Aira Mitsuki – ロボットハニー [4th Single]

October 31, 2008 at 5:01 pm (Aira Mitsuki) (, )

Aira Mitsuki’s 4th single, entitled ロボットハニー, was released on 10.29.08.

ロボットハニー is a sweet and cute electropop number. The song starts off with a very enjoyable cute instrumental with a few lines sung. On the verses, the music tones it down a little bit so that the focus can be on her voice. The distortion really works on her voice here to make it support the music so strongly. Unfortunately the chorus isn’t very memorable as the transition from the verse to the chorus is so slick that it just may go un-noticed the first time. Her vocals are nice but the music doesn’t really stand out so mcuh during the chorus. The small pure instrumental section on the other hand does stand out as there some slightly more aggressive moments to the music. Overall the song could have been better but it does have its catchy moments the listener can hold onto.

The first B-side, ニーハイガール, is a song that focuses on the music. Opening the song is quite powerful instrumentation that immediately catches the listener’s ear and once she begins singing, there is such a distortion on her vocals that it’s hard to hear what she’s saying. There also seems to be some croaking that might supposed to be whispering but it sounds pretty weird. This song takes the approach of certain electropop songs with the focus on the music rather than the chorus but it isn’t as successful as some of the other attempts.

Things slow down for the second B-side, Every night heartfull music song. This song comes into the rankings of the slow and sweet electropop songs like Macaroni by Perfume. The tempo is succesfully slowed down in order to make an addictively pretty song. Aira’s vocals really work in the context of this song as there is almost a dreamy quality to them that keep the listener lulled.

SAZAE FUNKADELIC finishes off the single on a stong note as the instrumentation is out of this world and the listener takes a ride with Aira throughout that world. Her vocals are very enjoyable here and the instrumentation is pretty aggressive, which always makes for a hot Aira song. SAZAE FUNKADELIC is a very memorable song and a great addition to this single.

In order to promote the single, a PV for ロボットハニー was made. Unfortunately, the video is extremely bad as it just features Aira in a fake world with a really ugly creature dancing next to her. It’s just not an enjoyable video and a lot more effort should have been put into it.

Single Ranking: A –

Strangely enough, the B-sides are stronger than the A-side. Both Every night hearfull music song and SAZAE FUNKADELIC are fantastic songs worth listening to. They could have served as the single’s A-sides and it would have made the single even better.

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MilkyWay – タンタンターン! [2nd Single]

October 31, 2008 at 5:00 pm (MilkyWay) (, )

Milky Way’s 2nd single, entitled タンタンターン!, was released on 10.29.08. The title track was used as the seventh opening theme for Kirarin Revolution while the B-side was used as the eleventh opening theme for the same anime.

タンタンターン! is a sweet cute number. The song starts off with a twinkling and happy instrumentation that gives off a dreamy and magical feeling for the listener to enjoy. Then the first verse starts and the vocals sound very enjoyable here managing to keep the softness to support the music while giving enough strength to show what these girls can do. The chorus could have been a little stronger had there been a more dramatic instrumental change but it’s still enjoyable, particularly when they sing the title of the song. One of the strongest parts of the entire song is the pure instrumental section, which just sounds so pretty and light-hearted that the listener can’t help but fall in love with it. This title track is quite enjoyable and a step up from their last A-side.

The c/w track is ガムシャララ. Opening the song is part of the chorus and there is a slight mature element to the music and the girls’ vocals that the listener can pick up on right away. On the verses, the girls’ vocals continue to be strong as they hold the last notes of certain words with ease. The music has a slightly dark atmosphere to it and it makes for an interesting compliment to the lightness that the girls’ usually go for. The pure instrumental section is absolutely fantastic as the guitar is spotlighted for the listener to fall in love with. By taking a different sound, ガムシャララ emerges as an immediately addictive song that could have served as the A-side.

