Friday, October 31, 2014
Koda Kumi - Dance In The Rain
Dance In The Rain is a single by Koda Kumi in which it was released digitally last week on 22nd Oct .
Koda is taking this new release to the next level . The music video for Dance In The Rain includes an experience-based 360-degree that makes use of the latest advances in technology like 3D Sound & Oculus Rift . Considered the future of visual entertainment , Oculus Rift is a virtual reality head-mounted display that has not been released yet to the public , projected to be available in April 2015 .
A danceable number sung emotionally by Koda , Dance In The Rain will be released as a CD + DVD edition exclusively only for Koda's fanclub members next month on 12th Nov . The CD will include the A-side & instrumental tracks (no B-sides are included in the single) while the DVD will include the music video + making video footages of Dance In The Rain .
A lot of emotions can be felt in Dance In The Rain in which Koda delivered this song with plenty of gusto . It's a real shame that this song's only released digitally as I feel that it has a lot of potential to do well if it gets a general physical CD release .
My only slight problem towards Dance In The Rain is that it could have been a bit more longer as I felt duration wise , it's a bit short but sometimes you don't need a very long song to prove that it's great which's what I think Koda's trying to deliver when comes to Dance In The Rain .
The video preview for Dance In The Rain is simply stunning & I was in awe upon watching it . I'm sure the full version will be fantastic as soon as it gets released next month . Hopefully in due time , Dance In The Rain (be it song or video) will be eventually made available in Koda's 12th album as it will be a waste for this not to happen at all .
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Acid Black Cherry - INCUBUS
CD + DVD
2) CLOUDY HEART ("LAST GIGS" ver.) 【Recreation Track】
INCUBUS is Acid Black Cherry's 19th single & it was released last week on 22nd Oct .
Acid Black Cherry's latest offering comes in about 7 months+ since the release of their previous single Kimi ga Inai Ano hi Kara ... .
CLOUDY HEART serves as the B-side in INCUBUS & for this , it's a cover of Kikkawa Kouji . This song was included in the album Cloudy Heart that was released in 31st Jan 1994 as track #7 .
Finished with their Project "Shangri-la" , Acid Black Cherry is back with INCUBUS which's is a gripping powerful rock number that serves as the beginning of a new phase for the band .
Personally , every single aspect of INCUBUS is brilliant . From the song to the visual aspects , yasu spares no thoughts in making this single an all rounder .
INCUBUS itself is a hard rock edgy gritty number . The song is angsty/aggressive at its very best .
Acid Black Cherry's 4th album L will be released in 2015 . L will centres on an extraordinary story about a woman called L who lived a life full of ups + downs & just wanted love .
L will be Acid Black Cherry's 1st album in 3 years , after the release of their 3rd album 『2012』 .
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
V6 - Sky's The Limit
CD + DVD Normal & Type A
CD + DVD Type B
Sky's The Limit is V6's 44th single & it was released last week on 22nd Oct .
V6's latest single offering comes in about 2 months + since the release of their previous single Namida no Ato ga Kieru Koro .
The A-side was picked to be used as the theme song for Tokai TV / Fuji TV's noontime drama Hottokenai Majotachi starring member Miyake Ken & Sky's The Limit is described as a dance number that shows the group's true value .
There're a total of 3 B-sides in the single in which all of them will be not reviewed :
- Eyes to Eyes
- Ashita wa Kuru kara (CD Only Track)
- Kimi ga Inai Sekai (CD Only Track)
After releasing 2 back to back ballads as singles , I'm so relieved that Sky's The Limit is a great comeback for V6 as I honestly feel that they're equally versatile when comes to doing uptempo songs & ballads .
Sky's The Limit most certainly didn't disappoint & I already like it on 1st listen as it's edgy without sounding cheesy which allows V6 to showcase some serious dance moves in the music video .
V6 will celebrate their 20th anniversary next year & it's hard to believe that 20 years ago , they 1st debuted in the scene with their debut single MUSIC FOR THE PEOPLE .
A lot of artistes come & go but I'm glad that V6 still managed to stick around after so long as they're 1 of the rare seniors Johnny's that still got it going on in them . It's not easy to keep on going but if V6 is still around after all this while , they must be doing something right isn't it ?
