Friday, August 31, 2012
UVERworld - THE OVER
CD + DVD
1) THE OVER
2) THE SONG
THE OVER is UVERworld's 22nd single & it was released on 29th Aug .
This single is released about 5 months + since the group's previous single 7th Trigger .
THE OVER was picked to be used as the theme song for Eikura Nana's drama Kuro no Onna Kyoshi . For 1 of 2 B-side tracks , the single also includes MASSIVE , a song that's already been performed during the band's concerts .
Both THE SONG & Massive will not be reviewed .
UVERworld worked on THE OVER when they had time to spare from their nationwide tour . Regarding the song-making process , vocalist TAKUYA∞ commented , "We rented a studio in the countryside & wrote the lyrics . In Niigata , we looked for a place to sing , but couldn't find one . So we rented a house & recorded the song .”
Meanwhile , drummer Shintaro revealed , "We finished recording at one point , but we reconsidered the formation & theme & had to record it again . It was a last-minute process , but we were able to settle down in a good direction ."
I honestly don't think THE OVER is UVERworld's best single offering . Something about the song seems a bit lacklustre unlike their previous single releases .
I'm sure THE OVER is a grower but as much as I try my best to get into this track , it somehow miss the mark for me . Maybe I need a little bit more spins to it at this point in time .
Monday, August 27, 2012
BRIGHT Feat Matsushita Yuya - Forever
CD + DVD
Forever is a song that's found as track #13 in girl group BRIGHT's 1st best album BRIGHT BEST that was released on 22nd Aug .
The song features the vocals of Matsushita Yuya & it received a music video that's found in the DVD tracklist of BRIGHT BEST .
I 1st know about BRIGHT via Matsushita as they contributed vocals on a song of his titled Secret Love alongside with rapper SHUN .
Secret Love was 1st found as the 3rd B-side track in Matsushita's 7th single Paradise before the song was eventually included as track #16 in his 2nd album 2U .
In the case of Forever , it's definitely something even Matsushita might sing himself as it's very R&B driven . Also just like in Secret Love , both artistes's vocals compliment really well so it didn't surprise me that I enjoy Forever .
Maybe in future , I might consider checking out BRIGHT's discography since I enjoy what they have done together with Matsushita but for the time being , Forever is the song that I will be appericating from them .
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Anna Tsuchiya - Voyagers
Voyagers version FOURZE CD
Voyagers version FOURZE CD + DVD
Voyagers version ANNA CD + DVD
Voyagers is Anna Tsuchiya's 15th single & it was released on 22nd Aug .
This's Anna's 1st single release this year after she released her 1st collaboration best album 12 FLAVOR SONGS ~BEST COLLABORATION~ on 28th March .
The A-side was used as the theme no. for the tokusatsu film from Kamen Rider Fourze series .
Described as a song that utilised a youth theme journey with friends , Voyagers is most certainly a heart warming ballad . After releasing UNCHAINED GIRL & Switch On ! , it's definitely nice for Anna to occasionally release a mid tempo no. such as Voyagers .
The following tracks serve as B-sides which all of them will not be reviewed :
- ANNA TSUCHIYA MEGA-MIX
- IS THIS LOVE ? Produced by Namba Akihiro -NAMBA AKIHIRO- at 2012/6/9 Shibuya Public Hall「Sound of Coral」Live ver.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Aqua Timez - Tsubomi (Flower Bud)
1) Tsubomi (Flower Bud)
2) Heikou Sekai (Parallel World)
3) Isshun'nochiri (The Dust Of The Moment) -kawasaki electro academy mix- remixed by Takeshi Ueda(AA=)+Kei Kusama
4) Tsubomi -Instrumental-
Tsubomi (Flower Bud) is Aqua Timez's 15th single & it's released officially today on 22nd Aug .
Released exactly 6 months since the group's previous single MASK , the A-side was selected to be used as the theme song for the drama Ghost Mama Sousasen ! , starring Nakama Yukie .
