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.

Advertisements

Permalink 4 Comments

GIRL NEXT DOOR – Infinity [5th Single]

June 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm (GIRL NEXT DOOR) (, )

GIRLNEXTDOORinfinity

GIRL NEXT DOOR’s 5th single, entitled Infinity, was released on 06.10.09. Infinity is the Fuji TV drama Atashinichi no Danshi theme song.

The group continues the fun upbeat sound on Infinity. Opening the song is an upbeat pop instrumental that has a slightly different feel from their previous songs and thus the listener is intrigued. Then comes the first verse and Chisa sounds so poppy and happy that the listener wants to smile along with her. The cheering is cute and adds a little flavor to the song. The chorus may not sound very different from the rest of the song but there’s something about it that still stands out. It’s a fun song that is perfect for summer due to its poppy energy.

GIRL NEXT DOOR comes with a ballad for the B-side with If. The song begins with a sweet instrumental that has kind of a wintery feeling to it to catch the listener’s attention. Chisa sounds nice on the first verse and her vocals carry something very natural and likeable. The reason that the chorus stands out is the slightly more diverse instrumentation, particularly the very opening of the chorus. Her vocals are still nice here although they could have been stronger. This is a nice song but it’s far too long, coming in at over six minutes. If it were shorter, it wouldn’t feel like it was dragging on so much.

In order to promote the single, a PV for Infinity was made. The video is comprised of two scenes: the dancing part and the performance part. The dancing part features Chisa and a group of girls in cheerleader-like atire, showing off their cute moves. All the various splashes of color actually make this really stand out and the highlight of the video. Although the girls look so emotionless so it’s kind of weird. The other part just has the group performing the song. Because of the colors, the video comes off as pretty cool.

Single Ranking: B

One of these days, it would be nice if GIRL NEXT DOOR would experiment some more with their music. Fun pop songs are nice but they can only get them so far. Their next single is a triple A-side so hopefully there will be at least a little variety there.

Permalink 3 Comments

GIRL NEXT DOOR – Seeds of Dream [4th Single]

May 1, 2009 at 5:00 pm (GIRL NEXT DOOR) (, )

seedsofdream

GIRL NEXT DOOR’s 4th single, entitled Seeds of Dream, was released on 04.15.09.

Seeds of Dream is a positive dance song. The song starts off with an upbeat pop instrumental that carries a pretiness to it, while channeling the group’s usual sound. Although it is nice, the music is a little distracting during the verses and Chisa’s voice sort of falls into the background. On the chorus, there is an even a lighter and breezier feeling that actually has a sort of summer atmosphere to it. Chisa’s vocals come more into the forefront and catch the listener’s ears. One thing that can definitely said about this song is that the pure instrumental section sounds amazing and is extremely catchy. It’s probably the best part of the entire song. Seeds of Dream is a nice song about letting your dreams be known to the world but it would have stood out more if it didn’t sound so much the group’s previous singles, despite it being one of their better songs.

Reason for Tears strays away from the group’s usual sound by just a little bit. The song starts off with a very cool instrumental that has a sort of sadness to it and evokes the image of water. Chisa then comes in for the first verse and her vocals are somewhat deep, which actually fit the music perfectly. On the other hand, the chorus kind of has a peppy feeling to it and the instrumentation is more energetic. Strangely enough, it doesn’t sound as disjointed as it could have been and although the transition between the two is a little forced, it catches the listener’s attention. The primary reason that Reason for Tears stands out so much is that it gets away from the usual GIRL NEXT DOOR sound and tries something a little different, which is what the group needs to do more often.

In order to promote the single, a PV for Seeds of Dream was made. The video features Chisa walking around the city as various pairs of shoes follow her. It’s a very strange concept and doesn’t really seem to make much sense but I suppose the whole colorful and happy idea matches the song’s atmosphere. There is also a dance sequence at the end, which is a nice finishing touch.

Single Ranking: A –

GIRL NEXT DOOR’s first single of the year is a strong one as both songs certainly are catchy. Seeds of Dream does sound much like all of the other singles but there’s something about it that just gets to the listener and sticks in their head. Reason for Tears goes for a slightly different sound and the emotions come across more strongly here. It would be nice if this group tried something different because frankly, their usual sound is getting old and fast.