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Suga Shikao - Monoraru Sekai
Monoraru Sekai is a single that was released digitally by Suga Shikao . Suga's latest digital single offering was released last week on 22nd Oct .
Before embarking on his upcoming SUGA SHIKAO NEXT ROUND TOUR 2014 , Suga released Monoraru Sekai to coincide with it + this track's an pleasant listening track coupled with funk , soul + R&B sounds that Suga's known for .
I did not really enjoy Suga's previous physical single release Astride / LIFE that much but Monoraru Sekai is something worth checking out & coming from 1 of the most unique/respective male solo artistes , it says a lot .
Monday, October 27, 2014
Kobukuro - 42.195km
42.195km is a single that was released digitally by Kobukuro . This was released about 2 weeks ago on 15th Oct .
Promo wise , 42.195km was picked to be used as the official theme song for the Osaka Marathon that took place yesterday on 26th Oct .
Compared to their previous physical single release Hidamari no Michi which was great , I do not really like 42.195km that much because I felt that when Kobukuro does harder rock songs , it somehow doesn't really suit their image .
Let alone , 42.195km doesn't sound as though it's suited to be used in a sports related event even though song title wise it's a different thing .
Considering that the duo has other great songs in their discography , 42.195km is something I don't mind to skip in not hearing it .
Sunday, October 26, 2014
GLAY - Hyakka Ryoukan / Hashire ! Mirai
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD editions
1) Hyakka Ryoukan
2) Hashire ! Mirai
3) BLEEZE ~Studio Session Ver~
4) Soto Nada SAPPHIRE ~Studio Session Ver~
5) Kuroku nure ! ~Studio Session Ver~
6) YOU ~Studio Session Ver~
7) 「MUSIC LIFE」 Trailer
Hyakka Ryoukan / Hashire ! Mirai is GLAY's 51st single & it was released last week on 15th Oct .
The group's latest single offering comes in about 3 months + after the release of their previous single BLEEZE ~G4・III~ .
Hyakka Ryoukan / Hashire ! Mirai is GLAY's 2nd single release in celebrating their 20th anniversary in the business .
Besides both A-sides , Hyakka Ryoukan / Hashire ! Mirai also includes live recordings of all tracks from BLEEZE ~G4・III~ which were recorded from their 1st studio session live that was held in July , as well as a digest audio recording of their 13th album MUSIC LIFE .
The 1st A-side Hyakka Ryoukan has a heavy rock tune & is a satire of modern society . The hard rock number has lyrics that're intended to critique aspects of modern society in Japan .
On the other hand , the 2nd A-side Hashire ! Mirai was picked to be used as the opening theme for the anime Daiya no A . This rock tune was written + composed by vocalist TERU who claims to be a fan of Daiya no A .
Regarding the tie-up , TERU commented , "I loved reading Daiya no A , but I never thought that GLAY would be in charge of its theme song , so I am very happy ." This's GLAY's 1st tie-up with an anime in over 15 years , since their song Surviva was used as the opening theme song for the anime Kaikan Phrase .
Between both A-sides , I prefer Hashire ! Mirai a lot more than Hyakka Ryoukan . With regards to Hyakka Ryoukan , its music direction is something I don't really like that much unlike Hashire ! Mirai where it's more light hearted & fun .
Celebrating their 20th anniversary in the music industry , 1 of JRock's most iconic/influential bands GLAY has most certainly come a long way in the business & with the release of their latest single Hyakka Ryoukan / Hashire ! Mirai , they show no signs of slowing things down in any single bit .
GLAY's 13th album / 20th anniversary MUSIC LIFE will be released next month on 5th Nov & both Hyakka Ryoukan + Hashire ! Mirai will be included in the album , as tracks #2 & #4 respectively .
Friday, October 24, 2014
Matsushita Yuya - Whisper my name
1) Whisper my name
2) Close to you (LIVE)
Whisper my name is Matsushita Yuya's latest single which was released digitally last week on 18th Oct .
The release of Whisper my name comes in about less than a month after the release of Matsushita's previous digital single Eternal now .
