JASMINE – Best Partner

03/18/2013 at 6:15 PM | Posted in Jasmine | Leave a comment
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JASMINE - Best Partner

~Single~

JASMINE – Best Partner

1. Best Partner

2. B*TCH*S

3. Touch me on the Beach

4. Best Partner (Instrumental)

~

After a long silence, JASMINE released this single. Of course that was months ago and now there’s a long silence again. COME ON JASMINE. I NEED MORE OF YOUR MUSIC, aka I liked these songs.

~

After a short intro “Best Partner” starts with JASMINE singing against some quick strings. Clapping and beats soon follow in what seems like typical JASMINE fashion. Things get a little more interesting though in the lead up to the chorus as I quickly realize all of this is building up to an emotional and explosive sounding chorus, the highlight of the song. It was really what drew me into the song the most and really made me like it. JASMINE’s belting really conveys in simple sound what is being conveyed in the lyrics. I liked how the music somehow seems lighter at the end in the outro though I still do like the darker more serious tone of the song overall. Other than having a title that seemed awkward to me at first I feel like this is one of JASMINE’s better songs, now if she would just release more…

Score – 9

“B*TCH*S”, what a title. Once again, kind of an explosive, brazen kind of song with heavy synth going on. The background vocalizing throughout the song, especially during the chorus heightens the song, really bringing it to another level. I really loved the lyrics, strong, playful, sexy, with a real girl on top feel to them. JASMINE really does well with these types of songs I think.

Score – 8.5

“Touch me on the Beach” is a sexy, high energy, summer track that never lets up. I liked the way the lyrics seemed to flow and especially how JASMINE sings them, there is a playful, wildness she can give her voice sometimes that really works for her and the mood of the song. Again, these are the kinds of songs that I feel she does really good with. That being said, I did think that this was the weakest track overall. It’s really not bad, but the other two are just better and kind of end up overshadowing it.

Score – 7.5

Final Note

Really glad JASMINE comes back strong with this single, but not happy she still hasn’t released anything new yet…

Overall Rating

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Angela Aki – Kokuhaku

09/27/2012 at 6:19 PM | Posted in Angela Aki | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Angela Aki – Kokuhaku

1. Kokuhaku

2. Kokuhaku -Ishino Takkyu Remix-

3. Uchuu -80KIDZ Remix-

4. Kokuhaku -Anime Version-

Angela revitalizes her tried and true sound while still sounding refreshing with Kokuhaku. It’s an uplifting song that has excellent flow and is a perfect fit for summer. I was instantly drawn in with the infectious melody and catchy lyrics, especially the chorus. The structure of the song itself has the chorus delayed a bit which I kind of liked because it made it that much better when it does finally hit. Once again I’m so attracted to Angela’s voice and the way she says the words and the emotion she pours into them. That last “Say you love me too” in the bridge? Perfection.

Score – 9.5

Those remixes are admittedly pretty terrible, and the Anime Version of Kokuhaku is just an abridged version of the song so not much to mention there.

Overall Rating

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Crystal Kay – Forever

06/28/2012 at 12:37 PM | Posted in Blog Posts | 1 Comment
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~Single~

Crystal Kay – Forever

1. Forever

2. Forever (SKY HIGH REMIX)

3. Haru Arashi (BONEBOX REMIX)

4. Forever (Instrumental)

Yes I know this review is quite late. Unfortunately, on the day I was supposed to be typing it up the power went out, naturally, of course I’ve been fairly busy since then hence the delay. But fear not, here it is!

I honestly thought that “Forever” was going to be a ballad but it turned around and blew my expectations away. Turns out it’s an upbeat banger. The synths are on point and the overall atmosphere of the song is perfect for summertime. The beat is great and Crystal’s vocals are awesome as always. The song really shines as it incorporates a lot and makes it all work, right down to the tribal beats and chanting featured throughout. The high notes my girl hits at the very end are fantastic and reminds you why she is in the biz. I could listen to this song Forever, and since hearing it, I practically have.

Score – 9

Final Note

Perfect summer song, great production.