Permalink Leave a Comment

GIRL NEXT DOOR – Winter Game ~冬のプロペラ~ [PV Review]

January 4, 2009 at 6:08 am (GIRL NEXT DOOR) (, )

gndnew

In order to promote GIRL NEXT DOOR’s debut self-titled album, a PV was made for the album track Winter Game ~冬のプロペラ.~ I understand that the attempt was to be cute and make the video follow the actions of the little kids but honestly, it came off as a little weird. The comic book effects were just too much. Truthfully the only redeeming point about this video was that Chisa looked absolutely beautiful and the falling scenes looked very graceful and pretty. It’s definitely not a memorable video and not even worth sitting the whole way through because once you’ve seen the first few seconds, you get the idea.

PV Ranking: D

Permalink Leave a Comment

GIRL NEXT DOOR – GIRL NEXT DOOR [Debut Studio Album]

January 3, 2009 at 12:41 am (GIRL NEXT DOOR) (, )

gnd

GIRL NEXT DOOR’s debut studio album, entitled GIRL NEXT DOOR, was released on 12.24.08. The singles released before the album are as follows: 偶然の確率, Drive away / 幸福の条件 and 情熱の代償 / ESCAPE.

This album’s opener is the wintery pop number, Winter Game~冬のプロペラ.~ The song begins with a catchy upbeat wintery instrumental with a very clear beat. Soon the first verse begins and Chisa’s vocals compliment the music very nicely, managing to stay smooth while still giving enough power to make them stand out. Although the instrumentation does a nice job of leading the listener up to the chorus, it’s a bit of a letdown because it just sounds so plain and done before by this group. The following little section of pure instrumentation is nice though. On the actual pure instrumental section, the guitar is spotlighted and it’s a nice change of pace from the usual instrumentation but it doesn’t stand out as well as hoped. Overall, it’s just an okay track that although not as strong as an opening track should be, it does introduce the listener to the general sound of GIRL NEXT DOOR.

Up next is Drive away, which was released prior to the album as one half of a double A-side single. The song begins with a very cool and interesting instrumentation that takes the listener to another world before the first verse comes in. Somehow, the first verse feels a lot lighter than the preceding instrumental and Chisa’s vocals really give a certain hopeful feeling that stands out to the listener. Once again, the chorus is a little boring because it feels like it’s already been done by the group but Chisa gives some very strong vocals. The pure instrumental section is pretty uninteresting because it sounds so similar to that of the first track but this one has noticeably different moments that actually sound really good. It’s not a great follow-up because it’s so similar.

gnd1Following is a new song, Power of love. The song begins with a similar instrument to the following tracks but there is a certain wintery prettiness that takes focus and makes it slightly different. On the verses, it’s nice to hear a new sound and there is a very coolness to it that Chisa brings with her vocals as she sings a little more quickly than usual, following the music. This continues onto the chorus with the rapidly-sung parts standing out very nicely. Following is a small pure instrumental section and there sounds like there is somewhat electric influences that really make this instrumental catch the listener’s ear. This pure instrumental section sounded great too even though they didn’t use the electric influences, which would have made it even better. Power of love is definitely one of the album’s standouts for the fact alone that it sounds different than the others songs. Chisa provides good vocals and the instrumentation is very interesting.

幸福の条件 is the next song on the album. Beginning the song is a highly upbeat and catchy instrumental that leads into the first verse perfectly. There is a real edginess to the instrumentation that lingers on the listener’s ears as Chisa gives strong and memorable vocals to compliment it. Even though the chorus does sound a little generic, the instrumentation saves it from being a total let-down. This time, the pure instrumental section just shines brightly. With the guitars taking the reigns, the listener is introduced to a whole new layer of instrumentation, which really is memorable on this song. This is a very good followup to the last song because both provide a new and interesting take while keeping with the album’s theme.

WINTER MIRAGE ~冬の残像~ comes as the next song on the album. A very pretty instrumental, prompted by a gnd2gorgeous piano, begins the song and immediately the listener falls into a dreamy state. Chisa’s vocals on the first verse are beautiful and portray a lot of emotion, supporting that which comes from the instrumental. It sounds a little bit more upbeat on the chorus but the emotions are still clearly there and Chisa’s vocals are even a little more strong (particularly when she holds her notes with such ease). Each moment of pure instrumentation feels new and exciting thanks to the sheer beauty of them. WINTER MIRAGE ~ 冬の残像~ is an absolutely gorgeous track and it definitely shines as the album’s first ballad.