In Matsushita's latest digital single offering , it includes 2 B-sides which're live recordings . Close to you was 1st found originally as the 1st B-side of Matsushita's 2nd single LAST SNOW while Naturally was Matsushita's 8th physical single release .
As for Whisper my name , it's an mid tempo R&B number & it's not as catchy as Eternal Now on 1st listen . I find the song ok but it wouldn't be a fave song of mine as it sounds like something Matsushita has done before .
This year alone , Matsushita has already released 4 singles digitally inclusive of his latest offering Whisper my name . I do hope that for his next release , it will be a full length album but of course I wouldn't mind if he chose to put out another digital single release again .
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Kanon Wakeshima - world's end, girl's rondo
CD + DVD
1) world's end, girl's rondo
3) world's end,girl's rondo (Instrumental)
4) continue (Instrumental)
world's end, girl's rondo is Kanon Wakeshima's 6th single & it was released last week on 15th Oct .
Kanon's latest single release comes in about 6 months + since the release of her previous single killy killy JOKER .
Both the A-side & B-side in the single were written & composed by Kanon .
world's end, girl's rondo was picked to be used as the opening theme no. for the anime selector spread WIXOSS while the B-side continue was used in the ads of WIXOSS TCG card .
Both songs have the mainstream cellist influence that Kanon is known for but my problem for both tracks is that they sounded quite similar .
The only time where I was able to tell each track apart was when continue had a rather strong distinct cello in the 2nd verse of the song , something that world's end, girl's rondo didn't had .
All in all it doesn't mean that I didn't enjoyed world's end, girl's rondo overall . I still hope that Malice Mizer/Moi dix Mois guitarist Mana would return back to work on Kanon's material because up to now , I feel that Kanon's older works still sound the best when Mana worked on them .
That said , hopefully Kanon's next music release will be an album as it has been 4 years since her last album Shoujo Jikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~ was released .
Friday, October 17, 2014
CD Review :: Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) Theme of YOU
2) Birthday Suit
3) YOUR STEP
5) Konya ga Kakumei Zenya
7) ice cream
9) Kimi no Hitomi no Naka ni Mieta Marukute Aoi Hoshi
10) Love & Hug
11) Modorenai Kara
12) Daite Senorita -2014 version-
13) B-A-N-G (CD Only Track)
YOU is Yamashita Tomohisa's 4th album & it was released last week on 8th Oct .
Yamapi's 1st mini album Asobi was released on 20th Aug & just like Asobi , no singles are included in YOU . Yamapi's last full length album release was last Sept's A NUDE .
YOU is preceded by lead promo single YOUR STEP .
Just like A NUDE , a variety of artists were involved in the production of YOU . Participating this time are Naoto Inti Raymi , Nanao Tavito , 2PM's Jun. K , Hitoto Yo , Kawatani Enon (indigo la End , gesu no kiwami otome) , ICEDOWN , Andy Platts (Mamas Gun) , Ishizaki Huwie , STY , Koide Yuusuke (Base Ball Bear) , Jeff Miyahara , banvox , Fukuhara Miho , Def Tech's Micro , Yanai Michihiko .
YOU was made thinking of all the fans who always have been supporting Yamapi . About YOU , Yamapi said , "Since the songs are like gently getting closer beside you , to music that is strongly pushing your back , this album gathers songs you will listen to through various situations . "
Yamapi further commented , "This time too , splendid artists participated in the production of this album , the contents are rich with the variety of genres & melodies . Because of this , even if there are people who haven't heard my album , even if there is just one who listens , I'm happy if my fans who have supported me will accept this album for a while , I think that is good ."
For the 1st time , YOU has an opening introduction track Theme of YOU in which this was followed by the 1st album track Birthday Suit which's is a nice mid tempo track that's quite catchy & memorable .
YOUR STEP is the album's main promo track & this served as the theme song of Yamapi's variety show Otona no Kiss Eigo . In addition , it's the only new song in YOU that received a video which's the 1st video that Yamapi personally had a hand in directing .
The lyrics of YOUR STEP were written by Naoto Inti Raymi & the song has both an English + Japanese renditions . The version found in the 3 'normal' editions of YOU is the English version while the Japanese version is only available in the special Yamapi shop edition of the album .
