Friday, December 31, 2010

Fave Songs Of 2010


Just in time before 2011 comes knocking on my door in a few hours's time , this's my final 2010 recap posts in the form of songs that I came across which were released in 2010 .

In here , it just means that I only listen to the A-sides & not the full single with the B-sides & this includes digital single relases too .

I will just do the list in alphabetical order .

Aoyama Thelma

- 23


Aqua Timez

- Ehagaki no Haru (Spring Of The Illustrated Postcards)
- GRAVITY Ø


Fukuyama Masaharu

- Kokoro (Heart) color ~a song for the wonderful year~
- Ishikoro no (Pebble) Pride
- Michishirube (Signpost) 2010


Kobukuro

- Ryuusei (Meteor)
- I LOVE YOU
- Sotsugyou Shashin (Graduation Photo)
- Mikazuki (Crescent Moon)


L'Arc~en~Ciel

- BLESS


OLIVIA

- Sunlight
- Be your friend


Tackey & Tsubasa

- Ai wa Takaramono (Love Treasures)


Suga Shikao

- Sayonara (Goodbye) Home Run
- Ameagari no Asa ni (The Morning After Rain)


UVERworld

- GOLD
- Qualia
- NO.1


V6

- only dreaming / Catch


With that , happy 2011 everybody ! May 2011 be yet another exciting year for the jpop/rock music scene .

To me 2010 was yet another really a good jpop year (some said it's not & etc) but I think it boils down to the fact that I listened to a lot of artistes & my taste in music are quite broad which I feel it's not boring when you cherry pick & choose who to listen at the end of the day .

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fave Singles Releases Of 2010


After doing up my fave albums release for 2010 , in comes part 2 which're singles that I came across during 2009 .

When I said singles , it means that I listen to the whole single in full , from the A-sides to the B-sides & sometimes even remixes .

Because of the sheer volume of singles , I will divide the single categories to female solo artistes , male solo artistes , rock bands & the list goes on .

In each category , I will list the artistes in alphabetical order to smooth things out .

Digital singles & etc will be filed under the fave songs releases for 2010 entry .

Without a-do , let's hit it !

Female Solo Artistes Singles Releases

ai otsuka

- I ♥ xxx

alan

- Diamond / Over the clouds
- Kaze ni Mukau Hana (The Flower Which Faces The Wind)
- Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru (Sadness Is Sleeping In The Snow)

Aoyama Thelma

- Fall in Love (Aoyama Thelma x SOL from BIGBANG)
- Kaeru Basho (Place To Come Home To)
- Summer Love !! Feat RED RICE from Shonannokaze

ayumi hamasaki

- MOON / blossom
- crossroad
- L

BENI

- Sign
- bye bye
- Yura Yura (Slowly Shaking) / Gimme Gimme♥
- Heaven's Door
- 2FACE

JASMINE

- This Is Not A Game
- Jealous
- Dreamin'

Koda Kumi

- Can We Go Back
- Gossip Candy
- Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. (I Like You , I Like You , I Like You.) / Anata Dake ga (Only You)

Kuroki Meisa

- 5-FIVE-
- LOL !

Mika Nakashima

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

Namie Amuro

- Break It / Get Myself Back

YUI

- GLORIA
- to Mother
- Rain

Male Solo Artistes Singles Releases

Fukuyama Masaharu

- Hotaru (Firefly) / Shounen (Boy)

Himuro Kyosuke

- BANG THE BEAT / Safe And Sound

Imai Tsubasa

- BACKBORN

Ken Hirai

- Sing Forever
- Aishiteru (I Love You)

Matsushita Yuya

- Trust Me
- YOU
- Bird / 4 Seasons

Saito Kazuyoshi

- Zutto Suki Datta (I Have Always Liked You)

Shota Shimizu

- GOODBYE
- Kimi ga Kurasu Machi (The Town Where You Live)

Collaboration singles

kanon x kanon - Calendula Requiem

Shota Shimizu x Miliyah Kato - FOREVER LOVE

URATA NAOYA Feat ayumi hamasaki - Dream ON

Bands Singles Releases

GIRL NEXT DOOR

- Freedom
- Ready to be a lady
- Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ / Hoshizora Keikaku

Hilcrhyme

- Daijoubu (Alright)
- Loose Leaf
- Travel Machine

ON / OFF

- Butterfly

school food punishment

- future nova / after laughter

Rock Bands Singles Releases

BREAKERZ

- Gekijou (Passion) / hEaVeN
- BUNNY LOVE / REAL LOVE 2010

flumpool

- Zanzou (After Image)
- reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ (~Do Not Give Up Song~) / Nagareboshi (Shooting Star)
- Kimi ni Todoke (Reaching You)

GLAY

- Precious

SID

- sleep
- Rain
- cosmetic
- Ranbu no (Wild Dance) Melody

Johnny's Bands Singles Releases

ARASHI

- Troublemaker
- Monster
- To be free
- Løve Rainbow
- Dear Snow
- Hatenai Sora (Endless Sky)

Kanjani∞

- Wonderful World !!
- LIFE ~Menomae no Mukou e~ (~Looking Forward~)

KAT-TUN

- Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ (~I Hate You I Love You~)
- Going !
- CHANGE UR WORLD

KinKi Kids

- Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ (~The Thing That Becomes One~)

NEWS

- Sakura Girl
- Fighting Man

Part 3 which will be on fave songs that were released during 2010 will be up & running soon .


Aqua Timez - Mayonaka no (Midnight) Orchestra





Mayonaka no (Midnight) Orchestra is Aqua Timez's 13th single . It will be released on 26th Jan .

The group's new single has been selected to be used as the ending theme song for the anime NARUTO - Shippuden .

This is also a collaboration between NARUTO - Shippuden & fashion retailer UNIQLO . Mayonaka no Orchestra will also be used as the theme song of an original animation being given away to buyers , in line with special Naruto x Uniqlo T-shirts that will be sold from 1st Jan onwards .

Aqua Timez never fails to disappoint me & the same thing applies to Mayonaka no Orchestra which's a great inspiring catchy track .

On 1st listen , Mayonaka no Orchestra is very Niji (Rainbow) inspired to a certain extent which I think it's alright considering that Niji is 1 of my fave songs of the guys & girl .

Aqua Timez's past singles were used to promote other animes such as BLEACH & the anime movie Bleach : Memories of Nobody but this's the 1st time that their song will be used to promote NARUTO - Shippuden & with such an enpowering song like Mayonaka no Orchestra , they can do no wrong that's for sure .

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

- Kaze ni Fukarete (Blowing In The Wind) -> selected to be used as the theme song for the 90th annual National High School Rugby Football tournament
- Full a Gain

Both B-sides will not be reviewed .




flumpool - two of us





two of us is found as track #2 in flumpool's 2nd album Fantasia of Life Stripe which will be released on 26th Jan 2011 .

The song has been selected to be used to promote Fuji TV's variety show Ainori which it began its 1st broadcast from Christmas onwards .

two of us is slotted in between Kimi ni Todoke (Reaching You) & reboot ~Akiramenai Uta~ (~Do Not Give Up Song~) inside Fantasia of Life Stripe & is considered as the 1st album track in the tracklist .

Due to this , I guess two of us borrows traits from both single songs which kind of make things hard for me to catch hold of two of us on 1st listen .

two of us is a cheery mid tempo song but at this point in time , I don't think I will consider this as a fave album track of mine from flumpool .

Maybe & hopefully the other album tracks from Fantasia of Life Stripe will be better & more distinct , sound wise .

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fave Albums Releases Of 2010


Oh this's it . My annual music blog segment where I will give the low down of my fave albums , singles & songs that were released in 2010 .

1st up will be albums .

I wouldn't be writing those worst songs/singles/albums of the year type of crap since I don't like to write about such bitchy/negative stuff unlike some music blogs I know / came across , cough cough .

So anyway here goes !

Album Of 2010

ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

2010 was awesome for ayumi hamasaki in many sense , music wise & I wrote before that I adore Love songs a lot more than her 1st album offering for 2010 , Rock'n'Roll Circus .

Salute to Tetsuya Komuro for being an absolute genius for composing 10 songs out of 16 tracks in Love songs & this result in the album sounding a lot better than the album title .

ayumi hamasaki is someone that I really respect a great deal . 4 years on & counting , I'm still supporting/listening to her & I was no doubt impressed on what Love songs had to offer .

For that , this gets my vote for album of 2010 !

Best Debut Album

Hilcrhyme - Recital

This very exciting hip hop/rap duo has been making waves in the Japan music business , ever since they finally tasted success with their 2nd single Shunkashuutou .

I'm not a big fan of hip hop/rap that much but Hilcrhyme really opened my ears (eyes) in breaking down the misconceptions that I used to have towards hip hop/rap .

Recital is a very enjoyable debut album & it's a real sleek polished offering of the duo with various experimentations going on , which makes things even more fun to listen to .

Other honourable mentions

Matsushita Yuya - I AM ME

1 of my fave artistes which I stumbled upon by chance , I AM ME is a solid debut album offering by R&B starlet Matsushita Yuya & credits goes to his mentor/composer Jin Nakamura for giving his magic touch towards MY's music .

I have been following MY's music journey from his 2nd single LAST SNOW all the way til now . He didn't had success initally but I knew there's something special about him , given his voice , songs & music that he has to offer & Trust Me was able to raise his profile up a great deal .

Hopefully 2011 will see MY dishing out even more great music as this's 1 artiste that I'm generally pleased on what he has to offer .

school food punishment - amp-reflection

1 of the most unique debut album offerings for 2010 has to come from school food punishment .

I haven't come across any other bands that does a mean mix of indie rock with synths & other aggressive beats thrown in for good measures .

Most of the singles included in their debut album amp-reflection are quite in your face but they managed to balance things out with soothing calm album tracks .

They did not release anything for 2010 after amp-reflection & I hope they can return back with a new single in 2011 because they're really under-rated & more people should know more about them !

Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP NO.1

After almost a 3 years long wait , this 10 piece Johnny's group finally released their debut album JUMP NO.1 & what a worthwhile wait it has been .

JUMP NO.1 showcase some really good from teens to almost adult songs without sounding desperate & everyone even chipped in when comes to writing some of the singing & rapping lyrics in the album which's really worth in commending about .

Good things are sometimes worth waiting for & for this , it really does fit for JUMP NO.1 indeed .

JASMINE - GOLD

A fitting title for a debut album , GOLD is indeed well solid gold coming from this very talented if not quirky R&B/Pop singer/songwriter JASMINE .

