Archive for the 'Shiina Ringo & Tokyo Jihen' Category

2010: Albums

So, this is possibly the last entry when it comes to my look back to 2010.
I’ve long decided on my Top 10 Albums but to bring them in order was a hard decision. But here you go!

#10 3OH!3 – Streets of Gold

Yes, good single, good album track and now good album. After listening to three tracks on the previous album so often I couldn’t hear them anymore I was pretty excited about this album and in the end it did deliver. It’s not perfect and sadly not as kick ass as WANT but still has the nice catchy tunes that will stay in your head for a long time. And for the most part the album is just a great fun.

Best Songs: Double Vision, See You Go, House Party

 

#9 Mao Abe – POP

None of the songs on this album were good enough to be on my other lists but as a whole package you can’t really go wrong with this album. It is fun and she shows different styles even though I still wished she would have been a little bit more creative and had tried some more stuff. But that just means I can be curious about the next album.

Best Songs: I wanna see you, Mada, Tsutaetai Koto

 

#8 Berryz Koubou – 6th Otakebi Album

Berryz Koubou just had a strong year all around. We got with almost every single two songs and they never really disappointed. So it was double the fun. Also, with songs like Otakebi Boy WAO! they got back to more fun songs and even though I still can’t stand Risako’s voice I can’t help but see it as a step in the right direction that Yurina got to be the center once. Oh, and Dakisimete Dakishimete is on the album which is my favorite so yeah <3

Best Songs: Dakishimete Dakishimete,  Otakebi Boy WAO!, Seishun Bus Guide

 

#7 UPLIFT SPICE - MEMENTO

With UPLIFT SPICE you just know what you’ll get. Great rock tracks with a unique voice and memorable melodies. And that’s really all I want from them. I have to be honest and say that I think Omega Rhythm was a bit better because I really liked to listen to it all the way through but on the other hand when it comes to MEMENTO I know what songs I prefer. Well, I’m happy as long as there’s a new album next september. I really like that pattern.

Best Songs: Queen Anne’s Revenge, Cosmology, Mönster

 

#6 Ayumi Hamasaki – Rock’n’Roll Circus

Everyone who read my review knows that I think that this album was a step in the right direction. Back. For me it felt like from somwhere between Rainbow and Memorial Addresse and while most people didn’t like it and seem to prefer Love Songs (which isn’t going to show up on this list) I think this was the better Ayu album of 2010.

Best Songs: Don’t Look Back, Microphone, Last Links, count down

 

#5 AKB48 - Kamikyoku Tachi

The problem I have with this album is that it doesn’t feel like an album. It feels like a collection of all the singles AKB released in that time. Every fucking B-Side is on there. Everyone who bought the singles must feel like a fool. Except for those who buy allt hose Singles for Handshakes and the likes. But yeah, after all those were some pretty strong singles and also the B-sides were quality stuff. Nothing to complain about really.

Best songs: RIVER, Sakura no Shiori, Tobenai Agehachou


#4 JASMINE - GOLD

Oh look, it’s a debut album! But a damn good one. If you haven’t heard about JASMINE yet, where do you live? I have to be honest and say that the singles were the best tracks and album tracks were good, but not as good. But that doesn’t make the album any worse, it just means I had too big expectations. But what do you expect after songs like THIS IS NOT A GAME and sad to say?

Best Songs: THIS IS NOT A GAME, sad to say, L.I.P.S.

 

#3 2NE1 – To Anyone

Just like last year, 2NE1 still going strong. It was a long wait for the album but I guess it was worth the wait. The dance tracks are great and I even got to like the slower songs a lot more. My sister just loves Apa (Slow). Plus the solo songs and remix and english version. I guess this album offers everything you want from a korean album. Yes, there’s a difference. I’m curious how there songs will turn out in Japanese and if they will be successful in the US. I doubt it but let’s just drink some tea and see.

Best Songs: I Don’t Care (Reggae Mix), Can’t Nobody, Clap Your Hands

 

#2 Tokyo Jihen – SPORTS

I’m still not sure about #1 and #2 but since I’ve listened to SPORTS not as much as to the #1 this album gets the second spot. SPORTS is great. I already blogged about it because it blew me away. Listen to it. Every single song would be perfect as a single release. You won’t get bored when you listen to it the whole way through and in the end you’ll want to listen to it again. It’s great.

