Saturday, July 31, 2010

ai otsuka - I ♥ xxx Covers & Promotion Pictures

CD Only



CD + DVD





Since I already reviewed ai otsuka's 21st single I ♥ xxx a while back ago & that it will not come with any B-sides , I will just post the covers & promotion pictures pertaining to this .

I ♥ xxx will be released on 8th Sept .






Friday, July 30, 2010

Hilcrhyme - Daijoubu (Alright)

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



1) Daijoubu (Alright)
2) Ouin Kenbun Roku (Rhyme From Around the World)



Daijoubu (Alright) is Hilcrhyme's 4th single . It was released on 28th April & its peak position was #6 .

The A-side was used for promotion in the variety shows Onegai ! Ranking & MUSIC EDGE . It also served as an ending theme no. for Osaka Style in April . Aside from that , it was also used in the ads for Recochoku .

I really like Daijoubu on 1st listen . Unlike Loose Leaf , this's very much piano driven & the emphasis is not that greatly felt on the hip hop side .

Vocalist TOC as always , does his magic in rapping/singing & I think he does this at ease , the ending result gives you this pretty flawless mid temop no. which's really fantastic !

The B-side Ouin Kenbun Roku (Rhyme From Around the World) is also another solid track . In here , Ouin Kenbun Roku takes on a music route which consists of the duo's signature hip hop rap sounds & this fast paced combination is being mixed together with influences coming from Egyptian/Arabic beats .

Verbally , it might sound like a recipe for music disaster but you definitely will not feel so much of it when you listen to Ouin Kenbun Roku which contrasts the A-side very well in which Daijoubu is much more easier/simplified , sound wise .

Just like Loose Leaf , Daijoubu is another great single I enjoyed from Hilcrhyme & I think it's great in Daijoubu , even though you only get 2 songs , they place the emphasis on quality rather than quantity which I frankly don't mind seeing that everything's very well put together .




ARASHI - Summer Splash !





Summer Splash ! is found as track #8 in the 2nd disc of ARASHI's 9th album Boku no Miteiru Fukei which will be released next Wed on 4th Aug .

Just like movin' on , there's the inclusion of Sakurap in Summer Splash ! .

Well even before I talked about Summer Splash ! , it's quite evident on what kind of song it's going to sound like in which yes it's a summer inspired tune .

Summer Splash ! is a nice album track & I think it's cool that the song opened up with rather colourful/interesting keyboard synths & just like the other album tracks which I already have reviewed ie. movin' on & Refrain , this's another solid album track coming from the guys .

This's the last album track that I will review/write from ARASHI's Boku no Miteiru Fukei seeing that sooner or later the album will be leaked out & when the time comes , I will do a full review on their latest album offering .

But from the 3 album tracks that I have reviewed/talked about , I must say Boku no Miteiru Fukei is shaping up to be much more put together as compared to Dream"A"live .

Hopefully my gut feeling on this will be spot on when I finally get to hear Boku no Miteiru Fukei .

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kobukuro - Sotsugyou Shashin (Graduation Photo)





Sotsugyou Shashin (Graduation Photo) is found as track #9 in the 2nd disc of Kobukuro's 1st cover album ALL COVERS BEST which will be released next month on 25th Aug .

The original version was sung by Arai Yumi & also , ayumi hamasaki covered this song which's found in her A BALLADS compilation album & Sotsugyou Shashin is the only cover which she has recorded in her career to date .

ALL COVERS BEST consists of 25 cover songs in total , in which I'm not familiar with quite a lot of them but I'm familiar with some which as follows that Kobukuro has covered

1) Ozaki Yutaka's I LOVE YOU ; Mika Nakashima has covered this before which's found in her 5th album YES

2) Stevie Wonder's Superstition

3) Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World ; Mika has also covered this song before & that goes for Ken Hirai too in which Ken's take of What A Wonderful World can be found in his 1st cover Ken's Bar

4) label mate/friend ayaka's Mikazuki (Crescent Moon) ; ayaka's only #1 single to date

5) The Eagles's DESPERADO ; Ken also covered this classic no. before . It was originally found as a B-side track in his 20th single Hitomi wo Tojite (Close Your Eyes) but it was eventually made available in his 2nd cover album Ken's Bar II

Anyway back to Kobukuro's take on Sotsugyou Shashin , I must say that I really like their version of the song .

I don't want to compare it against ayumi's as both covered Sotsugyou Shashin in their own unique way/style but all I can say's that for Kobukuro's case , they covered the song in a much more laidback/chilled out tone .

I don't know if it's a good or bad thing but frankly songs that have this type of style is perfect if you're just lounging in/reading a book when you're at home which's nice .

The 5 covers/songs which I singled out earlier on other than Sotsugyou Shashin , I will be reviewing them in due time .

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hilcrhyme - Loose Leaf

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



1) Loose Leaf
2) Hikari (Light)



Loose Leaf is hip hop rap duo Hilcrhyme's 5th single . It was released last month on 2nd June & its peak position on the Oricon singles chart was #7 .

The A-side was used as the theme song for the TBS TV drama adaptation of the manga Yankee-kun to Megane-chan .

Loose Leaf has been described as an up-tempo party song & it's also the duo's first drama theme no. .

The group's name is pronounced as Hiru-kuraimu . Consists of DJ KATSU & vocalist TOC , they hail from Niigata Prefecture & they're signed to Universal Music Japan .

Hilcrhyme is a pun on the Japanese pronunciation of hillclimb & the word rhyme .

They are best known for their 2nd single Shunkashuutou (The Four Seasons : Spring , Summer , Autumn & Winter) which was used as the ending theme for CDTV in last Sept & they were the winners of the Best New Artist of the Year category in this year's Japan Gold Disc Award ceremony .

I have heard quite a lot of good things about this duo in line with my BREAKERZ fandom (another story altogether lol) so I somewhat know sooner or later that I will be trying their music in no time .

So far , Hilcrhyme have released 5 singles & a debut album Recital & Loose Leaf is their latest single offering which will be the 1st single that I will be review/talk about .

On 1st listen , Loose Leaf surprised me in that the song opened up with a rather strong acoustic guitar backing which's combined with hip hop elements & also vocalist TOC's unique way of singing/rapping .

Usually I do not like hip hop & rap , especially when both music genres are combined together but surprisingly , Hilcrhyme is able to pull things off at ease .

Also , what I like about Loose Leaf is that it's somewhat cheery/positive in sounding & there's no doubt that I find it very catchy .

The B-side Hikari (Light) is really solid . Just like Loose Leaf , it's acoustic guitar driven except that things are somewhat more toned down .

In absence of hip hop beats , this has been replaced with finger clapping/snapping beats which's great as both elements of acoustic guitar strings & the latter managed to compliment each other very well .

Loose Leaf is a really enjoyable single to listen to from Hilcrhyme & production I feel is really top notch .

Both TOC & DJ KATSU more or less have succeeded in breaking the stereotype in that actually hip hop & rap do can go well together , amidst throwing other music genres in the mix for good measures .

I already have listened to their past singles offerings & I'm more or less have been converted to a fan of the duo at this point in time so reviews for their 1st 4 singles will be written/posted soon , followed lastly by the review of their debut album Recital .

Given more time & exposure , I think this's 1 artiste that has a lot of potential to go very far in the music scene .




ARASHI - movin' on & Refrain





movin' on & Refrain are 2 album tracks which can be found in ARASHI's 9th album Boku no Miteiru Fukei which will be released next Wed on 4th Aug .

Boku no Miteiru Fukei is the group's 1st original album release since 2008's Dream"A"live & both movin' on & Refrain are found in the 1st disc of the album since Boku no Miteiru Fukei will be released only in a standard 2CDs edition .

Found as track #1 , movin' on is a really catchy & angsty driven song which I really like on 1st listen .

The song is currently being used in the ads of Japan Airline (JAL) .

It helps that there's the inclusion of Sakurap in movin' on which usually tends to make the group's songs sound a lot more better than usual .

