Wednesday, March 23, 2011
BREAKERZ - Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou (Moonlight Magic Prank)
CD + DVD A
Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou (Moonlight Magic Prank) is the 1st A-side of BREAKERZ's 10th single Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou / CLIMBER x CLIMBER .
The original release date for Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou / CLIMBER x CLIMBER was supposed to be 6th April but it has been postponed to 27th April due to March 11th's earthquake/tsunami disaster .
Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou is written by lead singer DAIGO & composed by guitarist AKIHIDE & it's currently used as the 38th ending theme song for the anime Detective Conan , making this the 3rd song of the group to be used to promote Detective Conan , after Everlasting Luv & Hikari (Light) .
This song is written from the point of view in line with the female lead character in Detective Conan & it has a very Japanese feel to the melody .
The lyrics of Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou were written with a Japanese consciousness utilising words such as reality & light crimson .
I was blown away by Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou on 1st listen . Already the opening of the song has a very strong Oriental / Enka melody which I simply adore & my fave part of Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou has to be the prior ending where much more stronger of such influences can be heard .
I really liked the preview of Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou a great deal so I wasn't surprised that I was going to enjoy the full version a great deal & when you have guitarist AKIHIDE on hand , I was being assured things were being left in good hands .
BREAKERZ never had such a song in their discography before but there's always a 1st time for anything & that's evident in Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou .
CLIMBER x CLIMBER serves as the 2nd A-side of theme song for Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou / CLIMBER x CLIMBER & just as the 1st A-side , CLIMBER x CILMBER also has a tie in promotion in the form of being used in the ads of Fight Card ! Vanguard which DAIGO can be seen in the ads himself .
The 2nd A-side will be reviewed soon alongside with the B-side no. Arigatou (Thank You) ~Beautiful day~ .
Sunday, March 20, 2011
CD Review :: Shota Shimizu - COLORS
CD + DVD
3) YOU & I
4) Party All Night
6) Sora (Sky)
7) Kimi ga Kurasu Machi (The Town Where You Live)
8) So Good
9) Winter Love Song
10) Midnight Flight
13) let go ~maison de m-flo~ (Bonus Track)
14) Summer Time (Bonus Track)
15) Be With You duet with JOE (Bonus Track)
COLORS is Shota Shimizu's 3rd album & it was released last week on 9th March .
3 singles , a digital single , a B-side & 3 bonus tracks are found in Shota's latest album offering . Shota wrote & composed all the songs in COLORS except for 3 songs .
GOODBYE is Shota's 6th single & it's also the earliest / 1st track in the CD tracklist to kick start things .
I don't have any issues with GOODBYE as it's quite a nice energetic dancey R&B no. which's accompanied by an infectious rhythm & an affecting vocal performance by Shota .
flower is the 1st album track & I have to say I was really surprised when I 1st heard flower because I was very drawn into the melody instantly .
I never heard this musical side of Shota prior to hearing flower which's quite poppy , acoustic guitar & bongo drums driven which's very different from Shota's usual R&B influenced songs .
Still , it's an experimental risk that Shota took which I have to say it really works well in his favour .
YOU & I is Shota's 8th single . It was used as the Sony's WALKMAN Play you commercial song , alongside with JASMINE's ONE & YUI's Your Heaven .
Just like JASMINE , Shota went to New York to get inspiration in line with what he has to offer in YOU & I which's a cheery sounding R&B piano driven song .
The inspiration for YOU & I is drawn from Shota's thoughts in that he decided his theme was to be meeting & sound . While he was in New York , Shota worked with a pianist he met & in the process , YOU & I was created .
Party All Night follows after YOU & I . I wasn't comfortable when I 1st heard Party All Night as I thought the melody sounded quite dated & let alone , I'm still iffy in Shota to sing unusually very upbeat R&B songs .
But after a while , Party All Night is pretty ok even though at 1st the song got on a rather bad footing note to me .
Forget-me-not served as the lead album promo track & it's a cover of Ozaki Yutaka .
In addition , Forget-me-not is the only song that receives a video too .
I reviewed Forget-me-not as a standalone track way before COLORS was released & up to now , I still have an endurance towards this song . I'm not sure why but it's probably because of the way Shota covers & makes Forget-me-not exclusively unique .
