Mika Nakashima – LØVE

Venus in The Dark
3.5
Love Addict
3.5
aroma
3.5
Snow Flower
3.5
RESISTANCE -album version-
2.5
FIND A WAY
3.5
marionette
3.5
You send me love
3.5
Be in Silence
3.5
LOVE NO CRY
3.5
I Love You -album version-
3.5
LAST WALTZ
3.5

thoughts. A.
I absolutely love how Mika Nakashima did a complete 180 from her debut album. LØVE, her sophomore album sounds so completely different from TRUE that it’s almost as if you’re listening to a different artist. As where her debut sounded oddly generic an plain, this one is much more polished and sure of itself. Mika’s voice is very pleasant, especially on tracks like Snow Flower, You send me love and LAST WALTZ (Mika’s vocals on this album is a far cry from the sad rasp of her later albums). Every song just pops out at you in the most glorious way, and the sweet jazz of the arrangements are such a treat to the ears. I also really like her cover of I Love You, which is one of my favorite Japanese songs. All in all this was a really good album. I’m almost tempted to say my favorite, but Mika is one of those artists whose albums I always find myself enjoyingso the jury is out right now, but it’s most probably either this album or YES.

  • favorite track – Snow Flower
    least favorite track – RESISTANCE -album version-
    guilty pleasure track – Venus in The Dark
    under-rated track – marionette/You send me love

300px-Nakashima_Mika_LOVE

Advertisements

Beyonce – Dangerously In Love

Crazy In Love feat. Jay Z
2.5
Naughty Girl
2.5
Baby Boy feat. Sean Paul
3.5
Hip Hop Star feat. Big Boi and Sleepy Brown
1.5
Be with You
2.5
Me, Myself and I
3.5
Yes
3.5
Signs
2.5
Speechless
2.5
That’s How You Like It feat. Jay-Z
3.5
The Closer I Get to You duet with Luther Vandross
2.5
Dangerously in Love 2
3.5
Gift From Virgo
1.5
Daddy
2.5

thoughts. C.
Beyonce is so tired and over-rated I can’t stand it. I’ve never been a fan of her and I’ve never liked her, not even for a second. I do however like a few of her songs, but that is about the extent of it. I’m really just listening and reviewing her albums to see if the Beyhive are justified in their rabid obsession with her. Anyway, Beyonce’s first album as a solo singer is the tepid Dangerously In Love, named after one of the better songs off Destiny’s Child’s third album (I always thought it was her solo song on that album to, because you only hear her). This album sold 11 million copies and I’m just sitting here like, ‘I guess’. I’m not going to say it’s a terrible album, I’m not a hater. It’s just a really boring album. I dug a few of the tracks like: Naughty Girl, Baby Boy, Me, Myself and I, Yes, That’s How You Like It and Dangerously In Love 2. The others were either forgettable, dull or just plain weird. I’ve never cared for Crazy In Love in the rest of the tracks aside from maybe Signs and Speechless, just sounded like filler. Also, I didn’t like how she would just over-do the ad-libs, it just exhausted me and made the tracks feel longer than they were. Beyonce does have a good voice yet on this album she sounded strangely mediocre compared to her later albums and singles. I know this is her debut, but she was singing years before she went solo and her voice didn’t sound half as generic as it did on this. Lastly, the final track Daddy, legit creeped me the fuck outespecially considering their strained relationship nowadays. I was just like, ‘no’. It’s a mixed bag; I feel indifferent toward it as a whole. I’d probably like it more if I were a fan. Here’s to hoping I like her follow-up albums more.

  • favorite track – Dangerously In Love 2
    least favorite track – Hip Hop Star feat. Big Boi and Sleepy Brown
    guilty pleasure track – Naughty Girl
    under-rated track – Yes

220px-Dangerously_In_Love_Album(2003)

Megumi Hayashibara – WHATEVER

A Shooting Star At Dawn
2.5
I Will Protect You
2.5
Matchless Love
2.5
Prism Eye
2.5
Shooting Star
2.5
Still Waiting
3.5
HOLY ROAD
2.5
How to Spend a Rainy Day
2.5
The Back Seat Doll Was Watching
2.5
Meteor Machine Gakusaver
2.5
Seaside Diary
3.5
Swell of Summer
2.5
Distance
2.5
Tokyo Boogie Night
2.5
Rainbow Coloured Sneaker

thoughts. B.
Despite the sheer number of tracks on Megumi Hayashibara’s sophomore album WHATEVER, it’s a pretty average listen. I don’t mean average in a bad way, because the album is decent. It’s just a passable album to me. Megumi’s voice is pleasant and each song has it’s own unique seiyuu-ish charm to it; they just don’t stand out much. Honestly, the only fair rating song that stood out to me was Tokyo Boogie Shoes. The only track that stands out to me and really shines is Seaside Diary. It’s quite gorgeous an really sucks you in, despite being very plainthe chorus just grabs you. I wasn’t expecting to like this track as much as I do. The only other two tracks that really caught my attention aside from that one is the ballad Still Waiting and Rainbow Colored Sneaker. It’s a fine sophomore album, despite most of the songs being merely OK to me.

