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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Perfume – Spring of Life

04/11/2012 at 12:17 PM | Posted in Perfume | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Perfume – Spring of Life

1. Spring of Life

2. Communication

3. Spring of Life (Original Instrumental)

4. Communication (Original Instrumental)

A label change, looking to reach a global market, next stop world domination? We’ll see…

There’s something fresh sounding about “Spring of Life” and I’m not sure what it really is, but I’m liking it. I feel like this song does a good job of revitalizing the girls. The synth is bright and especially during the chorus kind of cheery, the chorus itself is really catchy. The bridge was especially good to me as it starts out with a change to a bit heavier, edgier synth. Although when hearing something like that I crave more of it, a la edge, but oh well. A new synth melody starts playing afterwards and continues on into the song’s last chorus which I thought was really cool and made the ending of the song that much better.

Score – 8.5

“Communication” confuses you really quickly by starting up with a bit of natural percussion, but the song is nothing like that. The song is one of the more cutesy ones that the girls have done in a while. The same basic melody loops for the entire song and I wasn’t sure at first if it was annoying or not, but over time I’ve come to think it’s perfectly fine. The chorus is great, I loved the quickness of the lyrics and how well they flow along with the music. Overall I find the song to be just a small cut above Spring of Life, though I can see why Spring of Life is the A-side.

Score – 9

Final Note

A good new single for a new label, hopefully they continue like this.

Overall Rating

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MiChi – THERAPY

04/04/2012 at 5:00 AM | Posted in MiChi | 2 Comments
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~Album~

MiChi – THERAPY

1. MadNesS Vol.3

2. TOKYO NIGHT

3. LOVE is.

4. Together again

5. YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!

6. Special Someone

7. WoNdeR WomaN

8. Light Up

9. Take It Easy!

10. motto.

11. Find your way

12. THERAPY

13. ONE

So after such a long time since the release of MiChi’s major label debut with UP TO YOU, she finally releases here sophomore effort with THERAPY. Considering the recent singles I wasn’t sure what I would think overall, and may or may not have been dreading listening to the album. Continue Reading MiChi – THERAPY…

Namie Amuro – Go Round / YEAH-OH

03/28/2012 at 11:00 AM | Posted in Namie Amuro | 3 Comments
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~Single~

Namie Amuro – Go Round / YEAH-OH

1. Go Round

2. YEAH-OH

3. Go Round (Instrumental)

4. YEAH-OH (Instrumental)

OK, I’m just going to say what everyone else is thinking, this girl needs to release her next album already. Let’s be honest with each other. This single will make 9 A-sides released before a proper album. Who does she think she is? Ayu?

“Go Round” starts off with some clapping and stomping along with some pretty nice beats. When Namie starts singing a funky guitar plays in the background almost unnoticeable but it was a good addition. The chorus is super catchy and really brings the song up to another level. The synths kind of had this dark tone to them I felt, but they made sense with the song as a whole. Go Round is super short and while I wish it went on for longer. It was one of those where I was repeating it because it was good, but also because I felt like I hadn’t heard it enough, if that makes sense.

Score – 8.5

“YEAH-OH” ends up feeling a little similar to Go Round but with a little more of a darker tone to it both in the synths and Namie’s singing. However, at the same time, it seems more like a dance song than anything which I liked. It never really lets up and builds up perfectly to a pretty good chorus ending with a catchy ” We’re singing YEAH-OH, singing YEAH-OH”. Incidentally I was reminded of a few recent and popular American R&B songs when I listened to this. Again, as with Go Round, this song is short and I kind of wanted more from it once it ended.

Score – 9

Final Note

Good songs but I’m left wanting more, and above all else, a freakin’ album already.

Overall Rating

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Ayumi Hamasaki – Party Queen

03/28/2012 at 7:30 AM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | 5 Comments
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~Album~

Ayumi Hamasaki – Party Queen

1. Party Queen

2. NaNaNa

3. Shake it❤

4. taskebab

5. call

6. Letter

7. reminds me

8. Return Road

9. Tell me why

10. a cup of tea

11. the next LOVE

12. Eyes, Smoke, Magic

13. Serenade in A minor

14. how beautiful you are

So with no prior singles, except for how beautiful you are which was released not too long ago and is a digital single so it doesn’t really count even though I reviewed it… we have this album with all new songs! Continue Reading Ayumi Hamasaki – Party Queen…

Brief Hiatus

03/13/2012 at 12:28 PM | Posted in Blog Posts | Leave a comment

Going to take a real mini break on reviews on account of me going on vacation tomorrow. I’ll be gone for 9 days so it’s just a little short one. I’ll have a lot to get together once I get back so you’ll have to bear with me until I get everything in order again.

Just thought I’d let everyone know, and as always, thanks for reading ❤

Crystal Kay – Delicious na Kinyoubi / Haru Arashi

03/07/2012 at 2:30 PM | Posted in Crystal Kay | 1 Comment
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~Single~

Crystal Kay – Delicious na Kinyoubi / Haru Arashi

1. Delicious na Kinyoubi

2. Haru Arashi

3. Delicious na Kinyoubi (Instrumental)

4. Haru Arashi (Instrumental)

This is Crystal Kay’s second new single on her new label and first new double A-side single.