I was intrigued in the various get up's that she donned for each release of hers & I was indeed surprised when I found out what really powerful crystal clear vocals she has & that she does most of her own writing/composing in her discography which's awesome .

I like what she has to offer & I'm psyched for her in releasing her 6th single ONE in 2011 .

Best Album - Male Solo Artiste

Saito Kazuyoshi - ARE YOU READY ?

Last year , I crowned Saito Kazuyoshi's Tsuki ga Noboreba in the same category & truth be told , I wasn't surprised when I decided to crown his follow up 14th album ARE YOU READY ? in the Best Album - Male Solo Artiste category again .

I hold Saito Kazuoyshi in great respect & even though ARE YOU READY ? is slightly weaker than Tsuki ga Noboreba , it's still worthy of a listen , judging on how much he emphasised on quality rather than quantity .

Other honourable mentions

Shota Shimizu - Journey

Journey is a pretty solid album offering from talented R&B singer/songwriter Shota Shimizu . I dislike his debut album Umbrella which I found that to be a really big bore but Journey was really enjoyable on so many levels .

Shota is said to be releasing his 3rd album on 9th March & I really cannot wait to hear what else he has in store !

Domoto Koichi - BPM

It has been nearly 4 years since 1 1/2 of KinKi Kids aka Domoto Koichi released a solo album & honestly , I never expect this coming from Koichi , considering the time difference gap between his debut album mirror & BPM is quite long .

BPM is nice but I still feel that mirror is better than Koichi's latest album offering in the sense that most of the album tracks in mirror have a distinct unique identity while for BPM , a lot of the songs took me quite sometime to remember/get the hang of things & I guess for that , BPM suffered in this sense .

Then again , there's no doubt/question that I admire Koichi's composing skills a great deal .

Best Album - Female Solo Artiste

Kanon Wakeshima - Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~

What an awesome 2nd album being dished out by cellist Kanon Wakeshima . I was really worried when she went MIA on me after she released her debut album Shinshoku Dolce but it's heartening to know that she came back with a much stronger album .

Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ is a lot more cheery & less dark . Unlike Shinshoku Dolce , Kanon has a more hands on approach this time round & in addition to writing the lyrics for the whole album , she even compose 1/2 of Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ .

Hopefully I wouldn't have to wait that long for Kanon to release something new but you can always count on her to deliver unique/extraordinary music at its best .

Other honourable mentions

Kuroki Meisa - ATTITUDE

Kuroki's 2nd mini album offering is quite enjoyable but I feel it's weaker than her debut mini album hellcat which totally rocks even up to now .

I guess the setback that ATTITUDE had was the un-necessary inclusion of interludes which I feel it would have been much better if she excluded those .

Anyway , I'm waiting in anticipation for her to release her full length debut album MAGAZINE & I'm psyched up for that .

Koda Kumi - UNIVERSE

UNIVERSE was released with Koda's 5th best album BEST ~third universe~ .

This best + original album concept was dubbed BEST ~third universe~ & 8th AL "UNIVERSE" .

I like the singles that were included in UNIVERSE but I still feel that the album tracks sound really weak & it makes things hard for the songs to stack up if not be on par with the singles .

Hopefully I wouldn't have that problem when she's releasing her new album Dejavu in Feb 2011 as she worked hard to get to where she's at currently & she had a fruitful 10th anniversary in 2010 as well .

ayumi hamasaki - Rock'n'Roll Circus

Rock'n'Roll Circus was ayumi's 1st album which she gets her material recorded/mastered in London .

I don't think it's fair to compare Rock'n'Roll Circus against Love songs because both have different sounds & each has their own unique strength/weakness .

I generally like most songs that ayumi has released & the same thing applies to Rock'n'Roll Circus . The 1 flaw that the album has which Love songs was able to overpower things was that the album tracks found in Rock'n'Roll Circus were that it contains quite a lot of ballads which kind of contradict the album title as so .

BENI - Lovebox

Not as good as Bitter & Sweet but still you have to hand it to BENI for including some of her best singles in her 2nd album Lovebox .

The fact that Lovebox became her 1st ever release to debut at #1 on the Oricon , she has come a long way since her avex trax days .

I somehow have a dislike towards some of the album tracks in Lovebox which hopefully I'm able to change/remove that stigma in due time .

BENI - Jewel

Released some 6 months after Lovebox is BENI's 3rd album Jewel .

This really surprised me a great deal & I was scared whether will it be another rushed record but my fears were unfounded when I listened to the album & the tracks were much stronger/memorable than what Lovebox has to offer .

It's not easy to release an album with just 2 singles while the weight of the shoulders has to lie with the album tracks but thankfully , it's a big improvement from Lovebox .

Anna Tsuchiya - RULE

Not exactly the kind of comeback I was expecting from 1 of my fave musicians Anna Tsuchiya , since RULE contains some of her weakest singles to date in her discography .

Thankfully , the album tracks in RULE totally put Atashi & Shout in the rain to shame super big time & I was so relieved when I found she was basically saving all the good/great stuff in the album .

Anna's 1 of my fave musicians & even though RULE didn't performed as well as her 1st 2 albums , with great album tracks like that , I'm more than satisfied on this .

YUI - HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

YUI's 1st album release in over 2 years , HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN is also her 1st album to get released under gr8 records too .

The singles on the album are solid but it's the album tracks which showcase a completely new side of her .

Depending on whether if this's good or bad , I leave it to people to decide but a little experimentation outside of her music comfort zone doesn't hurt as it beats getting stuck in a music rut .

Mika Nakashima - STAR

Fast approaching the 10th anniversary of her debut in the music scene , Mika Nakashima delivered 1 heck of an album with STAR which's her 1st album release in 2 years since 2008's VOICE .

STAR is pretty much a star in its own right but what I like about the album are the album tracks . Despite the very little amount of new material , they were able to have an unique identity of their own which they weren't overpowered by the singles & B-sides which made the cut in STAR .

Best Album - Johnny's Band

ARASHI - Boku no Miteiru Fukei

Boku no Miteiru Fukei became ARASHI's 1st studio album to achieve a million copies worth of sales & what makes things even more remarkable's that the album was released in only 1 standard edition .

It's no open secret that I dislike their last album Dream"A"Live a great deal . As such , I feel that Boku no Miteiru Fukei is such a big improvement on pretty much every single level even though solos wise , nothing will ever beat the solo songs which were found in Time .

Still , the amount of input their staff gave towards Boku no Miteiru Fukei is a lot more than what I expected & for that , Boku no Miteiru Fukei deserves its #1 spot in the Oricon yearly album chart .

Other honourable mentions

LANDS - Olympos

Released to concide with the movie LANDS , Olympos is a pretty neat album with songs that're sung by the ex 2nd lead co-vocalist of KAT-TUN , Akanishi Jin .

In Olympos , Akanishi tackled each song with fine mighty gusto & also kudos to Mr.Children's & Remioromen's producer Kobayashi Takeshi , who had a hand in overseeing every little tiny detail to ensure nothing but the best's expected from Olympos .

V6 - READY ?

The 1st V6 album I ever listened to & what a solid record this's . They have been in the business for close to 15 years & they show no signs of slowing down .

Way before my JPop/rock music journey officially started , I was already listening to some of their classic songs & it's a nice experience to listen to READY ? & they definitely still have got it going on even up to now .

Tegomass - Tegomass no Ai

Tegomass share the love on their 1st mini-album Tegomass no Ai & it espouses on different kinds of love between families , friends & couples , as well as their love & appreciation for their fans .

The mini album's songs highlight the duo's harmonic voices & positive messages about life & love .

NEWS's Tegoshi & Masuda still have some of the best voices in Johnny's & I wasn't surprised when they released such a cute enduring mini album which showcased their vocals very well , be it when comes to ballads or upbeat tunes which's basically songs that I can't visualise NEWS doing them at all .

KAT-TUN - NO MORE PAIИ

Their 2nd album without Akanishi Jin , NO MORE PAIИ is a lot more enjoyable than cartoon KAT-TUN II you in the sense that the album tracks were much more stronger & well put together .

It would have been nicer if they didn't include solos in NO MORE PAIИ because they drag down the album quite a lot to a certain extent .

Then again it's tough to record material without their ex 2nd co lead vocalist but they were able to survive & pull things though .

NEWS - LIVE

The guys's 1st album to include songs which're all sung by everyone , LIVE is quite something .

Even though only 2 singles are included , the album tracks were really solid & not surprisingly , I feel that in certain occasions , these songs in LIVE sounded on par if not more superior than what the singles had to offer .

NEWS to me is 1 of the best Johnny groups when comes to overall vocal in the group department & LIVE doesn't disappoint .

Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)

8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers) is a good album that I enjoyed from Kanjani∞ & most of the time , I feel that it's their album tracks which allows them to showcase a different side of the guys , as they mainly release crazy over the top songs as singles .

Unfortunately , I feel that the solos this time round were not as good as the ones found in their 1st 3 albums & they seem to be getting weaker if not mroe random than ever before .

Not sure if this's possible but maybe they should release just 1 disc in their next album if this carries on ?

Best Album - Rock Band

BREAKERZ - B.R.Z ACOUSTIC

B.R.Z ACOUSTIC is BREAKERZ's 1st acoustic mini album & it's such a great project that the guys undertook this year since 2010's the 1st time for them in not releasing an original studio album due to commitments that the guys have outside of music .

Still , 2010 has been great for them musically & I couldn't be more pleased on what they have released this year & the fact that I really adore acoustic songs a great deal , I couldn't be any happier than this .

It will be amazing if they will release another acoustic album since already by now , acoustic takes of SUMMER PARTY & FAKE LOVE were included in the singles that they released in 2010 but I say anything goes for them !

Other honourable mentions

abingdon boys school - ABINGDON ROAD

The group's only release for 2010 , ABINGDON ROAD is basically chapter 2 & picking things up from where they left from their debut self titled album .

abingdon boys school is the very 1st JRock group I listened to & I still hold them in great respect but it's not funny to wait a really long time for them to release something .

I do wish that they can release something in 2011 but with the various members busy with side projects of their own , it's hard to tell whether if that's possible to happen or not .

Best Album - Band

GIRL NEXT DOOR - NEXT FUTURE

Much more put together than their self titled debut album , NEXT FUTURE presented a step up or 2 from GIRL NEXT DOOR .

I have a feeling they will release a new album soon because judging from their 1st 2 album release patterns , they usually release a new record in Christmas / early days of a new year so we'll see about that .