This is the 1st time Aqua Timez & Nakama Yukie worked together since Gokusen . After reuniting with the members of the band , Nakama commented , "Tsubomi has very gentle lyrics that are perfect for the drama's worldview . I know they will liven up the drama !!"
Lead singer Futoshi was overjoyed that the drama's theme corresponded with what he wanted to sing . "I'm very honoured that we are in charge of the theme song for the Gokusen team ," he expressed .
Futoshi also shared that out of all the songs he's worked on so far , he spent the most time arranging this one . "I feel that a bud (tsubomi) holds a message saying that it won't look up to the sky unless it blossoms . It's not going to end if you don't give up . I hope this song will reach those who strive for the best until they blossom ."
Aqua Timez are known for releasing inspirational songs & this's once again no exception for Tsubomi . Frankly , it didn't surprise me that I really like this song the very moment I heard it as where's there not to love about it ?
The fact that a considerable amount of time & effort went into the creation of Tsubomi just makes me appericate the song even more which props have to go to lead singer Futoshi for crafting such a no. .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- Heikou Sekai (Parallel World)
- Isshun'nochiri (The Dust Of The Moment) -kawasaki electro academy mix- remixed by Takeshi Ueda(AA=)+Kei Kusama
Both B-sides will not be reviewed & Aqua Timez's 5th album because you are you will be released next month on 5th Sept .
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Kis-My-Ft2 - WANNA BEEEE !!! / Shake It Up
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
WANNA BEEEE !!! / Shake It Up is Kis-My-Ft2's 4th single & it's released officially today on 15th Aug .
The group's 1st single release after putting out debut album Kis-My-1st this year on 28th March , WANNA BEEEE !!! / Shake It Up is the guys's 1st double A-side single .
The 1st A-side WANNA BEEEE !!! serves as the main theme song of the TV drama series Beginners ! which 2 of the members , Fujigaya Taisuke & Kitayama Hiromitsu appear in .
WANNA BEEEE !!! is certainly a very fun power pop no. . I wasn't sure what to expect before listening to WANNA BEEEE !!! but this's something I really enjoy & it's energetic to boot as well .
On the other hand , the 2nd A-side Shake It Up serves as the intro theme song of the TV drama series Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou which member Miyata Toshiya made an appearance .
While WANNA BEEEE !!! is an upbeat catchy tune , Shake It Up is very heavily club driven & this's probably the group's most club/dance influenced single to date .
The usage of synth is greatly felt a lot in Shake It Up but 1 thing's for sure , it's the perfect party track to blast loudly in the club & even though by right both A-side songs are upbeat tunes at the end of the day , they still each has its own unique identity/sound which I think it's great .
Summer Lover serves as the B-side in the single & this's exclusively available in the CD only pressing of WANNA BEEEE !!! / Shake It Up .
This B-side definitely has rather late summer vibes going on in the track but honestly , I feel that Summer Lover is quite a typical standard Johnny sounding no. . I neither like or dislike it but with that said , it's pretty decent sounding overall .
Perhaps due to the rather solid presentation both WANNA BEEEE !!! & Shake It Up delivered separately , Summer Lover somewhat feels a bit overshadowed by the 2 A-sides but that's just me .
1 of Johnny's rising stars to emerge in recent times , Kis-My-Ft2 certainly made their presence felt even more in the music business with the release of their latest if not 1st double A-side single WANNA BEEEE !!! / Shake It Up .
I have been following the guys since their debut single Everybody Go that was released last Aug until now & it has been cool to see them progress as each release of theirs goes by & I think they did a pretty swell job with regards to their 1st double A-side single since I feel both A-sides are solid in their own respective right .
There's definitely something for everyone to enjoy in this single & here's to even more potential good material coming from Kis-My-Ft2 .
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
CD Review :: SID - M&W
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) Konagona (In Small Pieces)
2) Ghost Apartment
3) Fuyu no (Winter) Bench
4) Ito (Yarn)
5) Café de Bossa
8) Itsuka (Someday)
9) Dress Code
10) gossip !!
