Saturday, July 30, 2011
JASMINE - ONLY YOU
1) ONLY YOU
3) ONLY YOU [Instrumental]
4) Addiction [Instrumental]
ONLY YOU is JASMINE's 7th single & it was released a few days ago on 27th July .
JASMINE's new single comes about 5 months + since the release of her previous single ONE & just like ONE , ONLY YOU has been selected to be in the ads of Sony Walkman’s Play You .
I really like ONLY YOU on 1st listen as it bears quite a lot of resemblances to JASMINE's debut single sad to say . Already when the song started with a beautiful piano melody , I couldn't help but get drawn into the song easily .
After releasing ONE , I thought it's nice of JASMINE to release this mid tempo R&B piano number & she did it well with ONLY YOU .
The B-side track is something called Addiction & it plays a really good contrast against the A-side in that Addiction is a hot uptempo R&B no. & just like JASMINE's spunky attitude , don't be surprised if you hear the F word in Addiction even though it's not as prominent as what was found in sad to say .
JASMINE is 1 of the most unique R&B female solo acts around & I'm lucky to have come across her music & judging from the songs that she has released & also for her choice of unique outfits combination , I say she has potential to go far in the business if she keeps this up .
And what better way than it's proof with the release of her latest single ONLY YOU & I'm already looking forward to see what else she has up in store in her next move .
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Namie Amuro - NAKED / Fight Together / Tempest
CD + DVD
2) Fight Together
4) NAKED (extended instrumental)
5) Fight Together(instrumental)
6) Tempest (instrumental)
NAKED / Fight Together / Tempest is Namie Amuro's 35th single & it will be released tomorrow on 27th July .
Namie's 2nd triple A-side release comes in after she released her 1st collaboration album Checkmate ! this year on 27th April .
NAKED was selected to be used as the theme song to a Kose ad for ESPRIQUE which Namie can be seen in the ad herself & it's composed by Osawa Shinichi with lyrics provided by m-flo's VERBAL .
The song has been described as a very Namie song , meaning it's a dance-able tune .
On the other hand , Fight Together was used as the theme song to anime ONE PIECE & it went on-air this year in April . Namie is said to be a big fan of ONE PIECE & unlike the other 2 A-sides , Fight Together does not get a music video .
Last but not least , the last A-side Tempest is described as a touching ballad that's also used as the theme song for the NHK period drama of the same name which started airing on July 17th .
Personally I like all the 3 A-sides as each song presents a different side of Namie .
NAKED is very catchy & typical of Namie does in her music but the strong catchy memorable hooks coming from NAKED is extremely addictive & it definitely does get stuck in your head as each listen goes by .
Kudos to both Osawa Shinichi & m-flo's VERBAL for being a dymanic duo in composing & writing NAKED .
On the other hand , Fight Together is a very nice uplifting positive song . It's not as upbeat as NAKED but Fight Together makes up for things by being mid tempo .
In fact , Fight Together is actually the 1st A-side I heard of the single before the other 2 songs , so naturally I will have more attachment towards it . I'm just a bit sore that this's the only A-side in the single that does not get a music video though .
From a very danceable song to a mid tempo no. , the single closed things off with the ballad Tempest .
I noticed that Namie doesn't tend to do a lot of ballads in her discography which I find it a real pity because ballads showcase a different side of her that's not present in her usual works .
But Tempest is really nice & conclude things very well , the same thing which happened last year with regards to Break It / Get Myself Back .
Namie Amuro is 1 of the most respected & talented female solo acts that I admire & after being in the business for so long , she still has it going on with her & NAKED / Fight Together / Tempest is evident of things .
This single has a little bit of everything for a Namie fan to enjoy & can satisfy even the most nit pick non fan of Namie .
Saturday, July 23, 2011
CD Review :: School Food Punishment - Prog-Roid
CD + DVD
1) free quiet
3) in bloom
4) Utsurou , Sangatsu (Move On , March)
7) Ura Omote
9) flashback trip syndrome
10) Hikari (Light)
Prog-Roid is School Food Punishment's 2nd album & it was released on 13th July .
The group's latest album offering comes in about 1 year & 3 months since the release of their debut album amp-reflection & just 1 single is included in Prog-Roid .
free quiet is the 1st song that kick things off in the album & this's quite a cool experimental track to start things .
School Food Punishment is known for their unique indie mix when comes to their music & free quiet is no exception which gives rise to this rather lushed piano driven chilled out song .