After a line of great tracks, we come to the very generic sounding 情熱の代償. Despite being a very upbeat track, Chisa manages to pull in the emotions to make this a catchy and at least slightly interesting. The momentary sections of pure instrumentation are a nice touch and give the listener something to come back to. Overall though, this track is pretty uninteresting and just sounds so generic.

The next track is amazing Fine after rain. A pretty instrumental with some sparkling moments begins the song and it stands apart from the other instrumentals nicely. After that, the music takes a slight change to the more traditional GIRL NEXT DOOR sound while still keeping some individuality. On the verses, Chisa’s vocals sound great and compliment the music nicely, creating an overall relaxing feeling. Right before the chorus, there is a very addictive sound that feels like the listener is being taken into another world. The chorus is good because Chisa reaches a little higher on some notes and delivers the rest with true power. Fine after rain is a very enjoyable track and definitely is one of the album’s more memorable numbers.

gnd3Breath, the B-side to the group’s first single, appears next. There are some rock influences on the song which sound a little cool but for the most part, it’s pretty boring.

The album’s first instrumental track is Day’s…What makes this track memorable is the guitar, which goes well with the wintery atmosphere. There’s something almost romantic about the song and even though there are no words to accompany it, the music speaks for itself and speaks to the listener. It’s a good instrumental and I’m sure this would have been an enjoyable full track with vocals.

Once again, we get some boring tracks with ESCAPE. Chisa’s vocals sound a little strained and at some points, they don’t even sound like her. The instrumentation is boring and sounds so much like their traditional sound that it really gets old.

Winter Garden ~冬の温~ is the next track. Well this song has some strong moments during the verses and the sections of pure instrumentation sound great. Unfortunately, the chorus just comes up as another traditional GIRL NEXT DOOR sound, which doesn’t come across as very interesting. It’s not a bad track but it just doesn’t stand out from their usual sound very much.

Next is Climber’s high. A very pretty instrumentation starts the song, which brings the listener into the world of the gnd4song before it suddenly turns into a danceable upbeat track. Chisa’s vocals on the first verse are very strong, really showing off her range and her ability to communicate emotion (in this case, hopefulness). The chorus is pretty nice, still keeping the upbeat and memorable sound that really shines. On the pure instrumental section, the guitar sounds absolutely fantastic, definitely delivering the interest for everyone to hear. Climber’s high is amazing and definitely one to listen to.

NEXT DOOR, an pure instrumental track, is the album’s semifinale. This instrumental has a very grandiose atmosphere to it as it takes on an orchestral sound. It still keeps the winter feeling, which ties it to the rest of the album. Although not as strong as the other instrumental track, Day’s…, it’s still enjoyable.

偶然の確率 is the group’s debut single and closing numbers. Once again, the instrumentation just sounds so generic and boring that it definitely is not the proper way to close the album. It just doesn’t have any particular point to make it sparkle like some of the other tracks.

Album Ranking: B

The biggest problem with GIRL NEXT DOOR’s debut album is that there are too many tracks that sound similar. Luckily there are some fantastic tracks like WINTER MIRAGE ~冬の残像,~ Fine after rain and Climber’s high that save this album from being a letdown. Hopefully their next effort will be a little more diverse.

Permalink Leave a Comment

[Part Four] Oricon Year Top Singles

December 9, 2008 at 5:10 pm (AAA, Aira Mitsuki, alan, Amuro Namie, Angela Aki, Aoyama Thelma, Arashi, ayaka, Berryz Koubou, BoA, BONNIE PINK, Buono!, C-ute, Crystal Kay, Fukui Mai, GIRL NEXT DOOR, Hamasaki Ayumi, Hey! Say! JUMP, Hirahara Ayaka, Ishida Yuko, Ito Yuna, Jyongri, KAT-TUN, Kawashima Ai, KinKi Kids, Kitahara Aiko, Kobukuro, Koda Kumi, Kuraki Mai, Leah Dizon, MEG, MilkyWay, Misia, Morning Musume, Nakashima Mika, NEWS, Otsuka Ai, Perfume, Shibasaki Kou, Shiraishi Kikyo, SMAP, Suzuki Ami, Tackey & Tsubasa, Takasugi Satomi, Tanimura Nana, Tegomasu, Tohoshinki, TOKIO, Utada Hikaru, V6) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