If YOUR STEP was released as a single , it would have been a worthy successor to Yamapi's previously Summer inspired single SUMMER NUDE '13 as YOUR STEP is top notch . I can understand why this song was picked to promote YOU as it deserves so & Yamapi's English dictation in the song is surprisingly quite good .
Issho. is the next song & funny enough just like YOUR STEP , both songs have the feeling that I want to go on vacation upon hearing both tracks . While YOUR STEP is very upbeat , Issho. is very laidback/chilled out .
Konya ga Kakumei Zenya follows after Issho. & this's 1 of my fave songs in YOU as it's uptempo song that has a lot of character which I was drawn to the very 1st time I heard it .
Brodiaea is the 1st album ballad & for this , 2PM's Jun. K + LEL co-composed while Yamapi co-wrote it together with Kenn Kato .
ice cream is track #7 & it's an uptempo song . I thought it was going to be something cheesy but thankfully it's not the case .
Anthem follows after ice cream & this's also another personal fave track of mine as it sounds empowering/inspiring .
Likewise , the same thing goes for the next track Kimi no Hitomi no Naka ni Mieta Marukute Aoi Hoshi which's yet another song that's worth checking out .
Love & Hug is another holiday inspired song just like YOUR STEP + Issho. except in this case , Love & Hug felt as though it contains traits of what both songs have .
Modorenai Kara is the 2nd album ballad after Brodiaea & this was written/composed by Kawatani Enon . Honestly I feel that both ballads found in YOU are equally good which allowed Yamapi to showcase his vocals to a certain extent .
Daite Senorita -2014 version- is a re-recorded version of Yamapi's debut single Daite Senorita that was released 8 years ago on 31st May .
I wouldn't lie that this was the 1 track that I was looking forward to hear the most as the original take of Daite Senorita was already very good but ironically I feel Daite Senorita -2014 version- is the weak link in YOU .
For Daite Senorita -2014 version- , it's very Rock driven which's 1 music genre that I feel it doesn't suit Yamapi & that's what I felt upon hearing the updated version of Daite Senorita . In this case , I definitely prefer the original version by a long shot .
B-A-N-G is exclusively available in the CD only edition of YOU & it's pretty good as Yamapi showcased his falsetto vocals here to a certain extent .
Yamashita Tomohisa concludes 2014 with the release of his 1st mini album Asobi & now his 4th original studio album YOU .
I must say releasing an album without any singles preceding it is a risky move as I wouldn't know if the album will flows well or not but Yamapi managed to defy all odds & put out yet another solid well rounder release .
Just like Yamapi's last album A NUDE , YOU is yet another album that's filled with a lot of different music genres that makes listening to it a real joy + when you get a group of established people to work on YOU , the result's quite evident .
I enjoyed listening to YOU from the start til the end & just like Asobi , both releases of Yamapi are definitely a shoo in in my top 10 fave album releases of 2014 .
Do yourself a favour & check out YOU which's a highly recommended album worth checking out , you will not be disappointed in doing so .
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Matsushita Yuya - Eternal now
1) Eternal now
2) All My Love (LIVE)
3) Helpless (LIVE)
Eternal now is Matsushita Yuya's latest release & the single was released digitally last month on 27th Sept .
Matsushita's latest digital release comes in about 5 months + since the release of his previous digital single Slow Dancin' .
In Eternal now , there're the inclusion of 2 B-sides in which both songs are live versions of tracks that were already included in Matsushita's 3rd album #musicoverdose .
All My Love is included as track #3 in #musicoverdose while Helpless is included as track #5 in the tracklist .
Eternal now was written by Matsushita . The song has a warm ambience & while Matsushita usually sings about heartbreak , this time round he's singing about love that's fit to suit a wedding .
I enjoy Eternal now quite a lot & this mid tempo ballad is quite a nice change from what Slow Dancin' offered . Let alone , I appreciate the personal input that went into creating Eternal now since Matsushita wrote the song himself .
Matsushita's next digital single Whisper my name will be released on 18th Oct .
