Reviews written by EmeraldSky
Guilty (ALBUM+DVD)(Japan Version)3 people found this review helpful
January 23, 2008 GUILTY of yet another Success!
First of all, I am a loyal Ayu fan. I have followed her music since 1999, and as such, her music has been a part of various stages of my life. She is incredibly original and has a whimsical, fantasy-like nature about her. Her numerous videos and photo shoots will tell you this. Through all the years, I have always enjoyed her more edgier songs that had a more rock sound. I think she excels in this area because she captures emotion, power and it suits her vocals nicely. GUILTY really delivers more songs that have a rock-sound to it, and I have been waiting for this! Each album always has 1 or 2 rock songs, but this one delivers more!
But what I really like about Ayu is that each album has variety to it, meaning, you will get a couple songs with a dance beat, a couple ballads, a couple rock song and amazing musical interludes. This is her formula for success, and it works well. By constantly, and consistently, applying this formula, she keeps a lot of fans on-board. Some may not like her rock songs, but they love her pop songs, and vice versa. I happen to fall under the blanket of ALL genres, because I like variety. And no one can pull this off more exceptionally than Ayu!!
I don't really have any complaints, but I would have liked Mirror to have been a full length song. It just ROCKS. Sets the mood for the album and nicely transitions into the next song, but still, coulda been longer. Ayu, if you are reading this, you need to make some of your rock songs longer. (Like flower garden, hidden track on a previous album). Also, I would have liked 1 or 2 more new tracks. But this is not really anyone's fault except for AVEX....they push out her singles all year to make money, but by the time we get the album, as much as we love those songs, it is not "new" to the loyal fans. So we feel like we are only getting an album with 5 songs. But, I have to admit, going a year without any new music from Ayu would send me to the looney bin.
On a non-musical note, I love her short hair!!! Takes me back to her days of Evolution. Usually I think woman only look great and sexy with longish hair, but Ayu somehow can pull off any style, any hair colour...amazing. Love the short hair tousled. Sexy!
GUILTY is simply GUILTY of not having more "new" tracks. If you like rock music, this album is great. Will also make a great album to later remix as TRANCE or something. If you just like or love Ayu, I dont think you will be disappointed in this album. It has a more mature sound. Ayu's voice has matured too and she is not trying to hit notes that she shouldn't hit anymore (like her early days).
STYLE (Japan Version)2 people found this review helpful
September 27, 2007 STYLE is Unique!
I have to be honest: when I first heard this album, I hated it. I quikly scanned each track to see if anything would "hook" me. I quickly thought it sucked and put it back in its case. But I never gave up on Namie. Then, 2 years later, I moved and needed to listen to some music while painting my new place. I decided to give some old CDs a chance (b/c I love her PLAY album), this being one of them, and MAN, thank god I did!
I rediscovered a wonderful world of sound. Great beats, very nice vocals (she doesnt try to sing out of her range like she has done in earlier albums), Very unique and not really poppy....it is R&B and hip hop, so I dont think you will like it if you are looking for TK-inspired tunes, but if you are open to different genres of music, then this is a MUST.
Like most CDs, a few listens are necessary....for me, this is always true, but also timing is important. Had I written a review when I first listend to this, I would have ranked it very low. But that would have been a mistake.
This CD has many songs, a couple variations and is long. Good bang for the buck. Good driving music, working music, dancing music....fun!
I love Namie and I encourage her new style. I especially love her most recent efforts on the album PLAY
August 16, 2007 Maniac Solid Album
Globe has always been a strong driving force in Japanese POP culture....they are responsible for forming and influencing some of the biggest POP names in Japanese music. With the legendary TK fronting this band, along with Keiko's amazing vocals through tone and interpretation, and Marc's eccentric flair, rapping and language abilities, this group is just solid.
I think many people were worried after they released their Lights and Lights 2 albums. Many lost faith in this group. Though they wre still releasing some great singles, the albums were short and lacked that special uniqueness that made Globe so special.
I wasn;t too bothered. A few good songs on a CD was enough to keep me a believer. Keiko's voice is so mesmerizing and unique. She can convey a lot in the tone of her voice....and their songs, usually always written by TK, are usually very interesting and entertaining.
