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CNBLUE: WAVE

5 hours 24 min ago
CNBLUE: WAVE
Release Date: 
9/17/14
Label: 
Warner Music Japan
It's been a year since the highly successful South Korean band CNBLUE -- otherwise known as Code Name Blue -- last released a Japanese album, but they're back in a big way with their brand-new album, Wave, which features songs from the singles Truth and Go Your Way along with six brand-new tracks.

It's been a year since the highly successful South Korean band CNBLUE -- otherwise known as Code Name Blue -- last released a Japanese album, but they're back in a big way with their brand-new album, Wave, which features songs from the singles Truth and Go Your Way along with six brand-new tracks. For this review, I'm just going to review it as if all the songs were brand new because having them in a different language does make them sound noticeably different even to someone who doesn't know Korean and Japanese like myself.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

HARUNA LUNA: STARTEAR

25 September, 2014 - 13:57
HARUNA LUNA: STARTEAR
Release Date: 
8/20/14
Label: 
Sony Music Entertainment
Majestic strings abound in Haruna Luna's shimmering new single, "Startear," which also packs glittery shards of piano, racing drums and, of course, Haruna's always sweet voice.

Majestic strings abound in Haruna Luna's shimmering new single, "Startear," which also packs glittery shards of piano, racing drums and, of course, Haruna's always sweet voice. What I always like about Haruna's music is that you feel like you've stepped into a dreamworld where only her music exists when you listen to it. It's not that it sounds otherworldly or super original, but it has character, much more so than your average J-Pop singer brings to the table.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

HARUKA TOMATSU: FANTASTIC SODA!!

24 September, 2014 - 10:15
HARUKA TOMATSU: FANTASTIC SODA!!
Release Date: 
7/30/14
Label: 
SMCL
At long last, soda pop now has an anthem!

If you're a big fan of soda then you're in for a real treat here as Haruka Tomatsu delivers a bubbly pop music ode to the luscious liquid appropriately entitled "Fantastic Soda!!" The uplifting tune packs seriously punchy beats with shimmering strings, acoustic guitars and Haruka's super enthusiastic vocals for one of the most bouncy J-Pop tunes of the year. Listen and bow down to the carbonation!

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

LABOUM: PETIT MACARON

19 September, 2014 - 11:58
LABOUM: PETIT MACARON
Release Date: 
8/26/14
Label: 
CJ E&M
LA BOUM -- stylized as LABOUM -- is a new girl group formed by NH Media and Nega Network. Its rather young members are Sol Bin, Yul Hee, Ju Yeong, ZN, Hae In and So Yeon. Petit Macaron is their first release and it's quite promising.

LA BOUM -- stylized as LABOUM -- is a new girl group formed by NH Media and Nega Network. Its rather young members are Sol Bin, Yul Hee, Ju Yeong, ZN, Hae In and So Yeon. Petit Macaron is their first release and it's quite promising.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

TAETISEO: 2ND MINI-ALBUM "HOLLER"

17 September, 2014 - 10:02
TAETISEO: 2ND MINI-ALBUM "HOLLER"
Release Date: 
9/16/14
Label: 
SM Entertainment
As you probably know, TaeTiSeo is a Girls Generation sub-unit consisting of Tae Yeon, Tiffany, and Seo Hyun. The name TaeTiSeo is a combination of the beginnings of each of their names. Their first mini-album, Twinkle, performed really well, hence another mini-album from them. And it might as well be another Girls' Generation mini-album because we're talking about some high quality, incredible K-Pop here.

As you probably know, TaeTiSeo is a Girls Generation sub-unit consisting of Tae Yeon, Tiffany, and Seo Hyun. The name TaeTiSeo is a combination of the beginnings of each of their names. Their first mini-album, Twinkle, performed really well, hence another mini-album from them. And it might as well be another Girls' Generation mini-album because we're talking about some high quality, incredible K-Pop here.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

THE BRILLIANT GREEN: THE SWINGIN' SIXTIES

16 September, 2014 - 15:02
THE BRILLIANT GREEN: THE SWINGIN' SIXTIES
Release Date: 
7/23/14
Label: 
Warner Music Japan
The title of this album, The Swingin' Sixties, had me thinking that this was an album of covers from the sixties. But then I looked at the tracklist and most of the titles looked familiar. And so I looked at the tracklists for all of their previous albums and, sure enough, all of the songs on this album appear on previous albums by the group.

