Tegomasu – テゴマスのうた [Debut Studio Album]

July 22, 2009 at 3:01 am (Tegomasu) (, )

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Tegomasu’s debut studio album, entitled テゴマスのうた, was released on 07.15.09. The singles released before the album are as follows: ミソスープ, キッス~帰り道のラブソング~, アイアイ傘 and 七夕祭り (not included in the album).

The album opens up with the sweet song, ミソスープ. Opening the song is a very pretty and romantic instrumental that will instantly attract the listener. It carries a nostalgic and somewhat sorrowful feel to it before the first verse comes in. Both Tegoshi and Massu provide vocals that perfectly suit the atmosphere of the music, helping establishing the story of the song more strongly. When they come together on the chorus, it sounds great and is really catching, particularly with those last few lines. The pure instrumental section is a very good fit since it perfectly captures the romantic nature of the song and makes a great introduction to the third verse. There’s something very hopeful and freeing about the third verse that comes rom the slightly changed instrumental. The boys’ first single makes for a very strong opening track for the album by giving such a cute story with sweet music.

The duo’s second single, キッス~帰り道のラブソング~, is also the second track on the album. The song immediately begins with the first verse and Tegoshi’s vocals really compliment the instrumentation, which feels almost like a gentle lullaby, bringing the listener into a dream. Massu also sounds great for his part of the verse and his vocals really catch the ear of the listener. The chorus has a twinkling sound to it that sounds great, further amplifying the beauty of the song. One part that particularly stands out in the chorus is Massu singing “I Love You.” The third verse brings the sweetness and beauty even more to the forefront which such a dreamy instrumentation and more strong vocals from the duo. Lyrically, the song is strong in that it has a naturalness anyone in love can relate to. It’s such a pretty song and it definitely keeps the strength from the last song and continues it.

The first new track is the sweet summery track, たったひとつだけ. Starting things off is a nice upbeat insrumental that gives the image of a summer day. Then Massu comes in and his vocals really exute a happiness that perfectly matches the instrumentation. Tegoshi also sounds good on his section, giving his usual strong vocals. The chorus sounds nice although it would have been nicer if Tegoshi didn’t sing in such a high pitch because it’s somewhat distracting. With the guitar spicing up the pure instrumental section, it sounds great and really captures the ear of the listener. Ending the song is a really weird sound that actually sounds pretty cool. The lyrics speak of a boyfriend of a strong-willed girlfriend and how he’ll be by her side forever so it’s an interesting contrast to the summery happy feeling of the song. It’s a great way to pick up the pace and keep the listener interested.

夏への扉 is a jazzy catchy number. The song starts off with a cool jazzy instrumental that immediately catches the ear. The boys do some smooth vocalizations before moving into the first verse. Tegoshi’s vocals really suit the music and bring the sweet story of the lyrics to life. When Massu gets his chance, his vocals sound great as well and are particularly ear-grabbing. The chorus is nice although the instrumentation doesn’t stray that much from its state during the verses. Near the end is when it really gets good as their vocals become slightly stronger and there’s a new instrument that makes a cute feeling come out even more. Like the other songs, the lyrics feel very natural and somewhat personal feel to them, which makes the song all the more special. It’s a very nice change of pace and one that definitely shines on tihs album.

What’s going on? is a fun track that will get the listener up and dancing. Starting things off is a nice pretty pop instrumental that actually kind of has a disco feel to it. That atmosphere comes out even more strongly with those background vocals before the first verse. On the first verse, both boys sound great, giving that special magic touch to the music. The chorus is easily the strongest part of the song just because it’s so catchy. They sound great whey they sing “oh, what’s going on?” and they just have that spark that makes the song shine. The pure instrumental section sounds very cool and even kinda jazzy, which makes a good connection from the last track. Although the lyrics are a bit weird but the nonsensical nature of them makes the song all the more charming. It’s fun and cool, definitely worth the listen.

