Sunday, April 29, 2012
Hilcrhyme - Shunkashuutou (The Four Seasons) ~Full Orchestra ver.~ & Naiyou no Nai Tegami (Letter Of No Content)
Shunkashuutou (The Four Seasons) ~Full Orchestra ver.~ & Naiyou no Nai Tegami (Letter Of No Content) are 2 bonus tracks that're included in Hilcrhyme's 1st best album Best of Hilcrhyme .
Best of Hilcrhyme consists of a series of GOLD & SILVER best albums that were released on the same day ie. on 25th April .
Best of Hilcrhyme ~GOLD~ includes Hilcrhyme's 1st 9 singles & a few selected album tracks while Best of Hilcrhyme ~SILVER~ includes B-sides , special rare tracks .
On the other hand , Best of Hilcrhyme ~BEST RAP~ contains both GOLD & SILVER with the inclusion of a bonus DVD & a photobook .
The tracklist for both best albums were chosen by fans who attended their live concerts . It was lead singer/rapper TOC's idea that he has stated on Hilcrhyme’s Ustream program before in that , "If we ever release a best album , I want to ask the fans for the requests for the track list ! "
Shunkashuutou (The Four Seasons) ~Full Orchestra ver.~ is included as a bonus track in Best of Hilcrhyme ~GOLD~ .
This single is widely considered as the duo's breakthrough hit , so much so that their fanclub is named after Shunkashuutou .
Shunkashuutou is already brillant on its own but the duo took 1 step further & created an awesome grand sounding rendition that's very full on Orchestra flavoured , making the final result of Shunkashuutou ~Full Orchestra ver.~ spine chilling if not mind blowing emotionally great .
Naiyou no Nai Tegami (Letter Of No Content) is included as a bonus track in Best of Hilcrhyme ~SILVER~ .
For this song , it was actually 1st included as track #12 in NEWS's 4th album LIVE which was released 2 years ago on 15th Sept . In this case , for Hilcrhyme's rendition of the song , Naiyou no Nai Tegami serves as the inspiration for a short flim titled Naiyou no Nai Monogatari .
I have been waiting in anticipation to hear Hilcrhyme 'cover' Naiyou no Nai Tegami especially since they're the ones that 'gave' the song to NEWS , with TOC in charge of writing it while he co-composed it with DJ KATSU .
Way before Hilcrhyme 'cover' Naiyou no Nai Tegami , I already like NEWS's rendition of the song as it's 1 of the standout tracks in LIVE but I wouldn't deny when I heard their take on the song , it's classic Hilcrhyme since the influences found in the no. is very prominent .
I don't wish to compare whose rendition of Naiyou no Nai Tegami is better but all I can say's that I'm really glad Hilcrhyme did this as I'm sure I'm not the only 1 that wants to hear their own spin of Naiyou no Nai Tegami .
Naiyou no Nai Tegami is already a very good song on its own & hearing 2 different renditions of the same track just makes things even more unique & interesting .
Monday, April 09, 2012
CD Review :: Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-1st
CD + DVD
1) "1st" Overture
2) Girl is mine
3) SHE ! HER ! HER !
4) Tabidachi no Uta (Song Of A Journey)
5) Love meee (FUJIGAYA TAISUKE)
6) 『Sanagi』 (Pupa) (KITAYAMA HIROMITSU)
7) Catch & Go !! (YOKOO WATARU / MIYATA TOSHIYA / NIKAIDO TAKASHI / SENGA KENTO)
8) Everybody Go
9) Take Over
10) Kickin' it (KITAYAMA HIROMITSU / FUJIGAYA TAISUKE / TAMAMORI YUTA)
11) Sing for you (TAMAMORI YUTA / MIYATA TOSHIYA / SENGA KENTO)
12) We never give up !
13) Good night
14) Dancing Star (CD Only Track)
15) Tell me why (CD Only Track)
Disc 2 (Only included in the 2CDs edition titled Kis-My-Zero)
1) Endless Road
2) Inori (Prayer)
4) Good-bye , Thank you
5) FIRE BEAT
7) Eien no Chiketto (Eternal Ticket)
8) 3D Girl
Kis-My-1st is Kis-My-Ft2's long awaited debut album & it was released last month on 28th March .
