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What’s On Brett’s IPhone?: WEEK 12 & 13 March 25, 2012

Filed under: ~What's on Brett's iPhone~ — solarblade @ 7:46 pm

Since I was missing in action for a week I decided to mesh two weeks of time in this post YAY!…So here are ten songs ^_^

1. Nami Tamaki – Destiny

The Song: Destiny was a album track for greeting and funny enough is one of two (the other being “Eternal Voice”) where it was GUNDAM-like in its presentation. 

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: Well, we already know that I stan hard for Ms. Tamaki in a good way and since this is SONY we’re talking about, there’s a lot of songs on my iPhone during this era from her.  Destiny while not on the top of my favorites, it’s pretty energetic and hearing Nami pull off those high notes is awesome!

2. Aaliyah – Rock the Boat

The Song: Rock the Boat was Aaliyah’s second single to promote her final album, ΛΛLIYΛH and unfortunately the song also got remembered as the setting that killed her because she died in a plane crash coming home from shooting the MV for it.  Yeah it’s that big of a song…though I don’t think it was as popular as “More Than a Woman” was.

The Video: Givin that the song has a very sensual feel and flow to it, I wasn’t expecting to see that Aaliyah would actually make the setting around the Caribbean.  It looks so peaceful and perfect for the song.  There’s close up shots of her on a beach and the choreography is done on a boat.  Add in some underwater scenes and an odd green-screen set for some of the dancing, you kind of get this.  I mean since it was he final video she really shot, Rock the Boat is a pretty video for its time. 

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: I love Aaliyah too, so I do get nostalgic vibes whenever I listen to her music since she brings such a sweet style to music.  While Rock the Boat’s lyrics are a bit too sensual for a young’n at the time, this makes a little more nowadays and it’s sexual hahah.  Still it’s a pretty song and hearing Aaliyah in such a deep tone really impressed me…miss her!

3. Katy Perry – Firework

The Song: Third single from Teenage Dream, Firework might be one of the best songs from this album (even though there’s a lot of great songs). 

The Video: Interesting that she shot this in Prague (in the Czech Republic), Firework’s PV is like the song’s lyrics…you know uplifting and having a positive message.  There are different scenes that basically just turns out to be a message that says you’re great in your own way don’t let it bring you down.  A couple of things stood out like the gay guy being smokin’ hot!  and the fact fireworks shot out of Katy’s boobs…I mean if that literally happened I’d prolly die XD. 

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: I love Firework for some reason, it’s uplifting lyrics really popped out at me and Katy sounds powerful for this song which helped it gain that No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts.  I just really love this song.

4. Mai Kuraki  – NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP (featuring Michael Africk)

The Song: Ahhhh, her fourth A-side, NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP might have tooken some notes from that well-known rickroll tune from Rick Astley.  Of course this is also the first song Mai-K has collaborated with and that’s Michael Africk who tried to follow the bubblegum-pop craze in America but kind of failed and stuck with Mai (oddly enough they still work together!) ^_^

The Video: The tune begins with a short intro piece with a different song/melody that isn’t found on any version of the song.  Sadly the PV for the tune is mostly shot in a recording studio.  A little interesting since it’s like behind the scenes and all that.  Also most of the video is played out in black and white which is a bummer.  At least you see both Mai and Michael singing their respective parts.  However, the rapping part does go in color but Africk….why are you wearing mesh clothing to show ur body…it’s so RANDOM!!!  Still not a very epic PV but it’s nice.

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: Like Aaliyah’s song, NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP is a sensual tune and quite different from Mai-K before this single was released.  I do feel the rapping part is still very odd but somehow without it, it wouldn’t have left the same feelings.  Great song ^_^

5. KARA – Speed Up

The Song: Speed Up is KARA’s 6th A-side though shares it with “Girls Power”.  Unlike the past three singles, this is a bit more like K-pop regular than KARA’s cute stuff which is a nice jump. 

