Monday, March 26, 2012

[J-Music] Ayumi Hamasaki - Party Queen (album)

Artist: Ayumi Hamasaki
Album title: Party Queen
Release date: 21 March 2012

When I heard the title of Ayumi Hamasaki's new album and saw the covers for "Party Queen" I was totally worried that I won't like the album. I'm not a big fan of party music and going to disco and this is what I expect when I hear this title.

The first songs made my worries real. They are up-beat songs which are really good for dancing. And I'm not really interested in such music. I did my sport workout while first listening, so it was kind of fitting music for this.
Then the fifth song started and I was really surprised. In my eyes the whole style of the album changed into nice pop songs and ballad-like music. I really like this fact, even if now the title "Party Queen" isn't reflected anymore.

My personal highlight of the album is the song "Eyes, Smoke, Magic". When I first listened to it I saw a Broadway-stage in front of my eyes, with women dancing with petticoat-dresses and men in smoking. This song really gave me this kind of mood. After I now know the translation of the lyric it makes me think, because this cheerful song tells a sad story.

Another great song, in my opinion, is "How Beautiful You Are", which is the last song of the album. I'm especially impressed by the PV which shows people who are not looking like the average. I think it wants to tell that it doesn't matter how you look, you are always beautiful - and you are allowed to love who you want.

By now I really fall in love with Ayu's new album. I also started to like the first songs after I have listened to them more often. It's a really great album and a must-have for every fan!

(And now I'm a little bit sad that I'm not able to attend one of her concerts when I go to Japan in July this year...)

01. Party queen
02. NaNaNa
03. Shake It♥
04. taskebab
05. call
06. Letter
07. reminds me
08. Return Road
09. Tell me why
10. a cup of tea
11. the next LOVE
12. Eyes, Smoke, Magic
13. Serenade in A minor
14. how beautiful you are

As always there are 3 different versions of this album. There is a "CD only" version with just the album. The "CD + DVD" version includes a DVD with PVs and making-of of 4 songs (Shake It♥", "NaNaNa", "Return Road" and "how beautiful you are"), while the other version with 2 DVDs includes another DVD with the COUNTDOWN LIVE 2011-2012 A ~HOTEL Love songs.

PV "How Beautiful You Are"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

[J-Music] Dirty Old Men (band introduction)

Artist: Dirty Old Men
Formed in 2003
Official website:

I discovered Dirty Old Men by accident. When I tried to use on my iPhone for the first time I listened to AJISAI radio station and the first song played was "rain show" by Dirty Old Men which I started to love directly. So I started to look for more music of this band and in the end they became one of my favorite new discoveries.

The band was formed in summer 2003 by Nobuyuki Takatsudo (Vocal&Guitar), Masamitsu Yamada (Bass) and Shinichi Notaki (Drums)  in their high school days. Actually it was planed to break up after their graduation, but they received many great responses and won in a band competition and so they decided to continue. In 2006 Takumi Yamashita joined and they started to be a 4-men-band.
By now they have released two albums ("bud" in 2008 and "guidance" in 2011) and a certain number of mini albums. Their music has a unique style with very heartful and pure songs. Each song is telling a story or kidnaps you into a wonderful dream.  
I hope I will be able to hear a lot more music of this great band - and wish them to find more and more fans!! (^0^)~ ♥

Takatsudo Nobuyuki - Vocals, Guitar
Yamashita Takumi - Guitar, Chorus
Masamitsu Yamada - Bass
Notaki Shinichi - Drums, Chorus

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

[J-Music] Yellow Fried Chickenz - All My Love / Your Are The Reason (single)

Artist: Yellow Fried Chickenz
Single title: All My Love / Your Are The Reason
Release date: 28 December 2011

The single "All my love / You are the reason" has been released on 28 December 2011 by Yellow Fried Chickenz, shortly YFC. YFC is a project of the famous Japanese musician Gackt which he built in 2010 with some changing members. At the current YFC you find Gackt and Jon (fade) as vocals, on guitar there are Chachmaru, You and Takumi, on bass we have U:zo and on drums Luna Sea's drummer Shinya.

Both songs of this single has already been performed on YFC's European tour in summer 2011.

"All my love" is a touching ballad dedicated to the victims of the great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan on 11 March 2011. At live concerts the charity project "Show Your Heart" which was founded by Gackt was promoted by singing the following line with the crowd in repeat:

"Close your eyes, feel your soul. All for love, show your heart!"

Unfortunately these lines are not included in the studio version. Actually I personally prefer the live version, maybe it's just because of the emotions I remember when I've been to the concerts.

In difference to the first song "You are the reason" is a more uptempo one, but also really great. Especially at this song the voices of both vocals mesh with each other very well, in my eyes.

There is a special versions of every song. Each have a "minus g", "minus j" and "minus g+j" version. So if you like karaoke you can sing either with Gackt or with Jon or totally alone. Instead of this I would have preferred versions sang all alone by Gackt or Jon and not with one singing only his own part and the other lines are missing...

All in all it's a really nice single and I'm glad that my dear friend Haruna-chan gave it to me ♥

01. ALL MY LOVE .jp
03. ALL MY LOVE .jp minus G
04. ALL MY LOVE .jp minus J
05. ALL MY LOVE .jp minus G & J
06. YOU ARE THE REASON .eu minus G
07. YOU ARE THE REASON .eu minus J
08. YOU ARE THE REASON .eu minus G & J

Official website: Yellow Fried Chickenz