If you liked Globe's older stuff, pre-Lights CDs, then you'll surely love this album. Listen to it a few times, and I am sure you will get addicted to various songs.
In my opinion, Globe has found the middle ground between POP, trance, rock, and mainstream....while still being creative. I enjoyed this CD when I first got it, but have to admit I enjoy it more now after now hearing it for a few months. Which is whyy I felt compelled to write this review.
This is a great value --1 album, 2 CDs, great music. I only hated one track, Appreciate, which is all in English, with Keiko talking....her accent is not very good, there is only one real beat throughout the song....I think of it as an intermission break...usually I fast forward past this track.
Other than that, a real score!!
Play (ALBUM+DVD)(Japan Version)4 people found this review helpful
July 11, 2007 "Play" - PLAYING it often!
I just received this CD the other day. I have always loved Namie because she was my first singer to introduce me to JPOP over a decade ago. I think this album is one of her best to date, and really showcases her growth as an artist. You can tell she is making her own choices as an artist, and is growing into herself. I am very impressed! I think everyone thought she was a has-been after poor sales with Genius 2000, and the other album after that...even though there were some solid tracks on each album, I think everyone had a certain expectation from Namie, and also felt she couldn't do well without TK's help. But she has a lot of natural talent, and I think being on her own is allowing herself to be creative. Although I really disliked the album "STYLE", I loved many tracks on "Queen of Hip Hop" album...and this album just rocks. I didn't LOVE it at first, but on a second and third listen, I instantly became addicted. My fave track is definitely "Cant sleep cant eat im sick", totally kicking and original! "Hide & Seek" is amazing too, but you have to see the video for the overall effect. "Funky Town" is good but could do without the sound effects. "Violet Sauce" is new and improved with the spicy rendition (I prefer it to the older one). A few songs took a little longer to grown on me, but they did. There is only one or two I dont really care for and I cannot remember which tracks!
Get this album with the DVD. The videos are great, and not corny like her older (much older) videos.
Ultra Blue (Taiwan Version)3 people found this review helpful
May 11, 2007 Generic, Lacking Lustre
First of all, I am a HUGE Hikki fan. I didn't care for her EXODUS album attempt, even though some tunes were catchy, but it didn't feel genuine...Now this album. Well, she has gone back to her R&B roots, which is great, so the vocals and sounds are what we have come to love, but the songs are lacking something. I can't put my finger on it...it is almost like she has tried to replicate styles from her previous hits into boring, generic tunes. The only songs I like are from Track 1 ("This is Love") and "Colours" (which was recorded before she did EXODUS).
I bought this CD because of all the great reviews, and I am disappointed. Usually reviews are pretty accurate, but in this case, I don't feel they are. I was disappointed in this CD, and have tried to listen to it a lot to give it a chance, but it hasn't happened yet. Very soon I will be putting up my own JPOP CD review web site.
I am only glad I bought the cheaper version of this CD, the Hong Kong version.
Daybreak (Overseas Version)April 6, 2002 A New Daybreak
I am going to recommend that you buy this album ONLY IF YOU ARE A DIE-HARD AYU FAN! Of course, I am, but I was not overly impressed with this single. It is good, but not great. The new Daybreak tune was wonderfully remixed by Hal..it gives you a different perspective on the song. I still like the original better, but this is a nice change. There are various remixes of "I am" and "No more Words". Most are pretty good, but I still prefer the originals. I just think it is a bit overdone having so many remixes of the same song on the same CD. The last track is a real bonus and worth buying the CD. It is an extended track of "opening run" from the "I am" album. It is nicely done. I would truly like to see Ayu add vocals to this...If she did, she should release it on another single with the hidden track "secret garden" from the "I am" album: I think everyone would go crazy and buy it!! As for remixes, I think AVEX and TRANCE has overloaded us. They should stop for a bit before there is just too much of it!! I think we need a break from it. I have stopped buying mot remixes just because the quality is going down a bit, and that is because the deadlines they push are too close to one another. So, buy this CD if you are a die-hard Ayu fan. I really doubt I will listen to my copy much and I am a die-hard fan.
Say The Word (Overseas Version)April 6, 2002 My Word is that it is AWESOME!