The title of this album, The Swingin' Sixties, had me thinking that this was an album of covers from the sixties. But then I looked at the tracklist and most of the titles looked familiar. And so I looked at the tracklists for all of their previous albums and, sure enough, all of the songs on this album appear on previous albums by the group. Turns out this is an album of self-covers, Tomoko Kawase (a.k.a.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

T-ARA: AND & END [AKA SUGAR FREE: T-ARA EDM EDIT]

12 September, 2014 - 09:36
T-ARA: AND & END [AKA SUGAR FREE: T-ARA EDM EDIT]
Release Date: 
9/15/14
Label: 
Core Contents Media
Now that Ji Yeon and Hyo Min are done promoting their solo careers (for now), T-ARA are back with AND & END, a brand new mini-album and it's a real smash.

Now that Ji Yeon and Hyo Min are done promoting their solo careers (for now), T-ARA are back with AND & END, a brand new mini-album and it's a real smash. Granted, in my eyes T-ARA can't do any wrong, but if I wasn't a T-ARA fan already then this mini-album surely would have converted me. So, if you're not a fan, I think you should give this one a listen and reconsider. If you love K-Pop, I just can't imagine you not liking it.
This is K-Pop on the scale of 2NE1 and SNSD.

YouTube Video: 
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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

ORANGE CARAMEL: TONIGHT [FROM THE SOUNDTRACK "IT'S OK, IT'S LOVE"]

11 September, 2014 - 16:54
ORANGE CARAMEL: TONIGHT [FROM THE SOUNDTRACK "IT'S OK, IT'S LOVE"]
Release Date: 
9/11/14
Label: 
CJ E&M
K-Pop doesn't get much better than this.

Usually I don't get very excited when my favorite K-Pop stars do songs for movies because these songs tend to be very generic ballads. Heard one, you've heard them all. Actually, OK, I'm a hypocrite because I put these songs on my sleepytime playlists and enjoy them in that capacity. But seldom does an actual non-ballad, full-blown pop song come out on one of these soundtracks, especially not when the movies are dramas. But I'm quite thankful to be able to say that Orange Caramel's new song "Tonight" is a jumpy, contagious example of sleek K-Pop bliss.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

SISTAR: TOUCH & MOVE

9 September, 2014 - 17:25
SISTAR: TOUCH & MOVE
Release Date: 
7/23/14
Label: 
Loen Entertainment
This year Sistar returned for another summer of blissful K-Pop music...

This year Sistar returned for another summer of blissful K-Pop music...

I'm not sure who worked on which tracks here, but the producers are Choi Kyu Sung, Rado, Duble Sidekick and Kim Do Hoon.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

AKB48: 心のプラカード (Kokoro no Purakado)

2 September, 2014 - 13:49
AKB48: 心のプラカード (Kokoro no Purakado)
Release Date: 
August 2014
Label: 
King Record Co.
AKB48's latest single is "心のプラカード," which Google translates as "Placard of Mind." Perhaps it is in spite of its title, then, that the song is mindless J-Pop fodder.

AKB48's latest single is "心のプラカード," which Google translates as "Placard of Mind." Perhaps it is in spite of its title, then, that the song is mindless J-Pop fodder. But that's not such a bad thing. When most people listen to pop songs, they just want to be entertained. And "心のプラカード " does entertain for all of its approximately four minutes. What it doesn't do is break the AKB48 mold. You have a fast tempo, blaring horns, soaring strings, jittery piano and a seemingly infinite number of girls harmonizing together. Not bad. Or is it?

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

GARNIDELIA: GRILLETTO

25 August, 2014 - 16:38
GARNIDELIA: GRILLETTO
Release Date: 
7/30/14
Label: 
Defstar Records
One thing I can tell you for sure about Garnidelia's music is that it's fantastic.

