ゾロメ 1/11? Does that even count? (笑) [2006-01-11]

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21 fév. 2006, 2h41m

If New Year's week releases left me happy, the following week was even more of an improvement, marred only by feel, which wasn't all that bad anyways. Some gentle music easy to listen to with a fairly catchy chorus, it grew on me quickly even if it's not something that's memorable to me. Much as I'm not too fond of 倖田來未 (Koda Kumi) now, it's still a decent song.

By far and away the most anticipated release for the January 11 week was 一輪の花 (Ichirin no Hana), also the 3rd and latest opening to the BLEACH anime. This isn't my favorite single of theirs, but it's still a solid showing from a group that debuted only around the same time last year. High And Mighty Color's been going into hard rock since their album G∞VER, and this single isn't an exception. Male vocalist Yuusuke takes stanzas and female vocalist Maki sings the choruses, both joining for the bridge and making for an overall nice combination in vocals as compared to previous singles. The drums have a frantic pace to them that the guitars easily match and help offset the atmosphere. In comparison, the B-side Warped Reflection is another grunge rock track as was seen in their early single B-sides. I can't particularly say Yuusuke's hoarse screaming as grown on me, which makes it all the better that Maki takes lead and he's backup. The final B-side is a remix of the title track (一輪の花 ~huge Hollow Mix~), titled to reflect the song's inclusion in BLEACH. It's rather chaotic, even throwing in some screaming from Yuusuke, and fitting in relation to the Hollows of BLEACH. Much better than the remixes of PRIDE last year, and while I don't particularly like the remixed vocals, it's not too annoying and works with the music.

Less anticipated except by specific fans of the following two artists were No Limit featuring 宇多丸 (from RHYMESTER) and 中ノ森BAND - OH MY DARLIN' ~Girls having Fun~. Which is a damn shame, because this single and album (respectively) were the two best releases of the week.

三浦大知 (Miura Daichi) has been working with the dance R&B style for a while to some excellent effects when combined with his smooth vocals. Combining the best parts of techno-filled Free Style (still my favorite single of his) and slower orchestra-backed Southern Cross, No Limit is R&B mixed with rock beats, synth effects, and orchestral strings for a dramatic song.

Oh, and they threw in shiny!bald rapper 宇多丸 (Utamaru) from Japanese rap group RHYMESTER for an added pump. It works rather well, too, as Utamaru's sharp raps contrast well against Daichi's smooth vocals. On the same single is the version used for the Project Gotham Racing 3 game with a different rapper, K-MUTO. (A longer version of this same song is the one used for the album released later the same month.) Unfortunately, K-MUTO can't live up to Utamaru, particularly since his rapping gets muted.

(We're going to ignore 銀の涙 since I've never been too fond of Daichi's B-sides. But it's a slow pop song with Spanish guitar, if you're so inclined.)

中ノ森BAND (Nakanomori BAND)... I think the best way to tout them would be "The New Zone". Except that distinction goes to the band with an actual member of ZONE, Maria. But I digress.

Leader 中ノ森文子 (Nakanomori Ayako) was runner up at the Starlight auditions (which lead vocalist of w-inds. 橘慶太 (Tachibana Keita) won), so I'm a bit surprised it took her 4/5 years to resurface (and with a band of 3 (formerly 4) others, too). I guess being runner-up wasn't all that big a deal in 2000? Or else the appeal of ZONE was strong?

At any rate, these girls do pop-rock, and they do catchy, good pop-rock. Ayako writes most of the lyrics herself along with being the main vocalist, though I suppose that's nothing special given that this is a band.

Going back to the pop-rock point - the entire album is pop-rock, and the girls make sure to never forget the rock. Some songs take a short while to grow on the listener, while others immediately latch on and don't let go - it all depends on the sort of stuff you prefer to listen to. They're all great songs, single tracks or otherwise. Kimi's personal favorites are シークレットプール (SECRET POOL) and TOY, with their fun and upbeat melodies and extremely catchy hooks.

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