misono – end=START / 終点~君の腕の中~ [13th Single]

June 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm (misono) (, )

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misono’s 13th single, entitled end=START / 終点~君の腕の中,~ was released on 06.10.09.

end=START is a rock song featuring some cool music. The song begins with a cool rock instrumental that feels like it’s introducing a new world. Finally, misono gets an aggressive instrumental that suits her. Things kind of take a little trip south on the first verse since she whines a little too much and lets her vocals get a little sloppy. That’s the problem of the chorus as well. She doesn’t really control her vocals and lets them just fly, which is a shame because if she kept them under control, the song would have been a lot more enjoyable. Of course, the pure instrumental section sounds awesome and is very ear catching. Instrumentally, the song is great but the final product loses points for misono’s vocals.

終点~君の腕の中~ is the slower song and is a sweet piano ballad. Although misono still has her moments when she sounds screechy, she actually sounds pretty good on this song. The music is very pretty and her vocals do manage to compliment it well quite often. This definitely should have been the leading A-side since it’s a lot stronger than end=START.

In order to promote the single, a PV for end=START. Basically, the video features misono writhing in a doctor’s office while people are at the intersection of the end and the start, trying to decide which way to go. I feel like they could have done a lot with the theme of the song and they let that opportunity slip by.

Single Ranking: B

Well it’s not the biggest or best single but it’s pretty good for misono. end=START has a great rock instrumental that got held back by misono’s vocals while 終点~君の腕の中~ was actually quite pretty and had more vocal control from misono. I wonder what her next move will be after her new BEST album.

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Koda Kumi and misono – It’s all Love! [Collaborative Single]

May 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm (Koda Kumi, misono) (, , )

its-all-love

A collaborative between sisters Koda Kumi and misono, entitled It’s all Love!, was released on 03.31.09. The song was written and composed by the two girls. Koda Kumi’s solo, entitled faraway, was used as the theme song for Dance Subaru starring Meisa Kuroki and was written and composed by Koda Kumi herself. misono’s solo song appears as the third track.

In the true spirit of a collaborative song, the entire track is a switch-off between Kumi and misono. The song starts out with Kumi saying “You ready?” before the rock-filled instrumentation comes in and the girls introduce each other and themselves as “Super Sisters K.” It’s a very interesting concept to have each girl trade off singing and on the first verse, the story begins with Kumi asking misono what’s wrong and the rest of the song has them going back and forth about boys and love. The English lines throughout the song such as “Where is love and where does it exist?” and “Not gonna happen if you only think about yourself” give the song that extra punch and catch the listener’s ear nicely. Misono says “Oh I give up, don’t bother me” before the girls jump into the energetic and addictive chorus. What makes the chorus so entrancing is just the sheer speed of it as the girls trade off lines so quickly, it’s amazing. Both girls deliver strong vocals and the last line, “Oh no we can’t live without love” sounds awesome. The third verse is calmer and soft before the song goes into a cool dance break, introduced by Kumi saying “You ready?” It’s actually a nice little breakdown and it’s funny how Kumi says “Damn” in the middle of it. It’s all Love! Is a great song and a great way to bring the sisters together.

Slowing things down is Koda Kumi’s solo song, faraway. Opening the song is the chorus, which stands out and catches the listener’s ears as Kumi’s voice is calm and relaxing, suiting the music perfectly. The music is also very pretty, giving the image of a twinkling night sky. On the first verse, she sings “everyday, you can do it,” giving a sort of inspirational feel before moving on with more great vocals. On the pure instrumental section before the third verse, the music takes on a slightly different sound, which gives the music a little more diversity. She sounds great at the end of the song when she sings those fantastic adlibs that sound like they belong in one of her tours. faraway is a magnificent song with a beautiful message that Kumi brings to life.

misono’s song, 天秤~強がりな私×弱がりな君,~ rounds out the single. The song begins with misono singing along with the guitar and there’s something nice and natural about the song at this point. misono stays in the lower range so her voice is more bearable than it is when she’s singing very loudly. The song continues in this fashion and it’s actually nice to have misono staying in the lower range and suiting the instrumentation very well. Vocally, she does a very good job but the music does remain the same so it would have been nice to spice things up.