11) Nokoriga (Scent)
M&W is SID's 3rd album & it was released on 1st Aug .
The group's latest album offering comes close to 1 1/2 years since the release of their previous album dead stock & in M&W , 4 singles are included & there's the inclusion of 7 new songs , that make up 11 tunes in total found in the tracklist .
All songs in M&W are written by lead singer/frontman Mao .
This time round , the album theme for M&W is based on the concept of Men & Woman . In addition , the songs are put together as a collection of tunes that describes the various kinds of love that exists between a man & a woman .
Konagona (In Small Pieces) kicks off the album & also it's the 1st new album track . While not as catchy/strong as the previous album opening no.s such as dead stock's NO LDK & Hikari's Rakuen (Eden) , Konagona is still a pretty memorable no. .
With a weird title like Ghost Apartment , I wasn't sure what to expect but I'm surprised that I really enjoyed this & despite the title , there's nothing eerie sounding about Ghost Apartment .
Instead , Ghost Apartment is very Jazz driven which I think it's very cool & kudos have to go to bassist Aki for composing the melody as it's downright infectious .
Fuyu no (Winter) Bench is SID's 10th single & it's the group's 2nd Winter inspired no. , the 1st one being their 2nd single Mousou Nikki (Diary Of Delusion) 2 .
I rememebered when Fuyu no Bench was 1st released last Dec , I oddly had a rather strong dislike towards it . I'm not sure why but since then , this song has grown on me considerably which I think it's a good thing .
Ito (Yarn) is the 3rd album track & it's the only no. that's a rather emotional driven ballad .
For this song , Ito is quite sad sounding & the presence of both piano + guitar riffs can be felt greatly in this heartfelt tune .
Café de Bossa follows after Ito & with such a title , it's pretty evident that the influence of Bossa Nova inspired sounds have gone hand in hand together with Mao's vocals .
In Café de Bossa , it's 1 of those songs that I can visualise being played in a cafe while chilling out with a cup of tea/coffee & props have to go to drummer Yuya for composing this song .
S is SID's 12th single & it was used as the theme song in the horror movie Sadako 3D , making this the 1st time for the guys to provide a theme song for a movie .
The most recent single included prior to the release of M&W , even up to now , I still consider S to be 1 of my least fave if not weakest singles SID has released to date .
Also out of the 4 singles included in M&W , the other 3 are much more memorable if not stronger . I don't mind to listen to S if the album's on loop but I will not consider S to be a personal fave track of mine .
MOM is the 5th album track & what a happy sounding no. this's & I really like the blaring of trumpets going on in here .
The credit has to go to guitarist Shinji for composing such a peppy upbeat melody to accompany Mao's vocals in MOM .
Itsuka (Someday) is SID's 9th single . Described as a powerful burst of energy that will rock listeners , it was used as the opening theme song for TBS's CDTV last Aug .
Dress Code is the 2nd last album track & also it's the shortest track in M&W , clocking in at 2:59 mins .
Composed by bassist Aki , Dress Code is a charming no. with it being an understated track . I frankly have no issues with Dress Code the very moment when I 1st heard it .
Likewise , the same thing goes for the last album track that's titled gossip !! . Also composed by Aki , gossip !! is surprisingly a very cheery sounding no. & it's definitely something catchy & worth checking out as well .
Nokoriga (Scent) is SID's 11th single & it's also the final song in M&W's tracklist .
Described as a melodious number with a sakura motif , Nokoriga is a gentle mid-tempo ballad about bidding farewell to the annual sakura season , making this song pretty refreshing .
After the release of 2 singles that both happened within 1 week of each other last week , SID has released their latest album offering M&W .
Just like their previous albums hikari & dead stock , M&W is a very solid album & musicially versatile like their 1st 2 albums .
I don't know if this's a good or bad thing but to me , SID is 1 of the rare artistes I encounter that in general their discography is solid & there's definitely something for everyone to enjoy when comes to their music & the same thing goes for what they have to offer in M&W as well .
