Friday, March 30, 2012
Fukuyama Masaharu - Ikiteru Ikiteku (Do Alive Alive)
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) Ikiteru Ikiteku (Do Alive Alive)
2) Around the world
3) Dear from Fuyu no Daikanshasai Sono 11
4) Maboroshi (Phantom) from Fuyu no Daikanshasai Sono 11 (CD Only Track)
5) Nige Rarenai (Not Escape) from Fuyu no Daikanshasai Sono 11 (CD + DVD A Track)
6) BLUE SMOKY from Fuyu no Daikanshasai Sono 11 (CD + DVD B Track)
7) Ikiteru Ikiteku (Do Alive Alive) (Original Karaoke)
Ikiteru Ikiteku (Do Alive Alive) is Fukuyama Masaharu's 28th single & it was released 2 days ago on 28th March .
In 2011 , Fukuyama joined the Doraemon animated television series as his animated alter ego Fukuyama Masa-aki .
This year , Ikiteru Ikiteku has been selected to be used as the theme song for the movie Doraemon Nobita to Kiseki no Shima ~Animal Adventure~ .
There're a total of 5 B-sides scattered in all 3 editions of Ikiteru Ikiteku which 4 of them are live tracks recorded from Fukuyama's Fuyu no Daikanshasai Sono 11 .
All the B-sides will not be reviewed while Around the world was used in the ads of Asahi Beer's Asahi Super Dry despite it being mainly an instrumental driven track .
Ikiteru Ikiteku is a very different type of song coming from Fukuyama . Unlike his previous singles , Ikiteru Ikiteku presents a much more light hearted fun side , something that I never encounter in his previous material before .
It was a bit of surprise when I 1st heard Ikiteru Ikiteku but it's nice to know that Fukuyama is versatile in delivering such a song which his music's able to appeal to most demographics .
Thursday, March 29, 2012
UVERworld - 7th Trigger
CD + DVD
1) 7th Trigger
2) Barbell ~Koutei no Atarashii Fuku ver.~ (The Emperor's New Clothes)
3) AWAYOKUBA-Kiru (Kill)
7th Trigger is UVERworld's 21st single & it was released yesterday on 28th March .
The group's 1st release for 2012 , the A-side is described as a song that delivers a strong message : "Pull your own trigger of decision ! That will lead to glory" .
Both B-sides tracks in the single will not be reviewed .
After releasing BABY BORN & GO / KINJITO , the guys are back in fine form with their latest single release , 7th Trigger .
7th Trigger on its own is quite unusual as the presence of whistling can be heard in the background of the song . Not something that I would expect coming from UVERworld but this's something that I really like .
I frankly only find BABY BORN & GO / KINJITO ok for my liking but not for 7th Trigger with it being a charged up fast paced rock thumping no. which's definitely 1 of UVERworld's unusual sounding if not strongest tracks they've delivered to date .
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
CD Review :: Shota Shimizu - Naturally
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD's
1) Get Back
2) The Day
3) Kimi Sae Ireba (As Long As You) Feat Kazumasa Oda
7) your song
8) Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni (Before The End Of Winter)
9) Picture Perfect
10) Only me , Only you
12) Mada Owaranai (It's Not Over Yet)
Naturally is Shota Shimizu's 4th album & it was released last week on 21st March .
4 singles are included in Shota's latest album release & this comes about a year since the release of his previous album COLOURS .
The concept of Naturally is "returning to one's roots" . Shota commented that "I wanted to investigate my abilities in a more natural way . I want people to listen , feel me & the music facing each other" .
2 album tracks kick things off Naturally with Get Back being a funky R&B no. which set the tone on what to roughly expect in the later course of the album .
Following Get Back , it's the 2nd album track The Day which serves as the lead promo track for Naturally .
There're other album tracks which I feel should get more recongisition than The Day but I suppose Shota has his reasons in choosing to give this song the spotlight in serving it as the main promo track for the album so I leave it as that .
Kimi Sae Ireba (As Long As You) is Shota's 12th single & this features the vocals of folk singer-songwriter Kazumasa Oda .
The collaboration was put into effect after Shota appeared on the TBS annual Christmas program Christmas no Yakusoku back in 2009 . Shota directly approached Kazumasa , whom he respects both as a singer & a person .
Shota commented that "It's a really simple song that I made while feeling the greatness of ordinary music . It's a very positive song . I pray that it will reach the hearts of many people ."
