Saturday, August 31, 2013

V6 - Kimi ga Omoidasu Boku wa Kimi wo Aishiteiru Darou ka

CD

CD + DVD A

CD + DVD B

Kimi ga Omoidasu Boku wa Kimi wo Aishiteiru Darou ka is V6's 42nd single & it was released last week on 21st Aug .

This's the group's 1st single release of 2013 after they released their 12th album Oh ! My ! Goodness ! at the beginning of this year on 20th Feb .

Kimi ga Omoidasu Boku wa Kimi wo Aishiteiru Darou ka was picked to be used as the theme song for TV Asahi's drama Keishicho Sosa Ikka 9 Gakari .

Keishicho Sosa Ikka 9 Gakari stars member Inohara Yoshihiko & it's a detective drama that has already gone through 7 seasons since 2006 . V6 has been in charge of the theme songs for the entire series of the drama . Previous theme songs that V6 provided for Keishicho Sosa Ikka 9 Gakari include Good Day !! , Jasmine , Chou , GUILTY , only dreaming , Sexy.Honey.Bunny ! & kEEP oN. .

Kimi ga Omoidasu Boku wa Kimi wo Aishiteiru Darou ka was 1st aired during the 1st episode of Keishicho Sosa Ikka 9 Gakari last month on July 10th .

The single has 3 B-sides in which all will not be reviewed that includes :

- FLASH BACK
- Summer Day (sung by 20th Century) (CD Only Track)
- Kiminokakera (sung by Coming Century) (CD Only Track)

Both Summer Day & Kiminokakera are sung by the sub unit groups that were formed within V6 .

Despite the really long song title , Kimi ga Omoidasu Boku wa Kimi wo Aishiteiru Darou ka is actually a great song & after really going all out if not rather too experimental with Oh ! My ! Goodness ! , V6 are back in doing what they do best which're ballads .

As such , Kimi ga Omoidasu Boku wa Kimi wo Aishiteiru Darou ka speaks volume & I like the way that all their vocals harmonise together extremely well .

It's not that I dislike V6 doing upbeat songs but at times like this , having a really nice comforting ballad is fantastic & Kimi ga Omoidasu Boku wa Kimi wo Aishiteiru Darou ka is proof of that .


Friday, August 30, 2013

alan - DREAM EXPRESS ~Yume Utsutsu Kuukan Chou Tokkyuu~

1) DREAM EXPRESS ~Yume Utsutsu Kuukan Chou Tokkyuu~ (~Super Express In The Space Between Dream & Reality~)
2) First Love ~Hatsukoi~
3) DREAM EXPRESS ~Yume Utsutsu Kuukan Chou Tokkyuu~ (Instrumetal)
4) First Love ~Hatsukoi~ (Instrumental)
5) First Love ~Hatsukoi~ (alan ver.)
6) First Love ~Hatsukoi~ (Ryosuke Itamiya ver.)

DREAM EXPRESS ~Yume Utsutsu Kuukan Chou Tokkyuu~ is alan's 17th single & it was released last week on 21st Aug .

alan's last Japanese release was 2011's Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ / Ikiru .

DREAM EXPRESS ~Yume Utsutsu Kuukan Chou Tokkyuu~ was picked to be used as the opening theme song for the anime Train Heroes .

I wouldn't deny that I didn't like DREAM EXPRESS ~Yume Utsutsu Kuukan Chou Tokkyuu~ on 1st listen as I thought it's a really boring song with nothing special that was offered .

And coming from alan , I know that she could have done something more better than this as to me this song doesn't do any justice to her vocals as that aspect is what she's known best for .

First Love ~Hatsukoi~ serves as the B-side in the single . This song also has solo versions that're sung by alan & Ryosuke Itamiya respectively/separately .

Compared to the A-side , First Love ~Hatsukoi~ is definitely better by a long shot & I prefer this much more than DREAM EXPRESS ~Yume Utsutsu Kuukan Chou Tokkyuu~ . It's still not alan's best effort but First Love ~Hatsukoi~ kind of reminds me on why I supported her in the very 1st place .

Let alone , I feel that the vocals of both alan & Ryosuke Itamiya harmonise quite nicely together in this mid tempo ballad . First Love ~Hatsukoi~ in my opinion should have been the A-side instead .

After alan's last Japanese release which was 2011's Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR's~ / Ikiru , she spent the last 2 years focusing her music career in China . And now , she's finally back with her latest Japanese single offering DREAM EXPRESS ~Yume Utsutsu Kuukan Chou Tokkyuu~ .

As I said before , I feel that alan could have done much better with this comeback single of hers . No doubt her older Japanese works are still better if not more prominent as she set a really high bar/standard for her earlier Japanese works . However along the way , she lost her music focus & did not choose very good songs that showcased if not flattered her vocals .

I don't know if alan will release another new Japanese single but for DREAM EXPRESS ~Yume Utsutsu Kuukan Chou Tokkyuu~ , I definitely am sitting on the fence with this 1 . I rather skip hearing the A-side & go straight to hear the B-side instead although at the end of the day , both songs are not really that up to my liking as much as I was hoping for .


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

SID - CELEBRITY & SENSE

CELEBRITY & SENSE are 2 new songs found in SID's 2 B-side best albums , Side B complete Collection ~e.B 2~ & Side B complete Collection ~e.B 3~ .

In 2008 , SID released their 1st B-side track collection . As part of their 10th anniversary 10 projects campaign , the guys released their 2nd & 3rd B-side track compilations Side B complete Collection ~e.B 2~ & Side B complete Collection ~e.B 3~ on the same day ie. last week on 21st Aug .

CELEBRITY is included in Side B complete Collection ~e.B 2~ & the song was composed by bassist Aki .

On the other hand , SENSE is included in Side B complete Collection ~e.B 3~ & was composed by guitarist Shinji with both songs written by vocalist/frontman Mao .

I think both songs are equally good but I feel that SENSE stands out to me a lot more than CELEBRITY with it having a really strong identity .

I had to take quite a few listens before I get the hang of how CELEBRITY is but between both new tracks , SENSE is more engaging & enjoyable .

SID's 16th single will be released on 6th Nov . It's currently untitled & this marks the 8th project in their 10th anniversary 10 projects campaign , with their upcoming single being their 3rd single release of 2013 , after Koi ni Ochite & Summer Lover .


Sunday, August 25, 2013

CD Review :: SPYAIR - MILLION

Cover for all 3 editions of the album (CD , 2CDs & CD + DVD)

1) OVERLOAD
2) Turning Point
3) Genjou Destruction
4) Sakura Mitsutsuki

5) Winding Road
6) Are You Champion ? Yeah !! I'm Champion !!
7) STAND UP
8) Supersonic
9) Ameagari ni Saku Hana
10) Niji (Rainbow)
11) 16 And Life

MILLION is SPYAIR's 3rd album & it was released on 7th Aug .

