BENI – ずっと二人で [12th Single]

August 30, 2009 at 3:56 pm (BENI) (, )

BENI - Zutto

BENI’s 12th single, entitled ずっと二人で, was released on 08.12.09. This is her 4th single under her new name. The title track was used as a theme song for Recochoku while With U was used as an Orion Beer CM song.

ずっと二人で continues the trend of slow songs as A-sides for BENI. It begins with a nice pure instrumental to start things off on a natural and relaxing vibe, seeming to fit the beginning of autumn quite nicely. The chorus features some great vocals from BENI and the instrumentation has such a sparkling aura about it, that it can’t go unnoticed by the listener. On the first verse, she keeps up the good vocals and the music stays pretty. Although it’s not as strong as the preceding A-side, it’s still quite enjoyable and has BENI giving those great vocals.

The first B-side is stardust. It features an interesting upbeat sound and although BENI’s vocals are quite nice, it feels as if the song would have been better suited for someone else’s voice. Otherwise, it’s nice but there’s just that magic spark missing between the vocals and the music.

With U, a very pretty midtempo number, is the second B-side. There’s such a natural atmosphere about the song that resonates with the listener and BENI provides strong vocals as usual. It’s a winning combination and allows the listener to really get into the feel of the song.

The third B-side is a cover of The Boy Is Mine by Brandy and Monica, now delivered by BENI and Tynisha Keli. BENI actually does a pretty good job with this one in that her pronounciation is good and her vocals seem to capture the energy of the song. Tynisha, on the other hand, gives some questionable vocals since her voice just seems a little too high for this style. As to why they chose to cover this song, it’s a bit of a mystery and they might as well not have done it.

In order to promote the single, 2 PVs were made: one for ずっと二人で and one for The Boy Is Mine. The ずっと二人で is quite simple, just featuring BENI at different beautiful settings. There really isn’t much to say about the video but it fits the sweet simplicity of the song very well. The Boy Is Mine PV features the same style as the original with the girls confronting each other and ultimately leaving the playboy by himself. It’s not that great but it does fit the song well.

Single Ranking: B

Well it’s another slow number from BENI. The last A-side was very strong so this one falls flat in comparison. It’s still a nice song though and worth the listen as is With U. Hopefully her album will show more of what she can do besides slow songs.

Permalink 1 Comment

Jyongri – 無敵な愛 [8th Single]

August 30, 2009 at 3:26 pm (Jyongri) (, )

Muteki na Ai

Jyongri’s 8th single, entitled 無敵な愛, was released on 08.19.09. The title track was used as the theme song to the dorama Maid Deka.

無敵な愛 is an upbeat track that shows off what Jyongri can really do. The song starts off with pure instrumentation that definitely catches the listener’s ear at first listen. It’s upbeat nature and sleekness is something not truly familiar with Jyongri’s music and keeps the listener excited for what is to come next. Following is the first verse and Jyongri provides smooth and cool vocals that perfectly support the music. The chorus keeps up the strong pace from the verses and with the rapidity that Jyongri delivers the lyrics with, it really does catch the ear. She sounds particularly strong when she sings “I love you forever,” finishing off the section wonderfully. This is easily one of Jyongri’s best songs and proves that she’s got so much more in her than just ballads.

Muteki na Ai PromoThe B-side of the single is START. She stays more in the lower register for this song to give it a cool atmosphere that supports the A-side quite well. However the cheesy effect comes in with the chorus as she sings “Let’s start today so no-one can beat us.” It’s not very strong but it’s just nice.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 無敵な愛 was made. The video features two different Jyongris. One is more polished and pretty while the other is dirty and looks more desperate. Both of them sit in their rooms and long. Even though it’s quite simple, it’s an effective visual representation for the song.

Single Ranking: A –

Jyongri certainly stepped up her game for this release. Undoubtedly, 無敵な愛 is one of the strongest songs she has released and probably the strongest A-side. Hopefully she’ll continue to experiment a little because from this song, the results can be very great.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Leah Dizon – Everlasting Love + You [New Song]

August 29, 2009 at 11:27 am (Leah Dizon) ()

Leah Dizon New

A new song from Leah Dizon, entitled Everlasting Love + You, was included in the Katamari Forever Soundtrack. This compliation was released on 08.19.09.