In order to promote the single, a PV for タンタンターン! was made. The video is really simple, featuring the girls dancing in the area from the covers. They look cute but there really should have been more going to capture the viewer.

Single Ranking: A

MIlky Way certainly turned things up for their 2nd single. タンタンターン! is a cute song that holds the pretty element so well while ガムシャララ has a slightly darker atmosphere that really stands out to the listener.

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Kanjani∞ – 無責任ヒーロー [9th Single]

October 31, 2008 at 5:00 pm (Kanjani∞) (, )

Kanjani∞’s 9th single, entitled 無責任ヒーロー, was released on 10.29.08. The title track was used as the theme song for the TV show Egawa x Horio no SUPER Urugusu.

無責任ヒーロー is an upbeat track that serves as the single’s A-side. The chorus has that fun element to it and there’s almost a carnival like atmosphere that comes through the instrumentation to make it enjoyable. The verses are a little more laid back and the interest fades a little. Overall the song is nice but after a while, it gets a little annoying and lacking that fun energy it began with.

The first B-side available on the limited edition A of the single is ケムリ. Opening the song is a dark rock paved instrumental that sounds great from the first moment. Then the first verse comes in and the vocals carry that angst and risk that the music reflects, perfectly capturing the atmosphere of the music. The chorus stands out, particularly when they sing “get me out of here.” As always, the pure instrumental section sounds fantastic and there is an out-of-this-world element that makes it stay on the listener’s mind. This is a great B-side worth listening to.

∞ o clock ’08 is also only present on the limited edition A single. The beeping sound that starts the song off then persists over a very grand dark instrumental but once the chorus comes in, the atmosphere changes gears. There is a more dance feel that the listener can love. The boys sing with a certain rapidity on the verses but it doesn’t come off as slick as hoped. Unfortunately the song is too up and down to really be enjoyed all the way through but it definitely has its really fun moments.

Limited Edition B features fuka-fuka Love the Earth. There isn’t much to say as this track is pretty weak. Although the vocals are nice, the music is very un-engaging and doesn’t give the listener a moment to really fall into the song. It’s a pretty weak song with nothing that makes it stand out.

道標 is the B-side only present on the regular edition of the single. The song begins with a cute and natural midtempo instrumental that really gives off the feeling of a day by day routine. On the first verse, the vocals are smooth, keeping nicely with the cute and enjoyable feeling established by the music. The chorus leaves a little to be desired because there is no real music change and the vocals don’t show any more strength but it’s nothing that’s a turn-off. One thing about the song that might be though is that the song is pretty long, clocking in at around five minutes and it really should have been shortened. Nonetheless, it’s a nice song that the listener can get into while listening to.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 無責任ヒーロー was made. The video features the boys in an office just having fun, to match the fun-ness of the song. It’s not fantastic but it’s nice.

Single Ranking: B

Overall the single isn’t as strong as their previous single, Wahaha but it’s nice. Certain songs, such as the ones on Limited Edition A, are more enjoyable while the others are pretty forgettable.

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MilkyWay – アナタボシ [Debut Single]

October 31, 2008 at 5:00 pm (MilkyWay) (, )

MilkyWay’s debut single, entitled アナタボシ, was released on 04.30.08. The title track was used as the sixth opening theme for Kirarin Revolution while the c/w was used as the tenth ending theme for the same anime series.

アナタボシ takes on some Irish sounds in order to make it stand out. The song starts off with an upbeat and cute instrumentation fueled by Irish instruments to make a smooth transition into the first verse. The girls’ vocals sound very cute nice here and are a little bit deep, which makes them stand all the more. On the chorus, the instrumentation becomes more energetic and the girls’ vocals give more energy to match.  The song is quite catchy and definitely worth checking out.

サンサン GOGO is this single’s c/w. The song begins with a nice midtempo instrumentation, driven by slight rock tints. On the first verse, the girls’ vocals are great and go quite nicely with the music. The chorus is nice but it could have been stronger because the music was just a little too simple to really make it stand out. Luckily the pure instrumental section made a very strong impression giving off the atmosphere of a cold and deserted world. It’s actually a pretty catchy song and has its strong moments that can be enjoyed.