The guys's latest album release comes in less than 11 months + since they released their previous album Just Do It . MILLION is also SPYAIR's 1st album release as a quartet , after DJ ENZEL☆ departed from the group last Dec in order to pursue his personal interests .

The album title MILLION stands for the band's goals & their wish for their "music to reach many people" .

MILLION includes 3 singles & 2 B-sides . However , their 9th single WENDY ~It's You~ is excluded in the main CD but the song is included in the 2nd disc , with regards to the CD + bonus disc limited edition of MILLION .

On the other hand , the music video for WENDY ~It's You~ is included in the DVD , with regards to the CD + DVD limited edition of the album .

OVERLOAD is the album's opening track & unlike the group's 1st 2 albums which were short opening tracks , OVERLOAD is a full album track in its own right .

This song was 1st released via iTunes on 24th July , a week before MILLION was released . A music video was actually made for the song but the video itself is not included in the DVD of MILLION .

Picked to be used in the ads of SUZUKI SWIFT , OVERLOAD most certainly brings in plenty of bite if not serious attitude . I can understand why the guys chose to open MILLION with OVERLOAD as it's such a great track to start things off .

SPYAIR's previous opening tracks in their 1st 2 albums were also equally good & for them to start MILLION with a full track as compared to an introduction song , it's a nice change of things .

Turning Point originally was found as the B-side track in SPYAIR's 10th single Sakura Mitsutsuki .

I like Turning Point when I 1st reviewed Sakura Mitsutsuki & for them to include the song in MILLION , I have no complaints as it's still a B-side I enjoyed a lot even up to now .

Genjyo Destruction is SPYAIR's 12th single & this single was released a month prior to MILLION .

The group's best charting single to date , Genjyo Destruction was picked to be used as the theme song for the anime movie Gekijouban Gintama Kanketsu-hen Yorozuya yo Eien nare .

With the release of Genjyo Destruction , it marks the 3rd time for the band to provide the theme song for Gintama . SPYAIR's 4th single Samurai Heart (Some Like It Hot !!) was used as the ending theme no. in 2011 . This year in Jan , their 10th single Sakura Mitsutsuki was used as the opening theme for its TV anime series .

Leader/bassist MOMIKEN commented , "This is our 3rd time to sing for Gintama . And it's for the movie ! It's the final one too ! We have no choice but to take this great opportunity ! We are working on it while giving it our all . Everyone , please look forward for the theme song as well ! "

Sakura Mitsutsuki is SPYAIR's 10th single & this's their 1st release as a quartet .

The song was picked to be used as the opening theme no. for the anime Gintama at the beginning of this year . Sakura Mitsutsuki utilised the theme cherry blossoms , moon , promise & centers around the guitars sound-wise .

Sakura Mitsutsuki was released on the same day as the group's 2nd DVD SPYAIR LIVE at Nippon Budokan 2012 & it was their 2nd single to be used to promote Gintama , the 1st being their 4th single Samurai Heart (Some Like It Hot !!) .

Winding Road is the 2nd album track & this's actually an old song as it was something taken from their indie days , way before SPYAIR went the major label route .

I actually personally like Winding Road a lot as it's essentially a slice of history from the guys's past . This mid tempo ballad is very old school & after listening to Winding Road , I might consider to give their older/indie works a try .

Are You Champion ? Yeah !! I'm Champion !! serves as the B-side in SPYAIR's 11th single Niji & it's the 2nd B-side that made the tracklist in MILLION .

I'm really pleased that Are You Champion ? Yeah !! I'm Champion !! is included in MILLION as at that time when I reviewed Niji , I commented that Are You Champion ? Yeah !! I'm Champion !! is 1 of their coolest if not most interesting B-sides they've came up with , be it for song or title .

As such , I have no complaints that Are You Champion ? Yeah !! I'm Champion !! made the cut in MILLION as nobody should miss out hearing this fun energetic no. .

The next 3 songs are brand new album tracks in MILLION .

STAND UP is a rather typical standard rock no. with lots of hard drum beats thrown in for good measure .

On the other hand , Supersonic is 1 of the guys's most interesting songs as it features lead singer IKE singing & rapping at the same time , something that was never done before until now .

To be honest , IKE surprisingly sounded quite natural when he rapped & it makes the experience in listening to Supersonic even more entertaining if not fun .

The 2nd last album track , Ameagari ni Saku Hana is an uplifting uptempo rock no. which presents a very different vibe from what STAND UP & Supersonic offered .

Niji is SPYAIR's 11th single & it was picked to be used as the theme song for Shota Matsuda's TBS drama Undercover Agent Tokage .

This song is the last single to be included in MILLION .

To accompany Undercover Agent Tokage , the producers wanted a powerful sound , which made SPYAIR a perfect choice . Niji is described as an uplifting , inspiration rock ballad that reflects the courage of one who continues through adversity .

Niji encourages one to persevere & walk forth even when one is troubled . As such , the song was written specifically for Undercover Agent Tokage .

SPYAIR posted their own comments with regards to Niji , "Our world is filled with trash and treasure . The value of things becomes vague & you become unaware of these limits . The protagonist of the drama , Tokage probably knows of this feeling . This is what we thought when we finished writing the lyrics . The vocals are certain to overcome a frozen heart with a sound that reflects a vast view of the world & universal beat . We have put all of our energy into making this song . Whether it's one person , or many , we want people to hear this !"

16 And Life is the final album track & last song in the album tracklist . It's a very under-stated mid tempo song that concludes things quite nicely .

The only grouse about this song was that when I 1st heard it , I was surprised that it ended very abruptly which caught me off guard as I thought 16 And Life would have been longer but that wasn't the case . Only after a few more listens , I got used to the way 16 And Life sounded after that .

After stepping on the sacred stage of the Nippon Budokan last year , SPYAIR is back with their 3rd major label album MILLION .

In recent times , SPYAIR has become my 2nd most fave JRock band & MILLION speaks volume in that despite being a member short , they're still able to release solid rocking music & MILLION is evident of that .

Let alone , they definitely have come a long way since their indie days & MILLION is now officially their best charting release , with it debuting at #2 on the 1st week of release that suppressed the peak position of their previous album Just Do It (which only peaked at #20) .

MILLION on whole is actually really enjoyable to listen & with it being 40 mins long , it can be considered short by an album's standard but most importantly is the quality & not so much on the quantity .

If there're something I didn't like about MILLION , it probably be the strange fact that I actually like the album tracks and B-sides somewhat more than the singles & I definitely was disappointed that WENDY ~It's You~ was excluded from the tracklist .

I suppose the guys want to make MILLION their 1st proper release as a quartet as WENDY ~It's You~ was their last single that included DJ ENZEL☆ .

That said , what I hope for SPYAIR in the near future was for them to release their material a bit more slower as the singles included in MILLION , they were all released really quickly & somewhere down the line , the quality got compromised which's quite evident when I listened to their older singles & comparing them against their latest/recent ones .