Namie is back...I loved the song from the get-go. It had such a clean synthesized sound to it, and her vocals were most impressive in this song. You will either like this song or hate it. It really sounds like a Western song, but it is really tight and is pulled off well. The lyrics are not corny, in fact they are pretty good. The remix version is almost as good as the original. In fact, it is even faster and more upbeat...both songs are easy to dance to. The second track "Lets not fight" just plain sucks! I know that is harsh to say, but it is awful. There are no lyrics...just a chorus that repeats and repeats and repeats...it drones in your head. You will know all the lyrics after the first listen!! It is just bad....I am embarassed for her when I hear it--I sincerely hope it will not appear on her album unless it gets totally redone. Teh music itself, is not bad. It sounds R&B-ish and has promise, but it repeats...the tune never changes!! I don't know what they were thinking when they recorded this...did they think it sounded good? But the single is called "Say The Word", and that is what you will buy it for. It is worth it. Almost a 10!!
Lovin'' it (Overseas Version)April 6, 2002 I Like "LOVIN' IT"
This is a pretty good song. Not the best of Namie, but not the worst. I thik a lot of people could easily get into it, but there are some problems with it if I were to dissect it. The lyrics are not the greatest. Namie is not very good at pronouncing English words, so I feel that she should stay away from them unless it can be pulled off rather decently. Verbal lends a rap in this song that is decent-enough. I really think this song could be great if it were redone. But overall, not bad. I can say honestly that I like the song and won't hit the skip button when it comes on.
I Will (Overseas Version)April 6, 2002 "I WILL" always love Namie! I WILL is GREAT
Namie has been getting a lot of slack since her return to the JPOP scene with her "Genius 2000" and "Break The Rules" albums as well as the singles that followed those albums. I thought they were great because it shows her growing as an artist. Anyhow, anyone who has lost faith in Namie should seriously give this single a chance. It is a ballad and her best to date! It is magical and she delivers a beautiful vocal performance! You need to listen to it a few times to truly appreciate it, but you will notice the high quality aspects of this song from the first listen. I am very anxious to hear her new album, whenever that comes out. I pray that she will rise to the top again one day because she is very talented.
I am... (Japan Version)January 10, 2002 "I am..." and yes, she IS!!
I don't usually give out perfect scores, but this album certainly merits a 10! This album will reignite Ayu's fans passion for her all over again. Let me tell you why you should buy this album: 1- First of all, the album package is beautiful: the inside booklet has many pictures of Ayu, all folloing the theme of "Eve". 2- Ayu has hidden some beautiful songs from us, which is a nice surprise. Amazing new songs on this album that were not released as singles are: I am..., Connected, Naturally, Still Alone, and No More Words. Ayu's style is strong and solid. She delivers these new tunes with a punch! 3- She resung Evolution (it sounds BETTER) and also resung Endless Sorrow. Endless Sorrow is even better now because they added a new beat, yet not some funky remix--this new beat actually suits the song better thatn anything on the Endless Sorrow Single. A lot of work went into this CD and it is VERY apparent. I think people will love the new Evolution and Endless Sorrow tune. Ayu's vocals have refined into a melodic rock-type of voice, and I think it is here to stay. SO let's support Ayu and the wonderful people at YesAsia!
Duty (Japan Version)November 27, 2001 A Beauty for Duty!
I read a couple comments on this album and was surprised that it did not get a rave review. If you love Ayumi, then you will LOVE this CD! She is absolutely diverse in her choice and styles of music onthis CD. Beautiful layout of tracks, nice selection, and placed in a nice palying sequence on the CD. I absolutely never skip a song. If you only like Ayu's remixes, then this may not be the album for you. A lot of people expect fast-paced music from her. This album has elements for everyone. I love DUTY because of the orchestra sound with all the violins--just beautiful. All sings are great and this is one of my favourtite albums of hers. Check it out!
Over And Over (Single) (Overseas Ver.)September 2, 2001 Never Over for ELT
This is a beautiful ballad from ELT. Again, they constantly amaze me with their ingenuity. ALthough not a fast-paced song, it does have a strong beat and a calming effect. Kaori demonstrates her vocals very soft and sweetly. Her voice rises to a beautiful pitch before the chorus and during the chorus. Their is a nice break in the song when the beat speeds up and rises to a climax and drops down gently again. Definitely one of my favourites. And LOOK, now the price has dropped! I bought it when it first came out at full price!
