Saturday, March 25, 2017
V6 - Can't Get Enough / Hanahirake
CD + VR
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Can't Get Enough / Hanahirake is V6's 47th single & it was released on 15th March .
This's the group's 1st single release of 2017 & their last single release was last June's Beautiful World while their last double A-side single release was 2011's Sexy.Honey.Bunny! / Takara no Ishi .
Unlike Sexy.Honey.Bunny! / Takara no Ishi where only Sexy.Honey.Bunny! had a video made , this time round videos were made for both Can't Get Enough + Hanahirake .
The 1st A-side Can't Get Enough was used as 7net's Spring promotional song & it's described as a cool dance track .
Described as a joyful pop number , the 2nd A-side Hanahirake was used in the ads of House Foods' Tongari Corn .
2 B-sides are both only available in the CD only edition of Can't Get Enough / Hanahirake :
- Ashiato ; used in Prince Hotel's Winter theme ads . Beautiful World was last year used in Prince Hotel's Summer theme ads
For Can't Get Enough / Hanahirake , V6 has experimented with virtual reality for the 1st time . A CD VR version of the single is issued which will allow fans to download special content to a smartphone . By connecting the phone with a VR set , fans will be able to experience content as if they're physically there .
1 of the most respected senior Johnnys group finally released new material & after the awesome uplifting Beautiful World , I was hoipng they could release another new single last year but to no avail .
Thankfully , Can't Get Enough / Hanahirake is quite a good single although for some reason/s , their double A-side single/s have been hard for me to like both A-sides equally as for Sexy.Honey.Bunny! / Takara no Ishi , it took me quite a really long time not to dislike Sexy.Honey.Bunny! .
Let alone for only dreaming / Catch , I like the 1st A-side a lot more than the 2nd A-side .
In Can't Get Enough / Hanahirake , I like Can't Get Enough slightly more than Hanahirake . The 1st A-side reminds me of a slightly less cheesy but edgy version of Sexy.Honey.Bunny! .
As for Hanahirake , I wasn't fond of the song initially but the video more or less changed my opinion on it .
All in all , I'm still glad that V6 is still going on strong & I do hope they can release a new album next as it has been 4 years sine they last released Oh! My! Goodness! .
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Saito Kazuyoshi - Iden
Cover for both CD Regular & CD Limited
2) Ikisaki wa Mirai
3) Himawari ni Tsumoru Yuki
Iden is Saito Kazuyoshi's 46th single & it was released last month on 22nd Feb .
This's Saito's 1st single release of 2017 .
Iden was chosen to be used as the theme song for TBS's family comedy Gekokujo Juken that starred Abe Sadao and Fukada Kyoko . The A-side was specially written around the theme of the priceless love between parents & children .
2 B-sides are included in the single which both of them were released digitally last year .
Ikisaki wa Mirai was released digitally last year on 9th Sept . It was used as the theme song for the movie Cho Kosoku! Sankin Kotai Returns that starred Hey ! Say ! JUMP's Chinen Yuri .
The 2nd B-side Himawari ni Tsumoru Yuki was released digitally last year on 8th July & it was used to promote Shiseido's Snow Beauty 2016 Sakasa ni Furu Yuuki short movie .
Shiseido produced various short movies to coincide with the release of Snow Beauty III whitening face powder that was launched last year on 21st Sept .
Saito Kazuyoshi's latest single offering offers a mix bag of different music styles . I quite enjoyed both B-sides prior to them being included in Iden so I'm not so fussy about that and the A-side itself is quite nice too .
It reminds to be seen what Saito plans to release next but I think it's about time for him to release a new album as he last released 2 different albums on the same day 4 years back .
Friday, March 17, 2017
Kis-My-Ft2 - INTER
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
INTER is Kis-My-Ft2's 18th single & it was released on 1st March .
This's the group's 1st single release of 2017 & it's also their 1st triple A-side single even though 2 songs had videos made .
INTER covers the bases with a bright dance song , a love ballad & a positive medium-tempo number .
