Monday, August 30, 2010
JASMINE - Dreamin'
3) sad to say [BUZZER BEATS Remix]
Dreamin' is JASMINE's 5th single . It was released this year on 12th May & its peak position on the Oricon singles chart was #38 .
This single was the last in a trilogy of singles released over 3 consecutive months before JASMINE released her debut album GOLD on 21st July .
The A-side was used as in the ads of Recochoku . Credits wise , Dreamin' was cowritten by JASMINE & Jeff Miyahara while she co-composed the song with Jeff & Jeremy Soule .
I have to say that I really like Dreamin' on 1st listen . Out of the 5 singles that JASMINE has released so far in her career , this's her 1st single that she released that's of a a ballad .
And what a great job she did with it too . I really like the subtle Gospel & Orchestra touches that were thrown in & this was done to prevent Dreamin' from sounding like a typical R&B ballad & for this , Dreamin' is a winner in its own right .
The 1st B-side L.I.P.S. is a really hot & groovy track . The song was eventually found as track #3 in GOLD .
L.I.P.S. paints a different picture against Dreamin' in the sense that L.I.P.S. is not a ballad .
Also , as cheesy as it sounds , I kind of like the way JASMINE sung/rapped her name in alphabetical order just like the same thing goes for L.I.P.S. as well .
The BUZZER BEATS Remix of JASMINE's debut single sad to say wraps up the Dreamin' single .
I have heard the original of how sad to say sounds like . Compared the BUZZER BEATS Remix of the song against the original , there's frankly not really that much significant difference .
I thought the BUZZER BEATS Remix of sad to say might have something like a much harder R&B if not Rock influence attached but guess not .
Just like Jealous , Dreamin' is 1 really fine single & for this , I really enjoy listening to all the tracks that's found in the single .
I could see why both Dreamin' & let alone L.I.P.S. made the cut in GOLD as both are really solid in their own respective right & I look forward to review/write about GOLD real soon , after I finish writing the other past 3 singles of JASMINE .
Saturday, August 28, 2010
NEWS - LIVE
LIVE is found as track #2 in NEWS's 4th album which has the same title as the song .
The album LIVE will be released next month on 15th Sept & it's the group's 1st album in which its title is released in full upper caps & that it has a song title which shares the same title as the album .
LIVE (the song) was written & composed by Jin , who's the older brother of HIDE in which HIDE's the lead singer of the group GReeeeN .
Honestly when I found out that Jin has a hand in writing & composing LIVE , I was quite excited & wondered whether will it be another weeeek part 2 seeing that Jin is related to GReeeeN's HIDE .
Instead when I finally got the chance to listen to LIVE , it sounded like a sequel to STARDUST which was concidentally if not ironically track #2 in the group's last album offering colour .
I don't know if that's a good or bad thing but I do admit I had quite high expectations before LIVE was leaked out .
I'm not sure if I will consider LIVE as a fave album track in LIVE (the album) but we'll see since there will be plenty more album tracks being allocted in the album since there're only 2 singles being included in LIVE (the album) .
Friday, August 27, 2010
CD Review :: Aoyama Thelma - LOVE ! 2
CD + DVD
1) Summer Love !! Feat RED RICE from Shonannokaze
2) THIS LOVE Feat AI
3) Hanasanaide yo (Don't Let Go) (Aoyama Thelma / SoulJa)
4) Fall in Love (Aoyama Thelma x SOL from BIGBANG)
5) WANNA COME AGAIN Feat m-flo's VERBAL
6) Dreamlover (DJ MAKIDAI Feat Aoyama Thelma)
7) Todoketai ... (I Want To Send ...) Feat KEN THE 390
8) Yakusoku no Hi (Promised Day) (Aoyama Thelma / Dohzi-T)
9) Garden of Love (Aoyama Thelma / MAKAI)
10) Soba ni Iru ne (I'm By Your Side) Feat SoulJa
11) Love @ 1st Sight (COMA-CHI , Aoyama Thelma / Mr. BEATS a.k.a. DJ CELORY)
12) ONE WAY (DIORI REMIX) Feat WISE
13) SUMMER PARADISE ~Risin' To Tha Sun~ (Aoyama Thelma / DS455)
14) NEVER GONNA LET YOU GO (Aoyama Thelma (Dancehall Mix) / DEMARCO) (Bonus Track)
LOVE ! 2 is Aoyama Thelma's 2nd compilation album . It was released last month on 28th July .
Aoyama's latest compilation album contains a mixture of songs which she collaborated before with various different artistes .
It follows a different album concept this time round , unlike for her 1st LOVE ! compilation which compiles love songs sung by Aoyama solely .
Summer Love !! is the 1st track on LOVE ! 2 & also incidentally Aoyama's 10th single to kick things off . For this , it features RED RICE from Shonannokaze .
I'm still not bored with listening to Summer Love !! even up to now . It's very summer driven & it's 1 of those songs that're perfect to crank it up loud & proud if you're throwing a party in the beach .
THIS LOVE is a song that was preciously unavailable in other artistes's compilations which Aoyama had worked before & in here , Aoyama collaborated with rapper AI .
This's a really nice duet that both ladies carried off well together . AI's rapping/singing vocals compliment Aoyama's quite good . Song wise , it's a rather mid tempo driven song but it has that X factor which makes me come back for more listens of THIS LOVE .
The next song Hanasanaide yo (Don't Let Go) is the 8th single which was released by rapper SoulJa . SoulJa collaborated before with Aoyama on quite a few occasions & in here , Hanasanaide yo features Aoyama on vocals .
Hanasanaide yo is actually a song that I'm quite sure a lot of people can relate to . It's definitely not something to listen to if you're undergoing a breakup spell . If not , it's 1 of those songs that will definitely tug your heart in more ways that you can ever imagine .
Fall in Love is Aoyama's 8th single & when this single was released , it was being credited as Aoyama Thelma x SOL from BIGBANG .
I know the song received a fair amount of flak for having quite a 90's dated sound but to me , I find nothing wrong with it .
Among the artistes that Aoyama has worked with , I think her vocals compliment Korean boyband BIGBANG member SOL (he goes by the name of Taeyang in Korea) real well .
SOL's vocals was able to keep up in synch with Aoyama too for that matter .
The next song WANNA COME AGAIN was originally found as track #11 in Aoyama's 2nd album Emotions & this song features the vocals of m-flo's VERBAL .
It has been quite a while since I last listened to WANNA COME AGAIN & I have to say , it's great to do so again as I still feel it's 1 of the standout & yet unusual tracks that Aoyama offered in Emotions .
Track #6 Dreamlover was originally found as track #1 in the compilation album DJ MAKIDAI from EXILE Treasure MIX 2 which was released last year on 20th May .
DJ MAKIDAI is a member of EXILE & for Dreamlover , the song features Aoyama on vocals .
Dreamlover is actually a cover of Mariah Carey's 1993 hit of the same title which was taken from her 3rd album Music Box .
Unlike the time when Aoyama covered Janet Jackson's again which was found in LOVE ! , for this , I had no problems seeing that I have heard the original which was sung by Mariah before when I was growing up .
Being fluent in English , it's no surprises that Aoyama was able to tackle Dreamlover with such ease & gusto .
Todoketai ... (I Want To Send ...) is the 1st A-side of Aoyama's 6th single Todoketai ... / Kono Mama Zutto & for this , it features the rapping vocals of KEN THE 390 .
This is actually an answer call song to KEN THE 390's Todoketakute ... (You Wanted To Send ...) .
