Saturday, October 30, 2010
Shota Shimizu - Kimi ga Kurasu Machi's B-sides
The following 2 songs serve as B-sides in Shota Shimizu's 7th single Kimi ga Kurasu Machi (The Town Where You Live) which was released on 20th Oct :
- Don't Cry
- 「Aishiteru」 (I Love You) DJ HASEBE Hip Hop Remix
Kimi ga Kurasu Machi perfectly complements the sight of falling autumn leaves and the mild breezy weather of the season .
On 1st listen for Don't Cry , I had really strong vibes of Shota's older works , especially for One Last Kiss .
I dislike One Last Kiss for some reason but thankfully , I did not experience the same thoughts towards Don't Cry as I feel it contrasts the A-side pretty good , seeing that Kimi ga Kurasu Machi is a ballad but Don't Cry is a mid tempo R&B no. .
The DJ HASEBE Hip Hop Remix of Shota's 2nd single 「Aishiteru」 (I Love You) serves as the 2nd B-side of the single .
I recongised the name DJ HASABE seeing that he remixed quite a few songs of BENI which she includes in her singles .
I generally like DJ HASABE works & I frankly don't mind what he did to 「Aishiteru」 . The remix is quite cool & it's something I don't mind to listen to more than once .
Shota Shimizu's releases has been going from strength to strength & it's evident in his latest single release Kimi ga Kurasu Machi . You can feel just how more personel things get as each release of Shota goes by .
Shota's 2nd concert DVD which's titled Journey Tour 2010 will be released on 1st Dec .
Thursday, October 28, 2010
CD Review :: GLAY - GLAY
Cover For Both CD & CD + DVD's Editions
2) Yogorenaki (Innocent) SEASON
3) WASTED TIME
4) Haruka (Far) ...
6) Tsuki no Yoru ni (The Night Of The Month)
7) Kaze no Hitori (Alone In The Wind)
9) Satellite of love
GLAY is GLAY's self titled 10th album . It was released on 13th Oct .
The last album release of the group was 2007's LOVE IS BEAUTIFUL but this album is their 1st release under their record label loversoul music & associates which was established this year .
GLAY contains 1 physical single release & also a digital single prior to the release of the album .
Shikina is the 1st song on the album & what a light hearted no. it's . It's a very simple mid tempo tune that's very acoustic guitar & piano driven .
Lead singer TERU basically let his vocals do most of the work Shikina which's nice I have to say .
Yogorenaki (Innocent) SEASON follows after Shikina . It's still somewhat mid tempo driven but you can hear some pretty good electric guitar riffs & also drum beats being mixed together in this song .
WASTED TIME is #3 & the melody is like a continuation from Yogorenaki SEASON in that both songs I feel tend to sound a bit similiar .
I thought I might have trouble telling apart Yogorenaki SEASON & WASTED TIME but thankfully nothing of this sort happened .
Haruka (Far) ... is such a nice piano driven ballad , it's hard not to be captivated by it on 1st listen . Sometimes simplicity works at its best & it's evident for Haruka ... .
GLAY only incorporated subtle electric guitar riffs (not that much) in Haruka ... in order to let the song stand out as it already did so .
Apologize is GLAY's 3rd digital single & I remembered reviewing about this song a while back ago on my blog .
I was no doubt happy to see Apologize in the tracklist as I do feel that it's a really good song that I'm not bored with even up to now .
Tsuki no Yoru ni (The Night Of The Month) is really interesting in the sense that the melody has a very distinct catchy Harmonica & bagpipes sound , which sound like something from a French soundtrack .
I haven't heard of many rock songs that has this same type of touch attached to a tune so no doubt I was drawn into the uniqueness of Tsuki no Yoru ni on 1st listen & I find it really cool .
Just like Tsuki no Yoru ni , Kaze no Hitori (Alone In The Wind) is another unique song found in GLAY in that it has Spanish influences attached to the melody while being mixed together with the group's signature rock sounds .
I feel that Kaze no Hitori reminded me a bit of Aka to Kuro no (Red And Black) MATADORA slightly , especially since both songs have that very distinct Spanish flavour .
It's not a bad thing since Aka to Kuro no MATADORA was the very 1st GLAY I heard so for me , it brings quite a lot of good memories during the time when I 1st came across GLAY's music .
Precious is GLAY's 42nd single & it's the only physical single releaes available in the album .
Even up to now , Precious is still a touching if not emotional driven piano ballad . It's differnt from Haruka ... in the sense that Precious is much more longer & also you can hear subtle trumpet sounds at the backdrop too .
Satellite of love is the 2nd last no. & for this , it was used as the theme song of the anime movie Je t'aime (I Love You in French) which was directed by Oshii Mamoru & produced by Production I.G .
I frankly don't find anything exciting about Satellite of love in that I find it a bit boring if not unmemorable but I do admit that when the song was transformed from a ballad to having a harder rock sound , that made me sit up & take notice of things .
Chelsea is the final song to close off the album & what a fun rocking song it's ! I love it that GLAY save the best for last with this old school no. .
The introduction is a bit strange with some ad libbing but after you get that out of the way , Chelsea is basically at the end of the day really rocking & very catchy .
GLAY is the 1st album I listened to of this JRock veteran & I have to say I really enjoy what they have to offer .
I was a bit disappointed at 1st when I found out that they only included 10 songs in the tracklist but after giving the songs a listen , I suppose they believe in the saying quality over quantity .
There're some experimentation going on which I like , especially for Tsuki no Yoru ni & Kaze no Hitori which were fantastic as I respect musicians who dare to venture out of their music comfort zone .
