Posted by: Ethan | April 5, 2010

So long folks!

I realize that I just made a post about my 2nd (3rd if you include my first blog) anniversary of my blog, but I’m afraid that’s all going to come to an end. I just don’t feel motivated to review anymore, and if you haven’t noticed, I’m very behind. I’m going through some tough times right now as well.

I won’t delete the blog, but I will no longer be posting here. Who knows? I may come back, stronger than ever.

Thank you for all your support, and lastly, thanks for reading.

This is Ethan, signing off.

Advertisements
Posted by: Ethan | March 25, 2010

AZU – For You

The cover of the Limited Edition

Tracks:

1. For You

2. Ima Sugu ni… (Acoustic Version) (いますぐに・・・)

3. For You -Instrumental-

4. Ima Sugu ni… (Acoustic Version) -Instrumental-

For You is AZU’s 8th single and it was released on February 24th, 2010. This single reached #38 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and it has sold 2,607 copies. The title track was used as the ending theme for the anime Naruto Shippuuden.

Not exactly a fan of the cover, and those red heels really clash with her outfit. D:

I’m honestly in love with AZU right now, and it’s all thanks to For You, a really great R&B track. There’s just so many highlights of the song. First off, AZU’s voice is crisp and clear and I’ve noticed she hasn’t been doing that weird whispery singing, so that’s a giant step up. The music is really catchy too. There’s nice upbeat strings, and a clapping beat to make the song more lively. The biggest highlight of the song is at the end when the choir comes in and AZU starts ad-libbing. She hits a really good high note at the last few seconds of the song and she’s proven (to me anyway) that she can do a lot more with her voice.

I was hoping for a B-side, but all we get is an Acoustic Version of Ima Sugu ni… the first single of the era, and my least favourite. All it is is just a simple piano version, but AZU’s voice sounds nice without all the backup and stuff. And it does help that this was the first song where she started to get good.

Overall Rating:

Posted by: Ethan | March 21, 2010

Wow I’m dumb.

I just realized that it’s the second anniversary of Radiant Dawn… well it was on March 8th. Anyway, here’s all the stats in an accumulative sense.

Total Views: 112,464
Total Posts: 394
Busiest Day: October 8th, 2008
Comments: 499
Most Viewed Post: Perfume – love the world – 858 views
Most Viewed Page: Upcoming Reviews – 2,455

Well that’s about it. XD Thanks for continuing to come to my blog (even though there are plenty of other better ones) and here’s to another year!

Posted by: Ethan | March 20, 2010

Nami Tamaki – STEP

The cover of the CD+DVD Edition

Tracks:

1. GIVE ME UP

2. Friends!

3. Sayonara Shite Ageru (さよならしてあげる)

4. Uso (嘘)

5. Kimi no Namida (キミノナミダ)

6. Negai Hoshi (願い星)

7. Zero no Sora (ゼロの空)

8. Moshimo Negai ga… (もしも願いが・・・)

9. Omoide ni Naru no? (思い出になるの?)

10. Happy Forever

11. in my life

12. Tokyo (東京)

STEP is Nami Tamaki’s 5th album, but 1st under Universal Music Japan, and it was released on February 24th, 2010. This album reached #55 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and it has sold 3,106 copies.

Even though this totally isn’t Nami, she looks nice. =O

So far this year, STEP is the only album I’ve dreaded since it’s been announced, especially with the small amount of new tracks and the use of not-very-good B-sides. But I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the new tracks.

There were 4 singles prior to this album. The first single, and the opening track is GIVE ME UP, definitely my least favourite A-side and the black sheep of the album. It has a weird retro synth sound and it gets pretty annoying after a while. Then Friends!, which is also the second track. That song follows a cute bubblegum sound and I actually think it’s pretty sweet. Then she starts to transition into R&B with Moshimo Negai ga…, a melancholy R&B ballad that’s easily my favourite A-side since she’s switched labels. And lastly, Omoide ni Naru no?, which was released under the name nami (and I still don’t understand why she didn’t release this album as nami, but who fucking knows what that’s going to be like from here on out.) That track is a lot similar to Moshimo Negai ga… but has some strange vocals from Tamaki.

There are also three B-sides. Happy Forever, another bubblegum song from the Friends! single, and in my life (from the GIVE ME UP single), a HORRIBLY HORRIBLY boring and monotone ballad. Honestly, Tamaki sounds dead in that song. Let’s not forget Negai Hoshi, my favourite B-side this era, which has a nice synthpop sound to it.

Now on to the new tracks. The new tracks were a nice surprise, since they show a polished sound, both musically and vocally. One of my personal favourites was Uso, a light but melancholy (in terms of lyrics) R&B song with a progressive beat. I thought it was really catchy and Tamaki had some great vocals. The biggest surprise was Zero no Sora, an infectious synth and R&B song with some cool piano.

