What Did I Miss!? ~2010 Albums Edition~

November 13, 2010 at 6:59 PM | Posted in ~Features! | 7 Comments


Brought to you by JASMINE’s bling bling bling.

I’ll be doing the same thing as yesterday but I’ll try to be even more detailed when I review these albums. Long paragraphs and rambling ahead~

♦ ♦ ♦


YUI – HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN
Released on: July 14
Oricon Chart position: #1
Copies sold: 294,138
Overall Rating:  
Top tracks: to Mother | Parade | GLORIA | Please Stay With Me

YUI’s 4th album proved to be quite the pleasant listen. I was suprised that YUI took a more mellow direction with this album compared to the overly dramatic I LOVED YESTERDAY (which I did not like at all). New songs like Parade, Shake My Heart, and Kiss me together with the opening track to Mother show a softer side of the singer and I was glad she didn’t drown this album full of monotonous songs. There’s still a good amount of upbeat rock songs including A-sides like again and It’s all too much plus her self-cover of a song she wrote for Stereopony (I do it). Overall, I was pleased with the final product and the fact that it’s her most laid back album does not detract anything but shows that YUI can have a little fun with her songwriting.


JASMINE – GOLD
Released on: July 21
Oricon Chart position: #3
Copies sold: 49,914
Overall Rating:
Top tracks: PRIDE | sad to say | Jealous | Bad Girl | Koi

I fucking love this fierce bitch. This is easily one of the best albums of the year and I have officially become a JASMINE stan. Personally, I think GOLD is flawless despite only having 4 new songs (PRIDE, Bad Girl, dear my friend, and Why). Just like alan’s debut album Voice of EARTH, we mostly have older material on here and that’s not a problem when they’re ALL good. sad to say, Koi (恋), This Is Not A Game, and Jealous still sound as good as when they first came out. I also suggest that CLUBBIN’ haters leave this blog right now! </3 This is one of those Jpop albums where I can listen to every track and that’s rare.


Maki Goto – ONE
Released on: July 28
Oricon Chart position: #10
Copies sold: 14,050
Overall Rating:
Top tracks: Houseki | hanauta

This is Maki Goto’s first release under her own name since leaving Hello!Project. She also transfered from rhythm zone to avex trax after the SWEET BLACK album. This mini-album features 5 tracks and I guess you could say that I was expecting more out of them. After all, it was produced by the great Shinichi Osawa. After multiple listens, all the songs on the mini-album have grown on me with Houseki (宝石) and hanauta (華詩 -hanauta-) being my favorites. Most of the songs have an upbeat electronic vibe to them with the exception of Wagamama (わがまま) which is acoustic based. I have to say that Goto’s vocals never sounded better either.


Angela Aki – LIFE
Released on: September 8
Oricon Chart position: #5
Copies sold: 44,505
Overall Rating:
Top tracks: Remember Me | Unbreakable | Ai to Bansoukou | Haha Naru Daichi

Angela always has some tricks up her sleeve and keeps things fresh with this album. I think LIFE is better than ANSWER because it’s a bit more exciting and I loved the English tracks. Compared to past albums, this one has SIX English songs so I want to focus on them first. Unbreakable, the bittersweet What Are The Roses For?, and the very amusing Mad Scientist are my favorites because not only do they sound impeccable but the lyrics are catchy. As for the Japanese songs, Ai no Kisetsu (愛の季節) is a weak album opener but at least it gets overshadowed by Kagayaku Hito (輝く人). Remember Me, Ai to Bansoukou (愛と絆創膏), and the epic Haha Naru Daichi (母なる大地) mark the best out of these tracks. Hahu Naru Daichi gets a special mention because it has one of the best opening instrumentals I have ever heard.


the brilliant green – BLACKOUT
Released on: September 15
Oricon Chart position: #16
Copies sold: 8,679
Overall Rating:
Top tracks: BLACKOUT |  BLACK DARK NIGHT | Talk to me | LIKE YESTERDAY

About time, guys! This is the band’s first studio album in 8 years. Soooooo…is it good? XD To me, the album is a lot like Tommy heavenly6’s I KILL MY HEART but a million times better. It follows the same heavy grunge style but it’s not boring and the arrangements actually have substance to them. The title track BLACKOUT is a great opener and is followed by more aggressive songs like BLACK DARK NIGHT and I’m sick of this place. The mood changes when Talk to me and Blue Daisy come around, shifting towards the band’s classic alternative sound. The only track that I don’t recommend you listen to is the cover of Blur’s Song 2. I died of laughter every time Tomiko went “WHOO HOO!”.