Best Songs: Sweet Spot, Noudouteki Sanpunkan, Kachiikusa

 

#1 BENNIE BECCA – BENNIE BECCA

It’s pop, it’s rock, it’s hip hop, it’s Japanese, it’s English, it’s the perfect mixture.  This album is just so much fun and is it really  a surprise when those great artists work together? I just wish that I wasn’t a one time only thing. I want more from them. I can’t go back to just one of them T_T

Best Songs: Ashita, Dilemmas, KAMINARI GIRL

2010: Album Tracks

Here are my favorite album tracks of 2010. Because sometimes the single just isn’t the best. But still, you will find artists here that appear often in my lists…

#10 Christophe Maé – Je me lâche

I listened to this album because I really liked the single Dingue, Dingue, Dingue and somehow my sister listened to Je me lâche and made me play it over and over again. And it is a really good song. She’s been right to make me listen to it so many times.

#9 3OH!3 – House Party

It was a close run between See You Go and House Party but I thought that See You Go would be too similar to Double Vision which already charted here and so I let you all know that I not only like the poppy songs from 3OH!3. House Party is awesome.

#8 MiChi – Jump On It

Since LOVE is. is treated like an e.p. Jump On It gets #8 because it is awesome but not as awesome as other songs. The repetitivness brings it down a little but hey, it still charted <3

#7 Katy Perry – Peacock

I listened to this album and BAM! I put Peacock on repeat instantly. It is so much fun and you can always wonder if the song is really that obvious or if there is some deeper meaning behind it. Oh, and Katy’s voice is bearable.

#6 JASMINE – L.I.P.S.

After listening to it when it appeared as a b-side I didn’t really give it another listen but after liking THIS IS NOT A GAME so much and listening to everything from her again I got hooked on L.I.P.S. even though the lyrics (I understand) seem to be a bit… well “Should I shake my hips?”.

#5 Achtung – Take Me Higher

I guess no one of you has ever heard of these guys but they are a really good korean band and they make I would say really good acoustic rock or something. I listened to them because I found it funny that they use the German word for “attention” as band name. And yeah, Take Me Higher is pretty good. Check them out.

#4 2NE1 – Can’t Nobody

Man, I so couldn’t decide which song to pick. This album has some really good songs on it and they all have something to offer. But in the end I went with the one with the highest play count and that was Can’t Nobody. But all the songs would’ve deserved it.

#3 ONE OK ROCK – Wherever you are

I didn’t think of this song for a long time but some days ago I listened to it again and it is just too good, too powerful and too emotional to not be on my list of great album tracks. I get goose bumps everytime. And we just have to overhear all those “whelever” and “plomise”. I’m sorry.

#2 Tokyo Jihen – Sweet Spot

What can I say? Pure Shiina Ringo awesomeness, but Tokyo Jihen. This song is so beautiful and so erotic and yeah, I pity my sister because she can’t stand Shiina Ringo’s voice so she’ll never know how great this song is.

#1 BENNIE BECCA – Ashita (with Blaise Plant (Monkey Majik))

It was really hard deciding which song was better but I love this combination of English and Japanese and Becca’s Japanese is so cute and all their voices just work so well together. And I was able to understand almost the whole chorus by myself. Yes, before they sang it in English later. Need more BENNIE BECCA!

Those are my top album tracks of 2010. Next my favorite Glee songs of 2010 and then finally: Albums!

I <3 Tokyo Jihen’s SPORTS

There is no way I could write about this album from an impartial point of view. This album is made of awesome!

Shiina Ringo and her band released the best album of 2010 (ok, so far) and I will just kind of explain to you why. I won’t go into detail but I think you will get what I want to say. There are 13 songs and every one of them is worth listening to. Every song has its own flavor and most of them are damn catchy. Only two songs are longer than 4 minutes which makes it an easy listen and those two songs that are longer are the ones that are quite experimental. I mean, there’s Shiina Ringo involved, there has to be something different! (But it’s still Tokyo Jihen.)

You see, I put this album on my portable mp3-player and I do this often with new albums I like. But over the next days I see which songs are really good and for which songs I just don’t care. And on SPORTS there’s not one song I ever skipped when it came up. And I do this a lot. The way from my home to school takes around 10 minutes and sometimes I spend those minutes just skipping track after track.

Here’s the PV to the single “Noudouteki Sanpunkan” that preceded the album if you want to listen to a bit of what I just wrote about. But do yourself a favor and give SPORTS a try. And if you like it, buy it. I will surely do so.
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Momen no Handkerchief

You know, when I listen to Japanese cover albums I normally don’t know those songs. They are from the 80s or even older so I just listen to them for the music and not for comparison or anything.

But while I was tagging the Cover Album 2 from misono there was one song title that I was familiar with. It was Momen no Handkerchief, originally sung by Hiromi Ota.

Just like I said. It’s an old song. From 1975 to be exact.

So, why did I already know this song? Because Shiina Ringo already covered it. The original is around 3 minutes long. I don’t know how Ringo made it twice as long o.o But misono isn’t much better with 5 minutes…

In general I really like this song and Shiina Ringo’s version is of course my favorite because I’m already used to it but I wanted to know what you all think about it.