I frankly don't know how the original Forget-me-not sounds like but Shota transformed it into something that's basically almost sounds like Forget-me-not belongs to him .
Sora (Sky) follows after Forget-me-not & this's quite an unusual track because other than being quite acoustic guitar driven , Shota can be heard rapping while some autotune can be heard too .
Everything all sounds like a music recipe for disaster but considering the fact that Shota's the 1 that composed & wrote this , I say it was a worth it risk that he took & what's there not to like about this inspiring uplifting tune ?
Kimi ga Kurasu Machi (The Town Where You Live) is Shota's 7th single & it's the last physical CD single included in COLOURS .
Described as a sweet R&B ballad . Kimi ga Kurasu Machi perfectly complements the sight of falling autumn leaves & the mild breezy weather of autumn .
Honestly , I only find Kimi ga Kurasu Machi a-ok & I wouldn't consider it as a fave Shota single of mine as at times , Kimi ga Kurasu Machi can sound quite bleak if not dreary .
The upside for Kimi ga Kurasu Machi is that it has quite a rather strong piano backing but I wouldn't listen to Kimi ga Kurasu Machi during days that I might feel down .
In the case of So Good , now that's a different thing altogether . As the song title suggests , So Good makes a person well feels good about 1 self .
In anycase , So Good is 1 of those songs that's suitable for a good pick me up for 1 self's mood .
Winter Love Song is the next album track & this's another gem in COLORS .
I thought Winter Love Song was going to have Winter vibes but I was surprised that's nothing like what I imagined .
For starters , Winter Love Song is quite heavily auto tune driven to a certain extent & it's accompanied by a rather enchanting melody which I was drawn into on 1st listen .
Winter Love Song is unusual sounding but I can't help but adore this song quite a significant deal .
Likewise for Midnight Flight , it's another fantastic track that I enjoy which's so catchy & memorable on 1st listen .
Midnight Flight is basically a smooth mid tempo no. that has shades of blues attached & I frankly can visualise Midnight Flight being played in a bar because it fits the whole setting image of 1 quite well .
Eclipse is track #11 & this's 1 of 2 songs found in COLORS that's sung in complete English .
Just like Midnight Flight , Eclipse is another slow jam R&B no. but what makes Eclipse even more something is that Shota is the 1 that composed & wrote it himself which's pretty something , considering that English's by right not his 1st language .
As a result , it was a bit difficult for me to listen to Eclipse & I had to refer to the CD sleeves to check the lyrics but in general , it was surprisingly easy for me to listen to Eclipse & Shota's English dictation is pretty good .
I'm not sure if Shota has any experience in learning English but from what he wrote for the lyrics in Eclipse , there's not a sight of Engrish .
Tears follows after Eclpise & for Tears , it's basically a straightforward acoustic pop guitar track .
There's somewhat of a bittersweet feeling attached to Tears which I was able to detect but I thought that's what makes Tears charming in this aspect .
The next 3 songs are bonus tracks available in COLORS .
The 1st song is something titled let go ~maison de m-flo~ & this also can be found from m-flo TRIBUTE ~maison de m-flo~ which's a tribute album released 2 years ago on 16th Sept to celebrate the 10th anniversary of pop/R&B/hip-hop duo m-flo .
I guess let go belongs to m-flo & this's the 2nd cover song found in COLORS after Forget-me-not but regardless of which , let go ~maison de m-flo~ is pretty nice .
I wasn't sure what to expect for let go ~maison de m-flo~ but it's something that I enjoy despite its rather unusual sound as it 1st started with a nice piano backing before slowing branching out into something more R&B driven .
Summer Time is the 2nd bonus track & it's also incidentally the 2nd digital single of Shota .
I reviewed Summer Time as a standalone song before COLORS was released . I still don't consider this as something memorable as there're many other album tracks found in COLORS that're way better than Summer Time .
As such , Summer Time doesn't seem to be able to stack up against the other songs that well & I don't think it's something that I might listen to on a frequent basis too .
Be With You is the final track available in COLORS & this's the B-side song found in Shota's 6th single GOODBYE .
This song is a duet that Shota sang with JOE , in which JOE is a US R&B singer/record producer who has collaborated with Mariah Carey & 98 Degrees in 2000's Thank God I Found You & JOE is best known for his own solo hits such as early 2000's I Wanna Know & Stutter .
