Reviews written by Karen
Next Level (Japan Version)1 people found this review helpful
April 11, 2009 10 years of AYU!
After releasing the emotion-filled "GUILTY" last year Ayu gives us a great party record. "Next Level" is full of electro-pop dance tunes "EnergizE", "Sparkle", "Rollin'". The album starts off on a mellow note with the easy "Next Level" and then quickly sets the album in gear with "Disco-munication". The album makes a 360; after the hard hitting rock tracks "Rule" and "Love'n'Hate" Ayu winds us down with "Days" and the simple yet elegant "Curtain Call" which displays some of Ayu's best vocal work.
It's a well put together album with plenty of flavors to keep you satisfied. I personally found "GUILTY" to be boring and too rushed, mostly due to the unnecessary interludes. In a small way "Next Level" is plagued by the 4 interludes on this album, yet they're actually good; some, as stated by other fans, would make great songs. I do wish there were more vocal tracks to balance out the interludes, but over all is a very solid album. A big step up from "Guilty" and put together as well as "Secret".
With "Next Level" Ayu shows no signs or will to slow down. Keep'em coming Ayu!!
Heart Station (Japan Version)July 24, 2008 9/10
The only downside to this album for me is that I wish there were more newer tracks on Hikaru's new album. But at the same time it doesn't hurt the album too much because all the perviously released singles are a pleasure to listen to. I enjoyed all the new tracks on the album. Each brings its own light and texture to the album. No one will be taking a gamble picking up this cd. This will always be an easy choice to always keep around and listen to over and over again. The reason is quite simple - Hikaru's music always leaves a lasting impression on your heart.
Heart Station / Stay Gold (Japan Version)February 22, 2008 Very Touching
"Heart Station" offers two songs with a very laid back sound. "Heart Stations" has an atmosphereic rythem that is reminist of "Passion" and a very relaxed flow. "Stay Gold" is a gorgeous ballad with a soft piano that glides throughout the song. Though the melodies might not sell the listner at first hand but the lyrics are very loving, emotional, and touching which over all makes the songs beautiful works.
Ooku (Normal Edition)(Japan Version)February 9, 2008 Nice when coupled with S-mode
Ooku is a collection of Makkun's singles released on her "evolution" label. This album is nice when coupled with her S-mode collection series but in my opinion Makkun doesn't offer much on this album due to only 7 single tracks are on this album. What has be a little puzzled is "RING" isn't included. But what makes up for the lack of singles is the self c0vers which I always enjoy. "Reincarnation", "Rondo-Revolution", and "Shuffle" all get a new edge to them and are very enjoyable! Diffently should be listened to!
Thinking Out Loud (Normal Edition)(Japan Version)February 9, 2008 Flawless
Flawless is all it takes to describe Bonnie's new album. I've always enjoyed her music. She writes very touching, personal lyrics and uses unique instruments and arrangements in her compossions. Plus she has the voice of an angel. This album has her enjoyable singles "Water Me", "Anything For You", and a new version of "A Perfect Sky". All the tracks are outstanding but some of my favorites include "Gimme A Beat", "Catch the Sun", and "Nagusami Blue". Highly recomended to any fan of music and if one is looking for something different from all the Ayumis and BoAs. Bonnie Pink is a blatent must for anyone.
Guilty (Japan Version)5 people found this review helpful
January 18, 2008 Guilty is right...
"Guilty" makes a great 1st impression with "Mirror". With it's explosion of high-paced energy it sets the tone and mood "Guilty" intends to deliver. Tracks 2-5 further carry you into "Guilty's" dark atmosphere, mainly with help from the fantastic songs "talkin' to myself" and "decision". The title track is just brilliant, with the ominous bell ringing in and the unsettling voice repreating "guilty" in the background completly sets the album's moody, emotional feel. "faded" and "Together When..." are two gorgeous ballads in which you shouldn't be surprised if you have tears welling up in your eyes! "Marionette -prelude-" is pointless to me since the track itself is outstanding and doesn't need an introduction. "The Judgement Day" is a prelude worth having; almost reminds me of "Opening Run"; it just leaves you excited for what is to come. We all know and love "glitter" yet "My All" seems like we've heard it before and offers nothing memorable about it. Then another prelude is set for "untitled - a song for her" both which doesn't do anything for me. The prelude is boring and the song is far from special and falls flat for me.