Refrain is found as track #3 & just like movin' on , it has some similarities in that both songs are somewhat angsty edgy pop driven songs .

Except in this case , Refrain can be sort of classified as a mid tempo ballad without any Sakurap included .

Still , Refrain is really solid & it showcases a more mature side of ARASHI .

I will be reviewing 1 more album track from Boku no Miteiru Fukei & then I will eventually write up a full review on Boku no Miteiru Fukei since it's less than 8 days before the album will be out next Wed but both songs movin' on & Refrain are top notch in my books .

If the rest of the album tracks will follow almost the same pattern/sound/vein , then I have a feeling Boku no Miteiru Fukei will be something that I will really enjoy listening to .

Monday, July 26, 2010

Anna Tsuchiya - Atashi (Me)'s B-sides





The following 2 songs serve as B-sides in Anna Tsuchiya's 11th single Atashi (Me) which was released last Wed on 21st July :

- HEY YOU !
- Brave vibration ~Wicked Dancehall Version~ mush up INFINITY 16

The A-side is a hardcore rock number about a women determined to do things her way . As such , Atashi is an energetic song tailor-made for Anna's tough woman persona .

In actual fact , I have heard the 1st B-side HEY YOU ! much much earlier than Atashi but I hold back in reviewing til now .

HEY YOU ! is currently used in the ads of au by KDDI in which you can see Anna in the ads .

On 1st listen , the song's fun but I feel quite short changed in that HEY YOU ! only clocks in at a mere 2:39 mins . I feel it would have sounded much more complete if Anna extended the song by a few more seconds or so .

The 2nd B-side in the single is the ~Wicked Dancehall Version~ mush up INFINITY 16 of Anna's previous single Brave vibration .

I kind of like this remix of Brave vibration & as far I know , I haven't heard that much remixes & let alone songs which Anna utilised autotune & also , the original & remix of both are quite summer inspired .

Except in this case , the ~Wicked Dancehall Version~ mush up INFINITY 16 of Brave vibration takes on a more somewhat Reggae direction as compared to the original which was very much guitar pop driven .

After getting married & giving birth to her 2nd son , Anna Tsuchiya has returned back to the music scene with her latest single offering Atashi .

I must admit that in general I feel that Atashi is 1 of her weaker single offerings to date in that nothing initally stood out for me but as time goes by , I began to see Atashi in a different light altogether .

Still , I have not lost hope on Anna as she's personally great on what she does/has to offer in actual fact .

Anna's 12th single Shout in the rain will be released on 18th Aug followed by the release of her 3rd album (which's currently untitled) on 22nd Sept , with both the A-side Atashi & 1st B-side HEY YOU ! will be found in the album tracklist , in which HEY YOU ! will be included as a bonus track .

Sunday, July 25, 2010

CD Review :: Kanon Wakeshima - Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~

CD Only



CD + DVD



1) Shakespeare no Wasuremono (Forgotten Things) ~Prologue~
2) Kajitsu no Keikoku (Fruit Valley)
3) Heroine Syndrome
4) twinkle star !
5) Toumei no Kagi (The Invisible Key)
6) Marmalade Sky
7) Kuroneko to Pianist no Tango (Tango Of The Black Cat & The Pianist)
8) Princess Charleston
9) Tree of Sorrow
10) celmisia
11) Otome no March (March Of The Sound Maiden)
12) Shakespeare no Wasuremono (Forgotten Things) ~Epilogue~
13) Shoujo Shikake no Libretto (Lolitawork Libretto) ~Storytelling by solita~





Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ is Kanon Wakeshima's 2nd album . It will be released this coming Wed on 28th July .

Even though it's not officially released in Japan yet but Europe sees an early release date for Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ some 3 weeks back on 7th July .

No physical singles are included in Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ . Instead you get 2 digital singles in the album prior to the announcement of Kanon's 2nd album .

Kanon's debut album Shinshoku Dolce was released last year on 18th Feb & in her 2nd album , all lyrics , cello & vocals were written/provided by her personally .

Just like in the opening track of Shinshoku Dolce ie. sweet ticket , Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ kicks off the album with Shakespeare no Wasuremono (Forgotten Things) ~Prologue~ which's a very nice instrumental piece that's quite heavily cello driven .

Shakespeare no Wasuremono ~Prologue~ sets the mood for the 2nd album before diving right into track #2 Kajitsu no Keikoku (Fruit Valley) .

I really like Kajitsu no Keikoku on 1st listen because it's very angsty driven which's pretty much a mirror image of the material you can find in Kanon's debut album except it's more polished & sleek .

Also , I like the fast paced violin strings which're accompanied by Kanon's signature cello sounds .

Heroine Syndrome is another really solid album track & in here , you can hear a lot more cello influences from Kanon .

Also unlike Shinshoku Dolce which was solely produced/composed by Malice Mizer/Moi dix Mois guitarist Mana , for Heroine Syndrome , it's composed by Kanon herself which's really cool .

In fact , some of the album tracks are composed by Kanon , like for Shakespeare no Wasuremono ~Prologue~ & subsequent tracks which I will point out in due course .

twinkle star ! is very somewhat futuristic sounding while keeping a modern touch on things .

I feel that Kanon sound very somewhat dainty like in twinkle star ! in the song .

I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing but seeing that I like twinkle star ! for it slowing down the pace in Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ after 2 angsty driven tracks , I guess it's not such a bad thing .

Toumei no Kagi (The Invisible Key) is the 1st digital single found in the 2nd album . The song was released last year on 16th Sept & it was used as the theme song for the online game Avalon no Kagi .

I reviewed Toumei no Kagi a while back ago on my blog & I suppose I can consider this as the most prominent track in Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ even though it did not get a music video .

But prior to the announcement of Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ , I have put Toumei no Kagi on encore mode quite a lot of times so it's nice to hear the song again & I still find the melody of Toumei no Kagi extremely cool , with the violin strings , cello & even marching band like drum beats thrown in for good measures .

Marmalade Sky is a somewhat lighthearted cheery song . I was surprised when I 1st heard Marmalade Sky as it presents a different side of Kanon which I was not able to detect in Shinshoku Dolce .

As such , I find this really refreshing which she included in her 2nd album . Kanon's vocals in Marmalade Sky takes on a more child like innocence approach .

Kuroneko to Pianist no Tango (Tango Of The Black Cat & The Pianist) is Kanon's 2nd composition & I find this song very charming .

If you know how the melody goes when comes to Tango dances , well it's more or less what to expect when you listen to Kuroneko to Pianist no Tango .

Also , it's 1 of the more piano driven tracks in Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ too & it has a lighthearted approach just like Marmalade Sky .

Princess Charleston follows almost in the same music vein as Marmalade Sky & Kuroneko to Pianist no Tango .

Except for Princess Charleston's case , it's more cello driven & Mana thrown in subtle church bells in the melody for good measures too which I adore .

Princess Charleston is co-composed by Kanon & microman .

After 3 cheery classical like inspired songs , Tree of Sorrow takes centrestage in bringing back the angst factor in Kanon .

Tree of Sorrow is not as moody as compared to some album tracks in Shinshoku Dolce but you still can hear a lot of emotions that Kanon drawn from when you listen to Tree of Sorrow .

Also , I like the somewhat dramatic approach that Mana takes into consideration when he composed Tree of Sorrow too .

The last 4 tracks on Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ are solely composed by Kanon .

celmisia is quite an unusual no. . The melody for celmisia takes on a more darker route & it's probably 1 of the more darker angsty driven tracks in Kanon's 2nd album too .

That & combined with Kanon's signature cello sounds , celmisia sounds as though it could be used in a dark inspired like anime .

Otome no March (Woman Of Sound March) is the 2nd digital single & it was released this year on 16th Jan .

The beginning of Otome no March was a bit sombre but the song subequently began to carve itself into a song that's somewhat positive in sounding which I think it's cool .

Shakespeare no Wasuremono ~Epilogue~ is the 2nd last album track & just like Shinshoku Dolce's sweet dreams , Shakespeare no Wasuremono ~Epilogue~ is basically a musical box version of Shakespeare no Wasuremono ~Prologue~ .