In order to promote the single, a PV for アナタボシ was made. As usual, the video is nothing to go crazy over but there is a cute atmosphere that matches the song’s atmosphere.

Single Ranking: B +

The Irish sounds of アナタボシ are what made this single really stand out and the B-side was an enjoyable song too, which made the single an enjoyable package.

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Hey! Say! JUMP – 真夜中のシャドーボーイ [4th Single]

October 28, 2008 at 5:57 pm (Hey! Say! JUMP) (, )

Hey! Say! JUMP’s 4th single, entitled 真夜中のシャドーボーイ, was released on 10.22.08. The title track was used as the theme song for the drama, Scrap Teacher, which features Hey! Say! JUMP members Yamada, Nakajima, Daiki and Chinen.

真夜中のシャドーボーイ is an absolutely addictive pop number propelled by Latin and Arabian influences. From the opening instrumentation, the listener becomes drawn into the dark world of the song and the mature sound really makes a strong first impression. The boys of Scrap Teacher (Yamada, Nakajima, Chinen and Daiki) split the first verse, each taking their own solo line(s) and having almost each line end with “cherry” [sung in Japanese] really makes the verses pop. After a small section of pure instrumentation, the chorus comes full blast and there’s something very addictive about it. Yabu really shines on the chorus as his voice is quite prominent with all 10 boys singing. The second verse is sung by Takaki, Yabu and Hikaru (splitting it up) and they do a nice job of keeping the interest level high. Following this verse is the pre-chorus, sung by Kei, Ryutaro and Keito and finishing it off is Yamada who says “shadow” [in Japanese]. Once he says that, the listener is captivated yet again. Before the final chorus is another pre-chorus with Nakajima saying “shadow” and the way that he says it is almost questioning so it stucks out in the listener’s mind. This song is one of Hey! Say! JUMP’s best, if not the best, they’ve ever done and it definitely hooks the listener.

The first B-side of the single is スクール革命. The song starts off an upbeat instrumentation that channels an older style and it starts off pretty catchy. Then the first verse comes in and the vocals are nice although it does fall into a slightly predictable sound. The chorus is a little stronger as there is such a happy-go-lucky feeling that the atmosphere and the boys’ voices make that the listener can fall in love with. One part that really stands out is the small pure instrumental section, where the guitar is spotlighted. The full pure instrumental section just sounds so out-of-this-world that it really stands strongly as a integral part of this song. Although it’s a little predictable song, it’s an enjoyable number that finds its home on this single.

Deep Night 君思う is the B-side present only on the regular edition of the single and the stronger of the two B-sides. Opening the song is catchy and sleek instrumental followed by the chorus, which stands because the vocals are somewhat high in contrast to the almost dark and cool instrumental. On the verses, the vocals are sleek and the music remains very interesting to keep the listener entranced. The part that stands out the most on this song is the pure instrumental section in the middle as the music constantly switches back from a nice upbeat piano sound to a cool and addictive electric instrumental. Hikaru has a chance to shine on the song as he provides a rap and he sounds very mature here and really impressed me with this section. Deep Night 冒険ライダー is a wonderful song worth listening to and it’s another song that makes this a highly enjoyable single.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 真夜中のシャドーボーイ was made. Continuing the more mature sounds and looks that Hey! Say! JUMP has been taking on, this PV features a dark and cool atmosphere. The boys all run into a motel (divided as so: Kei and Hikaru, Takaki and Yabu, Keito and Ryutaro and each member of Scrap Teacher has their own room) and with everyone dressed in black there is such a cold feeling established by the video. The video ends with everyone but Yamada getting out of the motel because they see the evil forces coming for them. As one of them opens the door, Yamada smirks and once it’s opened, he disappears magically. Yamada really shines in this video and even some of the boys like Daiki who tend ot be more cute, pulled off the mature look very well.

