Tuesday, June 29, 2010
flumpool - Calling (LIVE at C.C.LEMON Hall) (reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ / Nagareboshi's B-side)
The live version of Calling is found as a B-side track in flumpool's 4th single reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ (~Do Not Give Up Song~) / Nagareboshi (Shooting Star) which was released last Wed on 23rd June .
In here , the guys's live take of Calling was recorded from C.C.LEMON Hall & the song is found as track #1 in their debut album What's flumpool !? .
If you have seen/heard their live takes on tracks , you will know that most of the time lead singer Ryuuta belts out their material pretty much flawlessly & that goes for the live take of Calling .
Except in here as compared to the studio version , Ryuuta sang the 1st part of Calling acapella style which displayed his really strong vocals .
Also , Ryuuta got the whole crowd in C.C.LEMON Hall really into the song & you can hear the chanting of Calling Calling in the background which's really nice .
flumpool doesn't stop in delivering the music goods & it's evident in their latest release reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ / Nagareboshi in which I enjoyed tremendously .
Hopefully this talented quartet will follow up with another good release soon .
Sunday, June 27, 2010
BREAKERZ - Gekijou (Passion) / hEaVeN
CD + DVD Type A
CD + DVD Type B
Gekijou (Passion) / hEaVeN is BREAKERZ's 8th single . It will be released on 14th July & this's the trio's 1st single release for 2010 .
The 1st A-side Gekijou is written & composed by frontman/lead singer DAIGO & it has been described as an intense & aggressive rock song & it will be used as the July opening song for Asahi's nightly ranking television show Onegai ! Ranking .
Gekijou employs solid guitars , strong vocals & a fast rhythm . Thus creating a stimulating rock number .
The 2nd A-side hEaVeN is written by DAIGO & composed by guitarist AKIHIDE & it's currently used as promotion for the ads of the art exhibition Chagall : Russia Avant Garde to no Deai in which DAIGO's the spokesperson for the event .
After temporarily hanging up their electric guitars with regards to the release of their 1st mini acoustic album B.R.Z ACOUSTIC EP on 7th April , the electric guitars are back in full swing with this latest single release of the guys .
I honestly will not lie that I wasn't impressed with the preview of Gekijou which was uploaded on their website as it didn't sound intensive/aggressive to me but I take my statement back after I heard the full version of the song .
Gekijou can be compared with other harder rock songs that DAIGO both composed/wrote such as WAKE UP MY SOUL , IN THE SKY , BIG BANG ! , GUILTY , NEXT LEVEL & DEAR LIAR in which these songs are more or less in the same music vein .
Except for Gekijou's case , DAIGO employed a touch of synth in the melody & he sounded really mean/in your face prior to the conclusion of the song which's awesome !
In the case of the 2nd A-side hEaVeN , I was impressed with the preview & I knew it somehow or another I was going to like the full song but I didn't expect that I was going to adore it !
The preview for hEaVeN sounded like a sequel to Sekai wa Odoru (The World's Dancing) since AKIHIDE composed both songs but in actual fact , both songs have an unique identity going on in them .
For once , in hEaVeN which I suppose can be considered as a mid tempo song & that it contrasts Gekijou very well , AKIHIDE employs rhythm guitar blues & mixing this up with touches of keyboards melodies alongside with their signature electric guitar solos & I'm happy that the song stays true to what it promotes ie. the art exhibition Chagall : Russia Avant Garde to no Deai & hEaVeN is truly a masterpiece in its own right .
SUMMER PARTY ~Acoustic Version~ serves as the B-side in Gekijou / hEaVeN & this's an acoustic mix of the 1st A-side of the band's debut single SUMMER PARTY / LAST EMOTION .
The song , be it original & acoustic are both written & composed by DAIGO .
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Anna Tsuchiya - Atashi (Me)
CD + DVD
Atashi (Me) is Anna Tsuchiya's 11th single . It will be released on 21st July & this comes almost a year since 2009's Brave vibration which was released on 1st July .
The original release date for Atashi was 7th July & the word Atashi is a more feminised , informal form of Watashi . If you're a guy , you will use Watashi .
This new release of Anna is a 1st of trilogy of releases with the theme of "rock for girls , made by girls" as she will be releasing another new single next month on 18th Aug & her 3rd album in Sept in which both releases are currently untitled .
While I'm really happy that Anna is finally back with new material after giving birth to her 2nd son , I wish I can say the same thing for Atashi .
On 1st listen , I feel Atashi sounds like a poor cousin of her 3rd single rose if not an album filler track that's probably taken from her debut album strip me ? . I did tried to like Atashi after giving it a few more listens or so but somehow or another , it didn't work .
Also to make things worst , Atashi on 1st listen is really forgettable to me & this's a really big pity as I feel Anna really does know how to work things in her favour when comes to rock music as she does have some really good rock songs in her discography but unfortunately in here , she missed the mark .
The B-sides are a re-recording of the KDDI "au" CM that's been playing since last year & a new mash up like Sweet Rishi Boy .
The following songs serve as B-sides in Atashi :
- HEY YOU !
- Brave vibration ~Wicked Dancehall Version~ mush up INFINITY 16
Friday, June 25, 2010
YUI - Please Stay With Me
Please Stay With Me is found as track #8 from YUI's long awaited 4th album HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN which will be released on 14th July .
HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN will be YUI's 1st album release in 2 years 3 months since 2008's I LOVED YESTERDAY .
It's stated that HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN's album tracks will showcase gentle acoustic sounds from YUI & I think this statement more or less can apply to Please Stay With Me .
The opening of the song's a bit unusual sounding but it eventually made way for Please Stay With Me to become a soothing laidback/chilled out no. which's perfect to listen to on a cold rainy day or during a day of relaxation .
I'm not sure if other album tracks from HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN will leak out on the net . If they do , I will review them separately before the album release date on 14th July . If not , I wait til HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN is released then I will do a full & proper album review of YUI's record .
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Acid Black Cherry - Aitai (Meet)
Aitai (Meet) is a cover of Sawada Chikaco's 1990 hit & in here , it's being included in Acid Black Cherry's 2nd cover album Recreation 2 which will be out next week on 30th June & it's found as track #3 in the album .
The song's about about a woman whose boyfriend has died suddenly and she's accusing him like "you promised you would take me to the beach again , you promised we would watch lots of movies together , don't you remember , you made a promise didn't you" .
The song is also the only track in Recreation 2 which gets a music video .
I was told that the original done by Sawada Chikaco was supposedly to be quite a big hit when it was released way back in 1990 .
Since I do not know how the original take of Aitai sounds like , I treat this as a new song of sorts .
I like just how emotional yasu sounds like in Aitai & there's just something heartfelt & sincere in this ballad .
It might sound like something depressing but you still gain something positive of sorts after giving yasu's take on Aitai .
Among cover songs found in Recreation 2 yasu covers includes :
- Mika Nakashima's GLAMOROUS SKY
- CRYSTALKING's 1979 no. Daitokai (Big City) which's a collaboration with BREAKERZ's frontman DAIGO
I will be reviewing both tracks as the other songs which are found on Recreation 2 , I don't really know them so well & these 2 stuck out to me since Mika's take on GLAMOROUS SKY is awesome so I'm very curious to hear how much uniqueness yasu will inject towards her song .
Whereas for Daitokai , despite the fact that I don't know how the original sounds like , this will be a treat as the song will features the vocals of DAIGO in which he holds yasu in high esteem/respect .
