Tag Archives: Colors of the Heart

Fifteen Power-Packed Japanese Songs

I know that last night on Twitter, I said this would be the top ten most powerful Japanese songs. I changed it to the top fifteen! This is to keep my list from looking like a big mass of anime/GACKT songs. Just kidding. (Or am I?)
I define a powerful song not by how strong it makes me feel, but rather how weak it makes me feel on the very first listen. The first time I hear a powerful song, I want it to leave me in a cold sweat, breathless, thinking “what has just happened to me?” Then, I want to grow to make the song a sort of personal empowering anthem.
I assembled my list after much careful consideration. This was harder to do than anticipated, and may have been another contributor as to why the list turned out a little longer than expected. Enjoy!

15.) Alumina – Nightmare: This song isn’t just powerful, it’s very disturbing. The mournful tone in which Yomi sings the song is downright eerie. The first time I heard this song was on Death Note, naturally. It frightened me terribly, which is a big reason why I respect this song as much as I do.

14.) Border – Girugamesh: From the first notes of this song, I just knew it was going to be intense. I feel like the boys from Girugamesh are grabbing me by the hair and dragging me relentlessly through this song. It’s intense and brutal. The vocals and guitar are positively barbaric.

13.) Colors of the Heart – UVERworld: The most powerful part of this song is that it builds and builds and builds but all the while Takuya retains a beautiful, clear singing voice. His delivery is strong and melodic. (A big reason why this song left me breathless the first time I heard it was because my fiancé introduced it to me before he was even my boyfriend! I think a big part of my love for this song is that memory.)

12.) Bel Air – Malice Mizer: Hard to believe this song is as old as it is, yet its strength continues to rattle my skull (and the skulls of many other VK fans I’m sure) to this day. The music box playing at the beginning and middle of the song contrasts wonderfully with the hard guitars and drums found in the song. GACKT’s performance is outstanding and fierce.

11.) Rainbow – Ayumi Hamasaki: Made exclusively for her A Ballads album, Ayumi’s breathy ballad has been breaking hearts for years. This song has so much power in its simplicity, rather than any actual muscle. “No rain can get the rainbow.” Remember that.

10.) Passion – Utada Hikaru: Don’t you miss this Hikki? Utada, this is the one. Not your washed-up American crap that flopped horribly time after time. This. Passion is a song full of light and darkness at once. The beat of this song is indescribable.

9.) Hallelujah – Rurutia: Okay, so if hard guitars coupled with elegant violins weren’t powerful enough, you get the contrast of Rurutia and her famous whisper-singing. The opening of this song is like getting hit in the face with a shovel made of solid gold.

8.) Renon – M: This song is still relatively new to me, so I won’t pretend to be a seasoned listener. Still, its MUCC-esque guitar style and raw, untamed vocals floored me from the first listen. The vocalist has some serious charisma even though his vocals aren’t up to par with other VK singers by any means.

7.) Rain – GACKT: Do you ever hear a song that makes you hurt all over? This song fits the bill for me. I feel like I’m drowning in some kind of torrential, yet gentle wave during the verses. In the chorus, it all comes crashing down. I never hear much mention of this song, which is sad.

6.) Kingyo Hanabi – Ai Otsuka: I had to find a place for my favorite song on here somewhere! It’s not as powerful as other songs, per se, but it still packs a heartbreaking punch. The tortured desperation in this song is incredibly moving. This song can make me happy and sad at the same time, which is rare for a song to do.

5.) Rain – SID: As I mentioned on my “weekly babble” post, I have decided that songs titled Rain are predestined to be good. The chorus of this song is tragic with strong feelings of loss. I think the majority of this song’s power for me is how well it ties in with the Fullmetal Alchemist story.

4.) Lust for Blood – GACKT: This song is probably the most hateful song I have ever heard. The melancholy opening makes way for a heavy rock sound and GACKT’s intense, angry vocals. It’s a heart-stopping piece just because it is SO raw.

3.) Kimi ni Furu Zetsubou no Ame – XodiacK: I’m sorry to all of you who tire of hearing about XodiacK, but I just love this song so much. The first time I heard this song, I felt like it was repeatedly punching me in the stomach. Another way this song left me breathless was due to the fact that I laughed so hard at the terrible PV. (But you didn’t hear that from me, okay?)

2.) Mirrorcle World – Ayumi Hamasaki: Is it bad that I don’t think Ayu has released a single good thing since this dropped over two years ago? (Sparkle was okay, but not anything I couldn’t live without) Ayu is a powerhouse in this song, singing along with a military-style beat and angrily questioning the problems in the world today. The lyrics are expertly crafted and I love the energy.