===

Part 2 which will be on fave singles that I came across which were released for 2010 will be up & running in due time .


YUI - It's My Life

CD



CD + DVD




It's My Life is the 1st A-side of YUI's 18th single It's My Life / Your Heaven , which will be released on 26th Jan .

Both A-sides have tie up's . It's My Life will be used in the new commercial for U-CAN which will begin airing on January 1st .

The lyrics for It's My Life is about becoming your ideal self & reaching your dreams .

On the other hand , Your Heaven is currently being used to promote in the ads of Sony's Play You walkman , alongside with Shota Shimizu's YOU & I and JASMINE's ONE .

I already reviewed Your Heaven a while back ago so now , it's time for me to review It's My Life .

Honestly , it surprises me that It's My Life has a really cheery peppy tone attached . I thought it might be something angsty to contrast Your Heaven but it's still nice I have to say .

The last time YUI released a cheery sounding single was CHE.R.RY . I wouldn't count Never say die as so because it's still a flashed out rocking track at the end of the day .

Rain ~YUI Acoustic Version~ serves as the B-side for It's My Life / Your Heaven .

Saturday, December 25, 2010

CD Review :: ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

CD



CD + DVD



USB thumbdrive + microSD card + DVD + photobook



1) Love song
2) crossroad
3) MOON
4) sending mail
5) Last angel
6) insomnia
7) Like a doll
8) Aria
9) blossom
10) Thank U
11) Sweet Season
12) overture
13) do it again
14) November
15) Virgin Road
16) SEVEN DAYS WAR (Live at Yoyogi on Oct.11.2010) (CD+DVD/SD+USB first press track)



Love songs is ayumi hamasaki's 12th album . It was released on 22nd Dec & this comes about 8 months since her previous album release Rock'n'Roll Circus .

ayumi's new album was released on the same day as Dream ON , which's ayumi's 1st collaboration single with AAA's leader URATA NAOYA & also Dream ON is the 1st single to be produced by ayumi herself .

3 singles & a B-side are included in Love songs . 2 album tracks Love song & do it again received music videos of their own .

Before I start things any further , here's a list of songs which were not composed by Tetsuya Komuro (with all songs written by ayumi)

- MOON
- insomnia
- Aria
- blossom
- Sweet Season
- overture

There's a reason on why I have done this in the beginning which I review my reason(s) at the end of the album review for Love songs .

Love song is the 1st album track in Love songs to kick things off . It's 1 of 2 album tracks that received a music video of its own & it's currently being used as this month's theme song for Japan TV's Sukkiri !! .

I reviewed Love song as a standalone track a while back ago & up to now , I still think it's a great opening for an album since the last time ayumi opened an album with a song & not an introduction instrumental piece was in her 7th album (miss)understood with Bold & Delicious .

The fact that Tetsuya Komuro is the 1 that composed Love song , it's awesome I have to say , given his midas touch with what he did for the rest of the album tracks & let alone for what he did for Love song .

The next 2 songs are ballads & also singles that ayumi released prior to Love songs .

crossroad is ayumi's 49th single & this's also the 1st song that Tetsuya Komuro composed for her which's found in her discography .

I think out of all the singles that made the cut in Love songs , crossroad is probably my fave out of the lot simply because of Tetsuya's magic touch to the song .

Even though he composed Virgin Road which's found in L , I love what crossroad sounds like on 1st listen & it still never fail to blow me away even up to now .

MOON is the 1st A-side of ayumi's 48th single MOON / blossom .

I still think this's a great emotional ballad & it does play a great contrast against blossom well . I don't really have that old school vibes when comes to MOON even though people have said that it sounds a bit like You were ... which I do agree to a certain extent .

Still , MOON is 1 of those songs that stuck a chord in me & I still like to listen to it .

sending mail is the 2nd album track in Love songs .

Well honestly I wouldn't lie & went ??? when I saw this found in the album & I frankly thought it might be an interlude piece but I was surprised it's not & it's actually a full no. .

Despite the name , it's a mean gritty no. & just like Love song & crossroad , it's also another song composed by Tetsuya Komuro .

Strangely enough , I have vibes of ayumi's 43rd single Mirrorcle World when I was listening to sending mail , as evident when the choruses for both songs sound quite similar to each other .

Not that it's a bad thing since I like both songs but I can't help but wonder about this slightly & I guess my fave part of the song is when prior to the conclusion of sending mail , it has this really cool sounding mix mash of sounds .

Last angel is found in ayumi's 50th single L . Unlike in both CD + DVD's editions of L which a video wasn't made for Last angel , it gets a music video this time round which's found in the DVD tracklist for Love songs .

I know at 1st I have a bit of a hard time to describe on how I feel towards Last angel as it's unlike any of her recent works but I suppose the song's taking a note or 2 from ayumi's older works , especially in her 4th album I am ... .

Then again , you have to admit Tetsuya Komuro's midas touch in composing Last angel & he did it really well .

insomnia is the 1st album interlude . It's quite an interesting instrumental piece that's quite creepy & also piano driven at the same time but it's not my fave interlude in Love songs .

Just like Last angel , Like a doll is also composed by Tetsuya Komuro & I guess for Like a doll , it can be counted as the 1st album ballad .

Like a doll is really pretty . It has some really soft piano beats which're being mixed up with some interesting synth & slight orchestra sounds .

It might sound like a music recipe for disaster but it works well for Like a doll .

Aria is the 2nd album interlude & I think out of the 3 interludes found in Love songs , this has to be my fave simply because it's so beautiful .

I just like how magical & enchanting Aria is & it sounds as though it's something straight from a magical Disney movie which's not necessary a bad thing given how strings driven this's & you can hear traces of blossom in certain parts of Aria too .

And speaking of blossom , the song follows right after Aria concludes .

blossom is the 2nd A-side of ayumi's 48th single MOON / blossom & it was used in the ads of Zespri in which ayumi's 40th single BLUE BIRD was also used to promote Zespri's line of kiwi fruits during the time when the single was released .

Even though blossom is dubbed as a summer song when it was released alongside with MOON in July , I frankly can't link it with the summer season .

Rather , blossom sounds more like a warm autumn no. to me & I said this before & I will say it again in that I do have vibes of fairyland when I heard blossom .

fairyland is not really my fave ayumi single but I like blossom a bit more than the former so it's ok I guess .

Thank U is the 4th album track & oh wow , I have vibes of HONEY when I 1st heard the song & it brings such rather fond memories for me since MY STORY was 1 of the 1st few jpop albums I listened to (let alone from ayumi) .

As a result , Thank U has that nostalgic feeling for me even though I must admit initally I was a bit scared of the opening found in Thank U but it's 1 of those happy go lucky songs which will definitely put you in a good mood .

Just like Last Angel , Sweet Season is also found in ayumi's 50th single L .

Sweet Season still reminds 1 of my recent fave songs of ayumi in that it sounds very heartwarming while having somewhat of an Americanised pop/rock flair attached to it .

I probably say this because the video for Sweet Season was shot in Los Angeles , just like for the videos for Virgin Road , Love song , do it again & also Dream ON as well .

overture is the final interlude found in Love songs . I think this interlude's equally grand sounding as Aria , except for overture's case , it has a much more stronger Orchestra feeling attached which I adore & it's basically very lovely at the end of the day .

do it again is the 2nd album track which gets a music video , just like what happened for Love song .

This's a really unusual song . I had no idea what to expect when I 1st heard do it again except the chorus which ayumi belts out do stuck in my head sooner or later .

I thought it was going to be something straightforward , sound wise but I was impressed when do it again began to have this awesome grand sweeping sounding orchestra tune which really blows me away & no surprises , it's Tetsuya Komuro who composed this unique track .

Speaking of which , the last 3 no.s found in Love songs are also composed by Tetsuya himself .

November is the final album track & same as do it again , it's also composed by Tetsuya .

I thought using the words unique & unusual were fitting for do it again but I guess you can use the same words on November as well . It's nothing like what I've heard in past albums of ayumi & it's very intriguing .

Virgin Road is found in ayumi's 50th single L , the same thing which goes for Sweet Season & Last angel .

This's also the last single track in Love songs as well .

Both Virgin Road & Sweet Season are good ballads in their own respective right but the difference for both songs are evident in the sense that they're not composed by the same person which gives each song a distinct identity of their own .

SEVEN DAYS WAR is found as the B-side track in ayumi's 49th single crossroad .

If you purchased a 1st press CD + DVD or the USB thumbdrive + microSD card + DVD + photobook edition(s) of Love songs , instead the last track in Love songs will have a live take of SEVEN DAYS WAR which was recorded from Yoyogi on Oct 11th .

If not , the CD-only & regular press CD + DVD pressings of the album will have the studio version of the song which's the same one that's found in the crossroad single .

SEVEN DAYS WAR is a cover by TM Network which was released on July 1988 & Tetsuya Komuro's a member of the group .

I'm fine with SEVEN DAYS WAR since it's not often that ayumi cover songs on a regular basis even though there were people who wish that she didn't include in Love songs but considering that I don't have a habit of buying her singles , I'm pretty neutral in this sense .

ayumi hamasaki wraps things up with a pretty darn good note with Love songs , which's her 2nd album release for 2010 , after releasing Rock'n'Roll Circus some 8 months back .

Truth be told , I was surprised when this happened because I wouldn't lie that I thought her new album title's un-inspiring if not boring & I was afraid would it sound like a rushed out record but my fears were unfounded when I gave Love songs a listen .

And yes , the main reason on why I namedropped Tetsuya Komuro a great deal is because I think he plays a big part in making Love songs sound a lot more better than Rock'n'Roll Circus a significant great deal , since he composed 10 out of 16 songs on the album .

It's not that I don't enjoy Rock'n'Roll Circus but 1 flaw I found in ayumi's last album is that there were quite a lot of album tracks which were ballads , which I don't think it doesn't fit the whole album title as so .

Still , both albums are solid in their own respective right & I think it's awesome & heartening to note that ayumi hamasaki is still able to deliver in anyway she possibly can , in the last 12 years of her music career & may there be many more awesome years for her in keeping the music fire spark within her .

Love songs is an album that I enjoyed listening to from the start til the end & it's a must album to buy before 2010 concludes .



GIRL NEXT DOOR - Hoshizora Keikaku (Planning Stars) + B-sides




Hoshizora Keikaku (Planning Stars) is the 2nd A-side of GIRL NEXT DOOR's 10th single Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ / Hoshizora Keikaku which was released on 22nd Dec .