くしゃみ is one of two short songs on the album. The song starts off with a pretty and soft instrumental, consisting of primarily stringed instruments that sound quite nice. The verses are pretty short but sweet and filled with emotion for the listener to really feel. The chorus features the repetition of the word “love,” which gets to be a little annoying over a while. Overall, it’s short and sweet although quite repetitive and it begins to annoy the listener.

サヨナラ僕の街 brings the boys back to the jazzy sound. Beginning the song is a cool instrumental with a very jazzy and powerful feeling to it. Then comes the first verse and both boys sound great, their vocals supporting the gradually growing instrumenation perfectly. While the chorus could have been a little stronger, it sounds nice because the vocals are slightly stronger and the music keeps its enjoyable tempo. The pure instrumental section sounds very nice, really showcasing that catchy jazzy sound that keeps the listener’s interest. The lyrics of the song talk about leaving all the familiar things of town behind, which ignites a feeling of nostalgia in the listener. It’s a nice song even though the chorus could have had a little more punch to it.

Then they step things up with HIGHWAY. The song takes off with an upbeat instrumental that also has a jazzy feeling but this time it’s much stronger and in-your-face. The chorus sounds great with their vocals bringing even more life to the vivid instrumentation. Things don’t slow down on the verses and both Tegoshi and Massu really bring more energy that will catch the listener’s ear easily. Massu does a particularly strong job of ending the verses and making that transition into the chorus. The pure instrumental section has a slight change to it, making it sound fuller and the saxophone part sounds great. It’s a very strong upbeat number that will get the listener dancing.

Up next is the cool and inspirational song, POWER OF EARTH. Opening up the song is a cool pop-rock sort of instrumental that has more of an aggressive nature than the other songs, thus making it stand out. Tegoshi steps up first for the first verse and he sounds great here. Massu also does his thing, adding magic to the song before the chorus comes in. There are slight notes during the chorus that make it much more interesting and the little key change during the part when they sing “we are the power of earth” really makes for a nice finish. Tegoshi sounds perfect when he gives his solo version of the chorus and catches the ear nicely. Lyrically, the song speaks of making it through anything because of the inner power in everyone. POWER OF EARTH is a very strong track that will really speak to the listener.

四季彩 is the other short track on the album. A very pretty oriental styled instrumental begins the track, taking the listener back into a beautiful dreamy state. This song is sung by the two of them together at all times, suggesting the connection of spirits, which is reflected in the lyrics. The seasons are united and throughout all time, love will continue. It may be short but it’s very pretty, standing out much stronger than the other short track.

片想いの小さな恋 was the ending theme to the anime series Neo Angelique Abyss ~second age.~ The song starts off with a very pretty instrumental, drawn out by the erhu before the first verse arrives. Massu sounds amazing on the first verse as his vocals bring out the emotions of the music. Tegoshi also stands strongly when his part comes in. They sound amazing together on the chorus, the emotions coming out more strongly through more powerful vocals and the continuation of the erhu. It’s such a beautiful romantic song that definitely shines on this album.

The third single released before the album, アイアイ傘, is up next. The song begins with a very pretty and twinkling instrumental that immediately gets to the listener. Massu’s voice instantly stirs the emotions on the first verse and makes a good way for Tegoshi to come in. Tegoshi’s vocals are smooth and fit with the music perfectly. The chorus shines strongly as they sing together, letting the words really hit the listener’s heart. One part that really stands out is the pure instrumental section, which gives the image of the clouds dispersing and letting the sun shine through that rainy day. It’s an absolutely gorgeous song and one of the best Tegomasu’s offerings.

雨のち晴れ appears as the first track only available on the regular edition of the album. The song begins with an upbeat instrumental that has a cheery feeling. The repeating section of the instrumentation sounds a little annoying although Massu’s vocals sound very strong. As the song goes on, however, the music becomes more bearable and certain parts really sound pretty. The chorus is a little simple but enjoyable nonetheless as the boys come together and give it their all. It’s sweet and it’s pretty, really suiting the summer season.

