August 10, 2009 Diary / Brave Vibration – Anna Tsuchiya

•August 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

August 10, 2009 – DIARY

Hello everyone! It’s a cloudy, kind of dreary day today. A garlic-drenched DiGiorno flatbread melt sits hard in my tummy as I sit down to write today’s entry. I was a bit stumped today about what single/song I should review for today’s review. As tomorrow is Tuesday, the day music is traditionally released, I had to scrounge around for SOMETHING different to review, and thanks to the Asian Media Downloads forum on AHSforum.com, I did. Although the song I’m reviewing today is the A-side of a three(?) song single, I was only able to locate the first song, so that’s what I’m reviewing today. 

But anyway- I am SO annoyed with the whole “Obama healthcare” plan. It sucks. It’s communism/socialism in its most bold form. I’m sure I’m going to get alot of crap for bashing Obama, but let me say right now – I am NOT a conservative. I’m quite liberal, I just disagree so much with denying old people healthcare. It’s no different, in my opinion, than deciding that an 85 year old tree is “in the way” and cutting it down for no real reason. How is that fair? I’m not going to say anything bad about Obama as a person, as I don’t think he’s evil, Satanic, etc. I just wish he’d give up this healthcare crap. Politicians and Americans have better things to worry about than whether or not the government will deny parents/grandparents the healthcare they need and deserve. 

Gahh… I register for school tomorrow. And start next week. I’m so sad, summer is almost over!! So, in the spirit of summer, I present to you, my dear readers: Anna Tsuchiya’s song, “Brave Vibration”.

Brave Vibration- Anna Tsuchiya

Is it just me, or does Anna Tsuchiya look American on the cover of her single? She IS only half Japanese, so I suppose that’s to be expected. She returns after her successful studio album “NUDY SHOW!!” with a summer single, filled as much spice and sexy as the adult beverage held between her fingers. I know it’s lame that I’m not reviewing the B-sides, but the websites I searched weren’t hosting the entire single, just the A-side. So here we go!

 

1. Brave Vibration- Anna Tsuchiya takes a page from Kuu and Ayu’s book and released a summer single! Her belting “I GET A BRAVE VIBRATION” in the chorus just makes me smile. The song sounds like a funkified mix of a ska (No Doubt) group’s guitar riffs and melodies. It works very well for Tsuchiya, whose unique vocals make me feel the tiny drops of chilled water dripping down the side of a summer lemonade glass. A refreshing, yet surprisingly unnoticed effort from the Lady GaGa of Japan. My Score: 88/100

I know this entry was a bit short for MY standards, but I’m figuring out how to add photos to my blog instead of rambling on for another 500 words. R & R everyone, Peace!

❤ -Hikari

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August 9, 2009 Diary / Nanchatte Renai – Morning Musume

•August 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

August 9, 2009- DIARY

Listening to quite possibly the best J-love song ever. “Jupiter” from Ayaka Hirahara. I am so in love with this song… my god. It’d be the first 100/100 review I would give, had it been a new release. Instead, it’s just a new discovery I made about three days ago. She sounds like she’s three different people in the song. The first is a high, sweet, angelic voice, followed by the voice she opens the song in, a deep, sultry voice that even I can imitate. The final is just a mid pitch voice that has a lovely, yet sad edge to it. Almost like Britney Spears… *shutter*

Wow, my diary entry sounds like a musical review. 

I’m moving away from music for the time being, I promise. I feel like I kind of failed all my readers (nearly 60 views now!) since I haven’t been updating daily. I’m doing my best, but it’s hard when life is a little slow (it’s still summer vacation right now) to write diary entries that could be even remotely stimulating to anyone that reads. But I did a few things over the last couple days, and I’d like to discuss a few topics. 