But all in all , MILLION is still a really good follow up after Just Do It with special mention that goes to the B-sides & album tracks which're highly recommended .


Friday, August 23, 2013

Kis-My-Ft2 - Kimi to no Kiseki

CD

CD + DVD A

CD + DVD B

Kimi to no Kiseki is Kis-My-Ft2's 8th single & it was released last week on 14th Aug .

This's the guys's 1st single release after they put out their 2nd album Good Ikuze ! at the beginning of this year on 27th March .

Kimi to no Kiseki was picked to be used as the main theme song for the drama Pintokona that stars member Tamamori Yuta .

The main A-side was made with the theme "being with an important person is the greatest moment & best happiness" & it's described as a medium-tempo number that will make your heart flutter .

Ichikawa Yoshiyasu , Mashiko Tatsuro & ha-j teamed up to create Kimi to no Kiseki & this song took the longest time to complete as compared to any other Kis-My-Ft2 songs in their discography .

Tamamori commented , "It's a love song comprised of heart wrenching lyrics that you keep loving your loved one earnestly & it has a summer-like melody . This may be the most straightforward song in Kisumai history . We sang it with all our hearts to make it the 'Kiseki (= miracle) song' that could help with the success of love for people listening to the song . Please check out the theme song along with the drama itself !"

There're 2 B-sides in the single in which the 1st 1 is something that's titled Tanagokoro .

Tanagokoro is the guys's 1st B-side to get a music video & promo wise , it was used as the DHC CM and Moshimo Tour Song .

What a B-side & this's the group's 1st B-side that's a ballad since in their previous singles , most of the B-sides were dance if not very upbeat no.s . As such , Tanagokoro is a refreshing nice change which contrasts Kimi to no Kiseki extremely well .

Tanagokoro definitely deserves to get a video as it's just a really nice heartwarming ballad & the video speaks volume with it being really touching . It's a shame that it's a B-side as it's on par with Kimi to no Kiseki in being A-side material worthy .

Diamond Honey is the 2nd B-side & this's only found in the CD only pressing of the single .

This song follows almost in the same music direction as the guys's past B-sides with it being a rather standard if not straightforward dance no. . I think Diamond Honey is ok for my liking but it definitely got overshadowed slightly from what Kimi to no Kiseki & Tanagokoro have to offer .

This summer , Kis-My-Ft2 member Tamamori Yuta is starring in television drama Pintokona & his teammates are supporting him by performing the series theme song ! Kimi to no Kiseki is a romantic dance song that features a music video with a summer festival theme .

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised on what Kimi to no Kiseki has to offer . I genuinely really enjoyed this single & I suppose after being a bit disappointed on Good Ikuze ! , I think it helped that I kept my expectations low on Kimi to no Kiseki as prior to this , I didn't know what to expect .

That said , Kimi to no Kiseki is really solid & both the A-side + Tanagokoro are extremely top notch with solid great videos that accompanied both songs which lifted them up to a whole new level .

With the release of Kimi to no Kiseki , it has given Kis-My-Ft2 their 8th consecutive #1 single .


Thursday, August 22, 2013

UVERworld - Fight For Liberty / Wizard CLUB

CD Only Regular

CD Only Limited

CD + DVD

Fight For Liberty / Wizard CLUB is UVERworld's 24th single & it was released last week on 14th Aug .

This's the group's 1st release of 2013 after they released their previous single REVERSI last Dec & the last time they released a double A-side single was 2011's BABY BORN & GO / KINJITO .

The B-side(s) in Fight For Liberty / Wizard CLUB ie. a LOVELY TONE will not be reviewed . Likewise for the TV Size of Fight For Liberty as that's basically a shortened version of the 1st A-side of the single .

The 1st A-side Fight For Liberty was picked to be used as the 2nd opening theme song for the anime Space Battleship Yamato 2199 . Lead singer/frontman TAKUYA∞ expressed his concerns regarding the pressure for doing the opening for such a famous anime . However , he wants everyone to look forward to the new opening which was written with the series in mind .

On the other hand , the 2nd A-side Wizard CLUB was picked to be used as the ending theme song for the TV series Kaikin ! Bakuro Night . Despite being a double A-side single , Fight For Liberty seems to be the only A-side that has a music video .

To be honest , I haven't been impressed with UVERworld's singles for quite sometime , especially since in my opinion , their music is not very easy to get into .

That said , I was pleasantly surprised on what Fight For Liberty / Wizard CLUB has to offer with special mention that has to go to the 2nd A-side , Wizard CLUB .

The last single I truly enjoyed a great deal from UVERworld was their 17th single NO.1 which they put out 3 years ago but something about Wizard CLUB is just extremely addictive & to me , I prefer the 2nd A-side over Fight For Liberty .

Fight For Liberty is good but in my opinion , Wizard CLUB is the star of UVERworld's latest single release as it just sounds really unique but overall , this single's worth checking out big time .


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Akanishi Jin - HEY WHAT'S UP ?

CD Regular Edition

CD Limited Edition

CD + DVD A

CD + DVD B

1) HEY WHAT'S UP ?
2) KEY TO YOUR HEART ~Kimi no Kokorono Kagi~
3) SUMMER LOVING (CD Only Regular Edition Track)
4) HEY WHAT'S UP ? (Instrumental)
5) KEY TO YOUR HEART ~Kimi no Kokorono Kagi~ (Instrumental)
6) SUMMER LOVING (Instrumental) (CD Only Regular Edition Track)

HEY WHAT'S UP ? is Akanishi Jin's 3rd single & it was released on 7th Aug .

This's Akanishi's 1st release after he released his debut album JAPONICANA last March .

The main A-side was written + composed by Akanishi himself & it's described as an up-tempo summer tune .

Akanishi commented , "Though I've caused so many worries , I'm now able to release a new song . I never stopped making songs even during my hiatus & I was longing for this day to come . I made HEY WHAT'S UP ? with all my heart , as I wanted my 1st comeback song to be an up-tempo & bright dance tune which my fans who waited for my comeback for a long time , could be pleased with. Please look forward to it ."

In addition , HEY WHAT'S UP ? was chosen to be used as the official song for Tokyo Girls Collection 2013 AUTUMN / WINTER , which will be held on August 31st at Saitama Super Arena . This is the 1st time for Tokyo Girls Collection (TGC) to have an official song .

Tokyo Girls Collection's executive committee explained their reason for choosing HEY WHAT'S UP ? , "The song's festive worldview that 'turns TOKYO into a PARTY' , added to TGC's concept , which is 'to spread Japanese girls culture to the world' . "

HEY WHAT'S UP ? will also be used as the background music for the TGC's official homepage & advertisements .

Akanishi expressed his joy saying , "I feel very honoured to have my comeback single chosen as TGC's official song . It would be the best if the fashionable girls who gather at TGC would dance to HEY WHAT'S UP ? ."

