Tag Archives: Gold

“GOLD” – Jasmine

I definitely appreciate that the album's title calls attention to her now-famous cover color schemes.

Here’s a shout-out to my buddy Steph! Hello! 🙂


01 – PRIDE
02 – SAD TO SAY clip paroles
03 – L.I.P.S.
07 – STAGE
10 – KOI
12 – NO MORE
14 – WHY

Notably absent are her Gospel tunes.

Jasmine is an up-and-coming Japanese pop artist who many are comparing to Utada Hikaru. She has celebrated moderately great success for a newcomer to the pop scene. GOLD is her debut album. Shall we see if it lives up to the title?

Pride is a confident opening track. It’s not very long and I wish it had been. I love the rhythm of this piece, and for some reason it gave me the same feeling that Get Up & Move!! did on Koda Kumi’s Black Cherry album.

Don’t even talk to me about Sad To Say. I’m sorry guys, but if this was my first Jasmine song I would have never listened to her again. I’m lucky I started with Jealous. This song is plaintive and whiny with completely unnecessary usage of the eff bomb. I am glad she had time to grow though. Listening to this mediocre song just serves to prove how much she has gotten better since.

Jealous of course is fierce as all heck.

I had hoped that Bad Girl would sound a little more, well, bad than what it was. This song was bad in the wrong sense of the word. I felt like the song went nowhere and that Jasmine sounded bored. You can’t be a bad girl and be bored with it. You can be a bored girl. I vote we change this song title to that.

I loved that ~stage~ Interlude came directly before This is Not a Game because Jasmine says “this is my stage” quite a bit in it. It definitely is her stage and she makes the song hers perfectly. I love the harmony in this song. It’s so catchy!

Koi is an adorable song reminiscent of late 80s/early 90s pop music. It has a really great beat but Jasmine’s voice falls flat.

I didn’t like the title What You Want? because it just looked weird. This follows Koi’s old-style pop sound. It’s not as good as Koi but it’s a solid pop tune.

In Conclusion: Mehhhh. I think I am falling out of love with j-pop because this album failed to impress me. The best tracks on it had already been released as singles. I’m not hating on the album because it was pretty good. I think I’m just starting to become a full-time Visual Kei fan. Don’t blame it on me. Blame XodiacK. Take it easy, guys.



Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

Only the Best: The Top 5 Songs of 2010

Hold it, Alisa! 2010 isn’t even halfway over!

Yeah, I get that. But! In the nearly five months that we’ve been in this new year, new decade rather, some seriously great music has come out. I’ll be talking about it right now! Yay! These are my top five favorite songs that have come out this year.

#5 Sakurabito – Sunset Swish: This is the second ending theme for Bleach that this group has done, the first being the strangely African-sounding My Pace. Sakurabito is a beautiful ballad with intense, heartbreaking melodies and traditional sounds. Very beautiful. Its a little strange that such a spring oriented song came out in January, but I’m not complaining.

#4 Rain – SID: Yeah, this song hasn’t even come out in full yet. See how little I care? Rain is the fifth and final (I think) opening theme for Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. I’m a big sucker for anime songs, ehehe. I think the reason why I have fallen head over heels for Rain is because of the breathtaking opening sequence from Brotherhood. If you haven’t seen it, WATCH it. The song just goes perfectly with the mood of the show. I’m going to cry my eyes out having to wait until June 2nd for the single. 😦

#3 GOLD – UVERworld: This song earns the number three slot from me simply because its so weird. It has about a thousand different beats and rhythms and takes a zillion different musical directions, but it works. So far, I’ve not seen anyone indifferent towards the song. Its either loved or hated. To me, its the third best UVERworld song after D-tecnolife and of course Colors of the Heart.

#2 Jealous – Jasmine: I am so impressed by Jasmine! She’s going to be a huge star in a couple years, I hope. Jealous is a relaxing yet powerful R&B tune. The vocals are fierce and sexy and I love every part of this song. There’s something regal about it.


#1 Kimi ni Furu Zetsubou no Ame – XodiacK: One word. “Duh.” This is visual kei, or galactic rock (whatever) at its best. I’ll miss this band.

Well, there’s my five! Comment me with yours! My next review will be Shoko Nakagawa’s Ray of Light. Seems like FMA Brotherhood themes are mandatory reviews for me. 🙂



Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

“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.)
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.



Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection

“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.



Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection