Thursday, September 30, 2010
GIRL NEXT DOOR - Kaze no (Wind) Capsule
CD + DVD A (DVD contains 3 music videos + offshot)
CD + DVD Type B (DVD contains live footages)
Kaze no (Wind) Capsule is the 2nd song which's found in GIRL NEXT DOOR's 9th single Ready to be a lady which will be released on 13th Oct .
Ready to be a lady comes in about 4 months + since the release of the trio's previous single Freedom & it's their 2nd triple A-side single after their 6th single Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you .
Unlike Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you where only Wait for you didn't get a music video , in Ready to be a lady , you can expect 3 songs which will get music videos for each tune , with Kaze no Capsule being 1 of them .
After bringing the angst factor out within the group with Freedom , GIRL NEXT DOOR returns back in delivering cheery peppy electro pop material in the form of Kaze no Capsule .
Kaze no Capsule does sounds a bit similar to FRIENDSHIP , except it's not a rip off from other artistes's material .
It's 1 of those songs that you want to just stand up & have a good time , dancing/humming alongside with it which I should add & I guess this's something that GIRL NEXT DOOR does best .
The following songs in the single will be reviewed in due time , with the 1st 2 no.s getting music videos just like Kaze no Capsule :
- Ready to be a lady
- Shiawase no Hakari (Scale Of Happiness)
- Infinity (EURODIMA Remix)
EURODIMA Remix of Infinity serves as the B-side of Ready to be a lady .
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Hilcrhyme - Please Cry (Travel Machine's B-side)
Please Cry serves as the B-side in Hilcrhyme's 6th single Travel Machine , which was released last week on 22nd Sept .
Travel Machine debuted at #11 with 1st week sales of 9,863 .
This song was originally found as track #10 in the duo's debut indie album Nettaiya before they went major with Universal Japan .
I was a bit taken aback at just how short if not raw Please Cry is on 1st listen , especially after I found out just how old the song's .
But anyway , Please Cry did a good job contrasting the A-side well in that Please Cry is more calm & stripped down .
The only thing I didn't like about the song was that it ended a bit too adruptly for my liking . I would have prefer if the guys extended the song by a few more seconds or so .
Travel Machine is the start of me following Hilcrhyme's music journey prim & proper & just like their previous singles , they didn't disappointed me & deliver the goods once more with this solid stellar offering .
Hilcrhyme will be releasing their 2nd album & also 2nd concert DVD on Nov 24th . At this point in time , both are currently untitled but I'm really excited about it , especially since I enjoyed their debut offering Recital a great deal .
Monday, September 27, 2010
Koda Kumi - walk ~to the future~ (Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. / Anata Dake ga's B-side)
walk ~to the future~ serves as the B-side in Koda Kumi's 48th single Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. (I Like You , I Like You , I Like You.) / Anata Dake ga (Only You) which was released last Wed on 22nd Sept .
Just like the 2 A-sides , walk ~to the future~ also gets a music video & the original version walk was found as track #14 in Koda's debut album affection .
I know walk has quite a lot of significant meaning for Koda , especially since most if not all the time , she always perform this song as a closing no. in her concerts .
For me , I already have liked the original take of the song & it didn't surprise me that I welcomed an updated version , with regards to walk ~to the future~ .
Both takes of the song are still ballad driven . Except for walk ~to the future~'s case , I feel Koda's vocals are a lot more prominent & stronger .
Melody wise , it has that somewhat calm feeling attached to it which I think it's perfect as video & song wise , it brings a good closure to the single .
Koda Kumi's 10th anniversary in the music business is fast approaching & what better way than to celebrate in advance with this really solid single offering of hers , Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. / Anata Dake ga .
It might be a single that offered nothing but ballads but to me , each ballad represents a different side of Koda , from sad to happy & uplifting .
Definitely 1 of her best works that she has released in recent times which I adore .
Sunday, September 26, 2010
ayumi hamasaki - crossroad's B-sides
The following songs serve as B-sides in ayumi hamasaki's 49th single crossroad which was released a few days ago on 22nd Sept
- SEVEN DAYS WAR
- blossom (Clockwork yellow remix)
- MOON (Orchestra version) (CD Only Track)
- blossom (Orchestra version) (CD Only Track)
The A-side crossroad is a mid-tempo ballad which's composed by influential music producer Komuro Tetsuya & used in the ads of travel agency Qualita .
Just like crossroad , SEVEN DAYS WAR is also composed & produced by Komuro .
Except for this case , SEVEN DAYS WAR is a cover by TM Network which was released on July 1988 & Komuro's a member of the group too .
It has been a while since ayumi covered/included a song in her singles (the last one being a cover of TRF's teens which was found in her 39th single Startin' / Born To Be ...) but anyway seeing that I never heard the original take of SEVEN DAYS WAR , I treat this a new song .
I frankly have no problems with SEVEN DAYS WAR . Musically , it's almost in the same music vein as crossroad , seeing that both songs were composed by Komuro .
The only drawback I don't like about the song is ayumi's English pronounciation as I had quite a hard time in decipering what she's trying to say/sing .
The Clockwork yellow remix of ayumi's precious single blossom serves as the 2nd B-side of the crossroad single .
Honestly , I did not like this remix of blossom as it was a bit too weird for me to swallow , considering that the original take of the song was quite mid tempo & definitely not club driven .
Also , you're not able to hear the full song of blossom in here . Just bits & pieces , mainly lines taken from the chorus .
But I managed to get the hang of how this's like as time goes by . It's an unusual remix I have to admit but this's something I frankly don't mind to listen to .
The last 2 songs/B-sides are only found in the CD only editions of crossroad .
Both are Orchestra versions of ayumi's previous single MOON / blossom .
I don't think I will further comment about both orchestra takes of the songs as it's already set in stone as it's but I have to say both are a big improvement from the orchestra take surrounding Last Links which I didn't like it that much as I thought I would in MOON / blossom .
The orchestra take of MOON is even more dramatic/up there than the original but it's done well because the melody compliments ayumi's voice without her being overshadowed .
