Sunday, September 30, 2012
CD Review :: SPYAIR - Just Do It
Cover for all 3 editions
1) Just Do It
2) Rock'n Roll
3) 0 GAME
4) My World
5) Little Summer
6) No where , Now here
7) Stay Gold
8) Break myself
11) I want a place
12) Raise Your Hands
Just Do It is SPYAIR's 2nd album & it was released on 19th Sept .
Released about a year since the guys's debut album Rockin' the World , Just Do It includes 3 singles & a B-side .
All songs in the album are written by bassist MOMIKEN & with the exclusion of the 3 singles & B-side no. , Just Do It contains 7 new album tracks .
Just like Rockin' the World , the opening title shares the same name as the album & Just Do It the song serves as a teaser no. on what to expect in latter part of what Just Do It the album has to offer .
Personally , I think for both opening tracks found in both albums are really good & they definitely have the potential to get transformed into full songs but as to whether will this become a reality , that's another matter to discuss separately from this post .
Diving straight right in after the opening no. Just Do It , it's the 2nd song in the tracklist which's titled Rock'n Roll .
Rock'n Roll was actually 1st found as the 1st B-side in SPYAIR's 7th single 0 GAME in which the CD only edition of the single contains 3 B-sides unlike the CD + DVD edition that only includes the main A-side .
I'm actually really glad that Rock'n Roll is included in Just Do It as it's a very fast paced if not quite interesting sounding no. even though in actual fact , most of SPYAIR's B-sides does sound good already on their own .
And speaking of 0 GAME , it's the next song right after Rock'n Roll .
0 GAME was selected to be used in promotion for the movie The Amazing Spider-Man which the film production company offered 0 GAME to be featured in the movie as the movie's staff give high praises for the song & stated that it's the perfect theme no. for the film .
Out of the 3 singles that're included in Just Do It , 0 GAME is definitely my fave out of the lot & it does help that I did watched The Amazing Spider-Man when it opened in cinemas so it does bring good memories for me but song wise , it's 1 of the group's most prominent if not memorable tracks to date .
And it also helps that at this point in time , 0 GAME is the group's best charting single to date too .
My World is SPYAIR's 6th single & it was used as the ending theme for the Mobile Suit Gundam AGE anime which started airing on Jan 29th .
Described as a powerful no. that encourages people who suffer from distress , My World was also released on the same day as the group's 1st concert DVD SPYAIR LIVE At Yaon 「Just Like This 2011」 .
Little Summer is the 1st album track & this's something that I really like on 1st listen as I couldn't help but get attracted to this emotional driven no. .
In fact I notice that Little Summer is 1 of the songs in Just Do It that I tend to listen on a regular basis which definitely is a good sign .
No where, Now here is the shortest track in Just Do It , clocking in at under 2:53 mins . Despite the time constaint , No where, Now here is still able to pack quite a few punches with it quite gritty sounding & angst driven .
From another new album track to the next , in comes Stay Gold which's 1 of the more experimental no.s in Just Do It .
Stay Gold utilises quite a significant lot of synth , something that's not heard/seen in the guys's previous songs but the band's signature sound was still able to get retained in here .
The ending result gives Stay Gold quite a needed edge over the other album tracks in Just Do It .
Break Myself is the 4th album track & the 1st few lines of the song sound oddly the same as 0 GAME but make no mistake , after that , the song lashes out a mean mix of kick ass heart thumping melody which's backed up really nicely with fierce guitar riffs & even more mean sounding drum beats .
And just like No where, Now here , Break Myself is a relatively short track , under 3 mins long but who says good things doesn't come in small packages ?
Naked is SPYAIR's 8th single . Serves as the lead promo single prior to the release of Just Do It , it has been described as an uptempo tune that will remind fans of the group's 4th single Samurai Heart (Some Like It Hot !!) .
The song incorporates a message that it is important to bare one's heart in love & any other human relationship once in a while , stressing the importance of colliding with others for better understanding .
U&I follows after Naked & this's 1 of more emotional heartfelt no. in Just Do It & it's quite evident in the way lead vocalist IKE delivers this song with such professionalism .
I want a place is the 2nd last album track & just like Stay Gold , it also utilises quite a fair bit of synth with also autotune thrown in for good measure too .
This song & Stay Gold are probably 2 of the more experimental no.s in Just Do It which I really don't mind as it shows that the guys are willing to step out of their music comfort zone & do something different .
Last but definitely not least , Raise Your Hands is the final no. included in Just Do It & what a heart wrenching song this's which IKE literally goes out with a bang , with him yelling & pouring his heart out in this rock drenched tune with plenty of gusto & attitude , which basically seals the deal for Just Do It .
