Monday, December 31, 2012
CD Review :: flumpool - experience
CD + DVD
CD + DVD + 100 page photobook + B3 sized poster
1) Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru (Love Is In Any Future)
3) Ī Janai ? (Not Good ?)
4) Across the Times
5) Premium・ Girl
7) Because ... I am
8) Akashi (Proof)
9) Natural Venus
10) Kasa no Shita de Kimi Wa ... (You Under The Umbrella ...)
11) Kakusei (Awakening) Identity
12) The great escape
experience is flumpool's 3rd album & it was released on 12th Dec .
The quartet's latest album release includes 4 singles & a B-side . And their 8th single Present is not included in experience .
experience got released almost close to 2 years since the release of flumpool's previous album Fantasia of Life Stripe .
Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru (Love Is In Any Future) is the 1st track in experience & it's also the 1st A-side of flumpool's 6th single Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru / Touch .
This song was used in the ads for mobile game site Mobage . Lead singer Ryuuta commented , "We are living in times where the future is unclear . I wrote this song hoping to bring a smile upon as many people as possible . I will be happy if the message of Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru will encourage those who are living positively .”
Answer is flumpool's 10th single & it was chosen to be used as the theme song for TBS's drama Resident ~5-nin no Kenshui starring actress Naka Riisa .
It has been about 2 years since flumpool was in charge of a theme song for a TV drama with their last being Zanzou which was used to promote Bloody Monday Season 2 back in January 2010 .
Resident ~5-nin no Kenshui began its broadcast in October . The story takes place at a critical care center of a university hospital & it portrays the growth of 5 young medical interns . Aside from Naka , the cast includes Hayashi Kento , NEWS's Masuda Takahisa , Omasa Aya & Ishibashi Anna .
Answer was flumpool's most recent single before the release of experience & it's still an extremely enjoyable song & definitely 1 of their most experimental offering single to date .
Ī Janai ? (Not Good ?) is the 1st album track this's such a catchy no. which's something unlike what they've done before but for a good reason as Ī Janai ? is highly entertaining & just fun fun fun .
The mood slows down considerably in the form of the 2nd album track titled Across the Times which's a ballad . After a few upbeat no.s , it's definitely good to slot in Across the Times .
Premium・ Girl is the 3rd album track & this's a nice song that I like with it being really peppy & positive sounding . The introduction of Premium・ Girl having loud trumpet sounds is most certainly welcoming .
Sprechchor follows after Premium・ Girl & for this song , it takes on a slightly more organic rock sound , something that flumpool's not known for but I must add that they did justice for Sprechchor as both album tracks back to back are solid & distinct sounding .
Because ... I am is flumpool's 9th single . Sharing the same title as the band's 5th nationwide tour , it was created after lead singer Ryuta sincerely confronted himself .
Described as a dynamic rock number with powerful lyrics , Because ... I am is an expressive song that conveys a lot about the four members of the band , which is why they named their tour after it .
In addition , Because ... I am was also selected to be used in the ads of au AQUOSPHONE CL IS17SH & NTV's morning news show Sukkiri ! .
Akashi (Proof) is flumpool's 7th single & it was chosen to be used as the insert song for the broadcast of NHK's Minna no Uta between August & September last year .
The ballad was also assigned to the junior high school division of the 78th NHK National School Music competition .
Natural Venus follows after Akashi & this is a back to basics rock song for the guys & oddly enough , I find Natural Venus very familiar , as though I've heard this song somewhere before .
Not sure why I had that initial feeling but I definitely enjoy what Natural Venus has to offer .
Kasa no Shita de Kimi Wa ... (You Under The Umbrella ...) follows next & this's an energetic no. that has quite a lot of synth thrown in for good measure . Kasa no Shita de Kimi Wa ... is 1 of the more experimental no.s included in experience that I like .
Kakusei (Awakening) Identity is the 1st B-side track included in flumpool's 7th single Akashi .
The song was used as the theme no. for the Rugby World Cup 2011 & this's the 1st B-side of flumpool that gets a music video as well .
