Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Kame to Yama-P - Senakagoshi no Chance
CD + DVD
Senakagoshi no Chance is a collaboration single by Kame to Yama-P which was released on 17th May .
12 years after Shuji to Akira , KAT-TUN's Kamenashi Kazuya & Yamashita Tomohisa are back together in NTV's new drama Boku , Unmei no Hito desu & from this , a special unit Kame to Yama-P was formed .
Both of them last collaborated together 12 years ago in the drama Nobuta wo Produce & released Seishum Amigo under the name Shuji to Akira .
The inevitability of the duo's reformation & the nostalgia of the lyrics from Senakagoshi no Chance leaves an impression on the listener and Senakagoshi no Chance features bright expressions + warmth that only the 2 of them could deliver together .
There're a total of 5 B-sides available in the single . Forever Summer & Gyakuten Revolution are included in the CD regular version of Senakagoshi no Chance .
Forever Summer was co-written by Kame & Yamapi . In addition , both of them co-compose the song together with Nishizawa Yoshi while Gyakuten Revolution is an answer song to Seishun Amigo .
2 solo songs & another unit B-side no. SUPER FUNKER !! are available in the CD Limited version of Senakagoshi no Chance .
~Follow me~ is a solo song sung by Kame while BIRD is handled solo by Yamapi . For both solo songs , each of them wrote the lyrics .
Kamenashi Kazuya and Yamashita Tomohisa famously paired up as Shuuji to Akira back in 2005 for the best-selling single Seishun Amigo , the theme song of their hit drama Nobuta wo Produce . 12 years later , the 2 reunite onscreen for the highly anticipated drama Boku , Unmei no Hito desu. & they've formed the special unit Kame to Yama-P to sing the theme song Senakagoshi no Chance .
A strong wave of nostalgic feelings can be felt with the release of Senakagoshi no Chance as it's surreal to know that 12 years on & counting , the duo pairing of Kame & Yamapi together is still very popular .
Senakagoshi no Chance is no Seishun Amigo but it's so neat that Senakagoshi no Chance pays homage to the song in its music video .
Likewise , I never would have thought Seishun Amigo would have its own answer song in the form of Gyakuten Revolution which's yet another great way in honouring the still timelessly popular track & in a way it's no surprises that it's the same person that wrote both songs (in this case it's zopp) .
Seishun Amigo might be released 12 years ago as a 1 off song unit single but the fact that up to now it still gets people excited over it , that's the testament of the song's long lasting popularity .
B-sides wise , I feel the songs in Senakagoshi no Chance are pretty good & same thing goes with the solo songs . The 1 thing that surprised me is that none of them are ballads & I thought it would have been nice if any unit B-side track if not any solo song would be as so .
All in all , Senakagoshi no Chance takes me back to a 12 years walk down memory lane and I wonder if there're any chances for both Kame & Yamapi to release another unit song under a different name in the future ?
Friday, May 26, 2017
Mika Nakashima x Salyu - Happy Life
Happy Life is a song by Mika Nakashima x Salyu which was released digitally on 12th May .
Produced by Kobayashi Takeshi , Happy Life was used in the ads of Tokyo Metro's Find my Tokyo. which stars actress Ishihara Satomi & with Mika making a cameo appearance .
Honestly it's a bit of a shame that Happy Life wasn't included in Mika's TOUGH album as this showcases a different music side of her , similarly with Bill Kaze Swimming School Feat SALU .
But in a way , Happy Life might sound a bit out of place in TOUGH . The song itself is not bad , I enjoy it considerably .
I'm not very sure if this collaboration will be available in a future physical CD tracklist , perhaps at most it might be included as a B-side track ?
Monday, May 22, 2017
V6 - COLORS / Taiyou to Tsuki no Kodomotachi
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
COLORS / Taiyou to Tsuki no Kodomotachi is V6's 48th single & it was released on 3rd May .
V6's latest double A-side single was released less than 2 months + since their previous single Can't Get Enough / Hanahirake .
COLORS was used to promote the 12th season of TV Asahi's Keishicho Sousa Ikea 9 Gakari drama starring member Inohara Yoshihiko while
Taiyou to Tsuki no Kodomotachi was used to promote NHK's Minna no Uta from April to May .
These 2 B-sides are only found in the CD only edition of COLORS / Taiyou to Tsuki no Kodomotachi :
V6's 48th single offers a double dose of warm music and messages . For some odd reason , V6's double A-side singles are hard for me to like because for the 1st time , I like both COLORS + Taiyou to Tsuki no Kodomotachi equally which does not happen to their past double A-side single releases as normally I would like only 1 A-side but not both .
As such this's a rarity and both COLORS + Taiyou to Tsuki no Kodomotachi are equally on par good . COLORS is more upbeat while Taiyou to Tsuki no Kodomotachi is a soothing mid tempo song & both A-sides contrast each other very well .
V6's 13th album will be released this year . For now , the new album's title , release date are not revealed yet but it should be out before V6 LIVE TOUR 2017 as their new tour will commence on 11th Aug .