In order to promote the single, two PVs were made for the single: one for It’s all Love! and one for faraway. The video of It’s all Love! features three scenes. The first scene has kind of a futuristic feel to it with both girls in black and silver, singing in a room. The second scene has the girls dancing in a different room, which is used during the song’s dance break. Unfortunately, the dancing was pretty disappointing but it was kind of cute how they danced together. The third scene features the girls in colorful outfits and being cute, although misono does look a little strange. Although the video for faraway doesn’t have many scenes, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Kumi is seen flying through the sky as well being outisde in a gorgeous secluded area. She looks amazing throughout the video as does the scenery so it emerges as the most visually appealing video.

Single Ranking: A +

The Koda Sisters come together for this single and definitely do a great job. The collaborative song, It’s all Love! features a rock sound that both girls bring the heat on, really getting into the story of the song. Kumi delivers a beautiful and inspirational ballad with faraway while misono takes on a natural route with her solo song. misono’s song wasn’t extremely memorable but it was better than her usual material, which is something. The first two tracks are both awesome so the single is a definite success.

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misono – 球魂~やる気・元気・その木の根っこ~ / ? cm [12th Single]

March 4, 2009 at 5:01 pm (misono) (, )

misono1

misono’s 12th single, entitled 球魂~やる気・元気・その木の根っこ~ / ? cm, was released on 02.25.09. 球魂~やる気・元気・その木の根っこ~ was used as the theme song for the movie Gekijou-ban ELITE YANKEE Saburo.

球魂~やる気・元気・その木の根っこ~ is an upbeat rock number. The song starts off with a sound associated with the passing through images of the past as if you’re rapidly fast-forwarding through events that have already occured. Then the actual instrumentation comes in has a true rock flavor that has a coolness that catches the listener’s ear. misono’s vocals actually go pretty well with the music this time around although she does shout a little at points, which sound pretty shrill.  Unforuntately, the chorus features too much shouting, which kind of turns the listener off. It actually started off as an okay song but then with all the screaming, it just became another typical misono track…and that’s definitely not a very good thing.

? cm kind of takes cues from the first A-side. misono does some more shouting and doesn’t really contribute anything positive to the song vocally. However, what makes this song a little better is the instrumentation. There’s something more bearable about it since it doesn’t stick to such a bland and basic rock formula.

In order to promote the single a PV for 球魂~やる気・元気・その木の根っこ~ was made. Honestly, it’s obvious that no real thought was put into this video. It just features misono rocking out on stage and in front of a white background with the words she singing appearing on the screen. The one thing about the video that is redeeming is that misono actually looks pretty cute in some of the scenes.

Single Ranking: C +

It’s just not a great single and honestly, it’s not like very many people expected that much. misono just needs to tone down the shouting and try out some different styles for her music. Hopefully her upcoming collaborative single with sister, Koda Kumi, will provide Kuu’s magic touch to reign supreme.

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[Part Three] Artist Profiles

December 8, 2008 at 5:01 pm (AAA, aiko, Aira Mitsuki, Aladdin, Amuro Namie, Angela Aki, Aoyama Thelma, Arashiro Beni, ayaka, AZU, BIG BANG, BoA, BONNIE PINK, capsule, Crystal Kay, DOUBLE, Every Little Thing, EXILE, Hamasaki Ayumi, Ishida Yuko, Ito Yuna, Jyongri, Kobukuro, Koda Kumi, Kuraki Mai, Leah Dizon, MEG, melody., Mihimaru GT, Misia, misono, Miyavi, Nakashima Mika, Nishino Kana, Otsuka Ai, Perfume, Seamo, Shimatani Hitomi, Shimizu Shota, Shiraishi Kikyo, Stephanie, Suzuki Ami, Takasugi Satomi, Tanimura Nana, Tiana Xiao, Tohoshinki, Utada Hikaru, WaT) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

There have been so many artists this year that should be proud for putting out some fantastic music. From the boys to the girls, from the new artists to the veterans, they have made this Oricon Year one of strong music. Today, we’ll explore artists that have released this year (exluding those from Hello Project and Johnny’s Entertainment, who have already been covered).

