• The Best of 2011 (Part 1 - My Top 10 Albums)

    Dic 31 2011, 11:21

    So I'm going to start doing a Top 10 of each year, split into 3 parts. Part 1 will be my top 10 favourite albums which were released this year. Part 2 will be my top 10 songs of the year, which may or may not be from my top 10 albums. Part 3 will be honorable mentions, such as the best discovery I've made this year, best MV etc.

    You may or may not agree with me, but hey, it's all opinion right? Who knows, you might find something to your liking! So without further ado, these are my top 10 albums of 2011!

    10. - WHITE

    Those who have known me on Last.fm, or has seen my listening charts anyway, knows that I was a HUGE JPop fan. I don't know why, but I liked the music that came out of artists such as 大塚愛, 上戸彩 and especially 宇多田ヒカル. But with 宇多田ヒカル decision to take a hiatus, and 高橋愛's graduation from モーニング娘。, my love of JPop has been waning. However, Angela Aki's latest album still made it into my top 10. A great voice to go with some completely brilliant self-composed tracks, this album is a a pretty soild offfering from the currently pregnant Japanese songstress.
    Favourite track: ふるさと~HOME, a remake of the titluar song from her classic album, Home

    9. - 90’鬧Now

    The CPop twin duo from Singapore make it onto #9. Ever maturing, this album has a mix of dance, ballad and sheer brilliance from the producer of the album. Fans of By2 have complained that they feel that the duo have not had time to mature properly, as they have been thrust into the spotlight since the tender age of 16. My answer to that? Justin Bieber was only 15 when he started. Besides, By2 are nothing like him. With cute tracks, sexy dances and a few MVs where the unexpected happens (Like the pair of them taking a dip into a bath of milk???), the album has managed to attract more attention to me because of the potential still left in them, rather than being finished products.
    Favourite track: A toss-up between 有沒有 and 一樣愛著你

    8. - Gloria

    And as soon as I've said that JPop was waning on me, I go and put a 2nd JPop album in my top 10, albeit this is a mini-album. However, 後藤真希's release from earlier this year has certainly been one of my favourites. Fast, catchy and nothing like what she released under the all-consuming influence of Hello! Project, 後藤真希 is almost like another person after she signed for Avex. With meaning packing into the lyrics of the songs, some of which were penned by 後藤真希 herself, this album showed a side of her which had never been seen before, and I liked it a lot.
    Favourite track: 足跡

    7. - 我愛我

    Recently released, 蕭亞軒's album came at what I imagine must have been a difficult period for her. With the marriage of several famous names in the Chinese showbiz industry, and her former boyfriend Sunny Wang reportedly dating her fellow artist 楊丞琳, the album was released in a midst of rumor and reporters constantly asking her what she felt. And what she felt, she put into this album. Not as dancy as her previous hit, 蕭灑小姐; nevertheless, the album does contain some very danceable tracks, alongside some light-hearted tunes and one heck of a great ballad.
    Favourite track: 逞強

    6. - 愛言葉 (VOICE)

    So, it would seem that my love of JPop may still be there, somewhere. Regarded by many as the best album to come out of Japan this year, 後藤真希's offering to her fans before going on hiatus contains some of the best dance tracks I've ever heard. With heavy beats, dancable melodies and electric guitar all involved, the album contains only a few new pieces of work, since it is more of a compilation album of all her work since joining Avex. However, what new songs she did put onto this album makes me wish that she hurries up back from hiatus.
    Favourite track: I can't choose between What is LOVE and SCANDALOUS

    5. - 獨一無二

    The best-selling album in Taiwan this year, 羅志祥's yearly release makes it onto my list at #5. The album has courted controversy for apparently for being repackaged several times, which meant that fans bought several different versions of essentially the same album, which allowed it to reach quintuple platinum (Platinum is 30,000 in Taiwan). Regardless, the latest release from Asia's dancing king is indeed full of dancing tracks. However, the dances are less enegertic than what is his norm, and more smooth and subtle; which, in all fairness, makes it even harder to dance. After last year where there were rumours flying around about him having a secret affair with 楊丞琳 (She seems to court a lot of controversy, doesn't she?), one of which even claimed he had given her a STI, he hit back at those critics with a powerful ballad, showing off his skill at singing which sometimes is harder to find when he dancing to an auto-tuned laden beat.
    Favourite track: 獨一無二

