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FLOWER: Nettaigyo no Namida

6 hours 33 min ago
FLOWER: Nettaigyo no Namida
Release Date: 
6/11/14
Label: 
Sony Music Entertainment
Flower is a sub-unit of E-Girls, the massive J-Pop group that also includes every member of Dream, Happiness, Bunny and EGD. The funny thing about this is that Flower are consistently releasing music that is far superior to the music of E-Girls.

Flower is a sub-unit of E-Girls, the massive J-Pop group that also includes every member of Dream, Happiness, Bunny and EGD. The funny thing about this is that Flower are consistently releasing music that is far superior to the music of E-Girls.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

Mika Nakashima X Miliyah Kato: FIGHTER / GIFT

15 July, 2014 - 08:25
Mika Nakashima X Miliyah Kato: FIGHTER / GIFT
Release Date: 
6/4/14
Label: 
Sony Music
Mika Nakashima and Miliyah Kato have joined forces with producer/arranger DJ Taku of m-flo for the Japanese theme song of The Amazing Spider-man 2, "Fighter," and it's a rather heavy rock tune.

Mika Nakashima and Miliyah Kato have joined forces with producer/arranger DJ Taku of m-flo for the Japanese theme song of The Amazing Spider-man 2, "Fighter," and it's a rather heavy rock tune. In fact, it borders on heavy metal. Nice and raw, edgy heavy metal. Kind of like Babymetal but without the death metal style vocals. And without the kid's vocals. You get the idea. It's like Babymetal-styled music paired with vocals from two of J-pop/J-rock's best superstars ever. They've got that fighting spirit and they will NOT be defeated. OK, so that's a cliche, but you know what?

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

f(x): 3집 THE THIRD ALBUM: RED LIGHT

9 July, 2014 - 16:15
f(x): 3집 THE THIRD ALBUM: RED LIGHT
Release Date: 
7/9/14
Label: 
SM Entertainment
The album opens with the title track, "Red Light," a trippy yet bouncy tune that will probably confuse you the first time you listen to it. It's one of those wildly imaginative K-Pop songs that goes in several different directions, much like Girls' Generations' "I Got A Boy."

f(x)'s last album -- Pink Tape -- was one of my favorite albums of 2013. I hadn't heard them prior to that release, but I loved it from the very first time I listened to it and I knew I was always going to be a fan from that point on, just as other groups like 2NE1 and Girls' Generation previously made me a fan from the first time I heard them. Suffice to say that I was excited when I learned they were releasing a new album for summer 2014.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

TOP.IC: SEE YOU AGAIN

7 July, 2014 - 13:40
TOP.IC: SEE YOU AGAIN
Release Date: 
7/3/14
Label: 
CJ E&M Music
TOP.IC's delightful "See Ya" is poised to become one of summer 2014's most defining pop songs.

These days digital singles are dropping every other day in the Asian pop world, and especially so in the K-Pop realm. It seems that labels are signing more and more artists in part because they can easily release a digital single without spending nearly what it costs to press CDs that nobody might buy. Granted, making videos for these singles can cost millions, but they can also be done on the cheap, which was probably the case with TOP.IC's video for "See Ya," the first track on their single release See You Again.

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HYOMIN: MAKE UP

1 July, 2014 - 08:58
HYOMIN: MAKE UP
Release Date: 
6/30/14
Label: 
코어콘텐츠미디어
The single, "Nice Boy," is tepid and highly offensive. The other two tracks are great though.

Make Up is Hyomin of T-ARA's first mini-album. The lead single is a track called "Nice Body." And it's highly offensive. I don't even know where to begin. It's just wrong on so many levels. In the video, we see an obese woman binge eating donuts. Then she sees a golden donut roll across the floor. So, of course, she picks it up from the floor and eats it. And, guess what? She turns into Hyomin, who is, as I'm sure you're aware, quite thin. I have a problem with that because it's like saying all overweight people binge eat donuts.

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FLASHE: HEY YOU

30 June, 2014 - 14:30
FLASHE: HEY YOU
Release Date: 
5/20/14
Label: 
CGM Entertainment
"Hey you, hey you, hey you, wake up in the star," sing the girls of Flashe in English during their new tune "Hey You." Doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, does it? So, there's one reason not to like Flashe's "Hey You." But, hey you, lots of K-Pop songs have lyrics that don't quite add up when you really think about them.

"Hey you, hey you, hey you, wake up in the star," sing the girls of Flashe in English during their new tune "Hey You." Doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, does it? So, there's one reason not to like Flashe's "Hey You." But, hey you, lots of K-Pop songs have lyrics that don't quite add up when you really think about them. I don't understand why these record labels don't have people who are fluent in English review these song lyrics when their artists are going to sing in English.

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LiSA: RISING HOPE

25 June, 2014 - 12:31
LiSA: RISING HOPE
Release Date: 
5/7/14
Label: 
Aniplex
Like most of LiSA's previous singles, "Rising Hope" is a perfect blend of hard rock music and pretty pop vocals. It mixes blazing electric guitars with extremely fast drums, slick bass and glimmering piano.