In the case of the orchestra take of blossom , it presents a more calmer & yet emotional driven side of ayumi which I think it's lovely as both the original & orchestra versions paint a different music feeling of the song which're expressed in both manners as it's .
Also , I like the strings going on in blossom (Orchestra version) which adds a nice touch or 2 to things .
At the end of the day , I really enjoy listening to the whole single of crossroad from the start to the end .
I don't think it's fair to compare MOON / blossom against crossroad , in terms of the contents & also the quantity of material you'll get .
But without a doubt , ayumi hamasaki is still great at doing what she does best ie. releasing solid material & it's something that it has been happening on her part for the last 12 years of her music career & counting .
ayumi's 50th single L will be released this coming week on 29th Sept . I already reviewed Virgin Road & naturally the other tracks will follow suit .
Saturday, September 25, 2010
ARASHI - Dear Snow
CD + DVD
Dear Snow is ARASHI's 33rd single . It will be released on 6th Oct & this comes about less than a month since the release of their previous single Løve Rainbow .
The group's latest single offering has been selected to be used as the theme song for the film Ohoku which stars member Ninomiya Kazunari & Dear Snow has been described as ARASHI's first romantic ballad of 2010 .
A love ballad , Dear Snow expresses the poetic & elegant visuals of Ohoku with music .
After releasing a string of upbeat no.s for 2010 , ARASHI has decided to slow things down with Dear Snow . The ballad's nice , no doubt about it but there's just something I feel it's lacking .
Personally , I think Dear Snow lacks the spark/X-factor that I'm looking for , as compared to past ballads which they have released such as Ashita no Kioku (Memories Of Tomorrow) & One Love .
Dear Snow is still enjoyable but it's strange that they usually tend to save their more distinct ballads as album tracks .
Time Capsule will serve as the B-side of the single & this no. is only available in the CD only edition of Dear Snow .
Thursday, September 23, 2010
CD Review :: NEWS - LIVE
CD + DVD
1) Koi no (Love) ABO
3) Umareshi Kimi e (Who Was Born To You)
5) Aki no Sora (Autumn Sky)
6) Futari (2 Of Us) / 130000000 no Kiseki (Million Miracles)
7) Dancin' in the Secret
9) Sakura Girl
10) BE FUNKY !
12) Naiyou no Nai Tegami (Letter With No Content)
13) Endless Summer
14) Share (CD Only Track)
15) Forever (Unplugged Ver.) (CD Only Track)
LIVE is NEWS's 4th album . It was released last Wed on 15th Sept & the album debuted at #1 with 1st week sales of 156,391 .
The last album NEWS released was 2 years ago on 19th Nov aka color .
2 singles & a B-side are included in LIVE .
Before I dived straight in proper , LIVE marks quite a few 1st's for NEWS in the sense that it's the group's 1st album in which its title is released in full upper caps & that it has a song title which's the same as the album .
Also , it's NEWS's 1st album not to include any duo/trio pairings when comes to album tracks , so all the album tracks are sung together as a group in whole & that goes for including a B-side in an album too .
Koi no (Love) ABO is NEWS's 11th single & it was released last year on 29th April .
It's hard to believe that it has been almost close to 1 1/2 years since Koi no ABO was released .
I know at that time when Koi no ABO was released (NEWS's only single release for 2009 somemore) , I had a shock or 2 as the style for Koi no ABO sounded really cheesy & yet dated .
But now , I actually find the song fun & rather amusing , seeing that they don't have many other songs in their discography which falls under this category . As such , it shows a different side of the group .
LIVE (the song) is the 1st album track . For this , it was written & composed by JIN , who's the older brother of HIDE in which HIDE's the lead singer of the group GReeeeN .
I did reviewed LIVE on its own prior to the release of LIVE (the album) . It's no weeeek & I did find the song catchy .
However , LIVE (the song) wouldn't be something that I will consider as a fave album track of mine , as there're other more solid/memorable songs in LIVE which I will talk about them later .
Umareshi Kimi e (Who Was Born To You) is really nice but the eerie thing about the song is that I find the melody very similar to certain song(s) that I can't put my foot on .
But anyway , Umareshi Kimi e is very enjoyable . It's quite fast paced , upbeat but it's something that's pleasant to listen .
Supernatural follows after Umareshi Kimi e & this's 1 really smooth groovy no. .
It's something that I feel you can hear being played in lounge clubs & since the DVD for LIVE contains footages of NEWS UNPLUGGED , Supernatural would have been a song that NEWS should have sang during the unplugged session but unfortunately they didn't .
Supernatural is definitely 1 of those songs where it's perfect for you to listen to if you're chilling/lazing around at home .
Aki no Sora (Autumn Sky) follows suit & I feel this's 1 of my fave album tracks in LIVE simply because it has an autumn feeling (with autumn looming around Japan currently) .
Also , it has that really laidback feeling . Not to mention , I think it's lovely that it's piano driven & it's very calmed & somewhat relaxed which's great .
Futari (2 Of Us) / 130000000 no Kiseki (Million Miracles) is the 5th album track & despite having 2 song titles to make it feel as though it's a double A-side single , it's actually 1 song , stand alone on its own .
Honestly , I do not find Futari / 130000000 no Kiseki special if not memorable . It sounded as a standard pop/rock song that I usually can find in Johnny's albums . It doesn't have that X factor/spunk as compared to the 1st few album tracks in LIVE .
Also , it took me quite a while to get used to the way Futari / 130000000 no Kiseki sounds like too .
Dancin' in the Secret follows after Futari / 130000000 no Kiseki .
No doubt it has a really weird song title but thankfully , it sounds good . It follows almost in the same music vein as Koi no ABO since both songs are dancey upbeat tunes .
Except for Dancin' in the Secret's case , I feel it's less cheesy & more enjoyable to listen .
From Dancin' in the Secret , in comes another fun album track Wonderland . I feel that Wonderland sounds like a sequel to color's Smile Maker but only a lot more stronger & distinct .
