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G.E.M. - CONCERT REVIEW AND LIVE ALBUM REVIEW

2 March, 2015 - 16:57
G.E.M. - CONCERT REVIEW AND LIVE ALBUM REVIEW
Release Date: 
concert: 3/1/15, live album: 12/10/13
Label: 
Forward Music Co. Limited
I was lucky enough to catch G.E.M. live in concert on March 1st of this year. Here, I write about the show and the live album X.X.X. Live.

GEM: X.X.X. LIVE (3/1/15 CONCERT REVIEW + X.X.X. LIVE ALBUM COVERAGE)
 

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

TOMOMI ITANO: COME PARTY!

2 March, 2015 - 10:10
TOMOMI ITANO: COME PARTY!
Release Date: 
12/17/14
Label: 
King Records
Tomomi Itano's latest single would likely please AKB48 haters, if they could overlook the fact that that's where she got her start. Seriously, this one is far superior to AKB48's music.

Sometimes I have a hard time believing that Tomomi Itano got her start in AKB48. In the interest of full disclosure, I consider myself a fan of AKB48. But I freely admit that every two out of three singles they release sound the same. You'd think their cheesy synthesizer and drum machine would have died by now, given how often they clearly use them. And so it's difficult to believe that Tomomi Itano hasn't released the same single twice, her songs all being unique pop gems, like different colored diamonds.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

SUMIRE UESAKA: 閻魔大王に訊いてごらん (Enma Daio ni Kiite Goran)

27 February, 2015 - 14:00
SUMIRE UESAKA: 閻魔大王に訊いてごらん (Enma Daio ni Kiite Goran)
Release Date: 
12/10/14
Label: 
King Records
Sumire unleashes anime theme song and it's awesome.

Sumire Uesaka's recent single is the theme song for an anime but neither Yes Asia or CD Japan stated the name of the anime in English. So, I translated the product info with Google and it spit out "Cold of Cherry" and "Cherry of Cold," so my guess is that it's called Cold Cherry, or the Japanese equivalent of that. In any case, the single is called "閻魔大王に訊いてごらん " and Google translates that as "See to hear the King Yemma." I'm not sure what to make of that, but I'm thinking King Yemma must be a character in the anime.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

MYNAME: 2ND MINI ALBUM

25 February, 2015 - 10:35
MYNAME: 2ND MINI ALBUM
Release Date: 
2/16/15
Label: 
Loen Entertainment
MYNAME have finally released new Korean music after spending a year in Japan. It comes in the form of their 2ND MINI ALBUM, as they've simply called it, and it's proof pudding (as the saying goes) that they're here to stay. Not only that, they're one of today's hottest K-Pop boy bands.

MYNAME have finally released new Korean music after spending a year in Japan. It comes in the form of their 2ND MINI ALBUM, as they've simply called it, and it's proof pudding (as the saying goes) that they're here to stay. Not only that, they're one of today's hottest K-Pop boy bands.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

G.E.M.: 多遠都要在一起 [Long Distance]

24 February, 2015 - 14:52
G.E.M.: 多遠都要在一起 [Long Distance]
Release Date: 
2/18/15
Label: 
Sony Music Entertainment
G.E.M.'s gorgeous new single 多遠都要在一起 [Long Distance] reviewed. Video and Spotify links provided. Check it out if you love ballads.

G.E.M.'s new single, "多遠都要在一起," is officially translated on its Youtube page as "Long Distance." (See player below.) It's a very emotive and heartfelt ballad that finds G.E.M. singing as beautifully as ever, her voice as sweet as I'd expect the voice of an angel to be. And you can stream it on Spotify U.S. here: http://open.spotify.com/album/1pX0KEJdCTAGQ1NzSKRkNt. Seriously, this is one of the most powerful ballads I've heard in a long time.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

G.E.M. - XPOSED

24 February, 2015 - 11:05
G.E.M. - XPOSED
Release Date: 
7/17/12
Label: 
Sony Music Entertainment
G.E.M. is one of China's biggest pop stars of all-time. In fact, she's hugely popular all around the world, even in New Zealand. If you're not familiar with her, please read this review and consider checking her out. This album would get five stars out of five if I actually gave out stars.