The first would be the movie “Julie and Julia”. I went with a really good friend of mine, and found it quite enjoyable! Meryl Streep was fabulous, creating, as is typical of her, a unique, lovable character  that I was sad to see go when the movie ended. Overall, worth the almost 8 bucks I had to spend to go see the damn movie… So I guess I shouldn’t complain. Although, I felt a little jealous, considering Julie Powell (Amy Adams)’s blog got WAYY more hits than mine does… and that was before blogs were even a big deal. Although, her first comment was from her mother, so at least I have THAT going (mine was from a fan <3)

The next and last topic: throwaway/filler friends. So I hung out with my friend yesterday, who I really enjoying hanging with. On my way home, I get a call on my cell from another friend of mine, a friend I’ve known for years and years (we’re talking more than 10 years, and I’m sixteen. So a majority of our lives here.) I went to go play tennis with her (at her request) about fifteen minutes after I got home. We play about fifteen minutes, and I start to kick her ass. I mean 4-1 in fifteen minutes ass kicking. It was a beautiful thing, really.

Then she says to me “I’m on my period and I’m cramping really bad!”

Um…EWW. Did NOT need to know that. My response, being the insensitive bitch I am, was “Bleed your damn egg out and move on. I’m enjoying our tennis match!” She, after giving me this sad pouty face gets me to give in and quit (but only after she admits that I am the sole victor and that she LOST). The sweetness of winning dies when someone hands you the victory, though. I like tearing the victory away from my opponent and savoring my triumph. But moving on from THAT… she asks me to back to her house and hang out. We get there, head to the basement and pop in a movie. Ricky Bobby. The NASCAR flick with Will Ferrell. I felt my IQ dropping as I watched. I know I’ve just upset a million and a half fans of the Will Ferrell following, but COME ON. 

Now, back to the point I was starting to make. She had me there for about thirty minutes, then, when she got bored, she wanted me out. Because she was going to a friends party with her family. So I’m thinking “Why did you invite me if you didn’t want me here?”

Sometimes girls need to cut the crap and get to the point.

Nanchatte Renai – Morning Musume

Morning Musume is back after their successful #1 single Shoganai Yume Oibito, with “Nanchatte Renai” a mid-tempo pop-disco song in the vein of their second release “Summer Night Town”. It’s their 40th anniversary single (not 40 years together, but 40 singles released by the group.) And as such, they’re releasing a special anniversary edition and such to rack up as much money for this virtually unpopular idol group as they (Zetima records and Hello! Project) can. We all know AKB48 is the next MoMusu, but I guess everyone can try and hold on to popularity.

1. Nanchatte Renai- I think of “okay” and “average” when listening to this song. After a while, MoMusu songs begin to sound the same. They have the same few girls (Ai Takahashi, namely) take center and sing. Maki Goto had the right idea to break away and become a soloist. It’s cute. It sounds like a really girl Legend of Zelda theme to me for some reason… but regardless, I can’t say a whole lot about it. It’s just an average, filler J-Pop song. That will be crushed by Sunrise/Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ when they’re both released on the same day. I know I sound mean, but I didn’t say I dislike the song. I do. It’s just not a standout. My Score: 75/100

2. Subete wa Ai no Chikara- I think one of the Chinese “exchange students” sings lead for this song, with Koharu Kusumi. I’m just not a fan of this single. The best part about it, IMO is the cover… but the rest is just a bit too Miley Cyrus meets Female Backstreet Boys for me. I know this is the special “4oth single” limited version track, but I find it no more or less special than the title track. My Score: 73/100

FINAL THOUGHTS/OVERALL SCORE

In a music market where artists pump out some AMAZING songs on a frequent basis, Morning Musume falls short. They produce a very general, unoriginal effort that will sell merely because the Morning Musume name is printed over the cover art. When artists like Ayumi, Koda, Gackt, even AKB48 are stepping up the quality of their releases, Morning Musume needs to follow, or forever fall into the second-class-fading-into-unpopularity title. My Score: 74/100

Thanks so much to all my readers! Please comment, regardless of if you like or dislike what I write, as I DO read every piece of feedback I receive. Until tomorrow!

❤ -Hikari

August 6, 2009 Diary / Be your wings/FRIENDSHIP/Wait for you – GIRL NEXT DOOR

•August 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

DIARY- August 6, 2009

Fourteenth hour of driving completed today! Only…thirty-six left. Joy. My state has one of those sucky “graduated driver’s license” programs where you have to hold your permit for an insanely long time AND drive an unhealthy amount of hours. But I guess I can’t complain, since I AM driving…

Sunrise/Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ leaked in full today. I seriously had a spasm. I’ve had Sunrise on my iPod for the past couple days, but I got Sunset as well. Ayumi has DONE IT AGAIN. I don’t know how she puts out these amazing singles one right after the other (well… RULE/SPARKLE was just semi-fabulous). I mean, Sunrise just makes you wanna get up and sing and throw sunscreen and towels in the car and hit the beach. Totally made my day placing my order.