Definitely an album worth checking out from this really talented group .
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
ayumi hamasaki - You & Me
2CDs + DVD
You & Me is a new song that's taken from ayumi hamasaki's 1st best summer album A SUMMER BEST which will be released tomorrow on 8th Aug .
Composed by Tetsuya Komuro who also worked on composing most of the bulk of songs found in ayumi's 12th album Love songs , You & Me is found as track #13 in the 2nd disc of A SUMMER BEST .
This definitely screams summer all over in line with You & Me even though the opening of the song was surprisingly piano driven but slowly but surely , the melody transformed into something that definitely makes Tetsuya Komuro's presence felt greatly in the song .
I'm not sure how current existing ayumi fans will feel about You & Me but personally , I have no issues with it as it's something I don't mind listening to , it's just that I'm a bit surprised the song's clocks in at close to 6 mins long but duration aside , You & Me is good for me .
Sunday, August 05, 2012
V6 - kEEP oN.
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
kEEP oN. is V6's 40th single & it will be released this coming Wed on 8th Aug .
Released almost 6 months + since the group's previous single Bari Bari BUDDY ! , it's used as the theme song for member Inohara Yoshiko's TV drama Keishicho Sosa Ikka 9 Gakari which's currently into its 7th season .
Described as an ambitious dance song that moves across multiple genres in 6 minutes , kEEP oN. is definitely 1 of the most unusual if not unique sounding songs that V6 has released in recent times .
To say that kEEP oN. breaks down the typical music barrier is an understatement & it's basically in short a 6 min+ music montage that kept me entertained from the start til the end .
What I like about kEEP oN. is that it follows the saying expect the unexpected because on 1 end , it's a ballad while within seconds it can be transformed into an upbeat dance no. & vice versa which's very cool , seeing that this's something the guys hasn't tackle before yet .
Definitely a music gamble that paid off very well for them & the very fact this's their 40th single , they have reached a single milestone in the form of releasing kEEP oN. .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- Ai o Komete (With Love)
- Perfect Lady (CD Only Track)
- Isshou de Saigo no Koi (The Last Love Of My Life) (CD Only Track)
All 3 B-sides will not be reviewed .
Friday, August 03, 2012
CD Review :: Yamashita Tomohisa - Ero
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) Ai (Love) , Texas
2) ERO -2012 version-
6) Hit the Wall
7) BABY BABY
8) Be The ONE
9) Boku Dake no Kimi ni
10) Turn Off The Lights
11) Nayami no Mori no Man'naka de
12) Odoru Yoru (Dance Night) (CD Only Track)
Ero is Yamashita Tomohisa's 2nd album & it was released on 25th July .
Yamapi's latest album offering was released 3 weeks after he released his 6th single LOVE CHASE . Despite this , only his 5th single Ai , Texas is included in Ero .
Ero is released 1 1/2 years since the release of his debut solo album SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD .
The album theme pertaining to Ero is to not have a stail , slow love but a refreshing & eye opening experience with an erotic tinge .
Ai (Love) , Texas is Yamapi's 5th single & in addition to being the 1st song in the tracklist , it's the only single included in Ero .
This song was used as the theme no. for the drama Saikou no Jinsei no Owarikata ~Ending Planner~ , starring Yamapi himself .
Sharing the same title as the album track , it's ERO -2012 version- .
ERO -2012 version- is the only album track that gets a music video . Written by scenario writer Nojima Shinji & composed by Hyadain (=Maeyamada Kenichi) , ERO ~2012 version~ is described as a song about a little dangerous or sadistic love that shows a different side of Yamapi .
Karina follows after ERO ~2012 version~ & what a hot song Karina is . Immediately when I 1st heard it , the 1st thought that came to my mind is that this song sounded from where SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD's Santa Maria left behind .
Despite the obvious name sake association , Karina is very catchy & I was hooked by it within an instant .
Romantic is 1 of 2 slower sounding songs in Ero . Honestly , this's a bit too slow for my liking but I suppose after 3 rather uptempo no.s , Romantic is slotted in here to slow things down .