There're 2 B-sides in the single , the 1st being something titled KEY TO YOUR HEART ~Kimi no Kokorono Kagi~ .

To be honest , I thought it was going to be a ballad based on the title but turns out it's not the case as KEY TO YOUR HEART ~Kimi no Kokorono Kagi~ is also uptempo driven just like HEY WHAT'S UP ? .

SUMMER LOVING is the 2nd B-side & this song is only found in the CD only regular edition of HEY WHAT'S UP ? .

The dance party definitely doesn't stop in the single as SUMMER LOVING is another summery upbeat inspired no. . Except in this case , SUMMER LOVING is a lot more stripped back with somewhat less emphasis placed on autotune and/or synch .

Nearly 1 1/2 years after his American debut , Akanishi Jin is finally back in the Japanese music scene with his 3rd single HEY WHAT'S UP ? . The Johnny's artist's comeback song is written + composed by Akanishi himself & it's an upbeat summer tune that shows the versatility of the talented entertainer .

To be frank , I had low expectations on what HEY WHAT'S UP ? but overall , I was quite pleasantly surprised on what the single had to offer & this single is definitely made specifically for Summer as all the 3 songs are very much Summer dance inspired as so .

On the other hand , for long time fans of Akanishi , they might be disappointed on what HEY WHAT'S UP ? offers as some might say this single's so generic sounding , with probably a lot of somewhat un-necessary emphasis on autotune and synch which to me is reluctant as it's not as if Akanishi cannot sing to begin with .

To me , I would love to see Akanishi return back to his old music roots before he morphed into this person of being the urge/need to become Americanised as his older works such as the ballads care , Murasaki & even his 2nd single Seasons were true gems . These're some of the songs that he shines the best in , instead of hiding his vocals under lots of underlying's of autotune & synch .

That said , it reminds to be seen what will be his next music move is & for now since Summer will be ending soon , maybe HEY WHAT'S UP ? should be given a listen before Summer ends .


Friday, August 16, 2013

CD Review :: BENI - Red

CD

CD + DVD

1) intro
2) REASON
3) Satsuki Ame (Early Summer Rain)
4) OUR SKY

5) FLY HIGH
6) Concrete Rose
7) Red
8) ANGEL
9) sweet danger
10) sands of time
11) Home Sweet Home
12) Eien (Eternity)
13) AM 2:00

Red is BENI's 5th album & it was released last month on 31st July .

BENI's last original album release was 2011's Fortune & in Red , it includes 3 singles & a B-side .

Run・Away which's the B-side of BENI's 15th single Satsuki Ame , had a video made that's included in the DVD tracklist of Red but not in the CD itself .

After the opening track intro , the album dives straight into the 1st album track which's titled REASON .

What I like about REASON is that it's not a basic R&B song that I expect from BENI . Instead , the plus point of this song is the melody in which despite it being quite piano driven , it still manages to be up tempo at the same time which makes it unique .

The next 2 songs are singles prior to the release of Red .

Satsuki Ame (Early Summer Rain) is BENI's 15th single . Described as an intimate mid-tempo ballad with lyrics written by BENI & features pianist Satoru Shionoya , this's the 1st single that BENI wrote & composed independently .

Served as April's theme song for the news variety show Sukkiri !! , BENI commented with regards to Satsuki Ame , "It shows the feelings of a woman who is set on carrying through with things she has decided on no matter what happens ."

OUR SKY is BENI's 16th single & it's the most release latest single prior to BENI putting out Red .

A summer love song , OUR SKY is personally my fave single to have been included in the album & it's definitely 1 of BENI's most catchiest songs that she has released in recent times .

OUR SKY is still something I never get sick of hearing even up to now .

FLY HIGH is the 2nd album track & another catchy song , this no. takes on a much more pop version which makes things really addictive if not enjoyable .

Likewise , the same thing goes for the next song Concrete Rose with it having a really sleek R&B vibe .

Sharing the same title as the album is Red & this song is BENI's 1st no. that is a full album track , something that her previous 4 albums didn't had it in them as with regards to them , they only served as album introduction openings but not this time round .

To me , Red (the song) is an unusual sounding no. but it's actually 1 of my fave tracks in the album . It has quite a Bossa Nova flair & mixing it with R&B could have sounded like a recipe for disaster but somehow or another , BENI managed to make things work in here .

ANGEL is the next new song & as the title suggests , it's a sweet no. . 1 of the more slower tracks in Red , it's piano driven just like REASON but except in this case , ANGEL is strictly a ballad no. with no uptempo music elements insight .

sweet danger follows right after ANGEL & the album's mood suddenly changed rather significantly from a ballad to a rather aggressive sounding no. .

This song is 1 of the more in your face tracks in Red but is another fave song of mine as well .

sands of time is the 2nd last album track in Red & it's the only song in the album that's composed by BENI's long time composer , Daisuke "D.I" Imai .

Strangely despite this , I only find sands of time ok to my liking & I feel it's considerably 1 of the more weaker songs in Red . Perhaps the new songs in front of the album tracklist are quite strong sounding , which probably explained why sands of time doesn't sound on par if not just as good as the other album tracks .

Home Sweet Home is the B-side track in BENI's 16th single OUR SKY & I'm actually quite glad to see this song included in Red as compared to this & Satsuki Ame's Run・Away , I somewhat prefer Home Sweet Home a little bit more .

I don't think Home Sweet Home will be 1 of my fave B-side songs from BENI but still , it's a nice heartwarming ballad .

Eien (Eternity) is BENI's 14th single & this's the final single to be included in Red .

This song was used to promote the drama Honjitsu wa Taian Nari & it's described as a happy love song .

Eien was the only original release BENI put out last year before she had unexpected success with both covers albums , COVERS & COVERS 2 . Still , I still really enjoy Eien even up to now .

AM 2:00 is the final song in Red & this track was 1st released digitally via iTunes on 24th July , 1 week before Red was released .

I think AM 2:00 is the perfect no. to conclude Red nicely with it being a rather dreamy R&B sounding track . It's 1 of the more slower songs in Red but there's just something about AM 2:00 which I like as I feel it sounds charming if not very chilled out .

After the release of 2 cover albums COVERS & COVERS 2 last year , R&B singer BENI has finally releasing her 5th original studio album , Red !

Frankly speaking , I really enjoy Red a great deal . Maybe because it has been 2 years since Fortune , this album doesn't sound rushed to me unlike Lovebox & Jewel which both albums were released only a mere 6 months apart from each other .

Also , I feel that Red is probably BENI's most musically diverse sounding album to date . Unlike her past albums where she only relied on 1 composer to compose all her songs , Red sees BENI getting other composers besides Daisuke "D.I" Imai to work on her material which would explain why there's quite a wide variety of sounds presented in the album .

That's not to say the album doesn't have any flaws . I noticed almost towards the end of Red , the songs started to blend into each other which feels as though the last 3 songs sounded the same as each of their respective counterparts .