School starts in a few weeks. My blogging may or may not be deterred by school, depending on my workload and how much my parents want me to study. I wanna get into Stanford or Berkeley… somewhere warm and prestigious where I can be around Japanese/Chinese people and soak myself in Asian Culture like a thick noodle in Udon soup. I promise, I’m done with my weird analogies for today, I promise!!

Be your wings/FRIENDSHIP/Wait for you – GIRL NEXT DOOR

GIRL NEXT DOOR topped the charts only weeks ago with their dance hit “Infinity”. The group enjoyed their highest first week sales, as well as their first weekly (and daily) number one. Their current single, a triple A-side, sold 2,000 more copies than “Infinity” in it’s first day. After listening to the single, it’s easy to see why. 

1. Be your wings- This song, right from the get-go, tears you along for a high speed, dance-fueled thrill ride, with what seems to be a little magic stirred in. The song sticks to the same formula other popular GIRL NEXT DOOR songs have perfected, namely “Guuzen no Kakuritsu”, “Shiawase no Jouken” and “WINTER GAME” (almost my favorites from the band). My only real problem with GIRL NEXT DOOR is that ALL of their songs begin to sound the same after listening for a while…. This song sticks hard to the tried and true dance formula, and works as a passable A-side. My Score: 83/100

2. FRIENDSHIP- Finally a more original song in the dance genre. It sounds very Ayu inspired, like a successor to “Fly High” or “And Then”. But overall, different in a good way. Quickly is claiming it’s place as one of my favorite GND songs. It just has a more original feel than the previous A-side. In my opinion, it’s also FAR more catchy. Chisa has toned down her vocals into an almost tender, luscious embrace that coaxes you to stand and meet her rhythms and dance. A must-listen for J-music fans. My Score: 91/100

3. Wait for you- I suppose this is GND’s idea of a ballad. It’s actually quite good, and would be even better if they slowed the beat down just a bit. I can tell this band would thrive on doing a slow, beautifully paced song by hearing this track. 80s roots are HEAVY in this song, especially with the keyboard work, as well as the sparkle-like sound that squirms gently into every GND song. This song rounds out a VERY solid triple A-side, with it’s perfect, sparkly emotion. My score: 86/100

FINAL THOUGHTS/OVERALL SCORE:

This band is still in it’s developmental phase, in my opinion. They have only a few truly original works, and one of them emerged, rather unexpectedly, from this single. “FRIENDSHIP” will earn it’s place as a GND classic. This single will solidify the band’s place in the Japanese market, and one day (hopefully soon) GND will have a single break 100,000 copies and be a true smash hit. Meanwhile, I’m content with them developing and growing into their own as true musical dance artists. My overall score: 87/100

August 5, 2009 Diary / Shakira – She Wolf, Boys Like Girls – Love Drunk

•August 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

DIARY- August 5, 2009

It’s been a few days since I’ve updated! I feel so bad because I got quite a few blog views and even a comment in my short hiatus, but I promised a double review a few posts ago. I suppose I needed a few days to let life happen around me so I could write about it, instead of just sitting like a creeper in my room talking to no one and writing these blogs. So, to start off, news. Paula Abdul isn’t coming back to AmIdol. I feel like doing a victory dance around my living room. I couldn’t STAND her. I mean yeah, she was the nice judge and all, but her stupidity was a major distraction on the show. 

And she wore weird clothes like 80% of the time. So in my opinion- good riddance.

Some guy shot people at a health club after blogging about it. Also creepy. I’m a pacifist. I mean yes, I get pissed at my friends every once in a while, but my ranting about it here helps me just get over it. I love my friends and just people in general. And no one has the right to take the lives of others. I hope the man that killed to make himself feel better can finally rest in peace. 