After 7 album tracks , Sakura Girl steps in as track #9 & this's also NEWS's 12th single & also the final single you can find in LIVE .
Sakura Girl is 1 of those songs that has a nostalgic feeling , especially if you know what the song's all about , lyrical .
Nevertheless , I think the song is 1 of the most memorable NEWS singles they have released in recent times & it's something that I'm not bored of even up to now .
BE FUNKY ! was used as the theme song for the drama TROUBLEMAN which starred Kato Shigeaki .
This's the 1st song that I reviewed as a stand alone track , way before it was announced that BE FUNKY ! made the cut in LIVE which I'm glad it happened as it has that pow wow factor going on & it's very catchy on 1st listen .
I still said that it would have been better if NEWS released BE FUNKY ! as a single , as it had a lot of potential to be one but unfortunately it didn't happen but I suppose it's not that bad as you can find the track included in LIVE .
D.T.F is a strange song title . If you listen to the song carefully , it actually means Do The Funk but unfortunately despite this , I find D.T.F to be really random if not more cheesier than Koi no ABO .
I was quite turned off the moment the introduction of D.T.F hit & it doesn't help that the melody being used for the song , it sounded really dated & for that , the song gets a thumbs down .
Naiyou no Nai Tegami (Letter With No Content) is a fantastic album track simply because hip hop/rap duo Hilchryme had a hand in writing & composing this no. .
The lyrics for Naiyou no Nai Tegami were written by vocalist/rapper TOC while the music's composed by DJ KATSU .
People who have followed my blog would have known in recent times , I have become a rather big fan of this really talented duo so I wasn't surprised that they did such a great job in line in 'giving' Naiyou no Nai Tegami for NEWS to sing .
Song wise , even if you don't listen to Hilchryme , it's something that's well recommended to listen .
With Naiyou no Nai Tegami being such an emotional driven ballad , it's hard not to like something like that .
I'm real curious as to whether Hilchryme be covering Naiyou no Nai Tegami in their future releases but I leave this as it's for now .
Endless Summer is the last album track in LIVE (ie. if you get the CD + DVD edition) & I think it conclude things very well .
It's 1 of those songs that you listen to , around the time when Summer is going to conclude but whatever you have experienced during that particular time frame/season , you want those memories to continue/live on in your memory .
Endless Summer is a song that I really enjoyed on 1st listen & I also like the harmonisation of vocals going on for NEWS as everything's well put together .
The last 2 songs are only found in the CD only edition of LIVE .
Originally found as a B-side / live version in the CD only edition of Koi no ABO , it's Share .
This's so far the only song that's written & composed by NEWS together .
I'm real happy that a studio treatment has been given for Share as I really liked the live version which was recorded from Tokyo Dome .
Between the live & studio takes of Share , there's not much significant difference . The only prominent changes is that for the studio version of Share , the vocals for NEWS have been twerk a bit slightly , especially at the end where you can hear subtle backing vocals .
Other than that , Share is still something that's definitely worth checking & the fact that the whole group wrote & composed it together , makes Share a keeper in its own right .
Originally found as track #5 in NEWS's last album color , it's Forever & in LIVE , it has been titled as Forever (Unplugged Ver.) .
This's the final track prior to wrapping things up in LIVE & NEWS did a good job in giving Forever an updated/unplugged version .
I already have liked the orignal take of Forever when color was released so it didn't surprise me that I like the unplugged version pertaining to the song .
The unplugged version of Forever sees a more stripped down / unplugged feeling . I always have a weakness if songs are being done in this manner . For that , Forever (Unplugged Ver.) gets my stamp of approval .
Like what I mentioned in the beginning prior to my proper review of NEWS's LIVE , it's NEWS's 1st album not to include any duo/trio pairings when comes to album tracks , so all the album tracks are sung together as a group in whole .
Frankly , it's a move that I welcome , seeing that in general , I do enjoy listening to LIVE from the start to the beginning .
For me , I was happy in this case , they have ditched the whole duo/trio pairings tactic which worked well in color & also in pacific , as I feel it's not fair for just Yamapi & Ryo to be given solo songs & then the other 4 members being delegated to duo/trio pairings when comes to delivering the album tracks .
That's not to say the album doesn't have any flaws . For LIVE , I'm not able to find songs that're sequels to past standout album tracks like SNOW EXPRESS , FLY AGAIN , Ai no Matador & etc .
But aside from this minor flaw , NEWS has proven once again that when comes to delivering songs together as a group , they nailed this aspect downpat & I still feel that vocally , they're 1 of the better ones in Johnny's as all of them are able to carry a tune or 2 well .
NEWS will be releasing their 13th single Fighting Man on 3rd Nov & concidentally or not , 3rd Nov is member Ryo Nishikido's 26th birthday .
ayumi hamasaki - Virgin Road
CD Only Type A
CD Only Type B
CD + DVD Type A
CD + DVD Type B
Virgin Road is a song taken from ayumi hamasaki's 50th single L which will be released next week on 29th Sept .
L will be released a week after ayumi's previous single crossroad , as part of her 50th Single Project .
Marking this landmark in releasing 50 singles in her career , L is a maxi single consisting of 3 new songs but only 2 tracks get music videos , with Virgin Road being 1 of them .
The last maxi single that ayumi released was & , which was released some 7 years back .
Virgin Road can be heard in the ads of music.jp & just like crossroad , it's composed by Tetsuya Komuro .
Honestly , I really like Virgin Road on 1st listen despite the somewhat ridiculous title . It's a nice heartwarming ballad which's pretty much piano driven .
Also , I like the subtle Gospel tinged touches that're thrown in Virgin Road for good measures . Not to mention , you also can hear slight Wedding influences too prior to the conclusion of Virgin Road .
Verbally , it might sound weird/wrong but all these elements actually come together to form this unique music combination .
Sweet Season is the other song that gets a music video in L .