Single Ranking: A +

After a fantastic single (Your Seed / 冒険ライダー), Hey! Say! JUMP returns with another single of perfection. The title track follows the mature sound of Your Seed and by bringing in the Latin and Arabian influences, the boys entice the listener from beginning to end. The B-sides offer a nice compliment to the A-side and make this a well-rounded single.

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Rain – Rainism [5th Korean Album]

October 25, 2008 at 9:14 pm (Rain) (, )

Rain’s 5th Korean album, entitled Rainism, was released on 10.16.08. After various messages about starting an American career (being in movies such as Speed Racer), he returns to Korea for the long-awaited Rainism.

My Way serves as the album’s opener. It’s a very strange introductory track as it first sounds like someone is setting something up and once Rain begins singing, there is this really annoying sound that continues. This was a very pointless track on the album and should have not even been on the album.

The title track, Rainism, comes as the album’s first full number. The song begins with a mysterious and sleek instrumental with Rain speaking and there’s a certain sexual atmosphere that comes through. As the song goes on, the instrumentation becomes even more addictive and then Rain repeats “I gotta be a bad boy, I’m gonna be a bad bad boy” and that only amplifies the sexual energy. On the first verse, his verse sounds very sleek but the words that he sings higher sound really out of place in keeping with the cool atmosphere. The chorus is a little disappointing as it doesn’t take it to the next level but it is catchy. The long section of pure instrumentation is wonderful because the music, which is the best part of the song, really is spotlighted. Rainism is actually a pretty simple song but it’s a catchy one with truly hot instrumentation.

The tempo slows down a little bit for the next track, Only You. The opening instrumentation is a combination of a very pretty guitar and some electronic sounds, which really catches the listener’s ear. On the first verse, Rain gives smooth vocals that portray the emotional quality of the song perfectly. The chorus is nice but his voice is a little too high here to really suit the music. Only You isn’t a bad song by any means but it would have been better had he stuck to a lower octave on the chorus.

Love Story is the album’s first real ballad. The song starts off with very pretty instrumentation but Rain really shouldn’t have been talking over it. On the first verse, his vocals are gorgeous, effectively communicating the emotions of the song. The transition from the verse into the chorus is so smooth that it’s hard for the listener to realize when the chorus starts but once it becomes apparent, they can hold onto it as his voice remains beautiful as does the music. One section of the song that really stands out is the third verse as the music takes a slight change and Rain keeps up with it fantastically.

사랑이라는 건 is a very pretty midtempo number and really catches the listener’s ear as there is something just so natural about the song. You can really feel that you’re there with Rain as he sings and that always gives the song that personal touch that makes it so loveable. It’s definitely one of the standout numbers on Rainism.

One thing that becomes very apparent while listening to Rainism is that Rain has a habit of speaking over the opening instrumental and honestly, it gets annoying after a while. Unfortunately, 내 여자  is a very forgettable track because it sounds like a throwaway version of 사랑이라는 건. His vocals aren’t particularly impressive and the music sounds so boring that the listener can’t even enjoy it.

Finally we come to another upbeat number with You. The song starts off with a very dark and mysterious instrumental that instantly gets the listener ready for something intense. His speaking actually works well on this song before the first verse starts. His vocals here are perfect and even the higher vocals go perfectly with the music although it is a little hard to distinguish the line between the verse and the chorus at first listen. Overall You is a fantastic song that the listener can really get into as the sexual atmosphere is back to enjoy.

It’s nice to see Rain try new things and that’s just what he does on Fresh Woman as he explores upbeat jazzy sounds. One notable thing about this song is that he sticks to the lower vocals and it really pays off because going into the higher range just would have made his vocals clash with the song. Fresh Woman sounds great and definitely is one of the album’s most memorable numbers.

