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  • LA JAPONAISE (MEG)

    27 avr. 2012, 3h08m

    LA JAPONAISE is such a sweet album. Sure it's not the solid electropop nakata record everyone wants, but it's that multi-composer concept album MEG's been dreaming of since FREAK. It's refreshing to hear MEG in different capacities, showing off her charm and skills in singing piano driven ballads (Still Love Her), classic french pop music (Comment te dire adieu, which sounds a lot like kahimi karie), quintessential Japanese quirk that just doesn't exist anymore (sailor fuku, TOUGH BOY). Even the Nakata song is refreshingly odd, I couldn't even figure out which one was his at first! MEGxShanghai Restoration Project is exciting and perfect, perhaps moreso because it was the only song I recognised (Wind). Perhaps the only thing missing is Ma Melissa, being the most 'typical MEG' song, but I guess it's inclusion would detract from the gentler feel of the album.

    This album feels like a love song to Japan, which is especially sweet having been created during her departure from the country.
  • I did it! Proof I can force myself to like albums

    29 août 2009, 20h04m

    After about three days of solid work, I finally forced myself to genuinely enjoy Meg's 2009 album BEAUTIFUL. I've done this before, but this was especially difficult due to the sheer repulsiveness the album was when I first heard it.

    Nakata Yasutaka produced albums are usually a hit or miss. whilst I like most of his work for Pefume, I don't understand why half his Capsule stuff is just pure rubbish (whereas the other half are his best). The problem with BEAUTIFUL was I was expecting a fuller sounding, cute vocals (ie her FREAK/Journey vocals) poppier sound with heaps of bass. Instead it ended up being rehashed of the more annoying capsule songs, awkward compositions with awkward english all sung with odd sounding vocals.

    ...but after awhile it becomes very endearing. Good job MEG, you're last three releases have all been very enjoyable and very different. Proof you don't need to rely on certain producers to have good music (or that all three of those producers were top grade (or that you attract you producers (or that you have good taste in producers))) :)

    Kudos nakata (Capsule), Shanghai Restoration Project, Hadouken!
  • avoiding lit study: 1991-2008 songs to play at my funeral

    1 juin 2008, 17h48m

    This is something I've been trying to compile for a long while, but I just love too many darn songs to make the ultimate 70 minute CD >< I guess you could buy my funeral song collection as a 4 disc set, and of course, just have a very long funeral party.

    This is basically a list of very important songs whom all deserve gold medals. In alphabetical order:

    1. Beautiful World
    Ehh, reminds me so much of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and my most played song of 07. Basically a song that resonates with an indescribable emotion dealing with the end of the world.

    2. Body Feels EXIT
    One of my first jpop songs. Funky 90s euro-jp-pop. My lullyby song for my Japan Tour in 05!

    3. Bold & Delicious
    Song I wouldn't stop obsessing about when I was leaving school. kinda suspect when I think about it o.o

    4. Boy From School
    All kinds of awesome, started my obsession with the group/band/assemblement. It plays so well after Fated, which was always before it on iTunes :P

    5. Brownie The Cat -魅惑の猫ルーム-
    The bands warmest, fuzziest song ever. I don't remember why or when, but I remember it.

    6. Cage
    Just another great Onitsuka song, which I liked moreso. Reminds me of being in a car.

    7. chocolate, rasberry, lemon and lime
    best ringtone ever.

    8. ChOOSe mE or Die
    The epitome of february. I can just listen to this song forever, as I often do when I have a repeat button close by.

    9. Colors
    FAAAVOURITE hikki song. spent a lot of 05 memorising the lyrics, and spending all night absorbing it's glory.

    10. Dreaming I Was Dreaming
    unexplainable excellence and odd existence, my morning drive to murdoch song :)

    11. everyhome
    her comeback song. an epic journey of a song. repeat listens necessary.

    12. Evolution
    probably the song that started it all. great drive, reminds you to live.

    13. Fated
    the ayu song I needed in terms of freshness. probably second most plays last year.

    14. feel my soul
    one of the songs my host-brother from Japan gave me. awesomely awesome with a CHE.R.RY on top.

    15. Hide And Seek
    haven't heard of a soul who doesn't like this song - i don't think it's possible! it's just all kinds of greatness, lyrics, music, appearance in OC and practically every other soap, etc.

    16. Hyperballad
    gotta have bjork playing! hyperballad is the first song i heard i think, and probably my favourite. best of her obscure lyrics methinks.

    17. I LOVE YOU
    i hated this song at first, until i realized i loved it. great 07 memories, and precuser to no. 21 LIFE.

    18. Infection
    first onitsuka song, it was average. until i heard it on radioblogclub - loved it ever since. massive epicness.

    22. ♥Lonely in Gorgeous♥
    CHOCOBO RACING THEME SONG!

    23. The Motion Waltz (Emotional Commotion)gotta love disney's 47th animated feature. i'm not sure why Another Believer isn't on this list....

    TBC...
  • ayumi hamasaki presents 「GUILTY」 almost one-liner comments.

    22 déc. 2007, 15h03m

    In her tenth year and thus tenth anniversary of queen of jpop ayumi hamasaki, ayu finally admits that she is indeed, guilty, of one of the worst crimes possible. Holding prisoners of millions with a seemly unbreakable stronghold I like to call, ayu pawaa.

    As always, I could (and have) write an essay over the last few days in anticipation of this wonderfully fantastic album, so in order not to feel guilty over missing anything, I decided a minimalistic approach, for the sake of both the writer and the reader :) aren't I nice? <3

    1. Mirror is one of ayumi's best openers, second only to My Story's Catcher in the light, from the provocative military beat to the GUI(L)TARS IN YOUR FACE chorus, this into if full of energy and perfectly sets up the atmosphere of what you can expect to be a brilliant 10th studio effort.

    2. (don't) Leave me alone is just full of flow, and has a walking PV, YAYY! The bridge-like chorus is full of win and extremely catchy and full of emotion, and thankfully the arrangement wasn't as try-hard as last year's until that Day..., the second track to Secret. The ending is especially cool... well, what you think is the ending.

    3. Talkin' 2 Myself is a very "hard-core" rock song which I never honestly got into. I dub it the epitome of ayu's try-hard-core faze, although just for the sake of the album, it's okay.

    4. Decision is the "b-side" of the above track, which is disappointing as they placed the two tracks from my least favorite the tracks ever, together. This one is slightly better from t2m, with a great bridge and emotion-worthy chorus, however it would've worked better as a power ballad.

    5. GUILTY is easily ayu's worst title track, which is really disappointing seeing how the rest of the album tracks are. However, until the preview two tracks, this song is far from tryhardcore, and could work really well live. It's an interesting song for ayu, as it is very different, it just lacks any energy or emotion, and is very bland...

    6. Fated was and is easily of my highlights of 2007 regarding jpop. And it sounds just as amazing half a year after its release, here in GUILTY.

    7. Together When... was ayu's first digital single, and a great one at that. Usually, digital singles are the songs no one expects to sell well, and thus restricted from a physical release. Did avex make a mistake here? I've been asking for an old-school-esque ayu song for years, and ayu finally answered my ayu-rayers with this track composed by someone not seen since 2000's Duty.

    8. Marionette -Prelude- is ayu's first prelude, and again, a great one at that. This sounds like some video game's soundtrack in a Nightmare Before Christmas-type level.

    9. Marionette seems that it will have an amazing PV, if all goes well. To me, it is 07's new and improved answer to 05/06's Criminal (which I never really liked), a dark, power ballad packed with a classical-rock arrangement. I was really surprised when the extra instrumentals kicked in, and despite it's short track length, it isn't lacking anything.

    10. The Judgment Day was the song I was dreading the most when the titles first came out, how glad I am that I suck at first impressions xD. This is my candidate for THEME OF EARTH APOCALYPSE two thousand and --. The change in beat is a joygasm.