Aside from that , the following tunes serve as B-sides in the single :
- Last angel
- crossroad (Orchestra version) (CD Only Track)
- SEVEN DAYS WAR (Orchestra version) (CD Only Track)
- SEVEN DAYS WAR (TK Acoustic Piano version) (CD Only Track)
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
CD Review :: JASMINE - GOLD
CD + DVD
2) sad to say
5) Bad Girl.
6) dear my friend
7) stage ~interlude~
8) This Is Not A Game
10) Koi (Love)
11) what you want ?
12) No More
GOLD is JASMINE's debut album & it was released this year on 21st July .
5 singles & 4 B-sides are included in GOLD . Its peak position on the Oricon albums chart was #3 , giving JASMINE her very 1st top 10 position on Oricon .
PRIDE is the 1st song to kick off GOLD . I guess I can consider this as a rather long introduction song .
I think it would have been better if PRIDE was a full length no. as I really enjoy what it had to offer . I like PRIDE for being fast paced & very heavily piano driven while retaining the signature R&B and Pop sounds that JASMINE is known for .
Still , PRIDE is something that will set the bar on what to expect for GOLD .
sad to say is JASMINE's debut single & it was used in the ads of Recochoku .
I kind of wish that I started listening from sad to say onwards as it did not happen for my case .
Then again , sad to say did really well for a debut single , in terms of its peak position on Oricon & I like the song in terms of the lyrical content & the melody complimenting the tune is ain't 1/2 bad either .
L.I.P.S. was originally found as the B-side track of JASMINE's 5th single Dreamin' .
This's 1 B-side that I'm really happy to see being included in GOLD . I remembered when I reviewed about Dreamin' , I was really impressed just how catchy/solid L.I.P.S. is .
L.I.P.S. is 1 of my fave B-sides of JASMINE . To say that I'm delighted the song's included in the tracklist , it's an understatement so to speak .
Jealous is JASMINE's 4th single & this's the 1st song I listened to of her . As such , I still hold this song in rather high esteem .
Song wise , Jealous has a more Enka twist which JASMINE mixed things up with R&B and Pop . This's something I don't mind , seeing that her other singles do not sound the same as so .
Bad Girl. is the 1st album track & with a title like Bad Girl. , it sure's downright angsty & bad ass .
The song has a more harder edgy sound attached to it . It's almost like L.I.P.S. , except Bad Girl. is more mean & in your face which I really like .
dear my friend is the next album track after Bad Girl. .
The story behind dear my friend is that after graduating from junior high , JASMINE started to become unhappy with her life & contemplated suicide . Her friend Ogawa talked her out of it which became the inspiration for dear my friend .
I do admit that I did not find dear my friend memorable . But after I found out the real meaning behind the song , I feel it's 1 of those songs that're born from life lessons that will serve as positive affirmations to a listener .
I still don't find dear my friend catchy but it doesn't mean that I don't appericate the lyrical content/symbolics behind it .
After a 1 min interlude titled stage ~interlude~ , it flows well to the next song This Is Not A Game which's JASMINE's 3rd single .
I still remembered that I was real impressed when I 1st heard This Is Not A Game . It has a lot more angst & bite as compared to JASMINE's other songs which I adore in that aspect .
Then again in general , all the singles included in GOLD are great in their own little unique manner & this's no exception for This Is Not A Game .
The next 3 songs were originally found as B-sides in JASMINE's singles .
CLUBBIN" was originally found as the 1st B-side of her 2nd single No More .
Just like L.I.P.S. , CLUBBIN" is also another song I'm real happy to see in GOLD as I feel it really pawns the A-side by a significant great deal .
I still like the electric guitar riffs that you can hear in CLUBBIN" , which gives the song plenty of attitude & spunk .
Also if you notice , the style that JASMINE used in CLUBBIN" is a bit different where it leans more towards rapping rather than singing which I think it's cool .
Koi (Love) is the 2nd B-side of her debut single sad to say . Likewise , I have no problems with JASMINE including Koi as I feel it's a solid no. & I wasn't surprised to see this song after CLUBBIN" as both of them are almost in the same music vein .
Except for Koi's case , it takes on a more standardised upbeat R&B/Pop route .
what you want ? is the 2nd B-side of No More & it's also incidentally the final B-side that's found in GOLD .
Unlike the other 3 B-sides , what you want ? is something that I rather don't find in GOLD because up to now , I still feel that it's 1 of JASMINE's weaker B-sides as it doesn't have the oomph/X-factor which I'm looking out for .
I rather JASMINE include other B-sides in GOLD , such as MY LIFE , MY LOVE , MY ALL or maybe even I Need You to Survive as both B-sides are really strong but since what you want ? is found as so , I will respect JASMINE's decision in including in GOLD .
From a B-side to an A-side (the last 2 for that matter) , the attention now turns towards No More , which's JASMINE's 2nd single .
I think out of the 5 singles that JASMINE has released/included in GOLD , I probably consider No More as the weakest outta the bunch as I feel it sounds like a typical R&B/Pop song which doesn't have anything special going on for me to relisten to over & over again .
Also , in this situation , I feel the 2 B-sides are somehow more superior sounding than the A-side too , in which for this case , I kind of suspect as to why the whole No More single is included in GOLD .
Dreamin' is JASMINE's 5th single & it's also the last single found in GOLD .
What a keeper Dreamin' is ! This's still til date the only single she released that's of a power ballad .
It's more Gospel driven which's fantastic & JASMINE basically just let her vocals do most of the work in this simple but yet understated song which's great .
Why is the last album track before wrapping things up in GOLD & I think it's quite fitting to conclude things with this song .
Vocal power wise , it's almost identical to Dreamin' except for Why's case , it has a more mainstream R&B/Pop sound attached . I don't know if it's a good or bad thing but I like just how enpowering JASMINE sounds in Why .
What a debut album offering JASMINE has made with regards to GOLD . It has been a while since I last enjoyed a debut record that's chokeful of many solid R&B/Pop songs , with ballads thrown in for good measures too .
Like what I mentioned before , I think this girl has a lot of potential to make it big in the music business . She got solid vocals , unique if not intricating images to compliment her releases & the fact that JASMINE has a hand in doing mostly everything hands on , she gets my respect .
