Saturday, December 31, 2011
SID - Fuyu no (Winter) Bench
1) Fuyu no (Winter) Bench
2) Otori (Decoy)
3) Alibi (Live from 『dead stock TOUR 2011』)
Fuyu no (Winter) Bench is SID's 10th single & it was released a few days ago on 28th Dec .
This single is released exactly 4 months since the group's previous single Itsuka (Forever) .
It has been close to 2 years since SID last released a winter inspired no. , the last one was their 2nd single 2 Dome no Kanojo (Get Her Back Again) so naturally I was looking forward to hear what they have to offer for Fuyu no Bench .
Fuyu no Bench is honestly not SID's strongest sounding track . I have to admit I find the song a bit weak on 1st listen but things does get better as each listen goes by but other than that , this's a nice soothing no. the group delivered .
There're 2 B-sides included in the single . The 1st one is something that's titled Otori (Decoy) .
Wow on 1st listen , Otori reminds me of dead stock's Wife which's not a bad thing since I adore Wife but I couldn't help but had that when I 1st heard Otori .
Otori plays a great contrast against Fuyu no Bench that's for sure .
Recorded live from the group's dead stock TOUR 2011 , it's a live take of Alibi . I like Alibi which's such a uplifting rocking track , which's more or less a suitable song to conclude things in the Fuyu no Bench single .
SID wraps up 2011 with their latest single release Fuyu no Bench . 2011 saw the group releasing their 2nd album dead stock & with them following things up with Itsuka & Fuyu no Bench .
This's 1 rock group that I enjoy supporting/listening & I sure hope 2012 will see them releasing even more awesome material which I think it wouldn't be a problem , since SID is a really talented group to begin with .
Shota Shimizu - Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni (Before The End Of Winter)
1) Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni (Before The End Of Winter)
2) When You Cry
3) Kimi ga Kurasu Machi -Jazzin'park Winter Remix-
4) Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni (Before The End Of Winter) -instrumental-
Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni (Before The End Of Winter) is Shota Shimizu's 11th single & this was released last week on 21st Dec .
Shota's new single was released about 2 months + since his previous single Mada Owaranai (It's Not Over Yet) & it has been described to be a winter love song .
Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni is described as a sparkly love song which's perfect in conveying the feelings of a person who can't see their loved one .
This's Shota's 1st solo winter no. & I'm really glad that he delivered such a simple heartfelt no. & immediately when Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni hits , it has the words winter & ballad stamped all over the place .
I don't think it's fair to compare Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni against Mada Owaranai since they're both different in terms of the style & sound but Shota never fails to disappoint when comes to his ballads & Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni is no exception .
There're 2 B-sides in the single , the 1st one is something titled When You Cry .
When You Cry is a nice mid tempo piano tune that compliments well against Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni . Compared to the A-side which's rather sad sounding , there's somewhat of a positive vibe that When You Cry presented .
Kimi ga Kurasu Machi (The Town You Live In) is Shota's 7th single & in here , Kimi ga Kurasu Machi has been given a Jazzin'park Winter Remix prior to conclusion of Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni .
I never really like Kimi ga Kurasu Machi as I find it a bit depressing sounding for my liking but surprisingly , the Jazzin'park Winter Remix of the song is something I like on 1st listen .
In here , Kimi ga Kurasu Machi has been transformed & given a winter touch which makes the song sound a lot more lighthearted & cheery sounding , giving the original take pretty much a run for its own $ .
Shota Shimizu wraps up a pretty fruitful year with this single Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni . After releasing his 3rd album COLOURS which was a very enjoyable & fantastic offering , he followed up with 4 more singles , inclusive of his 3rd duet collaboration with Miliyah Kato ie. BELIEVE .
To me , it's great to see Shota progress/mature as a musician/singer songwriter as each release of his goes by . He wasn't good initally but in due time , the transition/maturity Shota displayed in his music speaks otherwise .
His 12th single title tbc is rumoured to get released in Jan 2012 , followed by his 4th album in Feb 2012 .