Rain teams up with C-Luv for 더 끌려, another upbeat enjoyable song. The talking at the beginning is a phone conversation in English and it does sound really annoying but after it finishes, we come to the chorus and Rain’s vocals sound great here, staying smooth to match the sleek instrumentation. Although his vocals tend to be better in the lower range, he sounds almost sleepy on the verses and his voice almost draws the lyrics. Nonetheless, it’s a very fun and cool track that stands out on Rainism.

That coolness continues on the tenth track, 고개 돌려. From the moment the instrumentation starts, the listener is taken into a sleek world and on the first verse, Rain has the same problem as ealier as sounding a little sleepy at points instead of retaining that cool atmosphere. However everything becomes all right on the chorus as the backing vocals support the front vocals very well and both ride with the music strongly. It’s still an enjoyable number that finds its home on Rainism.

After a slew of upbeat trck, 9월 12일 comes as a smooth and intimate ballad. It’s easily the best slow song on the album as Rain’s vocals show the emotional presence of the song and the music is just so smooth and soft that the listener can’t help but fall in love with it. He definitely shined on this song and made it one of the most memorable ones of the entire album.

While My Way (Intro) was the opening track, the closing song is also entitled My Way. Although it’s miles better than the original, it’s still a pretty forgettable song. Rain’s vocals are nice but the music is so boring that the listener just has a hard time connecting with the song at all.

Album Ranking: B +

Rainism is a nice collection of songs ranging from infectious dance tracks to some emotional ballads. Rain generally delivered on the upbeat songs with Rainism and You being some of the album’s best offerings. As far as ballads go, 9월 12일 is gorgeous and is a standout song while the other slow numbers are generally forgettable. If we can bring such strength on the next album with more interesting ballad instrumentals then he’ll be set.

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BIG BANG – Number 1 [Debut Full Length Japanese Album]

October 24, 2008 at 10:47 pm (BIG BANG) (, )

BIG BANG’s 1st full length Japanese album, entitled Number 1, was released on 10.22.08. How Gee, Baby Baby and Always, songs from their previous mini albums, are included on this album along with new songs for the group’s first full album.

The album opens with Intro, an upbeat hip-hop blasting number. The song starts off very abruptly with a little rap to introduce the song but it’s the first actual rap that comes across the smoothest as it entices the listener and leaves them wanting more. The lyrics are entirely in English and it definitely has that catchy feeling that just makes you want to dance.

Following the introduction is the title track, Number 1, another song sung completely in English. The song begins with an absolutely hot and sleek instrumental with some electronic influences and immediately the listener is taken on a ride. The first rap sequence is delivered by T.O.P. and G-Dragon and it’s really G-Dragon’s voice that stands out as there’s a certain energy and spark to it that just is so grabbing. Soon the singing starts with Seung Ri on the hook, showcasing some smooth and sexy vocals that slide over the music. It continues on into the chorus as the vocals continue to prevail and keep the listener interested. T.O.P. and G-Dragon go together again on the second verse and yet again, G-Dragon manages to shine the most. Number 1 is a fantastically catchy song that the boys really deliver on, particularly G-Dragon. 

Things then slow down for the third song, Make Love. The opening instrumental really gives a smooth and comforting atmosphere and once the first verse begins, the beat becomes more clear. One of the song’s strongest points is that the vocalizing perfectly suits the song by putting the emotions to the forefront. Although the singing is wonderful, the rapping sections aren’t particularly captivating. G-Dragon does do a good job of at least suiting to the music a little better but the rapping is still not a very good fit for the song. Make Love is a very nice way for the boys to show they can bring the tempo down and still shine.

We come back for more sexy upbeat music for Come Be My Lady. Once again, the moment the instrumentation begins, the listener is captivated. The rapping during the first verse is wonderful as they are able to deliver the lyrics with rapidity and sleekness, perfectly matching the music. All the vocalists on the chorus do a really good job of keeping some good vocals without getting lost in the music. The one misstep with the song is that it’s so short, clocking in at under three minutes but for the time that the song lasts, the boys do a very good job of keeping the listener interested.

Next is Haru Haru, another slow number. The piano serves as the central instrument and it also provides the song with an emotional connection. With the first couple vocalizations, it sounds really awkward because they almost sound like their gasping for air. However once the first verse comes in, the beat becomes painfully clear and it helps the rappers sound more comfortable on the track. T.O.P. sounds really strange on the song because his voice sounds so rough in comparison with the music. Luckily, the song excels on the chorus when the vocalizations show that the boys feel the emotions of the song so well. Overall it’s an enjoyable song that the listener can pick up particularly during the singing parts.

Once again, we are treated to another upbeat number with With U. This time, the opening vocalizations sounds great and portray a certain sexiness that almost sounds like inviting moaning. Then the first verse begins and Tae Yang steps up to really entice the listener with a sleek rap section that is in perfect harmony with the music. The hook sounds great as the sining takes center stage to mesh with the music so nicely. It’s the chorus that really stands out as the boys sing “I wanna rock with you, dance you with…run around in the rain with you” and the vocals here go together so well that the listener cannot help but fall in love with them. Dae Sung continues to bring that sexual energy that fuels this song and his vocals are fantastic. The pure instrumental section is heavenly as the listener really gets the chance to fall into the hot music. Of course G-Dragon does a great job on his rap section and lets the listener fall in love all over again. With U is a perfect song, one of the album’s best offerings and a definite memorable song from BIG BANG.

How Gee is a song that shows a different side of BIG BANG as there are some uptempo jazzy influences that drive the instrumentation. The first rap sequence is a very nice fit for the music as it sounds so different from but still having that cool swagger that makes it pop. The chorus does come across as a little repetitive as they repeat “raise the roof” but the vocalizations in the background propel the song very nicely. With the various rap sections of the song, it definitely stands out and the music is a nice experiment for the boys to take on.

Keeping the energy up is the next song, Baby Baby. Much like songs such as With U and Number 1, the opening instrumentation with a hot beat immediately takes the listener. The chorus stands out as the music remains creative and the vocals stay with the music strongly, particularly on the “girl” note when they reach a little higher. Interestingly enough, the song doesn’t take off with a rap section but some singing delivered with rapidity to stand out. G-Dragon then comes in with a rap section that sounds fantastic as usual. Baby Baby is another catchy number that allows the boys to do what they do best, bring the edge on upbeat songs.

So Beautiful keeps the sleek energy for the listener to enjoy. The repeated “and you don’t stop,” which continuously grows in distortion introduces the song nicely before some pure instrumentation brings the listener into the world of the song. On the chorus, the music remains interesting but the vocals are a little bit dry so it comes across just a little bland. This continues on the first verse when the vocals have a certain coolness about them but they don’t possess that sleek energy that the boys can bring and make the music pop even more. Luckily G-Dragon comes to the rescue nearing the end of the song as his rap section brings everything to the top. So Beautiful really stands out for the interesting music although the vocals should have carried more edge to match the music.

Remember is a slow jam and while the vocals are nice, the music leaves a little to be desired. There really isn’t much to be said but G-Dragon is stellar as always and grabs the listener for at least a few moments. Although it’s a nice song, it’s nothing to brag about.

The next song, Heaven, is even more forgettable than Remember. Unfortunately, the music is lacking that spark and the vocals are still lacking that edge that the boys are usually so good at bringing. It just comes across as another boring slow jam.

Finally we come to another interesting track with Everything. The opening instrumental possesses such a mysterious atmosphere that the listener is lulled into the cool atmosphere. When the boys come in to sing on the vocals, a sexual air comes through as their voices sound smooth and sexy. The chorus lacks a little bit of that energy but it’s still enjoyable as there is almost a certain cuteness about it through the lyrics. As always, G-Dragon does his thing and makes the song even more enjoyable. Everything is a very nice way of picking the album up and entertaining the listener.