The Video: I was surprised with KARA’s PV for Speed Up since it really took them to a different side of their personalities.  I mean the closest to it was “Mister”.  The PV is a lot dingy and darker than I thought it’d be and the girls look sexy rather than just cute.  Does remind me of a f(x) PV but this is quite nice for the group!

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett: Speed Up is the most recent addition to the iPhone that’s for sure and it’s because it’s so different for KARA but somehow ended up working for em.  It’s just a pretty good song and quickly growing on me.

6. 5DOLLS – Your Words

The Song: Your Words is the main track that was used to promote 5DOLLS’ Charming Five Girls and if you must know, 5DOLLS are a sub-group from Co-ed School ^_^

The Video: It’s such a tragic song to be honest.  I mean a girl that fights for a guys attention/love just only to end up dying at the end of the PV…saddening T.T  Also they used an extended version of the song so the story could be filled out more.  I mean “Lip Stains” was part one and “Your Words” was pt. 2.  It’s just a little sad it ended the way it did but it’s still a nice story. 

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: I kind of ended up enjoying this song because it was during my K-pop wave.  Your Words might be a little repetitive because of its chorus but I still think Your Words was pretty awesome for a subgroup.

7. Morning Musume – Souda! We’re ALIVE

The Song: Such a great and loud song from Momosu.  It had a lot of weird things going on like chanting and some kind of weird Russian motif through a certain part of the song.  Still it had a powerful arrangement and great vocals from the girls who actually put emotion to the lyrics. 

The Video: Like the song’s feel, there’s a lot of punching the air in the PV funny enough.  It’s pretty glossy of a setting and the ladies are doing a good job keeping up with the song (even when some of them are doing choreography while wearing handbags and such.  Other mentionings are the dancing in the russian-sounding area and the ladies falling onto some hay and some group shots with stop-motion.  Pretty nifty video!

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: Despite being pretty herky-jerky of the song, Souda! We’re ALIVE stands out with it’s great chants and boost of personality for the girls with this one.  I do think it’s one of my favorites from the group…odd right?  Chahhhh…good song indeed!

8. Morning Musume – Onna ni Sachi Are

The Song: Onna ni Sachi Are represents as the first single to include the Chinese members, Junjun & Linlin and also the second A-side to represent Platinum 9 DISC

The Video: Nowadays, I feel like it’s a more classier version of “Pyokopyoko Ultra” in the fact their using feathery boas and their outfits are also yellow.  I mean after most of the previous PVs from them, Onna ni Sachi Are felt very low quality and didn’t feature the new members enough IMO (which is something I say a lot during the Panda’s tenures).  The choreography was nice but a lot of it was odd because of the boas getting in the way.  Also the close-up shots were interesting especially the ones shot at their sides…that was pretty cool.  Still not one of the more thought producing PV’s they had.

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: I love this song for some reason, the fact that it has this parapara feel to it plus hearing ~baka~ over and over is pretty ballsy for Tsunku XD.  Great and energetic dance track from them.

9. T.M.Revolution – Trace Millenium Road

The Song: Yup, Trace Millenium Road is part of those songs where he has his signature T.M.R lettering across it.  Meaning it was an album song, this one from progress.

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: I love the stringwork in the song and how it moves from that to some epic guitar strikes that just made the song seem so right for Takanori.  I do think it’s one of those rare songs that I like from T.M.R before “coordinate” existed.

10. Steely Dan – Dirty Work

The Song: Released in 1972, Dirty Work was track 2 on Can’t Buy a Thrill though I don’t know if it was a single or not.

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: Well I’ve said before that I do like songs from the past (even before I was born) so seeing Dirty Work is no surprise to me.  I loved the laidback feel of the song plus the added saxophone solo in it were quite awesome. 

