Wow what a busy week and I still haven’t found Masami Okui’s AKASHA album. Unfortunately, March looks even worse since everyone in Japan will be releasing albums around this time. Therefore I’m going to stick mostly with artists I’m familiar with. Also, the quality of this week is really high. Or maybe I just avoided most of the crap rotting somehwere in the charts :). Or maybe I’m getting too nice :/.
Someone please tell me why something this good isn’t charting. What’s wrong with Japan? Anyways MATERIAL WORLD is one of the more innovative songs I’ve heard in a while with a nice mix of rock and electropop for a very unique, catchy vibe. The chorus is addicting and powerful too despite the amount of repeats it gets. Time After Time is a much more mainstream r&b mid-tempo jam that’s chill to listen too. Overall, MATERIAL WORLD is amazing. <3.
The Best of for Yuki Kaijura‘s FictionJunction works. What’s there not to like? Yuki Kaijura is a damn talented composer and she employs talented vocalists such as Yuuka Nanri to pull off her amazing songs. It also helps that I watched the Tsubasa anime as a kid and quite a bit of this album brings back memories. My only complaint is that Calling isn’t there but that’s understandable because it wasn’t under the FunctionJunction name.
Is it a sin to admit that this is the first Angela Aki album I’ve listened to? Well anyways, ANSWER insured that I’ll be keeping up with Angela from now. She’s got a very strong, clear voice and her piano-based songs are polished and wonderful. I’m also surprised that she managed to keep a variety of songs instead of sticking with snoozer ballads. There’s also a variety of piano-only tracks that are really good because she can y’know, sing. My only complaint is that she keeps on repeating the chorus lines on and on and on but I find that doesn’t really detract my enjoyment too much. I’m still singing Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door to myself at least.
I’m happy to see that Nanrietta is back after so long. For people that don’t know about Nanrietta, she’s the YUUKA of FunctionJunction. Now she’s embarked on a solo career of her own and she’s headed the right way musically. ODYSSEY is anisong at its finest with a nice orchestra line that highlights Nanrietta’s high-pitched powerhouse vocals. Dear similarly keeps the strong orchestral line only it’s a much more mainstream-sounding ballad. Anyways, very solid single and hopefully we’ll hear more of Nanrietta in the future.
Solid debut album for a talented male seiyuu. I actually never heard his singing before this because he’s always been Kazuma to me :). He’s got a decent vocal chops and this short album is mostly a variety of polished pop-rock. While none of it was really outstanding, it was all listenable and pretty good. Or at the very least, he’s injecting some testosterone into my very female-dominated artist list. My biggest complaint is that it’s very safe. Be a little more innovative Record Label, whoever the hell you are (I’m betting either Lantis or King Records)! And get him to go to Animelo this year while you’re at it.
Wow! An Ayu single that I actually like! This is easily one of the best works she’s put out since her My Story era. And that was 2004. Rule is one of her typical “harder” rock-pop songs except it actually has a). impact, b). a solid, catchy chorus, and c). the DBZ live-action tie-in. However, the “sparkling jewel” of this single is definitely Sparkle with its unexpected mix of rock and electro dance/trance. It’s both reminiscent of her golden years yet it still has a modern feel while never failing to be catchy. Also, all these remixes remind me of Ayu’s old era too and how much I hated those remixes…The GREEN orchestraal version good though. Overall though, this is single was unexpectedly good.
J Soul Brothers-J Soul Brothers:
Even though this album is like 1/3 EXILE (this is produced by one of the EXILE guys so it shouldn’t be too surprising), I really like it. J Soul Brothers are definitely the urban-dance side of EXILE which pretty much guarrantees that they’ll have catchy songs with a good beat. Their vocalist, whatever-his-name-is, is pretty good too. Better than EXILE’s anyways in my opinion. So yeah, dance songs with good vocals are always win to me. Oh and their choreography and dancing is pretty good too from what I saw of one of their PVs but that shouldn’t be too surprising.
So it’s not like Gakki can sing but who cares about that? piece is a polished ballad that is pretty easy to sing and works well with her limited range. I really like the b-side Sparkle too with its more pop-rock feel. It’s pretty obvious that Gakki’s working with top-songwriters and thus this is good for what it’s worth. Good job, Gakki.
abingdon boys school-STRENGTH:
There’s not too much to say but this is the typical good rockish anime song. Which makes absolute sense, STRENGTH is an ED of Soul Eater I believe. That just reminded me that I’m still stuck around episode 20 on Soul Eater -__-. Why’d I stop again? I really don’t remember. Back to the music, I’ve gotta say I still perfer T.M. Revolution’s solo stuff over his other works but this is still pretty solid overall.
flumpool-Hoshi wo Negai ni:
There’s nothing really bad about this single but it’s not memorable (especially the b-sides) either. Actually Hoshi ni Negai wo is sounding better the second time I hear it. Still it doesn’t have the same quality of their previous songs such as labo and Over the Rain. On a separate note, I’m surprised that they’re taking an idol boyband promotion approach. Guess they gotta cash in those blessed looks. Though Ryuuta is pretty damn hot. And he has a good voice too. Okay, next.
The fallen princess of pop fails at reincarnating herself into a decent singer with decent songs. You’d think this song would be more urban because m-flo is producing it but it’s..electropop like her latest singles. Uh, yeah. m-flo should stick with their urban roots because this song goes absolutely nowhere. I can easily see how people will like this-it’s catchy. *sighs* The chorus will probably dance around my head in 30 minutes.
Ai Otsuka-Bye Bye:
Why did avex recut an album track that isn’t any good? The chorus in Bye Bye is seriously weak though admittedly the verses aren’t as bad. Too bad this makes this song go nowhere and I get bored by 1 minute. Also, her vocals sound like shit in the chorus too. Actually, I just remembered I forgot to check out her last album so why am I whining about the recut. Still, the last song I’ve liked from her is Mirai Taxi and this doesn’t do anything to help.
None. Wow. Then again, I didn’t venture out with new artists this week.
Shugo Chara Egg!-Shugo Shugo:
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t expect this to be any good. And it wasn’t. Didn’t we all learn that H!P was for losers years ago? I just like seeing the Shugo Chara cosplay :). Speaking of which, I’m still stuck in the middle of volume 5….