The song starts off with a cool 8-bit instrumental that catches the eye and really does give off a video game atmosphere, perfectly fitting with the theme of the song. Then comes the first verse and Leah sounds pretty great here, her vocals really suiting the cool and relaxing feel of the song. Admittedly, the chorus does fall a little flat for the expectations from the verses but it is cute. After Leah whispers and there is kind of a sexual energy there that really works for her. It’s sweet and it’s cute, nothing that is amazing but worth the listen. Hopefully Leah will have everything settled soon and will be making a return to music with her own career.

Song Ranking: B

Permalink 4 Comments

Goto Maki – Plastic Lover (Club Mix) [New Song]

August 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm (Goto Maki) ()

Maki Plastic Lover

Goto Maki’s new song, entitled Plastic Lover (Club Mix), was released on a HOUSE NATION compilation album with the theme Aquamarine. This compilation was released on 08.05.09. The original version of the song is to appear on her upcoming album, SWEET BLACK.

Plastic Lover brings Maki back to her upbeat and cool flavor. The song starts off with a thumping beat that will instantly draw the listener into another world with hints of the true instrumentation popping in and out until it comes full force like electronic paradise. Then comes the first verse and her vocals sound awesome here, really suiting the style of the music perfectly and lingering on the listener’s mind. The chorus is full of spunk and energy, fitting Maki’s style wonderfully, resulting in an orgasmic experience for the ears. On the second verse, the song changes for a real heavenly and light feel before going back into energetic mode for the chorus. Plastic Lover is another fantastic song from Maki and it certainly builds up the anticipation for her upcoming album.

Song Ranking: A +

Permalink 3 Comments

GIRL NEXT DOOR – Be your Wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for You [6th Single]

August 15, 2009 at 2:01 am (GIRL NEXT DOOR) (, )

GIRL NEXT DOOR - Be your wings

GIRL NEXT DOOR’s 6th single, entitled Be your Wings / FRIENDSHIP / Wait for You, was released on 08.05.09. Be your Wings was used as the opening theme to the Playstation game Tales of VS and Wait for You was used as the theme song to J-League, a NHK broadcast.

Be your Wings is a nice upbeat number. The song starts off with a cool instrumental that intrigues the listener as to what’s coming next. Even though it has the same sort of feel as their other songs, there is something slightly different about it which stands out. Chisa’s vocals on the first verse are nice although they do sound a little high at points. The chorus doesn’t particularly stand out except for the English line “Here I am, let me be your wings.” This part does sound a little too much like all their other songs so it doesn’t shine. At different points in the song, the instrumentation sounds great and really stands out although there are many other parts where it feels like many of their other songs. It is these new and different moments that save the song from being boring.

The group changes things up a bit with FRIENDSHIP. The song begins with some distorted vocals from Chisa and then they become clear, introducing the song on a nice note. Following those vocals is a really cool instrumental that kind of carries a dark dance edge to it, standing out strongly. She sounds great on the first verse with control of her vocals and the instrumentation maintains its coolness perfectly. The chorus does sound like their other songs, which is pretty disappointing, considering the build-up to it was so strong. Overall, this is definitely one of the group’s best songs and should have been the leading A-side.

Wait for you keeps the coolness from the last track and takes it in a different way. Beginning the song is a cool edgy instrumental, highlighted by the sounds of the guitar. The listener’s interest is instantly captured and then the first verse comes in. The music stays strong and Chisa’s vocals sound great here, really showing strength and control. Right before the chorus is a really cool instrumental part that signals the best is to come. Unfortunately, the chorus sounds very much like their other songs. Nonetheless, the instrumentation is really interesting through the other parts of the song and that makes it really worth the listen.

In order to promote the single, a PV for Be your Wings was made. The video definitely carries a large budget and features Chisa as a spy, breaking into a building to take a diamond and escape. It doesn’t really fit with the song lyrically but it’s so cool that the viewer can’t not like it.

Single Ranking: A

Even though the choruses of the three song carry a similar vibe to the majority of their songs, the instrumentals of the three of them all stand out strongly. The second and third A-sides particularly stand out. FRIENDSHIP has a slightly dark feel to it and Wait for You has a true coolness to it. All three songs really show the best of this group and if the choruses didn’t sound so similar to so much of their material, it would have been an A+ single.

Permalink 4 Comments

Crystal Kay – After Love -First Boyfriend- (featuring KANAME) / Girlfriend (featuring BoA) [25th Single]

August 15, 2009 at 1:40 am (Crystal Kay) (, )

Crystal Kay New

Crystal Kay’s 25th single, entitled After Love -First Boyfriend- (featuring KANAME) / Girlfriend (featuring BoA), was released on 08.12.09. While After Love -First Boyfriend,- was used as an ITOEN TULLY’S COFFEE CM song, Girlfriend was used as the theme song to the movie Sonna Kare Nara Sutechaeba?. 出会えた奇跡 was used as an ITOEN TULLY’S BSRISTA’S SPECIAL CM song.

