Tag Archives: Jtek

“Welcome to Sa-World” – SAWA

This is Sa-World... and I am just visiting!

Track List:
1. Opening Ceremony ~Sa-Worldへようこそ~
2. Merry Go Round
3. Stars
4. NightBus
5. Chocolate Zone ~野生のSAWA~
6. Throw him away!
7. ManyColors
8. I’m a President
9. Danger Zone ~逃げろ!危うしSa-World!~
10. Swimming Dancing
11. Friday Night
12. Planet-T
13. Eat It All ~Live in Sa-World~
14. I Can Fly
15. あいにいくよ
16. Dream about…
17. Thank you for visiting ~My name is…~

After what seemed like a darn long wait and sixty billion (yet another one of my famous rough estimates) hit-or-miss mini-albums, we finally get this album. Its full length, holy cow! I’ll go ahead and say that the carnival image on the cover is absolutely fitting for the album. When I listened to Welcome to Sa-World, I could totally see a carnival, summer, golden warmth.

Merry Go Round is a cute song to kick off the album because it has that summer carnival feel I’ve been raving about. I am one of those people who likes to create music videos in their head while listening, and I can see the cover image being acted out when I hear this song.

Stars…. oh… Are there words to even describe that song? We’ve all heard it before, so I’ll not say much.

Something about the sequencing of NightBus coming after Stars just worked. The song is a little dull though.

Throw Him Away! is my favorite song on the album, despite being a wee bit short. Its done in a Shibuya-kei style, which I adore and the whole song makes me think of strawberry ice cream. I am sure that with today being our 26 month anniversary, my fiance would be a little hurt at me liking a song with such a title, but its nothing personal, darling. I’d never “throw you away!” Ever. And I’m being serious.

If you’ve heard ManyColors you’ll probably agree that SAWA’s pronunciation of the word “color” is interesting, to say the least. Fun song.

You already know how I feel about Swimming Dancing. Its my favorite song by SAWA because its so far-out and spacey. You feel glued to the song from the start. Its like an outer space roller coaster!

Friday Night is an R&B track. I was doubtful at first but SAWA pulled it off very well. I totally see the carnival imagery again too. ^_^

Planet T is a fun party song. You have to give it a few listens to warm up to it because otherwise it makes little sense.

A lot of people are saying that I Can Fly works a lot better on the album. I agree with said people, but it doesn’t make me like the song any more than I used to.

I have to say that I feel a lot better about Ai ni Ikuyo. When I first listened to it on the mini-album, I thought it was cuteness overload and that I was about to bleed sugar from my eye sockets. The song falls into place better here and I can appreciate it ten times more.

Dream About… has a sweet melody but the vocals don’t work. SAWA downright wails at points, and its not the good kind of wailing you hear from alan either. Great song if you turn it down pretty low..

In Conclusion: As of today, I am changing my citizenship to Sa-Worldian. I have my bags packed and I’m waiting to catch the train to take me to my new home. Okay, not literally. SAWA is not by any means the greatest singer in the world. GACKT is. (ouch, kidding kidding kidding! Put down the pitchforks!) BUT! SAWA can make some fun music which is fitting. When you think summer, you think of fun music! SAWA is surely delivered with this album because she’s experimented with several styles without becoming a mess. Not a lot of artists can do that. So, who wants to come with me to Sa-World?

~Alisa~

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“Spiral” – immi

Immi is just as talented as she is HAWT.

I’m going to be honest and say that as far as j-tek goes, it was going to take a whole lot to make me stray away from SAWA’s “Swimming Dancing” and Saori’s “Grotesque.” But!!!! Immi has released me from the clutches of those songs by creating a memorable album full of summer fun and spirit.

We’ve already heard and played the life out of Wonder, Alice, and Sign of Love, so I won’t touch on those. Just know that they are amazing.

I’ve seen on forums and whatnot that people are dubbing Summer 2010 as the Summer of J-tek. This album lives up to that title. For example, Jeezy Peezy, albeit having a weirdo title, is a energetic track, full of light. And bells. It sounds like the kind of song they’d be blaring at American Eagle while you shop. And I don’t know about you but something about American Eagle makes me think of summer.

My favorite song, shockingly, was Rainbow. Its an Utada-esque piece which isn’t long by any means, and that’s why I like it. In the summer, a rainbow can come and go extremely quickly, sometimes before you even notice it. I think the brevity of this beautiful song captured the fleeting amount of time that rainbows hang in the sky.

I am crazy about Black or White. Its stupidly thrilling with outstanding synth. I did not want that song to end. Love it.

There honestly aren’t any songs on this album that I dislike. Some of them (like No. 1 Girl) didn’t stand out to me as much, but I still could find something I liked about every song.

In Conclusion: Okay, so this album kicks Switch in the teeth and slams its face in the dirt. I don’t even want to convey how hard this album PWNS MEG’s Maverick. I’ll leave that up to the imagination. I highly recommend this album to anyone with ears, and I hereby crown immi QUEEN OFJ-TEK! I’m interested to see if SAWA can top this next month! Predictions, anyone?

