Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BENI - 2FACE's B-sides





The following 2 songs serve as B-sides in BENI's 10th single 2FACE which was released last week on 24th Nov :

- Heaven's Door DJ HASEBE REMIX
- Yura Yura (Slow Shaking) Jazztronik Remix

2FACE which was 1st unveiled at BENI's concert tour , is a rhythmic R&B dance song that allows BENI to show off her dance skills .

The DJ HASEBE REMIX of BENI's previous single Heaven's Door is the 1st B-side & honestly , I find it nothing special .

There's still certain traces of wedding influences which I can hear in the DJ HASEBE REMIX of Heaven's Door but it's basically a very standard if not plain R&B remix which didn't do much to elevate the music status of Heaven's Door .

Yura Yura is the 1st A-side of BENI's 8th Single Yura Yura / Gimme Gimme♥ & in 2FACE's single , it has been given the Jazztronik Remix .

Frankly , the Jazztronik Remix of Yura Yura is pretty cool & unique . Unlike the original , the remix of the song has a Jazz meets video games like sounds where both traits are combined into 1 .

It sounds like a music recipe for disaster but this's something that BENI was able to work in her favour which I kind of enjoy .

To me , I find BENI's latest single offering 2FACE a bit of a music stepdown from Heaven's Door . I still have a bit of an issue towards the A-side & the 2 remixes somewhat redeem the single .

I guess I placed quite high expectations on 2FACE , only to get somewhat disappointed .

Anyway , BENI's 3rd album Jewel will be released next week on 8th Dec & both 2FACE & Heaven's Door will be included in her new album .

I'm curious to see how Jewel will sound like & hopefully it will be better than what she has to offer in Lovebox .



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hey ! Say ! JUMP - 「Arigatou」(Thank You) ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ (Wherever I'm In The World)

CD



CD + DVD





「Arigatou」(Thank You) ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ (Wherever I'm In The World) is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 6th single . It will be released on 15th Dec & this comes about 5 months + since the release of the group's debut album JUMP NO.1 .

The A-side is a hard dance no. & this marks an exciting beginning of a new stage for the group .

The lyrics are basically a follow up of the guys thanking their fans all over the world in different languages such as English , Indonesian/Malay , French , Chinese & German .

Frankly with a song title like 「Arigatou」~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ , I was indeed skeptical when the tune's described as hard dance but my fears were unfounded when I gave the song a listen .

While 「Arigatou」~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ is not as hardcore as what I assumed at 1st , it's still great edgy gritty stuff & this's probably on par with some of the album tracks which're found in JUMP NO.1 , such as Shinku (Crimson) & Time .

I like the music direction that Hey ! Say ! JUMP has been undertaking in recent times as everyone has grown up (with some of the members who're adults) & such , I definitely will disappointed if they release something like their debut single Ultra Music Power

There're 3 B-sides in the single & all of them are only found in the CD only edition of 「Arigatou」~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ :

- FLY
- Snow Song
- Futari Kake no Basho (A Place For Two)  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

YUI - Rain's B-sides

CD



CD + DVD





The following songs serve as B-sides in YUI's 17th single Rain which was released a few days ago on 24th Nov :

- a room
- How crazy ~YUI Acoustic Version~

Written with Christmas Eve in mind (usually more of a day for lovers than families in Japan) , Rain is an emotional rock tune with the traditional YUI-style guitar-driven sound .

I was surprised when I 1st heard a room because it sounded to me like CHE.R.RY to a certain extent except it's being drenched with a somewhat bittersweet feeling .

a room plays a perfect contrast to Rain which's nice I have to say .

How crazy was originally found as track #1 in YUI's 2nd album CAN'T BUY MY LOVE & in here , it has been given the YUI acoustic treatment .

This time round , YUI didn't give her previous single to Mother an acoustic take & so How crazy stepped in to fill in the music gaps .

Honestly , I was frankly surprised when she decided to give an acoustic version for How crazy , seeing that this's 1 song I never expect her to do something like that & also , it helps that How crazy is still 1 of my fave album tracks in CAN'T BUY MY LOVE up to now .

The original take of How crazy has a lot more angsty & bite . For the YUI Acoustic Version , you still can hear slight angst going on in the song while hearing it done in an acoustic manner .

Rain wraps up on what YUI has to offer musically for 2010 & I think this year has been a rather fruitful year for her , with YUI releasing HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN close to a 2 years's gap since 2008's I LOVED YESTERDAY & then now concluding things for the year with Rain .

YUI will release her 18th single on 26th Jan 2011 . It's currently untitled but I expect nothing but great things coming her way when the new year kicks in .

Thursday, November 25, 2010

kanon x kanon - Calendula Requiem's B-sides





The following 2 songs serve as B-sides in kanon x kanon's single Calendula Requiem which was released last week on 17th Nov :

- The Doll House !
- Umigame (Sea Turtle) Soup

Cello player/singer Kanon Wakeshima pairs up with Visuel Kei band An Cafe's bassist Kanon to form a special musical unit kanon x kanon to sing the 2nd opening theme song for the horror anime Shiki (Corpse Demon) .

The Doll House ! is very captivating if not enchanting on 1st listen . Boosting a sharp contrast to the A-side Calendula Requiem , The Doll House ! sees the song taking on a more Alice In Wonderland style & with Kanon Wakeshima's vocals being drifted in a rather girly charm , it doesn't get any better than this .

Clocking in at 2:20 mins , it's the rather creepy sounding Umigame Soup .

Unlike Calendula Requiem & The Doll House ! , Umigame Soup is not written by both Kanon's & if you read the lyrics for the song , it's actually a poem of sorts .

Still , I should admit that Umigame Soup is unusual in sounding & it's probably the closest on what Kanon Wakeshima usually does when comes to her own solo works .

Calendula Requiem is probably the best collaboration I've came across for 2010 before the year wraps up & their press release which they have been stated as "a genius musical unit from the 2.5 dimension" , I can't say this any better than this .

Kanon Wakeshima's works is something that I've always admired & she did things better than what I expected with regards to Calendula Requiem .

I'm quite sure that kanon x kanon will be a 1 off thing but regardless of which , Calendula Requiem is a must listen , if you want to go for something out of the ordinary .





Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fukuyama Masaharu - Michishirube (Signpost) 2010





Michishirube (Signpost) 2010 is a song taken from Fukuyama Masaharu's greatest hits album THE BEST BANG !! which was be released last week on 17th Nov .

THE BEST BANG !! consists of 40 songs in total which're spread out in 3 discs , inclusive of a 4th disc which contains 3 new songs in which I already reviewed/talked about Kokoro (Heart) color ~a song for the wonderful year~ & Ishikoro no (Pebble) Pride a while back ago .

In the case of Michishirube 2010 , the original take of the song was found as track #14 in Fukuyama's 10th album Zankyou which's incidentally the last track on the album too .

I wasn't surprised when Fukuyama decided to re-record Michishirube because even in Zankyou , I consider it as a really solid no. & Michishirube 2010 presents a more polished & slightly Orchestra driven side which's lovely .

Kokoro color ~a song for the wonderful year~ & Ishikoro no Pride are quite upbeat tracks so it's nice to slow/wrap things up in the 4th disc of THE BEST BANG !! with Michishirube 2010 .

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

KAT-TUN - CHANGE UR WORLD's B-sides





The following 5 songs serve as B-sides in KAT-TUN's 13th single CHANGE UR WORLD which was released last week on 17th Nov

- GIVE ME , GIVE ME , GIVE ME

- NEVER × OVER ~「-」IS YOUR PART~

- REMEMBER

- NEET Man (Ueda Tatsuya's Solo)

- GIRLS (NTT presented by Taguchi Junnosuke)

The A-side CHANGE UR WORLD is currently being used as a theme song for Going ! Sports & News , a popular sport channel in Japan .

The 1st 2 B-sides GIVE ME , GIVE ME , GIVE ME & NEVER × OVER ~「-」IS YOUR PART~ are only found in the CD only regular edition of the single .

GIVE ME , GIVE ME , GIVE ME is a straight up no nonsense hard edge no. . It more or less pick up from where CHANGE UR WORLD leaves out while it's still able to maintain that signature gritty edgy tunes that KAT-TUN's known for .

