Thursday, June 26, 2014
UVERworld - Nanokame no Ketsui
CD + DVD
1) Nanokame no Ketsui
3) Nanokame no Ketsui (instrumental)
4) Nanokame no Ketsui (2013.11.09 Voice Memo)
Nanokame no Ketsui is UVERworld's 26th single & it was released on 18th June .
This's the group's 1st single release of 2014 & the B-side Bessekai will not be reviewed .
Nanokame no Ketsui was 1st performed last year in UVERworld's concert that was held at Nippon Budokan . Vocalist TAKUYA∞ wrote the lyrics to the song after hearing the melody in his dream .
The covers of the single feature a frog that was embroidered on the school uniform that students in TAKUYA∞'s dream were wearing .
I was quite shocked when I saw the track duration for Nanokame no Ketsui as it is almost close to a whopping 7 mins long which's definitely their longest A-side I've come across from UVERworld in recent times .
But aside from this , I'm not a fan of their latest single . Nanokame no Ketsui is a mid tempo ballad but as much as I tried my best to like it , it's difficult as for me nothing really stands out . I supposed after being quite impressed with their last 2 single releases , I was expecting a bit more from Nanokame no Ketsui but unfortunately that's not the case .
Then again , the last ballad that UVERworld released in which I really liked a great deal was 2009's Kanashimi wa Kitto .
On that note , UVERworld's 8th album Ø CHOIR will be released next week on 2nd July & Nanokame no Ketsui is included in the album as track #9 .
Monday, June 23, 2014
ayaka - Nijiiro
CD + DVD
3) Nijiiro (Instrumental)
4) Gensoukyoku (Instrumental)
Nijiiro is ayaka's 15th single & it was released on 18th June .
ayaka's latest release comes in about 4 months+ since the release of her previous single number one .
Prior to its physical single release , the A-side was released digitally on 29th April .
Nijiiro was picked to be used as the main/opening theme song for the TV drama series Hanako to Anne starring Yoshitaka Yuriko .
Written specially for the drama , Nijiiro is a lighthearted song with a gentle melody .
ayaka , who says she was overwhelmed by the staff's passion for Hanako to Anne explained , "I wanted to write a song that would fit closely with the drama . So I worked on Nijiiro in order to express the worldview that this drama holds ." She continued , "It would make me happy if people from across the country would hum to it ."
Gensoukyoku serves as the B-side of the single . Compared to the A-side , Gensoukyoku is a sweeping grand ballad which contrasts Nijiiro very well . I was blown away when I 1st heard it & frankly it's a shame it's only a B-side as Gensoukyoku has a lot of potential to be A-side material .
After the release of the empowering number one , ayaka showcases a fun carefree side with the release of her latest single Nijiiro .
I enjoy the latest single that ayaka releases & I just realised about this time she should release a new album as it has been almost 2 years+ since she last release The beginning but other than that , I'm excited to see what else she has up to offer in due time .
Saturday, June 21, 2014
NEWS - ONE -for the win-
CD + DVD
ONE -for the win- is NEWS's 16th single & it was released last week on 11th June .
This's NEWS's 1st release for 2014 & their last single release was 2012's WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya .
ONE -for the win- was created with the theme "to become one" . An uplifting encouraging sports theme no. , the A-side was picked to be used as NTV's theme song for the TV station's coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil .
There're a total of 4 B-sides available in the single in which the 1st B-side SEVEN COLORS was picked to be used as NTV's theme song for TOYOTA Presents FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013 .
Kimi ga Ita Natsu & FLYING BIRD are only available in the CD regular edition of ONE -for the win- . As the title suggests , Kimi ga Ita Natsu is a mid tempo Summer inspired no. while FLYING BIRD is an inspiring soaring uptempo track .
WORLD QUEST [R-midwest Remix] is only available in the CD limited edition pressing of the single & WORLD QUEST is the 1st A-side of NEWS's 15th single WORLD QUEST / Pokopon Pekorya .
