Reviews written by mirdominance
Loveless (SINGLE+DVD)(First Press Limited Edition A)(Japan Version)(2)Our Price: US$16.75March 8, 2010 A realistic love song
I really loved this single by Yamashita. Though I was never a fan, I ran into the PV online and immediately fell in love with the lyrics to this song. The lyrics speak of a break-up where both parties will eventually have to say goodbye... however, how can they do so when they thought each other was their destiny.
Yamashita seems to have a slight alto voice and not enough range for my taste, but this really fit this song so well that I couldn't complain. It gives the song a slight yearning feeling and I can't stress how much this song fits his voice.
P.S. My only peeve is that the only other song I liked in his single release was 'After the Rain' which only comes in the Normal Edition version. However, I love the PV as well, so this single is really making you choose between the songs and the PV.
Amazing Yamashita! ^_^ Johnny's has been doing quite a good job this year.
Love yourself - Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki - (Jacket B)(SINGLE+DVD)(First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version)
Love yourself - Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki - (Jacket B)(SINGLE+DVD)(First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version) DVD Region 2(1)Our Price: US$19.255 people found this review helpful
March 8, 2010 Best Version of the Three
Love Yourself is a really nice uplifting song that encourages people to gain self-confidence. I really love the message behind the lyrics. Also, this song is the theme to the drama version of the manga 'Wallflower'. This drama is extremely hilarious and I highly recommend it!
'The D-motion' is an upbeat techo/disco-dance track where all the guys have synthesized their voices. I love this song the most out of the 3 tracks and the PV is interesting. You can't help but dance the moment this song starts. Not to mention that you just KNOW that they were laughing their butts off while recording this because their voices sound hilarious (especially Koki's in the beginning).
As usual, Akanishi's solo 'A Page' is American themed (in English) with a hip-hop/R&B beat. I always look forward to his solo songs.
Overall, I like this version of the 3 versions because I didn't really care for the solo track that comes with the Jacket A version and I wanted the D-Motion PV more-so than the Love Yourself PV.
NICE single KAT-TUN! :)
KAT-TUN Live Break the Records (Normal Edition)(Taiwan Version)(1)March 8, 2010 Amazing as always.
Though I am not a Johnny's fan, KAT-TUN concerts never cease to amaze me and this is the only group I tend to check up on in the Johnny's fandom.
I must say that I'm VERY impressed with this concert. KAT-TUN's music, for the most part, is the type that I can't really listen by itself. I have to either see the PV or them performing it to get into it.
When it comes to production, this concert is no joke whatsoever. I have NEVER seen so many performers on one stage before. The opening will stun you and blow you away. I really wanna give praise to their stage and lighting crew. Also, the MC segments really give you a laugh and seeing them being dorky near the end just makes you wanna smile. Out of the solos, Akanishi's duet with Crystalkay is really amazing. The song is really well produced and I hope this song gets released as a single. The message in the lyrics (which are in English) give an amazing worldly message. Also, Ueda's piano+ballad song just makes you happy. When he smiles, you can't but following. His solo was simply too adorable. :)
PS The only thing I was upset about is that they didn't perform White X'mas and Water Dance fully.
Player (Normal Edition)(Japan Version)2 people found this review helpful
March 4, 2010 Fantasticly Amazing
Each album just keeps getting better and better when it comes to capsule. Almost all tracks got 5/5 from me. The techno really thrives well in this album but with a slightly more meaningful and sober feeling than the previous album More!More!More!. Some of the most notable tracks:
"Stay With You" (previously released) has a more pumped up sound, bit is still as amazing as the original mix.
"I wish You" has a slower beat and a nice melody. This song makes one want to smile.
"I was Wrong" is a personal favorite with a much more melancholy and sentimental feeling. This song has a classical piano, cellos, and synthesized drum backbeat. The lead vocalist's voice is so smooth and alto tone. Her tone really brings out the feeling of the lyrics (which are in english). This is the perfect song to listen to on a gloomy rainy day.
"Can I have a word" just makes you want to dance (jump up and down and swing your hand) by yourself in your room.