The only drawback I feel for the album is that in general , GLAY is quite mellow based which's evident for some of the songs . I wasn't able to find another song that the same kick as I am xxx which's a pity as I was hoping to experience in listening to some of their harder rock stuff .
Then again with that said , the guys are season veterans in their craft . With GLAY being in the business for 16 years & still going on strong , you have to give props to them for keeping up with the Jones .
KAT-TUN - CHANGE UR WORLD
CD + DVD
CHANGE UR WORLD is KAT-TUN's 13th single . It will be released next month on 17th Nov & this comes about 5 months + since the release of their 5th album NO MORE PAIИ .
This release marks KAT-TUN's 1st official single which's released as a 5 piece member from this time onwards after the departure of their 2nd co lead vocalist Akanishi Jin .
CHANGE UR WORLD showcases the boys' strengthened bond in delivering this energetic dance song .
Lots of guitar riffs were utilised for the song . KORN's Ray Luzier plays the drums for the A-side , which is used as a theme song for Going ! Sports & News , a popular sport channel in Japan .
KAT-TUN is always known for their harder edger rock stuff (think Real Face , Keep the faith , LIPS) & I'm happy to say that CHANGE UR WORLD fits this exactly as so .
After their last single release Going ! which was disappointing to me on 1st listen , I thankfully did not have that same thoughts towards CHANGE UR WORLD .
CHANGE UR WORLD is mean , gritty & has a lot of bite & kick . Now that Akanishi has left the group , beatboxer Nakamaru Yuichi unofficially step in to fill Akanishi's vocal shoes which I'm really happy about as I like Nakamaru's voice a lot & the same thing applies to his solo songs too .
I like the inclusion of JOKER rap which most of the time tends to make the song sound much better than it's already's .
It's tough to make a song sound good as a (now) 5 piece group but if their future releases will sound/have the same quality as what CHANGE UR WORLD has , then I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem for KAT-TUN to handle .
THe following 5 songs serve as B-sides in CHANGE UR WORLD :
- GIVE ME , GIVE ME , GIVE ME (CD Only Regular Edition Track)
- NEVER × OVER ~「-」IS YOUR PART~ (CD Only Regular Edition Track)
- REMEMBER (CD Only Limited Edition Track)
- NEET Man (Ueda Tatsuya's Solo) (CD Only Limited Edition Track)
- GIRLS GIRLS (NTT presented by Taguchi Junnosuke) (CD Only Limited Edition Track)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
BREAKERZ - REAL LOVE 2010
CD + DVD B
REAL LOVE 2010 is the 2nd A-side of BREAKERZ's 9th single BUNNY LOVE / REAL LOVE 2010 which will be released next week on 3rd Nov .
The original take of REAL LOVE was found as track #9 in the group's self titled debut album & for both takes of the song , frontman lead singer DAIGO wrote & composed it .
Boy oh boy , I remembered when it was 1st announced the guys was going to release this as a single & let alone updating it with a brand new melody coupled in making a video for it , I was really really shell shocked if not being happy & surprised at the same time .
I did not know the lyrical content of REAL LOVE initally as this was 1 song I never paid attention to in the beginning (since I didn't like their 1st album's material a lot but most songs have grown on me significantly since then) but soon later along the way when I discovered just how explicit the song's , well things began to change my mind in more than 1 way than another haha
I'm not going to say what the song's all about but basically , I really like the updated version of REAL LOVE 2010 . Compared with the original , REAL LOVE 2010 presented a somewhat more harder guitar sound & also I love the addition of a guitar solo after DAIGO belted out the 2nd chorus of the song which adds more kick to the tune , something which was absent in REAL LOVE .
Then again at the end of the day , with me being a really long time fan of BREAKERZ , all I can say's that it takes them a lot of guts to release REAL LOVE (2010) as a single & even making an explicit video to compliment things but I'm sure I'm not the only fan of the group who has been waiting for this to happen .
FAKE LOVE ~Acoustic Version~ serves as the B-side in BUNNY LOVE / REAL LOVE 2010 & for this , FAKE LOVE was originally found as track #6 in the group's 1st mini album Ao no Mirai (Blue Future) .
Saturday, October 23, 2010
ARASHI - Hatenai Sora (Endless Sky)
CD + DVD
Hatenai Sora (Endless Sky) is ARASHI's 34th single . It will be released next month on 10th Nov & this comes in about a month after the release of their previous single Dear Snow .
The guys's new song has been selected to be used as the theme song for the drama Freeter , ie wo kau , starring Ninomiya Kazunari .
Hatenai Sora has been described as a positive & lively song which aims to lend some hope & encouragement to their fans .
Just when you thought the ARASHI boom hasn't stop for the year , they have rolled out their 6th single release for 2010 which's the most no. of singles they ever released in a year .
Anyway , if you have pet peeves of their recent releases which tend to follow the same mid tempo pop style like Løve Rainbow , then probably you should stay away from listening to Hatenai Sora .
I frankly have no issues with Hatenai Sora but the fact that in recent times where ARASHI's material here & there began to sound the same , in a way or two , I can't help but feel disappointed on this matter .
The upside for Hatenai Sora is that lyrically , it's really inspiring & uplifting but hopefully the B-sides for the single will be able to redeem matters in some way or another .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- STORY (CD Only Track)
- maboroshi (CD Only Track)
- Ano hi no (That Day) Merry Christmas
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
BREAKERZ - BUNNY LOVE
CD + DVD A
BUNNY LOVE is the 1st A-side of BREAKERZ's 9th single BUNNY LOVE / REAL LOVE 2010 which will be released on 3rd Nov .
The guys's latest single release comes about 4 months + since their previous single Gekijou (Passion) / hEaVeN .
