Do As Infinity – ∞2

July 3, 2010 at 12:59 PM | Posted in Do As Infinity | 2 Comments
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∞2 is Do As Infinity’s 23rd single and it was released on June 16, 2010. The single reached #13 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 7,582 copies.

I’m not gonna lie…I like their outfits. Ryo looks fly.

♦ ♦ ♦

Do As Infinity has officially outdone themselves with this new quadruple A-side single. If you thought ∞1 was good then you’re in for a treat. Starting the single is the headlining track 1/100, which I would consider to be one of the band’s more unique songs. It begins with piano and a prominent flute with Tomiko Van’s gentle vocals. I really liked how the music elevates into a spectacular chorus that adds electric guitars and strings. Overall, it’s not big and epic like Umareyuku Monotachi e was but it still proves to be a powerful song.

Continuing the uplifting atmosphere of the first track is Everything will be all right. This is an bouncy rock song with an emphasis on bass and brass instruments. The chorus is pretty catchy, too. After that is HARUKA, a more laid back song but I thought it stood out because guitarist Ryo Owatari sings some lines during the verses. Wrapping up the single is the hard-hitting Pile Driver, the most aggressive song of the 4.

I have to applaud Do As Infinity because this is definitely their best single since they reformed. It tops ∞1 (which would have been perfect without that shitty autotune song) and Kimi ga Inai Mirai because all 4 songs are excellent and of the highest quality. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be 1/100 because of its unique arrangement.

Pros: Everything is awesome! Normally, there’s at least 1 track that I don’t care for on these multiple A-side singles.
Cons: DAI is at the top of their game. Nothing bad about this flawless release.

BASICALLY…if I could, this would get ∞ stars! ;D

Overall Rating

5 stars

 

Tracklisting

1. 1/100
2. Everything will be all right
3. HARUKA
4. Pile Driver (パイルドライバー)

Do As Infinity – Kimi ga Inai Mirai

January 31, 2010 at 10:38 AM | Posted in Do As Infinity | 3 Comments
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Kimi ga Inai Mirai (君がいない未来) is Do As Infinity’s 22nd single and it was released on January 20, 2010. The single reached #10 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 8,806 copies. The title track was used as the opening theme song for the anime InuYasha: The Final Act.

Hey! Tomiko and Ryo finally make an appearance on the cover.

♦ ♦ ♦

This single was advertised as an “InuYasha Special Single” because not only does it feature Kimi ga Inai Mirai, but also the band’s 3 other songs that were used in the anime. I’ll get to those later since I want to focus on the A-side now. Personally, I really like Kimi ga Inai Mirai. It’s your basic high octane rock song but it gets the job done. The music is energetic and catchy with a chorus that gets stuck in your head thanks to a simple, yet memorable melody.

I can’t hate on the single for having the band’s 3 other InuYasha tracks. Fukai Mori is THE song that got me into Jpop and I will love it for eternity. XD There’s also Shinjitsu no Uta which is one the band’s most unique songs because of the epic erhu. I can’t forget Rakuen either but I did review the single a long time ago and you can read it HERE. I get a wonderful feeling of nostalgia from all 3 tracks.

Pros: As a whole, this single is perfection despite having 3 older songs.
Cons: The A-side could have easily been on ETERNAL FLAME. It’s obvious the song’s release was delayed.

BASICALLY…I don’t care if it’s a gimmick single! XD

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Kimi ga Inai Mirai (君がいない未来)
2. Fukai Mori (深い森)
3. Shinjitsu no Uta (真実の詩)
4. Rakuen (楽園)

Do As Infinity – ETERNAL FLAME

October 10, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Posted in Do As Infinity | 11 Comments
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ETERNAL FLAME is Do As Infinity’s 7th album and it was released on September 30, 2009. The album reached #9 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 19,064 copies. It was preceded by the single ∞1 (2 songs from it were included).

For those morons who have been complaining about the cover just because “Tomiko and Ryo aren’t on it”…it’s called SYMBOLISM. Actually, it’s much more simple than that. *points at the album title*

♦ ♦ ♦

Put your hands on your beating chest
Feel the heat, they’re always with you

For being Do As Infinity’s “comeback album”, ETERNAL FLAME is very good. Even with their disbandment and 4 year absence, it’s their best album since 2002’s TRUE SONG. Let’s face it…minus the singles, the last 2 albums GATES OF HEAVEN and NEED YOUR LOVE (especially) were very lackluster. I have seen the criticisms surrounding ETERNAL FLAME and pretty much brushed them aside because they are stupid arguments brought about by butthurt veteran fans.

The biggest one that I have seen is “it’s not the same DAI anymore”. Well OBVIOUSLY. This is a new and improved Do As Infinity without Dai Nagao (the main composer for all their songs prior to the disbandment). Tomiko Van and Ryo Owatari worked with different composers on this album and it shows. However, many of the songs on the album have the classic “DAI sound” but with a substantial upgrade. Honestly, before the disbandment, Dai Nagao’s compositions were getting stale and unoriginal.

