Rie fu – Romantic

Release Date: November 12, 2008

coverTracklist:

1. Romantic
2. In The Airplane
3. Money Will Love You

The beginning of Romantic has a synth, but also a string feeling to it. It’s quite different from what I’m used to hearing, but I like it so far, along with Rie fu’s vocals. Her voice always has this folk edginess to it, which is a nice bonus. The melody of this song is fast paced, but also has a certain laidbackness to it. It’s very different from her other works, I must say. I can get used to this new style! Especially when Rie fu goes into her upper register.

In The Airplane has a nice piano and wind introduction that later adds some strings into it. It’s another song in the style of Romantic, which is a nice change for Rie fu. As usual, her vocals are awesome, but they seem a bit held back in this song. She lacks a certain power behind her voice here, but it’s still okay nonetheless. And holy crap, it’s short!

A calm guitar and drum start off Money Will Love You (wow, a weird title). Unlike the previous songs, this song is calmer in style, and more laidback. Money Will Love You is more like Rie fu than the above, since it incorporates the calmness that most of her songs have. It’s okay, but also really short (like, 3 minutes long…).

Overall Rating:
3/5

It was an okay single for me, but it didn’t excite me…maybe just something I’d listen to if I had time or something.

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Wakeshima Kanon – Suna no Oshiro

Release Date: November 12, 2008

lp1011914127vj8Tracklist:

1. Suna no Oshiro
2. skip turn step♪
3 Suna no Oshiro (instrumental ver.)
4. skip turn step♪ (instrumental ver.)
5. Suna no Oshiro ~orgel ver.~

Suna no Oshiro starts off with an ostinato solo in the cello, creating a deep sense of urgency before Wakeshima’s whispering voice creeps in. I think I can hear the violins and organ in the background too. The melody in the chorus is absolutely gorgeous though; it’s not as creepy as I thought it was before, but quite nice. I wish she’d use more vibrato on the cello though, just to add to the atmosphere a bit more. Wakeshima’s voice is not that strong here though, but the instrumentals and melody make up for it.

Wow…skip turn step♪, unlike the previous song, is quite uplifting, with the upper strings starting off the piece song (sorry, classical me talking there). This is a cute little song, something VERY not Wakeshima’s style, but pretty interesting. If I heard this randomly, I would think it was H!P or something. It’s very cutsey; not my type of song, but okay nonetheless. One more thing: guys probably wouldn’t karaoke this (with the ‘atashi’ and stuff XD).

Suna no Oshiro ~orgel ver.~ sounds like someone is winding up a music box, and has the melody of Suna no Oshiro in that kind of music box way. It would be cute, but it’s kind of creepy too (like those horror movies you see with the music box, and you know something bad is about to happen…*shivers*).

Overall Rating:
4/5

Gackt – Jesus (Dears version)

Release Date: November 26, 2008

folderTracklist:

1. Jesus (Single MA)
2. Sayonara -ЯR II ver.-
3. Jesus (Single MA Instrumental)
4. Sayonara -ЯR II ver.- (Instrumental)

Jesus (Single MA) starts off with an awesome guitar introduction, followed by some ‘Hey!’ shouting. Ah, real rock music always warms the soul. As soon as Gackt’s voice comes in, the whole song just comes to life. His voice is as awesome as usual; there’s always this power behind his voice. You just have to listen to this song with some volume, or else the charm just won’t be there. The interlude talk-‘screaming’ part was pretty interesting, to say the least, but Gackt just jumps back into the song after that and overflows the song with energy. Gackt+ Rock = ❤  <— an equation to remember!

Unlike the rock song before it, Sayonara -ЯR II ver.- is a ballad with sparse accompaniment (just an acoustic piano). Well, we can just focus on Gackt’s voice here, which is softer here, unlike the harshness of the previous song. Actually, I think I’ve fallen in love with his voice! It’s just so gentle in this song, and suits the melody perfectly (well, he did write it himself!). Half way through the song, a string instrument (it sounds eastern because of the timbre, but I’m not sure) has its own solo that is just beautifully stunning. After that, Gackt comes back in with the chorus, and thus ending the song. PRETTY SONG =)

untitled-2

Overall Rating:
5/5

Gackt. is. pure. WIN!

Fukuhara Miho – Yasashii Aka

Release Date: November 5, 2008

fukuharayasashiidvd3832tk3Tracklist:

1. Yasashii Aka
2. UPSIDE DOWN
3. Himawari -Acoustic Version-
4. Yasashii Aka -Instrumental-

Yasashii Aka is a ballad, but it has that power that Fukuhara always brings in. The background music consists of a typical band, but her voice is never covered by it. Rather, they nicely compliment each other (it’s hard to find a strong singer in the popular music industry these days). Also, in addition to the band, there are also some strings in the background after the chorus for the emotional effect. Fukuhara’s voice is as strong as ever, but it seems to lack emotion (maybe it’s from her lack of vibrato that some singers use for emotion). Nonetheless, a very strong A-side.

