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.

MINMI: BAD

Minmi is an artist who I should have reviewed a long time ago but I just never got around to it. There are only so many hours in a day and I'm writing for both Otaku and my site, Love is Pop, so I can only write so many reviews. Now that I've been doing this for a few years, I'm always faced with a dilemma: do I keep reviewing every new release by artists whom I've already reviewed before or do I review artists I've never covered instead? So, I try my best to introduce you to new artists while trying to staying loyal to most of the artists I've already covered.


October 30, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
ZiKi: TINY HEAVEN

Well, I have to come right and admit that I don't know anything about this Chinese artist except that she's female. There's no Wiki or Genasia page for ZiKi. And it's not available on Yes Asia. I don't even know whether it's Cantopop or M-Pop. But, I am writing about it anyway because I am in love with it.


October 22, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
moumoon: BF

"Dear my best friend, with lots of love," moumoon's Yuka sings during their new single "BF," which does *not* stand for boy friend. Instead, it stands for "Best Friend." And, apparently, it's from the perspective of a girl who's so happy to have her best friend that she's compelled to sing about it. "Everytime, I'll be here, right beside you, because you'll always be there for me, too," goes part of the punchy and addictive chorus. And those lyrics are not translations. Most of the song is actually in English.


October 21, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
T-ARA: CHUCKIE and T-ARA: SUGARFREE EDMEDITION

What we have here is a remix of the EDM version of T-ARA's "Sugarfree." The remix was done by Chuckie and I'm really not impressed, largely because he used very little of the girls' vocals and T-ARA minus T-ARA is not very good. Yes, it's harder and it's faster than the original EDMEDITION of the song, but you take away 90 percent of the vocals and you've just ruined it for me. Of course, if you're a big fan of T-ARA like me then you'll have to have it, but unless you're a T-ARA otaku or especially like remixes with very few vocals then I'd say save yourself $1.29 and avoid this one.


October 17, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
FLiP: GIRL

As you may recall, FLiP is an all-female band formed in Okinawa in 2005 by singer/guitarist Sachiko, guitarist Yuko, bassist Sayaka and drummer Yuumi. "Girl" is their new single and it's a slick, expertly-produced song that blurs the line between J-Rock and J-Pop. Everything about this song is perfect, quite frankly. The beats immediately grab you, sucking you right in, while Sachiko sings "la, la, la / la, la, la, la" or something pretty similar to that, making your brain immediately start singing along.


October 17, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
ANGELA HUI: R U OK? (AND DEBUT ALBUM)

Angela Hui wowed critics and audiences alike when she performed at Emperor Entertainment Group's singing contest in 2010. Not only was her voice original, she also proved to be a highly skilled piano player. The label immediately recruited her and she spent three years in training before she finally released her much anticipated debut album on October 11, 2013. And the album performed very well, the single "Ring Ring" doing especially well on radio. Indeed, the world of Canto-pop (Cantonese pop, obviously) had a new star.


October 14, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
YUKI: FLY

Finally, following a three year wait, Yuki has released her seventh full-length album in the form of FLY. The 16 track opus includes the singles Play Ball, Sakamichi no Melody, Watashi no Onegai Koto, Starmann and Dare Demo Lonely along with 11 brand new, never before released tracks.


October 09, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
HKT48: 控えめI LOVE YOU!

Well, there's an easy way to sum this one up: if you like AKB48 and all of the related artists then you're sure to find this new single by HKT48 irresistible. But if you've never liked the AKB sound, well, stay far, far away. That said, the B-sides are quite good!


October 02, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
CNBLUE: WAVE

It's been a year since the highly successful South Korean band CNBLUE -- otherwise known as Code Name Blue -- last released a Japanese album, but they're back in a big way with their brand-new album, Wave, which features songs from the singles Truth and Go Your Way along with six brand-new tracks. For this review, I'm just going to review it as if all the songs were brand new because having them in a different language does make them sound noticeably different even to someone who doesn't know Korean and Japanese like myself.


September 30, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
HARUNA LUNA: STARTEAR

Majestic strings abound in Haruna Luna's shimmering new single, "Startear," which also packs glittery shards of piano, racing drums and, of course, Haruna's always sweet voice. What I always like about Haruna's music is that you feel like you've stepped into a dreamworld where only her music exists when you listen to it. It's not that it sounds otherworldly or super original, but it has character, much more so than your average J-Pop singer brings to the table.


September 25, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
HARUKA TOMATSU: FANTASTIC SODA!!