I already like the original take of WORLD QUEST & in this case , the R-Midwest remix is not bad . It's a lot more upbeat & football driven , in keeping up with the current ongoing World Cup .
Finally after it seems like forever , NEWS are finally back with this solid release in the form of ONE -for the win- . I'm not into football but times like this , I can't help but get into the football spirit at this point in time .
In recent times , NEWS has been quite unpredictable if not sporadic in their releases but they're 1 of the rare Johnny's groups that consistently put out good material so in this aspect it's something I should not complain about . And for that , I can't wait to see what else they have up in store in their next release .
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
BENI - Your Song & Mou Nido to ... Rebirth
2 CDs + DVD
YOUR SONG & Mou Nido to ... Rebirth are new songs that are found in the 2nd disc of BENI's best album BEST All Singles & Covers Hits .
BEST All Singles & Covers Hits was released last week on 11th June . This's BENI's 2nd best album which was released to celebrate her 10th anniversary . In addition , BEST All Singles & Covers Hits is her 1st best album that was released under via the Universal Music sub-label NAYUTAWAVE RECORDS + the 1st best album release to use her stage name BENI .
YOUR SONG is a cover of Elton John's 1970s song . From what I know , BENI's rendition was supposedly to be included in her 3 COVERS albums but for some reason , it did not made the cut until now .
But nonetheless , BENI's cover of YOUR SONG is real earnest & sincere . I've heard how the original sounds like so hearing BENI's take on it is lovely to say the least .
Mou Nido to ... Rebirth is an updated version of Mou Nido to ... which was the 1st single that was released under the name BENI .
In this case , Mou Nido to ... Rebirth was 1st released digitally last month on 20th May prior to the physical release of BEST All Singles & Covers Hits . In addition , a video was made for the song in which it's included in the DVD of BEST All Singles & Covers Hits .
Mou Nido to ... is 1 of my fave BENI songs & the newly recorded version is awesome as it boosts a grand sweeping orchestra melody . Compared to the original , Mou Nido to ... Rebirth feels more classy & a lot more polished but at the end of the day , both renditions of the song are a joy to listen to .
Sunday, June 15, 2014
KAT-TUN - In Fact
CD + DVD
In Fact is KAT-TUN's 22nd single & it was released on 4th June .
This's KAT-TUN's 1st release of 2014 & their 1st single release as a quartet after the departure of member Tanaka Koki last Sept .
The A-side was picked to be used as the theme song for the drama First Class starring member Nakamaru Yuichi & actress Sawajiri Erika .
After the release of their 1st mini album Kusabi -kusabi last Nov , KAT-TUN brings back things up to speed with In Fact which is a fun pulsating rock number & I must admit , the song gets more addictive as each listen goes by .
There're a total of 5 B-sides in the single in which for the 1st B-side titled Believe Myself , is only available in both the CD only regular & CD + DVD editions of the single .
Promo wise , Believe In Myself was picked to be used as the image song for NTV's Dramatic Game 1844 professional baseball programme + theme song for NTV's Going ! Sports & News programme .
Birds is found exclusively in the CD only regular edition of the single & this's a nice smooth sounding mid tempo track that's guitar driven . I think out of the 5 B-sides , Birds has to be my fave .
On the other hand , there're 3 B-sides that're only available in the CD only limited edition of In Fact . The 1st 1 is something titled MY SECRET which's the closest you can get for a ballad .
While for BLACK , it's a upbeat song that has an interesting melody & the same thing goes for DANGEROUS . I think both type of music styles found in both songs are equally fun + for KAT-TUN to undertake , it's a music risk that paid off well for them .
KAT-TUN gets ready for the summer with their latest single offering In Fact & honestly , I enjoy this single a lot especially the B-sides which showcased quite a lot of different music styles that they tackle for fans to enjoy .