The Remixes 2September 2, 2001 Another REMIX Album
If anyone has read any of my other reviews for ELT CDs, then you will already know how crazy I am about this group. I even said how much I LOVED the last REMIXES CD; however, this time around, I can't say too many great things about this REMIXES CD. REMIXES II is a very weird album....There are a few good remixes on this CD, but overall, not worth the money. I barely listen to this CD and is a waste of my money for the mostpart. I give it a 7, though, because it is an average CD that you will get some joy out of. Also, ELT would never get a 6 from me, SO if you are not much of an ELT fan, this is not the CD for you, and if you are a die-hard fan that can spend money frivolously, then buy it. But really, save your cash for othe ELT CDs. ~Nadia
September 2, 2001 Perfect Remixes
I never liked REMIXES until I fell in love with ELT and their singer, Kaori. I used to always get worried when I got a remix, but this entire album beautifully showcases Mitsuru's talent in remixing all their hit songs. If you like dance-music, this is the album to own. This music shoudl be played in dance clubs. I got many of my friends addicted to this CD..friends who don't care for Japanese music. This group is just so refreshing in so many ways, and are never afraid to try new things.
EverlastingSeptember 2, 2001 Always Everlasting
ELT does it again in this album--I would like to call this the sequel to Time to Destination..or is it the other way around? I don't remember which one was released first! But the band continues to show off their talent and originality, and Kaori just gets better and better! The first song is my favourite, "Feel My Heart"...but it is even better in their REMIXES album. Get that album too! ~Nadia
Time to Destination (Overseas Version)1 people found this review helpful
September 2, 2001 Destiny Awaits
This is ELT's best CD by far. There is such a blend of creativity on the groups behalf. Kaori has such a beautiful, melodic voice that will soothe your soul. I love singing along with her. The lyrics are very original! They do not always talk about the typical "love/relationship" theme that most songs have, but about the world around us, and friendship, and pet peeves. This band expresses their thoughts through their music, and it is disgiused so well by catchy music (if you do not care for lyrics). They are my favourite band. ~Nadia
September 2, 2001 An upbeat album
I am writing this review for Olivia fans: If you are a fan of Olivia, I think this is a CD that you should have in your collection. Olivia is great, as usual. The Cd itself is filled with very upbeat, happy songs. I call this a "genki" album...it is very positive and encouraging. It is also very POP-ish, with some nice dance-type of music. I bought this CD long ago, but still listen to it...and when I do, I just rediscover all the things I loved about it in the first place. I am glad to see Olivia branch out though, and become herself. ~Nadia
September 2, 2001 11 out of 10!
B'Z have been topping the charts for years now, and they are still going on strong. Tak and Inaba constantly amaze me with their endless energy and originality. This album gets more and more addicting each time you listen to it. This album is pure rock! The songs are perfectly composed and arranged: Tak plays a mean guitar, as always, and Inaba is just such an amazing male vocalist. If you haven't been introduced to B'Z, this is a good album to get, but also check out their best albums like "Treasure" and "Pleasure". They are my favourite male band, and always will be. ~Nadia
First Love (Album)(Overseas Version)September 2, 2001 First Love Made Me
I am going to try to keep this short: Hikki is so talented, creative and just so daring. This is a powerful album that is truly addicting. Her voice is so impressive as it hits new levels all the time. If you are a dis-hard fan of Hikki, this is a MUST-HAVE album because it is a pure treasure and a piece of Japanese music history! ~Nadia
Distance (Japan version)September 2, 2001 A Distance From the Rest!
Hikki is well in her own league! She has so much talent at such a young age. She is blessed with a musical ability that shows off her uniqueness, creativity and daring personality. All the songs on this album are SWEET! What a nice mix! My favorite NEWsong of hers is "drama"--a powerful rock song that is hypnotizing! I think she should branch out more into rock AND R&B. This is definitely her niche. I was so surpised to hear "Drama", it was unlike anything I have heard from her. "Parody" is another musical piece of genius--it is a whimsical song that is cleverly written and very addicting to listen to. All in all, this is an album you should own. The songs are great, her voice is great and it is exciting what she will come up with next! ~Nadia