^That was really gloomy^

What else is going on in the world right now… Nothing I really know of. I had to get up early today (7.30) to go play tennis with my mom. It was fun, but I feel like I wanna sleep now, and it’s only 11:52 XD. I’m so lame. I stay up late writing poetry or listening to music or playing an RPG on my DS. And now I’m really tired. And nobody’s texting back this early, so I’m writing my blog now. Since I read over what I just wrote (I sound REALLY boring) I’ll write my music reviews.

She Wolf – Shakira

1. She Wolf- Wow. Shakira really changed her approach to the dance genre. I liked her Latin-Sex approach to “Hips Don’t Lie” quite a bit. But “She Wolf” is an entirely new genre for our favorite bellydancer. Electronica?! Maybe her one meeting with Ayumi Hamasaki really made her consider her style? I don’t know if that’s the case, but “She Wolf” is a great track. I compare Shakira to Sheryl Crow, and before you criticize my complete lack of taste and perception, let me explain. They both make great MUSIC, while singing along with sub-par vocals. Shakira’s strength in this song is the style and instrumental backing. Her own vocals can be equated to the sound of a robotic lung…. But the song is catchy enough to make it one that will make a significant dent in the Hot 100. My Score: 77/100

Love Drunk – Boys Like Girls

1. Love Drunk- I wasn’t a HUGE fan of Boys Like Girl’s first album. Yes the music was fun, it was typical teenage angst rock that everyone 13+ feels the need to listen to. The band seems to be taking a new direction with “Love Drunk”, which brings back memories of the fan uproar when Good Charlotte “sold out” and released “I Don’t Wanna Be in Love (Dance Floor Anthem)”. This song keeps to an alternative-rock base, but blends in a smooth danceable feel. The lyrics and melody of this summer melody can make you feel the sand in your hair if you close your eyes and concentrate enough. This song will peak by the end of August or September, as it is a SUMMER song, which limits it’s overall appeal. However, a fine cut by an up and coming band. My Score: 84/100

Can’t wait to write more for everyone. R&R please!!!

<3-Hikari

August 2, 2009 Diary / Guilty Pleasure – Ashley Tisdale

•August 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

DIARY- August 2, 2009

Still hating on the friends, save for one of them, who’s out in California visiting my dream college (Stanford). So maybe I hate her a little too. But in the friendly way, I swear! I slept sooo badly last night, I didn’t even fall asleep until about 3 AM…. Usually I watch SNL and then fall asleep almost immediately. But last night, for some reason, I couldn’t. So instead, I turned on my favorite cancelled legal drama, Canterbury’s Law.  

I can’t believe that show got cancelled. I seriously cried the day I read on Wikipedia that my beloved Elizabeth Canterbury wouldn’t be returning to TV after only six episodes. Just another perfectly lovely show that was cancelled by that bedamned “Hollywood Writer’s Strike”. I wanted to be a writer, perhaps even a screenwriter, until the strike. When it began, I was happy – writers, people who are a significant influence in the American television industry, were making their voices heard and demanding better wages. 

Then it began to drag on and freaking on.

Then, it brought about the ruin of Canterbury’s Law. After that, I completely ditched the idea of becoming a screenwriter. I, to this day, cannot understand why people would destroy their own livelihood by striking for an inappropriately  long period of time. If a novelist went on strike, people would simply stop buying their books (Imagine JK Rowling stopping at the sixth Harry Potter book). If a restaurant’s workers went on strike, people would stop patronizing the establishment. I suppose what I’m trying to say here is DO NOT strike against the American Public. While these workers may feel unappreciated, strikes are meant to pressure BOSSES AND MANAGEMENT. Not the everyday business patron. Strike against customers – you lose. 

I’ll climb off my business soap box now, I promise. 

Anyway, I’m growing quite comfortable with this daily blogging thing. I listen to so much music on a daily basis I really can write a review of a single or album to accompany each diary entry. So now, on to the musical review!