And frankly , it's about time for V6 to release a new studio album as their last album release was 2013's Oh! My! Goodness! but I'm sure it will be a release worth the wait .
Thursday, May 18, 2017
SID - Butterfly Effect
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
1) Butterfly Effect
2) Butterfly Effect -Instrumental-
Butterfly Effect is SID's 22nd single & it was released on 10th May .
SID's latest single was released 4 months + since their previous single Glass no Hitomi .
Butterfly Effect is described as an aggressive song & it was composed by drummer Yuya which he also composed Glass no Hitomi .
And unlike most of SID's single releases , this time round no B-side(s) are included in Butterfly Effect .
Frankly I like Butterfly Effect so much more than Glass no Hitomi as this song showcases a more grittier side to SID .
I supposed I didn't liked Glass no Hitomi as much as I was hoping for is because I still feel the song is overshadowed by Monochrome no Kiss significantly but luckily I don't have that same feeling with Butterfly Effect .
And SID are definitely not stopping the year with Butterfly Effect as they will release their 23rd single Rasen no Yume on 2nd Aug which's followed by their 5th studio album in Sept . And there's no doubt I'm looking forward to both releases with enthusiasm .
Saturday, May 13, 2017
ayaka - Kotonoha
CD + DVD
3) Kotonoha (Instrumental)
4) Sentimental (Instrumental)
Kotonoha is ayaka's 14th single & it was released on 10th May .
This's ayaka's 1st single release of 2017 & her last physical single release was 2014's Nijiiro .
Both the A-side & B-side were released digitally last week on 2nd May .
Kotonoha was used to promote NHK drama 10's Tsubaki Bunguten ~Kamakura Daishoya Monogatari~ that started airing on 14th April .
A-side is described as a medium tempo number with the theme letter that reflects hearts that are linked together through words .
Sentimental serves as the B-side in Kotonoha . Unlike the A-side , Sentimental is a lot more emotional driven & it's just ayaka singing alongside with a piano which couldn't get more simplistic than this .
Having successfully completed her 10th anniversary celebrations , ayaka makes a fresh start with her new single Kotonoha . As the theme song for Tsubaki Bunguten ~Kamakura Daishoya Monogatari~ , the warm medium-tempo number carries a message about the importance and power of words that sprout from the heart .
Frankly I'm not sure why it took ayaka so long to release a new physical single because she wasn't exactly on hiatus as she released her 4th album Rainbow Road 2 years ago followed by last July's THIS IS ME ~ayaka 10th anniversary BEST~ .
This could be due to the fact that ayaka's music releases now are put out differently after she left her previous record label .
That said , Kotonoha on whole is a heartwarming single release and it would have been nice if Sentimental wasn't a ballad but I guess I shouldn't complain as I thought the song's not bad on whole .
Hopefully ayaka wouldn't take another 3 years to release another physical release .
Sunday, May 07, 2017
CD Review :: Mika Nakashima - TOUGH
CD + DVD
2) Forget Me Not
3) Koi wo Suru
4) Fighter (Mika Nakashima x Miliyah Kato)
6) Boku ga Shinou to Omotta no wa
7) Bill Kaze Swimming School Feat SALU
8) MISSING YOU
9) Ai Kotoba
11) Ai no Uta
12) Best Friend
13) Gift (Mika Nakashima x Miliyah Kato)
TOUGH is Mika Nakashima's 8th album & it was released on 22nd March .
Mika's last studio album release was 2013's REAL . In TOUGH , 6 singles (inclusive of 1 collaboration double A-side single) & 3 B-sides can be found in her new album .
Kicking things off in TOUGH is Hanataba which's Mika's 39th single . This song was used to promote Fuji TV's drama Otona Joshi & the song was written + composed by Tamaki Koji .
Forget Me Not is Mika's 40th single & it was used in the movie Boku no Tsuma to Kekkon Shite Kudasai . The warm yet sad ballad was written & composed by Momota Rui .
Koi wo Suru is Mika's 41st single & this was the latest single song included prior to the release of TOUGH .
Described as a vivacious uptempo pop number , Koi wo Suru was used in the ads of DHC's F1 Skin Care in line with DHC's F1 Skin Care's theme of "girl in love" . Lyrically , the song deals on the feelings of a girl in love .
Fighter is the 1st A-side of collaboration single Fighter / Gift . Both A-side songs are sung together with Miliyah Kato . Promo wise , this was used as the theme song for the Japanese-dubbed version of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie .
Sharing the same title as the album , TOUGH (the song) is mainly a rock driven number . It kind of reminds me of Mika's 34th single LOVE IS ECSTASY to a certain extent as both songs are in the same music genre .
Boku ga Shinou to Omotta no wa is Mika's 38th single . Mika approached amazarashi's Akita Hiromu for this collaboration as the track originally belonged to amazarashi . It's an important song to Akita because he's held onto it for many years . Mika , who received the demo from Akita , commented , "It's a wonderful song . I want this song to be heard until the very end . If not , [the full emotion of it won't be conveyed] ."
Bill Kaze Swimming School was originally included as the B-side in Mika's 40th single Forget Me Not . This was used as an image song for the mobile game Tsuioku no Ao & CM song for LINE MUSIC .