Friday, December 23, 2011
Acid Black Cherry - CRISIS
CD + DVD
CRISIS is Acid Black Cherry's 14th single & it was released 2 days ago on 21st Dec .
Their new single was released less than a month after their previous single Chou (Butterfly) & it's their 4th single from a 5-consecutive-monthly singles plan (one single per month for five months) .
Described as an intensely painful rock tune , acclaimed producer Tetsuya Komuro lends yasu a hand in CRISIS by arranging & composing the track himself .
Honestly , I was expecting pretty big things when comes to CRISIS but I couldn't help but felt let down when I heard it as it sounded like a typical standard Acid Black Cherry rock song .
Perhaps I was so impressed with what their previous single offerings had to offer which probably explains why I couldn't help but feel a bit underwhelmed with regards to CRISIS , especially since I really liked what Tetsuya Komuro did with ayumi hamasaki's Love songs .
It's not as if CRISIS is a bad song but I suppose so far out of the singles that have been released consecutively from Sept til now , this's probably my least fave for the time being .
The B-side is a cover track of 1986's Misato Watanabe's BELIEVE & this song will not be reviewed .
Acid Black Cherry's 15th single Yes will be released next month on 18th Jan 2012 & this will be the last single that will conclude the 5-consecutive-monthly singles plan .
Thursday, December 22, 2011
L'Arc~en~Ciel - CHASE
CD + DVD
2) My Dear -L'Acoustic version-
3) CHASE (hydeless version)
4) My Dear -L'Acoustic version- (hydeless version)
CHASE is L'Arc~en~Ciel's 39th single & it was released yesterday on 21st Dec .
The group's latest release is their 3rd single release of 2011 to celebrate the band's 20th anniversary & this comes in 2 months + after their last single X X X .
For starters , the B-side My Dear -L'Acoustic version- will not get reviewed .
Selected to be used as the theme song for the action blockbuster Wild 7 , CHASE features a strong electronic guitar presence to make a heavy rock tune .
After the sexy sounding X X X , L'Arc~en~Ciel is back on full swing with this really rocking track CHASE . I wasn't sure what to expect but this's basically classic L'Arc~en~Ciel & also I feel this song fits the whole concept on what Wild 7 has to offer too .
Compared to last year & 2009 , 2011 has been a relatively active year for L'Arc~en~Ciel in the music front & that can't be blamed since this year , the group celebrated 20 years of being in the business .
Hopefully next year will see even more music activities for L'Arc~en~Ciel , perhaps a long overdue new album since their last album was released 4 years ago which was KISS .
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Kis-My-Ft2 - We never give up !
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) We never give up !
3) Love is you (CD Only Track)
We never give up ! is Kis-My-Ft2's 2nd single & it was released last week on 14th Dec .
The group's latest single release comes in about 4 months since the release of their debut single Everybody Go .
We never give up ! is described as an energetic piece that's sure to make everyone listening “stand up ! stand up !”
The tune , the theme song for Lawson Hot Station's ad campaign , is a spirited encouragement song about standing up & beating challenges that keep fans down .
Well with a song description like this , naturally We never give up ! is an enpowering no. & I really like this the very moment I heard it . It's definitely different from Everybody Go & the chorus in We never give up ! is extremely catchy/memorable .
Also I like songs that have positive vibes attached to them , with We never give up ! fitting the bill well .
There're 2 B-sides in the single , with the 1st 1 titled Kis-My-Venus which I assume this's 1 of the group's many original songs they tend to perform on variety shows before their official debut .
Kis-My-Venus might sound like a strange song title but in actual fact , it's another catchy track just like the A-side itself .
Only included in the CD pressing of the single is the 2nd / last B-side ie. Love is you .
I did not find Love is you memorable on 1st listen & it's a pretty standard upbeat pop no. . As to whether will this be a fave Kis-My-Ft2 B-side track of mine , somehow I doubt it but it does get easier for me to remember how Love is you goes as each listen goes by .
Johnny's Associates latest group Kis-My-Ft2 celebrated this year by finally getting to debut officially after they were formed close to 8 years ago & I'm sure longtime fans of Kis-My-Ft2 rejoiced the moment when this happened .