Sharing the same title as the album , it's Shoujo Shikake no Libretto (Lolitawork Libretto) ~Storytelling by solita~ & it's also the only album track which receives a video .

I can see (hear) why a video was made for Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~Storytelling by solita~ as it's a really solid track & you can hear French words in the backdrop of the song being throw in for good measures & for that , I feel it's a good no. to conclude things .

As the saying goes , good things are worth waiting for & I think this statement can applied towards Kanon Wakeshima's 2nd/comeback album Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ .

I got worried after she went completely MIA after she released Shinshoku Dolce last Feb but it's really heartening to know that she is finally back with this solid/follow up from her debut album .

I suppose the reason as to why she took quite long to return back to the scene is because this time round in Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ , she has a much more hands on approach & she's involved more in composing her material as compared to in Shinshoku Dolce where all the compositions were done by her mentor Mana .

So for her to compose almost 1/2 of the songs in Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ alongside with writing the lyrics for the whole record , it's worth commending for .

Also , I feel that Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ is more mature/well put together & I realised that mood wise , it's a lot more positive/lighthearted/cheery unlike Shinshoku Dolce which some of the album tracks were really dark & somewhat sombre .

Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ is a really solid follow up record from Kanon & it's nice to know that she has escaped the dreaded 2nd album music syndrome .

Hopefully I wouldn't have to wait that long for her to come up with something new once again but for now , I will be plugging Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ on repeat mode .



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Matsushita Yuya - 4 Seasons

CD Only



CD + DVD



CD + DVD Anime





4 Seasons is the 2nd A-side of Matsushita Yuya's 6th single Bird / 4 Seasons which will be released next month on 25th Aug .

The 1st A-side Bird is currently being used as the ending theme for the 2nd season for the anime Kuroshitsuji which has already began its broadcast .

Bird is a ballad with a painful melody that pierces the heart with the message of sympathy .

On the other end , the 2nd A-side 4 Seasons has been selected to be used for promotion for the Kobe Collection 2010 Autumn / Winter fashion show . It's also used as the theme song for MBS's television show DRESS .

4 Seasons has been described as a glittering dance tune which you can hear during this exciting summer season .

I did admit that I find Bird nothing special but I'm really happy that my expectations for the single has been restored after I heard 4 Seasons .

4 Seasons is MY's 1st summer song in his discography & I have to say that he did such a great job in it .

It's a bit daunting for 4 Seasons to sound just as long as Bird but I can pardon things in a way or 2 as I find 4 Seasons really catchy/extremely memorable on 1st listen & it's nearly impossible not to groove/dance along to as soon as the 1st beats of the song hits you .

L.o.L. serves as the B-side in Bird / 4 Seasons .

Friday, July 23, 2010

V6 - only dreaming





only dreaming is the 1st A-side of V6's 37th single only dreaming / Catch which will be released on 1st Sept .

only dreaming / Catch is the group's 1st single release of 2010 after they released their 11th album READY ? on 31st March .

The 1st A-side only dreaming has been selected to be used in the 5th season of AsahiTV's Shin Keishicho Sosa Ikka 9 Gakari drama which stars member Inohara Yoshihiko .

Precious songs of the group were also used in Inohara's drama , which include Good day !! (2006) , Jasmine (2007) , Chou (2008) & GUILTY (2009) .

I have heard only dreaming for a while now in which a radio rip for the song can be found floating around YouTube but I hold back in reviewing it until I received an official confirmation with it getting a physical single release .

I like only dreaming on 1st listen & to me , I feel that the song sounds like a subdued version of GUILTY . There's still some form of angst you can detect but it's good edgy pop material which V6 has once again delivered which I really like .

The 2nd A-side Catch will be reviewed soon & this was selected to be used in the ads of Waseda Academy last month & the theme centres on basketball .

There're quite a lot of B-sides scattered in all 3 editions of only dreaming / Catch in which I will not be review them .

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ayumi hamasaki - MOON / blossom's B-sides





4 B-sides can be found in ayumi hamasaki's 48th single MOON / blossom which was released last Wed on 14th July .

MOON / blossom debuted at #1 with 1st week sales of 70,568 & this's ayumi's 23rd consecutive #1 single .

The original take of the songs can be found in her 11th album Rock'n'Roll Circus & I will denote at the end of each remix by a number which signifies the track number from Rock'n'Roll Circus's tracklist .

Except for Microphone (THE LOWBROWS remix) , the other 3 remixes are only exclusively found in the 2 CD only editions of MOON / blossom .



Microphone (THE LOWBROWS remix) ; #2

This's the 1st remix I heard from the single & I think out of the 4 remixes in MOON / blossom , this probably is my favourite out of the lot .

The original take of Microphone is a mean gritty angsty rock song . In here , it has been transformed into something that has futuristic sleek beats & the end result gives you this really catchy & kicking remix that I really like .

Last Links (Orchestra version) (CD Only Track) ; #6

I really like remixes especially when it deals with orchestra melodies but unfortunately in here , the remix for Last Links did not work out that well as much as I wanted it to work in ayumi's favour .

While I like the orchestra melody going on in Last Links (Orchestra version) , I wish I can say the same thing for ayumi's vocals .

ayumi sounded strained if not overpowered by the melody in Last Links (Orchestra version) quite a lot to a certain extent . As such , I did not enjoy this remix for Last Links as much as I want to .

If things would have been toned down melody wise , Last Links (Orchestra version) would have sounded a lot more better than the original .



Don't look back (Reggae Disco Rockers remix) (CD Only Track) ; #8

Mixing Reggae , Disco & even Rock might seem like a really weird music combination but that's how it goes in the Reggae Disco Rockers remix of Don't look back .

I must admit that I found this music combination a bit hard for me to swallow but surprisingly , it's actually a remix that has grown on me quite nicely as each listen goes by .

The original take of Don't look back is very heavily Arabian/Indian sitar driven but you're still able to hear some traces of it in here which's thrown in for good measures .

meaning of Love (Acoustic Piano version) (CD Only Track) ; #13

I have a weakness when comes to songs that're given the acoustic piano treatment & I guess this can be applied towards the Acoustic Piano version of meaning of Love .

When I reviewed/wrote about Rock'n'Roll Circus , I did said that I did not find meaning of Love to be a fave album track of mine but I suppose things like this can make me changed my mind towards a song which I initally might not like but I probably do now & vice versa .

In here , simplicity is at its best with just ayumi & a piano to accompany her at the background .

===

MOON / blossom is another solid ayumi hamasaki single that I enjoyed listening to from the start to the end .

She was the very 1st JPop artiste that I listened to when I began my JPop music journey some close to 4 years back & I'm happy that up to now , she's still an artiste that I listen/have a great amount of respect towards .

The title of her next single has been revealed as crossroad . Currently it's not known when the release date for crossroad will be & let alone whether will another double A-side single release will follow after MOON / blossom .

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CD Review :: YUI - HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

CD Only



CD + DVD



1) to Mother
2) again
3) Parade
4) es.car
5) Shake My Heart
6) GLORIA
7) I do it
8) Please Stay With Me
9) Summer Song
10) Cinnamon
11) Driving Happy Life
12) It's all too much
13) Kiss me





HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN is YUI's 4th album . It was released last Wed on 14th July & this's YUI's 1st album release in 2 years 3 months since 2008's I LOVED YESTERDAY .

Her new album showcases a newfound maturity of YUI , even though her signature guitar-based sound and soothing vocals also have returned .

Spend your summer with the gentle acoustic sounds of YUI in HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN which debuted at #1 with 1st week sales of 184,952 .

4 singles which're all #1's hits on Oricon are included in HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN & Never say die which's the 2nd A-side of her 14th single It's all too much / Never say die has been excluded from the tracklist .

to Mother is YUI's 16th single & this's incidentally the last/latest single release of YUI prior to the announcement release of HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN .

I'm not sure if it's a good idea to kick the album off with to Mother but anyway this showcases a different side of YUI in that the song's a piano driven no. & not guitar driven since usually her choice of music instrument is the guitar .

again is YUI's 13th/comeback single after she embarked on a 5-6 months hiatus after releasing SUMMER SONG .

The song served as the first opening theme for the anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood & this's also so far the only single of hers which managed to sell more than 100,000 copies in the 1st week .

even though again has been released for quite sometime , I still love the song as it showcases what YUI does best - angsty , power charged & mean in your face edgy rock with plenty of attitude & spunk thrown in for good measures .

The next 3 songs are album tracks .

Parade is the 1st up in line & in here , YUI showcased a soft subtle acoustic side attached to Parade which's really nice .

I like the laidback feeling which Parade presents too which's great .

es.car is the next album track . Unlike Parade , es.car is quite a fast paced mid tempo guitar driven song .

Just like Parade , the melody for es.car is a bit unusual . It's not a straightforward mid tempo no. but YUI thrown in subtle percussion in for good measures too .

Shake My Heart is very cool in the sense that it's a mid tempo song , except that in this case , YUI incorporated subtle gospel like influences in the no. which you can hear the echoes of people singing in the background .

Also I think it's cool that there's the usage of trumpets & frankly , I will not be surprised if this song will be 1 of those no.s that YUI will probably sing to get the crowd grooving around to .

The next 2 songs are singles that YUI had released .

GLORIA is YUI's 15th single . It's also her 1st single release for the year too .

This's still a very catchy no. . I do admit that I was a bit annoyed with how GLORIA sounded like as I was not used to the way it's but I'm fine with it now & also I like the fast paced of the guitar riffs too going on in GLORIA .

I do it is the 4th album track & in here it's a cover of girl trio Stereopony's 3rd single .

While YUI did not had a hand in writing I do it , she composed the song after visiting them in the recording studio .

Since I do not listen to Stereopony , I treat this as a new song & I have to say that it's a nice one . If the rest of the album tracks weren't your cup of tea , then I do it should do fine since it's classic YUI in that it's a standard pop/rock song that's offered in her discography .

Please Stay With Me is the next album track . This's the only album song which got a music video .

The song has been selected to be used as an insert no. for ARASHI's Matsumoto Jun new drama Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku & I suppose you can consider Please Stay With Me as the main promotional album track for HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN .

I reviewed Please Stay With Me separately as a song on my blog before & up to now , it's not something that I'm bored of yet .

I probably can see (hear) why Please Stay With Me has been used quite aggressively to promote HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN because it's more or less in familiar YUI music terrority ground .

Summer Song is YUI's 12th single & this's the oldest single that's included in the album since it was released close to 2 years back , before YUI went on hiatus .

Despite this , I'm still glad that Summer Song made the cut on HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN as it's really solid . Also since now it's summer in Japan , what better way to listen to Summer Song eh ?

Cinnamon is track #10 . Honestly , I do not find anything special about Cinnamon in that I feel it's a typical mid tempo guitar driven album track that YUI includes .

It almost borderline on the filler side too as it took me quite a while to remember how the song sounds like too .

Driving Happy Life is quite cool . I really like the melody on 1st listen & for a second there , I thought it might be a combination of YUI's precious songs Driving & It's happy line too in which I'm not sure why .

But anyway , Driving Happy Life is nice & frankly if I drive , I can see myself listening to this while driving on the highway .

It's all too much is the 1st A-side of YUI's 14th single It's all too much / Never say die .

This's also the last single included in the album .

It's all too much was used as the theme song for the movie KAIJI while Never say die was used as the insert no. but like what I said in the beginning , Never say die is excluded from HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN .

Just like again , It's all too much is a mean gritty no. with a lot of really kicking guitar riffs thrown in that I adore .

I kind of wish that YUI include Never say die but I noticed that she doesn't tend to include the 2nd A-sides of her double A-side single releases , as evident in her last album I LOVED YESTERDAY where she excluded Understand from the tracklist but the song was eventually made available in her 1st B-side compilation album MY SHORT STORIES .

Kiss me is the final album track & this brings closure to HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN in the sense that it's another mid tempo guitar driven no. .

In here , I feel that YUI sounded quite dreamy in Kiss me . I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing but I don't have problems with the song as it wraps up HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN quite nicely .

After close to 2 years 3 months since I LOVED YESTERDAY was released , YUI returns back with her latest album offering HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN .

So the question's , is it worth the wait ? well you'll be the judge in the sense that this time round , the album tracks are a lot more different if not more experimental coming from YUI .

People might find it daunting that the album tracks in HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN stray quite a lot from her singles which're mostly mainstream fare but to me , I don't see anything wrong with it in the sense that I feel YUI returned back to the scene with more mature sounding material which she showcases in the album tracks .

The album does lose a bit of a steam prior to the ending as I find some album tracks that were not memorable on 1st listen but they have grown on me quite significantly since then .

Overall , I feel HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN is a music step up or 2 from I LOVED YESTERDAY & if you like an artiste who dares to experiment out of the box , be it whether the final product is good or bad then HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN might just be the album for you to try , to get your fix of acoustic songs which're accompanied by standard pop/rock no.s .



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kanjani∞ - LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ (~Looking Forward~)





LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ (~Looking Forward~) is Kanjani∞'s 15th single . It will be released on 25th Aug & this comes in less than 2 months since the release of the group's previous single Wonderful World !! .

The guys's brand new single will be used as the theme song for the drama GM odore doctor which member Okura Tadayoshi is acting in & this's their first single to be used in a drama since their debut .

With a band performance and a rock taste in LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ , it showcases a different side of the group as compared to Wonderful World !! .

The A-side is a song that has a message of moving forward without giving up .

Well I'm not going to lie that I did not find LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ very memorable if not catchy on 1st listen .

It took me quite a while to get the hang of the song because it's 1 of their more mature sounding/toned down singles they have put out in recent times , especially if you compare it against Wonderful World !! & let alone Kyu☆Jo☆Show !! .

I wasn't really able to detect any form of strong rock sounds in LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ but I guess the closest you can describe it will be a cousin of Roller Coaster .

The following songs serve as B-sides in LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ :

- Aoshyashin (Blue Pictures)
- Jackhammer (CD Only Track)
- Kyu(Fly)☆Jou(High)☆Show !! COUNTDOWN Remix (CD Only Track)

Monday, July 19, 2010

BREAKERZ - SUMMER PARTY ~Acoustic Version~ (Gekijou / hEaVeN's B-side)




SUMMER PARTY ~Acoustic Version~ is found as the B-side of BREAKERZ's 8th single Gekijou (Passion) / hEaVeN which was released last Wed on 14th July .

Gekijou / hEaVeN debuted at #5 with 1st week sales of 17,517 copies .

SUMMER PARTY is the 1st A-side of the guys's debut single SUMMER PARTY / LAST EMOTION which was released 2 years ago on 9th July .

The original & acoustic for both takes of the song were written & composed by frontman lead singer DAIGO .

I have a lot of great & at most due respect towards SUMMER PARTY as this's the song that essentially started my BREAKERZ music journey in supporting the guys from their single debut all the way to now .

So when I found out that they were going to include/make an acoustic version for SUMMER PARTY , I was really happy/thrilled but at the same time it was unexpected as just like BAMBINO ~Bambino~ , SUMMER PARTY is another song I did not expect that the trio decided to make an acoustic take of it .

On 1st listen of SUMMER PARTY ~Acoustic Version~ , I was really surprised as if you compare it against the original take of the song , it's completely different in the sense that you feel as though you're being transported to Hawaii when you listen to the acoustic version of SUMMER PARTY .

Not that it's a bad thing but I appericate the subtle little touches that DAIGO took into consideration as SUMMER PARTY already on its own is fantastic so to make an acoustic take of things without sacrificing the song , it's tough but somehow or another , they managed to pull things off quite nicely .

That & also , the acoustic version of SUMMER PARTY presents a very laidback & chilled out atmosphere which the guys brought to the table which I really adore .