The guys's 1st 3 singles are included in Kis-My-1st . Released in 3 editions , the CD only edition contains 14 tracks in which 2 are bonus songs available only in this edition .
For the 2CDs edition , the 2nd disc is titled Kis-My-Zero which includes 8 tracks that the group have been performing in concerts before their official debut .
In Kis-My-Zero , 2 of the songs Inori & FIRE BEAT received music videos .
Because of the way Kis-My-1st is structured , I will be reviewing each disc separately on its own .Disc 1 (Kis-My-1st)
After the introduction "1st" Overture , Kis-My-1st dives straight into the 1st album track which's titled Girl is mine .
Girl is mine is a mean spirited in your face no. which sets the tone on what to expect in due time as the album progresses .
SHE ! HER ! HER ! is Kis-My-Ft2's 3rd single & this's the most recent release included prior to the release of the group's debut album .
In the case of SHE ! HER ! HER ! , it has been described as a pulsating dance track that shows off the guys's bright & cheerful personalities .
With a song title like Tabidachi no Uta (Song Of A Journey) , I really thought it would be a ballad but I was proven wrong when I gave it a listen as Tabidachi no Uta is almost similar sounding to Girl is mine with both songs being upbeat & quite autotune driven .
The next track Love meee is sung by the rapper of the group ie. Fujigaya Taisuke .
Just like the 1st 2 album tracks , Love meee is also another heavily autotune driven & upbeat track . I was frankly hoping to hear Fujigaya rap in Love meee but unfortunately no such luck but this's something I enjoy .
『Sanagi』 (Pupa) is sung by the leader/main lead singer Kitayama Hiromitsu & 『Sanagi』 is not bad . I like it as it reminds me of FIRE BEAT to a certain extent & Kitayama has no problems nailing this track .
Catch & Go !! is sung by 4 members Yokō Wataru , Miyata Toshiya , Nikaidō Takahashi & Senga Kento .
This's such a fun cheery no. that has plenty of positive affirmation & I thought it's a great opportunity for the 4 of them to flash out their vocals here , considering that it's mostly Kitayama & Fujigaya that takes lead vocals in the group's songs .
Hence , Catch & Go !! is something that's worth checking out big time .
Everybody Go is Kis-My-Ft2's debut single . Even though they've released FIRE BEAT & Inori (Prayer) as digital singles , Everybody Go is the group's 1st official proper single to get released physically .
The guys's debut single was used as the theme song for the drama Ikemen desu ne .
Take Over is 1 of my fave album tracks simply because it's a really mean in your face no. that showcased plenty of attitude & let alone pack a lot of punch in this gritty song that the guys delivered .
In the case of the next track Kickin' it , it's sung by Kitayama , Fujigaya & Tamamori Yūta .
Once again , Kickin' it is a very autotune driven no. & if you don't like their previous album tracks , then this's a song you might want to sit out hearing . If not , this's another enjoyable no. that's perfect in kicking it in the dancefloor .
Sing for you is sung by Tamamori , Miyata & Senga . Oddly , I get vibes of KAT-TUN's Smile For You when I 1st heard Sing for you . I don't know if it's the same group of people that worked on both tracks but that's exactly what I felt on 1st listen with regards to Sing for you .
We never give up ! is Kis-My-Ft2's 2nd single & it's the last single included in Kis-My-1st .
For this track , We never give up ! was used as the theme song for Lawson Hot Station's ad campaign & it has been described as a spirited encouragement no. about standing up & beating challenges that keep people down .
Good night is the only album track that's a ballad & what a song that the guys have nailed it .
What I like about Good night is that I really like the harmonisation of vocals going on & after a series of heart thumping rock meets autotune album tracks , hearing Good night is such a breath of fresh air .
The next 2 songs are only available in the CD only pressing of Kis-My-1st .
With a title like Dancing Star , I naturally will expect another uptempo track & sure enough I wasn't wrong .