Be With You is the 2nd full English song after Eclipse & similiarly , Shota had a hand in cowriting Be With You alongside with JOE .
Before I switched to listen/support Japanese music full time , I was very much into the English music scene so I know who JOE is .
Considering I grew up listening to the above English songs that I have listed , for Shota to work with JOE , I think it's an honour so to speak .
Song wise , I feel lyrically Be With You is an easy listening R&B no. . Naturally , JOE's English dictation is much better than Shota but the good thing about Be With You is that Shota doesn't sound overpowered by JOE that much & I feel both of them compliment & harmonise things very well .
Shota Shimizu has come quite a long way after debuting on the scene with 2008's HOME & I have to say that I really/truly enjoy listening to COLORS .
I wasn't sure what to expect for his new album as I did enjoy his previous album Journey quite a fair bit but for COLORS , I think the title of his new album fits the concept well in the sense that I was very surprised & let alone blown away by the sheer quality of the album tracks .
Unlike Journey , Shota really branched out & experimented a lot more this time round in COLORS . The singles are frankly ok but it's the album tracks that bring the whole record to a whole new different level .
There were quite a lot of new sounds that Shota didn't explore before but he did this time round & I say this music gambling risk paid off in a lot more ways than I ever imagine .
Already the fact that Shota composes & writes everything on his own , it's not easy & for him to deliver such an enjoyable , memorable & solid album , as the saying goes , 3rd time is definitely the charm .
2011 hasn't come to an conclusion yet but COLORS I feel is already a shoo in nomination for album of 2011 at this point in time .
COLORS is definitely an album worth checking out especially if you're looking for some geniune good R&B music .
Acid Black Cherry - Shoujo no Inori (Girl's Prayer) III
CD + DVD
Shoujo no Inori (Girl's Prayer) III is Acid Black Cherry's 10th single . It was originally supposed to be released on March 30th but now its release date has been postponed due to March 11th's earthquake/tsunami disaster .
Honestly , I was really surprised when yasu decided to release a single that's titled Shoujo no Inori III because I recongised Shoujo no Inori which's found in debut album's BLACK LIST so I was a bit puzzled what happened to Shoujo no Inori II in the process .
Anyway in Shoujo no Inori III , I definitely can detect certain traces/elements of Shoujo no Inori except in this case , Shoujo no Inori III has a lot more bite & also it has a much more harder/edgier sound which's something that I really like .
I thought Shoujo no Inori was really memorable/catchy but Shoujo no Inori III just basically takes things to the next level .
The B-side track is a cover of Sharam Q's 1994 single Joukyou Monogatari (Story Of Kyoto) which will not be reviewed .
Monday, March 14, 2011
alan - New songs taken from JAPAN PREMIUM BEST & MORE
2 CDs + DVD Regular
2 CDs + DVD Limited
The following 5 songs are found in the 2nd disc of alan's 1st compilation album JAPAN PREMIUM BEST & MORE which was released on 2nd March :
- Komorebi (Sunlight Filtering Through Trees)
- eternal love ~Koi no Hana~ (Flower Of Love)
- Venus Flower
- Wasurenaide (Don't Forget) (S'capade featuring alan) (Limited Edition Track)
The 1st song ECHOES brings back to what alan is most known for , her signature yodelling which's mixed up with traditional Tibetan elements which both of them were very hand in hand together when comes to her early works .
I wasn't surprised that I like ECHOES since I'm quite an old school fan of her older Japanese works hence that's why so .
Komorebi is a pretty mid tempo song but that's how much I would describe the 2nd new track since I frankly do not find it anything special about it .
No doubt Komorebi is very easy listening & pleasant . However , it doesn't have that X factor which I was looking for .
eternal love ~Koi no Hana~ is 1 heck of a power ballad that alan delivers which's more or less on par with what she has to offer in line with ECHOES which's fantastic .
I suppose what I like about eternal love ~Koi no Hana~ is the way the song builds up a momentum as it goes by which I thought it's pretty cool .
The next song Venus Flower is quite interesting & when I 1st heard it , my immediate reaction was that it really reminded me of the Smooth Jam Mix of my life's Namida (Tears) .
