Archive for the ‘ Hitomi Shimatani ’ Category

Ichiba ni Ikou

Artist: Hitomi Shimatani
Release Date: May 30, 2001
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Ichiba ni Ikou
2. SPLASH
3. Ichiba ni Ikou (Instrumental)
4. SPLASH (Instrumental)

Hm… I really like Shimatani in this cover art.

Ichiba ni Ikou is different in terms of style. Instead of the usual, western influenced pop, Shimatani goes out with a more European taste but still maintaining the captivating style that she has. This is considered to be one of the strongest of Shimatani’s music but this didn’t totally grab my attention.

SPLASH is another European influenced track but I highly perferred this over the A-side. Why? The arrangement sounds more fluids and the instrumentals and vocals flow well together. This song is probably the only reason why I would listen to the single.

At first, I wondered why the songs had such a distinguished style and then I realized that Ichiba ni Ikou mean “Let’s go to the marketplace.”

Personal Rating: 4/5

Kaihouku

Artist: Hitomi Shimatani
Release Date: September 27, 2000
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. Kaihouku
2. Eternity
3. Kaihouku (Instrumental)
4. Eternity (Instrumental)

(Keep in mind that this is Shimatani’s debut in Pop ever since she stopped doing Enka music)

When I first listened to Kaihouku, I remember hearing one of the verses from somewhere. And then I realized that it was used for some commercial back in the day. Kind of random but this song sounded so familiar when I first heard this. Anyways, I actually liked Kaihouku with all of the nice beats and background music. The overall track sounded great when I first listened to it but now that I have listened to it again, I begin to feel that her vocals sound a little off… (Is it just me?)

I would say that Eternity was better than the A-side. The keyboard instrumentals serves as the powerhouse of the song and Shimatani’s vocals worked well with them. Great listen!

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

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

SMILES

Artist: Hitomi Shimatani
Release Date: March 4, 2009
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. SMILES
2. Stay with me
3. SMILES (Instrumental)
4. Stay with me (Instrumental)
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I really have been missing out on Hitomi Shimatani’s music. Well, here’s a review of her latest release from months ago…

SMILES sounded more like a laid back pop song with acoustic elements and a few beats here and there. Although there wasn’t much going on in the arrangement, I have to say that I liked this song quite a bit since the chorus was able to develop the song as well as display Shimatani’s outstanding vocals.

Stay with me was oritened in a similar way with the A-side but at least there’s more put into the arrangement. Personally, I thought Stay with me would have been more better off if it was the A-side but at least the single still turned out quite decently.

Personal Rating: 4/5

Dragonfly

DragonflyArtist: Hitomi Shimatani
Release Date: February 21, 2007
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 5/5

1. Dragonfly
2. Bye-Bye
3. Dragonfly (instrumental)
4. Bye-Bye (instrumental)
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Dragonfly is one of those songs that are really hard to explain because of the complete mixture of different styles of music and how original the song is. It has this combination of rock with synth but at the same time, it doesn’t sound like the music style played today. (Well except the fact that this was released a few years ago) In other words, I thought that the song was spectacular despite the complication of the instrumentations.

Seems like this single is full of surprises! Bye-Bye also has that complicated background music with a strong combination of different genres. Instead of a mixture of rock and synth, it’s more like a jazz and pop variety. And before I forget to mention that Shimatani’s vocals are presented well in both songs, I would say that this is one of her very powerful releases.

Personal Rating: 5/5

Neva Eva

Neva EvaArtist: Hitomi Shimatani
Release Date: June 6, 2007
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Neva Eva
2. Hakuchuumu
3. Neva Eva (Instrumental)
4. Hakuchuumu (Instrumental)
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I figured that I should really start working on the artists with a large discography so here’s today’s review on a Hitomi Shimatani release!

I think that this was during the time when Hitomi was still exploring some new genres with her music. So Neva Eva pretty much sounds more unique than her past releases since it displays a great selection of background music with all of the guitars playing. At least nothing sounded out of place or awkward in this song so Neva Eva actually made me pretty satisfied.

I also thought that Hakuchuumu was a pretty strong B-side. Even though I greatly preferred the A-side, Hakuchuumu also had some great points. Like when you could hear the really strong brasses playing and supporting Hitomi’s vocals in the background. (Ever since listening to Shoko Nakagawa’s debut album, I’ve been more aware of the background music.)

Personal Rating: 4/5