Archive for the ‘Singles’ Category

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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] 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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MiChi x the telephones

2010年 7月 6日

Carol never wore her safety goggles… now she doesn’t need them. Be safe in the chem lab!

The MadNesS continues with WoNdeR WomaN, a collaboration between MiChi and the telephones. This song is actually pretty good I think because of the great energy throughout the whole thing. This song takes a more rock approach as opposed to merely electronic music. MiChi is definitely focused on maintaining intensity instead of watching her vocals (which is okay in this case). The only part that bothered me a little was the chorus; MiChi’s vocals were fine, but those from the telephones were a little unsteady.

Next is Strong MAN, another up-beat rock song. I feel like this song is much more of MiChi’s style than the a-side. It’s a little more toned down, which leads to a little bit more control in both vocals and instrumentals. What’s nice is that even though the rock is present, you still get a little bit of synth here and then.

WoNdeR WomaN T.O.M. remix is definitely more of an electronic song. There’s tons of distortion in the vocals (which actually minimizes the intonation problems of the original song). I think it’s a pretty good remix, but I don’t think it’s better than the original.

Overall: I was please with this single because of the way it makes you want to move!

Rating: 8/10

Track list:

  1. WoNdeR WomaN
  2. Strong MAN
  3. WoNdeR WomaN (T.O.M remix)
  4. WoNdeR WomaN (Instrumental)
  5. Strong MAN (Instrumental)
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miwa- Little Girl

2010年 7月 1日

Love love love this cover. Also, the scans for this single are so beautiful!

I was a little nervous with Little Girl. Frankly I thought it was going to be a ballad. That is not the case, as Little Girl is a light-hearted, up beat pop-rock song. miwa’s vocals are a little shaky during the beginning, but she gains control during the chorus. This song is tons of fun and super cute: a complete contrast to her last single, Don’t Cry Anymore.

Anata ga Inai to Sekai wa Konna ni Tsumaranai has some pretty weird instrumentals in the beginning, so I worried about the organization of the song. Fortunately, the general melody picks and stays pretty consistent. Like the a-side, this song is up-beat and perfect for summer. I like how this song uses lots of electric guitar, making her sound less YUI-like.

Finally, we have a gorgeous acoustic ballad. Sobani Itai Kara is soft and sweet, like miwa’s vocals. I love how miwa has a bit of a raspy tone quality to her voice in the song, as opposed to a lot of the high-energy “whining” she uses in her faster songs. This song is just miwa and acoustic guitar, so it’s perfect for listening before bed.

Overall: A great single, even better than her debut!

Rating: 10/10

Track list:

01. リトルガール
02. あなたがいないと世界はこんなにつまらない
03. そばにいたいから
04. リトルガール ~instrumental~

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[Single] Nightmare – a:Fantasia

2010年 6月 28日

Hoho! It’s about time Nightmare put something new out! So, if you’ve been keeping up with their releases, the last couple were fairly disappointing to me. Can’t really say much about their cover here, but I think it’s nice.

a:Fantasia is a pretty fast paced song. Nightmare has great band parts, especially guitars. They have intricate lines in this song and the bass in this song is very active too. Yomi’s vocals are great as always. His vibrato bothers me sometimes though… It’s a bit wide and very consistent. Not saying that it’s bad, but that consistency gets to me after a little. This works in his favor though so whatever. It’s a great song!

Romeo is also a very active song. It starts with a very deep, bass-heavy introduction and then proceeds to include the guitars. The guitars just go crazy in this song! Haha, awesome stuff. I think that the vocal melody is great too. Nice build-ups and stuff. The bass, the bass, the bass… Love hearing active bass lines. I never get bored of what Ni~ya plays in this song.

Rover, the complete contrast to the other two songs. It’s soft and slow. This song has a much more light accompaniment. More repeated chords and stuff, but that’s good for this style. The into to this song reminds me of Yasou Kyoku from their album Killer Show, but it takes a different approach after those few seconds. The melody is soft and melancholy. Guitar solo! Very simple, but effective ending.

Overall: Nightmare fails to disappoint me with this single. I love it! They seem to be reaching back into their previous style.

Rating: 10/10

Tracklist:
1.) a:Fantasia
2.) Romeo
3.) Rover

-KWZ

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C.N. Blue- The Way

2010年 6月 26日

Laid back and chill. Nice. But I don’t like the “1st single” part because this is actually their fourth release in Japan o_O

I was so excited to review this single. I’m usually pretty skeptical of new bands, but I was totally impressed with C.N. Blue. First, The Way ~One Way~ is an edgy rock song that combines great guitar riffs and rapping. This song is in English, so non-Japanese speakers can understand what they’re singing.

I can’t decide if I like The Way part 2~Ready N Go~ or ~Eclipse~ more because they’re both so good. The guitar work in this song reminds me of an AKFG song but, the MC and cheering crowds in the beginning make it stand out. For some reason I love the lyrics of this song:

Hey babe It’s rainy day
I can see the road in the rain
I have long sword
Makes me stronger

I’m not weak man
I will go to the world
I don’t need any more word
I seem to have set a trend

Last is a ballad, The Way part 3 ~eclipse~ begins with a soft, acoustic melody, but gradually picks up energy. This is the only song on the single that employs any kind of Japanese (which sounds pretty good still). It isn’t until the first chorus that we get some serious action. My favorite part of this song was the sweet guitar solo (comparable to those in the few ballads of Nightmare) in the middle of the song. Plus the lyrics are really sweet.

Overall: I can’t wait to review the rest of their songs!

Rating: 10/10

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[Single] VAMPS – ANGEL TRIP

2010年 6月 25日

Curse my laziness! Got a lot to catch up on so I might as well get started.

Well, first off, I’ll say that VAMPS really likes women on their covers lately. Nothing wrong with that! She has wings with white and black feathers? Hm, maybe not a pure angel. Anyway! Here we go:

ANGEL TRIP is an active, upbeat song. Normally, I like darker styles of music, but this is really quite catchy! Hyde does a great job with vocals and the accompaniment is awesome. The guitar solos between the verses are simple but add to the energy that this song already implies. Everything seems to compliment each other greatly.

KYUKETSU -SATSUGAI VAMPS Version- Wow, I was really surprised and happy when I first heard this song. This song has a much heavier texture. Fat bass lines and lots of nice kick drum here. Hyde uses a more aggressive tone and some other effect to distort his voice more (sounds to me like doing a second recording of the same verses with a slightly different style and overlapping them). As with most metal songs, they use a distorted tone and of course, there is a solo which shows off KAZ’s talents (I think he’s the one that does the solos haha).

Overall: Very good single. The songs have a nice contrast and their energy is inspiring!

Rating: 9.5/10

Tracklist:
1.) ANGEL TRIP
2.) KYUKETSU – SATSUGAI VAMPS Version-

-KWZ