For this song , Bill Kaze Swimming School featureed rapper SALU & Mika commented that this track showcased listeners a new side of herself .
MISSING YOU was 1st included as the B-side in Mika's 37th single Ai Kotoba & it just so happened that the next track in TOUGH tracklist is Ai Kotoba itself .
Ai Kotoba was used as the outro theme no. for the Space Battleship Yamato 2199 anime . Both Mika & music legend Nakajima Miyuki teamed up for the 1st time in this song . Mika approached Nakajima about a collaboration with a "nothing to lose" spirit & the result is this stirring ballad that talks about a secret language that only two lovers share in which Nakajima wrote & composed Ai
indigo was used as the theme song for NHK's Indigo no Koibito drama . Out of all the new material in TOUGH , this is my favourite even though it's not exactly a new track as I've heard it last year even before it was eventually included in the album .
Despite this , I was glad to see indigo inside TOUGH because I wasn't sure if it would made the cut or not but luckily it did .
Ai no Uta was originally included as the B-side in Mika's 39th single Hanataba . This 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 .
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 .
TOUGH (the song) is a rather aggressive song & in this case , Best Friend is the opposite as it's a cheery sounding track .
Gift is the 2nd A-side of collaboration single Fighter / Gift . Just like Fighter , this's also sung together with Miliyah Kato . & the song was used in TBS's CDTV .
Wrapping things up in TOUGH is Alone which was 1st included in SONGBOOK Amanojaku .
SONGBOOK Amanojaku is a hard copy book that was released last Oct . This release was to celebrate Mika's 15th anniversary in the business & it also included a CD . Alone was the only new song included in the disc & it was used as the theme song in Yomiuri TV / NTV's special drama Ai wo Kouhito .
Mika Nakashima expresses her mind & determination in TOUGH , her 1st studio album in 4 years .
It's a known fact that Mika doesn't tend to include a lot of new album material in her past studio albums & unfortunately or not , the same thing applies to TOUGH .
But in this case , I feel a bit short changed in listening to TOUGH as to me having only 2 new tracks (I don't count indigo & Alone in as I've already heard them before last year) after a 4 years waiting period doesn't feel satisfactory to me .
Prior to Mika releasing TOUGH , she released a few compilations which to me they were a bit redundant especially 2014's DEARS & TEARS .
I did not buy DEARS & TEARS as I disliked the tracklist(s) for both compilations and frankly Ai Kotoba , Boku ga Shinou to Omotta no Wa & Fighter / Gift should have been excluded in TOUGH as these single songs were already in DEARS & TEARS .
So to see them again in TOUGH , I'm not so sure if it's a good or bad thing . I rather Mika include more new album material instead but I accept that's not going to happen .
In the midst of releasing different compilation albums prior to TOUGH , I feel that aspect alienated many of Mika's fans . Some such as Zutto Suki Datta ~ALL MY COVERS~ & RELAXIN' had great covers/photoshoots but they could have been used to promote new singles instead .
End of the day , I want to see Mika's record label market her a bit better in the near future as in recent times , some of Mika's spark has been lost . The only good thing is that at least Mika is still active in the business as there was a period of time where she had health problems but luckily she turned out ok in the end .
That said , I hope I wouldn't need to wait another 4 years for another new Mika album .
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
ARASHI - I'll be there
CD + DVD
I'll be there is ARASHI's 51st single & it was released last month on 19th April .
This's the group's 1st single release of 2017 & the A-side was used to promote Fuji TV's spring drama Kizoku Tantei starring member Aiba Masaki .
I'll be there is described as a cool song with a dynamic melody that goes along with the drama's mysterious world of view .
There're 3 B-sides in total found in the single . Both unknown & Treasure of life are found in the CD only edition of I'll be there while Round and Round is exclusively made available in the CD + DVD version .
Out of the 3 B-sides , unknown features Sakurap & this song feels like them taking a leaflet from their 13th album THE DIGITALIAN while Treasure of life is a nice uplifting no. .
Round and Round is my favourite B-side out of the lot as it's a fun catchy memorable song .
ARASHI's 51st single I'll be there is the theme song of the Fuji TV drama Kizoku Tantei starring Aiba Masaki as an aristocratic detective who leaves all the investigation work to his staff . The cool colourful & dynamic song links to the drama's mysterious world .
I did not like ARASHI's Are You Happy? album as I feel the majority of it was really uninspiring & bland despite the release featuring a considerably amount of personal input from the members .
Luckily , ARASHI hasn't lost their touch when comes to their singles yet as I'll be there on whole is a lot more better than I expected especially the A-side .
When I 1st heard I'll be there , I immediately feel it reminds me of KinKi Kids's Secret Code a great deal due to the music similarities & that the 3 B-sides at most should have been included in Are You Happy? & not in the single .
That said , I'm sure I'll be there would not be the last I will be hearing from ARASHI this year & their next release ARASHI LIVE TOUR 2016-2017 Are You Happy? DVD + Blu-ray will be released on 31st May .