If you want to hear Shiina Ringo’s version of the song klick here.

Here you can listen to misono’s version of the song.

And now vote!
(Feel free to write a comment stating why you chose which version. Or maybe you know another singer who covered it?)

What I learned from that is that I will listen to more original versions of songs. Or at least to more stuff from Hiromi.

The Best of 2009 (Part 2)

I just realized that I don’t know how many parts this series will have. Sure, I will post my Top Albums #10 – 6 in this post but I also got ideas for more 2009 related posts. Best Songs for instance. But we will see.
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#10  BoA’s BoA

It’s not like I was totally trilled when I first listened to the album. I got a few favorites that stayed but all in all I realized with time that, in fact, it is a very stable album that you can listen to without getting bored or annoyed by some bad engrish. And with what BoA is capable of by now, I’m in no position to criticize her. Can’t say my English is perfect, not by a long shot. So I keep listening to my favorites but won’t skip any of the other songs if they appear on my playlist.

Best Songs: Did Ya, I Did It For Love, Hypnotic Dancefloor and Girls On Top

#9  Buono!’s Buono! 2

This was the album that got me interested in H!P again and in idols in general. That means that this album is the reason for my now daily growing love for AKB48. Funny, isn’t it? So, a place for this album in my Top List was safe but which position? With some great singles and not bad at all album tracks it is a fun listen and live it rocks even more. You appreciate the ballads more, so I recommend watching the concerts. Can’t wait for the new album. With MY BOY on it, it might rank even higher than Buono! 2.

Best Songs: Rottara Rottara, Shoushitsuten -Vanishing Point- and Kiss!³
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#8  Mao Abe’s free

This lady is kind of well known on this blog. The post I made about her is one of the most seen ones here. I wish she would be the best newcomer this year for me because she deserves it. But the album was released really early in 2009 so it didn’t stick in my mind as much as I wanted it to. It’s still a great album if you like rock chicks and even if not, you totally should check her out. An oppurtunity would be her second album that’ll be released in January 2010. You will surely read about it on this blog!

Best Songs: deadline, free, Kotoba and MY BABY
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#7  Utada’s This Is The One

I wonder how many people won’t understand why I think it’s better than BoA. It’s really simple. It’s my taste. I listen to this album and I know it’s Hikki’s work although her american style changed of course. I would have loved another Exodus but she had to fit to the american mainstream and maybe it’s still questionable if she managed to do so, but it still was a step in another direction I liked. All the songs except for one are great and I don’t really care for the lyrics. Why should I? I don’t know the lyrics of her Japanese songs either.

Best Songs: Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence – FYI, Me Muero and Dirty Desire
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#6  Shiina Ringo’s Sanmon Gossip

When I first listened to the album I knew it was good and that I liked it, but more in a Tokyo Jihen way. Not as a Shiina Ringo album. So I didn’t really look at it more after the first listen and was surprised when I realized after some time that I listened to a ton of songs from the album without even noticing. That was the moment when I knew that I treated it badly and shouldn’t have gone with my first impression. The album is great, even with the Tokyo Jihen similarities. I hope it makes me more interested in the band itself. All in all I hope she still continues to do solo work but I don’t mind a longer hiatus. (OMFG, the cover art <333)

Best Songs: Marunouchi Sadistic, Karisome Otome and Shun

In the next post I will finally reveal which ones my Top Albums 2009 are! Stay tuned (or not. Don’t know if anyone is actually interested in mine at all~)

Quick look at some albums from the last 6 months

I’m really, really out of ideas (except for one…) and that’s why I will just look back at the last 6 months (+) and think about some albums that were released in that time and are of some interest to me. Omg, that won’t be just Jpop albums, so be warned!

It will always be three albums in a group even though they won’t be connected in any way because I will do this in a chronological order.

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Gee by Girls’ Generation (SNSD) – The song Gee is a real burner but I have to be honest: The rest of the album wasn’t as good as I hoped in the beginning and I don’t remember a song besides Gee.

free by Mao Abe – I think I made my feelings about this album and this artist clear with my last entry. It’s just a dream when you think about how it is a debut album and that she wrote everything herself at her young age.

Trick by Kumi Koda - I love all the dance tracks and I even like one of the ballads o.o Her engrish is a bit annoying at times but you get used to it. Really hot album and I’m still not sure if it’s my #1 when it comes to Kumi.

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Lonely Road by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – I was so happy when I listend to this album because Don’t You Fake It was a disappointment. There was just Face Down that really stood out and even though many people loved Guardian Angel it never really impressed me. And here we have a lot of unique songs and they all have a good portion of power with them! Love it!

