Ken Hirai – Kokuhaku

06/11/2012 at 6:33 PM | Posted in Ken Hirai | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Ken Hirai – Kokuhaku

1. Kokuhaku

2. Woman “W no Higeki” Yori

3. Kokuhaku -less vocal-

See kids, take note, this is what happens when there isn’t anything being released for a set time, I keep track of the next releases, however far away they may be, but I always get either a little lazy and take a while to get back to reviewing them once they actually get released or I forget outright… Enough of my excuses though.

“Kokuhaku” really strikes me as a return to form for Ken, as his past couple releases have been so insanely bad I’ve wanted to stop reviewing them once and for all and save my ears the pain. I’m happy to report that Kokuhaku is really good. I really wasn’t expecting how dark this song was going to sound but it’s exactly that. The synths play off great with quite a funked up electric guitar and strings. The production overall blasts a slew of Ken’s past songs out of the water, sounding really dramatic at times and just really well put together, not to mention that this song actually has proper flow which I think was missing from his past releases as well. I think what I liked was Ken’s voice, of course he sounds good, but there is also an intensity there that I found really great and refreshing.

Score – 8

While I was really worried that I was going to be hit with another crap ballad from Ken, since his last few have been pretty bad, “Woman “W no Higeki” Yori” was nice to hear. The whole song has an overall jazzy, lounge-like atmosphere to it. It’s really relaxed and made me feel relaxed and that’s one of the reasons I liked it as much as I did. Again Ken’s vocals are just right, and not annoying to me like they had previously been for a bit. The piano and strings are positively on point here and again, sound refreshing and not at all generic to me.

Score – 8

Final Note

AHHHHHHH. I’m so glad this was actually really good! Thank god too, I was beginning to lose hope.

Overall Rating

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Ken Hirai – JAPANESE SINGER

07/16/2011 at 8:57 PM | Posted in Ken Hirai | Leave a comment
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~Album~

Ken Hirai – JAPANESE SINGER

1. Sing Forever

2. Itoshiki Hibi yo

3. CANDY

4. Onegai Julie

5. Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru

6. Sayonara My Love

7. R&B

8. Girls 3x

9. Aishiteru

10. BLIND

11. Miss Summertime

12. Yume no Mokou de

13. Anata to

After quite a long time, Ken Hirai releases another album and it’s the first of his albums I’ll be able to review on here. Quite afraid because there are a lot of single tracks that I didn’t like on here, so I’m really hoping for some decent album tracks.

Continue Reading Ken Hirai – JAPANESE SINGER…

Ken Hirai – Itoshiki Hibi yo

06/08/2011 at 1:51 AM | Posted in Ken Hirai | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Ken Hirai – Itoshiki Hibi yo

1. Itoshiki Hibi yo

2. Run to you

3. Itoshiki Hibi yo (Instrumental)

I think I just need to tell myself that there will never be a greater Ken Hirai ballad than Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wa Suru because of course, “Itoshiki Hibi yo” is a ballad and being a ballad I keep thinking it will compare, and then it doesn’t… Ken hits a lot of high ass notes to the point of sometimes being a little annoying, no hate, just saying although sometimes some of his vocals sound a bit awkward here. The arrangement is all really grand but it fails to impress me. The music itself sans Ken’s vocals actually sounds pretty good, but the vocals just kind of kill it for me.

Score – 7

“Run to you” is a really smooth R&B-ish track featuring a lot of snapping, at least in the beginning. The chorus hits and it sounds a bit more mid-tempo pop. The arrangement is kind of messy and I feel like they didn’t really no where they were going with this song. The term “hot mess” comes to mind. I feel like a lot of Ken’s songs lately, this one included sound a bit draggy.

Score – 6.5

Final Note

Confused all around, and I’m talking about the songs themselves. I suggest listening to the instrumental of Itoshiki Hibi yo.

Overall Rating

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Ken Hirai – Aishiteru

11/11/2010 at 10:46 PM | Posted in Ken Hirai | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Ken Hirai – Aishiteru

1. Aishiteru

2. air cameraman

3. Unchained Melody

4. Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru (Rei Harakami Remix)

5. Aishiteru (Less Vocal)

“Aishiteru” starts with a pretty nice acapella by Ken in the beginning, and the piano that follows is simple but nice. I felt the arrangement of the song was nice but simple and it sounded rather unremarkable. It’s a nice ballad regardless, Ken’s vocals are always top notch, but a little forgettable I’m afraid.

Score – 6.5

“air cameraman” surprised me as I was a bit thrown off by it’s interesting title. I thought the funky sound (and sound effects used) and lounge like atmosphere to be kind of refreshing. I really enjoyed the acoustic guitar and thought it was overall unique sounding. Sometimes it felt a little too laid back but in the end, I think this is one of the better Ken Hirai songs in a while.