Both Venus Flower & Namida (Smooth Jam Mix) have that same smooth sounds which I don't think it's a bad thing since I frankly prefer the Smooth Jam Mix of Namida a lot more than the original .
I don't really have that much issues against Venus Flower & I thought it's quite a nice cheery sounding no. .
Only found in the 2CDs + DVD limited pressing of JAPAN PREMIUM BEST & MORE , it's Wasurenaide & for this track , it has been credited as S'capade featuring alan .
People who doesn't listen to alan would find Wasurenaide quite familiar sounding & that goes for myself too & I'm frankly not sure who's this S'capade but their collaboration with alan works well here .
I must say that I was surprised when alan decided to release her 1st best album as I thought it was a bit too early for something like that to happen .
Then again , I wasn't expecting that she included new tracks in the mix ie. if fans purchase the 2CDs + DVD normal or limited editions of JAPAN PREMIUM BEST & MORE .
Even though there're only 5 new songs in the 2nd disc (not counting Ai wa Chikara (Love Is Power) (alan x Fukui Kei) since I already reviewed it as a standalone track) , I have to admit they're pretty good in their own respective right & alan abids to the saying quality over quantity .
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Mika Nakashima - Dear
Dear is Mika Nakashima's 33rd single & it will be released next month on 27th April .
Mika's brand new single has been selected to be used as the theme song to the movie Youkame no Semi starring Inoue Mao & is said to express the feelings of an adult woman who notices the joys of loving even when grieving her own fate .
It's a known fact that Mika is known for her soulful inspiring ballads & the same thing can apply to Dear as well .
For me , what I like about Dear is that it's simple , understated without going over the top . Unlike some of Mika's ballads that I'm not that fond of , Dear is pretty & the message behind the song has a positive message despite a person who's undergoing a tough period in his/her life currently , something which's pretty much evident in line with Fri's earthquake which struck Japan .
A 2011 New Recording of A MIRACLE FOR YOU serves as the B-side in the single .
The updated version of A MIRACLE FOR YOU is specially dedicated to Mika's patient & loyal fans .
The original take of the song was 1st found as track #13 in Mika's debut album TRUE .
Saturday, March 12, 2011
CD Review :: Koda Kumi - Dejavu
CD + 2DVDs
1) Prologue to Dejavu
2) POP DIVA
5) Aitakute (I Want To Meet You)
6) Passing By Feat Brandon Howard
7) AT THE WEEKEND
8) Interlude to Dejavu
10) Hey baby !
11) Choi Tashi (A Little Harder And Then) Life
12) Anata Dake ga (Only You)
13) Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. (I Like You , I Like You , I Like You.
15) I Don't Love You !??
Dejavu is Koda Kumi's 9th album & it was released last week on 2nd March .
3 singles made the cut in Koda's latest album offering , with 2 album tracks that received music videos .
After an Alice In Wonderland inspired like Prologue to Dejavu opening , Koda dives straight to POP DIVA , which's her 49th single & most recent single release .
POP DIVA was used as the commerical theme song for Daiichikosho's LIVE DAM LIVE which Koda can be seen in the ads herself .
Well honestly POP DIVA is not the best electro dance song that Koda has to offer in her discography but still , I will not deny that it's really catchy/memorable .
The chorus in POP DIVA are still gratty to me but no doubt that it's a fun song to crank up a notch or 2 in a party/club .
Lollipop is taken from Koda's 47th single Gossip Candy . 3 songs in the single had music videos included in Gossip Candy . However in Dejavu , Inside Fishbowl & Outside Fishbowl are excluded .
I was honestly surprised when both Inside Fishbowl & Outside Fishbowl have been axed out from Dejavu's tracklist & that goes for the DVD listing of the album as well . I remember I was having somewhat of a love/hate relationship with both songs but seems to me that I can assume Lollipop served as the main promotion track from Gossip Candy .
Anyway , Lollipop is basically ero-kawaii at what Koda does best . It's not as raunchy sounding as other songs in her discography but still it's something worth listening to .
Okay is the 1st album track in Dejavu . I was originally going to review this as a standalone track but I decided not to do that eventually .
But no matter , Okay is in the R&B mid tempo session with autotune thrown in for good measures .
I kind of enjoy Okay but I feel it would have sounded much better if they excluded out this male vocalist's vocals in the background which kind of creep me out somehow .