Buono! 2 by Buono! – This was the album that was the reason that I’m to date very near to a full wota. I read somewhere that Buono! would be the right group if you’ve never been into idols but are interested and… at first I didn’t think of them as something special. But whenever I wanted to rate a specific song from this album I could almost never say “Meh…” they were all good in their own way. And now I love specific songs!

My Song for You by Mai Fukui – Mai Fukui is a newcomer from 2008 that I also think of writing about. There’s just the problem that I expected something different from her debut album. Well, not expected but hoped. After the single Can Can her lively side just was the thing I needed in that rainy spring back then but the album mainly contained more songs that were calm and good for your soul. I learned to really like the songs but I’m still hoping for a more powerful next single.

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NEO by MUNEHIRO – There’s not much to talk about because I don’t really know the singer but the album is very good for the summer. Well, somehow that was a bit redundant to say because it’s J-Reggae/Dancehall. That says it all.  I just want more albums like this because the summer is going to stay for a bit longer and I need suitable music!

Voice of Earth by alan – This is a 50/50 album. There are these phenomenal tracks where she shows what she is capable of and then there are those filler tracks. They may be good if you want to sleep but for me music should be for something different. I still really enjoy her music, don’t get me wrong. And as a sidenote: The B-sides are often also very good.

This Is The One by UTADA – I just love it! I love everything under the name UTADA it seems o.o (That cleary excludes Cubic U >_<) When you look at my last.fm profile you will see that the UTADA tracks are almost as much as the Hikaru Utada ones. The album has that special feeling to it and Poppin’ is the only song I avoid. It just gets on my nerves~ But the rest ist <3

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The First Album BoA by BoA – I hope that’s the correct title. I know that a lot (well, the majority) thinks that this album is better than Hikki’s one when it comes to the american releases but my opinion is just different. I only listen to four songs from this album I think. Namely: Eat You Up, Did Ya (which really is great but totally different than the rest of the album), Did It For Love and Hypnotic Dancefloor. So, there are those songs and… the other ones. But those four songs are enough for me to keep the whole album.

Platnimun 9 Disc by Morning Musume. – I’m still relatively new to the whole H!P scene but it was like a must to listen to a Morning Musume album after getting some other groups to know. And yes, there is Resonant Blue which got me to like the nine girls and made me take a closer look but the rest is nice nevertheless nothing that special. Shouganai Yume Oibito after all gives me hope for the next single even though I like the B-side a lot more.

Driving Hit’s by Kumi Koda – And another Kumi album. I didn’t expect anything great from this album and I think that’s the reason I like it so much. The whole album just flows but you can still listen to one song for its own and you won’t be disappointed. Good work! Maybe not from Kumi but… from whoever~

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NEXT LEVEL by Ayumi Hamasaki – I was quite surprised myself that I like that album so much. First I though it was nice but after I wrote the review for my German blog it just hit me that this album is so good because there are some songs that are so epic that one or two fillersongs (even though even those are good) aren’t that bad. Ayu keeps on making music I love <3

A Shipwreck in the Sand by Silverstein – This is a somehow special album to me because it was released some weeks before I saw Silverstein the first time live. They didn’t change their style a bit but I think that’s the reason I love them. You can rely on their solid music and even though I don’t really have favorites from this new album (like My Heroin or Call It Karma from Discovering The Waterfront) but I will find the time and they will be there~

Dear Diary by FM Static – I don’t really know what I should wirte about this album because I just recently listend to this band and loved the lyrics and the music. Don’t even know which song belongs to which album but they all seem very good! Just wanted to promote them a bit.

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Urban romantic by Rie fu – This was the album where our little J-Folk lady goes new ways and experiments a bit. And it worked really well for her even though I still like the Strings Verion of romantic better than the original one. At times it was a bit too much with all the soundeffects but the important point is that it wasn’t boring. *cough*Tobiraalbum*cough*

SEEDA by SEEDA – After I’ve listened to this album I was sure that it was a good thing I give everything that crosses my way a chance or maybe two. It’s HipHop and I don’t usually listen to it but this time I did and it was totally worth it. It’s just an interesting mix and you recognize other songs and you just are surprised how good the rapping works above those beats. It’s not the “toughest” HipHop you will find but it definitely is something that isn’t wrong to try out.

Sanmon Gossip by Shiina Ringo – I was so happy when I read that there was a new solo album coming and don’t get me wrong – I really like Tokyo Jihen but Shiina is a league of her own. With this album she basically moved more in the Tokyo Jihen direction but I don’t mind. It’s still a really good album and the only thing that could beat it is its cover xD

So, this was it. In the beginning I wanted to write about more albums but to some of them I haven’t really been listening enough for an oppinion and other ones belong more to the second half of the year. Maybe I make something like this also for singles but I doubt it. But who knows~

I hope the next entry has a clearer concept… xD



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