 

 

SO WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK OF THE TWO WEEKS WORTH OF SONGS? ^_^

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Limited addiction

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 4:51 am

Track Listing

  1. Intro
  2. Sparkle
  3. W.M.A.D
  4. Regret.
  5. Boku no Tegami
  6. Don’t Be Cruel
  7. Liar
  8. Rock you!
  9. Memai feat. Vanilla Beans
  10. Limited addiction
  11. Tsuioku
  12. Outro
  13. Sparkle -Royal Mirrorball Mix- (Type C only)
  14. We Will Win! ~Kokoro no Baton de Po Pon no Po~n☆~

1. Intro

Starting the girl’s sophomore album off, Intro kind of gives us this disco-groovy feel to it which is pretty awesome since it’s fun to listen to and the arrangement is great.  Did a pretty good job setting the album up.

2. Sparkle

Following the goodness of the intro, Sparkle utilizes deeper synths to get this 80’s sound which sounds really cool and chill.  I’m not sure how to explain this to the best of ways but it kind of reminds me of “W.M.A.D” and has similar sounds found in it when it comes to the various A-sides on the album.  I like it for the most part but I do feel like it’s a little bit uninspired.

3. W.M.A.D

Talking about said song, our next track was the secondary A-side of the 2nd single released for the era.  I know I’m going to be saying this all over this review but the album songs sound a lot like the singles themselves which is already made a point when I reviewed the singles >.<  However, I do think there are a couple of songs that really stick out like W.M.A.D since it’s a lot more energetic and has a fun arrangement to go along with it.  I love the warped ~ahhhhs~ in the bridge for some reason, but the chorus is another reason that it stood out to me.  One of the era’s best songs!

4. Regret.

While I’ve heard a preview of said song back on a single, it’s the album’s longest track being above 6 minutes.  I was surprised since I didn’t think they would make a song that long.  I felt the intro almost reminded me of “Kirari☆”.  However, the energy of the song kind of reminds me of the other songs on the album unfortunately so it kind of lacks here as well.  Which also means that the time length really made it hard to keep going though the synth solo in the middle was a nice treat.  Ehhh?

5. Boku no Tegami

Finally a song to sort of break the mold of the album perhaps.  It is a bit slower than most of the songs…but it uses the same instruments that are found in most of the songs too.  The slower tempo is a nice change but it’s really hard to enjoy it but I guess the fact that I feel that it’s a bit more bluesy is interesting.  Still I can’t help but feel like it’s just a slower “Limited addiction”.

6. Don’t Be Cruel

I still find it funny that this was the only true B-side for the era…weird.  Don’t Be Cruel does sound a little bit different when put against the other songs on the album which is good because this focuses elsewhere but doesn’t stray from the group’s sound overall.  I will say that I would’ve loved a little more oomph from the song because it kind of lacks something.  I will say it’s grown since the initial review I did back on it’s single. 

7. Liar

Ahhhh the primary A-side of their 2nd single comes next and Liar does fit after “Don’t Be Cruel” for some reason but since they both sound similar it’s really no surprise here.  The thing that really stood out from this particular song was that they pushed their vocals hard on this one and the results were pretty good.  Plus the song’s classy sound kind of worked for them IMO.  Definitely grew into this one for sure and a good thing!

8. Rock you!

A week prior, Rock you! came out and sadly beyond the cool intro and the chant…there really wasn’t much to really seperate it from the other songs in the era but the girls are singing a little more broader like the high notes from who I thought it was Mei.  Reminds me of “W.M.A.D” as well but a little more darker lyrically.  Not bad but meh I’m tired of these same sounding songs.

9. Memai feat. Vanilla Beans

I didn’t expect TG’S would actually collaborate with Vanilla Beans who are totally different from each other.  Memai also is good for this album because at least it doesn’t sound repetitive.  I was curious though since it’s seven ladies singing together.  It does have a certain fusion of both sounds of each group so that was pretty impressive.  Unfortunately Risa and Rena are stuck singing behind the younger ladies which is sad but the song was nice, not gonna lie.