The first half of the album is fantastic and contains some really high quality songs. Right from the beginning, the title track ETERNAL FLAME is quite epic and features completely English lyrics. It can be clunky at times but still epic nonetheless. It moves onto higher octane tracks like Saigo no GAME and Perfect World. Along with the upbeat tracks, there is also a good amount of mellow songs. I thought Feelin’ The Light (another English track) and the mournful Nighter represented the best out of them. Piece Of Your Heart makes an appearance as the obligatory “cute song” (every DAI album has one) but I really liked it.

But…the album kind of goes downhill when the 2nd half comes around. I can’t remember Kitakaze, his hometown, or Honoo for the life of me. They’re not very memorable. Luckily, the album closes on an extremely good note with Umareyuku Monotachi e, which I thought made for a perfect finale. To make things even better, first pressings of the album come with a beautiful “10th anniversary version” of Tangerine Dream, the band’s debut single.

Pros: DAI is back and better than ever. Keep on burning that eternal flame!
Cons: I’m still iffy on tracks 9 through 11…and where the heck is Timeless?

BASICALLY…it feels like they never left. =)

Overall Rating

 4½ stars

Tracklisting

1. ETERNAL FLAME
2. Saigo no GAME (最後のGAME)
3. Perfect World
4. Namonaki Kakumei (名もなき革命)
5. Nighter (ナイター)
6. Feelin’ The Light
7. Meramera (メラメラ)
8. Piece Of Your Heart
9. Kitakaze (北風)
10. his hometown
11. Honoo (焔)
12. Umareyuku Monotachi e (生まれゆくものたちへ)
13. Tangerine Dream ~10th Anniversary~ [CD only first pressing bonus track]

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

Do As Infinity – ∞1

July 9, 2009 at 8:47 PM | Posted in Do As Infinity | 2 Comments

Tracklisting
1. Umareyuku Monotachi e
    (生まれゆくものたちへ)
2. Meramera (メラメラ)
3. Timeless
4. Let’s get together at a-nation

This is Do As Infinity’s 21st single and it was released on June 17, 2009. The single reached #10 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 14,546 copies.

I was ecstatic when Do As Infinity announced that they were going to reunite back in September 2008. To this day, they are still one of my favorite J-pop acts ever. After doing several live performances, the band fully established their reformation with this single. A new album titled ETERNAL FLAME will be released on September 30th as well.

The single begins with Umareyuku Monotachi e, which served as the main promotional track. A rock inspired ballad at heart, Do As Infinity says “we’re back!” in a big way. Opening with piano, the song quickly adds electric guitars and drums once Tomiko Van starts singing. Her vocals are in top shape, thanks in part to her solo career, but she sounds even stronger and fuller than before. The chorus is a good example of this. I liked the epic factor of this song as well and it’s like a combination of Rakuen and TAO. It’s also my favorite track on the single.

The other 3 tracks are upbeat and have that classic DAI sound to them. Meramera definitely has the most flair and attitude out of the 3 though. Behind the aggressive electric guitar riffs, there are some strings and I thought they were a nice touch. This is a high quality track and with it, I noticed an overall improvement in the band’s compositions and use of instruments. Is it because Dai Nagao is no longer the composer? =O

Here is another high octane track. Timeless isn’t as progressive as Meramera but there is still a lot of energy in the music. I personally thought this song was a little better too. The pace never lets up and I really liked the vigor of Van’s vocals. She sounds great, especially during the extremely upbeat chorus.

Let’s get together at a-nation offers something different but there is a huge flaw in this otherwise good song. The music IS nice and has a funky, disco flair to it. However, it’s the electronically distorted vocals that ruin it for me. Do As Infinity and synthesizer do not mix AT ALL. It’s so bad and overused that it’s hard to hear Van’s voice at times. It just sinks into the background and becomes noise.

Overall Rating

 4½ stars

Do As Infinity – TAO

January 21, 2007 at 3:06 PM | Posted in Do As Infinity | Leave a comment
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Tracklisting
1. TAO
2. aurora
3. TAO (Instrumental)
4. aurora (Instrumental)

This is Do As Infinity’s 20th single and it was released on July 27, 2005, about 2 months prior to their official disbandment on September 29th. The single reached #11 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 37,329 copies. The title track was used as the opening theme song for the video game Tales of Legendia.

When TAO was first released, many fans speculated that the disbandment of Do As Infinity was near…and they were right. The lyrics of the song depict 2 friends going their separate ways, but they will never forget each other. The lyrics do reflect the real life actions of Tomiko Van and Ryo Owatari (Van now has a solo career and Owatari is the leader of the band Missle Innovation). The music is pretty standard DAI pop rock with unusually high pitched vocals from Van during the chorus. This is one of my favorite DAI songs of all time but not just because of the lyrics. It’s also very heartwarming and uplifting as well.