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Aoyama Thelma - Summer Love !! Feat RED RICE from Shonannokaze
Summer Love !! is Aoyama Thelma's 10th single . It will be released next week on 30th June & this comes in 3 months + since the release of her previous single Kaeru Basho (Place To Come Home To) .
The A-side's melody is a sample from BREAKOUT by SWING OUT SISTER & this time round , Summer Love !! features rapper RED RICE from Shonannokaze which's a 4 member reggae group .
This song pretty much screams out summer all over for sure ! I like it that for once Aoyama didn't release another R&B mid tempo ballad & she proved that she can rock out in uptempo songs & it's evident in Summer Love !! .
The only thing that I don't like is yes the rapping that's done by RED RICE which kind of kill the atmosphere in making me like the song .
Previous rapper collaborations that Aoyama duet before such as SoulJa & KEN THE 390 , their rapping vocals I feel flow much more better with Aoyama , unlike RED RICE .
But still , this shouldn't stop you from enjoying Summer Love !! as it's really catchy & I like the slight touches of Carribean drum influence beats thrown in for good measures too .
OH BABY Koishitetai (I Want To Fall In Love) serves as the B-side in the single . This's Aoyama's 1st digital single which was released last year on Nov 18th .
It was used as the theme song for the drama Mezamashi Doyoubi Mega .
I reviewed OH BABY Koishitetai before in my blog so I'm not going to review it again one more time but all I can say's that it's great to see OH BABY Koishitetai on the single as even up to now , this's 1 song that I still like .
After releasing Fall in Love & Kaeru Basho , Aoyama Thelma brings in the fun & groove with this summer inspired single Summer Love !! & both the A & B-sides are really solid & catchy to sing along to .
Aoyama's 2nd compilation album LOVE ! 2 –THELMA BEST COLLABORATIONS- will be released on 28th July & it will feature collaboration songs that she did with artistes such as Ai , SoulJa , KEN THE 390 & etc .
Summer Love !! is included as track #1 on LOVE ! 2 –THELMA BEST COLLABORATIONS- .
Monday, June 21, 2010
GIRL NEXT DOOR - Freedom's B-sides
The following songs serve as B-sides in GIRL NEXT DOOR's 8th single Freedom which was released last week on 16th June :
- Sayonara (Goodbye)
- Seeds of dream (BLOOMING REMIX)
With a title like Sayonara , I frankly thought it might be a ballad but I was surprised that's not the case when I gave the song a listen .
To be fair , Sayonara contrasts the edgy gritty sounds that's of Freedom but at the end of the day , Sayonara is something that the trio has come up with before so it's more or less familiar , in terms of the sound .
The BLOOMING REMIX of their 4th single Seeds of dream is the 2nd B-side . Like what I mentioned before , I'm not really a fan of remixes of songs .
This one's pretty ok for me to handle but it's quite Eurobeat influenced by a large extent . Then again , something like this might be perfect to pump up the volume in a club party .
GIRL NEXT DOOR's latest single release Freedom is a nice surprise & I think it's great that they're able to release/come up with something different from what they usually does & personally I feel Freedom is now officially 1 of the trio's strongest & prominent tracks they have dished out to date .
As a result of this , the B-sides were kind of overshadowed significantly by Freedom but it's ok because it will be a bit worrying if this has the opposite effect .
Hopefully I wouldn't have to wait that long for the trio to release something new again .
Sunday, June 20, 2010
CD Review :: KAT-TUN - NO MORE PAIИ
CD + DVD
1) N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN)
2) Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ (~I Hate You I Love You~)
4) THE D-MOTION
5) RIGHT NOW
6) ROCKIN' ALL NITE
7) Going !
8) SWEET (Kamenashi Kazuya's Solo)
9) LOVE MUSIC (Taguchi Junnosuke's Solo)
10) MAKE U WET ~CHAPTER 2~ (Tanaka Koki's Solo)
11) RABBIT OR WOLF ? (Ueda Tatsuya's Solo)
12) FILM (Nakamaru Yuichi's Solo)
13) PROMISE SONG
14) HELLO (CD Only Track)
NO MORE PAIИ is KAT-TUN's 5th album . It was released on 16th June & the group's latest album offering contains 2 singles which were released this year .
This's the guys's 2nd album since cartoon KAT-TUN II you not to include the vocals of their 2nd co lead vocalist Akanishi Jin (aside from their 11th single Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~) .
With songs written & composed by songwriters/composers who hail from LA , London & Stockholm , music genres such as Rock , R&B & ballads can be found in NO MORE PAIИ .
NO MORE PAIИ comprises of 14 songs in total & this's inclusive of solo songs done by the members except Akanishi so this's basically their 3rd album overall to have solo songs in the tracklist , after cartoon KAT-TUN II you & last year's Break the Records -by you & for you- .
As always , I will review the album tracks & solo songs separately to avoid complicating things .
Sharing the same title as the album , it's N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) which's incidentally their 2nd album track to get a music video after cartoon KAT-TUN II you's YOU but it's the 1st album track not to include Akanishi's vocals .
I can understand why the guys choose to make a video for N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) as this's 1 really strong opening track for an album . I reviewed/wrote before that it's easy to dismiss N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) as a T∀BOO rip off .
But in N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) , the reminding members prove that they're able to carry off a really great track without Akanishi flawlessly .
Thrown in Tanaka's signature rapping & Nakamaru's beatboxing skills , both guys take N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) to a whole new level of solidness .
Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ (~I Hate You I Love You~) is the group's 11th single .
The song was used as the theme no. for the drama Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge which starred the group's 1st co lead vocalist Kamenashi Kazuya , NEWS/Tegomass's Tegoshi Yuya & also Johnny Junior Uchi Hiroki .
Despite the fact that Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ was released way back in Feb 10th this year , this's 1 A-side that I'm still not bored with til now .
It's 1 of the group's less harder rock edge singles but this doesn't stop me from enjoying Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ as this's still 1 very solid & catchy no. .
FARAWAY is the 2nd album track & I guess you can count this as a mid tempo ballad . It sounds as if it's a continuation from where SMILE (last B-side of their 12th single Going !) left .
Not that it's a bad thing because I actually enjoy SMILE but FARAWAY to me is a lot more stronger if not prominent than the former .
Found as the B-side in Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ , it's THE D-MOTION & this's the group's 1st B-side to be included in their albums & let alone to get a music video .
Similarly like the A-side , THE D-MOTION is still a great addictive piece of tune up to now . I don't really like club music so much & that goes for autotune being utilised in songs but I suppose a little bit of something's ok for me to handle .
Also I'm happy that the guys choose to include THE D-MOTION in NO MORE PAIИ as it really deserves so .
RIGHT NOW is the 3rd album track & it picks up from where THE D-MOTION left . Both songs are in the same vein .
The utilisation of autotune can be heard/feel quite significantly in both songs but to me , I feel that RIGHT NOW has a more Americanised flair/twist attached to it .
Having said that , I have to admit , I was drawn to RIGHT NOW on 1st listen .
The next album track ROCKIN' ALL NITE is quite an interesting song . I thought it might be another autotune / club no. when I saw the song title but guess not since ROCKIN' ALL NITE sounded as if it belongs to a rock jamming session .
ROCKIN' ALL NITE is quite fun to sing along to but I wouldn't really consider it as my fave album track in NO MORE PAIИ .
Going ! is KAT-TUN's 12th single & it was used as the theme song for the NTV show Going ! Sports & News , which featured Kame as a special weekly commentator .
I had a lot of dislike towards Going ! initally as at that time when the single was released , it was so bland if not boring/unmemorable to me .
This is despite the fact that for both Going ! & Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ were written & composed by the same group of people .