10. Limited addiction

It’s sad that by this time I’m so TIRED of the same-instrumentation that’s going on (with that little break in “Memai”).  When it comes to Limited addiction, I think it’s just badass and totally nullifies the fact that it caused so many sound-a-likes here.  I mean this song has great vocals, a powerful arrangement and definitely brought my attention to Ayano since she just blew me away.  Oddly enough, it is the album’s best track.

11. Tsuioku

As we near the end of the album, Tsuioku finally breaks the monotany of the album by presenting a straight up ballad.  It’s a bit random to come crashing into a song like this but it’s nice and the chorus really gives it this drive that surprises me when compared to the quiet verses.  A really nice ballad and works for them (odd seeing that idol ballads usually suck).

12. Outro

Closing the album (well not really), Outro kind of gives us this jazzy melody in contrast to “Intro’s” disco vibes.  I thought it was a fair way to close things…up to the part where it gets rockin’ and this guitar solo just pops in with like weird bits from the girls.  As quick and random as that enters it goes back to the jazzy side just as quick. 

13. Sparkle -Royal Mirrorball Mix

On one edition of the album, we get a RM remix of Sparkle which I think could be considered the promo but it doesn’t even get a PV.  Anyways the remix is interesting because it kind of reminds me of “Himawari to Hoshikuzu” with the amount of brass and funky disco beats.  Odd enough, I like the remix more than the original which kind of surprises me in a way since most of the time, Royal Mirrorball remixes are kind of mediocre.

14. We Will Win! ~Kokoro no Baton de Po Pon no Po~n☆~

While Type C actually has two songs after the “Outro”, the other versions have one song closing things out and that’s We Will Win! (the secondary A-side that begun the era).  We Will Win! does kind of sound like some of the stuff that was on “Kodou no Himitsu” but thrown together with the overall sound with this album.  How it makes sense to make it the album’s final track is beyond me but it’s not as bad as I first remembered it…but the idol-ish genki shouts are here but that’s alright.  Not the best song…but it’s tolerable.

Tracks Recommended

  • Limited addiction
  • W.M.A.D
  • Liar
  • Tsuioku
  • Sparkle -Royal Mirrorball Mix-

Song of Avoidance

  • Regret.

Damn, TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE hit their sophomore slump with Limited addiction.  At the time Liar/W.M.A.D was released, I had high hopes because they had pretty much started to sound amazing and was being a force to reckon with.  The album is good but the main problem was that this album lacked variety in the major way.  Minus Memai and Tsuioku the album just sounded like one LOOOOONG song.  I was just disappointed but the A-sides really stood out…but that’s because they’ve had time to stick to my mind.

 

Namie Amuro – Go Round/YEAH-OH

Filed under: Namie Amuro — solarblade @ 2:39 am

Track Listing

  1. Go Round
  2. YEAH-OH
  3. Go Round (Instrumental)
  4. YEAH-OH (Instrumental)

1. Go Round

Hmmm, it’s just too much when it comes to Namie haha.  She always seems to impress me with her songs (especially in this era for sure).  Go Round is catchy and has this danceable style which kind of has this groove almost like “WILD” meets “Higher”.  It’s not a bad song but my only gripe is probably her pronouncing the hell outta the title.  Not bad actually.

2. YEAH-OH

However, I think my conscience is just leading me into loving the other A-side on this single.  YEAH-OH is a lot harder of a drive and I love how Namie sounds in this song for sure.  It fits with the other dance tracks she has…almost like “Break It”.  It’s just a great song and I was happy that it also got a PV for it.

 

 

At this point of the current era, Namie is just wanting to spam her album with upbeat songs.  Not that I don’t mind because all the upbeat tracks have been mostly amazing (cept “Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!”).  Either way, Go Round & YEAH-OH are just all-around great dance tunes to shake your butt to.  I do think it’s better than a lot of singles but still doesn’t come close to “NAKED/Fight Together/Tempest”.