Also just like the A-side , you can find quite a significant rapping presence done by Tanaka who goes by the pen name of JOKER when comes to writing the rap lyrics of the group .

NEVER × OVER ~「-」IS YOUR PART~ is a concept song where fans are supposed to sing the parts of the lyrics marked by "-" at concerts in order for it to become a complete song .

Tanaka had a hand in cowriting NEVER × OVER ~「-」IS YOUR PART~ while Ueda helped in co-composing .

The guys never had a mash up no. for a B-side & NEVER × OVER ~「-」IS YOUR PART~ is really a masterpiece in its own right .

If your ears are sharp enough , you're able to catch hold of various songs of KAT-TUN being used in NEVER × OVER ~「-」IS YOUR PART~ .

For me , these're some of the following songs which I'm able to catch hold of :

- Going !
- SWEET (Kamenashi's Solo)
- LOVE MUSIC (Taguchi's Solo)
- RABBIT OR WORLF ? (Ueda's Solo)
- FLIM (Nakamaru's Solo)

I'm quite sure I've missed out a lot more because it's not easy to catch hold the songs which were used in this really awesome unique mashup .

The next 3 songs REMEMBER , NEET Man & GIRLS are only found in the CD only limited edition of CHANGE UR WORLD .

Employing almost the same music style as GIVE ME , GIVE ME , GIVE ME & the A-side is REMEMBER .

Except in this case , REMEMBER has a very orthodox sound & it's partially rock with synths that's thrown in for good measures .

NEET Man is Ueda's solo no. & in this context , NEET stands for Not in Education , Employment or Training .

A light rock song , NEET Man is written & arranged by Ueda under his alter ego name MOUSE PEACE which's the same name being used for his solo concerts .

I always admire Ueda's singing/composing skills as I still consider him as the most musicially gifted in KAT-TUN .

For NEET Man's case , it's a lighthearted cheery no. which's a refreshing change from his previous solo offering in NO MORE PAIИ's RABBIT OR WOLF ? .

I haven't heard that much Ueda solos which have this style & I frankly like it as it's really cute but not cheesy .

Last but not least , GIRLS is an interesting track . In the single , it's credited as NTT presented by Taguchi Junnosuke .

NTT is actually 3 of the members in KAT-TUN ie Nakamaru Yuichi , Tanaka Koki & Taguchi Junnosuke , hence the unit name NTT .

Written & co-composed by all 3 members , GIRLS is described as Reggae driven .

I had no idea what to expect of GIRLS but I was pleasantly surprised when the melody hook grab my attention instantly . I don't know why it's described as Reggae but I feel more club vibes for this no. .

Still , GIRLS is really catchy & I think it's really cool that Nakamaru , Tanaka & Taguchi banded together to form NTT & singing this song in the process as it sounded as though they had a good time doing so .

CHANGE UR WORLD is KAT-TUN's 1st official single release onwards as a 5 piece member & after listening to the whole single , I can say it exceeded my expectations in more ways than I can ever imagine .

Fans who're worried that the departure of their former 2nd co-lead vocalist Akanishi Jin might hampen the quality of the group's material should heave a big sigh of relief as CHANGE UR WORLD overall on whole is really solid & the B-sides are stellar if not more superior than the A-side .

CHANGE UR WORLD is a marked improvement from what the guys offered in Going ! & let alone in NO MORE PAIИ & if their next release continues to keep up the same standard as what their latest single offer , then I say expect nothing but the best for the new KAT-TUN .



Monday, November 22, 2010

SID - Ranbu no (Wild Dance) Melody

CD



CD + DVD A



CD + DVD B




Ranbu no (Wild Dance) Melody is SID's 8th single . It will be released next week on 1st Dec & this comes about 3 months + since the release of the group's previous single cosmetic .

The guys's latest single has been selected to be used as the latest opening track for the anime Bleach .

Frankly on 1st listen , Ranbu no Melody's a bit un-inspiring if not boring for me because I was so used to cosmetic still being really catchy for my liking .

Then I found that both songs were not composed by the same person in that cosmetic was composed by guitarist Shinji while for Ranbu no Melody , it was composed by bassist Aki .

Not only that , when I was watching the opening introduction for Bleach which you can hear Ranbu no Melody in the backdrop , I finally understand the linkages between the anime & the song , lyrically & then some .

It's a very anime driven rock no. , which can apply the same thing towards their 3rd single Uso (Lie) too .

Ranbu no Melody has grown on me a fair bit but it's probably 1 of the group's weaker singles to date where it doesn't grab your attention on 1st listen .

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

- Danro (Fireplace)
- Hosoikoe (Fine Voice) (Live from 『SID Summer Festa 2010』)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

UVERworld - NO.1

CD



CD + DVD





NO.1 is UVERworld's 17th single . It will be released this coming Wed on 24th Nov & this comes about 2 months + since their last single release Qualia .

The guys's new single has been selected to be used as the image song for the final venue in their LAST TOUR concert series which will start next Sat , three days after the single will be released .

The venue is Tokyo Dome , making it the 1st time the band has ever played there as well as the largest venue they have ever played .

Entries on UVERworld's official blog stated that they wanted to create a song to commemorate the event & using NO.1 as the opening for the concert .

NO.1 is probably the group's most unique sounding single I've heard til date . It's very different from Qualia in so many ways & it's a bit difficult to describe just how unusual & great sounding NO.1 is .

I guess the closest I can describe NO.1 is that you have various different layerings of sounds being used & that 1 moment it can get very slow paced while in other parts of the song , it unleashed a mean mad streak within .

Definitely 1 of UVERworld's coolest sounding singles to date for sure .

The following songs serve as B-sides in NO.1 :

- Muttsu no Kaze (The 6 Winds)
- Choutaisaku (Blockbuster) +81

Both songs will not be reviewed .



Saturday, November 20, 2010

BENI - 2FACE





2FACE is BENI's 10th single . It will be released this coming Wed 24th Nov in about 3 months + since her previous single release Heaven's Door .

Unlike her previous singles , 2FACE has a limited print of 10,000 copies & first press edition of 2FACE comes with a towel & according to BENI herself , 2FACE showcases a supposedly new side of her .

Frankly , I don't think 2FACE is a strong memorable track . It took me close to 4-5 listens in order to get the hang of things as I do not find it as catchy as Heaven's Door & let alone for her other single releases .

Maybe I was expecting so much more from BENI this time round & basically 2FACE is a pretty standard R&B no. which has nothing to shout about .

Hopefully my opinions on 2FACE will change as time goes by as this's really something that I can't see myself pressing the repeat button anytime soon .

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

- Heaven's Door DJ HASEBE REMIX
- Yura Yura (Slow Shaking) Jazztronik Remix


Hey ! Say ! JUMP - 「Arigatou」(Thank You) ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ (Wherever I'm In The World)'s B-sides





The following 3 songs serve as B-sides in Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 6th single 「Arigatou」(Thank You) ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ (Wherever I'm In The World) which was released last week on 15th Dec

- FLY
- Snow Song
- Futari Kake no Basho (A Place For Two)

All the 3 songs are only found in the CD only pressing of the single .

The A-side 「Arigatou」 ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ is a hard dance no. & this marks an exciting beginning of a new stage for the group .

Honestly I had quite a shock when I 1st listened to FLY because I guess I was a bit scared of the opening which the guys screamed/said the band's group before the song started .

Compared to 「Arigatou」 ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ , FLY is a lot less serious sounding & I supposed there's always will be a kid in everyone & that goes for all 10 members in the group even though they have grown up & mature significantly since debuting on the scene 4 years ago , with Ultra Music Power .

With a title like Snow Song , it's no surprises that it's something that's very much Winter driven .

This's the group's 1st B-side song which has a Christmas theme .

Surprisingly , I did not really feel that much Winter vibes coming from Snow Song . Instead , I feel the song sounds quite similar to ARASHI's Kaze (Wind) . I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing but I guess I was expecting a bit more for the 2nd B-side in 「Arigatou」 ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ .

The last B-side is something called Futari Kake no Basho (A Place For Two) & I think out of the 3 B-sides found in 「Arigatou」 ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ , this probably has to be my fave .