2011 has been a relatively great year for Kis-My-Ft2 & judging from the number of accolades they've received , this's nothing but the start of many great things for Kis-My-Ft2 & I'm sure 2012 will see them being more productive on the music front .
Sunday, December 18, 2011
CD Review :: Hilcrhyme - RISING
CD + DVD
1) Personal COLOR
2) Tomo yo (My Friend)
3) TOKYO CITY
5) Dancers Anthem
6) Okubyou na Ookami (Cowardly Wolf)
7) Nirei Ichi Ichi Nihon Nite-ki su (Database recorded one thousand one hundred and two in Japan)
9) My Christmas Carol
10) Extraction -Instrumental-
12) no one
13) RISING MARCH
RISING is Hilcrhyme's 3rd album & it was released on 7th Dec .
The duo's brand new album contains 3 singles & a B-side . Their last album MESSAGE was released last year on 24th Nov .
In addition , RISING was released on the same day as their new DVD Hilcrhyme Live in TOKI MESSE -Ake no Sagi- .
Starting RISING is Personal COLOR which's the duo's 9th single .
Personal COLOR was used as the outro theme song for the drama IS ~Otoko Demo Onna Demo nai Sei~ & the song's about using colour to define the uniqueness of individuals .
Tomo yo (My Friend) is the B-side of their 8th single no one .
This's 1 B-side I'm really thrilled to see it being included in RISING because I adore Tomo yo when no one was released & because of this , I have no complaints seeing Tomo yo here .
TOKYO CITY is RISING's 1st album track & this's 1 really funky no. which combines Hilcrhyme's trademark hip hop rap beats together with singer/MC TOC's rap/singing vocals nicely .
Likewise , Ponpira is also another new song I enjoyed too & it's equally upbeat & funkier just like TOKYO CITY too .
Dancers Anthem is 1 unusual no. & this's quite heavily R&B emphasised . Also it's somewhat a bit more darker sounding as well .
Okubyou na Ookami (Cowardly Wolf) is Hilcrhyme's 7th single . This song has pop essence & it showcases a new style from the guys .
Promo wise , Okubyou na Ookami received the following mode of promotion :
- NTV "MIDNITE television series " ending theme (4th Jan - 22nd March )
- Nippon TV series "Happy Music "POWER PLAY (28th Jan - 18th Feb)
When Okubyou na Ookami was released way back in Feb , it definitely showcased a different music style from the duo , with it being much different from their previous singles & they even throw in a bit of saxaphone beats for good measures too .
The rather long sounding Nirei Ichi Ichi Nihon Nite-ki su (Database recorded one thousand one hundred and two in Japan) might sound rather daunting but surprisingly , this's 1 track that I kind of enjoy .
It's 1 of the few songs I get to hear TOC sing instead of rap & I feel TOC actually sounds good when he sings , not that I dislike his rapping style .
Changes is also another song I enjoyed as this does reminds me of Loose Leaf's Hikari (Light) to a certain extent since both Changes & Hikari are acoustic guitar meets hip hop songs .
My Christmas Carol is the only album track that gets a music video but the video's not included in the DVD of RISING .
The song is described to be the ultimate Christmas gift you give to that important person you want to reach with the message , “I wrote this song for you & I’ll only sing it on this night .”
My Christmas Carol is 1 song I've been waiting to hear since I really like the preview & I wasn't disappointed when I finally get to listen to the full version in the album .
This can be considered as the duo's 1st Christmas song & I thought they did such a great job in giving My Christmas Carol a funky update feel . It's not a typical Christmas song but somehow , they were able to combine old & modern traits which gives rise to this which I enjoy a lot .
After a 2:45 mins Extraction -Instrumental- , in comes LOOP which's the 2nd last album track .
LOOP is another song that I enjoy & it's much more fast paced driven as compared to other album tracks found in RISING .
no one is Hilcrhyme's 8th single & it was used as the opening theme for NTV's Happy Music this year in June .