    11. Glitter is the albums GUILTY pleasure. Lately, I've been favoring this song over fated! :3 Just what this (rather dark) album needs.

    12. MY ALL was perfect from the first preview. Finally, a happy-go-lucky guitar accompanied pop-song that isn't either embarrassing, annoying nor hate-inducing. A very cool and solid atmosphere, despite its 5mins+ track time.

    13. ReBirth is the fourth interlude/prelude/introduction in this 14 track album. A part towards the end reminds me on a Tommy february6 song, which is why it's not complete a waste of ear-time :P

    14.Untitled ~For Her~ is best described as Who... ~episode II~, both in context (as an album ender and dedicated to a recently deceased loved one), and musicality wise. She even sounds like she did back in 1999. A touching ending to an epic guilt trip...

    Overall, I am finally proud to say that ayu has gotten over her arrogant sound she developed in her last studio album, Secret. Despite my initial lack of interest after a seemingly decline of quality, and my difference in taste of the album covers and track titles, ayu has once again proven my trust in her redemption quality again. If not for her last physical single, Talkin' 2 Myself, this album deserves top marks.

    I can't wait to see what 2008 has in store for us, but GUILTY is more an excellent end to an almost regrettable ayu-year, and a brilliant promise of quality.

    -yukitora
  • List of Onitsuka Chihiro songs I absolutely adore (in order of adoration)

    25 nov. 2007, 4h56m

    Infection
    LITTLE BEAT RIFLE
    everything, in my hands
    Gekkou
    Shine
    Cage
    Our Song

    everyhome
    MAGICAL WORLD
    himitsu
    NOW
    bokura barairo no hibi

    bad trip
    amphibious
    Angelina
    A Horse and A Queen
    Rainman (album version)

    NOT YOUR GOD
    hyouruu no hane
    suna no tate
    Tiger in my Love
    Castle.Imitation
    Ibara no umi
    rasen

    sodatsu zassou
    Rainman (single version)
  • 鬼束ちひろ presents 「LAS VEGAS」

    30 oct. 2007, 8h39m

    edit: I forgot!! HAPPY 27th BIRTHDAY Onitsuka Chihiro! お誕生日おめでとう!

    Incomplete response to onitsuka chihiro's 4th studio album, 「LAS VEGAS」

    1. The central focus of the album, Sweet Rosemary, opens the album with a simple carpenters-esque guitar/piano combination. Although at first I was quite disappointed for many reasons, I was able to appreciate the song more when trying to make sense of the lyrics. The imagery of travel and vast, solitary plains is really strong within this album and is perfectly established through this song. It's not as powerful as an opening as Sugar High's Not Your God, I don't think anyone is able to top an that track.

    2. bad trip
    the first two seconds really reminds me of the piano opening of everyhome but whereas everyhome has an element of hope, bad trip just explodes with its heavy solemnness. It's in English!! Aaah this is so tear-worthy,... you could liken it to Infection, but with complete and utter surrender. It honestly sounds like she's completely given up. The almost jazzy piano is interesting and the arrangement really does give you the sense of the dark barren and gloomy atmosphere she was talking about. the lyrics are just simple and honest, and even painful. I really love her English songs and this one is no different. Easy 5/5.

    3. 蝋の翼 (Rou no Tsubasa)

    From the preview of Rou no Tsubasa I could kinda tell this would be the only disappointing song on the album, but that's almost impossible. It seems like the only upbeat song on the album which is more or less good. Still, I'd rather Himitsu replace this track of the album. Oh well. My main quill is her evidently weaker vocals on this song, which is odd for her. Although they have weakened, she still has the strongest most beautiful voice in the industry.

    4. 僕等 バラ色の日々 (bokura barairo no hibi) was the follow up single to her comeback effort everyhome, which was similarly a ballad. It took awhile to embrace this song for it's complex melody, but when I did it felt like t was everyhome all over again. I was surprised that I ending up playing this song more than it's coupling track, NOW which was (regrettably) not included on this album. The only falter to this song it the band arrangement which kicks in half way through the song, which itself isn't bad (in fact, it helped me appreciate the song), but done though a keyboard synthesizer for that cheap sound. I wouldn't noticed it I weren't informed...

