Happy New Years!

Sorry for the lack of updates during December. I was actually aiming to have posted much more reviews this month but it looks like I failed D:

Oh well, 2009 has been a great year for reviewing, and I really hope that 2010 would be even better. It’s all thanks to all of your support that had kept me reviewing more and more releases! I hope that my blog would become bigger over the next year and another thank you for visiting this blog. May you also have a great 2010!

~Eve

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Style.

Artist: Kana Nishino
Release Date: August 13, 2008
Labe: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 3.5/5

1. Style.
2. Stamp
3. September 1st
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Style. did a pretty decent job with matching Kana’s vocals with the arrangement as well as giving listeners a good listen. The only problem is the fact that it didn’t really catch or keep my attention to the song. Oh well, at least she’s still working her way up in the music industry.

And here I think that Stamp would have been better if it was the A-side. It’s more attention grabbing, catchy and memorable to listen to. But then here’s the thing: it’s…too…short!

September 1st is another decent listen since there had been new elements added. I liked the new arrangements the best, though.

Personal Rating: 3.5/5

H

Artist: Ayumi Hamasaki
Release Date: July 24, 2002
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. independent
2. July 1st
3. HANABI
4. independent (instrumental)
5. July 1st (instrumental)
6. HANABI (instrumental)
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There were so many covers for this single! I simply chose to use blue one because blue’s my favorite color.

I just loved how the mood and pace transitioned back and forth throughout independent! There were some quick and energized parts and then the chorus is also thrown in to change the moderate pace to fast. For some reason, I felt that Ayu really handled her vocals pretty well this time too!

Transitioning moods in July 1st also reigns surpreme! At first it sounds like a complete balland and the next minute, the arrangement is thrown in to the trance and dance category. This was probably one of the best Ayu releases out there and a total job well done.

Finally, HANABI has the kind of instrumentals that soudns pretty scary. Not to mention, Ayu has that sad voice to add to it. I really liked the song and its beautiful arrangement but when I listened to this song a few minutes ago, I was really in the mood for happy music…

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

glowy days

Artist: Kana Nishino
Release Date: April 23, 2008
Label: SME records
Personal Rating: 3/5

1. glowly days
2. celtic
3. Yami Yami Day
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Seriously, I think kana looks reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaally creepy in this cover…

Oh no, Kana’s debut already sounded very unmemorable enough but it seems that glowly days takes a step down from the past release! How was Kana able to turn things around in like seven releases? Anyways, the instrumentation is still pretty lacking in what’s that called…originality.

There’s also celtic that doesn’t sound so interesting either. Pretty much a R&B and pop oriented track. Better vocals, but I’m still snoring with this song.

Just when I thought that this single wasn’t going so well, Yami Yami Day pretty much saves the faces of the first two tracks. The song is still R&B but regardless, it takes the more “happy” route, making the song MUCH more memorable than any of her past releases.

Personal Rating: 3/5

I

Artist: Kana Nishino
Release Date: February 20, 2008
Label: SME records
Personal Rating: 3.5/5

1. I
2. In Stereo
3. Just a friend
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Reviewing Kana Nishino was already in the Upcoming list so right now, I have no guilt in starting to feature another artist! =D

I wouldn’t say that I was an ideal debut. As of now, It’s like wow, Kana Nishino must have been a real noob back when she first started. But that’s okay because I’ve already listened to her latest release and LOVED her vocals. I is a combination of pop and rock with a hint of Kana’s uber sqeaky voice. Although it wasn’t my idea of a strong debut, I still thought that Kana went off to a good start.

Now In Stereo seriously didn’t sound as memorable. It’s not really Kana’s fault because the arrangement did nothing to engage me into the song. Regardless, Kana’s voice still has the Engrish and her vocals are still a bit squeaky.

Just a friend is still B-side material even though Kana made a total genre switch. This time, it’s R&B and it suits Kana’s vocals pretty well. But I’m still not so sure that this is the best genre she could sing in…

Personal Rating: 3.5/5

Hatenaki Michi

Artist: Himeka
Release Date: November 25, 2009
Label: Sony Music Japan
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. Hatenaki Michi
2. Sora wa Oshietekureru
3. Hatenaki Michi (Instrumental)
4. Sora wa Oshietekureru (Instrumental)
5. Hatenaki Michi (Anime Edit) [Anime edition bonus track]
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Looks like Himeka was able to maintain her rising star repuation by releasing the incredible Hatenaki Michi ! This is definitely something unique when it comes to anime music and should definitely be one of Himeka’s best work up to date! (Well, there had only been two releases) I just love how her voice was already beautiful to listen to and this time, she had just taken a step p to make her vocals sound even more beautiful!

Then there’s Sora wa Oshietekureru that wasn’t really as serene but it does share the same upbeat style that was used in Asu e o Kizuna and still has the use of her awesome vocals.

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Suki Nanda

Artist: Younha
Release Date: November 18, 2009
Label: Geneon Entertainment
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. Suki Nanda
2. Sunday
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Suki Nanda pretty much had very strong elements popping out all over the place that I actually don’t know where to start! I really loved how the mixture of pop and acoustic instrumentals were incopoerated in a fashion that blends in well with Younha’s voice. And this time, Younha’s voice reigned supreme and not the instrumentals. I also loved how there was a backgroudn chorus that successfully supported Younha’s vocals. A job well done.

Sunday gives off a new taste into Younga’s category as the drums, electric guitars and piano went well with the upbeat-ness of this awesome song. In my opinion, I wouldn’t say this was B-side material and could have made a good A-side as well.

Personal Rating: 4.5/5