Futari Kake no Basho is a very nice ballad . Unlike Snow Song , Futari Kake no Basho is Winter inspired stamped all over the place & it plays a very good contrast against the A-side & considering that the 1st 3 songs in the single are upbeat tunes , I think it's perfect to wrap things up with this slow no. in the form of Futari Kake no Basho .

2010 has been somewhat of an eventful year for Hey ! Say ! JUMP in that they finally released their long awaited debut album JUMP NO.1 & they have end 2010 with this another solid single 「Arigatou」 ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ .

I thought I might have wait a while for them to release something after JUMP NO.1 but it's nice to know they took their time & come out with 「Arigatou」 ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ .

I await to see what they have in store for 2011 . Hopefully I wouldn't have to wait long enough for this talented group to release something new soon .
 



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ken Hirai - Aishiteru (I Love You)'s B-sides





The following songs serve as B-sides in Ken Hirai's 33rd single Aishiteru (I Love You) , which was released last week on 10th Nov :

- air cameraman
- Unchained Melody
- Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru (I Fall In Love With You) rei harakami remix

The A-side was used as the theme song for the movie Ghost - Mou Ichido Dakishimetai & it's a touching ballad about a continuous love for someone that has passed away .

Aishiteru was also released on the same day as Ken's Ken Hirai 15th Anniversary c/w Collection '95-'10 "Ura Utabaka" B-side compilation album too .

I don't know what to expect for air cameraman but it's quite a nice contrast to Aishiteru . It's not a downright uptempo no. but mood wise , it's somewhat more subduced .

Unchained Melody is a cover of the famous 1965 classic song sung by The Righteous Brothers & also it was used an insert song for the movie Ghost .

This's a classic no. even up to now . Even though the song is way older than me , I know how it sounds like & I wasn't surprised that Ken chooses to cover Unchained Melody , seeing that Aishiteru is used in the Japanese adaptation of Ghost .

Ken has sung/covered classics before in his 2 Ken's Bar cover albums so I wasn't surprised that I enjoyed his take on Unchained Melody . The only thing I didn't like was that his vocals were quite overpowered by the melody but other than that , it's something that I enjoyed listening to .

Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru is Ken's 31st single & in here , it has been given a rei harakami remix .

I have no issues with the original take of Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru & the rei harakami remix is actually pretty good . I have Autumn vibes when I listened to the rei harakami remix of the song .

It's a good thing that nothing drastic was done to tampen Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru because I have somewhat of a dislike towards ballads which're given way too upbeat / uptempo remixes but thankfully nothing of that sort happened here .

2010 is Ken Hirai's 15th anniversary debut in the music business & even though celebrations for this has been somehow quiet if not minimal , it was nice to see him releasing 2 solid singles back to back month wise & coupling that with Ken Hirai 15th Anniversary c/w Collection '95-'10 "Ura Utabaka" B-side compilation album to mark this special occasion .

I don't know what's Ken's next musical step but I assume a new album will follow ? since the last original album Ken released was 2008's FAKIN' POP .


CD Review :: Saito Kazuyoshi - ARE YOU READY ?

Cover For CD Only Regular & Limited Editions



1) Are you ready ?
2) Tsumi na Yathu (He Is A Crime)
3) Zutto Suki Datta
4) Stick to fun ! Tonight !
5) Small Stone
6) Omotesandou (Main Shrine Ave)
7) Namae wo Yonde (Call On)
8) Itaike na Aki (Innocent Fall) featuring Bose
9) Kuronuri no Sedan (Sedan Of Black Coating) (Album version)
10) Don't cry baby


ARE YOU READY ? is Saito Kazuyoshi's 14th album . It was released last month on 27th Oct .

Saito's new album is released almost close to a year & a month since his previous album Tsuki ga Noboreba .

ARE YOU READY ? contains only 1 single in the 10 songs tracklist .

Starting things off with a song sharing the same title as the album except the title being in lower caps is Are you ready ? .

Saito is always known for making great catchy rock tracks which're being layered with various instruments used in his songs & Are you ready ? is no exception & the song sets the bar on what to expect in his new record .

Tsumi na Yathu (He Is A Crime) is the next song & this's such a random no. . It reminded me of Tsuki ga Noboreba's Bitch ! which's actually amusing & comical . Tsumi na Yathu is very orthodox & definitely something you shouldn't listen if you don't take things seriously .

Zutto Suki Datta (I Have Always Like You) is Saito's 38th single & it's the only single included in ARE YOU READY ? & it was used in the ads of Shiseido IN & ON .

I said before that even if you're not familiar with Saito's music , you definitely will find something distinct familiar sounding when comes to Zutto Suki Datta as it has that old fashioned guitar vibes which the song gives out .

It's a bit cheesy but there's no deny that Zutto Suki Datta is catchy & memorable .

Stick to fun ! Tonight ! is the only album track which gets a music video in ARE YOU READY ? .

The song's fun & definitely stamps out Saito's trademark sounds in here . I love how relatively fast paced the no.'s with the various layerings of guitar riffs which're combined with drum beats .

With a weird song title like Small Stone , I wasn't expecting that much but I was pleasantly surprised when it's actually a really cool ballad .

Small Stone has a much harder rock sound as compared to other album tracks but Small Stone is really something that I don't mind to sit & listen to all 6 mins + worth of the song .

Omotesandou (Main Shrine Ave) is also another unusual album track . Same like Small Stone , I didn't know what to look out for when comes to Omotesandou .

The song is actually a light hearted cheery no. which's mainly acoustic guitar which's definitely a 360 degree difference in terms of mood/sound .

Namae wo Yonde (Call On) doesn't sound very exciting on 1st listen as its introduction has a rather soft acoustic guitar no. but much later on , the song began to transform into something that's quite attention grabbing/neat .

Itaike na Aki (Innocent Fall) is the only album track which features a collaboration which features Bose . It's also the longest song in ARE YOU READY ? , clocking in at 7:48 mins .

This's the 1st song I've heard of Saito collaborating with another artiste . Itaike na Aki is something I don't mind but I myself find it weird to hear Bose rapping in this rather orthodox/unusual no. which places quite a heavy emphasis on keyboard synths .

Originally found as the B-side in Saito's 36th single Don't Worry Be Happy , it's Kuronuri no Sedan (Sedan Of Black Coating) & in here , it has been given an album version mix .

I love the original version of Kuronuri no Sedan which was found in Don't Worry Be Happy but I have to say the album version presents a totally new melody which really rocks .

The original take of Kuronuri no Sedan has a lot more guitar riffs but the album version of the song utilises instruments such as bongo drums , trumpets while keeping its fast paced momentum which's fantastic .

Wrapping ARE YOU READY ? up is Don't cry baby which's the shortest track in the album at 2:51 mins .

Just like Zutto Suki Datta , Don't cry baby has that very familiar sounds which're quite old fashioned & not dated to a certain extent .

The song's basically a feel good fuss free no. which has Saito's trademark sounds being stamped all over . Even though it's under 3 mins , Don't cry baby managed to maximise its time limit space .

After releasing Tsuki ga Noboreba last year on 16th Sept , Saito Kazuyoshi returned with this follow up album ARE YOU READY ? .

Truth be told , I was frankly surprised when I found out he was going to release another new album quite so soon , especially since there's only 1 single included in his latest record .

Also on 1st look , I was a bit disappointed that there're only 10 songs in the tracklist but I suppose for Saito's case , he believes in the whole quality over quantity saying which I think it applies for most of the songs in ARE YOU READY ? .

Most tracks in ARE YOU READY ? are really solid seeing that Saito does everything hands on & I think in this aspect , he's a genius as I enjoyed Tsuki ga Noboreba tremendously even up to this point in time .

The only thing I feel ARE YOU READY ? was being let down is that on 1st listen , not a lot of album tracks stood out to me & I could do with less random weird no.s like Tsumi na Yathu too .

With that said , ARE YOU READY ? is still an album for me to enjoy & if you haven't sit up & take notice of this really extremely talented singer/songwriter , now probably will be a good time to start .