After almost 8 months or so since their last single release LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no Battle~ , BREAKERZ comes back in full swing with this amazing smashing single Gekijou / hEaVeN .

Both A-sides are really solid with each A-side contrasts one another extremely well & throwing in an acoustic version of SUMMER PARTY , I personally feel it's 1 of their most prominent single release to date .

July is the month where the guys will celebrate their 3rd anniversary in which they will be performing for the 2nd time at the Nippon Budokan later on this month on 30th July .

I sure hope something new will follow suit soon as I know for sure , nothing but the best is expected from them & Gekijou / hEaVeN is evident in this case .



Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yamashita Tomohisa - One in a million

CD Only Regular Edition



CD Only Limited Edition



CD + DVD





One in a million is NEWS's leader Yamashita Tomohisa's 3rd solo single . It will be released on 28th July .

Yamapi's 2nd single Loveless was released last year on 18th Nov .

This time round for One in a million , the A-side has been described as a danceable upper number , a title that no doubt also echoes what fans think of him .

The uptempo dance song tells a story about meeting that special someone .

For an A-side tune , this's sure short , clocking in at under 3 mins .

I didn't like One in a million on 1st listen because I have a bit of a pet peeve of sorts with regards to Japanese songs that try too hard to sound Americanised & unfortunately , that's what I feel towards One in a million on 1st listen .

Also , I'm a bit tired of hearing songs that 'copy' each other with regards to the usage of autotune .

Then again , One in a million has grown on me quite a bit but I suppose out of the 3 solo singles that Yamapi has released , this's probably be slotted in as my least fave outta the lot .

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

- Kuchizuke de Adios (Kiss Of Goodbye)
- My Dear (CD Only Regular Edition Track)
- World is yours (CD Only Regular Edition Track) ; written & composed by Yamapi
- flavor favor for you (CD Only Limited Edition Track)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

ayumi hamasaki - blossom

CD Only Type A



CD Only Type B



CD + DVD





blossom is the 2nd A-side of ayumi hamasaki's 48th single MOON / blossom which was released yesterday on 14th July .

Just like previous songs of ayumi's such as BLUE BIRD , blossom has been selected to be used as a promotion song for Zespri kiwifruit to be used in their Gold & Green Kiwi ads .

Both A-sides are composed by Hoshino Yasuhiko , whom worked before on past ayumi's classic hits such as her debut single poker face & A Song for xx .

A number with a catchy tune , blossom's melody remains with the listener & brings on a feeling of breeziness associated with the coming season of summer .

Guess this no need anymore further explaination with regards to blossom as I did have that old school vibes when I 1st heard the song .

It's definitely not a bad thing as to me , blossom sounds like a throwback to her older works & I have that fairyland vibes in a way or 2 as well & also it contrasts MOON quite nicely I feel .

The following B-sides can be found in MOON / blossom & they're all remixes , with the originals taken from ayumi's 11th album 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, July 13, 2010

CD Review :: Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP NO.1

CD Only Regular Edition



CD Only Limited Edition



1) DREAMER
2) INFINITY
3) Hitomi no (Eyes) Screen
4) Shinku (Crimson)
5) Ganbaretsgo ! (Go For It , Let's Go !) (Hey ! Say ! 7)
6) Jounetsu (Passion) JUMP
7) Smile Song
8) Memories
9) Dreams come true
10) Time
11) Score (Hey ! Say ! BEST)
12) Your Seed
13) I☆Scream
14) Mayonaka no (Midnight) Shadow Boy
15) Dash !!
16) Ultra Music Power
17) Thank You ~Bokutachi Kara Kimi he~ (~From Us To You~)



JUMP NO.1 is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's debut album . It was released on 7th July & the group's 1st 5 singles are included except for Bouken (Adventure) Rider which's the 2nd A-side of their 3rd single Your Seed / Bouken Rider .

The album debuted at #1 with 1st week sales of 156,118 .

JUMP NO.1 kick things off with DREAMER which's written by Yabu Kota whom I considered as the unofficial leader of the group .

DREAMER sets the bar on roughly what to expect in due time for JUMP NO.1 , a not so typical pop song which has edge & bite . For DREAMER's case , it does have that dreamer like vibes going on & I like it for being really catchy .

The 2nd album track INFINITY is written by Yaotome Hikaru & on 1st listen , it has that very fast paced pop vibes & it did reminded me of a much grown up version of their debut single Ultra Music Power .

Hitomi no (Eyes) Screen is the group's 5th single . It was used as the theme song for Yamada Ryosuke's detective drama Hidarime Tantei EYE . This's the last single to be included in JUMP NO.1 .

The wait between their 4th single Mayonaka no (Midnight) Shadow Boy & Hitomi no Screen was really long , almost close to a year in waiting time difference for that matter .

So when the guys finally returned back with Hitomi no Screen , I was really happy as it showcased a mature side of the group & I like the song a lot for being angsty & grown up in sound .

Shinku (Crimson) is written by Yamada & this sounds like a cousin of Mayonaka no Shadow Boy because of the somewhat Spanish influences .

Not that it's a bad thing & considering that it has some personal input from Yamada , it's something worth commanding for & Shinku is a class of its own for being catchy & extremely groovy .

Ganbaretsgo ! (Go For It , Let's Go !) is sung by the sub division of the group , Hey ! Say ! 7 which consists of the 5 younger guys within Hey ! Say ! JUMP .

Well considering how young Hey ! Say ! 7 , I was kind of expecting how Ganbaretsgo ! will sounds like . Thankfully it's not as cheesy sounding as what I thought it might be so this's something good to listen to .

Jounetsu (Passion) JUMP serves as last year's support song for Fuji TV's coverage of the nationwide high school volleyball tournament .

I know this's 1 of the many songs the group performed whenever they go on tour & I'm very happy to hear the studio version pertaining to Jounetsu JUMP . It's a pop song but it has a lot of bite & spunk attached to it which's great .

Smile Song is written by Chinen Yuuri & this's another really solid album track . I like the trumpets that're blaring at the background & it's 1 of those songs that sends out positive vibes the moment you listen to it which I really like .

Memories was used as the theme song of the NTV drama Hidari Me Tantei EYE .

After the last few tracks being uptempo no.s , it's nice to take things slow in the form of Memories which I feel it's really solid & I like the fact that the harmonisation of vocals for the whole group is intact in Memories .

Just like Jounetsu JUMP , Memories is another concert staple song so it's great to see it getting the studio version in JUMP NO.1 .

Dreams come true is the group's 2nd single . It has a fresh breezy sound to complement the spring season & it was used as the image song for the 2008 Volleyball World Cup events ,

I had a lot of dislike towards Dreams come true initally . I'm not sure because I'm perfectly fine with this song now . I guess as time goes by , your opinions towards certain songs can change & I suppose this analogy can apply to Dreams come true .

Time is written by Takaki Yuya while the song's co-arranged by Arioka Daiki & Eddy .

This's yet another song that has a lot of attitude & the fact that there're personal input by 2 members in the group , it's really something worth commending for & I like the whole package that Time presents , from the lyrics down to the edgy gritty melody .

Score is sung by the other sub division of the group aka Hey ! Say ! BEST which're the 5 older guys in Hey ! Say ! JUMP .

The song was written by Yabu while the rap lyrics were written by Hikaru .

Score is a nice song that I enjoyed & kudos to Yabu & Hikaru for providing the lyrics for the song .

Your Seed is the 1st A-side of the group's 3rd single Your Seed / Bouken Rider .

Your Seed was used as the theme song to the Japanese theatrical version of Kung Fu Panda while Bouken Rider was used as the image song for the Fuji TV drama Odaiba Boken O Final but it's excluded from JUMP NO.1 like what I mentioned earlier on .

This's the song that I 1st heard of Hey ! Say ! JUMP & for me even up to now , I still like Your Seed as it's a really grown up no. & I also like the Erhu touches that you can hear in the melody & for that , I still find it to be a really solid song .

I☆Scream is the shortest track in JUMP NO.1 , clocking in at 2:29 mins . While Hikaru had input in previous album tracks such as INFINITY & Score , in here , I☆Scream is both written & composed by him .