A few months prior to their maiden Nippon Budokan performance that will take place on 18th Dec , SPYAIR released their latest 2nd album Just Do It , which comes almost a year after the release of their really enjoyable debut record Rockin' the World .
Personally , comparing both albums , Just Do It displays a much more stronger mature side coming from the guys & the fact that they have showcased signs of some experimentation going on , it definitely means something as I will be disappointed if their new album were to sound almost exactly like what Rockin' the World had to offer .
The only minor flaw I feel that Just Do It has is that I wish that the guys wouldn't have included 0 GAME & My World side by side together as already the singles outweight the new album tracks , so they should have spread out both tracks evenly as so .
But other than that , a really solid follow up from where Rockin' the World left & with both albums clocking in under an hour , good things definitely do come in small packages .
Friday, September 28, 2012
girl next door - all my life
CD + DVD
1) all my life
2) so pleasure
3) signal (From Live Tour 2012 ~Best Collection~) (CD Only Track)
4) all my life (Instrumental)
5) so pleasure (Instrumental)
all my life is girl next door's 16th single & it was released on 19th Sept .
Released 4 months + after the group's previous single signal , the A-side has 3 tie in's in the form of serving as H.I.S. Overseas Wedding Honeymoon campaign TV-CF song , used in NTV's Happy Music POWER PLAY & utilised as the opening theme for Sapporo TV's Joshisuta for the month of Sept .
Igarashi Mitsuru , former member of Every Little Thing has a hand in producing all my life , just like signal .
all my life has been described as a wedding ballad that conveys the happy feelings of a woman as she gets ready for her wedding day & this's the trio's 1st wedding inspired no. which's something I really like .
There's always a 1st for anything but I think they did pretty good with all my life & the inspiration behind the song is meaningful to say the least .
Serving as the B-side track is a song titled so pleasure . It's quite a standard girl next door no. with it being neither good or bad . I was frankly a little bit more from so pleasure but to sum it up , it's basically very B-side oriented .
I wouldn't consider so pleasure as a strong B-side track coming from the band but in contrast to all my life , it did a decent job in contrasting things .
all my life is girl next door's 2nd single release for 2012 & overall it's quite a good follow up in picking up from signal & honestly , I don't mind someone outside of the group to work on the band's material as it's dangerous to rely solely on 1 person to do everything .
But judging from the way signal & all my life turn out to be & with each song sounding good , I say the trio are in good hands .
In addition , belated happy 4th anniversary to them as well & this's coming from a long time fan of them since their debut single Guuzen no Kakuritsu until now .
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Namie Amuro - Hot Girls (SMIDI CLUB REMIX)
Hot Girls (SMIDI CLUB REMIX) is a special Namie Amuro remix that's available in a bonus disc which customers can obtain the CD as long as 2 eligible items are purchased online .
This includes Namie's latest album Uncontrolled & certain singled out priced-down reissues in order to commemorate her 20th anniversary & this campaign will go on until Christmas .
The original take of Hot Girls was under 3 mins but in here , the duration pertaining to the SMIDI CLUB REMIX of the song is almost doubled . In addition , it has a more grittier , fast paced & club driven music direction .
This's probably the 1st Namie remix I have listened to but I have to say this's something I thought it's quite cool overall & it's definitely 1 of those songs that gets adrealine pumping real quick too .
Hot Girls (SMIDI CLUB REMIX) is worth checking out & here's to even more anniversaries for Namie in many more years to come !
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Mika Nakashima - Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara (If The World Was To End Tomorrow)
CD + DVD
1) Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara (If The World Was To End Tomorrow)
2) SUPER WOMAN
3) Dear -DJ AMIGA REMIX-
4) Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara (Instrumental)
Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara (If The World Was To End Tomorrow) is Mika Nakashima's 35th single & it was released on 19th Sept .
Released almost a year since Mika's previous single LOVE IS ECSTASY , the original release date for Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara was supposed to be 12th Sept .
The A-side was used to promote the film Resident Evil : Retribution . Mika appears in the movie playing the role of an undead zombie . She also appeared in the previous film , Resident Evil : Afterlife , which she played the 1st Japanese to become infected with a virus .
This time round in Resident Evil : Retribution , Mika has a showdown against actress Milla Jovovich for an intense action scene .
Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara is described as a piano ballad that will give comfort & relief to the audience who watch the film . It's a touching ballad that captures the emotional elements of the Hollywood blockbuster .
In addition , Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara depicts the fierce battle between humans & zombies that will give moviegoers a feeling of salvation & healing .