This's 1 heartfelt ballad that I still enjoy even up to now & I can feel just how much emotions TOC has poured into this track . Unlike their 4th single Daijoubu (It's Alright) , no one is much more simplified sounding , in terms of the piano melody that was utilised .
Kind of being named after the album , it's the last track on RISING ie. RISING MARCH .
As the song title suggests , RISING MARCH is a rather fist pumping track that's full of enthusiasm & I think this's a pretty fitting no. to conclude things , just like what it happened in the duo's previous album MESSAGE when MESSAGE BOX closed off the album .
2011 has been a pretty fruitful music year for Hilcrhyme , which saw them releasing 3 singles , 2 DVDs & now their latest 3rd album RISING before 2011 concludes .
Honestly , this's 1 artiste I'm really glad to follow ever since BREAKERZ's frontman DAIGO name dropped them on his blog last year & I can understand why at that time DAIGO was singing praises on the duo's debut album Recital (which was a really good album I must add) .
I'm not really big on hip hop/rap but I feel Hilcrhyme is an exception & with regards to RISING , they're proof on why they're 1 artiste that will bound to stick around for a pretty long time .
RISING is definitely an album worth checking out before 2012 swings by & also if you need a good dosage of hip hop/rap .
CD Review :: ON/OFF - Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu-
CD + DVD
CD + DVD + Christmas present box
2) Hajimaru no Wa , Sayonara (Beginning Of Goodbye)
3) Chozetsu (Transcendent) Requiem
4) Kimi ga Suki (Love You)
5) I loving ...-Boku no Ai- (My Love)
7) Kimi ga Inakerya (If You're Not Here)
8) Chromatic Liner
10) Boku Dake no (I Just) Orion
11) AKATSUKI (Dawn) ~Kimi no Kireina Kokoro ga Suki~ (I Like Your Beautiful Mind)
13) 24 Jikan no Shinwa (The Myth Of Time) (Bonus Track)
14) Christmas Carol no Koro Niha (By The Time) (Bonus Track)
Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu- is ON/OFF's 2nd album & it was released 2 weeks ago on 7th Dec .
3 singles & 3 B-sides are included in Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu- . The twin brothers's debut album Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu- was released 2 1/2 years ago on 22nd April .
After a really cool opening introduction Myth , the 1st proper song to kick things off is Hajimaru no Wa , Sayonara (Beginning Of Goodbye) .
Hajimaru no Wa , Sayonara is the duo's 6th single & it served as the opening theme no. for the anime Beezlebub .
I still remember when I 1st heard Hajimaru no Wa , Sayonara , I was really surprised because in general , they're known for their more angsty edgy stuff when comes to their singles so it's definitely a breath of fresh air when comes to this cheery sounding no. .
And speaking of angsty no.s , the 1st album track Chozetsu (Transcendent) Requiem falls in this category which I really like for it being downright angsty & an in your face upbeat no. .
I thought the usage of a rather strong Jazz sound works really well in Chozetsu Requiem . As a result , this makes such a really good memory track for me to enjoy .
With a title like Kimi ga Suki (Love You) , I frankly was expecting a ballad but I was surprised when I found out it's actually a rather upbeat sounding no. & it's a nice cheery sounding song just like Hajimaru no Wa , Sayonara .
I loving ... -Boku no Ai- (My Love) serves as the 2nd B-side of the duo's 7th single Akatsuki (Dawn) .
I remembered when I blogged about Akatsuki , I talked about I loving ... -Boku no Ai- in that I feel it compliments & contrasts Akatsuki pretty well . The A-side is a mid tempo track while I loving ... -Boku no Ai- is downright a fuss free ballad .
Butterfly is ON/OFF's 5th single & this was used as the 2nd ending theme for the anime Durarara !! .
When this single was released , there was quite a long release gap between their debut album & Butterfly . But still , Butterfly can be considered as a great comeback song for the twins since Butterfly became the duo's best charting position for a release to date .
Kimi ga Inakerya (If You're Not Here) was originally found as the B-side of their 6th single Hajimaru no Wa , Sayonara .
