Archive for December 13th, 2007

[Single] Jordin Sparks – Tattoo

American Music Spotlight: Jordin Sparks
jordin.jpg
~Tracklist~
01. Tattoo
02. Tattoo (Instrumental)
03. Tattoo (Acapella)

~Single Review~
“Tattoo” was released to American radio on August 27, 2007, but did not become available for download until September 25, 2007. The song did not gain mainstream popularity until much later as radio play gradually ramped up.

“Tattoo” features a beat reminiscent of Beyonce’s 2007 hit, “Irreplaceable,” but sounds altogether different. The intro to the song is slightly prolonged, but adequately prepares the listener for the backing of the remainder of the song. The verses are passable, but when Sparks reaches her chorus, the catchy hook enters front and center. What helps the chorus really enter a level above the rest of the song are the background vocals alongside fuller instrumentation. Sparks’s vocals take a leap upwards at the crescendo of the song, as well. She demonstrates that she can sing on this mid-tempo pop track. The only downfalls of the song are the cheesy lyrics (which really leave a lot of emotion to be desired) and the verses. Nevertheless, the choruses are more than enough to make up for those flaws.

Now, “don’t look back,” Sparks: if she can continue to produce refined pop like “Tattoo,” she could certainly be the next Kelly Clarkson – with a pop edge.

All at once, Jordin Sparks’s latest sounds familiar and new. It is often these tracks reminiscent of music we’ve heard before that resonate the most with listeners. Because Jordin Sparks combines familiarity and a new, modern feeling to her song, “Tattoo,” she’s created a pop hit.

90% A-

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[Single] Koda Kumi – Yume No Uta / Futari De…

『夢のうた / ふたりで…』 倖田來未

~Tracklist~
01. Yume no Uta (夢のうた; Dream Song)
02. Futari de… (ふたりで…; Together…)
03. Yume no Uta ~Quartet version~ (夢のうた; Dream Song)
04. Futari de… ~WHOOSH MIX~ (ふたりで…; Together…)
05. Yume no Uta (instrumental) (夢のうた; Dream Song)
06. Futari de… (instrumental) (ふたりで…; Together…)

~Single Review~
“Yume no Uta / Futari De…” was released on October 18, 2006 and reached number one, selling 301,169 copies in total. This single was based off of the idea of using the same melody in both of the A-sides. Which of the songs is better?

“Yume no Uta” is far superior, there is no doubt. “Yume no Uta” is exactly the song that 2006 built up to, especially following the upbeat powerhouse that was 4 hot wave. “Yume no Uta” has excellent instrumentation, starting with piano-based verses and moving towards grander instrumentation as the song progresses into the chorus. Compared to her 2007 releases, “Yume no Uta” is bigger, better, and altogether more emotive. This single was written by Koda Kumi, as well, giving it a personality that the listener doesn’t see in a lot of her songs. In the end, the instrumentation creates an excellent ambience for Koda Kumi’s voice.

“futari de…” is a much softer version of “Yume no Uta” with different lyrics. As such, it was probably better suited to be a B-side on this single rather than second A-side. Still, the song is a pleasant listen, it’s just nowhere near as powerful with it’s keyboard backing among synth.

The two mixes on this single do not work very well. The quartet version of “Yume no Uta” is too bare and sweeps away all traces of being epic from “Yume no Uta.” The whoosh mix of “Futari de…” is even worse, it ruins the song completely. One other thing worth noting – the instrumental for “Yume no Uta” is very pretty and might be worth a listen.

88% B+


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