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Hello, we’re still here… kinda

2010年 8月 31日

Hello everyone,

I figured that it’s been a while so we might as well provide some explanation for lack of updates. We have been really busy with college preparations and in fact, Aoliwa has already started classes. I’m not even at home so I won’t be updating either and I will be moving in very soon as well. I think I’ll try and get some stuff done after that, but that’s not a promise. We’ll see what happens..

-KWZ

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[Single] the GazettE – SHIVER

2010年 8月 11日

Oh hey, everyone. It’s been quite a while since there’s actually been a review up here. So, I’m glad to be breaking this lack of updates. The Gazette really love to have weird covers… Whatever, they’ve been doing this forever.

SHIVER is a pretty upbeat song. I think that the singing and lots of stuff start a bit too suddenly. They could have put in more of an intro. The guitar parts are pretty interesting though since they both have a little variety. Vocals are nice, and there’s a short guitar solo. I don’t have too much else to say since this is basically your typical upbeat GazettE….

HESITATING MEANS DEATH is a heavy rhythmic song. Ruki uses shouting as well as normal singing. I think that this song has a more catchy tune because it is so much simpler. Bass is a lot more prominent in this song. The guitars do completely different things of course: the right side uses a lot of broken chords in the higher register to add atmosphere. Pretty good song in my opinion.

Naraku starts off with a synthesized intro which is followed by guitars. They play using a heavy sound and then stop for Ruki’s entrance. The melody is great and the accompaniment is awesome. They use simple chords at the chorus, but in the verses they play much more intricate parts. This kind of work is the stuff I love to hear from them. It’s a slower pace than the other two songs. You’ll hear a bit of piano in the background. Later in the song, a guitar sort of drops down to play some more interesting stuff.

Overall: Some good, great and average GazettE in this single. It seems to get progressively better as they get closer to the style they had in DIM.

Rating: 8.5/10

Tracklist:
1.) SHIVER
2.) HESITATING MEANS DEATH
3.) Naraku

-KWZ

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Hey Y’all

2010年 8月 5日

Hi everyone! Aoliwa here.

As you’ve probably noticed, Koweizhi and I have been rather absent lately. We just got back from a Taiwanese American camp and we’ve got lots of stuff.

  • Jpop releases by: YUI, Kanon Wakeshima, Nana Mizuki, VAMPS, alan, Ayumi Hamasaki, JASMINE, Namie Amuro
  • Kpop releases by: C.N. Blue (discography), BoA, and SHINee
  • Editorials: Kpop vs. Jpop (II), Summer of Tek
  • Live reviews: D’espairsRay, Dir en grey (we get to meet them :D)
  • New Polls
  • Aoliwa’s playlists for EVERYTHING

Also Koweizhi and I are doing some recording in the next couple of days so we might post that as well. Look forward to it!!

Much 愛、

Aoliwa

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[Single] Girugamesh – COLOR

2010年 7月 20日

Hello! I realize that we haven’t posted in a while so here you go. This has been out for a little while now, but I wanted to get some more listens in before reviewing it.

COLOR starts off with vocals right off. They’re harmonizing already, so I kinda got caught off guard a little the first time. Anyway, they proceed into a heavy rock melody and go into a very upbeat theme. This song is a bit interesting in the fact that it keeps switching from lighter (major) rock to heavy (minor) themes. If someone weren’t paying attention much they might think that this was a couple completely different songs. Still some pretty cool stuff though.

Sunrise…. oh when they do experimental stuff. This doesn’t suit them at all. The fast percussion and dance-like guitar parts all just add to the theme which is like island dance music. Ugh, just not a good thing to hear from a band that is known for heavier music… or any band really. The guitar parts are pretty active, but the beat just keeps it in island theme. No matter what else happens in this song, to me it still sounds like something from the tropics.

Flower is the last song up. It starts with the band playing the main theme. The guitars do some pretty cool stuff in this song. If you pay attention to them you’ll hear them play a variety of riffs and chords. The vocal melody is okay, nothing too special in my opinion. I think that about covers it for this song….

Overall: We get some interesting guitar parts in all the songs. Good balance, but I think that they could have shortened the songs to keep it more interesting. They really need to not experiment.

Rating: 7.5/10

Tracklist:
1.) COLOR
2.) Sunrise
3.) Flower (フラワー)

-KWZ

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[Single] heidi. – Yokan

2010年 7月 15日

Why hello everyone. I would just like to say that I’m sorry for reviewing so slowly. Now that I have some things going on I’m going to get this done! Don’t expect any review from me during the last week of July, I’ll be out of town. Aoliwa will be also…

Okay… Yokan starts off with a blast of sound and then proceeds into a very upbeat melody. I think it’s pretty cool. The vocal part fits in with the accompaniment great and the vocal melody is pretty interesting! The song is great, it seems to evolve a little bit as you listen, but returns back to their upbeat melody to keep the structure. The good thing about this is that because the song is on the short side, they don’t get repetitive. Awesome idea.