I still adore Kimi ga Inakerya a great deal & I'm real glad that this song is included in Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu- as this's a song that I still cannot get enough of even up to now .
Likewise , Chromatic Liner is another standout album track & this's 1 beautiful angsty song that's quite oriental influence which's something I haven't came across in ON/OFF's discography .
Needless to say , Chromatic Liner is 1 of the album's must listen songs & this's 1 track that's crafted well .
CONNECTION was originally found as the B-side in ON/OFF's 5th single Butterfly .
I remember when I 1st heard CONNECTION , I found it not as strong if not outstanding as what Butterfly has to offer . Even up to now , CONNECTION is not something that I would consider as 1 of my fave B-sides of the duo but I suppose this's a song I can tolerate now .
Likewise for Boku Dake no (I Just) Orion , I frankly thought it was going to be a ballad but when I heard it , it's a pretty standard pop song which's neither good or bad but there're better album tracks for me to enjoy so I just leave it as it's .
Akatsuki (Dawn) is ON/OFF's 7th single & in here , it has been renamed as AKATSUKI (Dawn) ~Kimi no Kireina Kokoro ga Suki~ (I Like Your Beautiful Mind) .
For AKATSUKI ~Kimi no Kireina Kokoro ga Suki~ , it's almost the same as the original except there's a fair bit of rapping done by the brothers & also by a mysterious female rapper who goes by the name of J .
But other than that , I like the little touches thrown in as Akatsuki is already something that I enjoy .
After a beautiful Legend interlude , the last 2 songs are bonus tracks included in Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu- .
24 Jikan no Shinwa (The Myth Of Time) is quite a sad sounding sorrowful no. coupled with a piano underlining . I found this a bit on the boring side but I appericate the amount of emotions both brothers poured into this track .
In the case of Christmas Carol no Koro Niha (By The Time) , as the song title suggest , it's a Christmas inspired no. & I definitely prefer this over 24 Jikan no Shinwa even though I can't help but feel this's something KinKi Kids might do .
I'm not sure why but the vibes that Christmas Carol no Koro Niha said otherwise but the fact that this's not a straightforward sounding Christmas track , it kind of speak for itself .
The legend of the ON/OFF twin brothers - Sakamoto Naoya & Kazuya - finally continues with the release of their second full-length album Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu- .
Fans have been waiting for 2 1/2 years for a new album from the twins & the boys now make the fans' dreams come true .
ON/OFF is an artiste that I feel is under-rated but the material both brothers make are great . It's a bit unfortunate to see that their material has been under promoted lately , especially with regards to the charting of their music after they've released Butterfly .
But with that said , waiting close to 2 1/2 years for a new album to materialise is no laughing matter but after listening to Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu- , it's definitely worth waiting for , even though a drawback I found in their latest album is that , they should have axed the less than stellar B-sides & replaced them with album tracks .
Other than that , Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu- is an album that should be purchased in time for Christmas , if not before 2012 swings by .
Saturday, December 17, 2011
UVERworld - BABY BORN & GO / KINJITO
CD + DVD
1) BABY BORN & GO
3) UVER Battle Royal ~5/L6S mix~
BABY BORN & GO / KINJITO is UVERworld's 20th single & this was released a few days ago on 14th Dec .
The group's new single was released about 6 months + after the release of their 6th album LIFE 6 SENSE .
The 1st A-side BABY BORN & GO infuses hip-hop into their signature rock style , creating a fresh sound that the band has rarely explored before .
Well honestly I wasn't sure what to expect when I 1st heard BABY BORN & GO but it's true in that this's something I haven't came across from the group .
They already utilised saxaphone beats in CORE PRIDE so I guess they want to do the same thing for BABY BORN & GO which I kind of enjoy .
In the case of the 2nd A-side KINJITO , the presence of saxaphone can be still heard but it's interwined with soft acoustic guitar sounds in the beginning which was followed by a loud blazing guitar riff .
Clearly both A-sides of UVERworld's latest single is some of the most unique if not unusual sounding tracks I've heard of the group in recent times & this I'm sure will leave fans debating on if this's something the group should take it as a 1 off music experiment or not .