    4. - Lost N Found

    Two years after his last self-composed album, and his first since joining Warner Music, 林俊傑's album was only released on New Year's Eve, so... today, then I guess :D However, I have listened to it completely 3 times over so I believe that it deserves a place in my top 10 this year. With several styles mixed on this album, such as jazz, R&B, ballads and even classical, the wait for this album from the Chinese music prince has most certainly been worth it. Costs for filming the MVs alone apparently added up to nearly 5 million TWD; which is a lot, no matter which currency you look at it. However, the effort has really paid off and I imagine the album is certainly going to chart well going into the new year.
    Favourite track: 學不會

    3. - Nocturnal

    It's rare for me the listen to any song which isn't in some Asian language, but AZIATIX aren't any ordinary band. Made up of American-born Koreans, who have individually found success in New York, Korea, Taiwan and China, this English album is full of R&B hits, with raps over the top. Created by legendary producer, Jae Chong, the group reached #1 on Korea's and Taiwan's music charts, while they reached #1 on Japan's preorder chart. With great beats, awesome vocals and some nice MVs to boot, I'll be looking forward to see what they offer in 2012!
    Favourite track: Be With You

    2. - 2 be Different

    This album has come dangerously close to being my #1 album of all time, let alone this year. 袁詠琳 rose to prominence with her debut album, Cindy, mainly due to the fact that, for the first time ever, 周杰倫 actually released a song which wasn't written by him. I felt it was unfair on 袁詠琳; because if 周杰倫 actually consented to singing this duet with her, then she must have an extraordinary talent. I actually felt that her duet with 周杰倫 was one of the weaker tracks on the album, and that she was a lot stronger elsewhere. This time around, there was no duet with her incredibly famous co-artist and boss, but there was a huge change in her image. No longer was she the smiling, girl-next-door. Instead, she came out incredibly sexy and mature with heavy electronic beats and dance, which was missing on her debut album. Many have compared her to 蔡依林 (Which I don't think are warranted), and it has gained her the title '唱跳創作新女生' or 'singing, dancing composing new female artist'. Her vocal talent shines through in some great R&B hits, while there are some light-hearted tunes which touch on some very personal issues to her. I absolutely love this album and I can't wait to see what she does next!
    Favourite track: 把傷心打碎

    1. - 驚嘆號

    So we get to the end of the list, and once again, Asia's heavenly king has clinched it. This album is a redemption of sorts, showing that he hasn't lost his touch since releasing the disappointment that is 跨時代 (Although not a bad album, I didn't really enjoy it nearly as much as I have some of his other works and there were no particular standout tracks). The problem this time is reversed; 驚嘆號 contains what I think are the best tracks he has released to date. 周杰倫 has said that he went back to his roots and became more kiddy for this album, and he danced a lot more. However, there are many different styles on this album, such as rock, trance, R&B, classical and ballad. He really shows off his directing ability with the MVs as well. Although some aren't happy that there are some tracks which are similar to tracks released before, I don't have an issue with it and I actually think it's almost a continuation of those songs. All-in-all, this was the standout album for me in 2011.
    Favourite track: How can I choose? Pretty much every track on there is awesome!
  • I'm back

    Gen 18 2011, 8:03

    After about a year out, I deicded to get Last.fm back on my laptop lol And there have been MAJOR changes in my music taste in that time XO Those of you who knew me before will find out that, instead of being the pure 宇多田ヒカル and モーニング娘。 fan, with a heathly dose of 周杰倫, I've now stopped listening to so much 宇多田ヒカル and モーニング娘。 (A lot more 周杰倫 though :P).

