Archive for December 10th, 2007

[News] Koda Kumi – Kingdom Previews, Tracklist, and Cover Art

~Thoughts~
I’m not impressed by the previews, which have won over many other people. It’s looking like I’m going to have a harsh album review for Kingdom, but I shall try to explain my grade as best as I can. Right now, I’m not seeing any of the strong tracks that carried “Black Cherry,” but I am seeing decent album tracks. Of course, these are only previews…

kumi_kingdom_cd_only.jpg
~Tracklist~
01. Introduction For Kingdom
02. LAST ANGEL feat. Tohoshinki
03. Amai Wana
04. Himitsu
05. Ai No Uta
06. anytime
07. Under
08. BUT
09. Koi No Mahou
10. Aishou
11. Anata Ga Shite Kureta Koto
12. Wonderland
13. FREAKY
14. MORE
15. Black Cherry

kk_kingdom_cddvd.jpg
~DVD1 Tracklist~
01. Introduction For Kingdom
02. LAST ANGEL feat. Tohoshinki
03. Amai Wana
04. Himitsu
05. Ai no Uta
06. anytime (album ver.)
07. Under
08. BUT
09. Koi no Mahou
10. Aishou
11. Anata ga Shite Kureta Koto
12. Wonderland
13. FREAKY
14. MORE
15. BONUS TRACK – Black Cherry
16. Run For Your Life

kk_kingdom_cd2dvd.jpg
~DVD 2 Tracklist (Special Live DVD)~
01. Cherry Girl
02. BUT
03. WON’T BE LONG feat. EXILE
04. Someday
05. you
06. hands
07. MORE
08. Your Song
09. Koi no Tsubomi
10. Sweet Love
11. WIND
~Encore~
12. FREAKY
13. girls
14. Through the sky

~Background~
“Kingdom” will be released January 30, 2007, one week after the release of Koda Kumi’s 39th single, “anytime.” The album will feature the singles: “BUT / Aishou,” “FREAKY,” “Ai no Uta,” “LAST ANGEL,” and “anytime,” and no B-sides are featured on the album. Every song on the album will have a PV including in the DVD, and the second DVD is the Premium Limited Live in Hall in Yokohama Arena.

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[Single] Megumi Ida – tsuki no akari – Final Fantasy IV DS ai no theme –

『月の明り-ファイナルファンタジーIV 愛のテーマ-』伊田恵美
final.jpg

~Tracklist~
01. tsuki no akari -Final Fantasy IV Theme- (月の明り-ファイナルファンタジーⅣ愛のテーマ-)
02. ai no theme DS (愛のテーマ-DS版-)
03. ai no theme SFC (愛のテーマ-SFC版-)
04. tsuki no akari -Final Fantasy IV Theme -(Karaoke) (月の明り-ファイナルファンタジーⅣ愛のテーマ-(カラオケ))

~Single Review~
This single was released on December 5, 2007, and did not chart inside the top twenty on the Oricon Chart. The song is the main theme to the redone Final Fantasy IV for the Nintendo DS.

“tsuki no akari -Final Fantasy IV Theme-” is a very soft ballad that is piano based, with soft strings for emphasis and a beautiful flute solo at times. This song is good J-pop, but the strength lies in the excellent composition, which is emotive and evokes memories of the game FFIV. The song may not be perfect, and the vocals may be very soft, but it allows the music and melody to stand front and center, where they should. The song ends as softly as started, but that’s not a problem. Many will find this ballad on the weaker side, but viewed as a tie-in, it’s excellent.

“ai no theme DS” is the instrumental version of the song featured in the FFIV game. It’s better than the next track, “ai no theme SFC,” which is the theme from the Super Famicom Console, also known as Super Nintendo or SNES. Still, this single’s strength lies in the lead track and its instrumental; one need look no further than the karaoke of the lead track, which is very strong.

Over all, great composition from Nobou Uematsu. It’s nice to see a theme so many years old given new life in modern J-pop, but still keeping the essence in tact. Although compared to J-pop, the song is only above average, the song is a must have if you are a Final Fantasy fan.

84% B 

[Single] Hiromi Go – Good Times Bad Times

『Good Times Bad Times』郷ひろみ
good.jpg

~Single Tracklist~
01. Good Times Bad Times
02. mou ii no? (もういいの?)
03. Good Times Bad Times (Instrumental)
04. mou ii no?(もういいの?) (Instrumental)

~Single Review~
Hiromi Go released his latest single, “Good Times Bad Times” on December 5, 2007, to have it chart within the top twenty on the Oricon chart.

“Good Times Bad Times” is a latin inspired track that doesn’t quite sound like anything else in J-pop right now. It features trumpets and horns, in addition to a synthetic atmosphere with edited vocals. Hiromi Go’s vocal strength isn’t anything special, but he sounds great in this song. The song has a great pop hook which persists throughout all of the choruses. The downsides are the ending of the song is no stronger than the beginning, and Hiromi Go’s pronunciation is not always clear, although sometimes he does sound good. Not bad over all, just very different and very pop.

“mou ii no ?” is over the top B-side with high-pitched background vocals and showy instrumentation. The instrumentation, however, lacks depth and sounds thin, as though production values were low on this track. And for a pop song, “mou ii no?” isn’t that catchy at all. Passable.

This single is very different, there’s no denying that. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the single is good though; it’s an interesting change of pace, but it’s not really anything more than a few nice listens (the pop gets old quickly).

79 C+

[Single] ZAZEN BOYS – I Don’t Wanna Be With You

dont.jpg

~Tracklist~
01. I Don’t Wanna Be with You
02.DARUMA
03.NABE & SADA
04.The City Dreaming

~Single Review~
“I Don’t Wanna Be With You” was released on December 5, 2007, and made it to number 20 on the Oricon Chart. Well, I thought this song would be endearing and R&B with a title like that. It seemed spunky, you know? What I got was a lot more than I bargained for.

Every song on this single sounds the same, mainly because the vocals are screaming. Never in my life have I thought such a single could be called music. Well, I guess I’ve been proved wrong. The song… has no vocal talent whatsoever. Even rap takes more capability than this discordant yelling. I’m sad this single is even taking up my space. It’s awful, and features what sounds like chipmunks as the only singing on the track. Please, don’t dare download this single. It’s utter trash (as is the cover art), I’m giving it my lowest grade ever. (The only reason I reviewed it was because it was within the Oricon top twenty / it had an interesting name).

45 % F


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