When I saw Kakusei Identity being included in the tracklist of experience , I was really pleased as this's 1 B-side of the guys which I considered as 1 of their best in recent times with it being very different sounding from what they usually do & it definitely deserves to get a music video despite being only a B-side .
Also it helps that flumpool opened their 1st Singapore showcase with Kakusei Identity that I attended which brought back a lot of great memories for me .
The great escape is the 2nd last album track & this song opens with thumping drum beats which sets a really good tone on what The great escape has to offer & coupled with trumpet beats , this combination can't go wrong in this aspect .
Touch is the 2nd A-side of flumpool's 6th single Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru / Touch & the song was used in the ads of Sharp's au AQUOS PHONE IS11SH .
This song is also the last single in experience's tracklist & just like Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru , Touch is still a single that I can never get enough of even up to now .
36C is the final album track & last song in the tracklist but for this , it's the 1st song that lead singer Ryuuta composed as usually he leaves the composing aspect of songs to the other members in the group .
Maybe because 36C is the last song in the album , I do not find this heartwarming acoustic guitar driven no. as memorable as what I thought it might be although I must say composing is very different from writing lyrics & given that this's Ryuuta's 1st try in doing so , I have to give him credit for it .
2012 has been the biggest year in flumpool's career , with them lodging 2 top ten singles & a successful 52-show nationwide tour . Now , they completed 2012 with experience , their 3rd full-length album & fans be prepared to get ready for a flumpool experience with their latest album offering .
You have no idea just how extremely pleased I was after I have listened to experience , especially after I was downright disappointed just how bland/un-inspiring Fantasia of Life Stripe was but true to its name , flumpool's latest album provides a very wonderful if not entertaining experience for me .
Let alone , the album tracks are some of their best if not most experimental no.s they have come up to date which really impressed me as it shows that the guys are not afraid to come out of their comfort zone as what happened in the past which they didn't in their older works .
experience includes some of their strongest if not my most recent fave songs too & combining this aspect with really distinct strong memorable album tracks , experience is definitely a winner in the bag for flumpool .
I'm definitely looking forward to what they have in store in 2013 & all it took was a great follow up 3rd album in restoring my music faith towards them . And it's true that for their case , 3rd time's the charm .
V6 - ROCK YOUR SOUL
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
ROCK YOUR SOUL is V6's 41st single & it was released on 26th Dec .
Released 4 months + since the group's previous single kEEP oN. , the A-side was selected to be used as the image song for the latest Hokuto Musou game .
ROCK YOUR SOUL was released in 4 editions which the tie up edition having the inclusion of ROCK YOUR SOUL Game Ending ver. .
3 B-sides are included in the single in which all will not be reviewed :
- Music ・Life ; ending theme to V6's TBS show GachaGachaV6
- fAKE (CD Only Track)
- Bokura no Oto (CD Only Track)
After releasing the unusual but awesome sounding kEEP oN. , V6 are back with what they does best in the form of ROCK YOUR SOUL . As such , the group finished 2012 with their 3rd single of the year which's an entertaining dance rock number that fittingly serves as the image song for the new Fist of the North Star game Ken's Rage 2 .
The group's 12th album Oh ! My ! Goodness ! will be released on 20th Feb 2013 & ROCK YOUR SOUL is will be included in the tracklist of the guys's upcoming new record .
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Koda Kumi - Koishikute (Darling)
CD + DVD
1) Koishikute (Darling)
Koishikute (Darling) is Koda Kumi's 54th single & it was released on 26th Dec .
Originally supposed to get released on 5th Dec , Koishikute was released about 2 months + since Koda's previous single Go to the top .
Described as a love ballad that conveys the painful feelings of men & women who are going through heartbreak , Koishikute is a winter ballad conveying the pain people go through when their hearts are broken .
Koishikute is a sorrowful ballad that draws the story between 2 lovers that realise their feelings upon the distance between them . Yet rather than regret , the feeling of gratefulness is a main element in the song as such .
Alone serves as the B-side track in Koishikute & for this , it's actually a cover of Mayo Okamoto's which is the song Koda selected to sing during her avex trax audition way back in 2000 .
