no Sensou can be heard in the movie trailer too .
I know it somehow or another that I was going to like the full version of Hatachi no Sensou after I heard the preview in the trailer & I was right .
I guess the closest I can describe Hatachi no Sensou is that it's a really nice midtempo rock driven ballad . It's quite soft & mellow to a certain extent too .
Yuuki (Courage/Bravery) is the only song in Olympos that Akanishi had some personal input in that he cowrote it .
It's also a nice track that I enjoyed seeing that it's more drums driven which I like & seeing that Akanishi cowrote it , guess that should earn him some brownie points in a way or 2 .
Kodou (Beat/Pulse/Throb) was 1 song that took me quite a while to like because it just didn't sound that right to me .
I do like the electric guitar riffs in Kodou & so's the drum beats but there was just something about the song that I didn't like which I'm not sure why I felt this way .
Guess I wouldn't consider Kodou as a fave album track of mine if that's the case .
BANDAGE is the only single included in Olympos & perhaps this's no surprises that this's probably can be considered as the best track you can find in the mini album .
The way the keyboards & synth work their magic in here , it's great & when you have Kobayashi who wrote , composed & even arranged this track , you know you can't go wrong with BANDAGE at all .
Such a great catchy track , what's there not to love about it ?
The -Y's edition- of Hatachi no Sensou is basically nothing much to comment about as you can mainly hear Akanishi's voice echoing in the background where he belted out the chorus so this can be more or less consider like an interlude or 2 .
I don't know why this was found in the mini album , it should have been scrapped off as I found it un-necessary . If not slotting in another new song is not such a bad idea to do so .
The perfect issue of Genki is found as track #8 . I think this's the original take of the song since earlier on in track #2 , you can find the ska version of the song .
Regardless of which , I like both as they offer something different musically .
Sankyuu (Thank You) is the last song in Olympos & I don't know if this's just me but I had Christmas vibes when the introduction opened the song which took me by surprise in a good way .
But this's nice to close off Olympos .
Prior to the actual closing of the album , there's a hidden track you can find in Sankyuu after the song finished . In the 7th min mark or so , you can hear another version of Genki & this time round , it's the acoustic take .
It sounds a bit daunting to have 3 different versions of the same song in Olympos but the acoustic version of Genki is really raw & full of emotions .
It's basically Akanishi singing partial parts of Genki with nothing but an acoustic guitar backing him up & really , sometimes simplicity is sometimes at best when comes to acoustic songs & this goes for no exception in the acoustic take of Genki too .
Olympos is a really neat & well put together mini album I have to say . Despite the fact that it's slotted in as a Johnny's release , it will surprise you to note that LANDS's material sounded nothing like what you might expect at all .
Especially since Akanishi's the 2nd co lead vocalist of KAT-TUN & naturally people might assume that what he does in LANDS will be the same as what he does in KAT-TUN but you'll be surprised after giving Olympos a listen .
It's basically a throwback to the 90's where you have some great old school rock & ska tracks waiting for you to give a listen or 2 & Akanishi pretty much handled the whole album on its own with Kobayashi Takeshi well for that matter .
KAT-TUN will be releasing their 11th single Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ (~I Hate You I Love You~) on 10th Feb & the A-side has been chosen to be used as the theme song for the drama Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge starring the 1st co lead vocalist of the group Kamenashi Kazuya , NEWS/Tegomass's Tegoshi Yuya & Johnny Junior Uchi Hiroki .
In fact the 1st episode of Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge was just aired today in Japan too so keep a lookout for that & Olympos is 1 album that's worth a listen especially if you're into old school ska & rock tunes .
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
YUI - Muffler (GLORIA's B-side)
Muffler is the 1st B-side taken from YUI's upcoming 15th single GLORIA which will be out exactly in a week's time on 20th Jan .
I guess in keeping up with the winter inspired like covers , perhaps it's no surprises such a B-side titled as Muffler surfaced .
Compared to the A-side which's a really peppy no. , this's not the case for Muffler . It's a nice laidback acoustic driven song & it frankly took a bit of time for me to remember how Muffler goes but I like how simple the song's .
