Saturday, October 31, 2015
Mika Nakashima - Hanataba
CD + DVD
2) Ai no Uta
3) Hanataba (Instrumental)
4) Ai no Uta (Instrumental)
5) Hanataba (Drama version)
Hanataba is Mika Nakashima's 39th single & it was released this week on 28th Oct .
Mika's last single release was last June's Fighter / Gift which was a joint single release together with Miliyah Kato .
Individual single wise , Mika last released Boku ga Shinou to Omotta no Wa 2 years ago .
Hanataba was picked to be used to promote Fuji TV's drama Otona Joshi & the A-side was written + composed by Tamaki Koji .
Described as a heartwarming number that will change the hesitation & pain of every day into joy + gratitude , Shinohara Ryoko who stars in Otona Joshi , commented on Hanataba , "With Mika singing to Tamaki's song , I thought it would be a wonderful fit . I am already looking forward to how this mature ballad will add grace to the drama ."
Ai no Uta serves as the B-side in the single .
Written & composed by Kariyushi58's Maekawa Shingo , Ai no Uta was originally released as a digital single last month on 25th Sept .
Ai no Uta was used as the insert song for TBS's drama Omotesando Koukou Gasshoubu . Mika made a guest appearance in the 8th episode of the drama which was aired last month on 11th Sept .
In Omotesando Koukou Gasshoubu , Ai no Uta is a song that has been passed down in Omotesando High School's chorus club . Instead of having the cast just sing it in the drama , the producer also wanted to use it as the insert song . Thus, he called Mika up to request her to grace the drama with her beautiful singing voice .
In the 8th episode of Omotesando Koukou Gasshoubu , Mika played a popular artist Kamishima Kana who is an alumni of Omotesando High School . With the members of the chorus club , she also sang a cover of BEGIN's Koishikute . This marked Mika's 1st drama appearance since 2010's Unubore Deka .
A drama version of Hanataba is also included in the single . This's actually misleading as I assumed that it would be a shorter version of the A-side to promote Otona Joshi but turns out it has a slightly different melody .
In addition , the way that Mika sings in Hanataba (Drama version) is also not the same as well but it still managed to retain most of the original charm that the A-side has .
After the success of her concert tour Mika Nakashima Concert Tour 2015 "THE BEST" DEARS & TEARS , mounted in support of her 2 best albums DEARS & TEARS , Mika Nakashima returns with a new single in Hanataba .
It's hard to believe it has been 2 years since Mika last released Boku ga Shinou to Omotta no Wa & not counting Fighter / Gift , it was definitely overdue for Mika to release something new again & what a single Hanataba is .
For me , what struck me about Hanataba was the way Mika sings the song . It's not easy but the way Mika delivered this emotional ballad is pretty something .
Prior to this , I actually 1st heard Ai no Uta & I initially thought it was going to be a cover but luckily it's an original song . I didn't think that it was A-side worthy but for it to be included as a B-side instead , I think that's not so bad .
All in all , I'm just glad that Mika has finally released something new as after she finished her tour to promote her 2 best albums , there was that uncertainty if she will continue to put out new music or not but with the release of Hanataba , she's not going anywhere now , for sure .
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Hey ! Say ! JUMP - Kimi Attraction
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Kimi Attraction is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 15th single & it was released last week on 21st Oct .
The group's 4th album JUMPing CAR was released in June .
The A-side was picked to be used as the CM song for Kose Cosme Port's Softymo & it's described as a pop tune with a sense of speed about an intense love .
As such , Kimi Attraction describes the rollercoaster ride that is of romance .
There're a total of 5 B-sides included in the single . The 1st 3 are only available in the CD only edition .
Shall We ? is a Halloween inspired song with plenty of background music to indicate it as so while NEW AGE is mainly auto tune driven .
As for Ignition , it's the only B-side that's a ballad which plays a good contrast against the A-side .
ChikuTaku is only available in the CD + DVD A edition of the single . Despite the weird sounding title , it's actually an upbeat no. even though the beginning sounded it was going to be another ballad just like Ignition .
Aki , Hare . Boku ni Kaze ga Fuita. is the final B-side & for this , it's only available in the CD + DVD B edition of Kimi Attraction .
Out of the 5 B-sides , Aki , Hare . Boku ni Kaze ga Fuita. is slightly on the weak side but it's still a rather enjoyable song to listen to .
Hey ! Say ! JUMP wants to tell you that you're number one ! Capping off a very busy year that saw the group releasing their 15th single Chau# / Wo I Need You , their 4th album JUMPing CAR , embarking on a nationwide tour Hey! Say! JUMP LIVE TOUR 2015 JUMPing CARnival & hosting this year's NTV's annual 24 Hour Television charity programme , they have returned with a new single in the form of Kimi Attraction .
I didn't liked Chau# / Wo I Need You that much aside from the B-sides (let alone JUMPing CAR) so hearing Kimi Attraction was a completely nice surprise . For starters , while the A-side is still slightly cutesy sounding , it's not an outright pain to listen unlike their previous single .
The fact that there're 5 B-sides included in Kimi Attraction , all of them are equally good & managed to be on par if not be more superior than the A-side as each B-side offers something different for everyone to enjoy .
That in a way it's a pity as B-sides in the single could have been included in JUMPing CAR instead & in this case , they have been 'demoted' to B-side status .