~Alisa~

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“Maverick” – MEG

Oh boy...

This isn’t an official review, just so you know. This is me telling MEG to take a hike. Take another “Journey.” (haha) Then maybe we’ll talk. I was so disappointed with this album, you have no idea. Its like “BEAUTIFUL” all over again. But, I should have known that things called “Maverick” are usually destined to fail.

Exhibit A

(no offense to Mr. McCain. I don’t like you politically, but you are a dad-gum cool person.)

~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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“To The Loveless” – Boom Boom Satellites

Get ready for a loooooong album.

Like Luzmelt from my previous review, Boom Boom Satellites was a group I simply happened upon by chance. Yes, I’m aware that they’ve been around for quite a long time, but I never noticed them until now. I’m slow. Haha. Hey, but there’s a lot of music out there, you guys! That’s the sad thing. We’ll never have enough time in our lives to hear all the great music out there. Okay, I’m going to hop off this topic before I have an existential meltdown.

What I like about Boom Boom Satellites is that they have a sound that no one else does. Its super hard rock, and super hard electronica. At the same time. Since these are basically my two favorite genres, hearing them melded together is just wonderful.

I’ll go ahead and tell you now that the only track I wound up liking was Drain, but I liked it very VERY much. Length was a bit of an issue with me while listening to this album. The majority of the songs are 5+ minutes long, the lengthiest being Caught in the Sun at ten minutes and twenty one seconds. Phew. Maybe its because I’m strutting around with a bad case of undiagnosed ADHD, but I like my songs to be around four and a half minutes. I think that’s a comfortable time limit because the song gets to leave a lasting impression without being overkill. This album for me was a bunch of great and polished tracks that were just too long. I am sure that some people love super long songs and that’s cool too! This album should be right up their alley. But its just not for me. Since I have no previous experience with this group, I can’t tell you if length has always been something their songs have been known for, but it appears to be the case with “To the Loveless.”

In Conclusion: Check out this album if you have a high attention span. If not, then make sure you at least listen to Drain. It is outstanding.

~Alisa~

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“Sign of Love” – immi

My dear immi, you can do no wrong. ❤

Immi is a goddess of j-tek, complete with drop dead gorgeous looks, an ethereal voice, and the Midas touch. What I like most about immi’s music is that its not just j-tek. It has a certain level of feeling and emotion that comes from the heart.

Sign of Love is a passionate and magic song with a beautiful message. I love the way immi sings the entire piece. My favorite part of the song is the beginning for some reason. I love the opening because it just draws you in. I did laugh at the way immi sings the word “applause” because it sounds like she’s saying “apples.” I have seen that a bunch of people have criticized the PV for this song because it looks “cheap.” To me, the simple PV made the song even better. The song should be the most important thing anyway.

Our b-side, Fight Back (at first listed as an a-side, no clue what happened there) is a classic sounding immi song. Its not a standout track, to me at least, but its also not worth skipping over. I like the love/hate sort of theme conveyed by the single. The a-side is passionate and hopefully while the b-side is aggressive and a little dark. Immi’s voice was great in this song too.

In Conclusion: Immi can’t do anything that is less than perfect. She’s outstanding, and oh so underrated. 😦 Even though it was a good six months between this single and her last, the Alice EP (excited squeal) I think it was a good move. Immi gave us the proper amount of time to work on quality material, to keep herself fresh, and to make us j-tek junkies miss her a little. That’s the problem with most other artists in this day and age. They put out stuff so fast that after a while, the “art” is lost and its only music. Music without art isn’t worth listening to in my book.

~Alisa~

Now, who’s ready for Spiral!? 😉

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“SECRET ADVENTURE” – MEG

MEG can flirt with artists like Dave Liang and Hadouken, but in the end her heart always belongs to Nakata.

Well. Major Room Girl vibes from the cover? I felt so. The content is nothing like Room Girl but still.

After releasing her magnum opus, in my opinion, last August, MEG had returned faithfully to the side of the almighty Yasutaka Nakata, God and Supreme Overlord of J-Tek.

When I listen to Secret Adventure, I feel like I’ve heard it before. Its like a combination of all of MEG’s songs tossed together. Maybe “tossed” is a bad choice of words. The track is still polished but I was looking for a bit of something more unique and less like a track that could have easily fit in on her BEAUTIFUL album. The b-side, Gray is a cute song. Nice b-side material, but I can’t say much else.

In Conclusion: You’ll notice how concise this review was simply because I really didn’t know what else to say about it. I liked the song but I don’t really like it. I’m almost indifferent, and that’s what made a single like this tough to write about. I did enjoy seeing MEG break the tradition of one-word song titles, though!

Next time I’ll be discussing the five best songs of 2010 (so far)! Be thinking of your top five too!

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