Music Reviews

View all reviews (list)

Labels and artists interested in being featured here may contact Michael McCarthy at cinema365@gmail.com. Follow Michael on Twitter https://twitter.com/paris365.

LYn: VOL. 7 PART 2 - LOVEFICTION

LYn has returned with part two of her seventh album, LoveFiction, following last year's popular Metro Sexy. The mini -- or half -- album consists of 7 tracks, 5 original songs and instrumental versions of two of the tracks.


April 12, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
NIKIIE: HACHIMITSU E.P.

Although she may be signed to a major label, Nikiie is not your run of the mill, dime-a-dozen pre-fab pop star. On the contrary, she's a singer songwriter who writes all of her own material, which is mostly performed with your basic band instruments: guitar, bass, drums, piano, keyboards. Best of all, there's no auto-tune here. Nikiie has a sweet, sometimes almost syrupy voice -- think Chara, but more polished -- and it does not require auto-tune or vocoder, etc.


April 12, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MADEMOISELLE YULIA: MADEMOWORLD (A track-by-track review!)

After having it pleasantly stuck in my head all day yesterday, I was so very impressed with Mademoisselle Yulia's new single "No More Dream ~夢はいらない" that I had to hunt down her debut album, Mademoworld, which was released last September. And I'm quite happy that I did. Here are my thoughts, my first impression, live blog style...


April 11, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
PERFUME: SPRING OF LIFE

Everybody's favorite J-Pop trio are back with a sensational new single, "Spring Of Life." Huge, rapid-fire beats abound and the girls sound fantastic. There might be a little auto-tune in there, but I guess we all have to accept that it's just an unfortunate sign of the times. The song is way too addictive to let a little vocal processing turn you away. This is one of those pop gems that you're happy to have stuck in your head.


April 11, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MADEMOISELLE YULIA: NO MORE DREAM ~夢はいらない

Mademoiselle Yulia is something of an electro-pop princess in Japan. And she's worked with such international artists as Towa Tei, Verbal and Uffie. So, I was a little surprised, then, when I first heard her new single, "No More Dream ~夢はいらない." I was surprised because it struck me more as a mainstream dance pop track than artsy electropop. But, it only took me a few listens to appreciate how expertly produced the track was. It has big beats but there are lots of intricate details there for you to hear upon repeated listenings.


April 10, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
SPICA: RUSSIAN ROULETTE

Named after the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, which is also the 15th brightest star visible from Earth, SPICA is a five member K-Pop girl group produced by B2M Entertainment. Its members are Yang Jiwon, Park Narae, Kim Boa, Park Joo Hyun and Kim Bo Hyung. Yang Jiwon was previously a member of the girl group Five Girls which also included Yubin from Wonder Girls, UEE from After School, Secret's Hyosung and G.NA.


April 09, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
2NE1: COLLECTION

2NE1 -- pronounced "twenty one," not To Anyone-- are a hugely successful Korean girl group. And they aren't merely successful in Korea. On the contrary, they're said to be even more popular in Japan where they are currently dominating the charts. Collection is their first full-length Japanese-language album, following a series of hit singles there. It compiles all of the songs from their previous Japanese releases along with new Japanese versions of the songs "I Don't Care" and "Fire." It also includes an English-language track; a cute if cheesy cover of Madonna's "Like A Virgin."


April 07, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
COCO LEE: EAST TO WEST (A track-by-track review!)

I can still remember the day I purchased CoCo Lee's Di-Da-Di album at Boston's late Tower Records way back in 1999. I fell in love with that light and breezy album and it's still one of my favorite albums. Its follow up, Sunny Day, wasn't quite as brilliant but it was still a strong album. But then CoCo just had to try to go global with the English language album Just No Other Way. It should have worked, as they paired her with all of the producers and songwriters who were currently cracking the U.S. and U.K. charts, but instead it was terribly boring.


April 06, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
ANNA TSUCHIYA: 12 FLAVOR SONGS

It's hard to believe that Anna Tsuchiya has only been a musician for six years. The former model and actress has released more albums, singles and mini-albums during her six years than many other artists ever release during their entire careers. She's also collaborated with many other artists. 12 Flavor Songs compiles 10 of these collaborations along with two new collaborations, "Is This Love" with Nanba Akihiro and "All Right Now" with Ikuzawa Yuichi and Matsumoto Tak of B'z.


April 05, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
AZU: LOVE LETTER

What kind of a name is Azu? No, it's not a traditional Japanese name. It's actually a made up stage name. Azu explains its meaning as "Putting memories to all the words from A to Z and conveying them to you (U)."


