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.

AOA: HEART ATTACK

AOA, otherwise known as Ace of Angels, is back with their exquisite third mini-album, Heart Attack. And, wow, is it yummy. Delicious K-Pop bliss from start to finish.


July 02, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
KAGEYAMA RISA: JELLYFISH

Kageyama Risa hails from Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan and has been releasing music since 2007. Interestingly, she's released 24 singles, Jellyfish being the latest, but only two albums so far. That said, she's released quite a few singles during recent months, so one assumes that her third album can't be very far off.


June 29, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
JAY PARK: 몸매 (MOMMAE)

Korean music superstar Jay Park's new single "몸매" comes with the English title "Mommae," which had me wondering if that's Korean for mommy. But I translated the Korean title with Google translate and it spit out "Shape." So, who knows what it's about? He does use the word "girl" and calls himself "sexy" a second or so after, so it probably is another guy-rapping-about-sex song. But, hey, he's rich and famous so he gets to rap about whatever he wants, right? Actually, he gets to rap about whatever he wants because of this cool thing called freedom of speech.


June 27, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
STYLIPS: GIVE ME A SECRET

Japanese girl group StylipS' "Give Me A Secret" [Japanese: ギブミー・シークレット] is a high energy, exhilarating burst of J-Pop best listened to in the morning when you're in the mood for some audible caffeine. With beats that speed by as fast as your typical AKB48 tune, it'll literally kick your ass out of bed. Seriously, just you try to lie there and listen to this one. There's no way you're falling back to sleep. They should install this in alarm clocks instead of that annoying chiming. The world would be a better place.


June 23, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
CNBLUE: WHITE EP

Following band leader Yong Hwa's solo debut, CNBLUE returns to Japan with their new WHITE EP. And it's fantastic, further evidence that CNBLUE is one of the most exciting bands on the planet right now.


June 18, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
NAMIE AMURO: _genic

It's been almost two years since we last heard from Namie Amuro, during which time fans have wondered why she hasn't even released a single here and there. Well, the answer has arrived in the form of her 11th album, the just released _genic. You see, Namie was tired of releasing several singles and then putting out an album that compiled them with a handful of new tracks. This time around, she decided that she wanted to wait and put out an album where every song was brand new, not a single track being released prior to the album. And, you know what? It was a very wise move.


June 16, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
KARA: IN LOVE

The girls of K-Pop's highly successful KARA are In Love and if you've never fallen in love with them before then chances are you finally will with what Yesasia calls "a more mature Kara." But, to my ears, without knowing the language, the music sounds just as fun and light-hearted as ever. Take opener "Starlight," for example, it's a potent shot of euphoria-inducing, disco fever that races from your speakers to your head and heart as soon as you click play, at which point you can't help but get up and dance your ass off.


June 11, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
J-POP SINGLE SPOTLIGHT: miko, Mayu Watanabe, SKB☆69, MINMI

miko: ライオンのうた


June 08, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
HEIZE: "품 스윗 품 [PUME SWEET PUME]" FEAT: MONOKIM

Heize is a relatively new Korean female rapper/singer. She released a mini-album last year and did a couple of guest appearances on tracks by Whiteez and Crucial Star more recently. Her latest single, "Pume Sweet Pume" is her first new solo track in roughly a year and it features a guest appearance by MONOKIM.


June 05, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
℃-ute: The Middle Management~女性中間管理職~/我武者LIFE/次の角を曲がれ

℃-ute are a Japanese girl group. They are part of the Hello! Project, produced by Tsunku, who also writes most of the group's songs. Following some indie singles, they made their major label debut in 2007 and won the Japan Record Award for Best New Artist that year. And they've been kicking ass ever since. Well, at least to the extent that pop stars can kick ass.


June 01, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
VICTIM MENTALITY: HEAVY METAL IS BACK

As you could guess from the title above, Victim Mentality is a heavy metal band. And I'm talking about '80's hair metal. It's interesting because I've seen a photo of these guys and they don't look very old. Certainly not old enough to have been around when hair metal was all the rage. So, they're experiencing heavy metal, the music I grew up with, in the same way that I experienced Led Zeppelin and The Doors and whatever other music I heard that was released before I was old enough to pay attention (or before I was even born).


May 27, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
BOA: KISS MY LIPS (FULL ALBUM REVIEW)

Following the release of the luscious title track recently, the Queen of Pop that is BoA has now released the full length Kiss My Lips album, which is her eighth Korean album for those of you who are counting. Not bad for someone who's celebrating the 15th anniversary of her career this year. Especially when you consider how many Japanese releases she's done on top of that.


May 21, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MONSTA X: TRESPASS

Starship Entertainment's Monsta X was formed through the Mnet reality show No.Mercy. The group consists of Joo Heon, Shownu, Ki Hyun, Hyung Won, Won Ho, Min Hyuk, and I.M. The biggest difference between Monsta X and other boy bands is that they put more of an emphasis on hip-hop, something that's obvious during their stunning opening number "무단침입 (Trespass)," an aggressive rap track that blends trap flourishes with heavy EDM-style beats for an energetic sound that's both current and futuristic.


May 19, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
K-POP SINGLES: GILME, BBAHN, KITTIB, SWEET BEAN

GILME: TELL ME THIS IS REAL


May 15, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
REMOTE GIRL: RELAX IN THE CITY

If you're a fan of Capsule's Yasutaka Nakata then Remote Girl is bound to become on of your favorite J-Rock groups as soon as you listen to their sunshiny cover of Perfume's "Relax in the City" below.


May 12, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
BOA: KISS MY LIPS

BoA's latest Korean single, the glimmering "Kiss My Lips," just arrived on Youtube courtesy of the good folks at SM Entertainment. At the time of this writing, 10,875 people have given it the thumbs up with only 344 giving it a thumbs down. If the reaction of her fans continues at this ratio, she's sure to have one of her biggest hits on her hands. But then all of BoA's songs become hits, really. To that end, one must deduce that she's a perfectionist because she sure insists that her material always be top notch. Cheers to her for that, though.


May 11, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
JANG HYUN SEUNG: MY

Well, somebody has been busy. And his name is Jang Hyun Seung. Or is it Jang HyunSeung? I've seen it spelled both ways. In any case, the BEAST member (also known for his work with Trouble Maker) is making his solo debut with his new mini-album, which is appropriately entitled MY. And the first song is appropriately entitled, too: "It's Me." Of course, he's not declaring that it's his mini-album when he sings "it's me." He's talking to a girl. "Kiss me girl," he sings as the song nears the end. Or is it not a song but an intro?


May 11, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
CRAYON POP: FM

The girls of Crayon Pop have been transformed into, what else, but super heros! Power Rangers inspired, even, according to Yes Asia's product description! OK, so that's probably not the least bit exciting to most of us, but "FM," the lead track from this, their second mini-album, is cause for celebration. It was written and produced by Shinsadong Tiger and Monster Factory and it's insanely catchy. Just don't ask me what the letters "FM" mean. You can read a translation of the song here: http://popgasa.com/2015/03/28/crayon-pop-fm/, but the significance of the letters is anybody's guess.


May 05, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
VANILLA ACOUSTIC: 3rd Part.2 'Eudaimonia'

Vanilla Acoustic are a Korean trio who debuted in 2008 with mini album Vanilla rain. To my ears, their sound is like a fine blend of pop and folk, which is starting to become a bit too trendy of late. But, hey, they started doing it several years ago, so they're trend-setters, not trend-hoppers. Got it?


April 28, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
LAURE SHANG: "RED AMNESIA"

Today I received some good news via Twitter -- Laure Shang has unveiled a brand new song! It's called "Red Amnesia" and it's from the movie of the same name, also known as Chuang ru zhe where it was made in China. The film will be released on April 30th in China and "Red Amnesia" appears on its soundtrack. I couldn't find an image of the soundtrack -- or a release date -- but I did find a photo on imdb that I was able to save, so that's what I've used as art for this post.


April 23, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
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