The 1st A-side Tonight is a dance song in which the video has a wild & sexy theme . Promo wise , it was used in the ads of Daiichi Kosho's LIVE DAM STADIUM .
Kimi no Iru Sekai is the 2nd A-side & it was used in the ads of Kowa's Hokkairo Nuku Nuku Toban . The accompanied video has a love & cute theme .
The last A-side SEVEN WISHES was used in the ads of JR Kyushu's Atarashii 7tsu no Nagasaki e KISS MY NAGASAKI & this song had no video made .
Zenryoku Fighter serves as the B-side in INTER & this uptempo track is only available in the CD only edition of the single .
Kis-My-Ft2 made a statement with the release of their 1st triple A-side single INTER .
I feel their previous single Sha la la☆Summer Time to be on the weaker side singles wise so luckily the group stepped things up with INTER .
The 3 A-side songs offered something for everyone but to me Tonight is no doubt the star of the single as it's a great mash up of FIRE BEAT , Another Future (visual/video concept wise) , Kiss Damashii & Gravity .
As for Kimi no Iru Sekai , the song & video is enough to rival/be on par with their senior ARASHI's One Love as Kis-My-Ft2 nailed every aspect of it downpat .
And I do agree that SEVEN WISHES should not get a video made as out of the 3 A-sides , this's the weak link while I find Zenryoku Fighter only a-ok for my liking .
Kis-My-Ft2's 6th album MUSIC COLOSSEUM will be released on 3rd May & all 3 A-sides will be included in the upcoming new album .
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Ken Hirai - Boku no Kokoro o Tsukutte yo
CD + DVD
1) Boku no Kokoro o Tsukutte yo
2) YUMING (CD Only Regular Track)
3) Ho~tsu (CD Only Regular Track)
Boku no Kokoro o Tsukutte yo is Ken Hirai's 41st single & it was released on 1st March .
This's Ken's 1st single release of 2017 & prior to the physical release , the A-side was released digitally on 22nd Feb .
Boku no Kokoro o Tsukutte yo was used as the theme song for the Doraemon Nobita no Nankyoku Kachikouchi Dai Bouken movie that opened in Japan cinemas on 4th March .
This's the 1st time Ken provided a song to be used to promote an animated movie .
2 B-sides YUMING & Ho~tsu are included only in the CD Regular edition of the single .
The 2nd B-side Ho~tsu was used to promote the ads of credit card company Credit Saison .
For some odd reason , when I 1st heard YUMING , I thought it reminds me of Ken's 24th Bye My Melody as both songs have the same happy go lucky upbeat vibes .
Whereas for Ho~tsu , it's a very simplified piano driven ballad . I was surprised to hear children's voices that partially sang with Ken as normally this tends to be heard in the background but not this time round .
Ken Hirai's latest single , the resonant medium-tempo ballad Boku no Kokoro o Tsukutte yo was written in mind by drawing inspiration from the irreplaceable bond between Doraemon & Nobi Nobita .
The previous single Mahoutte Itte Ii Kana ? was just Ken singing alongside with an acoustic guitar . In this case for Boku no Kokoro o Tsukutte yo , it's Ken singing together with a piano .
As such overall on all Boku no Kokoro o Tsukutte yo felt considerably mellow & calm as compared to Ken's past single songs like Plus One & Sore Demo Shitai which saw Ken go into experimental music routes that he never ventured before .
I only wished that Boku no Kokoro o Tsukutte yo B-sides were more experimental as I think they sounded a bit safe for my liking . Other than that , it's another good single song added to Ken's ever growing music discography .
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
CD Review :: GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'
CD + DVD
1) Pierrot Dancin'
2) TRASH CANDY
3) Namida Bana
4) Kimi ni one way love
5) Nichijou Horizon
6) Owaranu Yume
7) Punky Funky Love [with FIRE HORNS]
8) Lovers High
9) Fake lover's true heart
10) FAT SHAPER
11) Shounen no Hate
13) UNDER THE SKY
Pierrot Dancin' is GRANRODEO's 7th album & it was released last month on 8th Feb .