Well I'm not sure why Todoketai ... is being included in LOVE ! 2 seeing that you can find the song in Emotions but just like WANNA COME AGAIN , it's actually nice to listen to Todoketai ... once more
Yakusoku no Hi (Promised Day) was originally found as track #3 in the compilation album of rapper Dohzi-T's 12 Love Stories which was released 2 years ago on 24th Sept .
This's actually an answer call song to Futari no Yakusoku no Hi (Two Days Of Promise) which's found as track #4 in Emotions & for that , it's sung soley by Aoyama on her own .
Honestly for me , I 1st heard Futari no Yakusoku no Hi unlike Yakusoku no Hi . I only found out that both songs were related of sorts until I did more research on this matter .
But anyway , Dohzi-T has collaborated with Aoyama quite a few times so I know that both of them worked really well together in past songs they used to duet & Yakusoku no Hi is no exception .
There's not much significant difference between Yakusoku no Hi & Futari no Yakusoku no Hi since both utilised the same melody . The only difference is like what I said earlier on , Yakusoku no Hi is a standalone track sung by Aoyama only .
Garden of Love was originally found as track #2 in producer/DJ MAKAI's 3rd album GARDEN which was released 2 years ago on 5th March & for this , Aoyama is being credited on the song , vocals wise .
I actually like Garden of Love on 1st listen . It's frankly nothing memorable to shout about as I feel it's basically a standard R&B mid tempo track but there's just something about the song that I like .
Soba ni Iru ne (I'm By Your Side) is Aoyama's 2nd single . It's an answer call song to SoulJa's 3rd single Koko ni Iru yo (I'm Here) & for Soba ni Iru ne , SoulJa's rapping vocals can be found in the song .
I'm sure there's no further needed explaination for Soba ni Iru ne , seeing that it can be found in Aoyama's debut album DIARY & let alone in LOVE ! & now with it making a 3rd appearance in LOVE ! 2 .
It's unfortunate that if you're a casual listener of Aoyama , Soba ni Iru ne is the only song that you will know of her since it's credited as her breakthrough hit & it feels as though she's only a 1 hit wonder which I beg to differ as so since Aoyama has other great songs found in her discography .
Love @ 1st Sight was originally found as track #11 in the album BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW which was released 2 years ago on 16th Jan .
For this song , the people that have been credited in Love @ 1st Sight is COMA-CHI , Aoyama Thelma / Mr. BEATS a.k.a. DJ CELORY .
This's 1 of the more heavily R&B & Rap driven tracks found in LOVE ! 2 . I had no idea how the other artistes COMA-CHI & DJ CELORY are like so this was something new for me to handle .
COMA-CHI's rapping vocals is quite nice & was able to compliment Aoyama's vocals real well . Unlike AI , I feel that COMA-CHI's rapping vocals are somewhat a bit more distinct & huskier .
The DIORI REMIX of ONE WAY was originally found as the B-side track in Aoyama's debut single ONE WAY & for this , the remix features WISE .
It has been quite a long time since I last heard the DIORI REMIX of ONE WAY . Still , after I listened to this once more , I still feel that it's 1 really catchy & hot remix ,
SUMMER PARADISE ~Risin' To Tha Sun~ was released as a single 3 years ago on 6th June & for this , it's the only album track in LOVE ! 2 which received a video .
The song is being credited as Aoyama Thelma / DS455 .
I think SUMMER PARADISE ~Risin' To Tha Sun~ is a neat duet . It's definitely not as fast paced driven as Summer Love !! but SUMMER PARADISE ~Risin' To Tha Sun~ is 1 of those songs that you do not mind to listen to while chiling out on the beach .
Found as a bonus & let alone final track in LOVE ! 2 , it's NEVER GONNA LET YOU GO & it's being credited as Aoyama Thelma (Dancehall Mix) + DEMARCO in the compilation album .
NEVER GONNA LET YOU GO was never included in any albums prior to the release of LOVE ! 2 , just like for THIS LOVE as well .
Just like Aoyama's cover of Mariah's Dreamlover , NEVER GONNA LET YOU GO is sung completely in full English with DEMARCO & I have to say I really enjoy this song a great deal .
It has quite a strong Reggae influence to a certain extent too while it's still R&B driven . The fact that Aoyama's fluent in English & with her singing such a song with DEMARCO , you will not get any cringy worthy Engrish in here .
At the end of the day , LOVE ! 2 is basically a neat package which complied all of present & past duets that Aoyama used to work on with various different artistes .
LOVE ! 2 allowed her to showcase her versatile skills in singing with other musicians & if you're someone that enjoy listening to duets , then LOVE ! 2 might be the album for you to pick up & listen .
Kanjani∞ - LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ (~Looking Forward~)'s B-sides
CD + DVD Type A
CD + DVD Type B
The following songs serve as B-sides in Kanjani∞'s 15th single LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ (~Looking Forward~) which was released 2 days ago on 25th Aug :
- Aoshashin (Blue Pictures)
- Kyu(Fly)☆Jou(High)☆Show !! COUNTDOWN Remix
LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ was selected to be used as the theme song for the drama GM odore doctor which member Okura Tadayoshi is currently acting in . It's their first single to be used in a drama since their debut .
The song that has a message of moving forward without giving up . With a band performance & a rock taste , it showcases a different side of the group than their previous single , Wonderful World !! .
The 1st B-side Aoshashin is such a joy to listen to . It still follows in the same serious music route that the A-side takes .
Except for Aoshashin's case , it has a more stripped down melody & I like Aoshashin for being simplistic & yet emotional at its best .
The guys did not need to utilise any fancy melody to get Aoshashin going on as it's already fantastic in its own right .
The next 2 songs are only found in the CD only edition of LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ .
Jackhammer is another surprise that the group offered . Initally with a song title like Jackhammer , I thought will it be another crazy over the top song ?
Instead when I finally got to listen to Jackhammer , it's actually a mean gritty no. . It's a lot more hard rock based as compared to their recent material that's for sure & it packs a lot of punch & attitude too .
The COUNTDOWN Remix of their 10th single Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! wraps up the single .
I said before that I'm not a really remix person but with regards to Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! COUNTDOWN Remix , it's quite ok . There's not much significant changes if you compare it against the original .
The slight minor differences is that the remix of Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! used a lot more synth & even video game inspired sounds are thrown in the mix too .
I consider Kanjani∞ as 1 of the most under-rated & yet talented Johnny's in the talent agency & they have proven once again that they're serious in releasing nothing but solid material & that statement can be applied on their latest single offering LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ .
After releasing a string of crazy over the top A-sides like Wonderful World !! & Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! , they have decided to take on a more serious music route which served them well . Also , the B-sides are enjoyable to listen too .
I'm not sure what will be the group's next music step but I welcome either another new single or album .
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Mika Nakashima - Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo (Me Who Is The Most Beautiful) (Reggae Disco Rockers Remix)
The Reggae Disco Rockers Remix of Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo (Me Who Is The Most Beautiful) serves as the B-side track in Mika Nakashima's 32nd single Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo which was released yesterday on 25th Aug .
Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo is a touching ballad with an emotional vocal performance by Mika & it was used as the insert song for the drama Unubore Deka who co-stars Mika herself .
While the original take of Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo is more soulful & emotional driven , the Reggae Disco Rockers Remix of the song sees Mika taking on a Reggae , Disco & slight Rock music route .
Mixing Reggae , Disco & Rock might seem like a music recipe for disaster but in reality , I kinda like the remix for Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo .
I still like the original a lot more than the remix as I feel the original sounding of Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo is a lot more mainstream & you can hear Mika's soulful vocals a lot more on here .
The remix might leave some people intimidated but if you're someone that likes something bold/out of the ordinary , then the remix might be something up your alley to try .
Mika Nakashima doesn't stop in bringing in the music goods . Fast approaching her 10th anniversary debut in the business , in comes another soulful inspring ballad single she has brought to the table in the form of Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo .
Her 6th album STAR will be released on 27th Oct & it's generally assumed that Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo will be included in her new album .
Anna Tsuchiya - Shout in the rain's B-sides
The following songs serve as B-sides in Anna Tsuchiya's 12th single Shout in the rain which was released last week on 18th Aug :
- GUN ! GUN ! LOVE !
- Atashi (Me) x ORE ~mash up PE'Z~
Shout in the rain debuted at #68 with 1st week sales of 1,083 .
Just like HEY YOU ! which was the 1st B-side of Anna's last single Atashi , GUN ! GUN ! LOVE ! is also used in the ads of au by KDDI .
GUN ! GUN ! LOVE ! is actually a really fun B-side . What I like about the song is that it contrasts Shout in the rain well seeing that the A-side is a dark & emotional no. .
So if you didn't have that much love for Shout in the rain , then GUN ! GUN ! LOVE might be something that's for your liking as it showcases the fun side of Anna .
Anna's previous single Atashi has been given a remix which serves as the 2nd B-side of the single & in here , it's being titled as Atashi × ORE ~mash up PE'Z~ .
PE'Z is the same Jazz instrumental artiste whom collaborated with Anna on Boushoku-kei Danshi !! (Overeating-type Boys !!) which I talked about a few days ago on my blog .
While the original of Atashi is a hardcore rock number about a woman determined to do things her way , in here , the song has been transformed into a groovy Jazz driven no. .
Personally I really like Atashi × ORE ~mash up PE'Z~ seeing that I liked Boushoku-kei Danshi !! . Anna's vocals were not drowned out by the melody thankfully & I feel that her vocals fitted quite well/nicely .
Anna Tsuchiya hasn't really have that much of a hot comeback with the releases of Atashi & let alone Shout in the rain as I feel both single releases of her are some of her weakest material she has released in her discography to date .
But thankfully in Shout in the rain , the 2 B-sides are quite solid & enjoyable to listen .
Anna's 3rd album RULE will be released next month on Sept 22nd . Shout in the rain will be included in the album as track #12 while GUN ! GUN ! LOVE will make the cut on the album as track #15 as a bonus track .
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
JASMINE - Jealous
2) I Need You to Survive
Jealous is JASMINE's 4th single . It was released this year on 7th April & its peak position on the Oricon singles chart was #20 .
The A-side was used as an ending theme for the television show JAPAN COUNTDOWN .
Jealous was cowritten by JASMINE & Jeff Miyahara while it was co-composed by JASMINE , Jeff Miyahara & Jeremy Soule .
This release of JASMINE was the 2nd in a trilogy of singles released over 3 consecutive months & it was limited to 10,000 copies .
Don't let JASMINE's image on the cover of Jealous fool you . She's not visuel kei or something . Her music basically lies in the R&B/Pop genre .
So far , JASMINE has released 5 singles & a debut album GOLD . Jealous will be the 1st single that I will be reviewing about & I will review the rest of her discography real soon .
I didn't know what to expect with regards to her material since I had no idea as to how she sounded like in the 1st place . As such , I was really pleasantly surprised when I heard Jealous .
I really like JASMINE's vocals . Her voice is quite husky & distinct to a certain extent & she sure pack quite a lot of punch with the A-side which's basically a smooth mid tempo R&B track .
Also , Jealous is quite significantly Enka driven which's cool & I guess that probably explained her getup in the cover to concide with the song .
The B-side I Need You to Survive is a really nice track too . It's basically a piano driven track with shades of Pop and R&B . It's also quite Gospel tinged too .
Unlike Jealous , I Need You to Survive is a full blown English track but JASMINE's English dictation is surprisingly good & easy to understand .
I Need You to Survive is basically simplistic at its best & she didn't need to add anything else to make this track stand out as so .
Jealous is the 1st JASMINE single that I listened to & I have to say , I like what this girl has to offer ! Despite having only 2 songs in the single , both tracks are really solid .
JASMINE is definitely not a flash in the pan for sure & seeing that she had a hand in co-writing & co-composing her material , it's something worth commending for on this really young & yet talented singer .
Her other singles & her debut album GOLD will be reviewed soon in days to come .
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
UVERworld - Qualia
CD Only Regular
CD Only Gundam Limited Edition
CD + DVD
Qualia is UVERworld's 16th single . It will be released next month on 15th Sept & this comes in about 5 months + since the release of the group's 5th album LAST .
The guys's latest single offering has been selected to be used as an outro theme no. for the movie Gekijouban Mobile Suit Gundam 00 -A wakening of the Trailblazer- .
The Gundam edition of Qualia will be bunched together with songs of the band which were previously used to promote Gundam 00 such as Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi (Fleeting And Everlasting Sorrow) which was used as the 1st opening theme for the second season of Gundam 00 & CHANGE which was used in the movie trailer for Gundam 00.
As a bonus on the CD Only Gundam Limited Edition of Qualia , it comes with a bonus track Sparta which is taken from LAST .
In case you wonder what's up with the word Qualia , it's a Latin word in which it's a term that's used in philosophy to describe the subjective quality of conscious experience .
Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache , the taste of wine or the redness of an evening sky .
On 1st listen , Qualia is a bit different & unusual from the recent ballads that UVERworld released before such as Kanashimi wa Kitto (Sadness Is Certain) , Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi & let alone Koishikute (I Love You) .
I guess the closest I can classify Qualia is that it's 1/2 mid tempo while the other 1/2 of the song is basically an outblown full rock at its best .
Qualia is frankly really cool & it's a different type of music direction that UVERworld has taken & for that , this's something that's worth listening to .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single which they will not be reviewed :
- Wakasa Yue Entelecheia (Entelechy Of Youth)
- Ultimate ; used as the theme song for the PSP game LAST RANKER
Monday, August 23, 2010
GLAY - Precious
Cover For Both CD Only & CD + DVD's Editions
Precious is GLAY's 42nd single . It will be released next month on 8th Sept .
The group's last single release was I am xxx which was released last year on 25th May .
This's their 1st single which's released under their label loversoul music & associates which they established this year & the A-side was written & composed by lead singer TAKURO .
I have been waiting for the guys to return back with something new & I guess the reason as to why it took them even longer than usual because last year they had celebrations going on to celebrate their 15th anniversary in the business .
Now that they're back with new material , Precious sees GLAY going down the mid tempo rock route .
For an A-side , it's sure long , clocking in at close to 7 mins + . But this should not stop you from enjoying Precious as it's such a heartwarming & sincere rock ballad & this's something that definitely will keep you entertained from the start to the end .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- HEART SNOW ~Kokoro ni Furu Yuki~ (~Snow Heart~)
- Kanojo no (Her) "Modern ..." (Sairoku) (Re-recorded)
- 10th ALBUM 『GLAY』 Yokokuhen (Trailer)
Saturday, August 21, 2010
CD Review :: Hilcrhyme - Recital
CD + DVD
2) Recital ~Hicrhyme Koukyougakudan Sakuhin Dai 1 Ban Hen Hi Tanchou~ (~Hilcrhyme Symphony Orchestra Interpreting The 1st Symphony With Minor Changes~)
3) Child Play
4) Shunkashuutou (The Four Seasons : Spring , Summer , Autumn & Winter)
5) Uten (Rainy Weather)
6) LAMP LIGHT
7) RIDERS HIGH
8) Shatei Kennai (Within Range) Feat SUNSQRITT
9) Mou (Already) Bye Bye
10) Ibara no Michi (Thorny Path) Feat BOXER
11) Tsubomi (Flower Bud)
12) Jun'ya to (And) Manami
13) My Place
Recital is Hilcrhyme's debut album . It was released this year on 13th Jan & its peak position on the Oricon album charts was #2 .
