Saturday, March 31, 2018
JASMINE - Black Kitty
Black Kitty is a song by JASMINE which was released digitally on 2nd March .
This song was released via Pemdal Records which shares the same name as JASMINE's clothing line .
Black Kitty was composed by JASMINE & Tomokazu "T.O.M" Matsuzawa .
It feels like forever since JASMINE last released something new & she's now independent after parting ways with Sony .
Just like Aya Sugimoto which JASMINE released last July , Black Kitty has quite a different music style as compared to her older works .
In this case , Black Kitty is a mid tempo sultry sounding song that's Jazz driven which surprised me on 1st listen . It's a bit long but I kind of enjoyed it & kudos to JASMINE for co-composing the song .
Seeing that JASMINE is not under a major record label anymore , I do hope that this means she will be able to release even more new material regularly/frequently .
I still feel JASMINE is 1 very talented lady as I enjoyed what she put out in the past & hopefully I wouldn't need to wait so long for her to release something new again .
Friday, March 23, 2018
BREAKERZ - D×D×D / GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version-
CD Only Regular
1) GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version-
3) Positive Blue ~Acoustic Version~
CD Only Dame Pri version
2) GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version-
3) D×D×D ~TV Size Edit~
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Both CD + DVDs excludes Positive Blue ~Acoustic Version~ & D×D×D ~TV Size Edit~
D×D×D / GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version- is BREAKERZ's 19th single & it was released on 7th March .
This's the trio's 1st single release of 2018 & their last double A-side single release was 2012's Overwrite / Nounai Survivor .
The 1st A-side D×D×D stands for Dame x Dame x Dame . The song was used as the opening theme no. for Dame Pri ANIME CARAVAN .
Written by vocalist DAIGO & composed by guitarist SHINPEI , DAIGO commented that 'DxDxD is about how the 'dame' (messed up) parts of a person are part of their individuality' .
Each of the guys' respective cosplay outfits/looks that can be seen on the covers & promo pictures , the inspirations are drawn from these 3 respective Dame Pri ANIME CARAVAN characters
AKIHIDE - Vino
DAIGO - Narek
SHINPEI - Riot
NHN PlayArt and Dame Pri ANIME CARAVAN anime staff were responsible for the making of the guys' outfits & shooting for the jacket covers + promo pictures of D×D×D .
Also , the outfits were custom made under the supervision of the Dame Pri ANIME CARAVAN production team & the guys wore the same outfits in the DxDxD video .
All 3 of the members undertook certain 1st's with regards to DxDxD for the 1st time in their entire discography :
AKIHIDE - Dyed his hair blonde
DAIGO - Wore a wig
SHINPEI - Photographed & seen without his trademark sunglasses
The 2nd A-side GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version- was used as the ending theme for Yomiuri TV / NTV's Jouhou Live Miyaneya .
The original take of GREAT AMBITIOUS was included as track #1 in the normal versions of the guys' 10th anniversary special album X .
Both versions of GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version- were written & composed by DAIGO while the bass in the melody of both versions of the song(s) were played by GLAY's bassist JIRO .
Positive Blue ~Acoustic Version~ serves as the B-side in D×D×D / GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version- & this's only available in the CD Only Regular version .
The original take of Positive Blue was included as track #4 in the guys' 1st mini album Ao no Mirai EP . Both versions of Positive Blue were written & composed by guitarist AKIHIDE .
After a successful fruitful 2017 in celebrating their 10th anniversary , BREAKERZ kicks things off in 2018 with the release of their latest single D×D×D / GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version- .
It's hard to believe it has been almost 6 years since the guys last released a double A-side single . I thought they stopped releasing them as I really loved their past double A-side single releases .
Luckily the guys broke the 'drought' with D×D×D / GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version- . As much as I appreciate AKIHIDE's melody compositions for their last 3 back to back singles , for once I'm glad the other 2 were the ones composing the songs this time round .
Concept wise , the guys nailed it in every aspect for D×D×D from the song to the visual to the video . D×D×D itself is very fun & light hearted which captures the essence of Dame Pri ANIME CARAVAN very well .
I thought the guys would release D×D×D on its own & it was a nice surprise they released it together with GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version- .
GREAT AMBITIOUS was 1 of the standout songs in X so for this , I wasn't surprised the guys decided to release it with DxDxD .
The only difference between both versions of GREAT AMBITIOUS is the beginning & ending have slight difference . Also I thought I was going to dislike the video as I enjoyed DxDxD a lot but turns out luckily that wasn't the case .
Lastly , Positive Blue was & is still 1 of my favourite tracks in Ao no Mirai EP and for the song to finally get the acoustic version , it's quite long overdue but it's definitely worth the wait as it did justice to the original version .
