Secret

Artist: Ayumi Hamasaki
Release Date: November 29, 2006
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Not yet
2. until that Day…
3. Startin’
4. 1 LOVE
5. It was
6. LABYRINTH
7. JEWEL
8. momentum
9. taskinst
10. Born To Be…
11. Beautiful Fighters
12. BLUE BIRD
13. kiss o’ kill
14. Secret
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Not yet was an interlude with some sort of whispering at the beginning which eventually progresses in to that powerful rock mood. A short and great way to start off the album. (Where did that fire come from, girl?!)

Many people say that until that Day… was an average song but for some reason, I enjoyed it quite much. The guitar riffs were a cool touch and the chorus was just plain powerful….maybe it’s because she kind of repeats parts of the lyrics too much? I honestly didn’t find it a problem listening to it though.

Startin’ is pretty upbeat for my taste. The introduction has a little hip in the beats that sounds a little out of place in the song since the vocals has a touch of agressive pop in it. This was probably the first song that Ayu’s vocals began to sound more mature but even so, I got pretty boredof this song quickly.

The only distinguishing factor with 1 LOVE is the fact that it’s got a great opening and kickass chorus but it seems like I want to skip the majority of the song just to listen to the chorus. Otherwise, I would just pass on this track.

The common style within the album are the calm opening that transitions (in other words explodes) into this hard rock or techno atmosphere. That’s how it is with It was, with a very quite introduction and extremely strong arrangement during the rest of the song. This turns out to be one of my favorite new tracks of the album.

LABYRINTH is a boring interlude. There’s nothing mroe to say about this track.

I honestly do not know why JEWEL was choosen to be one of the promotional tracks of the album and why it’s popular among the other songs. It has the same style as To Be when there little or no instrumental in the background with only Ayu’s vocals. Don’t get me wrong though, I did love how Ayu’s vocals flowed nicely with the song but it just see it as a ballad that could be boring.

I actually watched the (wintery) music video before listening to this on the cd. momentum was somewhat a hard pop track but for some reason, I just had to listen to this song over and over. The tone of her voice sounds so melachonic and the instrumentals provided very strong support to her vocals. This song is definitely worth the listen…dont’ forget to watch the music video too! (Another one of my favorite among the new tracks.)

taskinst is like one of those interludes that just sticks out like a sore thumb. It just doesn’t blend well with the tracks after this.

Born To Be… begins with a choir singing “Born to be” until Ayu’s vocals enters in not soon after. Now, this is new Ayu material since her songs aren’t normally oriented this way. Plus, her vocals were flawless but the arrangement still didn’t go up a notch.

Another song is the popular Beautiful Fighters. When I first gave this song a listen. I thought that the beginning of the song was a bit awkward. The whistles blaring at the beginning of the song was something new but not something I would like to hear at the beginning of the song. However, I liked the chorus when she’s like “We are Beautiful Fighters.” Very catchy, but perferrably without the whistles. (Although I know that it was supposed to compose and incoprate the whole mood of the song.)

BLUE BIRD was definately a great song! I liked how the acoustics in the background were pretty slow and how there was a change in rhthym as the song progressed. After hearing it the first time, I would remember how I always wanted to replay the whole song a few or more time. I guess, it grew onto me pretty quickly! The charming instrumentals gave this song another thumbs up!

kiss o’ kill is another enthusiastic and strong track with awesome chorus and arrangement. Overall, its a decent song but the only reason why I like listening to it is because of the chorus. (Pretty selective with the parts I listen to with the songs of the album.)

Secret was one really boring ballad. Plus, I didn’t feel statisfied when I realized that this was the end of the album. It’s just a boring way to end it, enough said. D=

Personal Rating: 4/5

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GLORIA

Artist: Yui
Release Date: January 20, 2010
Label: Sony Music Japan
Personal Rating: 5/5

1. GLORIA
2. Muffler
3. It’s all too much (YUI Acoustic Version)
4. GLORIA (Instrumental)
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GLORIA turns out to be a very uplifting with a catchy acoustic flavored rhythm that marks to be one of Yui’s strongest singles to date! (Ever since she started to go for the rock outlook.) The chorus also turned out to be the strongest part of the arrangement. In fact it makes me listen to the song just because of the chorus. (Oh, that can’t be good.)

Muffler adds to Yui’s consectutive chain of awesome B-sides! Although this time around, the A-side beats the B-side, Muffler is another strong performance from Yui.

Just when I thought that the original sounded good enough, the It’s all too much (YUI Acoustic Version) makes the arrangement sound much more refined and made me want to listen to the original over and over for comparison. Great addition to the single!