RPG is the group's 6th single & it was used as the outro theme for the anime C .
This's the only single included in the album but RPG is still undeniable catchy even up to this point in time .
in bloom follows after RPG & I really like this song a great deal . Just like free quiet , in bloom takes on a more piano driven sound except in this case , in bloom is somewhat more upbeat & cheery sounding which's great .
Utsurou , Sangatsu (Move On , March) has an unusual sound attached to it . It's quite slow sounding that's quite heavily synth to a certain extent .
I wouldn't really consider Utsurou , Sangatsu as a fave album track of mine in Prog-Roid as there're other tracks that stood out from the lot but this's still worth checking out .
≠ is track #5 & it's pronounced as 'not equal' . Despite the strange song title , I must admit ≠ is a joy listening to .
The song is also piano driven & positive sounding just like in bloom but both songs are able to craft out an unique identity of themselves which's able to distinguish itself .
I also detect a bit of slight saxaphone sounds in ≠ which's able to give the song an slight musical edge over the other songs found in the album .
are follows after ≠ & for this , are is 1 of the more poppier songs that has a really pretty memory attached to it .
What stood out from are is the way lead singer Yumi sings , especially when she echo 'are are are' in the backdrop , which I find it quite interesting .
I also find the next song Ura Omote enjoyable to listen as well , as it presents a music blend of synth & rock which sounds really good & this allowed lead singer Yumi's vocals to work in her favour .
Halation is 1 of the more harder sounding no. in Prog-Roid as it has a more gritter sound , which's something that's not very prominent unlike the songs found in the group's debut album amp-reflection .
Nevertheless , Halation is some good stuff that's worth recommending to check out .
flashback trip syndrome was used as the theme song for the movie Nanase Futatabi .
I reviewed flashback trip syndrome a while back ago on my blog & I was thrilled to find this included in the tracklist of Prog-Roid .
Way before the announcement of a new album , I always have enjoyed listening to flashback trip syndrome & it's still something I enjoy even up to now .
Hikari (Light) is the 2nd last song & before I listened to Hikari , I had a feeling it was going to be a ballad & sure enough , it's .
This's probably the only ballad found in Prog-Roid but the group did such a good job in making Hikari exclusive in the sense .
Hikari is piano driven but Yumi's vocals basically does most of the work here & I can't help but like this chilled lushed no. which's nice .
Y/N is the final track & for this , it's probably the most flashed out & poppy song in the album .
I detected quite a fair bit of xylophon beat influences in Y/N which I find it pretty cool as it's notably absent in other album tracks in the album & that makes things better in concluding Prog-Roid .
Despite the fact that only 1 single is included in School Food Punishment's latest album offering , Prog-Roid showcased a significant amount of growth & maturity the group has displayed in their music since making their debut presence felt with their debut single futuristic imagination .
Compared to amp-reflection , Prog-Roid presents much more upbeat , slick & polished sounds coming from this extremely under-rated & talented group .
There's not much angst that I was able to detect in Prog-Roid unlike in amp-reflection but what makes Prog-Roid enjoyable to listen from the start to the end is the way each song is able to stand out from 1 another , without coming across as though the album is 1 long song that's stringed together from 11 tracks .
All in all , Prog-Roid is a solid album & if you're looking to try something different ie. a mixture of indie , pop , rock & ambient fusion , then School Food Punishment might be just the artiste to check out .
flumpool - Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru (Love Is In Any Future) / Touch
CD + DVD
1) Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru (Love Is In Any Future)
3) Kimi no Tame no 100 no Moshi mo (100 If's For You) (Live at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall) (Bonus Track)
4) Kimi ni Todoke (Delivered To You) (Live at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall) (Bonus Track)
5) two of us (Live at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall) (Bonus Track)
6) Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru (Love Is In Any Future) (Instrumental)
7) Touch (Instrumental)
Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru (Love Is In Any Future) / Touch is flumpool's 6th single & it will be released this coming week on 27th July .
This's the group's 1st single release of 2011 & this comes about 6 months + after they released their 2nd album Fantasia of Life Stripe .
The 1st A-side Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru (Love Is In Any Future) has been selected to be used in the ads for mobile game site Mobage .
Lead singer Ryuuta commented , "We are living in times where the future is unclear . I wrote this song hoping to bring a smile upon as many people as possible . I will be happy if the message of Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru will encourage those who are living positively .”
On the other hand , the 2nd A-side Touch is currently used in the ads of Sharp's "au AQUOS PHONE IS11SH" .
The single contains 3 B-side tracks that're all live renditions of songs that are taken from Fantasia of Life Stripe which will not be reviewed .
After being quite disappointed with Fantasia of Life Stripe , I was quite pleased to see that at least flumpool still has some good staying/standing power in line with this latest release of theirs .
Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru is basically a light hearted mid tempo song & it's very inspirational , especially with what lead singer Ryuuta had to say about the no. .
On the other hand , Touch is actually the 1st A-side that I heard before Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru & I must say that Touch presents a different side of flumpool that I haven't heard before until now .
Touch is quite piano driven to a certain extent but there's something really cheerfully upbeat about the song that plays a good contrast against Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru . Also , it helps that it's catchy as well .
flumpool is 1 of the most talented bands that I listen & also respect & I'm glad to see that they will not be losing my interest anytime soon , especially with regards to their latest single release Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru / Touch .
I was worried before I hear the songs on the single , especially since I feel Fantasia of Life Stripe did not live up to my expectations but with regards to Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru / Touch , they began to experiment & hopefully slowly but surely , able to break new ground in their music .
flumpool will release their 7th single Akashi (Proof) on 7th Sept & for this , Akashi has been chosen to be used as the title song for the intermediate division of 78th NHK National School Music Competition .
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - BELIEVE
CD + DVD
2) My love goes on
3) Love Forever (DAISHI DANCE REMIX)
4) BELIEVE (Instrumental)
BELIEVE is Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu's 3rd collaboration single & it was released on a few days ago on 13th July .
After collaborating 2 times together with Love Forever & FOREVER LOVE , in comes the duo's 3rd collaboration release BELIEVE .
Honestly , I was very surprised when both Miliyah & Shota decided to band together for the 3rd time in a row to release another single but then again , they did it really well for their last 2 duets together & BELIEVE is no exception .
BELIEVE is basically a nice peppy no. that showcase each of their vocals well . It's quite a feisty no. that makes a person feel motivated when he/she gives this song a listen & also , the song is catchy too .
The B-side is titled My love goes on & for this , My love goes on takes on a more less uptempo route & I like the introduction which I thought it's quite interesting .
I wasn't sure what to expect for the song at 1st but all I can say's that it compliments & contrasts BELIEVE well .
The DAISHI DANCE REMIX of their 1st duet Love Forever serve as the 2nd B-side of the single .
I'm not really a remix person & the DAISHI DANCE REMIX of Love Forever is neither good or bad . It's quite lengthy as compared to the original & this's something I might skip as I didn't like the fact that the remix kind of ruined things .
I prefer the ~Happy Wedding Remix~ of Love Forever which's found in FOREVER LOVE much more so something like Love Forever (DAISHI DANCE REMIX) , I might take a pass .
As the saying goes , 3rd time's the charm & I feel this applies to Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu's latest single offering BELIEVE .
I have been a fan of the duo's collaboration songs since Love Forever & it thrills me that they're still continuing to release duet singles as I feel both of their vocals compliment each other very well , be it whether are they singing a ballad or a mid tempo R&B song .
It wouldn't surprise me if their next music move together will be an joint collaboration album release . This's something that I will support & if they're able to release 3 collaboration singles & counting , I don't see why such an idea is not able to materialise in the near future .
Saturday, July 16, 2011
BREAKERZ - LAST † PRAY / Zettai (Absolutely) ! I LOVE YOU
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) LAST † PRAY
2) Zettai (Absolutely) ! I LOVE YOU
3) Sore wa Yasashii Kimochi (That Warm Feeling)
LAST † PRAY / Zettai (Absolutely) ! I LOVE YOU is BREAKERZ's 11th single & it was released a few days ago on 13th July & this comes in about 3 months + since the release of the guys's previous single Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou / CLIMBER × CLIMBER .
The 1st A-side LAST † PRAY is written by lead singer DAIGO & composed by guitarist AKIHIDE & it has been described as a song that makes 1 feels that no matter how much a person is tossed about by an ovewhelming power , hope definitely exists at the end of one's prayer .
LAST † PRAY is a dark rock no. that questions the limits of prayer & it is currently used as the opening theme song for CDTV starting from July .
I was blown away when I 1st heard LAST † PRAY because the trio never had a song that sits on the fence of something dark & gothic . As such , I'm not able to make any comparison of LAST † PRAY with any of their songs found in their discography .
LAST † PRAY is notably dark , angsty & edgy which I really like & the fact that AKIHIDE composed it , he did such a great job in conveying how the song turned out to be , sound wise .
The 2nd A-side Zettai ! I LOVE YOU contains strong feelings with the word Zettai to the point that one straightforwardly shouts love .
Zettai ! I LOVE YOU is an upbeat song with a strong , straightforward message of love that will leave fans swooning & this no. is written & composed by DAIGO .
From LAST † PRAY having a dark gothic sound , in comes Zettai ! I LOVE YOU which brings out the fun , bubbly & cheerful side of BREAKERZ . It's quite easy to compare Zettai ! I LOVE YOU with CLIMBER x CLIMBER since both songs have the same happy peppy vibe going on .
But at the same time , Zettai ! I LOVE YOU is a class of its own & it's so undeniable catchy & memorable , it wouldn't surprise me if the chorus get stuck in someone's head the moment he/she heard it & that's what I had when I 1st heard Zettai ! I LOVE YOU although singing this song might pose a challenge given that it goes quite fast paced when the chorus comes on .
The B-side no. is something titled Sore wa Yasashii Kimochi (That Warm Feeling) & just like Zettai ! I LOVE YOU , this's also written & composed by DAIGO .
Even before I give Sore wa Yasashii Kimochi a listen , I knew that it was going to be a ballad from the sound of the title & sure enough , it's & it's such a simple & very touching ballad which plays a great contrast towards the 2 A-sides .
I noticed that the songs DAIGO wrote & composed that's sung in full Japanese usually tend to be are some of the best works that he does for BREAKERZ & Sore wa Yasashii Kimochi is evident of it .
My only grouse for Sore wa Yasashii Kimochi is that it's a bit too short for my liking but I guess sometimes , short & sweet does the trick .
Fast approaching the 4th anniversary of their debut , BREAKERZ has come of age & they once again brought another amazing single to the table in the form of LAST † PRAY / Zettai ! I LOVE YOU .
Both A-sides convey the band's strongest message thus far , which has been incorporated in this new single & I never fail to say this but I'm very proud of just how far they have come since their debut .
I have been a fan of the guys for close to 3 years now , starting from their debut single SUMMER PARTY / LAST EMOTION all the way til now & as each release of their goes by , they always never fail to keep on surprising me , be it good or bad .
And with the release of LAST † PRAY / Zettai ! I LOVE YOU , they once again have pushed even more musical boundaries from where they left after releasing Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou / CLIMBER × CLIMBER & for that , they deserve my respect .
I definitely cannot wait to see what else they have up their sleeves but a new album should be next in their agenda , since it has been close to 2 years when their 4th album FIGHTERZ was released so now it's more or less fitting to bring out another new album .
But until then , I'm going to wait patiently for the guys's next move .
Friday, July 15, 2011
CD Review :: ARASHI - Beautiful World
1) Rock this
2) Mada Minu Sekai he (World That Is Yet To Be Seen)
3) Lφve Rainbow
5) Shake it ! (Matsumoto Jun's Solo)
6) Niji no Kakera (Rainbow's Fragments) ~no rain , no rainbow~
7) Dear Snow
8) Hung up on (Ohno Satoshi's Solo)
10) Doko ni Demo Aru Uta. (Song That Exists Anywhere) (Ninomiya Kazunari's Solo)
11) negai (Wish)
13) 「Janakute」(That's Not It) (Aiba Masaki's Solo)
14) morning light
15) To be free
16) Kono Mama Motto (More Like This) (Sakurai Sho's Solo)
17) Hatenai Sora (Endless Sky)
18) Tooku Made (Until At A Distance)
Beautiful World is ARASHI's 10th album & it was released last week on 6th July .
ARASHI's latest new album offering comes about close to 11 months + since the release of their previous album , the million selling Boku no Miteiru Fukei .
Beautiful World consists of 5 singles , 5 solos , 8 group tracks which in total , 18 songs are found in a single disc in the album , unlike the 2 discs version that Boku no Miteiru Fukei had , let alone for the group's last few albums which includes Dream"A"live & Time .
The album kick things off with Rock this which packs quite a lot of punch to set the mood to a good start . Personally I feel Rock this is equally good/on par with movin on' & the inclusion of Sakurap naturally makes things a lot more better .