But other than that , Red is solid & 1 of BENI's strongest sounding album to date too .

Everyone , please welcome the return of BENI to original material with Red !


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Acid Black Cherry - Greed Greed Greed

CD Only Regular

CD Only Limited

CD + DVD

1) Greed Greed Greed
2) Kagayaki Nagara ...

Greed Greed Greed is Acid Black Cherry's 16th single & it was released on 7th Aug .

This's their 1st single release of 2013 after they put out their 3rd cover album Recreation 3 beginning of this year on 6th March .

The main A-side was picked to be used as the theme song for MBS・TBS's drama Akuryo Byoutou which started airing on TV last month from 18th July onwards .

The single also includes Kagayaki Nagara ... which's a cover of Tokunaga Hideaki's 4th single . The song was released way back on 5th July 1987 in which this track will not be reviewed .

Described as a groovy song that will attack a listener on all the 5 senses , Greed Greed Greed is an uptempo rock tune & a bright cheerful rock no. that will make fans dance & be kept on their toes .

The release of Greed Greed Greed is part of Acid Black Cherry's Shangri-la project . In addition to holding concert tours around Japan , Greed Greed Greed is 1 of the releases from this project in line with the intention to make any Acid Black Cherry fans smile & it can be assured that there will be many more releases in time to come , not just Greed Greed Greed alone .


Sunday, August 11, 2013

DAIGO - Itsumo Dakishimete / Mugen ∞REBIRTH

CD

CD + DVD A

CD + DVD B

1) Itsumo Dakishimete (Always Embrace)
2) Mugen (Infinite) ∞REBIRTH
3) Daisy ~2013 version~ (CD Only Track)

Itsumo Dakishimete / Mugen ∞REBIRTH is DAIGO's debut solo single which was released last month on 31st July .

Last Dec , BREAKERZ announced that each of them would each be starting their solo activities which began this year in April .

All songs in Itsumo Dakishimete / Mugen ∞REBIRTH were written & composed by DAIGO himself .

10 years ago solo wise , DAIGO debuted in the music scene under the name DAIGO☆STARDUST from 2003 to 2007 but for Itsumo Dakishimete / Mugen ∞REBIRTH , it's his 1st release he put out simply using just his given name , DAIGO .

The 1st A-side Itsumo Dakishimete (Always Embrace) is described by DAIGO as a medium ballad .

Personally be it the ballads that DAIGO wrote/composed as DAIGO☆STARDUST and/or in BREAKERZ , it's something that doesn't go wrong with him , especially when comes to songs that DAIGO wrote/composed entirely in Japanese which's exactly what Itsumo Dakishimete is all about .

The 2nd A-side Mugen (Infinite) ∞REBIRTH is the song that has promo tie in's , unlike Itsumo Dakishimete which didn't had any . Promo wise , Mugen ∞REBIRTH was picked to be used as the opening theme for the anime Cardfight!! Vanguard Link Joker Hen & also in the ads of Cardfight!! Vanguard DAIGO Special Set which DAIGO serves as their spokesperson .

I must confess that I oddly had a rather strong dislike towards the preview of Mugen ∞REBIRTH as I thought it sounded almost like what some of BREAKERZ's songs were , especially CLIMBER x CLIMBER & Nounai Survivor which both were used to promote Cardfight!! Vanguard .

That said , thankfully my opinion towards Mugen ∞REBIRTH changed quite a lot after I've heard the full version . It contrasts Itsumo Dakishimete really well with it being an uptempo rock song but what surprised me was that I didn't found Mugen ∞REBIRTH to be catchy on 1st listen .

Daisy ~2013 version~ is only found in the CD only edition of Itsumo Dakishimete / Mugen ∞REBIRTH & the original version of Daisy was actually the 1st A-side of DAIGO☆STARDUST's 4th single Daisy / SUMMER ROSE in which this single was released 9 years ago on 21st July .

I'm not going to lie that Daisy ~2013 version~ was the song that got me really excited when I saw the finalised tracklist in Itsumo Dakishimete / Mugen ∞REBIRTH , especially since I still considered Daisy to be 1 of DAIGO☆STARDUST's best songs to date .

That said , both the original & Daisy ~2013 version~ are equally brilliant if not fantastic . The updated version of Daisy is more piano & orchestra driven which I think it's just lovely to boot .

Hopefully this will not be the last DAIGO☆STARDUST's song that DAIGO will re-record as there're many more in DAIGO☆STARDUST's discography that deserves to get updated & not just Daisy alone .

BREAKERZ frontman/lead singer DAIGO gets his 'revenge' in releasing his debut solo single Itsumo Dakishimete / Mugen ∞REBIRTH & what a really good solid single it's .

The reason on why I said it's a 'revenge' single is because DAIGO mentioned that he wants to get revenge after he flopped really badly when he went solo under DAIGO☆STARDUST during 2003 - 2007 & seeing that Itsumo Dakishimete / Mugen ∞REBIRTH was able to debut at #8 in the 1st week , he definitely did DAIGO☆STARDUST proud as his debut single MARIA only charted at #64 at the time of release .

I really enjoy Itsumo Dakishimete / Mugen ∞REBIRTH & it just shows how versatile DAIGO's . Also it's a big + point that he's the 1 that wrote/composed everything , something that still sticks with him from when he was DAIGO☆STARDUST & when he was in BREAKERZ too .

It's easy to dismiss Itsumo Dakishimete / Mugen ∞REBIRTH as a BREAKERZ in disguise single since DAIGO's the frontman of the group but to me , there're certain things that DAIGO can only do in solo mode & vice versa .

And something tells me that DAIGO will be releasing something new again in due time since at the end of 2013 , he will be doing his very 1st solo tour & it wouldn't surprise me if I'm right on this .

But for now , a big congratulations to DAIGO in getting his 1st Top 10 release in solo mode & he definitely has come a long way that's for sure .


Saturday, August 10, 2013

CD Review :: ON/OFF - DICE EP

1) CALLING ...
2) Tsunagari (Connection)
3) DICE o Korogase ~ROLL THE DICE~
4) Ai no Wana ~Manatsu no VENUS~ (~Midsummer VENUS~)
5) Lonely・Lonely
6) Utsukushi (Beautiful)

DICE EP is ON/OFF's 1st mini album & it was released last month on 17th July .

No singles are included in DICE EP & the twin brothers' last release was 2011's Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu- which was their 2nd album .

DICE EP includes a total of 6 songs which's perhaps a nod to an actual dice as it has 6 faces .

The mini album kicks off with a rather angsty driven no. in the form of CALLING ... . Upon listening to this song , it reminds me quite a lot of ON/OFF's older if not most prominent hits such as Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi & Rinne -Rondo- .

The next 2 songs Tsunagari (Connection) & DICE o Korogase ~ROLL THE DICE~ are 2 back to back really peppy songs in which Tsunagari is a straight up upbeat pop no. which on the other hand , DICE o Korogase ~ROLL THE DICE~ is heavily guitar driven but it's still good .