Score – 8

“Unchained Melody” is of course a cover of a song by the same name, originally by The Righteous Brothers. Of course the title song of this single is being used as the main theme to the Japanese remake of the movie “Ghost” originally starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. Unchained Melody of course, appeared in the original version of the movie. I’ve not heard Ken’s English before and I was surprised at how well he spoke. It’s a slightly boring traditional cover with a little bit of flair here and there, mostly thanks to Ken’s voice. I found it enjoyable to listen to but I wasn’t overly impressed.

Score – 7

The “Rei Harakami Remix” of Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru is kind of bad. They take one of the best Ken Hirai songs ever, and just kind of ruin in, for lack of a better term. It didn’t catch my interest at all and it didn’t really flow well. Sometimes the vocals were too quiet, others too loud. Just a mess all around regrettably.

Score – 5

Final Note

Kind of meh, gotta pick it up Kenny.

Overall Rating

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Ken Hirai – Sing Forever

10/19/2010 at 1:04 PM | Posted in Ken Hirai | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Ken Hirai – Sing Forever

1. Sing Forever

2. Taiyou

3. HOTEL VAMPIRE

4. CANDY -Suspicious Remix-

5. Sing Forever -less vocal-

This review is a little late I know, that tends to happen when I really don’t like a single. Sad to say really.

I really didn’t like “Sing Forever”. I really didn’t like the tempo and Ken’s vocals get a little annoying at certain points and sounds awkward. The lyrics seemed to be a bit cheesy especially in the chorus and the overall arrangement sounded kind of messy as well.

Score – 4

“Taiyou”  is a sweet, calming ballad and it has really nice piano in it. I thought Ken’s vocals were great here and I liked the emotion he put into them. The whole song was just Ken’s vocal and piano but it worked well.

Score – 8

I don’t know what I was expecting from “HOTEL VAMPIRE” but it intrigued me even it is just a little Halloween inspired. It has up tempo strings, guitar and clapping in it and Ken sings at a quick pace. There was an English rap towards the end and while the lyrics felt silly, it actually didn’t sound bad.

Score – 7

CANDY never really stuck out to me before, and this “Suspicious Remix” doesn’t really help matters, it adds a lot of fast organ and percussion giving it a more jazzy sound but I still found it a bit boring.

Score – 6.5

Final Note

Average single, hopefully Aishiteru improves things. Talk of a new album?

Overall Rating

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Ken Hirai – Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru

10/21/2009 at 8:32 PM | Posted in Ken Hirai | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Ken Hirai – Boku was Kimi ni Koi wo Suru

1. Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru

2. Hitori ja nai

3. Catch you

4. Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru (less vocal)

Thank goodness Ken Hirai released a new single so soon because CANDY just wasn’t cutting it. Thankfully Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru is much better.

I don’t mean to compare the two at all as they are two totally different songs. “Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Suru” is a strong ballad, with equally strong vocals from Hirai. I loved the piano and strings throughout and though that Ken’s voice sounded really smooth. I like the repetition with the melody featured in the chorus. I would have likes something just a little… more from this song but it is still a good track.

Score – 9.5

“Hitori ja nai” starts off fine with it’s light piano and picking up with some flute and mild percussion. However I couldn’t help but feel that this song was incredibly cheesy sounding. And then during the end of the song it gets extremely repetitive with the chorus of children and Ken singing “lalalalalalala”. It just wasn’t really my cup of tea.

Score – 7.5

“Catch you” this extremely funky, jazzy synth style song which I thought had a very unique song. Although to be honest I didn’t like pairing it with Ken’s higher vocals. There isn’t really much wrong with this song but I just couldn’t really get into it.

Score – 8

Final Note

Strong A-side but questionable B-sides.

Overall Rating

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Ken Hirai – CANDY

09/29/2009 at 12:28 PM | Posted in Ken Hirai | Leave a comment
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Ken Hirai - CANDY

~Single~

Ken Hirai – CANDY

1. CANDY

2. Furusa Sai’da

3. Do it!!

4. CANDY (less vocal)

Awesome! New stuff from Ken Hirai and it’s about damn time!

“CANDY” is very different from anything he has ever done in the past, well, at least different from what I am used to. It’s not quite R&B, in fact it’s pretty much all pop. It’s an upbeat song with a fast paced chorus. Hirai hits some great high notes and I really enjoyed that display of vocal prowess. Something about it doesn’t really seem right though and it didn’t stand out to me.

Score – 7.5

In case anyone wanted to know “Furusa Sai’da” is an arabic phrase and it means “nice to meet you” or something along those lines. Continuing that the song itself has some arabic flavors in it as well. I thought the song sounded pretty sexy as well. In my opinion Furusa Sai’da was loads better than CANDY, that moan from Ken at the end of the song helps ❤

Score – 8.5

“Do it!!: sounded a little strange to me. I thought the song didn’t really flow well for some reason. I don’t think the music is really fit for Ken either, in fact, the more I listen to it the more I don’t like it.

Score – 7

The final track on this single is a “less vocal” version of CANDY. If anyone was wondering what “less vocal” means well, let’s just say the track should be called “CANDY (Original Karaoke)” or some such.

Final Note

Kind of all over the place, some stuff I liked, other stuff? Mehhhh…

Overall Rating

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