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.

1SAGAIN & JU BORA: ENDLESS WINTER

Well, I couldn't find a link for this on iTunes. And I couldn't find a translation either. But the song is out there, I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to find. Maybe it's even on Spotify. In any case, 1sagain & Ju Bora have concocted a lovely song here. The relatively down-tempo beats split the difference between R&B and K-Pop; suffice to say it's in Korean. And this one is *totally* in Korean. I didn't notice a single word in English. They don't even sing/say/rap the title of the song.


December 19, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
PIUS: GIVE LOVE ON CHRISTMAS DAY

K-Pop soul singer Pius has given us a Christmas song this year -- and it's in English. It's gorgeous, too. If you like harmonizing, you have to give this one a listen. It's right up there with The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows." Layers and layers of vocals. I think he had a whole chorus of guys backing him because there are parts when you can hear the different voices. But mostly their voices blend together in perfect harmony.


December 19, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
Crayon Pop, K-Much, Bob Girls, & Zan Zan: 2014 Chrome Family - A Very Special Christmas

The name of this single isn't A Very Special Christmas, apparently that's the title of an album or EP that Chrome Family label artists are releasing songs for. I don't know why they'd release the tracks one song at a time, but then Korean labels often release movie soundtracks in parts, so I suppose it's not surprising.


December 18, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
LEO IEIRI: SILLY

You have to admire Leo Ieiri. If for nothing else then for the fact that she writes all of her own songs. Also, she manages to put out new music as regularly as the bulk of J-Pop artists who have other people writing songs for them. That takes real creativity and effort.


December 16, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
THE BARBERETTES: Carol: Hun Hun Christmas

To be totally honest, I'd never heard of The Barberettes before randomly coming across this EP, which caught my eye because it's called Christmas and I'm quite the sucker for Christmas music. Well, it did not disappoint, all four tunes being charmers.

Here's a little info about the trio from their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TheBarberettesKorea)...


December 10, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MEG: THANK YOU, MAMA

[I meant to post this review a month ago but forgot about it. My bad. Sorry.]

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Meg brings the world "Thank you Mama" (that's how she writes it). Which might just be the very first Thanksgiving song.


December 09, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
BOA: FLY

"Fly" is Korean megastar BoA's latest Japanese single. As you undoubtedly know, BoA is a huge star in Japan as well as in her native Korea. In fact, if Wiki is up to date, BoA has released eight albums in Japan, whereas she's only released seven in Korea. That said, she's also released three EPs in Korea, which came early in her career. Suffice to say she's just as popular in Japan as she is in Korea. I don't know how she manages to juggle both countries and languages, but she does it, so I'd say she deserves the millions and millions of dollars she's made.


December 05, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
SUNNY: FIRST KISS

There seems to be an unwritten law that the girls of Girls' Generation (SNSD) must do a solo song for some movie soundtrack at some point. Actually, it seems like members from all girl groups usually do songs for soundtracks when they first test the waters alone. And usually these songs are ballads. Why, I don't know. To that end, Sunny already did a solo song recently with "The 2nd Drawer" for "여왕의 교실 OST `두 번째 서랍`." It was a sweet, warm ballad that I've listened to 77 times so far according to my iTunes player; it's on one of the playlists I listen to while falling asleep at night.


December 04, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
LEE JUN KI: EXHALE

Lee Jun Ki is a hugely popular Korean actor who has starred in 10 television series since 2003. Exhale is his sixth mini-album. Oddly enough, he's been releasing music since 2006 but he's yet to release a full-length album, always going the mini-album route, save for a one song single ("One & Only) that he released in 2006.


December 02, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MEG: THANK YOU, MAMA

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Meg brings the world "Thank you Mama" (that's how she writes it). Which might just be the very first Thanksgiving song.


November 26, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
MIKI KOZONO: MY LOVE SONG / SNOW WITH YOU

I couldn't find a Wiki page or a GenAsia page or anything about Miki Kozono, but I'm really digging her Christmas single, "Snow With You," so I thought I'd give it a shout out. Not understanding the lyrics, it only really sounds like a Christmas song during the chorus because it has Christmas bells in the background at that point. During the rest of that song it just sounds like a J-Pop song in the J-Rock vein. A very, very infectious J-Pop song, mind you.


November 26, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
AMBER AN: WITH YOU

My favorite foreign language to listen to music in might surprise you because it's not an Asian language but French. I'm actually obsessed with France and have been ever since I first went to Paris back in 1999. But, getting to my point, if you asked me what my second favorite foreign language to listen to music in was I would probably say Mandarin (Chinese). I just love the way it sounds; it always sounds so poetic in songs. And actress/singer Amber An's With You is a shining example of why I love Mandarin. Every word that she sings just sounds so lovely.


November 25, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
CHARA: せつなくてごめんね/ Rainbow / ラッキーガール

Chara is back! Yes, that deserves an exclamation point. Why? Because I always find myself smiling whenever new music from her pops up. She's been one of my favorite J-Pop stars for around 15 years, too. How many J-Pop stars have that longevity? Not many. So, even if you don't like her very unique voice, you still have to admire her for continuing to make music and not just retire and live off of royalties like other artists her age might do. Also, Chara writes her own music and does whatever she wants. Nobody can tell her what to do.


November 21, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
KAELA KIMURA: TODAY IS A NEW DAY

Today is a New Day is Kaela Kimura's second single since signing with Victor Entertainment and this year is the 15th anniversary of her career... So, you'd have to expect something special here, right? I know my expectations were high. And I can honestly say that I was not disappointed. Kaela's always been like a chameleon, except that she changes colors *before* her environment, creating the bandwagons that everybody else later tries to jump on. At least that's how I see it, but, yes, I'm a big fan.


November 19, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
FERRI: ∞ [Mugen]

Not long after I began writing reviews for OtakuDx, a label from Japan called Kilk Records sent me a box of CDs. One of those CDs was Ferri's debut album, A Broken Carousel, which was and remains one of the most beautiful and unique albums I've ever heard. Using lush electronic sounds and children's instruments, it meshed moments of quiet innocence with sounds that struck you like premonitions, enough to make one tremble. If you listened to it with an opened mind and let your wildly imaginative songstress take you on her one-of-a-kind journey, you were richly rewarded.


November 14, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
ERI KITAMURA: RINREI

Eri Kitamura has unleashed her eighth single and it's called "凛麗" or "Rinrei," which I'm assuming is somebody's name. When I tried Google translate, it spit out: "RinUrara." But I'm assuming that Rinrei is the more accurate translation since that's what the single is called on Yes Asia and CD Japan.


November 12, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
ANNA TSUCHIYA: LUCIFER

I've always felt that Anna Tsuchiya makes her best music when she's doing dark and edgy stuff. Her punk side is much more intriguing than her pop persona. Not that she does mainstream pop very often, but there have been some songs that I would list under that header. "Bubble Trip" and "Brave Vibration," for example. Not that her pop songs are bad. Even doing pop, Anna is still 1000x better than most artists, but when she's indulging her dark side, that's when she makes her best music. And she's gone totally dark for her new single, "Lucifer," much of which is in English.


November 10, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
BOA: WHO'S BACK?

I've been meaning to review this one since it was released in early September but I'm just so swamped between writing for Otaku and Love is Pop that things fall through the cracks sometimes. There just aren't enough hours in a day for me to review everything I want to right when it comes out. So, if anyone was waiting for me to review this, I apologize for the delay. It's just necessary sometimes. But this is about BoA, not me, so I digress.


November 06, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
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 >
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