Kodama again starts with big sound in the beginning. They have some piano accompaniment repeating a theme while their intro is going. This song is also upbeat but has a little darker feel simply because of that piano theme. Guitars in this band tend to stand out and play some more interesting stuff than what I usually hear. In here there’s a short solo. Sounds great so far!

Ikkoku is next. Another upbeat song. It seems like this one is the happiest so far. The guitar theme stays the same for most of the song. It uses a lot of octaves in it. I gotta say, this song is probably my least favorite song because it is the most repetitive or at least I think it is.

Urban Garden 203 is the last new song we get before the instrumental version of Yokan. It starts off with a repeating guitar tune and we get the intro and stuff. The bass and kick drum make me feel like this song bounces a lot. The off-beats and the repeated notes kind of stick out from the lower part. If you guys don’t already know, I love when a band is balanced soundwise. This song is a bit too heavy on the bass. The vocal melody is pretty cool and the guitars have some pretty nice parts.

I’m not going to review the instrumental of Yokan.

Overall: Very catchy tunes and very upbeat songs. The parts are all good and are all featured decently.

Rating: 8.5/10

Tracklist:
1.) Yokan
2.) Kodama
3.) Ikkoku
4.) Urban Garden 203
5.) Yokan (Instrumental ver.)

-KWZ

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[Single] Kagrra, – Tsuki ni Murakumo Hana ni Ame

2010年 7月 15日

Kagrra, always has nice covers. And always so Japanese! Kind of weird how there’s no title or anything on it though.

Tsuki Ni Murakumo Hana Ni Ame starts off with a bit of singing and stuff followed by a short intro using a traditional instrument. This theme used in the intro will reappear throughout. They are pretty good at integrating Japanese themes and instruments into their music. There’s a nice guitar solo in here too. The vocal melody doesn’t have very much range in this song and I feel like that takes away from this a bit.

Hinamoto is a little faster. It has a completely different feel than the previous song. The guitars stand out a little more, but mostly play broken chords to create the atmosphere. Bass… just plays quite a bit of repeated notes. It seems like after a certain point, the traditional instruments just disappear.

Gikyoku Hana Ichi Monme. Our last song. This is a rather unusual work. The band plays some strange mixture of music at the beginning and a little bit more into it. There are buildups to more clear sections. I get the feeling of some creepy forest or something. Anyway, it’s a pretty unusual song.

Overall: Pretty average stuff for Kagrra, but still nice to listen to. The last song was kind of unusual, but not bad.

Rating: 7.5/10

Tracklist:
1.) Tsuki Ni Murakumo Hana Ni Ame
2.) Hinamoto
3.) Gikyoku Hana Ichi Monme

-KWZ

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Thelma Aoyama- Summer Love!! feat. RED RICE from 湘南乃風

2010年 7月 12日

Cute beach cover!

Thelma Aoyama has certainly done a lot of song collaborations with male rappers/hip hop artists. The difference between those songs and this one is that the male vocals don’t suck in ones like Fall in Love. Summer Love!! is actually a very cute and catchy song. Unfortunately, RED RICE, from Shonan no Kaze is absolutely DREADFUL. I cannot fathom that a worst rapper exists in this world… his voice is like nails against a chalkboard for me. It’s also sad that he plays such a huge role in this song. If you can get past RED RICE’s disgusting vocals then this song really isn’t so bad.

OH BABY koi shitetai has been out for some time already. This sound sounds exactly like a BENI song… from the synth to the cute melody it’s got BENI written all over it. That being said, I still like this song, and it stands out from the A-side IMO. That being said, this still a great song whose chill atmosphere balances out the energy of the a-side.

Overall: RED RICE should just go die. Please. Otherwise this single was kind of a mixed bag for me.

Overall: 6/10

Track list:

1. サマーラブ!! feat. RED RICE from 湘南乃風
2. OH BABY 恋してたい
3. サマーラブ!! feat. RED RICE from 湘南乃風 (Instrumental)
4. OH BABY 恋してたい (Instrumental)

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Poll Results: Your favorite Asian snack food!

2010年 7月 11日

No more Pocky left!! Oh no!

Well this week’s poll results were certainly competitive. I wanted to wait until someone broke the tie between Pocky and Instant Noodles!

Here are the results

Answer Votes
Pocky 19- 28%
Instant Noodle 18- 26%
Green Tea, Mango, or Red Bean Ice Cream 7- 10%
Hi-Chews 6- 9%
Any kind of dried fish or fish cracker 5- 7%
Pineapple, Strawberry, etc Cakes 5- 7%
Ramune Soda 2- 3%
Wasabi Peas 2- 3%
Rice Crackers 2- 3%
Dorayaki 2- 3%

My personal favorites are Hi-Chews (green apple flavor), Pineapple Cakes, and Green Tea Ice Cream ❤

I also am a fan of Ramune Soda and Instant Noodle and Pocky. I was surprised that people voted for dried fish/fish crackers. I’m not a huge fan of them, but sometimes the mood calls for it!