The B-side UVER Battle Royal ~5/L6S mix~ will not be reviewed .
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
flumpool - Present
CD + DVD
2)『Arigatou』 (Thank You) Kurai Jya Tsutae Kirenai Kimochi Wo (Isn't Enough To Convey A Person's Feelings)
3) Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
4) Present (Instrumental)
5)『Arigatou』 (Thank You) Kurai Jya Tsutae Kirenai Kimochi Wo (Instrumental)
Present is flumpool's 8th single & it was released last week on 7th Dec & this comes about 3 months+ since the release of the group's previous single Akashi (Proof) .
This single is an end-of-the-year ‘present’ for flumpool's fans & it’s described to be filled with the members' strong feelings .
The band explained , “We want to combine all of the happy & sad things that happened this year & conclude the year with a smile . Connecting our feelings of gratitude for important people such as family & friends , we want to do our best next year !”
The 2 B-sides available in Present are perhaps not surprising Christmas influence driven just like the A-side .
『Arigatou』 (Thank You) Kurai Jya Tsutae Kirenai Kimochi Wo (Isn't Enough To Convey A Person's Feelings) has a very strong if not cheery sounding Christmas vibe which's definitely a song that's able to get me into the festive mood .
Despite the rather long sounding title , I actually prefer 『Arigatou』 Kurai Jya Tsutae Kirenai Kimochi Wo a lot more than Present itself (which took me a few listens to remember how it sounds like) .
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) is a cover track which was written by the late Beatles's John Lennon & his wife (now widow) Yoko Ono .
This song was 1st released in 1971 as a single by John & Yoko / Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir .
At 1st , I found it a bit strange hearing lead singer Ryuuta singing in full English in their cover take of Happy Xmas (War Is Over) but after I got that out of the way , I guess this's a pretty good cover of this classic no. .
I'm not sure if the group was able to do justice to the original but I have to give them credit for trying their best to cover Happy Xmas (War Is Over) .
flumpool held their largest-scale concert ever on Dec 10th & 11th at the Saitama Super Arena . To coincide with the 2 concerts , the band is especially releasing their latest Present .
Truth be told , to me this year has been a rather disappointing music year for flumpool as it's no open secret I haven't been impressed with their recent material , starting from their 2nd album Fantasia of Life Stripe which I feel it's quite a letdown , especially when I compare this album against their older works .
Thankfully , the singles that followed after Fantasia of Life Stripe still are able to hold a fort on its own but I do hope next year flumpool's able to bring back that old spark of theirs back to their material as it will be a major big waste to see this talented band going the samey same old same old route .
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Kuroki Meisa - Woman's Worth / Breeze Out
CD + DVD
1) Woman's Worth
2) Breeze Out
3) Wired Life (1llmnt / Illuminati / Remix)
4) Woman's Worth (instrumental)
5) Breeze Out (instrumental)
Woman's Worth / Breeze Out is Kuroki Meisa's 6th single & this was released last week on 7th Dec .
This's Kruoki's 1st double A-side single & it comes about 4 months + since the release of her previous single Wired Life .
The 1st A-side Woman's Worth is currently used in the ads of the Seiko Lukia watch starring Kuroki herself . Woman's Worth combines hip-hop & electronica pop for a new style of feminist anthem .
I love Woman's Worth on 1st listen as it presents a different music style that Kuroki displayed which's vastly different from what Wired Life had to offer .
As mentioned earlier on , Woman's Worth has a neat combination of hip hop & electronica , which give rise to this really catchy memorable track .
The 2nd A-side Breeze Out is currently used in the ads of the Subaru's BRZ car & just like for Seiko Lukia , Kuroki is also the spokeswoman for the product .
Breeze Out is also another solid A-side & unlike Woman's Worth , Breeze Out takes on a more urbanised music route . Both A-sides are equally upbeat but they're able to distinct itself from each other with an unique sound of their own respectively .
The 1llmnt / Illuminati / Remix of Kuroki's previous single Wired Life serves as the B-side track . The original take of the song has a more dark R&B feeling but in here , it presents a much more surprisingly video games driven music route .