チキンボーヤ is the second track only available on the regular edition. A dreamy and lulling instrumentation begins things perfectly and then it becomes slightly more upbeat and diverse, letting the listener fall further into the dream. On the first verse, the vocals are smooth and soothing, perfectly suiting the beauty of the music. They sound great on the chorus, particularly at the end of the chorus when Massu has those two solo lines. At that moment, the music takes on a slightly higher tone and shines strongly. The pure instrumental section is beautiful and really has an angelic feeling to it that will take the listener away. It’s a very strong song and carries some of the magic from アイアイ傘.

Miso Soup, the English version of their first single, also appears as the final bonus track on the regular edition. It’s kind of hard to understand what they’re saying a lot of the time but it’s kind of cute to hear them put all of their effort into it.

Album Ranking: A –

Tegomasu’s first album was surprisingly solid. One might expect a slew of slow songs but there were many upbeat numbers that showed off what the boys could do. From the cool jazzy numbers, to beautiful ballads and even one disco styled track, the album offers more variety than expected. Tegoshi and Massu certainly delivered a quality album.

5 Most Memorable Songs: アイアイ傘 / HIGHWAY / What’s going on? / たったひとつだけ / サヨナラ僕の街

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Tegomasu – 七夕祭り [4th Single]

July 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm (Tegomasu) (, )

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Tegomasu’s 4th single, entitled 七夕祭り, was released on 07.08.09.  This single will not be included on their upcoming album, which will be released on 07.15.09.

七夕祭り is a sweet song that carries a childlike atmosphere for the listener to enjoy. The song starts off with some environmental noises to really paint a  night-time image for the listener. Then comes the first verse and Massu sounds very good here, his voice suiting the peaceful instrumentation perfectly. In the music, there are some slight country influences entering the song and when it’s Tegoshi’s turn to sing, they come in more strongly. It really does have this cute kid-like feeling to it that will make the listener smile. They come together on the chorus and their voices compliment each other’s very well so it stands out as a strong section of the song. The pure instrumental section, although short, sounds very nice and makes a nice transition into the third verse. On the final chorus, some kids join the duo and it brings out the childlike atmosphere even more. Overall, it’s a cute song that is very enjoyable.

はなむけ is the B-side present on both editions of the single. The song opens up with a sweet and pretty instrumental with the chorus. Both of their voices sound very soothing alongisde the music, which calms the listener. After is a small section of pure instrumentation and here, the music becomes a little more diverse and catches the listener’s ear. On the verses, they sound strong and suit the music very well. Although the song is a little on the long side, it’s a very nice song with a sweet soothingness that will definitely stand out to the listener.

The first B-side only present on the regular edition of the single is 僕らしく. Opening up the song is a very pretty piano-centered instrumental. Massu sounds great when he comes in on the first and slowly the beat comes in and there are some electronic parts here and there. It makes the instrumentation much more interesting and addictive. They sound great on the chorus, particularly when they sing the title of the song. Tegoshi shows off his vocal strength here, hitting a high note perfectly. The English was a nice touch as they sung “be yourself and show the world you are proud of the way you are.” It would have been nice to have a section of pure instrumentation since the music is so strong. It’s a great song that will catch the ears of the listener.

終わらないで is the second B-side only present on the regular edition of the single. Beginning the song is a nice upbeat happy instrumental with some slight rock tints here and there. There is a fast energetic pace to the song and both Tegoshi and Massu sound great on the first verse. The chorus is cute although a little forgettable. That could be applied to the whole song actually, cute but somewhat forgettable.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 七夕祭り was made. The PV fits the song so perfectly featuring Tegoshi and Massu helping some kids prepare for the star festival. Massu looks great here with his hair back to its usual style and Tegoshi looks good too. They all draw pictures and write down their wishes and overall it’s just adorable.

Single Ranking: A –

It’s been over a year since Tegoshi and Massu teamed up to form Tegomasu and they showed that they still got it. All four songs are enjoyable with the first three being the stronger ones. Hopefully their upcoming album will feature a little more diversity since they can definitely handle it.

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[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) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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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 

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[Part Two] From The Boys of JE

December 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm (Arashi, Hey! Say! JUMP, Kanjani∞, KAT-TUN, KinKi Kids, NEWS, SMAP, Tackey & Tsubasa, Tegomasu, TOKIO, V6) (, , , , , , , , , , )

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Without a doubt, the “Kings of JE” title belong to Hey! Say! JUMP. I have fallen for these boys and am amazed at how far they’ve come since their debut single in 2007. These guys have released three singles this year and each single got better and better. Dreams come true was a very catchy and upbeat pop number that really showed the boys’ personality and made it an enjoyable listen. After that, the boys really impressed me with Your Seed / 冒険ライダー. It was with Your Seed, that I really got hooked on this group as they showed that mature sound that they do so well with. Even 冒険ライダー featured a slightly mature sound while still having that regular boyband feel. It was a perfect single and I couldn’t have asked for any better. But then they released 真夜中のシャドーボーイ and I fell in love all over again. The song featured a Spanish twist to bring out the boys mature side yet again (I think it should be manditory for all JE groups to have a Spanish influenced song since it always goes well). Along with falling in love with the music, I fell in love with the members of the group. Yamada is my absolute favorite and I’m glad he’s been the center of attention. He’s a good singer, great actor and is really hot. Yabu is my favorite BEST member and he’s extremely sexy. Thanks to both Sensei wa Erai! and Scrap Teacher, I’ve fallen for Nakajima and Daiki as well and I look forward to seeing more episodes of Scrap Teacher with them. Chinen and Takaki have considerably grown on me as well. Basically, Hey! Say! JUMP has done everything right this year except for one thing…AN ALBUM! If JE does not give them an album soon, I will go crazy so here’s to hoping we get an album in the first three months of January…

Coming in second for the “Kings of JE” is one of my favorite boybands, NEWS. The boys have released three heat1singles and one album this year, having their ups and downs. The boys’ first release of the year was with 太陽のナミダ, an absolutely fantastic dance song with Spanish and Arabian influences that sounds absolutely fantastic. Two of the B-sides on that single (バンビーナ and Lady Spider) also helped me fall for these guys, particularly Lady Spider. It is these types of songs that NEWS shines at so they really should continue exploring them. They followed up with SUMMER TIME, a sweet and cute summery number with that fun pop atomsphere that is perfect for that time of year. Once again, two B-sides (EASY COME, EASY GO and Liar) hooked me onto the single. Then came Happy Birthday, which was the weakest single from this era but still a nice enjoyable song. GAME of LOVE, which was the second B-side, was very strong and could have been the A-side. Then the album came and that’s why these boys don’t win the title of “Kings of JE.” After the amazing album, pacific, I was hoping that this album would be just as good, if not better. Unfortunately, this album was filled with forgetttable songs that just made me so disappointed. The one amazing new standout number was ケセナイ, sung courtesy of the man to your right, Tegoshi (Ryo and Shige were there too but it was Tegoshi leading). He definitely wins the “Prince of NEWS” title because he’s done everything right this year. He’s brought killer vocals to each song and he has looked since day one of this year until now (and before of course). I absolutely love Tegoshi and he’s one of my favorite members (alongside Massu) so it’s no surprise that he would deliver. Also the boys brought a concert DVD, which was absolutely entrancing. Certain performances such as SHOCK ME vs Devil or Angel. 愛のマタドール and ゴメンネ ジュリエット really made the DVD a perfect watch because the boys really bring the heat (i.e. see Yamapi perform his solo song…it’s…wow). I hope the boys are able to deliver strong material next year but I don’t doubt them. All the singles leading up to the album were fantastic so I’m hoping next time around, they put a little more effort into making the album as varied as the singles. On a related note, Tegoshi and Massu teamed up again as Tegomass and released their third single, 相合傘, which is a beautiful ballad about being unable to tell your feelings to the one you love while sharing an umbrella. It was an adorable single and I’m glad that they did this, which leaves me ready for an album from them next year.

ohnoWell I’m sure people will diasagree with this position but I give Arashi third place for “Kings of JE.” They’ve have been some very busy boys this year, releasing four singles and an album, which makes them the most active releasers of the year in Johnny’s Entertainment. They released Step and Go in February and that was my first taste of these guys and it caught my attention. It’s definitely the type of song that gets stuck in your head. Then they released Dream”A”live, an album packed with enjoyable uptempo numbers to keep the listener moving. It was pretty enjoyable and I would crown it “Johnny’s Entertainment Album Of The Year” (even though that may not be much of a prize seeing as only NEWS, SMAP and KAT-TUN were released an album besides Arashi but they get it nonetheless). But it was One Love, which really made me interested in these guys. This song is absolutely fantastic and is definitely the best song they have released thus far. It’s so pretty that it could even make me cry. Following was truth / 風の向こうへ, which everyone seemed to eat up. Honestly though, I didn’t really see what was so fantastic about it. Luckily Beautiful days was a step up and stood out to me. If you want proof that people love Arashi, just look at the sales. They have absolutely smashed the charts and stomped people out from the top spots. I was really surprised but I congratulate them and hope their success continues. My favorite member is without a doubt Ohno. The first thing I noticed about his him was his face and how it kind of had a sadness to it, at least to me anyway. I think he’s a good leader and look forward to see him grow and sing in the future.

It was a close call for third place but ultimately I gave it to Arashi. So fourth place (but still really close to taking kenthird) is V6. The guys’ first single of the year was 蝶, which immediately caught my eye. Well it wasn’t so much the title track as the second B-side, SHOW ME, that made me fall for these guys. SHOW ME is amazing and fantastic, definitely worth being an A-side. It’s the real reason that I came to follow these guys music. However all the songs on that single were fantastic, including the two other B-sides (Keep a Chance and Twlight emotion). 蝶 was a great title track, taking on Spanish sounds to push the instrumentation over the edge. VIBES, a DVD single, was released soon after and it was kind of like a mini album since there were so many new tracks. VOLTAGE, サンキュー! ミュージック! and DIVE were the three standout songs on this single and definitely kept the group’s momentum of strong songs. Next they released LIGHT IN YOUR HEART / Swing!, which was a very catchy single worth listening to. I didn’t really get to know these guys very well but I’ve chosen my favorite member, who we can take a look at to our right. Let’s take a big thanks to Raid at Raid My Mini Bar for pointing out Ken Miyake to me. There is a picture of him on the website (a random picture in a group appears at the top) and that’s how I got introduced this very hot guy. I tried to find that picture but to no avail. I hope these boys will be putting out an album soon so I can see just how talented these boys are and I hope they continue to deliver hot uptempo tunes.

kokiIt was also hard to choose who would get the 5th spot for “Kings of JE” but I chose to give it to KAT-TUN. With three singles and one album under their belt for the year, KAT-TUN definitely had their share of releases. Let’s be honest, T∀BOO is the reason that these boys got this spot. They’ve released LIPS, DON’T U EVER STOP and White X’mas but none of those songs could hold a candle to that amazingness that is T∀BOO. It’s a sleek and sexy number that is not only one of the best opening tracks of the year but one of the best opening tracks ever. It is addictive and worth the listen if you haven’t heard it. QUEEN OF THE PIRATES was a nice album although a little too focused on rock and not strong enough ballads. Keep the faith was a strong follow up to the introductory track and was another album highlight. Who is my favorite member of KAT-TUN? Tanaka Koki of course. He always stands out to be when I watch their PVs and his voice catches my ear when I hear their songs. Plus he has such a different look from the rest of his bandmates, it’s hard not to see him. Even though the singles could have been a little stronger and a little more aggressive, I would say KAT-TUN did a good job this year with their releases and I’m excited to see what they bring next year. Also their tour DVD comes out next year and I’ll be waiting to see T∀BOO  live.