I'm ok with Going ! now but out of the singles the group has released from Real Face til now , this's probably 1 of their weaker sounding A-sides .
Jumping all the way straight to track #13 , it's PROMISE SONG .
PROMISE SONG can be considered as the successor from Break the Records -by you & for you-'s Neiro (Tone) since both songs are ballads .
I was quite bored with PROMISE SONG on 1st listen . Maybe because of the duration as it's the longest song on NO MORE PAIИ , clocking in at 5:25 mins .
But I wouldn't deny there's some nice harmonisation group effort that the members put into .
Found only in the CD only edition of NO MORE PAIИ , it's HELLO .
This's some fancy finger snapping no. ! I thought I might get annoyed by the numerous/various yelling of HELLO that's humming in the background but I wasn't that bothered by this .
Instead , the guys give this song a much needed life & personally I find this to be quite the perfect album song to conclude NO MORE PAIИ .
Ok I have finished reviewing the singles & the new album tracks , it's time for me to talk about the solos , 1 by 1 .
1) SWEET (Kamenashi Kazuya's Solo) - I reviewed SWEET last week or so in my blog & I will more or less say the same thing in that I feel this's not 1 of the Kame's strongest solos to date .
The saving grace for SWEET is that it's an easy listening mid tempo song & he sounded pretty much at ease in belting out this no. but it does not have the edge/oomph factor that I was looking for , unlike his previous solo songs such as 1582 , someday for somebody & let alone Kizuna (Bonds) .
Still I take SWEET over w/o notice ?? anytime of the day .
2) LOVE MUSIC (Taguchi Junnosuke's Solo) - LOVE MUSIC is the 2nd solo song that Taguchi has a hand in writing after WIND .
Similarly like Kame's SWEET , I frankly do not find anything special to shout about LOVE MUSIC but I commend Taguchi for writing LOVE MUSIC .
What I like about Taguchi is that despite his limited vocals capability , he's able to sing/choose songs that suit/conceal his vocals which's good .
3) MAKE U WET ~CHAPTER 2~ (Tanaka Koki's Solo) - Written by Tanaka , be it when comes to the lyrics & rap , this's MAKE U WET ~CHAPTER 2~ .
Chapter 1 of the song can be found in cartoon KAT-TUN II you where Tanaka had a solo song called Make U Wet .
Usually I'm not a fan of Tanaka's solos but MAKE U WET ~CHAPTER 2~ surprised me in the sense that I thought the same melody from Make U Wet might be utilised but this solo song takes on a different direction/light .
I'm still waiting for the day for Tanaka to dish out a solo ballad as it's not as if he can't carry ballads well on his own .
4) RABBIT OR WOLF ? (Ueda Tatsuya's Solo) - RABBIT OR WOLF ? is written & composed by Ueda .
This's probably 1 of Ueda's most unusual solos as it's very fast paced guitar driven & also Ueda sounded as if he was 1/2 singing & also 1/2 rapping at the same time in RABBIT OR WOLF ? .
It's not easy to carry off such a song & I was surprised when I 1st heard RABBIT OR WOLF ? as this's something that he has never done before .
RABBIT OR WOLF ? is not my fave solo of Ueda but as always , I salute him for writing/composing this seeing that I consider him as the most musically gifted in the group .
Ueda's other self written/composed songs are much better & more solid but if you ask me , I take RABBIT OR WOLF ? over LOST anytime of the day .
5) FILM (Nakamaru Yuichi's Solo) - FLIM is the last solo song on NO MORE PAIИ this's sung by the beatboxer of the group Nakamaru .
Nakamaru cowrote FLIM with T-OGA .
All this while , I always have like Nakamaru's solos as I feel he has a really nice voice in KAT-TUN & he definitely has a lot of talent that I admire in him , be it when comes to the vocals & beatboxing department .
So I was not surprised that I like FLIM on 1st listen . You also can detect some slight autotune being utilised in FLIM .
The usage of autotune in FLIM is not as significant as compared to THE D-MOTION & RIGHT NOW but it's ok as you don't need any extra stuff to mess up with Nakamaru's vocals & it's evident in FLIM where a little bit of something's good enough .
NO MORE PAIИ is released to concide with the group's current ongoing tour in Japan & also in line for their upcoming 1st Asian tour too .
I wouldn't deny that initally I thought everything happen all too suddenly & quickly but thankfully my fears were unfounded in a way or 2 when I gave NO MORE PAIИ a listen from the start to the end .
Album tracks wise , most of them are really solid & a lot more stronger & well put together as compared to cartoon KAT-TUN II you , which was quite a big mess for me to handle .
I think it's great to know that this time round , the reminding members know what works / doesn't work for them as it's definitely not easy to carry off a song if not a whole album without their 2nd co-lead vocalist Akanishi so for this , it's commendable .
But on the other hand , the solos in NO MORE PAIИ are weaker . Some of the solos did not leave a big impression on me & this in the process I had to relisten to some of them again .
Like what I said with regards to SWEET & LOVE MUSIC , both solos do not have the needed edge/spark that I was looking for .
So this in a way or 2 drag NO MORE PAIИ down quite significantly .
However if you were to compare NO MORE PAIИ against cartoon KAT-TUN II you , it's quite evident that NO MORE PAIИ is a lot more put together & more solid .
Even though I said the solos in the group's latest album are quite weak this time round , this should not stop you from listening to NO MORE PAIИ as the album tracks are more or less the main highlights of the album , especially with regards to N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) .
Hopefully I wouldn't have to wait that long for KAT-TUN to release something new but I don't see this from happening anytime soon since both KT-TUN & Akanishi are tied up with various activities , be it whether solo or group related .
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Koda Kumi - Gossip Candy
CD + DVD
2) Inside Fishbowl
3) Outside Fishbowl
4) For you
5) Got To Be Real (First Press Track)
Gossip Candy is Koda Kumi's 47th single . It will be released on 7th July & Koda's new single is released after BEST ~third universe~ & 8th AL "UNIVERSE" which dropped on 3rd Feb .
Just like Namie Amuro's latest single Break It / Get Myself Back , the whole Gossip Candy single has been leaked out to the net even though both singles will not be released officially until next month .
3 songs in Gossip Candy has received music videos ie. Lollipop , Inside Fishbowl & Outside Fishbowl .
Lollipop has been described as a "R&B / Hip Hop" song & it has 2 promotion tie in's in the form of music.jp TV-CF's song & it's also being used in NTV's Kei「Happy Music」POWER PLAY too .
I think out of the 5 songs in Gossip Candy , Lollipop has to be my favourite aside from the association in the song title & also with regards to the title of the single .
It's a bit different from what Koda usually does & despite the somewhat raunchy lyrical content of Lollipop , I don't mind this as all this while , here & there , Koda tends to release such songs in such a similar music vein .
The next 2 songs Inside Fishbowl / Outside Fishbowl have the same melody being utilised , just like her 2006 single Yume no Uta (Dream Song) / Futari de ... (2 Of Us ...) but both songs have different lyrics & music arrangements .
Inside Fishbowl is a fun dance song that required Koda to sing in a light & peppy manner & it's the ending theme song for NTV Kei's Guru Guru Ninety-nine .
While for Outside Fishbowl , it comprises of a new arrangement , new lyrics & a lowered key which lends the song a darker rock flavor & it's the ending theme no. for NTV's MIDNITE drama series .
Ok I wouldn't lie that I was ??? when I saw the song titles Inside Fishbowl / Outside Fishbowl on the tracklist as those titles are probably 2 of the weirdest song titles that I have came across in recent times .