In the case of the next album track Gamble , it's a smooth R&B no. which's easy listening on the ears , something that Shota does best .
love is Shota's 9th single & it's the oldest single included in Naturally .
Another love song being added to Shota's discography . love is described as a song "that though the one you love is important , you hurt them & they hurt you too . Love is painful . But even still , wanting to be only together in love is incredibly precious" .
Overflow is quite interesting & something . 1 of 2 Jazz inspired no.s , Overflow allows Shota's vocals & falsetto to be displayed in this really slow driven tune . I haven't heard something like this that Shota ventured in but it's a music risk that most certainly paid off for him .
In the case of the next album track your song , it's a simple under-rated no. that's piano driven . It's basically 1 of those tracks that displays simplicity at its best & I guess this's what Shota is trying to achieve with regards to your song .
Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni (Before The End Of Winter) is Shota's 11th single .
Described to be a winter love song , Fuyu ga Owaru Maeni is a sparkly love no. which's perfect in conveying the feelings of a person who can't see their loved one .
The next 3 songs are album tracks prior to the conclusion of Naturally .
Picture Perfect is a fun standard R&B no. that I enjoy whereas for Only me , Only you , the 2nd of 2 Jazz influenced track , this happens to be 1 of my fave album tracks in Naturally .
Unlike Overflow , Only me , Only you takes on a more smoother Jazz music route & the presence of 0 falsetto coming from Shota can be felt here . Only me , Only you reminds me of 1 of those songs that I really can visualise Ken Hirai does for his Ken's Bar cover albums .
Tonight is the last album track & this's also another standout track with Tonight being the only full English no. available in Naturally .
I was no doubt surprised when I listened to Tonight & it's surprisingly to know that Shota's English dictation could be understood easily too . Song wise , Tonight is a pleasant sounding R&B no. which's perfect to listen to if you're planning to relax and/or chill out .
Mada Owaranai (It's Not Over Yet) is Shota's 10th single & it's the last single if not song included in the tracklist .
This has been described as a song to encourage people working toward their careers , dreams , love & any part of life .
With the release of 1 album & 4 singles , 2011 was the most prolific year in R&B singer Shota Shimizu's career . Now , Shota wraps up his those accomplishments with his 4th full-length album Naturally .
No question about it , COLOURS was a really good if not experimental album that Shota delivered which I really adore . Hence , I was skeptical if he was able to do an even better follow up after COLOURS & I'm definitely not disappointed with the release of Naturally .
I suppose while COLOURS showcased the various musical genres , Naturally presents a much more back to basics music route for Shota . It could be a good or bad thing but sometimes , less is more & I'm sure that's what Shota is trying to aim for in his latest release Naturally .
Shota has come a long way & the amount of maturity that he displayed in Naturally is evident , be it whether he's a singer or a songwriter .
Monday, March 26, 2012
Kis-My-Ft2 - SHE ! HER ! HER !
CD + DVD
SHE ! HER ! HER ! is Kis-My-Ft2's 3rd single & it was released last week on 21st March .
The group's 1st release of 2012 , this single's released a week exactly before their debut album Kis-My-1st drops this coming Wed on 28th March .
Used in the ads of Watering KISSMINT Gum featuring the group themselves , the boys' latest tune is a pulsating dance track that shows off their bright cheerful personalities .
The only B-side available in the single , it's something titled Deep your voice .
Deep your voice is only found in the CD pressing of SHE ! HER ! HER ! . I wasn't that impressed with past B-sides found in Kis-My-Ft2's 1st 2 singles but something about Deep your voice makes it an exception .
What I like about Deep your voice is that it has a much harder sound than the A-side , with the B-side having this really cool futuristic melody & coupled that with electro autotuning , the result gives Deep your voice plenty of attitude & punch .
After finally making their debut in the scene last year , Kis-My-Ft2 further cemented their musical presence with the release of this single SHE ! HER ! HER ! & they've most certainly paid their dues .
The group's long awaited debut album Kis-My-1st will be released this coming Wed on 28th March & SHE ! HER ! HER ! is included as track #3 in the 1st disc of the album .
Friday, March 23, 2012
BENI - Hitomi wo Tojite (Close Your Eyes) & Koko ni Shika Sakanai Hana (A Flower That Only Blooms Here)
Hitomi wo Tojite (Close Your Eyes) & Koko ni Shika Sakanai Hana (A Flower That Only Blooms Here) are 2 songs that're included in BENI's 1st cover album COVERS which was released 2 days ago on 21st March .