    Instead it's 蔡依琳, Kara, and most recently Glee Cast... :O
  • iTunes Survey

    Mar 28 2010, 19:07

    iTunes Survey

    Open iTunes to answer the following:

    Total number of tracks: 1144
    How many hours or days of music: 3.2 days
    Most recently played: 湘倫小雨四手聯彈 - 周杰倫
    Most recently added: Never Say Never - The Fray

    Sort by song title
    First Song: A.S.A.P. - 宇多田ヒカル
    Last Song: 3. 2. 1. BREAKIN' OUT - モーニング娘。

    Sort by length
    Shortest Song: Turning The Key - 下村陽子
    Longest Song: Love Pledge and The Arena - John Williams

    Sort by album
    First Album: Ai Araba IT'S ALRIGHT! - モーニング娘。
    Last Album: 7 Years and 50 Days - Groove Coverage
  • This Is The One track-by-track review

    Mar 13 2009, 22:03

    This Is The One is the 2nd english album by Utada. The 26-year-old JPop princess decided to bring out another after that horrible bombshell of an album called EXODUS.

    This album does prove, however, that we are finally a part of the internet generation, with references to BlackBerries and PhotoShop among others.

    So, here goes my track-by-track.

    1. On And On
    2. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawerence - FYI
    3. Apple And Cinnamon
    4. Taking My Money Back
    5. This One (Crying Like A Child)
    6. Automatic Part II
    7. Dirty Desire
    8. Poppin'
    9. Come Back To Me
    10. Me Muero
    11. Come Back To Me (Seamus Haji & Paul Emanuel Radio Edit)
    12. Come Back To Me (Quentin Harris Radio Edit)

    1. On And On

    A nice way to start off the album but it has it's flaws. A nice beat which reminds me a bit of CBTM. I don't really like the guy going 'Argh!' in the background though. The vocals sound kinda forced at the beginning. which kinda disapoints me, 'cuz it's not something I'm used to hearing from Hikki. Still the lyrics aren't bad and the beat is catchy (I was dancing to it in the shower lol XD)

    Rating: 6/10

    2. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawerence - FYI

    I LOVE THIS SONG! Sorry, I had to get that off my chest :) The vocals are perfect for this song, the beat is really catchy and lyrics are awesome! Not my favourite song from the album but it comes close. The violin and piano beginning are quite decietful for the tone of the lyrics.

    Raiting: 8.5/10

    3. Apple And Cinnamon

    The song that everyone heard about before. Repetitive, which is a shame. The lyrics are good but it sounds a little computer generated, espically the lyrics sometimes. I don't mind it, but it's just a tad too much computer sounding.

    Raiting: 7.5/10

    4. Taking My Money Back

    I don't really like this song. The vocals, lyrics and instrumentation just don't click with me.

    Raiting: 5/10

    5. This One (Crying Like A Child)

    Wooooooo! A ballad, R&B style. My fave song from the album. My only higgle with it is the 'ay-ay-ay' part. Why? Not necessary. I love the lyrics and vocals, and the instrumentation is perfect!

    Raiting: 9.5/10

    6. Automatic Part II

    I really, really hate this song. It doesn't even deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Automatic. In fact, I've listened to it twice, then deleted it off my iPod.

    Raiting: 3/10

    7. Dirty Desire

    The backing vocals sound quite cheap and the song could do with a better ending. However, the lyrics aren't bad and the instrumentation is good. I like Hikki's vocals and the way she stresses the words a lot. Her vocals in this reminds me of Devil Inside.

    Raiting: 7/10

    8. Poppin'

    The start reminds me a bit of Mission Impossible I. I don't really love the song, but I don't hate it either. Too repetitive for my taste and the talking part doesn't really add much more.

    Raiting: 6/10

    9. Come Back To Me

    It's probably becuase I've heard it soooooo many times (According to iTunes, 677 times actually) that I've not actually listened to it since I got the album. It's the same as before and probably the most generic song on the whole album. The MV disappointed me though.

    Raiting: 8/10

    10. Me Muero

    This just doesn't fit in with the style of the album, with it's South American/Latino style. Reminds me of something I hear when I'm eating out at Nandos XO

    Raiting: 6/10

    I won't rate the 2 radio mixes.


    I think this an album aimed at breaking her into the American market, which is probably why some of the songs don't really fit well with me. However, it probably is going to fit in well and I hope it does well. As a album, it's solid but it's not really my style.