"Hello" are really nice short track. It's just the right length of time because it repeats quite a bit, but the song has a certain charm to it.
"Love and Lies" is another previously released track for 'Liar Game'. This new mix is amazing and just as nice and I love the conflicting tones and sounds in this version. It has a really uplifting chorus and feels like it should be the first intro song to the album... but maybe that's the point. The song makes you keep wanting more even though your at the end. :)
In the end, I must say that I'm very impressed with this album. capsule is back with new mixes that keeps their trend but brings a new sound to its listeners. Give this album a spin!
March 1, 2010 Record breaking!
I'm so glad I went ahead and ordered my copy of this before it went out of print. This is one of the greatest successes for Tohosinki and I just couldn't pass the chance of being a part of it.
This is one of the first times in history that a musical artist has been put on the cover JJ Magazine (the top Japanese fashion magazine) in over 35 years. The Tohosinki section runs from page 11 to about 18 with large HQ pictures and interviews. Also, if you think ARENA37C is HQ, you will be amazed at the paper quality in this magazine. The paper is thicker and glossier than normal.
Also, this is a nice chance for females who want to keep up with japanese fashion. I found the clothes and trends very interesting. ^^
If you missed your chance here, I really recommend still trying to get your hands on this issue. ^_^
Reflections (ALBUM+DVD)(First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version)(1)Our Price: US$33.25March 1, 2010 Good Job!
Vanness Wu once again displays his multilangual talent with this Japanese album. This album includes his singles released in 2009 (Reason, I don't wanna lose you, and Only).
1.Hyper Car 2.KODOKU 3.Stuck on you 4.Reason 5.Purple Rain 6.I don't wanna lose you 7.Only 8.Super Model (English) 9.Sail Away (English) 10.Devil (English)
Though this album is a little short, this is an excellent R&B album. I love the overall theme and it feels really calming. Vanness mixes some of his Chinese beats and trends while still giving off a J-pop theme. His vocals are so smooth and his Japanese pronunciation is incredible.
This album gives off a gentlemenly feel... the cover art really matches well with the slow jams and ballads he sings. I found the songs very charming and I can't wait to see more of Vanness Wu's japanese music. With a very classy atmosphere, you can't help but fall in love the sound of Vanness.
Fall in love with slow jams like 'Purple Rain', rock to the R&B beats of 'Reason' and 'Stuck on you', and jazz out to 'Super Model'. The last track is called 'Devil' and is in english and really gives the album a STRONG exit. Vanness Wu is Christian and this is a very charming hip/hop gospel track that really shows his strong faith. He starts out with an intense prayer and then the entire song is composed of hums, beatboxing, and chorus sounds, no instruments. It is VERY creative that I can't completely describe it. Even if you're not Christian, I just recommend the musical creativity of human vocal usage to create sound.
Overall, I wish this album got a bit more attention. I really found it enjoyable. ^_^
Girls' Generation Vol. 2 - Oh! (First Press Limited Edition)(12)Our Price: US$14.99List: US$19.99Save: US$5.00 (25%)13 people found this review helpful
February 25, 2010 Better
Like Super junior, I tend to like SNSD's hit singles rather than the rest of their songs on their albums and I don't think it's a lack of talent, it's more of my personal music preference. So, I will admit that I DEFINITELY like this album better than their previous ones.
I love how it includes Gee and Genie because I didn't buy the mini albums in order to wait for the full album with both songs on it. I also think that the promotional single Oh! is just as catchy as their previous top 3 singles. Their sound stays consistent which is a plus for them.
On the album, I found that I actually liked some of the non-promotional songs a lot more than I have have in their past work." Show! Show! Show!" is a very catchy retro dance number and "Byeol! Byeol! Byeol!" is a gorgeous ballad that once you listen to it can't keep off repeat. Everything else got a 3/5 simple because of personal music preference. So it you like SNSD's overall sound, I suggest giving this a spin for yourself. ^_^
5 people found this review helpful
February 24, 2010 An album with a personal touch
Why can't people just except that BoA has her own style. If she claims this to be the real her, then this is the sound she 'IDENTIFIES' as herself. This is the sound she wants to portray and I really do not believe that the proper criticism is being given.