The duo's last studio album release was 2014's Karma to Labyrinth . 4 singles & 2 B-sides are included in Pierrot Dancin' .
All songs in the album were written by vocalist KISHOW while all songs were composed by guitarist e-ZUKA .
Kicking things off in Pierrot Dancin' is the 1st album track that shares the same title as the album . Pierrot Dancin' (song) is also the only album track to get a video .
KISHOW sang Pierrot Dancin' (song) in the opening as acapella & then the track's melody changed to a full out aggressive no. which sets the tone on what to expect in the subsequent parts of Pierrot Dancin' (album) . You also can hear KISHOW's falsetto in the 2nd part of the song as well .
TRASH CANDY is GRANRODEO's 24th single & this was used as the opening theme song for the Bungo Stray Dogs anime .
Out of the 4 single songs in Pierrot Dancin' , TRASH CANDY is my favourite as GRANRODEO went all out in utilising lots of synthesisers . I normally don't like such songs but TRASH CANDY is an exception & it also has quite a dark gritty tone .
Namida Bana is the 2nd album track & it has a really cool Oriental feel introduction wise which carries on well throughout the entire song .
The next album track Kimi ni one way love is a lot more simplified in that it's a mid tempo fun upbeat song .
Nichijou Horizon was originally included as the 2nd B-side in GRANRODEO's 23rd single Memories .
Prior to hearing Pierrot Dancin' , I did not listen to any B-sides in GRANRODEO's past singles . I didn't quite like Memories but I enjoy Nichijou Horizon .
Owaranu Yume is 1 of 2 album songs that're ballads . This's also the longest song in the album . Frankly , GRANRODEO should do more ballads as Owaranu Yume is quite good despite the length , this I have no complaints over .
Punky Funky Love is GRANRODEO's 22nd single & this was used as the opening theme song for the Kuroko's Basketball anime .
In Pierrot Dancin' , this's tagged as Punky Funky Love [with FIRE HORNS] .
I like the original take of Punky Funky Love & the album version is interesting as it has a different melody which emphasised more on the funk aspect of the song .
Both versions are equally good & Punky Funky Love [with FIRE HORNS] has an edge or 2 over the single version .
Lovers High was originally included as the 1st B-side in GRANRODEO's 24th single TRASH CANDY .
Just like TRASH CANDY , Lovers High is also another synth driven song except it's less serious sounding & more groovy .
Fake lover's true heart & FAT SHAPER are the next 2 album tracks . Fake lover's true heart is 1 of my favourite album no.s as it's a really fun song .
Despite the questionable title , FAT SHAPER has great dynamics as the melody is very drums driven & strange as it's , this sounds like a very military influence no. .
Shounen no Hate is GRANRODEO's 25th single . This was used as the ending theme song for 2nd season of the Mobile Suit Gundam : Iron-Blooded Orphans anime .
Out of the 4 singles , Shounen no Hate is a mid tempo ballad & I like this a lot as it displays a more emotional mellow side of GRANRODEO .
Memories is GRANRODEO's 23rd single & this was used as the opening theme song for the Kuroko's Basketball anime .
Unlike the rest of the singles included in Pierrot Dancin' , Memories is actually my least favourite even though now I'm ok with it . Just that compared to the duo's past single songs , Memories had something missing in it (even though it's their best charting single to date) .
Concluding Pierrot Dancin' is UNDER THE SKY which's the 2nd ballad album track after Owaranu Yume .
UNDER THE SKY has a really dreamy feel & the only thing I don't like is when the song ended abruptly which's the same thing as what happened with Shounen no Hate . Other than that , it's a fitting song to wrap things up .
Overall , I have a lot of fun listening to GRANRODEO's latest album offering . This's the 1st review I wrote about them & I wanted to write about their past releases but I decided to start off with Pierrot Dancin' instead .
