Posts Tagged ‘Double A-side’

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MiChi- All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~/Together Again

2010年 4月 21日

Ahh really weird cover MiChi… it makes more sense once you’ve seen the PV.

I would just like to say that this is MiChi’s BEST single to date. Originally I was NOT a MiChi fan. I wasn’t too into the electronic stuff and thought her singing in Japanese was a little sloppy, but she has since become one of my favorite artists. Anyway, I am honored to write a review for such a stellar single. All about the girls ~Iijanka Party People~ is the most unique song in MiChi repertoire. It’s a mix of electronica , dance, pop, and a little bit of scatting. This song is highly infectous and catchy. Also, the upbeat rhythm makes this song great for dancing. This song has been arranged and performed exquisitely.

The second A-side, Together again takes things down a notch in terms of tempo. The plucking strings and laid-back rhythm give this song an Asian feel to it. Also, this song has a heartfelt quality to it, similar to that of YOU.  Although I still wouldn’t say that MiChi has fully developed a “ballad” voice quite yet, this is certainly a way to integrate her way into slower songs.

With a title like dance DANCE! you’d expect some sort of house mix, right? That’s not the case with this song. Although not laid-back, the song has a much heavier beat, preventing it from becoming another All about the Girls. This song is a nice blend of acoustic and electronic instrumentals.

Overall: I’ve got the MadNesS for this single! Quite possibly the best single (IMO) we’ve seen in 2010 so far.

Rating: 10/10

Track list:

  1. All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~
  2. Together again
  3. dance DANCE!
  4. All about the girls ~Iijanka Party People~ (Instrumental)
  5. Together again (Instrumental)
  6. dance DANCE! (Instrumental)
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alan-Diamond/Over the Clouds

2010年 2月 3日

Makeup looks pretty. Hair looks not so pretty. Dress looks badly photoshopped. And white background is very sterile and lame. No like much. God damn alan wear a kimono again! Also… where’s the fancy script of alan’s name ;_;

Ok so like many of you I was tentative about alan’s new release after the debacle that was My Life. Diamond borrows the same melody as the craptastic song from said album, Essence of Me. While I thought Essence was the biggest piece of crap I had ever heard from alan, Diamond treats the melody much better. The beginning of the song is sooo alan IMO (and a little Ayu..). The bells and piano create a wintery atmosphere similar to songs like Ashita he no Sanka. After about a minute or so the pace changes and this is where the song gets Ayumi-fied. Upbeat drums and alan singing “la la la” and stuff is so veerrrry Ayumi Hamasaki. I think the new style works for this song, but I really don’t want alan becoming another Ayu.

Personally I preferred Over the Clouds to the first A-side. The song has a game tie-in, so the music is very ominous. We hear a mysterious harp solo in the beginning, but that is substituted for more game like music. I do not like what they did to alan’s voice. Why put stuff like autotune/vocoder on someone with such a fantastic voice. Judging by the way the voice distortion was use it seems like they were trying to imitate alan’s ethnic style of singing. I looovve the strings in the background. To me this song has the same mood as Yuna Ito’s song I’m Here. The chorus is much more alan style too. alan can take something like static electronic music and give it life, which is not easy to do. The ending of this song is my favorite part with alan murmuring in the background.

Overall: While we’ve moved away from the crap in My Life we’re still not back to alan’s usual style. I liked this songs, but I’m wary of her style being transformed into Ayu’s. At least this stuff is more innovative. It’s not Kuon no Kawa, but it’s a hell of a step up from her more recent singles.

Rating: 8.5/10

Track list:

  1. Diamond
  2. Over the clouds
  3. Diamond (Instrumental)
  4. Over the clouds (Instrumental)
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GACKT- Setsugekka -The End of Silence-/ZAN

2009年 12月 10日

mmm I like this cover a lot… the colors all work really well together. This is the cover for ZAN. The cover for Setsugekka features a snowy sakura scene.

I just want to say that this is the only GACKT release I’ve been excited for since Returner. Setsugekka-The End of Silence begins with a beautiful string open that reminds of something in FF. It transitions into an epic ballad filled with shakuhachi, piano, and strings. The verses are almost etheral, and GACKT’s voice handles the notes well. The chorus is the definition of epic, however. They have so much power, and it’s one of GACKT’s strongest ballads to date. In short, well done.

As much as I like Setsugekka, ZAN was my favorite track. We open up with a quick biwa solo, but guitars and shakuhachi soon invade that peaceful beginning. Someone yells “Die!” right away, and you can tell that this song is going to be another one of his “samurai” songs like Returner. The song has the right balance of melodies and hard rock material. It finally feels like GACKT is back to doing rock again! You can tell that GACKT knows his vocals well because he engineers them to match with the strong electric guitars. He also I really wish he would do more songs like this one. The incorporation of traditional elements gives the song a great atmosphere.

Overall: One of GACKT’s strongest releases to date. Both songs are great, but ZAN is just epic.

Rating: 9.5/10

Track List:

  1. Setsugekka -The end of silence-
  2. ZAN
  3. Setsugekka -The end of silence- (Instrumental)
  4. ZAN (Instrumental)
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Kana Nishino- Dear…/MAYBE

2009年 12月 2日

Aside from the fact that her expression looks a little bland *cough* stoned, this is actually a very pretty cover. I love the contrast between her white Russian inspired outfit and the dark starry sky behind her.

Kana is definitely on a role, Dear… is something I like to call an “upbeat ballad.” We have a lot of traditional ballad elements like strings and powerful choruses, but at a faster pace, and in this case R&B elements. Dear… gives the impression of a love song. For a song of this pace I thought it was a little on the longer side… but Kana keeps things interesting enough. I’ve also noticed that Kana’s vocals are stronger here… and she’s not messing too much with the upper vocal register.

MAYBE is an awesome track EXCEPT for the freaking autotune <______<. Come on, why ruin a great voice? MAYBE is a little deceiving because at the beginning because it appears as though we’re about to start another ballad. This song is quite the contrary! This is easily a dance track, but I’m hesitant to call it that because the instrumental variation gives it more depth than that. Kana’s vocals are under a form of vocal editing during the verses, but thankfully it’s not overdone. Technically the autotune is barely there… but when it is it sticks out like a sore thumb… a very large, swollen, sore thumb.

Yours Only features hip-hop bigwig WISE. It’s the slowest track on the single (until WISE comes in of course), and it reminds me of something from her most recent album, LOVE one. I disliked this song for the most part. Even though I applaud Kana for being able to work with so many big names, she’s strongest when she’s going solo. Just take out all male vocals and it’d be a solid song.

Overall: The A-sides are strong, as they should be, but WISE kills the last track. More Kana please!

Rating: 8/10

Track list:

1. Dear…
2. MAYBE
3. Yours only, feat.WISE ~maison de m-flo~

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JASMINE- No More/CLUBBIN’

2009年 11月 2日

I love this cover… it kinda has a modern fairy vibe for me. Yeah I know she’s  not wearing wings or anything, but just look at the ivy ;_; Anyway… it’s better than having her bra hanging out in the last one. I also think she looks older here… nice improvement, JAS!

So the first thing I thought of when I heard No More was that this was a sequel to her debut single, Sad to Say, and let me say that is a DAMN good thing. Of course, I don’t know officially if this a sequel, but there are a lot of hints in the two songs that indicate some sort of connectivity. For example, she uses similar pitch techniques (going up and down a lot) as in Sad to Say. Also, in Sad to Say, JAS says “Cry, cry cry,” numerous times throughout the song, and No More says “No more cry.” So basically, in my opinion No More is the happy ending to Sad to Say. It kind of reminds me of Koda Kumi’s Someday in her quartet of one-single-one-week deal a few years ago.

CLUBBIN’, the second A-side on the single, sounds like it should be a dance track. However, this song takes the direction of a rock track. I disliked this song for the most part… mostly because it reminded me of an American rock song from the ’80s. I have a deep hatred for Western rock music (if you think you can get away with a song riding on three basic chords then you’re out of your mind).  We do get a lot of JASMINE rapping. It’s different, but not bad.

Lastly we have What You Want? For the love of GOD JASMINE… stop making song titles using “street slang.” I am pretty sure you don’t speak like that on a normal basis <_<.  Anyway, the song itself isn’t that bad. It reminds me of a laid-back R&B track Utada Hikaru might have done earlier in her career (lol JASMINE even says “time limit” in her song). Not my favorite track… but I still think she can make a successful slow R&B track in the future.

Overall: No More is golden, but CLUBBIN’ drastically brings down the grade of the single. What You Want isn’t my favorite… but maybe I’ll catch onto it later.