Both songs will be used in the TV ads for Rekochoku .
BUNNY LOVE is written by frontman lead singer DAIGO & composed by guitarist AKIHIDE & it has been described as a sexy no. .
I must admit that I really like the preview of BUNNY LOVE when I 1st heard it on their website but on 1st listen , I was really disappointed as nothing stood out except for the choruses which were very strong/memorable to me .
But after giving the song extensive listens , I really like BUNNY LOVE a great deal now & it's kinda like the offspring of Gekijou & SECRET GIRL , especially the ending for BUNNY LOVE where it's almost musically similiar to SECRET GIRL (I still feel it's the group's sexiest song to date) .
That's not surprising since both BUNNY LOVE & SECRET GIRL were composed by AKIHIDE but I think this's 1 of the trio's weaker singles .
BUNNY LOVE is not catchy on 1st listen but the song's a really big grower as time goes by .
The 2nd A-side REAL LOVE 2010 will be reviewed in due time . The original take of the song was found as track #9 in the group's self titled debut album while FAKE LOVE ~Acoustic Version~ serves as the B-side .
FAKE LOVE was originally found as track #6 in BREAKERZ's 1st mini album Ao no Mirai (Blue Future) .
Ken Hirai - Sing Forever
Cover For Both CD Only Regular & Limited Editions
1) Sing Forever
2) Taiyou (Sun)
3) HOTEL VAMPIRE
4) CANDY -Suspicious Remix-
5) Sing Forever -less vocal-
Sing Forever is Ken Hirai's 32nd single . It was released last week on 13th Oct . Its original release date was 6th Oct but it was been pushed back a week later .
Ken's new single comes in almost close to a year since the release of his last single Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru (I Fall In Love With You) .
The A-side has been described as a cappella tune & it encompasses Ken's feelings about his 15-year musical career seeing that 2010 is his 15th anniversary in the business .
It has been a while since Ken released new material & I really like Sing Forever on 1st listen as it presents a familiar music style that I'm very used to while it has a modern touch attached .
I like the finger snapping & somewhat Gospel tinged like influences going on in Sing Forever & it's a memorable catchy cheery tune that Ken does best (aside from ballads that he's more well known for) .
There're 3 B-sides in the single . The 1st one is something called Taiyou (Sun) which was used as the theme song for an exhibition of Vincent Van Gogh's works .
Taiyou is a really nice ballad . It reminded me of Ken's previous B-side ballads but for this case , it's a very simple no. that's slightly piano driven & basically Ken's vocals does most of the work which's simplicity at its best .
The 2nd B-side is titled HOTEL VAMPIRE .
I do admit it's a strange song title & it gets even more unusual when I listened to it as it has a very upbeat Westernised vibe to me .
Especially when there's English rapping present in the later part of the song . Ken doesn't have that much songs which're sound like that so in a way it's good it's slotted as a B-side song as I don't think this will sit well with long time fans of him .
The -Suspicious Remix- of Ken's 30th single CANDY wraps up the Sing Forever single .
I had a lot of dislike towards CANDY but this remix's pretty ok for me to tolerate . It's more R&B and Dance driven but I'm not sure if this's something I might listen to on a daily basis seeing that I'm not a remix person at the end of the day .
Overall , Sing Forever is quite a solid comeback single offering from Ken Hirai . The reason as to why it took quite a while for Ken to release/come back with something is because he was touring in the beginning of the year to celebrate his 15th anniversary in the business .
I like the A-side a lot & the B-sides do themselves quite justice to the package .
Ken's 33rd single Aishiteru (I Love You) will be released next month on 11th Nov & that goes for his Ken Hirai 15th Anniversary c/w Collection '95-'10 "Ura Utabaka" B-side compilation album too .
Monday, October 18, 2010
OLIVIA - Sunlight & Be your friend
Sunlight & Be your friend are 2 new songs which're found in OLIVIA's GREATEST HITS compilation album which was released last week on 13th Oct .
A 2CDs compilation album , GREATEST HITS contains 24 songs in total which're included in both discs . The tracklist consists of OLIVIA's material in the music vein of heavy rock , electronica & also no.s that were used to promote the NANA anime .
Disc 1 contains songs that have Pop elements while disc 2 consists of tunes with elements associated with the traits of darkness/dreamy .
Sunlight is found as track #6 in the 1st disc & I really like this song on 1st listen as it presents a much harder rock sound attached which follows almost the same vein as OLIVIA's edgier rock songs like SpidERSpins .
Found as track #3 in the 2nd disc , it's another new song titled Be your friend .
Be your friend takes on a more synth & pop driven direction . While Sunlight has traces of both Japanese & English lyrics , for Be your friend , it's sung entirely in English .
Just like Sunlight , I have no issues with Be your friend as I like it when OLIVIA experiments . The only drawback is that the lyrics for certain parts of the song can be a bit random if not weird to handle .
But other than that , these 2 new songs that're included in GREATEST HITS are really solid & if you haven't had the chance to catch out OLIVIA's older & recent works , then this's the place to start .
Sunday, October 17, 2010
GIRL NEXT DOOR - Reminding Songs Found In Ready to be a lady
Shiawase no Hakari (Scale Of Happiness) & Infinity (EURODIMA Remix) are the 2 reminding songs found in GIRL NEXT DOOR's 9th single Ready to be a lady which was released on 13th Oct .
Just like Ready to be a lady & Kaze no (Wind) Capsule , Shiawase no Hakari also gets a music video , seeing that it's the trio's 2nd triple A-side single release after Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you .