Mada Minu Sekai he (World That Is Yet To Be Seen) marks a 1st for ARASHI because it's the 1st album track of the group that gets a music video . However , the clip & making offshot footages of Mada Minu Sekai he are only included in the ARASHI 10-11 TOUR "Scene" ~Kimi to Boku no Miteiru Fuukei~ DOME + DVD .
With that said , I can see / hear why Mada Minu Sekai he has the honour in this aspect because it sounds like basically from where Boku no Miteiru Fukei left .
This can be a good or bad thing but personally , I like most of the album tracks found in Boku no Miteiru Fukei & I like Mada Minu Sekai he the 1st time I heard it so I'm alright with it & the autotune that's used in the song's just sufficient .
Just like Rock this , Mada Minu Sekai he also has Sakurap included but I feel the autotune kind of diluted & made things bad slightly since a combination of autotune & rap should not go hand in hand together in any single way .
Løve Rainbow is ARASHI's 32nd single & it was used as the theme song for the drama Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku which starred Matsumoto Jun .
Even though it has been close to 10 months since Løve Rainbow was released , this's something that I'm not bored with even up to now . I have no issues with Løve Rainbow in any single way so I leave things as it's .
always is the group's 3rd album track & this song has some attitude just like the 1st 2 album tracks of Beautiful World .
The opening for always intrigued me & I like the fact that the song began to transform itself into a mean gritty angsty track that's backed up quite significantly with edgy beats which I think it's very cool .
Shake it ! is the 1st solo song found in Beautiful World & for this , this's sung by Matsumoto Jun .
I never really like the past solo songs of MatsuJun but I'm surprised for Shake it ! , I actually kind of enjoy it .
Just like Boku no Miteiru Fukei's Come back to me , there's quite a lot of autotune influences going on in Shake it ! which I suppose it works well in MatsuJun's favour , especially since he's not the best , when comes to his vocals .
Niji no Kakera (Rainbow's Fragments) ~no rain , no rainbow~ follows after Shake it ! & this's probably 1 of my fave album tracks in the album , simply because it sounds like nothing on what the group had done before .
Immediately when Niji no Kakera ~no rain , no rainbow~ started , I have that impression of a countryside chilled out carefree setting that came on when I heard the song .
Niji no Kakera ~no rain , no rainbow~ is quite an unusual sounding no. but this works very well for ARASHI .
Dear Snow is ARASHI's 33rd single & it was used as the theme song for the film Ohoku which starred Ninomiya Kazunari .
Out of the 5 singles that're included in Beautiful World , Dear Snow is probably my least fave because even though it's a ballad , it treds quite dangeoursly on the boring side & the video didn't help things either .
Having said that , I frankly don't really mind Dear Snow that much but I usually will tend to skip this because there're other tracks in the album that I like much more than Dear Snow .
Hung up on is the 2nd solo song & for this , it's sung by the leader Ohno Satoshi with interestingly enough , there're rap lyrics found in the song that's written by the resident rapper Sakurai Sho .
I wasn't sure what to expect when comes to Hung up on but considering that it's a known fact Ohno has the best vocals in the group , I wasn't disappointed when I gave Hung up on a listen .
For once , Ohno didn't sang a ballad & I feel he's able to carry almost all different styles of music available which I supposed this's the reason why he choose to tackle such a pretty much autotune driven no. .
I can't really hear the presence of Sakurap that much on Hung up on , except only a little of it in the background of the song .
Joy is the 5th group track & out of the 8 group album tracks , Joy has to be my least fave because I find it very boring on 1st listen .
It's a standard pop song but the vocals in Joy sounded really flat & the inclusion of Sakurap honestly saved the no. from becoming a total snoozefest .
Doko ni Demo Aru Uta. (Song That Exists Anywhere) is the 3rd solo song & for this , this's sung by Ninomiya Kazunari .
Nino had a hand in writing & composing Doko ni Demo Aru Uta. & he coarranged the song with ha-j .
Usually , Nino's solos tend to be either a hit or a miss but I'm glad to say that Doko ni Demo Aru Uta. falls in the hit department .
Doko ni Demo Aru Uta. is no Niji but I like just how emotional driven & sincere Doko ni Demo Aru Uta. sounds . The fact that Nino had personal input towards Doko ni Demo Aru Uta. , it's worth commending for .
negai (Wish) is the 6th group track & unlike Joy , negai fares slightly better . The opening wasn't very interesting but negai mangaed to pick up the pace & interest me a lot more than what Joy had to offer .