    Overall raiting: 8/10
  • You Are The One... Seriously Hikki, you are

    Mar 8 2009, 15:01

    Utada's new album looms closer and closer. And while we all hold our breath, waiting for it to come out, I actually believe more and more that this will be her big break.

    Previews for some of the songs sound promising. Dirty Desire sounds like something which I know Hikki wouldn't have even of dreamt of doing a few years ago while doing Exodus, but surely it's a good thing. Noises coming out of America are good, with promotion going on big. Come Back To Me is getting a lot of airtime on American radio, she's doing interviews so much that my cousin is going crazy and it's so good that they're trying to push it out earlier than even Hikki thinks she can finish the album!

    Looks like Universal finally got their act together. This is what failed in Exodus. While I didn't like the album much, I (And probably you as well) felt that Hikki didn't get the advertising that she deserved. Actually, I don't think she got any XO

    This time, there are TV commercials, radio and TV interviews, and I gather that the PV for Come Back To Me is going to go out on MTV sometime soon. (I have a HQ copy, so just PM if you want it ;) ).

    I just hope that this album will be the one.
  • My take on the music world... Well, my music world XD

    Gen 26 2009, 21:02

    Okay, things are looking very exciting musically. Right, who should I start with?

    Utada Hikaru has finally come out of hibernation, transformed into Utada and actually is going to give us some new matieral, in the form a new english album! Seriously, I was getting really annoyed when she kept releasing stuff like Prisoner Of Love. Don't get me wrong, I love the song, but she's already released it on her album. I wanted something new. And now I'm gonna get it! Yay! At first, I thought this was going to sound really bad, a new english album, considering how much I disliked Exodus (Yes, I did give it a chance but it didn't stick with me D:) but actually, Come Back To Me is one of my fave tracks now! (It's already got 400+ plays on my iPod lol)

    Also, Tsunku is back composing for morning musume!!! Nai Chau Kamo actually sounds MM-ish, rather than all the cover stuff they've been doing recently. Some facts I picked up from the PV: 1) Junjun is the most energetic dancer in MM. Seriously, look at her dancing, she seems to put more energy into it. 2) Reina's legs look kinda fat and stubby in fishnets (XD Don't flame me please). 3) Junjun is actually a very good actor. Why? Well, she seems to be the most convincing in the crying scenes. 4) Aichan needs a hair cut. What? Her hair round her face like that just looks ugly... 5) Aichan can actually act 2 different ages. She acts so mature and more like her age in the PV, yet in Q.E.D. (The drama which she starred in and is currently showing) she actually does act like a 17 year old... Weird O.o

    Speaking of Q.E.D. I've fallen for Aichan again. She's sooooooooooooo energetic and she portrays Kana perfectly. If she ever leaves MM (God forbid!!!) then she would make a great actor! Yes, you can tell I've been watching the show lol. And yes, I love it! Touma is kinda cool too.

    And fitting in with Q.E.D., 青山テルマ is back in my sights again, this time with the theme tune to the show, called 'Konno Mama Zutto'. Nice preview from what I hear at the end of the show, can't wait for the single in March!

    Finally, ai otsuka is also on the rise in my iPod playing charts. Why? Well, I... *cough* got hold of... *cough* some of her PVs and the one that really attracted me? Smiley!!! XD

    Well, it's gonna be an exciting year... Hopefully XD
  • Why Come Back To Me will actually do well

    Gen 7 2009, 20:35

    Seriously, I don't understand why people are hating it. sure, it sounds like the mainstream crap that's played on American radio these days, but it would do.

    Utada has constantly said that Utada Hikaru and Utada are completely different styles, so people mouring the loss of her 'Hikki-ness' should just stop. We should think of them of 2 different people, if it helps.

    But if she doesn't do this, there's no way she would be able to get into the charts in America. These days, it full of generic mainstream crap, like Madonna. I hope the whole album doesn't sound like Come Back To Me, but if it does, I won't be mourning, 'cuz it's sure to do well.

    Oh, and on the side, tag the bloody song as Utada, not Utada Hikaru!!!
  • HANGRY & ANGRY aren't Hello! Project...