Dancing Star is not bad but it oddly reminds me of NEWS's Dancin' in the Secret to a certain extent . It's probably due to nostalgia reasons especially since NEWS has not been active in releases for the past 2 years .
In the case of Tell me why , it's a slower driven no. . Not as ballad sounding as Good night but Tell me why is not bad overall even though I will not consider this as a fave album track of mine .Disc 2 (Kis-My-Zero)
Only available in the 2CDs edition , Kis-My-Zero includes 8 songs that Kis-My-Ft2 have been performing in concerts before their official debut .
In Kis-My-Zero , 2 tracks receive music videos of their own .
Something to start is Kis-My-Zero is Endless Road which's quite a typically sounding Johnny's anthemn ish track .
Frankly Endless Road is pleasant sounding . A little bit forgettable but this's something I don't mind listening on a regular basis .
Inori (Prayer) is the 1st song that received a music video . I actually have heard the live version of Inori way before this gets the studio treatment & I must say this's a song worth getting a video .
It's not as emotionally driven as Good night but what makes Inori a class of its own is the subtle rapping that can be heard in the background , something that I thought it brings the song to a whole new level .
With a title like Kis-My-Me-Mine , I was expecting something pretty cheesy but for this track , it's quite poppy driven & not as hard sounding as the group's other tracks .
Still I wouldn't deny I was skeptical before hearing Kis-My-Me-Mine but luckily it's not as corny sounding as what I thought it might be .
Good-bye , Thank you is another song that I like . It does sound like something I've heard before in other Johnny's groups but I warmed up easily to Good-bye , Thank you on 1st listen without any problems .
FIRE BEAT is the 2nd song that gets a video & this can be considered as the track I got my 1st Kis-My-Ft2 music exposure as this's the song that I remembered seeing them performed in MUSIC STATION some 3 years ago before their official debut .
For this track , be it song or video wise , FIRE BEAT is almost like an identical cousin to their seniors KAT-TUN's Keep the faith , when comes to the comparison of the song & video but still what FIRE BEAT lacks is that it's not as punchy/edgy as Keep the faith .
Despite this , I still have special regards towards FIRE BEAT as if not for it , I wouldn't get to experience a taste of what Kis-My-Ft2 has to offer .
Smile is such a sweet endearing track . 1 of the rare songs that utilised acoustic guitar as the melody in both discs , I couldn't help but have a smile on my face upon hearing it .
It's songs like Smile that really showcase a different music side of Kis-My-Ft2 , something that I personally approve .
Eien no Chiketto (Eternal Ticket) is another song that I like . It's yet another standard Johnny's sounding no. but once this type of music style is done right , it will not go wrong .
3D Girl is the final track available in Kis-My-Zero & this's actually the only song in the 2nd disc that's extremely autotune driven & hard sounding .
Perhaps the guys have been saving the best for last but considering the other songs in Kis-My-Zero don't have autotune , I most certainly welcome & enjoy 3D Girl by all means .
After close to 7 years of performing & releasing 3 physical #1 singles , Kis-My-Ft2 has finally released their long awaited anticipated debut album Kis-My-1st !
Before I proceed any further , I have to admit , I was really skeptical in trying out their music as I had the perception they're like a mini version of KAT-TUN due to from bits & pieces that I've heard of Kis-My-Ft2 .
But after giving Kis-My-1st a listen , I was definitely proven wrong as I overall find the guys's debut album pretty solid & enjoyable .
That's not to say Kis-My-1st is perfect . A couple of flaws surrounds the album which I feel that a lot of the album tracks are extremely autotune driven & that applies to the singles's B-sides too .
As someone that generally don't mind the somewhat overusage of autotune in an artiste's discography , I'm ok with it but for a person that thinks otherwise , Kis-My-1st is definitely not the album to listen .
I definitely see potential brewing in Kis-My-Ft2 & in their next music release , I would like to see them experimenting & getting out of their music comfort zone . I thought they did a pretty good job nailing the slower paced no.s with no problems in Kis-My-1st but they could consider mixing things up in future .