Ai no Wana ~Manatsu no VENUS~ (~Midsummer VENUS~) follows after DICE o Korogase ~ROLL THE DICE~ in which to me , Ai no Wana ~Manatsu no VENUS~ is 1 of mini album highlights .

With Summer still around , it doesn't get anymore Summery in the form of Ai no Wana ~Manatsu no VENUS~ & this song even has quite a strong Latin influence thrown in for good measure which makes things even more fun if not enjoyable .

Lonely・Lonely is the 2nd last song . It's a mid tempo no. . Not exactly a fave song of mine in DICE EP but it's still ok for me even though it borderlines on the album filler side .

Utsukushi (Beautiful) is the final no. in DICE EP . The only ballad in the mini album , Utsukushi brings a really good closure to things & this song proves just how well both the brothers are in synch with together , vocals wise .

After a rather long absence , the twin brothers in the form of ON/OFF are finally back with their latest release , in the form of their 1st mini album DICE EP !

I definitely missed having new material from ON/OFF as I still think they're great even up to now & I suppose after the lacklustre performance of Legend Of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu- , they decided to only release DICE EP now seeing that this's released under a different record label & not via DefSTAR Records any longer .

That said , I enjoy what DICE EP has to offer . Despite it being a mini album , I feel the songs are good & it's quite versatile sounding as well .

I sure hope this will not be the last release coming from ON/OFF & that I wouldn't have to wait so long for them to come back with something new again as they're 1 of the really under-rated artistes around & it would be a pity should they disband which I hope it will not happen to them .


Friday, August 09, 2013

Matsushita Yuya - SWEET LOVE

1) Sweet Love
2) What Are We ?
3) SWEET LOVE -carlos K. Remix-
4) SWEET LOVE -Instrumental-
5) What are we ? -Instrumental-

Sweet Love is a mini album released by Matsushita Yuya in which it was released digitally last month on 31st July .

Matsushita's last release was his 1st best album U ~BEST of BEST~ which was released physically last Dec . Sweet Love is his 1st new material released under his own independent label Japanese Dream Records .

From now onwards , Matsushita's music will be distributed via tunecore JAPAN .

To be frank , I kind of suspect something was not right after Matsushita released U ~BEST of BEST~ too quickly as when he released it , he was only in the business for 4 years & true enough after he revealed why so recently on his blog , it does makes sense as he put out U ~BEST of BEST~ as his final release before his contract with Epic Records expired & it subsequently wasn't renewed soon after .

That said , I was really surprised if not happy that he's finally back with something new as I pretty much have followed/supported him since his debut & no doubt I was worried he hasn't released anything new after U ~BEST of BEST~ but not anymore .

In the case of Sweet Love , it's a really nice upbeat R&B summery no. . It reminds me quite a lot of what 4 Seasons offers , with both songs having almost the same type of vibe . With it still Summer at this point in time , Sweet Love sees Matsushita do what he does best .

There're 2 B-sides in the digital single , the 1st one is something titled What Are We ? .

Composed & written by Matsushita himself , What Are We ? is a good contrast against the peppy sounding Sweet Love as in this case , What are we ? has a much more serious vibe .

The carlos K. Remix of Sweet Love serves as the 2nd B-side & I must say , this remix is extremely club driven with it being much more upbeat than the original has to offer .

After the release of his 1st best album U ~BEST of BEST~ , Matsushita Yuya is finally back with brand new material with a brand new record label in managing him from now onwards & SWEET LOVE is a solid comeback digital single for him .

His 3rd album #musicoverdose will be released (digitally) on 28th Aug & the release of both Sweet Love + #musicoverdose serve as a new chapter in Matsushita's music career with this being the beginning of hopefully better things for Matsushita in time to come .


Thursday, August 08, 2013

Yamashita Tomohisa - SUMMER NUDE '13

CD Only Regular Edition

CD Only Limited Edition

CD + DVD A

CD + DVD B

SUMMER NUDE '13 is Yamashita Tomohisa's 8th single & it was released last month on 31st July .

Released about 4 months + since Yamapi's previous single Ke・Sera・Sera , the main A-side was picked to be used as the main theme song for the drama SUMMER NUDE starring Yamapi himself .

SUMMER NUDE '13 is actually a cover of Summer Nude which was originally sung by Magokoro Brothers & Yamapi's version/rendition was newly arranged by CHOKKAKU & OKAMOTO'S .

The SUMMER NUDE drama started broadcasting last month from July 8th onwards every Mon at 9pm . The protagonist Mikuriya Asahi (Yamapi) is a cameraman who can't forget his ex-girlfriend who suddenly left him . The drama depicts a love triangle between Mikuriya & 2 women Chiyohara Natsuki (played by Karina) , a chef whose fiancé left her right before their marriage & Taniyama Hanae (played by Toda Erika) who has been in love with Asahi for 10 years since high school .

Yamapi's version of SUMMER NUDE '13 is described as having a more 'sparkly' sound while keeping the atmosphere from what the original take of the song was . While I never heard the original , I must admit SUMMER NUDE '13 is 1 essentially good song/cover that Yamapi has done , especially since now it's still Summer which makes the song even more fun/enjoyable .

There're 2 B-sides in SUMMER NUDE '13 , the 1st 1 is something titled Nocturne .

Nocturne is also Yamapi's 1st B-side to have a music video , just like the main A-side .

I must say Nocturne is a fantastic track which I enjoyed tremendously . I can understand why it has a video just like SUMMER NUDE '13 because it really deserves to have 1 .

Nocturne kinds of remind me of something that Yamapi might have included in the SUPERBAD side of his debut album SUPERGOOD SUPERBAD . The aggressive futuristic dance no. makes it a really guilty pleasure to listen to & it's just extremely addictive as each listen goes by .

The 2nd B-side Tsuki no Maboroshi (Phantom Of The Month) is only found in the CD only regular edition pressing of SUMMER NUDE '13 .

With both SUMMER NUDE '13 & Nocturne highly upbeat no.s , it kind of makes sense for Yamapi to slow down subsequently in the form of Tsuki no Maboroshi . It's a mid tempo no. with traces of autotune thrown in .

Just like Yamapi's B-sides in his previous singles , I feel that both Nocturne & Tsuki no Maboroshi are really solid if not top notch .

Yamashita Tomohisa is currently headlining Fuji TV's new primetime drama SUMMER NUDE , a seaside romance co-starring Karina & Toda Erika . He is also singing the drama's theme song SUMMER NUDE '13 , a remake of Magokoro Brothers' nineties hit Summer Nude . Arranged by CHOKKAKU & OKAMOTO'S , Yamapi's version offers a bright new Summer jam for 2013 .

I enjoyed Yamapi's previous single Ke・Sera・Sera & likewise for his latest single offering , SUMMER NUDE '13 . Since making the switch to Warner , his solo material has been getting less mainstream but at the same time , it's something I don't mind as it allows him to explore & get different people to work/produce his material .