mnsb2

Well there have been a lot of singles out this year. Some of them have been amazing and have made me fall in love with certain artists while others made me feel very disappointed. Which single took the number one spot? How many Johnny’s singles and H!P singles made the countdown? You’ll have to continue to find out.

mnsb1Hey! Say! JUMP has definitely impressed me this year, much more than I thought they would. I can’t even describe just how great their music has been but I’ll try anyway. The group’s fourth single, 真夜中のシャドーボーイ, wins title of “Single of Oricon Year 2008.” If there is one thing that these guys know how to do it, it’s make an upbeat single that makes the listener take notice. 真夜中のシャドーボーイ uses Spanish and Arabian themes to push their instrumentation over everyone elses. Except for Kei, Keito and Ryutaro, everybody has a real turn to shine. Yamada, Daiki, Nakajima and Chinen all have this center role (Yamada having the actual center role) since this song was used to promote their new drama Scrap Teacher so it was nice to see different people getting the time to shine. Everything about the song was perfect. With the constant repetition of the word “チェリー,” the listener is taken to another world. These boys really pull off the mature sound strongly and Chinen’s voice sounds different on this song than the others ones. Daiki, Nakajima, Yabu and Takaki all sound great too. With the multitude of live performances the song has gotten, the guys have looked hot and they sing the song with such confidence. It’s an amazing single that reigns above all the others so they should be very proud to have “Single of the Year.”

It was very hard to choose a first place winner and this single was so close to taking the top spot. Second place though kumitaboocddvdis something to be proud of too though and the runner up for “Single of the Year” goes to Koda Kumi with TABOO. After the controversy, Kumi went for a more conservative approach with MOON. However there’s something magical about Kumi when she does the sexy thing. She exutes confidence and it really makes for an enjoyable time when you can get up and move with Kuu. TABOO is the sexy anthem of 2008 as Kumi provides smooth vocals that lay over the hot instrumental. The verses are what make this song so addictive, particularly the last lines when she sings “drive away.” Kumi uses a certain cleverness with these lyrics using various metaphors to describe secret love and they come across to the listener perfectly. Plus I’m sure this single has given many others faith that Kumi will always have that sexiness in her because people have been worried that it’s been declining. Always is a nice compliment to the A-side even though it’s pretty forgettable. TABOO is the hot dance track that Kumi delivered and is just too good to pass up. Even the PV for the song was perfect. They really made sure this would be a strong single from all angles. This song single-handedly has me assured that TRICK will not be an album to forget.

cantstopthediscocddvdThird place was also really close to nabbing that top spot. The moment I heard the title track, I was instantly addicted and I knew the album that would soon follow would be amazing. That is why third place goes to Suzuki Ami with can’t stop the DISCO. It’s no secret that Ami and Nakata make a dream team because every single they release together just shines. I loved ONE but the moment I heard can’t stop the DISCO, I fell in love with the team. I first heard the chorus when it was used for the Mister Donuts CM and couldn’t get enough of it. But then when I heard the verses…I was blown away.  Ami really pulls off the cool vibe here and she’s given me one of the most addictive lines of 2008: me to me no kakehiki (love tactics). I can’t get enough of this song and it’s definitely one of the highlights of Supreme Show. Even the B-sides were amazing: climb up to the top and SUPER MUSIC MAKER (SA’08S/A Mix) were extremely strong numbers that helpe make this one cohesive single from start to finish (and that includes having each song have perfect transition into the next).

