Tag Archives: japanese music reviews

“Makenai Kokoro” – AAA

Thank you, Ven, for your patience! Same for everyone else.

I’ll tell you right now, between school and work, I’m wiped. I could go into full detail and whine a lot to play up the drama but I won’t. It’s unfortunate but it seems as though I’ll be limiting my activity for a while. No, I’m not talking about a hiatus, and I’m especially not talking about closing down the blog. For now, though, it looks like the bulk of my activity is going to take place on the weekends. I guess we take what we get, right?


If this cover oddly reminds you of Perfume’s Triangle album, please comment so I won’t feel all alone in the world.

Usually AAA songs make me want to dance. What I liked about Makenai Kokoro is that it keeps the dance sound to minimum and instead showcases the vocals. It showed me that this isn’t purely a dance group, but that these people are actually talented singers and rappers. There was something about the way this song was performed that I liked. I think it was the way that the female singers held their notes in places. The rap was energetic and my only wish is that there had been a little more of it.

For everything I loved about Makenai Kokoro, I loved ten times more in Day by Day. It’s bouncy guitar pop, more centered around the male vocals. That was a cool aspect to this single; that the females were more prominent in the first track and the males were more prominent here. It’s like the flip-side of a very shiny yen coin.

WOW WAR TONIGHT ~Toki ni wa Okose yo Movement~ is a reggae-type song that I couldn’t get into. It’s a neat “end-of-summer” feeling set to music, but I couldn’t find myself yearning for a second listen.

In Conclusion: Success! AAA did a great job with this single. I liked it much better as a whole than the last one. A nice listen!

~Alisa~

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“Naked Arms / SWORD SUMMIT” – T.M. Revolution

Takanori can see inside your soul.

T.M.R hasn’t been around for a little while. Takanori himself has been active with abindgon boys school and the field of being awesome, but he hasn’t “made revolution” since 2008’s Resonance, which was a fantastic song. I am still a relatively new T.M.R fan so I’ve had his entire discography to tide me over during the wait for this single. Seasoned fans probably found the wait to be tougher since they had heard it all before. Man, I have good timing.

Naked Arms picks up right where Resonance left off. It’s got attitude! Takanori’s vocals are out of this world. This man can seriously sing. I really liked the unpredictable melody that the songs boasts as well as the fact that the energy never dies out during the song. There isn’t a dull moment. Naturally, the PV for this song is delightfully camp (Takanori seems to really enjoy being on camera, okay?) with an interesting usage of color, or lack thereof. This song wasn’t as good for me as Resonance but it’s still a fresh track and a great reminder that even after two years T.M.R is still going strong.

I still don’t know exactly how I feel about SWORD SUMMIT yet. I like it, but there’s something too perky about it. I’m just waiting for this to turn up on Dance Dance Revolution (alongside GACKT’s Koakuma Heaven, hehe). I definitely dig how the flute was integrated into the song at the instrumental break. This song is DDR-meets-Pokemon-battle. Yep.

In Conclusion: I was blown away by this single. T.M.R is just brilliant, simply put. Naked Arms is an epic win for sure and SWORD SUMMIT grows on me with each listen. Highly recommended!

~Alisa~

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“Angel Trip” – VAMPS

Angel Trip is the newest single by VAMPS. It is, I think, the follow-up to their last single Devil Side. That would only make sense, right?

I didn’t enjoy Devil Side. Partly because I didn’t like the lyrics. Partly because the song itself was forgettable. Mostly because I can’t stand Hyde’s English. I’m so mean.

Angel Trip redeemed VAMPS for me. Its an upbeat, positive song that reeks of summertime. When the song starts, the energetic guitar and drums make you want to go “wooo!” I actually did say “wooo!” With 3 o’s. I counted. Haha.

If you can look past Hyde’s terrible English (and his Captain Jack Sparrow + Blonde look in the PV.. ugh..) this song is a blast and the kind of song you’d listen to when driving to the beach or any vacation really. It’s the kind of song you’d blast when you are only minutes away from your destination. I’m loving the energy of this song. Plus its Hyde, dang it.