    Ott 19 2008, 20:38

    It was announced on the Hello! Project website today that as of March 31st, 2009, all of the members of Elder Club will be leaving Hello! Project.

    Mass graduation or mass firings? You make the call.

    The exact members graduating are as follows:

    morning musume OG:
    Nakazawa Yuuko
    Iida Kaori
    Abe Natsumi
    Yasuda Kei
    Yaguchi Mari
    Ishikawa Rika
    Yoshizawa Hitomi
    Tsuji Nozomi
    Konno Asami
    Ogawa Makoto
    Fujimoto Miki

    Inaba Atsuko
    Satoda Mai (Country Musume)
    Saito Hitomi (Melon Kinenbi)
    Murata Megumi (Melon Kinenbi)
    Ohtani Masae (Melon Kinenbi)
    Shibata Ayumi (Melon Kinenbi)
    Maeda Yuki
    Matsuura Aya
    Miyoshi Erika
    Okada Yui
    Ongaku Gatas (presumably, Korenaga Miki, Noto Arisa, Sengoku Minami, Sawada Yuri)

    Not much else to say but... wow.

    Tsunku's comment

    I have some important news to share.

    All members of H!P Elder Club, namely Morning Musume OG (Nakazawa Yuuko, Iida Kaori, Abe Natsumi, Yasuda Kei, Yaguchi Mari, Ishikawa Rika, Yoshizawa Hitomi, Tsuji Nozomi, Konno Asami, Ogawa Makoto, Fujimoto Miki), Inaba Atsuko, Satoda Mai (Country Musume), Melon Kinenbi, Maeda Yuki, Matsuura Aya, Miyoshi Erika, Okada Yui and Ongaku Gatas, will be graduating from Hello! Project on 31.3.2009.

    Most of theses girls have already graduated from Morning Musume and other groups.

    They have been appearing on stage since they were teenagers.

    After the 10th year anniversary has passed, they have realized that it is necessary to smash through the stereotypes that have been built up for them by now, and find courage to begin a new path towards their future careers.

    Personally, I have big expectations for their future efforts, and I would like to announce my support for these girls.

    I also hope you will keep supporting both current Hello! Project members and the members who are going to graduate.

    Hello! Project producer Tsunku

    Nakazawa Yuuko's comment

    Effective from 31.3.2009, H!P Elder Club members will be graduating from Hello!Project.

    Since my graduation from Morning Musume in 2001, I have been in charge of the leader position in H!P.

    H!P has been a place where we have been putting all out efforts into creating and expressing songs and performances.

    Now it is time for every member to leave this place and take a new step forward, but we will definitely keep putting all our efforts to bring you dreams and excitement.

    As for the future of H!P, our juniors (kouhai) will take over and carry on that spirit. Please give them even bigger support.

    Nakazawa Yuuko
    - Hello! Online

    So does that mean H&A won't ever come to realisation? Or are they going to move to another label?

    Personally, I think that UFA have lost the plot. They're 'graduating' their best members... Nacchi, Yuuko, Yossie, Nono, Kono, Ogawa... Basically, those who weren't doing anything...

    And also, this puts pressure on Aichan. Is she really ready to take up the postion of leader of H!P? I think this will change her even more, and not for the better. The more mature Aichan is sexier, but misses that spark which the old bubbly, strong accented Aichan gave...

  • The revival of Hello! Project

    Ott 14 2008, 16:42

    The general consensus is that Hello! Project losing it's touch. Super crazy-pop went off the menu ages ago, with morning musume not reachng no.1 on ORICON, even with their cover of popular classic, Pepper Keibu. Buono, Gatas, C-ute and berryz koubou are also going the same way for me. Nothing has really caught my eye in terms of astonshing singles/albums. In fact, most of my listening of any Hello! Project group has been purely out of loyalty.

    But now, it may actually have a chance of survival. With Goto Maki's switch to the AVEX label, H!P has been looking for a new solo/group face other than morning musume.

    And now they have it.

