Posts Tagged ‘maxi-single’

h1

Koda Kumi- Gossip Candy

2010年 6月 24日

Weee colors 😀

Yes I finally have it. Gossip Candy. I’m still waiting for my copy to come in the mail, but until then this will suffice. Anyway, on to the review! This is a pretty “typical” Koda Kumi release in terms of single structure. We don’t really have an “a-side,” but we’ve got lots of new work to listen to. Lollipop is definitely the dirtiest song on the single, with lots of fun synth and edge. This song is comparable to lots of her other dirty summer songs, but I think this one stands out because it’s so damn catchy. Idk how I feel about Kuu rapping during the verses, but hey, not bad!

I think I was looking forward to the “fishbowl” tracks the most when I listened to the previews. Inside Fishbowl has a great summer flavor, but instead of the hip-hop of the first track we listen to more of her pop side. The chorus and the bridge are the highlights of this song. Great song!

We kind of have a Yume no Uta/Futari de thing going on with the fishbowl tracks, as they’re the same melody and lyrics. Outside Fishbowl is very similar to its counterpart, but a lot of the notes are inverted (a term for all you classically trained musicians). Basically this song is a bit deeper than Inside Fishbowl, and IMO a little edgier.

For You is a smooth R&B ballad that pays homage to Kuu’s earlier years. While I’m not a huge fan of this style, I think this song is very well done. It’s the right type of song for this single… chill and laid-back. Sometimes Kuu’s voice sounds a little whiny, but not too bad overall. Also, sometimes she dabbles into the upper vocal register, which doesn’t always work for her.

Last but not least, the highly anticipated Got to Be Real, a cover of Cheryl Lynn’s classic. Actually, this is a great cover for a couple of reasons. One: You can immediately tell it’s a cover. Two: You can recognize the original song, but Koda Kumi made it her own. I was a little worried at first because I was unsure if Kuu could match Cheryl’s soulful voice, but Kuu holds her own here. Of course I still prefer the original, but this is as close to Cheryl that you can get from Kuu.

Overall: I’m thoroughly impressed. There’s something for everyone on this single. Kuu’s vocals could have used some tweaking on songs like For You, but otherwise this is a great single.

Rating: 9.5/10

Track list:

  1. Lollipop
  2. Inside Fishbowl
  3. Outside Fishbowl
  4. For You
  5. Got to Be Real (Cheryl Lynn cover)
h1

KAT-TUN- Love Yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~

2010年 2月 26日

Ok I know I’ve enlarged this image far beyond its capacity, so if you have a HQ scan of this single it would be GREATLY appreciated. Anyway, the guys look slick and trendy as always.

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten anything new from KAT-TUN (the most recent thing being “Rescue”). There are a lot of great things going on with this single, but also a lot of things that I find very frustrating. The best thing about this single is the musical interpretation and variety of the songs. Unfortunately, this is often eclipsed by the ubiquitous use of  voice killer autotune. Let’s get started.

The beginning of Love Yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ is a bit ominous, reminding me of an old spy movie (not that I’ve seen many, but…) For me it felt like this song was a mix of metro and modern. The synth gives the song some vintage flair, but the chorus reflects the infectious nature of today’s songs. I thought this song was fantastic except for the over, over use of autotune (a trend that persists throughout the rest of the single). The boys of KAT-TUN have great voices, why try to hide them with vocal distortion? Nevertheless, KAT-TUN fans will adore this track.

The next song, written by Jin, THE D-MOTION is the promotional song fro DOCOMO phones (can I has one??) This song has even more autotune than the title track. In fact, there is more autotune than natural voice in this song, and that is never a good thing. If you must use autotune then use it sparingly or it will lose its effect (unless you’re using it to correct poor intonation, and in that case you’re just faker who shouldn’t be in the music industry). Also, I felt like this song, although catchy, was perhaps too tied to the item it promotes.

Things slow down with HEART-BEAT. Personally I’m not too much of a fan of KAT-TUN doing softer songs like these. I prefer the high energy sings like Rescue or Real Me. The song itself is very sweet and uplifting. Clearly the most romantic song off the single. The strings make this song stand out.

