Break time for this bear!

I’m going to go on a blogging break for now, so I won’t update for a while. Don’t celebrate yet; I haven’t died… =D

Carpenters – I Won’t Last a Day Without You

Release Date: March 25, 1974

i_wont_last_a_day_without_youTracklist:

A-side: I Won’t Last a Day Without You
B-side: One Love

Yay! I Won’t Last a Day Without You is the first Carpenter song I have listened to, and I instantly fell in love with it. As usual, Richard takes such awesome care with the instrumentals, and they suit Karen’s voice perfectly. Her voice is absolute win! The lyrics are simple and sweet, but listenable at the same time. Can’t forget about the melody too; it’s nice and low, which brings out the richness of her lower register (she can make the higher notes seem so easy to reach too). Such a soothing song to listen too.

Richard Carpenter is truly GOD because of his amazing instrumentals. One Love has a beautiful and calming opening before Karen’s voice comes in with a slight vibrato. The harmonies throughout the song add the Carpenter touch on the piece, and complement her voice completely. Makes the entire song seem even more pretty than it already is. The lyrics are so innocent, and her voice adds that extra touch onto the song, making it seem so pure, yet mature at the same time.

Overall Rating:
5/5

Christmas Day!

I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah, etc. etc.!

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merry-christmas-from-kakashi

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BoA – Merry Christmas from BoA

Release Date: December 7, 2005

merry-christmas-from-boa2005Tracklist:

1. Meri Kuri
2. WHITE CHRISTMAS
3. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Japanese~Korean~English)
4. The Christmas Song
5. First snow
6. Meri Kuri 2005 winter MIX

Ahhh, Meri Kuri is so Christmas-like. It’s one of those songs you listen to by a fireplace (too bad BoA’s voice just lacks the warmth of the classic Christmas song artists). Nonetheless, this song has a certain charm to it, because it’s a power ballad (and as mentioned multiple times, I am a sucker for ballads in general). The melody for this song is quite simple, but it soars in some places, especially when the verse begins to moduate into the chorus. It creates a powerful impact on the listener (except when you finally notice that BoA is REALLY straining on those higher notes).

Here comes the Christmas classic: WHITE CHRISTMAS. I’ve lost track of how many different versions I’ve listened to (heh). The background music is so different from the ones artists usually use (it’s more uplifting), until BoA comes in. In my opinion, she’s singing this song a bit too high up, because it loses some of the warmth of the original song. Also, her voice seems to be lacking some power in this song, because I can sometimes hardly hear her over the background music. I personally enjoy the Evis Presley version of this song, but then again, nothing can compare to the King, right? (xD)

The kiddy classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Japanese~Korean~English), is third on this single…or is it a mini-album? Anyway, I just have to say “WTF” when I first hear this. It’s like a totally rock-ified version of the classic we all love and adore. It is first sung in Japanese, then Korean, and lastly, English. I can’t get used to Rudolph with rock in it…*still in shock*. The beats cover her voice too much, but I must admit it, this version does have its own charm. Re-arranging the melody will NOT be forgiven though!

First of all, nothing can beat Nat King Cole’s original The Christmas Song, but I’ll give this one a chance. This song starts off with some bells, and then the piano comes in. BoA’s Engrish comes in after that, but I must admit that she makes more of an effort to put some warmth into this song than the previous songs. Actually, I like (the) Carpenters’ version of this song better, because Karen Carpenter has the better vocals to do some justice to this timeless classic. I don’t like it >=(.

First snow begins with a sole piano, before all the rest of the instrumentals come in. BoA goes back to singing Japanese after the last song, which makes it better for me (I can’t stand Engrish). Like the first song, First snow is a typical winter ballad. Actually, it’s a little hard to tell the difference between the two, except for the fact that First snow is a bit more mellow than Meri Kuri.

Last up is Meri Kuri 2005 winter MIX. This version is just basically an acoustic verison of the original. I like this mix better though ^^.