In case it wasn’t clear already, Hey! Say! JUMP has put out some fantastic music this year. So does it really come as a yssurprise that they have two singles in the top 5 best singles of 2008? I didn’t think so. Hey! Say! JUMP takes fourth place as well for their 3rd single, Your Seed / 冒険ライダー. It was with this single that I officially became a fan of these guys. Your Seed is the first time they really brought a mature song and the difference from Dreams come true shocked me. Everyone sounded great on this song and the rap section is absolutely infectious. I still haven’t found out who is doing that but the first person that came to mind was Nakajima. Was it actually him? Probably not but ya never know. It’s hard to really put my love for this song into words so let’s just say everything about this song was perfect. Not one thing could have made it any better. 冒険ライダー also had a kind of mature sound while having that fun-loving breezy atmosphere that just makes you wanna smile. I particularly like the chorus when all the boys come together and harmonize so perfectly. Also Yabu shines on his few solo lines before the final chorus so good job to him. So it’s the single that made me a Hey! Say! JUMP fan and one of the best releases of the entire year! The boys are on fire!!!

singles5Johnny’s Entertainment was definitely on a roll at the beginning of the year. NEWS’s first single of the year, 太陽のナミダ, comes in fifth place of Single of the Year. The title track uses Spanish and Arabian influences to really make the instrumentation addictive. Everybody sounded great on the song and personally, Massu’s voice stood out a little more than everyone else’s. Nonetheless, everyone sounded fantastic and their vocals really were smooth over the instrumental. バンビーナ and Lady Spider were also amazing, really catching my ear. It was actually Lady Spider that made me a real fan of NEWS because it just really sparkled in my eyes. It’s so catchy and one that could have been an A-side. バンビーナ really shows the sexy side of the boys. The lyrics have that dirty edge to them and they might even make you blush. Tegoshi can friggin sing and if you had any doubts about it, listen to バンビーナ. They did a magnificent job on this single and it’s certainly not one to pass up. As an overall package, it’s their strongest single to date so give it a listen if you haven’t already and fall in love with these boys like I did.

Suzuki Ami and Nakata really are the dream team. can’t stop the DISCO was amazing as was this year’s 6th best single, amisuzukionecddvdONE. The moment I heard ONE, I was addicted and I began following Ami thereafter. The song features a more aggressive instrumental with some perfect vocals from Ami to give it that extra flavor. When the song first opens, we are treated to the best part of the entire song: キラキラの the one. This one line makes the song fantastic but the rest of the song nicely follows this section. The chorus also stands out with the English phrases like “I love music and this world” and “I love your smile.” It’s absolutely perfect in every way so it’s the perfect way to introduce the formal come together of Ami and Nakata. Originally the B-side, A token of love, did not really impress me but after giving it some time, I fell in love with it. A token of love also features that aggressive sound that supports Ami so perfectly. I really like that last line of the chorus, the title of the song, because she says it with such edge and sleekness that it sticks in your head. Plus that ending instrumental sequence is fantastic, really standing out to the listener. Overall, this is definitely one of the strongest singles of the year, without question. It shows Ami’s cool side and is the perfect product of the dream team.

singles7alan has had a smash year with her Element Project. Each single repesented one of the 5 Godai elements and the best one to emerge of the five: 空唄. The title track is a beautiful upbeat song in which alan claims she can fly away. I think because this is the real upbeat number chosen to be an A-side, it stands out from all the other singles she has released. It really portrays the element of the sky well and lets the listener believe what she is singing. If you want even more amazingness, then turn to the B-side, My Stage. This is definitely alan’s most cheery and infectious song because the instrumentation is so light and heavenly, prompting the listener to just smile while listening. Honestly, I think I would have preferred My Stage to be the A-side since it’s a real standout in alan’s discography. I hope that she’ll be doing a similar song to this on her album…whenever that will be coming out. It shows the versatility of alan as an artist and proves that she can do music closer to mainstream music while still having that special touch that only alan can bring.

Perfume also had a strong year, releasing various singles that showed Perfume’s quirky and fun nature. However they singles8really stood out when they released Baby cruising love / マカロニ. They’re really the best examples of electrpop ballads as the instrumentation is strong and the girls’ voices suit them perfectly. Baby cruising love was nice because it still had traces of that unforgettable Nakata aggressiveness. However the real star of the single and the reason it placed so high on this chart was because of マカロニ. It is the prime example of how to slow down an electropop song and still maintain the quality. There is such a relaxing and natural atmosphere about this song that when I listen to it, I can just smile and drift off into another world. And having an emotional connection with a song just makes it all the better, which is why this is Perume’s best song to date. It was released at the end of the winter and I can see that there are some wintery traces hidden in the instrumentation. I’m hoping that the girls will bring another strong song like this for their next album, which looks to be strong looking at the singles released thus far. Good lucks girls and I hope the future brings you luck!