COVERS is a Japanese to English cover album that includes covers of songs by Japanese male singers .
Doing a covers album is 1 thing but BENI took 1 step further & translate/sing the selected covers in English which the lyrics are translated from Japanese to English by BENI herself .
Let alone all the tracks included in COVERS were rearranged in different melodies to suit BENI's vocals which's not easy but most certainly an unusual but bold music step .
BENI covered a total of 13 songs in COVERS but I will only review 2 of them because I'm most familiar with Hitomi wo Tojite & Koko ni Shika Sakanai Hana .
Hitomi wo Tojite is Ken Hirai's 20th single & it was released 8 years ago on 28th April .
The song was used as the theme no. for the movie Sekai no Chushin de , Ai wo Sakebu . Despite not reaching #1 on the Oricon weekly chart (with it settling for a peak position of #2) , it became the best selling single in 2004 .
I was a very big fan of Ken Hirai & no doubt about it , Hitomi wo Tojite is still his most prominent well known single to date . For BENI's English rendition of the song , I really like it although it's not as enpowering/uplifting as to what the original had going on in it .
Nevertheless , to hear BENI's own spin on Hitomi wo Tojite , it's refreshing & I do appericate the rearrangement of the song too .
Koko ni Shika Sakanai Hana is Kobukuro's 11th single & it was released 7 years ago on 11th May .
This song was used as the theme no. for the dorama Ruri no Shima & is considered as the duo's breakthrough hit .
Frankly , Koko ni Shika Sakanai Hana is not my fave Kobukuro single but I do understand why BENI choose to cover it as lyrically , it's very meaningful if not beautiful .
For her take on Koko ni Shika Sakanai Hana , it's pleasant sounding but I feel that she should have chosen other Kobukuro's more prominent hits which I will be intrigued to hear them as I feel it will be really cool to sing her own renditions of Sakura if not Tsubomi (Flower Bud) .
BENI's 15th single But I Miss You / title tbc Feat AK-69 & her 1st MTV Unplugged album will be released on 23rd May .
Thursday, March 22, 2012
CD Review :: ayumi hamasaki - Party Queen
CD + DVD
CD + 2DVDs
1) Party queen
3) Shake It♥
7) reminds me
8) Return Road
9) Tell me why
10) a cup of tea
11) the next LOVE
12) Eyes , Smoke , Magic
13) Serenade in A minor
14) how beautiful you are
Party Queen is ayumi hamasaki's 13th album & it was released yesterday on 21st March .
This's ayumi's 1st full length album not to include any singles (I don't count FIVE in since FIVE is a mini album) . Party Queen was recorded in London just like her 11th album Rock'n'Roll Circus & it was released on the same day as ayumi hamasaki ~POWER of MUSIC~ 2011 A LIMITED EDITION concert DVD .
Even though no singles are included in ayumi's latest album offering , 4 albums tracks received music videos of their own .
A total of 14 songs are included in the tracklist , with 3 of them being interludes .
The songs included in Party Queen contains pop , rock , electro & jazz genres . Aside from this , Party Queen is also dubbed as a concept album .
Sharing the same title as the album , Party queen is the 1st track & it's interesting to note that this wasn't the 1st song of choice slotted in the front .
Party queen was used in promotion in the ads of PEACH JOHN making this ayumi's 2nd song to be used for the company , the 1st was for Days .
I thought it's quite a fitting song to kick start the album with it being very party inspired . It's not a typical style that ayumi has done but I thought she did it well in Party queen .
The next 2 songs are 2 of 4 tracks that received music videos .
Despite the song title , NaNaNa is actually a mean in your face no. . I thought it was going to be something cutesy sounding but I was proven wrong when I gave NaNaNa a listen .
NaNaNa has a lot of different music genres attached , ranging from rock to autotune to synth , making this the perfect track in getting a video .
Likewise , the same thing goes for Shake It♥ which's another track that I enjoy & the utilisation of disc scratching is interesting too .
With a title like taskebab , I kinda 1/2 expected it was going to be an interlude & turns out I'm right .
taskebab is not straightforward sounding which I thought it's great . The beginning is very ordinary sounding but later on it breaks out into this mean aggressive mix that sounds cool .
call follows after taskebab & this's the original choice of song to be included as the 1st track in the album's tracklist but it was switched with Party queen .