Lotus is ARASHI's 35th single & it was used as the theme song for the drama BARTENDER , starring Aiba Masaki .
This is the most recent single included in Beautiful World before the album was released & Lotus is still something that I enjoy listening to , in line with the edgy angsty driven sounds that it has going on which I still feel it's great .
And speaking of Aiba , his solo no. 「Janakute」(That's Not It) follows after Lotus .
Even though Aiba doesn't have the best vocals in the group , he's able to choose solo songs that conceals his weak vocals & also showcase the fun & outgoing traits of himself which I suppose that also applies to 「Janakute」 as well .
For Aiba to tackle 「Janakute」 , I think he did it pretty good . It's just that for a change , I would like him to probably make an attempt to do a ballad next time since this's something that he has not done before yet .
morning light is the group's 2nd last track & this's 1 song that I really like a lot on 1st listen simply because it has plenty of angst , spunk & attitude in which all 3 go hand in hand together very well , with autotune thrown in for good measure .
When the introduction of morning light hits , it immediately sets the tone on how the song is like which I feel it's great .
To be free is ARASHI's 31st single & it was used in the ad of Asahi's Mitsuya Cider soft drink which Sakura Sho appeared in the ad himself .
This single is the oldest single found in Beautiful World . But I still enjoy listening to To be free a great deal up to now because I like the somewhat simple fuss free under-stated song that's very guitar driven .
The last single that has such vibes was probably the group's 17th single Aozora Pedal & to me , I feel To be free brings back to basics on what ARASHI used to do when comes to their older works .
Kono Mama Motto (More Like This) is the last solo song & for this , this's sung/rapped by Sakurai Sho .
I never really enjoy Sakurai's solos because just like Nino , they can be a hit or miss but for Kono Mama Motto , it's a definite hit because Sakurai is not trying to do anything extreme but at the same time , a mid tempo ballad with Saxophone beats thrown in for good measures , works wonders for him .
Out of the 5 solos included in Beautiful World , Kono Mama Motto surprised me the most & the fact that Sakurai's solos are generally something that I like or dislike , for Kono Mama Motto to sound this carefree & nice , it's refreshing to say the least .
With the Sakurap that's thrown in the song , it makes things so much better .
Hatenai Sora (Endless Sky) is ARASHI's 34th single & it was used as the theme song for the drama Freeter , ie wo kau , starring Ninomiya Kazunari .
This's the last single included in Beautiful World & I remembered when Hatenai Sora was 1st released , I disliked the song a lot because I thought it sounded really bland & boring .
But along the way , my opinions towards the song have changed significantly after I found out the meaning behind what Hatenai Sora is all about .
Tooku Made (Until At A Distance) is the final group track found in Beautiful World & for this , Tooku Made was selected to be used to promote the latest JAL ad featuring the group , just like what happened to Boku no Miteiru Fukei .
Basically in short , Tooku Made is a fuss free song to enjoy & the fact that summer's currently taking place , this's something that's good to listen to if you want to take a time out .
After the million selling Boku no Miteiru Fukei , ARASHI launched another milestone of theirs , with their latest 10th album offering , Beautiful World .
Truth be told , before I listened to Beautiful World , I was worried how the album was going to turn out as I have previous experiences of listening to albums where the group album tracks would sound great but the solos are a big mess & vice versa .
Surprisingly , for Beautiful World , everything flows well from the start to the end & I think another thing that surprised me was that this time round , all the solos found in the album are actually really solid which I should give kudos to each member for tackling each solo song of theirs with gusto .
In ARASHI's previous albums where I find myself not enjoying all the solos & in the process skipping them , that did not happen for Beautiful World .
Group tracks wise , they're all done nicely with each song having the ability to stand out from each other . The only drawback I find is that there's surprisingly a lack of album ballads this time round which I'm not sure why that's the case but it will be good to note in their next album release , this's something that they should work on .
Having said that , ARASHI has come a long way since their debut in 1999 & Beautiful World is 1 album that's a must get & a must listen to get for 2011 .
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Saito Kazuyoshi - Amayadori (Shelter)
Amayadori (Shelter) is a digital single released by Saito Kazuyoshi & this song was released last week on 22nd June .
This song was written in response to the March 11th Japanese earthquake .
I respect Saito Kazuyoshi for being a brillant talented musician as I really like the little touches that he incorporates in his music .