I frankly was surprised to hear the 1llmnt / Illuminati / Remix of Wired Life & no doubt it's an interesting remix which's vastly different from the original mix of the song & this's something I frankly enjoy listening to .
Kuroki Meisa shows off some serious fierce girl power in her latest double A-side single Woman's Worth / Breeze Out & considering that this's her 1st double A-side single , I say she did it really well with plenty of gusto & attitude .
I feel this year has been a really good year for Kuroki music wise as seems to me she's focusing a lot more on her singing career while juggling this with her modelling & acting career but the fact that I known her as an actress prior to her being a singer , I couldn't be any happier for her .
Kuroki's much anticipated 2nd album title tbc will be released next year on 15th Feb & this's something I definitely can't wait to get my hands on , let alone listening to it .
Sunday, December 11, 2011
School Food Punishment - How to go
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD's
CD + DVD Anime edition
1) How to go
2) Kaeru (Return)
3) Kimi ni Mune Kyun (Heart To You)
4) How to go -Instrumental-
5) How to go -Anime Edit- (CD Only Limited Edition)
How to go is School Food Punishment's 7th single & it was released a few days ago on 7th Dec .
This release is the group's 1st single after the release of their 2nd album Prog-Roid .
How to go was picked as the opening theme song for UN-GO ! anime & it's described to be a cool rock tune with a sense of speed .
In general , the material that School Food Punishment does is very experimental & bold which I guess the same thing can apply for their latest offering How to go .
How to go is pretty much what the group does best , ie. an upbeat fast paced song that consist of a lot of different layering of beats , which makes them 1 of the most distinct if not unique artistes I've come across .
There're 2 B-sides available in the single & the 1st one is something titled Kaeru (Return) .
Kaeru is very pretty on 1st listen & the emphasis in here is a lot more synth which's really cool & I adore the way lead singer Yumi sings in Kaeru as well .
Kimi ni Mune Kyun (Heart To You) is the 2nd B-side & this's actually a cover of Yellow Magic Orchestra .
This's quite an unusual song . Unlike Kaeru & How to go which're quite straightforward sound wise , in Kimi ni Mune Kyun , it's a lot more slower & tend to skip from time to time .
At 1st I thought there was a problem with Kimi ni Mune Kyun but it doesn't seem to be the case after I checked it but I suppose this's 1 of those songs that falls either in the like or dislike category .
2011 has been a pretty fruitful year for School Food Punishment which saw them releasing their 2nd album Prog-Roid which was really enjoyable & then now , wrapping up the year with this latest single offering , How to go .
I feel that this's 1 group that's really under-rated but very talented in terms of what they do . They're not exactly mainstream & everyone's cup of tea but listening to them might bring a whole lot of fun music surprises .
I definitely can't wait to see what they have in store in 2012 .
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Namie Amuro - Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! / Love Story
CD + DVD
1) Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down !
2) Love Story
4) arigatou (thank the world for LOVE ... gift song for 2011)
5) Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! (Instrumental)
6) Love Story (Instrumental)
7) Higher (Instrumental)
Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! / Love Story is Namie Amuro's 36th single & it was released yesterday on 7th Dec .
Namie's new single comes about 5 months + since the release of her previous single NAKED / Fight Together / Tempest .
Despite being a double A-side single release , Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! does not have a music video .
The 1st A-side Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! is a dance song & it's produced by T.Kura & michico . The R&B production team otherwise known as Giant Swing , hasn't worked with Namie since her 2009 album PAST < FUTURE .
Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! is currently used as the theme song used for the drama Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu .
Producer Nakano Toshitaka explained his reason for choosing Namie to sing for the drama in that , “When I was planning the main character for Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu , I thought that Namie was the only one who could sing the theme song .
Namie is charismatic to young women & has an impact on their lifestyle , so I wanted her to give them courage . She has written the song after reading the script , so I expected it to be a support song for women that involves sadness & power .”
Meanwhile , Namie expressed , “This time , I am very honoured to receive this offer to provide the theme song for Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu . Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! overlaps scenes from the drama , so I hope viewers could relate to it even more . I am also looking forward to watching the drama .”