As such , Alone is her 1st B-side which's actually a cover & just like Koishikute , it's a heart warming no. . I don't know how the original of Alone sounds like but in this case , I do like it so that's all it matters .
Koda Kumi continues her comeback to the J-pop scene with her 54th single Koishikute . The song is a touching song about longing & showing appreciation to the one you love . The single includes Koda's cover of Mayo Okamoto's Alone , which she sang it as an audition song before her debut , as the B-side track .
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Namie Amuro - Damage (80KIDZ Remix)
Damage (80KIDZ Remix) is Namie Amuro's 3rd digital single & it was released on 5th Dec .
The original take of Damage was picked to be used as the theme no. for the movie Ougon wo Daite Tobe starring Tsumabuki Satoshi .
Ougon wo Daite Tobe is based on the award-winning debut crime novel of the same name by best-selling author Takamura Kaoru . Set in Osaka , it follows 6 men as they plan & accomplish 1 of the boldest bank heists in order to steal gold bars worth billions of Yen from a bank's basement . In addition to Tsumabuki , the team is made up of Asano Tadanobu , Kiritani Kenta , Mizobata Junpei , TOHOSHINKI's Changmin & Nishida Toshiyuki .
Namie's last movie tie-in was around 10 months ago with Tempest that was used to promote Gekijoban Tempest 3D . Director Izutsu commented about Damage , stating , "It's a story about men who are putting their lives at stake , so I thought an emotional female singing voice would be the best for the theme song as it is a about men tackling a challenge they have no intention to lose . "
Described as a hard rock number , Damaged was written & composed by music producer Nao'ymt whom already produced numerous songs for Namie before .
Nao'ymt commented about Damage saying , "Am I falling or is the world around me rising while I'm being left behind ? You become anxious when feeling such an ambiguity . This song describes the heat as well as the irrepressible power & the lingering loneliness that you possess when trying to escape from that feeling . "
Director Izutsu also added , "Contrary to what you'd expect from Namie , this song is being delivered with an unusual punchy & strong sound that you can even feel in your stomach . It's both a heavy & cool song ."
I have reviewed/talked about the original take of Damage a while back ago but I was surprised when Namie chose to release this remix of the song .
I already like Damage but Damage (80KIDZ Remix) offer something a little bit more edgy and spunky than the original .
Damage (80KIDZ Remix) is more ab lib and more club oriented than Damage but still at the end of the day , both songs are equally good in their own respective right .
I'm not sure if Damage will be released as a physical single in future since a video was made for the song but we'll see about it . I thought it's great for Namie to release this as a digital single offering before 2012 wraps up .
2012 has been great for Namie as she celebrated her 20th anniversary in the business & here's to a further more 20 years ahead for her !
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
NEWS - WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya
CD + DVD A
CD Limited B
WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya is NEWS's 15th single & it was released on 12th Dec .
The group's latest release comes in about 5 months + since the release of their comeback hit single Chankapana .
WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya is the guys's 2nd double A-side release , the 1st one being 2006's Sayaendou / Hadashi no Cinderella Boy .
Despite being a double A-side , only WORLD QUEST gets a video .
The 1st A-side WORLD QUEST was used as the theme song for FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012 with member Tegoshi Yuya being appointed as the main reporter for the event , which can explain why the song has a very strong sports oriented feeling .
The 2nd A-side Pokopon Pekorya served as the main theme song to promote the drama Hana no Zubora-Meshi starring member Kato Shigeaki .
Pokopon Pekorya was created by the same team who wrote Chankapana which the song gives off a light pop sound that lingers in fans's ears .
There're a total of 3 B-sides included in WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya .
Found only in the CD regular pressing of the single , it's Hello & it's a nice enduring ballad which plays a great contrast against both A-sides very well .
The next 2 songs are only included in the CD limited edition of WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya .
Quntastic ! is quite a funky if not unique upbeat no. . On the other hand , 36C has quite strong Christmas vibes which might be due to the fact that Christmas is fast approaching .