Shiawase no Hakari is exclusive in the sense that unlike the 1st 2 A-sides , it's a ballad . Quite a lengthy one for that matter , clocking in at almost close to 6 mins .
I find Shiawase no Hakari to be quite similar sounding to the group's other ballads like sa・ku・ra but it's somewhat more upbeat & less depressing sounding unlike sa・ku・ra & Orion .
The EURODIMA Remix of their 5th single Infinity wraps up the single . I'm not big on remixes as that's quite a known fact but basically this remix of Infinity , it's a lot more eurobeat driven than the original take of the song .
I don't like such music in general but a little bit of something's ok I guess .
The release of Ready to be a lady is to celebrate GIRL NEXT DOOR's 2nd anniversary since their formation days & I think they have proven themselves well as to why they still are able to rock out & put out good music .
I have been followed this trio since their debut single release Guuzen no Kakuritsu (Accidental Probability) so it's nice to see them progress/mature on as time goes by .
Saturday, October 16, 2010
school food punishment - flashback trip syndrome
flashback trip syndrome is a song that's sung by school food punishment . It was selected to be used to promote the movie Nanase Futatabi , starring Ashina Sei .
There's currently no word as to whether will flashback trip syndrome get a physical single release .
After their debut album amp-reflection was released this year on 14th April , this quartet hasn't released anything else which made me a bit worried as they're real talented if not under-rated in my books .
So when I found out they have this song being surfaced on the net, I was relieved but truth be told , flashback trip syndrome is basically something standard that the group does .
It reminds to be seen whether will they release this as a single before 2010 wraps up .
Friday, October 15, 2010
Kanjani∞ - Naka nai de Boku no Myuujiiku (Don't Cry My Music)
Naka nai de Boku no Myuujiiku (Don't Cry My Music) is found as track #3 in disc 1 of Kanjani∞'s 4th album 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) which will be released next week on 20th Oct .
Following in the same footsteps as the group's 15th single LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ (~Looking Forward~) & also Baby Baby , Naka nai de Boku no Myuujiiku also presents a pop/rock song as well .
Except for Naka nai de Boku no Myuujiiku's case , it has a more lighthearted feeling attached which I like & considering that this song is slotted before Baby Baby , I wasn't surprised for that matter .
So far whatever album tracks from 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) that has been played in the guys's radio shows have been really promising ! I hope the other group songs & also solo tunes will be equally solid too .
This will be the last album track that I will be reviewing/writing before doing a full proper album review of 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) .
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Yuna Ito - Mamotte Agetai (I Want To Protect You)
Mamotte Agetai (I Want To Protect You) is Yuna Ito's 15th single . It will be released next month on 3rd Nov .
Yuna's last single release was a year ago which was Let it Go .
Mamotte Agetai has been selected to be used as the theme song for the drama Ogon no Buta - Kaikei Kensacho Tokubetsu Chosaka - .
Oh man , I really wonder what happened to Yuna after she went MIA on me for close to a year .
Aside from recording covers of 2 classics songs , Aerosmith's I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing & also Chicago's Hard To Say I'm Sorry , she has been pretty much quiet on the music front .
So it was a sigh of relief when she finally returned back with this ballad , Mamotte Agetai .
On 1st listen , Mamotte Agetai sounds like a mixture of her past ballads such as trust you & also miss you .
I don't know if that's a good or bad thing seeing that in the past , I dlslike it when she tackle upbeat no.s as I felt her voice's more suited to sing ballads which made her famous in the 1st place like ENDLESS STORY & also Truth .
That changed when she released her 3rd album DREAM though .
At the end of the day , I suppose Mamotte Agetai is more or less bringing back to what she does best .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- Kiss me
- Precious -Q;indivi Celebration Remix-
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
alan - Namonaki Tane (The Seed Without A Name) (Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru's B-side)
Namonaki Tane (The Seed Without A Name) serves as the B-side for alan's 14th single Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru (Sadness Is Sleeping In The Snow) which was released officially today .
The A-side serves as the theme song for the movie Sakuradamon Gai no Hen .
Namonaki Tane also has a tie in of its own in that it was used as the theme song in the the animated film TAMALA2010 , during the staging of the convention on Biological Diversity's COP10 (Conference Of The Parties) .
Both songs in the single are power ballads back to back so if you like Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru , then chances of you liking Namonaki Tane will be high .
For me , what I like about Namonaki Tane is that even though it's a ballad , there's a section where you can hear alan's vocals gradually built up slowly but surely . People might said it's like a climax when comes to a song but I enjoy both songs equally as much as the latter/former .
alan has released 3 singles so far in 2010 . It reminds to be seen whether will she release another one before the year ends or probably a 3rd album aka a follow up to last year's my life ?
I don't know but 1 thing's for sure is that I will be spinning her latest single release Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru for the time being . It doesn't get any better than having 2 power emotional driven ballads side by side together , isn't it ?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Shota Shimizu - Kimi ga Kurasu Machi (The Town Where You Live)
Cover For Both CD & CD + DVD's Editions
Kimi ga Kurasu Machi (The Town Where You Live) is Shota Shimizu's 7th single . It will be released next week on 20th Oct & this comes about 3 months + after the release of Shota's last single GOODBYE .
Compared to Summer Time which I reviewed earlier on , I prefer Kimi ga Kurasu Machi much more as it's basically something that Shota's very comfortable in doing .
Kimi ga Kurasu Machi might sound like another typical R&B ballad that Shota's known for but I actually find it quite comforting while listening to something like this .
Also , I noticed that Shota adopts a more piano driven tune for Kimi ga Kurasau Machi too which I don't mind at all .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- Don't Cry
- 「Aishiteru」 (I Love You) DJ HASEBE Hip Hop Remix
「Aishiteru」 is Shota's 2nd single & in here , it has been given a DJ HASEBE Hip Hop Remix .
Shota Shimizu - Summer Time
Summer Time is Shota Shimizu's 2nd digital single . It was released this year on 4th Aug .
Shota's 1st digital single release was Diggin' On U which was eventually included in his debut album Umbrella .
I never like the songs that were found in Umbrella because I feel Shota's not suited to do really upbeat R&B no.s .
I'm quite ok with Summer Time but I could see why it was chosen to be released digitally instead of in a physical CD single as that song might not sit well with some of his fans like myself .
Summer Time is alright but I don't think this's something that I might listen to constantly on a regular basis .
No word on whether will Summer Time be included in his next album & it reminds to be seen if that will happen .
Monday, October 11, 2010
Aoyama Thelma - LET'S PARTY !
LET'S PARTY ! is the 1st A-side of Aoyama Thelma's 11th single LET'S PARTY ! / 23 which will be released on 27th Oct .
The release of Aoyama's latest single LET'S PARTY ! / 23 comes in about 3 months + since the release of her 2nd compilation album LOVE ! 2 .
LET'S PARTY ! has been described as a party tune .
Honestly , when I found out LET'S PARTY has been described as so , I was excited because I was wondering will it be another hot upbeat track like Summer Love !! but unfortunately , when I finally got the chance to listen to LET'S PARTY , it proved otherwise .
The song to me sounded like a watered down version of Happiness , which's found on her 2nd album Emotions . I was a bit disappointed as it's no open secret that I feel Aoyama's equally versatile in tackling upbeat R&B no.s as well as ballads .
As such , currently I'm not digging LET'S PARTY as much as I want to & it doesn't help that it's a tad short & somewhat ended adruptly for my liking too .
The 2nd A-side 23 will be reviewed soon & so's the B-side of the single which's titled IT'S BREAKOUT .
IT'S BREAKOUT samples the intro of SWING OUT SISTER's 1988 hit song BREAKOUT .
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Kuroki Meisa - Be Like That (LOL !'s B-side)
Be Like That serves as the B-side for Kuroki Meisa's 3rd single LOL ! which was released on 6th Oct .
LOL ! is currently being used in the ads of Kit-Kat in which Kuroki is the spokeswoman & you can see her in the ads too .
Like other past B-sides which Kuroki included in her singles , Be Like That is really A-side worthy I have to say & find it very catchy on 1st listen .
Immediately , I was drawn into Be Like That when I 1st heard it . The beats are very groovy here & unlike LOL ! which I find it to be a rip off from some R&B English songs that I used to listen to , I don't have that same thoughts towards Be Like That which's good .
Kuroki Meisa has been on a music roll for this year with her releasing her 3rd single LOL ! & staging her 1st solo tour at this point in time .
If that's not enough , she's going to release her full length debut album next year in Jan which I'm really excited as it's about time for her to roll out a full album after releasing 2 mini albums back to back with each other .
Saturday, October 09, 2010
ARASHI - Time Capsule (Dear Snow's B-side)
Time Capsule serves as the B-side in ARASHI's 33rd single Dear Snow , which was released on 6th Oct .
Dear Snow is a love ballad which is used as the theme song for the film Ohoku starring Ninomiya Kazunari .
Time Capsule is only available in the CD only edition of the single which followed the same concept as the group's 21st single Step and Go where you only can find Fuyu wo Dakishimete in the CD only edition too .
I have old school vibes of Sunrise NIPPON when I 1st heard Time Capsule which's definitely a good thing as I really adore their older works a lot more than what they have released in recent times .
I still have mixed feelings over Dear Snow as I did wrote before it's a pretty ballad but it's nothing memorable/special but it's a good thing that Time Capsule still has that spark somewhere which I like of the group .
It wouldn't surprise me if I listen to Time Capsule a lot more than Dear Snow , which's the same thing as what happened for My Girl too where the 2 B-sides are more superior than the A-side .
2010 looks set to be ARASHI's most productive year to date because if you think they're stopping at single no.5 release for the year then prepare to get another onslaught feast of their material when they rolled out their next single Hatenai Sora (Endless Sky) , which will be released next month on 10th Nov .
Hatenai Sora has been selected to be used as the theme song for the drama Freeter , ie wo kau , starring Ninomiya .
Friday, October 08, 2010
flumpool - Kimi ni Todoke (Reaching You)'s B-sides
The following songs serve as B-sides in flumpool's 5th single Kimi ni Todoke (Reaching You) which was released last week on 29th Sept :
- Boku no Sonzai (My Existence)
- Quville (LIVE at C.C.Lemon Hall)
Kimi ni Todoke was used as the theme song for the movie which has the same title which stars Miura Haruma .
Boku no Sonzai took me by surprise on 1st listen because I think it's probably the 1st time flumpool incorporated a ballad for a B-side tune .
For me , I didn't like that it was equally lengthy as Kimi ni Todoke but I suppose Boku no Sonzai contrats & compliments the A-side well .
Originally found as track #10 in the quartet's debut album What's flumpool ?! , it's the live version of Quville which was recorded from C.C.Lemon Hall .
Quville is 1 of my fave tracks in What's flumpool ?! & if you know how lead singer Ryuuta sounds like in live performances , well I think it says it all after you give the live take of Quville a listen .
flumpool has been on a music roll this year with them releasing their 3rd single for 2010 , Kimi ni Todoke . It will be interesting to take notice on what they plan to do next but 1 thing's certain that expect nothing but really solid music coming from this talented quartet .
Thursday, October 07, 2010
alan - Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru (Sadness Is Sleeping In The Snow)
CD + DVD
Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru (Sadness Is Sleeping In The Snow) is alan's 14th single . It will be released next week on Oct 13th & this comes in almost 3 months + since the release of her previous single Kaze ni Mukau Hana (The Flower Which Faces The Wind) .
alan's latest single offering has been selected to be used as the theme song for the movie Sakuradamon Gai no Hen .
I guess you can consider Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru as alan's 1st Winter ballad as she hasn't release any singles that has that Autumn/Winter vibe prior to this .
Even though Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru is quite lengthy , it shouldn't stop you from enjoying this which I did as I was real impressed how well alan carried this off & also the melody is very pretty & compliment alan's vocals nicely too .
Namonaki Tane (The Seed Without A Name) serves as the B-side of the single . For this , it has been selected to be used as the theme song in the the animated film TAMALA2010 , during the staging of the convention on Biological Diversity's COP10 (Conference Of The Parties) .
Kanjani∞ - Baby Baby
Baby Baby is found as track #4 in the 1st disc of Kanjani∞'s 4th album 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) which will be released on 20th Oct .
This's quite a swell album track on 1st listen . I could understand why now the song is slotted in before the guys's 15th single LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ (~Looking Forward~) as both songs are pretty much in the same music vein .
Except for Baby Baby's case , I took quite an instant liking to the song . Maybe because I was already used to songs that have the same vibes as LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ & as such , I already welcomed Baby Baby with open arms .
It's not as upbeat as LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ but for an album track , it's something worth checking out for .
GIRL NEXT DOOR - Ready to be a lady
Ready to be a lady is the 1st song found in GIRL NEXT DOOR's 9th single of the same title which will be released next Wed on 13th Oct .
I already reviewed the 2nd song Kaze no (Wind) Capsule so now it's Ready to be a lady to get talked about seeing that there will be 3 songs in the single which will get music videos .
Just like Kaze no Capsule , Ready to be a lady doesn't stray that much from the cheery upbeat electro pop sounds that the trio's known for in the 1st place .
The only thing I noticed is that comparing both songs , Ready to be a lady is slightly more keyboard synth beats driven & my fave part of the song has to be the keyboards bridge after lead vocalist Chisa belted out the 2nd chorus which I like .
Shiawase no Hakari (Scale Of Happiness) is the last song which gets a music video . That will be reviewed soon , alongside with the EURODIMA Remix of Infinity which serves as the B-side of the single .
Aqua Timez - GRAVITY Ø
GRAVITY Ø is Aqua Timez's 12th single . It will be released next week on 13th Oct & this is released about 9 months + since the group's previous single Ehagaki no Haru (Spring Of The Illustration) .
The A-side has been selected to be used as the theme song for the anime Star Driver : Kagayaki no Takuto .
It feels like forever that Aqua Timez hasn't release anything but I'm really happy for the guys & girl to be back with this rocky track GRAVITY Ø .
GRAVITY Ø doesn't stray that much from the usual stuff they're known for . I do admit I didn't find the song catchy as it has grown on me a great deal & I like the keyboard synths touches which compliments GRAVITY Ø really well .
The following songs serve as B-sides in GRAVITY Ø
- Tsuki no (Moon) Curtain
- Pocket no Naka no Uchuu (In Space)
Both songs will not be reviewed .
NEWS - Fighting Man
Fighting Man is NEWS's 13th single . It will be released on 3rd Nov & this comes about 2 months + since the release of the group's latest 4th album LIVE .
Incidentally , the song will be released on the same day as member Ryo Nishikido's 26th birthday .
I must admit I was very surprised when announcements for a new single follow so soon after LIVE was released , considering in recent times the release pattern for NEWS has slowed down considerably .
Anyway , with a song like Fighting Man , I was expecting things to sound fun & upbeat but instead , it sounded like where it picks off from where it left from LIVE's BE FUNKY ! .
Not that it's a bad thing as I do feel BE FUNKY ! is 1 of the standout tracks in LIVE but maybe because my expectations were higher than usual this time round .
Right now , I'm not sure if I can consider Fighting Man as a fave NEWS single of mine . I suppose I need a bit more time to get used to the way it sounds .
The following songs serve as B-sides in Fighting Man :
- Gamushara (Reckless) Cha Cha Cha
- Winter Moon (Regular Edition Track)
- Ai wa Simple na Curry Rice (Love Is A Simple Curry Rice) (Regular Edition Track)
- Wake Up (Limited Edition Track)
Wake Up was originally found in the inital tracklist for LIVE before it was removed .
It's also said to be a sequel to FLY AGAIN , which can be found in their previous album colour .
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
ayumi hamasaki - Reminding Songs Found In L
The reminding 5 songs found in ayumi hamasaki's 50th single L will be reviewed today .
L was released last week on 29th Sept & with the release of this single , ayumi has smashed/broken another Oricon record in that officially now , she holds the record for the most #1 singles by a female artist , in both the solo & group categories .
I already reviewed/talked about Virgin Road a while back ago , so now it's time for me to talk about the other songs found in L .
Sweet Season is the 2nd song that receives a music video after Virgin Road .
For this no. , it was used in the ads of magazine Sweet , as part of celebration pertaining to their million copy circulation .
I took more or less an instant liking to Sweet Season on 1st listen as it's a bit different from what ayumi usually does .
The song is basically a good dosage of feel good cheery pop/rock no. that's coupled with a cool electric guitar that I like too .
There're 4 B-sides in L , the 1st being Last angel which was composed by Tetsuya Komuro , just like what he did for Virgin Road & crossroad .
Last angel was really unusual for me to handle as I didn't know what to expect & somemore I had problems how to group/classify this as so .
But now I guess you can say that the song's taken a page or 2 from ayumi's older works , especially from her 4th album I am ... where most of the songs were quite similarly driven as Last angel .
The next 3 B-sides are only found in the CD only editions of L .
The Orchestra versions for crossroad & SEVEN DAYS WAR are sandwiched side to side each other (to me) .
I don't need to comment that much for both but between both , I prefer the Orchestra take of SEVEN DAYS WAR as I feel once more , ayumi's vocals was being overpowered a great deal with regards to crossroad (Orchestra version) & the same thing happened for the Orchestra take of Last Links a while back ago in MOON / blossom .
In the case of SEVEN DAYS WAR (Orchestra version) , the remix is not bad & rather enjoyable so I leave things as so .
The 2nd remix of SEVEN DAYS WAR centres on the TK Acoustic Piano version & as the remix title suggest , it's an acoustic version which's piano driven .
This's something nice I have to admit as it strips down to just bare necessities & you don't get any fanciful stuff going on & it's something cool to listen to during a day where you want to relax .
ayumi hamasaki has definitely come a long way in the music business & with this 48th - 50th singles project which has finally wrapped up , she proves as to why she's still relevant in the JPop music business , whether you like to admit it or not .
Even though external wise (like single covers , videos , little if not zlich promotion) were pretty much bleak to me for this project that avex coined up for her , I'm glad that the main core issue aka the songs are solid which's something I cared about the most as I will be disappointed if other factors were great but the music's not .
It will be interesting to see what plans she has next up her sleeves but whatever the case's , I say bring it on !
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
YUI - Rain
Rain is YUI's 17th single . It will be released next month on 24th Nov & this comes about 4 months + after she released her 4th album HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN .
YUI's new single has been selected to be used as the theme song for the drama PERFECT REPORT & the reason why Rain was chosen is because YUI devotes a lot of energy into her material .
Rain doesn't stray that much from the usual pop/rock songs that YUI is known for . On 1st listen , Rain sounds to me from where she has left/continue on from the B-side of To mother aka Tonight .
I don't know if that's a good or bad thing but I like Tonight much more than the A-side & in general , I'm not picky with regards to the singles that YUI has released so far in her career .
Currently , there's no word as to how many B-sides will be available in Rain . I assume there will be 2 , with 1 of them being an YUI Acoustic Version of To mother probably .
SID - cosmetic's B-sides
The following songs serve as B-sides in SID's 7th single cosmetic , which was released last week on 29th Sept :
- Sugu Soba de (Very Close)
- Memai (Dizziness) (Live from 『Ichiban Suki na Basho 2010』)
The A-side cosmetic has funky rhythms & a laidback muscular rock sound .
Suga Soba de on 1st listen is really awesome & I think it's the perfect song to contrast cosmetic well .
I haven't heard of many B-sides of SID which're quite mellow driven & it's such a heartwarming if not bittersweet song too & credits has to go to bassist Aki who did a great job in composing the song .
Recorded/sung live from their Ichiban Suki na Basho 2010 tour , it's Memai .
The live version of Memai is quite bad ass & I have not heard lead vocalist Mao sounded like anything before prior to this .
Just like Suga Soba de , the live take of Memai is a class of its own & at this moment , I can't think of other songs of the group which sound the same as Memai
SID doesn't stop in delivering the music goods & this time round , cosmetic sees them breaking out of their comfort zone which gives you this experimental but yet solid single , cosmetic .
cosmetic is something that I feel it's 1 of their more unique & funky sounding no. they have delivered this time round & I still like it for being extremely catchy & memorable .
The 2 B-sides also were a joy to listen to .
SID will release their 8th single Ranbu no (Wild Dance) Melody on 1st Dec & Ranbu no Melody has been selected to be used as the latest opening track for the anime Bleach .
Saturday, October 02, 2010
CD Review :: Anna Tsuchiya - RULE
CD + DVD
2) She Hates Me
3) Atashi (Me)
4) Brave vibration
5) Believe in Love
6) Boushoku-kei Danshi !! (Overeating-type Boys !!) [PE'Z x Anna Tsuchiya]
7) MY BATTLE
8) NEVER EVER
9) Human Clay
12) Shout in the rain
13) Voice of butterfly
14) HEY YOU ! (Bonus Track)
15) GUN ! GUN ! LOVE ! (Bonus Track)
RULE is Anna Tsuchiya's 3rd album . It was released on 22nd Sept & this's Anna's 1st album release in almost 2 years since 2008's NUDY SHOW ! .
3 singles & 2 B-sides can be found in RULE , which debuted at #18 with 1st week sales of 5,586 .
After a 1:11 mins introduction in which Anna opened the album quite nicely acapella style , she dived straight into the 1st album track She Hates Me .
She Hates Me has a lot of angst coming out of the song . Lyrically , Anna sings about a guy who 2 times her & well you get the drift .
It's actually a standard rock song that you can find in Anna's discography but for an album track , it's memorable on 1st listen .
The next 2 songs are singles that Anna has released prior to RULE .
Atashi (Me) is her 11th single & it was considered as her comeback single release , given the release date gap between Atashi & Brave vibration .
I had a lot of dislike towards Atashi at 1st , as I did said before I feel it's basically a poor cousin of some of the album tracks you can find in her debut album strip me ? .
I'm fine with the song now but Atashi is a song that I personally thinks it's 1 of her weaker singles in her discography .
Brave vibration is Anna's 10th single & this was the only single she released last year before she went on hiatus to get married for the 2nd time & also giving birth to her 2nd son as well .