But anyway if you don't really put that much emphasis on the song titles , both no. are actually quite unusual & somewhat fun .
I prefer Outside Fishbowl a bit more than Inside Fishbowl as Koda's vocals were a bit too cutesy if not gratty for me to handle on Inside Fishbowl .
She sounded more comfortable & at ease with herself on Outside Fishbowl . Truthfully , I was expecting it might be another Yume no Uta / Futari de ... part 2 ie. 1 ballad & the other being a mid tempo no. but guess not .
Inside Fishbowl / Outside Fishbowl basically are like chalk & cheese which in a way or 2 managed to compliment each other quite nicely .
For you is track #4 & it's the only ballad you can find in Gossip Candy .
As such , For you might come across like a sore thumb to you as the other 4 songs in the single are upbeat songs . But to me , I don't mind as For you is exclusive in this sense .
People might said that it's another boring genetic sounding ballad coming from Koda but I actually don't mind this as it's a bit more stronger than some of the ballads you can find in her latest UNIVERSE album which kind of missed the mark to me .
Found as a 1st press track in both editions of Gossip Candy , it's Got To Be Real .
Got To Be Real is also the last song in the single & it was used as in the ads of PEPSI NEX in which Koda's the spokeswoman for the company & you also can see her in the ads too .
The song is a cover of Cheryl Lynn's song of the same name which was released way back in 1978 .
I find Got To Be Real ok but somehow or another , Koda's English if not Engrish gets lost in the song . Things might have been better if she choose to sing/cover Got To Be Real in Japanese , especially since English's not her 1st language to begin with .
Overall , I feel that Koda Kumi's trying to push a different musical boundary this time round with Gossip Candy , especially with regards to Inside Fishbowl / Outside Fishbowl but to me , there's no deny that I find Lollipop to be the most prominent/strongest track on the single .
If you're expecting another 3 SPLASH part 2 since Gossip Candy will be released just in time around Summer in Japan , then you'll be prepared to get surprised when you give Gossip Candy a single .
All the songs on the single are not to say that they're flawlessly perfect/great but that's what in a way or 2 makes Koda Kumi's material unique .
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Namie Amuro - Break It / Get Myself Back
Break It / Get Myself Back is Namie Amuro's 34th single . It will be released on 28th July & this's her 1st single release for 2010 , after releasing her chart topping album PAST < FUTURE last year on 16th Dec .
Even though Namie's new single has not been released officially , both A-sides have already leaked on the net .
Anyway , the 1st A-side is currently used in the ads of Coca-Cola Zero in which Namie's the spokeswoman for & you also can see her in the ads too .
This's the 2nd time her song has been used to promote Coca-Cola Zero after WILD .
Break It has been described as a rock influenced dance no. .
Well honestly , I do not like Break It that much on 1st listen & it's quite evident in a way or 2 that the melody sounded a bit too similar when you compare it against Korean boyband SUPER JUNIOR's Sorry Sorry & it does not help that I have quite a strong dislike towards Sorry Sorry after the video & song got overplayed here at my end , be it on TV or radio .
Even so , I will not consider Break It groundbreaking & etc . It doesn't have that oomph factor I was looking for , unlike for WILD's case .
The 2nd A-side on the other hand is a mid tempo ballad & this song was premiered earlier last month during her ongoing PAST < FUTURE tour .
Unlike Break It , I took it to pretty much instant likeness to Get Myself Back . Namie doesn't really release that many songs , ballads wise & her most recent single release for a ballad was 2007's Baby Don't Cry .
So Get Myself Back is something that I most welcome from Namie & I personally think she should release more ballads as she's equally versatile when comes to belting out fast thumping no.s & slower pace songs too .
PAST < FUTURE is currently the top selling album in Japan according to the Oricon year 2010 chart & while this's happening , Namie Amuro returns back to the music scene with this pretty fine/solid double A-side release Break It / Get Myself Back .
Hopefully it wouldn't be that long for her to release another single since the single release time gap between WILD / Dr. & Break It / Get Myself Back is almost close to a year & 4 months in time difference .
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
ayumi hamasaki - MOON
MOON is the 1st A-side of ayumi hamasaki's 48th single MOON / blossom which will be released on 14th July .
MOON / blossom is ayumi's 1st single release for 2010 after she released her 11th album Rock'n'Roll Circus on 14th April & the single will be released on the same day as her ayumi hamasaki COUNTDOWN LIVE 2009-2010 A ~Future Classics~ DVD .
This single release begins the start of her aim towards a 50th single release & it's the first one in a series of 3 consecutive works so naturally , information for her upcoming 49th & 50th singles will follow suit in due time .
MOON / blossom was originally scheduled to be released in 4 editions , 2 CD only's & 2 CD + DVD's but 1 CD + DVD edition was scrapped so for now , only MOON's getting a music video but it's quite certain blossom will get a music video which might be available in her next single release if not album .
The same scenerio happened for her 45th single Rule / Sparkle , in which the video for Sparkle was eventually made available in her 10th album NEXT LEVEL .
Also , this time round , the CD + DVD of her single is dubbed limited edition which's probably a 1st for her since I do not recall CD + DVD's of her singles being released as so in this manner .
Anyway , MOON is currently used for promotion in the ads of Honda's Zest Spark kei car , in which ayumi's the spokeswoman for the company .
People have mentioned that the studio version of MOON is shorter than what they heard from the live version of the song which someone recorded from her currently ongoing ARENA TOUR 2010 A ~Rock'n'Roll Circus~ .
Regardless of which , I like the song . It's not as enpowering as You were ... but in here , it shows a raw & emotional side of ayumi which's what she does best in .
I do admit MOON by right's something that ayumi has probably done before style wise but it's the way on just how enpowering she sounds in here which won me in earnest .
The 2nd A-side blossom will be reviewed in due time & so are the following B-sides which're originally found in Rock'n'Roll Circus :
- Microphone (THE LOWBROWS remix)
- Last Links (Orchestra version) (CD Only Track)
- Don't look back (Reggae Disco Rockers remix) (CD Only Track)
- meaning of Love (Acoustic Piano version) (CD Only Track)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
alan - Kaze ni Mukau Hana (The Flower Which Faces The Wind)
CD + DVD Type A
CD + DVD Type B
Kaze ni Mukau Hana (The Flower Which Faces The Wind) is alan's 13th single . It will be released on 7th July & this comes about 5 months + since the release of her 1st double A-side single Diamond / Over the clouds .
alan's latest single will be used as the theme song of the movie Hisshiken Torisashi , which will be released on July 10th in the cinemas of Japan .
Kaze ni Mukau Hana will be released in five different versions : a CD + DVD edition A , a CD + DVD edition B , a CD only edition & two mu-mo only shop editions (CD + DVD and CD only) .
mu-mo is an online shop that's own by alan's record label avex trax in Japan .
The mu-mo CD only edition will be bundled with tickets for alan's 2nd concert , which is also availiable through a pre-order site .
Kaze ni Mukau Hana brings back best to what alan's known for ie. big sweeping ballads with her signature yodelling throw in for good measures .
Immediately in the beginning of Kaze ni Mukau Hana , you can hear her yodelling which's something that she has not used lately in her current material so if Diamond / Over the clouds was a bit hard to swallow , then Kaze ni Mukau Hana should be good enough to please even the most hardcore alan fan around .