Rating: 7/10

Track list:

1. No More
2.  CLUBBIN’
3.  what you want?

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[single]YUI- It’s All Too Much/Never Say Die

2009年 10月 10日

It’s All Too Much/Never Say Die is YUI’s  15th single, released on October 7, 2009.

I think the cover’s a little weird in my opinion… Looks like it’s taken in an awkwardly decorated hotel room. Not one of my favorite YUI covers… but at least it’s unique.

It’s All Too Much reminds me very much of songs from her second album, Can’t Buy My Love. Its intro is slightly reminiscent of songs like Umbrella and Ruido. I like YUI’s occasional homage to latino music. Personally though, after the release of Again It’s All Too Much seems a little anticlimactic. The chorus doesn’t wield the same kind of power as it should, even though it has a fine melody. The bridge is a little better though, since it adds some variety to the song. It begins with a guitar solo and eventually a YUI solo of the chorus. The strings are more pronounced her than in the rest of the song.

Never Say Die was the stronger song for me, personally. It’s pure fun… from the PV to the adorable chorus (“Baby, never mind, never say die.”) The song is on the short side, only 3:18 min, but it packs a lot of power. It’s a light-hearted rock song with an overall positive feel. In the PV it wavers between a soccer fight duel and an energy-filled YUI concert. During the concert portion of the PV the audience members are beating their fists in the air to the song, and quite frankly that’s exactly how this song makes you feel. Never Say Die was easily the stronger song.

I LOVE the acoustic version of Again. I generally love all of YUI’s acoustic versions though xD. Although it doesn’t have the same “fire” of the original, it’s more relaxing. It lacks the lyrics “I’m on my way,” probably because they use a type of voice editing that wouldn’t be suitable for an acoustic version. Overall… still amazing!

Overall: Both songs are enjoyable, but Never Say Die wins by a long-shot.

If you liked It’s All Too Much try: Ruido, Umbrella, Again

If you liked Never Say Die try: No Way, OH YEAH

Rating: 8/10

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[single] Koda Kumi- Alive/Physical Thing

2009年 10月 5日

“Alive/Physical Thing” is Koda Kumi’s 6th double A-side, released on September 16, 2009. “Alive” is being used as the theme song for the film adaptation of  “Kamui the Ninja.” “Alive/Physical Thing” is Kuu-chan’s 8th #1 single. Yaaay for Kuu-chan.

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Can I say that I love these covers? I think she looks angelic in these (probably due to the white, feather-y outfit). I love the juxtaposition of the delicateness of Kuu and the roughness of the terrain around her.

Alive took me by surprise when I first heard it. I was expecting one of her “sexy” songs like Juicy. However since “3 Splash” she’s been making some interesting title choices (I’m pretty sure we all thought the same thing when we saw the song title, Lick Me.) Alive, however, is a slow song in a major key. I would go so far as to call it a ballad, and I think that term is used too liberally these days. Alive doesn’t have the kind of climax or the sweeping phrasing used in her ballads (her best being Unmei and Yume no Uta). Alive makes use of a lot of baroque elements, such as the harpsichord. Alive is a “pleasant” song, but nothing much to brag about. I don’t think it’s a complete failure, and I actually kind of like it. However, this isn’t up to her typical standards. I think I would have liked it more had it been longer, giving room for more variation and a climax.

Physical Thing has a lot more presence than Alive. It’s an upbeat, sexy track that commands more attention. I can’t help but laugh every time Kuu tries to sing “keep it real simple.” Her English is at the same level it was for That Ain’t Cool. Not my style, but some people like it. I don’t have much to say about Physical Thing, mostly because I think she could have done better. I’ll keep my hopes up for her next single.

Overall: If you are one of the few who has never heard a Koda Kumi song, this isn’t your place to start. Had this single been tweaked a little, I think I would have enjoyed it a great deal.

If you liked this, try these by Koda Kumi: Ai no Uta, Juicy, Under

Rating: 6/10

Tracklist

1. “Alive”       3:43
2. “Physical thing”       3:01
3. “Alive (Instrumental)”       3:42
4. “Physical thing (Instrumental)”       3:00
5. “TRICK (Live Version From Trick Tour 2009) (CD Only First Press Bonus Track)”       3:06
6. “Joyful (Live Version From Trick Tour 2009) (CD Only First Press Bonus Track)”