NEWS hits the pitch in their latest double A-side single WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya ! WORLD QUEST is a positive dance song that was used as the theme song for Japan's 2012 World Cup coverage , while Pokopon Pekorya is used as the theme song for the late-night television drama Hana no Zubora Meshi .
2012 can be considered as a solid if not great comeback for NEWS after the departure of Yamashita Tomohisa & Nishikido Ryo but despite this setback , the reminding members came back with 2 solid singles , inclusive of their latest offering WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya .
Something tells me I'll be seeing the release of even more new NEWS material in 2013 & I most certainly will welcome a new album since it has been quite a while since they last released 1 but regardless of which , I look forward to see what NEWS will have up their sleeves in 2013 !
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
CD Review :: ayumi hamasaki - again EP
CD + DVD
1) Wake me up
2) Sweet scar
3) snowy kiss
5) Missing (Orchestra version)
6) Melody (Acoustic Piano version)
7) Wake me up (Remo-con rmx)
8) snowy kiss (Shohei Matsumoto remix)
9) Wake me up (Original mix -Instrumental-)
10) Sweet scar (Original mix -Instrumental-)
11) snowy kiss (Original mix -Instrumental-)
12) Ivy (Original mix -Instrumental-)
again EP is ayumi hamasaki's 4th mini album & it was released on 8th Dec .
No singles are included just like last year's mini album FIVE & last month's LOVE .
Celebrating 5 months leading up to ayumi's 15th anniversary , 5 months worth of releases have been planned .
Every month on the 8th day of the month until the 15th anniversary since the release of ayumi's debut single poker face on 8th April 1998 , something new will be released on 11/8 , 12/8 , 1/8 , 2/8 & 3/8 .
In again , there're a total of 4 new tracks & 4 remixes . Out of the 4 new songs , only the 1st 3 songs in the tracklist receive music videos .
Wake me up is the 1st new song & it has been selected to used in the ads of Sumeragi Jun sports Ever Life .
Described as a rock track , Wake me up most certainly fits the title of the song , with it being very rockish but yet it has plenty of sass attached to it which packs quite a few punches .
Sweet scar is the 2nd new track & for this song , it's composed by acclaimed composer/producer DAI .
Described as a sad yet uplifting track , Sweet scar is actually the 1st track I heard from again & the two words used to describe the song couldn't have been more fitting .
Let alone DAI is a longtime composer of ayumi's tracks so this's definitely something which will not go wrong in any single way .
The next 2 songs are composed by Tetsuya Komuro who composed the majority tracks in ayumi's 12th album Love songs .
snowy kiss has been described as a song that's sung with a 'big voice' & clocking in at over 6 mins long , it's 1 of ayumi's longest sounding tracks in quite a long time .
When I 1st found out how long snowy kiss was , I was a bit daunted by it but I feel that it's something unique although I've heard remarks that snowy kiss sounded like a very long combination of both sending mail & Mirrorcle World since all 3 tracks tend to sound quite the same .
Ivy is the last new track in again & this's the only song that did not get a music video .
Described as a medium ballad that will speak to listeners , Ivy is hauntingly beautiful if not emotional . Frankly , I feel that it's a pity that Ivy did not get a music video as I feel that it really deserves so but then again , kudos to Tetsuya Komuro for composing both snowy kiss & Ivy in which he hasn't lost his magic touch in composing & both tracks that he has composed in again is evident .
There're a total of 4 remixes in again & I will summarise each of the remix as follows :
Missing (Orchestra version) - The original take of Missing that was found in track #2 in LOVE EP was already very good but the Orchestra version just makes things a lot more better . No further complaints about this remix as by right I have a weakness of Orchestra remixes of songs .
Melody (Acoustic Piano version) - I honestly don't really like the original take of Melody that was found in track #3 in LOVE EP that much in the beginning but for this Acoustic Piano take of things , I thought it's quite nice & soothing sounding . In addition , ayumi sounded a lot more calmer in Melody (Acoustic Piano version) too .
Wake me up (Remo-con rmx) - Wake me up is already a class of its own but the Remo-con rmx basically kicked things up a notch or 2 . Out of the 4 remixes in again , I think this probably has to be my fave as Wake me up (Remo-con rmx) has a sleek futuristic club sound attached to it which I like .
snowy kiss (Shohei Matsumoto remix) - snowy kiss is already very lengthy by right which goes for no exception for the Shohei Matsumoto remix . Despite the time duration , I actually kind of enjoy snowy kiss (Shohei Matsumoto remix with both this & Wake me up (Remo-con rmx) serve as really good club tunes .
To celebrate her 15th anniversary in the J-pop world , ayumi hamasaki is putting out 5 releases over 5 consecutive months ! again is the plan's 2nd release which includes 4 brand new songs & 4 remix songs from the J-pop diva .
For the campaign's 3rd release , A CLASSICAL will be released next month on 8th Jan 2013 which composer Yamashita Kosuke has taken 10 songs chosen by ayumi's fan club & gave the songs brand new full orchestra arrangements .
Saturday, December 15, 2012
ayaka - Tsuyoku Omou (Strongly Think)
Tsuyoku Omou (Strongly Think) is a song that's included in a bonus CD that's bundled up with ayaka LIVE TOUR 2012 "The beginning" ~Hajimari no Toki~ which both the DVD & Blu-ray was released on 12th Dec .
The song was selected to be used as the theme no. for NTV's news program NEWS ZERO .
Honestly if you ask me , it's a big waste that Tsuyoku Omou is not released as a physical single of ayaka's since this song's superb & heartfelt , I myself can't help but feel emotional upon hearing it .
I guess now that ayaka is doing her own way , it would have explained this unusual arrangement but the way she delivered Tsuyoku Omou , it's sheer brillance at best !
Friday, December 14, 2012
GLAY - Unmeiron (Fatalism)
CD + DVD
1) Unmeiron (Fatalism)
2) 4 ROSES
3) Route5 Bayshore Line
4) 11th & 12th Album Album Flash
Unmeiron (Fatalism) is GLAY's 47th single & it was released on 5th Dec .
This single comes in about 7 months+ since the release of the group's previous single Bible & it was released on the same day as their 46th single JUSTICE [from] GUILTY .
Both Unmeiron & JUSTICE [from] GUILTY were released simultaneously on 5th Dec which the singles were released in collaboration with Pony Canyon .
For GLAY it has been 14 years since they last released 2 singles at the same time , which they did so in 1998 for both Yuuwaku (Temptation) & SOUL LOVE .
Both releases this time round , it's a collaboration between GLAY's own label loversoul music & associate + Pony Canyon . In addition , the B-sides found in Unmeiron will not be reviewed .
Song credits wise , Unmeiron is written by guitarist TAKURO & composed by bassist JIRO in which the song is described as a ballad utilising the theme 'ties with people' .
Lastly , GLAY will be releasing their 11th & 12th albums JUSTICE & GUILTY simultaneously on the same day next month on 23rd Jan .
Thursday, December 13, 2012
GLAY - JUSTICE [from] GUILTY
CD + DVD
1) JUSTICE [from] GUILTY
2) MILESTONE ~Mune Ippai no Yuutsu~ (~Chest Full Of Melancholy~)
3) Time for Christmas (Club mix)
4) 11th & 12th Album Album Flash
JUSTICE [from] GUILTY is GLAY's 46th single & it was released on 5th Dec .
The band's new single comes in about 7 months+ since the release of their previous single Bible & it was released on the same day as their 47th single Unmeiron (Fatalism) .
Both JUSTICE [from] GUILTY & Unmeiron were released simultaneously on 5th Dec in which the singles were released in collaboration with Pony Canyon .
For GLAY it has been 14 years since they last released 2 singles at the same time , which they did so back in 1998 for Yuuwaku (Temptation) & SOUL LOVE .
For both single releases this time round , it's a collaboration release between GLAY's own label loversoul music & associate + Pony Canyon .
Song credits wise , JUSTICE [from] GUILTY was written by guitarist TAKURO & composed by guitarist HISASHI .
JUSTICE [from] GUILTY is a solid rock song & the B-sides for this single will not be reviewed .