Guilty Pleasure – Ashley Tisdale

I think this album is PERFECTLY titled. Who really wants to admit they listen to Ashley Tisdale? (If you’re over age 12…) But the album has a few truly amazing tracks, which makes this album a definite guilty pleasure for me. It received actually…quite poor reviews. I suppose pure power-pop isn’t going to be critically acclaimed after Miley Cyrus “set the standard”…

1. Acting Out – Ashley’s “To HELL with you, High School Musical” song. She wants to be “set free” and show “another side”. At last, it’s a long time coming, in my opinion. I think her and Zac Efron will, five years from now, be the only High School Musical cast members anyone remembers, if they play their cards right. This song spells out what Ashley needs to do to distance herself from the Jonas Brothers Bandwagon and stand on her own. Musically, however, it’s forgettable and bland to the point of being a definite filler track. Why this song was released as a promotional iTunes single…I have no idea. My Score: 53/100

2. It’s Alright, It’s OK – Oh my god. I’ve had this song on repeat for the past two hours. It’s Paramore’s “CrushCrushCrush” meets Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You”, with a dab of pink frosting and cracked-heart sprinkles on top. This song makes me wanna get up and give the finger to anyone that’s made the mistake of breaking my heart. The electro-pop synth and danceable beat make “It’s Alright, It’s OK” a complete knockout. This song should have charted MUCH higher than only 98th place on the Hot 100. I’m afraid to write much more about this song, because I really could gush on about it for hours. My score: 96/100

3. Masquerade – For some reason, “Masquerade” feels like a solo Gwen Stefani effort could have made as a teenager. It seems to be in the style of “The Sweet Escape” mixed with model-turned-singer Anna Tsuchiya’s rendition of “Masquerade” (from the “Nudy Show!” album). Short, but a real musical treat. A perfect follow up to “It’s Alright, It’s Ok”. My Score: 88/100

4. Overrated – The hits just keep coming on this track listing. Ashley’s style begins to deviate from the “She sounds like X” style the previous two songs masterfully represented. I think this song is by far the most original on the album so far. I’m still feeling the Paramore influence, as Ashley’s voice sounds a bit like Hayley Willams’ (Am I completely off the mark there?) I envision a video in the rain for this song as well (Not sure why, but it sounds like a song you’d want to leap up and down to while rain pours on you.). A song that tugs at the heart in the verses before spiraling into a tough chorus. My Score: 93/100

5. Hot Mess – A blog-based reviewer, cited on Wikipedia, called this song a “feeble cut” with “a cheap attempt at boldness”. It’s sassy, a little bitchy and at times, sexy. But none of these traits are necessarily positive when it comes to music. This song can be likened to “Acting Out”, merely because it’s…boring. The vocals are whiny and make Ashley sound as if she can’t sing a lick. A high-seller on iTunes, but in my opinion, fails to live up to the previous tracks in terms of listen-ability, originality and overall quality. My Score: 40/100

6. How Do You Love Someone – When it comes to songs about love, Tisdale needs to stick to songs in the vein of “It’s Alright, It’s OK”. She makes a horrid attempt at world-weariness in this track. The Ashley in this song needs to be told “You’re not a 40-year-old divorcee, you’re 24 and still behave like a teenager.” The vocals again are a bit screechy and wear on the ears after a while. The music itself is the only redeeming aspect of the song, with a decent beat and guitar backing. My Score: 60/100

7. Tell Me Lies – Right off the bat, the electro beat sounds like a rip-off of Katy Perry’s Hot N’ Cold. But as the song progresses, it becomes more original. Almost any song would be a sound improvement after the previous two tracks, in my opinion. A chorus packed with a lovely pop synth/guitar rounds off this album’s return to quality. My Score: 83/100

8. What If – When this song began to play… I couldn’t believe it. Ashley’s truest and most heartfelt song on the album, by far. She pours her heart out over four and a half minutes of a ballad-style anthem. To truly appreciate this song…just listen. A song that can tap into the soul and emotions of anyone who has experienced an unrequited love. I’m scoring it just a touch higher than “It’s Alright, It’s OK”, simply because it has more depth and emotion. My Score: 97/100

9. Erase and Rewind – Once again, a robbery from another prominent artist’s style. Avril Lavigne meets Miley Cyrus in this song. Surprisingly, it works well for Tisdale. She completely rocks the Disney-Pop style, which defines “Erase and Rewind”. This song appeals to Tisdale’s Disney audience, while attempting to hold true to her “I’m not a Disney Girl anymore!!” style. This track would have flowed well with cuts from Ashley’s debut album, “Headstrong”, as it’s the most pure pop-sounding track on the album. My Score: 90/100