The duo's 1st 3 singles & 2 B-sides are included in Recital . All lyrics in the album are written by rapper/vocalist TOC while all music are composed by DJ KATSU .
~OPENING~ is a 1:11 mins introduction . If you have seen the covers for Recital , ~OPENING~ has that orchestra driven like melody which sets the tone/mood on what to expect in the next song .
The introduction for Recital flows straight into the 1st album track on Recital titled Recital ~Hicrhyme Koukyougakudan Sakuhin Dai 1 Ban Hen Hi Tanchou~ (~Hilcrhyme Symphony Orchestra Interpreting The 1st Symphony With Minor Changes~) .
I have to say that Recital ~Hicrhyme Koukyougakudan Sakuhin Dai 1 Ban Hen Hi Tanchou~ is 1 of the longest song titles I ever came across . Still , this should not stop you from listening to it as this song is really catchy/memorable on 1st listen .
Recital ~Hicrhyme Koukyougakudan Sakuhin Dai 1 Ban Hen Hi Tanchou~ contains the duo's signature rap & hip hop beats which're mixed together with classical influences .
Rap , hip hop & classical might seem like a really odd combination . But for this case , all 3 elements go very well hand in hand together which I think it's great .
Child Play is the 2nd album track & this's another catchy song that I really like .
Unlike Recital ~Hicrhyme Koukyougakudan Sakuhin Dai 1 Ban Hen Hi Tanchou~ , the melody for Child Play is a lot more simple & less complicated .
Child Play takes on a more upbeat tone which emphasised a lot more on hip hop & it has that really smooth soothing factor & that should be credited to vocalist/rapper TOC for sounding really at ease while singing/rapping at the same time .
Shunkashuutou (The Four Seasons : Spring , Summer , Autumn & Winter) is Hilcrhyme's 2nd single & this has been considered as the duo's breakthrough hit .
The song was used in several promotion areas , such as being used in last Sept's ending themes no. for a-ha-N , CDTV , MUSIC B.B. , MUSIC EDGE + Osaka Style , Music & Entertainment Gachicame 7 & Duòmo . That goes for being used as an ending theme song for NIGHT CRUISING last Oct & also in the ads of Recochoku & Yamaha Music Media too .
I can understand as to why Shunkashuutou is credited as the song which made more people to sit up & take notice of Hilcrhyme . While I feel it's not as catchy as some of their other singles , it's the lyrical content of the song which I'm quite sure stuck a chord or 2 in people .
So for that , you have to give props to TOC for writing such an inspiring no. .
Uten (Rainy Weather) can be considered as the 1st album track for a ballad .
Personally , I feel this's 1 really cool song as it's a more toned down/laid back . Like the song title suggest , you can hear subtle raindrops on Uten & this's accompanied by a rather simple acoustic guitar backing which I really like .
LAMP LIGHT is found as the B-side in the indie release of the duo's 3rd single Mou (Already) Bye Bye .
Honestly , LAMP LIGHT took me a while to get the hang of it . I don't really find anything special about the song . Still , this's 1 really funky groovy no. to listen alongside with .
RIDERS HIGH flows straight after LAMP LIGHT . Unlike LAMP LIGHT , RIDERS HIGH is 1 song that I really like on 1st listen & I feel it's 1 of the more prominent album tracks in Recital .
It's a lot more fast paced than other songs on Recital but RIDERS HIGH doesn't make TOC sound as though he had a hard time in keeping up the pace with singing/rapping .
Shatei Kennai (Within Range) is the 1st collaboration you can find in Recital & in here , the song features SUNSQRITT .
At 1st , I was worried whether will the vocals of TOC & SUNSQRITT clash but surprisingly when I listen to Shatei Kennai , I did not feel it as so .
Song wise , it has quite an Americanised flair to a certain extent as I feel this's something that you'll be able to listen out to if you turn on your local radio station if you want to listen to English hip hop/rap songs .
Mou Bye Bye is Hilcrhyme's 3rd single . It was originally the duo's debut indie single release but it was eventually re-released as their 3rd major label single .
The song was used in the ads of Recochoku . Also last Dec , it was used as an opening theme for CDTV & ending theme no.s for MUSIC B.B & MUSIC EDGE + Osaka Style .
Mou Bye Bye is pretty much simplistic at its best . With hip hop beats being mixed together with subtle acoustic guitar strings which're combined with TOC's rapping/singing , this's a winner in the bag for the duo .
Ibara no Michi (Thorny Path) is the 2nd collaboration song in Recital & for this , it features another rapper , BOXER .
I find Ibara no Michi really unusual but yet cool on 1st listen . Just like Recital ~Hicrhyme Koukyougakudan Sakuhin Dai 1 Ban Hen Hi Tanchou~ , you can hear quite a significant amount of orchestra influences in Ibara no Michi being mixed up with hip hop beats .
Ibara no Michi is a fast paced song but both TOC & BOXER's vocals doesn't sound as though they're trying to keep up with the pace of Ibara no Michi .
Between Ibara no Michi & Shatei Kennai , I like the former a bit more because I feel BOXER's vocals were able to compliment TOC's a bit better than SUNSQRITT .
Tsubomi (Flower Bud) is found as the 2nd B-side in the duo's debut major label single Jun'ya to (And) Manami .
I know I said before that I did not find Tsubomi really memorable when I reviewed Jun'ya to Manami a while back ago & that I don't consider it as a B-side of mine from Hilcrhyme .
But after listening to Tsubomi quite a significant no. of times , my perception towards Tsubomi has changed gradually . Now ,I'm able to remember how this mid tempo laid back track sounds like .
Speaking of Jun'ya to Manami , the song flows straight after Tsubomi .
Jun'ya to Manami are given Japanese names for that matter .
Even up to now , I still really like Jun'ya to Manami as it's not often you get to hear a song that has wedding influences being combined with the duo's hip hop/rap sounds .
It's definitely something unique that Hilcrhyme offered & lyrically , it's really touching/nice to a certain extent too .
My Place is the final song on Recital before things are concluded .
What I like about My Place is that it has a really simple acoustic guitar melody . That's a lot more emphasised & I don't really hear that much hip hop influences in here .
But it's ok as this shows that Hilchrhyme is able to tackle music genres with ease & that they're willing to take music risks which's great .
Overall , I find Hilchrhyme's Recital a really enjoyable & solid debut album . I did had reservations in giving their material a shot as hip hop & rap are not exactly considered as 2 fave music genres of mine .
But with Recital , I find that my perception towards hip hop & rap have changed quite significantly & now , I view both music genres in a rather positive light/angle & that I realised it was probably a stigma thing that I had towards hip hop & rap .
Even though Hilchrhyme's main music focus is on hip hop & rap , they're able to experiment out of their music comfort zone & mix other forms of music genres such as acoustic guitar pop & even orchestra .