Next is my favorite track, A PAGE. Although I don’t understand the significance of the title, this somber R&B track is extremely catchy. If you liked TVXQ’s Darkness in my Heart then chances are you’ll enjoy this song. The darkness of this song is captivating, and best of all the autotune is kept to a minimum.

Lastly is Aishiteiru kara, another romantic track, but this one taking on more of a ballad structure. The piano and strings remind me of one of my favorite KAT-TUN songs of all time, White X-mas. Things are pretty slow in the beginning, but the song gains momentum toward the end of the piece.

Overall: KAT-TUN either leaves me addicted to their music or wanting to gouge out my ears. This single definitely reflects the former. I wonder why I haven’t been keeping up with them lately? All autotune debacles aside, this is an impressive single.

Rating: 8.8/10

Track list:

01 Love yourself ~君が嫌いな君が好き~
02 THE D-MOTION
03 A Page(赤西 仁ソロ曲)
04 HEART BEAT
05 愛しているから(亀梨和也ソロ曲)

h1

Mizuki Nana- Silent Bible

2010年 2月 23日

Gorgeous, gorgeous cover. Her skin looks radiant against the blue. When I saw this cover I knew I wanted to incorporate it into Tsuki no Ai’s layout.

Silent Bible takes us back to Nana’s anime/seiyuu roots (think Justice to Believe). The song is quiet at first, with just piano and quiet synth. The sad and longing melody presented in the introduction continues throughout the rest of the song, but at a faster pace. Strings are present in this song, as they are in most of Nana’s songs. Overall the song is catchy and passionate, one of Nana’s best.

Polaris has an interesting title as well as an interesting musical concept. Nana’s actually doing something of an R&B song. I’m not used to hearing her voice against R&B instrumentals or at this particular pace, but that’s not to say this isn’t a good song. All in all I prefer the anime-ish songs, but this shows that Nana is more than just a seiyuu turned musician. Nana Mizuki is a musician in her own right… no anime necessary.

UNCHAINWORLD begins with some heavy guitar riffs, but the song incorporates an anime feel during the verses and chorus. This song is high energy and full of power. While thus far all three songs have used minor themes, it doesn’t keep the songs like UNCHAINWORLD from being enjoyable.

Undercover sounds like something that belonged on her previous single, PHANTOM MINDS. Here’s where we use a more major key (though not happy-go-luck of course). The strings in the song kind of give me an Irish vibe for some reason. The song is well-orchestrated and wraps up the single nicely.

Overall: Nana has really been delivering in her singles lately. While most seiyuu artists can only find sales within an anime niche, Nana Mizuki has proven that she can last as a Jpop singer without relying on her popularity as a seiyuu.

Rating: 9/10

Track list:

  1. Silent Bible
  2. Polaris
  3. UNCHAIN∞WORLD
  4. undercover
h1

Lil’B- Tsunaida Te

2009年 11月 20日

Pretty cover… but I only see 1/2 of the hip-pop duo ;_;

Tsunaida Te is the 3rd ending song to the popular anime, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Lil’B does a great job at creating a sentimental, yet hopeful, song. I’ve already posted the PV for the song, here. Although Lil’B is classified as a hip-hop duo, Tsunaida Te has a much more pop feel because it uses a delicate melody, strings, and guitars. This song is addicting as hell and it’s my latest obsession.

The first B-side, Last Letter, is a bit more hip-hop than the previous track, but still very tasteful. The poignant melody meshes perfectly with AILA’s rapping, and MIE’s voice rings during the chorus.

Continuing with an sad R&B vibe, we have Kiss (One More Kiss Mix). I love how this song employs a subtle harmony with piano in the background. AILA’s rapping is much slower in this song.

As a side note, I recommend listening to the instrumental version of Tsunaida Te. This song completely blew my mind and it helps to listen to the instrumental to fully appreciate the orchestration of the song.

Overall: This is the best R&B single I have heard all year.  This single shows that despite their “hip-hop” genre, Lil’B is an incredibly versatile duo. They’re pop, hip-hop, R&B, and kick-ass. Excellent job Lil’B!

Rating: 9.5/10

Track List:

1. Tsunaida Te
2. Last Letter
3. KISS ( one more kiss mix )
4. Tsunaida Te ( TV version )
5. Tsunaida Te ( karaoke )