Tag Archives: XodiacK

“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! 🙂

Tracklist:

01 – PRIDE
02 – SAD TO SAY clip paroles
03 – L.I.P.S.
04 – JEALOUS
05 – BAD GIRL
06 – DEAR MY FRIEND
07 – STAGE
08 – THIS IS NOT A GAME
09 – CLUBBIN
10 – KOI
11 – WHAT YOU WANT?
12 – NO MORE
13 – DREAMIN
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.

~Alisa~

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Fifteen Power-Packed Japanese Songs

I know that last night on Twitter, I said this would be the top ten most powerful Japanese songs. I changed it to the top fifteen! This is to keep my list from looking like a big mass of anime/GACKT songs. Just kidding. (Or am I?)
I define a powerful song not by how strong it makes me feel, but rather how weak it makes me feel on the very first listen. The first time I hear a powerful song, I want it to leave me in a cold sweat, breathless, thinking “what has just happened to me?” Then, I want to grow to make the song a sort of personal empowering anthem.
I assembled my list after much careful consideration. This was harder to do than anticipated, and may have been another contributor as to why the list turned out a little longer than expected. Enjoy!

15.) Alumina – Nightmare: This song isn’t just powerful, it’s very disturbing. The mournful tone in which Yomi sings the song is downright eerie. The first time I heard this song was on Death Note, naturally. It frightened me terribly, which is a big reason why I respect this song as much as I do.

14.) Border – Girugamesh: From the first notes of this song, I just knew it was going to be intense. I feel like the boys from Girugamesh are grabbing me by the hair and dragging me relentlessly through this song. It’s intense and brutal. The vocals and guitar are positively barbaric.

13.) Colors of the Heart – UVERworld: The most powerful part of this song is that it builds and builds and builds but all the while Takuya retains a beautiful, clear singing voice. His delivery is strong and melodic. (A big reason why this song left me breathless the first time I heard it was because my fiancé introduced it to me before he was even my boyfriend! I think a big part of my love for this song is that memory.)

12.) Bel Air – Malice Mizer: Hard to believe this song is as old as it is, yet its strength continues to rattle my skull (and the skulls of many other VK fans I’m sure) to this day. The music box playing at the beginning and middle of the song contrasts wonderfully with the hard guitars and drums found in the song. GACKT’s performance is outstanding and fierce.

11.) Rainbow – Ayumi Hamasaki: Made exclusively for her A Ballads album, Ayumi’s breathy ballad has been breaking hearts for years. This song has so much power in its simplicity, rather than any actual muscle. “No rain can get the rainbow.” Remember that.

10.) Passion – Utada Hikaru: Don’t you miss this Hikki? Utada, this is the one. Not your washed-up American crap that flopped horribly time after time. This. Passion is a song full of light and darkness at once. The beat of this song is indescribable.

9.) Hallelujah – Rurutia: Okay, so if hard guitars coupled with elegant violins weren’t powerful enough, you get the contrast of Rurutia and her famous whisper-singing. The opening of this song is like getting hit in the face with a shovel made of solid gold.

8.) Renon – M: This song is still relatively new to me, so I won’t pretend to be a seasoned listener. Still, its MUCC-esque guitar style and raw, untamed vocals floored me from the first listen. The vocalist has some serious charisma even though his vocals aren’t up to par with other VK singers by any means.

7.) Rain – GACKT: Do you ever hear a song that makes you hurt all over? This song fits the bill for me. I feel like I’m drowning in some kind of torrential, yet gentle wave during the verses. In the chorus, it all comes crashing down. I never hear much mention of this song, which is sad.

6.) Kingyo Hanabi – Ai Otsuka: I had to find a place for my favorite song on here somewhere! It’s not as powerful as other songs, per se, but it still packs a heartbreaking punch. The tortured desperation in this song is incredibly moving. This song can make me happy and sad at the same time, which is rare for a song to do.

5.) Rain – SID: As I mentioned on my “weekly babble” post, I have decided that songs titled Rain are predestined to be good. The chorus of this song is tragic with strong feelings of loss. I think the majority of this song’s power for me is how well it ties in with the Fullmetal Alchemist story.