DAI’s final B-side is definitely one to remember. aurora is a very unique song by DAI standards because it combines Spanish guitar and other Latino influences. On an interesting note, this song is an continuation of BREAK OF DAWN, a song from the band’s first album back in 2000. The lyrics can be described as the ending to the story first told in BREAK OF DAWN, when the dawn comes after a night with friends, waiting for the sun to rise while underneath the moonlight.

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Do As Infinity – NEED YOUR LOVE

December 13, 2006 at 11:55 AM | Posted in Do As Infinity | Leave a comment
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The cover of the CD only edition

NEED YOUR LOVE is Do As Infinity’s 6th studio album and it was released on February 16, 2005. The album reached #3 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 137,911 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

The album opens with the quick riffs of For the future, the band’s 19th single which was released prior to this album. This song acts as great introduction for what’s to come.

Track 2 was originally an exclusive bonus track on the band’s B-side album Do the B-side back in 2004 and it’s a good thing it’s on this album too. BE FREE is a cheerful song with catchy riffs.

Track 3, Blue, is another upbeat song with an excellent chorus. The electric guitar riffs are fast and the solo during the bridge is awesome.

The next track, Rakuen, is probably my favorite song on the album. It’s also the most unique song too because of the low key string arrangement during the verses.

Track 5 is a more slower paced song that features acoustic guitar. Ever… has a nice chorus but I didn’t think the song was anything special.

Track 6, one flesh, is a progressive song with strong percussion. I didn’t really like this song but it still sounds nice and it’s rather short.

I definitely liked the strong riffs of track 7. ROBOT is an incredibly catchy song with a great bridge that features Tomiko Van’s voice being electronically distorted. It fits the theme of the song very well.

Track 8 is another short yet upbeat song that I don’t really like. The music of Ultimate G.V remains consistent except for the riff during the bridge.

Track 9 begins slow paced but the chorus quickly picks things up. I also liked the fast vocals of Yotaka no Yume. The chorus is the high point of the song too because of the use of bass.

Track 10 is definitely one of the better songs on the album. Need your love is uplifting yet it maintains a darker persona. The song also features more unique and different sounds compared to the rest of the songs and I was so glad to hear a string arrangement during the bridge.

Track 11 was another breath of fresh air. Na no Hanabatake is the only song on the album to feature the piano as the main instrument and it’s beautiful. It was really nice to hear just Van’s voice without a vocal track.

The bonus track on the album is an acoustic version of Hiiragi, the band’s 17th single released back in 2003. I loved the fact that there’s only the piano and acoustic guitar in this version and Tomiko’s vocals are top notch. Like most acoustic songs, the music is toned down and does not feature a vocal track.

NEED YOUR LOVE is a good album but at the same time, I also think it’s Do As Infinity’s weakest one. It doesn’t have the flair of their previous albums because the music remains consistent and it doesn’t change. Almost all of the upbeat rock tracks sounded the same to me and I didn’t find any variety between them. I only found Rakuen and Na na Hanabatake to be the songs with a different and unique sound. This album would have been better if there were more variety in the rock tracks but this is also where the album shines. Do As Infinity has made some of the best pop rock songs ever and this album is just an extension of what the band excels at.

Overall Rating

3 stars

Tracklisting

1. For the future
2. Blue
3. BE FREE
4. Rakuen (楽園)
5. Ever…
6. one flesh
7. ROBOT
8. Yotaka no Yume (夜鷹の夢)
9. Ultimate G.V
10. Need your love
11. Na no Hanabatake (菜ノ花畑)
12. Hiiragi (Acoustic ver.) (柊)

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

Do As Infinity – For the future

August 31, 2006 at 11:30 AM | Posted in Do As Infinity | Leave a comment
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Tracklisting
1. For the future
2. For the future (Instrumental)

This is Do As Infinity’s 19th single and it was released on January 19, 2005. The single reached #6 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 39,553 copies.

For the future is one of DAI’s more generic songs. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s a good song but it’s too similar to the band’s previous work (Week!, under the sun, Honjitsu wa Seiten Nari are good examples). There’s lots of electric guitar and upbeat percussion with lyrics about the desire to fly and be free. Tomiko Van’s vocals are great as usual and the song never lets up.
All in all, this is an okay single. Just like the Rakuen single, I don’t recommend getting this one as well unless you want the instrumental.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

Do As Infinity – Rakuen

August 28, 2006 at 11:25 AM | Posted in Do As Infinity | Leave a comment
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Tracklisting
1. Rakuen (楽園)
2. Rakuen (Instrumental)

This is Do As Infinity’s 18th single and it was released on December 15, 2004. The single reached #2 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 60,580 copies. The title track was used as the ending theme for the 4th InuYasha movie.

Rakuen is one of my favorite Do As Infinity songs. I love the funky string arrangement and the powerful chorus. Just like many other DAI songs, the chorus features awesome electric guitar riffs. The bridge also contains one of my favorite electric guitar solos as well. You can’t go wrong with this song. I don’t recommend getting the single now unless you want the instrumental (which is still great). This song can be found on the band’s 6th studio album NEED YOUR LOVE and their single collection Do The A-side.

Overall Rating

5 stars

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