The 1st A-side Unmei no Shizuku (Drop Of Fate) ~Destiny's star~ has been described as something classical with rhythm and dramaticly BEAT POP & it's currently being used as the theme song for Ultraman Zero the Movie : Super Deciding Fight ! The Belial Galactic Empire .

On the other hand , Hoshizora Keikaku has been described as a winter pop song .

Perhaps it's because of the current festival season , I like Hoshizora Keikaku on 1st listen & I think its plays a great contrast against Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ in the sense that Hoshizora Keikaku has that very cheery winter vibes attached , unlike Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ which's pretty angsty driven .

After releasing a winter ballad Orion last year , it's nice to hear the mood has been switched around this time round with Hoshizora Keikaku .

There're 3 B-sides found in Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ / Hoshizora Keikaku :

- Hoshizora Keikaku ~Merry X'mas thanks daddy ver~
- Be your wings (Hi-NGR Attack Remix)
- FRIENDSHIP (BE MY FRIENDS Remix)

As the remix name suggest , the ~Merry X'mas thanks daddy ver~ of Hoshizora Keikaku is very Christmas inspired . Somehow or another , I kind of like this as compared to the original take of Hoshizora Keikaku because the opening's really cool with somewhat simple acoustic guitar strings .

It's also interesting to note that Hoshizora Keikaku ~Merry X'mas thanks daddy ver~ is shorter than the original slightly but still , this's something I don't mind to listen to for a while as more or less it's really suitable to spin on Christmas .

Be your wings is the 1st A-side of the trio's 6th single Be your wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for you & in here , it has been given a Hi-NGR Attack Remix .

The Hi-NGR Attack Remix of Be your wings is a lot more longer than the original take , clocking in at almost 6:01 mins . I think this remix's ok even though it does get a bit hard for my liking because I don't really fancy so much dance/club music .

Likewise , the BE MY FRIENDS Remix of FRIENDSHIP (the 2nd A-side in their 6th single) is also ok for me & it doesn't stray that much from the original with both having the same electro pop sounds .

Then again , I'm not a remix person at the end of the day but both Be your wings (Hi-NGR Attack Remix) & FRIENDSHIP (BE MY FRIENDS Remix) are those kind of songs which you can spin them loud & proud in a party .

GIRL NEXT DOOR wraps up 2010 with this really solid single Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ / Hoshizora Keikaku & honestly , I'm really happy with all the singles that they have released for the year as I feel for each single release of theirs , their music gets more prominent & stronger .

Kudos to frontwoman Chisa for improving a great deal on her vocals too & hopefully 2011 will see them releasing a new album to kick things off with a great start !


URATA NAOYA Feat ayumi hamasaki - Dream ON (BROKEN HAZE remix)

CD



CD + DVD





The BROKEN HAZE remix of Dream ON is found as a B-side in AAA's leader URATA NAOYA's debut solo single Dream ON which was released on 22nd Dec .

Dream ON features the vocals of ayumi hamasaki & it was released on the same day as ayumi's 12th album Love songs . In addition , it's also the 1st single to be produced by ayumi herself .

The A-side is an R&B pop song . The lyrics were written by ayumi while the melody is composed by Kazuhiro Hara .

The BROKEN HAZE remix of Dream ON is only found in the CD only edition of the single .

I kind of enjoy the BROKEN HAZE remix of Dream ON . It's different in the sense that it's a lot more autotune & synth driven , which's some traits that're absent in the original take of the song .

I'm usually not a remix person but this's pretty something . The way on how things concluded is probably my fave as the song went out with a big blast .

Dream ON is an enjoyable single overall . I have to admit initally I didn't paid any attention towards this project but I surprised myself that I find it myself getting addicted & drawn into Dream ON as each day goes by .

Considering that it's the 1st single that ayumi hamasaki produced for her label mate & former dancer in her crew , it's something worth commending .

Definitely a collaboration single worth checking out before 2010 wraps up .

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shota Shimizu - YOU & I

Cover for both CD & CD + DVD's editions




YOU & I is Shota Shimizu's 8th single & it will be released on 26th Jan .

Shota's new song has been selected to be used to promote in the ads of Sony's Play You walkman , alongside with YUI & JASMINE .

The three singers went out to find an inspiring sound to use in a new song . YUI chose to head for Sweden , while Shota and JASMINE went to New York City . All three used the experiences from their journey to help create their new tracks .

Shota decided his theme was to be meeting and sound . As a result , he worked with a New York pianist he met and created YOU & I .

YOU & I is a really heartfelt touching no. & it doesn't stray that much from Shota's previous single Kimi ga Kurasu Machi (The Town Where You Live) .

Except for this case , YOU & I has that Winter homey vibe & it's quite evident the experience Shota gained from when he visited New York to create YOU & I serves him well because this's 1 of those songs that will get across to people , be it whether they're a casual fan or not .

The following songs serve as B-sides in YOU & I :

- Kimi no Koe (Your Voice)
- Kimi ga Suki (I Love You) ~Acoustic Version~

Kimi ga Suki is Shota's 5th single .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

JASMINE - ONE




ONE is JASMINE's 6th single . It will be released on 2nd Feb & its original single release date was 1st Dec .

Before ONE , JASMINE's new single release had a working title called SO STUPID before it was changed to the current song title .

ONE has been selected to be used in the ads of Sony's Play You Walkman alongside with label mates YUI & Shota Shimizu .

The three singers went out to find an inspiring sound to use in a new song ; YUI chose to head for Sweden , while Shota and JASMINE went to New York City . All three used the experiences from their journey to help create their new tracks .

JASMINE chose her theme to be reflective of words and sound – or how one must journey into themselves – resulting in the song ONE .

In addition , JASMINE worked with Grammy-winning producing team Stargate who's worked with the likes of Rihanna , Beyonce , Ne-Yo & Katy Perry .

Honestly , ONE wasn't what I expected from JASMINE & there's no doubt quite a strong R&B Westernised influence can be heard in ONE which I'm not surprised given that this's composed by Stargate who has done wonders with the list of English artistes that I've listed earlier on .

Then again , I think ONE is one of JASMINE's weaker sounding singles to date . It's not as catchy as say This Is Not A Game or Jealous but I appericate the lyrical inspiration between the song despite whatever dislike I towards ONE at 1st .

The following songs serve as B-sides in ONE :

- dear my friend [MIGHTY CROWN REMIX]
- ONE [acoustic 2010/12/12 Live in the Dark ver.]
- Dreamin' [acoustic 2010/12/12 Live in the Dark ver.]

dear my friend is found as track #6 in JASMINE's debut album GOLD while Dreamin' is her 5th single .

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CD Review :: BENI - Jewel

CD



CD + DVD



1) Jewel Intro
2) 2FACE
3) Toki wo Tomete (Stop Time)
4) Daisuki na no ni (Even Though I Love You)
5) Lovin' U
6) Heaven's Door
7) See U Again
8) First Time
9) Heartbreaker
10) Don't Let Go
11) Smile
12) Kimi to Nara (If I'm With You)
13) Wasurenaide ne (Don't Forget)





Jewel is BENI's 3rd album & it was released 2 weeks ago on 8th Dec .

2 singles are included in BENI's latest album offering & this release of hers comes about 6 months since her previous album Lovebox in which it became her 1st release to debut on #1 in the Oricon album charts .

After a nice chilled out sounding Jewel Intro , BENI dive straight into 2FACE which's her 10th single .

2FACE was used as the theme songs for NTV's Happy MUSIC & MTV BUZZ CLIP & it was the last (recent) single release before the announcement of Jewel & has been described as a rhythmic R&B dance song that allows BENI to show off her dance skills .

Well I wouldn't lie that I initally said I had an issue or 2 against 2FACE for some reason(s) I can't think of but I'm quite fine with the song now I suppose .

But in terms of singles , I still don't think I will count 2FACE as a strong/distinct release of BENI as she has better/more prominent single releases .

Toki wo Tomete (Stop Time) is Jewel's 1st album track & ah what a nice song this's ! I love it on 1st listen & after listening to Jewel for quite a few rounds , I think this's perhaps 1 of the more prominent if not strong album tracks .

What I like about Toki wo Tomete is that it has that angst vibes being attached while it still maintains the R&B/Pop sounds that BENI's known for .

After Toki wo Tomete , another Jewel album track follows in the form of Daisuki na no ni (Even Though I Love You) & just like Toki wo Tomete , I think this's also another good track .

The opening is very catchy & Daisuki na no ni is quite a funky Reggae driven no. & I definitely see (hear) this being played in a club to get clubgoers on the dancefloor .

Lovin' U is track #5 & on 1st listen , it sounds like a cousin to BENI's 7th single bye bye which's very similar , melody wise .

There's definitely a very strong prominent presence of bye bye found in Lovin' U . I don't know if it's a good or bad thing but I suppose it's good because I like bye bye .

Heaven's Door is BENI's 9th single & it's also the last single found in Jewel .

For this , Heaven's Door was selected to be used as the theme song for Rouge de BENI , which's a wedding dress fashion line designed by BENI herself .

Heaven's Door is something that I'm not bored of even up to now & I still feel that this's 1 of BENI's most unique singles in that it's wedding tinged inspired which's combined with the R&B/Pop beats that she's known for in her music .

It might sound like a music recipe for disaster but the final end result turns out pretty well for Heaven's Door .

Just like Lovin' U , I also have the bye bye vibes coming out from See U Again too .

The music similarity for all 3 songs is evident . As a result , I had a bit of a difficult time to get the hang of See U Again only until much later on.

Likewise for First Time , I don't have any good impressions towards the song as it sounded really forgettable & it doesn't stick out to me .

If you ask me to recall how First Time sounds like , I have to take a few listens before I can eventually remember how it goes .

Thankfully I did not have that with Heartbreaker which is really powerful & infectious the minute the introduction started .

Heartbreaker is something that I wouldn't be surprised that it will be played at a party because it's 1 of those songs that you just want to let your hair down & just have a great time with people .

In the case of Don't Let Go , I was frankly bored with it as I feel it's basically a standard R&B/Pop song . There's honestly nothing special if not fantastic to speak of on this mid tempo no.

The next album track Smile has been selected to be used for promotion in the ads of homemate .

When I 1st heard Smile , I have strong vibes of BENI's 5th single KIRA☆KIRA☆ in that melody wise , both songs sound quite similiar to a certain extent but unlike Don't Let Go , Smile was entertaining & more fun .

The last 2 album tracks in Jewel are basically ballads before wrapping things up .