The album's 1st mid tempo song , call frankly was un-memorable to me as I find it a bit too slow for my liking but slowly I got the hang of it .
In the case of Letter , it's a very uplifting inspiring cheery no. that I immediately like & it's 1 of those songs that delivers positive affirmation which's nice .
reminds me takes on a pretty dark route & it sounds like a cross bred mix of ayumi's older works , such as Duty & Because of You . The amount of emotions ayumi poured into reminds me is evident as it's really dramatic if not emotional .
Return Road is the 3rd album track to get a music video & despite the title , it has no relations to Virgin Road .
This's 1 of my fave tracks in Party Queen & I'm really glad Return Road gets a video because to say that it's outstanding it's an understatement .
Composed by D.A.I , Return Road brings back plenty of nostalgic memories for me especially since I feel Return Road sounds like the long lost cousin of Free & Easy , with Return Road having such a gorgeous if not spine chilling melody .
The climax in the middle of Return Road blows me away & also the way the song starts & ends is wonderful .
Tell me why follows after Return Road & this's another fave track that I adore . It's a pity Tell me why didn't get a video as I feel it deserves to get 1 .
What I like about Tell me why is that it's hauntingly beautiful . It's just as dark as reminds me but comparing both tracks , Tell me why is much more stronger sounding to me .
After the 2nd interlude a cup of tea , in comes the album's only 2 tracks that're jazz inspired .
Frankly , both the next LOVE & Eyes , Smoke , Magic might sound out of place in Party Queen but I personally have no issues with both tracks .
I thought the next LOVE is very musicial inspired sounding which I find it very seductive while for Eyes , Smoke , Magic , it's cute & kind of reminds me of Rock'n'Roll Circus's Sexy little things that I happen to like .
After the beautiful orchestra driven Serenade in A minor , the last track in Party Queen happens to be the final song of the album & let alone , the 4th no. in getting a video .
Before the release of Party Queen , how beautiful you are was released as a digital single on 8th Feb , making this ayumi's 2nd digital single after GULITY's Together When ... .
how beautiful you are is a medium-tempo ballad that describes the feeling of gratitude towards someone & it was used as the theme song for the drama Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi .
ayumi who agreed to take part in the OST after reading the script for the drama commented , "I wrote a song that will bring warm feelings to anyone who listens to it ."
Producer Wakamatsu Hiroki commented , "She created a wonderful song that has both kindness & sadness interact within a mature atmosphere . It's perfect for the drama's image."
"I will be happy if people of all ages can sympathise with the song ," said ayumi .
After being in the business for close to 14 years , ayumi hamasaki released probably her most boldest if not daring album to date in her career in the form of Party Queen .
Truth be told , when it was announced she would release a new album without any physical singles in backing it up , I was skeptical as she already sort of did that with last year's mini album FIVE & it's not an easy thing to do as essentially , there's no telling what type of music direction she might undertake .
But after I listened to Party Queen , I was really surprised how good the album's & it more or less exceeded my expectations towards it .
The only drawback I feel towards Party Queen is that this time round , the interludes are surprisingly not as good if not memorable as the interludes found in her previous albums but other than that , I thought this's 1 solid album .
Naturally , fans of ayumi will be divided over on debating if Party Queen is a hit or a miss but for me , I vote for it to be in the hit department .
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Namie Amuro - Go Round / YEAH-OH
CD + DVD
1) Go Round
3) Go Round (Instrumental)
4) YEAH-OH (Instrumental)
Go Round / YEAH-OH is Namie Amuro's 37th single & it will be released tomorrow on 21st March .
Namie's 1st release for 2012 , Go Round has been selected to be used as the campaign song for Kose's ESPRIQUE PRECIOUS which Namie appears in the ads herself .
Described as a mid-tempo dance song . Go Round is certainly classic Namie . It's not as fast paced & heart thumping unlike her previous dance tracks but she's still able to keep things in the groove with regards to Go Round .
In the case of the 2nd A-side YEAH-OH , it's another dance track just like Go Round but I couldn't help but feel it's very Kuroki Meisa's Bad Girl inspired . Both YEAH-OH & Bad Girl are almost similiar sounding to me in terms of the melody .
I was hoping YEAH-OH would be a ballad to contrast & play against Go Round but luckily YEAH-OH is pretty solid on its own .
