Namidairo

NamidairoArtist: Yui
Release Date: February 27, 2008
Label: Sony Music Japan
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. Namidairo
2. I wanna be…
3. LOVE & TRUTH ~YUI Acoustic Version~
4. Namidairo ~Instrumental~
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Just a small note before I actually get on with the actual review: I’ve seen this cover all over facebook. And since I’ve already listened to “Life” and “Rolling Stars” from Bleach, this cover made me even more curious about Yui so I decided to review and listen to this single next.

Namidairo, just like the extremely beautiful cover, sounded like a extremely beautiful song. (Hey, just trying to tie in the cover art with the actual song.) Anyways, I thought that she sang this song pretty well now that she finally decided to apply some sort of emotion to the song. (She usually sings with no feel at all so this song is significantly different than the rest.) The overall song sounds a bit sad yet it’s still a bit of a laid back pop.

Although I wanna be… sounded a bit plain, I still thought that it was a pretty good track with all of the energetic elements that are used throughout the song. Yui didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary compared to her past songs.

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

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Summer Song

Summer SongArtist: Yui
Release Date: July 2, 2008
Label: Sony Music Japan
Personal Rating: 3.5/5

1. SUMMER SONG
2. Oh My God
3. Laugh away ~YUI Acoustic Version~
4. SUMMER SONG ~Instrumental~
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Yay! I bet you guys already know how I was introduced to YUI’s music. That’s right, the fourth ending of Bleach, “Life” was one of my most favorite songs at the time so that’s what really got me interested in Yui’s music. But since I’m starting my first Yui review with her latest single, “Summer Song” I guess you could say that you’ll be expecting a review of her later singles later… The main reason why I decided to review this single now was because my last week of school is next week so it’s a great time to think about Summer vacation right?

If you take a look at the release date, you’ll see that Summer Song was released during the Summer and that the mood and the feel of the song is strongly based on the season. It’s a pretty good laid back pop song so it’s pretty much a typical Yui song. Sometimes, I could hear that straining within Yui’s voice because she’s trying pretty hard to reach those really high notes. A pretty good start of a new era but it doesn’t really show off the best of Yui’s talents.

Surprisingly, Oh my God really made me say “Omg, this song is so short.” Length aside, this track is most definitely different than the A-side. There’s no straining in her voice and it’s pretty laid back with an acoustic guitar. Not only that, there’s background vocals and a strong background instruments that really support Yui’s “not-so-amazing” vocals. It seems pretty obvious that Yui spent more effort with this song than the first one.

Personal Rating: 3/5

For Today

For TodayArtist: Ayaka
Release Date: November 14, 2007
Label: EMI Music Japan
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. For Today
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I usually don’t know about digital singles but I’ve decided to review any digital single from any artists just to get the information out there.

For Today was Ayaka’s first ever digital single which was used for a Pocky Commercial. I thought it was pretty good too so I’m actually glad that they decided to add the track on to “Sing to the Sky.” Anyways, it has more of the rock feel than her pop style but her vocals tend to reach the high notes throughout the song. Although it’s a digital single and wasn’t released in a cd, it’s definitely A-side material.

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

KAMEN

KamenArtist: Kumi Koda
Release Date: February 8, 2006
Label: Rhythm Zone
Personal Rating: 3.5/5

1. KAMEN feat. Ishii Tatsuya
2. KAMEN (with your darling version)
3. KAMEN (with your honey version)
4. KAMEN feat. Ishii Tatsuya (Instrumental)
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Looks like Single #10 makes its appearance as another collaboration single! After the HUGE disappointment with the last release “Ima Sugu Hoshii,” Kumi Koda brings back her normal self with KAMEN! Although Kumi’s vocals don’t sound really strong with this track, there’s also the fact that Ishii Tatsuya’s vocals doesn’t really support her’s either. I thought it was pretty standard and didn’t really exceed my expectations as a fan…but it makes me happy to see that Kumi went back to her old laid-back style.

KAMEN (with your darling version) was all Ishii Tatsuya’s version while the KAMEN (with your honey version) was Kumi’s. Honestly, Kumi’s version sounded so much better compared to Tatsuya’s.

Personal Rating: 3.5/5

Ima Sugu Hoshii

Ima Sugu HoshiiArtist: Kumi Koda
Release Date:
Label: Rhythm Zone
Personal Rating: 3/5

1. Ima Sugu Hoshii
2. Ima Sugu Hoshii (Instrumental)
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I thought that the cover for the ninth addition to the collection was pretty cute….but not the song! Ima Sugu Hoshii is probably one of the most mature song ever created in J-pop history! (Okay, I’m probably over exaggerating a little bit.) I don’t know what those producers were thinking but I’m pretty sure that Kumi didn’t write those lyrics! Lyrics aside, I thought that the rest of the song was a bit plain but her voice was pretty nice but it’s so hard to get through the whole song with those lyrics…my goodness.

Personal Rating: 3/5

Boku wa Kuma

Boku wa KumaArtist: Utada Hikaru
Release Date: November 22, 2006
Label: EMI Music Japan
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Boku wa Kuma
2. Boku wa Kuma (Instrumental)
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Okay big teenagers, Hikki finally wrote a song that’s so for you! Just kidding, it’s just that so many teenage Hikki fans complained about this song because it’s so kiddish. The title, Boku wa Kuma saids it all. It’s definitely a song all about bears and she repeats the line, “Boku wa Kuma Kuma Kuma” a ton of times. Yes, I’m in the middle of my teenage years but you see…..I have a little sister who’s so obessessed with teddy bears so the song pretty much made sense to me…I thought it was pretty cute anyways.

Personal Rating: 4/5

Love Paradox

Love ParadoxArtist: Leah Dizon
Release Date: March 26, 2006
Label: Victor Entertainment
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Love Paradox
2. Under the Same Sky
3. Love Paradox (Instrumental)
4. Under the Same Sky (Instrumental)
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Love Paradox surprised me by her improvement that she had made since her debut album, “Destiny Line.” (I know, I still have to review more of Leah’s older releases.) This time, she brings us this single with a unique A-side which totally sounds really great to listen to. The chorus sounded pretty energetic and catchy with the combination of English and Japanese. Although it sounds like my “so-unfavorite-R&B,” I still thought that she did a really great job with this track since the beats actually suits the mood of the song: unfound love. (And that it didn’t really sound all that awkward.) I just like how Dizon makes her releases better and better every time!

In contrast to “Love Paradox,” Under the Same Sky sounded much more calmer. It’s not really a laid- back pop song but more on the ballad side….but just a little bit. The background music was something new since it included some sort of electronica sounds. I thought it was a typical song for Leah but I could still say that it was a good song.

Personal Rating: 4/5