The following songs serve as B-sides in Kaze ni Mukau Hana ::
- Koko ni Iru (I'm Here) ; CD Only & CD + DVD Type A track
- Ii Hi Tabidachi (The Day Going On A Journey Which Is Good) (Cover of Yamaguchi Momoe) ; CD Only track
CD + DVD Type B tracks ::
- Gunjou no Tani (Ultramarine Valley) (alan 1st concert -voice of you- version)
- Megumi no Ame (Rain's Blessing) (alan 1st concert -voice of you- version)
- Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~ (alan 1st concert -voice of you- version)
Live tracks will not be reviewed .
Monday, June 14, 2010
ON/OFF - Butterfly
CD + DVD
Tracklist for both CD Only & CD + DVD's :
3) Butterfly (Instrumental)
CD + DVD Durarara !! Edition
3) Butterfly (TV Size Ver.)
4) Butterfly (Instrumental)
Butterfly is ON/OFF's 5th single . It was released a few days ago on 9th June & this's their 1st release in over close to a year & 2 months .
The A-side's currently used as the 2nd ending theme for the anime Durarara !! .
Butterfly debuted at #15 with 1st week sales of 9,787 & this's the twins's best charting performance for a release to date .
The twin brothers's debut album Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- was released last year on 22nd April & Butterfly's also their 1st material to be released under DefSTAR Records in which they're now label mates with Kanon Wakeshima & Ken Hirai .
Boy oh boy , I can really say it has been a long time in waiting for the brothers to release something after they went MIA on me after they put out Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- but I have to say Butterfly's worthy of an amazing comeback for the twins !
Butterfly still treads on the Pop side that they're known for but the way the melody of the song's being structured , it's so in such a way that it has a lot of bites & kicks & not to mention attitude .
Needless to say , I was very drawn into the song on 1st listen & I actually enjoy this a lot more than their last single Hana Kagari (Bamboo Flower) .
CONNECTION serves as the B-side for Butterfly . It's still Pop but I do not find anything special about it . It's not a fave B-side I will consider of the twins as they have other better B-sides they had done before & CONNECTION is definitely's not in the same calibre as Butterfly .
But it doesn't mean it's a bad song . I don't mind listening to it but CONNECTION doesn't have that OMG feeling going on for me .
After close to a 14/15 months hiatus , ON/OFF finally returns back with this really solid single Butterfly & I have to say that this single has not left my mp3player since it was leaked out on the net & the A-side just gets better as each listen goes by .
I think it's great that Butterfly's performing a lot more better than I expected on the Oricon charts & I'm not really surprised since it has a relatively strong anime tie in , in the form of being used in Durarara !! & it's also the same anime that Matsushita Yuya's 4th single Trust Me was used a while back ago .
I do hope I wouldn't have to wait that long for ON/OFF to release something new again as I find them really under-rated . I'm not a Pop person to begin with but there's just something/an edge Naoya & Kazuya have going on with each other which I really like .
If you have not take notice of ON/OFF's music , then now's probably the right time to do so .
Sunday, June 13, 2010
KAT-TUN - SWEET (Kamenashi Kazuya's Solo)
SWEET is found as track #11 in KAT-TUN's 5th album NO MORE PAIИ which will be released on 16th June .
This time round , SWEET is a solo song that's sung by the the 1st co-lead vocalist & some will say the unofficial leader in the group , Kamenashi Kazuya .
While SWEET lacks that oomph/fire which's lacking in past solo songs of Kame such as 1582 (which was really & downright amazing) , Kizuna (Bonds) & let alone someday for somebody , it's actually well a sweet song to hum along to .
At least I do not find SWEET to be cheesy & over the top like w/o notice ?? . Also it seems to me that Kame is generally quite at ease in belting out SWEET which's cool .
This's the last album track that I will be reviewing as sooner or later , the whole album of NO MORE PAIИ will leak out & I rather do a full length album review , rather than writing anymore bits & pieces of NO MORE PAIИ at this point in time .
But from what I have heard so far of NO MORE PAIИ , it's very promising/exciting . Think of it as a mashup hybrid between KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES- & Break the Records -by you & for you- , in terms of the sound & variety the group's latest album offering will bring to the table .
Saturday, June 12, 2010
CD Review :: BENI - Lovebox
CD + DVD
1) Lovebox Intro
2) Yura Yura (Slowly Shaking)
4) Hitomi Tojite (Close Your Eyes)
5) Gimme Gimme♥
6) Girl's Night Feat JAMOSA
7) a million jewels
8) Kimi Ja Nakya (It Has To Be You)
9) bye bye
11) break the rules
12) he is mine
13) My Friend
15) Zutto Futari de (Always The Two Of Us) unplugged version (Bonus track)
Lovebox is BENI's 2nd (5th overall) album . It was released on 2nd June & this comes less than 9 months + since the release of her previous album Bitter & Sweet .
3 singles are included in Lovebox . The album debuted at #1 with 1st week sales of 22,528 , making this her very 1st release to debut at #1 on the Oricon charts .
In Lovebox , BENI expresses various forms of love on her new album & you can find songs which centres on love in different states , from happy to sad & etc .
After a nice 1:09 mins Lovebox Intro , BENI dived straight into Yura Yura (Slow Shaking) which's the 1st A-side of her 8th single Yura Yura / Gimme Gimme♥ .
Yura Yura / Gimme Gimme♥ is also her 1st double A-side single release too & even up to now , I'm still am not bored with Yura Yura . Some people have pointed out that it's the Kiss Kiss Kiss of Lovebox which I'm not sure why as I feel both songs do not sound the same .
Regardless of which , Yura Yura is a bit different from what BENI usually does .
Sign is BENI's 6th single & it was used as in the ads of Recochoku . The song samples Matsutoya Yumi's Haru , Koi (Spring Love) which's supposedly to be a classic song of Matsutoya .
While Kiss Kiss Kiss is the 1st song I heard of BENI , it's only from Sign onwards that I began to follow her music journey .
Perhaps it was because Sign was released during the time when it was Winter in Japan ie. on 20th Jan this year , you can hear somewhat Winter vibes that Sign gives which's really lovely & the piano touches are nice as well .
Hitomi Tojite (Close Your Eyes) is the 1st album track & for a spilt second , I thought is BENI going to cover Ken Hirai's most famous tune but then I realised oops for Ken's case , it's Hitomi wo Tojite lol .
No matter , Hitomi Tojite is quite a standout track in Lovebox . It's a lot more Pop driven then most of what BENI's known for & it's a good mid tempo song that I like .
Gimme Gimme♥ is the 2nd A-side of BENI's 8th single Yura Yura / Gimme Gimme♥ . Unlike the 1st A-side which does not have any promotion tie in , Gimme Gimme♥ was used in the ads of KAO Violet Body Deli .
Just like Yura Yura , I frankly have no problems with Gimme Gimme♥ as it's catchy . Both A-sides tend to sound simliar to a certain extent but as time goes by , you definitely can tell there's quite a considerable differene with both songs .
Girl's Night is the 2nd album track & it's also the only song that features a collaboration . Rapper Dozhi-T was present in Bitter & Sweet and now in Lovebox , it's JAMOSA that steps in to sing with BENI .
Honestly , Girl's Night as a song is fun & quite heavily synth driven . The only problem I have was JAMOSA's vocals . Prior to this , I had no exposure as to how JAMOSA sounds like & in Girl's Night , her voice kind of clashes with BENI & was a bit difficult/gratty for me to handle .
a million jewels is another mid tempo R&B/pop track . There's frankly nothing special to shout about this song . I think it's slotted in the album for the sake of doing so .