This album is a turn for BoA. All her years making Japanese albums didn't include her personal taste. Before now, sound was 'given' to her. Her American album allowed her to explore other fields and now she wants to produce and show people how she feels musically. Fans consider consistency in musical style makes a steady artist, but the fact that BoA is becoming more and more spontaneous leaves fans anticipating her next move.
However, because of this, some hardcore longtime fans may find this album a bit hard to swallow but I love this album because I can finally hear what she's wanted to express for years. Music sounds different when the artist finally puts their hands into the creation process. I truly commend her for taking this challenge. With age comes new experiences. ^_^ Maybe she wants to challenge herself to getting No. 1 by her own work.
Overall, this is a VERY decent album for her first production. This album includes her singles "Bump Bump!", "White Wishes", "THE END soshite and..." from the White Wishes single, as well her new duet 'Possibility' with Daichi Miura.
Out of the non-promotional tracks, dance tracks "EASY" and "LASER" and slow tracks "is this love" and "fallin'" were the most memorable to me. I felt that "This is who i am" could have a bit more developed. There's something a little off about it...
My only criticism is that the interludes were unnecessary. They were only a few seconds of footsteps, etc... Also, I would have bought the DVD version if the Possibility PV were included. Also, I wish "IZM" could have been included as well like "THE END" was.
I don't think the album is PERFECT, but it's EXCELLENT in talent. BoA has really shown some potential and I really look forward to more of her work.
You were... / BALLAD (Jacket C)(Japan Version)2 people found this review helpful
February 24, 2010 Lovely ballads
Ayumi's ballad side is definitely back. This single is simply amazing.
"You were..." is the promotional single and speaks of a love that may be gone but will never be forgotten. The PV for this song is very artistic and creative rather than having a plot.
"BALLAD" is my personal favorite song on this single. It has an ancient Japanese feel and the softness in Ayumi's voice really brings out an emotional atmosphere. The instrumentals and orchestra are so lovely that I could simply listen to them alone as well. This song would go well with a meiji-era Japanese movie. The PV for this song has a plot and tells a love story of how death separates the living from the deceased. It's not possible to go back to the way things were.
"RED LINE ~for TA~" is a more upbeat song with a catchy chorus. This song really brings a smile to my face.
Overall, I'm extremely impressed with this single which leads me to expect a lot from her next album. ^_^
PS The single artwork is very lovely. I may even may even but the poster.
Bless (SINGLE+DVD)(First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version)(3)Our Price: US$18.491 people found this review helpful
February 14, 2010 Excellent
Can't believe its been almost 20 years... but L'Arc~en~ciel is still going strong. Bless is their single release before they go on their usual hiatus, but this single is too gorgeous to just pass by as just another single. As usual, this song definitely has HYDE's touch with the high vocal peaks and octave rises/dips as well as an orchestra. The song truly has a heavenly feel and the message in the lyrics is nice to the ears. This is song is also rumored to be the theme for the NHK Vancover Olympics 2010.
This is truly a band that just CAN'T disappoint. There is no lack of talent nor any lack of thought in any of their musical pieces and BLESS is truly like taking a breath of fresh air and leaves fans waiting in anticipation for when L'Arc~en~ciel will return together as one.
GACKT Solo Debut 10th Anniversary Official Book -GACKTIONARY GACKT 1999-2009(2)Our Price: US$26.991 people found this review helpful
February 14, 2010 Really Nice Quality
I ordered this book because of Gackt's 10th Anniversary and I felt that I really wanted something memorable and it feels like Gackt may be taking a break soon (which is fine, he's come such a long way). This book is just perfect.
It's hardback, in color, and about 2 cm bigger than a DVD box with thick paper quality. The first part has pictures of Gackt recently followed by the most famous pictures from his debut to the present. Then comes Gacktionary... 100 quotes and wise sayings from Gackt himself with 5 subjects of Action, Think, Love, Life, and GACKTism! Also, watch out because every few pages are interviews (questionares) with Gackts closest friends like HYDE (L'Arc~en~ciel/Kei in Moon Child), Miyavi, and Sugizo (Luna Sea).