Overall Rating

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– Note –

You may have noticed that this review is a little bare, as I didn’t review the remixes. I’ve decided that while I know remixes aren’t all bad, typically I HATE them, so unless one blows me away and I actually think it’s worth mentioning, I’m just flat out not going to bother as I don’t want it to affect the overall rating of the single, thanks!

girl next door – signal

06/13/2012 at 11:28 PM | Posted in girl next door | Leave a comment
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~Single~

girl next door – signal

1. signal

2. Precious Friend

3. signal (Instrumental)

4. Precious Friend (Instrumental)

Aw cute, that track listing is like a neat little pyramid. Too bad that’s the only thing I’m probably going to like about this single… Ha, if I thought I had lost faith in Ken Hirai what do I think about gnd?

OK, I take it back, “signal” isn’t that bad, especially since it has this kind of retro, 90’s J-Pop sound to it, or at least I think it does… But anyway, I liked the fast pace of the verses and the chorus had a nice melody to it, although some of the progression felt very generic gnd. At the same time, I have to say it was a little more fresh than some of the stuff that, say, was on Destination. So kudos for that, a little more creativity in the overall production and we may have something!

Score – 7.5

I have to say that the same general comments apply to Precious Friend although it’s a bit more… reductive, shall we say. One of it’s saving graces was Chisa’s vocals, which, I will say I always tend to like especially here. Another was this really interesting and damn near exciting piano and synth progression that I absolutely died for when I heard, and I shit you not there was something a little “Mamma Mia” about it. If you heard it you might know what I was talking about. But anyway, I think I simultanesouly was thankful for it, but at the same time it just made me crave more and then become sad because there wasn’t any more.

Score – 7

Final Note

While I’m slightly impressed, I’m of course not blown away, and I’ve seen new era potential be shot in the face by gnd before sooo….

Overall Rating

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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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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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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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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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Namie Amuro – Sit! Stay! Wait! Down! / Love Story

12/23/2011 at 3:46 PM | Posted in Namie Amuro | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Namie Amuro – Sit! Stay! Wait! Down! / Love Story

1. Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!

2. Love Story

3. Higher

4. arigatou <thank the world for LOVE… gift song for 2011>

5. Sit! Stay! Wait! Down! (Instrumental)

6. Love Story (Instrumental)

7. Higher (Instrumental)

There’s just something about “Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!” that I really. Like from the versus to the lead up into the chorus, and the chorus itself of course the song has a lot of variety in it. The whole thing flows incredibly well and transitions between everything are done well, altogether the song feels very cohesive. The thumping beat during the chorus is addictive and especially catchy. The lyrics, which include her actually saying “Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!” as well as “Good boy” as if commanding a dog, but I’m sure she’s probably commanding a man here, were a fun touch.

Score – 9.5

Things come to a halt upon the beginning of “Love Story” which I’m sure you realized from the title is a ballad. It features prominent piano, acoustic guitar and some snapping. I wasn’t really interested in it overall, though the chorus manages to carry the song a bit. I’d hate to say that it ended up feeling a bit forgettable but it kind of did.

Score – 7.5

Naturally, things get pumped back up with “Higher”. It’s a really electric song. I was kind of disappointed because while the song kind of goes electric/ethereal during the chorus (which I tend to love) it sounded like it was building towards something better the whole time but never really went anywhere. Though don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the chorus, the sound of voice as she sings “Take me Higher” was great.

Score – 8.5

Again things get slowed down a bit for “arigatou” which is another ballad but this one had a bit more beat to it. I can’t help but feel I hear a little bit of HANABI by Ayumi Hamasaki in some of the melody, just an observation, doesn’t matter much. The song just ends up seeming exceedingly average, and again, I found it to be a little forgettable. My favorite Namie ballad still manages to be Meaning Of Us and it doesn’t look like Love Story or arigatou are going to change that any time soon.

Score – 7.5

Final Note

I tend to like both fast and slow songs, but this time, I was completely bored by the slow, and totally turned onto the fast.

Overall Rating

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