Kimi Ja Nakya (It Has To Be You) is the 1st album ballad & I really like this song on 1st listen . You're able to hear just how emotional driven BENI's . It still has a Pop flair but the fingers snapping beats you can hear in Kimi Ja Nakya just makes the song stands out in more ways than other .
bye bye is BENI's 7th single & it was used as the ending theme for the program HEY ! HEY ! HEY ! . Also , bye bye was released on the same day as her 1st live album/concert DVD Bitter & Sweet Release Tour FINAL .
I still remember when I reviewed bye bye , I was really impressed with how refreshingly Oriental sounding it's & the song still sounds great even up to now .
MOVE follows after bye bye & this's quite a nice R&B mid-tempo song . I'm not sure why but I somehow find MOVE's melody quite similiar to Fergie's Clumsy . Also , I realised that MOVE has somewhat of a more Americanised flair as compared to other songs in Lovebox .
I don't know if that's a good or bad thing but I leave it as it's .
break the rules is the next album track & ooh lala , this's really hot ! I definitely can see break the rules being blasted loud & proud in a club & I'm quite sure BENI was trying to create that clubbing atmosphere when she was recording break the rules .
If so , then she definitely has succeeded nicely with what she wanted to achieve with break the rules .
he is mine is track #12 in Lovebox . Honestly , I find the song quite un-memorable & boring on 1st listen . It's 1 of the more mellow/calmer sounding beats in the album .
Other than that , I don't know what other fitting words to describe he is mine . Maybe dreamy ?
My Friend follows soon after he is mine . Unlike other songs in Lovebox which're quite R&B/Pop , this's probably the only song that's quite acoustic guitar pop driven .
So hearing My Friend is quite a breath of fresh air I have to add .
Message is the 2nd last album track in Lovebox & just like My Friend , it's another song that's unique in Lovebox .
Unlike he is mine , Message has something good to offer as it's a nice mid tempo no. that's slightly synth & a lot more piano driven . I thought I might get bored with Message but thankfully that's not the case .
Zutto Futari de (Always The Two Of Us) is BENI's 4th single & in here , it has been given an unplugged version & is available as a bonus track in Lovebox .
I was really surprised when I heard the unplugged version of Zutto Futari de . Compared to the original , this's basically a really raw & stripped down version of Zutto Futari de .
You can feel just how much emotions BENI poured into the unplugged version of the song & this proves to me that BENI is able to tackle both mid tempo songs & ballads quite well & it's definitely nice to wrap things up in Lovebox with the unplugged version of Zutto Futari de .
Unlike Bitter & Sweet , BENI wasn't really able to evade the 2nd album syndrome with Lovebox , musically . Quite a lot of the album tracks sounded basically the same to me , like melted chocolate .
Also , some of the songs are really samey & took me quite a long time to remember how they sound like . I was actually expecting songs that probably might be another nice & slow , STAY & let alone Beautiful World which some of these tracks were stellar/great from Bitter & Sweet but I wasn't able to find anything of that same/on par calibre in Lovebox .
Considering that Lovebox was released barely less than 9 months after Bitter & Sweet , some parts of the album I feel are really rushed & if you notice , BENI did not include any B-sides in Lovebox .
I think if she would have included Gon' luv u & Stylish , things might have been better as I find the B-sides from her singles really solid & when you have too little singles & too many album tracks , sometimes in order to make the album tracks sound on par if not better than the singles which're already good by right , things might backfire which unfortunately , that's what Lovebox suffered in this aspect .
No matter , I still have not lose faith in BENI & I actually should be happy for her seeing that Lovebox's her very 1st release to debut at #1 on the Oricon charts so it's good for her as I know she has come a long way since her early days in the industry when she was in avex trax .
Her 9th single Heaven's Door will be released on 11th Aug & hopefully BENI will be able to offer something different to shake things up a bit & frankly , I don't mind if she's able to step out of her music comfort zone & delivers something unusual to the plate .
That will be something awesome for me to look out for .
ARASHI - To be free
To be free is ARASHI's 31st single . It will be released on 7th July & this comes less than 2 months after the release of their previous single Monster .
The song is featured in the ad of Asahi's Mitsuya Cider soft drink which Sakura Sho appeared in & this time round , it's only released in a CD + DVD format & the single doesn't include any B-sides other than the instrumental for the A-side .
Incidentally or not , To be free will be released on the same day as leader Ohno Satoshi's solo single Yukai Tsukai Kaibutsu-Kun .
The drama stars Ohno himself in which he plays the lead character Kaibutsu-kun . While Monster is used to promote the drama , Yukai Tsukai Kaibutsu-Kun is sung solely by Ohno & you can hear it being used as an insert no. , that's if you're watching the drama currently .
To be free has been described as an up-tempo rock song that recalls the images of running free in the wild .
I don't know why did CDJapan classified To be free as a catchy pop tune because when I saw the phrase 'catchy pop tune' , I was like oh no is To be free going to be another poor cousin of Everything , Troublemaker & let alone Sora Takaku (Sky High) which I feel it's probably 1 if not the most boring song I came across this year so far & also in the group's discography too .
Thankfully or not , my fears were soften after I heard To be free in full . I do like it on 1st listen & it's a bit difficult for me to compare it with past singles that ARASHI released before .
Honestly , I can't pinpoint any other songs in their discography that has the same if not identical flair as To be free but this's something nice to listen to if you want to kick back & relax .
Oh in case you wonder why To be free is only released in a CD + DVD format , it's simple really . The song will be excluded from the group's long awaited 9th album Boku no Miteiru Fukei which will drop on 4th Aug & yes I'm annoyed this has happened but I suppose this's to make room for more album tracks & let alone new solos which will be included in Boku no Miteiru Fukei .
Boku no Miteiru Fukei will be ARASHI's 1st album release since 2008's Dream"A"live & it follows the same release format/pattern as Dream"A"live & Time ie. the 1st disc will contain singles & new group album tracks while the 2nd disc will have 5 solo songs .
I sure hope Boku no Miteiru Fukei will be on par if not better than Time (which I doubt it might happen but you never know) as I find Dream"A"live to be a big disappointment musically .
The singles that made the cut on Boku no Miteiru Fukei are already great to me (except for Troublemaker) so the group's going to really step up their game if they want to win me back musically .
Friday, June 11, 2010
Shota Shimizu - GOODBYE
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD's editions
GOODBYE is Shota Shimizu's 6th solo single . It will be released on 7th July & this comes about 4 months + since the release of his 2nd album Journey which was his 1st album to debut at #1 on the Oricon album chart .
I frankly was expecting something gloomy/moody from Shota , especially with a song title like GOODBYE but surprisingly when I gave the song a listen , it actually gives off positive vibes & I also echo the same thing yesterday when I reviewed Matsushita Yuya's Sono Toki Made no Sayonara (Until Then Goodbye) too .
Guess this shows that I should not judge a song based on its title alone & it's nice that GOODBYE is a relatively R&B mid tempo track that's piano driven which's cool .
The following songs serve as B-sides in GOODBYE :
- Be With You duet with JOE
- Again Feat SHUN
Thursday, June 10, 2010
CD Review :: Matsushita Yuya - I AM ME
CD + DVD
1) Prologue ~I AM ME~
3) foolish foolish
4) Interlude I
5) Mr. "Broken Heart"
6) LAST SNOW
7) Koe ni Naranakute (It Doesn't Become A Voice) Feat Sista
9) Interlude II
10) Futari (2 Of Us)
11) Negai ga Kanau Nara ... (If My Dream/Wish Comes True) ... -Album Version-
12) Trust Me
13) first snow Feat Sista
14) Sono Toki Made no Sayonara (Until Then Goodbye)
15) Interlude III
17) Kiss me
I AM ME is the long awaited debut album released by Matsushita Yuya (I will be using MY in my post from here onwards as I'm too lazy to spell Matsushita & let alone his name in full lol) . It was released last Wed on 2nd June & its original release date was 17th March .