Just like Your Seed , I☆Scream has quite a lot of significant Erhu influence in its melody despite the song being really short & throwing in rap lyrics for I☆Scream is quite unusual but somehow or another , it works in the guys's favour .

Mayonaka no Shadow Boy is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 4th single . It was used as the theme song for the NTV school drama Scrap Teacher which starred Nakajima Yuto , Yamada , Chinen & Daiki in their first leading roles .

Like other singles they released , Mayonaka no Shadow Boy is not a typical standard pop song . It has dark shades elements of pop & it's still a catchy piece of work up til now .

The lyrical content is also quite mature for that matter .

Dash !! is written by Yuuto . I frankly do not find anything special for Dash !! as it sounds like a typical pop song to me . It almost borderline on the filler side as I had a bit of a difficulty remembering how it sounds like .

I'm fine with it now but I don't think I will consider Dash !! as a prominent album track .

Ultra Music Power is the group's debut single & the song was used during the broadcast in Fuji TV's 2007 World Cup Volleyball .

If you were to compare Ultra Music Power with Hitomi no Screen , it's quite evident that the guys have come of age in terms of vocals & their choice of music direction .

I suppose when Ultra Music Power was released , all of them were still very young so for this , I can pardon them in a way or 2 .

Thank You ~Bokutachi Kara Kimi he~ (~From Us To You~) is the final track in JUMP NO.1 & for this , it's written by the whole group .

This song is very unique in many levels . For starters , it's the longest track in JUMP NO.1 , clocking in at almost close to 13 mins or so .

Thank You ~Bokutachi Kara Kimi he~ can be spilt up into 3 parts . The 1st 4 mins is the actual song which's a really lovely ballad while at the 6th min , you are able to hear a 2 mins or so montage of their singles except for Bouken Rider .

The last 5 mins or so consist of actual dialogue in which each of the 10 members said their personal thanks in Thank You ~Bokutachi Kara Kimi he~ . I don't recall many Johnny's albums having something like this so it's something that I personally welcome .

The crystallisation of Hey ! Say ! JUMP's debut album JUMP NO.1 is a 3 years effect in waiting ever since the group debuted some 3 years back & for this , I say JUMP NO.1 is worth getting/listening for .

JUMP NO.1 might be a bit daunting to handle as it has 17 tracks but considering that it's not a typical pop album delivered by Hey ! Say ! JUMP , it's really solid & also I appericate that for some album tracks , the members themselves have personal input , be it writing or composing which probably explained the longer than usual wait for the release of JUMP NO.1 .

I feel JUMP NO.1 is really a good debut album . It's still a pop album at the end of the day but the tracks take on different shades/disguises pertaining to pop & for that , it's an enjoyable record to listen to from the start to the end .



Monday, July 12, 2010

Shota Shimizu - GOODBYE's B-sides





The following songs serve as B-sides in Shota Shimizu's 6th solo single GOODBYE which was released on 7th July :

- Be With You duet with JOE
- Again Feat SHUN

GOODBYE debuted at #10 with 1st week sales of 9,556 .

JOE is a 7 time Grammy Award-nominated American R&B singer and record producer . He's best known for hits such as Stutter , I Wanna Know & also Thank God I Found You which he sang with Mariah Carey & 98 Degrees in which the songs were released during the late 90's / early 00's .

Be With You is sung completely in English & it's a really long B-side , clocking in at 6 mins + .

I was a bit skeptical in listening to Be With You as for starters , the duration was a bit daunting to me & also Shota's 1st language is obviously not English but surprisingly I was able to understand his English dictation pretty well & his voice flows very well & in synch with JOE for that matter .

Be With You is a really nice mid tempo ballad & I suppose for Shota to duet with JOE in here , it can be considered an honour as I did listened to those hit songs of his which I mentioned 2 paragraphs back so I know what sort of achievements that JOE had accomplished in his music career from then til now .

The 2nd B-side Again features SHUN .

Honestly for Again , I only find it a-ok for my liking . In here SHUN is the one that raps while Shota sings . I'm not that familiar/comfortable with SHUN's vocals so I suppose Again can be considered as another of those typical R&B songs which has rapping + singing combined together as one .

Shota Shimizu has come of age in recent times when he debuted on the scene & it's proof/evident in his latest single release GOODBYE .

I hope it will not be that long of a wait before he released another single , be it a solo or a duet one .

Sunday, July 11, 2010

alan - Kaze ni Mukau Hana (The Flower Which Faces The Wind)'s B-sides





The following songs serve as B-sides in alan's 13th single Kaze ni Mukau Hana which was released on 7th July

- Koko ni Iru (I'm Here) ; CD Only & CD + DVD Type A
- Ii Hi Tabidachi (The Day Going On A Journey Which Is Good) ; CD Only

CD + DVD Type B

- 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)

In this case , the live tracks will not be reviewed .

Kaze ni Mukua Hana debuted at #17 with 1st week sales of 6,313 .

The A-side has been selected to be used as the theme song of the movie Hisshiken Torisashi , which will be released yesterday in the cinemas of Japan .

Found in the CD only & CD + DVD Type A of the single , Koko ni Iru is not bad & it's a mid tempo pop song . I frankly do not find anything special about it but I do admit it's something that's easy on the listening ears & it contrasts the A-side quite nicely .

Only found in the CD only edition , it's Ii Hi Tabidachi which is a cover of Yamaguchi Momoe .

I never heard the original so I was surprised when I listened to alan's take on the song as this's a style that she has never done before so I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to her cover of Ii Hi Tabidachi .

Overall I feel that alan's latest single release Kaze ni Mukau Hana is bringing back her listeners/fans to familiar music grounds . I know in recent times her material has been straying away from what she was known for when she made her debut with Ashita e no Sanka .

So for Kaze ni Mukau Hana , it's more or less a music return for alan in returning bcak what she does best .



Saturday, July 10, 2010

BENI - Heaven's Door





Heaven's Door is BENI's 9th single . It will be released next month on 11th Aug & this comes less than 2 months after the release of her 2nd album Lovebox which was BENI's 1st ever release to debut at #1 on the Oricon charts .

The song has been described as a happy feeling mid tempo 'wedding' track & most recently , BENI has launched her own wedding dress line called Rouge de BENI & it was her first time in wearing a wedding dress at the launch of her fashion line .

She said , "My mom couldn't believe it & she started crying . I don't have any plans to get married yet ."

Finally something different from BENI ! From what I know , she didn't released any wedding inspired/influenced song in both Bitter & Sweet and let alone in Lovebox so Heaven's Door is a refreshing no. .

I was actually expecting a lot more stronger wedding vibes in Heaven's Door but it has subtle shades & this's combined with BENI's signature Pop/R&B music style which's unique & really cool .

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

- I like it
- Gimme Gimme♥ DJ HASEBE REMIX

Friday, July 09, 2010

ai otsuka - I ♥ xxx





I ♥ xxx is ai otsuka's 21st single . It will be released on 8th Sept & this comes about 5 months + since the release of her previous single Zokkondition / LUCKY☆STAR .

The song has been selected to be used to promote NHK's Minna which will start airing around Aug/Sept .

After I was really unimpressed on what Zokkondition / LUCKY☆STAR had to offer , I'm glad to say that otsuka temporarily restored my music faith towards her with this really heartwarming song .

The music style of I ♥ xxx is quite similar to LOVE MUSiC & Ai (Love) . I don't really like LOVE MUSiC that much but I really like Ai a lot .

What turned me off slightly with regards to I ♥ xxx is the over repetitive usage of the words 'I love you' by her but other than that , you definitely can't help but sit up & take notice of this simple & heartfelt no. which has old traces of her older works being stamped out in every corner .

Also the choir which back her vocals up in the background adds a nice touch to I ♥ xxx too .

Just like bye bye , there're no B-sides included in the single . Only the A-side & instrumental for I ♥ xxx are found in the tracklist of the single .