Kimi to Nara (If I'm With You) is a simple heartfelt ballad which's touching . It's basically just BENI's vocals which're accompanied by a stripped down piano melody & it's nice in that she doesn't need anything else to complicate things further .

This's definitely 1 of the standout tracks in Jewel to say the least .

The same thing also applies to the last track on the album , Wasurenaide ne (Don't Forget) . It sounds a bit like Bitter & Sweet's Beautiful World except Wasurenaide ne is less Gospel driven & a lot more usage of synth can be heard in here .

Still , it didn't stopped me from enjoying Wasurenaide ne a great deal & I guess BENI was saving the best for last when comes to these 2 great songs in Jewel .

Well , I wouldn't lie that I was surprised when BENI decided to release her new album Jewel , a mere 6 months + after Lovebox . I was worried whether will it be a rushed project but in a way or 2 after I listened to Jewel , my fears were unfounded .

It's tough when you only have 2 singles in the album but I was surprised most of the album tracks are much more memorable/stronger than what I heard in Lovebox where I feel in there , the singles were good but the album tracks kind of fall short of expections .

That's not to say Jewel doesn't have any flaws . I still feel that some of the songs sounded like leftovers from her 1st 2 albums & I had quite a bit of a hard time in catching hold of them .

Maybe it will do BENI some good if she switch up & get different producers to compose her songs instead of sticking to the same group of people in order to jazz things up .

Then again , considering the circumstances , I feel that musically , Jewel is a big improvement from Lovebox , even though at this point in time , nothing's able to match up to what she has accomplished for Bitter & Sweet but hopefully in 2011 , BENI will be able to prove me wrong on this .




NEVER LAND - Demonstration Vol.4 -SUNSET-



1) Yuuyake (Sunset) Melody
2) green story
3) nostalgia


Demonstration Vol.4 -SUNSET- is a single released by NEVER LAND . It was released on 23rd June 2006 & it contains 3 songs .

The 1st song is something called Yuuyake (Sunset) Melody . It's something that's a straightforward no nonsense angsty driven no. .

For me what I like about Yuuyake Melody is the somewhat unusual melody that has various guitar riffs being layered all over each other without coming across as if it sounds like a hot mess .

green story is the 2nd song found in Demonstration Vol.4 -SUNSET- & I think out of the 3 songs , this probably has to be my fave simply because on how captivating the song's on 1st listen .

The opening for green story is really enchanting & this's basically a really sincere heartfelt mid tempo ballad with unique touches thrown in to make the song stand out in its own respective right which's awesome .

nostalgia is the last song to wrap up the single & this's an interesting no. . You can hear AKIHIDE singing in an echo like tone in the beginning of nostalgia before the song breaks away & become this really feisty angsty track that I like .

I didn't know what to expect initally when comes to nostalgia but nonetheless , I was surprised in a good way when it turns out to be even better than what I expected .

Sunday, December 19, 2010

YUI - Your Heaven





Your Heaven is the 2nd A-side of YUI's 18th single It's My Life / Your Heaven which will be released on 26th Jan .

Just like her 12th single SUMMER SONG , Your Heaven has been selected to be used for promotion in line with the latest Sony's Play You walkman ad .

The latest Play You ad features YUI , Shota Shimizu & JASMINE .

The three singers went out to find an inspiring sound to use in a new song . YUI chose to head for Sweden , while Shota and JASMINE went to New York City . All three artistes used the experiences from their journey to help create their new tracks .

YUI chose her theme to be place and sound or how a connection with a location can bring about beautiful music . As a result , the product of her inspiration came in the form of Your Heaven .

Your Heaven is really pretty & even before you listen to the song , it's evident that it's a ballad .

Compared to her 16th single to Mother , Your Heaven is pretty much YUI on familiar music grounds & I can understand why she chose to head to Sweden to find inspirations before Your Heaven was born .

Your Heaven has that very calm serene feeling which I like which I haven't heard that in a YUI song for quite a while which's lovely .

The 1st A-side It's My Life will be reviewed soon & the ~YUI Acoustic Version~ of YUI's previous single Rain will serve as the B-side .

Saturday, December 18, 2010

NEVER LAND - Demonstration Vol.3



1) Nemureru Mori no Ouji (Sleeping Prince)
2) Amai Kaori (Sweet Perfume)


Demonstration Vol.3 is a demo single released by NEVER LAND . Its release date is unknown .

There're a total of 2 songs included in Demonstration Vol.3 & the 1st song is something called Nemureru Mori no Ouji (Sleeping Prince) .

Honestly when I saw the title Nemureru Mori no Ouji , I frankly thought it was going to be a ballad but I was surprised when it's actually a mean gritty aggressive rock track .

I haven't heard AKIHIDE sound this somewhat pissed when he belted out Nemureru Mori no Ouji with such gusto & I think it's nice to hear a different side of AKIHIDE that I usually don't get to hear at all .

The 2nd song Amai Kaori (Sweet Perfume) is unusual in that I think this's the only song that I'm able to hear AKIHIDE singing alongside with a female vocalist whose name I don't know of .

Song wise , Amai Kaori plays a really good contrast against Nemureru Mori no Ouji with Amai Kaori being a mid tempo song .

At 1st , I thought was there something wrong with the track as it has that whole sing & skip feeling but turns out that's not the case .

Amai Kaori is unique & it's 1 of those songs that makes you come back for more to listen to over & over again .


NEVER LAND - Demonstration Vol.2



1) Kagefumi (Slow Down)
2) Umare Kawareru no Nara (If Reborn)


Demonstration Vol.2 is a demo single released by NEVER LAND . Its release date is unknown .

There're 2 songs found in Demonstration Vol.2 & the 1st song is something called Kagefumi (Slow Down) .

I really like Kagefumi on 1st listen . It's 1 of those songs that're mid tempo rock driven but there's just something captivating about Kagefumi when I 1st gave it a listen .

Kagefumi is some really neat stuff & I love it that everytime I listens to it , I can never get bored of it .

Umare Kawareru no Nara (If Reborn) is an interesting song too & for this , it started off really slowly & slowly began to branch out to something that has a lot of kick & attitude .

What makes Umare Kawareru no Nara stood out is the various guitar riffs being layered over each other without sounding messy . The end result gives you this straight up no nonsense fuss free no. to enjoy .

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Himuro Kyosuke - BANG THE BEAT / Safe And Sound

CD



CD + DVD



1) BANG THE BEAT
2) Safe And Sound Feat Gerard Way



BANG THE BEAT / Safe And Sound is Himuro Kyosuke's 26th single & the single was released this year on 14th July .

Both A-sides eventually was found in Himuro's 12th album "B"ORDERLESS which was released on 8th Sept .

The 1st A-side BANG THE BEAT was used as a commercial song for Asahi Inryou's Green Cola .

BANG THE BEAT was written by SPIN & composed by Himuro . Despite being an A-side no. , surprisingly no music video was shot for the song .

When you have the same folks who wrote/composed KAT-TUN's 5th single Keep the faith in working on BANG THE BEAT , you know you're in good hands & that's what I feel towards BANG THE BEAT .

Honestly , BANG THE BEAT is quite a standard Rock offering song but there's just something about the song which Himuro was able to make the song standout on his own .

The 2nd A-side Safe And Sound features Gerard Way who's the lead singer of My Chemical Romance & it was used as the theme song for the movie FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN COMPLETE .

The song was previously released as a digital single last year on April 29th . Credits wise , Safe And Sound was written & composed by Gerard himself .

I don't listen to English music anymore but Gerard Way's vocals is still 1 of the most distinct recongisable voices out there (during my days when I listened to My Chemical Romance) & for him to get featured on a song with Himuro , now that's an honour I have to say .

It was quite interesting to listen to Safe And Sound & no surprises it's a full English no. which's very Americanised .

I usually have issues towards Japanese artistes who sing in full English but Himuro's English dictation's surprisingly relatively easy for me to catch hold of . Maybe it has something to do with the fact that now he's living in Los Angeles ? I don't know but Safe And Sound is nice .

I might have been a bit late in catching hold of Himuro Kyosuke's solo works but BANG THE BEAT / Safe And Sound is a good place for me to start/follow him .

Both A-sides are pretty enjoyable & given his status of how much of an impact he has left in the Jrock music business for the last 20 years or so (be it when during/after his days with BOOWY), this should be saying something .




NEVER LAND - Demonstration Vol.1



1) Pianist
2) Ningyo Hime (Mermaid Princess)



Demonstration Vol.1 is a single released by NEVER LAND & its release date is unknown .

There're 2 songs found in Demonstration Vol.1 in which the 1st track Pianist is something that I'm already am very familiar with since it is found as track #1 in NEVER LAND's mini album Beautiful Days which's the group's only proper release to date .

Still , it's comforting/nice to hear Pianist again in Demonstration Vol.1 . The difference found in Demonstration Vol.1 & in Beautiful Days is that in Beautiful Days , it's a few seconds longer .

Melody wise , Demonstration Vol.1's Pianist has a more raw organic sound coupled with great electric guitar riffs while Beautiful Days's Pianist is quite piano driven to a certain extent .

Still , I like both versions & I think it's great for AKIHIDE to put his own unique spin for both takes on Pianist .

Also you can hear some really nice soft subtle piano tunes being tinkled at the end of Demonstration Vol.1's Pianist prior to the conclusion of things which's great .

Ningyo Hime (Mermaid Princess) is a straight up no nonsense rock no. . What I like about Ningyo Hime is that the song gets my attention on 1st listen .

What makes Ningyo Hime stands out is the aggressive mean gritty electric guitar riffs attached & this leads to a really neat package that Ningyo Hime has to offer .

Sunday, December 12, 2010

NEVER LAND - Akai Ito



1) Akai Ito (Red Thread)
2) Komorebi Saka (Sunlight Slope)



Akai Ito is a single that was sold only during a NEVER LAND live performance , which took place on 5 years ago on 21st Feb .

I recongised the 1st song Akai Ito (Red Thread) on the tracklist because I have heard an album version found on NEVER LAND's mini album Beautiful Days .

There's not much significant difference between the version found in here & also Beautiful Days , just some minor twerks in the melody but still Akai Ito is a great track even up to now .

Komorebi Saka (Sunlight Slope) is 1 really long song , clocking in at close to 6:21 mins .

Still the duration length of Komorebi Saka didn't stopped me from enjoying the song from the beginning til the end . The no. originally started as a slow mid tempo track with beautiful acoustic guitar riffs & then slowly , it morphed into a track that has mean gritty rock sounds attached which's awesome .