    5. Amphibious

    omg! she wasn't kidding when she said we'd be surprised by the arrangement! Another upbeat song and it's awesome!! I was kinda expecting a typical jpop arrangement, but it kinda sounds like some vintage rock n' roll with a modern electronic/synth twist. i'm not sure what "freelance fucking" is but who fucking cares! Another fully English song mixed with uplifting/angst mixed lyrics. The transition from this to MAGICAL WORLD is odd though.

    6. MAGICAL WORLD (Album Version) - I'm not comment on the song itself (as I adore it too much to express it in words) but I found the album version quite pleasant. Whilst not as good as the raw, powerful original version that appeared on the everyhome single, its not tainted in any way or form. The album version adds more of an orchestra element of the previous piano/cello-only arrangement, which helps build up the worldy atmosphere that is the theme of the album. I love the addition of the calming bongo the most, as it really gives you the sense of travel. I could easily see this version set to the video clip of bokura barairo no hibi. The only setback to the heavily arrangement is that her previously prominent vocal performance of the original version are drowned out.

    7. A Horse and A Queen was a song first performed lived three or four years ago in one of her lives concert, but I never got around to finding the rip, which was apparently really low quality. Aaah! this sounds like my perfect song!! This is one of the songs that was previewed on the bokura barairo no hibi single, probably the best out of the three. Its got a really strong verse and bridge and a very easy chorus to like. This is definitely a favorite out of another onitsuka album of perfection. The trumpets is kinda surprising but it only adds to it all. I'd love to see this performed live!

    8. Rainman is a track which first appeared in her sodatsu zassou single (pulling weeds) which was not included on this album. Having not heard that version, I wasn't as shock as some people were when they heard the almost adorable new album version. I was still shocked tho, this is onitsuka chihiro! The lyrics are again, completely in English, and understandable, albeit slightly drowned out by the playful arrangement. A nice entry that compliments the much more serious content of the rest of LAS VEGAS.

    9. After going through the album some 10 hours now, Angelina has quickly become one of my favorites for it's simple yet powerful chorus and beautiful vocals. This seems to be the only track where you can really tell they've taken the toll over her years in her depression away from the industry. The contents of the lyrics are oh so touching, especially when she sings "atashi wa namae, nankajanaishi". This song has been in existance in some form or another for seven years now, and appears to be a very personal project to onitsuka, having kept adding and working, editing and delaying it's completion for so long. The lyrics seem to continue on from MAGICAL WORLD's theme of self-hate, where she attempts to talk herself out of it by asking herself questions like "who will love me if I don't love". I feel that even though it's one of my favourite songs already, there was still much room for improvement. It'd probably be perfect if it were released under her first producer from a stronger piano-arrangement and her amazing vocals.

    10. BRIGHTEN US - onitsuka chihiro had informed us that this was an A Capella and that she always wanted to sing a hymn like song. She succeeded well. Beautifully. The only flaw is that one line that really sound rhyme at all and sounds really quite awkward but that is forgivable. Another fully English "song" with time with really sweet, loving lyrics - almost unbelievable! This is another song about God (her first joyful song on the topic) which is really reassuring that she is still has her faith in herself and her Christianity, clearing my doubts after reading about her suicide attempt and 3 year depression. Vocal-wise, yeh maybe it's not as good as her debut, but this song is a perfect example of it's strength and beauty. This is really a odd song for Oni and any artist for that case, and it's perfect. It leads into everyhome as perfect as possible.

    11. I'm not commenting on this track. I've already mentioned it many-a-time :P Just listen to it for yourself and everything will suddenly make sense.

    Three comments to make overall:

    -5/11 of the songs are completely in English.
    -By far her most dynamic album in arrangement and style.
    -My favorite onitsuka chihiro album, possibly the best this year.