Anyway, yay for Asian food! It’s so yummy. What are everyone’s favorite dishes?

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7/11!

2010年 7月 11日

Well hello people! I can’t seem to fall asleep tonight…. But it’s July 11th! Translation: Free Slurpee day at 7-11! Who’s going to get some frozen goodness today? I probably am.

-KWZ, the currently sleepless.

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[Album] Asian Kung-Fu Generation – Magic Disc

2010年 7月 7日

Well, I’ve been slacking off since this is an album. It’s interesting that the band is on the cover this time. I don’t think they have had one with them on it yet. Very colorful!

This starts off with Shinseiki no Love Song. It’s a pretty chill song and the vocalist starts off doing this rap-like singing. The accompaniment is very sparse, using some repeating effect and having their drums avoid using the cymbals. The guitar plays chords and the bass sets the tonality with an active line. Later in the song, it becomes more active. The guitars switch to a sort of overdrive tone and play repeated chords and the bass, instead of providing a line repeats notes in your typical fashion.

Magic Disc is quite different, but still has a sort of relaxing feeling. The bass sticks out a lot, is repetitive and whatnot. It carries the tempo and makes it easy to predict what the guitars are going to play and what the vocal will sing. Still a pretty nice song to listen to though. The vocal is given an echo effect sometimes and he uses a more of his range in this song as opposed to the first one. Also, has anyone else noticed that he NEVER uses vibrato?

Soushiyo kind of lilts. I can just see it now, a bunch of people just leaning side to side. More rock-like I suppose since the guitars are featured more, but still very chill. Seems to be what they wanted. Oh yeah, there’s finally a guitar solo!

Sayonara Lost Generation is… what do ya know. Another laid-back song. The singer uses a very small range with that rapping style. The guitar and bass play pretty much the same thing, but with interspersed sections of rock. This is why it takes me so long to review these guys. Everything starts to sound very similar so I can’t listen to them long.

Here’s my review for Maigo Inu to Ame no Beat

Ahhhck… Getting sick of how little resistance there is to the ears here. On with it: Aozora to Kuroi Neko…. Another damn chill song. Well, this song is a bit more alive I think. Overall, the environment remains the same. Just a few crashes here and there and some more guitar prominence. The vocals are more melodic.

Kaku Seibutsu no Blues…. Seriously guys, can’t you do anything more fun-sounding like you used to? Repetitive bass again. Spread out guitar chords. A small synth orch buildup to just about nothing new. Slight change in vocal melody. Gah, this is getting painful.

Last Dance wa Kanashimi wo Nosete, FINALLY SOMETHING NEW. God damn. Anyway, it’s a pretty upbeat song. You get some… cow bell? percussion part. It sounds decent. At least it’s alive compared to everything before this. He uses falsetto quite a bit in this song. I don’t think that it works out too well. The backing vocals are all falsetto too.

Up next is Microphone. Another more upbeat song. Starts with a repetitive intro, which unfortunately keeps on going as the main melody. And… going into the second verse, the accompaniment is the same, but it’s okay because it changes. We get some electronic addition too. There are signs of their old style spread out. Repeating chords and some rhythm trips.

Rising Sun… I wonder why they didn’t mix these songs between the chill ones. This one is a bit unique in the fact that they use acoustic guitars for the intro and throughout the song. It sort of gets covered by the electric when that one is playing. The vocal melody is kind of awkward at times in my opinion. Rhythms remain the same most of the time and the bass does nothing interesting at all. There’s a little synth noise also. I don’t know how to describe it, but it doesn’t hurt the song at all.

Yes. Now that’s an interesting song name. Oh no, he starts it off by purposely singing off key. This is not turning out well. Only at the ends of verses he gets back on. This kind of thing is a no-no for me. I love to have a solid tonality going on. Towards the middle, it kind of sounds like a bunch of noise and weird singing. Kind of a weird song, but maybe if I give it a chance I could like it.

Daidai is the last new song we have. It sounds like their traditional style before this period of boredom. The guitar does anyway. The vocal melody sounds similar to all the rest of the song. If only he could do… or used (if he can do) vibrato. That would add quite a bit more depth to their music. There is a section which reminds me of another of their songs… I can’t come up with a name though.

Here is the review for Solanin

Overall: Damn, that was an ordeal to get through. There is just about nothing new, unless you like their new boring music. The song order could have been changed to keep my patience for longer.

Rating: 6/10 (This is being generous)

Tracklist:

  1. Shinseiki no Love song
  2. Magic Disc
  3. Soshiyo
  4. Sayonara Lost Generation
  5. Maigoinu to Ame no Beat
  6. Aozora to Kuroi Neko
  7. Kaku Seibutsu no Blues
  8. Last Dance wa Kanashimi wo Nosete
  9. Microphone
  10. Rising Sun
  11. Yes
  12. Daidai
  13. Solanin

-KWZ