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Kuriyama Chiaki - Dilemma
Dilemma is Kuriyama Chiaki's 2nd digital single & it was released last week on 1st Oct .
Kuriyama's last physical single release was last Nov's 0 . 0 was 1st released digitally last May before being released in physical CD mode .
Dilemma was picked to be used in the ads of Zenyaku Kogyo Company's cold medicine Jikinin IP . Regarding the song , Kuriyama commented , "This time it's a Rock song with a sense of speed . I think the sound matches the image of the CM that has changed from 'near future' to 'mysterious' . "
Kuriyama couldn't have described Dilemma any better as that's what I felt when I 1st heard the song . I love her previous stuff which's mainly Rock music but Dilemma has plenty of attitude + spunk .
Let alone , Dilemma gives off quite a strong futuristic vibe which adds a lot of character to the song . Even though Kuriyama generally doesn't release music that often , the quality of her music is quite solid , as evident to what she delivered this time round with Dilemma .
It reminds to be seen if Dilemma will be released in a physical CD mode just like what happened to 0 but I do hope that she can eventually release a new album as it has been 3 years since she released her debut album CIRCUS .
Monday, October 06, 2014
FLOWER FLOWER - Subarashii Sekai
Subarashii Sekai is FLOWER FLOWER's 5th digital single & it was released on 1st Oct .
The digital release of Subarashii Sekai comes in about 2 months + after the release of the group's previous digital single Aki / Natsu .
Subarashii Sekai was 1st performed last year when FLOWER FLOWER went on tour .
Promo wise , Subarashii Sekai was picked to be used as the ending theme for TV Tokyo's late-night drama Tamagawa Kuyakusho OF THE DEAD that premiered on 3rd Oct . The drama stars Hayashi Kento & was directed by Kawahara Masahiko .
Tamagawa Kuyakusho OF THE DEAD is a horror-comedy that follows the struggles of Akabane Shinsuke , a ward office worker who is in charge of capturing zombies . The supporting cast of the drama is made up of Hirose Alice , Kaneko Nobuaki , Katagiri Jin & Toyota Ellie .
Subarashii Sekai is something that I immediately was drawn to the moment I heard it as it's quite a different music style FLOWER FLOWER delivered , as compared to Aki / Natsu .
In this case , Subarashii Sekai is a very upbeat & uplifting song that has great catchy guitar hooks which will be impossible not to like on 1st listen .
FLOWER FLOWER's debut album will be released on 26th Nov & I'm most certain Subarashii Sekai alongside with their past 4 digital single releases will be included in the tracklist .
Sunday, October 05, 2014
ayumi hamasaki - Terminal
2) Terminal (Dub mix)
3) Terminal (HACKJACK remix)
Terminal is ayumi hamasaki's 52nd single & it was released on 1st Oct .
Originally supposed to be released on 17th Sept , Terminal was 1st included as track #6 in ayumi's 15th album Colours that was released on 2nd July .
ayumi's last recut single release was 2002's Daybreak . The thumping trance number Terminal was produced by popular Dutch trance producer Armin van Buuren who's also known as one of the top DJ's in the world .
There're 2 remixes included in the single in which the Dub mix was 1st released digitally last month on 17th Sept prior to the physical CD single release . The Dub mix was also produced by Armin van Buuren .
I was really surprised when it was announced that Terminal was going to be released as a recut single . It's 1 of my fave songs from Colours but in retrospect , it's a very pointless release as I feel this release was put out for the sake of doing so .
In addition , the 2 remixes found in the single somehow cheapens everything as both remixes don't really have ayumi's vocals present while the Dub mix is essentially like a vocal less version of the original take of Terminal even though I do enjoy the HACKJACK remix to a certain extent .
That said , at the end of the day this's still a pointless release for ayumi to release . Terminal should have been released prior to Colours , if not both releases wouldn't be doing so poorly .
As a long time fan of ayumi , it does saddens me to see her music career reach this state as I never thought the day would come . Somehow or another , I hope she will be able to bounce back & it will be great if that happens in line with her impending 20th anniversary . If not , the future of her music career will be something very bleak that I'm not looking forward to see it happen if not visualise .