The only problem I have with GOLD is that yes if you have all of her singles , you naturally will feel cheated as already , you can find 4 B-sides in the tracklist .
Also , with just 3 new album tracks , they had a tough time stalking up against the A & B-sides in GOLD but other than dear my friend which didn't somehow live up to standard , Bad Girl. & Why are pretty good .
With that said , I had a good time listening to GOLD from the start til the end & I'm sure that this's not the last time you will see of JASMINE & I'm already looking forward to see what else she has in store for everyone in time to come .
Bring on the next single now !
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
SID - cosmetic
CD + DVD Type A
CD + DVD Type B
cosmetic is SID's 7th single . It will be released next week on 29th Sept & this comes in about 3 months + since the release of the previous single Rain .
The A-side has been described as a song that has funky rhythms & a laidback muscular rock sound to compliment it .
Finally , something a bit different from SID ! After releasing a string of rather fail safe Rock songs , they have decided to do something a bit different & it's evident in cosmetic .
Despite the song being a bit too short for my liking , you can't help but be drawn into it on 1st listen . The melody is something that's really captivating & like what it has been described earlier on , cosmetic is catchy , funky & just downright sexy .
Credits has to go to guitarist Shinji for composing such a really memorable song & this's probably 1 of their stronger/solid A-sides they have released to date & it's so catchy & lovely .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- Sugu Soba de (Very Close)
- Memai (Dizziness) (Live from 『Ichiban Suki na Basho 2010』)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
JASMINE - sad to say
1) sad to say
2) i'm in luv wit u [1989 remix]
3) Koi (Love)
4) i'm in luv wit u [laid back remix]
sad to say is JASMINE's debut single . It was released last year on 24th June & its peak position on the Oricon singles chart was #13 .
The song was used in the ads of Recochoku . Lyrics wise , JASMINE cowrote the song with Jeff Miyahara . Both of them composed the music together with Atsushi .
For a debut single , sad to say is the perfect start/footing which JASMINE had which defined basically what she has to offer : meaningful lyrics which're accompanied by a smooth mix of Pop and R&B .
Even though Jealous was her 4th single , it was the 1st song I heard of her & not sad to say . So if you haven't got a chance to check out her material , then I guess sad to say is a good way to start .
There're 3 B-sides in the single . The 1st one is something called i'm in luv wit u [1989 remix] .
I'm not sure why JASMINE tagged i'm in luv wit u [1989 remix] as so but anyway it's a nice mid tempo song to compliment sad to say .
Koi (Love) is the 2nd B-side & oh I really like this on 1st listen . The song is a lot more upbeat & uptempo to get the groove going & it has plenty of attitude & spunk .
The song was eventually found as track #10 in JASMINE's debut album GOLD .
i'm in luv wit u [laid back remix] wraps up sad to say & for this as the remix title suggest , it presents a more calmer & laidback version of the song .
I frankly have no issues with i'm in luv wit u as each remix presents a different side of the tune .
I have finished reviewing/writing JASMINE's 1st 5 singles & I will be doing a review on her debut album GOLD soon which should be up in due course .
I feel each of the singles that she has released so far are equally solid in their own respective right & this's 1 really talented young lady which can really go far in the long run .
It's never too late to give her material a listen , that's for sure & what better way to start than with her debut single offering , sad to say .
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
GLAY - Precious's B-sides
The following songs serve as B-sides in GLAY's 42nd single Precious which was released last week on 8th Sept :
- HEART SNOW ~Kokoro ni Furu Yuki~ (~Snow Heart~)
- Kanojo no (Her) "Modern ..." (Sairoku) (Re-recorded)
- 10th ALBUM 『GLAY』 Yokokuhen (Trailer)
The single debuted at #2 with 1st week sales of 63,267 .
With a title like HEART SNOW ~Kokoro ni Furu Yuki~ , even before you give the song a listen , you might have guessed in a way or 2 that it's going to be a ballad which's true to a certain extent .
HEART SNOW ~Kokoro ni Furu Yuki~ doesn't stray that much from how Precious is , except for this case , HEART SNOW ~Kokoro ni Furu Yuki~ takes on a more somewhat positive sounding music approach which I really like .
The 2nd B-side Kanojo no "Modern ..." is actually a re-recorded version of the group's 3rd single which was released way back in 16th Sept 1994 .
I have no idea as to why GLAY chose to re-record Kanojo no "Modern ..." & since I do not know how the original sounds like , I will treat it as a new song .
Kanojo no "Modern ..." has a lot of bite I have to say . After 2 rather slow mid tempo no.s , GLAY proves that they still can rock out with something like the re-recorded version of Kanojo no "Modern ..." .
I'm not sure whether the original take of the song was even more bad ass or something but I really have no complaints towards this updated version of their 1994 hit single .
10th ALBUM 『GLAY』 Yokokuhen wraps up Precious & for this , it's basically a collage of preview songs snippets on what to expect in due time when their self titled 10th album drops on 13th Oct .
If you're someone like me who's lazy to listen to preview snippets of songs , then I suggest you delete this file from your computer as most of the time , a preview of a song/video doesn't tend to do justice to the full length of a track eventually in the long run .
Somemore , it's less than a month's time before their new album will be released so waiting for a while before it's released , it wouldn't kill anyone at all ... sorta lol .
After more than 16 years in the business , GLAY proves that they still have it going on in them with this 'comeback' single release , Precious .
I really enjoy all the songs in the single & it's nice to know that for each single they have released , they still have that MIDAS touch/edge which keeps me enticed/coming back for more .
Precious will be included in the group's new self titled 10th album , as track #5 .
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
CD Review :: Domoto Koichi - BPM
CD + DVD Type A
CD + DVD Type B
1) Bad Desire
2) IN & OUT
3) Ayakashi (Something's Strange/Suspicious)
4) Akatsuki (Dawn)
5) Slave of love
6) absolute love
8) Bounce up
9) Love Shines
10) Bad Desire -remix-
12) Ayakashi (Something's Strange/Suspicious) -2010- (CD Only Track)
13) No more -ver.DK- (CD Only Track)
BPM is KinKi Kids's Domoto Koichi's 2nd solo album . It was released on 1st Sept & it has been close to 4 years since the release of Koichi's debut solo album mirror .