All in all , it took Kis-My-Ft2 close to 7 years to release Kis-My-1st & I'm sure for longtime fans of the group that've been with them from their pre debut until now , this's 1 album they've waited for a long time to see in bearing fruit & now it has finally see the light in getting released .
Saturday, April 07, 2012
B'z - GO FOR IT , BABY -Kioku no Sanmyaku- (Mountains Of Memory)
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD's
1) Kioku no Sanmyaku- (Mountains Of Memory)
2) Honoka Naru Hi (Delicate Fire)
3) Ryuusei (Meteor) Mask
GO FOR IT , BABY -Kioku no Sanmyaku- (Mountains Of Memory) is B'z's 50th single & it was released 3 days ago on 4th April .
The duo's 1st release for 2012 , the A-side has been selected to be used in the latest Pepsi Nex ads that features the guys themselves .
Written during the two's 2011 concert tour , GO FOR IT , BABY -Kioku no Sanmyaku- is a fun rock tune with a catchy hook & lyrically , it has a positive message with lyrics that're written by frontman lead singer Koshi Inaba .
There're 2 B-sides that're included in the single . The 1st one which's titled Honoka Naru Hi (Delicate Fire) , this oddly if not freakily sounds to me like the male version of ayumi hamasaki's Days .
I really don't know if it's a good or bad thing but I had to do a double take & listen to Honoka Naru Hi but to say that I was surprised it's an understatement .
In the case of the 2nd B-side Ryuusei (Meteor) Mask , it's quite a standard rock no. . It's neither good or bad but I suppose there's a reason on why Ryuusei Mask is slotted as a B-side & not as the main A-side so there .
B'z has released & provided plenty of ad theme songs over their 20 years + career & GO FOR IT , BABY -Kioku no Sanmyaku- is extra special because it's the hugely rock duo's 50th single ! .
Personally , I really like the main A-side but B-sides wise , they're not as good as their previous B-sides found in their past singles .
However I must admit , for the best selling Japanese act of all time to release 50 singles , it's most certainly a milestone in any artiste's career & what better way to kick off 2012 with this kick ass no. in the form of GO FOR IT , BABY -Kioku no Sanmyaku- !
Monday, April 02, 2012
CD Review :: Acid Black Cherry - 『2012』
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
2) Fallin' Angel
3) in the Mirror
5) Shoujo no Inori (Girl's Prayer) III ~『2012』ver.~
7) Yubiwa Monogatari (Lord Of The Rings)
9) ~the day~
10) Sonohi ga Kuru made (Until That Day Arrives)
11) so … Good night.
12) doomsday clock
13) Chou (Butterfly)
『2012』 is Acid Black Cherry's (ABC) 3rd album & it was released on 21st March .
7 singles are included in 『2012』with his last album release was 2009's Q.E.D. .
All songs were written , composed & produced by yasu with the album concept for 『2012』is "to live" .
Aside from 『2012』 being yasu's very 1st #1 in his music career , 『2012』is also the 1st album to have an introduction & 2 interludes , something that previous albums BLACK LIST & Q.E.D. did not have .
After the introduction ~until~ , the album dives straight into the 1st 2 of 6 new songs which're Fallin' Angel & in the Mirror .
I frankly have no issues with both tracks which're both downright charged up highly energetic rock tunes so I leave them as it's .
After 2 album tracks , the next 3 songs are singles prior to the release of 『2012』 .
Pistol is ABC's 11th single & this single was the 1st of the 5 singles 5 months project that started last Sept all the way to this year in Jan .
In the case of Pistol , it's described as a rock tune with a powerful beat .
Shoujo no Inori (Girl's Prayer) III is ABC's 10th single & in here , it has been given an album version , just like what happened in Q.E.D. where ABC's 6th single Jigsaw received one as well .
In the updated version for Shoujo no Inori III , there's not much difference between the single & album takes but this's something I still like even up to now .
Re:birth is ABC's 9th single & it was used as the theme song for the PlayStation3 game Another Century's Episode : R with this song being the oldest single included in 『2012』 .
Yubiwa Monogatari (Lord Of The Rings) is the 3rd album track & it's quite an interesting song as for starters , there're no drum beats included in Yubiwa Monogatari .