Crystal Kay teams up with KANAME of CHEMISTRY for the first A-side, After Love -First Boyfriend.- The song begins with a sweet and cute instrumental that is catchy and gets stuck on the listener’s head even though it’s not the best. Crystal’s vocals sound quite nice on the first verse and fit with the poppiness of the music, pulling the listener in a little more. The chorus is a little dry but both of their vocals compliment each other’s well. Overall, it’s nice but it’s nothing amazing.

After BoA brought Crystal Kay for UNIVERSE earlier in the year, Crystal returns the favor with the second A-side, Girlfriend. Opening the song is a nice midtempo instrumental and then Crystal comes in and delivers her strong vocals. The two girls switch off singing and both of them give good vocals that support the instrumentation nicely. With the aggressive parts of the chorus, this section of the song stands out nicely and catches the listener’s ear perfectly. It definitely isn’t as memorable as UNIVERSE but it’s a good listen nonetheless.

The single’s B-side is the emotional number, 出会えた奇跡. The song starts off with a sweet and slow instrumental that carries an element of sorrow to it. Crystal’s vocals on the first verse are great and give emotion, complimenting the music perfectly. The chorus doesn’t follow the strength of the verse but her vocals are still nice and give emotion. On the second verse, the backing vocals actually make the song more memorable since there’s this angelic feel to them that really stands out. Overall it’s a great song and one that really shows Crystal Kay’s true colors.

In order to promote the single, a PV for After Love -First Boyfriend- was made. The video doesn’t really have much going on in it but Crystal looks absolutely gorgeous in the scenes of her lying on the bed. KANAME just kind of walks around town but he looks good so there’s no complaints here. It’s pretty and fits the atmosphere of the song well.

Single Ranking: B

Crystal Kay brought some nice music for her first single of the year. Both A-sides sound good and even though they don’t leave the best lasting impression, they are worth the listen. Actually, the B-side probably leaves the biggest impression since Crystal really brings the emotions out for all to hear. As for who got the better collaborative single, BoA wins it with UNIVERSE, which is miles better than Girlfriend.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Morning Musume – なんちゃって恋愛 [40th Single]

August 10, 2009 at 4:26 am (Morning Musume) (, )

Nanchatte Rneai

Morning Musume’s 40th single, entitled なんちゃって恋愛, was released on 08.12.09. As the group’s 40th single, the single was released with an extra Commemorative Edition featuring an extra B-side.

なんちゃって恋愛 follows a style similar to that of the girls’ last single and takes it in a slightly new direction. The song begins with a very soft and sweet instrumental and soon the beat comes in, giving it a more uptempo feel. Ai then starts things off on the first verse, giving her usual strong vocals that convey emotion quite well. Koharu sounds good on her part as well and makes the perfect headway for Reina. Reina’s parts are so interesting because the instrumentation has a slightly different feel and she sings with rapidity, catching the listener’s ears. What makes this song primarily different from its predecessor is the addition of rap sequences delivered by Junjun, Linlin, Aika, Sayumi and Koharu. They add a little spice to the song and definitely stand out. The chorus carries the girls’ usual relatable lyrics over a good dance beat. Ai and Reina take the lead on the first one while Risa and Eri take the second. The pure instrumental section is very pretty and puts the spotlight at how fragile and sweet the music really is. Before the last chorus, Sayumi whispers a line and with the last chorus, there is a key change that really catches the ear. It’s another fantastic track from the girls of Morning Musume, which keeps them with a streak of fantastic A-sides.

The B-side of the regular edition is the cool number, 秋麗. The song opens with an ear-catching guitar solo before the rest of the instrumentation comes in and sweeps the listener away. The girls sound great on the first verse with vocals that really match the music perfectly. Ai’s vocals in particular stay smooth and suit the atmosphere of the song very well. The chorus features good energy that carries the song along very strongly, particularly with the end when they sing “I love you” and the title of the song. The pure instrumental section has a real coolness that fits the song’s overall sound while giving it sort of cool hollow feel. Overall, it’s a great compliment to the A-side and definitely could have been an A-side.