“Delicious na Kinyoubi” starts right off with a thumping beat and nice vocalizing from. The music borders on a more synthetic side contrasting with her first new single Superman, which I think is a good thing because while I do love her R&B, I love her Pop a bit more. Crystal sings in a slightly low range at first and kicks things up in the chorus which is amazing. At first it seemed so different and a bit detached from the rest of the song, but after giving it a couple listens it feels more natural. It’s so upbeat and super infectious, not to mention her vocals sound perfectly controlled. I was less than crazy about the breakdown in the bridge, it’s not that I didn’t like it but it kind of felt out of place.

Score – 8.5

“Haru Arashi” continues a more upbeat vibe when honestly, I was kind of expecting a ballad here. Regardless I was pleasantly surprised to hear this electric, kind of dance-y track à la FLASH, which is something I’ve been waiting to hear, that is, songs that sounded like they did on FLASH. It has this really cool ethereal vibe going throughout which I thought was really cool. The lead up to the chorus was one of the highlights of the song. It builds a bit, comes down, builds again and then the chorus hits.The chorus itself is pretty good too, but certainly a little shadowed by that lead up. I thought it was cool to hear the English words “the spring storm” at various parts of the song, “Spring Storm” is what Haru Arashi directly translates to. The song ends in this kind of abrupt way that I liked, it didn’t feel cut short though, which is good. This is exactly one of the kinds of songs I needed to hear from Crystal.

Score – 9

Final Note 

More impressed than I thought I would be. I’m glad that her new direction looks as if it will have some variety.

Overall Rating

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FEBRUARY & HEAVENLY

02/29/2012 at 7:57 PM | Posted in Tommy heavenly6 | Leave a comment
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~Album~

Tomoko Kawase – FEBRUARY & HEAVENLY

Disc 1 “february6”

1. HOT CHOCOLAT

2. GIMME GIMME GIMME

3. I’M YOUR ANGEL

4. MY FUTURE BOY

5. LAST SLOW DANCE

6. GOOD NIGHT MY SWEET DAY

7. I HOLD YOUR NIGHT

Disc 2 “heavenly6”

1. CALL ME PRINCESS

2. HATE YOUR LIES

3. I’M YOUR DEVIL -Short-

4. YOU HURT ME

5. monochrome rainbow

6. DARK DARK SKY

7. I’M YOUR DEVIL (Halloween Remix)

So here it is, a Tommy february6 and Tommy heavenly6 dual album! And guess what, I’m even going to review the february6 side. Still putting this under Tommy heavenly6 though. Sorry this is a little late in the day, had some complications. Continue Reading FEBRUARY & HEAVENLY…

how beautiful you are – Ayumi Hamasaki

02/22/2012 at 11:00 AM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment
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~Single~

how beautiful you are – Ayumi Hamasaki

1. how beautiful you are

2. how beautiful you are (Instrumental)

A short one today, a digi single in anticipation for her new album Party Queen, which I can’t wait for.

“how beautiful you are” is naturally a ballad and quite a typical one for Ayumi. One thing I must commend is the simplicity of the arrangement. It’s not overly grandiose which was refreshing, though it does build a little as the song progresses so it’s definitely not a bore at the same time. The song contains piano and strings and the occasional harp which makes it that much more lovely. I really liked the vocalizing in the bridge and even more so when it built up after the first round, it’s probably one of my favorite parts of the song.

Score – 8

Final Note

Not bad, honestly, really can’t wait for all the new songs coming from the upcoming album.

Overall Rating

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MiChi – TOKYO NIGHT

02/15/2012 at 11:00 AM | Posted in MiChi | Leave a comment
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~Single~

MiChi – TOKYO NIGHT

1. TOKYO NIGHT

2. December

3. Revolution

4. TOKYO NIGHT (Instrumental)

MiChi’s lastest single before her new album THERAPY comes out! Let’s see now…

“Tokyo Night” starts off with quite an electronic sound which I think was probably foreseeable. As soon as MiChi starts singing though, things sound a little flat, and dare I say it, boring. The building right before the chorus showed promise but then once the chorus actually hits, it just definitely felt a bit lackluster. Again it was one of those songs that I kept waiting for something to really happen, but it never really goes anywhere.

Score – 7.5

As soon as “December” starts, I was feeling it. It’s quite quiet at first but then bursts into some percussion and electric guitar. It suffers a little bit from being slower paced and I do wish it was faster. The chorus helps alleviate some of the draggy feeling and is the highlight of the song. MiChi sounds a little shaky in this one which isn’t something I hear from her often, but it didn’t detract too much and I still enjoyed the song. Interesting to note that the song is all in English.

Score – 8

“Revolution” is a cover, naturally for a MiChi single, of The Veronicas song by the same name. The music sounds a little on the light side and I wish it had been a little harder like the original. The sound seems to get a little better towards the end. MiChi occasionally sounds shaky again while singing this one, I noticed it more here than in December. An OK cover, she’s definitely done better though.

Score – 7

Final Note

Well all I can say about this single, with the exception of December, is that I’m glad her new album is coming out soon because this just wasn’t really up to par, like many of her latest singles unfortunately.

Overall Rating

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