Overall Rating:
3/5

Kuraki Mai – Winter Bells

Release Date: January 17, 2002

cover2Tracklist:

1. Winter Bells
2. Thankful
3. Always ~Gomi’s Lair Club Mix~ (Radio Edit)
4. Winter Bells (Instrumental)

Ooo, Winter Bells is so Christmas-y! It has such a Christmas feel to it, right down to the bells and background choir. Kuraki has a pretty deep and hollow voice, making the song sound happy but mellow at the same time. A nice combination, in my opinion. I wish the background music didn’t cover her voice though, because while it’s pounding in my ear, I can hardly here Kuraki. The song does create a dreamy and happy atmosphere though, which matches the Christmas mood very nicely.

Thankful is more mellow and laidback compared to Winter Bells. This song is more like your typical (Christmas) ballad, with the slow beginning and slowly building into the chorus thingy (wow, I suck at English). Kuraki seems to be putting more emotion in this song than in the last piece, from what I can tell. Maybe the song just evokes more emotion than the previous happy happy song. The Engrish bothers me though (“I am so sanksssfulll”).

The last song, Always ~Gomi’s Lair Club Mix~ (Radio Edit), sounds like another Christmas ballad song, but I’m not sure if it is. This song sounds heavily mixed, with the focus being on the beats instead of the melody, so I don’t really like it a lot. It seems more like a dance song than anything though.

Overall Rating:
4/5

Koda Kumi – stay with me

Release Date: December 24, 2008

folderTracklist:

1. stay with me
2. Winter Bell
3. stay with me (Orgel Version)
4. stay with me (Instrumental)
5. Winter Bell (Instrumental)

Wow, this is the first official time I’ve listened to anything from Koda. A pop, but Christmas like introduction begin the A-side, stay with me. This song is more of a love, power ballad than an actual Christmas song though. Nonetheless, it’s a nice song by Koda. I never knew she had deep vocals; I was always under the impression that she had though cutsey, annoying vocals that H!P people have. I could get used to her.

Winter Bell begins with a bell (wow, that was so lame xD). This song is more upbeat than the previous ballad, and more Christmas-y. Koda’s voice is more sugary in this song though, which slightly disappoints me. I was hoping she wasn’t THAT typical, but ah well. She is very popular, so there must be one thing I hate about her (xD). This song pales in comparison to the previous song though, because it’s just too happy (but lacks the warmth of Christmas classics).

Overall Rating:
3.5/5

KOKIA – a piece of Christmas

Release Date: 2005 (unsure of exact date)

cover1Tracklist:

1. Bokujin hitsuji wo
2. Sparkling Christmas
3. Eve
4. Bokujin hitsuji wo (Instrumental)

Bokujin hitsuji wo is a cover on the famous Christmas carol, the First Noel. The harmonies in this song are georgous and send out an angelic and heveanly feeling. In terms of melody, it is the same as the original, but the lyrics are in Japanese. KOKIA’s voice, as always, is beautifully innocent in this song, which matches the mood well. The background music is simple and sparse, creating an almost a capella feeling.

The next song, Sparkling Christmas, is more cheerful and pop-like. In this song, KOKIA uses her more pop-ish voice, and it sounds…really cutsey. In almost a creepy way xD, but good nonetheless. There’s a lot of Engrish in here though, especially the main line in the chorus, “I will give sparking Christmas”, but I guess it’s tolerable. Speaking of that, the melody in this song is also quite happy; almost too happy. The background instrumentals are a bit more on the jazzy side, but still simple and light, creating a jumpy atmosphere. Not my favourite from this mini-album.

Last up is Eve, which is  a bit more calm, and Christmas-like. It’s like your typical Christmas ballad, and KOKIA’s voice sounds more natural in this song. I think I like her voice like this better than in the previous song. The melody is soothing and soaring, making the song seems relaxing (still doesn’t have the warmth of the classics though). It makes the song seem prettier, along with the Christmas styled instrumentals in the background. This song doesn’t move anywhere though.

Overall:
3/5