The rest of the groups I’ll be counting down did not release very much in comparison to their counterparts so I’ll just tackey1review them as one paragraph. 6th place goes to Kinki Kids, who actually only released one single. But what a single it was…Both Secret Code, the title track, and the B-sides made me really fond of these guys. It’s such a shame that they only released one single because I was looking forward to hearing more. While Secret Code takes on the cool jazzy route, strategie uses Spanish influences with Fu Fu Fu and ビターショコラ following the jazz suit. Plus I found out about Domoto Koichi, who is hot beyond belief. Up next is Tackey & Tsubasa, who take 7th place. Much like Kinki Kids, they only released one single but it was pretty good. 恋詩 – コイウタ- was really pretty so it was worth the listen while PROGRESS was a nice uptempo number. The 8th spot goes to SMAP, who released two enjoyable singles: そのまま / White Message and この瞬間, きっと夢じゃない. These guys have some really nice voices so I’m glad I was introduced to them. They also released an album entitled super.modern.artistic.performance, which I haven’t gotten around to listening to but I will soon. Kanjani∞ comes in 9th, mostly for Wahaha. That single was pretty catchy although not the most memorable song I could have hoped for. This group is just okay for me so I hope they release some material to really make me like them because I think that it’s just their style / image that just doesn’t suit me very well. Finally 10th place is TOKIO, who only released one single, 雨傘 / あきれるくらい僕らは願おう. It was nice although it didn’t really catch my attention like the other groups. I hope that these groups (Kinki Kids in particular) will be more active next year so I can really experience what they’re like.

Johnny’s Entertainment certainly has the talent to back up their big name. Many people associate JE with boys who rely on looks rather than talent but that is absolutely not true. Of course these boys have the looks but they have extreme talent to match. Hey! Say! JUMP brought some amazing material this year, winning them title of Kings of Johnny’s Entertainment 2008. NEWS and Arashi also brought some very nice material and had NEWS made a stronger album, they might have taken the crown. Arashi had a very big year as the most releasing group of JE so I wonder what next year will have in store for them, seeing as it is their 10th anniversary. The other groups all had their own special touch even if some weren’t very active. I look forward to seeing what Johnny Kitagawa plans for in 2009…it better be an album from Hey! Say! JUMP at the beginning or I will be pissed.

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Tegomasu – アイアイ傘 [3rd Single]

June 28, 2008 at 5:36 pm (Tegomasu) ()

Tegomass released their third single, entitled アイアイ傘, on 06.18.08. Coming nearly a year after their last single, Tegoshi and Masuda team up again for the ending theme for the anime series Neo Angelique Abyss. The single features the title track A-side, two B-sides as well as an extra B-side,僕のシンデレラ, only present on the regular edition of the single.

アイアイ傘 is the album’s title track and is a sweet ballad.  The song begins with a dreamy and twinkling instrumentation to introduce the song’s beauty wonderfully. The first verse features the sound of the strumming of the guitar in the instrumentation to move with both boys’ voices very nicely. Both Masuda and Tegoshi have smooth vocals so that it catches the listener’s ear. The chorus stands out as the two harmonize very nicely and reach the notes perfectly to capture the atmosphere of the song. Although the title of the song sounds a little bit fast, it still works nicely to bring the chorus to a strong start. The last line of the chorus is sung nicely and makes a nice transition into the small pure instrumental section. The pure instrumental section is great and it supported by some vocalizing from the boys. This section evokes a feeling of the sunshine after the rain, which fits perfectly with the song’s lyrical story. The final note of the song sounds just a bit off but is still a nice finish. They then soothingly sing off with pure instrumentation to bring the song to a close. It would have been nicer had the vocals been removed and just instrumentation brung the song to a close. アイアイ傘 is a sweet ballad that is brought to life as the boys’ voices really work well together.

