Ryuusei no Namida


Artist: CHiAKi KURiYAMA
Release Date: February 24, 2010
Label: Sony Music Entertainment Japan
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. Ryuusei no Namida
2. Kekkei IN MY BED
3. Ryuusei no Namida (MOVIE Version)
4. Ryuusei no Namida (Instrumental)
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Reviewing this artist in particular may give a hint on how much I like Gundam….I know this wasn’t on the upcoming features list but she only has one release in her music career so it’s fine if I feature a new artist right? (OMG, I REMEMBER HER FACE NOW! SHE’S FROM KILL BILL!!!! OMG OMG OMG!)

Ryuusei no Namida is a gentle rock oriented song. (Not too aggressive) There were parts of the arrangement that really keeps me listening. I especially liked the way the chorus turned out. Definitely a keeper on my playlist! (And probably a good choice for the Gundam Unicorn opening!)

Kekkei IN MY BED begins with guitar riffs and strong drums. She sings in low pitch, making her vocals sound really deep. (Kind of like High and Mighty Color’s Maki’s vocals.) Somehow this reminds me of HaMC’s PRIDE except that there’s no man singing in the background. A pretty strong debut for an actress.

I think there was another actress who turned out to be a decent singer as well: Megumi Hayashibara! Anyways, Chikaki Kuriyama did a better job with her vocals than most starting artists.

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

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Shizuka na Yoru/weather

Artist: Kaori Mochida
Release Date: July 23, 2009
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Shizuka na Yoru
2. weather
3. MOON RIVER
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Note: This is actually Kaori’s fourth single release. It’s just that her debut solo single was released in 1993 and her second 2004. (And I can’t seem to find them online.) So I’m not sure if I’ll be able to review her older solo music….

Shizuka na Yoru is the kind of song that soothes down your nerves but in a way that it’s hard to skip on to the next track. I love the calm instrumentation that consists of piano and strings and the composition turned out rather nicely near the end. This is probably the kind of song I would listen when I’m tired.

weather is a definite contrast with Shizuka na Yoru regarding the mood but the elements of the arrangement still remains the same. So far, this release is turning out to be my favorite over Ame no Watlz. I can see how the theme of this single is to allow the listener to feel laid back.

I’m pretty sure that everyone’s heard the original version of MOON RIVER. Apparently, Kaori’s English sounds pretty decent and the instruments fall into the acoustics category. Just listening to this song allows me to reminience the old times when I learned how to play this on the piano. Definitely a great addition to the single.

Personal Rating: 4/5

New Artists 2.1

Right now, I have a lists of reviews to complete as well as a list of new artists to feature on the blog. I’ve got a new years resolution to reach 500+ reviews this year! (Which means more artists as well!)

Ai Otsuka: Everyone seemed to be featuring her. But when one of her songs popped up on one of the last.fm channels I was like this girl sings well. It was funny that I thought of her vocals before I analyzed the composition of the song. Regardless, I will definitely feature her sometime soon.

Aira Mitsuki: I don’t listen to techno very often so I have Aria Mitsuki a try. In the end, I felt the energy from her music so she’s definitely on my upcoming list.

Beni: I thought her last single Sign was really refreshing so I was like Yeah, she’s definitely someone I would feature on the blog. I will probably only review her releases with Universal Music Japan but I’ve gotta say that her older music was great as well!

Girl Next Door: Sure they’re not a shining example of a rock band but I don’t write very negative reviews very often. (hehehe) Well, it depends if I actually like the music or not.

Namie Amuro: I’ll add her as soon as I finish review another mainstream artist’s discography. (I’m almost done with Ayu!)

Rie Fu: OMG! I’ve loved Rie fu for a long time! I honestly don’t know the reason why I haven’t added her yet!

Yuna Ito: She’s one of those artists that I have been meaning to feature on the site for a long time but I never got the chance to…

Other artists that I’ve considered: Miho Fukuhara, BIG BANG, Perfume

Look out for these artists but it might take a while before I could start featuring them. (There’s just so much to review!) If there are anymore artists you want me to feature, don’t be afraid to comment and I will definitely consider them!

DIVE into YOURSELF

Artist: High and Mighty Color
Release Date: July 26, 2006
Label: SMEJ
Personal Rating: 3.5/5

1. DIVE into YOURSELF
2. Flying Music
3. Haitoku no Jounetsu ~Urgent Immoral Passion Mix~
4. DIVE into YOURSELF (Less Vocal Track)
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There isn’t really much to listen to in DIVE into YOURSELF. The lyrics are all “whoas” and the male’s vocals doesn’t wing it this time. Not a really good track coming from High and Mighty Color. 😡

Flying Music definitely rocks the house and shows the colors of the arrangement with the uplifting vocals from both the male and Maaki. This beats the A-side hands down.

The Haitoku no Jounetsu ~Urgent Immoral Passion Mix~ is a MUCH better version than the original! Some new elements were added and everything on the composition fell into place! This remix was a lifesaver! (Well, not really)

Personal Rating: 3.5/5

Osaka no Onna

Artist: Hitomi Shimatani
Release Date: July 28, 1999
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Osaka no Onna
2. Kaze no Michi
3. Osaka no Onna (Instrumental)
4. Kaze no Michi (Instrumental)
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I finally got myself to listen to one of Hitomi’s earlier releases. The funny thing was that Avex considered this single the beginning and end of Hitomi’s career as an enka artist. This was released on a 3 inch single.

Just because Osaka no Onna didn’t make it up to the mainstream charts, Avex just decided to ditch the idea of Hitomi being an enka artist! Overall, I thought that the song was great with the great vocals and Hitomi just expressed so much emotion. Too bad she stopped singing Enka but I guess that the pop genre was what really worked out for her.

Kaze no Michi turns out to be a ballad but its arrangement doesn’t seem to surpass the A-side. To my surprise, this actually became one of my favorite Hitomi ballads.

Personal Rating: 4/5

PAPIYON ~papillon~

Artist: Hitomi Shimatani
Release Date: February 7, 2001
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. papillon
2. Boys don’t cry
3. papillon (instrumental)
4. Boys don’t cry (instrumental)
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When I first listened to papillon, I probably thought that it sounded really good because it’s actually a Japanese version of Janet Jackson’s “Doesn’t Really Matter.” With the super fast lyrics and pace, it’s to no surprise that Hitomi was able to successfully sing this song since she’s one very talented singer of her time. Even though it was somewhat a cover, I still enjoyed this track a lot.

Boys don’t cry sounded really bland and boring. Definitely B-side material. (There’s just nothing more to say to it. Listen to it, and you’ll know what I mean)

Personal Rating: 4/5

LOSE YOUR MIND

Artist: BoA
Release Date: December 12, 2007
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 5/5

1.LOSE YOUR MIND feat. Yutaka Furukawa
2.Smile again
3.LOSE YOUR MIND (Instrumental)
4.Smile again (Instrumental)
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There’s no surprise that BoA still has a powerful vocal performance in LOSE YOUR MIND! Although the lyrics may be a bit (um…..) all of the musical elements seemed to sound perfectly fine and the electric guitar solo during the bridge was just plain awesome. Yutaka Furukawa is from the band Doping Panda, by the way. (as the band’s electric guitarist)

Smile again seems to be one of those ballads that is way beyond me. The composition doesn’t seem to be drastically different than the ballads in the past but I loved the transitions with volume between the chorus and the verses. That alone made the ballad one of a kind.

Personal Rating: 5/5