suzukionecddvdLet’s start things off by covering one of my favorite genres, Japanese electropop. From Perfume to Aira Mitsuki to SAWA, there have been many different styles from electropop that stood out. But there is one producer who is the head of this genre: Nakata Yasutaka. And there is one person who reigns queen of J-Electropop 2008: Suzuki Ami. Nobody brought the heat like Ami. DOLCE was released at the beginning of the year and even though, it didn’t feature Nakata’s touch all over the album, FREE FREE and SUPER MUSIC MAKER were integral parts of that album. Then to commemorate her 10th anniversary, she continued to release. Both singles, ONE and can’t stop the DISCO, got me hooked on her. Even the B-sides,  A token of love and climb up to the top, were extremely impressive and it made me really anticipate Supreme Show. I was definitely not disappointed because tracks like TEN, Mysterious and TRUE are twinkling jewels of the Nakata and Ami team. She brought something new to the electropop scene: sexiness. Let’s face it, electropop is more on the cute and quriky side but it’s nice to see something new and that’s what Ami is. She has her own style that makes her stand out against the other girls of electropop. She did a fantastic job this year and definitely deserves high praise. Perfume, also produced by Nakata, impressed me this year. After releasing a fantastic single, Baby cruising love / マカロニ (マカロニ still holding the title as best electropop slow song), the girls came with GAME. It was a strong album featuring many impressive numbers such as Butterfly and シークレットシークレット which made me really take notice of them. However it was the following singles, which cemented me in fandom. Love the world and Dream Fighter were two excellent singles that really have me anticipating another album from them. They gamedefinitely bring that electropop flavor well. Aira Mitsuki also had some memorable tracks come through to make me a fan of hers. Swallowtail D.A.N.C.E. (Cherryboy Function Version), Beep Count Fantastic (featuring Terukado), チャイナ・ディスコティカ and Rock n’ Roll Is Dead are all addictive tracks and she has a habit of getting the best tracks with a focus on instrumentation rather than vocals. With these kind of tracks, it’s no wonder that she stands out in the electropop crowd. I know MEG isn’t the most popular product of Nakata’s work but she has gotten some standout songs like SUPERSONIC, MAKE LOVE and the amazingly fantastic NATALIE <FM 16 MIX.> That last song is one of my favorite electropop songs ever so it’s clear she can bring the magic. Although Nakata is the king producer of electropop, his group capsule wasn’t as strong as I was hoping for. There were some standout numbers on their new album, More! More! More! such as Phantom and e.d.i.t. but overall, they were definitely not the strongest electropop members. Electropop certainly stood out this year and with the growing popularity of Nakata, I look forward to seeing what he brings us in 2009 (particularly for Ami and Perfume).

kikyo_shiraishi1Let’s move onto J-Urban. The J-Urban scene has been pretty quiet this year with certain acts like EMYLI and m-flo not releasing anything but we did have some nice new songs. Newcomer, Shiraishi Kikyo, made waves with me. Both BLACK and again really hooked me because a new talented girl who was doing something upbeat with that sexy vibe was coming through. I thought she did a very good job and she should certainly be proud. Her third single was a little on the bland side but her fourth is already a step up. I’m not exactly sure why she’s changed to Nori Shiraishi but honestly, I think it’s kind of funny. I guess we’ll see what that does for her. Somehow, I still haven’t heard the full version of again and I don’t think a full PV was ever released (that’s nice guys…). I look foward to seeing what she’ll do in the future. DOUBLE stood out to me because she collaborated with superstar Amuro Namie for the sleek and catchy, BLACK DIAMOND. These two girls brought the heat on this new track and definitely set me up to see what she is going to do next. We also saw the Aoyama Thelma achieve massive success with second single, そばにいるね featuring Soulja (to my surprise and confusion). However it was her 4th single 守りたいもの (plus amazing B-side, MADONNA), which caught my attention. I know Thelma can make some very good songs but I’m hoping that her music will be more diverse in 2009 (how about some more upbeat numbers Thelma?). Crystal Kay had some enjoyable songs too as she released another album (Color Change!) and two singles (涙のさきに and ONE). 涙のさきに was pretty catchy and some of the songs on Color Change! were nice but I’m hoping next year, the music will be even better.

