Thursday, March 15, 2018
Mika Nakashima - KISS OF DEATH
CD + DVD
Tracklist for both versions
1) KISS OF DEATH
2) GLAMOROUS SKY (Re：Present 2018)
3) KISS OF DEATH -instrumental-
4) GLAMOROUS SKY -instrumental-
CD + DVD anime version
1) KISS OF DEATH
2) GLAMOROUS SKY (Re：Present 2018)
3) KISS OF DEATH (TV size)
4) KISS OF DEATH -instrumental-
KISS OF DEATH is Mika Nakashima's 43rd single & it was released on 7th March .
This's Mika's 1st single release of 2018 & the A-side was 1st released digitally on 19th Jan .
KISS OF DEATH was chosen to be used as the opening theme song for the DARLING in the FRANXX anime . The song was written , composed + produced by hyde with hyde sharing co-arranging credits with Carlos K. .
This song reunites Mika working with hyde for the 1st time in 13 years since 2005's / 16th single GLAMOROUS SKY .
On working with hyde again , Mika commented , "I feel very happy to participate in this wonderful work through song & also to have hyde provide this wonderful song . I will sing this song which is perfect for the anime carefully in my own way so that many people will listen to it ."
hyde also stated , "I was able to produce a song that I really like . The anime & Mika are good luck ."
Mika is styled as Zero Two from the DARLING in the FRANXX anime & the CD + DVD anime cover is drawn by animator Tanaka Masayoshi .
13 years after the hit Nana theme song GLAMOROUS SKY , Mika Nakashima & hyde collaborate again ! hyde composed & produced Mika's exciting new single KISS OF DEATH , which is the theme song for the anime series DARLING in the FRANXX .
Back in Jan I almost wanted to write my opinion on KISS OF DEATH prior to its physical CD announcement so in a way I'm glad to see the song get a proper single release as I like it .
I don't know why it took Mika so long to work with hyde on something again as GLAMOROUS SKY is still 1 of Mika's best known signature songs & at the time of release , it was 1 of the 1st few songs that showcased Mika's music versatility in Rock as prior to that , Mika was more known for releasing Jazz sounding songs .
On the other hand , I'm quite disappointed that GLAMOROUS SKY (Re：Present 2018) which's included in KISS OF DEATH is exactly the same as what Mika released 13 years ago .
Mika's record label could have included a live version of GLAMOROUS SKY if not maybe a remastered version ?
As such in a way or 2 , KISS OF DEATH probably should have just been released as a digital song or Mika should have included a brand new B-side in the single instead .
That said , MIKA NAKASHIMA GREATEST LIVE ~LIVE BEST SELECTION 2003~2017 DVD + Blu-ray will be released next month on 4th April .
Friday, March 09, 2018
Hey ! Say ! JUMP - Mae wo Muke
CD + DVD
Mae wo Muke is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 22nd single & it was released last month on 14th Feb .
This's the group's 1st single release of 2018 & the A-side was used to promote NTV's drama Momikeshite Fuyu ~Wagaya no Mondai Nakatta Koto ni~ starring member Yamada Ryosuke .
Mae wo Muke is described as an ultra-positive track with an encouraging message which sees the members singing about the grit of standing back up again & again , even when a person falls , make a blunder or look pathetic .
As such , Mae wo Muke is a song that's as large as life & has momentum even more than Hey ! Say ! JUMP's previous singles .
A total of 6 B-sides are included in all 3 versions of Mae wo Muke
- NEW LIFE (CD Regular Edition Track)
- Diggy Down (CD Regular Edition Track)
- Snow Memories (CD Regular Edition Track)
- BE MY VALENTINE ! (CD Limited Edition Track)
- Chocolate (CD Limited Edition Track)
- Love Hurricane (CD + DVD Track)
Hey ! Say ! JUMP kicked off 2018 with their latest single offering Mae wo Muke which's a fun cheery upbeat no. .
Mae wo Muke has a very different vibe as compared to the group's past singles although it's bit similar sounding to Precious Girl .
Still I thought Mae mo Muke is good & the accompanied video is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's most amusing yet comical video to date which definitely changed my subsequent opinion on the song considerably .
On the other hand , just like White Love , Mae mo Muke also has a lot of B-sides and both of the group's back to back single releases could have been a mini album instead which can get a bit overwhelming .
But luckily most of the B-sides in Mae mo Muke are good . For me I like Diggy Down & Love Hurricane the most while Snow Memories could have been in White Love . The other B-sides tend to sound a bit cheesy but they still have a grown up flair .
I hope Hey ! Say ! JUMP next music release will be a new studio album as they didn't released 1 last year but wouldn't surprise me if they release 1 more single prior to a new album but we'll see .
Sunday, March 04, 2018
GRANRODEO - Deadly Drive
CD Anime Version
CD + Blu-ray
1) Deadly Drive
2) Magical ・ Story
3) Deadly Drive (OFF VOCAL)
4) Magical ・ Story (OFF VOCAL)
Deadly Drive is GRANRODEO's 28th single & it was released last month on 21st Feb .
This's the duo's 1st single release of 2018 & the A-side was used as the opening theme song to promote the Bungo Stray Dogs DEAD APPLE movie which opened in Japan cinemas yesterday .
Vocalist KISHOW has a voice role credit in the Bungo Stray Dogs DEAD APPLE movie .
Deadly Drive is quite an aggressive rock song which KISHOW surprisingly displayed his falsetto vocals after the 1st verse of the song . I thought I would heard more of it but that didn't happened .
Magical ・ Story serves as the B-side in Deadly Drive & this contrasts the A-side very well with it being a very fun upbeat track .
When I 1st heard Magical ・ Story , I immediately thought of Lovers High & TRASH CANDY as both songs also utilised a considerable amount of synthesisers in the tracks melodies but Magical ・ Story didn't went overboard with the synthesisers usage .
GRANRODEO kicks starts 2018 with Deadly Drive which's something I enjoyed very much and as mentioned before , I'm still surprised that the quality of their B-sides is on par if not sometimes better than the A-side themselves .
I do hope that GRANRODEO can release a new album but judging from their last 2 albums which each has 4 singles , I wouldn't be surprised if they will release 1 more single before doing so .
Either way , I'm waiting in anticipation to see what's their next music release move .
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
ayaka - Sakura
Sakura is a special single by ayaka which was released last year on 14th Oct .
The physical copy of Sakura was sold at the concert venue/s of ayaka's current ongoing Acoustic Live Tour 2017-2018 ~3-STAR RAW~ & it includes the instrumental of Sakura .
Sakura was released digitally from 12th Feb onwards but digitally the instrumental of Sakura is not made available .
ayaka has been performing Sakura since the 1st date of Acoustic Live Tour 2017-2018 ~3-STAR RAW~ . It's a graduation song about the feelings of parents when their children leave the nest .
I can understand why Sakura is received well by ayaka's fans as lyrically it's touching & ayaka doesn't need any fancy melody to accompany her vocals as she's already a very talented singer in her own respective right .
I thought it's interesting ayaka chose to release the physical copy of Sakura to be sold 1st at the concert venue/s of Acoustic Live Tour 2017-2018 ~3-STAR RAW~ with her making the song available for digital purchase 2 weeks ago .
I suppose ayaka figures not everyone will be able to buy the physical copy of Sakura at the concert venue/s so releasing Sakura digitally is the next alternative which's not a bad thing to do .
I'm curious to know whether will Sakura be made available in a future proper release of ayaka as it will be a waste for the song to be pass over cos it shouldn't be made a special release & people shouldn't forget about this track in ayaka's discography .
Friday, February 23, 2018
ayaka & Miura Daichi - Heart Up
CD + DVD
1) Heart Up
2) Heart Up (Karaoke Version with ayaka Vocal)
3) Heart Up (Karaoke Version with Miura Daichi Vocal)
4) Heart Up (Instrumental)
Heart Up is an ayaka & Miura Daichi collaboration single which was last week released on 14th Feb .
The idea for the collaboration 1st came about last April when the creation of a CM tie-in song was being worked on . Famed producer Kobayashi Takeshi decided to work with ayaka & Miura due to their debut dates being similar & their birth dates being in the same year .
Work on the collaboration began over last Summer . Kobayashi produced & arranged the song , while ayaka wrote its lyrics and composed the music . The song was completed last Sept following KREVA's 908 FESTIVAL 2017 which both singers performed in .
"The heart experiences love's sweetness & its bitterness . It grows from experiencing both . That's where the title of the song comes from... The song tells the story of a man & a woman who come together as part of their destiny . I wrote from the perspective that a broken heart can fly higher than before & that people whose fates are connected can make things better ," ayaka commented .
Heart Up has 2 promo tie in's . It was chosen to be used in the ads of Find my Tokyo. starring Ishihara Satomi with ayaka making a cameo in the ad & it's also currently used as the theme song to promote NTV's Sukkiri!! this month .
This's ayaka's 3rd collaboration single she has done with other artistes , the 1st 2 was with Kobukuro almost 10-11 years ago .
Heart Up is a very nice mid tempo song & Miura Daichi's vocals compliment ayaka's very well . Prior to hearing the duet , I do not know how Miura's vocals sound like but it's a nice surprise nonetheless .
As for the B-sides in Heart Up , it would have been better if both artistes sang the entire song in full because for both tracks , it sounds really odd to hear parts of Heart Up with only the melody being played while each of their singing parts are played & vice versa .
And talking about duets , I wonder if ayaka has any thoughts of doing another duet with Kobukuro as it's quite hard to believe it has been so long since WINDING ROAD & Anata to were released . I don't mind for another duet with both artistes once more .