24If you want the best winter song released this year then you definitely have to look at 24 Xmas Time by Kuraki Mai. I was blown away when I first heard the song because there is something so natural and fun about this song that I can’t help but love. The song kind of goes back to her older style with songs like Love, Day After Tomorrow, which is always a good thing because I adore that song. Okay, let’s be truthful, the song isn’t that wintery or Christmas-like but that’s okay because it’s just a fantastic song. The verses are what make it so addictive and those moments where the instrumentation changes to set up Mai for a strong line (such as my favorite line in the whole song which translates to “kyou mo, watashi wa sekushii.” The B-side was nice, although a little generic but it compliments the whole wintery theme of the single nicely. I can’t believe Mai put out such a great single after a few that were questionable. I’m already anticipating her new album, touch Me!, because of this one song.

I love Tanimura Nana. She’s talented; she’s fun and she’s ready to go! Her 10th single, If I’m not the one / SEXY singles10SENORITA, featured two different songs that show off two different sides to her. If I’m not the one is a very beautiful ballad with Nana lamenting that she needs to know if she can’t be her admired’s one and only. She really portrays her emotions strongly and it keeps the listener focused and sympathetic towards her. However the star song on this single is SEXY SENORITA, a fun song that shows off Nana’s sexy and playful side. Her vocals here are strong and the chorus stands out proudly. She portrays attitude and sass, which is perfect for making the listener believe her. I really like the English phrases such as “call me, call me” and “crazy crazy.” I’m still waiting for an album to be released from her since I know I’m going to love it but she’s going to school (she’s attending one of the most prestigious law schools in Japan so go Nana!) so I can’t blame her. I just want any piece of news of a new release soon and it better be an album. Congratulations Nana for being such a threat with your fourth single, If I’m not the one / SEXY SENORITA, which rounds out our top 10.