If you're a big fan of soda then you're in for a real treat here as Haruka Tomatsu delivers a bubbly pop music ode to the luscious liquid appropriately entitled "Fantastic Soda!!" The uplifting tune packs seriously punchy beats with shimmering strings, acoustic guitars and Haruka's super enthusiastic vocals for one of the most bouncy J-Pop tunes of the year. Listen and bow down to the carbonation!


September 24, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
LABOUM: PETIT MACARON

LA BOUM -- stylized as LABOUM -- is a new girl group formed by NH Media and Nega Network. Its rather young members are Sol Bin, Yul Hee, Ju Yeong, ZN, Hae In and So Yeon. Petit Macaron is their first release and it's quite promising.


September 19, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
TAETISEO: 2ND MINI-ALBUM "HOLLER"

As you probably know, TaeTiSeo is a Girls Generation sub-unit consisting of Tae Yeon, Tiffany, and Seo Hyun. The name TaeTiSeo is a combination of the beginnings of each of their names. Their first mini-album, Twinkle, performed really well, hence another mini-album from them. And it might as well be another Girls' Generation mini-album because we're talking about some high quality, incredible K-Pop here.


September 17, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
THE BRILLIANT GREEN: THE SWINGIN' SIXTIES

The title of this album, The Swingin' Sixties, had me thinking that this was an album of covers from the sixties. But then I looked at the tracklist and most of the titles looked familiar. And so I looked at the tracklists for all of their previous albums and, sure enough, all of the songs on this album appear on previous albums by the group. Turns out this is an album of self-covers, Tomoko Kawase (a.k.a.


September 16, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
T-ARA: AND & END [AKA SUGAR FREE: T-ARA EDM EDIT]

Now that Ji Yeon and Hyo Min are done promoting their solo careers (for now), T-ARA are back with AND & END, a brand new mini-album and it's a real smash. Granted, in my eyes T-ARA can't do any wrong, but if I wasn't a T-ARA fan already then this mini-album surely would have converted me. So, if you're not a fan, I think you should give this one a listen and reconsider. If you love K-Pop, I just can't imagine you not liking it.
This is K-Pop on the scale of 2NE1 and SNSD.


September 12, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
ORANGE CARAMEL: TONIGHT [FROM THE SOUNDTRACK "IT'S OK, IT'S LOVE"]

Usually I don't get very excited when my favorite K-Pop stars do songs for movies because these songs tend to be very generic ballads. Heard one, you've heard them all. Actually, OK, I'm a hypocrite because I put these songs on my sleepytime playlists and enjoy them in that capacity. But seldom does an actual non-ballad, full-blown pop song come out on one of these soundtracks, especially not when the movies are dramas. But I'm quite thankful to be able to say that Orange Caramel's new song "Tonight" is a jumpy, contagious example of sleek K-Pop bliss.


September 11, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
SISTAR: TOUCH & MOVE

This year Sistar returned for another summer of blissful K-Pop music...

I'm not sure who worked on which tracks here, but the producers are Choi Kyu Sung, Rado, Duble Sidekick and Kim Do Hoon.


September 09, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
AKB48: 心のプラカード (Kokoro no Purakado)

AKB48's latest single is "心のプラカード," which Google translates as "Placard of Mind." Perhaps it is in spite of its title, then, that the song is mindless J-Pop fodder. But that's not such a bad thing. When most people listen to pop songs, they just want to be entertained. And "心のプラカード " does entertain for all of its approximately four minutes. What it doesn't do is break the AKB48 mold. You have a fast tempo, blaring horns, soaring strings, jittery piano and a seemingly infinite number of girls harmonizing together. Not bad. Or is it?


September 02, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
GARNIDELIA: GRILLETTO

Garnidelia is a duo consisting of Maria [@MARiA_GRND] and Toku [@toku_grnd].  Their first single, "ambiguous," was released in March with their new, second single, "Grilletto," released on July 30th, 2014.  Only Maria appears on their album -- er, single -- covers, so I'm assuming this is one of those deals where the woman is the singer and face of the duo while the guy handles the music and stays behind the scenes.


August 25, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MOUMOON: I'M SCARLET

Are you having a bad day? If so, moumoon's "I'm Scarlet" is just the song to elevate your spirits. And if you're having a good day, why not make it a great day? What if you're having a great day already, you ask? Well, then you should download this digital single and save it for a rainy day. After all, it's moumoon and they don't really make depressing songs.


August 21, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
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