Compared to the duo's last album Karma to Labyrinth (which I did listened & I will write about it next) , Pierrot Dancin' on whole is a lot more fun , upbeat & uplifting . Some feel that this album has old school vibes which's not necessary a bad thing .
The 1 problem I had with Karma to Labyrinth was that its sound consistency was not there even though both the album & single songs were good . I don't have that problem with Pierrot Dancin' & I get nothing but good vibes in hearing the album .
The duo's 26th single Glorious days will be released on 22nd March & this was chosen to promote the Kuroko's Basketball LAST GAME movie that will open in Japan cinemas next Sat on 18th March .
On that note , Pierrot Dancin' is a record to check out if you're looking for some good 'ol Rock n Roll music to listen to .
Saturday, March 04, 2017
Hey ! Say ! JUMP - OVER THE TOP
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
OVER THE TOP is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 19th single & it was released last month on 22nd Feb .
This's the group's 1st single release of 2017 & their 1st release in celebrating the group's 10th anniversary in the business .
The A-side was used as the opening theme song to promote the 2nd season of the Time Bokan 24 anime . It's the same anime that their 17th single Fantastic Time was used as its opening theme in promoting the 1st season of Time Bokan 24 .
OVER THE TOP once again demonstrates the group’s synchronicity with a dramatic dance . In addition , this energetic song conveys a powerful message of determination .
4 B-sides are available in total in the single . The 1st 2 songs are only available in the CD only edition of OVER THE TOP .
PARTY!! is an exciting electro house number while Our days is a medium tempo ballad .
Vanilla Ice is only available in the CD + DVD A edition of the single & this's described as a funk long song .
Funky Time is the last B-side & it's only found in the CD + DVD B edition of OVER THE TOP .
Unlike the other B-sides in OVER THE TOP , Funky Time has a video made & the last time the group made a video for a B-side song was for their 2011 / 7th single OVER (for Ai-ing -Aishiteru-) .
Hey ! Say ! JUMP kicks off their 10th anniversary year with OVER THE TOP which's overall a really fun entertaining release .
On 1st listen there's definitely music similarities between OVER THE TOP & Fantastic Time seeing that both songs are used to promote the Time Bokan 24 anime but OVER THE TOP still managed to stand out on its own . My favourite part of the song is the last part where they went all out .
The 4 B-sides in OVER THE TOP are equally good as well . PARTY!! & Vanilla Ice are the 2 standout tracks (I feel either 1 should have a video made instead of Funky Time) & I'm only a-ok towards Our days .
I didn't liked Funky Time at 1st but the video changed my perception on the song as it's a good contrast against the A-side .
All in all , OVER THE TOP is a solid single release & seeing that this year is Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 10th anniversary , I'm sure this will not be the last release coming from them .
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Mika Nakashima - Koi wo Suru
CD + DVD
1) Koi wo Suru
3) Koi wo Suru instrumental
Koi wo Suru is Mika Nakashima's 41st single & it was released on 22nd Feb .
This's Mika's 1st single release of 2017 . The A-side was used in the ads of DHC's F1 Skin Care .
In line with DHC's F1 Skin Care's theme of "girl in love" , Koi wo Suru is a vivacious uptempo pop number .
Lyrically , Koi wo Suru is about the feelings of a girl in love & Mika commented , "It's a little embarrassing but fresh ."
Foolish serves as the B-side in Koi wo Suru . On 1st listen , Foolish sounds like a less angsty version of Mika's 34th single LOVE IS ECSTASY .
I feel that Foolish is not 1 of Mika's best B-sides even though it does contrast Koi wo Suru well . It's just that this time round , Mika somehow misses the mark in Foolish .
Koi wo Suru presents a different music side of Mika as her last few single songs have been quite ballad driven .
I was a bit taken aback when I 1st heard Koi wo Suru as it doesn't sound like Mika in the 1st place but seeing a light hearted , less serious side of Mika is really refreshing .
Mika's 8th album TOUGH will be released on 22nd March & Koi wo Suru will be included in TOUGH as track #3 .