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yuna Ito - Mamotte Agetai (I Want To Protect You)'s B-sides





The following 2 songs serve as B-sides in Yuna Ito's 15th single Mamotte Agetai (I Want To Protect You) which was released on 3rd Nov :

- Kiss me
- Precious -Q;indivi Celebration Remix-

Mamotte Agetai is the type of pleasant mid-tempo ballad that Yuna excels in & it also serves as the theme song for the NTV drama series Ougon no Buta ~ Kaikeikensacho Tokubetsuchiosaka .

I was frankly bored with what Kiss me has to offer . It's nothing special & unlike the A-side which's a pretty good ballad , Kiss me is merely a standard mid tempo pop no. which almost sent me to snoozefest .

As such with it being no surprises , I wouldn't consider Kiss me as a fave B-side of mine from Yuna .

The Q;indivi Celebration Remix of Yuna's 3rd single Precious wraps up the single .

I kind of have issues with remixes transforming ballads into something uptempo which was initally the problem I had with Precious -Q;indivi Celebration Remix- .

Then again comparing Precious -Q;indivi Celebration Remix- against Kiss me , I gladly listen to the former over the latter a lot more .

Yuna Ito returns after finishing a concert tour at university festivals around Japan with Mamotte Agetai , which's her 1st single release in a year .

While I'm happy that Yuna's finally back with something new , I was expecting a bit more from her . The A-side's ok but the B-sides kind of drag everything down to a certain extent which's a big pity because it's not as though Yuna cannot sing as she did released some of her best works to date which ironically or not are all ballads .

Hopefully she will have better luck next time & in celebration for 2010 being the 5th year anniversary of her music debut , she will be releasing her 1st best compilation album titled LOVE ~Singles Best 2005-2010~ on 8th Dec .

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Matsushita Yuya - Paradise

CD Regular



CD Limited With Photobook



CD Limited Pressing



CD + DVD





Paradise is Matsushita Yuya's 7th single . It will be released next month on 2nd Feb .

His 1st single release of 2011 , Paradise has been selected to be used as the theme song for the drama Quartet which he will be playing the lead role in Quartet .

In addition , Quartet will be his 1st TV drama role Matsushita be tackling at as an actor .

Paradise is a pleasant & easy listening R&B mid tempo ballad . I definitely have vibes of both Bird & 4 Seasons when I 1st heard Paradise .

I don't know if it's a good or bad thing but I feel that Paradise is a lot more better & somewhat more upbeat than what Bird had to offer .

Paradise is no doubt catchy on 1st listen for sure .

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

- Kimi no Koe (Your Voice)
- Loving Loved (CD Only Regular Edition Track)
- Secret Love Feat BRIGHT , SHUN (CD Only Limited Edition & CD + DVD's Track)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

ARASHI - Ano Hi no (That Day) Merry Christmas (Hatenai Sora's B-side)





Ano Hi no (That Day) Merry Christmas is a B-side taken from ARASHI's 34th single Hatenai Sora (Endless Sky) which was released on 10th Nov .

Hatenai Sora is currently being used as the theme song for the drama Freeter , ie wo kau , starring Ninomiya Kazunari .

Unlike STORY & maboroshi which both songs you only can find in the CD only edition of the single , Ano Hi no Merry Christmas is present in both editions of Hatenai Sora .

Even before you listen to Ano Hi no Merry Christmas , it's quite evident that it's a Christmas no. & what a nice one for that matter .

The last time the guys incorporated a Christmas B-side in their single was way back in their 21st single Step and Go which I enjoyed Fuyu wo Dakishimete (Embrace The Winter) .

Seeing that Christmas is looming around the corner , Ano Hi no Merry Christmas will definitely put you in a very festival mood when you give it a listen .

ARASHI released 6 singles this year , the most no. of singles they ever released within a 1 year duration .

I dislike Hatenai Sora initally but in due time , my opinions towards the song have changed for the better & I think the 3 B-sides included in the single is on par if not more superior than what the A-side has to offer .

It will be interesting to see what will be the guys's next move , seeing that they already have enough singles to fill up for a new album or whether will they drop another single release in the beginning of 2011 ?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tackey & Tsubasa - Ai wa Takaramono (Love Treasures)

CD



CD + DVD A



CD + DVD B





Ai wa Takaramono (Love Treasures) is Tackey & Tsubasa's 11th single . It will be released on 24th Nov & this's the duo's 1st release in 2 1/2 years since the release of their last single Koi Uta (Love Song) / PROGRESS .

The A-side has been described as a catchy touching no. that will melt their fans' hearts .

Oh my god , I never would have thought I waited so long for Tackey & Tsubasa to finally return with something new , after they have MIA on me for the past 2 1/2 years when each of them went on & do their own thing , releasing solo singles during the group's hiatus & ironically they never release any solo album(s) of their own when it happened .

But anyway , I think it's about fitting time both guys get back together to return something & I think Ai wa Takaramono is quite suitable for a single comeback .

On 1st listen , Ai wa Takaramono is actually a bit cheesy for my liking but considering that this's really their 1st proper group release in 2 1/2 years , I guess I can cut them some slack in a way or 2 .

Also , I noticed that both their vocals are a lot more stronger if not prominent which's a good thing & no doubt they compliment each other very well in the vocal department .

Cherry Sweet & Gimira serve as the B-sides of the single & both of them will not be reviewed .

At the meantime , I say Okaeri , Tackey & Tsubasa ! I hope I wouldn't have to wait this long for you guys again to release something new .


Ken Hirai - Aishiteru (I Love You)

Cover for both CD Regular & Limited editions





Aishiteru (I Love You) is Ken Hirai's 33rd single . It will be released on 10th Nov & this comes about less than a month after the release of Ken's previous single Sing Forever .

Ken's latest single has been selected to be used as the theme song for the movie Ghost & it will be released on the same day as Ken's Ken Hirai 15th Anniversary c/w Collection '95-'10 "Ura Utabaka" B-side compilation album .

Causal listeners of Ken Hirai will remember/know him for being best in delivering emotional driven ballads like Love Love Love , LAKuEN , even if & also Hitomi wo Tojite (Close Your Eyes) .

I don't know if it's fair to compare Aishiteru against those signature tunes of Ken but I like Aishiteru since all this while , ballads are a strength of Ken in his discography .

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

- air cameraman
- Unchained Melody
- Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru (I Fall In Love With You) (rei harakami remix)

Unchained Melody is a cover of the famous 1965 classic song sung by The Righteous Brothers and it will be used as an insert song for the movie Ghost .

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

CD Review :: Mika Nakashima - STAR

Cover For Both CD & CD + DVD's Editions



1) ALWAYS
2) Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo (Me Who's The Most Beautiful)
3) BABY BABY BABY
4) Over Load
5) GAME
6) SMILEY  
7) CANDY GIRL
8) LONELY STAR
9) No Answer
10) SPIRAL
11) Memory Feat DAISHI DANCE
12) 16 
13) Nagareboshi (Shooting Star)
14) SONG FOR A WISH




STAR is Mika Nakashima's 6th album . It was released on 27th Oct & Mika's last album release was 2008's VOICE .

5 singles & 5 B-sides are included in STAR . As such , you only get 3 new album tracks at the end of the day .

The 1st 2 songs in STAR are singles which Mika released prior to the release of her latest album .

ALWAYS is the 1st track in the album & it's also Mika's 31st single . ALWAYS was used as the theme song for the drama Sayonara Itsuka .

I don't know why Mika chooses to kick start STAR with ALWAYS because out of the singles which were included in STAR , ALWAYS is probably my least fave as even up to now , it's quite a dreary if not un-inspiring ballad for me to handle .

Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo (Me Who's The Most Beautiful) is Mika's 32nd single & it was used as the insert song for the drama Unubore Deka .

This's also the last if not latest single release being included in STAR too .

Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo is still a fantastic A-side single . Even up to now , this's a song that never fails to captivate me . Unlike ALWAYS , Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo strikes me as a tune which's a really under-stated good ballad of Mika .

Also , it helps that lyrically , Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo is so inspiring & meaningful .

BABY BABY BABY is the 1st B-side of ALWAYS & it was used as in the ads of LOTTE's Ghana Milk Chocolate .

I remembered way back when ALWAYS was released , I wrote that I adore both B-sides in the single as I feel they're superb if not more superior than the A-side & my opinion on this has not changed in any single bit .

It was great to listen to BABY BABY BABY after a while of absence as this's 1 B-side that I really like & I didn't mind Mika included it in STAR .

Over Load is Mika's 28th single & it was used in the ads of Lipton Limone .

Just like BABY BABY BABY , Over Load is another song which was nice to hear after I haven't heard it for a while . I still think this's 1 prominent single that Mika released in recent times as well .

GAME was originally found in Mika's compilation album NO MORE RULES. in which all the songs in NO MORE RULES. were all used in the ads of Kanebo Kate which Mika was their spokeswoman for the company for close to 7 years .

At that time when NO MORE RULES. was released , GAME was the only new song included in the compilation .

Well I initally thought that GAME would stay as so in NO MORE RULES. but apparently that's not the case when I found out it's being included in STAR . Regardless of which , GAME is still a kick ass no. which's a bit different from what Mika's known for .

SMILEY is the B-side no. of Mika's 29th single CANDY GIRL & both the A-side & B-side of the single have been slotted back to back with each other , with SMILEY taking position 1st hand .

I still like CANDY GIRL for it being real sassy & fun but wish I can say the same thing for SMILEY . I did tried to like SMILEY but I guess the laughter going on in the backdrop completely creeped me out in trying to do so .

LONELY STAR is STAR's 1st new album track & it has been described as an electro sounding tune .

I really like LONELY STAR on 1st listen because it's something that Mika usually doesn't do & she nails it well in this hot catchy track .

Also , I noticed that LONELY STAR gets even more prominent as each listen goes by which's great .

The next 3 songs in STAR are B-sides which were found in Mika's singles .

No Answer is the B-side of Mika's 28th single Over Load & it plays a nice contrast to the A-side in the sense that No Answer is a more stripped down version of Over Load .

Likewise , it applies for SPIRAL which's the 2nd B-side of Mika's 30th single ALWAYS . SPIRAL was used in the ads of KANEBO KATE & like what I said before , I adore both B-sides found in ALWAYS & it's still the same thing even up to now .

Memory is the B-side of Mika's 30th single Nagareboshi (Shooting Star) & just like SPIRAL , Memory was also used in the ads of KANEBO KATE .

For this track , it features DAISHI DANCE whom also remixed Mika's 25th single SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~ (Rose) a while back ago .

I like DAISHI DANCE's works & it goes the same thing for Memory in which the song's completely sung in English by Mika .

It's no doubt a tough task seeing that English's not Mika's 1st language but I was able to understand & grasp whole of what she's singing in Memory , which's not necessary a bad thing .

16 is STAR's 2nd new album track & it's such an under-stated ballad . It's simplistic at its best with Mika's vocals doing most of the work . The song's accompanied by a lovely acoustic guitar which I really like .

Nagareboshi is Mika's 30th single & it was used in the ads of House Mate . It's also the last single included in STAR as well .

I remembered when Nagareboshi was released , people were saying that it basically sounds like a poor cousin of Orion , in terms of the way both ballads sound like & that goes for song association titles too .

I don't have any issues with Nagareboshi as it's something that I don't mind to listen to but it wouldn't be considered as a fave prominent Mika ballad to me .

SONG FOR A WISH is the final track in STAR & it was used as the theme song for a Japanese drama SP Morino LOVE LETTER II ~Kandou ! Kuramoto Sou ga Okuru ... Chikyuu to Inochi no Kagayaki SP~ which was aired this year on Jan 9th on the TBS channel .

Mika was featured in the drama as a cast member .

Saving the best for last is this really 1 heck of a power ballad SONG FOR A WISH . You can feel just how emotional driven Mika sounds like in here & also exceptionally powerful her vocals are .

I was no doubt blown away on what SONG FOR A WISH had to offer & I think it's a perfect way to wrap up STAR with this solid no. .

Overall , STAR is a really enjoyable album by Mika Nakashima . Most of the songs on the album are already top notch in their own right .

Mika fans will scoff & say that STAR is a rip off in the sense that most if not all of the B-sides in the 5 singles being included in the album are already found here (except for the remixes of the A-sides) which leaves barely any form of new material for her to include .

Then again , the fact that I don't buy her singles , I don't have any issues with it & thankfully despite the very minimal new tracks included in STAR , they're really good & enjoyable to listen & I feel the album flows well from the start to the end .

STAR is well a star in its own right & with Mika Nakashima fast approaching the 10th anniversary of her debut , this definitely will not be the end of many more great things for this talented lady .




BREAKERZ - FAKE LOVE ~Acoustic Version~ (BUNNY LOVE / REAL LOVE 2010's B-side)





FAKE LOVE ~Acoustic Version~ serves as the B-side track in BREAKERZ's 9th single BUNNY LOVE / REAL LOVE 2010 which was released last week on 3rd Nov .

The original take of the song was 1st found as track #6 in the guys's 1st mini album Ao no Mirai (Blue Future) which was released 2 years ago on 2nd April .

FAKE LOVE (be it in the original or acoustic modes) was written by frontman lead singer DAIGO & composed by guitarist AKIHIDE .

A concert staple fave , FAKE LOVE is 1 of my fave songs of the guys & let alone from Ao no Mirai . So when it was announced the guys will be making an acoustic version of the song , I was really surprised if not happy as this's 1 song I never expect them to do something like that .

It gets even better when I gave FAKE LOVE ~Acoustic Version~ a listen because it's extremely unique if not different from the original & I didn't expect a very strong French influence overtaking the song in a good way .

If that's not enough , FAKE LOVE ~Acoustic Version~ has a more sensual sexy lush side attached , coming from the way DAIGO sings in the song which's awesome in order to keep up with the whole mood/concept that BUNNY LOVE / REAL LOVE 2010 presents .

The guys are full of surprises & FAKE LOVE ~Acoustic Version~ is no exception . I can definitely see (hear) this being played in a bar & kudos to guitarist AKIHIDE for doing such a great job in composing both the original & acoustic takes of FAKE LOVE .

BUNNY LOVE / REAL LOVE 2010 is overall another fantastic single that BREAKERZ delivered & this's probably their most daring if not bold release to date , given the somewhat explicit nature presented by both A-sides , lyrics wise .

Then again , it takes a lot of guts for the guys to release songs in this vein especially for REAL LOVE 2010 but judging from how well the single has performed on Oricon , I say it's a great move they have chose to undertake & FAKE LOVE ~Acoustic Version~ basically sweetens the whole deal tremendously .

As a longtime fan of the guys , I'm real proud of them as they have come a long way since their early days & I so can't wait to see what else they have in store as I know , it's only nothing but the best BREAKERZ delivers .



Monday, November 08, 2010

Fukuyama Masaharu - Kokoro (Heart) color ~a song for the wonderful year~ & Ishikoro no (Pebble) Pride





Kokoro (Heart) color ~a song for the wonderful year~ & Ishikoro no (Pebble) Pride are 2 new songs which's taken from Fukuyama Masaharu's greatest hits album THE BEST BANG !! which will be released next week on 17th Nov .

The BEST BANG !! consists of 40 songs in total which're spread out in 3 discs , inclusive of a 4th disc which contains 3 new songs , with Kokoro color ~a song for the wonderful year~ & Ishikoro no Pride being 2 of them .

Kokoro color ~a song for the wonderful year~ has been selected to be used in the ads of REGZA LCD TV Toshiba & out of the 3 new songs , it's the only no. which gets a video .

On 1st listen , Kokoro color ~a song for the wonderful year~ grabs my attention instantly because I basically like the whole feeling/vibes that this song gives .

Kokoro color ~a song for the wonderful year~ is a very uplifting cheery inspiring no. which's quite guitar & drums driven which's very nice .

The 2nd new song found in the 4th disc of THE BEST BANG !! , Ishikoro no Pride has been selected to used in the ads of Dunlop .

Unlike Kokoro color ~a song for the wonderful year~ which's really catchy on 1st listen , it took me quite a while to get the hang of Ishikoro no Pride .

Ishikoro no Pride is still a solid no. but I needed a few more listens to catch hold of how it sounds like . This mid tempo track is a bit old school to a certain extent which's cool & prior to the ending , the song has a shift in the change of melody which's surprising no doubt .

Michishirube (Signpost) 2010 is the 3rd song found in the 4th disc of THE BEST BANG !! which will be reviewed in due time .

The original take of Michishirube was found as track #14 in Fukuyama's 10th album Zankyou .

Sunday, November 07, 2010

CD Review :: Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)

2CDs



CD + DVD



CD + 2DVDs



Disc 1

1) Oriental Surfer
2) Monogram
3) Naka nai de Boku no Myuujiiku (Don't Cry My Music)
4) Baby Baby
5) LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ (~Looking Forward~)
6) BACK OFF
7) Negai (Wish)
8) Horuri (Touched) Melody
9) Wonderful World !!
10 realize
11) BOY
12) Animal Magic
13) Kyu(Fly)☆Jou(High)☆Show !!

Disc 2

1) monologue (Ryo Nishikido's Solo)
2) Kick (Maruyama Ryuhei's Solo)
3) Revolver (Subaru Shibutani's Solo) 
4) Doriiku Sutaa (Trick Star) (Yokoyama You's Solo)
5) Dear ... (Murakami Shingo's Solo)
6) TOPOP (Shota Yasuda's Solo)
7) Kitto Shiawase ga Kimi wo Matteru (Happiness Will Definitely Wait For You) (Okura Tadayoshi's Solo)
8) 『Te !!!!!!!』 (What !!!!!!!) (Kanjani∞)


8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) is Kanjani∞'s 4th album . It was released last month on 20th Oct & the guys's latest album release comes almost a 1 1/2 years since the group's last album PUZZLE .

3 singles are included in 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) . All songs taken from the group's Christmas trilogy single releases GIFT ~Shiro~ , GIFT ~Aka~ & GIFT ~Midori~ are not included .

Same thing as KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou & PUZZLE , 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) has a 2nd bonus disc containing solo songs & a group track . As such , I will review each disc separately on its own per say .

Disc 1

Disc 1 of 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) kicks things off with Oriental Surfer which's actually an instrumental piece that has quite strong vibes which reminds you of being in a beach surrounding .

I was surprised when I 1st heard Oriental Surfer because from what I know , Kanjani∞ has never began their albums with an introduction instrumental piece & let alone including 2 instrumental interludes in their records (which I will review about them later) but there's always a 1st for everything I suppose .

The next 4 songs on the album have taken on the guitar pop/rock route approach .

Monogram is the 1st of 4 songs which follows this concept & frankly I have no issues with the song . I suppose after hearing the next 3 songs which have this same sound , it dawns to me that the guys really do know how to utilise this aspect pretty well .

Naka nai de Boku no Myuujiiku (Don't Cry My Music) was 1 of the standalone songs I reviewed a while back ago & now that I'm able to hear a better quality of the tune , it's still 1 of my fave album tracks which I adore as it's basically a simple feel good catchy no. .

The same thing goes for Baby Baby which's something that I'm still not bored with until now . Lyrically , it's real meaningful & considering that 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) doesn't have that much ballads , I guess you can slot Baby Baby as the 1st album ballad which's nice .

LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ (~Looking Forward~) is Kanjani∞'s 15th single & it was used as the theme song for the drama GM ~Odore Doctor which starred member Okura Tadayoshi .

This song's actually the group's 1st single to be used in a drama .

I remembered when I 1st heard LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ , I was so bored with the song in that nothing stood out to me on 1st listen as I was so very used to the usual crazy pop songs they're known for .

But now it's a song that has grown on me significantly as sometimes doing something different ain't so bad after all .

BACK OFF is the album's 1st instrumental interlude & from this moment onwards , the album's music direction has began to take a different route .

Negai (Wish) is probably the only album ballad found in 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) & needless to say , this's quite a keeper for that matter . The guys keep everything pretty much fuss free & allow their vocals to do most of the work .

Horuri (Touched) Melody has very strong vibes of Ichibyou (One Second) KISS on 1st listen which Ichibyou KISS was found as the very 1st track in the guys's last album PUZZLE .

It's not a bad thing to me seeing that Ichibyou KISS was a great opening album no. for that matter .

Wonderful World !! is the guys's 14th single & it's those feel good crazy songs that's worth to listen to , especially if you want a song that doesn't take itself seriously & I think Wonderful World !! fits the bill really well .

realize is the last instrumental interlude which follows straight into BOY which's more or less almost in the same music vein as Wonderful World !! , except it's somewhat more subtle & less crazy .

Animal Magic serves unofficially or so as 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)'s main promotion track seeing that it gets a music video .

Well I wouldn't consider Animal Magic as a fave album track of mine but I'm sure the guys have their reasons for making a video in conjunction to Animal Magic so I leave things as it's .

Kyu(Fly)☆Jou(High)☆Show !! is Kanjani∞'s 10th single & it's also incidentally the last song in disc 1 of 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) & let alone the oldest single included in the album .

Even though it has been almost a year or so since Kyu☆Jou☆Show !! was released , it's still a song that I'm not bored of & it does get everyone in a really cheery party mood for sure .

Disc 2 consists of solo songs & a group track .

Disc 2

1) monologue (Ryo Nishikido's Solo)

monologue is written , composed & arranged by Ryo which's admirable but I have to admit I was bored with monologue on 1st listen .

It doesn't have that fire/spark which I like as compared to past solos that Ryo included in their previous albums & it took me quite a while to get the hang of how monologue is like .

monologue will not be considered as a fave Ryo solo of mine but I give him credit & due respect for doing everything hands on for all 3 aspects of this song .

2) Kick (Maruyama Ryuhei's Solo)

It's weird that Maruyama usually gets the weird solo songs in Kanjani∞ & frankly for something like Kick , I can see the whole group singing to this crazy upbeat driven no. .

Then again , Kick is not bad but I would like to see Maruyama tackle a ballad as a solo no. next time .

3) Revolver (Subaru Shibutani's Solo) 

Revolver is frankly not Subaru's best solo song . I have a bit of a dislike towards Revolver because I only am able to hear Subaru singing/shouting in the backdrop .

Also , I don't think his vocals work well against something that's hard rock & fast paced too . Subaru is best suited to sing something like Ryuu Ware which's still my fave solo song from him .

4) Doriiku Sutaa (Trick Star) (Yokoyama You's Solo)

Doriiku Sutaa is a fun song which I think suits Yokoyama's loud & outspoken personality .

Yokoyama's past solo songs were better but I'm fine with what he has to offer for Doriiku Sutaa .

5) Dear ... (Murakami Shingo's Solo)

I was really surprised when I listened to Dear ... because it's such a simple heartfelt ballad in which Murakami didn't need to do anything else to complicate things .

Murakami basically let his vocals let do most of the work & the result is this understated no. which I feel it's 1 of the standout solos in the 2nd disc of the album .

6) TOPOP (Shota Yasuda's Solo)

TOPOP is written & composed by Yasuda . It has almost the same music structure as Subaru's Revolver .

Except for Yasuda's case , it takes on a more cheery fun route which's pretty good for this rather catchy no. .

7) Kitto Shiawase ga Kimi wo Matteru (Happiness Will Definitely Wait For You) (Okura Tadayoshi's Solo)

Even before you listen to Kitto Shiawase ga Kimi wo Matteru , it's quite evident that it's going to be a ballad & what a really good job Okura did for this no. .

It's no Mamoritai (Protect) but I think Kitto Shiawase ga Kimi wo Matteru is good enough to rival the former .

Kitto Shiawase ga Kimi wo Matteru is quite emotional driven which Okura's being backed up simply by a piano & electric guitar which gives you this really touching song which I adore .

8) 『Te !!!!!!!』 (What !!!!!!!) (Kanjani∞)

The only song sung by everyone in disc 2 , this song's cowritten by Yasuda & Okura while Yasuda compose the song .

『Te !!!!!!!』 is basically a feel good pop/rock song . If you know how their charged up happy go lucky no.s sound like , then look no further than 『Te !!!!!!!』

Conclusion

Disc 1

If you exclude the singles & instrumentals pieces , I like the 1st disc of 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) . Also I noticed that the album flows quite well from the start to the end .