10. Hair – Another song that acts as filler between the more knockout songs. “I like what you do to my hair” is the “hook” of this song. A bad Britney Spears ripoff. Nothing more to be said. My Score: 20/100

11. Delete You – I’m amazed at the voice editing technologies available nowadays. Tisdale manages to sound like every popular female artist with only a few select tracks presenting any originality or original vocal style. This song’s guitar backing grates on my mind. I had to turn the music off for about five minutes to recover from the horrible-ness of this song. If I could give a score below 0 for this song, I would. My Score: 0/100. It’s really that bad.

12. Me Without You – This song sounds like an early lyrical edit of “What If”. Tisdale’s vocals sound awful dreadful on this track. I THINK she’s trying to pour emotion into her vocals, even though my father screaming Roy Orbison in the shower every Friday morning sounds more artistic. My Score: 25/100

13. Crank It Up – A Lady GaGa ripoff, plain and simple. All she needs is a Beyonce copy to have compiled the next “Now That’s What I Call Music”. It’s embarassingly similar (lyric-wise) to “Kill the Lights” from Britney Spears, and the beat draws me back to hours better spent listening to “The Fame” from Lady GaGa. Ashley, find your own style. You suck at mimic work. My Score: 28/100

14. Switch – I listened to about thirty seconds of this song, then flipped on Ayumi Hamasaki. No more. Just… BAD. There’s only so much bad music an audiophile can take in one day. From what I heard, it sounded as if she was attempting to salvage the wrecked remains of her album. And failing, rather miserably. My Score: 33/100

FINAL THOUGHTS/OVERALL SCORE:

I’m so glad it’s over. Six out of the fourteen songs were worth listening to. That’s less than fifty percent! I’m so glad I didn’t pay money for this album, because I would have been thoroughly disappointed. Two standout tracks were all that got me through this album. The next album I review will be an album that doesn’t make the listener want to go burn their ears out after it’s over, I promise. Overall Score: 60/100 (D-) (It passed because the few standout tracks need to be rewarded).

I know I promised a double review but I just don’t have it in me. Goodnight, everyone! Until tomorrow,

❤ -Hikari

August 1, 2009 Diary / Wanted – Jessie James

•August 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

DIARY- August 1, 2009

I really hate my friends sometimes. They seem to just… think I’m some disposable resource they can use for their own twisted purposes. I was dumped not ONCE, but TWICE today by friends that I was trying to make plans with. I mean… what the HELL?! What I really hate is when you’re talking to someone on the phone and they hold the phone six freaking inches away from their face and talk about you to someone near them, thinking you can’t hear a word they’re saying, when, in reality, you can hear EVERYTHING, and then they return to the phone conversation all happy and acting as though you’re completely oblivious to what they just said. And then they act as if you have NO IDEA of the conversation they just had about you.

So people are really sucking today in my opinion. I wonder…I just… I wonder what goes through a friend’s head when they gossip about you to someone and then expect you not to hear about it. Have they never heard the term “What Goes Around, Comes Around”??? I mean, turn on a Former Top-40 hits radio station and you’ll that one-day classic from Justin Timberlake. I’m not even gonna TRY to understand what people think.

I’ve decided though that this blog will double as my personal diary for anyone and everyone to comment on. I’m horrible at keeping a diary and writing in it alot, but maybe if I have… fans? At minimum, readers, I can hopefully motivate myself to keep writing and be persistent!! Ganbatte, ne?

So…other personal thoughts for today… Jeez, I can’t really think of any. I’ll write more about my thoughts and such tomorrow!

Now, on to the music review!!

Wanted – Jessie James

My first reviews have both been new artists… Strange, huh? This is another debut single, this time it’s an American artist, the lovely Jessie James. I think she looks WAY too much like Shania Twain for it to be normal. I think they were cloned or something, or will come out as sisters in the next issue of People or something. People seems to be a freak forum, so why not there? Although if they went down the “We’ll interview with Cosmo instead!” route, then they’d have to add their own personal sex tips. (Although Shania’s didn’t work out too well, now did they?)

