Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CD Review :: Kuroki Meisa - UNLOCKED

CD



CD + DVD A (DVD contents - music videos + making offshots)



CD + DVD B (DVD contents - 1st national tour THE MAGAZINE SHOW + live tour documentary)



1) Hit the Road
2) Shake it Off
3) Wired Life
4) One More Drama
5) Take Me Away
6) Flash Light
7) Woman's Worth
8) Breeze Out
9) LAST CODE
10) Happy to be ME
11) PARADE
12) S.O.S -Watashi Sagasanaide Kudasai- (Don't Try To Find Me)
13) UPGRADE U !
14) Aimaide Zeitakuna Yokubou (Vague Desire Luxury)




UNLOCKED is Kuroki Meisa's 2nd album & it was released last week on 15th Feb .

Kuroki's follow up album after the release of her debut album MAGAZINE last Jan , UNLOCKED contains 3 singles & a B-side . A total of 9 new songs serve as album tracks .

The 1st 2 songs are new album material , with Hit the Road kicking things off in UNLOCKED .

Unlike in MAGAZINE where Kuroki's debut album had an introduction piece , it's not the case for UNLOCKED as Hit the Road is a full track on its own .

Honestly , I don't think Hit the Road is her best opening track for an album but it's still something worth checking out . Somehow Kuroki's vocals sounded a bit off in here , I'm not sure if it's done on purpose but I give her the benefit of doubt .

Shake it Off is the 2nd album track & this's 1 hot groovy R&B track on 1st listen . This reminds me of MAGAZINE's SWITCH⇔ to a certain extent as element traces of SWITCH⇔ can be heard in Shake it Off .

Not that it's a bad thing but I adore SWITCH⇔ so for me to compare Shake it Off to this song , it's a good thing .

The next 2 songs are singles that have been released prior to the release of UNLOCKED .

Wired Life is Kuroki's 5th single & this was used as the ending theme for the anime Ao no Exorcist .

Produced by the same group of people who's responsible for some of Namie Amuro's works , it's easy to get that dejavu vibes of Namie upon hearing Wired Life & I must admit , Wired Life does sound like something Namie would sing herself .

But song wise , Wired Life is 1 of Kuroki's more interesting if not darker R&B tracks that she has put out to date .

One More Drama is Kuroki's 4th single & this was used in the Kit Kat ads featuring Kuroki herself .

Her 2nd song to be used to promote Kit Kat after her 3rd single LOL ! , One More Drama is still an awesome track even up to now & I just cannot get enough of the Spanish influences that're heavily emphasised in the song .

Take Me Away is the 3rd album track & this's quite a mid tempo driven no. . A lot more slower paced sounding than the 1st 2 album tracks , hearing Take Me Away after a few fast paced no. in the album makes it a pretty good refreshing change .

Flash Light is the next track & when I 1st heard this song , I was a bit surprised if not feeling very dejavu as I thought this's something BENI might sing & true enough , when I checked the writing/composing credits for Flash Light , it's indeed the same group of people that does BENI's works .

As such , I thought it's interesting for BENI's composer to work on Flash Light & I think it's cool if not important for Kuroki to work with other people aside from the usual group of people that she has been relying to write/compose her works since there's a dangerous tendency to get stuck in a music rut if she depends on the same group of people to work on her music .

The next 2 songs are A-sides taken from Kuroki's 6th single Woman's Worth / Breeze Out .

Her 1st double A-side single , the 1st A-side Woman's Worth was used in the SEIKO LUKIA ads while the 2nd A-side was used in the SUBARU BRZ ads which both ads feature Kuroki herself .

I know there were a lot of criticism surrounding Woman's Worth / Breeze Out because I know of a few people that commented that this single's 1 of her weaker sounding no.s but personally I don't see what the fuss's all about .

Woman's Worth leans towards a more electropop sound which probably didn't sit well with people but to me , I like it & find it to be a refreshing change from Kuroki's usual R&B works . Somemore , I thought Woman's Worth to be really enpowering too .