1.) Jesus – GACKT: GACKT’s big comeback single after Returner was incredibly anticipated, and this single did not let me down at all. In fact, I think it is one of the greatest GACKT songs to date. The heavy rock sound, GACKT screaming, the lyrics, GACKT behaving in such a taunting manner in the PV… It’s incredible, and so unreal. This song sent me into a completely different dimension, where I felt as though I was standing face to face with something so much greater than myself, and I was trembling long after the song had finished. I’ll probably never have another song grip me as tightly as this has. I am proud to call this the most powerful song I’ve ever heard.

~Alisa~

Which songs do you consider to be the most powerful? Do you think ballads or rock songs are more powerful? How do you feel when a powerful song overtakes you?

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“Last” – UVERworld

This is probably my favorite album cover from them!

01 – GOLD
02 – world LOST world
03 – Sparta
04 – Kokoro to Kokoro
05 – The truth
06 – Barrel
07 – Hai ! Mondaisaku
08 – Closed POKER
09 – Kanashimi wa Kitto (album ver.)
10 – CHANGE
11 – WANNA be BRILLIANT
12 – Kimi no Mama
13 – GO-ON (2nd mix)

(My favorites are in bold)

The UVERworld boys are back after their last album, Awakeve, which left me with mixed and bittersweet feelings. Last is a much better album just because the tracks all feel legitimate, and not as rushed as those on Awakeve did. While its true that the album is lacking powerful, enduring classics like Colors of the Heart or D-tecnolife, its an incredibly strong release because each track is SOLID.

Review time!

Last contains the singles GO-ON, Kanashimi wa Kitto, and Gold. All three singles were great, with Gold being my favorite. I’ll admit that it took me some time to warm up to Gold because the song is so “busy.” There are about a zillion different rhythms. But UVERworld has this unique quality about their music, to where they can layer rhythms and melodies and the finished product is just great. GO-ON is also a great tune, a bit reminiscent of their older stuff, but something about its chorus got boring and didn’t seem to match the intensity of the verses. Kanashimi wa Kitto, being my least favorite of the singles from the era, drones on and on and on, but Takuya sounds lovely and his performance is quite emotional and genuine. I’m just not too huge on UVER-ballads. You know how it goes.

As for the album-only tracks, they are just awesome. Some of them are boring, as you’d expect a vast majority of album filler to be, but Sparta and Barrel specifically are good enough to be a-sides on a single. Sparta is a almost punk-rock-miliary-ish song and Barrel is like a mix of GO-ON and Gold. They’re both fun songs and don’t get boring.

In Conclusion: I’m just sad that this album dropped the same week as Ayu’s Rock ‘n Roll Circus. Its one of UVERworld’s better albums, but I know its totally being overlooked. But I loved it, and I hope others feel the same.

~Alisa~

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“GOLD” – UVERworld

I get Egyptian vibes from the cover

Before the review, just a bit of news! My Aquamarry album has shipped today, and that is NOT an April Fool’s joke. I am so pumped!

Okay, so this is UVERworld’s last single before their upcoming album. Honestly, I hate it when artists release singles in extremely close proximity to their albums because it feels rushed.

GOLD is a traditional UVERworld songs with a couple of unique spins put on it. There is some chanting, much like that from 99/100 blah blah blah but its in really awkward Engrish. Its something like “help yourself to fly, fly, make the boom, boom” or something really similar that just sounds wrong and stupid. As a big fan of Takuya’s voice and signature singing style, I was surprised to, for once, not find him to be the centerpiece of the song. The real treat to GOLD is the instrumentals, specifically the epic strings that come into play at some points. The arrangement is just a little sloppy but nothing unforgivable. This isn’t GO-ON for sure, and can’t even make a scratch in stuff like Colors of the Heart, but overall its a good listen for faithful fans of UVERworld.

Normally, UVERworld whips out b-sides that are at least halfway enjoyable, and no exception is made here. Change is like a mix of D-tecnolife and Shamrock; not as good as either but has some lovely harmony and classic UVERsounds. Closing out the single is the ballad Minori, a nice touch but nothing powerful or though-evoking. Takuya sounds nice framed by the piano, but I was bored before the song was halfway finished. You have to have patience and the right kind of mood to appreciate a song like that. But its very good if you’re trying to relax.

In Conclusion: Even though I prefer UVERworld’s older stuff, I recognize that all artists grow and change over the course of their careers. I was significantly impressed with GOLD and its b-sides. I loved the balance of the single and the quality of each track. I’m excited for the album, and crossing my fingers that its better than AwakEVE.

~Alisa~

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Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection