Monday, December 31, 2012

CD Review :: flumpool - experience

CD

CD + DVD

CD + DVD + 100 page photobook + B3 sized poster

1) Donna Mirai ni mo Ai wa Aru (Love Is In Any Future)
2) Answer

3) Ī Janai ? (Not Good ?)
4) Across the Times
5) Premium・ Girl
6) Sprechchor
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
13) Touch
14) 36C


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

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

CD + DVD

1) Koishikute (Darling)
2) Alone

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 Regular

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

CD + DVD

1) Wake me up
2) Sweet scar
3) snowy kiss
4) Ivy
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)

DVD

Blu-ray

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

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

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

CD + DVD

1) LIKE A NOVEL -prologue-
2) NOISE
3) Kaleidoscope
4) Running
5) Hotaru (Firefly)
6) STAY ALIVE
7) Fake City -Instrumental-
8) Yoru no Oto (Sound Night)
9) Wagamama
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

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 .



Blog Personnel









Karen Pang

# 10th Jan

# #1 BREAKERZ fan in Singapore since 2008 debut single ♥











# My music blog consists of JPop/Rock singles & albums reviews that I put my heart , efforts & soul into writing them as I'm disgusted with the way that JPop/Rock music is being treated/written/reviewed in Singapore so to the local media (yes you TEENS , Teenage Magazine & The Strait Times) , screw you all . I basically can write better JPop/Rock reviews , period

# My LiveJournal

# Tagboard has been removed as I can't be bothered to deal with un-necessary spam comments any longer ~_~



























♥ ♥ ♥ BREAKERZ ♥ ♥ ♥



















Upcoming New JPop/JRock Releases


GLAY's 57th single G4・V-Democracy 2019- , 020719 , Tue

# UVERworld's UVERworld KING'S PARADE at Yokohama Arena 2018.12.21 DVD + Blu-ray , 100719 , Wed

# UVERworld's UVERworld QUEEN'S PARTY at Nippon Budokan 2018.12.21 DVD + Blu-ray , 100719 , Wed

# Kis-My-Ft2's 24th single HANDS UP , 100719 , Wed

# SID's SID 15th Anniversary GRAND FINAL at Yokohama Arena ~Sono Mirai e~ DVD + Blu-ray , 240719 , Wed

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP's Hey ! Say ! JUMP LIVE TOUR SENSE or LOVE DVD + Blu-ray , 240719 , Wed

# KAT-TUN's 9th album IGNITE , 310719 , Wed

# GRANRODEO's GRANRODEO LIVE 2018 G13 ROCK☆SHOW "Don't show your back!" Blu-ray , , 210819 , Wed

# ayumi hamasaki's ayumi hamasaki 21st anniversary -POWER of A^3- DVD + Blu-ray , , 280819 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme's 23rd single Jijitsu Ai Feat HY's Nakasone Izumi , , 280819 , Wed

# SID's 6th album title tbc , in 2019

# BREAKERZ's 20th single title tbc , Summer 2019

# GLAY's best album REVIEW II , 2020

# NEWS's 11th album STORY , 2020




Album Reviews


# Kis-My-Ft2 - FREE HUGS!

# Matsushita Yuya - BLACK NEVERLAND

# NEWS - WORLDISTA

# Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme

# Yamashita Tomohisa - UNLEASHED

# BENI - CINEMATIC

# ayaka - 30 y/o

# GRANRODEO - M・S COWBOY no Gyakushuu EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - SENSE or LOVE

# Koda Kumi - DNA

# Shota Shimizu - WHITE

# SID - Ichiban Sukina Basho EP

# Aoyama Thelma - HIGHSCHOOL GAL

# ayumi hamasaki - TROUBLE EP

# Hilcrhyme - One Man EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Yummy!!

# NEWS - EPCOTIA

# FLOWER FLOWER - Spotlight

# Koda Kumi - AND

# B'z - DINOSAUR

# ARASHI - 「untitled」

# BREAKERZ - X

# Aoyama Thelmas - 10TH DIARY

# SPYAIR - KINGDOM

# SID - NOMAD

# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

# Ken Hirai - Utabaka Dake ni.

# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry

# Kis-My-Ft2 - MUSIC COLOSSEUM

# Mika Nakashima - TOUGH

# NEWS - NEVERLAND

# Koda Kumi - W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN

# MUSCLE ATTACK - HERCULES ROAD

# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG

# NEWS - QUARTETTO

# AKi - EPHEMERAL EP

# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP

# BREAKERZ - 0-ZERO-

# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

# Kis-My-Ft2 - KIS-MY-WORLD

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road

# THE TURTLES JAPAN - ELECTRONIC HUMANITY

# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL

# MUSCLE ATTACK - ATTACK

# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White

# FLOWER FLOWER - Shiki EP

# AKi - ARISE

# FLOWER FLOWER - Mi

# ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN

# Anna Tsuchiya - LUCIFER EP

# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Asobi EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-Journey