That & also , I feel that TOC has quite a natural ability to sing & rap so seamlessly at ease which I think it's important/great as not everyone's able to do both together co-currently at the same time .
In the 1st blog entry I wrote about Hilchrhyme's 5th single Loose Leaf , I wrote that I predict that given more exposure/time , I feel this's 1 artiste that can go really far in the music business & I think once again this same analogy can apply , especially after you give Recital a listen .
Hilcrhyme will release their 6th single Travel Machine next month on 22nd Sept & for that , I can't wait to hear what they have to offer for it .
At the meantime , Recital is 1 album that I will be plugging for the time being .
Thursday, August 19, 2010
ARASHI - Løve Rainbow
CD + DVD
Løve Rainbow is ARASHI's 32nd single . It will be released next month on 8th Sept & this comes less than a month after the release of their latest 9th album Boku no Miteiru Fukei .
The guys's latest single offering has been selected to be used as the theme song for the drama Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku which stars member Matsumoto Jun & it has been described as a cheerful summer dance song .
This is the first time ARASHI is providing a theme song for a drama at the extremely popular Monday night 9pm timeslot , solidifying the group's popularity in the Japanese entertainment world .
Honestly to me , Løve Rainbow is nothing special as compared to their last single release To be free .
Still , it definitely brings out the fun summer side in everyone & it's quite a nice sequel to last year's Everything .
Løve Rainbow is nothing mindbreaking (I prefer their older summer singles like Happiness) but I suppose Løve Rainbow fits the drama concept surrounding Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku quite nicely .
over will serves as the B-side in the single .
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Fukuyama Masaharu - Hotaru (Firefly) / Shounen (Boy)
Covers For All 3 Editions Of The Single
1) Hotaru (Firefly)
2) Shounen (Boy)
3) Revolution // Evolution
4) Hotaru (Firefly) -piano ver.- (CD Only Limited Edition Track)
5) Hotaru (Original Karaoke)
6) Shounen (Original Karaoke
7) Hotaru -piano ver.- (Original Karaoke) (CD Only Limited Edition Track)
Hotaru (Firefly) / Shounen (Boy) is Fukuyama Masaharu's 26th single . It was released last Wed on 11th Aug & it's his 1st single release for 2010 .
The single debuted at #1 with 1st week sales of 158,002 .
Hotaru was used as the theme song for the NTV Saturday drama Mioka which was based on a popular novel . Fukuyama reportedly had trouble writing the lyrics for the gentle guitar-based ballad until he found inspiration after he read the novel .
I have to say that I really like Hotaru on 1st listen . Unlike Fukuyama's last single Hatsuoki (First Love) , I was drawn into Hotaru immediately because of the sincerity & the emotions that Fukuyama displayed in Hotaru .
Melody wise , it's just Fukuyama being backed up by a simple acoustic guitar which's really simplistic at its best .
On the other hand , Shounen is an inspiring mid-tempo ballad which was used in the ads of LCD TV Toshiba REGZA & unlike Hotaru , Shounen did not get a video despite being the 2nd A-side of the single .
Shounen is still a ballad but it's more upbeat/faster sounding than Hotaru . Also , this 2nd catchy memorable A-side has a lot more happening going on in the melody in that you can hear big band drum beats , subtle choir sounds being mixed together to form this really cool combination .
The B-side of Hotaru / Shounen is titled Revolution // Evolution . Revolution // Evolution was used in the ads of Asahi Super Dry .
Unlike the 2 A-sides , Revolution // Evolution is mainly an instrumental piece so I wouldn't really comment so much about it .
Only found in the CD only limited edition of the single as a bonus track , it's the -piano ver.- of Hotaru .
The original take of the song is acoustic guitar driven & in this case , it has been replaced with a piano melody in which I really like as it's more calming/soothing . Fukuyama basically just let his vocals do most of the work as you don't need anything else to make Hotaru sound good as it's already by right great in the 1st place .
After being in the business for more than 20 years , Fukuyama Masaharu still has it going on with this latest single release of his , Hotaru / Shounen .
I enjoyed this a lot more than Hatsukoi (which I was unfortunately bored with it) & I'm basically impressed with the whole single from start til the end .
I can't wait to see what else he has up his sleeves . Artistes come & go but this's 1 artiste that's destined to stay in the business for hopefully another 20 more years .
Monday, August 16, 2010
BENI - Heaven's Door's B-sides
The following songs serve as B-sides in BENI's 9th single Heaven's Door which was released last Wed on 11th Aug :
- I like it
- Gimme Gimme♥ DJ HASEBE REMIX
Heaven's Door debuted at #49 with 1st week sales of 2,130 .
The A-side is sweet mid-tempo ballad about the joy of weddings serves as the theme song for the Rouge de Beni commercials .
Rouge de Beni is a line of wedding dresses BENI personally designed herself .
Written by BENI , I like it is quite a nice mid tempo R&B track which contrasts Heaven's Door well .
When I 1st heard I like it , I oddly have vibes of alan's Over the clouds as the melody for both songs sounded a bit similar to my liking .
Also , I feel the melody for I like it kind of overdrown the lyrics of the song to a certain extent as I was trying my best to listen to the lyrical content of I like it .
The DJ HASEBE REMIX of BENI's last single Gimme Gimme♥ (in which Yura Yura didn't got a remix for this time round) wraps up the Heaven's Door single .
While the original is more poppy driven , the DJ HASEBE REMIX of Gimme Gimme♥ sees a more toned down & acoustic guitar driven melody which I think it's really cool .
After attaining her 1st #1 album in the form of Lovebox , BENI delivered the music goods once again in the form of Heaven's Door .
Considering that it's her 1st wedding inspired single , a slight change in music direction is what I was looking for in BENI & she managed to do that with regards to Heaven's Door .
I'm not sure if she will release another single for 2010 but if so , it's something that I look forward to it .
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Hilcrhyme - Jun'ya to (And) Manami
CD + DVD
1) Jun'ya to (And) Manami
2) Little Samba ~Jounetsu no Kinyoubi~ (~Passion Fridays~)
3) Tsubomi (Flower Bud)
Jun'ya to (And) Manami is Hilcrhyme's debut major label single . It was released last year on 15th July & its peak position on the Oricon singles chart was #24 .
The A-side Jun'ya & Manami are given Japanese names for that matter .
Even before I talked about Jun'ya & Manami , I think you can guess what kind of a song Jun'ya & Manami is & that it's a wedding inspired no. .
Except in this case , Jun'ya & Manami takes on a more modern touch/spin of things . You still can hear quite a great deal of wedding influences but it has been mixed up with the duo's signature hip hop/rap styles which I really like .
The 1st B-side Little Samba ~Jounetsu no Kinyoubi~ (~Passion Fridays~) is a really groovy no. & as the title suggests , you can hear a significant amount of Samba incorporated beats which again compliments Hilcrhyme's signature sounds .
The result gives you this really catchy track that doesn't go over the top but it still managed to maintain a certain cool edge on things .
The 2nd B-side Tsubomi (Flower Bud) is eventually found as track #11 in the duo's debut album Recital .
I think Tsubomi is 1 of the duo's weaker if not , not very prominent B-sides of the guys as it took me quite a long time to get the hang of the song .
It's not that I do not like Tsubomi but it does not have that initial wow factor as what their future B-sides & let alone Little Samba ~Jounetsu no Kinyoubi~ have .
