Posts Tagged ‘rie fu’


Poll: Best album thus far (2010)?

2010年 4月 26日

oh hay kuu chan…. you look so cute but you didn’t win!!

So we’re a third of the way through the year.. how are we doing album wise? Personally there hasn’t been a one single album to fully grab my attention as “perfect.” Sure there have been great tracks on every album, but as a whole there hasn’t been one that is so outstanding that it shames all others (last year? alan’s Voice of Earth). However, the year is nascent and we’ve got some time. Let’s hear it again for Kalafina, shall we?

Kalafina- Red Moon– 13 votes, 46%
Ayumi Hamasaki- Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus– 6 votes, 21%

Sayuri Sugawara- First story- 3 votes 11%
Rie fu- at Rie sessions- 2 votes, 7%
KOKIA- REAL WORLD- 1 vote, 4%
Abingdon Boys School- ABINGDON ROAD- 1 vote, 4%
Tokyo Jihen- Sports- 1 vote, 4%
SuG- Tokyo Muzical Hotal- 1 vote, 4%

The following earned 0 votes:

D- 7th Rose
Morning Musume 10 MY ME

Let’s analyze the votes. Red Moon was the most anticipated release AND the “best” according to you readers. I thought the album was pretty good, but Kalafina isn’t a group I listen to too often. For me I’d either say Rie fu, KOKIA or Koda Kumi’s was best. Rie fu resonates with the kind of folksy sound I love. KOKIA opened up a new door in music for me. And Koda Kumi is just my little Kuu-chan. (What?? I work out to her stuff!) I should have added salyu’s maiden voyage to the mix! Well that’s what I get for making polls after midnight.

Now I haven’t listened to Tokyo Jihen before (though I’ve heard good things about them) and I haven’t listened to SuG in ages (I can’t really get into oshare-kei sometimes). I was surprised at how many votes Ayumi Hamasaki (what with all the bashing on the blogosphere lately). I think that she has more fans in Japan (relatively speaking) than across the globe. I think Ayu is highly talented, but I don’t think her album is quite “the best of 2010.” To each her own.

So… what do you think of the results? Are they a fair representation of the best musicians or do we have some stans in the house? You tell me.



Rie fu- At Rie Sessions

2010年 4月 7日

Very cool cover. For some reason it makes me think of thunderstorms on Japanese fishing towns… or maybe that’s because I just watched Ponyo…

So this is kind of a different album for Rie fu. Each song is actually a collaboration. Many of these songs are hit-and-miss. Also, this album uses a LOT of English. So, is the album as good as the cover? Let’s find out…

The first song, Stay with me ~Ren’ai Nante Himatsubushi~ is a collaboration with Lily Franky and BOSE. The verses are great, but the chorus is incredibly repetitive. I loved this song the first listen… but after a while I just wanted to shoot myself. I basically didn’t know who most of the collaborators on the album were, so I had to look up Lily Franky and BOSE (kind of creepy lads to be honest). The duet between Lily Franky and Rie fu at the end was pretty though.

Just like you is perhaps one of the most repetitive songs Rie fu has ever done. It has a pretty acoustic feeling in the beginning, which I adore. Unfortunately the chorus is just Rie fu and LEO repeating “just like you,” over and over. Nonetheless this is a good song that could have used a little more length and depth.

Irodotte begins with an a capella duet between Rie fu and one of the singers (or both of them? Who the hell are Mina Ganaha and Mayumix anyway?) This song has a moderate pace and it’s kind of a cute song. The instrumentation is pretty repetitive unfortunately.Unlike the previous track, this song is too long.

Next up is Don’t Worry, including KAT and Yuka from moumoon (artists I actually know, yay!) This track is beautifully done, and all the artists are on their a-game. This song is an acoustic track with a cute chorus. This is a throwback to a lot of Rie fu’s early stuff. The verses are the best part of this song IMO.

Okay, it’s time for an oddity: STAR. The song begins with some funky synth beats that remind me of music from… past decades. Rie fu collaborates with Ifu Sarasa (who??) and Kenji Suzuki (guitar). Regardless of the weird instrumentals, this is a pretty cute. This song could have totally fit on her past album because of its retro feel. One of the better tracks on the album.

Sunshine Forehead is also kind of odd to me. It has this earthy flute flowing through the song, which makes me think of hippies. Curly Giraffe is apparently the alias of Kiyoshi Takakuwa, a bassist for the band, Great3. Either way, this is too hippie-like for me to enjoy. Also, I am not a fan of the accompanying male vocals.

My Start continues with the retro feel of the album. I haven’t heard of Kenichi Takemoto or Peter Kvint either, so that took away from the song. The second verse is my favorite part of the song because of the uplifting lyrics. This song is entirely in English.

Haha so I definitely love the beginning lyrics of Gilles. “All day all morning we are stressed because we have to get up.” Come on, I think every student can relate. I actually know the collaborators in this song (at least the former):  NAOTO from ORANGE RANGE and kohei from HOI FESTA. I wish this song had a little more life to it though; the chorus seemed kind of flat.

Laundry is another 3-female collaboration, this time including  YUI from RYTHEM and Akiko Nakashima. I think all the ladies harmonize quite well together. This song is definitely a mellow track, and even includes a segment of falling rain. This is a nice way to begin winding down the album.

Bright Life is a lovely song, and working with Satou Honoka from aluto was a smart choice. This song reminded me of Rie fu songs like Long Long Way (one of my favorite Rie fu songs ever). This song is totally acoustic, and uses piano and strings exclusively. Beautiful.

Lastly we end with the folksy Hitotsu, Hitotsu. Rie fu joins forces with Seira, Shiina Junpei, and Chris Tomoko (I don’t know any of them xD). The clapping during the verses is really cute. Although this is a mellow, acoustic song, it ends the album like a lullaby.

Overall: It’s hard to wrap up this album in just a few words. Some songs are fantastic while others aren’t up to par. Overall this is Rie fu’s most retro/folksy album to date. Even if you don’t like all of the songs this album is still worth getting.

Best tracks:

  • Hitotsu, hitotsu
  • Bright Life
  • STAR
  • Don’t Worry
  • Laundry

Rating: 8.5/10

Track list:

  1. Stay with me ~Ren’ai Nante Himatsubushi~
  2. Just Like You
  3. Irodotte
  4. Don’t Worry
  5. STAR
  6. Sunshine Forehead
  7. My Start
  8. Gilles
  9. Laundry
  10. Bright Life
  11. Hitotsu Hitotsu

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 ._.

  • 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


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

Ikimono Gakari- Hajimari no Uta
Koda Kumi- Trick
Ayaka Hirahara- My Classics