Anna Tsuchiya – RULE
Released on: September 22
Oricon Chart position: #18
Copies sold: 10,982
Overall Rating:
Top tracks: She Hates Me | Atashi | Believe in Love | Voice of butterfly

I thought Anna was done experimenting after NUDY SHOW! but it looks like she has found some musical styles that work next to her normal rock sound. Some of the tracks on RULE feature quirky jazz / big band arrangements. Boushoku-kei Danshi!! (暴食系男子!!), MY BATTLE, and GUN! GUN! LOVE! are filled with lots of brass and drums. She also mixes electric guitars and synth in Human Clay and JUDGE but you still get a lot of aggressive straightforward rock songs like She Hates Me, Atashi, and GUILTY. I also have to say that the album’s 2 ballads Believe in Love and Voice of butterfly are pretty good.


Younha – Hitotsu Sora no Shita
Released on: September 22
Oricon Chart position: #169
Copies sold: Are you sure you want to know?
Overall Rating:
Top tracks: Kaze | Suki Nanda | Soratomo ~Sora wo Miagete | Complicated

Best cover art of the year! This is Younha’s 2nd Japanese studio album and it pales in comparison to her Korean works. Personally, Hitotsu Sora no Shita is probably her weakest release thus far. This is a very laid back album and features mostly mid-tempo acoustic tracks. The only 2 songs that really stood out were Complicated and Kioku (記憶), the Japanese version of Gieog from her Someday album. If you also compare this album to Go! Younha (her first Japanese album), it’s not as good either. I was hoping for more bright piano tunes to be honest.


JUJU – Request
Released on: September 29
Oricon Chart position: #1
Copies sold: 374,183
Overall Rating:
Top tracks: There will be love there -Ai no Aru Basho- | WILL | Last Kiss | First Love

The little cover album that could. ♥ Yes bbz, Request is a COVER ALBUM and it’s snatching the wigs off all of your J-divas! I became a JUJU fan after listening to her self-titled album earlier this year and when I found out about some of the songs she was going to cover, I was estatic. All of the songs were originally perfomed by female vocalists, a lot of them being ~modern classics~. There’s jazzy renditions of MISIA’s Tsutsumi Komu You ni… (つつみ込むように・・・), Namie Amuro’s Don’t wanna cry, Mika Nakashima’s WILL, and Utada Hikaru’s First Love just to name a few. And because I want to piss off you Shiina Ringo fans, her cover of Gips (ギブス) is WAAAAY better than the original. BWAHAHAHA.


BONNIE PINK – Dear Diary
Released on: October 6
Oricon Chart position: #7
Copies sold: 16,346
Overall Rating:
Top tracks: Is This Love? | Home Sweet Home | Many Moons Ago | Nami Nami

Here is another great release from BONNIE PINK! I thought her last album ONE was slightly better but Dear Diary is almost there. Prior to this album, she released two digital singles (Morning Glory and Is This Love?) and the physical single Kite (カイト). There were some songs that I did not care for like Birthday Girl (which sounds just like a ripoff of Catch The Sun) and World Peace but I seriously love the top tracks I listed above. Home Sweet Home is a lovely jazz ballad and Nami Nami (ナミナミ) is really fun and upbeat, making it one of her best ending tracks ever. Limited pressings of the album come with a B-side collection.


Mika Nakashima – STAR
Released on: October 27
Oricon Chart position: #3
Copies sold: 131,074
Overall Rating:
Top tracks: GAME | Over Load | LONELY STAR | SPIRAL

Mika Nakashima once again throws mud into the faces of her fans, but I wasn’t really that surprised. STAR technically only has TWO new songs but once you get past that, this album is really put together quite well. The ballads are placed at the beginning and end while the middle portion is full of nothing but upbeat songs. I think that’s awesome if you ask me. For example, ALWAYS and Ichiban Kirei na Watashi wo (一番綺麗な私を) start off the album while the new song 16, Nagareboshi (流れ星), and the digital single SONG FOR A WISH close it. As for that upbeat portion, it’s great since it has GAME (yeah it’s on here for some reason lol), the hot electropop track LONELY STAR, and SPIRAL. Heck, even CANDY GIRL isn’t that bad anymore.