Next is a discography of all of Gackt's concerts with pictures, arena dates and other information. Then there is a joint interview between Gackt and Takanori Nishikawa (TMRevolution/abingdon boys school). Last there's a list of all who have been involved with Gacktjob since 1999 as well as a Discography of all his albums, singles and DVD releases.
I will say that I enjoyed this more than just the pictures because I can read quite a bit of Japanese and this book is excellent kanji practice, but even if you can't, I still don't think any longtime Gackt fan would want to miss out having this commerable book. Once this sells out, Gackt fans should know how hard it is to find Gackt products once its out of print.
PS Also, on the last page of the book, fans will be happy to know that Gackt has actually added his profile with his true birthday and bloodtype. ^^ That was a real treat.
January 15, 2010 Another Favorite!
This album is one of my top 2 favorite Gackt albums (this and MOON). It includes so many favorites and the live tour for this album was simply amazing.
This album includes ‘Secret Gardern’ (my 2nd favorite Gackt song and is still to this day). The message is strong and I love how this is the first title track on the album. ‘maria’ and ‘uncontrol’ are more rock influenced tracks. The former has a very melodic chorus while the latter has an interesting metallic sound. ‘Seki-Ray’ is one of the top three tracks I love to hear Gackt sing live. This song may be short in lyrics, but the passion is so strong that it gives me goosebumps. Seeing him perform this in his 2001 tour really changed my life. ‘Kalmia’ has a sickly feeling like a person in an asylum. The laughing echoing voices and constant guitar rings drag into a different mentality.
‘Sayonara’ is a nice ballad track that speaks of lost love but in the end, he must even let go of his past self to get over them. This track is purely piano played by Gackt and a lovely violin interlude by YOU. This song is really sad. It’s as if the person must convince himself to move on and say goodbye to his grieving self.
‘Marmalade’ is an upbeat fun rock song that makes you want to dance cutely. ‘Papa Lapped A Pap Lopped ‘ is a hardcore rock song that has a very amazing yet amusing dance (you have to watch this live). ‘seven’ is a more melodic rock track. Gackts vocals are really alto with a powerful chorus. Lastly, ‘Kimi no tameni dekiru koto’ is a nice acoustic piece with an uplifting melody. It makes you feel happy and is a very nice way to end the album.
Crescent (Japan Version)January 15, 2010 Another Masterpiece
Though this may not be my favorite Gackt album, all of his work is simply amazing. This album includes some of my favorite tracks such as Tsuki no Uta (favorite Gackt track of all time) + Hoshi no Suna, (check out my review from the single with these 2 tracks) and ‘Orenji no Taiyou (feat. Hyde)’ from the Moon Child Movie.
‘Last Song’ is a track I used to constantly have on repeat when I was in middle school. It’s pure acoustics and Gackt’s voice used to sooth me when I was having a hard time. This song holds some of my most precious memories for me.
‘Birdcage’ is a nice alto track with a mixture of violins and acoustics. It feels as if the song is weaving together a folktale. The song is soothing until exactly halfway through, the rock comes in with a blast of emotion. Gackt has this amazing ability of expressing passion at the most unpredictable times in songs and this is a perfect example. As if trapped in a birdcage, he suddenly yearns to be free.
Overall, this is another amazing album. It’s very hard to rank Gackt albums because all of them are amazing, but I guess listeners have to choose favorites in order to rank them because the talent stays strong with every album release.
This album only carries about 5-6 favorites compared to past albums where all the songs became my favorites. So, in comparison, this is a 4/5 out of preference. However, talent is still 5/5.
January 15, 2010 An Absolute Favorite!
This album is one of my top 2 favorite Gackt albums (this and REBIRTH).
It starts out with a bang. ‘Lu:na’ is one of those amazing Gackt tracks where he uses sexy vocals during verses and has amazing alto vocals during the chorus. This is a song is so loud and hype and I love seeing performed with his back up dancing team. ‘Wasurenai kara’ is one of my all time top favorite released singles by Gackt. I love his low sexy vocals and the amazing message behind the lyrics. This is one of the tracks that I feel has a lot of passion and really touches a part of me every time I hear it. I love watching him perform this.