The 2nd A-side Love Story is described as an adult ballad . While Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! is used as the opening track for Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu , Love Story serves as the ending theme song to the drama .
The song's about how Namie has grown up & moved on from the love she left behind .
Namie's not really that known for her ballads but Love Story is very pretty & I feel it compliments & contrasts Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! pretty well .
Unlike Tempest which's a dramatic sounding emotional ballad , Love Story presents a more under-stated music approach that Namie undertook .
There're 2 B-sides included in the single & it has been close to 4 years since Namie included B-sides in her singles , the last being 2007's FUNKY TOWN .
Higher is a downright bad ass R&B uptempo track . It's almost able to rival Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! since both tracks are extremely upbeat but with that said , Higher is a class of its own .
The 2nd B-side arigatou (thank the world for LOVE ... gift song for 2011) is currently used in the Kose Esprique Love Colour ads featuring Namie herself in which in the ads , Namie sang this B-side acapella style .
arigatou (thank the world for LOVE ... gift song for 2011) is available as a free download track through her recently launched official Facebook website & it is a big surprise present from Namie for the year-end as this is the very 1st time a song of hers is available to be downloaded for free .
Let alone , this is the song that Namie sings at the end of her encore segment during her current ongoing nationwide namie amuro LIVE STYLE 2011 Arena tour .
Though 2011 was a tough year for Japan , this is a present from Namie with gratitude toward people all over the world for their support for Japan .
Namie Amuro concludes 2011 with this another solid single release in the form of Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! / Love Story . Compared to previous years , 2011 sees Namie being more active on the release front , in the form of releasing her 1st collaboration album Checkmate ! & also NAKED / Fight Together / Tempest & now Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! / Love Story .
I'm pretty sure 2012 will see the release of a new studio album . I hope that will happen since Namie didn't release 1 this year .
But regardless of which , here's hoping 2012 will be another eventful year for Namie in the music release department .
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Koda Kumi - Love Me Back
CD + DVD
1) Love Me Back
2) Say Her Name
3) Love Me Back (Andy Price Remix)
Love Me Back is Koda Kumi's 52nd single & it was released a few days ago on 30th Nov .
Koda's new single comes in less than 2 months + since the release of her previous single Ai wo Tomenaide (Do Not Stop The Love) .
Love Me Back is Koda's 3rd straight single release for 2011 & the A-side is described as a sexy & mysterious number .
Promo wise , Love Me Back is currently used as the opening theme song for the drama Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de , starring ARASHI's Sakurai Sho & Kitagawa Keiko .
Love Me Back carries a retro flavor that's almost reminiscent of those 70s spy movies . It's got a playful sound & a great energy which goes hand in hand together .
This song definitely is a spillover effect from where 4 TIMES's V.I.P. left behind as Love Me Back sounds very sexy & club driven , a perfect setting of what Koda does best in her early Ero Kawaii days .
Say Her Name serves as the B-side of the single & wow , this's such a different music direction Koda takes .
I haven't heard such a simple acoustic guitar driven track from her B-side wise & the result gives Say Her Name such an under-stated feeling which allows Koda to let most of her vocals do the work for her which's wonderful .
The Andy Price Remix of Love Me Back concludes the single & I'm not a remix person to begin with but this's 1 remix that I couldn't help but dislike simply because of how gritting Koda's vocals sound like in here .
The original mix of Love Me Back is great but in here , the Andy Price Remix takes on a much more heavily club vibe . There's nothing wrong with it but unfortunately , it's the vocals & the over usage of synth & overlayering that more or less killed things .
Koda Kumi wraps up her 3 consecutive months of single releases with her new single Love Me Back . After the emotional ballad Ai wo Tomenaide , Kumi shows off her sexy side once again with Love Me Back .
Her 10th album JAPONESQUE will be released on 1st Feb , with Love Me Back being included in the tracklist as #11 .
2011 has been a pretty fruitful musical journey for Koda & hopefully 2012 will bring nothing but the best for this talented lady .