Muffler is a soft , bittersweet song with complimenting sad lyrics . It has some reminiscent of Sea with YUI's soft voice & a catchy melody .
YUI doesn't need any extra fancy items to make a song sound good already in its own .
It's all too much ~YUI Acoustic Version~ is the 2nd B-side found in GLORIA which will be reviewed later on & this's the 1st A-side of her last single It's all too much / Never say die .
Monday, January 11, 2010
Aoyama Thelma x SOL from BIGBANG - Fall in Love
Fall in Love is Aoyama Thelma's 8th single . It will be released on 27th this month under the billing Aoyama Thelma x SOL from BIGBANG .
BIGBANG is of course a Korean boyband & for SOL's case , this's the name he goes by in Japan . In Korea , he goes by the name of Tae Yang .
This's Aoyama's 2nd collaboration single after Todoketai ... (I Want To Send ...) feat KEN THE 390 & the A-side is an uptempo love song produced by hit-maker Jeff Miyahara .
Well I have to say that this's a great duet song to kick off 2010 ! Prior to this , I have no idea how SOL sounds like since I don't listen to Korean pop but his vocals compliment Aoyama very nicely in Fall in Love .
Fall in Love is a bit different from the usual Aoyama material that she has dished out . For once it's an uptempo no. (YAY) & also , it's a bit Eurovision sounding to a certain extent .
Still this's 1 hella of a great catchy song & it's probably 1 of Aoyama's best/catchiest works to date .
Believe serves as the B-side in the single & it will be used as the theme song for TV Tokyo's broadcast of the 2010 Winter Olympics .
Sunday, January 10, 2010
CD Review :: flumpool - What's flumpool !?
2) Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish Upon A Star)
3) Mitsumeteitai (I Want To Stare At You)
4) MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~
5) Boku wa Guuzen wo Matteirurashii (I Was Apparently Waiting For A Chance)
6) Merry Go Round (Kaiten Mokuba)
7) Shasou (Car Window)
9) Natsu (Summer) Dive
10) LOVE 2010
12) Saigo no (The Last) Page
13) Kotoshi no (This Year's) Sakura
14) Time Capsule
16) Frame (Album Version)
What's flumpool !? is flumpool's 1st full length debut album . It was released on 23rd Dec last year .
The quartet's 1st 2 physical singles , 2 B-sides & 2 digital singles are included in the album & it debuted at #2 with 1st week sales of 90,102 .
The album is listed in the Guinness Book Of Records as the longest CD album in the world & it's a whopping 79 minutes 58 seconds long .
Its previous record-holder was Mariah Carey's The Ones with 79 minutes 56 seconds .
Calling is the 1st track to kick off What's flumpool ?! & it's the only album track that received a music video .
To finally hear the studio version of Calling , it's nice I say & now I understand why the guys chose to kick off their debut album with this no. as it's basically a really catchy piece of indie tune .
Hoshi ni Negai wo (Wish Upon A Star) is their debut physical single release & even up to now , the song never fails to captivate me .
Such a great infectious song with great fast paced guitar riffs thrown in for good measures . Lead singer/guitarist Ryuuta sounded quite at ease in here for that matter .
Mitsumeteitai (I Want To Stare At You) is the 1st ballad you can find in the album & it's also a digital single .
The song used to promote au's LISMO! de Koi♥suru Campaign in their ads , which revolves around the drama Koibana ~Suika to Bansoukou~ .
flumpool's ballads are really nice & this goes for no exception for Mitsumeteitai's case .
Be it the song or the video , it's very touching & I like the electric guitar solo you can hear after Ryuuta belted out the 2nd chorus of the song which's plain lovely .
MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ is the 1st A-side of their 2nd single MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ / Natsu Dive .
The song was used to promote the movie MW & this's the 2nd song that I listened to of the guys after Hana ni Nare (When Flowers) .
In MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~'s case , it's a lot more edgier than their other songs . The drum beats & guitar riffs gel very well together which gives you this upbeat fast paced no. .
Boku wa Guuzen wo Matteirurashii (I Was Apparently Waiting For A Chance) is the 2nd album track after the opening album track Calling .