I can hardly wait for the third installment in this series by VAMPS which is titled Purgatory Fun Land! I’m only joking.

As for the other song… meh. I’m tired. Let me go to sleep, okay? 😛

~Alisa~

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“World Wild 2010” – Saori@Destiny

As Keanu Reeves would say: "Whoa."

This review was requested by Selryam from What is Disco, the premier location for all things techno! Thank you for the request, and my apologies for taking 2-ish weeks to fulfill it…..

After an all-out war with my computer and its audio, I was FINALLY able to listen to this album! My computer suffered a devastating crash a couple months ago and my audio has been a touch wonky ever since. Enough about my problems.

How about this cover, yo!? This has got to be the trippiest cover I’ve ever seen and I can’t say how much I love it in words. Its psychedelic and wild for sure! I’m reminded of this cutscene from Family Guy, which just HAPPENS to be my favorite Family Guy moment in the history of ever. Does this give me a good feeling about this album? You bet your bottom dollar that it does!

So, I’m not going to even mention any of the older tracks on this album i.e. Ethnic Planet Survival, because I know that we j-tek fans have already played them to death and hear them in our sleep. I’m just being the nice, attractive (yeah right) blogger you all know and love and sparing y’all the agony of having to hear about “yesterday’s news.” Because I am that great. (Those songs all rock though, trust me.)

The titular track World Wild 2010 immediately drew me in because it lives up to its name.

World = I can hear influences from many other cultures in the song
Wild= The song is a hot mess, in a good way though
2010= Its got a modern sound

Saori’s voice is great because she doesn’t have the vocoder jammed down her throat. She really does have a pretty voice when its stripped down like that. She and MEG are the same in that respect.

How about Grotesque? This tune is anything but Grotesque! Its driven by a piano for the most part and it goes nicely along with some uber futuristic blips and bleeps. This is a one of a kind song and for sure the standout track on this album. When I think Saori@Destiny, this is going to be the song that comes to mind. I encourage anyone with functioning ears to listen to this song. Then force your family, friends, pets, and local hobos to listen to it. I swear. This song is so ridiculously amazing that it could stop criminals and global warming if played loud enough. Possibly.
Now I know I’ve ranted for about the entire lifespan of a fruit fly about this track, but its just that awesome.

Prism is also a noteworthy track because it is a techno ballad. You don’t hear those two terms blended together often. Saori makes it work.

In Conclusion: World Wild 2010 is the album that changed my opinion on Saori@Destiny forever. She went from “just another of the 6,000,988,762,496,291,003 artists who covered Denki Groove’s ‘Shangri-La’” to a unique techno goddess who should be recognized. Shame on you, Alisa, for not realizing this sooner! Thanks again, Selryam, for your request!

~Alisa~
(the woman destined to mis-use tags for all of forevertown)

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“The Voice” – KOKIA

Stunning.

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?

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“Faces Places” – globe

90s!

This review was requested by Donovon!

Let me go ahead and state this: “Faces Places” by globe was released in 1997. To most, the sound of this album will come across as very dated. I felt that as I listened to the album, but I also though that the album’s concept was quite fresh for THAT period in time.

The album relies on a couple of commonplace musical practices of the 1990s: acoustic guitars and heavy percussion.

Most of the tracks on the album are lengthy. However, it isn’t a bad kind of lengthy. As in, you aren’t listening to the same thing looping for 7+ minutes. Every track progresses. The music changes, the beat changes, the vocals go from a female singing to a male rapping. (remember, this is the 90s, so the rap is considerably smoother than the style we are used to today)

The best track on the album for me was “watch the movie.” I have no idea why I loved this track because there really isn’t any singing in it, but its a magnificent piece to lounge around and unwind with. It reminded me of the music that plays on the Local Forecast on the Weather Channel, something I have always had a strange obsession with.

In Conclusion: As I said earlier, this album would sound super old to many people because it IS super old, musically speaking. I appreciated this album greatly because I forced myself to ignore its age and simply think of it as music. Thank you, Donovon, for the suggestion.

~Alisa~

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