After the release of their 1st mini album Kusabi -kusabi last Nov , I was concerned if they're able to put out another single to stand up against the loss of their 2 original members but after listening to In Fact , I can safely say that they're in good hands .
KAT-TUN's 7th album come Here will be released on 25th June but In Fact is not included in the album .
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Kobukuro - Hidamari no Michi
1) Hidamari no Michi
2) BEST FRIEND
3) Sai (re) n
4) Hidamari no Michi (Instrumental)
5) BEST FRIEND (Instrumental)
6) Sai (re) n (Instrumental)
Hidamari no Michi is Kobukuro's 25th single & it was released on 4th June .
The duo's latest offering comes in about 4 months + after the release of their previous single Ima , Sakihokoru Hanatachi yo .
Hidamari no Michi was picked to be used to promote the drama Black President starring Kuroki Meisa .
Kobukuro has always been known to dish out inspiring great harmonising singles & Hidamari no Michi is no exception . In this case , they pave a sunny path with this heartwarming ballad .
There're 2 B-sides found in the single . The 1st one BEST FRIEND has an infectious hook that's harmonica driven while for the 2nd B-side Sai (re) n is a mid tempo track that is mainly acoustic guitar driven .
After being in the business for almost 15 years , Kobukuro still has it going on which's evident in their latest single offering Hidamari no Michi .
1 of the strength(s) of Kobukuro is their ability to harmonise & compliment each other very well in their songs which's not an easy to do but somehow or another , both Kobuchi & Kuroda make things look/work so seamlessly together .
Up to now I still haven't found another artiste that does almost the same type of music as Kobukuro but that said , they know what they're doing if not they wouldn't be going strong for 15 years & counting .
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Mika Nakashima x Miliyah Kato - Fighter / Gift
Mika Nakashima Version
CD + DVD
Miliyah Kato Version
CD + DVD
2) Fighter (Tachytelic World Cup Brazil 2014 Remix)
4) Fighter (Miliyah LESS) ※Mika Version
4) Fighter (Mika LESS) ※Miliyah Version
5) Fighter (Instrumental)
Fighter / Gift is Mika Nakashima x Miliyah Kato's 1st collaboration single which was released last week on 4th June .
The 1st A-side Fighter was picked to be used as the theme song for the Japanese-dubbed version of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that opened in Japanese cinemas on April 25 .
Fighter was 1st released digitally on 22nd April prior to its physical CD release . The song has been described as a powerful rock number that was co-written by both Mika & Miliyah while it was composed by Miliyah & arranged by m-flo's ☆Taku Takahashi .
Mika & Miliyah hit it off because of their similar taste in makeup & fashion . They grew more friendly with each other , which resulted in this collaboration . Mika commented on the collaboration , "I was uneasy as this was my 1st collaboration single , but I respected Miliyah's talents & I feel very honoured to have collaborated with her ."
Regarding Fighter , Miliyah said , "I'm absolutely honoured to write the song for the world-famous movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ! I wrote this song while imagining Spider Man , who is a cool yet pained 'Fighter' ."
The single also includes Fighter (Tachytelic World Cup Brazil 2014 Remix) , which's a remix interlaced with samba rhythm .
Fighter (Tachytelic World Cup Brazil 2014 Remix) was 1st released digitally on 30th April . A music video was made for Fighter (Tachytelic World Cup Brazil 2014 Remix) but it's not included in the DVD of the single .
The remix will serve as the official song for 2014 FIFA World Cup & will also be included in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Official Album that was released last month on May 21 .
The 2nd A-side Gift was picked to be used as the theme song for CDTV from this month until the end of July .
In this case , Gift was co-written by both Mika & Miliyah .
Compared to the 1st A-side Fighter which's a kick ass sounding rock song , Gift presents a more softer mellow side that's R&B driven . Honestly I like both A-sides as each song offers something different for everyone to enjoy .