But if you remove that stigma from Tsubomi , it's actually quite a nice mid-tempo no. & depending on how you look at things , it might come across as the odd ball in the single since the A-side Jun'ya & Manami & Little Samba ~Jounetsu no Kinyoubi~ are not as slow sounding as Tsubomi .
Even in their debut single Jun'ya & Manami , Hilchryme showcased a lot of potential/growth & it's nice to know that future single releases of theirs , they have been working hard to perfect their craft which's really great as I think this's 1 artiste that really can go far , given the right amount of time/exposure .
Their debut album Recital will be reviewed soon & it contains the duo's 1st 3 singles & also Tsubomi too .
Saturday, August 07, 2010
CD Review :: ARASHI - Boku no Miteiru Fukei
1) movin' on
2) Mada Ue wo (Still Above)
5) T.A.B.O.O (Sakurai Sho's Solo)
9) Come back to me (Matsumoto Jun's Solo)
10) My Girl
11) Magical Song (Aiba Masaki's Solo)
12) let me down
2) Don't stop
3) Shizuka na Yoru ni (The Slient Night) (Ohno Satoshi's Solo)
4) Mukae ni Iku yo (I'll Welcome You)
5) 1992*4##111 (Ninomiya Kazunari Solo)
6) Sora Takaku (Sky High)
8) Summer Splash !
Boku no Miteiru Fukei is ARASHI's 9th album . It was released on 4th Aug & this comes about 2 years since the release of their last album Dream"A"live .
The group's 31st single To be free is excluded from Boku no Miteiru Fukei . Instead , their singles Everything all the way to Monster are found in the group's latest album offering .
Just like Dream"A"live & Time , Boku no Miteiru Fukei was released in a 2CDs edition & you can find a mixture of album group tracks & solo no.s & in total inclusive of singles , you have a very generous mix of 20 songs .
Except this time round , Boku no Miteiru Fukei is only released in this edition as so . Unlike Dream"A"live & Time (where they were released in a CD only & a 2CDs edition) & the solo songs & group no.s are mixed together which's not the case for their 7th & 8th albums which the 2nd disc holds the solos on its own .
Because of the way Boku no Miteiru Fukei is structured , I have no choice but to review 1 disc at a time as much as I want to review the solo songs separately but if I do that , things will get really messy .Disc 1
Disc 1 kicked things off with movin on' which was 1 of the 3 album tracks that I reviewed a while ago on my blog & it has been selected to be used in the ads of Japan Airline (JAL) .
I'm happy to listen to movin' on once again this time round in a rather high quality version .
It's simple really because it sets the mood/bar on what to expect for the latter part of disc 1 which's basically an angsty driven edgy pop no. that the group delivered with such gusto & abomb .
Mada Ue wo (Still Above) is the 2nd album track & this follows in the same music vein as movin' on .
Except this time round , Mada Ue wo emphasised quite significantly on the synth/autotune factor . I haven't recalled ARASHI using autotune that much in their music til now so this's fine with me as this's something that I like I should add .
The fact that both songs have Sakurap going on with each other , it kind of make the songs stand out much more as each listen goes by .
Refrain was the 2nd album track I reviewed separately a while ago & just like what I said for movin' on , it's great in hearing Refrain in a much better/clearer version .
It's no truth but Refrain is 1 of those angsty driven no.s that should sit well with listeners .
Troublemaker is the group's 29th single & it was used as the theme song for the drama Tokujo Kabachi !! which starred Sakurai Sho .
I had a lot of dislike towards Troublemaker initally because I was really bored with the song on 1st listen .
I know people were saying that it sounds different from their usual singles but at the time I refuse to agree with it as I had some issues with Troublemaker .
But now that I have hear the song in a different light , I suppose so since I haven't heard any of their singles that utilised such a fast paced tune that's quite trumpets/slight orchestra driven .
The 1st solo song in Boku no Miteiru Fukei goes to T.A.B.O.O which's sung/rap by Sakurai & the rap lyrics were written by him (naturally) .
Sakurai's past solos to me were either a hit or a miss but I'm happy to say that T.A.B.O.O falls in the hit category to me .
It's 1 of those songs that have that angsty edgy feeling & with T.A.B.O.O , you don't know what to expect on 1st listen but the trumpets , guitar riffs in the melody gel really well with Sakurai's rapping/singing which works for me .
The album's 4th track Circus takes centrestage soon after T.A.B.O.O & to me this's 1 standout track in Boku no Miteiru Fukei .
Circus is awesome on 1st listen as it has plenty of attitude & a lot of spunk .
I think it's on par if more superior to rival that of CARNIVAL NIGHT part 2 if not Spiral aside from song titles associations but there's no deny that Circus is fantastic & this's something that really impressed me .
Gift is the only album ballad in Boku no Miteiru Fukei & needless to say , it's a keeper .
I did have vibes of Be with you when I 1st heard Gift & it was quite surprising to know that Matsumoto Jun is the one that kicked things off in here despite the fact that to me vocally in the group , he's the weakest but he was able to carry this off nicely at the start without sounding shaky .
Everything is ARASHI's 27th single & it was used for promotion in the ads for au by KDDI .
Even though it has been almost more than a year since Everything was released , this's something that I'm not bored with til now & the fact that Summer is currently around the season plate in Japan , listening to Everything does bring out the Summer atmosphere feeling in you .
The 2nd solo song found in the album is Come back to me which's sung by MatsuJun .
Like what I said for Sakurai , MatsuJun's past solos are also a hit or miss for me & unfortunately most of the time , it's on the miss side .
The only one I enjoyed of him was I Want Somebody but that's not considered a full solo no. but rather , a pick up no. since his vocals were heard a lot more than the other 4 in I Want Somebody .
Thankfully or not , Come back to me is something I don't mind to listen again . It's quite autotune driven which I suspect it's to conceal his weak vocals & as a result , this no. sounds really fun without coming across as silly .
My Girl is the group's 28th single & it was used as the theme song for the drama of the same title , in which it was Aiba Masaki's 1st starring lead drama role .
Because of the fact that I have seen My Girl (the drama) , listening to the song brings back quite a lot of memories surrounding the drama & lyrically , it's something that will stuck a chord or 2 , be it whether you have seen My Girl or not .
Speaking about Aiba , his solo no. Magical Song follows after My Girl & this's the last solo you can find in the 1st disc of Boku no Miteiru Fukei .
Aiba's past solo songs are all perfectly ok for me . Vocally he's not the strongest in the group but he's able to pick/choose songs that either will bring out the best for him or conceal the worst that his vocals might bring out of him .
In the case of Magical Song , it's another fun no. just like Friendship but I was a bit annoyed with him saying/singing the word Discotique over & over again but other than that , it's fine .
let me down is the last track in the 1st disc of Boku no Miteiru Fukei . There's the inclusion of Sakurap which's nice but it took me a while to get let me down sink into as it's not as catchy as what I was hoping for on 1st listen .
After giving the song a few more listens , this's 1 swell album track that's pretty much finger snapping beats driven which's cool .Disc 2
The 1st song to kick off disc 2 is also incidentally the last single included in Boku no Miteiru Fukei .
Monster is the group's 30th single which was used as the theme song for the drama Kaibutsu-kun which starred leader Ohno Satoshi .
When Monster was released , I was really relieved/happy that they were able to deliver this edgy angst driven no. after I was being disappointed with what Troublemaker had to offer .
As such , this's 1 song that I feel's 1 of their more prominent single release in recent times .
Don't Stop is the next album track & this's another song that I enjoy even though like what I said for let me down , both Don't Stop & let me down took a while to sink in before remembering how both tunes go .