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Himuro Kyosuke - Keep the faith





Keep the faith is found as track #13 in the 2nd disc of Himuro Kyosuke's 20th Anniversary ALL SINGLES COMPLETE BEST JUST MOVIN' ON ~ALL THE-S-HIT~ which was released on 11th June 2008 .

20th Anniversary ALL SINGLES COMPLETE BEST JUST MOVIN' ON ~ALL THE-S-HIT~ was released to celebrate Himuro's 20th anniversary as a solo artiste .

There're a total of 30 tracks in this 2 CDs best compilation of Himuro but Keep the faith is the only track I was interested to hear because I know Himuro had a hand in cowriting & composing KAT-TUN's 5th single of the same title .

Honestly I really thought that Himuro would covered/sing his own version of KAT-TUN's which in a way , I was 1/2 right that the version found in 20th Anniversary ALL SINGLES COMPLETE BEST JUST MOVIN' ON ~ALL THE-S-HIT~ , lyrically it's the same as KAT-TUN's but to a certain extent .

I was able to catch hold of new lyrics in Himuro's version which I was surprised as I never thought it can become his own song , instead of singing/covering on what KAT-TUN has done before .

The result's that Himuro's take on Keep the faith is kind of like taking his own unique spin of things which I thought it's neat .

Sound wise , it's a lot more gritty , aggressive & meaner than KAT-TUN's but overall , it's nice to hear something different for a change & not just a normal cover of a song of an artiste .

Friday, December 10, 2010

NEVER LAND - Demonstration Vol.5 -SUNRISE-



1) Nemurenu Yoru (Wakeful Night)
2) Diamond
3) Endroll


Demonstration Vol.5 -SUNRISE- is a single released by NEVER LAND . It was released on 7th Sept 2006 before the group disbanded on 31st Jan 2007 .

Before NEVER LAND disbanded , they also released a Demonstration Vol.6 single but because I don't have the song(s) , I'm not able to write my opinions on their final single release .

There're 3 songs found in Demonstration Vol.5 -SUNRISE- & the 1st one is something called Nemurenu Yoru (Wakeful Night) .

Nemurenu Yoru is awesome & it got my attention immediately when the chorus & verse hit me on 1st listen . Despite the duration of the song , it didn't stopped me from enjoying this inspirational mid tempo track .

Diamond follows after Nemurenu Yoru & I think Diamond is interesting in that it's more piano driven .

I don't think Diamond is catchy/memorable & I had to take a few more listens before I was able to catch hold of how it's like . As a result , I don't consider this as a prominent track NEVER LAND was known for .

Finally in wrapping things up , it's Endroll .

I find Endroll slightly less catchy than Nemurenu Yoru but it leaves a much bigger lasting impression than Diamond .

What I like about Endroll is that AKIHIDE used various layerings of guitar riffs which he utilised in the song which gives this peppy cheery sounding no.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

GLAY - ANSWER Feat Himuro Kyosuke

CD



CD + DVD



CD + DVD Limited





ANSWER is a collaboration single between GLAY & Himuro Kyosuke . The single was released 4 years ago on 2nd Aug .

The A-side was written & composed by GLAY's guitarist/keyboardist TAKURO & the single doesn't contain any B-sides & let alone the instrumental for ANSWER .

Himuro Kyosuke is best known for being the lead singer of the now disbanded JRock quartet BOØWY whom even up to this date , they're credited for being 1 of the most influential JRock bands in history .

The 90's band movement in Japan was credited to BOØWY as they made being in a band look cool . Musical instrument sales hit an all time high during the 90's and various record companies signed and debuted close to 80 bands during the 90's in hopes of finding a new BOØWY .

Some of Himuro's music credits include composing DAIGO☆STARDUST's debut single MARIA & also having a hand in cowriting KAT-TUN's 5th single Keep the faith with SPIN which Himuro composed the song on his own .

Well I wouldn't lie that in line with my BREAKERZ fandom , I decided to give Himuro's music a shot since after all , he's such a driving force in the JRock industry even during/after his days with BOØWY & it helps that BREAKERZ's lead singer/frontman DAIGO holds Himuro in such super great/deep respect .

Not to mention , some of what Himuro's works which he did for DAIGO☆STARDUST & KAT-TUN are fantastic since MARIA & Keep the faith are 2 songs that I still adore even up to now .

Also , it helps that before this , I have been listening to GLAY for quite sometime so when I found out that both artistes came together 4 years ago to sing ANSWER , I decided to give it a listen .

ANSWER is basically JRock stamped all over . It's old school & it's a mean gritty aggressive no. . I frankly was surprised when I heard Himuro's voice because what I imagined his voice to be , it's nothing as so & also his vocals are quite distinct to a certain extent .

Since I like Rock music a great deal , I wasn't surprised that I like ANSWER a significant deal & I think it's great that both acts came together to do this neat song since after all , each of them played quite a big part in shaping/influencing the current JRock scene in Japan as they're both veterans in their own respective right .

It might be a bit too late for me to try Himuro's music since he has been in the business for like forever it seems but as they say , it's better to be late than never .

Monday, December 06, 2010

ayumi hamasaki - Love song





Love song is found as track #1 in ayumi hamasaki's 12th album Love songs which will be released on 22nd Dec .

Love songs is ayumi's 2nd album release for 2010 after she released Rock'n'Roll Circus on 14th April .

Love song is 1 of 2 album tracks which gets a music video . Besides that , Love song has been selected to be used as the theme song for Japan TV's Sukkiri !! this month in Dec .

Love songs will be released on the same day as AAA's leader URATA NAOYA debut solo single Dream ON which's a collaboration single that ayumi vocals can be heard on the song with URATA , aside from the fact that ayumi's responsible for writing Dream ON & also producing the whole single for URATA too .

It has been a while since ayumi opened up her album with a song & not an introduction piece , the last time this happened was with her 7th album (miss)understood with Bold & Delicious .

I wouldn't deny that I find the titles for ayumi's latest album & song un-inspiring if not boring so I was actually expecting Love song to sound like a typical ballad but I was proven wrong when I gave the song a listen .

Love song is indeed a ballad but it's not the standard ballad fare that ayumi is known for . Rather , it's quite rock driven while being accompanied by shades of soft piano tones & guitar riffs .

What surprised me when I heard Love song was ayumi's vocals which's nothing like what I have heard from her before . It could be a good or bad thing but I'm really glad that Love song sounds really good & I wasn't surprised when ayumi decided to slot this as the very 1st track in her upcoming new album .

I look forward to hear the rest of what ayumi has to offer in Love songs for sure !


GIRL NEXT DOOR - Unmei no Shizuku (Drop Of Fate) ~Destiny's star~

CD Regular



CD Limited



CD + DVD A



CD + DVD B





Unmei no Shizuku (Drop Of Fate) ~Destiny's star~ is the 1st A-side of GIRL NEXT DOOR's 10th single Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ / Hoshizora Keikaku which will be released on 22nd Dec .

The original release date for the trio's latest single offering was 15th Dec but it has since been pushed back to a week later & Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ / Hoshizora Keikaku comes in about 2 months + since the release of their last single Ready to be a lady .

The 1st A-side Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ has been described as something classical with rhythm while being mixed/combined with electro pop & it has been selected to be used as the theme song for Ultraman Zero the Movie : Super Deciding Fight ! The Belial Galactic Empire .

Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ is fierce with a lot of bite & plenty of spunk . The song's not downright angsty/moody as the trio's 8th single Freedom but still , Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ is really something .

It's only the beginning that you can hear the classical rhythm influences before the song began to transform into a fast paced electro/pop song , which's the band's signature sound since their early days .

The difference's that this time round for Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny's star~ , they incorporated a lot more synth influences being thrown into the mix which's fantastic & I love it that the song just gets better as each listen goes by .

The 2nd A-side Hoshizora Keikaku (Planning Stars) will be reviewed in due time & so the other B-sides found in the single :

- Hoshizora Keikaku ~Merry X'mas thanks daddy ver~
- Be your wings (Hi-NGR Attack Remix)
- FRIENDSHIP (BE MY FRIENDS Remix)


KinKi Kids - Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ (~The Thing That Becomes One~)

CD Regular



1) Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ (~The Thing That Becomes One~)
2) me ~ Chikyu no Iro (Colour Of The Earth)
3) Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ (Backing Track)
4) me ~ Chikyu no Iro (Backing Track)

CD Limited



1) Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ (~The Thing That Becomes One~)
2) Tears
3) Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ (Backing Track)
4) Tears (Backing Track)



Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ (~The Thing That Becomes One~) is KinKi Kids's 30th single & it was released a few days ago on 1st Dec .

The duo's last single release was last year's Swan Song which was released on 28th Oct , which was followed by the release of their 11th album J album on 9th Dec .

To mark the release of the duo's 30th single Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ , the two took on the songwriting/composing duties themselves for all the songs on the single .

The A-side is a warm mid-tempo ballad about treasuring those we love and the importance of family .

In the case of the A-side Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ , it's written by Domoto Tsuyoshi while the melody's composed by Domoto Koichi .

I think Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ is a really touching song & the fact that the duo has personal input for this & let alone for the other 2 B-sides in the single , it's something worth commending for , seeing that outside of KinKi Kids , they do have talent in both the writing/composing side when comes to their solo works .

Found in the regular edition of the single , it's me ~ Chikyu no Iro (Colour Of The Earth) & the writing/composing credits is the same as Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ .

Honestly , me ~ Chikyu no Iro is something I can see Koichi singing on his own since most of his solo works are pretty much the same music vein as me ~ Chikyu no Iro .

Then again , I admire Koichi's composing works a great deal since I enjoy listening to his solo stuff a great deal & me ~ Chikyu no Iro is something nice which contrats the A-side well .

Last but not least , Tears is only found in the limited pressing of the single & for this , the writing/composing credits have been switched in that it's written by Koichi while composed by Tsuyoshi .

Tears is a neat mid tempo track . I'm not really a big fan of Tsuyoshi's solo works but there's no deny that he's equally talented in writing/composing just like Koichi & what I like about Tears is that it's a nice soothing no. which's quite flute driven which I think it's really something .

Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ is KinKi Kids's most personal input to date & I really enjoy the whole single & I think it's great that for the release of their 30th single , they decided to do something different by being hands on in both the writing/composing aspect of things .

Outside of KinKi Kids , both guys have their own respective solo works & I think it's cool they decided to bring their individual artistic touch to Family ~Hitotsu ni Narukoto~ .