With the inclusion of the 2 instrumental pieces , you're able to sense the music direction the album takes which's pretty good as it seems to me that Kanjani∞ is shifting more towards a pop/rock song when comes to their album tracks which's something I don't mind as I like such songs in this vein .

The only problem I have is that unlike PUZZLE , I don't hear that much experimentation/variety going on 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) as much as I want to .

Disc 2

Aside from Murakami & Okura's solos which I feel are great , the other solo songs of the guys are either forgettable , un-inspiring if not un-memorable which's a big pity because I know everyone in Kanjani∞ is talented & can sing .

So the fact that this time round , most of their solo songs wasn't able to live up to scratch in my opinion , it's a big waste as it's not like they're not able to carry a tune or 2 on their own .

That & also some of the solo songs doesn't suit well with their vocals too which's a bad case of the wrong type of song being allocated to the wrong member to sing .

With that said , if Kanjani∞ plans to include another extra disc filled with solo songs in their next album , I sure hope this aspect will improve as the quality drops from PUZZLE to 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) is quite big in my opinion .




ARASHI - STORY (Hatenai Sora's B-side)





STORY serves as 1 of 3 B-sides in ARASHI's 34th single Hatenai Sora (Endless Sky) which will be released this coming Wed on 10th Nov .

Hatenai Sora is currently being used as the theme song for the drama Freeter , ie wo kau , starring Ninomiya Kazunari & it's a positive & lively song which aims to lend some hope & encouragement to their fans .

Just like maboroshi , STORY is also only found in the CD only edition of the single .

STORY is fantastic on 1st listen ! I love it that I was drawn into the song immediately when I 1st heard it as it's a really upbeat & downright catchy memorable track .

I feel that STORY sounds like Believe to a certain extent (without the Sakurap) , except it's being given a more updated spin & it definitely contrasts Hatenai Sora really well .

Ano Hi no (That Day) Merry Christmas is the last B-side in Hatenai Sora which I will review in due time & no surprises before doing so , it's a Christmas no. .

Saturday, November 06, 2010

NEWS - Fighting Man's B-sides

CD Regular



CD Limited




The following songs serve as B-sides in NEWS's 13th single Fighting Man which was released on 3rd Nov :

- 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)

The A-side Fighting Man is a fierce party rock tune that will get its listeners pumped with energy .

Gamushara Cha Cha Cha is a cute pop song but I feel it borderlines on the cheese factor . Unlike Happy Birthday's Gan Gan Ganbatte (Go Go Go For It !) which I don't mind , it took me a while in trying to like Gamushara Cha Cha Cha .

The next 2 songs are only found in the regular edition of Fighting Man .

Just like Gamushara Cha Cha Cha , I took quite a while to try liking Winter Moon as I found it quite boring if not un-memorable . Also , with a song title like Winter Moon , I was expecting Winter vibes but I wasn't able to detect any going on in the song .

Ai wa Simple na Curry Rice follows almost in the same music vein as Gamushara Cha Cha Cha , music wise but unlike the former , I don't mind Ai wa Simple na Curry Rice as lyrically , it's quite touching & the title of the song's cute too .

Only found in the limited edition of Fighting Man , it's Wake Up & it's also the last B-side to review .

Wake Up was actually found in the inital tracklist for the guys's 4th latest album LIVE & it has been described as a sequel to FLY AGAIN , which was found in their previous album colour .

Out of the 4 B-sides , I consider Wake Up as probably the B-side no. in Fighting Man . I don't know why the guys excluded Wake Up in LIVE as the song immediately grabbed my attention instantly on 1st listen .

I can understand why the song's stated as a sequel to FLY AGAIN as melody wise , it's quite similar except it's more spiffy & updated which's fantastic .

I had quite a bit of a dislike towards NEWS's latest single Fighting Man but the song has grown on me significantly . B-sides wise , I feel they're much weaker than what their last single Sakura Girl offered .

Then again , I still feel NEWS's 1 of the few Johnny's that have been putting out consistently good material from their debut til now & with a great B-side on standby in Fighting Man ie. Wake Up , there shouldn't be any reason for you not to give their latest single a shot .

Friday, November 05, 2010

Kobukuro - Ryusei (Meteor)




Ryusei (Meteor) is Kobukuro's 19th single . It will be released on 17th Nov & this comes about a year & 4 months since the release of their previous single STAY .

The duo's latest release has been selected to be used as the theme song for the Fuji TV drama Nagareboshi & this time round , the single doesn't include any B-sides .

Ryusei is basically classic Kobukuro . I like their ballads so I wasn't surprised when I warm up to Ryusei more or less instantly .

You can feel how heartwarming the song's & let alone how emotional driven it's without going over the top & I think the song fits well in promoting Nagareboshi too , aside from the similiarity of title associations .

Definitely a good comeback single of the duo in my books .



Thursday, November 04, 2010

kanon x kanon - Calendula Requiem

CD Regular



CD Limited



CD + DVD





Calendula Requiem is a song sung by kanon x kanon & it will be released on 17th Nov .

Kanon Wakeshima pairs up with Visuel Kei band An Cafe's bassist Kanon to form a special musical unit titled kanon x kanon to sing the 2nd opening theme song for the horror anime Shiki (Corpse Demon) .

The group has been dubbed a "genius musical unit from the 2.5 dimension" in the press release .

The media statement also describes the group as having a sound based around Japanese-ness . Kanon left a note at her official site , saying that she was surprised by the offer , since Shiki was an anime she was watching a lot of recently .

Calendula Requiem debuted as the opening theme song for Shiki last month on 14th Oct .

I like Kanon Wakeshima's solo works but I have to say Calendula Requiem is nothing like what she does in solo mode . It's a bit hard for me to explain just how fantastic Calendula Requiem is , seeing that the type of music Kanon does , it's not exactly mainstream stuff .

Then again , I think it's great that she's given a chance to work with An Cafe's Kanon to work on this really futuristic Classical meets JRock song as I haven't come across any other artistes besides her who does the same type of music .

The Doll House ! & Umigame (Sea Turtle) Soup serve as B-sides in the single .


Blog Personnel









Karen Pang

# 10th Jan

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













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

# My LiveJournal

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



























♥ ♥ ♥ BREAKERZ ♥ ♥ ♥



















Upcoming New JPop/JRock Releases


# Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 7th album PARADE , 301019 , Wed

# Atae Shinjiro (AAA) × Aoyama Thelma duet Suki Suki Suki , 301019 , Wed

# Koda Kumi's 17th album re(CORD) , 131119 , Wed

# Kis-My-Ft2's 25th single Edge of Days , 131119 , Wed

# ayumi hamasaki's LOVEppears / appears -20th Anniversary Edition- , 101119 , Mon

# Ken Hirai's 46th single #302 , 041219 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme LIVE 2019 "MILESTONE 10th" DVD + Blu-ray , 181219 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme LIVE 2019 "MILESTONE 10th" live album , 181219 , Wed

