Thelma Aoyama – Summer Love!! feat. RED RICE from Shonnanokaze

July 11, 2010 at 10:15 AM | Posted in Thelma Aoyama | 3 Comments
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Summer Love!! feat. RED RICE from Shonnanokaze (サマーラブ!! feat. RED RICE from 湘南乃風) is Thelma Aoyama’s 10th single and it was released on June 30, 2010. The single reached #58 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 1,097 copies.

Nice cover. It’s photoshopped summer goodness!

♦ ♦ ♦

It’s about time Thelma Aoyama released a fun and upbeat song as an A-side. I swear the last time she did that was with her debut single ONE WAY. When it comes to Summer Love!!, here is a prime example of a good song with a bad rapper. I seriously cannot stand RED RICE’s grating voice. It’s almost as bad as BIGGA RAIJI’s or that one guy in Crystal Kay’s Kataomoi (I dare you to listen to it! XD). The music is very festive and there are some reggaeton influences that go well with the summer theme. If you can phase RED RICE out of the song, you’ll enjoy it a lot more.

The B-side was released digitally shortly after her Emotions album. I’ve heard OH BABY Koishitetai plenty of times before it was on this single and I can say that it’s a good song. The music is also upbeat and features a nice R&B / synth arrangement. This song should have been on her last album since it’s better than most of the new tracks off it.

Pros: Ignoring the crappy rapper, Summer Love!! is a nice song that’s perfect for the season.
Cons: Unfortunately, I find his voice distracting like no other.

BASICALLY…Thelma should have collaborated with SoulJa or KEN THE 390 again. =(

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Summer Love!! feat. RED RICE from Shonnanokaze 
    (サマーラブ!! feat. RED RICE from 湘南乃風)
2. OH BABY Koishitetai (OH BABY 恋してたい)
3. Summer Love!! feat. RED RICE from Shonnanokaze (Instrumental)
4. OH BABY Koishitetai (Instrumental)

Thelma Aoyama – Kaeru Basho

March 20, 2010 at 10:16 PM | Posted in Thelma Aoyama | 2 Comments
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Kaeru Basho (帰る場所) is Thelma Aoyama’s 9th single and it was released on March 3, 2010. The single reached #63 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 1,326 copies (oh dear). The title track was used as the theme song for the new Doraemon movie.

“I promise never to flop again! =D”

♦ ♦ ♦

I had such a great nap and it’s all thanks to Kaeru Basho! Seriously, the song is not interesting. It’s just pretty music and nothing much else. Yeah yeah, I know the lyrics are touching and shit but I don’t care. Even Aoyama sounded bored when she was singing. I’m sorry to say that simplicity didn’t work this time around.

I thought the B-side Anata ga Kiechai Sou de was better because it wasn’t as boring. It helped that there was a beat and Aoyama’s vocals were more enthusiastic. Even so, I don’t really remember it. At least Kaeru Basho had a redeeming chorus.

Pros: The music was nice even though it was lacking any real hooks.
Cons: “zzzZZZzzzzzZZZ” Her last single Fall in Love was so much better.

BASICALLY…I can see why this single flopped. Sorry, Thelma!

Overall Rating

3 stars

Tracklisting

1. Kaeru Basho (帰る場所)
2. Anata ga Kiechai Sou de (あなたが消えちゃいそうで)
3. Kaeru Basho (Instrumental)
4. Anata ga Kiechai Sou de (Instrumental)

Thelma Aoyama × SOL from BIGBANG – Fall in Love

February 9, 2010 at 11:17 PM | Posted in Thelma Aoyama | 2 Comments
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Fall in Love is Thelma Aoyama’s 8th single and it was released on January 27, 2010. The single reached #29 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 3,501 copies.

Disembodied heads are a big no-no! The shadow effect isn’t going to help, Thelma!