Only 1 single is included in BPM , which debuted at #2 with 1st week sales of 140,040 .
Bad Desire is the 1st song that kicks things off & it's also the only album track which gets a music video but the clip is something that you're not able to find in both CD + DVD's of BPM .
Well , I can understand as to why Bad Desire has the honour of so , as it's a really solid & catchy hot if not seductive opening no. .
In fact , if you have watched the ads online promoting BPM , Bad Desire is the song that's being played in the background so yeah .
IN & OUT follows after Bad Desire . Both songs are dance pop but for IN & OUT , it has a much more aggressive & harder sound attached , in which Koichi mixed it up with synths that're thrown in for good measures .
Ayakashi (Something's Strange/Suspicious) is Koichi's 2nd single . It was released last year on 29th Sept & it's the only single being included in BPM .
Even though it has been almost close to a year since Ayakashi was released , it's a song that I'm still not bored with .
Just like Bad Desire and IN & OUT , Ayakashi follows in the same music vein , except the song is being accompanied by rather strong guitar riffs .
Akatsuki (Dawn) is the album's 1st ballad . It's a nice change after 3 upbeat thumping tracks back to back so hearing Akatsuki is quite a breath of fresh air .
On 1st listen , Akatsuki sounds like the successor to mirror's Kagen no Tsuki (Month Of Last Quarter) & needless to say , both songs are really solid ballads in their own right .
Akatsuki has a really lovely captivating melody which kept me entertained from the start to the end & this somehow distract me from the duration of the song which clocks in at close to almost 6 mins + .
Slave of love follows after Akatsuki . This song I feel borrows traits of Ayakashi & also , mirror's Spica as I think all the songs inclusive of Slave of love can be classified under the same music umbrella .
absolute love is track #6 & it's BPM's 2nd album ballad .
Unlike Akatsuki which has a rather grand sounding melody , in the case of absolute case , it's somewhat more softer & subdued , with it being quite piano driven to a certain extent .
I do admit that I found absolute love boring on 1st listen but in due time , I came to appericate the song , in that it's quite simplistic , sound wise .
The opening of the next song VANISH is a bit eh as I was being greeted by a rather mysterious futuristic instrumental piece .
But after that's out of the way , VANISH morphed itself into a rather standardised dance pop track . In fact , I feel that VANISH sounded a bit similar to Ayakashi's B-side Awaken Yourself , except the only difference is that VANISH has quite strong electric guitar riffs .
Bounce up follows after VANISH . For this , I kind of like Bounce up as the introduction had rather cool trumpet beats blaring for starters & also I thought it's only the opening that's like so .
Instead , it continues on until the end while being accompanied by subtle flute sounds .
And if that's not enough , I feel that Bounce up is quite Jazz driven which I frankly find it really nice , seeing that it's 1 of the few tracks in BPM that's not stereotyped in the dance pop music wagon .
Love Shines is 1 interesting song . The beginning of the song has a rather slow driven melody & then it transformed itself into a mid tempo dance pop no. .
I rather Love Shines stayed as a ballad because I feel that the song itself has lost its X factor in the 2nd 1/2 of the song & I almost lost interest in Love Shines soon after that .
The remix of Bad Desire follows after Love Shines .
I said many times before that I'm not really a remix person but I have to say I kind of enjoy the remix of Bad Desire .
Both takes of the song are still the same music vein ie. dance pop , except the remix of Bad Desire has a more urban club sound attached , which's perfect if you want to plug this remix loud & proud in a club to keep the crowd pumping .
The live version of SOLITARY was 1st revealed at the 2010 edition of Koichi's stageplay ENDLESS SHOCK & in here , it has been given the album treatment .
Ah , I really like SOLITARY on 1st listen simply because I feel it has traces of mirror's Ai no Jujika (Cross Of Love) ~Promise 2U~ to a certain extent , especially the bridge in both no.s which sound quite similar .
Not to mention , I also like the brief acoustic guitar riffs in SOLITARY too which gives the song a much needed edge it deserves .
The next 2 songs are only found in the CD only edition of BPM .
Way back in track #3 when I reviewed Koichi's 2nd single Ayakashi in which that song was released last year , for track #12 , the song has been spiffed up & modernised with an updated melody .
I have to say that I like Ayakashi -2010- . Compared to the original , the updated version of Ayakashi emphasised a greater deal on the Enka factor & has a much harder club sound attached to it .
I know it sounds like a music recipe for disaster but it frankly works in Koichi's favour & with that , I find it really cool .
The final track to wrap things off is No more -ver.DK- . This song is an updated version of No more , which was released as a single , 2 years ago on 30th April .
No more was used as the theme song for the movie version of the drama Sushi Ouji ! which starred Koichi himself .
The single was however not released under Koichi's name . Instead , No more was released under the name Maizu Tsukasa which's the name of his role in Sushi Ouji ! .
Since I never heard how the original take of No more sound like , I basically will treat No more -ver.DK- as a new song .
I think it's a great track to conclude things in BPM . No more -ver.DK- is downright bad ass & angsty driven , which's accompanied by strong electric guitar riffs .
I'm glad No more -ver.DK- is already fantastic in its own right , in the sense that it has a distinct identity to set itself apart from the other tracks in BPM & it's the perfect song to wrap things in the album .
After a long 4 years wait since the release of mirror , Domoto Koichi returned back in solo mode with this latest album offering BPM .
I honestly never expect Koichi releasing another solo album but I'm glad that he has done so , as I do respect & like his solo works .
On the other hand , 1 problem I find with regards to BPM is that most of the album tracks do not seem have an unique identity unlike for what happened in the case of mirror .
As such , at times I feel as though BPM seems to concentrate a lot more in the upbeat dance pop factor which's a pity as I think this kind of restrict/limit things .