As you may or may not be aware, G.E.M.'s Xposed album was released in 2012. So, you may be wondering why I'm reviewing it now. The answer is simple: I am seeing her in concert at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut this Sunday and I've been listening to this superb album, which is still her most recent studio release, several times a day, to the point that I can't pry myself away from it. And it still sounds as modern today as it did when it was released, so it's still the perfect candidate if you're looking for a new Asian music album to sink your teeth into.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

RIKA MAYAMA: LIAR MASK

18 February, 2015 - 10:43
RIKA MAYAMA: LIAR MASK
Release Date: 
11/26/14
Label: 
Defstar Records
Rika Mayama of Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku finally goes at it alone with her first solo single, "Liar Mask," which is the theme song for the anime Akame ga KILL! And, wow, it is mighty impressive.

Rika Mayama of Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku finally goes at it alone with her first solo single, "Liar Mask," which is the theme song for the anime Akame ga KILL! And, wow, it is mighty impressive.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

HARUKA TOMATSU: COURAGE

3 February, 2015 - 11:55
HARUKA TOMATSU: COURAGE
Release Date: 
12/3/14
Label: 
Sony
Haruka Tomatsu delivers one heck of an anthem with "Courage."

Haruka Tomatsu's latest single, "Courage," is the opening theme for the second season of the anime series Sword Art Online and it's certainly got an inspiring vibe to it. From the high octane beats that race through the song to the uppity piano and the roaring electric guitar, you can totally hear this playing during a violent fight scene or some other scene where the hero or heroine saves the day. Is it the best anime theme song I've ever heard? Definitely not. But I'd give it a solid B if I were the sort of critic to give out letter grades.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

NICOLE: FIRST ROMANCE

26 January, 2015 - 15:28
NICOLE: FIRST ROMANCE
Release Date: 
11/20/14
Label: 
CJ E&M
Nicole, formerly of KARA, now signed with B2M Entertainment, makes her solo debut with this EP, First Romance. And what an EP it is!

Nicole, formerly of KARA, now signed with B2M Entertainment, makes her solo debut with this EP, First Romance. And what an EP it is! She worked with producers Sweetune, who did an exquisite job here. Seriously, this EP is about as flawless as they come.

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4TE: READY TO CONQUER THE WORLD OF J-POP

18 January, 2015 - 11:20
4TE: READY TO CONQUER THE WORLD OF J-POP
Release Date: 
1/4/14
Label: 
4TE
4TE are a non-Japanese J-Pop group who are ready to take the world by storm with their fantastic new double A-side MORE / 一歩ずつ. Not only do we have a review of the single, we are also quite pleased to bring you an exclusive interview with the group!

review and interview by Michael McCarthy

Before we get to our interview with J-Pop's future stars 4TE, I wanted to present a review of their wonderful double A-side MORE / 一歩ずつ...

4TE — pronounced Forte/for-tay — is a red hot new Japanese pop group based out of the U.S. and if there’s any justice in this world they will obtain a major label deal for Japan and become the J-Pop megastars they deserve to be. Because, let me tell you, their debut double A-side single is fantastic, both songs plenty capable of rising to the top of the J-Pop charts.

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SUNNY HILL: 지우다 [Here I Am]

16 January, 2015 - 09:55
SUNNY HILL: 지우다 [Here I Am]
Release Date: 
11/27/14
Label: 
LOEN TREE
"Here I Am" will sweep you off your feet. Or make you swoon.

Wow... "Here I Am" will sweep you off your feet. Or make you swoon. Or maybe you'll have an allergic reaction. But it will definitely have an effect on you. It's only 3m38s, but it still feels entirely epic. It's easily Sunny Hill's best single to date. Easily.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture

U-KISS: SWEETIE

8 January, 2015 - 09:52
U-KISS: SWEETIE
Release Date: 
12/17/14
Label: 
avex
"Sweetie" is U-KISS's 10th Japanese single, but Yes Asia indicates that they worked on it with their Korean creative team.

"Sweetie" is U-KISS's 10th Japanese single, but Yes Asia indicates that they worked on it with their Korean creative team. (So, I suppose there will inevitably be a Korean version in the not so distant future.) In any case, it's a lush, very well-produced and heartfelt ballad that finds the guys at the top of their game, delivering super smooth, emotive vocals. The sort of slow song you want to slow dance to with your own sweetie. To my ears, it's more of an R&B song than a J-Pop song, but suffice to say it's in Japanese regardless of whether or not you'd agree with me on that point.

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Categories: Anime, Otaku Culture
 
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