# ayumi hamasaki - Colours

# KAT-TUN - come Here

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

# Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN

# Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - THE BEST

# JASMINE - Welcome to Jas Vegas

# SID - OUTSIDER

# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

# Hilcrhyme - FIVE ZERO ONE

# DAIGO - DAIGOLD

# Koda Kumi - Bon Voyage

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP

# ARASHI - LOVE

# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx

# SPYAIR - MILLION

# BENI - Red

# ON/OFF - DICE EP

# NEWS - NEWS

# Namie Amuro - FEEL

# AKIHIDE - Amber

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

# girl next door - Life of Sound

# V6 - Oh ! My ! Goodness !

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE again

# Mika Nakashima - REAL

# flumpool - experience

# ayumi hamasaki - again EP

# Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

# ARASHI - Popcorn

# Domoto Koichi - Gravity

# SPYAIR - Just Do It

# SID - M&W

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Ero

# Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP WORLD

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-1st

# Acid Black Cherry - 『2012』

# Shota Shimizu - Naturally

# ayumi hamasaki - Party Queen

# Matsushita Yuya - 2U

# KAT-TUN - CHAIN

# Kuroki Meisa - UNLOCKED

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - BUTTERFLY

# ayaka - The beginning

# Koda Kumi - JAPONESQUE

# Kuriyama Chiaki - CIRCUS Deluxe Edition

# girl next door - Agaruneku !

# Hilcrhyme - RISING

# ON/OFF - Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu-

# BENI - Fortune

# YUI - HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - 45 STONES

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Mahou

# SPYAIR - Rockin' the World

# BREAKERZ - GO

# ayumi hamasaki - FIVE EP

# B'z - C'mon

# School Food Punishment - Prog-Roid

# ARASHI - Beautiful World

# Aoyama Thelma - WILL

# Ken Hirai - JAPANESE SINGER

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - Destination

# Tackey & Tsubasa - TRIP & TREASURE EP

# Shota Shimizu - COLORS

# Koda Kumi - Dejavu

# SID - dead stock

# flumpool - Fantasia of Life Stripe

# Yamashita Tomohisa - SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD

# Kuroki Meisa - MAGAZINE

# ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

# BENI - Jewel

# Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - ARE YOU READY ?

# Mika Nakashima - STAR

# Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)

# GLAY - GLAY

# Anna Tsuchiya - RULE

# NEWS - LIVE

# JASMINE - GOLD

# Domoto Koichi - BPM

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE ! 2

# Hilcrhyme - Recital

# ARASHI - Boku no Miteiru Fukei

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~

# YUI - HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP NO.1

# KAT-TUN - NO MORE PAIИ

# BENI - Lovebox

# Matsushita Yuya - I AM ME

# Acid Black Cherry - Q.E.D.

# Acid Black Cherry - BLACK LIST

# school food punishment - amp-reflection

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Ai EP

# BREAKERZ - B.R.Z ACOUSTIC EP

# ayumi hamasaki - Rock'n'Roll Circus

# V6 - READY ?

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - HELLO CRAZY GENTLEMAN

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - The space toy

# Shota Shimizu - Journey

# Koda Kumi - UNIVERSE

# NEVER LAND - Beautiful Days EP

# abingdon boys school - ABINGDON ROAD

# BENI - Bitter & Sweet

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - NEXT FUTURE

# LANDS - Olympos EP

# flumpool - What's flumpool !?

# Kuroki Meisa - ATTITUDE EP

# Yusuke - Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo.

# KinKi Kids - J album

# Namie Amuro - PAST < FUTURE

# BREAKERZ - FIGHTERZ

# alan - my life

# LOVE - LOVE.IT EP

# B'z - MAGIC

# Dew - PRESENT

# Saito Kazuyoshi - Tsuki ga Noboreba

# Aoyama Thelma - Emotions

# SID - hikari

# Kobukuro - CALLING

# Domoto Koichi - mirror

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Uta

# ON / OFF - Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu-

# Fukuyama Masaharu - Zankyou

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shinshoku Dolce

# GReeeeN - Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER-

# flumpool - Unreal EP

# Yuna Ito - DREAM

# Kanjani∞ - PUZZLE

# KAT-TUN - Break the Records -by you & for you-

# Kuroki Meisa - hellcat EP

# Kanjani∞ - KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou

# ayumi hamasaki - NEXT LEVEL

# Utada Hikaru - DEEP RIVER

# Utada - This Is The One

# Kanjani∞ - KJ1 F·T·O

# ARASHI - Dream"A"Live

# Kanjani∞ - Kansha ni Eight EP

# alan - Voice of EARTH

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE !

# Koda Kumi - TRICK

# Aoyama Thelma - DIARY

# YUI - I LOVED YESTERDAY

# YUI - CAN'T BUY MY LOVE

# BREAKERZ - BREAKERZ

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - GIRL NEXT DOOR

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu

# YUI - FROM ME TO YOU

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Hajimemashite

# BREAKERZ - CRASH & BUILD

# ai otsuka - LOVE LETTER

# Mika Nakashima - VOICE

# BREAKERZ - BIG BANG !

# NEWS - color

# Anna Tsuchiya - NUDY SHOW !

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 3 : Senior Year

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - KISS

# BREAKERZ - Ao no Mirai EP

# ai otsuka - LOVE PUNCH

# ai otsuka - LOVE COOK

# ai otsuka - LOVE JAM

# KAT-TUN - cartoon KAT-TUN II You

# OLIVIA - Trinka Trinka EP

# NEWS - touch

# NEWS - pacific

# ARASHI - Iza , Now

# ARASHI - One

# NANA Triple Billing

# OLIVIA - The Cloudy Dreamer EP

# Anna Tsuchiya - strip me ?

# ARASHI - ARASHIC

# KAT-TUN - Best of KAT-TUN

# Anna Tsuchiya - Taste My Beat EP

# ARASHI - Time

# Electrico - We Satellites

# ayaka - Sing to the Sky

# ayaka - First Message

# KAT-TUN - KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES-

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~BOUNCE & LOVERS~

# Jesse McCartney - Departure

# The Veronicas - Hook Me Up

# Ken Hirai - LIFE is ...

# Ashlee Simpson - Bittersweet World

# Ken Hirai - gaining through losing

# Yuna Ito - HEART

# Utada Hikaru - HEART STATION

# Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

#
Yuna Ito - WISH

# Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers

# Koda Kumi - Kingdom

# ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

# abingdon boys school - abingdon boys school

# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

# ayumi hamasaki - RAINBOW

# The Great Spy Experiment - Flower Show Riots

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~second session~

# The Click Five - Modern Minds And Pastimes

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 2

# Koda Kumi - Black Cherry

# Namie Amuro - PLAY

# Maroon 5 - It Wouldn't Be Soon Before Long

# ayumi hamasaki - Memorial address EP

# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

# Mika Nakashima - YES

# Jamie Michael - People Watching

# ayumi hamasaki - A BEST 2 -BLACK- & A BEST 2 -WHITE-

# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean




Other Posts Worth Checking Out


# Fave Songs Of 2010

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2010

# Fave Albums Releases Of 2010

# Fave Songs Of 2009

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2009

# Fave Albums Releases For 2009

# The Best Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2009

# Fave New Acts Of 2008

# Fave Songs Of 2008

# Fave Singles Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2008

# The 1st Song I Heard From My Future JPop Acts

# The Best & The Worst Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2007

# The Click Five - The Band Behind The Band Documentary

# 987 Control Songlist Set

# Hot Review Of Maksim's Electrik

# Lu Yong Find My Shoes Journey

# Eric Dill Of The Click Five Got Punk'd !




Archives

# October 2006

# November 2006

# December 2006

# January 2007

# February 2007

# March 2007

# April 2007

# May 2007

# June 2007

# July 2007

# August 2007

# September 2007

# October 2007

# November 2007

# December 2007

# January 2008

# February 2008

# March 2008

# April 2008

# May 2008

# June 2008

# July 2008

# August 2008

# September 2008

# October 2008

# November 2008

# December 2008

# January 2009

# February 2009

# March 2009

# April 2009

# May 2009

# June 2009

# July 2009

# August 2009

# September 2009

# October 2009

# November 2009

# December 2009

# January 2010

# February 2010

# March 2010

# April 2010

# May 2010

# June 2010

# July 2010

# August 2010

# September 2010

# October 2010

# November 2010

# December 2010

# January 2011

# February 2011

# March 2011

# April 2011

# May 2011

# June 2011

# July 2011

# August 2011

# September 2011

# October 2011

# November 2011

# December 2011

# January 2012

# February 2012

# March 2012

# April 2012

# May 2012

# June 2012

# July 2012

# August 2012

# September 2012

# October 2012

# November 2012

# December 2012

# January 2013

# February 2013

# March 2013

# April 2013

# May 2013

# June 2013

# July 2013

# August 2013

# September 2013

# October 2013

# November 2013

# December 2013

# January 2014

# February 2014

# March 2014

# April 2014

# May 2014

# June 2014

# July 2014

# August 2014

# September 2014

# October 2014

# November 2014

# December 2014

# January 2015

# February 2015

# March 2015

# April 2015

# May 2015

# June 2015

# July 2015

# August 2015

# September 2015

# October 2015

# November 2015

# December 2015

# January 2016

# February 2016

# March 2016

# April 2016

# May 2016

# June 2016

# July 2016

# August 2016

# September 2016

# October 2016

# November 2016

# December 2016

# January 2017

# February 2017

# March 2017

# April 2017

# May 2017

# June 2017

# July 2017

# August 2017

# September 2017

# October 2017

# November 2017

# December 2017

# January 2018

# February 2018

# March 2018

# April 2018

# May 2018

# June 2018

# July 2018

# August 2018

# September 2018

# October 2018

# November 2018

# December 2018

# January 2019

# February 2019

# March 2019

# April 2019

# May 2019

# June 2019

# July 2019

# August 2019

# September 2019

# October 2019

# November 2019

# December 2019





Credits

designer - Chronicles

imageeditor - adobephotoshop

music - radioblogclub

image - fortminorwebsite