Celebrating her impending 20th anniversary in the business as a solo artist this year , Namie Amuro proves she still got it going on in her in the form of her latest single Go Round / YEAH-OH .
A lot of artistes come & go but she's still here & she've survived the lows of her career in staying true to what she does best .
I'm hoping her next release will be a new studio album since it has been 3 years when PAST < FUTURE was release but it will be interesting to see the tracklist of her future 9th album , given that she has so far already released 3 double A-side's & a triple A-side , singles wise .
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Himuro Kyosuke - IF YOU WANT
1) IF YOU WANT
2) IF YOU WANT Feat Kotaro Oshio
3) ON MY BEAT from GIG at TOKYO DOME
IF YOU WANT is Himuro Kyosuke's 27th single & it was released a few days ago on 14th March .
Described as a ballad song , IF YOU WANT is Himuro's 1st release after releasing his previous single BANG THE BEAT / Safe And Sound & 12th album "B"ORDERLESS 2 years ago .
ON MY BEAT from GIG at TOKYO DOME will not be reviewed but the main A-side & 1st B-side will be written .
I really like IF YOU WANT on 1st listen & the amount of emotions that Himuro has poured into the main A-side is evident & I thought it's a nice change after from where BANG THE BEAT / Safe And Sound left behind .
There's another version of IF YOU WANT that's included in the single & for this , it features Kotaro Oshio .
Despite the credit , Kotaro Oshio is actually an acoustic guitarist so there're no traces of his vocals in the B-side . Instead , the main A-side has been given such a stripped down & beautiful acoustic setting , making this the perfect contrast against the original take of IF YOU WANT .
I personally like this version a lot more than the A-side because it showcases Himuro's versatility be it when comes to hard thumping rock tracks or understated ballads .
After being in the business for close to 30 years , Himuro Kyosuke still has it going on in him & it's evident in his latest single IF YOU WANT .
Profits that're earned from IF YOU WANT will be donated to the Kokorone Kikin (Foundation) which provide supports for the March 11th earthquake/tsunami victims .
Saturday, March 17, 2012
SPYAIR - My World
CD Regular & CD + DVD
1) My World
2) Come on
3) BEAUTIFUL DAYS (acoustic version)
My World is SPYAIR's 6th single & it was released a few days ago on March 14th .
The group's latest single was selected to be used as the ending theme for the Mobile Suit Gundam AGE anime which started airing on Jan 29th & My World was released on the same day as the group's 1st concert DVD SPYAIR LIVE At Yaon 「Just Like This 2011」 .
Described as a powerful number that will encourage people who suffer from distress , My World most certainly packs plenty of punch & attitude which's what makes SPYAIR known for & My World definitely doesn't disappoint , with it being really catchy & extremely memorable .
There're 2 B-sides in the single , the 1st one is something that's titled Come on .
Originally supposed to be titled Bye Bye , Come on plays a good contrast against the A-side as the B-side presents a much more angsty side to SPYAIR & the amount of emotions going though in Come on is evident .
The acoustic of SPYAIR's previous single BEAUTIFUL DAYS serves as the 2nd B-side in My World .
BEAUTIFUL DAYS was the song that helped to push SPYAIR's popularity & it's also the song that made me sit up & take notice of them so needless to say , I was really happy they've decided to make an acoustic of it .
I thought BEAUTIFUL DAYS (acoustic version) is well beautiful & in here , they presented a much more intimate & raw setting since it's just lead singer IKE singing it while being backed up by an acoustic guitar . Simplicity at its best can be used to describe BEAUTIFUL DAYS (acoustic version) .
SPYAIR kicked off 2012 with this really solid single in the form of My World & after releasing their awesome debut album Rockin' the World last year , I've been waiting for even more new material from them & they definitely didn't disappoint me !
This's 1 band that has been growing on me in recent times & My World is the 1st single I've listened to from them & it's a single that I really enjoy a great deal . I predict even greater things will be showered upon them in due time & they really deserve so .
Monday, March 12, 2012
ARASHI - Wild At Heart
CD + DVD
Wild At Heart is ARASHI's 37th single & it was released last week on 7th March .
The group's 1st release for 2012 , Wild At Heart was selected to be used as the theme song of the drama Lucky Seven , starring Matsumoto Jun .