I already expect BREAKERZ to focus more on solo activities this year so for them to release their 1st double A-side single in 6 years , it couldn't have come at a better timing .
I do hope D×D×D / GREAT AMBITIOUS -Single Version- will not be their only group release for 2018 & seeing that their next single release is their 20th , here's hoping they will put out something epic to mark the milestone and for once I don't mind a triple A-side single release as that's something they haven't done yet .
Sunday, March 18, 2018
ARASHI - Find The Answer
CD + DVD
Find The Answer is ARASHI's 54th single & it was released last month on 21st Feb .
This's ARASHI's 1st single release of 2018 & Find The Answer was used to promote the 2nd season of 99.9 -Keiji Senmon Bengoshi- starring member Matsumoto Jun .
Daylight which's the 2nd A-side of the group's 49th single I seek / Daylight was used to promote the 1st season of 99.9 -Keiji Senmon Bengoshi- .
Find The Answer is described as powerful in its simplicity with an upbeat tempo that looks forward to the future with exhilaration .
An uptempo number that combines power & an exhilarating feeling with the inclusion of the enveloping tenderness of Daylight , there's also an overlap in Find The Answer with the drama's characters who even in the face of the most difficult cases , push forward in belief of a 0.1% possibility .
4 B-sides in total are included in Find The Answer . 3 B-sides are found in the CD only version of the single ie.
- Bounce Beat
- Shiro ga Mau
Shiro ga Mau was used as NTV's theme song to promote the 2018 Winter Olympics that took take place in Pyeongchang , South Korea which member Sakurai Sho covered the event for NTV as a special newscaster .
This song is described as a powerful no. yet it's filled with tenderness to inspire courage for the athletes who continue to step up to challenges as they compete in this spectacular event held once every 4 years .
Shiro ga Mau is said to inspire courage within the athletes , as well as those who continue to challenge themselves on the big stage .
Machikado no Koibito Tachi is only available in the CD + DVD of Find The Answer .
Matsumoto Jun is back as an eccentric criminal defence lawyer in the 2nd season of 99.9 -Keiji Senmon Bengoshi- . As with the previous season , ARASHI provides the drama's theme song Find The Answer . The positive & refreshing song interweaves piano + strings with an uptempo melody .
Before hearing Find The Answer , I thought it was going to sound like Daylight part 2 which I was proven wrong the moment I 1st heard it .
Compared with both songs together , Find The Answer is a lot more uplifting sounding unlike Daylight where it has a slight sad undertone .
Also for once , the accompanied music video elevates Find The Answer to a certain level as I feel it's annoying that most of the time , their TV performances are always a lot more better & entertaining .
On the other hand this time round for some odd reason , the only B-side I generally like is Shiro ga Mau . Not that the other B-sides are terrible but they sound like something which they could have been in their past albums , like for Bounce Beat , I can see it being included in ARASHI's 13th album THE DIGITALIAN .
That said , I'm very sure Find The Answer wouldn't be the last music release of ARASHI in 2018 & I wouldn't be surprised if another single follows real soon after that .
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Mika Nakashima - KISS OF DEATH
CD + DVD
Tracklist for both versions
1) KISS OF DEATH
2) GLAMOROUS SKY (Re：Present 2018)
3) KISS OF DEATH -instrumental-
4) GLAMOROUS SKY -instrumental-
CD + DVD anime version
1) KISS OF DEATH
2) GLAMOROUS SKY (Re：Present 2018)
3) KISS OF DEATH (TV size)
4) KISS OF DEATH -instrumental-
KISS OF DEATH is Mika Nakashima's 43rd single & it was released on 7th March .
This's Mika's 1st single release of 2018 & the A-side was 1st released digitally on 19th Jan .
KISS OF DEATH was chosen to be used as the opening theme song for the DARLING in the FRANXX anime . The song was written , composed + produced by hyde with hyde sharing co-arranging credits with Carlos K. .
This song reunites Mika working with hyde for the 1st time in 13 years since 2005's / 16th single GLAMOROUS SKY .
On working with hyde again , Mika commented , "I feel very happy to participate in this wonderful work through song & also to have hyde provide this wonderful song . I will sing this song which is perfect for the anime carefully in my own way so that many people will listen to it ."
hyde also stated , "I was able to produce a song that I really like . The anime & Mika are good luck ."
Mika is styled as Zero Two from the DARLING in the FRANXX anime & the CD + DVD anime cover is drawn by animator Tanaka Masayoshi .
13 years after the hit Nana theme song GLAMOROUS SKY , Mika Nakashima & hyde collaborate again ! hyde composed & produced Mika's exciting new single KISS OF DEATH , which is the theme song for the anime series DARLING in the FRANXX .