Aitakute (I Want To Meet You) follows after Okay . Even before hearing Aitakute , I already can sense that it was going to be a ballad & turns out that I wasn't wrong .
Koda's ballads have quite a tendency to sound generic if not standardised/boring but thankfully those traits are not present in Aitakute .
Unlike UNIVERSE's STAY which I find it dreadfully boring , there's just something about Aitakute that I like . I'm not sure what it's but it's probably the emotions that Koda poured into the song which I was drawn into .
Passing By is the 1st album track that gets a music video & in this song , the male vocals is sung by a guy whose name's Brandon Howard & it's the only collaboration track found in Dejavu .
In fact , Brandon is also credited with cowriting Passing By with Koda alongside with co-composing & producing the song which I thought it's pretty impressive for him to do that .
I thought Passing By was going to be another disaster duet but I'm relieved to know that's not the case .
But anyway , I thought Passing By was pretty enjoyable & I feel both Brandon & Koda's vocals compliment each other very well .
Passing By is basically a mid tempo R&B track but I could do with less autotune because too much of it can turn me off .
AT THE WEEKEND is the next album track & I feel this's 1 of the standout songs in Dejavu as it's basically a no frills straightforward sounding upbeat R&B no. .
It's not as upbeat as POP DIVA but still it's enough to get people grooving to AT THE WEEKEND & I just like it when the chorus hit the nail right on the head .
After Interlude to Dejavu , in comes another album track that's called Melting .
Melting was used in the ads of SEIBU which Koda can be seen in the ads herself .
If you like Koda's cutesy happy go lucky songs , then Melting falls into this category & depending on your mood , Melting is 1 of those songs that you might skip or not .
For me , I'm 1 of the rare few that doesn't mind listening to Koda's cutesy songs even though I do admit I only do that only if I'm in a fitting mood .
Hey baby ! follows after Melting & for this , Hey baby ! was used as the theme song for the anime Crayon Shin-Chan .
I already know about this song for quite sometime now & I was really happy that it has finally seen the daylight in Dejavu because it's a really catchy pow wow song .
Despite the fact that Hey baby ! is the shortest track in Dejavu , the song packs a lot of punches with its in your face & fast paced tune which makes Hey baby ! very memorable to remember .
Choi Tashi (A Little Harder And Then) Life is track #11 & just like Melting , Choi Tashi Life is in the cutesty music vein .
Unlike Melting , Choi Tashi Life is somewhat a bit more mature sounding with its carefree sounding vibes .
Anata Dake ga (Only You) is the 2nd A-side of Koda's 48th single Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. / Anata Dake ga & the 1st A-side Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. (I Like You , I Like You , I Like You.) follows after Anata Dake ga .
Personally , I think both Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. & Anata Dake ga are some of the strongest single ballads that Koda has released in recent times & I wasn't surprised that both songs are slotted between each other in Dejavu .
Whether it's Suki de , Suki de , Suki de. or Anata Dake ga , both ballads are still fantastic in their own respective right .
Bambi is the 2nd last album track & it's also the other album track to get a music video after Passing By .
This song follows in the same music vein as Melting & Choi Tashi Life .
Bambi is really cute & enduring . I wasn't expecting that I enjoy listening to Bambi & after watching the video , I can't help but appericate this side of Koda .
Last but not least , I Don't Love You !?? wraps up Dejavu as the final song in the tracklist .
I honestly have no idea what to also expect from I Don't Love You !?? but it's an easy listening upbeat R&B song . It's memorable no doubt about it & quite fitting to conclude Dejavu .
Koda Kumi's 1 of my fave female artistes & I'm real pleased to say that I enjoy Dejavu a lot more than her previous album UNIVERSE which I find the album tracks very rushed if not poor cousins of other songs found in her discography .
I suppose the reason as to why I feel Dejavu is much better than UNIVERSE is because in her latest album offering , Dejavu's sound consistency is there from the beginning to the end & it's being mapped out very systematically .
Album tracks wise , they're much stronger than UNIVERSE as I feel Koda didn't try too hard to experiment/change her music style direction which was quite a big setback that UNIVERSE had .
My only grouse for Dejavu was that I could make do with less cutesy songs since 3 was a bit too much for me to handle . I would have prefer if 1 of them is being replaced by a power ballad since Aitakute & Passing By are enjoyable to listen .