Now let’s talk about the boys of J-Pop (not including JE boys). It was obvious from the start that Tohoshinki would be tohothe real standout guys of the year. They’ve released so much material that it’s ridiculous. They’ve released a total of 9 singles and an album (also a Korean album) so they’ve been really busy. How did they reach such a high number of singles? The TRICK project. The song TRICK from their album T wsa a mashup of five different songs and so the group released those five seperate songs as singles and added their own solo number as well. Some went very well (If…?! / Rainy Night [Junsu] and Runaway / My Girlfriend [Yuchun]) while some fell flat (Two hearts / WILD SOUL [Changmin]). Overall though it was an enjoyable project. In addition to those 5 singles, four others were released: Purple Line, Beautiful you /千年恋歌‎‎,  どうして君を好きになってしまったんだろう? and 呪文 -Mirotic.- That last single was amazing as was Purple Line so the boys should be very proud. The other two were okay and could have been stronger but hey, they can’t all be hits. Their 3rd Japanese album, T, also featured some great songs like CLAP! and LAST ANGEL -Tohoshinki Version.- These boys did a fantastic job this year and I can only anticipate what they’ll pull next year. Their next single, Bolero, has already been announced for a January release. Jaejong and Yuhno also really caught my eye because they were absolutely sexy during the Mirotic promotional time. It was…wow. Just look at the Mirotic and Wrong Number PVs. Another group of guys who stood out this year was EXILE, who released quite a bit themselves: three singles, three BEST albums and one studio album (released at the very end of 2007 but  believe it is counted in Oricon Year 2008). The singles weren’t as great as I hoped for but the album material was enjoyable from EXILE LOVE. The one amazing jaestandout track was Make Love, a hot and sexy number that really shows the boys’ mature side strongly. Atsushi has some wonderful vocals so I’m happy that he’s been given the chance to shine. Newcomer Shimizu Shota also made waves with me as he was a fresh new face with some great vocals (i.e. HOME). He released an album and even though I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to it, I will do so soon. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s good looking. BIG BANG was quite active this year, releasing in both Korea and Japan. G-Dragon has become one of my favorites because there’s something about his voice that really catches my ear. WaT released two singles this year and they were okay, nothing that really made me go wow but I still think they have some nice voices and hopefully the music will be stronger in the future. Although Kobukuro have not been very active this year, they did release the single あなたと with ayaka, which really stood out to me. I look forward to seeing more material from these guys in the future. In the world of J-Rock, Miyavi and Gackt did some releasing although Gackt wasn’t particularly impressive this year in terms of music (but he did look hot). Miyavi was a little better, releasing his album This Iz The Japanese Kabuki Rock. His voice is nice though so maybe he’ll do something stronger in the future. Seamo also caught my eye even though his singles were a little bit iffy. Again, he released an album that I haven’t listened to yet but I do want to hear it soon. So overall, the boys had some nice music (particularly Tohoshinki) and I hope next year it will be even better (because let’s face it, Johnny’s Entertainment music was a lot better than the other guys’ music).

kingdom1Now we go to the four female artists who I call my Fabulous Four: Koda Kumi, Amuro Namie, Utada Hikaru and Hamasaki Ayumi. There is absolutely nobody like Kuu. She’s fun; she’s free and she’s one of a kind. Kingdom was a fantastic album, filled with everything from sorrow to cuteness to sexy and it really showed how strong of an artist she is. Unfortunately, she made a comment about women’s rotting amniotic fluids which caused an extreme backlash. Contracts were cancelled and promotion for Kingdom was cancelled. Personally, I think the public over-reacted to the comment and it was totally undeserved for Kumi to go through all of that. But she continued to release in June with MOON, then TABOO. TABOO was just the song that make the public go Kumi crazy because it’s a return to her fun sexy dance side that we all love. stay with me will be released in a couple weeks (which will be counted on Oricon Year 2009 so I will not talk about that). I think she’s done a great job this year and I think next year will be even better. TRICK will be amazing and I know that from the bottom of my heart. Amuro Namie has had one hell of a year and everyone knows it. BEST FICTION was a smash hit, managing to almost take the crown of best selling album of Oricon Year 2008. Sadly it did not reach it but it’s okay because it was a million seller and it managed to stay at the number 1 spot for various weeks. Sexy Girl and Do Me More were amazing new tracks that made BEST FICTION worth checking out. She also released the hit single 60s70s80s, which achieved great sales, managing to outsell a slew of her previous ones. WHAT A FEELING was the star track on that single and it’s another one of Namie’s awesome tracks. I hope we’ll be getting some new material in 2009 but Namie deserves a nice long break so I hope she gets it. Utada Hikaru also had an amazing year seeing as HEART STATION is nearing the million mark and has outsold her previous album, ULTRA BLUE. There were some amazing new tracks on there like 虹色バス and Fight The Blues. The singleswere strong as well, which made me one of the most cohesive albums of 2008. Hamasaki Ayumi had a pretty good year herself even though she didn’t get wonderful sales. In fact, GUILTY became donther first album to not hit the number one spot…ever. Nonetheless, the album was good featuring tracks like (don’t)Leave me alone, Marionette and MY ALL. Well this was Ayu’s 10th anniversary so I was hoping she’d release a little more but what we got was Mirrorcle World and another BEST album. Her new single is set to be released very soon but it will count towards Oricon Year 2009. I wonder when we’ll be getting her new album but hopefully there will be a few more singles before that. Of course, she’s had her troubles during the year too. She officially announced that she is deaf in one ear; she broke up with her boyfriend who she has been seeing for a while and her friend passed away. You know, Ayu is a fighter and it’s one of the reasons why I respect her so much. I hope she has many years of happiness to look forward to.