In terms of new tracks, my order goes: Uso, Zero no Sora, Tokyo, Kimi no Namida and Sayonara Shite Ageru. Speaking of Tokyo, it’s one of the songs that sticks out more, since it features a louder percussion beat, and it’s really sincere. Perfect way to end it.

So this album was definitely not as bad as I thought it was going to be, and it left me with some new songs to listen to. It’s safe to say that Nami won’t go back to her usual techno/eurobeat and that she’s going to stay R&B for her time at UMJ. Hopefully the quality of her music won’t go down when she switches to nami, if she does.

Favourite Tracks: Uso, Zero no Sora, Moshimo Negai ga…
Least Favourite Tracks: GIVE ME UP, Sayonara Shite Ageru, in my life

Overall Rating:

Posted by: Ethan | March 18, 2010

Thelma Aoyama – Kaeru Basho

Tracks:

1. Kaeru Basho (帰る場所)

2. Anata ga Kiechai Sou de (あなたが消えちゃいそうで)

3. Kaeru Basho (Instrumental)

4. Anata ga Kiechai Sou de (Instrumental)

Kaeru Basho is Thelma Aoyama’s 9th single and it was released on March 3rd, 2010. This single reached #63 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and it has sold 1,326 copies. The title track was used as ending theme for the movie Doraemon: Nobita’s Great Battle of the Mermaid King.

zzzzzzzz cover.

It’s official. Thelma Aoyama is officially a one-hit wonder. It’s amazing how fast her sales dropped after each releases. BACK INTO OBSCURITY YOU GO.

Anyway, Kaeru Basho is kind of boring. Nothing really popped out to me, and if you ask me, it’s just your typical run-of-the-mill R&B ballad. Thelma sounds pretty bored too. I thought the arrangement was kind of cute, but that’s about it. To be honest, it kind of drags on after a while.

Anata ga Kiechai Sou de is even more boring. It’s another ballad kind of song and it’s even more thin than the A-side. The song doesn’t really have much difference from verse to chorus, so that makes it even worse. Thelma’s voice is annoying in this song, as well.

Overall Rating:

Posted by: Ethan | March 16, 2010

Buono! – We are Buono!

The cover of the Regular Edition

Tracks:

1. One Way = My Way

2. Our Songs

3. Independent Girl~Dokuritsu Joshi de Aru Tame ni (Independent Girl~独立女子であるために)

4. MY BOY

5. Urahara (うらはら)

6. Take It Easy!

7. Bravo☆Bravo

8. Kataomoi. (カタオモイ。)

9. Blue-Sky-Blue

10. Koucha no Oishii Mise (紅茶の美味しい店)

11. Tabidachi no Uta (タビダチの歌)

12. We are Buono!~Buono! no Theme (We are Buono!~Buono!のテーマ)

We are Buono! is Buono!’s 3rd album and it was released on February 10th, 2010. This album reached #11 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and it has sold 13,496 copies.

Buono!’s covers always bore me for some reason.

NOTE: This review style is only temporary and I’ll probably only do it when it calls for it.

I’m just gonna summarize this album generally since a lot of the songs tend to blend together. So anyways, there were four singles prior to the album, MY BOY, Take It Easy!, Bravo☆Bravo, and Our Songs. Each of those tracks are completely different from each other. MY BOY is an angsty, loud rock track, while Take It Easy! is a happy-go-lucky and cute acoustic track (did I forget to mention there’s a banjo in there as well? XD) Bravo☆Bravo is a happier, sounding rock track, while Our Songs is a lot more serious, but still having some upbeat elements in it. Even though some of them weren’t all that good, they play a critical part in how the album plays out, so overall they were placed nicely and sound a lot better in the album itself.

The new tracks are pretty good. The album opens nicely with the upbeat One Way = My Way and ends on a more personal note with We are Buono!~Buono! no Theme, which pretty much some of the girls with a crazy arrangement, but overall it’s a good way to see us off.

Among all the new tracks, Urahara is the one that stands out the most to me. it has a dreamy acoustic feel to it, thanks for the echoey acoustic guitar and chimes. I would’ve liked if the song stayed that way the whole time, since the chorus brings in the electric guitar and drums, but I still like the song the most. The album does have a weak point and it’s tracks 8-11. At least it ends nicely.

The album itself is a nice package, but despite that one song, I haven’t really seen anything new from the trio. There are some good songs on it though, like MY BOY, Urahara, and Our Songs, but I’m hoping there will be a change, even if it’s minor, from the normal peppy pop/rock songs they normally do. I honestly don’t see that happening though.

Favourite tracks: Our Songs, MY BOY, Urahara
Least favourite tracks: Tracks 8 through 11 XD

Overall Rating:

Posted by: Ethan | March 12, 2010

Saori@destiny – Lonely Lonely Lonely

Tracks:

1. Lonely Lonely Lonely

2. Sympa (シンパ)

3. Breathe Breathe Breathing (ブリーズ・ブリーズ・ブリージング)

4. Stainless Starlight (ステンレス・スターライト)

Lonely Lonely Lonely is Saori@destiny’s 4th single and it was released on February 17th, 2010. This single failed to appear on the Oricon Weekly Charts.

>_> @ the cover. It doesn’t help that it’s just like the last one, but pink.

For those of you who heard her last single, Ethnic Planet Survival, be prepared for Lonely Lonely Lonely because it’s something COMPLETELY different. It’s really chill compared to pretty much every song she’s put out. There’s nothing loud or anything that blurts out. I don’t necessarily hate this song, but it’s just that nothing pops out. I did like that Saori song in a quieter tone to fit with the type of song, cause that shows she knows how to use her vocals (even if her voice is so robotic.)

I’ve read in a few places that Sympa sounds like Animal Crossing music, and I can generally agree with that. XD It has quick, but dainty piano chords that sound really adorable, and I honestly prefer this track over the A-side.

I don’t know what it is with Saori and rereleasing songs, but Breathe Breathe Breathing and Stainless Starlight are some pretty good tracks, and without them, this single’s rating would go down significantly.

Overall Rating:

Posted by: Ethan | March 10, 2010

nami – Omoide ni Naru no?

Tracks:

1. Omoide ni Naru no? (思い出になるの?)

2. Itoshisa no Yukue (愛しさのゆくえ)

3. Rakuen (楽園)

Omoide ni Naru no? is Nami Tamaki’s 19th single, but 1st under the stagename nami, and it was released on February 17th, 2010. This single reached #138 on the Oricon Weekly Charts.

Oh my, Miss Tamaki! Very gorgeous cover. The really bright light in the background gives it almost an angelic feel.

Not sure what the point was for this single to be released under a new name, but have her normal name for the album… but anyways, Omoide ni Naru no? is the last single of the era and it ends on a better note. This track was produced by Jeff Miyahara. You might know him from JASMINE, Kana Nishino, and other R&B artists. This song has a definite R&B sound to it, given off by the serious piano chords and the beat. I’m kind of indifferent when it comes to this song, but one thing is for sure, her vocals are somewhat off.

Itoshisa no Yukue is pretty much like an upbeat version of the A-side. I didn’t think this track was all that special and it really drags on after a while. I’m pretty sure the same drum-sounding beat was used in this song. Her vocals are getting weirder by the track.

Track 3 is a cover of Ken Hirai’s Rakuen, the song that greatly boosted Hirai’s popularity. the song begins pleasantly and I really like the cute harp and the steady beat. But Tamaki’s vocals are way too husky-sounding. It almost doesn’t sound like her at all and that’s a definite turn-off. I find myself listening to the song though, but that’s probably because I really like the instrumental part of it. If only she didn’t sound like a freak.

Overall Rating:

Posted by: Ethan | March 9, 2010

AAA – HEARTFUL

The cover of the CD+DVD Edition

Tracks:

1. ♥ (Heartful) (♥(ハートフル))

2. Overdrive

3. Break Down

4. Brand New World

5. Rising Sun

6. Summer Revolution

7. As I am

8. ONE

9. Get It On

10. Heart and Soul

11. Believe own way

12. FIELD

13. Metamorphose

14. Hide-away

HEARTFUL is AAA’s 5th album and it was released on February 17th, 2009. This album reached #3 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and it has sold 46,768 copies.

I would’ve liked this cover a lot more if it wasn’t for the text going right over everyone. Otherwise I think it’s pretty hot, even for AAA.

♥ (Heartful) is probably the only good opening track I’ve heard from AAA, since it has the potential of being a full track. It starts out quiet and fades in with beats, synth and vocals building up. Like I said it’s good and could seriously be a full song.

I’m not an expert on AAA (I’ve only heard their this album and the last two) but I don’t think they have anything like what’s on this album. Overdrive is a full-blown taste of everything that’s on this album: eurotrance at its best. That’s right, flurries of beats, loud synth, and fast vocals really dominate most of this album.

Compared to the new tracks, Break Down kind of sticks out. This one is more dominate in the dance department and relies more on the loud beats than anything. I like this song a lot more now that’s on the album, and it’s a great place to start with AAA.

Another first for AAA is all of the members that aren’t in the songs as much get their chance to be in the limelight. Brand New World is the first and it features Urata, Shinjiro, Chiaki, and Hidaka. I like this song but one thing about it just gets to me, and that’s the repetitive synth line that sounds really grating. It doesn’t really fit with the song, to be honest.

Rising Sun has Nissy and Misako in it, but they also include Shuta in it. I think Shuta is one of the better singers in the group, him and Urata. I think Nissy is a good singer but he gets old after a while, since he’s in EVERY SONG. You know… this song sounds pretty similar to the next track, which is…

Summer Revolution! And it only has the girls in this one. It could be the synth, that sounds so familiar. I always like the songs the girls do so I’m glad this song was included.

Speaking of girls, this one is a solo! That’s right, Misako (even though she’s in the songs all the time) gets her own track… but that doesn’t mean one of the members come in for back up (but I can’t tell who it is, but it’s definitely not Misako). As I am is actually one of my favourite since it’s more danceable than the previous ones.

ONE has Misako, Chiaki, Shuta, and Shinjiro. I liked this song more than the other ones too since I find it catchy. it might be those “woah woah woah’s” after the chorus, BUT WHO KNOWS, BBZ.

I was told that Get It On is a guys-only track, but the beginning sounds very girly, with the piano and such. I find that part really redundant from the rest of the song. XD The rest of the song is kind of clunky, because of the cluster of beats going on. But the chorus makes up for it with the catchy harmonization between the guys.

Heart and Soul, the single prior to the album, really was a precursor of what was to come, and it fits like a glove in this album. Definitely eurotrance at its best.

I thought Believe own way stood out more since it’s one of the only slow-ish songs on the album. The chimes added in this song are a nice touch and give it that slow feel. Oh, and this song has a little bit of everyone, but mostly the boys. The girls have minor parts in the chorus, aka background vocals.

FIELD sticks out like sore thumb on this dance-dominate album. This track was used as the promotional song, but it totally doesn’t fit the album and all, and I find it to be pretty boring. The only highlight of this song is the chorus, which has a nice harmonization between all of the members. Otherwise, this album is definitely the worst one of the album.

Think of GIRL NEXT DOOR, then think of Metamorphose. Yeah, that similar. Weird piano, chorus/melody recycling, similar sounds. Yeah, sorry AAA, but no. XD

Even though I ripped the Hide-away single a new one, I thought the song itself was really nice, even if it doesn’t necessarily fit on with the rest of the album. It is a nice way to end it, and I’m glad it was placed at the end, rather than in the middle of all of the other tracks.

While I admit this album is better than depArture (believe me, bbz, it really is)  find myself hearing the same thing over and over. That’s not to say that the album is good, it’s just that I would’ve liked a little more variety. And I’m really hoping AAA don’t stick to all this eurotrance stuff for their next single, because it’s going to get old FAST. But for now, AAA have redeemed themselves by releasing an album that I thought wasn’t going to be that good.

Favourite tracks: As I am, ONE, Hide-away
Least favourite tracks: Rising Sun, FIELD, Metamorphose

Overall Rating:

Posted by: Ethan | March 4, 2010

Nana Mizuki – Silent Bible

Tracks:

1. Silent Bible

2. Polaris

3. UNCHAIN∞WORLD

4. undercover

Silent Bible is Nana Mizuki’s 22nd single and it was released on February 10th, 2010. This single reached #3 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and it has sold 64,529 copies. The title track was used as the theme song for the video game Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s PORTABLE -THE BATTLE OF ACES-, while the 3rd track was used as the theme song for the video game Mugen no Frontier EXCEED Super Robot Taisen OG Taisen.

Oooh. So far this is my favourite cover from Nana since Trickster. I like the smokey-looking text and the different shades of blue.

I know I’m gonna get yelled at for this but, Silent Bible sounds like your typical, run-of-the-mill anime/video game track, and who better to do it than Nana Mizuki. When I say typical, I mean the flowing strings, fast synthetic beats, epic electric guitar, and elongated singing. I will say that it’s nice, just atypical since she IS a seiyuu after all. This fairs a lot better than Mugen, though, which makes PHANTOM MINDS the best still. Who knows, though, she has another single coming out in May so the places may change.

I wasn’t expecting Polaris to be an R&B track at ALL, and it still astounds me that she chose this style to go with. It still features the piano and strings, but has a clapping-kind of beat. Mizuki pulled this song off, surprisingly, and it was a nice change of pace from her norm.

UNCHAIN∞WORLD isn’t that much different from the A-side, but the chorus is a lot more vigorous and fast. This time around, the guitar is a lot more present and aggressive. I wasn’t completely blown away by it, since it’s purely B-side material, but it’s not that bad.

I think undercover is my least favourite B-side of the three. I just didn’t find anything special about this watered-down version of the A-side. Better luck next time, Nana.

Overall Rating:

Older Posts »

Categories