11. Misia – Catch The Rainbow [Digital Release]

12. Morning Musume – ペッパー警部

13. Leah Dizon – Love Paradox

14. C-ute – 江戸の手毬唄 II

15. alan – 風の手紙

16. Perfume – Dream Fighter

17. Tohoshinki – 呪文  -Mirotic-

18. Arashi – One Love

19. Morning Musume – リゾナント ブルー

20. Ito Yuna – miss you

21. Koda Kumi – anytime

22. Perfume – love the world

23. Tanimura Nana – JUNGLE DANCE

24. V6 – 蝶

25. Kinki Kids – Secret Code

26. NEWS – SUMMER TIME

27. Leah Dizon – Vanilla

28. Aira Mitsuki – チャイナ・ディスコティカ

29. Berryz Koubou – 行け 行け モンキーダンス

30. alan – 懐かしい未来 ~longing future~

31. MEG – HEART

32. AAA – MIRAGE

33. Ishida Yuko – Changes

34. Hey! Say! JUMP – Dreams come true

35. Tohoshinki – Runaway / My Girlfriend

36. Tohoshinki – If…?! / Rainy Night

37. Tohoshinki – Purple Line

38. Utada Hikaru – HEART STATION / Stay Gold

39. Tegomass – アイアイ傘

40. Takasugi Satomi – ありがとう

41. Ito Yuna – 恋は groovy x2

42. BONNIE PINK – Ring A Bell

43. Shiraishi Kikyo – again

44. Shiraishi Kikyo – BLACK

45. Shimatani Hitomi – 泣きたいなら

46. Hamasaki Ayumi – Mirrorcle World

47. ayaka x Kobukuro – あなたと

48. alan – RED CLIFF ~心・戦~

49. Amuro Namie – 60s70s80s

50. Berryz Koubou – MADAYADE

51. Nakashima Mika – ORION

52. Crystal Kay – 涙のさきに

53. Jyongri – Winter Love Story

54. C-ute – 涙の色

55. Kuraki Mai – 夢が咲く春 / You and Music and Dream

56. Arashi – Step and Go

57. Arashi – Beautiful days

58. V6 – LIGHT IN YOUR HEART / Swing!

59. AAA – MUSIC!!! / ZERO

60. Aoyama Thelma – 守りたいもの

61. Koda Kumi – MOON

62. NEWS – Happy Birthday

63. Kitahara Aiko – その笑顔よ 永遠に

64. Shibasaki Kou – よくある話~喪服の女編~

65. Milky Way –  タンタンターン!

66. Kuraki Mai – 一秒ごとに Love for you

67. C-ute – FOREVER LOVE

68. Otsuka Ai – クラゲ, 流れ星

69. Aira Mitsuki – ロボットハニー

70. ayaka – おかえり

71. Utada Hikaru – Prisoner of Love

72. Shimatani Hitomi – WAKE YOU UP / 雨の日には 雨の中を 風の日には 風の中を / Marvelous

73. Hirahara Ayaka – 孤独の向こう

74. Milky Way – アナタボシ

75. alan – 恵みの雨

76. BoA – be with you.

77. BoA – VIVID

78. Fukui Mai – アイのうた

79. V6 – VIBES

80. Hirahara Ayaka – さよなら 私の夏

81. EXILE – LAST CHRISTMAS

82. Tohoshinki – Close to you / Crazy Life

83. Nishino Kana – Style

84. Arashi – truth / 風の向こうへ

85. KAT-TUN – White Xmas

86. GIRL NEXT DOOR – Drive away / 幸福の条件

87. GIRL NEXT DOOR – 偶然の確率

88. TOKIO – 雨傘 / あきれるくらい 僕らは願おう

89. Tohoshinki – Beautiful you / 千年恋歌

90. SMAP – そのまま / White Message

91. Angela Aki – 手紙 ~拝啓 十五の君へ

92.Tackey & Tsubasa – 恋詩-コイウタ / PROGRESS

93. AAA – BEYOND~カラダノカナタ

94. Kawashima Ai – カケラ / Flag

95. SMAP – この瞬間, きっと夢じゃない

96. EXILE – The Birthday ~Ti Amo~

97. Buono! – ガチンコでいこう!

98. Berryz Koubou – ジンギスカン

99. Buono! – Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!

100. Buono! – ロッタラ ロッタラ 

Permalink 2 Comments

GIRL NEXT DOOR – 情熱の代償 / ESCAPE [3rd Single]

November 9, 2008 at 5:01 pm (GIRL NEXT DOOR) (, )

GIRL NEXT DOOR’s 3rd single, entitled 情熱の代償 / ESCAPE, was released on 11.12.08. This single comes as the third and final one of the group’s three monthly consecutive releases.

情熱の代償 is an upbeat number with an emotional presence. The song begins with Chisa giving some strong vocals over a fun yet relaxing dance beat that stands out. On the verses, the music steps back a little so that the beat is clear and the focus is on her vocals. She actually manages to bring the passion and emotion on the chorus as her vocals really stand strongly against the music. Momentary moments of pure instrumentation really stand out here as the music really is capturing. It’s another great song from GIRL NEXT DOOR and is a nice change as the emotions come out over a fun dance instrumental.

ESCAPE is the weaker A-side of the two. The song starts off with the chorus. Chisa’s vocals certainly are nice here and capture emotion but at certain points, it feels a little strained. Over time, the music becomes more diversed but unfortunately it feels like it’s something they’ve already done before. On the verses, Chisa’s vocals sound awkward and in fact, it doesn’t even really sound like her and it doesn’t get the ears into such an enjoyable process. The song just doesn’t have that spark to make it different from other GIRL NEXT DOOR songs.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 情熱の代償 was made. The video is very interesting as it features a dark atmosphere and various scenes of coldness. The acting is fantastic and it really does support the emotions that the song exute.

Single Ranking: B +

Although it’s a step down from the group’s last single, this single offers some potential. 情熱の代償 is quite enjoyable and takes a nice change from the group’s usual sound while ESCAPE doesn’t. Hopefully their album will be varied enough for the listener to enjoy.