With that said , Koda's next single will be her 50th release overall & I'm not sure what's going to happen but I hope it will be something grand/big she will unveal .
At the meantime , Dejavu is not going to leave my stereo anytime soon .
UVERworld - MONDO PIECE
CD + DVD
MONDO PIECE is UVERworld's 18th single & it will be released on 23rd March .
UVERworld's latest single offering was 1st introduced to fans as the last song of the band's Tokyo Dome concert back last Nov but the fans's response to the song was so high that it was turned into a single .
When asked about their decision to make the song an official CD release , guitarist Katsuya replied , "At 1st , since we had made the song thinking of it only as an end roll to the Tokyo Dome concert , we hadn't thought at all about making it into a CD . But we felt so moved by (the reaction of the fans) on the wings of the stage, that this time there were no objections to making it a CD ."
While not as grand sounding as their previous single NO.1 which in my opinion is still 1 if not their best release to date , MONDO PIECE is a pleasant listening tune offered by UVERworld .
Considering the significance of the song , I guess I can understand why the fans were very eager/responsive to MONDO PIECE which's definitely a good sign/thing .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- Panic World
- Chomimouryou Match
Both will not be reviewed .
UVERworld's 20th single Pride will be released on 27th April .
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Aoyama Thelma - LOLLIPOP (Zutto.'s B-side)
LOLLIPOP serves as the B-side track in Aoyama Thelma's 12th single Zutto. (Forever.) which was released last week on 2nd March .
Zutto. is Aoyama's first ever wedding song , written specially for her close friend Kinoshita Yukina .
The song was described as a tender ballad that expresses a newly-wedded bride's feelings towards her new husband . Aoyama re-wrote the lyrics five times & worked on the song for three months straight , in order to give her friend the perfect wedding gift .
A small wedding ceremony was held at Tokyo's Disney Resort on December 5th for the close friends & relatives of the newlyweds & Zutto. made its unofficial debut & brought tears to the eyes of everyone present
Naturally or not , I was expecting LOLLIPOP to be a total contrast against Zutto. & I wasn't wrong when I heard the song .
LOLLIPOP is interesting because I never heard any song sung by Aoyama that utilises autotune . At the same time , I found the chorus to be a bit gratty as there's where the over dosage of autotune really hits quite a great deal .
But overall at the end of the day , I do enjoy listening to Aoyama's latest single release Zutto. & already when I found out the story/meaning behind the A-side , I can't help but feel touched on Aoyama's kind gesture towards her friend .
B-side wise , it's a song that I can deal without but I suppose I will listen to LOLLIPOP if I'm in the mood for something out of the ordinary .
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Kuroki Meisa - One More Drama
One More Drama is Kuroki Meisa's 4th single & it will be released on 13th April .
Kuroki's latest single offering has been described as an urban flamenco song & it will be used in her 2nd Kit-Kat CM that will begin airing towards the end of March .
Finally , something a bit different from what Kuroki usually offers ! & One More Drama is as per described , urban sounding with a touch of Spanish flamenco flair .
Considering that so far there's not much experimentation going on in Kuroki's music discography , One More Drama is quite a refreshing tune coming from her & I think she does it quite well if I say so myself .
Let alone One More Drama is pretty memorable on 1st listen too .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- Go Ahead
- LOL ! ARP Remix remix by dee.c
Go Ahead is currently being used in the ads of Rukia SEIKO , in which Kuroki can be seen in the commericals herself .
Monday, March 07, 2011
Akanishi Jin - Murasaki (Purple) (Eternal's B-side)
CD + DVD
Murasaki (Purple) serves as the B-side track in Akanishi Jin's debut solo single Eternal , which was released last week on 2nd March .
Eternal is Akanishi's 1st release under Warner Music Japan & the A-side is a touching love song about the eternal love of 2 people .
In an interview , Akanishi revealed that he wrote this song 4 years ago to celebrate his parents' wedding anniversary or birthdays of his relatives .
When asked about the reason why he decided to release Eternal as his debut solo single , he replied that it was a present for the fans . Apparently there were a lot of fans , who asked for Eternal to get released since he played it live for quite a while .