Amayadori is basically a sombre ballad that's very piano driven . It's a bit dark here & there but I suppose that's the tone of the song Saito decided , in line with the meaning behind the song .
Saito basically let his vocals does most of the work in Amayadori which gives rise to this under-stated ballad .
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Shota Shimizu - love
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD's editions
2) Song for you
3) Massugu ni (Straight)
4) love -instrumental-
love is Shota Shimizu's 9th single & it was released last week on 29th June .
This's Shota's 1st single release after the release of his 3rd album COLOURS which dropped this year on 9th March .
love has been described as a song "that though the one you love is important , you hurt them and they hurt you too . Love is painful . But even still , wanting to be only together in love is incredibly precious" & that's what Shota's new single is all about & it's another love song being added to his discography .
I was a bit bored when I 1st heard love & it didn't help matters that this's quite a lengthy A-side coming from Shota , clocking in at 5:47 mins .
But after I found out the description of love , I couldn't help but soften my thoughts towards the song & it's a known fact that Shota has a knack for writing/composing songs that're meaningful & I guess that is where love fits in .
I wouldn't consider love as a fave Shota single of mine but I suppose the meaning to what the song's all about kind of redeem things .
There're 2 B-sides found in the single . The 1st B-side is something called Song for you .
Unlike love , I really like Song for you on 1st listen . It's a nice under-stated ballad that's very piano driven which I feel it's a lot more memorable & stronger than the A-side .
Shota's vocals does most of the work in Song for you which I think it's fantastic .
Likewise , the 2nd B-side Massugu ni (Straight) is another fantastic enjoyable song except in this case , Massugu ni takes on a more carefree sounding approach .
Massugu ni kind of reminded me of Shota's 2nd album , Journey's CREAM . Only thing is that it took me a while to appericate CREAM but I like Massugu ni in an instant .
Shota Shimizu continues to showcase on why he's still 1 of the talented R&B singer/songwriter around & love is evident as proof .
I said before that I don't really like the A-side that much but I really enjoy the 2 B-sides a great deal which it's not a bad thing I gather , since I have respect towards the personal input that Shota incorporates in his music .
Shota's 3rd collaboration single with Miliyah Kato that's titled BELIEVE will be released next Wed on 13th July .
Monday, July 04, 2011
Hey ! Say ! JUMP - OVER
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
OVER is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 7th single & it was released a few days ago on 29th June .
The group's 1st release for 2011 , OVER presents a positive message of encouragement to all their fans from the young pop group , reminding their fans to look forward to a brighter future .
I have been impressed with what Hey ! Say ! JUMP has to offer , especially since for every release they have come up with , they have displayed a significant growth in their music & OVER is no exception .
OVER is still pop at the end of the day but just like their previous singles , this's edgy pop that I like . There're certain parts of OVER that I find it really cheesy but other than that , this's still some really good catchy stuff .
There're 4 B-sides in total , with the 1st 3 songs are exclusively found in the CD only pressing of the single .
The 1st B-side is something called Ai (Love) ing -Aishiteru- (I Love You) & this's the group's 1st B-side song to get a music video .
Unlike OVER , Aiing -Aishiteru- presents more of a fun lovable side of Hey ! Say ! JUMP which's something their younger fans will endure towards .
Personally to me , I have no issues with this type of songs as once in a while , I feel it's ok to release something that's age approriate since this's 1 group that comprises of teens and adults so I don't have anything against Hey ! Say ! JUMP for making a song like Aiing -Aishiteru- .
You Gotta More is the 2nd B-side & this's sung by Hey ! Say ! 7 that comprised of the younger members within Hey ! Say ! JUMP .
I really dig You Gotta More on 1st listen as it somewhat reminded me of the group's debut album , JUMP NO. 1's Shinku (Crimson) to a certain extent since both You Got More & Shinku have that very catchy memorable Salsa influences going on .
I didn't know what to expect before hearing You Gotta More but Hey ! Say ! 7 nailed this no. very well downpat .
Screw is the 3rd B-side & this's sung by Hey ! Say ! BEST that comprised of the older members within Hey ! Say ! JUMP .
Just like You Got More , I had no idea what to expect when comes to Screw but the older members of Hey ! Say ! BEST sang this no. together well & it's pretty much a standard pop no. that's fun to enjoy listening to .
Found only in the CD + DVD B pressing of the single , it's the last B-side no. that's called Born in the EARTH .