April 03, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MiChi: TOKYO NIGHT

Produced by Leo Imai, MiChi’s new J-pop single, “Tokyo Night,” is one of her strongest tracks yet. It starts off slowly with a synth-ish intro and a subtle beat but it’s only a matter of seconds before a genuine dance pop beat kicks in and the beats only get faster when it hits the gorgeous chorus, which also sports some rock guitar, dazzling synth and frantic percussion. But it’s MiChi’s strong voice that takes center stage from the outset; she sounds beautiful and powerful all at once.


March 28, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
TOMMY FEBRUARY6 AND TOMMY HEAVENLY6: FEBRUARY & HEAVENLY

Tommy February6 and Tommy Heavenly6 are alter-egos of Japanese singer Tomoko Kawase. Tomoko is the lead singer of the hugely successful pop rock group The Brilliant Green, but at some point when the band was less active she came up with the idea for Tommy February6, named after her birthday. The Tommy February6 character was intended to be your naughty school girl. The sort who looks cute and innocent, complete with geeky glasses, but secretly drinks booze and does bad things when nobody is looking. February6 had a musical concept as well; her music would 80s inspired synth pop.


March 28, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MIRYO: MIRYO aka JOHONEY

Following Ga In and Narsha, Miryo is now the third member of the famous Korean girl group Brown Eyed Girls to release a solo offering with this 5 song mini album.

It gets off to a strong start with "Party Rock" featuring Gary of Leessang and The Koxx. The driving beat and anthemic chorus call to mind LMFAO and The Black-Eyed Peas but Miryo's vocals during the verses are more like Ke$ha, though not as obnoxious as Ke$ha can sometimes be. Still, if you don't like a bit of bubblegum pop bombast then you're certainly not going to like this. But if you do then you should be delighted.


March 20, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
AYUMI HAMASAKI: PARTY QUEEN

Ayumi Hamasaki's 13th studio album kicks off with three songs that are quite a departure from her usual sound. The greatest departure is track one, the title track. "I am your party queen," Ayumi proclaims over and over again, though the hard, driving, club-ready beat is what will really capture your attention. It's quite the banger. Unfortunately, it sounds too much like Ayumi is just trying to sound like her American contemporaries. It's as though they deliberately set out to make something that would sound like it was produced by RedOne.


March 20, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
L'Arc-en-Ciel: BUTTERFLY

Butterfly is L'Arc~en~Ciel's first studio album in four years and their 12th original album at that. Some fans may be disappointed that it only includes four brand new songs, but since the band has been releasing new material in the form of singles regularly during the time between albums it's not as though they've been starving their audience. And fans should be pleased that the album includes all seven singles from the past four years.


March 06, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >

YUKI: POWERS OF TEN

It's hard to believe, but Yuki -- the remarkable vocalist for the late group Judy And Mary -- has been delivering solo material for a decade as of this year.  Powers Of Ten is a greatest hits package intended to celebrate her solo career and it truly is a fantastic compilation.  Along with her many hits, it features the never before released songs "Wonder Line" and "My Hand" along with the brand new song "Sekai wa Kagayaite."

 


March 06, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
AYUMI HAMASAKI: HOW BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE

From what I’ve been able to gather, Ayumi’s new single, the touching ballad “How Beautiful You Are,” is presently only available in digital format from the Japanese iTunes store and Mu-Mo (http://music.mu-mo.net/). It is reported to be the theme song to Fuji T.V.'s new 10P.M.


February 21, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
AYAKA: THE BEGINNING

In 2009 Ayaka put her career on pause to deal with a health-related problem. Now she is back for what one might call the second period of her career, hence the album’s title, The Beginning. Not only did Ayaka write all of The Beginning’s songs herself, she produced the album and has released it on her own record label.

The album starts off with a soaring ballad, "はじまりのとき" (Google translation: beginning at). It begins softly with just Ayaka's voice and the piano but when the chorus kicks in it really kicks in with live drums and soaring orchestral strings.


February 07, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
NAMI TAMAKI: LADY MIND

It’s only January and I can already tell you that Nami Tamaki’s new single “Lady Mind” is going to rank among the year’s catchiest J-pop songs. 


February 01, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >
KODA KUMI: JAPONESQUE

I almost started this review by proclaiming that Koda Kumi is back but the reality is that she’s never left.


January 29, 2012 / by Paris365 / Read More >

CollectionDX OtakuDX Love is Pop WTF Toy Chogokin.net