I'm sure for long time fans of Akanishi who have been supporting him / KAT-TUN way before KAT-TUN finally made their music debut in 2006 would definitely know of Murasaki , with it being a fan fave for a very long time , seeing that Akanishi has been performing this song in concerts from 2004 until now .
Since I never seen/heard the live take of Murasaki with the fact that I came onto the Johnny's fandom a bit too late , I treat this as a new song .
Murasaki is a pleasant mid tempo song & I can understand why a lot of fans like this song , because lyrically it's really meaningful & considering that it took Akanishi so long to get this song in a CD , I say it's really worth the wait in every single bit .
Akanishi Jin starts his solo career journey with Eternal . While I enjoy the single , I feel it's a bit too safe for my liking , since there're other songs found in Akanishi's discography that have the whole Americanised modern vibes , like Yellow Gold .
Then again , I think to tap into his ardent fanbase , Warner Music decided to do something that's on the safe familiar grounds which explains Eternal & the fan fave Murasaki .
It wouldn't surprise me there will be even more fan fave solo songs of Akanishi which will get the studio treatment such as PINKY & ha-ha but until then , Eternal is here to satisfy even the harshest critics .
Sunday, March 06, 2011
CD Review :: SID - dead stock
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) NO LDK
4) Iihito (Good-Natured Person)
5) Ranbu no (Wild Dance) Melody (ALBUM MIX)
7) dog run
8) one way
9) Nigatsu (February)
dead stock is SID's 2nd album & it was released last month on 23rd Feb .
SID's new album comes in almost 2 years + since the release of their debut major label album hikari .
In dead stock , there're a total of 12 tracks , inclusive of 5 singles .
The unusual titled NO LDK is the 1st album track to kick things off in dead stock .
Honestly NO LDK was a bit random if not a strange choice of song to start SID's new album & also , I find it quite slow for my liking too . It doesn't have that X factor unlike hikari's Rakuen (Eden) .
But despite starting things at a wrong footing , in comes dead stock's 2nd album track Shelter which I like a lot more than NO LDK .
The strong point for Shelter is that I really like the unusual guitar riffs which're being layered over each other without sounding messy . I actually find Shelter quite similiar sounding to other artistes's material that I listen to as well but I leave it as it's .
cosmetic is SID's 7th single & it was used as the commercial theme song for DAM★Uta Fu .
Out of the 5 singles that're included in dead stock , I still feel that cosmetic has to be my fave out of the lot simply because it's still a groovy , unique & very memorable track .
Let alone , no matter how many times I listen to cosmetic , I will never get bored of it .
Iihito (Good-Natured Person) slows down the pace in dead stock & this's 1 of my fave album tracks .
On 1st listen , Iihito reminds me of Ranbu no Melody's Danro (Fireplace) , since both songs have that chilled out Jazz influenced vibes which's plain brillant because I have a soft spot for such songs that're found in SID's discography .
Ranbu no (Wild Dance) Melody is SID's 8th single . Aside from being used as an opening theme song for the anime BLEACH , Ranbu no Melody was also used as the ending theme song for the following TV programs : Bepop ! High Heel , a-ha-N & Chart Busters R ! .
In dead stock , it has been given an album mix which frankly to me , it sounds exactly the same as the single version .
Ranbu no Melody is not really my fave SID single but it has grown on me quite considerably .
Rain is SID's 6th single . It was used as the theme songs for the anime FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST (opening) , the TV program Bebop ! High Heel (ending) , the TV program a-ha-N (ending) & also as a commercial theme song for MUSICO .
I don't really have that much issues with Rain because it's quite a typical anime song which's almost the same style that SID applied with their other singles that were used to promote animes such as Monochrome no Kiss & also Uso .
dog run is an album track & despite the strange song title , it's actually 1 of my fave songs that I enjoy in dead stock .
I frankly was expecting dog run to be a joke but it's actually very upbeat & somewhat cheery sounding which really surprised me & the 1st impression I have of dog run was linking it with the sounds of a marching band , due to the strong drum beats being incorporated in dog run .
one way is SID's 4th single & it was used as an ending theme song for the TV program Uchikuru !? .
I still remember when one way was released , I somewhat had a dislike towards it . I'm not sure why because just like Ranbu no Melody , the song has grown on me quite a fair bit since then .
Nigatsu (February) is track #9 & for this , this's another memorable album no. to listen to as it's just a really inspirational & uplifting song .
I wasn't sure what to expect for Nigatsu but I adore the feeling/vibes that it was giving which's great .
Wife is the next album track & this's interesting in line with the melody that's not straightforward but somewhat easy to digest .
Duration wise , Wife is the shortest track in dead stock , clocking in at 2:49 mins but sometimes at the end of the day , it's ok to keep things short & sweet .
sleep is SID's 5th single & it was used as a theme song for the TV program Sukkiri !! & in the ads for Recoshoku . It's also the final single slotted in dead stock's tracklist .
This track is still 1 of my fave singles of the group after cosmetic , simply because it's a real angsty ballad .
It's not overdosed on the angst factor but it's more than sufficient to showcase a different side of the guys which I like .
Sympathy is the final song to conclude dead stock & I think it's quite a fitting song to wrap things up with this uplifting inspirational no. .
Even though Sympathy doesn't have that same grand sounding closure as hikari's Hikari , I still think it's not that shabby of a curtain call song .
It has been close to 2 years since SID has released their debut major label album hikari & for dead stock , I think it showcases significant music growth that the group has displayed which it's for sure a good thing .
I generally like everything that SID has released from their discography & that goes for no exception towards dead stock .
I like the experimentations going on for the album tracks which I enjoy as well , let alone the singles which're already winners in their own respective right .
The only grouse I felt dead stock had was that the whole album felt unusually short to me , since most of the songs are under 4 mins long but the upside's that dead stock is a no frills record that I enjoy listening from the start til the end .
Definitely a good follow up from hikari & worth the wait .
Hilcrhyme - Ibuki (Breath) (Okubyou na Ookami's B-side)
Ibuki (Breath) serves as the B-side in Hilcrhyme's 7th single Okubyou na Ookami (Cowardly Wolf) which was released last month on 23rd Feb .
The A-side Okubyou na Ookami has pop essence & showcases a new style from the duo . A heavier hip-hop sound has been incorporated & includes more rap sections by lead singer/rapper TOC .
In addition , the single was released on the same day as the duo's 1st PV collection DVD Hilcrhyme Theater vol.1 .
In keeping up with the duo's true hip hop/rap style , Ibuki indeed has familiar music terrority grounds but just like the A-side , Ibuki presents a different side of Hilcrhyme , music wise .
I find Ibuki to be more piano driven & it does sound like taking a page from their latest album MESSAGE .
I think it's fine as I like it when artistes take experimental music risks & this's quite evident for both the A & B-side songs of the duo's latest single offering Okubyou na Ookami .
In general I have been pleased with what Hilcrhyme has to offer & I'm looking forward to see what else they have in store this year .
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Namie Amuro - UNUSUAL Feat Yamashita Tomohisa
UNUSUAL is 1 of 4 new songs found on Namie Amuro's 1st collaboration album Checkmate ! which will be released this month on 23rd March .
This song features the vocals of NEWS's leader Yamashita Tomohisa & it has been described as a love song .
Namie had said before that she wanted to make a song with a male artist who could sing & dance . She got the most inspiration from watching Yamapi's One in a million performance & this marks the 1st time Namie has performed with a Johnny's talent .
I think just like anyone else , I was really surprised if not shocked when I saw Yamapi's name on the singing credits for UNUSUAL in which Yamapi's someone that I never thought Namie would collaborate with .
However when I found out that both of them were going to sing a love song , I was really worried as to whether will UNUSUAL backfire ?
Thankfully when I finally heard the song , my fears were dispel out & also , the song sounds like something I can see both artistes do in their separate solo discographies .
In Namie's case , UNUSUAL sounds like a mix mash of her previous songs which have that same catchy R&B vibes such as WHAT A FEELING , WILD & Defend Love . For Yamapi , UNUSUAL more or less takes a note or 2 from the SUPERBAD side of his recently released debut solo album SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD .
Unlike what happened in Wonder Woman which featured AI & Anna Tsuchiya , for UNUSUAL , Namie wasn't overshadowed by Yamapi's vocals which's a good thing & both of them compliment each other pretty well too .
Definitely a solid collaboration song , hopefully this will not be the 1st & last that Namie's working with a Johnny's talent .