I guess it's this aspect that in recent times , his solo material has been more versatile sounding which I think it's a good thing .

Yamapi will release his 3rd album A NUDE on 11th Sept in which SUMMER NUDE '13 is not included in the album .


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Koda Kumi - Summer Trip

CD

CD + DVD

1) Radio Show Start ~LALALALALA~【Intro】
2) LALALALALA
3) Show Time ~IS THIS TRAP ?~【Interlude】
4) IS THIS TRAP ?
5) Show Time ~TOUCH DOWN~【Interlude】
6) TOUCH DOWN
7) Radio Show End 【Outro】

Summer Trip is Koda Kumi's 55th single & it was released on 31st July .

Koda's 1st single release of 2013 after releasing Koishikute last Dec , Summer Trip is her latest summer inspired single offering .

Summer Trip feels almost like a mini album as it has an intro , 2 interludes & even an outro . These will not be reviewed but all I can say's when they're combined with the new songs in the single , Summer Trip itself does sound like a radio show if you know what I mean upon seeing the titles of them in the single itself .

This single has a total of 3 songs but out of which , only 2 received music videos .

Served as the lead promo track of Summer Trip is LALALALALA that gives off the feeling of Summer ! This energetic rock no. definitely has Summer written all over it & it's just a really good back to basics Summer inspired no. which's perfect to listen to at this point in time , season wise .

The 2nd new song is titled IS THIS TRAP ? . This's the song that did not get a music video .

IS THIS TRAP ? is based on the theme of Tokyo . Despite the rather weird song title , I actually somewhat enjoyed it although I was a bit turned off by this club driven no. .

Not sure why but I kind of understand why IS THIS TRAP ? is the only song in Summer Trip that did not have a music video as it's not really video worthy to me .

TOUCH DOWN is the last/3rd song in the single & this's a hip hop dance no. .

Koda is known for dishing out rather raunchy songs in her discography as part of her ero-kawaii image & no exception goes to Touch Down which follows in almost the same vein as her most recent raunchy no.s such as Love Me Back & 4 TIMES's V.I.P. + KO-SO-KO-SO , lyrically wise .

I know some people still frowns on Koda releasing such songs especially since that she's already a mum but I don't see why she should stop doing it as I feel she still does this aspect really well even up to now .

Koda Kumi serves up sizzling hot jams with the release of her latest single , Summer Trip . The single features 3 new songs that each of them displayed different music styles which're perfect to plug into right now during the Summer time !


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

JASMINE - HERO

1) HERO
2) Missing
3) Why (T.O.M Remix for JAS VEGAS)

HERO is JASMINE's 10th single & it was released on 31st July .

Released 2 months + after her previous single High Flying , the A-side is described as a EDM track . A party anthem , HERO was produced by m-flo's ☆Taku Takahashi .

HERO is a cutting-edge dance track that holds a strong message for a friend who is going through hard times .

Much as I like the message on what HERO is all about , I frankly do not like it a lot as compared to High Flying even though it's also a EDM track .

I guess the reason on why HERO is not to my liking is the way JASMINE sung the song , especially in the parts where she overstretched her vocals a bit too much . If not for this , I think I might like HERO slightly a bit more .

There're 2 B-sides in HERO in which the 1st song is something titled Missing .

Just like for High Flying's BED , Missing is the 2nd song JASMINE has covered & this time round , this song was originally sung by Kubota Toshinobu .

Missing was included as track #4 in Kubota Toshinobu's debut album SHAKE IT PARADISE which was released way back in Sept 10th 1986 .

Unlike HERO , JASMINE's cover of Missing is spot on for me on 1st listen & this really showcased on what she does best which's belting out heartfelt R&B ballads with powerful vocals that she has .

It's a real pity that in this case , Missing is the B-side & not the A-side . If so , her cover of Missing was done really well & I frankly like this a lot more than her cover of DOUBLE's BED .

Why (T.O.M Remix for JAS VEGAS) serves as the 2nd B-side & the original version of Why is found as track #14 / the last track in JASMINE's debut album GOLD .

The original take of Why is quite a slow sounding mid tempo no. but for the T.O.M Remix for JAS VEGAS remix , it transformed itself into an EDM mix version which sounds completely different from what Why had to offer .

Why (T.O.M Remix for JAS VEGAS) is actually really enjoyable . Although it's EDM driven like HERO , it's quite a good 1 to listen to & somehow or another , I find myself liking it a lot more than Why .

There's definitely no stopping JASMINE this year as she continues to do what she does best & that's evident in her landmark/10th single HERO .

Although I was disappointed by what HERO offered , the 2 B-sides in the single are really solid in which I enjoyed tremendously . In fact I think it's the 1st time I enjoyed the B-sides of JASMINE's in a single of hers as compared to the opposite which's a rarity to say the least .

JASMINE's 2nd album Complexxx will be released on 28th Aug with HERO included in the tracklist as track #11 .


Monday, August 05, 2013

CD Review :: NEWS - NEWS

CD Only Regular Edition

2 CDs Limited Edition ; 2nd disc includes 4 solo songs from each NEWS member

CD + DVD Limited Edition

1) 4 ~compass~
2) WORLD QUEST
3) 4+FAN (Yomi : For Fan)
4) Nagisa no Onee Summer
5) Pokopon Pekorya
6) Koi Matsuri (Love Festival)
7) Greedier
8) Besame Mucho ~Kuruoshii Bolero~
9) Chankapana
10) Dance in the dark
11) HIGHER GROUND
12) Full Swing
13) CRY (CD Only Track)

NEWS is NEWS's 5th self titled album & it was released last month on 17th July .

The group's last album release was 2010's LIVE & NEWS is the 1st album release as a 4 member group .

The title of NEWS was picked in order to express the group's intention to continue representing their fans . NEWS includes 2 singles & 1 B-side , inclusive of 1 double A-side single release .

After the opening/introduction track 4 ~compass~ , the album dives straight into WORLD QUEST which's the 1st A-side of NEWS's 15t single WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya .

WORLD QUEST was used as the theme song for FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012 with member Tegoshi Yuya appointed as the main reporter for the event .

4+FAN (Yomi : For Fan) is the 1st album track & this reminds me quite a lot of the old school NEWS , especially during the time when they 1st released their debut album touch .

As such , 4+FAN (Yomi : For Fan) is a great throwback song .

Nagisa no Onee Summer is the 2nd new album no. & it was used in the ads of Wing Kirei's Sarahada bra .

This song was 1 of the 1st few preview snippets leaked out prior to the release of NEWS & is no doubt 1 of the album's highlights , especially it's still Summer at this point in time .

Nagisa no Onee Summer could be considered as the main promo album track for NEWS as the guys have performed this quite a few times on TV & everytime I hear this song , I couldn't help but feel really happy upon hearing it . It's a bit unfortunate Nagisa no Onee Summer wasn't released as a single as it has plenty of potential to do well as 1 .