They've been around for close to 14 years & with a release like this , they sho no signs of slowing down in the music business .

Sunday, December 05, 2010

flumpool - Snowy Nights Serenade ~Kokoro Made mo Tsunagitai~ (~I Want To Connect Even To Your Heart~) Xmas ver.





Snowy Nights Serenade ~Kokoro Made mo Tsunagitai~ (~I Want To Connect Even To Your Heart~) Xmas ver. is found as track #4 in flumpool's 2nd album Fantasia of Life Stripe which will be released on 26th Jan 2011 .

This song has been selected to be used in Dec's ending theme song for TV Asahi's Onegai ! Ranking & it's the only album track which gets a music video .

I'm not sure if the album version of Snowy Nights Serenade ~Kokoro Made mo Tsunagitai~ will be the same version as what's being used in the video but anyway , even if before I say anything else , it's quite evident that this song's a Christmas inspired no. .

I don't recall flumpool having any Winter inspired tunes in their discography but there's always a 1st for everything .

Snowy Nights Serenade ~Kokoro Made mo Tsunagitai~ Xmas ver is a nice ballad which's basically what flumpool does best . It's surprisingly lengthy but the duration of the song shouldn't stop you from enjoying this no. .

The last few seconds of the song , you can catch hold of lead singer Ryuuta singing I Wish A Merry Christmas which's pretty cool as that's the only English aspect in Snowy Nights Serenade ~Kokoro Made mo Tsunagitai~ .

Saturday, December 04, 2010

SID - Ranbu no (Wild Dance) Melody's B-sides



The following 2 songs serve as B-sides in SID's 8th single Ranbu no (Wild Dance) Melody which was released a few days ago on 1st Dec :

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

The A-side Ranbu no Melody is currently being used as the latest opening track for the anime Bleach & both B-sides in the single are composed by guitarist Shinji .

I love Danro on 1st listen ! Besides playing such a great contrast to Ranbu no Melody , Danro is such a lush chilled & smooth Jazz influenced no. & considering that Shinji's the same person that composed the group's last single cosmetic , I wasn't surprised when I found out about it .

Lead singer Mao's vocals worked pretty well in Danro & I think it's fantastic the song gets better as each listen goes by .

Recorded live from SID Summer Festa 2010 , it's Hosoikoe & it's the 2nd B-side in the single .

The live take of Hosoikoe is pretty solid . Even though I don't know how the original sounds like , you can just feel how much emotions Mao poured into this ballad which's great & it wraps up Ranbu no Melody very nicely .

SID released 4 singles in 2010 & it's wonderful that they concluded the year with Ranbu no Melody .

I know I said initally I didn't liked Ranbu no Melody that much but my opinions on it has changed quite significantly since then & also , I like the 2 B-sides for being on par if not more superb than the A-side .

SID will be performing for the 1st time in Tokyo Dome next Sat & here's wishing the guys a successful gig that they will put out when next weekend rolls out .

Now all the guys need to do's to announce the release of their 2nd major label album & I will be so very happy about it as it's 1 JRock group that has been growing on me a great deal since I chanced upon them with their 3rd single (Uso) .

Thursday, December 02, 2010

DAIGO☆STARDUST - Old New Songs From DAIGO☆IMPACT DVD



DAIGO☆STARDUST released a DVD titled DAIGO☆IMPACT DVD on 30th May 2007 & the footages were recorded 4 years ago on Nov 18th at Harajuku's Astro Hall .

In DAIGO☆IMPACT , there're a couple of unheard songs which're not part of his official discography which includes

- Realize
- Asu kara (From Tomorrow)
- Ice tea no Uta (Song)
- Tenshi no Wa (Circle Of Angels)

I had no knowledge about the songs which I stated above only until my friend gave a tip off about this .

Because these songs weren't part of DAIGO☆STARDUST's discography , I had no choice but to listen to the live rips from the DVD , whether I like it or not .

Realize is a pretty rocking track which I'm not able to compare to any other song in his discography while Asu kara is a peppy cheery rock driven no. which's pretty catchy/nice .

Whereas for Ice tea no Uta , yes it's a tune about ice tea . It might sound weird for DAIGO to write a song about ice tea but it's actually a cute charming track that's acoustic driven & from what I've listened , you can hear DAIGO whistle in the live rip of Ice tea no Uta while he sang the song .

Tenshi no Wa is also another gem but it's a bit unfortunate it's a short ballad from what I've heard in the live rip as after the song concluded , DAIGO followed up the song with a great short acoustic take of Unravel .

In DAIGO☆IMPACT , you also can find/hear short acoustic take of some of his songs which're found in his official discography such as Unravel , Daisy , Feather & Ray ~Yume no Kanata he~ (~Beyond Dream~) which're all fantastic , seeing that I'm pretty much a sucker when comes to acoustic songs .

If that's not enough , DAIGO☆STARDUST also performed a short acoustic version of Winter Bell which's the very same Winter Bell found in BREAKERZ's 7th single LOVE FIGHTER ~Koi no (Love) Battle~ as the B-side track .

DAIGO☆STARDUST performed only the chorus of Winter Bell in acoustic mode in the DVD . Even so , I was really surprised because I never expect Winter Bell to be an old song but still it was great that be it whether DAIGO was DAIGO☆STARDUST or in BREAKERZ , the personal input side of him has never changed which's something I really respect in him a significant great deal .


URATA NAOYA Feat ayumi hamasaki - Dream ON





Dream ON is URATA NAOYA's debut solo single & it will be released on 22nd Dec .

Urata is the leader of AAA & for Dream ON , it's a collaboration single which features the vocals of ayumi hamasaki .

The single will be released on the same day as ayumi's 12th album Love songs & not only that , it's also the 1st single to be produced by ayumi herself & let alone for her to get featured in a collaboration song too .

If that's not enough , the lyrics for Dream ON were written by ayumi while melody wise , it's composed by Kazuhiro Hara .

Dream ON has been described as a cool R&B flavoured track .

1st of all , AAA & ayumi have some sort of connections with each other in that besides being label mates , some of the members in AAA used to be her dancers which's pretty cool .

Anyway I don't listen to AAA so I didn't really had any idea what to expect when comes to Dream ON but I was quite plesantly surprised when I finally managed to hear the song .

It's not something that ayumi would do on a normal basis since Dream ON is pretty much R&B driven . I thought Urata's vocals might clash with her but nothing of that sort happened which's a good thing .

Dream ON is something I don't mind to take a couple of spins on a regular basis . I'm not sure if this will be a 1 off thing for ayumi but I think it's nice of her to lend her artistic touch to the single .

The BROKEN HAZE remix of Dream ON serves as the B-side & this remix's only found in the CD only edition of the single .

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

CD Review :: Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE

CD



CD + DVD



1) Loose Leaf
2) BOYHOOD
3) SKYDRIVE
4) Travel Machine
5) Ouin Kenbun Roku (Rhyme From Around The World)
6) No.109
7) Determination
8) Moon Rise
9) Sh704i
10) Shampoo
11) X Y Z
12) Daijoubu (Alright)
13) MESSAGE BOX


MESSAGE is Hilcrhyme's 2nd album . It was released last week on 24th Nov & this's the duo's 2nd album release for 2010 .

The duo's debut album Recital was released at the beginning of 2010 & in MESSAGE , it contains 3 singles & a B-side .

Just like for Recital , all lyrics in MESSAGE are written by vocalist/rapper TOC while the music compositions are all taken care of by DJ KATSU .

Loose Leaf is Hilcrhyme's 5th single & it was used as the theme song for the drama adaptation of the manga Yankee-kun to Megane-chan .

This's pretty much the very 1st song I heard of the duo which gave me a taste on what to expect for what Hilcrhyme has to offer . Loose Leaf's still a great catchy no. even up to now which I really enjoy .

BOYHOOD is the 1st album track & this's a nice song that's quite easy listening on the ears . The song's mainly Piano driven which's great but it's being combined with Hilcrhyme's signature hip hop/rap sounds which makes BOYHOOD a class of its own .

SKYDRIVE is the only interlude instrumental in MESSAGE but it flows well to the next track in the album which's Travel Machine .

Travel Machine is the duo's 6th single & this's the most recent single included in MESSAGE before the announcement of the album .

Even up to now , Travel Machine is still a great catchy memorable A-side for me to enjoy . It's Piano driven just like BOYHOOD but the difference between both songs is that Travel Machine has a more seamless & smoother music flow .

Ouin Kenbun Roku (Rhyme From Around The World) is the B-side of the duo's 4th single Daijoubu (Alright) .

Back when I reviewed/talked about Daijoubu , I already said that Ouin Kenbun Roku is an awesome rocking track which contrasts the A-side very well & needless to say , I'm real thrilled to see Ouin Kenbun Roku making the cut in MESSAGE as it's 1 of my fave B-sides of Hilcrhyme .

No.109 is the next album track & for this song , quite a fair bit of auto tune was being used which's something I normally don't hear in the duo's discography .

As such , I find No.109 to be quite refreshing even though there's 1 part of the song which kind of grated my ears a bit as TOC's rapping got a bit too much for me to handle .

Determination follows suit & this's also another piano driven track , just like BOYHOOD & Travel Machine .

Unfortunately for Determination's case , I do not find anything special if not memorable on the song & I think it doesn't help that I can't hear any of the word Determination being mentioned in here too .

There're other album tracks which're better than Determination & as so , I will not consider Determination as a fave album song of mine .

Moon Rise follows after Determination & this's some really funky stuff . On 1st listen , Moon Rise reminded me of Little Samba ~Jounetsu no Kinyoubi~ (~Passion Fridays~) which's the B-side of the duo's debut single Jun'ya to Manami to a certain extent because both songs execute the somewhat same sound .

It's not a bad thing for sure since Little Samba ~Jounetsu no Kinyoubi~ is 1 B-side that I enjoy so I can assume/see Moon Rise as a sequel of sorts .

SH704i is an interesting song because in the beginning , you can hear the sound of a handphone ringing & after that's over & done with , you can tell SH704i began to take a life of its own .

SH704i is something that I enjoy but the only thing I dislike's that it ended adruptly without me realising it as so .

Shampoo is MESSAGE's lead album promotion track & it's also the only album song which receives a music video but the video's not included in the DVD tracklist of the album .

Well , I wouldn't lie that Shampoo caught my attention as song title wise , it's unusual to sing about Shampoo but I wasn't surprised when a music video was made for the song as it's 1 simple under-stated track & it's also 1 of the more somewhat mellow tracks found in MESSAGE .