 

DiVA – Lost the way

Filed under: DiVA — solarblade @ 2:13 am

Track Listing

  1. Lost the way
  2. Kanashimi no Mirage (Type A only)
  3. Stargazer -2012 Here I am cuz of U- Yuka Masuda from DiVA (Type B only)
  4. Kimi wa Pegasus -DiVA Ver.- (Type C only)
  5. Kimi wa Pegasus -Original Track Cover- (Theater Edition only)
  6. Lost the way (Instrumental)
  7. Kanashimi no Mirage (Instrumental)
  8. Stargazer -2012 Here I am cuz of U- Yuka Masuda from DiVA (Instrumental)
  9. Kimi wa Pegasus -DiVA Ver.- (Instrumental)

1. Lost the way

I have to say of the Aki.P subgroups out there and with SDN48 disbanding, my attention has focused on DiVA who still have amazing vocals!  Unlike their previous two A-sides, Lost the way is a bit more anime-esque and also a bit more to the book as well.  I was expecting that this song would feature the four girls plus the new 6 ladies…but it stayed as the primary four oddly enough.  It’s pretty though and while I don’t think it’s better than “Tsuki no Uragawa”, it’s quite good.

2. Kanashimi no Mirage

The first B-side that occurs first is definitely fitting to be alongside “Tsuki no Uragawa” and “Cry” since it’s synthy but not focused on energy…just keeping a smooth atmosphere and cool attitude.  I really love this side to the group and it just shows me that they can be pretty damn impressive and do amazing things without depending on the AKB-title.  This is a good song that should represent them.

3. Stargazer -2012 Here I am cuz of U- Yuka Masuda from DiVA

Jeeze, long title aside, we can easily assume that Yuka got a solo track.  However, what I wasn’t expecting was that Stargazer to be downright badass for being a solo track.  Yuka’s vocals are pretty deep and she sounds REALLY good for doing an anime-esque song like this.  It’s powerful and really shows her off in a bright light…definitely loving this song for sure!

4. Kimi wa Pegasus -DiVA Ver.-

The final two tracks are covers of AKB’s Team K song from a while ago.  The DiVA version is actually quite different from the original, having a new arrangement basically.  Unlike the previous tracks, Kimi wa Pegasus has this 90’s pop feel…almost like TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE’s sound currently.  It’s alright but I don’t find it very memorable.

5. Kimi wa Pegasus -Original Track Cover-

The original version is based off the original arrangement but kept the same four ladies around.  Compared to the DiVA version, the music sounds a lil more watered down which is to be expected but I do feel the vocals are a little different as well…and I’m not sure why.  Ehhhh, I’ll take the revisioned one over this.

 

 

Wow, DiVA just struck gold with Lost the way.  I’m a lil surprised that while they went with auditions and added 6 new members, they didn’t utilize them in the single (vocally).  I mean, Sae, Yuka, Sayaka, Ayaka are amazing and all that but it’s kind of like why the dead weight if they aren’t going to be utilized (though I’ll hold off until the next single to see if they’re being put on as dead weight and added eye candy to the PVs.  Single-wise, Lost the way is awesome of a single.  Minus the Kimi wa Pegasus covers, the single was amazing LOL.  Yuka is amazing in Stargazer and just all kinds of epic is found in Kanashimi no Mirage.  Best single yet!!!

 

Berryz Koubou – Be Genki (Naseba Naru!)

Filed under: Berryz Koubou — solarblade @ 1:32 am

Track Listing

  1. Be Genki <Naseba Naru!>
  2. Mou, Kodomo ja Nai Watashi na no ni…
  3. Be Genki <Naseba Naru!> (Instrumental)

1. Be Genki <Naseba Naru!>

Well, when I first turned on Berryz’ newest single I kind of felt like I was listening to “Pyokopyoko Ultra” at first because of its youthful sound oddly enough.  Not gonna lie but coming after “Aa, Yo ga Akeru”, this was pretty much a tough change since it’s totally different.  I do like the superhero theme though and hearing Miyabi and Risako take over was nice.  Unusual but it’s like the 2012 “Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance”…you know random but oh so good!