5 singles , 4 B-sides , 2 digital singles made the cut in I AM ME . Throw in an introduction & 3 interludes , you're only left with 3 new songs which serve as album tracks . (That's if you have been following MY pretty much since his debut til now)
I AM ME debuted at #15 with 1st week sales of 5,437 & MY's debut album is produced by Jin Nakamura whose has composed/produced for other artistes's works , most recently for NEWS's leader Yamashita Tomohisa's 2nd single Loveless .
Before I go onto reviewing I AM ME , I would like to make a short summary towards Prologue ~I AM ME~ & the 3 interludes you can find being dotted all over the album . All 4 interludes basically flow very nicely to the next song(s) despite the somewhat plain ordinary song titles .
Prologue ~I AM ME~ flows very well/nicely & you dive straight into YOU which's MY's 5th single & the final/latest single to be included before I AM ME was released .
Supposedly cowrote by MY himself under the pen-name U according to what I found in the CD sleeves of I AM ME , this's 1 song that I'm still am never sick of . It's a darker version of MY's 4th single Trust Me & it's still a great catchy no. even up to now .
foolish foolish is MY's debut single . So you basically have MY's debut & latest singles being slotted back to back together .
Frankly there's nothing terribly exciting with regards to foolish foolish . I honestly find it to be a standard R&B no. but this's no doubt a music stepping stone for MY that's for sure .
After Interlude I , it's the 1st B-side you can find in the album which's Mr. "Broken Heart" .
The song was originally found as a B-side in foolish foolish & this's 1 song I'm glad to see in I AM ME because it's a really solid no. & I personally like it a lot more than the A-side .
Also the fact that MY had a hand in cowriting the song , it's nice I say .
LAST SNOW is MY's 2nd single & this song brings back a lot of memories for me because it's the very 1st song I heard from him while I was watching MTV China on cable last year .
This's so far the only ballad that MY has released as a single & it's definitely a keeper . You get to hear just how emotional driven MY is in LAST SNOW too .
Koe ni Naranakute (It Doesn't Become A Voice) is MY's 1st digital single & both digital singles feature the vocals of duo Sista .
I still remember last year when I reviewed Koe ni Naranakute on my blog , I was realy impressed with this song & up to now , it's something that I have not been bored with .
MY's vocals flow very well & in consistent with Sista . In Koe ni Naranakute's case , MY himself does a fair bit of rapping other than singing which's really cool & he cowrote both digital singles in I AM ME with the 2nd one that will be review shortly .
Agitation is the 1st new album track & this's some really hot stuff to groove along to ! MY cowrote this smooth R&B jammer & it has quite a heavy Pop flair attached .
I somehow knew that Agitation was going to be something hot to look out after I was impressed with the preview of the song which you can hear on MY's official site & the full version definitely did not disappoint .
The next 2 songs are B-sides .
The melody of Interlude II flows straight into the 2nd B-side of I AM ME aka Futari (2 Of Us) .
The song was originally found as the B-side no. of MY's 4th single Trust Me . It was used as the theme song for the movie Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo .
Similarly like Mr.“Broken Heart" , Futari is another B-side that I'm real pleased is included in I AM ME as it's such a beautiful emotional driven ballad .
Not to mention , it plays a great contrast towards Trust Me too .
Negai ga Kanau Nara ... (If My Dream/Wish Comes True) ... was originally found as the B-side of MY's 3rd single Honesty . The song so far's the only B-side of MY to receive a music video .
Despite quite a lot of online sites crediting this as Honesty / Negai ga Kanau Nara ... as MY's 3rd single , I will only accept Honesty as an A-side as it's stated as so on MY's website .
Negai ga Kanau Nara ... is also the only song in I AM ME being given an album version/twist .
Compare with the single & album versions of the song , the album take of Negai ga Kanau Nara ... I feel is a lot more stronger vocally . There's frankly not much musical difference between the single & album take of Negai ga Kanau Nara ... but no matter , it's still a solid song .
Trust Me is MY's 4th single & it was used as the ending theme song for the anime Durarara !! .
MY cowrote Trust Me & this's generally considered to be the song which made more people sit up & take notice of him as this's after all MY's 1st single to crack the top 10 on Oricon .
Well there're no further words for me to describe just how awesome Trust Me is even up to now . It's definitely hard not to like Trust Me with it being such a great catchy R&B no. & it's 1 of his more stronger prominent singles that MY has released to date .
first snow is MY's 2nd digital single & just like Koe ni Naranakute , the song also features Sista & it's an answer call song to MY's 2nd single LAST SNOW as both songs's melody are pretty much almost identical .
This's the 6th song that MY has a hand in cowriting in I AM ME . Unlike Koe ni Naranakute , first snow did not receive a music video even though I saw some footages of first snow's video being played on MY's website way back in Jan this year .
As to why first snow did not get a music video , I will probably never know why but I really like both digital singles & like what I said before for Koe ni Naranakute , Sista's vocals compliment MY's voice very well .
MY does a lot more rapping in first snow which's nice & the chorus you can hear both artistes belting together is the same as LAST SNOW .
Sono Toki Made no Sayonara (Until Then Goodbye) is the 2nd new album track & this's the only song that MY wrote solely which I'm impressed .
Despite the somewhat gloomy song title , Sono Toki Made no Sayonara is actually somewhat positive sounding . Unlike the other songs you can find in I AM ME , Sono Toki Made no Sayonara utilised quite a strong guitar pop flair & I like the electric guitar riffs being thrown in for good measures .
The melody of Interlude III flows real well into the final B-side of I AM ME aka Hallucination .
Hallucination was originally found as a B-side in MY's 5th single YOU . It serves as the theme song for the musical Kuroshitsuji -The Most Beautiful DEATH in The World- Sen no Tamashii to Ochita Shinigami in which MY plays the main character Sebastian Michaelis .
I do admit that Hallucination is something that doesn't sit well with me even up to now . Maybe because of the length seeing that it's the longest track in I AM ME at 5:51 mins but there's no deny that MY brings a lot of emotions & character into Hallucination .
In fact if you realised by now or not , no B-sides are included/taken from MY's 2nd single LAST SNOW .
Kiss me is the last album track . To me , I do not find anything special about Kiss me . It's nice/catchy but there's just something about it that I feel is lacking .
I'm not sure why but it's probably because of the lyrics that are a bit too cheesy for me to handle .
Honesty is MY's 3rd single & it's the final track in wrapping things up in I AM ME .
There's no deny that Honesty is very catchy on 1st listen just like Trust Me & this single can be considered as the start of MY's change in apperance (if you compare & contrast the covers/music videos of his 1st 2 singles with Honesty lol) .
For it to be slotted as the last track in MY's debut album , it's more or less perfect . I actually wish that the acoustic of Honesty was included as a bonus track as I find that very solid as a B-side no. in the single but ah well .
After making his presence felt with foolish foolish in the JPop/R&B music scene some 2 years back , Matsushita Yuya has finally released his long awaited debut album I AM ME despite a slight delay in the release date .
If you're someone who have followed MY's music journey pretty much since his debut til now like myself , then for I AM ME's case , you're definitely am happy for MY as he has come a long way , be it musically & then some .
