QUICK REVIEWS: AIRA MITSUKI, RIHWA, MASHIRO AYANO, MINAKO, JANG HEE YOUNG, ACOUSTIC VEI

By Paris365 on March 25, 2016

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Release Date

out now

Genre

J-pop
K-Pop

Label

various

AIRA MITSUKI: DAYS

I've always liked Aira Mitsuki but this song is incredible. Mind-blowingly good. I'm still not feeling very well, so it remains difficult for anything to impress me, but my jaw dropped over this one, which is a little slice of electro-pop heaven. From her vocals, which are processed in this way that makes you feel like you're listening to a song from the future, to the thick, burbling bass to the shimmering synth, it's just perfect. If you're looking for your ordinary J-Pop, you'll probably want to avoid this, but if you like offbeat J-Pop like Perfume, well, look no further. This is like Aira Mitsuki fronting CAPSULE. If she can pull off a whole album this exquisite she'll be one of my favorite J-Pop singers in no time.

Rihwa - Arigato Deatte Kurete

I usually love J-Pop singer/songwriter Rihwa, but there's something kind of generic about this one. Her vocals are beautiful as always, but the song features very bland synth and substandard strings. I know she writes her own songs, but if I didn't then I would think someone was feeding her some leftover crap from the sessions for the latest AKBNMBLAH album.

MASHIRO AYANO: BELIEVE

"Believe" by J-Pop singer Mashiro Ayano is formulaic from start to finish with its uppity tempo, funky bass guitar noodling, soaring strings, heavy metal guitar solo... I'm practically falling asleep as I try to find the words to describe it. Somewhere out there there's a 12 year old Japanese girl who thinks this is the best song ever but that's not me, so perhaps I'm not the right person to judge it anyway.

MINAKO: CROSS

Minako's "Cross" is your typical J-Pop Kool Aid with a splash of sugar, but it's enjoyable enough. I wasn't sitting here counting down the seconds until it was over.

JANG HEE YOUNG: 운다 (Cry)

I'm a sucker for soft K-Pop ballads and this one is quite lovely. There's so much emotion in every note she sings. K-Pop ballads like this come out every other day but this is one where they got it right. It reminds me of the work of Lee Soo Young, who's still the ballad queen even if it's been many years since she released anything (that I'm aware of). If someone has to inherit her throne, it might as well be Jang Hee Young because this one is precisely the sort of tear-jerker you want from a song called "Cry."

ACCOUSTIC VEI: 너에게만 말해줄게 [Google translate: "I'll Tell You Only"]

First of all, that's not a typo above. She actually spells Accoustic like this with two cc's. In any case, Accoustic Vei consistently releases Korean folk pop ballads that don't really impress me but don't offend me either. She's good at what she does, and she knows what she's good at, so if delicate Korean ballads are your thing I would recommend her.

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