As for Breeze Out , I wouldn't deny that I find Kuroki's vocals to be pretty weak but the killer angsty melody that Breeze Out has more or less make up for things .

LAST CODE is the next song & this track can be considered as paying a homage to the album title since the word Unlocked could be heard quite a lot of times in the no. .

As for Happy to be ME , it reminds me of ATTITUDE's Awakening to a certain extent , judging from the way the song sounds & I don't have any issues since Awakening was a track that I like .

I like to think that Happy to be ME is the upbeat cousin of Awakening since Awakening was a rather slow paced no. but for Happy to be ME , the utilisation of synth is heavily emphasised .

PARADE is 1 hot R&B track that's perfect to spin in a club . Almost on par sounding as Shake it Off , PARADE is 1 of those songs that's great to listen to if you want to let your hair down .

S.O.S -Watashi Sagasanaide Kudasai- (Don't Try To Find Me) is an unusual title for a song & the song itself is evident just how interesting this no. goes .

I wasn't sure what to expect for S.O.S -Watashi Sagasanaide Kudasai- but I do admit this's something Kuroki has never tried out before & I love the sasshy sounding vibes that this song gives out .

Kuroki's vocals is a bit jarring here which I think it was done on purpose to match up with the fast paced sounding melody but still , I don't deny that S.O.S -Watashi Sagasanaide Kudasai- has plenty of attitude & punch .

UPGRADE U ! serves as the B-side of Kuroki's 5th single Wired Life & this's the 2nd last track in UNLOCKED .

This's 1 B-side I'm happy to see it being included in the album as I really liked UPGRADE U ! the moment I heard it so I don't have any further complaints to add on for this track .

Aimaide Zeitakuna Yokubou (Vague Desire Luxury) is the finale song in UNLOCKED & this's the album only track that's a ballad .

This kind of reminds me of ATTITUDE's Awakening since both Aimaide Zeitakuna Yokubou & Awakening are slow sounding tracks & concidentally are the last tracks in each album .

I know I mentioned before that I was hoping that Kuroki would do more ballads in her discography & I sorta got my wish fufilled when I heard Aimaide Zeitakuna Yokubou .

Perhaps this's the last track in UNLOCKED but I couldn't help but felt that Aimaide Zeitakuna Yokubou was a bit forgetable . However , given a few more spins , this does stood out & I thoguht it's pretty fitting to conclude UNLOCKED with this track .

A year & a month after her debut album MAGAZINE , model / actress Kuroki Meisa unlocks her musical talent once again with her second album UNLOCKED .

Honestly , I find that UNLOCKED is a solid follow up after MAGAZINE & the new album tracks included in Kuroki's latest new album offering is evident on how much maturity she has shown over the last year & a month .

The only drawback's that this time round , the album tracks are a bit more mellower than usual but aside from that , I frankly feel UNLOCKED does MAGAZINE justice in various ways or so & kudos to her team of people that has been responsible in working on her music from the very 1st day til now .

See what Kuroki Meisa has in store for you when her talents are UNLOCKED in her latest album offering .




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Upcoming New JPop/JRock Releases


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

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# GLAY's 15th album NO DEMOCRACY , 021019 , Wed

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# ARASHI's 5×20 All the BEST!! CLIPS 1999-2019 DVD + Blu-ray , 161019 , Wed