That's not to say BPM is a bad album as in general , I do enjoy listening to it but that's the only major grouse I have towards the album .
With that said , I'm not sure whether will Koichi be releasing solo singles & let alone albums in the near future .
If somehow or another he's not going to do that anymore (for whatever reasons that I can't think of) , then I guess it's best to savour his solo works in mirror & also in his latest album offering in the form of BPM .
Monday, September 13, 2010
ayumi hamasaki - crossroad
CD Only Type A
CD Only Type B
CD + DVD
crossroad is ayumi hamasaki's 49th single . It will be released on 22nd Sept & this comes less than 2 months after her last single MOON / blossom .
ayumi's latest single is the 2nd single offering release , as part of her 50th Single Project .
crossroad has been described as a mid-tempo ballad & this marks the 1st collaboration between ayumi & influential music producer/globe member Komuro Tetsuya .
The two last worked together on a duet with ayumi and globe's vocalist Keiko , making this the 1st solo collaboration between two of the most popular hitmakers in avex trax's history .
Aside from this , the song has been selected to be used in the ads of travel agency Qualita .
Honestly , I really like crossroad on 1st listen . Seeing that this's the 1st time Komuro composed something in ayumi's discography & given his background status , I was naturally expecting nothing but great things & luckily I was not disappointed .
Unlike MOON which some people have said it sounded a bit too similar to You were ... , I can't really find any other past song(s) of ayumi which you can compare against crossroad .
Also , I like the bridge in the middle of the song where you can hear a brief electric guitar piece that's thrown in for good measures as well .
If you know how some of globe's works sound like , then crossroad is taking a page or 2 from their discography & it's not surprising since Komuro was involved heavily in line with globe's material in the past , in terms of taking charge of their music & also vocals wise too .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- SEVEN DAYS WAR
- blossom (Clockwork yellow remix)
- MOON (Orchestra version) (CD Only Track)
- blossom (Orchestra version) (CD Only Track)
In the case of SEVEN DAYS WAR , it's also composed & produced by Komuro & the song is a cover by TM NETWORK which was released way back in July 1988 .
Concidentially or not , Komuro is a member in TM NETWORK .
Sunday, September 12, 2010
ARASHI - over (Løve Rainbow's B-side)
over serves as the B-side song in ARASHI's 32nd single Løve Rainbow , which was released on 8th Sept .
Løve Rainbow serves as the theme song for the drama Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku which stars Matsumoto Jun & it has been described as a cheerful summer dance tune .
It has been quite a while since ARASHI had a ballad for a B-side in their singles & that's what I feel when I 1st heard over .
over contrasts Løve Rainbow very well & also , I actually like the song on 1st listen & I did not really have any problems with it .
Furthermore , I think Sakurai did quite a good job in opening the song as so .
ARASHI has been gaining in a lot of popularity momentum in recent times & fresh off from releasing the RIAJ certified million album Boku no Miteiru Fukei (their 1st million certified album & let alone for this year) , they released their latest single offering Løve Rainbow .
I wouldn't lie that I will not consider Løve Rainbow as a fave single of the guys but the B-side over is good enough for me to plug the single on repeat mode for a while .
The group's 33rd single Dear Snow will be released next month on 6th Oct & it serves as the theme song to the film Ohoku starring Ninomiya Kazunari .
Friday, September 10, 2010
Kuroki Meisa - LOL !
CD + DVD
LOL ! is Kuroki Meisa's 3rd single . It will be released on 6th Oct & this comes in about 4 months + since the release of her previous single 5-FIVE- .
Kuroki's new song has been selected to be used in the ads of Kit-Kat in which you can see her in the ads themselves .
Ok I do admit , I was a bit skeptical after I found out Kuroki is releasing a song which's titled as so .
A while back ago when I reviewed the B-side of Matsushita Yuya's Bird / 4 Seasons single ie. L.o.L , in MY's context , you can hear the words Love Or Lust in the song .
For Kuroki's case , the words Laughing Out Loud can be heard in the chorus .
Frankly , I was having some deja vu vibes when I 1st heard LOL ! , especially since the beginning of the song , eerily sounded almost the same as Vanessa Hudgens's Let's Dance .
Compared to Kuroki's 1st 2 singles , I suppose LOL ! has a more Americanised/Westernised style , with what I said in the above paragraph . I don't know if it's a good or bad thing , as the people behind her new song , it's the same people who were responsible for Bad Girl .
Then again , there's no deny LOL ! is really catchy & I must admit , the chorus of the song are currently stuck in my head & that it will not go away , no matter how much I want to shut it from taking place .
Be Like That serves as the B-side of the single .
Thursday, September 09, 2010
flumpool - Kimi ni Todoke (Reaching You)
CD + DVD
Lawson Limited Editions
Kimi ni Todoke (Reaching You) is flumpool's 5th single . It will be released on 29th Sept & this comes about 3 months + since the release of the group's previous single reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ (~Do Not Give Up Song~) / Nagareboshi (Shooting Star) .
The A-side will be used as the theme song for the movie which shares the same title . Kimi no Todoke (the movie) stars Miura Haruma as the lead actor .
Honestly , Kimi ni Todoke (the song) doesn't stray that much from the usual songs that flumpool has released in recent times .
Just like reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ , Kimi ni Todoke is also quite long , at close to 5 mins + . The only somewhat significant difference between both songs is that in the beginning of Kimi ni Todoke , you can hear quite strong strings backing .
Then again , there's no deny flumpool does best at delivering such catchy & listenable cheery pop/rock songs with gusto .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- Boku no Sonzai (My Existence)
- Quville (LIVE at C.C.Lemon Hall)
Quville was originally found as track #10 in flumpool's debut album What's flumpool ?! .
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Hilcrhyme - Travel Machine
Cover For Both CD & CD + DVD's Editions
Travel Machine is Hilcrhyme's 6th single . It will be released on 22nd Sept & this comes in about 3 months + since the release of the duo's previous single Loose Leaf .
