Sunday, March 31, 2019
CD Review :: Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme
CD + DVD
1) Hill Climb
3) Magic Time 2019
4) Koi no Honou 2019
5) Lost love song [II]
6) Ai to Koi
8) Namida no Tane, Shiawase no Hana 2019
9) Good Luck
10) After Story 2019
11) Hill Climb -Togenkyo Arrange- (CD + DVD Track)
Hilcrhyme is the 8th self titled album & it was released on 30th Jan .
This new album release is the 1st studio album since 2016's SIDE BY SIDE & the 1st that does not feature former member DJ KATSU .
Hilcrhyme (the album) has 11 songs in total , inclusive of singles Koi no Honou & Namida no Tane, Shiawase no Hana that were newly re-recorded .
The new album comprises of 3 different sections within it .
2 songs that were already included in One Man EP :
- Good Luck
4 newly recorded tracks :
- Lost love song ; 2nd A-side of 15th single Yell / Lost love song . A video was made for the song but it's not included in the DVD
- Koi no Honou ; 21st single
- Koi no Honou B-sides : After Story & Magic Time
- Namida no Tane, Shiawase no Hana ; 22nd single
3 brand new songs :
- Hill Climb
- Ai to Koi
Prior to the physical release of Hilcrhyme (the album) , Hill Climb was released digitally on 9th Jan . Same with Lost love song [II] , a video was made for Hill Climb but it's not included in the DVD .
Besides that , a Togenkyo Arrange rendition of Hill Climb is only made available in the CD + DVD version of Hilcrhyme (the album) .
It's quite hard to believe it has been quite long since Hilcrhyme last released a studio album & out of all the albums they've released , this's their most unique in terms of the material made available from 3 different components .
I suppose instead of another mini album , rapper/vocalist TOC decided that for the next music release , it would be a new album cos if I only consider in the new material in Hilcrhyme (the album) , the 3 new songs could have been released as a triple A-side single , something that hasn't been done before in their discography .
But regardless of this , I can let this slide somewhat especially after what Hilcrhyme went through the last few years which was extremely awful .
Newly recorded tracks wise , my favourite has to be Lost love song [II] as I was surprised how much I really like it & it's very different from Lost love song in a good way .
The other newly recorded tracks in Hilcrhyme (the album) are only ok for my liking but Lost love song [II] stood out to me the most .
Out of all the newly recorded songs in their discography , Lost love song [II] is no doubt my favourite & it's 1 of the rare times that I like a newly recorded song over the original , not that Lost love song wasn't great .
Even though at the time of release the accompanied video for Lost love song [II] wasn't included in the album's DVD , it's better late than never as it deserves it .
New material wise , the 3 new songs are pretty good & I like Ai to Koi a lot . I would love to see a video made for Ai to Koi but Hill Climb is more mainstream friendly while Chouhatsu is angsty driven .
As for Hill Climb -Togenkyo Arrange- , it's a lot more slow paced sounding than Hill Climb but between both , I actually prefer Hill Climb a bit more .
I was quite critical of Hilcrhyme's past studio albums as to me they felt 1/2 finished if not rushed to some extent but for this , I decide to be a bit more lenient as after what happened to Hilcrhyme the last few years , I'm still glad they decided to continue on even though technically at this point in time , it's like a 1 man show with DJ KATSU not being part of things anymore .
Hopefully for the next studio album , it will be a proper full album release instead of solely relying on newly recorded tracks in filling in the gaps .
Thursday, March 21, 2019
B'z - HINOTORI
HINOTORI is a new song that was included in a separate CD as part of B'z LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2018 -HINOTORI- DVD/Blu-ray that was released on 13th March .
In this case , HINOTORI is described as a sequel to LOVE PHANTOM .
B'z seldom disappoints & HINOTORI is proof of that . I feel that it's 1 of their more darker moodier songs they've put out in recent times .
Also my favourite part of HINOTORI is the guitar solo that can be heard in the 2nd 1/2 of the song , it's so cool .
B'z will release their 21st album this year . For now it's not known when their new album will be released & also if HINOTORI will be included in it.
But seeing that B'z will begin their new tour in June , I will not be surprised if their new album will be released in May if not maybe 1st week of June ?
Saturday, March 16, 2019
UVERworld - Touch off
2 CDs Limited
CD Regular & 2 CDs Limited tracklist
1) Touch off
3) Touch off (instrumental)
CD Anime version tracklist
1) Touch off
3) Touch off (short ver.)
4) Touch off (instrumental)
Touch off is UVERworld's 34th single & it was released last month on 27th Feb /
UVERworld's 1st single release of 2019 , the A-side was used as the opening theme song for the Yakusoku no Never Land anime .
Yakusoku no Never Land is based on a manga series written by Shirai Kaiu & illustrated by Demizu Posuka . It follows the story of a group of orphaned children who live in an orphanage called Grace Field House .
On Touch off , vocalist TAKUYA∞ commented , "It's an elaborate song which is our speciality + also a song that fans of UVERworld & the manga , as well as people who don't really know us would think is cool ."
In addition , a video was also made for the single's B-side ConneQt .
Frankly this shocks me in a way but I can genuinely say that I actually really like Touch off & this's now the 3rd back to back UVERworld single I like from the group .
I already wrote numerous times that UVERworld's music all along is not easy to get into as at times they can get way too experimental for my liking .
I suppose the saxophone sold me this time round & that no doubt gives Touch off the edge it needs without going overboard .
Not to mention , the 2nd part of Touch off is my favourite where UVERworld just let it rip , literally .
It reminds to be seen on what UVERworld plans to release next but I think their next music release should be a new album even though I don't mind another single release .
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
FLOWER FLOWER - Kamisama -band acoustic ver.-
Kamisama -band acoustic ver.- is a song by FLOWER FLOWER that was released digitally last month on 27th Feb .
Kamisama originally was released as FLOWER FLOWER's 2nd digital song after Tsuki .
In a way I was excited to hear Kamisama -band acoustic ver.- as Kamisama was 1 of FLOWER FLOWER 1st few songs in their discography when they 1st started out .
The original take of Kamisama was extremely angsty so I was curious how Kamisama -band acoustic ver.- would sound like .
While not as intensely gruff angsty sounding as Kamisama , Kamisama -band acoustic ver.- is still an interesting refreshing version to listen to and I really like the cello strings incorporated in the melody too .
Seeing that this's the 2nd back to back band acoustic ver song that FLOWER FLOWER released digitally , I will not be surprised if future band acoustic ver tracks will be focused on the 1st 5 songs the band originally released digitally in the beginning of their career .
If this's true , then most probably the next band acoustic ver song's focus might be on Aki .
Saturday, March 09, 2019
Yamashita Tomohisa - Reason / Never Lose
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Reason / Never Lose is Yamashita Tomohisa's 9th single & it was released last month on 13th Feb .
Both Reason & Never Lose are not included in Yamapi's 5th album UNLEASHED .
Reason & Never Lose were both chosen to be used as the opening theme song for the 2nd season of the Gyakuten Saiban ~Sono Shinjitsu, Igi Ari!~ anime .
Never Lose was 1st used to promote Gyakuten Saiban ~Sono Shinjitsu, Igi Ari!~ , followed by Reason .
Reason / Never Lose is Yamapi's 1st single release in 6 years since 2013's SUMMER NUDE '13 & it's also Yamapi's 1st double A-side single release .
Besides this , both A-sides had music videos made .
2 B-sides were included in the CD only version of Reason / Never Lose :
- Like A Movie
- Without You
A video was made for Like A Movie which was directed + produced by Yamapi . Despite this , the video was not included in both CD + DVD versions of Reason / Never Lose and it was only available for online streaming for a limited period of time .
Frankly it's quite hard to believe it has been so long since Yamapi last released a solo single & also a bit shocking that he has never released a double A-side single until now .
That said , just like UNLEASHED , it's better late than never and both Reason + Never Lose are songs that wouldn't feel out of place in UNLEASHED sound wise .
I think both A-sides are equally catchy , just that I wish either 1 of them was a ballad as both are upbeat dance songs and it's a bit unfortunate that the accompanied videos didn't really elevate the songs' status that much which's a pity .
At least the 2 B-sides contrast Reason / Never Lose quite well even though I'm not a fan of Without You as I think it's quite boring unlike Like A Movie .
I hope Yamapi will focus on his solo music career this year as that took a backseat during the last few years and I most definitely hope I wouldn't need to wait for so long for another new solo music release from him again , be it a new album or single .
Thursday, March 07, 2019
Kanon Wakeshima - New material in DECADE
2 CDs Limited
Kanon Wakeshima released her 1st best album DECADE last month on 16th Feb .
DECADE is to celebrate Kanon's 10th anniversary in the business , after making her debut in 2008 with debut single still doll
3 new songs are included in DECADE which include :
- fragment ornament
- Arigatou no Uta (Live version)
The tracklist for both version of DECADE are not the same . In the 2 CDs limited version , 4 additional songs made the cut which were selected based on fans' votes via Twitter .
The 4 songs that fans chose & are included in the 2 CDs limited version of DECADE are :
- Unbalance by Me
It's quite hard to believe it has been more than 10 years since Kanon Wakeshima made her debut in the music industry as compared to other female solo acts , she's not easy to market given her unique music style .
With regards to the new material included in DECADE , I like fragment ornament the best out of the lot even though it's over 7 minutes long . The other 2 tracks are only ok for my liking .
As for the 4 additional songs that're included in the 2 CDs limited version of DECADE , I definitely agree that celmisia & Unbalance by Me deserve to make the cut while I'm quite neutral for the other 2 choices .
Here's hoping that Kanon will continue to solider on in the industry & I'm behind her every step of the way .
Tuesday, March 05, 2019
Mika Nakashima - Yoruga Akeru Maeni
3 CDs + DVD
3 CDs + Blu-ray
Yoruga Akeru Maeni is a new song that was included in Mika Nakashima's compilation album Yuki no Hana 15 Shuunen Kinen Best-ban BIBLE .
Yuki no Hana 15 Shuunen Kinen Best-ban BIBLE was released on 30th Jan & this release was to commemorate the 15th anniversary release of Yuki no Hana which's considered as 1 of Mika's signature & most prominent song .
Besides Yoruga Akeru Maeni , Sairen ~SAI_REN~ is also included in Yuki no Hana 15 Shuunen Kinen Best-ban BIBLE & also Denkousekka no Ma .
I initially thought that only Sairen ~SAI_REN~ was included in Yuki no Hana 15 Shuunen Kinen Best-ban BIBLE so for Mika to include a new song , that was a nice surprise .
Yoruga Akeru Maeni reminds me of some of Mika's older works which she does especially during her YES era which's not a bad thing as that was the 1st Mika album I listened to & I still have fond memories of it .
On a side note , I really hope Mika's next release will be a new single if not a new studio album as the last few years since 2014 , Sony Japan has been putting out a lot of different Mika releases which I felt they were un-necessary despite the beautiful accompanied photoshoot and Yuki no Hana 15 Shuunen Kinen Best-ban BIBLE is no exception .