Garnidelia is a duo consisting of Maria [@MARiA_GRND] and Toku [@toku_grnd].  Their first single, "ambiguous," was released in March with their new, second single, "Grilletto," released on July 30th, 2014.  Only Maria appears on their album -- er, single -- covers, so I'm assuming this is one of those deals where the woman is the singer and face of the duo while the guy handles the music and stays behind the scenes.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

MOUMOON: I'M SCARLET

21 August, 2014 - 14:11
MOUMOON: I'M SCARLET
Release Date: 
8/6/14
Label: 
Avex
Are you having a bad day? If so, moumoon's "I'm Scarlet" is just the song to elevate your spirits.

Are you having a bad day? If so, moumoon's "I'm Scarlet" is just the song to elevate your spirits. And if you're having a good day, why not make it a great day? What if you're having a great day already, you ask? Well, then you should download this digital single and save it for a rainy day. After all, it's moumoon and they don't really make depressing songs.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

LEO IEIRI: JUNJO

17 August, 2014 - 09:39
LEO IEIRI: JUNJO
Release Date: 
7/30/14
Label: 
Victor Entertainment
"Junjo" is among her most vibrant and infectious tunes to date, which is surely why it's being used as the ending theme for the new Dragonball Kai anime series.

Singer/songwriter Leo Ieiri's new single, "純情," or "Junjo," finds her doing what she does best: blasting out a colorful and passionate pop rock tune. On her last album, she did a lot of piano-led tracks and they were gorgeous, but they didn't have the vigor and bounciness of the songs on her previous albums, which were bursting with kinetic energy. Fortunately, "Junjo" is among her most vibrant and infectious tunes to date, which is surely why it's being used as the ending theme for the new Dragonball Kai anime series.

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PAIPAI DEKAMI: レッツドリーム小学校 [Let's Dream Shogakko]

13 August, 2014 - 16:25
PAIPAI DEKAMI: レッツドリーム小学校 [Let's Dream Shogakko]
Release Date: 
6/25/14
Label: 
MYRD
But after listening to the album, all of my preconceived notions leapt out the window and crashed to the pavement, dying when their necks were all but shattered.

This one really surprised me, not unlike half of the stuff I listen to in the interest of reviewing it for you. I thought for sure that this was going to be silly bubble-gum pop. More specifically, I thought it might sound like AKB48. I even found myself wondering if she was a member of the group or a former member. But after listening to the album, all of my preconceived notions leapt out the window and crashed to the pavement, dying when their necks were all but shattered.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

ZIGZO: FOREVER YOUNG

11 August, 2014 - 10:00
ZIGZO: FOREVER YOUNG
Release Date: 
7/1/14
Label: 
Japan Crown
Forever Young is ZIGZO's way of celebrating their 15th anniversary. It's also a great hits compilation that's also noteworthy because it includes a re-recording of their 1999 single "Himawari." Who the hell are ZIGZO? According to Wiki, they're a Japanese rock supergroup, featuring members of various popular groups.

Forever Young is ZIGZO's way of celebrating their 15th anniversary. It's also a great hits compilation that's also noteworthy because it includes a re-recording of their 1999 single "Himawari." Who the hell are ZIGZO? According to Wiki, they're a Japanese rock supergroup, featuring members of various popular groups. They were formed in 1999 and broke up in 2002, presumably due to musical differences. But Wiki later indicates that they reformed the group on November 20, 2011 and have since released a mini-album called True Impulse.

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MOTOHIRO HATA: ひまわりの約束 [Himawari No Yakusoku]

6 August, 2014 - 12:28
MOTOHIRO HATA: ひまわりの約束 [Himawari No Yakusoku]
Release Date: 
8/6/14
Label: 
AUCL
If very mellow singer/songwriter music is your thing...

I know I review more female artists than male artists here. It's been that way from day one. Why? Because I like to write about what I enjoy and I was already an active fan of many of the female artists I regularly cover before I even started writing reviews for Otaku. So, I came into this from day one with an idea of who most of the artists I'd be covering would be and most of them were female. I do try to cover some male artists though. I have nothing against male artists. I really don't. It just seems like there are less males doing pop music and rock music than females.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture
 
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