僕らのうた picks the energy up with an uptempo beat. Piano instrumentation starts off the song before the chorus starts off, which really brings an uptempo and cheery feeling. Following is a choir accompaniment and although choirs have a tendency to sound awkward in J-Pop songs, their presence is a nice fit with the sound of the song. The first verse starts and Tegoshi sounds great with the somewhat poppy instrumentation. Once Massu starts singing, the instrumentation becomes slightly more varied in order to make it pop right before the chorus starts. The pure instrumentation sequence that appears before the third verse sounds great as the spotlight is put on the piano, which really makes the music stand out. The third verse features some great harmonization from the boys and then another pure instrumentation sequence comes, this time focusing on the guitar, which shows off some rock flare and is a highly enjoyable part of the song. The boys sing the chorus out, which brings the song to a nice close and makes it strong from start to finish. It’s a great uptempo number that is a good match on the single by bringing a more upbeat sound in the midst of the slower songs that comprise the single.

Both editions of the single feature もしも僕がポチだったら… as a B-side. Acoustic guitar driven instrumentation opens the song and segues nicely into the first verse. Both Tegoshi and Massu have nice smooth vocals that work in the song’s favor and Tegoshi holds the final note nicely before a small instrumental break. The chorus is nice as there is a relaxing feel to it that works well with the boys voices. Tegoshi sings a little higher than usual and it does catch the listener’s ear. The final line of the chorus is what really stands out as a nice finish. The pure instrumental section is a very nice part of the song that sounds great with the spotlight on the acoustic guitar. It re-introduces the chorus nicely. Pure instrumentation follows, bringing the song to a close. The track is a slow and relaxing song that the boys sound nice on and although it isn’t as strong as the title track or the other B-side, it’s a nice listen.

Another B-side, present only on the regular edition, is 僕のシンデレラ. The song picks up the tempo of the single with another upbeat sound. After pure instrumentation, the first voice comes in. Both Massu and Tegoshi sound nice with their vocals over the music. The chorus is nice although it doesn’t stand out as strongly as hoped. However they sing the title of the song greatly as a finish for the single. The pure instrumental section sounds great as the guitar comes back to play a role in the music and is a nice compliment to the piano. Pure instrumentation brings the song to a nice close and although the chorus doesn’t stand out as much as hoped, 僕のシンデレラ is a very nice song with an upbeat sound that the listener can enjoy.

In order to promote the single, a PV for アイアイ傘 was made. The video tells the simple story of a boy and a girl sharing an umbrella. The PV begins with a boy walking across a street and as he walks on the sidewalk, Tegoshi and Massu are in the sky and create rain. He takes out his umbrella to cover himself and soon a girl comes over and runs for cover under him umbrella. Tegomass also have a little water fight as they spray each other with hoses and it shows a fun side to the video. There are also scenes of the two singing with strings of beautiful sparkling blue jewels behind them. After the two turn off the hoses and stop the rain, the sun comes out and the girls thanks the boy and leaves. His expression once the girl leaves is truly sad and really emphasizes the cute element of the song. The video ends with a shot of a beautiful tree. The PV is a great visual for the song as the lyrical story is brought out.

Single Ranking: A –

Tegomass’ 3rd single features four songs, two upbeat and two slower. The strongest song is the A-side and title track, アイアイ傘, which is a sweet story of love in the rain. The other slow song is もしも僕がポチだったら… and centers on an acoustic sound that catches the listener’s ear. Both upbeat songs are nice, particularly 僕らのうた. Tegomass did a great job on this single and it’s definitely worth the listen.

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