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Shota Shimizu - Good Life
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD
1) Good Life
2) I'm in love
3) FIRE -TOYOMU Remix-
4) Good Life Instrumental
Good Life is Shota Shimizu's 23rd single & it was released last month on 24th Jan .
This's Shota's 1st single release of 2018 . Good Life expresses Shota's view of his life after a decade in the music industry .
2 B-sides are included in Good Life . The 1st B-side I'm in love was used to promote NTV's NNN Straight News programme while FIRE -TOYOMU Remix- is a remix of Shota's previous single FIRE .
Shota Shimizu starts off 2018 with the release of his latest single Good Life & this year is also Shota's 10th anniversary in the business .
This's 1 of the rare occasions where I like the B-side more than the A-side . I was hoping to like Good Life but unfortunately the over usage of auto tune was a big turn off to me as I thought for once Shota would cut down if not cut out autotune from his music as he has gone overboard with it the last few years but that wasn't the case .
I felt that I'm in love is so much better than Good Life as this song showcases Shota's vocals fine without him relying on autotune . I can understand if Shota is a terrible singer but he's not & most of the songs that I like of him had little if not 0 reliance on auto tune .
Also I didn't quite like FIRE but I find FIRE -TOYOMU Remix- annoying & ironically now I can somewhat tolerate the original version of FIRE .
Seeing that Shota is the 1 that writes & composes everything on his own , I hope that this year he would consider to scale back in using auto tune on his music as I think it's a shame that he hides his vocals in the background .
I like auto tune but not when comes to over usage of it .
Sunday, February 11, 2018
KinKi Kids - Topaz Love / DESTINY
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Topaz Love / DESTINY is KinKi Kids's 39th single & it was released last month on 24th Jan .
This's KinKi Kids's 1st single release of 2018 . Their last double A-side single release was 2013's / 33rd single Mada Namida ni Naranai Kanashimi ga / Koi wa Nioeto Chirinuruwo .
Both Topaz Love & DESTINY have videos made and also , both songs were used to promote the Time Bokan Gyakushuu no San Akunin anime .
Topaz Love was used as the 2nd ending theme song for Time Bokan Gyakushuu no San Akunin . This number was written by Tsuyoshi & composed by Koichi .
Described as a sad love song despite the KinKi Kids signature upbeat tempo , the last KinKi Kids single song that Tsuyoshi wrote & Koichi composed separately was 2010's / 30th single Family ~Hitotsu ni Naru Koto .
DESTINY was used as the 1st opening theme song for Time Bokan Gyakushuu no San Akunin . A love song just like Topaz Love , DESTINY overflows with power with its jazzed rock sound that subtly compliments the duo's singing .
4 B-sides in total are included in Topaz Love / DESTINY . Aishu no Buenos Aires & CLASSIC are only available in the CD only version of the single .
I like Aishu no Buenos Aires on 1st listen as it has a really cool uptempo melody , a bit similar to the duo's older singles , 11th single Boku no Senaka ni wa Hane ga Aru & 21st single Veludo no Yami while CLASSIC as the song title suggests , it's a classic mid tempo sounding track .
The other 2 B-sides in Topaz Love / DESTINY are exclusively found in the CD + DVD B version of the single and for these , they're solo versions of DESTINY sung by Koichi & Tsuyoshi respectively .
Tagged as DESTINY -Version K- & DESTINY -Version T- , Version K is sung solo by Koichi while Version T is sung solo by Tsuyoshi .
It's interesting that solo versions & the duo's version of DESTINY were all used to promote Time Bokan Gyakushuu no San Akunin on a monthly basis . While I like the duo's take of DESTINY , I also enjoy both solo versions of the song as well .
KinKi Kids start the 21st year of their career with the duo's 39th double A-side single Topaz Love / DESTINY . Topaz Love is a love song which integrates Rock & Jazz influences while DESTINY is an uptempo love song characteristic of KinKi Kids' style .
It's hard to believe the duo's last double A-side single release was 2013's / 33rd single Mada Namida ni Naranai Kanashimi ga / Koi wa Nioeto Chirinuruwo but Topaz Love / DESTINY overall is a great single that I really enjoy tremendously .
For Topaz Love , it's quite similar to both Mada Namida ni Naranai Kanashimi ga & Koi wa Nioeto Chirinuruwo in that all 3 songs are up beat sounding but yet lyrically they're sad .
Also I wouldn't deny that I like DESTINY a lot more than Topaz Love as it reminds me a great deal of the duo's 27th single Secret Code which's the 1st single I started to follow/support KinKi Kids onwards .
Seeing that last year KinKi Kids had a successful eventful 2017 in celebration of their 20th anniversary , I do hope they will continue to be musically active this year & since the next release is their 40th single , hopefully they will release something to mark the milestone .
Let alone I hope I wouldn't need to wait another 8 years for another single that KinKi Kids have personal input into their material too .