    HANGRY & ANGRY isn't the type I'm used to listening, but I was willing to give it a try. And to my surprise, I rather liked it. Of course, it's only a preview of their single, Kill Me Kiss Me, but already, I'm hopeful. It's a new style of popish-rock and gothic clothing (
    Hangry & Angry is a collaboration with a Harajuku fashion store which goes by the same name.)

    And the members? Yoshizawa Hitomi and Ishikawa Rika. The last people I'd expected to dress up like this: But actually, if it means that I have such an interesting song to listen to, I don't care who the members are.

    With the egdy lyrics and new gothic styled look, it seems that UFA has finally seen that the crap which has been coming out since Yossie left MM is no longer good enough. Hangry & Angry, I'm sure, will atrract both old and new fans.

    Hangry & Angry's main site can be found here:http://www.s-inc.com/hangry-angry/main.php
  • Questions on my top 10

    Set 28 2008, 16:23

    My Top 10
    01 Utada Hikaru (No surprises there :P)
    02 morning musume
    03 植松伸夫
    04 後藤真希 (:O What is she doing so high up?)
    05 Angela Aki
    06 Utada (I must've listened to her more than I thought... o_O)
    07 Yamashita Kousuke
    08 大塚愛
    09 High King
    10 John Williams

    Now answer the questions according to the numbers:

    What was the first song you ever heard by 6?
    Does that include her being Utada Hikaru or just as Utada? If just as Utada, then it was Easy Breezy (Ugh :O)

    What is your favorite album of 2?
    Probably Rainbow 7 or SEXY 8 BEAT. I'd probably end up putting their next album up there though.

    What is your favorite lyric that 5 has sung?
    'For you put the dream in my reality' - Kiss Me Good-Bye (Not really my fave, but I can't think of anything to put in XD)

    How many times have you seen 4 live?
    Once, and that was when she was part of morning musume!

    What is your favorite song by 7?
    Probably either Tsukushi or Hana Yori Dango 2 Main Theme

    What is a good memory you have involving the music of 10?
    Watching Star Wars while listening to it... The guy is a legend. His Harry Potter work is nice too.

    Is there a song of 3 that makes you sad?
    I guess not... Unless you call 'Entering the Promised Land' sad?

    What is your favorite lyric that 2 has sung?
    Erm... What lyric of morning musume don't I like? :O If I wrote out all my favorite lyrics, I'd be here for ages!

    What is your favorite song by 9?
    They olny did 2 songs... I guess Kioku no Merio gets the nod over Cinderella/Complex

    How did you get into 3?
    He did the OST best set of video games in the world (Final Fantasy).

    What was the first song you heard by 1?
    Probably Final Distance or First Love, can't remember which.

    What is your favorite song by 4?
    Hmmm…it really depends on my mood. Lately? I haven't been listening to her much really, but I like LIFE better than most tracks...

    How many times have you seen 9 live?
    Never, they're a one shot group and I never got to Japan before they stopped doing lives :O

    What is a good memory you have involving 2?
    They cheer me up when I'm down, mostly :O Songs like Koko ni Iruzee and Love Machine are just so upbeat, you can't help but be cheered

    Is there a song of 8 that makes you sad?
    Planetarium and Daisuki da yo

    What is your favorite album of 5?
    TODAY is just slightly better than HOME, but it's a close thing

    What is your favourite lyric that 3 has sung?
    He doesn't do lyrics o.o

    What is your favourite song of 1?
    Prisoner of Love, Letters,

    What is your favourite song of 10?
    Probably Anakin vs. Obi-Wan, Battle of the Heroes and Across the Stars

    How many times have you seen 8 live?
    3 times... Haven't seen her since last year though...

    What is your favourite album of 1?
    Heart Station is best... Although ULTRA BLUE and DEEP RIVER come mighty close.

    What is a great memory you have considering 9?
    A great memory was seeing the play that goes with the single

    What was the first song you heard by 8?
    Planetarium. I heard it on Hana Yori Dango and it was love with first listening XD

    What is your favorite cover by 2?
    I guess you mean cover songs? Pepper Keibu was awesome!!! As Junjun said, there's something about the Morning Musume-ishness about it which makes it special.