There're 2 B-sides in the single , the 1st 1 is something titled SUPER WOMAN .
On 1st listen , SUPER WOMAN is a really catchy memorable track & it does remind me of Mika's 29th single CANDY GIRL to a certain extent . I wouldn't lie that SUPER WOMAN is something I really like a lot & it plays a great contrast to Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara .
Dear is Mika's 33rd single & in here , the song has been given a DJ AMIGA REMIX- , making it the 2nd B-side available in the single .
I already like what Dear has to offer but in the case of Dear -DJ AMIGA REMIX- , it's a nice remix & I like the acoustic guitar going on in here , which gives off a rather relaxed calming feeling .
After almost a year of inactivity , Mika Nakashima is finally back with this really solid top notch single in the form of Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara .
I definitely missed hearing new Mika stuff but she didn't disappoint me this time round with what she has to offer for Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara . It's a great emotional heart drenching ballad & coupled with 2 B-sides that're also very enjoyable , it doesn't get better than this .
Welcome back Mika , you've been missed greatly !
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Shota Shimizu - 366 Days Feat HY's Nakasone Izumi
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD's editions
1) 366 Nichi (Days) Feat HY's Nakasone Izumi
2) Sayonara Kono Natsu ni (Goodbye Summer)
3) love (MANABOON Steppers Mix)
4) 366 Nichi -instrumental-
366 Nichi (Days) is Shota Shimizu's 13th single & it was released last week on 12th Sept .
Shota's 1st single release after releasing his 4th album Naturally this year on 21st March , the A-side is a cover of rock band HY's song that was included in their 2008 album HeartY .
In 366 Nichi , HY vocalist Nakasone Izumi participates in the single with her providing the chorus & piano sounds to the tune .
Shota thought of this collaboration while coming up with a plan to cover a hit song . Since Nakasone is a fan of Shota , she accepted his offer & the 2 decided to team up in releasing 366 Nichi as a single .
366 Nichi can be described as a simple yet beautiful arrangement that's accompanied by Shota & Nakasone's harmonious voices .
There're 2 B-sides in the single , the 1st 1 is something titled Sayonara Kono Natsu ni (Goodbye Summer) .
Sayonara Kono Natsu ni is perhaps an ode to the fact that summer has officially ended in Japan which might explain the reason behind the title of the song which contrasts the main A-side quite well , with Sayonara Kono Natsu ni being very R&B driven .
love (MANABOON Steppers Mix) is the 2nd B-side & the original take of the song served as Shota's 9th single .
I already like love & the MANABOON Steppers Mix is quite a pleasant sounding remix which I think it's on par with what the original had to offer .
For the 1st single after his 1st concert at the Nippon Budokan , R&B singer Shota Shimizu collaborates with HY for his cover take of his latest single offering 366 Nichi .
HY's Keyboard/vocalist Nakasone Izumi joins the young R&B singer in releasing this subtle but heartfelt new version of the 2008 drama hit theme song .
Saturday, September 15, 2012
KAT-TUN - Fumetsu no Scrum (Scrum Of The Immortal)
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Fumetsu no Scrum (Scrum Of The Immortal) is KAT-TUN's 19th single & it was released on 12th Sept .
Released 3 months + since the group's previous single TO THE LIMIT , the A-side serves as the main theme song being used in the TV drama series Dragon Seinendan starring Kanjani∞'s Shota Yasuda & it has the inclusion of rap lyrics written by member Tanaka Koki under his pen name JOKER .
Dragon Seinendan , a group of teenagers band together to save the world from the threat of dragons . With lyrics like 'Chase your dreams with your buddies !' , Fumetsu no Scrum is a positive affirmation driven song that describes the bond that exists among friends .
There're a total of 3 B-sides found in 3 different editions of the single
RADIO is only available in the CD only pressing of Fumetsu no Scrum . On 1st listen , I feel that RADIO is really charming if not soothing . Something about this track just makes me want to relax in a good way possible .
in the DARK is only found in the CD + DVD A edition of the single & this's quite an angsty driven no. that has a solid guitar backing . Just like RADIO , in the DARK plays a really good contrast against Fumetsu no Scrum .
The last B-side is titled BLACK or WHITE . Only available in the CD + DVD B edition , this's a solo sung by Tanaka which he wrote the lyrics of BLACK or WHITE .
BLACK or WHITE is the start of a special project by KAT-TUN which each member will get their own solo music video for every new single release . Always game for new challenges , KAT-TUN has decided to release Fumetsu no Scrum as the 1st part of a new project .
