Archive for the 'Chihiro Onitsuka' Category

The Best of 2009 (Part 3)

Here are the last 5 albums of my Top 15 and I’m sure you’re all curious which ones it will be. Aren’t you? Yes you are~
And I wanted to post every day but the birthday of my best friend was in the way and stuff…
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#5  Ayumi Hamasaki’s NEXT LEVEL

When Guilty was released it made it to the top of my list. But those times are over it seems. Still, Ayu’s newest album is a good piece of work. The singles were very good except maybe for Days and I loved the rock tracks on here. I’m a sucker for those. Even Next Level, the song, was good in my ears despite the fact that I see it as a summer song. Now we’re again down with two singles and I guess the next album will released in late March, maybe. I’m curious for it because the singles were kind of mediocre. But she can still surprise (with fewer interludes), no one knows.

Best Songs: LOVE ‘n’ HATE, Load of the SHUGYO, Rule and Curtain Call
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#4  MiChi’s UP TO YOU

Oh, look who’s there. The girl with the always good singles and improving PV. I’m a bit sad that she’s moving away from her indies sound but I like the way she sounds now, too. And I can’t wait for the next single. I hope she changes things up a bit. Her singles are great but after a while they tend to sound the same. But that’s still nothing negative when you look at the album tracks and you see that there’s nothing bad here. A kind of debut is better than an Ayu album. And that comes from me! Who’d have known?

Best Songs: PROMiSE, Shibuya de Punch, YOU and Why Oh Why
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#3  UPLIFT SPICE’ Omega Rhythm

I guess UPLIFT SPICE  is a band that not so many people know. And if I’m wrong, you know where you can post comments. But man, they are really great. Omega Rhythm continues with the sound from their first full album and shows you one powerful song after another. The only flaw is the playing time that is with not even thirty minutes quite dissapointing. But you can’t expect an album to be perfect and at least there are nine songs. They are just not as long as we are used from the Japanese market.

Best Songs: Omega Rhythm, Nanatsu no Umi and Amidakuji

#2  2NE1′s 2NE1

It’s the Korean Invasion!!! Well, yes, it is. But that’s nothing bad. 2NE1 is THE Korean Girlgroup of 2009. They had everything and most of all the best producer(s). Beside the fact that the whole mini album is superb, I liked the girls themselves. The four girls are the first Koreans that got me to watch something (subtitled) idol-related that wasn’t from Japan. I can’t wait for the full album. I’m quite sad that it wasn’t released in 2009 anymore but now it can’t be too long till the release date is announced. 2010 will rock!

Best Songs: I Don’t Care (Reggae Mix), Fire and Let’s Go PARTY
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#1  Chihiro Onitsuka’s DOROTHY

What a surprise! NOT. It’s not like the only artist I wrote a lot about besides AKB48 was her. Nooo. But to be honest, I’m still not sure if the album is really that good or if it’s just still fresh in my mind. But right now I’m pretty happy with calling it the best album of 2009. She’s BACK! Great voice, great ballads and of course X! I don’t know what more to write about, I said everything in my album review. Just… listen to it if you haven’t yet.

Best Songs: X, X, X and X. And Kagerou and I Pass By and …

That was it but like in Part 0 I will tell you a bit what I’m looking forward to.
The new Ayumi Hamasaki album because there will be one. Finally a Hidemi Uematsu album. How did she manage to release in 2 years only 3 singles? And of course the new Kumi Koda album because it’s going to suck. And I hope I’m wrong with that prediction. And Rie fu should start releasing singles again! Maybe a comment on her blog would work…

Does DOROTHY make me Sugar High?

DOROTHY Tracklist:

1. A WHITE WHALE IN MY QUIET DREAM
2. Kagerou
3. X
4. Storyteller
5. STEAL THIS HEART
6. I Pass By
7. Kaerimichi wo Nakushite
8. Losing a distance
9. Last Melody
10. Hotaru
11. Venus

I probably should be doing my homework right now but I already got my notes for this review down and I haven’t blogged in a week and I don’t even want to know for how long I’ve been talking about reviewing this album… So, here it is:

The album starts off with two ballads, and A WHITE WHALE IN MY QUIET DREAM is quite different because the only instrument featured is a drum. It’s just an intro, so it’s good because the drum doesn’t get annoying or boring after some minutes and the other good thing about the short running time is Chihiro’s Engrish. She has to do something about it. Seriously. Next is the last single before the album was released, Kagerou. It had to grew on me but just a little. I really like it now and it’s just beautiful how the E-Guitar is featured and how the song builds up till the end. And if you haven’t seen the PV yet, do so. Even if just the first minute but this affect with the crows (?) is watchworthy.
After Kagerou the second part of the album starts, which are the songs that aren’t really ballads. X beginns this part and with it we’ve reached my favorite track on the album and I could just press repeat and forget to write about the rest. But I won’t do so, even though it is a pretty kick-ass song! With the slow intro of X we get the transfer from the Kagerou to this rock song really good and than it just gets amazing. It’s so damn powerful and Chihiro is putting a lot of feelings into it. I will – without a doubt – mention it in my Top Tracks of the Year. With the end of X starts Storyteller and you could say it’s a ballad in the first seconds but I becomes more and more a kind of pop-folk song, I would say. Although I’m really bad at labeling music. It sounds a bit like a faster version of I Pass By ~Darksmoke Version~. So, I already wrote a bit about STEAL THIS HEART when the PV was released and my opinion hasn’t really changed. It’s catchy as hell and I nice change because of Chihiro’s different singing voice. And since we already are talking about “different”, we come now to I Pass By, the song I hated when it was a B-Side and in the so-called ~Darksmoke Version~. But the album version has changed a lot for me. Sure, her Engrish is still terrible but the song is now so much faster and the instrumentation is so much fun that you can enjoy it without noticing the lyrics. That was so much harder with the ~Slow as Fuck Version~. The sad part is that this song ends the fun-song-part of the album and we get to the last third that is filled with ballads.
Okay, it isn’t as bad as it sounds because I wouldn’t listen to Chihiro if I didn’t like her ballads. I mean, there are tons of it. Literally. Like the first not-intro-song from this album, Kaerimichi wo Nakushite was released as a single and not without a reason. The verses are beautiful, the chorus is beautiful, the song itself is really haunting and this screaming from Chihiro short after the middle really fits. The only problem I realized is that it lasts for almost 7 minutes. That’s really long. Almost too long but on the other hand I haven’t noticed it till when I was making my notes. So, I guess it’s a song that can hold your attention. Wow o.o Well, Losing a distance is a new ballad and I have to say that it is nice but Chihiro had better ones. The piano is nice in some parts and in general, the song sticks with the tone of the album, but I guess it’s a song that you learn to appreciate with time. Because it’s not bad but just not interesting enough right now. And back to a ballad we already know. Last Melody was the second A-side from the X single but because of X’ greatness I never really paid attention to it. But I kind of like it. It’s not a depressing ballad, if it’s a ballad at all. I’m not even so sure right now. It almost goes into the same direction as Storyteller but more with the instruments of Kagerou. You see, the album has it’s own style and I think that’s a really good thing because my favorite Chihiro album Sugar High (yes, now the title makes sense) is the same. Of course the sound is a different one but the main point is that it doesn’t jump from one style to another. Back to the songs, although the next one isn’t really too interesting. Hotaru was a single of this era and in my opinion the worst by far. It’s nice and stuff but sooo boring. And even if she had to put it on the album, why the hell did the B-Side HIDE AND SCREAM didn’t make it? It’s soo much better… After Hotaru we get to the last song of DOROTHY and it’s the overkill-ballad VENUS with its freakin’ 7 minutes and 20 seconds. I mean, I can remember that I liked it but it’s just soo long that I don’t want to listen to it right now and just will believe my notes. My notes say it’s a very good song the end the album and that it captures the feelings of the album really well.

In my opinion this was a very good album. Better than LAS VEGAS at least. I liked how she didn’t rely too much on her ballads even though she excels at them. With X on it, it could be a serious rival for Sugar High but on the other hand I already listened to Sugar High for 3 years I think and it has a found its place in my heart. But I think DOROTHY can get in there as well. Alone for the reason that VENUS wasn’t the too often covered 80′s song. So, my heart says A even though my notes and ratings say B. But screw them! It only was the Engrish intro and Hotaru that dragged it down~

*favorites are in italic

Lascivious Oni-chan!

I think Chihiro will always be a part of this blog and I’m happy about it because it means that she always makes something blogworthy.

This is the same woman whose last four releases were deep, meaningful songs with a dark atmosphere and everything a Chihiro-Fan wants to hear from her. And now we get this so totally different song and I love it!

I also like her ballads and of course X which might be my favorite song by her but this song with the matching PV is just so surprising and different and fun that I can’t say anything different than that I’m totally excited for the coming album!

I hope there are a lot of different styles and if it turns out like Steal This Heart I really don’t mind if she doesn’t use her voice like we are used to hear from her. I already know that there will be two songs on the album that I don’t really like so this was kind of necessary. Now, after I looked at the 00-04-22tracklist, I realized that there are only four unknown songs left. But I trust her. This will be a better album than LAS VEGAS.
I let you know as soon as possible.

But back to the song. It’s just a fun one and it’s really easy to remember. Steal this heart~ Again and again~ *sing*. There’s a weird filter over her voice but that’s just for the retro sound I think. But even though the song is good, the PV is also a big factor. With the band in the style of those bands that I don’t really know because I’m born in the very early 90′s (okay, I hope they didn’t look that weird) it’s just great to watch because you can see how they all don’t really take it seriously. The best scenes are Chihiro making out with everyone 00-04-30of the band members. LoL. That’s so not her. And because of that it’s totally her imho. Loved it. She makes you look like this O_O without having a three-some with two other girls *cough*Kumi*cough*.

I’m thinking about buying the PV collection.

Damn you Chihiro for not releasing a CD+DVD album like everyone else!

<Surprise!>

Kaerimichi wo Nakushite Review

After me complaining about the cover of Kaerimichi wo Nakushite I will now write about the important part – the songs. Well, and about the cover (again, I know but now we have it in a bigger format!) and the PV. I think I will keep the style of the single reviews like I did with Ai Kago’s No HesitAtIon.

The Cover

cover

I’m still not happy with this cover. I like the blue light, the water and how her dress is peacefully swimming in it but the red eyes? They could have worked but her face (which we can see now a bit better) is too friendly. Don’t know but with red eyes I would expect her to look a bit more lively? Some strong feeling, any strong feeling would have made it better. But well… oh, and the dress isn’t my type either.

The Songs

Kaerimichi wo Nakushite starts off with a bit of everything: piano, guitar, strings but when Chihiro starts singing only the piano remains. The guitar is being brought back for some random notes but it’s a very calm ballad at first. Then the first verse leads us to a more powerful chorus and it’s the same with the next verse. It always is a bit more feeling or music at the next step. In general this song reminds me of everyhome in the beginning but the chorus could be a bit more memorable. After the second chorus we hear Chihiro “scream” which fades into the background and leaves you nothing but goosebumps. Next we get to hear a short bridge which isn’t anything special and after the last chorus the song ends with Chihiro+OnitsukaChihiro’s screaming. I’m impressed that those six and a half minutes didn’t appear that long. It’s a really good ballad from Chihiro and even though I know this, the song has to grow on me yet because she has many of those good ballads. I could also just listen to everyhome instead. Maybe I missed the special something about this song…

The B-Side I Pass By ~Darksmoke Version~ has almost everything that would have made it a perfect song (for me). We have the wonderful voice of Chihiro, a powerful chorus with the talent to get stucked in your head and the only instrument appearing is an acoustic guitar. You want to know why it isn’t a perfect song? Because it’s in English! And god knows that’s not a strong side of Chihiro. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. She sucks when it comes to the pronunciation. I can live with that if it’s a sentence or two like in everyhome (I know, again), Borderline or newest example X. But the whole song is just ruined that way. The only way I can listen to it is when it plays as background music and I only pay attention when I hear the chorus. I hope I’ll see the day when we hear that she finally took English lessons.

The PV

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In the PV we see different, mostly dark locations and the one in the cover is also there. She looks really good in here so it’s just the cover that bothers me it seems. Well, Chihiro is there in those locations and is singing. Pretty fast she gets very emotional which she managed to do in this PV very good. If you haven’t seen a video of her performing live, now is the chance to do so. Because there she has the tendency to always bow down but in the PV there’s no sign of it. The scenes with the bright “room” are the ones I really like because they stand out and bring the feeling of hope. The director did a great job with it. In the end it even starts to rain what also shows the emotions of Chihiro. The PV is kind of simple but it works because of Onitsuka-san and all those little details that create the great atmosphere. But what’s wrong with those big eyes? They look good but in the PV she stares at the camera with those big eyes and… they scare the shit out of you. I think they used lenses. Well, they already did in the covers, so…

blogkwn2

In the end I have to say it’s an okay single because the A-Side is great with a very good PV (with scary moments) but the B-Side sucks so hard that even Kaerimichi wo Nakushite can’t save the single. The fact that it’s the ~Darksmoke Version~ of I Pass By makes me fear that we get the Album Version for the album. Maybe full instrumentation but that won’t help. The only thing that could help would be Japanese lyrics. Maybe Chihiro reads this… Then I just say bye with the worlds: On the next album should be I Pass By ~Japanese Version~.

Demon Chihiro [Kaerimichi wo Nakushite Pics~]

I was going through the next releases and saw those pics on the official site of Chihiro Onitsuka and… well, look at them:

M.1 帰り路をなくして
M.2 I Pass By ~Darksmoke Version~

2009.07.22 IN STORES

Okay, not much to see in the cover except for her standing in the water surrounded by what? The rest of her dress? I think I have to wait for a bigger version but there isn’t only the cover. On the homepage there was this promotion pic which was not as good as I’m used to from Onitsuka-san.

When you just shortly look at it it’s nice but I looked at it for a longer time because I was so irritated by those red eyes.
She just looks too thin. Eat something! And beside that… My parents told me before I dyed my hair almost black that I would look like a corpse because of my pale skin. I think that didn’t happen to me but it’s totally the case when it comes to Chihiro. Sure, her natural hair color is black but it’s the effect my parents were afraid of. That her hair is a pigtail of some sort also makes her look even thinner. I hope the cover isn’t like that promo pic.

Oh, and all in all the red eyes aren’t the problem at all xD

But after this ranting I need something nice and beautiful to end this entry…
How about the last Chihiro Onitsuka cover?

Much better *sigh*

But besides all those pictures I’m really burning for the single! That makes 3 singles and for me that means that an album isn’t far away anymore.
Productive Chihiro is the best Chihiro <3



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