Pokopon Pekorya is the 2nd A-side of NEWS's 15th single WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya . Despite being a double A-side , a video was only made for WORLD QUEST .

In this case , Pokopon Pekorya served as the theme song that promoted the drama Hana no Zubora-Meshi which starred member Kato Shigeaki . The song was created by the same team who came up with NEWS's 14th single Chankapana in which Pokopon Pekorya gives off a light pop sound that lingers in fans's ears .

NEWS follows on with another album highlight , which's in the form of Koi Matsuri (Love Festival) . As the song title suggests , it gives off a very festive Summer vibe & it reminds me a lot of what their fellow colleagues Kanjani∞ used to do before they went mainstream .

Maybe because I really missed/liked Kanjani∞'s older works a great deal & I couldn't help but feel nostalgic upon hearing Koi Matsuri . This song's definitely 1 of my fave album tracks , alongside with Nagisa no Onee Summer .

Greedier is the next album track after Koi Matsuri . It's 1 of the album's slower no.s & it's 1 of those songs that's perfect to listen to while chilling on the beach . The sound effects in Greedier made things even a lot more convincing .

Subsequently , the mood changed quite significantly towards the next song which's Besame Mucho ~Kuruoshii Bolero~ . It's 1 of the album's edgier Latin tinged sounding tracks & it reminds me quite a lot of pacific's Ai no Matador which makes it another great throwback song just like what 4+FAN (Yomi : For Fan) offered .

Chankapana is NEWS's 14th single & this can be considered as the group's comeback release with it being NEWS's 1st release as a quartet .

Described as a love song . Chankapana means "dear or beloved" & it's a woman's exotic name that is the source of beautiful pop songs of love between men & women .

The last single included in NEWS , I still think Chankapana is a fantastic great comeback single for the guys & this proves that despite being down to 4 members , they're able to continue/solider on together despite the tough/difficult times the reminding 4 members faced & when Chankapana was released , they proved that they still are able to carry on as so .

The last few songs in NEWS are all new material in which Dance in the dark is 1 of the more in your face type of songs .

At 1st I thought Dance in the dark was going to be something like LIVE's Dancin' in the Secret but turns out I was wrong as Dance in the dark is quite mean sounding but without going overboard .

HIGHER GROUND is the 2nd last track in NEWS (should fans purchased the CD + DVD and/or 2 CDs edition) . This's a nice empowering song & although it might borderline as an album filler , I don't see anything wrong with HIGHER GROUND as I personally like it .

Full Swing served as the B-side of NEWS's 14th single Chankapana & it's the 1st time that NEWS has included a B-side in their album , something that did not happened to their 1st 4 albums .

Frankly , I was really happy when I saw Full Swing in the album tracklist because I think both Chankapana & Full Swing are equally really good even up to now so I don't really have any complaints for NEWS to include this in their album .

Found as a bonus track in the CD only edition of NEWS , it's a song that's titled CRY .

I thought CRY was going to be a really emo song but luckily it's not with it being a mid tempo no. . It's almost a bit boring for my liking but it's a grower . That said , with the majority of album tracks in NEWS are considerably top notch , I don't think CRY will be something I'll be listening to on a regular basis .

After the departure of leader Yamashita Tomohisa & Nishikido Ryo in 2011 , Johnny's group NEWS continued their activities as a quartet . The new NEWS has now finally releasing their new self-titled full-length album ! NEWS is their 1st album in almost 3 years & it features the singles Chankapana , WORLD QUEST & Pokopon Pekorya .

NEWS has definitely gone through a lot of up's & down's (probably more than any other Johnny's I know/support) since their formation in 2003 & their comeback album was definitely highly anticipated for me as I was curious on how the reminding members were able to pull it off but my fears were unfounded after I've heard NEWS .

If I have to describe NEWS's comeback album , it's a mixture of throwback elements from their older album works coupled with the now stronger than ever vocal harmonisation of the current 4 members . There's definitely something for everyone to enjoy in NEWS & I think that's what the guys were able to accomplish .

Up to now , I still think NEWS is 1 of the most under-rated Johnny's as all the while , they genuinely has been consistent with the quality of their music . No exception for their comeback album which I really enjoy a great deal .

The release of NEWS can be signified as a rebirth of sorts & this's just merely the beginning if not start for the brand new NEWS with hopefully even more great material to be released from them in the near future !



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 GLAY ARENA TOUR 2017 "SUMMERDELICS" in SAITAMA SUPER ARENA DVD + Blu-ray , 270618 , Wed

# Mika Nakashima's reissued 43rd single KISS OF DEATH ; DARLING in the FRANXX anime deluxe edition , 270618 , Wed

# Hey! Say! JUMP's Hey! Say! JUMP I/Oth Anniversary Tour 2017-2018 DVD , 270618 , Wed

# NEWS's 23rd single BLUE , 270618 , Wed

# Shota Shimizu's 8th album WHITE , 270618 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme's 1st mini album One Man EP , 040718 , Wed

# B'z's B'z LIVE-GYM 2017-2018 "LIVE DINOSAUR" DVD + Blu-ray , 040718 , Wed

# GRANRODEO's 29th single BEASTFUL , 110718 , Wed

# GRANRODEO's GRANRODEO LIVE 2017 G12 ROCK☆SHOW Douke Tachi no Utage & GRANRODEO LIVE 2017 G7 ROCK☆SHOW Wasure Uta o , Todoke ni Kimashita. Blu-ray , 110718 , Wed

# DAIGO's 5th solo single Manatsu no Zankyou / Konya , Nostalgia de , 110718 , Wed

# Kis-My-Ft2's 21st single LOVE , 110718 , Wed

# UVERworld's 2nd best album ALL TIME BEST , 180718 , Wed

# KAT-TUN's 8th album CAST , 180718 , Wed

# Aoyama Thelma's 6th album HIGHSCHOOL GAL , 250718 , Wed

# Saito Kazuyoshi's best album Utai 25 SINGLES BEST 2008~2017 , 250718 , Wed

# ARASHI's 55th single Natsu Hayate , 250718 , Wed

# KinKi Kids's KinKi Kids CONCERT 20.2.21 -Everything happens for a reason- DVD + Blu-ray , 250718 , Wed

# SID's SID TOUR 2017 [NOMAD] DVD + Blu-ray , 250718 , Wed

# SPYAIR's 22nd single I Wanna Be... , 250718 , Wed

# SID's 1st mini album Ichiban Sukina Basho EP , 220818 , Wed

# Koda Kumi's 15th album DNA , 220818 , Wed

# Namie Amuro's namie amuro Final Tour 2018 ~Finally~ DVD + Blu-ray , 290818 , Wed




Album Reviews


# 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 !




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Credits

designer - Chronicles

imageeditor - adobephotoshop

music - radioblogclub

image - fortminorwebsite