I frankly find Boku wa Guuzen wo Matteirurashii pretty good for my liking . It's a standard upbeat indie rock no. but somehow or another , the guys were able to make things work in their favour .
Merry Go Round (Kaiten Mokuba) is the B-side of Hoshi ni Negai wo & I'm frankly happy that the guys have included both B-sides of their 1st 2 physical single releases .
I always have like Merry Go Round especially when I 1st gave the song a listen . There's just something about the song that that I like . I'm not sure what it's but probably it's because it's a carefree sounding no. .
Shasou (Car Window) is the 1st album ballad & this's a really sweet song . It's simply a really nice acoustic guitar driven no. & you don't need any extra instruments & etc to make Shasou great already in its own right .
Definitely 1 of my fave songs on What's flumpool ?!
Hills is the next album track & the opening's of Hills which has some xyolophone beats is really cute I have to say but at the end of the day , it's yet another catchy upbeat song that flumpool delivered .
Natsu (Summer) Dive is the 2nd A-side of MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ / Natsu Dive .
Well with a title like Natsu Dive , it's naturally expected as a summer influence song which really contrast the 1st A-side quite well .
I think this's so far the group's only summer influenced song so hopefully they will come up with somemore of such tunes in the near future .
LOVE 2010 is an interesting song . In here , LOVE 2010 is a mid tempo piano & driven song which's something that the other songs are not sound in this manner .
Just like LOVE 2010 , I also find Quville interesting (how do you pronounce the title to being with ?) .
For Quville's case , the chorus of the song is definitely the strong point which immediately grabbed my attention . The opening was a bit clunky but the chorus of Quville was something worth checking out for .
Saigo no (The Last) Page is track #12 & I really like the opening as it's so beautiful .
It's a mid tempo song which almost borderlines on the ballad department but you can't help but feel that there's something about Saigo no Page that stuck a chord in you or 2 .
Kotoshi no (This Year's) Sakura opens with nice guitar riffs & it slowly breaks out to a upbeat peppy song .
I frankly find this song nothing special though & I wouldn't really consider this as a fave album track of the guys but it has some nice subtle orchestra influences in here that I was able to detect .
Time Capsule is the only song that does not feature Ryuuta on lead vocals .
Instead in here , lead guitarist Kazuki takes centrestage . He usually sangs backing vocals but not in this case .
I was surprised when I find out it's Kazuki & not Ryuuta that sang on Time Capsule . No wonder I find this song a bit odd on 1st listen .
Kazuki's vocals is not bad frankly speaking but I think it's cool that he's being allowed to sing on here which's something you don't see often in an album where a song for once's not sung by the frontman of a group .
Siren is the B-side of MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ / Natsu Dive .
I did wrote a while back ago that Siren took me quite a lot to remember how it sounds like but I'm fine with it now .
From the sound of things , Siren probably can be counted as a summer influence song in a way or 2 .
Frame is a digital single release of the guys & it's also the final track in What's flumpool ?! .
In here it has been given an album mix . The difference between the version that I 1st listened to & in here is the duration & also the ending where it's considerably long .
Frame (Album Version) clocks in at 8:03 mins while the version I heard's about 6 mins + long .
I think this's the perfect song to conclude things seeing that I like Frame on 1st listen & I suspect it's because of this track which got the guys into the Guinness Book Of Records too haha
I don't want to compare What's flumpool ?! against their debut mini album Unreal as obviously , Unreal will lose out against What's flumpool ?! , duration wise .
Perhaps because of this , What's flumpool ?! kind of suffered to a certain extent as the album was really quite long for me to handle . It might have been a bit better should some of the songs were shorten & all .
But regardless of which , there's no denying the fact that What's flumpool ?! is an enjoyable album & this's essentially a pretty solid record that has nice mellow driven rock songs with ballads thrown in for good measures .
The guys's 3rd physical single Zanzou (After Image) will be released on 3rd Feb & it will be used as the theme song for the 2nd season of the drama Bloody Monday 2 so be sure to look out for that .
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Shota Shimizu x Miliyah Kato - FOREVER LOVE
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
FOREVER LOVE is Shota Shimizu & Miliyah Kato's 2nd duet . It will be released next month on 3rd Feb & it's an answer call song to their 1st duet Love Forever .
Love Forever was released last year on 13th May under the billing Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu & this time round , it has been flipped flopped to Shota Shimizu x Miliyah Kato .
I honestly wasn't expecting an answer call song seeing that Love Forever was already fantastic in its own right so how does FOREVER LOVE stacked up against their maiden duet ?
Think of it as another upbeat duet song delivered by Shota & Miliyah & the lyrics for FOREVER LOVE has been twirked a bit & mixed with some portions of the original chorus/lyrics you can find in Love Forever .
It's quite an ingenius way if I should say so but I personally like both songs that they have delivered & there's no deny that they harmonise very well together in the vocals department .
The following songs serve as B-sides in FOREVER LOVE :
- Love Forever ~Happy Wedding Remix~
Friday, January 08, 2010
Koda Kumi - Can We Go Back
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
1) Can We Go Back
3) Can We Go Back (Instrumental)
4) Good☆day (Instrumental)
Can We Go Back is Koda Kumi's 46th single . It will be released on 20th this month & this's her 1st release of 2010 & 2010 is incidentally Koda's 10th anniversary since debuting on the scene with Rhythm Zone / avex trax a decade ago .
Both editions of Can We Go Back are deemed as limited editions , just like the same case that happened to her 39th single anytime prior to the release of her 6th album Kingdom .
The A-side is a cover of Kelly Clarkson's no. of the same title & it's a hard rock song with a strong message of moving forward without looking back .
I have been waiting for Koda to release a hard rock song after Ningyo-hime (Mermaid Princess) from her million selling album Black Cherry & finally this has happened .
Sure a lot of people don't like her to do hard rock songs & all but I personally like it . The way that her husky sultry voice was able to kick ass & basically rock things out in Can We Go Back , it's saying something for me .
Also depending whether the music video & single versions will be the same , I like the middle of the song after she belted out the chorus with full angst & spunk .
The B-side Good☆day is a love song & it deals with the concept of a girl's unrequited love .
Good☆day is also used to promote Sogo Stores and Seibu Winter city in their TV ads .
If you don't like Can We Go Back , then Good☆day might be the song for you as it really contrasts the A-side quite nicely .
It's not a Lady Go ! or a girls part 2 & it's a lot more synth & pop driven as compared to the 2 B-sides that I name dropped earlier .
I was a bit caught off guard with the opening of Good☆day but I like it now , it's nice .
As I said before , 2010 is Koda Kumi's 10th anniversary & I think she started things nicely on a good note with this single in which the A-side is a lot more harder than her previous works .
I actually have been putting Can We Go Back on repeat mode which I figure it's a good sign .
The A-side will be included in her 8th album UNIVERSE which will be released together with her 6th best album BEST ~third universe~ & that will materialise on 3rd Feb .
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Fukuyama Masaharu - Hatsukoi (First Love)
Cover For Both CD Only Regular & Limited And CD + DVD Editions :
Hatsukoi (First Love) is Fukuyama Masaharu's 25th single . It was released last month on 16th Dec & this came 6 months + since the release of his 10th album Zankyou .
The single debuted at #1 with 1st week sales of 151,030 & it has a tie in with Toshiba's LCD TV brand , Regza .
With a title like Hatsukoi , naturally I wasn't surprised that it was going to be a ballad but still this's quite a dramatic one for that matter .
Hatsukoi on 1st listen reminded me of phantom which's track #9 you can find in Fukuyama's Zankyou album . Except in this case , Hatsukoi's shorter & he utilised quite a fair bit of really gorgeous orchestra strings alongside with signature guitar riffs .
You combine both musical aspects & the final product gives you this emotional driven ballad .
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
abingdon boys school - PINEAPPLE ARMY
PINEAPPLE ARMY is found as #2 in abingdon boys school's 2nd album ABINGDON ROAD which will be out on 27th Jan .
Yes I know that look , I was indeed going o_o when I saw this particular track on the tracklist of ABINGDON ROAD & here I was assuming the guys will be doing a crazy over the top track .