But you can't deny the fact that both songs sound much more stronger as each listen goes by .
Ohno's solo no. Shizuka na Yoru ni (The Slient Night) is the 2nd last solo track in the album .
I always have like Ohno's solo songs as he's considered as the best vocalist in the group & in Shizuka na Yoru ni , he did not disappoint in any single bit .
The opening of Shizuka na Yoru ni eerily sounds like Aoyama Thelma Feat SoulJa's Soba ni Iru ne (I'm By Your Side) but rest assured it does not sound like a carbon copy of Aoyama after the introduction gets out of the way .
Instead , Shizuka na Yoru ni takes on a form in which melody wise , it's simplistic & it's sufficient/good enough to bring out on what Ohno does best .
Mukae ni Iku yo (I'll Welcome You) follows after Ohno's solo & this's 1 song that's easy to distinguish from the pack as the opening for Mukae ni Iku yo is driven by a harmonica which I think it's really cool .
1992*4##111 is the final solo song in Boku no Miteiru Fukei & for this one , it's sung by Ninomiya Kazunari .
The song is written & composed by Nino himself while he co-arranged the song with ha-j .
In case you wonder with regards to the unusual song title of Nino , that's because 1992*4##111 means Arigatou (Thank You) when you type 1992*4##111 using your handphone .
if you enter the numbers in AU input keypad 1=a 99=ri 2*=ga 4##=to 111=u which gives you Arigatou .
Anyway back to Nino's solo songs , the same thing applies to him in that his solo songs are also a hit or a miss for me but there's no doubt he's really talented seeing that he had a hand in composing/writing some of his solo songs & that goes for 1992*4##111 .
1992*4##111 in this case , it's a nice no. & I appericate the lyrics that Nino penned which're really touching . The only drawback for his latest solo song is that it's quite long for me to handle .
It is no Niji (Rainbow) & it's something I don't think any of his solo songs will be able to match the greatness of it but 1992*4##111 is more or less on par with Niji & also the simplistic piano driven melody surrounding 1992*4##111 makes his latest solo quite a joy to listen to .
Sora Takaku (Sky High) is the 2nd last track in the 2nd disc & it was used as the theme song for the special drama Saigo no Yakusoku which starred all of the members .
I reviewed Sora Takaku a while back ago & my stand on this is still the same thing in that I feel this's possibly 1 of the group's most boring if not mundane song in their discography .
I actually was hoping that Green was instead of Sora Takaku in Boku no Miteiru Fukei but alas , no luck in seeing that happening . Even though there's Sakurap in Sora Takaku , still this's not able to save the song from boring me quite a great deal .
There're other better album tracks in Boku no Miteiru Fukei & for that , Sora Takaku is something that I don't mind not to listen again for the 2nd time (or not) .
With an unusual song title like kagerô , one would expect what kind of song it's & thankfully this's another standout track in the album .
I don't know if it's just me but I actually had odd/funny vibes of BREAKERZ's LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no Battle~ when I 1st heard kagerô as both songs have almost the same melody .
But still kagerô is something I feel which belongs strictly to ARASHI as only they themselves is able to carry such a song with plenty of great synergy .
Summer Splash ! is the final song overall (be it in disc 2 or the whole album) & this's also the last track I reviewed separately on its own too .
Being the fact that Summer is currently taking place in Japan , I think it's quite fitting for the guys to conclude/wrap things up with this cheery keyboard synth driven no. & it's a fun song to listen to as well .
2 years since the release of Dream"A"live , ARASHI has gained a significant amount of popularity , smashing records one after another on the Oricon charts & they finally returned back in releasing another original album , Boku no Miteiru Fukei .
Personally to me , Boku no Miteiru Fukei is so much more enjoyable , mature & also stronger as compared to Dream"A"live . I had a lot of dislike towards Dream"A"live as basically everything on there was just wrong .
From the covers to the album tracks & even the solos , most of their last album fall flat to me as it was tough & not easy in trying to carry Dream"A"live with just 2 singles & trying to rely on the album tracks to pull everything up together in 1 place but to no avail .
This time round , I'm happy to see (hear) how much more seriousness if not more input that their composers/writers have helped them in Boku no Miteiru Fukei which's great .
That's not to say the album does not have any flaws . 1st of all , I did not like the way the group & solo songs were mixed together as I rather the group songs were to be put in the 1st disc while the 2nd disc be stuffed with the solo songs , just like what happened for Dream"A"live & Time .
As such , the sound consistency in Boku no Miteiru Fukei is not there & it was quite shaky at times as 1 moment you're listening to a group no. , the next it might be a solo & vice versa .
But after listening to both discs of Boku no Miteiru Fukei , I'm able to understand why this has happened because if you were to listen to all the group album tracks at 1 shot , you will have a tough time telling apart which's which as if you put everything together , all will sound the same to you .
So I suppose by including solos in between group ones , that kind of serve as barriers/stumbling blocks .
With that said , Boku no Miteiru Fukei is 1 album that's worth listening to from the start to the end & judging so far on how much Boku no Miteiru Fukei has been selling in the past few days on the Oricon chart , it will not surprise me if this's going to be 2010's 1st album to cross the magical million mark sooner or later .
If not , then Boku no Miteiru Fukei is already unofficially the group's best selling original studio album .
ARASHI's 32nd single Løve Rainbow will be released on 8th Sept & this will served as the theme song for the drama Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku which stars MatsuJun .
Acid Black Cherry - Re:birth
CD Only (Another Century's Episode : R)
CD + DVD
Re:birth is Acid Black Cherry's 9th single . It will be released on 18th Aug & this's yasu's 1st single release of 2010 after he released his 2nd cover album Recreation 2 on 30th June .
yasu's latest single has been selected to be used as the theme song for the PlayStation3 game Another Century's Episode : R which will be released the next day after the single drops .
The B-side of the single Furare Kibun de Rock'n'Roll which's a cover of a 1984 hit by TOM★CAT will not be reviewed .
I like Re:birth on 1st listen as it's a bit different from the usual singles that yasu released . It's not a full on angsty dark no. as compared to Jigsaw .
But rather , Re:birth is basically a standard rock offering which showcase yasu's vocals at fine form . Also , I can understand why Re:birth has been selected to be used in Another Century's Episode : R as I feel the song fits the game really well .
Friday, August 06, 2010
Hilcrhyme - Shunkashuutou (The Four Seasons : Spring , Summer , Autumn & Winter)
Cover For Both CD Only & CD + DVD's Editions
1) Shunkashuutou (The Four Seasons : Spring , Summer , Autumn & Winter)
Shunkashuutou (The Four Seasons : Spring , Summer , Autumn & Winter) is Hilcrhyme's 2nd single . It was released last year on 30th Sept & its peak position was #6 & this's the duo's 1st single to attain a top 10 position on the Oricon charts .
The A-side received a lot of promotion areas , among which as last Sept's ending themes for a-ha-N , CDTV , MUSIC B.B. , MUSIC EDGE + Osaka Style , Music & Entertainment Gachicame 7 , Duòmo , last Oct's ending theme for NIGHT CRUISING as well as being used in the ads for Recochoku & Yamaha Music Media .
Shunkashuutou is considered as the duo's breakthrough hit & it's easy to see (hear) why so as it's such a feel good song .
Also lyrically , you can hear vocalist TOC rap/sing alongside with lyrics related to the 4 seasons of spring , summer , autumn & winter with such ease which allowed me to enjoy this song tremendously .