Out of all the solos sung by individual KAT-TUN members , Tanaka is the only 1 that I have an unusual dislike towards his solos (as they tend to sound weird / downright random / too sexually driven & etc) but I have to say , BLACK or WHITE is really something I adore .
BLACK or WHITE utilises quite a lot of autotune but at the end of the day , it's a mean sounding rock driven track & I was immediately hooked onto the song on 1st listen which I think it's saying a lot as in general I don't like his solos but this's an exception for BLACK or WHITE .
For the theme song of the drama Dragon Seinendan that centres on friendship & bravery , KAT-TUN has released their latest single offering Fumetsu no Scrum , a positive rock tune that also reflects the bond between the group members .
Once again , this's another solid release that KAT-TUN delivers & I frankly enjoy all the songs available in the single , let alone the B-sides are strong sounding & provides something for everyone to enjoy .
Since Tanaka's BLACK or WHITE is the starting point of a new project which each KAT-TUN member will get their own solo music video for every new single release , I guess this means there will be plenty more to come & hopefully they will release something new again before 2012 wraps up .
Monday, September 10, 2012
Kanjani∞ - Aoppana
CD + DVD
2) Hana de Are
3) 8nen Mono (CD Only Track)
4) Onboro Story (CD Only Track)
5) Aoppana (Original Karaoke) (CD Only Track)
6) Hana de Are (Original Karaoke) (CD Only Track)
7) 8 Nen Mono (Original Karaoke) (CD Only Track)
8) Onboro Story (Original Karaoke) (CD Only Track)
Aoppana is Kanjani∞'s 22nd single & it was released last week on 5th Sept .
Released about less than 2 months + since the group's previous single ER , the A-side is used as the main theme song of the TV drama Boys On The Run starring member Maruyama Ryuhei .
Aoppana is a song that captures the vitality & immaturity of youth . It describes the reckless pursuit of one's dream despite shame & criticism from others & it's a cheerful inspiring rock tune .
There're a total of 3 B-sides in the single . The 1st one is something that's titled Hana de Are .
Hana de Are draws upon the analogy of a flower blooming despite difficult & sad days which this mid tempo ballad plays a good contrast against the rather crazy sounding over the top A-side .
The next 2 B-sides are only found in the CD only pressing of Aoppana .
8nen Mono is a song that depicts the friendships between comrades as they share their joys & sorrows . On the other hand , Onboro Story is described as a pop melody with a tune that's full of hope .
Kanjani∞ is having a very busy if not fruitful 8th anniversary celebration this year , with a special 8th anniversary concert , several single releases , the group's first film together & television dramas starring Kanjani∞ members .
And now , Maruyama Ryuhei is the latest member to star in the television drama Boys on the Run & Kanjani∞ provides the theme song Aoppana as their 8th anniversary celebration's 3rd single release for 2012 !
Saturday, September 08, 2012
SPYAIR - Naked
Naked is SPYAIR's 8th single & it was released on 5th Sept .
Released 3 months + since the group's previous single 0 GAME , Naked has been described as an uptempo tune that will remind fans of their 4th single Samurai Heart (Some Like It Hot !!) .
The A-side incorporates a message that it is important to bare one's heart in love & any other human relationship once in a while , stressing the importance of colliding with others for better understanding .
STAR serves as the only B-side in the single & this's a very interesting no. & probably 1 of the group's most unique sounding tracks .
For me , what I like about STAR is that in addition to the unique guitar riffs , the way lead vocalist IKE utilises his vocals is unusual in STAR but with that said , this's something I really enjoy which I did just as much as Naked .
SPYAIR wraps up their 3rd single release for 2012 in the form of Naked . Unlike My World & 0 GAME , Naked took me quite sometime to warm up to as out of the 3 singles they released this year , I thought Naked was the weakest sounding but now I have no issues with it .
The band's 2nd album Just Do It will be released on 19th Sept , with Naked slotted in as track #9 in the CD tracklist .
Friday, September 07, 2012
YUI - fight
CD + DVD
2) If you
3) Happy Birthday to you you ~YUI Acoustic Version~
4) fight ~Instrumental~
fight is YUI's 21st single & it was released on 5th Sept .
YUI's 1st single release of 2012 , fight was picked to be featured in NHK's Minna no Uta music program for the months of August & September . YUI 1st performed the song on to cheer on students on NHK's 79th National Junior High School Music Contest .
In the lyrics of fight , YUI said she wrote the reality that "not all dreams come true" & "victory or defeats are also very important" .
There're 2 B-sides featured in the single & the 1st B-side is something titled If you .