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Mika Nakashima - Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo (Me Who Is The Most Beautiful)

Cover For Both CD Only & CD + DVD's





Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo (Me Who Is The Most Beautiful) is Mika Nakashima's 32nd single . It will be released on 25th Aug & this comes in about 7 months + since the release of previous single ALWAYS .

Mika's new song has been selected to be used as the insert song for the drama Unubore Deka .

Man , it has been quite a long time since I was last impressed/charmed by something which's released by Mika .

With such bittersweet lyrics , a subtle melody with gorgeous erhu thrown in for good measures . Coupled that with Mika's signature raspy voice , you know what good things you can expect when you listen to Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo .

Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo is more or less screams out old school Mika . So if you have not been able to get into her most recent works then Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo might be something that's really worth checking out .

The Reggae Disco Rockers Remix of Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo serves as B-side in the single & this's the only B-side that will be available .

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Matsushita Yuya - Bird





Bird is the 1st A-side of Matsushita Yuya's 6th single Bird / 4 Seasons which will be released on 25th Aug .

This is MY's 1st double A-side single & he released his debut album I AM ME on 2nd June .

The 1st A-side Bird has been selected to be used as an ending theme no. for the 2nd season for the anime Kuroshitsuji which has already started airing this month .

The song has been described as a ballad with a painful melody that pierces the heart with the message of sympathy that it invokes the listener's ears .

Concidentally , MY plays Sebastian Michaelis in the musicial adaptions for Kuroshitsuji , in last year's Kuroshitsuji -Sono Shitsuji , Yuko- & this year again in Kuroshitsuji -The Most Beautiful DEATH in The World- Sen no Tamashii to Ochita Shinigami .

I guess even though Bird / 4 Seasons will not be released til next month , Sony BMG decided to release the 1st A-side Bird quite early to concide with the release of the 2nd season for the anime .

With that said , I wasn't blown away when I heard the preview of Bird & my opinions towards the song didn't really changed that much when I heard the full song as I feel MY has better ballads that he has included in I AM ME such as his 2nd single LAST SNOW .

Still , Bird is a grower & you can feel just how much emotions MY pours into the song & he sounded hurt/dejected too in keeping in line with the atmosphere/meaning that Bird brings out to begin with .

The 2nd A-side 4 Seasons & the B-side L.o.L. will be reviewed in due time .

4 Seasons is currently being used as a promotion song for the Kobe Collection 2010 Autumn / Winter fashion show .

Aside from that , it also has another tie in , in the form of being used as the theme no. for MBS's television show DRESS & 4 Seasons has been described as a glittering dance tune that's perfect to dance along to during this exciting summer season .

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Kanjani∞ - Wonderful World !!

CD Only



CD + DVD Type A



CD + DVD Type B



1) Wonderful World !!
2) Ukiyo Odori Bito (Vito World Dance)
3) Wahaha "PUZZLE" Remix (CD Only Track)
4) Rolling Coaster "PUZZLE" Remix (CD Only Track)
5) Wonderful World !! (Original Karaoke) (CD Only Track)
6) Ukiyo Odori Bito (Original Karaoke) (CD Only Track)


Wonderful World !! is Kanjani∞'s 14th single . It was released on 30th June & this's their 1st single release of 2010 .

The A-side can be described as a fun & energetic pop number & this song is currently being featured as the ending theme in the group's variety program Boken JAPAN ! Kanjani∞ MAP .

After releasing their trilogy GIFT singles last Dec 23rd - 25th on Christmas week , the guys are back with this latest single release & I can say that this's 1 song that's more or less perfect to be played loud & proud on your stereo .

Wonderful World !! does have a lot of similar traits with their other crazy over the top pop songs like Musekinin (Irresponsible) Hero & Kyu☆Jo☆Show !! but this music genre is what established them in the mainstream crowd to begin with .

There're 3 B-sides in the single . The 1st one is available in all 3 editions of Wonderful World !!

Ukiyo Odori Bito (Vito World Dance) is some really good stuff . I knew it on 1st listen that I was going to enjoy Ukiyo Odori Bito a lot more than the A-side because of the unique melody the song has .

Usually it's their B-sides in the group's singles that show a different musical side of Kanjani∞ & the same thing can apply to Ukiyo Odori Bito . I think Ukiyo Odori Bito would have been a much better candidate in being an A-side as it has so much potential to be 1 .

The next 2 B-sides are only found in the CD only edition of the single & they're the "PUZZLE" Remix of their 8th single Wahahaha & Rolling Coaster which's found as track #7 in their 3rd album PUZZLE .

I wouldn't really comment that much for both remixes as I'm not a remix person to begin with but basically both remixes didn't do any drastic changes to the original takes of both songs .

If you know how the original takes for Wahahaha & Rolling Coaster sound like , then the "PUZZLE" Remix for both tunes are basically like extended versions where they twerk the melodies of the songs slightly & it seems that the guys resung for both remixes as their vocals sound stronger to me .

Well I'm not sure if I'm right on this but if you like both songs then most definitely you will enjoy both "PUZZLE" Remix of Wahahaha & Rolling Coaster .

Kanjani∞ returns to bring in the fun & energy with their latest release Wonderful World !! which's basically chapter 2 on what to expect from where they left from Kyu☆Jo☆Show !! .

I'm waiting to see whether will the guys release a ballad for a change in their next release as it has been quite a long time since they released a slow no. as a single so hopefully they'll be able to do that in due time .




Blog Personnel









Karen Pang

# 10th Jan

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











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

# My LiveJournal

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



























♥ ♥ ♥ BREAKERZ ♥ ♥ ♥



















Upcoming New JPop/JRock Releases


GLAY's 57th single G4・V-Democracy 2019- , 020719 , Tue

# UVERworld's UVERworld KING'S PARADE at Yokohama Arena 2018.12.21 DVD + Blu-ray , 100719 , Wed

# UVERworld's UVERworld QUEEN'S PARTY at Nippon Budokan 2018.12.21 DVD + Blu-ray , 100719 , Wed

# Kis-My-Ft2's 24th single HANDS UP , 100719 , Wed

# SID's SID 15th Anniversary GRAND FINAL at Yokohama Arena ~Sono Mirai e~ DVD + Blu-ray , 240719 , Wed

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP's Hey ! Say ! JUMP LIVE TOUR SENSE or LOVE DVD + Blu-ray , 240719 , Wed

# KAT-TUN's 9th album IGNITE , 310719 , Wed

# GRANRODEO's GRANRODEO LIVE 2018 G13 ROCK☆SHOW "Don't show your back!" Blu-ray , , 210819 , Wed

# ayumi hamasaki's ayumi hamasaki 21st anniversary -POWER of A^3- DVD + Blu-ray , , 280819 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme's 23rd single Jijitsu Ai Feat HY's Nakasone Izumi , , 280819 , Wed