‘speed master’ is a hardcore track that speaks of love and pleasure. If you ever just need to rock out, this is the song to do it with. You go crazy without even realizing it. ‘Fragrance’ is a slow sexy track. It’s very poetic and one of a kind. This is the only Gackt track like it out of all his music.
‘death wish’ is a very creative track that has an amazing use of Bass and high squeaking guitar sounds. The dance to this track is amazing. This is another one of my favorites. ‘Dooms Day’ is one of my favorite medium rock tracks by Gackt. I love how this song plays with soft vocals and then all of a sudden turns to loud strong vocals. The song is a perfect example of use of ups and downs in musical pitch. I feel this song is very skillful are creative.
‘missing’ is a slower track with nice acoustics and uplifting vocals. It makes you want to smile. ‘rain’ is a powerful track with a ballad feel. The passion in vocals makes you feel his inner turmoil and pain. The lyrics are also very strong. Meanwhile, ‘Another World’ is fun punk-like song. The fast lyrics and catchy chorus make you just want to sing along.
Lastly, ‘memories’ is an acoustic influenced track with higher vocals. The lyrics speak of promises and gives a more cheerful message. The song makes you think of a pure blue summer sky.
Overall, this album is amazing one. It really gives the listener good imagery with every track.
January 15, 2010 Great Early Stages! ^_^
This is the very first Gackt album I ever heard when I was 12. This is the album that immediately got me hooked on him and 8 years later, I am still a hardcore fan. I must say that this is one Gackt’s earlier albums and it has a more melodic feel. Though the rock is still there, it feels like a toned down stage before his bigger creative explosion.
The album opens with a bang. After a soothing intro (ARES), ‘ASRUN DREAM’ blasts into the scene with loud electric guitar chords. Things slow down with ‘Emu~For my Dear~’. The melodies are soft until the chorus blasts in making your heart jump. ‘U+K’ and ‘Vanilla’ are fun rock tracks that make you want to dance and just flop around. I love seeing these songs performed during Gackt tours when the cats come out. ^_^
FRESSIA No. 1 and FRESSIA No. 2 are short interlude tracks. The first is like a soft lullaby with nice acoustics. The second is a lovely violin track played by YOU. ‘ILLNESS ILLUSION’ starts out like a slow ferris wheel or circus song. The tunes filled with accordions gives you a dizzy feeling.
‘MIRROR’ is another fun rock track with violins that makes you want to just dance. ‘DEARS’ is a nice acoustic track that turns into rock during the chorus. ‘OASIS’ has a more synthesized and drum influenced beat that the other tracks. Gackt’s vocals are very strong during this track. Lastly, ‘Kono Daremo Inai Heya De ‘ is a lovely soft ballad track that adds a children’s chorus.
Overall, this album is a must have for Gackt fans in order to really cherish his beginning days of fame. If I must make a comment, this album is a bit more upbeat than the others. ^_^
Vamps (Normal Edition)(Japan Version)January 15, 2010 Hardcore Baby... ^^
I forgot to review this album!
Anyway, for those who have loved HYDE’s solo work sound like in the FAITH album or 666 album, then you’ll enjoy this. HYDE has gone all out hardcore once again with powerful heavy rock numbers.
My favorite tracks in the album are the medium tempo ones such as COSMOS (very powerful vocals with a yearning call like in ‘Season’s Call’), Secret in my Heart (vocal blending similar to HYDE’s ‘Faith’ track from his Faith album), and Evanescent.
Since most of the tracks are hardcore rock, they tended to sound a bit too similar to me, but the songs have more of a difference when scene and heard live in concert, so I recommend watching VAMP concerts and PV’s rather than just the music. The heavy metal tends to blend together too much (just my opinion).
However, there is one slow song that brings back the feel of the Roentgen days; Sweet Dreams is a really touching song that was used as the promo single to promote the VAMPS 2009 tour. This song is one of my favorites.
Overall, this is a nice VAMPS album that leads to a good start for this band to keep making music when L’Arc~en~ciel is on creative hiatus.
