Tuesday, January 23, 2018
CD Review :: B'z - DINOSAUR
Cover for CD , CD + DVD & CD + Blu-ray
3) Still Alive
5) Soredemo Yappari
7) Queen Of The Night
10) Yowai Otoko
11) Itoshiki Yuurei
12) King Of The Street
13) Purple Pink Orange
DINOSAUR is B'z's 20th album & it was released last year on 29th Nov .
B'z's last album release was 2015's EPIC DAY . Only 1 single Seimei / Still Alive is included in DINOSAUR & their 52nd single RED is excluded from the tracklist .
All songs in DINOSAUR were written by vocalist Inaba Koshi while all songs were composed by guitarist Matsumoto Tak .
Kicking things off in DINOSAUR is the track that shares the same title as the album .
Dinosaur was chosen to be used to promote the movie Geostorm when it opened in Japan cinemas on 19th Jan & this's the the 1st time that B'z provided a theme song for a Hollywood movie .
Dean Devlin , the director of Geostorm , expressed excitement over working with B'z for the movie . He felt the band's guitar rifts & lyrics were the perfect fit for the disaster film & hoped that their energy would attract young audiences
Geostorm tells the story of a world whose weather was controlled by satellites . It improved the state of the the planet until the satellites malfunction & start creating disasters instead .
A video was made for Dinosaur but it's not included in the DVD/Blu-ray discs .
I didn't find Dinosaur as catchy as B'z's previous album opening tracks but the accompanied video changed my opinion on it considerably as it was 1 of the best videos I've seen that was released last year so that definitely helped .
Surprisingly B'z didn't sang Dinosaur as the 1st song during their current ongoing B'z LIVE-GYM 2017-2018 "LIVE DINOSAUR" which I thought it's a bit odd .
The next song CHAMP is the only new track that was included in B'z best album B'z COMPLETE SINGLE BOX . Promo wise , it was used to promote B'z x 7/11 fair collaboration campaign .
Just like Dinosaur , a video was also made for CHAMP but both videos are not included in the DVD/Blu-ray discs of DINOSAUR .
I'm relieved to see CHAMP made the cut in Dinosaur as I wasn't willing to buy B'z COMPLETE SINGLE BOX just for only 1 new song as the price to buy B'z COMPLETE SINGLE BOX is through the roof .
It's interesting that B'z chose to make music videos for both Dinosaur & CHAMP and both songs are side by side each other in the album too .
Still Alive is the 2nd A-side of B'z's 53rd single Seimei / Stil Alive & it was used as the theme song for TBS's drama A LIFE ~Itoshiki Hito~ that starred ex SMAP's Kimura Takuya .
Haruka is a pretty catchy mid tempo song while the next song which's the 1st album ballad ie. Soredemo Yappari is quite nice .
Seimei is the 1st A-side of B'z's 53rd single Seimei / Still Alive & this was used in the ads of UCC BLACK Muto that featured B'z themselves .
I earlier on said that Dinosaur was not the 1st song that kicked things off in the current ongoing B'z LIVE-GYM 2017-2018 "LIVE DINOSAUR" & that 'honour' actually goes to Seimei which in a way I'm not surprised as it's 1 of those songs that really set the tone on what to expect subsequently during a concert .
The next 2 album tracks Queen Of The Night & SKYROCKET are both equally good . Queen Of The Night is a mid tempo song while SKYROCKET is very catchy & has lots of great vibes attached to it .
Rooftop is 1 of the album more angsty driven songs but despite this I like it & it's 1 of my personal favourite song .
The next song Yowai Otoko is an interesting track as the 2nd 1/2 of it the melody changed briefly with saxophone beats kind of randomly thrown in . I wished that aspect was much longer though .
Itoshiki Yuurei is another mid tempo song . While it's not as slow ballad driven as Soredemo Yappari , I enjoy listening to it nonetheless .
The 2nd last track King Of The Street was chosen to be used as the theme song to promote the new Ma ・Sangoku Musou 8 video game that will be released next month on 8th Feb .
King Of The Street was love on 1st listen for me as I love how punchy & aggressive sounding it's due to the over the top guitar riffs in the melody . And in a way the song does sound it's used to promote a video game so even if I don't know about it , it's not surprising .
Purple Pink Orange is the last album track which's an emotional driven song & I feel it's a good track before concluding things in DINOSAUR .
When comes to good 'ol JRock music , B'z can do no wrong & the fact that this year's their 30th anniversary in the business , it's testament of their longevity as many JRock artistes have come & gone but not them .
Reaching an album milestone with their 20th album , DINOSAUR is similar with B'z's previous album EPIC DAY in that both albums only contain 1 single each . Despite this , their latest album is a very solid release so I wasn't worried if I was going to like it & thankfully most of the new songs are pretty good .