Always is an interesting song because the music has its very cool moments and its quite bland moments but the boys’ vocals consistently remain strong. It’s a nice song but the music just swings too much between being strong and weak to really keep the listener fulfilled all the way through.

Bringing the album to a close is Candle – Together Forever (Japanese Version). It definitely wasn’t the way to close the album because it’s quite the forgettable ballad. The vocals are nice but the music isn’t enticing or emotional enough to capture the listener.

Album Ranking: A –

Number 1 is a great album, particularly notable for the upbeat numbers like With U, Number 1 and Baby Baby. The boys are able to bring that cool edge, sexual energy or the emotional presence depending on the song and this album proves it. If there’s one star of this album it’s G-Dragon as his voice just does such a great job of suiting all the songs. As the boys’ first full length album, BIG BANG did a wonderful job and it’s definitely worth checking out.

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mihimaru GT – 幸せになろう [19th Single]

October 23, 2008 at 7:39 pm (Mihimaru GT) (, )

mihimaru GT’s 19th single, entitled 幸せになろう, was released on 10.22.08. The title track was used as the theme song for the Japanese dorama Shanghai Typhoon.

幸せになろう captures the sweetness of the heart. The song begins with a very nice and soothing piano instrumental that quickly takes on some grandeur and catches the listener’s ear. Once the vocals come in, they are quite powerful and seem a bit awkward because it almost sounds like hiroko is shouting. Luckily she tones it down on the first verse and her voice really goes with the poppy slowness of the music. She maintains good and smooth vocals on the chorus and manages to reach a little higher without crossing the line. miyake does a nice job of doing his rap and gives the song a little more flavor. Overall it’s a nice midtempo number with some sweet vocals although it’s a little bland.

777 (Three Seven) has mihimaru GT teaming up with ET-KING for this upbeat track. Opening the song is a hot and sleek beat that immediately catches the listener’s ear because it sounds so strange for mihimaru GT but then the chorus comes in and there’s that cute and sweet feeling that just makes the listener lose interest. Unfortunately the vocals don’t particularly go together well during the chorus and it’s the verses that shine because it’s solo parts. The star really is miyake although hiroko actually does a nice job on her part. ET-KING sounds really awkward because their vocals are really rough. It’s a memorable B-side but it’s not a particularly strong one.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 幸せになろう was made. The video is very natural and it’s a nice fit with the song, although it is quite simple. hiroko looks really pretty and miyake looks cool so that’s another plus for the video.

Single Ranking: B –

Nothing is particularly stellar about the single but it gets the job done if you like sweet songs. They are a little bland and thus it’s hard for the listener to really follow them but they have their moments.

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BoA – Eat You Up [Debut American Single]

October 19, 2008 at 6:34 pm (BoA) (, )

Well what’s one thing we can say about BoA? She’s ambitious. She first came onto the music scene in her homeland of Korea and soon came to Japan and took it by storm. Her next venture is the U.S.A. There have been rumors circulating about her debut for a while and I didn’t believe them at first or even want to believe them but she’s here and actually did a good job. Eat You Up was originally set to be released on October 7th but was then pushed back to October 21st.

The song starts off with a thumping and addictive dance instrumental that immediately catches the listener before BoA takes the first verse. The lyrics are pretty interesting and shows off a more flirtatious side of BoA as she sings “you feed my appetite in ways I can’t explain.” She continues onto the chorus, which is simple but extremely catchy. Repeating “I’ll eat you up” with the vocalizing, it makes for an easy-to-remember and ear catching section of the song that stands out very nicely. The focus comes to her voice especially on the second verse when the music is almost hushed. It’s my personal favorite section of the song for the following two lyrics: “Like I’ve become some demon in the night / You look so tasty I could eat you up alive.” BoA then repeats “I wanna take you to my room” and her vocals here are wonderful. The pure instrumental section near the end sounds really strong as it spotlights just how the song’s beat is. Closing the song is the repetition of “eat you up” in a tweaked voice. Eat You Up is a brilliant song and one definitely one worth taking notice of. Hopefully BoA will get success with this because it really is one of the best American releases of the year.