Even though it has been almost a year or so since Brave vibration was released , it's still a great catchy memorable track .
Anna doesn't have that many singles which she released in this peppy cheery music mode & it definitely gives you some positive vibes upon listening to Brave vibration .
The next 2 songs are album tracks which received music videos .
Believe in Love is the album's 1st ballad & can be considered as the lead promotion track for RULE .
It's good to slow things down after the 1st 3 songs on the album are rocky & really upbeat . Believe in Love do have some similar traits when you compare it against her other ballads like BLUE MOON which I really like .
Boushoku-kei Danshi !! (Overeating-type Boys !!) is the only collaboration track in RULE & this's released under the billing of PE'Z x Anna Tsuchiya .
PE'Z is an instrumental jazz band for that matter .
I reviewed Boushoku-kei Danshi !! before & I'm glad to see this song being made the cut in RULE as it's very Jazzy & experimental , nothing like what Anna has done before .
From what I know , she hasn't done a Jazz infused rock song before & the ending result for this turns out to be pretty good & memorable .
MY BATTLE follows after Boushoku-kei Danshi !! & this song's unusual in the sense that it's the shortest track in RULE , clocking in at 2:30 mins .
That & also , it's pretty Jazz inspired . I wasn't sure what to expect when comes to MY BATTLE but I like it that the song began to morph into a different personnel much later .
NEVER EVER was used in the ads of ABC-MART & I really like this no. on 1st listen .
It's a good dosage of cheery upbeat pop/rock that Anna has included & I do admit I find myself humming along to the chorus when NEVER EVER comes on too .
Human Clay is unusual too on 1st listen just like MY BATTLE .
Except for Human Clay's case , it's an angsty driven no. which's what Anna's probably best known for & it's definitely different if you compare it against NEVER EVER .
JUDGE follows in the same music vein as Human Clay but JUDGE is more mean & in your face .
I notice that JUDGE incorporated a much harder rock sound & it's probably 1 of the more angsty & let alone heavily synth driven tracks in RULE which I like .
JUDGE is definitely 1 of the more prominent album tracks that's for sure .
GUILTY served as the ending theme song for the movie biohazard DEGENERATION .
This's 1 song that I'm really happy that Anna included in RULE because just like Brave vibration , GUILTY is quite an old song but it's a goodie .
I remembered I reviewed GUILTY sometime last year so for me to see GUILTY being included in RULE , I couldn't be more happier .
Shout in the rain is Anna's 12th single & it's the last single being included in the album .
Just like Atashi , I consider Shout in the rain also another weak link in Anna's singles discography . I frankly was expecting a power ballad or so with regards to Shout in the rain .
But somehow or another , Shout in the rain falls flat as I could sense that Anna had a bit of a hard time reaching those high vocals in here .
Voice of butterfly is the last album track & it's the 2nd album ballad after Believe in Love .
My younger sister said that Voice of butterfly sounded like a song that you can hear being played in the Gundam animes .
Well I'm not sure for that but 1 thing for sure , Voice of butterfly is really beautiful & I think comparing it with Believe in Love , Voice of butterfly stood out to me a lot more .
The reason so is because it's more emotional driven & Anna's being accompanied by a rather simple piano melody too .
It's a pity that Voice of butterfly didn't get a music video as I feel it really deserves so .
The last 2 tracks are bonus tracks included in RULE & incidentally are B-sides which're taken from Atashi & Shout in the rain .
Not only that , both songs were used in the ads of au by KDDI , in which you can see Anna appeared in both ads with her being the spokeswoman for the company .
HEY YOU ! is the B-side of Atashi .
I still prefer HEY YOU ! over Atashi by a long shot but my grouse over HEY YOU ! is that it's a bit too short . The song would have been better if the song's being extended by a few seconds or so .
GUN ! GUN ! LOVE ! is the B-side of Shout in the rain & the last track before wrapping things up in RULE .
The same thing on what I said about HEY YOU ! , I prefer GUN ! GUN ! LOVE ! more than Shout in the rain .
GUN ! GUN ! LOVE ! is actually quite amusing & showcased the fun side of Anna too which plays well against the A-side .
Anna Tsuchiya finally returned back to the music scene with her 3rd album offering RULE .
To me , RULE contained some of her weakest singles to date which mainly applies to the 2 singles Atashi & Shout in the rain which she released this year before releasing RULE .
I was worried whether will the album tracks follow in the same manner but I'm relieved that they're more polished & so much more memorable , enjoyable & catchy for me to enjoy .
Compared with NUDY SHOW ! which was awesome & more experimental , RULE brings back to what Anna's known for , which's Rock music .
There're still some experimentation going on in RULE which she did well . I wish she would have done even more but I suppose she wants to go back to basics .
Anna's 1 of my fave musicians & I'm happy that she's back with RULE . If you ask me , just skip Atashi & Shout in the rain & dive straight into the album tracks which're much more solid in my own opinion .
I sure hope she will release something new soon which I think it might happen sooner than I might think .
Kanjani∞ - Animal Magic
Animal Magic is found as track #12 in the 1st disc of Kanjani∞'s 4th album 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) which will be released on 20th Oct .
I assume Animal Magic serves as the lead promotion album track , given that the guys performed this song live last night at MUSIC STATION .
Anyway , with a song title like Animal Magic , I was expecting another crazy over the top tune which Kanjani∞ is known for in recent times but I was really surprised that's not the case .
Instead , Animal Magic is a mellow mid tempo tune which brings out the harmonisation effect that the group flawlessly nailed downpat .
I'm not sure whether other album tracks from 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) will be out but I will review them as so before 20th Oct when the album's officially released .