It would have been nice if B'z included RED as I like it a lot but I'm sure they have their reasons in excluding it from DINOSAUR . My only grouse about the album is that I wished B'z included more album ballads but other than that , they never disappoints .
2018 is B'z's 30th anniversary & I really hope they have something big planned be it music or non music wise . It would be fantastic if they were to perform outside of Japan . If so it's better late than never .
That said here's to even more longer longevity to B'z !
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Hey ! Say ! JUMP - White Love
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
White Love is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 21st single & it was released last month on 20th Dec .
Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 1st best album Hey! Say! JUMP 2007-2017 I/O was released last July .
White Love was used to promote the movie Miseinen Dakedo Kodomo Janai that member Chinen Yuri starred in which opened in Japan cinemas last month on 23rd Dec .
A song about forever love sung by Hey ! Say ! JUMP for Christmas in their 10th year , they bring fans a 4 minute long love story about the beginning of love which brings colour to a white world like magic .
The uptempo A-side is described as Hey ! Say ! JUMP's most loveable love song .
A total of 5 B-sides are available in White Love as follows :
- Good Life (CD Only Track)
- Spark×2 (CD Only Track)
- Usual Soldier (CD Only Track)
- Hoshi no Furu Yoru ni (CD + DVD A Track)
- Rock U Baby ! (CD + DVD B Track)
Hey ! Say ! JUMP no doubt had a successful great run in celebrating their 10th anniversary last year & White Love was a good release to conclude their celebratory milestone .
I don't know why it took Hey ! Say ! JUMP so long to finally release a Winter theme single but it was worth the wait . I was surprised how grown up sounding White Love is and the accompanied music video also surprised me . While it's not as festive driven as what I was hoping for , I like the overall concept .
Likewise , the B-sides are pretty good and each of them are quite memorable in their own respective right . Out of the songs , I like Hoshi no Furu Yoru ni the most as it could have been released alongside White Love as a double Winter theme A-side single .
Good Life has an upbeat Latin flair while Sparkx2 is a typical sounding upbeat song . Usual Soldier has an interesting harmonica driven sound while Rock U Baby ! is a downright aggressive track .
2017 is 1 of the rare times that I enjoyed most of the new material that Hey ! Say ! JUMP released and hopefully that will continue on this year .
That said , Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 22nd single Mae wo Muke will be released next month on 14th Feb & I cannot wait to see how their new single will sound like .
Thursday, January 11, 2018
flumpool - Toutoi
CD + DVD
2) To be continued...
4) Toutoi (Instrumental)
5) To be continued... (Instrumental)
6) WINNER (Instrumental)
Toutoi is flumpool's 18th single & it was released last month on 26th Dec .
This single was released 9 months + since flumpool's previous single Last Call . Toutoi originally was supposed to be released on 27th Dec .
The covers & promo picture of Toutoi are illustrations that represent the world view of the song . The Toutoi video is like a drama & it stars actress/ex Momorio Clover Z Hayami Akari as a manga artist who faces challenges as she works on her manga , flumpool themselves do not appear in the video .
2 B-sides are included in Toutoi which were both released digitally prior to the single physical release .
To be continued... was released digitally last year on 4th Oct & it was used to promote the Infini-T Force anime .
On the other hand , WINNER was released digitally last year on 14th Sept & it was used to promote TBS's S☆ sports programme .
flumpool concluded 2017 with the release of 2 pretty solid singles .
On whole Toutoi is actually not bad as it kind of reminds me of EGG's Ubugoe cos both songs have quite a strong Folk sound .
This's 1 of the rare times that I like both B-sides on par if not a bit more than the A-side as I wasn't liking the B-sides of Last Call that much .
I hope flumpool will make a comeback soon as right now they're on hiatus as vocalist Ryuuta is currently recuperating due to problems with his voice once again & here's wishing Ryuuta a speedy recovery .
Saturday, January 06, 2018
Fukuyama Masaharu - Tomoe Gakuen
Tomoe Gakuen is a song released digitally by Fukuyama Masaharu last month on 1st Dec .
The accompanied video for Tomoe Gakuen was filmed in Fukuyama's Alma mater Nagasaki Shiritsu Inasa Shou Gakkou .
Tomoe Gakuen is very different from Seiiki in that Tomoe Gakuen is a ballad & I thought it was nice of Fukuyama to pay tribute to his Alma mater .
When I saw and heard Tomoe Gakuen , I felt real touched and the video is very heartwarming to speak of .
It remains to be seen if Tomoe Gakuen will be included in a future physical release of Fukuyama . Hopefully that will happen as it would be a bit of a waste to just let it be released digitally .
