Tag Archives: Friends

“The Voice” – KOKIA


This review was requested by Jin from Sora to Kujira! Visit STK for some fascinating articles about Hello Project, as well as some K-Pop fun and much much more!

The cover of this album has a certain air of loneliness and isolation, which is the impression I got from listening to this album.

KOKIA is an artist who seems to delight in the unorthodox. The title “THE VOICE” is a perfect fit, as the shining star of this album is KOKIA’s beautiful voice. If you look over the track listing, you’ll also see why THE VOICE is a great title. Operatic titles like “Ave Maria” are tossed among Japanese titles like “Gomen ne.”

Speaking of Ave Maria, it is the greatest track on this album, to me. KOKIA sings it with gentle melancholy. The song is so haunting that it made me chill, and I’ll admit to becoming a little emotional as the song progressed. Hey, there is nothing wrong with music evoking that kind of response. I sat and cried my eyes out to Miliyah Kato’s “Last Love” the other day too.

Not every track on THE VOICE is depressing. Another of my favorite tracks was Follow the Nightingale, an uplifting piece that is energetic in parts and calm and beautiful in others. The song just made me feel good about life. I think that is what KOKIA was trying to do with that song.

A final noteworthy track is everlasting, which vaguely reminded me of “The Circle of Life” from the Lion King.

In Conclusion: As I listened to THE VOICE, I was oddly reminded of RIKKI’s music. If you’ve played Final Fantasy X and/or heard “Suteki da Ne,” you know what I mean. KOKIA is just amazing because her music has a very classic sound but its still current. She sings with so much chilling emotion that you can’t help but be moved. This is HIGHLY recommended.

Reader Question: What is the most moving song you’ve ever heard?


Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

“Aitai Riyuu/Dream After Dream” – AAA

I wish I could stand sideways like that. They do it so naturally. 😛

Special shout-out goes out to my new buddy convenience93 😉

AAA has always been a fun group for me to listen to, particularly when I’m in a funk. Their music always has a sort of “eurobeat-revival” as I like to describe it. You see, I’m a bit of a pretentious jerk who likes to invent her own terms for describing music in order to sound one step ahead of the crowd. Anyway, Dream After Dream/Aitai Riyuu (please don’t smite me if the latter isn’t spelled correctly. I’ve seen about a dozen different spellings, and I’m helpless since I’m not the biggest AAA buff out there.) is the latest single for the queens and kings of eurobeat-revival cool (there’s my term again!)

When Dream After Dream starts, there’s a strong, spacey techno sound. Then the singers come in, muffled at first so they sound a bit like bleating sheep. The vocals become clearer and the music becomes something I can only describe as “wooo, beach party! YEAH!” It’s a hysterically fun song, a bit lengthy but the song’s so fun that you don’t pay much attention to that. I’ve noticed that a lot of J-pop acts have been putting out a TON of music that have that “kicking off the Summer sound” and I’ve always been a sucker for songs like that.

Aitai Riyuu begins with a more intense and passionate sound. All of the singers sound great as the song picks up tempo. I ADORED the rap portions of this song for some reason. If Dream After Dream is the day, then Aitai Riyuu is definitely the night. It’s a great song on its own merit, performed well and with a slight 80s flair.

We also get remixes of the songs, which are okay. Dream After Dream’s remix’s constant beeping sounds irked me a little, and I hope nobody shoots me in the fact when I say that I preferred Aitai Riyuu’s remix to the original. (ducks and covers)

In Conclusion: This is a great listen because both songs work nicely together. I also noticed that the vocals of all the group members have improved with time, and its wonderful to see them doing so well.



Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

This Next One Is Full Of Filler!

OMG, I have been unbearably lazy in my dealings with this blog. For that, I’m truly sorry. I promise I’m not leaving, okay?

Filler. Its a word we usually consider to be bad. Its an episode of a television show that adds nothing to the plot. Watch any episode of Yu-Gi-Oh and you’ll get filler. Its a song that adds nothing to the flow of an album. It can be a boring song. It can be a song that’s so bad that you’re like “holy crap, where’s my SNES? I hope I still have that copy of Shaq Fu lying around because I’d rather play it than listen to this crap.” Pick up any Kuu album and you’ll get this kind of filler. (Kuu bashing! Ohhh! …sorry…) But I digress.

What I am trying to grasp at through stupid drawn-out references is that filler tracks on albums can sometimes be a saving grace, don’t you think? I’ve come to learn that.

As you may know, my next post is going to be a showcase of my favorite filler tracks, and for that I turn to you, my readers. I want to try and get as many responses to this post as possible, so tell your friends! Yes! Go forth and shamelessly plug my blog!

Anyway, I’d like you all to comment here with your favorite album filler songs. Tell me why you love them so much. I want this to be a fun project to bring all of us j-music bloggers together. I’m a revolution, aren’t I?



Filed under Sakurayume's Collection

Site Update!

I just wanted to give a special thanks to everybody who has commented on, read, or contributed to my blog in any way. In less than a month, I have gained almost a thousand views! This is an amazing start! I have also met some wonderful fellow bloggers and read some excellent reviews. I’m seriously enjoying blogging and connecting with all of you, and I look forward to continuing this! So, again, thanks to everyone!

As you can see, I have changed the layout to something a little more basic. I like it better; its not as busy as the last theme.

BTW, if anyone would like to connect outside of the blog universe, I’m on Facebook! I can’t believe I didn’t say that earlier.



Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Site News/Updates