Surprisingly , that's not the case when I gave PINEAPPLE ARMY a listen . It's basically pretty much a standard rock offering of the band & here I'm wondering as to why they chose to name such a song as that , maybe to catch hold of the listener's attention ?
It sure does for me & ABINGDON ROAD will be the group's 1st album release since their self titled debut album which was released some 3 years ago .
Monday, January 04, 2010
CD Review :: Kuroki Meisa - ATTITUDE EP
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
1) ATTITUDE (Intro)
2) Are ya Ready ?
3) Kind Of Guy
5) No Restriction (Interlude)
6) Late Show
7) Stand Up !
8) Before Dawn (Interlude)
ATTITUDE is Kuroki Meisa's 2nd mini album . It was released on the 1st day of 2010 .
No singles are included in ATTITUDE . As such , you're not able to find her debut single SHOCK -Unmei- (-Fate-) in here .
Unlike her debut mini album hellcat , you're able to find 1 introduction piece & 2 interludes tunes in Kuroki's latest album offering & because I'm not good at describing introduction / interludes pieces , all I can say's that for all 3 you can find in ATTITUDE , they're surprisingly mellow & contrast the songs quite well .
Anyway , after ATTITUDE (Intro) , it immediately brings you to track #2 Are ya Ready ? which's the only album track that received a music video of its own & deservingly so .
Prior to this , you can hear Kuroki say Are ya Ready ? in ATTITUDE (Intro) before the introduction flows straight to the song .
I guess it's easy to see (or should I say hear) why Are ya Ready ? is the only track that got a music video as I think out of the 6 new songs in ATTITUDE , it's possibly the best album track .
It's still insanely addictive even up to now & there's just something about the song that I cannot get enough of at all .
Kind Of Guy is track #3 & this's 1 song that I took to instant liking immediately . I guess that's probably because before ATTITUDE was released , 2 instrumental pieces were played on her official site in which the 2nd one's for this no. & the 1st being Are ya Ready ?
No surprises , Kind Of Guy is really catchy & I just like the loud trumpets horns blaring on here alongside with sleek electro synth which's great .
#1 is the next song & in here it's a lot more synth driven & a bit more mellow as compared to the 1st 2 album tracks .
Also , Kuroki's vocals sounded a bit more distorted which's probably done on purpose .
After the 45 secs piano driven interlude No Restriction , Kuroki dives straight into track #6 Late Show which's 1 of my fave album tracks in ATTITUDE .
Late Show is a lot more poppier than the other album tracks which I really like & the grooves & beats are hot in here .
With a title like Stand Up ! , I was expecting something upbeat & rocking but I was surprised that it's quite a mellow out no. which I was a bit disappointed about it .
Also I can't help but realise that the melody for Stand Up ! sounds suspiciously familiar / the same with the previous album tracks too .
The final interlude Before Dawn takes things nicely to the final track in ATTITUDE which's Awakening .
I guess this's the closest you can call / consider Awakening as a ballad & this's the only song that's not heavily emphasised on synth / electro .
Instead , Awakening is a mid tempo piano driven no. which I think it's perfect to conclude things in ATTITUDE .
Compared to her debut album hellcat which was to me the surprising debut (mini) album of 2009 , ATTITUDE I say has spunk & well attitude .
1 of the problems I had with ATTITUDE that I mentioned earlier on was that the 6 album tracks , some of them tend to sound the same if not repetitive .
Also with the inclusion of an introduction & 2 interludes in a mini album , listeners might felt short changed in a way or 2 since hellcat had more tracks (8) & there weren't any interludes & introduction in Kuroki's debut .
Regardless of which , ATTITUDE is still a good listen & I do hope that she's able to put out a full length album if not a new single soon .
Sunday, January 03, 2010
ayumi hamasaki - You were ... / BALLAD's B-sides
The following 3 songs serve as B-sides in ayumi hamasaki's 47th single You were ... / BALLAD which was released on 29th Dec '09 :
- RED LINE ~for TA~
- You were ... (Music Box mix -retake version-) (CD Only & CD + DVD Type A Track)
- Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ (Orchestra version) (CD Only & CD + DVD Type B Track)
Finally after delivering 2 A-sides ballads that're both solid in their own right , ayumi managed to balance things out with RED LINE ~for TA~ .