4.) Lust for Blood – GACKT: This song is probably the most hateful song I have ever heard. The melancholy opening makes way for a heavy rock sound and GACKT’s intense, angry vocals. It’s a heart-stopping piece just because it is SO raw.

3.) Kimi ni Furu Zetsubou no Ame – XodiacK: I’m sorry to all of you who tire of hearing about XodiacK, but I just love this song so much. The first time I heard this song, I felt like it was repeatedly punching me in the stomach. Another way this song left me breathless was due to the fact that I laughed so hard at the terrible PV. (But you didn’t hear that from me, okay?)

2.) Mirrorcle World – Ayumi Hamasaki: Is it bad that I don’t think Ayu has released a single good thing since this dropped over two years ago? (Sparkle was okay, but not anything I couldn’t live without) Ayu is a powerhouse in this song, singing along with a military-style beat and angrily questioning the problems in the world today. The lyrics are expertly crafted and I love the energy.

1.) Jesus – GACKT: GACKT’s big comeback single after Returner was incredibly anticipated, and this single did not let me down at all. In fact, I think it is one of the greatest GACKT songs to date. The heavy rock sound, GACKT screaming, the lyrics, GACKT behaving in such a taunting manner in the PV… It’s incredible, and so unreal. This song sent me into a completely different dimension, where I felt as though I was standing face to face with something so much greater than myself, and I was trembling long after the song had finished. I’ll probably never have another song grip me as tightly as this has. I am proud to call this the most powerful song I’ve ever heard.

~Alisa~

Which songs do you consider to be the most powerful? Do you think ballads or rock songs are more powerful? How do you feel when a powerful song overtakes you?

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Sakurayume’s Weekly Babble

New feature, OMG! Thank you Sakura Pierce for letting me steal, uhh ahem ahem, borrow and pay appropriate tribute to your idea.

Songs I’ve Had On Repeat This Week:
“Renon” – M
“Driving Time” – Girugamesh
“Lolitawork Libretto ~Storytelling by Solita~” – Kanon Wakeshima
“Dears” – GACKT
“Dress” – abingdon boys school
“Rain” – Mika
“Ice” – Lights
“Resonance” – T.M. Revolution

Musical Rants
(feel free to respond to any of these in the comments section, just leave the number of the statement you’re referring to!)

1.) If you don’t like the song “Resonance” by T.M. Revolution, GET OUT NOW. Just kidding. But that song is too cool fo’ school.

2.) I’ve been listening to quite a few cover versions of songs lately. I think this will be the focus of the new poll coming up tomorrow. (by the way, there is still time to vote for your favorite GACKT album!!)

3.) How in the world did we survive the GACKT hiatus in between “Returner” and “Jesus?”

4.) Is anyone else sad about the end of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga/Brotherhood anime? The anime seriously helped to boost SID’s popularity.

5.) I had a epiphany via Twitter that I am some kind of chosen Visual Kei ambassador, sworn to spread the word of XodiacK to the masses. (allegedly to make amends for my breaking them up in the first place?)

6.) Speaking of XodiacK, I know this is impatient of me but I WANT A RELEASE!

7.) You know you have too much music when you scroll through your iPod and have a song called “I Love You” followed by a song called “I Still Love You.” Once your iPod gains the ability to reiterate, you’re in trouble.

8.) I’ve found that if you give a song the title “Rain” it is, like, predestined to be good.

9.) I feel like this year has me in a constant state of anticipation. One release drops and then I’m like “oh, wait but _________________ comes out next week! How am I going to stand the wait!?” Its actually a pretty good feeling.

Okay, all finished with my mental vomit there. Be sure to leave comments! Also, let me know if a weekly babble thingy is even worth the time and effort.

~Alisa~

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XodiacK Ex-Guitarist to Release Single With New Band

Hizuki, the former guitarist of XodiacK

Hizuki, the ex-guitarist of XodiacK, will be releasing a currently untitled single with new band Orochimaru (Naruto reference, possibly? Let’s hope not.) on July 9th. I’m hoping its good because this guy could shred.