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Kis-My-Ft2 - Akai Kajitsu
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Akai Kajitsu is Kis-My-Ft2's 20th single & it was released on 29th Nov .
This single was released 5 months + since their previous single PICK IT UP .
Akai Kajitsu was used to promote TV Asahi's Juuyou Sankounin Tantei drama starring member Tamamori Yuta & NEWS's Koyama Keiichiro .
This song was made for the purpose of being the theme song for Juuyou Sankounin Tantei . With its mysterious + mature charm , Akai Kajitsu is unlike any other single Kis-My-Ft2 has released .
Akai Kajitsu is described as having a mysterious & mature atmosphere that's reinforced by strong lyrics and the group's innovative performance .
The B-side tracks include everything from dance to pop tunes , mid tempo songs that's perfect for Winter . The songs that have been recorded allow fans to experience the various facets of the group .
HOT!×2 was used in the ads of Kowa's Hokkairo Shin Nukunuku Touban starring Kis-My-Ft2 themselves .
FUTURE TRAIN & Ima wa Mada Touku Hateshinai Yume mo are only available in the CD only version of Akai Kajitsu . For FUTURE TRAIN , it was used in the ads of JR Kyushu's GO! GO!! Kis-My-Kumamoto Oita starring Kis-My-Ft2 themselves .
Kis-My-Ft2 wraps up yet another fruitful year with their latest single offering Akai Kajitsu .
With Akai Kajitsu being their 20th single , I like that they chose to commemorate this milestone by doing something different ie. creating 2 different music videos for the same song which I thought it's interesting .
B-sides wise , I like Ima wa Mada Touku Hateshinai Yume mo the most followed by FUTURE TRAIN . Both songs have a strong Winter influence & it's bit unfortunate Kis-My-Ft2 didn't chose to release another Winter theme single as I thought both tracks have potential .
For Kis-My-Ft2 , even though I don't think this's possible but I hope that they can consider to slow down releasing new material in 2018 . This year was the 1st time I didn't like a studio album of theirs ie. MUSIC COLOSSEUM but at least singles wise they still got it .
Kis-My-Ft2 will kick off 2018 with the release of LIVE TOUR 2017 MUSIC COLOSSEUM DVD + Blu-ray which will be released on 31st Jan 2018 .
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Koda Kumi - NEVER ENOUGH
1) NEVER ENOUGH
2) NEVER ENOUGH -Instrumental-
NEVER ENOUGH is Koda Kumi's 62nd single & it was released on 6th Dec .
This was the last of 3 limited release singles Koda released just like last April's Shhh! , August's LIT & Oct's HUSH .
NEVER ENOUGH is described as a beautiful grand ballad & this single was released on the same day as KODA KUMI LIVE TOUR 2017 -W FACE- DVD + Blu-ray and also on Koda's 17th debut anniversary date .
I was assuming NEVER ENOUGH would be a Winter theme ballad but I was surprised it wasn't the case . Instead , NEVER ENOUGH is a very simplistic piano driven ballad which highlights Koda's vocals & some said this could have been included in W FACE which I agree .
All in all I generally like the new material that Koda released this year . W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~ were very interesting polar opposite album releases and I also like the 3 limited release singles she put out too in which I like HUSH the most out of the 3 .
I'm sure Koda will be releasing something new to kick off 2018 and I look forward to see what she will release next .
Thursday, December 21, 2017
KinKi Kids - Subete no Hitokakera & Next to you
3 CDs + DVD & 3 CDs + Blu-ray
Subete no Hitokakera & Next to you are 2 new songs included as bonus tracks in the 3 CDs version of KinKi Kids's best album The BEST .
The BEST was released on 6th Dec and this release was to commemorate the 20th anniversary of KinKi Kids's debut .
All single songs of KinKi Kids starting from their 1997 debut single Glass no Shounen until their most recent single The Red Light are included in The BEST & all songs have been remastered .
Next to you was written by Miyazawa Kazufumi (ex. THE BOOM) .
Both Subete no Hitokakera & Next to you are equally good and quite different from each other . Subete no Hitokakera is more upbeat while Next to you is a ballad .
That said , both new songs in The BEST demonstrate how musically versatile KinKi Kids are . And they most definitely had an eventful 2017 by doing so many different things in celebrating their 20th anniversary milestone despite Tsuyoshi's sudden health problems at the later part of the year .
The good news is that KinKi Kids will be kicking off 2018 with the release of their 39th single Topaz Love / DESTINY next month on 24th Jan 2018 . I've already heard both songs which they sound great & I look forward to hear the CD versions of the entire single in due time !