1. Wanted – The only song on this single. I was actually saddened that there was only one song to listen to on this digital single! Jessie James has an AMAZING voice. Truly amazing. I think Mariah Carey might lose her spot as “Kickass-Voice Diva” if this girl sounds half as good live as she does in this recording. I can describe her voice as a lovely blend of Carrie Underwood and Christina Aguilera. Throw in some of the sexy I’ve come to love from J-Diva Koda Kumi and edit out the Engrish. I mean, listening to this song makes you FEEL sexy after you’ve listened. One of the best American releases so far this year. If this song doesn’t at LEAST hit the top 20 of the Hot 100, I will lose SO MUCH faith in the American collective musical taste. I mean, it’s bad enough that the Black Eyed Peas have dominated the charts for the past three months with “Boom Boom Pow”, “The E.N.D.” and “I Gotta Feeling”, keeping a should-be number one (“You Belong With Me”- Taylor Swift) from the top spot. But to deny this could-be musical legend her first chance to make her mark in pop music history would border on criminal. In summary, I adore this song. It’s actually the Pix-Flix message tone on my cell phone right now! My Score: 98/100 (Note, as there is only ONE song on this single, there will be no final thoughts or overall score because the one song’s score reflects its overall score.

Tomorrow I will have a double review and a diary post!

❤ -Hikari

Introduction / SHOCK (Unmei) – Kuroki Meisa

•July 31, 2009 • 1 Comment

To start this post off, WELCOME TO MY BLOG 🙂

I’m new at this whole “posting thoughts for the world to see” thing, but I figure I should give it a shot. I love music, especially Japanese music! So I’m going to use this blog as a way to express my opinions about current musical releases in Asia (Japan and occasionally South Korea) and America. 

Which brings me to my first review ever!

SHOCK -Unmei- –Kuroki Meisa

I’d never heard of Kuroki Meisa before. After a quick Wikipedia search, I’ve found that she’s not only a singer, but an actress and a model. The modelling thing doesn’t surprise me, it seems alot of Japanese models try to start singing careers after they get old or unpopular as models. (Anna Tsuchiya, anyone?)

Most of the model-singer hybrids suck.

Kuroki Meisa…does not. At all. This single is the best summer single I’ve heard so far, easily blowing J-Pop Princess artist Koda Kumi’s “3 Splash” single right out of the water. That means alot, coming from me, Kuu-chan is one of my favorite artists. But let’s get down to the numbers and individual song reviews.

1. Shock-Unmei- — The title track, and the best on the single. A sexy remix of a classical Beethoven symphony shatters into a tugging, enthralling vocal performance from Meisa. The electric, chilling instrumentals are inspired by Classical and Baroque period master compositions. The “old” style can hardly be called old, with the sultry glaze of Meisa’s voice coating the music, and this combination creates a sweet treat, luscious for the ears to enjoy. My Score: 93/100 

2. Wasted — Upon reading this song track title, I was half-expecting one of those horrid Japanese artist covers of an English Language hit. (Aya Matsuura singing “Don’t Know Why” *shudder*) But instead, a smart, easily danceable B-side began instead. The beat pattern in the background is a bit repetitive, which to me, kills any originality the song had, as well as the repeat factor. Of course, any B-side would fail to compare to this single’s A-side, so, for what it’s worth, this B-side is an enjoyable listen. My Score: 80/100

3. Bad Girl (Bachologic Remix) — This song shows Meisa taking a page from Korean R&B artist Rain’s book and blends it with the style of J-Diva Ami Suzuki. And it works pretty well for her. She completely works it in this song, which is simply aching to be played at every dance club in Tokyo. An overall high quality dance-style song that rounds this single out in a highly pleasant fashion. My Score: 87/100

FINAL THOUGHTS/OVERALL SCORE:

This single has one standout track that will earn a place on my repeat list, along with two decent tracks placed on the single to jack up the price and add appeal to the alternative-music crowd. In my opinion, the title track, along with it’s instrumental, would have been a strong enough single, without the two extra, unneeded B-sides to drag it down. The title track is worth downloading, but purchasing the entire CD single would, in my opinion, be a waste of money. Overall Score: 85/100 (B)