Other Observations

  • Juliet released their 2nd album Real in August with the cover art showing the girls crying. Come on now, it was a good album! XD
  • Since Juliet now has a song for every season, they released a freaking mini best-of album of those songs titled Shiki Love -4 SEASONS LOVE BEST-. Only Japan does this, I tell you! XD
  • The award for most unnecessary best-of album goes to JYONGRI. The ironically titled JYONGRI BEST TRACKS featured 2 songs and a digital single plus a lot songs from the last 4 singles. It could have easily been a studio album.
  • Koda Kumi’s cover album ETERNITY ~Love & Songs~ was not all that bad upon further inspection. It was funny hearing the cover of her little sis misono’s song 0ji Mae no Tsunderella because it was sooooo much better.
  • Once again, wyolica went under my radar again and released a new album in September titled Castle of wind. I always forget about them. /bad fan
  • Aya Kamiki’s latest mini-album Gloriosa was pretty awesome.
  • Desperately trying to hold on to what little relevance she has, Thelma Aoyama released LOVE!2 -THELMA BEST COLLABORATIONS- in late July. Guess what song is on it? Soba ni Iru ne. LOLOLOLOL
  • Kaori Mochida’s 2nd solo album NIU was pretty much the same as her debut. Easy listening at its finest but it’s probably not for everyone. One of the songs really hurt my ears though.
  • Ken Hirai released a B-side collection to celebrate his 15th anniversary. Long title coming up: Ken Hirai 15th Anniversary c/w Collection ’95-’10 “Ura Utabaka”.
  • Maki Goto’s single collection also had a long title: Goto Maki COMPLETE BEST ALBUM 2001-2007 ~Singles & Rare Tracks~. No explanation needed.

Upcoming Albums

  • Mai Kuraki – FUTURE KISS [11/17]
  • Aya Matsuura – Click You Link Me (クリックユー リンクミー) [11/24]
  • Utada Hikaru – Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2 [11/24]
  • May J. – Believin’… (mini-album) [11/24]
  • K – K-BEST [12/1]
  • BENI – Jewel [12/8]
  • Crystal Kay – Spin The Music [12/8]
  • Yuna Ito – LOVE ~Singles Best 2005-2010~ [12/8]
  • Ayumi Hamasaki – Love songs [12/22]
  • Maki Goto – Gloria (mini-album) [1/12]
  • Do As Infinity – EIGHT [1/19]
  • May J. – Colors [1/26]

Okay, I’m tired now. lol I’m thinking about what to post for tomorrow (my last day =O). Hmmmm~

7 Comments »

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  1. YUI: Well said! I felt the new album was very laidback and felt somewhat like island music. ^_^

    Buri Guri: Haven’t listened to this yet but, your review makes me feel more optimistic about it. :)

    Younha: I don’t know what the girl’s doing anymore. :/ I enjoyed the single leading up to this album but, the album itslef is seriously lacking in both good songs and Younha’s style (whatever that is anymore). *sigh*

    It’s hard to love you Younie when you keep feeding us crap. <_<

    JYONGRI: LOL.

    Hikki: I just heard about her new release and um "indefinite break"… WHAT?! *cries*

    K: K-BEST? wow!

    Ito: She gets a BEST album now too? huh.

    Ayu and DAI albums? EEEE! Maybe 2011 will be a better year!

  2. PS: I wish wordpress would stop cutting my return key spaces out.

    Like this

    and this.

    grr!

  3. lol angera.

    And I think Younha is your official flop bb. :’D

    Gurl, this is getting dramatic. D’:

  4. “And because I want to piss off you Shiina Ringo fans, her cover of Gips (ギブス) is WAAAAY better than the original. BWAHAHAHA.”

    Hard to tell, but I’m going to assume that’s a joke. >_<

  5. omg :) you have no clue how much i was waiting for you to review GOLD.

    happy :D

  6. Nope. I can’t stand that woman’s voice.

  7. Yeah, Mika’s been really disappointing lately. Which sucks because I was just starting to get into her when she started releasing all these crappy singles. :(


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