Melody wise , it has a very simple structure where TOC is mainly backed up by acoustic guitar strings & suduced DJ beats thrown in for good measures .
The B-side ♪Merry-Go-Round♪ is another fantastic no. & despite the title , you will not hear circus carols related influences .
Instead , what you get in ♪Merry-Go-Round♪ is a heavily Reggae driven no. which compliments Shunkashuutou really well & the B-side's melody is mixed together with the duo's signature hip hop/rap style .
Shunkashuutou has been credited as Hilcrhyme's breakthrough hit & after listening to this single , I finally understand why they have been gaining in popularity in recent times as it's 1 of those songs that will go down as a classic down the road .
As such , I'm quite sure even if you're not a Hilcrhyme listener , Shunkashuutou will be something for you to enjoy .
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Yusuke - Mitsubachi (Honey Bee)
Cover For Both CD & CD + DVD's Editions
1) Mitsubachi (Honey Bee)
2) SUMMER TIME
3) Kyou no Hana (Today's Flowers)
4) ESCAPE Featuring Narita Makoto (CD Only Track)
5) Mitsubachi -instrumental-
Mitsubachi (Honey Bee) is Yusuke's 5th single . It was released last Wed on 28th July & this comes in 4 months + since the release of his previous single Lion .
Yusuke's latest single offering debuted at #2 with 1st week sales of 71,548 .
The A-side Mitsubachi is being used in the ads for ABC Mart .
Well honestly on 1st listen , Mitsubachi reminded me of Kaizokusen (Pirate Ship) to a certain extent in that both songs are in the same crazy over the top genre .
Except for Mitsubachi's case , I felt as though it's a bit more tamer than Kaizokusen as Mitsubachi's melody was being balanced with somewhat sane vocals of Yusuke's but I can tell the A-side is quite summer inspired/driven .
There're 3 B-sides in the single in which I will not be reviewing ESCAPE which features Narita Makoto in which this no. is found exclusively in the CD only edition of Mitsubachi as I wasn't able to find the song .
Instead , I will be reviewing the 1st 2 B-sides only .
On 1st look at the single tracklist , I really thought that SUMMER TIME would/might be a cover of NEWS's but thankfully it's an original Yusuke composition .
SUMMER TIME was able to balance/contrasts Mitsubachi as it presented a more laidback feeling in which this's something nice I feel .
The 2nd B-side Kyou no Hana (Today's Flowers) was used in the ads for Marukome Eki Miso , as well as the theme song for the TV show Zoom !! SUPER .
Just like SUMMER TIME , Kyou no Hana is also another calm mid tempo no. except in this case , Kyou no Hana is pretty much acoustic guitar driven & this's 1 of those songs that it's great to listen to if you're driving along the expressway .
Yusuke has been on a music roll after releasing Lion & he doesn't stop in delivering the music goods once more in the form of Mitsubachi .
I'm curious to know whether will his next single be animal related titled , since he already released 2 back to back ones as so & the covers are also similar , in terms of the colour scheme/designs .
No matter , I'm sure his next single offering will be equally enjoyable/solid as this's 1 artiste that has been growing musically since making his debut/presence felt in the music business last March with Himawari (Sunflower) .
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Anna Tsuchiya - Boushoku-kei Danshi !! (Overeating-type Boys) [PE'Z x Anna Tsuchiya]
Boushoku-kei Danshi !! (Overeating-type Boys) is a special collaboration song which will be included in Anna Tsuchiya's 3rd album (currently untitled) which will be out on 22nd Sept .
UHA-UHA / Boushoku-kei Danshi !! is a collaboration single with instrumental jazz band PE'Z in which a CD+DVD box set for it will be released on 19th Aug , under the billing PE'Z x Anna Tsuchiya .
This will not be a typical product , as it is being produced by Takarajimasha, an entertainment company that primarily deals with magazines .
The single will be packaged in an A4 magazine size box , containing a CD , a music video DVD & a special commemorative pouch produced by the popular select shop RAGTAG . The bundle will be sold at bookstores & convenience stores rather than at record shops .
After teaming up with the likes of MONKEY MAJIK & rapper AI in Anna's 2nd album NUDY SHOW ! , she decided to do the same thing this time round with regards to Boushoku-kei Danshi !! with PE'Z .
I actually like Boushoku-kei Danshi !! on 1st listen unlike Atashi (Me) & Shout in the rain . Maybe because this's something different that Anna has not done before , seeing that she hasn't done a heavily Jazz influenced song in her discography until now .
As such , I kind of welcome Boushoku-kei Danshi !! with open arms & she sounded as if she had a lot of fun recording this no. with PE'Z which's really nice .
Then again , Anna's past collaborations she did with MONKEY MAJIK & AI were solid so this goes the same thing with regards to Boushoku-kei Danshi !! .
Monday, August 02, 2010
Hilcrhyme - Mou (Already) Bye Bye
1) Mou (Already) Bye Bye
2) LAMP LIGHT
3) Jun'ya to (And) Manami
Major Label Cover
1) Mou Bye Bye (More Water)
2) East Area
Mou (Already) Bye Bye is Hilcrhyme's 3rd single . It was released last year on 2nd Dec & its peak position on the chart was #18 .
The single was originally released as their debut indie single 2 years ago on 23rd July with 2 different B-sides , in which Jun'ya to (And) Manami serves as their major label debut single while LAMP LIGHT eventually is made available as track #6 in the hip hop duo's debut album Recital .
Mou Bye Bye was used in several promotion areas , such as in the ads for Recochoku , opening theme for CDTV & also ending themes for MUSIC B.B & MUSIC EDGE + Osaka Style last Dec .
I will review the single based on the duo major label tracklist since eventually I will be talking/reviewing about Jun'ya to Manami & LAMP LIGHT in future blog entries .
Mou Bye Bye is a really nice no. that I adore on 1st listen . It follows almost the same music vein as Daijoubu (Alright) except that Mou Bye Bye presents a somewhat more bittersweet emotional driven side of Hilcrhyme .
Also the way that vocalist TOC raps/sings in Mou Bye Bye with such gusto , it's another A-side winner in the bag for the duo .
The B-side East Area is 1 hot catchy track which's pretty much a song that you can hear quite a lot of Eastern influences .
I can detect some shades of Indian & also Reggae influences in East Area & it's hard not to get immediately drawn into East Area on 1st listen as it's just so addicitive , it hurts in a good way & it contrasts Mou Bye Bye very well .
Just like Loose Leaf & Daijoubu , Mou Bye Bye is another single I really enjoyed listening to of Hilcrhyme & as the saying goes , quality over quantity in which this more or less fits the description of Mou Bye Bye .
Anna Tsuchiya - Shout in the rain
CD + DVD
Shout in the rain is Anna Tsuchiya's 12th single . It will be released this month on 18th Aug & this comes less than a month after Anna released her previous single Atashi (Me) .
Unlike Atashi , I kind of like Shout in the rain on 1st listen because it sounded a bit different from what Anna used to release .
I did get vibes of Imitation night , which's the B-side of her 9th single Virgin Cat in which it's probably 1 of her B-sides til date for that matter .
Both songs tread in the dark angsty if not somewhat moody rock vein which I like as I feel this's something that Anna does best in her material .
The only drawback I feel towards Shout in the rain is that Anna sounded as though she was out of breath while trying her best to reach the high notes but without any luck in doing so .
The following songs serve as B-sides in Shout in the rain :
- GUN ! GUN ! LOVE !
- Atashi x ORE ~mash up PE'Z~