# SID's 6th album title tbc , in 2019

# BREAKERZ's 20th single title tbc , Summer 2019

# GLAY's best album REVIEW II , 2020

# NEWS's 11th album STORY , 2020




Album Reviews


# Kis-My-Ft2 - FREE HUGS!

# Matsushita Yuya - BLACK NEVERLAND

# NEWS - WORLDISTA

# Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme

# Yamashita Tomohisa - UNLEASHED

# BENI - CINEMATIC

# ayaka - 30 y/o

# GRANRODEO - M・S COWBOY no Gyakushuu EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - SENSE or LOVE

# Koda Kumi - DNA

# Shota Shimizu - WHITE

# SID - Ichiban Sukina Basho EP

# Aoyama Thelma - HIGHSCHOOL GAL

# ayumi hamasaki - TROUBLE EP

# Hilcrhyme - One Man EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Yummy!!

# NEWS - EPCOTIA

# FLOWER FLOWER - Spotlight

# Koda Kumi - AND

# B'z - DINOSAUR

# ARASHI - 「untitled」

# BREAKERZ - X

# Aoyama Thelmas - 10TH DIARY

# SPYAIR - KINGDOM

# SID - NOMAD

# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

# Ken Hirai - Utabaka Dake ni.

# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry

# Kis-My-Ft2 - MUSIC COLOSSEUM

# Mika Nakashima - TOUGH

# NEWS - NEVERLAND

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

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN

# MUSCLE ATTACK - HERCULES ROAD

# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG

# NEWS - QUARTETTO

# AKi - EPHEMERAL EP

# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP

# BREAKERZ - 0-ZERO-

# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

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

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road

# THE TURTLES JAPAN - ELECTRONIC HUMANITY

# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL

# MUSCLE ATTACK - ATTACK

# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White

# FLOWER FLOWER - Shiki EP

# AKi - ARISE

# FLOWER FLOWER - Mi

# ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN

# Anna Tsuchiya - LUCIFER EP

# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Asobi EP

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

# ayumi hamasaki - Colours

# KAT-TUN - come Here

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

# Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN

# Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - THE BEST

# JASMINE - Welcome to Jas Vegas

# SID - OUTSIDER

# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

# Hilcrhyme - FIVE ZERO ONE

# DAIGO - DAIGOLD

# Koda Kumi - Bon Voyage

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP

# ARASHI - LOVE

# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx

# SPYAIR - MILLION

# BENI - Red

# ON/OFF - DICE EP

# NEWS - NEWS

# Namie Amuro - FEEL

# AKIHIDE - Amber

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

# girl next door - Life of Sound

# V6 - Oh ! My ! Goodness !

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE again

# Mika Nakashima - REAL

# flumpool - experience

# ayumi hamasaki - again EP

# Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

# ARASHI - Popcorn

# Domoto Koichi - Gravity

# SPYAIR - Just Do It

# SID - M&W

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Ero

# Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP WORLD

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

# Acid Black Cherry - 『2012』

# Shota Shimizu - Naturally

# ayumi hamasaki - Party Queen

# Matsushita Yuya - 2U

# KAT-TUN - CHAIN

# Kuroki Meisa - UNLOCKED

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - BUTTERFLY

# ayaka - The beginning

# Koda Kumi - JAPONESQUE

# Kuriyama Chiaki - CIRCUS Deluxe Edition

# girl next door - Agaruneku !

# Hilcrhyme - RISING

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

# BENI - Fortune

# YUI - HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - 45 STONES

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Mahou

# SPYAIR - Rockin' the World

# BREAKERZ - GO

# ayumi hamasaki - FIVE EP

# B'z - C'mon

# School Food Punishment - Prog-Roid

# ARASHI - Beautiful World

# Aoyama Thelma - WILL

# Ken Hirai - JAPANESE SINGER

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - Destination

# Tackey & Tsubasa - TRIP & TREASURE EP

# Shota Shimizu - COLORS

# Koda Kumi - Dejavu

# SID - dead stock

# flumpool - Fantasia of Life Stripe

# Yamashita Tomohisa - SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD

# Kuroki Meisa - MAGAZINE

# ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

# BENI - Jewel

# Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - ARE YOU READY ?

# Mika Nakashima - STAR

# Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)

# GLAY - GLAY

# Anna Tsuchiya - RULE

# NEWS - LIVE

# JASMINE - GOLD

# Domoto Koichi - BPM

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE ! 2

# Hilcrhyme - Recital

# ARASHI - Boku no Miteiru Fukei

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

# YUI - HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP NO.1

# KAT-TUN - NO MORE PAIИ

# BENI - Lovebox

# Matsushita Yuya - I AM ME

# Acid Black Cherry - Q.E.D.

# Acid Black Cherry - BLACK LIST

# school food punishment - amp-reflection

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Ai EP

# BREAKERZ - B.R.Z ACOUSTIC EP

# ayumi hamasaki - Rock'n'Roll Circus

# V6 - READY ?

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - HELLO CRAZY GENTLEMAN

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - The space toy

# Shota Shimizu - Journey

# Koda Kumi - UNIVERSE

# NEVER LAND - Beautiful Days EP

# abingdon boys school - ABINGDON ROAD

# BENI - Bitter & Sweet

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - NEXT FUTURE

# LANDS - Olympos EP

# flumpool - What's flumpool !?

# Kuroki Meisa - ATTITUDE EP

# Yusuke - Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo.

# KinKi Kids - J album

# Namie Amuro - PAST < FUTURE

# BREAKERZ - FIGHTERZ

# alan - my life

# LOVE - LOVE.IT EP

# B'z - MAGIC

# Dew - PRESENT

# Saito Kazuyoshi - Tsuki ga Noboreba

# Aoyama Thelma - Emotions

# SID - hikari

# Kobukuro - CALLING

# Domoto Koichi - mirror

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Uta

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

# Fukuyama Masaharu - Zankyou

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shinshoku Dolce

# GReeeeN - Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER-

# flumpool - Unreal EP

# Yuna Ito - DREAM

# Kanjani∞ - PUZZLE

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

# Kuroki Meisa - hellcat EP

# Kanjani∞ - KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou

# ayumi hamasaki - NEXT LEVEL

# Utada Hikaru - DEEP RIVER

# Utada - This Is The One

# Kanjani∞ - KJ1 F·T·O

# ARASHI - Dream"A"Live

# Kanjani∞ - Kansha ni Eight EP

# alan - Voice of EARTH

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE !

# Koda Kumi - TRICK

# Aoyama Thelma - DIARY

# YUI - I LOVED YESTERDAY

# YUI - CAN'T BUY MY LOVE

# BREAKERZ - BREAKERZ

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - GIRL NEXT DOOR

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu

# YUI - FROM ME TO YOU

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Hajimemashite

# BREAKERZ - CRASH & BUILD

# ai otsuka - LOVE LETTER

# Mika Nakashima - VOICE

# BREAKERZ - BIG BANG !

# NEWS - color

# Anna Tsuchiya - NUDY SHOW !

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 3 : Senior Year

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - KISS

# BREAKERZ - Ao no Mirai EP

# ai otsuka - LOVE PUNCH

# ai otsuka - LOVE COOK

# ai otsuka - LOVE JAM

# KAT-TUN - cartoon KAT-TUN II You

# OLIVIA - Trinka Trinka EP

# NEWS - touch

# NEWS - pacific

# ARASHI - Iza , Now

# ARASHI - One

# NANA Triple Billing

# OLIVIA - The Cloudy Dreamer EP

# Anna Tsuchiya - strip me ?

# ARASHI - ARASHIC

# KAT-TUN - Best of KAT-TUN

# Anna Tsuchiya - Taste My Beat EP

# ARASHI - Time

# Electrico - We Satellites

# ayaka - Sing to the Sky

# ayaka - First Message

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

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~BOUNCE & LOVERS~

# Jesse McCartney - Departure

# The Veronicas - Hook Me Up

# Ken Hirai - LIFE is ...

# Ashlee Simpson - Bittersweet World

# Ken Hirai - gaining through losing

# Yuna Ito - HEART

# Utada Hikaru - HEART STATION

# Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

#
Yuna Ito - WISH

# Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers

# Koda Kumi - Kingdom

# ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

# abingdon boys school - abingdon boys school

# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

# ayumi hamasaki - RAINBOW

# The Great Spy Experiment - Flower Show Riots

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~second session~

# The Click Five - Modern Minds And Pastimes

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 2

# Koda Kumi - Black Cherry

# Namie Amuro - PLAY

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

# ayumi hamasaki - Memorial address EP

# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

# Mika Nakashima - YES

# Jamie Michael - People Watching

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

# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean




Other Posts Worth Checking Out


# Fave Songs Of 2010

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2010

# Fave Albums Releases Of 2010

# Fave Songs Of 2009

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2009

# Fave Albums Releases For 2009

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

# Fave New Acts Of 2008

# Fave Songs Of 2008

# Fave Singles Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2008

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

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

# Fave Albums Of 2007

# The Click Five - The Band Behind The Band Documentary

# 987 Control Songlist Set

# Hot Review Of Maksim's Electrik

# Lu Yong Find My Shoes Journey

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




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Credits

designer - Chronicles

imageeditor - adobephotoshop

music - radioblogclub

image - fortminorwebsite