RED LINE ~for TA~ is a really upbeat & peppy no. & in the lyrics sleeve for You were ... / BALLAD , you're not able to find the lyrics pertaining to RED LINE ~for TA~ .
Still , I'm fine with it & I took an instant liking to RED LINE ~for TA~ on 1st listen as it somewhat does remind me of MY ALL to a certain extent , only a lot more empowering & soaring with great guitar riffs & drum beats .
Only found in the CD Only & CD + DVD Type A editions of the single is the Music Box mix -retake version- of You were ... .
The only difference between the A-side & this version is that the melody for the 1st A-side has been replaced with a music box & I frankly like both versions .
Also you can tell that for this version , ayumi's vocals were re-recorded & are not the same as the original mix .
Only found in the CD Only & CD + DVD Type B editions of the single , it's the Orchestra version of Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ which was the 2nd A-side of ayumi's last single Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ .
I like Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ & in here , it has been given such a great remix of sorts . I really like the way various instruments such as harp , clarinet , horn & even strings were utilised in here & the final product gives you this really grand sounding take which's really plain lovely .
I would have like an acoustic version of the song though but I don't mind an orchestra version of Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ .
After releasing Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ , ayumi toned things down in a way or 2 & return back with this really top notch winter inspired single .
There's only 1 upbeat B-side available here but somehow it didn't got overshadowered by the 2 A-side ballads & let alone by the other 2 B-sides ballads .
I'm waiting to see what other great things that she has in store for 2010 now .
Saturday, January 02, 2010
SID - Namida no Ondo (Temperature Of Tears)
Namida no Ondo (Temperature Of Tears) is a song released by SID on 5th Dec '07 .
This's their last material that was released on Danger Crue Records before their major label debut with Ki/oon Records / Sony BMG .
I do not know how Namida no Ondo sounded like & I came across the song by chance when I was on vacation last month when I was watching Channel V in the hotel room & they were playing Namida no Ondo .
The song is basically a beautiful acoustic driven no. & it's no surprises that I immediately sat up & took notice of this on 1st listen .
It's 1 of those songs that you will not find any fault in it & it's quite a standard rock ballad but somehow or another , SID managed to make it work in their favour which's great .
Their 5th major label single sleep will be out on 3rd March .
Friday, January 01, 2010
CD Review :: Yusuke - Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo.
Cover For Both CD Only & CD + DVD Editions :
1) Minna no Uta (Everyone's Song)
2) Himawari (Sunflower)
3) Naminori (Surfing) My Story
4) Ichou (Gingko)
5) Hane (Wings)
6) Machi (Town)
8) Wanpaku Yakyuu Baka (Mischievous Baseball Fool)
9) 10nen (Years) Feat DOHZI-T
10) Tanpopo (Dandelion)
11) Kaizokusen (Pirate Ship) ~1-bannin no Sen'in (10,000 Crews) Ver.~
12) Ijime (Bullying)
13) Never Ever Feat lecca
14) Suimen (Water Surface)
Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo. is Yusuke's debut album . It was released on 16th Dec '09 & his debut offering contains his 1st 3 singles which were released last year .
The album debuted at #2 with 1st week sales of 167,499 & most if not all the songs were written & composed by him .
Minna no Uta (Everyone's Song) is a nice upbeat song to kick start Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo. & I definitely find it catchy & light hearted after listening to Minna no Uta .
Himawari (Sunflower) is Yusuke's debut solo single & this was used as the theme song for his biopic drama Kamiji Yusuke Monogatari .
This's the song that got me interested in his material to begin with & I still like it even up to now . You can feel the sincerity/maturity he displayed in his debut solo offering which I felt it was a good stepping stone for him .
Naminori (Surfing) My Story is the 2nd album track & just like the title of the song itself , you can hear the sounds of sea being echo in the music background & I think this's something you might visualise yourself listening to if you're chilling out in a beach .
Ichou (Gingko) is Yusuke's 3rd single & this's the last single that he released before Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo. was released .