# BREAKERZ × Detective Conan COLLABORATION BEST , 181219 , Wed

# UVERworld's 10th album title tbc , 2019

# GLAY's best album REVIEW II , 2020

# NEWS's 11th album STORY , 2020

# flumpool's 5th album title tbc , 2020




Album Reviews


# SID - Shonin Yokkyu

# KAT-TUN - IGNITE

# B'z - NEW LOVE

# GRANRODEO - FAB LOVE

# Kis-My-Ft2 - FREE HUGS!

# Matsushita Yuya - BLACK NEVERLAND

# NEWS - WORLDISTA

# Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme

# Yamashita Tomohisa - UNLEASHED

# BENI - CINEMATIC

# ayaka - 30 y/o

# GRANRODEO - M・S COWBOY no Gyakushuu EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - SENSE or LOVE

# Koda Kumi - DNA

# Shota Shimizu - WHITE

# SID - Ichiban Sukina Basho EP

# Aoyama Thelma - HIGHSCHOOL GAL

# ayumi hamasaki - TROUBLE EP

# Hilcrhyme - One Man EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Yummy!!

# NEWS - EPCOTIA

# FLOWER FLOWER - Spotlight

# Koda Kumi - AND

# B'z - DINOSAUR

# ARASHI - 「untitled」

# BREAKERZ - X

# Aoyama Thelmas - 10TH DIARY

# SPYAIR - KINGDOM

# SID - NOMAD

# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

# Ken Hirai - Utabaka Dake ni.

# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry

# Kis-My-Ft2 - MUSIC COLOSSEUM

# Mika Nakashima - TOUGH

# NEWS - NEVERLAND

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

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN

# MUSCLE ATTACK - HERCULES ROAD

# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG

# NEWS - QUARTETTO

# AKi - EPHEMERAL EP

# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP

# BREAKERZ - 0-ZERO-

# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

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

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road

# THE TURTLES JAPAN - ELECTRONIC HUMANITY

# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL

# MUSCLE ATTACK - ATTACK

# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White

# FLOWER FLOWER - Shiki EP

# AKi - ARISE

# FLOWER FLOWER - Mi

# ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN

# Anna Tsuchiya - LUCIFER EP

# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Asobi EP

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

# ayumi hamasaki - Colours

# KAT-TUN - come Here

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

# Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN

# Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - THE BEST

# JASMINE - Welcome to Jas Vegas

# SID - OUTSIDER

# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

# Hilcrhyme - FIVE ZERO ONE

# DAIGO - DAIGOLD

# Koda Kumi - Bon Voyage

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP

# ARASHI - LOVE

# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx

# SPYAIR - MILLION

# BENI - Red

# ON/OFF - DICE EP

# NEWS - NEWS

# Namie Amuro - FEEL

# AKIHIDE - Amber

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

# girl next door - Life of Sound

# V6 - Oh ! My ! Goodness !

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE again

# Mika Nakashima - REAL

# flumpool - experience

# ayumi hamasaki - again EP

# Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

# ARASHI - Popcorn

# Domoto Koichi - Gravity

# SPYAIR - Just Do It

# SID - M&W

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Ero

# Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP WORLD

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

# Acid Black Cherry - 『2012』

# Shota Shimizu - Naturally

# ayumi hamasaki - Party Queen

# Matsushita Yuya - 2U

# KAT-TUN - CHAIN

# Kuroki Meisa - UNLOCKED

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - BUTTERFLY

# ayaka - The beginning

# Koda Kumi - JAPONESQUE

# Kuriyama Chiaki - CIRCUS Deluxe Edition

# girl next door - Agaruneku !

# Hilcrhyme - RISING

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

# BENI - Fortune

# YUI - HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - 45 STONES

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Mahou

# SPYAIR - Rockin' the World

# BREAKERZ - GO

# ayumi hamasaki - FIVE EP

# B'z - C'mon

# School Food Punishment - Prog-Roid

# ARASHI - Beautiful World

# Aoyama Thelma - WILL

# Ken Hirai - JAPANESE SINGER

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - Destination

# Tackey & Tsubasa - TRIP & TREASURE EP

# Shota Shimizu - COLORS

# Koda Kumi - Dejavu

# SID - dead stock

# flumpool - Fantasia of Life Stripe

# Yamashita Tomohisa - SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD

# Kuroki Meisa - MAGAZINE

# ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

# BENI - Jewel

# Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - ARE YOU READY ?

# Mika Nakashima - STAR

# Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)

# GLAY - GLAY

# Anna Tsuchiya - RULE

# NEWS - LIVE

# JASMINE - GOLD

# Domoto Koichi - BPM

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE ! 2

# Hilcrhyme - Recital

# ARASHI - Boku no Miteiru Fukei

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

# YUI - HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP NO.1

# KAT-TUN - NO MORE PAIИ

# BENI - Lovebox

# Matsushita Yuya - I AM ME

# Acid Black Cherry - Q.E.D.

# Acid Black Cherry - BLACK LIST

# school food punishment - amp-reflection

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Ai EP

# BREAKERZ - B.R.Z ACOUSTIC EP

# ayumi hamasaki - Rock'n'Roll Circus

# V6 - READY ?

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - HELLO CRAZY GENTLEMAN

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - The space toy

# Shota Shimizu - Journey

# Koda Kumi - UNIVERSE

# NEVER LAND - Beautiful Days EP

# abingdon boys school - ABINGDON ROAD

# BENI - Bitter & Sweet

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - NEXT FUTURE

# LANDS - Olympos EP

# flumpool - What's flumpool !?

# Kuroki Meisa - ATTITUDE EP

# Yusuke - Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo.

# KinKi Kids - J album

# Namie Amuro - PAST < FUTURE

# BREAKERZ - FIGHTERZ

# alan - my life

# LOVE - LOVE.IT EP

# B'z - MAGIC

# Dew - PRESENT

# Saito Kazuyoshi - Tsuki ga Noboreba

# Aoyama Thelma - Emotions

# SID - hikari

# Kobukuro - CALLING

# Domoto Koichi - mirror

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Uta

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

# Fukuyama Masaharu - Zankyou

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shinshoku Dolce

# GReeeeN - Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER-

# flumpool - Unreal EP

# Yuna Ito - DREAM

# Kanjani∞ - PUZZLE

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

# Kuroki Meisa - hellcat EP

# Kanjani∞ - KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou

# ayumi hamasaki - NEXT LEVEL

# Utada Hikaru - DEEP RIVER

# Utada - This Is The One

# Kanjani∞ - KJ1 F·T·O

# ARASHI - Dream"A"Live

# Kanjani∞ - Kansha ni Eight EP

# alan - Voice of EARTH

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE !

# Koda Kumi - TRICK

# Aoyama Thelma - DIARY

# YUI - I LOVED YESTERDAY

# YUI - CAN'T BUY MY LOVE

# BREAKERZ - BREAKERZ

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - GIRL NEXT DOOR

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu

# YUI - FROM ME TO YOU

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Hajimemashite

# BREAKERZ - CRASH & BUILD

# ai otsuka - LOVE LETTER

# Mika Nakashima - VOICE

# BREAKERZ - BIG BANG !

# NEWS - color

# Anna Tsuchiya - NUDY SHOW !

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 3 : Senior Year

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - KISS

# BREAKERZ - Ao no Mirai EP

# ai otsuka - LOVE PUNCH

# ai otsuka - LOVE COOK

# ai otsuka - LOVE JAM

# KAT-TUN - cartoon KAT-TUN II You

# OLIVIA - Trinka Trinka EP

# NEWS - touch

# NEWS - pacific

# ARASHI - Iza , Now

# ARASHI - One

# NANA Triple Billing

# OLIVIA - The Cloudy Dreamer EP

# Anna Tsuchiya - strip me ?

# ARASHI - ARASHIC

# KAT-TUN - Best of KAT-TUN

# Anna Tsuchiya - Taste My Beat EP

# ARASHI - Time

# Electrico - We Satellites

# ayaka - Sing to the Sky

# ayaka - First Message

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

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~BOUNCE & LOVERS~

# Jesse McCartney - Departure

# The Veronicas - Hook Me Up

# Ken Hirai - LIFE is ...

# Ashlee Simpson - Bittersweet World

# Ken Hirai - gaining through losing

# Yuna Ito - HEART

# Utada Hikaru - HEART STATION

# Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

#
Yuna Ito - WISH

# Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers

# Koda Kumi - Kingdom

# ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

# abingdon boys school - abingdon boys school

# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

# ayumi hamasaki - RAINBOW

# The Great Spy Experiment - Flower Show Riots

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~second session~

# The Click Five - Modern Minds And Pastimes

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 2

# Koda Kumi - Black Cherry

# Namie Amuro - PLAY

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

# ayumi hamasaki - Memorial address EP

# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

# Mika Nakashima - YES

# Jamie Michael - People Watching

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

# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean




Other Posts Worth Checking Out


# Fave Songs Of 2010

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2010

# Fave Albums Releases Of 2010

# Fave Songs Of 2009

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2009

# Fave Albums Releases For 2009

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

# Fave New Acts Of 2008

# Fave Songs Of 2008

# Fave Singles Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2008

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

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

# Fave Albums Of 2007

# The Click Five - The Band Behind The Band Documentary

# 987 Control Songlist Set

# Hot Review Of Maksim's Electrik

# Lu Yong Find My Shoes Journey

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




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Credits

designer - Chronicles

imageeditor - adobephotoshop

music - radioblogclub

image - fortminorwebsite