If Shampoo is the mellow side of things , then X Y Z will be its somewhat more edgy driven cousin in which X Y Z is bounded by a rather strong acoustic guitar backing which makes things really cool .

Daijoubu (Alright) is Hilcrhyme's 4th single . It was used as the ending theme songs for Onegai ! Ranking and MUSIC EDGE + Osaka Style , as well being used in the ads for Recochoku .

It's also the last single included in MESSAGE as well .

I love Daijoubu even up to now & I think out of all the piano driven tracks found in MESSAGE , Daijoubu probably is the strongest out of the lot .

Also , what I like about Daijoubu is that the guys didn't need to complicate things further melody wise , it's just TOC rapping/singing with a simple under-stated piano melody which's great .

MESSAGE BOX is the final track before wrapping things up & this's a nice cheery sounding no. which I took it to liking at 1st listen .

I like the subtle soft sounds of the acoustic guitar being used for MESSAGE BOX & I think this's perfect to conclude MESSAGE with this song .

Truth be told , I was surprised when Hilcrhyme announced the release of their latest 2nd album offering MESSAGE .

I was worried whether will their music be hampen in terms of quality as sometimes if you release an album so soon after your debut , it might speak of a music disaster but I'm happy to say that they didn't suffered this mishap .

I think comparing their debut album Recital & MESSAGE is something that I'm not able to do because for Recital , they went for this really big grand Orchestra like setting while for MESSAGE , the duo went for something more stripped down & less intimating .

I still think Hilcrhyme's 1 of the most unique/great sounding artistes around . I usually don't listen to a lot of hip hop/rap stuff but Hilcrhyme has that X factor in their material which I really enjoy & I look forward to see just what other great stuff they have in store when 2011 swings by .




Blog Personnel









Karen Pang

# 10th Jan

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











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

# My LiveJournal

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



























♥ ♥ ♥ BREAKERZ ♥ ♥ ♥



















Upcoming New JPop/JRock Releases


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# GLAY's best album REVIEW II , 2020

# NEWS's 11th album STORY , 2020




Album Reviews


# Kis-My-Ft2 - FREE HUGS!

# Matsushita Yuya - BLACK NEVERLAND

# NEWS - WORLDISTA

# Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme

# Yamashita Tomohisa - UNLEASHED

# BENI - CINEMATIC

# ayaka - 30 y/o

# GRANRODEO - M・S COWBOY no Gyakushuu EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - SENSE or LOVE

# Koda Kumi - DNA

# Shota Shimizu - WHITE

# SID - Ichiban Sukina Basho EP

# Aoyama Thelma - HIGHSCHOOL GAL

# ayumi hamasaki - TROUBLE EP

# Hilcrhyme - One Man EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Yummy!!

# NEWS - EPCOTIA

# FLOWER FLOWER - Spotlight

# Koda Kumi - AND

# B'z - DINOSAUR

# ARASHI - 「untitled」

# BREAKERZ - X

# Aoyama Thelmas - 10TH DIARY

# SPYAIR - KINGDOM

# SID - NOMAD

# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

# Ken Hirai - Utabaka Dake ni.

# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry

# Kis-My-Ft2 - MUSIC COLOSSEUM

# Mika Nakashima - TOUGH

# NEWS - NEVERLAND

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

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN

# MUSCLE ATTACK - HERCULES ROAD

# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG

# NEWS - QUARTETTO

# AKi - EPHEMERAL EP

# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP

# BREAKERZ - 0-ZERO-

# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

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

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road

# THE TURTLES JAPAN - ELECTRONIC HUMANITY

# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL

# MUSCLE ATTACK - ATTACK

# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White

# FLOWER FLOWER - Shiki EP

# AKi - ARISE

# FLOWER FLOWER - Mi

# ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN

# Anna Tsuchiya - LUCIFER EP

# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Asobi EP

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

# ayumi hamasaki - Colours

# KAT-TUN - come Here

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

# Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN

# Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - THE BEST

# JASMINE - Welcome to Jas Vegas

# SID - OUTSIDER

# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

# Hilcrhyme - FIVE ZERO ONE

# DAIGO - DAIGOLD

# Koda Kumi - Bon Voyage

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP

# ARASHI - LOVE

# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx

# SPYAIR - MILLION

# BENI - Red

# ON/OFF - DICE EP

# NEWS - NEWS

# Namie Amuro - FEEL

# AKIHIDE - Amber

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

# girl next door - Life of Sound

# V6 - Oh ! My ! Goodness !

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE again

# Mika Nakashima - REAL

# flumpool - experience

# ayumi hamasaki - again EP

# Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

# ARASHI - Popcorn

# Domoto Koichi - Gravity

# SPYAIR - Just Do It

# SID - M&W

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Ero

# Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP WORLD

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

# Acid Black Cherry - 『2012』

# Shota Shimizu - Naturally

# ayumi hamasaki - Party Queen

# Matsushita Yuya - 2U

# KAT-TUN - CHAIN

# Kuroki Meisa - UNLOCKED

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - BUTTERFLY

# ayaka - The beginning

# Koda Kumi - JAPONESQUE

# Kuriyama Chiaki - CIRCUS Deluxe Edition

# girl next door - Agaruneku !

# Hilcrhyme - RISING

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

# BENI - Fortune

# YUI - HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - 45 STONES

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Mahou

# SPYAIR - Rockin' the World

# BREAKERZ - GO

# ayumi hamasaki - FIVE EP

# B'z - C'mon

# School Food Punishment - Prog-Roid

# ARASHI - Beautiful World

# Aoyama Thelma - WILL

# Ken Hirai - JAPANESE SINGER

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - Destination

# Tackey & Tsubasa - TRIP & TREASURE EP

# Shota Shimizu - COLORS

# Koda Kumi - Dejavu

# SID - dead stock

# flumpool - Fantasia of Life Stripe

# Yamashita Tomohisa - SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD

# Kuroki Meisa - MAGAZINE

# ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

# BENI - Jewel

# Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - ARE YOU READY ?

# Mika Nakashima - STAR

# Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)

# GLAY - GLAY

# Anna Tsuchiya - RULE

# NEWS - LIVE

# JASMINE - GOLD

# Domoto Koichi - BPM

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE ! 2

# Hilcrhyme - Recital

# ARASHI - Boku no Miteiru Fukei

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

# YUI - HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP NO.1

# KAT-TUN - NO MORE PAIИ

# BENI - Lovebox

# Matsushita Yuya - I AM ME

# Acid Black Cherry - Q.E.D.

# Acid Black Cherry - BLACK LIST

# school food punishment - amp-reflection

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Ai EP

# BREAKERZ - B.R.Z ACOUSTIC EP

# ayumi hamasaki - Rock'n'Roll Circus

# V6 - READY ?

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - HELLO CRAZY GENTLEMAN

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - The space toy

# Shota Shimizu - Journey

# Koda Kumi - UNIVERSE

# NEVER LAND - Beautiful Days EP

# abingdon boys school - ABINGDON ROAD

# BENI - Bitter & Sweet

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - NEXT FUTURE

# LANDS - Olympos EP

# flumpool - What's flumpool !?

# Kuroki Meisa - ATTITUDE EP

# Yusuke - Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo.

# KinKi Kids - J album

# Namie Amuro - PAST < FUTURE

# BREAKERZ - FIGHTERZ

# alan - my life

# LOVE - LOVE.IT EP

# B'z - MAGIC

# Dew - PRESENT

# Saito Kazuyoshi - Tsuki ga Noboreba

# Aoyama Thelma - Emotions

# SID - hikari

# Kobukuro - CALLING

# Domoto Koichi - mirror

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Uta

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

# Fukuyama Masaharu - Zankyou

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shinshoku Dolce

# GReeeeN - Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER-

# flumpool - Unreal EP

# Yuna Ito - DREAM

# Kanjani∞ - PUZZLE

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

# Kuroki Meisa - hellcat EP

# Kanjani∞ - KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou

# ayumi hamasaki - NEXT LEVEL

# Utada Hikaru - DEEP RIVER

# Utada - This Is The One

# Kanjani∞ - KJ1 F·T·O

# ARASHI - Dream"A"Live

# Kanjani∞ - Kansha ni Eight EP

# alan - Voice of EARTH

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE !

# Koda Kumi - TRICK

# Aoyama Thelma - DIARY

# YUI - I LOVED YESTERDAY

# YUI - CAN'T BUY MY LOVE

# BREAKERZ - BREAKERZ

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - GIRL NEXT DOOR

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu

# YUI - FROM ME TO YOU

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Hajimemashite

# BREAKERZ - CRASH & BUILD

# ai otsuka - LOVE LETTER

# Mika Nakashima - VOICE

# BREAKERZ - BIG BANG !

# NEWS - color

# Anna Tsuchiya - NUDY SHOW !

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 3 : Senior Year

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - KISS

# BREAKERZ - Ao no Mirai EP

# ai otsuka - LOVE PUNCH

# ai otsuka - LOVE COOK

# ai otsuka - LOVE JAM

# KAT-TUN - cartoon KAT-TUN II You

# OLIVIA - Trinka Trinka EP

# NEWS - touch

# NEWS - pacific

# ARASHI - Iza , Now

# ARASHI - One

# NANA Triple Billing

# OLIVIA - The Cloudy Dreamer EP

# Anna Tsuchiya - strip me ?

# ARASHI - ARASHIC

# KAT-TUN - Best of KAT-TUN

# Anna Tsuchiya - Taste My Beat EP

# ARASHI - Time

# Electrico - We Satellites

# ayaka - Sing to the Sky

# ayaka - First Message

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

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~BOUNCE & LOVERS~

# Jesse McCartney - Departure

# The Veronicas - Hook Me Up

# Ken Hirai - LIFE is ...

# Ashlee Simpson - Bittersweet World

# Ken Hirai - gaining through losing

# Yuna Ito - HEART

# Utada Hikaru - HEART STATION

# Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

#
Yuna Ito - WISH

# Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers

# Koda Kumi - Kingdom

# ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

# abingdon boys school - abingdon boys school

# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

# ayumi hamasaki - RAINBOW

# The Great Spy Experiment - Flower Show Riots

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~second session~

# The Click Five - Modern Minds And Pastimes

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 2

# Koda Kumi - Black Cherry

# Namie Amuro - PLAY

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

# ayumi hamasaki - Memorial address EP

# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

# Mika Nakashima - YES

# Jamie Michael - People Watching

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

# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean




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# 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