This's no doubt is a touching love song which sampled the classical music piece Pachelbel's Canon in its melody & I still think it's clever of Yusuke to sample this classic melody & utilised it to his advantage .
Hane (Wings) is track #5 & it's the only album track that received a music video .
The opening of Hane caught me by surprise because it had some gorgeous orchestra strings & I thought it might be another modern meets classical song just like Ichou but it morphed into a pop no. as soon as the opening's done .
Pity I say because I honestly do not mind another Ichou part 2 but Hane's fine with me .
Machi (Town) is the next album track & this's a light hearted mid tempo track & this has a nice piano driven melody attached to it . It's 1 of those songs that you might catch yourself humming alongside without realising as each listen goes by .
U-sic is the only album interlude & this flows straight to track #8 Wanpaku Yakyuu Baka (Mischievous Baseball Fool) in which it's probably the most amusing song , title wise .
I thought Wanpaku Yakyuu Baka was going to be a crazy song but it turned out to be a fast paced pop song that's somewhat electro driven . It's catchy but I was hoping for another Kaizokusen or something from Yusuke LOL
10nen (Years) is the 1st collaborative song you can find in Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo. & this no. features rapper DOHZI-T .
I find that 10nen 1 of the stronger album tracks seeing that both Yusuke & DOHZI-T's vocals gel extremely well together in this piano driven ballad .
In fact , I took an instant liking to 10nen when I 1st listened to it as well since there're not much album ballads you can find in his debut album offering .
The next 2 songs are the 1st 2 A-sides of his 2nd single Tanpopo / Kaizokusen / Sono Kobushi & Sono Kobushi is excluded from Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo.
Tanpopo (Dandelion) is a simple man's sincere love song & if you have watched the video pertaining to Tanpopo , I suppose Yusuke more or less convey the message behind this no. pretty well & nicely .
It's almost like a follow up from Himawari since both song titles are the names of flowers to begin with .
Kaizokusen (Pirate Ship) is the energetic Soca dance number & in Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo. , it has been given an album mix in the form of a ~1-bannin no Sen'in (10,000 Crews) Ver.~ .
This's probably still Yusuke's most craziest song to date since I did had a shock when I 1st listened to Kaizokusen .
The difference between the single & album versions of Kaizokusen is that in here , the background vocals are more louder which almost like 10,000 people shouting stuff in the background hence the whole ~1-bannin no Sen'in Ver.~ .
Ijime (Bullying) is a laidback guitar driven no. . After the introduction's out of the way , Ijime becomes a more pop driven no. which's something that Yusuke sounded at ease in here .
Never Ever is the 2nd collborative song you can find in Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo. & in here , this song features the vocals of lecca .
On 1st listen , I found Never Ever to be a cool somewhat upbeat Christmas driven no. & just like 10nen , both artistes's vocals complimented each other pretty well for that matter .
Suimen (Water Surface) is the final track & incidentally , it took me quite a while to remember how Suimen sounded like .
For once , it's a mellow tune & it has influences of Enka which's something that Yusuke didn't ventured into .
I wouldn't consider Suimen as a fave album track of mine but this closed the album off pretty nicely .
Overall , Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo. is quite a solid debut offering coming from Yusuke . There're many different music styles he showcased in his debut album & he pretty much showcased everyone that he's quite versatile .
Also considering the fact that he wrote & compose pretty much the whole record , it's something worth commending about/for .
I sure hope to see more top quality releases from him & I think that will happen as 2009 was a really great year for him .
BENI - Sign
Sign is BENI's 6th single . It will be released on 20th Jan & the melody of her new song's a sample of Yuming's 1994 hit Haru yo , Koi .
Written & composed by BENI herself , this's a really good song that I'm feeling of her & since it's still winter season at Japan's end , I guess I can understand why she chose to release such a song & it's cool that Sign made use of a sample by Yuming which I like (even though I don't know how Haru yo , Koi sounds like in the 1st place) .
BENI sounded at ease belting out this no. which I feel it's great .
The following songs serve B-sides in Sign :
- Gon' luv u
- KIRA☆KIRA☆ DJ HASEBE REMIX