Described as an uptempo rock song , Wild At Heart is a playful , energetic tune that complements the fun , action-packed vibe of Lucky Seven which definitely made me sit up & like it on 1st listen unlike the group's previous single Meikyuu (Labyrinth) Love Song which I didn't fancied so much .
But for Wild At Heart , it's something that I like when I 1st heard it & it definitely brings out the fun side of ARASHI .
There're 3 B-sides songs which're included in the single , with the 1st 2 included in the CD only pressing of Wild At Heart .
Tsuite Oide (I Want It With) basically sounds almost exactly like Wild At Heart , with it being uptempo & energetic driven . I had a bit of problem telling apart both songs in the beginning since they were almost similiar sounding but after a while , I didn't had this problem anymore .
Futari no Katachi (Form Of Two) is the 2nd B-side & it's the only song in the single that has the inclusion of Sakurap rap lyrics .
Naturally my expectations for Futari no Katachi were much higher after I found out about this but when I heard the song , something about it seems a bit off to me .
I'm not sure why I felt this way but perhaps it's due to the fact the guys's vocals sounded quite out of tune . I thought the melody for Futari no Katachi was interesting but it's the vocals that kind of killed it for me .
Nonetheless , at least Futari no Katachi is something different ARASHI offered & definitely the Sakurap is worth checking out .
Exclusively available in the CD + DVD pressing of Wild At Heart , it's the last B-side no. titled How Can I Love .
With a title like How Can I Love , it's frankly not surprising it's a ballad & what a rather depressing emotional no. the group has delivered . I can understand why this's only available in the CD + DVD edition because How Can I Love on its own is frankly single worthy material .
ARASHI kicked off 2012 with their latest single Wild At Heart & honestly , this's something that I enjoy coming from them . I wasn't too impressed if not terribly bored with Meikyuu Love Song but with Wild At Heart , at least they're back to what they do best in delivering catchy memorable tunes .
I'm pretty sure this will not be the last I'll be seeing of ARASHI as something tells me it wouldn't be long before they dish out another single .
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Acid Black Cherry - Kimi ga Iru Kara (Because You're)
Kimi ga Iru Kara (Because You're) is a special song dubbed as the 4th present for Acid Black Cherry's 4th anniversary project ABC Dream CUP .
ABC Dream CUP was started last year in March in order to thank fans who have supported yasu over the past 4 years . Last year , 3 out of the 4 presents were released , which included free Chaku-Uta download for all singles , a free live concert for 40,000 fans & lastly , a free download & streaming of the free concert .
The final present is a free distribution of this song titled Kimi ga Iru Kara which's dubbed the 0th single . Kimi ga Iru Kara is a song that was created even before Acid Black Cherry's debut & it has been performed regularly during their live concerts .
Kimi ga Iru Kara was never released because yasu wanted this to be a special song that fans could only hear live . However , for this occasion , yasu decided to record the song & gift it to fans from the bottom of his heart .
The song can be downloaded from both mobile & PC until July 20th at 11:59 pm . Those who download it via PC will also be able to download the jacket covers and hand-written lyrics .
Kimi ga Iru Kara is simply a heart warming no. & you can feel just how much emotions yasu has poured into this track . What I like about this song is that yasu just utilised a very simple if not understated acoustic guitar as the melody & he just let his vocals do most of the work in here .
Let alone , it's such a nice change to hear something like Kimi ga Iru Kara . This's simplicity at its very best .
Acid Black Cherry's 3rd album 『2012』 will be released on 21st March but before their latest album drops , why not head onto their website & download Kimi ga Iru Kara for free ? A song worth checking out on a rather lazy Saturday .
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Yamashita Tomohisa - Ai (Love) , Texas
CD Limited + 24 page booklet
CD + DVD
Ai (Love) , Texas is Yamashita Tomohisa's 5th single & this was released last week on 29th Feb .
Yamapi's 1st release under Warner Music Japan , this song was selected to be used as the theme no. for the drama Saikou no Jinsei no Owarikata ~Ending Planner~ , starring Yamapi himself .
Even though Yamapi has previously released solo singles & a debut album when he was in NEWS , this single officially makes it his 1st release as a solo artiste from Ai , Texas onwards .
I frankly don't like Ai , Texas on 1st listen . Even the time when I heard the radio rip of this A-side , what stuck me was how unusually out dated sounding it's which's strange since I never have this feeling before regarding Yamapi's solo stuff .