It's been nearly a year since I last reviewed a release by LiSA, so I suppose I should give a little re-cap about who she is? Here goes: LiSA is a Japanese pop rock singer/songwriter who's actually named Risa Oribe. In addition to being a solo artist, she's been involved in various other projects over the years and one of them was a band called LiSA, which is an acronym for Love is Same All. (I still don't know if that's partially a gay rights/marriage equality thing.) Clearly, she liked the acronym so much that she decided to take it as her stage name and she's been using it ever since.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

SHIINA RINGO: NIPPON

23 June, 2014 - 16:29
SHIINA RINGO: NIPPON
Release Date: 
6/11/14
Label: 
Universal Music
"Nippon," Shiina's first single of 2014, is a sports song. Ugh. It's not bad though.

Shiina Ringo is one of my favorite artists in the world. Since the owner of this site, Joshua Bernard, introduced me to her music a few years ago, I think I've managed to accumulate everything she's done as a solo artist and with her now broken up band Tokyo Jihen. If this site had more writers, I probably wouldn't be allowed to review this because I can't be objective about an artist that I like so much that I'm pretty much obsessed with her. But I actually am being objective with this one. You see, "Nippon," her first single of 2014, is a sports song.

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NMB48: イビサガール [Ibisagaru]

21 June, 2014 - 08:21
NMB48: イビサガール [Ibisagaru]
Release Date: 
6/14
Label: 
laugh out loud! records
I can't be sure if NMB48's latest offering has anything to do with summer in terms of the lyrics, but my best guess is that it does because the girls are photographed in bikinis near a body of water on the cover and, obviously, bikinis = summer.

I can't be sure if NMB48's latest digital single has anything to do with summer in terms of the lyrics, but my best guess is that it does because the girls are photographed in bikinis near a body of water on the cover and, obviously, bikinis = summer. Besides, regardless of what it's about, it's definitely got a hot, fun in the sun vibe to it.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

CLARIS: PARTY TIME

19 June, 2014 - 06:13
CLARIS: PARTY TIME
Release Date: 
6/4/14
Label: 
Sony Music Entertainment
Remember how I wondered what would happen to ClariS when the two anonymous girls -- pseudonyms Alice and Clara -- graduated from high school? Well, unfortunately, the release of their third album, Party Time, comes with the sad news that Alice will be leaving the duo.

Remember how I wondered what would happen to ClariS when the two anonymous girls -- pseudonyms Alice and Clara -- graduated from high school? Well, unfortunately, the release of their third album, Party Time, comes with the sad news that Alice will be leaving the duo. So, perhaps, we'll never learn her true identity or see a photo of her? That would be quite the thing to pull off, being half of a famous J-Pop duo for roughly three years and then vanishing without the world ever learning your true identity or even what you look like. In any case, we have no idea what Clara intends to do.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

AOORA: VANILLA SKY

12 June, 2014 - 14:33
AOORA: VANILLA SKY
Release Date: 
00/00/00
Label: 
unknown ...but it does exist! Really!
track he not only wrote but produced. Only he's not exactly 100% solo, being that fellow AAer Hoo-ik appears on the track, singing some solo lines as well as doing some harmonizing with Aoora.

Aoora is one of the members of the popular K-Pop group AA. Here, he flies solo for the very first time with a track he not only wrote but produced. Only he's not exactly 100% solo, being that fellow AAer Hoo-ik appears on the track, singing some solo lines as well as doing some harmonizing with Aoora.

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T-ARA: GOSSIP GIRLS

11 June, 2014 - 09:03
T-ARA: GOSSIP GIRLS
Release Date: 
5/14/14
Label: 
Universal
Can you believe T-ARA are already on their third Japanese full-length album? Yes, it's true. That's precisely what this is.

Can you believe T-ARA are already on their third Japanese full-length album? Yes, it's true. That's precisely what this is. According to Yes Asia, "After the hit album Treasure Box and member Hyo Min's Japan acting debut in the film Jinx, T-ara is expected to have another major turning point in 2014 as two members will begin solo activities." I don't know if this means that they'll be doing solo activities in Japanese or Korean. I'd assume they'd do Korean solo material first, but everything else mentioned in that sentence pertains to Japanese releases/activities so who knows...

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

KARY NG: ACROSS

4 June, 2014 - 10:32
KARY NG: ACROSS
Release Date: 
5/26/14
Label: 
Universal Music Hong Kong
Kary Ng goes for a more sophisticated sound on her new album which pairs a couple of electro-pop gems along with some truly gorgeous ballads.

Kary Ng began her professional recording career at the age of 15 when she joined the nine member girl group Cookies, which were signed to a major, Gold Label of EMI Hong Kong. Although she was only in Cookies for two years, they put out an impressive five releases during that time, including a popular best of compilation. In 2004 Kary joined a rock band called Ping Pung and released the album Love & Hate.

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FTISLAND: 未体験FUTURE

2 June, 2014 - 11:11
FTISLAND: 未体験FUTURE
Release Date: 
4/2/14
Label: 
Warner Music Japan
Korean rock group FTISLAND have continued to do very, very well for themselves in Japan, so it should come as no surprise that they've just released a new Japanese single, which actually happens to be their 13th Japanese single already.

Korean rock group FTISLAND have continued to do very, very well for themselves in Japan, so it should come as no surprise that they've just released a new Japanese single, which actually happens to be their 13th Japanese single already. (Where does the time go?) As you can see above, it's entitled 未体験FUTURE. Phonetically, that's Mitaiken Future. Google translates that as "Non-Experience Future." That might sound kind of dismal, but the song's music is entirely upbeat with some of Choi Jong-hoon and Song Seung-hyun's best fretwork to date, the guitars downright scorching.

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