In addition , GLAY will be releasing their 11th & 12th albums JUSTICE & GUILTY simultaneously on the same day next month ie. on 23rd Jan 2013 .
Saturday, December 08, 2012
CD Review :: Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL
CD + DVD
1) LIKE A NOVEL -prologue-
5) Hotaru (Firefly)
6) STAY ALIVE
7) Fake City -Instrumental-
8) Yoru no Oto (Sound Night)
10) Jigsaw Puzzle
11) LIFE IS GOOD
LIKE A NOVEL is Hilcrhyme's 4th album & it was released on 28th Nov .
The duo's brand new album comes about 11 months + since the release of their previous album RISING .
LIKE A NOVEL includes 3 singles & a B-side in which the tracklist has a total of 11 songs .
After the introduction instrumental piece LIKE A NOVEL -prologue- , the album dives straight away to the 1st album track NOISE which both tracks go in synch with each other well .
As for NOISE , it's an interesting mix of Rap & Rock with quite a heavy electric guitar backing but it's something nice to keep things afloat .
Kaleidoscope is Hilcrhyme's 12th single & this was released 3 weeks before LIKE A NOVEL . Unlike the duo's previous singles , no music video was made for Kaleidoscope , making things unusual in this sense .
I remembered when I wrote my opinion on Kaleidoscope , I did said that I do not find it as good as the other singles included in LIKE A NOVEL .
At least now I'm able to recall how Kaleidoscope sounds like but still , my opinion towards it is still the same as I feel that there're better singles that the guys released before that're better if not stronger .
Running is the 2nd album track & as the title suggests , it's a fun song . The fact that it's upbeat does gave me the feeling of wanting to run which I think it's what the song managed to accomplish as per say .
Hotaru (Firefly) is Hilcrhyme's 10th single & to me out of the 3 singles included in LIKE A NOVEL , Hotaru is definitely my fave . Something about this song just makes it very enduring & I like just how honest/raw this heartwarming ballad sounds even up to now .
STAY ALIVE is the 3rd album track & I thought it was going to be a cover track but turns out it's an original song .
For this song , STAY ALIVE has a strong opening that's backed up with quite heavily emphasised beats & it's 1 of those songs that brings in quite a lot of angst in the mix as well .
After Fake City -Instrumental- , in comes Yoru no Oto (Sound Night) which's the 2nd last album track & for this , Yoru no Oto has a pretty piano backing in its melody .
On the other hand , the last album track Wagamama has more hip hop influences unlike the other album tracks & it's also unique in the sense that in the later 1/2 of the song , you're able to hear vocalist/rapper TOC rap raw as it's & he even threw in a little beatboxing in the mix too .
Jigsaw Puzzle is Hilcrhyme's 11th single & it's the last single included in LIKE A NOVEL .
Despite Jigsaw Puzzle being barely released 3 months ago , I still like this track & it does sound like Loose Leaf to a certain extent since both songs have that positive affirmation vibes which each song give off which I think it's great .
LIFE IS GOOD originally serves as the B-side no. in the duo's 10th single Hotaru & in here , it serves as the last song in LIKE A NOVEL .
I feel that what Hotaru offered on whole is awesome & LIFE IS GOOD is a great track that plays a good contrast against Hotaru so naturally when I found out this song was going to be included in the album , I was really happy about it as it definitely deserves so , let alone in concluding LIKE A NOVEL as it's .
2012 definitely is Hilcrhyme's most productive year to date in that this talented duo released 3 singles , their 1st best album & now their latest 4th album offering LIKE A NOVEL .
I honestly wasn't expecting them to release a new album this year especially after they released their 1st best album Best of Hilcrhyme in 25th April but somehow or another , I kinda had the feeling it will happen from the fast paced rate they released 3 singles after Best of Hilcrhyme .
LIKE A NOVEL is probably their most compact album to date as the whole record is under 40 mins long & it has the least amount of new material unlike their other albums but still , it didn't stop me from enjoying it as much as possible .
And it looks like the duo is not slowing down either as their 13th single Sosoka (Likely Send Song) will be released next month on 23rd Jan .