♦ ♦ ♦

Thelma Aoyama’s collaboration songs are always great so Fall in Love was no exception. This time however, she’s working with another singer instead of a rapper. SOL, better known as Taeyang, is a member of the popular Korean group BIGBANG. His voice is good and definitely better than those of the Japanese boy bands. As for the music, it’s always nice to hear an upbeat song from Aoyama. The beats that blended in with the various acoustics sounded nice.

The B-side offers something different from Aoyama. Believe is a solo track and totally devoid of the R&B sound she normally does. The music is straight up pop and I liked it. Complete with a band and string arrangement, I thought this song was well done.

Pros: This single was really good and Believe was a nice surprise.
Cons: I hear a little bit of Yuna Ito’s Ima Demo Aitai yo… in the A-side. Hmmm…

BASICALLY…at least she didn’t collaborate with G-Dragon. Ick.

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. Fall in Love
2. Believe
3. Fall in Love (Instrumental)
4. Believe (Instrumental)

Thelma Aoyama – Emotions

October 20, 2009 at 11:30 AM | Posted in Thelma Aoyama | 2 Comments
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The cover of the CD only edition

Emotions is Thelma Aoyama’s 2nd studio album and it was released on September 9, 2009. The album reached #11 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 29,851 copies.

Thelma has such classy covers (minus ONE WAY lol). I’m liking the 3D effect going on too.

♦ ♦ ♦

Keep in mind that FIVE singles were released prior to this album but only TWO of them actually appear on it. The first three singles Nando mo, Mamoritai Mono, and Daikkirai Demo Arigatou are on LOVE! ~THELMA LOVESONG COLLECTION~ which was released earlier this year. Honestly, that “album” was a total gimmick and just another excuse to put her huge hit song Soba ni Iru ne on another CD. Okay, I’m done ranting. XD

But I digress since those first 3 singles wouldn’t have fit that well into Emotions anyway. When things come down to it, Thelma Aoyama’s official sophomore effort is a lot better than her debut album DIARY. I thought that album was okay and I only liked a couple tracks off it. Even though I wasn’t really impressed with her debut, it still showed that Aoyama had a lot of potential so I kept my eye on her. It wasn’t until she released Todoketai… feat. KEN THE 390, the first single off Emotions, that I really began to like her. It just got better with the next single Wasurenai yo, which was very good as well.

So the singles were pretty amazing (Todoketai… feat. KEN THE 390 is definitely my favorite track on the album) but how about the new material? Well…some are good while others are pretty forgettable. I have seen varying opinions concerning the new tracks but for me, the ones that stood out the most were the following:

  • I’m Sorry, one of the more upbeat songs on the album. The chorus is catchy and Thelma’s vocals are stronger here.
  • Aoyama’s cover of the popular m-flo song come again (retitled WANNA COME AGAIN). It also features VERBAL. I liked her version more than the original since it sounds less boring and has nice synth.
  • I have a soft spot for LOOK. It’s very catchy and has a prominent R&B vibe compared to other tracks.
  • The sentimental ballad Cinderella Story. It’s a very nice way to end the album and the song itself is very personal to Aoyama. When you think about it, her sudden rise to fame is like a “Cinderella story”.

As for the remaining tracks…they’re nice but extremely ordinary. It’s like they all have the basic pop song formula but with an extra beat or something. I didn’t see that much effort put into them besides Aoyama’s appealing vocals.

Pros: A big step up from DIARY. I could actually listen to all of Emotions in one setting!
Cons: There are typical songs that sound underproduced (the mid-tempo tracks mainly).

BASICALLY…even with its faults, I get “good emotions” from this album.

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. Intro
2. Wasurenai yo (忘れないよ)
3. Happiness
4. Futari no Yakusoku no Hi (二人の約束の日)
5. I’m Sorry
6. KEEP ON
7. Sunao ni Narenakute (素直になれなくて)
8. Todoketai… feat. KEN THE 390 (届けたい・・・)
9. Baby, I love you
10. LOOK
11. WANNA COME AGAIN feat. VERBAL (m-flo)
12. Cinderella Story

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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