Overall I have mixed feelings about this album. Tracks 1-7 are great about after that I find myself removing the cd and listen to something else. Ayumi threw in too many preludes. 4 is not nessicary for a 14 track album. The album offers only 5 new tracks. "Guilty" doesn't carry the excitment that "Mirror" introduces and promises throughout the entire album. Personaly the only thing that Ayumi is guilty for is not putting enough effort into the album and giving her fans more freash, quailty tracks and less pointless preludes.
Isanity (Japan Version)November 30, 2007 As always...
"INSANITY" delievers 2 solid rock tracks. Great melodies that have plenty of energy and excitment that feature wonderful the lyrics and vocals of Makkun. As always a must have for anyone. You won't be dissapointed because it's from Masami Okui and she really couldn't put out a bad release if she tried.
glitter / fated (Japan Version)3 people found this review helpful
July 12, 2007 Glitter
This is a great single. Yes, "glitter" is a predicatable Ayu pop song but that doesn't mean it's bad! "glitter" is very uplifting with inspiring lyrics. It's fun to listen to. "fated" is a beautiful mid-tempo balled with emotional vocals. "Secret" is also off Ayu's latest orginal album "Secret" (which if you haven't gotten... what's wrong with you!:P). It's still a great track is one of my favorite songs off the album. A great release from Ayumi.
It's My Life (SINGLE+DVD)(First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version)(1)Our Price: US$21.75July 12, 2007 It's My Life
"It's My Life" doesn't thrill me so much. The chorus sounds a bit simalier to "Otomegokoro Mugen" on her "evolution" album. It's not a bad song; it's a typical Makkun song that makes you want to go and do something heroic but for me it's not memorable. "-w-" is the song that should have gotten the A-side to this release. "-w-" is an edgy rock track that is dark, smooth, and sexy. Makkun never dissapoints so this is still a single worth getting. I look forward to "Ring" as well!
Play (Japan Version)4 people found this review helpful
July 5, 2007 Namie's best work to date
"Play" is without a doubt, a fantastic follow up to "Queen of Hip-Pop" and one of Namie's best albums. It's a really fun album to listen to and all the tracks are catchy. This album sounds very fresh and is filled with pop, r&b, and rock sounds. "Hide and Seek", "Hello", "Step With It" and "Pinky Key" brings out the playful side of the album that "FUNKY TOWN" inspires. "Full Moon" and "Top Secret" bring out the sexy side of the album. "It's All About You" and "Violet Sauce (Spicy)" throws an unexpected rockish edge into the mix! "Should I Love Him" is the only slow paced song on the album that I did find a bit boring but does have it's positive elements to it. The singles are still a great listen which over all makes this album a must have this summer. I am very pleased with this album!
Sweet Impact (Japan Version)1 people found this review helpful
June 30, 2007 Sweet Impact
I like to think this single really pleases. "Sweet Impact" is a dancable track thats has some old school BoA flavor and "Bad Drive" is more of BoA's new R&B feel to it. It sounds a bit Americanish but it has a really cool feel to it. Diffently great to put in the sterio whether you're by the pool or going for a cruise!!!
Secret (Jacket B)(Japan Version)1 people found this review helpful
December 10, 2006 A Very Solid Album
Ayu's releases keep getting better with each album! This album has something for everybody on it; a great rock song "kiss o'kill", beautiful ballads "JEWEL", and uplifting pop tunes "Beautiful Fighters". Her voice is mature and beautiful. This album is a true must for any Ayu fan or Jpop fan!!