Back in Jan I almost wanted to write my opinion on KISS OF DEATH prior to its physical CD announcement so in a way I'm glad to see the song get a proper single release as I like it .
I don't know why it took Mika so long to work with hyde on something again as GLAMOROUS SKY is still 1 of Mika's best known signature songs & at the time of release , it was 1 of the 1st few songs that showcased Mika's music versatility in Rock as prior to that , Mika was more known for releasing Jazz sounding songs .
On the other hand , I'm quite disappointed that GLAMOROUS SKY (Re：Present 2018) which's included in KISS OF DEATH is exactly the same as what Mika released 13 years ago .
Mika's record label could have included a live version of GLAMOROUS SKY if not maybe a remastered version ?
As such in a way or 2 , KISS OF DEATH probably should have just been released as a digital song or Mika should have included a brand new B-side in the single instead .
That said , MIKA NAKASHIMA GREATEST LIVE ~LIVE BEST SELECTION 2003~2017 DVD + Blu-ray will be released next month on 18th April .
Friday, March 09, 2018
Hey ! Say ! JUMP - Mae wo Muke
CD + DVD
Mae wo Muke is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 22nd single & it was released last month on 14th Feb .
This's the group's 1st single release of 2018 & the A-side was used to promote NTV's drama Momikeshite Fuyu ~Wagaya no Mondai Nakatta Koto ni~ starring member Yamada Ryosuke .
Mae wo Muke is described as an ultra-positive track with an encouraging message which sees the members singing about the grit of standing back up again & again , even when a person falls , make a blunder or look pathetic .
As such , Mae wo Muke is a song that's as large as life & has momentum even more than Hey ! Say ! JUMP's previous singles .
A total of 6 B-sides are included in all 3 versions of Mae wo Muke
- NEW LIFE (CD Regular Edition Track)
- Diggy Down (CD Regular Edition Track)
- Snow Memories (CD Regular Edition Track)
- BE MY VALENTINE ! (CD Limited Edition Track)
- Chocolate (CD Limited Edition Track)
- Love Hurricane (CD + DVD Track)
Hey ! Say ! JUMP kicked off 2018 with their latest single offering Mae wo Muke which's a fun cheery upbeat no. .
Mae wo Muke has a very different vibe as compared to the group's past singles although it's bit similar sounding to Precious Girl .
Still I thought Mae mo Muke is good & the accompanied video is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's most amusing yet comical video to date which definitely changed my subsequent opinion on the song considerably .
On the other hand , just like White Love , Mae mo Muke also has a lot of B-sides and both of the group's back to back single releases could have been a mini album instead which can get a bit overwhelming .
But luckily most of the B-sides in Mae mo Muke are good . For me I like Diggy Down & Love Hurricane the most while Snow Memories could have been in White Love . The other B-sides tend to sound a bit cheesy but they still have a grown up flair .
I hope Hey ! Say ! JUMP next music release will be a new studio album as they didn't released 1 last year but wouldn't surprise me if they release 1 more single prior to a new album but we'll see .
Sunday, March 04, 2018
GRANRODEO - Deadly Drive
CD Anime Version
CD + Blu-ray
1) Deadly Drive
2) Magical ・ Story
3) Deadly Drive (OFF VOCAL)
4) Magical ・ Story (OFF VOCAL)
Deadly Drive is GRANRODEO's 28th single & it was released last month on 21st Feb .
This's the duo's 1st single release of 2018 & the A-side was used as the opening theme song to promote the Bungo Stray Dogs DEAD APPLE movie which opened in Japan cinemas yesterday .
Vocalist KISHOW has a voice role credit in the Bungo Stray Dogs DEAD APPLE movie .
Deadly Drive is quite an aggressive rock song which KISHOW surprisingly displayed his falsetto vocals after the 1st verse of the song . I thought I would heard more of it but that didn't happened .
Magical ・ Story serves as the B-side in Deadly Drive & this contrasts the A-side very well with it being a very fun upbeat track .
When I 1st heard Magical ・ Story , I immediately thought of Lovers High & TRASH CANDY as both songs also utilised a considerable amount of synthesisers in the tracks melodies but Magical ・ Story didn't went overboard with the synthesisers usage .
GRANRODEO kicks starts 2018 with Deadly Drive which's something I enjoyed very much and as mentioned before , I'm still surprised that the quality of their B-sides is on par if not sometimes better than the A-side themselves .
I do hope that GRANRODEO can release a new album but judging from their last 2 albums which each has 4 singles , I wouldn't be surprised if they will release 1 more single before doing so .
Either way , I'm waiting in anticipation to see what's their next music release move .