I thought Oh My God was short but If you is even shorter . With that said , it contrasts fight quite well & let alone it's a catchy no. too . I just wish that If you was a bit longer but sometimes , short & sweet does the trick .
Happy Birthday to you you ~YUI Acoustic Version~ is the 2nd B-side & the original take of the song was found as track #10 in YUI's 2nd album CAN'T BUY MY LOVE .
It's usually the norm for YUI to cover acoustic songs of her previous single but this time round , she didn't sang an acoustic take of her last release Green a.live & taking its place is Happy Birthday to you you .
Happy Birthday to you you is 1 of my fave tracks from CAN'T BUY MY LOVE so naturally I was stoked to see an acoustic of it being included in fight . I usually don't have any issues with acoustic songs & this applies to Happy Birthday to you you ~YUI Acoustic Version~ .
On the heels of hit songs like Ikimonogakari's YELL & Angela Aki's Tegami ~Haikei Juugo no Kimi e~ , YUI joins a proud tradition with her latest single fight . Like the singled out songs , fight is an inspirational no. that is picked to be used as the set tune for middle school division of the 2012 NHK National School Music Competition .
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
abingdon boys school - WE aRE
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD's editions
1) WE aRE
2) COLD CHAIN
3) WE aRE (Vocalless) (CD Only Track)
4) WE aRE (Guitarless (CD Only Track)
5) WE aRE (Guitarless (CD Only Track)
6) WE aRE (Pianoless) (CD Only Track)
WE aRE is abingdon boys school's 9th single & it's released today on 5th Sept .
The group's last proper release was 2010 when they released their 2nd album ABINGDON ROAD back then but singles wise , it's their 1st single release in 3 years since 2009's From Dusk Till Dawn .
The main A-side WE aRE was selected to be used as the theme no. for the PS3 game Sengoku BASARA HD Collection .
abingdon boys school is the very 1st JRock band I started listening/supporting to but they're 1 of those artistes that unfortunately or not , takes quite a long time to get their releases out & running but if they do , most if not all the time , their releases tend to be solid & it's evident in the case of WE aRE .
WE aRE is classic abingdon boys school but some fans might say that it's nothing new they have offered & that the band should try to experiment a little bit more . Then again , the longtime fan in me don't really have that much complaints with regards to WE aRE .
COLD CHAIN serves as the B-side track in the single & just like their previous B-sides which're all sung in English , it applies the same thing to COLD CHAIN as well .
To match the spectacular action scenes in the latest PS3 game Sengoku BASARA HD Collection , rock band abingdon boys school provides the powerful rock tune WE aRE that has been picked to be used as the theme song which also doubles up as their comeback release .
Saturday, September 01, 2012
Matsushita Yuya - SEE YOU
CD + DVD
1) SEE YOU
2) BEAUTIFUL GIRL
3) SEE YOU (Anime Size Ver.)
4) SEE YOU (instrumental)
SEE YOU is Matsushita Yuya's 11th single & it was released on 29th Aug .
Matsushita's 1st single release of the year , SEE YOU comes in about 6 months + since the release of his 2nd album 2U .
Selected to be used as the opening theme no. for the anime Natsuyuki Rendezvous , SEE YOU has been described as a ballad song that will 'make your heart jump' .
Matsushita comments about SEE YOU :
"Always near , but it feels far away . You want them to be beside you , but not necessary . With those kinds of sad , painful feelings , I sang this song . I am happy that within SEE YOU , I was able to get close to the painful/heartbreaking story of Natsuyuki Rendezvous . "
The B-side track in the single is something titled BEAUTIFUL GIRL which's really something in the sense that it compliments & contrasts the A-side extremely well .
While SEE YOU is a heartwrenching ballad , on the other hand , BEAUTIFUL GIRL oozes a lot of very upbeat vibes & it's definitely something that's really A-side potential worthy .
Let alone , the style delivered in BEAUTIFUL GIRL is something that Matsushita hasn't undertaken before but I'm glad he did as he done it really well .
The single also includs an anime size version of the A-side which's essentially a 1 1/2 mins version of SEE YOU that's used , should you watch the opening credits of the Natsuyuki Rendezvous anime .
The supernatural romance manga series Natsuyuki Rendezvous is being adapted into an anime series & Matsushita Yuya has been picked to provide the opening theme no. .
Composed & arranged by Jin Nakamura , SEE YOU is a heartfelt ballad that fits the romantic & emotional atmosphere of the story .
it's quite a long gap from the release of 2U until SEE YOU but I'm really glad to see Matsushita back with this pretty solid single & with his mentor Jin Nakamura helming things once again , you know you can't go wrong with it , isn't it ?