Not exactly my fave album track as there're many other solid tunes in Ero so I leave it as it's .
Shiver follows after Romantic & to say that this's a kick ass song , it's an understatement .
This's a full blown upbeat no. that has a great addictive melody with plenty of guitar riffs thrown in for great measures which kept me entertained from the start til end .
The next song is something titled Hit the Wall & for this , Yamapi cowrote & co-composed with Jeff Miyahara .
Way before I heard the full version of Hit the Wall , I have already heard a preview snippet of it which I really adore . Perhaps it's no surprises that when I heard the full version of the song , it immediately became 1 of my fave new tracks in Ero .
Hit the Wall is definitely something that can be found in the SUPERBAD side of SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD & when you have acclaimed producer Jeff Miyahara on hand to produce this , you know you can't go wrong with it .
The next song is titled BABY BABY which has been described as a refreshing summer tune that's been written , composed & arranged by capsule's Nakata Yasutaka .
Another standout track in Ero , BABY BABY is simply awesome & basically anything that has Nakata Yasutaka's stamp of approval , you know that you're in good hands especially since I admire his works a lot & his influences in BABY BABY can be greatly felt in the song too .
Be The ONE is track #8 & this song is a bit weird in the sense that Yamapi's vocals sounded a bit off key than usual .
Somehow in here , the acoustic guitar driven melody doesn't go very well with Yamapi's vocals which I think it's a pity because if his vocals were to be more tuned up if not refined , Be The ONE would have worked out but unfortunately it didn't .
Boku Dake no Kimi ni follows after Be The ONE & this's 1 pretty lush sounding track which I like & this's something I think it's perfect to kick back & listen on a chilled out day .
In the case of Turn Off The Lights , it's a highly autotune club driven no. & despite the many upbeat tracks found in Ero , Turn Off The Lights is surprisingly 1 of the few songs that's heavily emphasised on autotune which I think it's cool as too much of autotune to be used in songs is not a very good thing even though it works on Yamapi a fair bit .
Nayami no Mori no Man'naka de is the 2nd last track & what a nice soothing ballad this's .
1 of the 2 slower sounding no.s in Ero , Nayami no Mori no Man'naka is basically piano driven & it's a refreshing change from all the upbeat club driven tracks that Yamapi did previously prior to this , which allows Yamapi's vocals to get displayed here .
Nayami no Mori no Man'naka can be considered as a sleeper hit of sorts but it definitely works in Yamapi's favour in here .
Exclusively only found in the CD only pressing of Ero , it's Odoru Yoru (Dance Night) & for this track , Yamapi cowrote the song with H.U.B. & co-composed with Zen & Lensei .
Odoru Yoru is basically quite a standard autotune club track that Yamapi has known for . I'm not sure if I can consider this track as something that I really like but it's a decent no. , just that it's not really my fave song since there're many other great songs found in the album .
In 2011 , former NEWS member/leader Yamashita Tomohisa officially became a solo artist after signing a contract with Warner Music Japan & Ero is his 1st solo album (2nd overall) to be released under his new record label .
Truth be told , I had 0 expectations with regards to Ero as prior to this , I disliked the album title & the cover artwork ain't helping matters either but once I move past these 2 aspects , I was really impressed with what I have heard in Ero .
I think 1 of the strengths that Ero has is just how versatile the album's since there's not a single song that sounds the same from each other which I guess it's the reason why Yamapi has roped in so many people to work on his latest album .
The result speaks volume & Ero is very entertaining from the start til the end . Ero is mainly a very upbeat dance club driven record but the fact that the songs showcase a wide range of music styles , is something not easy to emulate but it was done very well at the end of the day .
The only thing I do not like about Ero is that I wish Yamapi would have included LOVE CHASE & exclude Ai , Texas as frankly between both singles , I prefer LOVE CHASE over Ai , Texas by a long shot .
But other than that , Ero is a really solid album & 1 of the rare albums to escape the much dreaded 2nd album music syndrome .