2 of the most talented female solo artistes in JPop , Mika Nakashima & Miliyah Kato teamed up together to release their 1st collaboration single in the form of Fighter / Gift .
Frankly I have no idea why it took so long for both of them to collaborate with each other as they're both equally talented in their own respective right & in this case , Fighter / Gift is really an enjoyable single to listen to .
I don't know if this will be a 1 off thing but should they wish to release/collaborate with more singles in due time , it's something I will not mind at all as I respect both ladies a great deal .
That said , don't miss the match-up between two of J-pop's strongest voices with this special collaboration single !
Saturday, June 07, 2014
Suga Shikao - Astride / LIFE
3) USO (Go Go FUNK)
Astride / LIFE is Suga Shikao's 30th single & it was released last month on 21st May .
Suga's 1st release of 2014 , his last single release was last April's Aitai .
Astride / LIFE was produced by Kobayashi Takeshi & the 2nd A-side LIFE was picked to be used as the theme song for a movie that shares the same title as the song .
The single also includes USO (Go Go FUNK) which will not be reviewed .
Suga Shikao has always been 1 of the most innovative musicians when comes to the style of music he delivers & Astride / LIFE is no exception .
In this case , Astride is a more chilled out no. as compared to LIFE which's more upbeat driven . Hence in the process , both A-sides compliment & contrast each other well .
Thursday, June 05, 2014
Namie Amuro - Contrail Ballad Ver.
CD + DVD
CD + Blu-ray
Contrail Ballad Ver. is found as a bonus track in Namie Amuro's 1st ballad best album Ballada that was released yesterday on 4th June .
The original take of Contrail is found as track #11 in Namie's 10th album FEEL .
Ballada features a selection of Namie's best ballad songs that fans voted for , including new recordings of CAN YOU CELEBRATE ? (7th single) & SWEET 19 BLUES (5th single) recorded specifically for the album .
In addition , Ballada also includes Namie's latest 39th single TSUKI .
I already have liked the original take of Contrail & in this case , the Contrail Ballad Ver. is not bad . Namie's ballads are something that I'm always quite neutral about as all the while I feel her ballads are not her strong focal point .
But when done right , it's good & in this case for Contrail Ballad Ver. , it's a nice rendition that Namie undertook .
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
ARASHI - Daremo Shiranai
CD + DVD
Daremo Shiranai is ARASHI's 44th single & it was released last month on 28th May .
This comes almost less than a month since the release of their previous single GUTS ! .
The A-side serves as the main theme song for the drama Shinigami Kun starring member/leader Ohno Satoshi & it's described as a high-energy pop number with a gothic flavour .
ARASHI most certainly has been on a roll & after the fun peppy energetic GUTS ! , in comes Daremo Shiranai which's yet another brilliant no. .
In the case of Daremo Shiranai , it's something with a gothic flair . While it's not as dark sounding as the previous songs the group provided for Ohno's dramas (such as truth & Monster) , it's still a great no. that's worth checking out .
There're a total of 3 B-sides in the single in which 2 of them are found in the CD only edition of the single , while the 3rd one is only available in the CD + DVD pressing .
Keep on tryin' & Miracle・Summer are only available in the CD only pressing of Daremo Shiranai . In this case , Keep on tryin' is a mid tempo song which I thought it sounded quite dated in a way when I 1st heard it while for Miracle・Summer as the title suggests , it's a Summer inspired track .
Okaeri is exclusively found in the CD + DVD edition of the single . The only B-side that's a ballad , it's a heartwarming no. that's a good contrast to what the A-side has to offer .
2014 is ARASHI's 15th anniversary since debuting in the business & Daremo Shiranai is already their 3rd single release for the year .
I'm most certain they will release an album soon seeing that in due time , their 15th anniversary is fast approaching in Sept but then again , from what they've put out so far , the singles have been solid so hopefully the same sentiments will echo for their impending release , be it whether will they put out another single or a new album .