Dancing Diva (Hong Kong Special Edition)July 26, 2006 I bought it too soon!!!
I pre-ordered this edition as soon as I heard that Jolin was releasing a new album. And now (a few months later) she re-releases the album with all the MVs on it!!! I'm a bit dissapointed but...
This is a good cd. The up beat tracks like "Wu Niang", "Mr. Q" "Chun Chun Yu Dong" are I feel are the best and give great flavor to the album. I feel that her balleds kinda made me loss intrest, yet I do love "Ma de li bu si yi". I score "Dancing Diva" a 8/10 cuz even though her voice remains beautiful her balleds are a bit boring. Very enjoyable nontheless. I wish her the best of luck and success on her new label!
Key of Heart / Dotch (SINGLE+DVD)(Japan Version)July 25, 2006 Great Single
"Key of Heart" is a wonderful song. It's a upbeat pop tune and will sure to please BoA fans. Her vocals are beautiful and be sure to check out the video. "Dotch" is a another good song that has a really cool, funky beat to it!
Ultra Blue (Japan Version)2 people found this review helpful
June 26, 2006 Well worth it
Unlike many artists, for Hikaru its quality over quanity. Hikaru's 4th album "Ulta Blue" is an outstanding work of 13 brillantly crafted songs. Even though some of the singles were released sometime ago it's great to hear them on the album. "This is Love", "Blue", "Making Love", and "One Night Magic" are songs that prove that Hikaru has a sound thats completly her own. There's so much emotion to be felt on this cd. Utada Hikaru blows all other artists out of the water with this release! Get your copy now!!!!!
Fairwings (Japan Version)June 8, 2006 Fairwings
I gave this album a try becuase I enjoyed Chihiro's work with Masami Okui in r.o.r./s and her "Chihirox" album. It didn't dissapoint me at all. Chihiro looks gorgeous on the cover and the songs are, too. I enjoyed all the songs on the album. "Scramble", "Rain", "Sunshine Day", and "Alive" are beautiful songs that showcases her talents for songwriting, music, and her breathtakingly beautiful voice. She's a very overlooked artist but she deserves a listen. I'll be sure to look out for her up coming single!
Nanairo no Ashita - Brand New Beat / Your Color (Japan Version)(13)Our Price: US$11.49March 23, 2006 Really Cute
"Nanairo no Ashita ~Brand New Beat~ is really cute. It's a sunny, happy, poppy tune that will make you smile. It sounds like an "old-school" BoA song, but I enjoyed it. It's not amazing and niether is the next track "Your Color". It's a good song overall but like a pervious reviewer said, it drags on so you kinda lose you attention. Overall, I give the single a 8/10.
OUTGROW (Japan Version)March 4, 2006 It's ok....
I was excited to recieve her new album. I'm kinda dissapointed and not at the same time. "OUTGROW" gives BoA a new edge with "Slient Scremerz" but it left me bored with mediocre balleds like "Love is just what you can't see" and "LONG TIME NO SEE". The bonus track "Frist Snow" is a beautiful song that BoA pen herself. Even thought the songs didn't catch much of attention I thought her vocals were beautiful. In conclusion, the songs on this disc were hit or miss for me. I will continue to lissen to it in hopes that it will grow on me but for the time being I'll haveta give this album a 6/10.
God Speed (Japan Version)March 3, 2006 Makkun is a Goddess!!
I don't think Masami can make a bad album if she tried. This album has energetic tracks such as "wild cat" and "Timeliness" and those gorgeous Makkun balleds like "Gift" and "Mitsu". In conclusion, an awesome album from Masami Okui!! Expect nothing less!!!
(miss)understood (Normal Edition)(Japan Version)February 8, 2006 My Favorite!!
I just love this album. Yeah...half of the songs we've heard but Ayu released A+ singles thoughout 05. I ove the diversity on the album; it doesn't leave bored at all. Ayu's vocals are absolutly perfect in every song and the lyrics are so touching. Ayumi just keeps getting better!