すべては愛の力 is the special B-side included on the Commemorative Edition. The song opens up with the girls singing in a happy and sunny tone, as part of the chorus, that feels good with the summery feel. Junjun and Linlin even get to have some of the first solo vocals, which is a nice change of pace. The verses have a sort of cool and fun atmosphere to them, which definitely sounds strong. The chorus is nice although a little dry. The instrumentation has its really strong moments such as a few moments before the chorus. It’s sweet and fun, a nice addition to the overall package of the single.

In order to promote the single, a PV for なんちゃって恋愛 was made. The video is set in a dark area as the girls dance in dark clothing. The other scene of the video features the girls in white outfits, providing an interesting contrast, as they stand and sing the lyrics with emotion. They all look great particularly Risa and capture the eye of the viewer, making the video a success.

Single Ranking: A +

Morning Musume delivers yet another fantastic single, continuing a long streak of memorable A-sides. Although なんちゃって恋愛 takes some cues from the last A-side, it is executed well so that both stand apart from each other and make the listener interested. 秋麗 also has an extremely addictive sound that could have propelled this song into A-side status. It’s certainly a great way to commemorate this group’s 40th single!

Permalink 4 Comments

Gackt – The Next Decade [35th Single]

August 7, 2009 at 8:03 pm (Gackt) (, )

Next Decade

Gackt’s 35th single, entitled The Next Decade, was released on 08.05.09. The title track was used as the theme for Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Great Shocker.

The Next Decade is a cool rock number. The song begins with a rock instrumental that carries an aggression to it, which is nice, although it feels like there’s something missing. Gackt sounds nice on the first verse, his vocals carrying emotion and fitting the atmosphere very well. The chorus opens up with “you’re the next, next decade” and his vocals sound a little shaky here. The random cheer was weird following that line was random but at least it made the listener take notice. Overall, it’s an okay song and could have been better. There was just something special lacking in the instrumentation and the vocals weren’t as strong as they usually are.

In order to promote the single, a PV for The Next Decade was made. The video feels just like a trailer for the movie as it shoes Gackt in different scenes from the movie. It’s a good way to promote the movie and he certainly looks good in it.

Permalink Leave a Comment

ayaka – 風になりたい [Cover Song]

August 6, 2009 at 10:20 pm (ayaka) ()

Kaze ni Naritai

ayaka’s cover song, entitled 風になりたい, was released on Boomania ~The BOOM Special Best Covers,~ released on 07.22.09.

風になりたい is a mesmerizing song that takes the listener to another world. The song begins with a beautiful and soothing instrumental that suits ayaka’s angelic vocals perfectly. As usual, ayaka provides smooth and powerful vocals that carry so much emotion for the listener to feel. Then the instrumentation picks up and has a sort of jazzy style that sounds amazing. The chorus sounds great with the string instruments shining a bit more alongside ayaka’s vocals. It’s such a pretty song that really suits ayaka’s style, making it a perfect cover. This definitely should have been included in ayaka’s upcoming BEST album.

Song Ranking: A +

Permalink Leave a Comment

DOUBLE – Let it go [17th Single]

August 6, 2009 at 9:14 pm (DOUBLE) (, )

DOUBLE Let it go

DOUBLE’s 17th single, entitled Let it go, was released on 07.22.09.

Let it go is a nice midtempo number. The song starts off with a pretty midtempo instrumental that gives a calming feeling to the listener. Then DOUBLE comes in on the first verse and the instrumentation adds a few more instrumentation that makes the beat clear but it takes away from that sweet soothing nature. The chorus is nice as she sings “let it go, just let it go” as the feeling of letting one’s troubles go comes from her vocals. There is a sort of rap section which actually fits the atmosphere of the song quite well so that’s a plus. Overall, it would have been a nicer song if it had stuck to its original instrumentation before the beat was so calling.

The B-side is Feel it. It fits DOUBLE’s style quite well and is a catchy upbeat number. There is kind of a disco feeling to it, which intrigues the listener. Overall DOUBLE”s vocals could have been stronger and the music could have been more aggressive but it’s still a nice listen.

In order to promote the single, a PV for Let it go was made. The video features DOUBLE carrying a suitcase of her troubles and throwing them away as well as scenes of her doing things at home. She looks very pretty in the video and the simple look of it really suits the song in terms of lyrics and atmosphere.

Single Ranking: B

DOUBLE delivers a nice single with both songs catching the listener’s ear. Let it go could have been stronger if the beat wasn’t so strong and Feel it could have been better with a more aggressive instrumental but both songs are nice.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »