Music Reviews

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

ASSORTED MINI-REVIEWS: Norika Ueda Trio, tofubeats, Kary Ng, Majiko

Noriko Ueda Trio: Debut


February 05, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
4MINUTE: ACT. 7

It's been a year since Crazy, but 4Minute is back and with a whole lot of attitude. Just give the single, "싫어(HATE)," one listen and you'll hear what I mean. "I hate you!" they exclaim during the hip-hop-laced chorus, dissing cheaters and liars, who, of course, bloody deserve it. If the dubstep/EDM parts of the song sound somewhat familiar, that's probably because the track was produced by none other than dubstep guru Skrillex.


February 03, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
ASSORTED ALBUM REVIEWS, ALL BY MALE ARTISTS [kohjiro fukuda, Kazuya Yoshii, SHINee, RAP MONSTER]

kohjiro fukuda: platform [he doesn't capitalize it]


January 28, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
Azusa Kobayashi: Tear Drop

Azusa Kobayashi has a rather colorful history. According to Wikia: The Home of Fandom (http://helloproject.wikia.com/wiki/Kobayashi_Azusa), she started her musical journey as a member of the Hello! Project's Country Musume, though only for their debut single, "Futari no Hokkaido." Following that, fellow member Yanagihara Hiromi passed away and Azusa left, stating that the loss was "too great." Some time later, it was believed that she actually left because "adult" pictures of her had leaked.


January 26, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
G.E.M. Tang: 北京北京 (Beijing)

It was only last November that Hong Kong singer/songwriter -- and global superstar -- G.E.M. released her latest album, Heartbeat, but here she is again already with a powerful new digital single in the form of "北京北京" [Beijing]. It was actually released back on January 1st of this year, but I only discovered it on Spotify yesterday. I was planning to write a review of something else today, but "Beijing" is such a moving song that I just had to write about it first.


January 21, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
Shiori Tomita feat. Ladybeard: バレンタイン・キッス [Valentine Kiss]

Shiori Tomita was born in Takayama, Japan in 1994. Last year she released a fantastic album called Moshimo World, which was a blend of folk, J-Pop and Western pop with a splash of classical. It was very organic sounding and mellow. Well, she's done a complete 180 with her new single, "Valentine Kiss," which features Ladybeard. If you don't know who Ladybeard is, you might want to check out his interview with Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurenorsini/2015/07/08/a-qa-with-ladybeard-....


January 20, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
4TE: "LEAVE A MESSAGE"

4TE — pronounced Forte/for-tay — are everyone's favorite new Japanese pop group based out of the U.S. In fact, they're the only U.S.-based J-Pop group I can think of who deserve to have a smash hit single break Japan. (But if you know others, please alert me to them!)

"Leave A Message" begins with an answering machine picking up a few rings, just before we hear the universal voice for anyone who's ever *not* bothered to customize their outgoing message:

"Hello, no one is available to take your call, please leave a message after the tone."


January 18, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
Dal★Shabet: NATURALNESS (MINI-ALBUM VOL. 9)

If anyone gave up on Dalshabet following the recent exit of Ji Yul and Gae Eun. their new mini-album -- their 9th already -- should win them back.


January 13, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MORNING MUSUME '15: Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi / ENDLESS SKY / One and Only

I think it would have made more sense to delay this single for a few days to have made it the first Morning Musume '16 release, but, nope, for whatever reason(s) it was released on December 29th of last year, making it the J-Pop girl group's third single of 2015. But all that really matters is that it's fantastic!


January 08, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MAY'N: 夜明けのロゴス [YOAKE NO LOGOS]

The 10th year anniversary of May'n's career just ended. But, she couldn't let it pass without treating her fans to another single (her second for 2015). It's called "夜明けのロゴス," which Google translates as "Dawn of Logos," and it's the theme song for the anime series Aquarion Logos, which May'n has made music for in the past, namely the song "Yamaidare Darlin':.


January 05, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
REPOST: A.Y.A: 2 COOL 4 SCHOOL -- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW COMING SOON!

Here's something you don't come across every day: an J-Pop album cover with a girl bent over like she's ready for doggy style sex.  Maybe that's not what she's trying to imply, but she's certainly trying to draw attention to her rear in any case.  Anyway, it might be a hot album cover, but the music is even hotter.
 


January 05, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
LOVELYZ: LOVELINUS -1ST SINGLE ALBUM-

Lovelyz wasted no time after their hit single "Ah-Choo," as they're back already with a three song single album... and, yes, it's lovely. Mostly.


January 01, 2016 / by Paris365 / Read More >
NAMIE AMURO: RED CARPET

"I am the greatest / I make it through," sings Namie Amuro during the chorus of her spicy new single "Red Carpet." I suppose you could regard those lyrics as being very conceited. But I don't think she's trying to brag. (Even though the first lyric of the song is "I'm a VIP".) On the contrary, I feel like she's just trying to inspire her fans, to make everyone feel like they're the greatest. And this translation would seem to back up my opinion: http://shinitakashi.blogspot.com/2015/12/amuro-namie-red-carpet-english-...


December 29, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
ANNA TSUCHIYA AND THE GROOBEEES: NAKE'd -Soul Issue-

After being absent from the music scene for roughly two years, Anna Tsuchiya returns with something very unexpected, an EP of covers -- in English, no less -- recorded live in the studio with a full band in the form of The Groobeees. Perhaps even more surprising is that this is billed as soul, soul being the last thing you'd expect Anna to ever do, but it's mostly just Anna's voice that sounds like soul. The actual music by the band is more like rock 'n' roll. Pretty heavy, to be sure.


December 23, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
J-POP CHRISTMAS SINGLE ROUND-UP:

I did a K-Pop Christmas songs round-up the other day, so I thought it only fair that I do a J-Pop one.

E-GIRLS: "Merry × Merry Xmas★"


December 18, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
PSY: 칠집싸이다 THE 7TH ALBUM

Are you among the 60 million people who've seen the zany video for Psy's big comeback song "Daddy" yet? If not, here you go: https://youtu.be/FrG4TEcSuRg


December 16, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
BOA: LOOKBOOK

"I know you're checking me out," BoA sings on the title track of her new single, Lookbook. It's her first Japanese single of 2015 but it's downright MASSIVE. What a song. Huge, EDM style beats that pound away quickly, BoA's glorious vocals, a bass guitar solo -- it's a song that splits the difference between J-Pop, K-Pop and Euro dance and it does so in a way that feels completely natural; if she set out trying to appeal to those markets, you'd never know it because it feels like she just wrote a song and it just so happened to have all of those sounds to it by coincidence.


December 15, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
K-POP CHRISTMAS MUSIC ROUND-UP

ACOUSTIC VEI: "WHITE CHRISTMAS"


December 11, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
GIRLS' GENERATION - TTS (TaeTiSeo): Dear Santa - X-Mas Special - EP

Girls' Generation sub-unit TaeTiSeo has returned, this time with a truly wonderful Christmas EP. The three member unit consists of Tae Yeon, Tiffany and Seo Hyun, the latter of which actually wrote the title track, which I think is pretty darn cool. Almost as cool as the temperature outside!


December 09, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
PUFFY: PAFFIPIPOYAMA

Whenever I stumble across anything from PUFFY -- they always capitalize it -- I immediately think, "Puffy AmiYumi!" This is because they had to add their names, Ami and Yumi, so they wouldn't get sued by Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, who sometimes is just called Puffy. Of course, now he prefers Diddy or P. Diddy. Or maybe he's moved onto something else entirely. I just think it's weird that he thought people would be confused about a female J-Pop duo calling themselves PUFFY.


December 04, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
CollectionDX OtakuDX Love is Pop WTF Toy Chogokin.net