So let’s move onto the female veterans of J-Pop. Well the term “veterans” can be disputed but I’m coining the girls that have been a while as “veterans.” Which veteran knocked it out of the park this year? Well that’s none other than aiko. 秘密 was one of the strongest albums of the year with many wonderful tracks that showed off aiko’s laidback and relaxing style. She also released KissHug, which was used as an insert song for the Hana Yori Dango movie. It didn’t aikoget the sales it deserved but I’m hoping she’ll have even more success in the future because her music is that good. Her talent is undeniable and that’s why she is “Veteran of the Year.” Kuraki Mai is incredible and if you want proof of that, just look at 24 Xmas Time. That was a fantastic wintery song that reached back to her old style. She released ONE LIFE, an album with some standout tracks such as ONE LIFE and Born to be free. She also released the following singles: 夢が咲く春 / You and Music and Dream as well as 一秒ごとに Love for you. They may not have been the strongest singles she’s released but they were actually pretty catchy. Mai will be releasing yet another album, entitled touch Me! in January so I can’t wait to see what she brings. Misia was another veteran who stood out this year. EIGHTH WORLD was a pretty good songs like 以心伝心 and Hybrid Breaks -Interlude.- She released various singles but none so addictive as digital release, Catch The Rainbow. It’s an absolutely fantastic track that will be seeing a physical release soon. Misia, good job this year for your 10th anniversary and I can’t wait to see what awaits us in 2009! BoA is definitely a force to be reckoned with. THE FACE was released early in the year and featured some new standout tracks like Girl In The Mirror, Style and AGGRESSIVE. Although it wasn’t as strong as her previous albums. She then released VIVID, which also was not up to BoA’s usual standards. However what makes her so strong is that she always tries new things. She’s mainow started her American career with the release of the hot single, Eat You Up. Her new song, Look Who’s Talking is even better and it makes me highly anticipate her debut album. Otsuka Ai did some nice releases as well. Even though ロケット スニーカー / One × Time was very forgettable (it ended up being the lowest selling single of her career for a reason), クラゲ, 流れ星 was a step up and already she’s set to release her 5th studio album, LOVE LETTER. It looks to be better than LOVE PIECE but I guess we’ll see when hits stores very very soon. Even though BONNIE PINK was largely inactive this year, she did stand out with the digital release of Ring A Bell and then physical release of its Japanese counterpart 鐘を鳴らして. Both songs were good (the English being the stronger version) and BONNIE should be proud of her accomplishments. I’m hoping she’ll put out an album next year because it feels like forever since Thinking Out Loud was released. Finally we come to Shimatani Hitomi, who could’ve been better. Her new album Flare did not live up to the hotness of its name but I’m hoping that next year, she will pull out the stops for her 10th anniversary.

Now we’ll talk about the newbies. These girls are still relatively new to the music scene but some of them have definitely taken no time in standing out from the crowd. Tanimura Nana has given us some fantastic music. Who could forget the incredibly addictive SEXY SENORITA or the smooth and sultry Ooh… or the catchy upbeat number nana3Place of Love? She’s taking on the sexy image just right and with each release, she gets better and better. I’m really looking forward to her debut album and I hope that it will be coming soon because I can’t wait any longer. Actually any new release from her will be welcome. It’s been a while. ayaka released her sophomore album, Sing to the Sky, early in the year and it was a huge step up from First Message. Songs like 愛も嘘も真実, ゴールドスター and POWER OF MUSIC really made a fan of hers. Her voice is incredible so it’s no wonder that the album shined like it did. ayaka definitely has the power to make it big so I wish her all the success in the world. In addition to an awesome album, she collaborated with Kobukuro again for あなたと, a beautiful ballad that blows their last single out of the water. She’s had a great year and definitely will be shining even more brightly in 2009. Leah Dizon certainly had an eventful year. She released two singles, her sophomore album, got married and is expecting a child in 2009. Love Paradox was her strongest single to date and Vanilla (LOVE SWEET CANDY included) was another memorable single from her. Communication!!! was also a pretty good album with great album tracks like Nothin’ to Lose, Step into my World and BxKxRxxx. I was very surprised to see that she was pregnant but I’m happy that she has found somebody and I wish them all the happiness together. I also wish they have a happy and healthy baby and she will be back better than ever next year, ready to show Japan just how strong of an artist she is. Ito Yuna has really impressed me this year, particularly with miss you and 恋は groovy x2. BREEEEEZIN!!!!!!! (the B-side of miss you) is her best song to date and one that definitely cemented my fandom. WISH wasn’t a bad album either, featuring some memorable songs like Power of Love. Hopefully her next album will be even better, shining strongly for all the fans. Even Jyongri had her time to shine with Winter Love Story, her newest single. All the songs on the single convinced me of Jyongri’s power. Her album may have been pretty weak but it looks like she’ll be on the path for strength. One other newcomer that caught my eye was Ishida Yuko with her wonderful new single Changes, which featured an addictive title track, I’ll be sure to look out for her in the future. She has a cool image and a great voice, worthy of celebration. AZU has had her time to shine as well with standout numbers like VIOLIN. She has the voice and talent to make it far so I hope she has more succes in 2009.  Other newcomers like Tiana Xiao, Nishino Kana and Takasugi Satomi have had some nice releases and even though they were not particularly engaging, I look forward to what they will do next year. Even Stephanie had some songs here and there.

Let’s go onto the girls who are neither veterans nor newbies. melody. has also done some nice work this year with the release of the beautiful andaaa calming Lei Aloha. The songs on that album really formed a cohesive one that emerged as one of the standouts of the year. I’m very sad to have heard the news that she will be retiring to focus on the fashion industry. I guess if she had to leave, I’m glad she left with a bang. Arashiro Beni has experienced some popularity this year with her collaboration with Dohzi-T. She also released three new songs for her BEST album, switched labels and starrred in a movie so she’s been quite busy. Mellow Parade was fantastic and hopefully she’ll do another song like this in the future. She has recently changed her name to BENI so I guess we’ll see how that goes for her. Other girls like Angela Aki, Nakashima Mika and misono have had their releases this year and it’s Mika who really impressed me with her most recent single, ORION. The B-side, FOCUS, stood out to me strongly and I have really got to listen to her new album.

Finally, we come to the groups which feature members of both sexes. To be honest, they haven’t been very impressive with the exception of one group: AAA. MIRAGE was absolutely addictive, featuring some Arabian sounds to push the track over the edge. Everyone sounded great on the track and it was really one to remember. Following a very unforgettable single, they released MUSIC!!! / ZERO. ZERO was wonderful, showing a dark atmosphere that the group really shined with. Other groups mihimaru GT, Aladdin and Every Little Thing failed to impress but hopefully they’ll step it up next year.

This year, some artists stepped up and some artists took a step back. But there are a lot of artists who should be proud for releasing such quality music. There is still one artist left though, an artist who will be crowned “Artist of the Year.” He/She will be announced in part 7 (the final part) of the Oricon Year 2008 Countdown.

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misono – 二人三脚 [10th Single]

July 16, 2008 at 4:54 am (misono) (, )

misono’s 10th single, entitled 二人三脚, was released on 06.25.08. The single was used as the theme song for the video game Tales Of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World.

二人三脚, another venture into rock, is the single’s title track. The song starts off with a nice rock instrumental with a catchy beat before the first verse starts. With a more relaxing feel, misono sings her way through the verse. Her vocals are pretty stable here and go with the music very nicely, keeping a certain poppiness to them. The chorus then becomes pretty screechy as misono begins to sing more powerfully. However it sounds pretty whiny, which turns off the listener. The echoing lyrics in the background before the second verse sound great though. The pure instrumental section is actually pretty cool and enjoyable and then the following section sounds nice as well. Overall, the song is nice through the verses and sections of pure instrumentation but the chorus sounds screechy and definitely doesn’t attract the listener.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 二人三脚 was made. Scenes from the video include misono standing against a mirror and singing, misono singing on a bench as well as her playing the guitar. Her facial expressions are a bit strange at points although her hair looks great.

Single Ranking: B –

misono’s 10th single shows more rock sounds and it has its strengths and weaknesses. The verses and the music are actually pretty catchy but the chorus, which is supposed to be the standout of the song, sounds whiny and doesn’t hit the listener in quite the right way. Hopefully her new album will tone down the screechiness but keep the instrumental sound.

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