Posts Tagged ‘Namie Amuro’

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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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Poll: Prom King and Queen

2010年 5月 27日

So we had a little bit of a “prom court” on Tsuki no Ai. I thought it would be fun to host a shallow popularity contest, so here are the results.

Queen

Namie Amuro- 9 votes, 41%
BENI- 3 votes, 14%
Kanon Wakeshima- 3 votes, 14%
YUI- 2 votes 9%
Yuna Ito- ”
Ami Suzuki- ”
Ai Otsuka- 1 vote, 5%

I figured Namie would win… after all, she is the REAL queen of J-pop! I think I would vote for Kanon… she is releasing a new album this July!!

Now for King results… I was pretty surprised with this outcome actually…

King
Hero (DBSK)- 10 votes, 48%
HYDE (L’arc~en~Ciel)- 4 votes, 19%
Ruki (the GazettE)- 2 votes, 10%
Keita Tachibana (w-inds.)- 2 votes, 10%
Gackt- 1 vote, 5%
Jun Matsumoto- ”
Yuya Matsushita- Lex (okay I’m guessing on this, but I’m pretty sure it was he)
K- 0 votes =[

I did not expect Hero to win at all… didn’t expect there to be that many DBSK fan(girls) that read my blog. THEY’RE JUST ON HIATUS THEY’RE JUST ON HIATUS. I thought HYDE would win, even though he’s a bit old for prom king  =p. I would have voted for Ruki… there’s my boy!

So… that was fun. In the meantime be sure to vote in the new poll and check out our formspring!

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Best of 2009: Album Artwork

2010年 1月 8日

I’ve been looking forward to this part of the “best” awards. This will probably be my last installment of the “best of”s, because I’m going to have a gigantic “worst” of post out this weekend. So here, in all their glory, are what I thought were the best album covers of 2009.

RURUTIA: Seiros
For a while I thought that this release was part of 2008 because it was released so long ago!. Anyway, RURUTIA’s music is very ethereal and reminiscent of Final Fantasy music. This cover reflects the magical element so present in her music. This cover is like a cross between reality and fantasy.

Namie Amuro: Past<Future
Plagiarized or not, this is one hot cover and it represents Namie’s moving forward with her musical career. The cover came under suspicion when it greatly resembled an image in a Korean magazine. Although it seems like the case is valid, it probably wasn’t Namie’s idea. In truth what really makes this cover amazing is Namie’s coy expression. Even if it wasn’t her idea, her cover is ten times sexier.

alan: Gunjou no Tani
This cover is one of alan’s finest. She looks so peaceful. She dons traditional garb, and it really pops compared to the dark background behind her. In this cover we have tradition and nature- the two most important aspects of alan’s music. I hope we see more of this soon!

OLIVIA: Sailing Free
Everything about this cover is so “OLIVIA.” She’s just kind of floating there, looking completely serene. Although it’s a lot of pink, all of the detail keeps this cover from being boring.

Koda Kumi: Alive/Physical Thing
Regardless of what you think of the single, I think its cover is astounding. Kuu-chan’s covers have gotten progressively better over the years. She went from looking almost like a trashy porn star to looking like more of an artist. I love the juxtaposition of this cover: Kuu looks like an angel while the environment around her is clearly rugged. Her outfit looks really high-fashion and her make up looks class. This cover is sexy without being over-the-top.

Nana Kitade: Tsukihana
Not only was this an outstanding musical feat for Nana, but its cover is a work of art too. Nana looks great in a traditional kimono. Since Nana is a model for a lot of lolita clothes, she knows how to wear an outfit. Her posture and expression make this otherwise traditional setting a little more modern.

Tohoshinki: Stand by U
The reason I like this cover so much is that it makes the boys look more “real” to us. They usually wear flashier clothes in staged and tempered environments. Here though, things look a little more candid and realistic. This kind of comforting image fits the A-side as well because the song projects a kind of intimacy.

Ayumi Hamasaki: Rule/Sparkle
This is one of my favorite Ayu covers to date. The tight-fitting outfit, silver high-heels, and bold covers give this image a futuristic look, perfectly representing the songs on the single. This single came out with many cover editions, as is common for Ayu nowadays, but this one was my favorite. Her makeup looks great too… not overdone, but still foxy. =]


Minami Kizuki: Shiroi Tsuki
I discovered Minami’s music kind of late in the year. For those of you who don’t know her, she has a voice uncannily similar to Hajime Chitose’s (she did the 4th ending to Blood+). This single happens to be a ballad, and the cover kind of reminds me of something alan would do. Minami really stands out from the black background. I really do think of the moon when looking at the cover.. maybe it has something to do with her reflection.


Miliyah Kato: WHY
This single represents one of Miliyah’s strongest releases to date. This cover lacks the glamor of a lot of these others on the list, but it perfectly reflects the raw emotion of the song WHY. Miliyah is known for her more “Diva-esque” covers, so this vulnerable side from her is something to look forward to.

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Best of 2009: B-sides and other stuff

2010年 1月 3日

Here’s the 3rd part to my 5-part “Best of 2009” installment! This time I’m focusing on B-sides and album-only tracks.  There are a couple more bonus categories I didn’t know where else to put (best collaboration and such). Again, nothing is in any particular order.

  • Gunjou no Tani (acoustic ver.)- alan (Gunjou no Tani)
  • SYOUKUBENI (shot in one take)– Dir en grey (Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami)
  • mute– Mihimaru GT (Torokechau Dandy)
  • Pied Piper– Plastic Tree (Sanatorium)
  • I– salyu (extension)
  • KISSES– stephanie. (Pride ~a part of me~)

  • Shiroki Yuu Utsu- the GazettE (DIM)
  • suki– Rie fu (Urban Romantic)
  • Akizakura (cosmos)– Ikimono Gakari (Hajimari no Uta)
  • Driving– Koda Kumi (Trick)
  • Drella– alice nine. (Vandalize)
  • COPY THAT– Namie Amuro (Past<Future)

There were a number of new artists this year… but as the title suggests I’ve only considered the artists who had the strongest debuts (I chose 5). I don’t consider artists like alan to be “new artists” since her work was well known way before her debut album. Artists like Mao Denda (who apparently released stuff about 9 years ago) are eligible because they made themselves known in 2009.  It’s a bit confusing, but it makes sense in my mind ._.

  • JASMINE
  • MiChi
  • Kana Nishino
  • Kizuki Minami
  • Lil’ B

Those where my three “main” categories. Here are the other ones (basically I was just too lazy to make graphics for categories with only one or two winners).

Best Collaboration: Ima Demo Aitai Yo– Yuna Ito feat. Spontania

Best Revival: UnsraW
Best appearance on anime: Again– YUI
Best Instrumental/Interlude: —anten.– Plastic Tree, Tenyou ~Interlude~– alan, INTRODUCTION FOR TRICK– Koda Kumi
Best Remix: romantic (strings ver.)– Rie fu, Days 8-bits of tears YMCK remix– Ayumi Hamasaki

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Best of 2009: Albums

2010年 1月 1日

Best albums of 2009 (not necessarily in order) from left to right

  1. alan- Voice of Earth
  2. Yuna Ito- Dream
  3. Ayumi Hamasaki- NEXT LEVEL
  4. the GazettE- DIM
  5. alice nine.- Vandalize
  6. Namie Amuro- Past<Future
  7. Nothing’s Carved in Stone- Parallel Lives
  8. rie fu- Urban Romantic
  9. Mai Fukui- My Song for You
  10. Girugamesh- Now
  11. Younha- Growing Season (Honorary Korean Masterpiece)

Honorable Mentions

MiChi- UP TO YOU
Ikimono Gakari- Hajimari no Uta
Koda Kumi- Trick
Ayaka Hirahara- My Classics
Perfume-

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Best of 2009: singles

2009年 12月 31日

Well I haven’t been reviewing on account of I’ve been on vacation =]. Anyway, now that I’m back and Kowezhi has decided to go party without me (<_<) I’ll spend my New Year’s Eve writing “best of”s. I’ll do singles holistically. I may add a category for b-sides or album-only tracks. None of them are in any particular order… just whatever comes to my mind. Also, no commentary since that would take way too long. Feel free to comment if you agree/disagree. It’s quite possible that I forgot some of the best. Mouse over the album pics to see the name of the artist/single.

Singles

Alright I really wanted this to be a “top 10” sort of deal… but 11 never hurt anyone =] If I *had* to pick a “number 1” I’d have to go with alan’s Kuon no Kawa. I mean come on.. that thing is EPIC (even if it rehashes the same two songs over and over). Also, even though I gave some singles better reviews than others I gave my top 10 based on musicianship, not necessarily the rating I gave. For example, although I enjoyed Miho Fukuhara’s Nande Nakitaku Nacchaun Darou tremendously, Hanabi Sky was clearly a more musical feat.

Honorable Mentions
Kana Nishino- Dear…/MAYBE
Onitsuka Chihiro- X/Last Melody
Lil’B- Tsunaida Te
Mika Nakshima- Overload
Salyu- Corteo ~Gyouretsu~
BoA- Eien


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Namie Amuro- Past < Future

2009年 12月 16日

It’s about damn time we got another release from Namie. I love this cover… Namie looks classy and her expression is coy, setting up a feel for the album itself.

First up we have FAST CAR. It opened up with some interesting brass themes, but quickly morphed into a jazzy pop song. The album uses more traditional instruments instead of synth, so the song is a bit unconventional for her. That doesn’t mean it’s bad though! I thought this was a great way to open up the album.

Next is COPY THAT, my favorite song on the album. Although we start the song with a surfer vibe we transition into a fast pace pop song reminiscent of her older songs. The song is just plain infectious… verses and chorus. It also appears that Namie’s English has improved too. This song is just sexy =]

LOVE GAME has a more techno feel to it. In the beginning she sings “Lovin’ lovin’ you,” and I can’t help but think it’s reminiscent of “I like to move it move it,” xD. Strong beats and synth dominate this song. It’s a catchy song and the highlight is in the bridge.

Bad Habit continues the the same vibe as the previous song, but a little more flowy in the synth. We have a clapping rhythm throughout the song, not unlike LOVE GAME. The song is pretty short since it’s’ just over 3 minutes. There’s some autotune in the background at times, which killed this song for me.

Wow, more clapping in Steal my Night. This reminds me of something that would be off her previous album, PLAY. The chorus is pretty catchy, but I was kind of bored in the other parts of the song.

I thought I would hate FIRST TIME feat. DOBERMAN INC, but in truth the song isn’t that bad (with the exception of the autotune). There’s a lot of rapping in this song, obviously, but it fits well with the heavy synth and Namie’s layered vocals. Although this song errs on the side of hip-hop, it incorporates some unconventional melodies (just like she did with Dr.) Sometimes the vocal editing can get a little annoying, but a solid song overall.

Wild was one of two A-sides featured on this single. Wild is definitely techno themed and incredibly catchy. It’s easily one of the strongest songs on the album, but it pales in comparison to its companion A-side..

Dr.! Dr. is one of Namie’s most innovative songs to date, also opting for a techno feeling. The problem with a lot of techno is that at times the melodies can become stale and static. That is not the case with Dr. This song has a story to it (just listen to the robot at the beginning and end) and uses a number of different melodies to keep it interesting. Amazing song!

Ok, back to new tracks! Shut Up has autotune as part of the instrument… but I think this is one of the few instances where it can help a song. This song is catchy as hell and full of attitude. This is Namie like I know her… employing the best of pop, synth, and hip-hop. Loved it =]

MY LOVE unfortunately has a beginning reminiscent of something you’d hear in the States. She repeats “You’re my love love love….” a rehash of the chorus to come. I would have rather she skipped the intro and gone straight into the song. The song has a Western feel to it, and I find it a bit static.

Now we have the only “ballad” off the album. The Meaning of Us has a gorgeous piano opening. This song in particular shows Namie’s mature side, and I only wish this song was a little longer. I would consider it the equivalent of Should I love him? off her previous album.

Lastly we have Defend Love. It has a dark and ominous opening, but it soon unfolds into an upbeat dance track. Yup, lots of synth in this song, but it was used creatively. The song gains a lot of depth in the bridge. This was a nice way to end the album.

Overall: Namie’s on a role with her albums… a couple weak songs here and there, but overall pretty solid.

Rating: 8.5/10

Best Songs:
FAST CAR, COPY THAT, Dr., The Meaning of Us, Defend Love

Track List:

  1. FAST CAR
  2. COPY THAT
  3. LOVE GAME
  4. Bad Habit
  5. Steal my Night
  6. FIRST TIMER feat. DOBERMAN INC.
  7. WILD
  8. DR.
  9. Shut Up
  10. MY LOVE
  11. The Meaning Of Us
  12. Defend Love