Born in the EARTH is quite a fitting song to conclude OVER as this sounds to me like a very grown up version of a lot of the group's older works & also more importantly , I really like the harmonisation effects of everyone in Born in the EARTH which I really like .
Hey ! Say ! JUMP starts off 2011 with this very solid single offering , OVER & I personally feel it's 1 of my fave singles of the group now .
I wasn't feeling the B-sides of their last single 「Arigatou」 ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~ that much but in the case for OVER , I like all the songs that're found in all 3 editions of the single as each song presents a different side of Hey ! Say ! JUMP .
Definitely a single worth checking out for the year from this talented group as there's something for everyone to enjoy listening to .
Sunday, July 03, 2011
Hilcrhyme - no one
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD's editions
1) no one
2) Tomo yo (My Friend)
no one is Hilcrhyme's 8th single & it was released a few days ago on 29th June .
The duo's new single was selected to be used as the opening theme for NTV's Happy Music starting from June onwards & it's a ballad .
no one comes about 4 months + since the release of their previous single Okubyou na Ookami .
I really like Hilcrhyme's previous single ballads such as Mou Bye Bye & Daijoubu but in this case for no one , it emphasises more on piano . As a result , no one is simple & yet under-stated .
no one doesn't try to sound hard which's a good thing & this allows lead singer/MC TOC to let his vocals do most of the work in no one which's great .
The B-side is something that's called Tomo yo (My Friend) & Tomo yo plays a great contrast to no one .
While no one is a ballad , for Tomo yo , it's classic Hilcrhyme where it's a catchy hip hop/rap track which's what the duo's known for .
I really like Tomo yo on 1st listen as it basically presents what Hilcrhyme is all about , memorable catchy hip hop meets rap tunes that they make .
Hilcrhyme is 1 of my fave acts & once again , they released another solid single in the form of no one . Okubyou na Ookami was a bit too experimental for my liking but for no one , they managed to bring things back to basics which work well in their favour .
Recently on their website , Hilcrhyme announced details that they have a new song that's called Personal COLOR which will serve as the ending theme no. for a new drama titled IS (Aiesu) ~Otoko de Mo On'na de mo Naisei~ .
The drama will start airing on 18th July & there's no further word on when/whether Personal COLOR will be the duo's next single after no one but if so , I say bring it on .
Friday, July 01, 2011
alan - Minna de ne (Like Everyone) ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ / Ikiru (Live)
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B (Candy BEAR's Version)
1) Minna de ne (Like Everyone) ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~
2) Ikiru (Live)
3) Minna de ne (Like Everyone) ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ (Instrumental)
4) Ikiru (Live) (Instrumental)
Minna de ne (Like Everyone) ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ / Ikiru (Live) is alan's 16th single & it was released a few days ago on 29th June .
This latest single release is alan's 1st release after she released her 1st best compilation album JAPAN PREMIUM BEST & MORE on 2nd March .
The 1st A-side Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ is used as an image song for a character Candy BEAR's , which is created to promote two giant pandas whose names are Ri Ri & Shin Shin that arrived at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo from Sichaun , China this year in 1st April 2011 while the 2nd A-side Ikura is a ballad .
Just like her 12th single Diamond / Over the clouds , there're no B-sides included in Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ / Ikiru .
Honestly , I wouldn't deny that I was scratching my head when I saw the title of the 1st A-side but after I dug up more information about this , now I understand why so .
Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ by right is actually a very pleasant easy listening no. & I guess due to the background story of the song , there's a fair bit of Oriental influences which can be heard in here .
Despite the rather lengthy duration , clocking in at 6:12 mins , this shouldn't prevent listeners from enjoying Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ which I sure did .
The 2nd A-side Ikiru , as mentioned before , it's a ballad . To me , alan has other better ballads (be it singles or album tracks) which're found in her discography .
I only find Ikiru ok for my liking . It's neither good or bad but the upside's that it compliments the somewhat peppy cheery sounding Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ well .
Ikiru is a bit too mellow/slow for my liking but I heard this song 1st before Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ came along so there .
After alan released her 1st best compilation album JAPAN PREMIUM BEST & MORE on 2nd March , I wasn't sure what to expect next from her but she returned back with this pretty good double A-side single release .
I enjoyed both songs since each of them present a different music side of alan & I'm anticipating to see what her next music move will be like but for now , Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ / Ikiru is here to satisfy alan's fans .