I really like Travel Machine on 1st listen . Unlike Loose Leaf , Travel Machine is a lot more angsty & fast paced driven . This is accompanied by a really strong piano backing .
Just like their other songs , the lyrics for Travel Machine is written by vocalist/rapper TOC while the music's composed by DJ KATSU .
Travel Machine doesn't stray that much from what Hilcrhyme is best at doing & to me , Travel Machine is really solid & for an A-side , it's really memorable on 1st listen & I also adore the catchy hooks attached to the song .
Please Cry serves as the B-side no. & for this song , it was originally found as track #10 in their debut indie album Nettaiya before they went major with Universal Japan .
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Matsushita Yuya - L.o.L. (Bird / 4 Seasons's B-side)
L.o.L. serves as the B-side no. in Matsushita Yuya's 6th single Bird / 4 Seasons which was released last week on 25th Aug .
Bird / 4 Seasons debuted at #18 with 1st week sales of 6,920 .
Despite the somewhat ridiculous song title , L.o.L. is actually fantastic ! For me , I was surprised that it's actually a mid tempo R&B no. & in this context , L.o.L. means Love Or Lust & you can hear these 3 words in the lyrics .
I prefer L.o.L. a lot more than Bird frankly speaking . It definitely has a lot more potential to be an A-side song , rather than slotting this as a B-side no. . Then again , MY's B-sides in general are really good & this's no exception for L.o.L. .
Bird / 4 Seasons is MY's 1st double A-side single release & he did justice in releasing such a solid single .
You want a heartbreaking emotional tear jerky ballad ? Listen to Bird . If ballads are not your thing , then the shimmery cheery summer upbeat song 4 Seasons will be something for you to enjoy . With 4 Seasons being MY's 1st summer song in his discography , I have to say he did a great job in it .
I don't know if MY will release another single , seeing that 2010 is coming close to an end but I don't mind if he release a winter ballad which he did for his 2nd single LAST SNOW .
Monday, September 06, 2010
JASMINE - No More
1) No More
3) what you want ?
No More is JASMINE's 2nd single . It was released last year on Oct 28th & its peak position on the Oricon singles chart was #15 .
The song was used as the opening theme no. for CDTV last Nov . Credits wise , the lyrics for No More were written by JASMINE while she co-composed the song with Jeff Miyahara , daido & Pochi .
Frankly speaking , No More is a pleasant Pop and R&B tinged no. . What I like about the song's that JASMINE didn't went over the top when comes to delivering such a rather emotional charged mid tempo song .
Also , I feel No More is pretty catchy/memorable on 1st listen too .
There're 2 B-sides in the single in which both of them were eventually found as tracks in JASMINE's debut album GOLD .
The 1st B-side CLUBBIN" is a rather hot song . Unlike most of JASMINE's B-sides , you can hear quite significantly strong electric guitar riffs being used in the melody for CLUBBIN" which have been combined with JASMINE's vocals .
In addition , you can hear quite a fair amount of singing/rapping done co-currently by JASMINE too which I find it quite refreshing/cool as not all her songs follow this
what you want ? is the 2nd B-side of No More . If CLUBBIN" is not your cup of tea , then probably what you want ? is something that brings you to familiar music terriorty grounds of JASMINE , seeing that the song is basically a standard Pop and R&B offering .
I should add that what you want ? is still a song that's worth listening to .
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Koda Kumi - Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. (I Like You , I Like You , I Like You.) / Anata Dake ga (Only You)
CD + DVD
Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. (I Like You , I Like You , I Like You.) / Anata Dake ga (Only You) is Koda Kumi's 48th single . It will be released on 22nd Sept & this comes in less than 2 months + since the release of Koda's previous single Gossip Candy .
The 1st A-side Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. centres on pure, devoted love . It has been described as a touching ballad that guarantees to be as touching as Koda's previous hit ballad Ai no Uta (Love Song) which was her 37th single release .
In the case of the 2nd A-side Anata Dake ga , it's about a situation when you can't see your partner & forgeting about the other party .
Aside from that , Anata Dake ga has been selected to be used as the theme no. for the NHK drama Second Virgin , starring Suzuki Kyoka .
No doubt that both A-sides are ballads but what I like is that each song has a distinct identity .
For Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. , you can hear how emotional driven Koda sounds like & also despite the somewhat sad message surrounding the song , you can sense positive after effect vibes after you listen to the A-side of the single .
In Anata Dake ga , it's a lot more laid back & slower . Unlike Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. , Anata Dake ga is piano driven which I really adore . I thought the 2nd A-side might get overshadowed by Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. but surprisingly , this did not happen which's great .
It's hard for me to decide which A-side ballad I prefer as like what I said before , both songs are really strong in the ballads department & it has been a while since Koda delivered 2 back to back kick ass ballads for a single release too .
The B-side of the single is an updated version of walk which has been renamed as walk ~to the future~ .
walk ~to the future~ will get a music video & the original take of the song was originally found as track #14 in Koda's debut album affection .
Saturday, September 04, 2010
V6 - Catch
CD + DVD
Catch is the 2nd A-side of V6's 37th single only dreaming / Catch which was released a few days ago on 1st Sept .
only dreaming was used in the 5th season of AsahiTV's Shin Keishicho Sosa Ikka 9 Gakari drama which stars member Inohara Yoshihiko .
While for Catch , it's used in the ads of Waseda Academy in June & the theme centres on basketball .
Unlike only dreaming , Catch did not get a video despite being an A-side .
Honestly , despite listening to Catch quite a few times alongside with only dreaming , I can say that it's 1 of the group's weaker A-sides to date .
On 1st listen , Catch sounds like a sequel from last year's Spirit . I feel both songs are quite similar , melody wise but that's that .
Except that unlike Spirit & only dreaming , I do not find Catch memorable or anything special . It feels as though it's a poor carbon copy of Spirit .
Perhaps that's probably the reason as to why I favour only dreaming a great deal & I'm not really that surprised as to why Catch did not get a video .
It's a grower for sure but Catch is not something that I will listen to , as frequently as I would like to .