Tag Archives: Digital Download

“Lucky Star” – Ai Otsuka

I know, Ai. I'm shocked at the way your label treats you too!

It seems to me that ever since the single “Pocket” came out, Ai-chin’s career has kept getting flushed further and further down the draconian Avex toilet. Maybe it is because she is a whopping 27 years old (obvious sarcasm is obvious) and this is her label’s way of giving the ultimatum of: “EITHER RETIRE OR SING ENKA!” Or perhaps it is because I am an ignorant gaijin who has no idea about the music trends in Japan and I’m just pretentious enough to start a blog acting like I know what I’m talking about. But I digress. This is yet another digital-only download, but it can only be downloaded onto Japanese cell phones! Talk about exclusive! All we get is a crappy radio rip of the audio and no PV to go with it. What a shame. This girl gets zero promotion anymore, and for no reason at all. Has the world given up on her? I know I surely haven’t! On to my review!

Lucky Star: Being the theme song of the Japanese coverage of this years’ Winter Olympics, “Lucky Star” is a bright winterpop/rock type of song. The lyrics baffle me with talk of “love, so family, sea.” Hmmm… is this some sort of convoluted Engrish or a profound statement?  In the verses, Ai’s voice is cat-like, seemingly channeling her persona from “Neko ni Fuusen.” The chorus is joyful, triumphant, and downright catchy. There is also a section with some adorable whistling that further stresses the happy-go-lucky theme of this piece.

In Conclusion: Ai Otsuka is not perfect. Sometimes she releases music that isn’t entirely popular. Every artist does. But I believe that we should all try to give artists a chance to recuperate, not drop them like a hot potato as soon as they release something we aren’t fond of. That is not being a very good fan! I know I have ranted a lot through this review, but I am simply appalled at the decline of Ai’s career over the past two years. Lucky Star is a very solid release, and I hope that people recognize it.



Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

“Fairyshift” – Aquamarry

I really like this cover!

That’s right, kids! I am ditching my Sociology homework for the time being to bring you this review. Plus, I’ve got a Hot Pocket that I’m chowing down on. Hooray! Before I start, I’d like to say that I have found copies of “Infinity” for sale online! As soon as my financial aid return check comes in, I will be purchasing it. I am dying to hear the other five tracks.

“Fairyshift” is the second release by superindie band Aquamarry, and their first mini-album. This is another difficult to find release in physical format, but unlike the album “Infinity,” “Fairyshift” is available for digital download in the Japanese iTunes store. I’m terribly bummed about this because compared to “Infinity,” “Fairyshift” is just mediocre.

Track 1: Shari-la-lira – This is probably the best track on the mini-album. It’s a feel-good-its-a-new-day-everything-is-gonna-be-just-fine kind of song. It’s uplifting and makes you feel good about being alive. Plus, you get to hear that trademark “underwater guitar!”

Track 2: S.M.W- Yeah, so I have no idea what S.M.W stands for…  It’s a really short song at only three minutes. I could best describe this song as “punk.” It’s okay, but not memorable.

Track 3: 妄想テレパシー – This song reminds me of a sped-up version of “Mirror Ball” with some guitar similar to that in Nightmare’s “The Last Show.” I like the melody and harmony but again, its not very memorable.

Track 4: ホシカゲソウ – This song starts out with some heavy blues elements.  Its the longest track on the mini-album, and the entire time I listened to it, I kept waiting for it to go somewhere. It never did. Skip this one.

Track 5: LiFE – This is basically a continuation of Shari-la-lira. The guitar is the best part. Not much else to be said.

In Conclusion: To be blunt, “Fairyshift” doesn’t hold a candle to “Infinity.” I commend Aquamarry for exploring different genres on their second release, but it truly did not work too well for them. Also, it seemed as though the quality of Cinnamon’s vocals declined from one track to the next. If this was someone’s first experience with the band, I can see why they would not want to listen any further. This is why I recommend listening to “Infinity” before you even touch “Fairyshift.”


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Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection

“Morning Glory” – Bonnie Pink

Now this is a song I could wake up to! Seriously, I wish I had an alarm clock that played this song. Its the perfect tune to get you up and about in the morning, and the PV makes it even more uplifting. I want to do exactly what Bonnie is doing; throwing open the curtains and belting out this song. Unfortunately, if I tried to do that today, I’d be slapped in the face by an ungodly wind chill.

This style of song is reminiscent of Bonnie’s older stuff that we love so much. I’m glad she decided to go back to that sound for a little while.

I think the biggest part of why I like this song so much is because the empowering and happy atmosphere helped me out a lot. A couple weeks ago, my kitty died and I was really devastated. Bonnie’s line “something tells me just keep going,  keep going and you will smile again,” was something I could seriously relate to.

Rest in peace, Socks. I love you!

Anyway, this single has only been released as a digital download, so unless you’re insanely lucky and have a Japanese iTunes gift card or something along the lines of that, then odds are you don’t have this song. I believe that this is going to be released physically at some point (I swear I think I saw news about it coming out in March) so hopefully more people can get their hands on it. It is a surefire way to have a brighter day! (woot, that rhymed.)



Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection