Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana

Artist: Shoko Nakagawa
Release Date: April 29, 2009
Label: Sony Records
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana
2. Gozen Rokuji
3. Milky Kiss
4. Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana (Instrumental)

Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana sounded “lighter” in terms of rhythm and instrumentation. The good thing is that this isn’t her usual “cute” pop and more of a rock oriented song. From the looks (or sound) I think that Shokotan would be more successful in the rock genre.

Gozen Rokuji also takes on the face of the A-side by singing out a laid back rock themed arerangement. Still, I perfer Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana because her vocals sounded a bit sloppy throughout some parts of the song.

Apparently Milky Kiss does turn out to be one of Shokotan’s bubblegum pop songs but this one actually comes out decent. Her vocals sound a bit more mature compared to her older cute pop songs. The overall atmosphere of the song seems to have older sounds but in a way, the song seemed to be one of Shokotan’s most original.

Personal Rating: 4/5

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

All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~/Together Again

Artist: MiCHi
Release Date: April 4, 2010
Label: Sony Music Entertainment
Personal Rating: 5/5

1. All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~
2. Together again
3. dance DANCE!
4. All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~ (Instrumental)
5. Together again
6. dance DANCE! (Instrumental)

Are you for real MiCHi!? All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~ was a totally awesome dance track! I’m mean, sure I had been expecting something as uplifting and addicting from MiCHi but this one has blown me away! Just after listening to this song, I’m sure that I’ll have this stuck in my head for days!

Together again keeps up my dumbstruck and amazed impression with a laid back ballad that actually suits MiCHi perfectly. (I don’t think she really did that many ballads in the past) The best thing about it is probably the song development that just keeps you listening until the last second. This is a track that’s hard to skip, definitely another awesome track.

Finally, dance DANCE! is – as the title states – another cool dance track! I was already blown away with the A-side and I could safely say that this track did the exact same!

Definitely one of MiCHi’s best singles! If you want music that makes you get up and dance, start with this single!

Personal Rating: 5/5

Kojin Jugyou

Artist: misono
Release Date: May 10, 2006
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 3.5/5

1. Kojin Jugyou
2. pinkies
3. Kojin Jugyou (Instrumental)
4. pinkies (Instrumental)
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I’m noticing some really princess and Disney style covers here…

I thought that the beginnging of Kojin Jugyou with the school bells sounded strange. There were many parts of the song that sounded quite repetitive and times when misono pretty much yells out the lyrics in attempt to overcome the loud guitars. Overall, the song was meh.

Pinkies is like a rock/ballad with louds vocals that serves as its powerhouse. Although the overall arrangement was a bit typical, misono’s vocals sounded a bit better here.

Personal Rating: 3.5/5

VS

Artist: misono
Release Date: March 29, 2006
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. VS
2. Glass no Kutsu
3. VS (Instrumental)
4. Glass no Kutsu (Instrumental)
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Note: After listening to her collaboration single with Kuu, I began wondering what misono’s music sounded like so I decided to go ahead and feature her on the blog. I also remember her from Day after Tomorrow because she sung in the Tales of Symphonia and Inuyasha.”

Doesn’t this cover say “Snow White?” Thought so.

VS was definitely something new for misono. Ireally liked how she grew out of the Day After Tomorrow style and started with a pop/rock oriented track. Both the verses and chorus owned the song and I would give the song an “A” for catchiness. Well done on your debut, misono!

I guess there was wonly two tracks on this single. In contrast from the A-side, Glass no Kutsu is softer and quieter. I really liked how the chorus stood out from the rest of the song.

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Kiseki

Artist: Kumi Koda
Release Date: September 8, 2004
Label: Rhythm Zone
Personal Rating: 3.5/5

1. Kiseki
2. Love Holic
3. Life
4. Kiseki (instrumental)
5. Love Holic (instrumental)
6. Life (instrumental)
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Personally, I thought Kiseki was boring an emotionaless the whole time. Pretty much sounds like a generic ballad. I would probably skip this track.

Next up is Love Holic which was much more capitivating than the A-side. Although there was more energy in the vocals, the arrangement still seemed a little colorless but I did enjoy the song during my first listen. After listening to it once, I couldn’t get myself to go through the whole song again.

Finally, Life seems to be my favorite of the three tracks. There was a ncie feel to the chorus but the instrumentals didn’t really synch well with Kuu’s vocals. Maybe a little tweak would have made it sound better.

Personal Rating: 3.5/5