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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

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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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Kana Nishino- to LOVE

2010年 6月 30日

Would be perfect except for I hate those shoes x_X Also… I think we get the same expression from her in every cover. Nevertheless, it still looks pretty.

Prologue ~What a nice~ is a gentle pop song complete with harp, piano, and Kana’s smooth vocals. It sounds kind of like a lullaby. The only thing that bothers me is the combination of English and Japanese… I would have preferred consistency with just one language.

Go here for my review of Best Friend.

The next song, Summer Girl feat. MINMI is the perfect song for a fun summer night. This song is high energy and screams “dance.” MINMI and Kana are a great pair together… I love the way MINMI’s deep vocals contrast with Kana’s higher-pitched ones. The chorus is adorable especially, “I want some dancing and some romancing.” The instrumentals of this song are great too… we get a nice combination of piano and brass that make this song fun to listen to.

I think it’s safe to say that Kana Nishino is neither fully an R&B artist nor a pop artist. She’s a great combination of the two, and Hey Boy proves this. This song was interesting because of the electric guitars: they are pop-rock but retro at the same time. It took a while for me to like this song, but it really is catchy and reminds me of a fusion between the 50s and modern times xD.

Go all the way back here to see my review of Motto…

I think this song, love & smile, is a good transition from Motto… While the previous track is a bit melancholy, love & smile brings us into happier times, but subtly. This song has more of an R&B vibe, but the plucked strings throughout the song give it a bit of pop flair too. The only thing thing that bothers me is the way she sings “I’m searching for what you have,” where she sounds like “I’m searching for wert you have.” Her English isn’t terrible, but her mistakes are noticeable.

The first new ballad of the album is Kono Mama De. This song is basically your typical R&B ballad, which we’ve heard all over the map in 2010. The verses of this song are really beautiful, especially with the layering they do with Kana’s voice. I’m not a huge fan of the chorus because it sounds a little typical. There’s a really beautiful acoustic guitar solo in the middle (unfortunately Kana sings over it with some lifeless vocals).

Go here to see my review of MAYBE.

For some reason I was looking forward to WRONG more than any other song when I saw the track list. It’s a great transition from the previous track because it uses lots of synth. I love this song because of the tremendous amount of power and attitude it possesses. What’s great about this song is the combination of ethereal stuff mixed in with guitars. Also, Kana’s vocals are nice and strong here.

Okay now for the obligatory WTF track. I cannot be the only one who thought Come On Yes Yes Oh Yeah!! sounds like it belongs in a porno. The beginning is totally hardcore hip-hop (well as hardcore as Kana can get). Fortunately we get into more Kon’ya wa PARTY UP territory pretty soon. In fact, the two songs have tons of similarities to one another. They have the same tempo, atmosphere, and even similar lyrics. Now, I don’t know what I think about Kana rapping, but at least this song is… original.

Who the hell thought Dear… should be placed right after this song? Anyway, see my review of MAYBE to see my review of Dear…

You can find Aitakute Aitakute here.

You are the one is a ballad that gets ready to close up the album. Unlike Kono Mama De, this song is much more powerful and original. There’s this cool synth during the chorus, during which Kana sings with some solid vocals. Many of the songs on this album are hybrids of different genres, and this song is no exception. This time it’s synth and R&B. Very nice song.

Last of all is Epliogue ~to LOVE~, which is kind of a another version of the prologue. I like the epilogue more because it seems more solid in the instrumentals and not so “fairy-ish.”

Overall: We’re definitely moving our way up with Kana Nishino. It’s miles above her previous album, LOVE one. That being said, I still think Kana has a long way to go before she reaches her full potential.

Best tracks:

  • Summer Girl feat. MINMI
  • WRONG
  • You are the one
  • MAYBE
  • motto…

Rating: 8/10

Track list:

01 *Prologue* ~What a nice~
02 Best Friend
03 Summer Girl feat. MINMI
04 Hey Boy
05 もっと…
06 love & smile
07 このままで
08 MAYBE
09 WRONG
10 Come On Yes Yes Oh Yeah!!
11 Dear…
12 会いたくて 会いたくて
13 You are the one
14 *Epilogue* ~to LOVE~

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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