# Koda Kumi's 17th album title tbc , Autumn 2019

# GLAY's best album REVIEW II , 2020

# NEWS's 11th album STORY , 2020




Album Reviews


# B'z - NEW LOVE

# GRANRODEO - FAB LOVE

# Kis-My-Ft2 - FREE HUGS!

# Matsushita Yuya - BLACK NEVERLAND

# NEWS - WORLDISTA

# Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme

# Yamashita Tomohisa - UNLEASHED

# BENI - CINEMATIC

# ayaka - 30 y/o

# GRANRODEO - M・S COWBOY no Gyakushuu EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - SENSE or LOVE

# Koda Kumi - DNA

# Shota Shimizu - WHITE

# SID - Ichiban Sukina Basho EP

# Aoyama Thelma - HIGHSCHOOL GAL

# ayumi hamasaki - TROUBLE EP

# Hilcrhyme - One Man EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Yummy!!

# NEWS - EPCOTIA

# FLOWER FLOWER - Spotlight

# Koda Kumi - AND

# B'z - DINOSAUR

# ARASHI - 「untitled」

# BREAKERZ - X

# Aoyama Thelmas - 10TH DIARY

# SPYAIR - KINGDOM

# SID - NOMAD

# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

# Ken Hirai - Utabaka Dake ni.

# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry

# Kis-My-Ft2 - MUSIC COLOSSEUM

# Mika Nakashima - TOUGH

# NEWS - NEVERLAND

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

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN

# MUSCLE ATTACK - HERCULES ROAD

# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG

# NEWS - QUARTETTO

# AKi - EPHEMERAL EP

# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP

# BREAKERZ - 0-ZERO-

# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

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

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road

# THE TURTLES JAPAN - ELECTRONIC HUMANITY

# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL

# MUSCLE ATTACK - ATTACK

# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White

# FLOWER FLOWER - Shiki EP

# AKi - ARISE

# FLOWER FLOWER - Mi

# ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN

# Anna Tsuchiya - LUCIFER EP

# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Asobi EP

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

# ayumi hamasaki - Colours

# KAT-TUN - come Here

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

# Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN

# Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - THE BEST

# JASMINE - Welcome to Jas Vegas

# SID - OUTSIDER

# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

# Hilcrhyme - FIVE ZERO ONE

# DAIGO - DAIGOLD

# Koda Kumi - Bon Voyage

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP

# ARASHI - LOVE

# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx

# SPYAIR - MILLION

# BENI - Red

# ON/OFF - DICE EP

# NEWS - NEWS

# Namie Amuro - FEEL

# AKIHIDE - Amber

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

# girl next door - Life of Sound

# V6 - Oh ! My ! Goodness !

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE again

# Mika Nakashima - REAL

# flumpool - experience

# ayumi hamasaki - again EP

# Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

# ARASHI - Popcorn

# Domoto Koichi - Gravity

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# 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

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# L'Arc~en~Ciel - BUTTERFLY

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# Koda Kumi - JAPONESQUE

# Kuriyama Chiaki - CIRCUS Deluxe Edition

# girl next door - Agaruneku !

# Hilcrhyme - RISING

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

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# Saito Kazuyoshi - 45 STONES

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Mahou

# SPYAIR - Rockin' the World

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# B'z - C'mon

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# ARASHI - Beautiful World

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# ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

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# Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE

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# Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)

# GLAY - GLAY

# Anna Tsuchiya - RULE

# NEWS - LIVE

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# 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

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# 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-

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# Kanon Wakeshima - Shinshoku Dolce

# GReeeeN - Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER-

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# Yuna Ito - DREAM

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

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# 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-

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# Yuna Ito - HEART

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# Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

#
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# Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers

# Koda Kumi - Kingdom

# ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

# abingdon boys school - abingdon boys school

# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

# ayumi hamasaki - RAINBOW

# The Great Spy Experiment - Flower Show Riots

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~second session~

# The Click Five - Modern Minds And Pastimes

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 2

# Koda Kumi - Black Cherry

# Namie Amuro - PLAY

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

# ayumi hamasaki - Memorial address EP

# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

# Mika Nakashima - YES

# Jamie Michael - People Watching

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

# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean




Other Posts Worth Checking Out


# Fave Songs Of 2010

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2010

# Fave Albums Releases Of 2010

# Fave Songs Of 2009

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2009

# Fave Albums Releases For 2009

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

# Fave New Acts Of 2008

# Fave Songs Of 2008

# Fave Singles Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2008

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

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

# Fave Albums Of 2007

# The Click Five - The Band Behind The Band Documentary

# 987 Control Songlist Set

# Hot Review Of Maksim's Electrik

# Lu Yong Find My Shoes Journey

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




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