Then again , it's 1 of those songs that will stuck in your head in a good or bad way , depending on how you look at things but personally , while I do find Ai , Texas catchy , it's not something I would consider as a fave Yamapi song of mine .
There're 2 B-sides that're included in the single .
Candy is a straight up catchy memorable no. which I was really drawn to on 1st listen . Unlike Ai , Texas , Candy feels as though it's something that was lifted from the SUPERBAD side of Yamapi's debut album SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD .
Likewise , the same thing goes for PERFECT CRIME which this track's only made available in the CD regular pressing of the single . In the case for PERFECT CRIME , it's much more heavier sounding with a rather loud bass backing which's perfect club worthy material .
Yamashita Tomohisa shows his love for Texas with his latest single Ai , Texas . The country rock-flavoured no. is Yamapi's 1st single release under Warner Music Japan .
It's easy to conclude that I definitely prefer the 2 B-sides in Ai , Texas so much more than the A-side that's for sure but I suppose Yamapi has to start somewhere as a solo artiste from this time onwards .
And Ai , Texas definitely wouldn't be the last I'll be hearing of Yamapi this year & hopefully in his next release , he might do something out of the ordinary that might blow my mind away .
For now , I will be putting the 2 B-sides tracks on repeat mode .
Sunday, March 04, 2012
girl next door - Guuzen no Kakuritsu (Accidental Probability) (Dave Ford Mix)
The Dave Ford Mix of Guuzen no Kakuritsu (Accidental Probability) is found as track #15 in girl next door's 1st best album SINGLE COLLECTION .
SINGLE COLLECTION was released last week on 7th March & Guuzen no Kakuritsu is best known for being the debut single of the trio .
Guuzen no Kakuritsu is no doubt the very 1st song I've heard from the band & naturally , this song holds a lot of meaning to me . However in the case of the updated version of their debut single , something about the Dave Ford Mix seems a bit off to me .
I don't know if it's because I'm so used to hearing the original version of Guuzen no Kakuritsu but the updated version of the track didn't exactly made me go wow & it didn't help that I feel frontman Chisa's vocals sound a bit weak here .
It's frankly not really a good incentive in putting Guuzen no Kakuritsu (Dave Ford Mix) in SINGLE COLLECTION (given that I'm not satisfied at the tracklist for their 1st best album) but given a choice , I rather listen to the original version of Guuzen no Kakuritsu as compared to this .
girl next door's 15th single title tbc is scheduled to be released on 30th May . More details of this to be confirmed .
Thursday, March 01, 2012
CD Review :: Matsushita Yuya - 2U
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) Theme of 2U
2) SUPER DRIVE
4) Beautiful Days
5) INTERLUDE I
6) 4 Seasons
8) Life in the dark
9) INTERLUDE II
10) Last Dance 06'
11) 2 of Us
12) Kimi e no (Your) Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~ (Even 10 Years After)
14) A Song For You
15) Beauty & Beast
16) Secret Love Feat BRIGHT , SHUN
17) Step by Step
2U is Matsushita Yuya's (MY) 2nd album & it was released last week on 22nd Feb .
5 singles & 2 B-sides included MY's latest album offering & this precedes after his 2010 debut album I AM ME .
The entire 2U album is composed & produced by Jin Nakamura .
After the introduction Theme of 2U , the album dives straight into 2 singles .
SUPER DRIVE is MY's 9th single & it's described as a dance tune that has a bass-thumping melody with an aggressive choreography to match .
The song features a heavy dance beat that gives MY a chance to show off his talents as a dancer .
Just like his previous harder R&B sounding dance tracks Trust Me & YOU , SUPER DRIVE is a class in its own right & despite listening to it numerous times , I never get bored of this insanely addictive track that has plenty of attitude & packs a mean punch .
Naturally is MY's 8th single & it was used for promotion in the ads for NATURAL BEAUTY BASIC .
MY's 2nd best charting release to date , Naturally presents elements traces of familiarity that MY fans can take comfort in .
Beautiful Days is the 1st album track & this's 1 realy funky no. that I like on 1st listen . It's a lot more R&B focused which's great . Coupled with a really strong melody , makes Beautiful Days very enjoyable to listen .
After a beautiful INTERLUDE I which's actually a piano instrumental version of the next track in line , in comes 4 Seasons .
4 Seasons is the 2nd A-side of MY's 6th single Bird / 4 Seasons . Promo wise , it was used in the Kobe Collection 2010 Autumn / Winter fashion show & as the theme song for MBS's television show DRESS .
Described as a glittering dance tune which you can listen to during the exciting summer season , I still feel that 4 Seasons is an awesome track even up to now which compliments the ballad Bird extremely well & for sure , this song screams out summer in an instant .
Paradise is MY's 7th single & this was used to promote the drama Quartet , in which Matsushita played the lead role in the drama & it was his maiden debut in a drama .
A mid tempo ballad , Paradise is enjoyable even though it has been close to a year since this single was released .
Life in the dark is the B-side track which was originally found in MY's 10th single Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~ .
This's 1 song I'm very happy to see it being included in 2U as I feel Life in the dark is ace . But in general , all the B-sides that were found in Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~ are really good so I have no issues with this .
After a rather depressing sad piano tinged INTERLUDE II , in comes the album only ballad titled Last Dance 06' .
Last Dance 06' is the only track that's sung by MY in complete English & surprisingly , despite my initial fears , MY's English dictation/prounication in Last Dance 06' is pretty good .
It's a challenge for any Japanese artistes to sing a song in full English but in Last Dance 06' , I think MY did a good job . At least I'm able to understand what he's singing in here so kudos to him for giving this a shot .
2 of Us is the next album track & wow , on 1st listen , I get a pretty strong dejavu vibes of foolish foolish's Mr. "Broken Heart" .
Not that it's a bad thing since I enjoy Mr. "Broken Heart" so in the case for 2 of Us , it's something that I like & it's also slightly sad sounding in here too .
The last 2 songs are ballad singles that were released prior to 2U .
Kimi e no (Your) Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~ (Even 10 Years After) is MY's 10th single & this was used as the ending theme song for MBS's MUSIC EDGE + Osaka style in Jan .
A mid-tempo R&B track , Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~ is MY's best charting release to date & it's such a sweet love song which was written from the perspective of a shy , awkward man .
Bird is the 1st A-side of MY's 6th single Bird / 4 Seasons & it was used as an ending theme no. for the 2nd season of the anime Kuroshitsuji .
Described as a ballad with a painful melody that pierces the heart with the message of sympathy that it invokes the listener's ears , this's a song that I remembered I didn't like that much as I found it to be really boring unlike 4 Seasons .
But over time , I can see why Bird was used to promote Kuroshitsuji as it really fits the whole concept from what Kuroshitsuji brought & it kind of help in a way or 2 (or not) that MY starred in the stageplay version for Kuroshitsuji too .
A Song For You follows after Bird & wow to say that this's 1 awesome album track is an understatement .
I already love the preview snippet for A Song For You & when I finally got to hear the full version , I know this's a winner in the bag as it's super downright catchy & extremely addictive .
Likewise , the same thing goes for the next album track Beauty & Beast . I wasn't sure what to expect from this song but it's another solid no. that immediately hooks me when I heard it .
Secret Love was originally found as the B-side track in MY's 7th single Paradise & this song features the vocals of girl group BRIGHT & also rapper SHUN .
Another song that I adore , this's another track that I was thrilled to see it being inclued in 2U as I remembered when Paradise was released , Secret Love stood out to me for being a great contrast to the A-side .
Step by Step is the final track in 2U & such a sweet enduring R&B no. which I think it's the perfect track to wrap things in the album .
Matsushita Yuya has waited for over a year & eight months to unleash his 2nd full-length album & it's finally ready !
Truth be told , I couldn't help but feel extremely pleased & happy after listening to 2U numerous times as this's such a big improvement over his debut album I AM ME in so many aspects .
In 2U , this album was promised to show MY's fans a new , more mature side of him which I think this task was accomplished well .
It's not that I didn't enjoy I AM ME but a major setback for MY's debut album was that there was very little new material (3 songs after you subtract everything away) but in 2U , having 6 new songs which all of them sound equally great & complimenting the singles & B-sides , took 2U to an all new level .
Also , props has to go to MY's longtime mentor/composer/producer Jin Nakamura who has been composing MY's works from his 2008 debut until now . It's a challenge to rely solely on 1 person to compose an artiste's material but Jin Nakamura is an exception as evident in MY's discography .
All in all , 2U is a very enjoyable if not highly listenable R&B album & as a longtime fan of Matsushita Yuya , seeing him mature in his music as each release goes by , I couldn't be more happier for him .