Instead , this track relies on various numerous layers of guitar riffs . Quite unusual but somehow or another , yasu was able to make things work here .
CRISIS is ABC's 14th single & this was the 4th single in the 5 singles 5 months project .
Described as an intensely painful rock tune , acclaimed producer Tetsuya Komuro lends yasu a hand in CRISIS by arranging & composing the track himself .
I remembered when I reviewed CRISIS , I did stated that this was my least fave track outta the 5 singles 5 months project but this has grown on me a significant deal after a period of time .
After the 1st album interlude ~the day~ , in comes the album's last batch of 3 new songs .
The 1st 1 is something titled Sonohi ga Kuru made (Until That Day Arrives) . I really like Sonohi ga Kuru made as this displays such a different style that ABC never undertook until now .
Sonohi ga Kuru made is a really cool track & the added bonus is that for the choir background inspired vocals , it's actually yasu & his backup musicians friends that contributed to it which I thought it's great .
so … Good night. is the 2nd last album track & I think out of all the 6 new songs available in 『2012』 , this probably has to be my fave .
What I like about so … Good night. is that it has a very cheery uplifting sound . Not as happy go lucky driven as Shangrila but still , so … Good night. is a class of its own & I thought the ending of the song is really cute .
With a title like doomsday clock , 1 would expect it will be something very dark & scary & sure enough , it's .
I wouldn't lie that this's my least fave album track as doomsday clock is extremely dark & it scares me a bit on 1st listen .
Somehow I can visualise doomsday clock being slotted in the same music route as Jigsaw with both songs having almost the same music vibe but that's just me .
The next 3 songs are the last 3 singles included in 『2012』 .
Chou (Butterfly) is ABC's 13th single & it's the 3rd single of the 5 singles 5 months project .
Described as a jazzy , rock no. , the song fuses a slight swing melody with driving guitars & just like Black Cherry , Chou is written from a girl's persepective .
Yes is ABC's 15th single & this's the last single of the 5 singles 5 months project .
Described to be the ultimate love ballad , Yes is definitely still a big yes to me & I feel that it's the perfect single to conclude ABC's 5 singles 5 months project with Yes being so emotionally driven & lyrically beautiful .
Shangrila is ABC's 12th single & this's the 2nd single of the 5 singles 5 months project .
It's also the last song included in 『2012』 prior to the album's 2nd interlude ~comes~ in which ~comes~ serves as the finale no. in the tracklist .
Described as a refreshing & positive song which combined both rock & orchestra sounds , Shangrila is my fave track outta the 5 singles 5 months project simply because this's a music style ABC has never undertook & who knew that yasu's able to nail this happy cheery no. with plenty of gusto .
Considering that ABC's singles discography doesn't have that much songs which falls on the happy go lucky category , Shangrila is for sure a definite keeper & I think it's the ideal track to conclude 『2012』 before ~comes~ .
After a 3 years long wait , Acid Black Cherry returns in fine form with this latest album offering , 『2012』.
Close to being in the music business for 13 years , yasu has finally paid his dues & attained a very long overdue if not well deserved 1st #1 for 『2012』 .
As an ABC fan , I'm extremely happy for yasu as he really worked very hard in his solo project since he started it close to 5 years ago . Music wise , 『2012』is a very well produced solid album from the start til the end .
Unlike BLACK LIST & Q.E.D. which are not really that much of my liking , 『2012』 blows away the competition with this album being ABC's most musically diverse sounding to date .
The 1st 1/2 of 『2012』 takes on a straight up no offense rock music route but it's the 2nd 1/2 of the album that is my fave , with plenty of different music genres thrown in & this showcased how versatile yasu's .
The only slight minor drawback I have for 『2012』is that I feel the singles & album tracks should have been more 'mixed up' together as I slightly dislike that each of them seems very segmented if not enclosed from each other .
With that said , 『2012』is 1 album that I really enjoy & hats off to yasu for doing everything hands on his own .
From writing to composing to arranging & even producing , 『2012』is 1 well rounded record worth checking out for the year .