2. Mou, Kodomo ja Nai Watashi na no ni…

The bigger surprise was the B-side because it just was unexpected to see that Chinami is actually the lead singer of this one.  If you liked their last A-side that I mentioned above, then this might be your style which has that classy but poppy feel to it.  Of course the biggest difference is that one of the back girls ended up with the most vocals.  The other girls get lines but it’s Chinami most of the time.  It’s cute and all and it does stand out amongst their last couple of ones. 

 

 

It didn’t feel like we had enough time to take in “Ai no Album 8” but having Be Genki is nice if not interesting.  Of course I don’t think this single surpasses either “Ai no Dangan” or “Aa, Yo ga Akeru” but it’s a nice single that doesn’t really have too many faults.  Not bad overall ^_^…I will say though A-side >B-side.

 

Minori Chihara – Celestial Diva

Filed under: Minori Chihara — solarblade @ 1:10 am

Track Listing

  1. Celestial Diva
  2. IDENTITY
  3. Celestial Diva (off vocal)
  4. IDENTITY (off vocal)

1. Celestial Diva

I was curious getting into Celestial Diva since the lyrics were written by Arika from ALI PROJECT.  The arrangement though has Minorin’s synth style which is pretty cool oddly enough but Minori’s vocals do sound a little odd since they’re just a bit nasally here.  I mean it’s not as epic as some of the tracks on “D-Formation” but this is a good way to begin an era (rather than “Freedom Dreamer” or “Yasashii Boukyaku”.

2. IDENTITY

I will say I wasn’t expecting both tracks to be upbeat and synth-heavy like they are.  IDENTITY though reminds me more of different anime themes since it’s mid-tempo and has a bit of stringwork spaced out and around the song.  I do approve of this one more since her voice is a lot more easier to take than in “Celestial Diva”.

 

 

She’s definitely a release hound it seems.  I mean we haven’t really had “D-Formation” for a long time but that’s OK.  Celestial Diva is actually not too bad and for a first A-side of a new era, it stood out better than what began her last era for sure.  IDENTITY though is the better song oddly enough and made a stronger impression with its heavier arrangement and stronger vocals.  Good single ^_^

 

KARA – Speed Up/Girls Power

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 12:43 am

Track Listing

  1. Speed Up
  2. Girls Power
  3. Speed Up (Instrumental)
  4. Girls Power (Instrumental)
  5. Step (First Press CD only)

1. Speed Up

It has been a while since KARA have made a darker-laced song an A-side…at least since “Jumping”.  Speed Up would’ve sound amazing but I do feel that they didn’t need the need to abuse the auto-tune as much as they did like in the chorus.  I love the verses though so it does cancel it out somewhat.  I do think KARA are more talented than this though but this isn’t bad as the primary A-side.

2. Girls Power

If you like KARA in the “Super Girl” era, Girls Power would be that kind of track since it’s a little more based off their cuter side.  To be honest think of “Jet Coaster Love” meeting with “GO GO Summer!” and you kind of get the gist of what this song is about.  I will say that I find myself leaning towards this song because the vocals are less synthesized and the energy is a bit more solid than in “Speed Up”. 

3. Step

Funny that they made the Japanese version of Step a CD only bonus track.  I’ve already said so much about the original since it’s just that amazing and all kinds of energetic.  Released prior as a digital single, Step didn’t lose any of it’s power and charm and actually sounds quite good in Japanese as well…I’m rather surprised to be honest!  Still a great K-pop song but now in Japanese!!!

 

 

KARA closes their Universal days with Speed Up/Girls Power and I think it’s a nice way to say goodbye to their label.  Speed Up is a good and slightly darker K-pop tinged tune but the auto-tune kind of hinders it.  Girls Power though was better and I’m not usually into their cutesy stuff but this was somehow a lot better.  Step shouldn’t be taken into consideration…but it’s just as good as its original.