Permalink 10 Comments

GIRL NEXT DOOR – Drive away / 幸福の条件 [2nd Single]

October 12, 2008 at 5:01 pm (GIRL NEXT DOOR) (, )

GIRL NEXT DOOR’s 2nd single, entitled Drive away / 幸福の条件, was released on 10.08.08. The single comes as the 2nd of the group’s three monthly consecutive releases.

Drive away is an uptempo light-hearted dance song. The song starts off with an enjoyable and cool instrumental that takes on a more dance route than the group previously did and once the first verse comes in, the atmosphere takes on a cute feeling. It’s kind of a let down from the previous sleek instrumental but Chisa’s vocals are nice here and work with the music well. On the chorus, the listener’s attention is taken again as that dance feeling comes back strongly and Chisa provides a little more vocal strength. The title of the song stands out nicely in the chorus as well. As always, the pure instrumental section stands out and makes a nice re-entrance for Chisa. The group definitely takes the fun dance direction in their hands to make Drive away a very memorable song.

The other A-side, 幸福の条件, is an addictive fun number. Opening the song is a fun instrumental that just screams electric energy before the first verse comes in. This time the aggression in the instrumental stays and Chisa’s vocals perfectly move with the music, thus drawing the listener so easily. On the chorus, there is a light atmosphere but the music stays like it did before to make sure the listener does not get lost. Once again, the pure instrumental section is addictive, having its building moments as well. This song is a fantastic one and the group’s most memorable song to date.

In order to promote the single, a PV for Drive away was made. The video centers around a school and features Chisa doing some very good dancing. Although it does feel a little cheesy at points, it’s a nice video that fits with the sweet atmosphere of the song.

Single Ranking: A

GIRL NEXT DOOR stepped it up from their last single, ditching the rock sounds for a more electric dance sound. Both songs show just how versatile the group is as they transition from their last single to this one with perfect ease. Chisa’s vocals are continuously strong on both songs and the aggression that stays in the music on 幸福の条件 makes it the superior track although Drive away is nothing to skip over.

Permalink 4 Comments

GIRL NEXT DOOR – 偶然の確率 [Debut Single]

October 5, 2008 at 5:40 pm (GIRL NEXT DOOR) (, )

GIRL NEXT DOOR’s debut single, entitled 偶然の確率, was released on 09.03.08. This single comes as the first of three consecutive releases for three months.

偶然の確率 is a catchy dance song with a relaxing atmosphere. The song starts off with a sweet and slow instrumentation that immediately establishes the song’s atmosphere. Soon it transforms into a catchy and upbeat dance beat that sounds great. It returns more to that sweet and calming sound while still retaining the upbeat nature on the first verse as the vocals smoothly carry the music along to the listener. The chorus takes on a more happy sound as the vocals come together more with the upbeat rock-tinted instrumental. Those rock tints really come out to play on the pure instrumental section, which proves to be infectious and addictive. This song is definitely a fun and upbeat song worth checking out with Chisa’s enjoyable vocals that strengthen the sleek instrumentation.

The first B-side is Breath. Opening the song is a dreamy and sweet midtempo instrumental that takes the listener on a ride. On the first verse, Chisa’s vocals go perfectly with the music in order to catch the listener’s ear. The music becomes a little more involved on the chorus and Chisa gives a little more vocal strength to really make this section stand out proudly. Once again, the rock sounds come out to play on the pure instrumentation section and it really does sound wonderful. Breath is another fantastic track that nicely compliments the A-side for taking down the tempo a little bit while still maintaining that edge that this group can bring.

Red ribbon ~運命の人~ is the second B-side of the single. The song begins with the chorus, evoking a very hopeful atmosphere that admittedly sounds a little generic. Chisa’s vocals are nice though and go with the music quite well. The verses are much stronger as there is a more calming feeling that comes out and Chisa’s smooth vocals move with the music. Although this song is easily the weakest on the single, it’s nothing horrible.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 偶然の確率 was made. The video includes scenes of Chisa sitting in a theatre and Chisa walking through the desert wearing a beautiful outfit. It’s a nice video that works with the atmosphere of the music well.

Single Ranking: A –

GIRL NEXT DOOR’s debut single certainly introduces themselves to the public in a big way. The A-side and Breath are both fantastic songs with rock tints fueling the instrumentation. Although the second B-side is pretty forgettable, the single is an overall strong package.

Permalink 6 Comments