Attitude (ALBUM+DVD)(First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version)(1)Our Price: US$24.251 people found this review helpful
January 9, 2010 Another Hit!
I am beginning to really love Meisa Kuroki as an artist. I’ve been following her since her debut into the music industry and really look forward to all of her new work. This mini album is no disappointment. She is an artist that sticks to her overall sound and I love her consistency.
The single released (Are ya ready?) shows a fun side of Meisa and the music video is a must see. She mixes her fun, retarded side with her sexy dancing to give a funny yet hype dance music video. The other tracks consist of dance electronica and R&B tracks, but the one track that caught my attention was the final track, 'Awakening'. This is a nice R&B ballad that gives an excellent ending to this hype album. It ends the CD with a new, slow side of Meisa.
Overall, this is another album by Meisa Kuroki that I highly recommend. You won’t be disappointed.
Past < Future (ALBUM+DVD)(Hong Kong Version)3 people found this review helpful
January 9, 2010 EXCELLENT
I must say, this album blew me away. Namie is back with a new flavor along with her classic sound! Fast Car is the released single and I must say that it’s.. different on first listen and takes a minute for your brain to wrap around what she’s trying to accomplish. However, it really reels you in and the PV is gorgeous. COPY THAT was used in a CM Namie starred and really has a driving sound. It has an old school beach sound mixed with techtonic sounds.
LOVE GAME brings out her classic hip-hop side. The PV is very creative using a game interface that puts dancers against one another. The message really comes through and this track is really strong. However, overall, BAD HABIT is the strongest track (composition and creative wise) with hip-hop drums, synthesized flowing beats and really nice electronic vocals. This is my favorite non-single track on the album. MY LOVE is also another track with her classic hip-hop sound.
FIRST TIMER (feat. DOBERMAN INC) is the most interesting track by Namie yet. The beats are so confusingly amazing. They trance beats flows together in the most unexpected ways and DOBERMAN INC sounds really good with the track. His rap fits the song well and I wish he were on some of her older songs. Defend Love is another hardcore trance track.
The one ballad, The Meaning of Us is gorgeous. Her vocals are perfect and the simple mixture of harps, piano, and some acoustic strings gives the listener a heavenly feeling.
This album truly unravels Amuro Namie’s hidden musical interests in different beats and changing the rules in the general j-pop sound. This album is unique and I love it! ^^
Shinseki no Love Song (SINGLE+DVD)(First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version)(1)Our Price: US$17.25January 9, 2010 The greatness just keeps on coming.
Another amazing single form these guys. This is one band that always sticks to its sound and comes up with the most interesting concepts. The PV for this single is really thoughtful. It has themes about a persons missing half and inner turmoil’s that come with time and what it takes to overcome it. Both songs hold Asian Kung-fu Generation’s classic sound. The released song Shinseki no Love Song (Track 1) has a slower, more subtle feel that eventually explodes into a world of sound around 3/4 way into the song. I highly recommend watching the video with the song. Shiro Ni Somero (Track 2) is more upbeat with fun guitar themes.
Overall, another excellent release by Asian Kung-Fu Generation. This group never gets old with their amazing ideas and classic rock sound.
Davichi Mini Album Vol. 2 - In Wonderland1 people found this review helpful
January 9, 2010 Strong Vocals
Though I may not love all of Davichi’s song choices, you can’t help but admit that this duet consists of some of the best female vocalists in K-Pop. I couldn’t pass up reviewing this because the song '8282' is simply amazing seeing them perform it live is just as good as the original track. These girls have some of the best live vocals. This song plays on the fine line of ballad vs. dance. Verses are ballads while the choruses are pop. The play of the vibrato in their voices really gives the song strength.
Another song that deserves some attention is Track 5 (Oleugol). This is a strong slow R&B track that has really great violin solos. Also, Track 6 (Crazy Woman feat. (Seeya’s Kim Yeonji)) is a slow latin ballad that has an amazing acoustic flow. Though I’m not a fan of the chorus, I love the overall composition.
I can’t stress enough how strong these female vocalists are and wish for them to stick out more in this current industry where lip-synching seems to take the place of real vocals.