In order to promote the single, two PVs for Eat You Up were made. One was done by an American director and the other made by a Korean director. The Korean version features BoA getting with her friends and after doing some dancing in the streets, they enter a room with judges and blow their minds. Although there isn’t much of a plot, it’s definitely an enjoyable video because BoA shows off her attitude.

Single Ranking: A +

BoA is such a strong musical contender whether she’s in Japan, Korea or America. Eat You Up is a very catchy and addictive number that BoA brings to life with her special attitude and good vocals. Let’s see where BoA ends up and I hope she achieves success.

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alan – RED CLIFF ~心・戦~ [6th Single]

October 18, 2008 at 7:55 pm (alan) (, )

alan’s 6th single and the 4th consecutive releases featuring the five elements, entitled RED CLIFF ~心・戦,~ was entitled 10.15.08. The element associated with this single is fire. The title track was used as the Japanese language theme for the RED CLIFF (alan also did the Chinese version of the theme, included on the single as the first B-side). RED CLIFF ~心・戦~ was also selected to be the theme song for the video game Dynasty Warriors 6 Special.

RED CLIFF ~心・戦~ is an absolutely beautiful ballad that evokes a true emotional response in the listener. Opening the song is a haunting but capturing instrumental with alan singing “la la la” over it with very delicate vocals. The first verse then comes in and the instrumentation is less haunting but there is a sorrowful atmosphere that is supported by alan’s vocals. The chorus manages to stand out merely from a slight instrumental change and alan gives even more emotion and power in her vocals, communicating the lyrics’ meaning of love and war. Following the second verse, alan performs her signature wail, which only adds to the song’s strength. The song closes with a little more instrumentation, to bring the song to a fantastic finish. alan brought beauty and gentleness to this emotional ballad and as a result, the listener can’t turn away not even for a moment.

心・戦 ~RED CLIFF,~ the Chinese version of the song, is included as the first B-side. It’s not any different from the Japanese version but one thing that is notable is that the Chinese is so fluid that it has a carrying effect. It definitely works well with the song and makes for another enjoyable song.

The second B-side included on the single is 明日への讃歌 ~Orchestral Version,~ her debut single re-arranged and re-sung to be complimented with an orchestra. The opening instrumentation shows the new arrangement’s strongest point: a magical and dreamy atmosphere. Some parts are actually switched around, which makes it all the more interesting. She sings two lines from the second chorus first and it’s a wonderful introduction. Each moment of pure instrumentation provides the listener with a journey into a fantasy world. The first verse is then sung and following are the original first lines, which now segue into the chorus. The last lines of the chorus are where it’s easiest to see the re-recorded vocals as alan goes softer on those final notes. Closing the song are two lines, which were originally earlier in the song but they make a very good closer. This new re-arranged version is absolutely fantastic, creating a magical atmosphere that makes it stand out.

In order to promote the single, a PV for RED CLIFF ~心・戦~ was made. The video features two primary scenes: alan resting on a board floating in the ocean and alan adorned in a red kimono in a traditionally decorated room. In the course of the video, the room catches on fire leaving alan trapped within the flames (this is the last we see of her and it’s presumed that she dies). The other alan floating in a boat is then seen drifting out even further into the ocean and then she falls in, once again leading to the assumption that she dies. The video is fantastic as it truly communicates the emotions of the song and alan looks fantastic.

Single Ranking: A +

This is another perfect single from alan as she delivers beautiful vocals to all three songs. The title track really stirs the emotions while communicating the themes of love and war. 明日への讃歌 ~Orchestral Version~ creates that magical atmosphere that makes it so loveable to round out the single. It’s a perfect package and one of the greatest of the year.

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