We revert back to Fukuhara’s souful roots with UPSIDE DOWN: an upbeat, edgy song. The background music sounds like something out of Hoshimura’s older album (must be because of the piano in the background); the thumping beats bring out the character of the song very well. Fukuhara’s vocals sound freer when singing this genre, rather than the ballads she sings. (I guess everyone has their natural element…)

Ah, what do we have here? Himawari -Acoustic Version- is calmer than the original version, and ohmigod, I just fell in love with the piano accompaniment. Fukuhara’s voice is also calmer in this version, to suit the mood an acoustic instrument brings. Although it lacks the power of the original, the acoustic version has its own charm (maybe something you would listen to while watching the stars or something…I’m not a country girl; I wouldn’t know how that’d actually feel like…*rambles*)

Overall Rating:
4/5

alan – Megumi no Ame

Release Date: November 12, 2008

meguminoamecddvdah9Tracklist:

1. Megumi no Ame
2. Namida
3. Megumi no Ame (Instrumental)
4. Namida (Instrumental)

The piano, string quartet and erhu introduction in Megumi no Ame is simple, but pretty at the same time (a drastic change from the raging RED CLIFF). alan plays the erhu in this (I have no idea how to play that though), and it’s..purtty :D. She also continues so show her vocal ability and virtuousity in this ballad. Other than that though, this is just a song you listen to when you’re just sitting there. It’s calming, but also quite boring (well, it just doesn’t really stand out for me…).

Unlike the sweeping ballad in the previous track, Namida is a twinkly, calm and simple song. Two ballads of the same genre is a bit repetitive though, even though I enjoy it. alan’s vocals are, as usual, top-notch in this song though.

Overall Rating:
3/5

It was purtty, but a bit too…bland.

Hoshimura Mai – Shunkan, Strobe

Release Date: May 30, 2007

coverdl5thTracklist:

1. Shunkan, Strobe.
2. Anata ≧ Atashi
3. Sakura Biyori -Piano Version-
4. Shunkan, Strobe. (Instrumental)

Ahhh, Hoshimura, you are always so original. Shunkan, Strobe. is a unique song, especially in the chorus. My favourite part is the staccato melody in the beginning of the chorus. Like a lot of her songs, this song has a strong piano accompaniment, which suits the mood nicely. However, Hoshimura’s vocal power seems to be lacking in Shunkan, Strobe. Other than the chorus, this song is pretty pales in comparison to some of her other songs.

Is Anata ≧ Atashi supposed to be some sort of math equation…? (Question marks appear over Taelin’s head.) This song has a jazzy feel to it, bring back some of Hoshimura’s old style from her debut album. It has a carefree melody that carries itself through the piece in the same consistant manner. Too bad it’s just a bit too…consistant, to the point of boredom.

Ooooo, Sakura Biyori -Piano Version- is even prettier than the original verison, since it’s just the piano accompaning Hoshimura’s vocals. As with all acoustic versions, it loses that dramatic feeling, but it’s pretty nonetheless. And s***, it’s short too…

Overall Rating:
3/5

BoA – Winter Love

Release Date: November 1, 2006

Tracklist:

1. Winter Love
2. Candle Lights
3. LAST CHRISTMAS
4. Winter Love (TV MIX)
5. Candle Lights (TV MIX)

Winter Love is one long song… Anyway, this is another ballad by BoA, though I like her usage of the lower register in this song. Like her usual ballads, Winter Love has calm verses, but a sweeping chorus (added emotional effect, I think). The accompaniment is typical synth; I wish there were some acoustic instruments, like a cello or something (like in Everlasting). As for BoA’s voice, as I have stated above, she starts lower than usual, but then regains her typical voice. It is sometimes covered byt the background music, but still has power behind it. This song leaves a deep impression on me, because I think this is the first song I heard from BoA.

And yet another Christmas song. Candle Lights has a neat guitar introduction that sets the mood of the song wonderfully. Unlike the A-side, this song is a bit more laidback, but still a ballad nonetheless. I love the accompaniment for this song (can’t get enough of the guitar solos~), but the melody is quite nicely sung too. It seems that BoA is straining on some the higher notes though (seems forced).

Finally! Something that actually sounds like a Christmas song. LAST CHRISTMAS is a cover done by BoA on the famous song of the same name. Her English is suprisingly good, even though there is an accent (at least I can understand her most of the time). BoA’s voice seems to be a bit weaker in this song though; must be because she’s focusing on getting the English.

Overall Rating:
4/5

Y’all know what TV Mixes are right? If not, they’re just snippets of the original, so I won’t be reviewing them.