Naturally if you have his 1st 5 singles then you might feel a bit cheated/cheesed off considering that you can find 4 B-sides in I AM ME & like what I said before , after deducting the interludes , digital singles & singles , you only get 3 album tracks at the end of the day .
For me , I do not have a problem since I do not have any physical copies of his singles but the whole album in general I feel is very solid/well produced due to the touches that MY's producer/composer Jin Nakamura put into .
The sound consistency's there from the start to the beginning & in I AM ME , MY proves that he's versatile when comes to belting out smooth R&B tunes & heartfelt ballads , something that's not easy to tackle when comes to both genres of music .
A debut album that's frankly worth waiting for & hopefully this release pattern for I AM ME's case will not repeat in his subsequent albums .
I look forward to see what else MY & Jin Nakamura has in stores . Hopefully I wouldn't have to wait that long for MY to release something new again but until then , I will be plugging I AM ME on repeat mode for a while now .
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
flumpool - reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ (~Do Not Give Up Song~) / Nagareboshi (Shooting Star)
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD
reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ (~Do Not Give Up Song~) / Nagareboshi (Shooting Star) is flumpool's 4th single . The quartet's latest single will be released 2 weeks later on 23rd June .
The single comes in 3 months + since the release of previous single Zanzou (After Image) & is produced by Kenji Tamai .
reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ / Nagareboshi is flumpool's 2nd double A-side single release & they probably has the unofficial honour of having the most questionable cover for a single in 2010 so far in the 1st 1/2 year of 2010 too lol
The 1st A-side reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ has an impressive grand introduction , that could sum up a glimpse of their mature songwriting and lyrics .
According to lead singer Ryuuta , 'everything so far has been our chapter 1 & this new song is the beginning of our second chapter .
The word reboot means to start up again & it includes how I'd like us to overcome whatever hardships we have together .'
reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ will be used as the theme song for NTV's programmes providing coverage of the World Cup in South Africa this year , in support of the Japanese soccer team .
In response , Ryuuta said , 'Whenever you seem to hit a wall or be faced with truly adverse circumstances , as long as there's someone important to you by your side , you feel like you can overcome those obstacles without ever giving up . Hence , it's an honour to make a song that could , together with the rest of the supporters , cheer the Japanese players on .'
With regards to the Japanese team , he added , 'Even though we can't do as much, we're cheering you on with all our might . Be careful out there on the field & play your best with no regrets !'
NTV will broadcast 16 programmes featuring live footage from the World Cup which kicks off this Fri on 11 June , including live matches such as Japan vs Denmark (24 June , midnight Japan time) as well as highlights from the World Cup .
The song will be a fitting accompaniment to the world's most prominent tournament . For the Japanese team seeking to reinvent their present circumstances , the 'reboot' motif in the song captures that perfectly .
Despite reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ being really long at over 5 mins or so , this's still a really neat A-side I have to add . Even though it's used as the theme song for NTV's programmes providing coverage of the World Cup in South Africa this year , you don't really tend to take notice of that much football influence in the song , it's basically something that flumpool's good at .
The 2nd A-side Nagareboshi can be described as a song which's likened to a chance meeting with the shooting of live encounters with fans , for fans that support the band on a regular basis .
I don't know if it's just me but I somehow feel/realised that both songs utilised almost the same if not identical melody . I'm not sure why I felt this way & it didn't really help that both songs were over 5 mins long .
Basically for Nagareboshi , it's a mid tempo ballad which contrats reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ nicely & at this point in time , it's not certain whether Nagareboshi will get a music video as I haven't seen it on the net yet .
I think it will since flumpool did made music videos for MW ~Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque~ / Natsu (Summer) Dive .
Calling (LIVE at C.C.LEMON Hall) serves as the B-side no. in flumpool's latest single . Calling can be found as track #1 in their 1st full length debut album What's flumpool ?! .
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
KAT-TUN - N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN)
N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) is found as track #1 in KAT-TUN's upcoming 5th album NO MORE PAIИ which will be released next Wed on 16th June .
The song shares the same title as the album & it's the 2nd time an album track of the group is getting a music video after cartoon KAT-TUN II you's YOU .
Just like cartoon KAT-TUN II you , you will not find any vocal input by the 2nd co-lead vocalist Akanishi Jin aside from the singles other than Going ! .
If you know how the opening track T∀BOO which's track #1 of the group's 3rd album KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES- , then you probably know what to expect for N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) .
For me , I love it on 1st listen . It's quick/fast to rip it off as a T∀BOO clone but there're some subtle differences between both songs .
N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) is not as private theme influenced as T∀BOO & it's a bit more mysterious in sounding .
Considering that N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN is slotted as the 1st track in NO MORE PAIИ , it's real solid I have to say & I can see (hear) why this's the only album track getting a music video .
Bits & pieces of NO MORE PAIИ has already surfaced on the net & the songs will be reviewed in due time . If not , then I will do a full album review when everything's leaked out on the net since it's less than a week's time or so before it will be released officially in Japan .
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Kuroki Meisa - 5-FIVE-'s B-sides
CD + DVD
The following songs serve as B-sides in Kuroki Meisa's 2nd single 5-FIVE- which was released on 2nd June :
- The Only One
- So Smooth
The A-side is an R&B track , a catchy party tune that's perfect for the summer .
5-FIVE- debuted at #23 with 1st week sales of 4,177 .
I suppose the closest you can describe the 1st B-side The Only One is a mid tempo ballad , just like the case for LOST which's found in her debut mini album hellcat .
Not that it's a bad thing as by right , I seldom hear Kuroki do such slower than usual mid tempo tracks as she usually tends to focus on really upbeat no.s so this's a nice change for her to include The Only One in the single .
The 2nd B-side So Smooth is like what the song title suggest , it's a smooth R&B no. . It's still a mid tempo track like The Only One but compared to the former , I feel So Smooth is a lot more catchy because of the melody that has been incorporated into the song .
After releasing her 2nd mini album ATTITUDE , Kuroki Meisa returned back with this pretty solid 2nd single 5-FIVE- . The A-side's indeed still catchy up til now & considering that Summer's around the corner for Japan , this's 1 single that should be plug in full volume mode in your stereo .
Hopefully I wouldn't have to wait that long for her to roll out another single .
Friday, June 04, 2010
SID - Rain's B-sides
The following 2 songs serve as B-sides in SID's 6th single Rain which was released 2 days ago on 2nd June :
- chapter 1 (Live from 『Ichiban Suki na Basho 2010』)
Rain is currently used as the opening theme song for the anime FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST . Promotion started from 4th April onwards & the anime's going to end very soon & Rain will be used all the way towards the conclusion of FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST .
The single debuted at #2 with 1st week sales of 71,804 .
The 1st B-side cut contrasts Rain very well . It's basically a standard jrock track that SID delivers . I frankly don't find anything terribly exciting when comes to cut but it's still worthy of a good listen .
Recorded live from their Ichiban Suki na Basho gig which's a men-only concert performance (don't ask) , it's chapter 1 .
Despite being a live rendition , chapter 1 I feel is really solid & I like it a lot more than cut simply because of the subtle violin strings/touches attached to the song which's really gorgeous .
I have not seen how the guys are like in performance but lead singer Mao sounds almost if not exactly the same as what you hear on a CD .
After the release of their last single sleep , SID has not stopped in delivering 1 great solid single after another & the same thing applies for Rain too .
I sure hope the guys will release a new album soon . It has been almost a year since the release of their 1st major label album hikari which I still find it very solid up til now .
Hopefully some updates on this will follow suit as this's 1 JRock band that has not disappoint me with what they have delivered .