Personal Rating: 5/5

LAST ANGEL feat. Tohoshinki

Artist: Kumi Koda
Release Date: November 7, 2007
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 2/5

1. LAST ANGEL feat. Tohoshinki
2. Dear Family
3. LAST ANGEL feat. Tohoshinki (Instrumental)
4. Dear Family (Instrumental)
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What a very bright cover….

Anyways, LAST ANGEL feat. Tohoshinki is a total trainwreck after listening to it a few times. For those who do not know, Tohoshinki is actually a name of a (somewhat popular) Korean band that’s doing a collaboration with Kuu in Japanese. However, the worst part about it is that the boys just can’t sing without Kuu playing “powerhouse” and their Japanese just doesn’t sound so…..natural. Although I thought that the arrangement sounded pretty cool, the whole song seemed really off whenever the band sung.

I think that the only reason why Dear Family sounded better was because Tohoshinki weren’t singing in it. (No offense to Tohoshinki fans out there: it’s just that they can’t sing Japanese very well, but I do believe that they can sing K-pop much better!) Kuu’s vocals soudned very strogn and went well with the laid back arrangement. Something worth listening to after listening to the A-side.

Personal Rating: 2/5

filler!

OMG! Can you believe it!? The blog has finally reached 2K!!! Thank you so much for visiting! That is the only thing besides listening to new artists that’s allowing me to keep devoting myself to reviewing! =D

So many school projects lately! (And I’ve been developing a new interest in manga illustrations!) Just wanted you guys to expect some updates this weekend! (Probably not a lot since I’m going somewhere on Saturday.) I know I’m totally BSing the upcoming list…. I just can’t get myself to stop reviewing different releases. Well, I’m going back to homeworking! Thanks for your support!

~Eve

LIFE

Artist: Yui
Release Date: November 9, 2005
Label: Sony Music Japan
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Life
2. Crossroad
3. Tomorrow’s way (Yui Acoustic Version)
4. Life (Instrumental)
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Life was actually the song that got me into Yui. (Mainly because of the fact that it was used as one of the many ending themes for the anime Bleach) The acoustic guitar at the beginning made it easy for the vocals and the percussions to enter into the song, giving us a smooth listen. I main reason why I loved this song is because of how the verses lead up to the chorus. I just can’t get myself to not like it like some of the reviews say….

Crossroad sounds pretty average compared to her other songs but it does have a nice combination of acoustic and electric guitars. (Like the typical Yui song, simple guitar arrangement enchanced with Yui’s vocals.)

Like always, the Tomorrow’s way (Yui Acoustic Version) still has the original arrangement but then focuses more on the instrumentals than the vocals. (Pretty standard. I’m sure Yui won’t be changing the way she does her acoustics.)

Personal Rating: 4/5

Progress January 2010

I decided to do this one early because I miscalculated the total % on the last one…:/

alan: 100%
ami suzuki: 100%

angela aki: 73%
ayaka: 100%
ayaka ikio: 100%

ayumi hamasaki: 87%
BoA: 2%
do as infinity: 7%
every little thing: 13%
genki rockets: 100%
hidemi uematsu: 100%

high and mighty color: 42%
himeka: 100%
hitomi shimatani: 15%
jasmine: 100%
jyongri: 100%

kana nishino: 33%
kanon wakeshima: 100%
kumi koda: 54%
kuroki meisa: 100%
leah dizon: 100%
love planet five: 100%

michi: 100%
nami tamaki:11%
saori@destiny: 100%
shoko nakagawa: 42%
tomiko van: 100%
utada hikaru: 100%
wyolica: 100%

younha: 31%
yui: 61%

Total: 2271/3100 = 73% completed (C)
27% left to go!

I remember you

Artist: Yui
Release Date: September 20, 2006
Label: Sony Music Japan
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. I Remember You
2. Cloudy
3. Good-bye Days (Yui Acoustic Version)
4. I Remember You (Instrumental)
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I Remember You happens to be another Yui song with a simple arrangement but is then composed in a way that it makes it a unique song. With a twist of the acoustic guitar and percussion, the chorus happens to be one of the strongest aspects of the song, making this another favorite A-side from Yui.

Cloudy is a fast tempo pop-rock song with that same combination of acoustics and percussions. It still has similarities in the instrumentals of “I remember you” but it becomes differenciated when the chorus is sung. Another great B-side, by the way.

Finally, the Good-bye Days (Yui Acoustic Version) zooms more into the instrumentals than the vocals. (The original in her past release, Good-bye Days.) For those of you who don’t know, adding an acoustic version of the past A-side is a tradition of most of the Yui releases.

Personal Rating: 4.5/5