Friday, December 07, 2012
Mika Nakashima - Hatsukoi (First Love)
CD + DVD
1) Hatsukoi (First Love)
2) Kioku (Memory)
3) Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara (If The World Was To End Tomorrow) -World's End Ver.-
4) Hatsukoi (Instrumental)
Hatsukoi (First Love) is Mika Nakashima's 36th single & it was released on 5th Dec .
Mika's brand new single comes about 3 months + since the release of her previous single Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara (If The World Was To End Tomorrow) .
Hatsukoi was selected to be used as the theme song for the movie Kyo , Koi wo Hajimemasu starring Emi Takei & Tori Matsuzaka .
Kyo , Koi wo Hajimemasu is based on a popular manga that was written by Kanan Minami & it portrays the feelings of a woman who falls in love for the 1st time as an adult .
Just like Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara , Hatsukoi is another nice enduring ballad coming from Mika . The duration of Hatsukoi is over 6 mins + long but it didn't stop me from enjoying this track very much .
There're 2 B-sides in the single . The 1st 1 is something titled Kioku (Memory) & it was used as an insert song for the CASIO SHEEN commercials which began airing sometime mid last month in which Mika appears in the ads herself .
Just like Hatsukoi , Kioku is really charming & I couldn't help but drawn into liking it on 1st listen . In addition , I don't have anything bad to say about both songs either .
Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara -World's End Ver.- serves as the 2nd B-side in Hatsukoi .
The original for Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara was already very good but something about the -World's End Ver.- seems a bit off key despite it having a pretty orchestra melody .
For some reason , I feel that Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara -World's End Ver.- sounds out of place as Mika's vocals & the melody do not seem to sound in synch with each other , making this otherwise potential promising sounding remix being somewhat backfired .
After the release of Ashita Sekai ga Owarunara , Mika Nakashima follows up with her 2nd single of 2012 before 2013 looms by in the form of closing off 2012 in the form of Hatsukoi .
And I'm most certain 2013 will be a busy & fruitful year for Mika , especially since her 7th album REAL will be out next month on 30th Jan & I so can't wait for that as this will be her 1st studio album since 2010's STAR .
Sunday, December 02, 2012
Shota Shimizu - even if & Mikazuki (Crescent Moon)
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD's editions
even if & Mikazuki (Crescent Moon) are 2 songs found in Shota Shimizu's 1st cover album MELODY that was released on 28th Nov .
MELODY includes covers of 13 popular Japanese songs which Shota has covered & put his own unique spin/twist to each track .
Songs that Shota covered/already been reviewed in previous blog post entries include :
- 366 Nichi (Days) Feat HY's Nakasone Izumi . This's Shota's 13th single & it's included as track #4 in MELODY
- Forget-me-not . This was originally found as track #5 in Shota's 3rd album COLOURS & it's once again included in MELODY as track #5
- let go ~maison de m-flo~ . This was originally found as track #13 in SHota's 3rd album COLOURS which served as a bonus track & it's once again included as track #10 in MELODY
Found as track #8 in MELODY , it's even if & this was originally sung by Ken Hirai .
even if was released as Ken Hirai's 11th single way back in 6th Dec 2000 & it's 1 of the staple songs that Ken always sing during his concerts .
For Shota's take on it , I only find his rendition of even if OK for my liking . It's neither good or bad as as to me , I feel that Shota's version sounds almost identical to Ken Hirai's .
Found as track #12 in MELODY , it's Mikazuki & this was originally sung by ayaka .
Mikazuki was released as ayaka's 4th single in 27th Sept 2006 & it's still ayaka's only #1 hit single to date .
This's the 2nd time I've heard an artiste covering Mikazuki , the 1st was Kobukuro who covered it in their 1st cover album ALL COVERS BEST .
For Shota's take on the song , I actually really like it as his rendition is very stripped down & raw . It's just Shota being backed up with an acoustic guitar which couldn't get anymore simpler than this .
The only thing I don't like is that Shota's rendition of Mikazuki ended adruptly but other than that , he did justice to the original if I say so myself but at the end of the day , both his cover & Kobukuro's are equally good & worth listening .