Regardless , 2015 has been a fruitful year for Hey ! Say ! JUMP & I can't wait to see what else they have up in store next year .
Friday, October 23, 2015
SPYAIR - I'm・A・Believer
CD Only Regular
CD Only Limited
2) Imagination (Live at FUJI-Q HIGHLAND 2015.8.8)
3) I'm・A・Believer (inst.)
I'm・A・Believer is SPYAIR's 17th single & it was released on 21st Oct .
Released 3 months+ since their previous single Fire Starter , the A-side was picked to be used as the new opening theme song for the 2nd season of the anime Haikyuu .
I'm・A・Believer is the group's 2nd single song to be used for Haikyuu after last April's Imagination & the song has been described as a positive tune that has the message 'Believe in yourself and clear the next path you should take .'
The single also includes a live version of Imagination which was recorded from the group's outdoors live JUST LIKE THIS 2015 that was held at Fujikyu Highland Conifer Forest on 8th Aug .
There's nothing negative to say about I'm・A・Believer & given the inspiration behind the song , it gives off positive happy vibes although coincidentally , I'm・A・Believer sounds somewhat similar to Imagination .
Regardless , the 3 singles that SPYAIR released this year have been stellar no.s and with the release of I'm・A・Believer , it's easy to see why I like their material a great deal .
SPYAIR will release their 4th album 4 next month on 18th Nov with I'm・A・Believer included as track #3 in the tracklist .
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Kis-My-Ft2 - AAO
CD + DVD
AAO is Kis-My-Ft2's 14th single & it was released this week on 14th Oct .
This's the group's 1st of 2 consecutive back to back single releases & the A-side was picked to be used as the theme song for NTV's drama Seishun Tantei Haruya starring member Tamamori Yuta .
Written & composed by Naoto Inti Raymi , AAO is a fun upbeat no. that reflects the talented cheery side of the group & kudos to the talented Naoto Inti Raymi for creating it .
There're a total of 3 B-sides available in AAO . The 1st B-side is something titled NOVEL .
Promo wise , NOVEL was picked to be used in the ads of Kowa's Hokkairo Nukunuku Touban .
NOVEL is a really nice ballad that contrasts AAO extremely well . I honestly have nothing bad to say about this song as I like it the 1st time I heard it .
Let it BURN ! & Makenaide are exclusively available in the CD Only edition of the single . In this case , Let it BURN ! is a fierce fast paced no. that's aggressive driven .
On the other hand , the last B-side Makenaide is an uptempo song that's surprisingly rather Christmas inspired sounding .
After the release of their 4th album KIS-MY-WORLD , there's no stopping Kis-My-Ft2 in the continuation of putting out new material & in addition they're releasing 2 singles back to back month wise .
AAO is a solid release & frankly this song should have been released a few months back as it would have been a fun Summer inspired song but aside from that , all the songs in the single are strong & I enjoyed all tracks equally .
Kis-My-Ft2's 15th single Saigo mo Yappari Kimi will be released next month on 11th Nov & for their upcoming release , Saigo mo Yappari Kimi will be a ballad which I'm definitely look forward to hear .
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Tackey & Tsubasa - Yamanotesen Uchimawari ~Ai no Meiro~
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Yamanotesen Uchimawari ~Ai no Meiro~ is Tackey & Tsubasa's 16th single which was released last month on 23rd Sept .
The duo's last single release was last Aug's Dakinatsu .
Yamanotesen Uchimawari ~Ai no Meiro~ is the sequel to Yamanotesen Sotomawari Feat GUSSAN , a song with the theme 'Yamanote Line' that was included in the duo's 2011 mini album TRIP & TREASURE . This time round , it's a Yamanote Line song featuring Nakagawa Reiji of comedian duo Nakagawa-ke , who is known for being a railroad know it all .
The following songs serve as B-sides in the single :
- Jikan Ryokou Second !
- Yume Iro Grafitti (CD Only Track)
- Yamanotesen Sotomawari Remix (CD Only Track)
A video was made for Jikan Ryokou Second ! .
Almost a year after their last , Tackey & Tsubasa return with a new single in Yamanotesen Uchimawari ~Ai no Meiro~ ! Using Tokyo JR East's famed Yamanote Line as a motif , the boys present a high-tempo love song full of throwback kayo flavour .
Yamanotesen Sotomawari Feat GUSSAN was well received as it was known for its innovative lyrics that promoted the Yamanote Line train so it's understandable that a sequel followed suit in the form of Yamanotesen Uchimawari ~Ai no Meiro~ .
There's no doubt that visually Yamanotesen Uchimawari ~Ai no Meiro~ is entertaining as the song takes the listener on a musical train journey as several train stations that're on the Yamanote Line are mentioned in the track .
As such even though on 1st look/listen Yamanotesen Uchimawari ~Ai no Meiro~ might come across as somewhat cheesy , it can be surprisingly educational in some unexpected ways .
I really wished that Tackey & Tsubasa would be more active in their music releases as even though they debuted some 13 years back , their music discography is a lot more smaller as compared to their seniors & juniors in the talent agency .
That said , they will set to more or less make up for their lack of music release activity as their 5th album will be released in Dec . More details on that will be revealed in due time .