This is all fine and dandy, but when is the new XodiacK going to release? I miss Eros’ voice. 😦

Thanks to aramatheydidnt

~Alisa~

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XodiacK’s New Members and New Look

Praise the high heavens, I haven’t destroyed Visual Kei after all!

Swamp.. Monsters? Maybe??

I hope they can impress just as much as they did with “Shinrabansho -Setsuri-”

~Alisa~

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“Defended Desire” – Aldious

THESE ARE WOMEN, kthx

Look what I’ve found! ANOTHER VK band where the people who look like chicks are chicks! No guessing! No pondering! No uncomfortable moments!

Aldious, like exist trace, is a Visual Kei band consisting entirely of females. I’d put their sound in between the brutal exist trace and pop-rock group SCANDAL. They can rock out, but their vocals and melodies aren’t as grating or violent as exist trace.

Defended Desire, besides having a cool name, is a fast-paced rock song with some incredible drums. They remind me of the machine-gun-sounding drums that you hear in Deluhi songs. But, the vocals sound a little apathetic and the lyrics are slightly repetitive. I’ll give these girls an A for effort as the song is pretty good. Maybe after a while they will come into their own and produce some stuff that will blow me away. Or I could totally jinx them and force them to disband/lose members, as I have seemingly done to XodiacK, Luzmelt, and Canzel. If this is the case, I will give gacktpause license to mock me for all eternity.

灰の雪 is a slower song and reminds me of older-style j-rock. Its nice, and the vocals are the best in this song. Her voice reminds me of Mika Nakashima in parts.

Ultimate Melodious has a killer opening and the drums get to shine once again. I just couldn’t get into this song because the vocalist sounds like she could care less about the song.

In Conclusion: The winning attribute of Aldious is its drums. The vocals need work. If I don’t sense emotion in any aspect of a song be it the voice, the guitar, whatever, then I don’t feel emotion either and I turn the song off. Still, give it a listen because these girls seem like they’ve got potential.

~Alisa~

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“Sacrifice” – Luzmelt

Okay, y’all. I got about thirty minutes before Between the Lions comes on, and I’m not about to miss my “stories.” Haha.

I stumbled upon this single entirely by chance. I liked the cover so I thought I’d give it a listen. I don’t know if you guys love experiences like that, but I sure do.

Luzmelt is a new-ish visual kei band that I had not heard of until yesterday. But apparently they played at Tekkoshocon back in April. They were right here in the U.S. and I didn’t even know it! They have released two mini albums called “Swallowed Scenery” and “Luz-Destination” which I’m going to check out as soon as I finish this review. “Sacrifice” is their first single.

Sacrifice begins with a slow piano opening, which to me felt like a tip of the hat in the direction of the older style of Japanese rock from the late 80s and early to mid 90s. Then the song explodes into a hard, driven rock paradise with some impressive drums and robotic-sounding vocals. Totally unexpected. The song is a great journey through many styles of music. It moves from classic rock, to some techno elements, and into a comfortable Visual Kei sound. I also have to give props to the vocalist. He seems very talented and for some reason his vocal style reminds me of Hyde in his younger days. The space-oriented PV for the song made me think of XodiacK’s PV for Kimi ni Furu Zetsubou no Ame. I miss XodiacK so much.

Under the Starlight is a nice compliment to the a-side. In fact, I liked this song just as much as Sacrifice. That’s rare for me.

The final song is a remix of a song called Blind Scope which I’m going to assume is on one of the two mini-albums. (Yup, it is. The original is found on Swallowed Scenery.) I liked this remix, but would not feel comfortable saying much else considering that I haven’t heard the original.

In Conclusion: I can’t wait to hear what other songs Luzmelt has to offer. In a world seemingly dominated by Visual Kei bands that all sound the same, its tough to find one that stands out. This band is seriously worth a listen because its not your average v-kei. The borrowed elements from other genres all work perfectly in their songs. Now, I can only hope that this band doesn’t suffer from “XodiacK Syndrome” and suddenly decide to break up as soon as I start listening to them. That would be enough to make me tear my lungs out through my ears. 😛

~Alisa~

Reader Question: What is the best song you’ve ever stumbled upon by chance?

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