  • favorite track – Seaside Diary
    least favorite track – Meteor Machine Gakusaver
    guilty pleasure track – Rainbow Coloured Sneaker
    under-rated track – Still Waiting

300px-Hayashibara_-_WHATEVER

Lloyd – Southside

ATL Tales / Ride Wit Me feat. Ja Rule
1.5
Hey Young Girl
2.5
Southside feat. Ashanti
3.5
Feelin’ You
1.5
Take It Low
2.5
Hustler feat. Chink Santana
1.5
My Life
2.5
Cadillac Love feat. Taniya Walter
2.5
Trance feat. Lil Wayne
1.5
Feel So Right
4.5
This Way
3.5
Sweet Dreams
2.5
I’m a G
2.5
Yesterday
2.5
Southside (Remix) feat. Scarface and Ashanti
2.5

thoughts. B-.
I love Lloyd. He’s always been a favorite of mine, because I just adore his voice. He makes me think of an alternate version of Tevin Campbell. Southside is his first album and I remember when Southside first came out; how I found myself reluctantly liking it (I couldn’t stand Ashanti during this time so it annoyed me that she was on the song). I’m not really sure how I feel about his debut as I don’t dislike it, but I also feel like I could have liked it more than I do. I’m a fan of Lloyd but I didn’t really care for his more grittier, wannabe gangster-thug songs like ATL/Ride Wit Me and Hustler. His voice is more of a bedroom music type voice or a romantic type of voice, so those tracks really just threw me off. Also, any song that featured a rapper did nothing for me, especially the one with Ja Rule. My eyes almost rolled out of my head when his part came up. I also didn’t like when he was being overly sexual, such as in songs like Feelin You and Trance. He just doesn’t seem like the F a B type of guy, he comes across as more of the ‘make love’ type of guy. So, I just couldn’t with those tracks. I did like the majority of the songs on here though. The highlight being Feels So Right, followed up by Cadillac Love and This Way which surprised me in how much I enjoyed them. I also like the soothing flow of Southside and thought they meshed well. I’ll say I’m partial to this album as it’s not a terrible listen. When Lloyd isn’t trying so hard, he really makes songs that could be pretty corny actually decent. A shining example of that would be I’m A G, I really thought I wasn’t going to like it because of how it started out, but as it went on I found I feeling it a little. The same with the other tracks I gave a fair rating. Lloyd’s voice saved them the one rate. So, I would say this is a album I would possibly buy from Lloyd as there are more tracks I would play through as oppose to skipping them.

  • favorite track – Feels So Right
    least favorite track – ATL Tales/Ride Wit Me feat. Ja Rule/Hustler feat. Chink Santana
    guilty pleasure track – Southside feat. Ashanti
    under-rated track – This Way

220px-Lloyd_Southside

May J. – FAMILY

Garden feat. DJ KAORI, Diggy-MO’, Clench&Blistah
3.5
With You… w Kimaguren
2.5
To You Who are Starting on a Journey
3.5
Story of Love
2.5
Give my heart
2.5
Besides Goodbye
2.5
Remember
3.5
Crescent Moon -DAISHI DANCE remix-
3.5

thoughts. B-.
I’m not really sure how I feel about May J.’s sophomore album FAMILY. On one hand it’s better than it could have been, but on the other hand it just doesn’t really stand out. You’re suppose to take your first album and expand on it with your second and so on and so forth, that’s not the case with this album. I actually like Baby Girl more than this. May J. switches from the rnb sound of her mini and debut album to a more soft-pop sound. I do like her voice as she reminds me of an alternate version of BENI. Garden has always been a favorite of mine, but it’s the only track that really stands out out. Well… that and the DAISHI DANCE remix of Crescent Moon. The others aren’t bad, but other than nice vocals from May they don’t really stick to me as to where I can remember them without listening to ’em again. It’s an alright follow-up, but a definite step-down from her debut.

  • favorite track – Garden
    least favorite track – Give my heart
    guilty pleasure track – Crescent Moon -DAISHI DANCE remix-
    under-rated track – Remember

250px-MayJ_-_FAMILY_DVD

Chris Brown – Chris Brown

Run It! feat. Juelz Santana
3.5
Yo (Excuse Me Miss)
3.5
Young Love
3.5
Gimme Dat
3.5
Ya Man Ain’t Me
2.5
Winner
3.5
Ain’t No Way (You Won’t Love Me)
3.5
What’s My Name? feat. Noah
2.5
Is This Love?
2.5
Poppin’
3.5
Just Fine
3.5
Say Goodbye
3.5
Run It! (Remix) feat. Bow Wow and Jermaine Dupri
1.5
Thank You
2.5
Gimme That (Remix) feat. Lil Wayne
2.5

thoughts. B.
Remember when Chris Brown was young and cute; a charismatic heartthrob? A time before he was stigmatized as a woman beater? I do and I really miss that Chris Brown. This new Chris Brown is more cynical and dark, but that isn’t surprising considering the situation that transpired between him and Rihanna. Chris Brown is his self-titled debut album and it’s really fresh sounding and cute. It’s just the type of sound you would expect from someone his age around 2005. I loved all his singles, especially Say Goodbye and am relieved that the album only tracks are just as good. I found that there wasn’t to many songs on this album that I didn’t like. I didn’t care for the remixes, What’s My Name?, Is This Love? or Thank You. All the other songs though, I love. My personal favoritesaside from the singles would be: Ya Man Ain’t Me, Ain’t No Way (You Won’t Love Me) and Just Fine. I use to have the biggest crush on Chris Brown. He could both sing an dance, and seemed like he was a really genuine person. This is a nice debut from him; safe, nothing groundbreaking, but nice.

  • favorite track – Say Goodbye
    least favorite track – What’s My Name? feat. Noah/Remixes
    guilty pleasure track – Gimme Dat
    under-rated track – Ain’t No Way (You Won’t Love Me)

220px-Chris_brown

Matsuda Seiko – North Wind

Shiroi Koibito
2.5
Hanadokei Saita
2.5
North Wind
2.5
Fuyu no Album
2.5
Kaze wa Aki Iro
2.5
Only My Love
3.5
Eighteen
2.5
Winter Garden
2.5
Shinayaka na Yoru
3.5

thoughts. B.
I’m pleasantly surprised with Seiko Matsuda’s second album North Wind. I don’t remember liking it this much when I first listened to it, that’s why I’m glad I always re-listen to them before I review them. With that said even though I gave the majority of the tracks on here a fair rating, they were still nice. I give 3’s to songs that stand out, or really stick with me, so if a song get’s a two it doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t a good song. Seiko’s voice was really nice on this album. I thought her voice was tragically mediocre on her debut, but this time around it’s so pleasant. The stand out track on this album is Only My Love, it was quite good and that note toward the end gave me life. I also enjoyed Shinayaka na Yoru, a slow burn of a ballad, but she sung it well and with emotion. I hope the rest will play this well, because I honestly wasn’t feeling her earlier albumsyet the deeper I go through her disco the more I get why she was so huge in the 80’s and 90’s.

  • favorite track – Only My Love
    least favorite track – North Wind
    guilty pleasure track – Winter Garden
    under-rated track – Shinayaka no Yoru

375px-North_Wind

Destiny’s Child – Destiny’s Child

Second Nature
2.5
No, No, No Part 2 feat. Wyclef Jean
3.5
With Me Part I feat. Jermaine Dupri
1.5
Tell Me
2.5
Bridges
3.5
No, No, No Part I
3.5
With Me Part II
2.5
Show Me the Way
2.5
Killing Time
3.5
Illusion feat. Pras
2.5
Birthday
2.5
Sail On
2.5
My Time Has Come
3.5

thoughts. C.
sigh– Where do I even begin with Destiny’s Child? It seemed as if they were doomed from the start. Beyonce was then and still is a fame-whore. I thought it was too shady how they kicked LaToyia and LaTavia out the group in the middle of promoting their second album (their best album). I remember watching the Say My Name video and saying out-loud, “Where the hell is LaToyia and LaTavia?”. Anyway, this is their first album with the original four, self-titled Destiny’s Child. It’s not bad really, it’s just a really boring and forgettable album. There was no chemistry and no connection between the girls, even though the harmonization sounded nice, it just almost seemed like they couldn’t be bothered. Beyonce has a good voice, I won’t lie, but on a few of the songs on here she is just going ad-lib crazy and I won’t even get started on My Time Has Come which was her solo and the other girls as her background singers. I’m assuming maybe Kelly sung at some point in a couple tracks, but honestly the only distinguishable voice is Beyonce’s. I don’t understand why they put No, No, No Part II before the first part, yet had the With Me Part I before the Part II which made more sense. I did like a few of the album only tracks though like Bridges and Killing Time, yet you also have your share of stale tracks like Tell Me and Show Me The Way. It’s a weird balance of decent songs and lame throwaway tracks which makes for an odd, mixed bag of a listen. It’s OK, but this is probably the only album from them I wouldn’t buy.

  • favorite track – No, No, No Part II
    least favorite track – With Me Part I feat. Jermaine Dupri
    guilty pleasure track – Killing Time
    under-rated track – My Time Has Come

Destiny's_Child_–_Destiny's_Child_(album)

Maaya Sakamoto – DIVE

I.D.
2.5
Run
3.5
Monday Morning
3.5
Pilot
3.5
Heavenly Blue
3.5
Peace
2.5
Yucca
3.5
Cat and Dog
2.5
Isolation
2.5
DIVE
2.5

thoughts. B.
Maaya Sakamoto’s sophomore album DIVE plays just as soothing and dream-like as her first, but with more memorable songs. It’s one of those quiet albums though. This is never an album from her I remember. Maaya had mostly Escaflowne songs on her first album an I watched that show when I was a kid, so the nostalgia was very welcome and is the reason why even though that is also a forgettable album I remember it a lot more. Even so the songs are more polished sounding on this album. They don’t stick as much as I would like them to; Maaya is very weird as to where her songs are very creative in she always has such great beats an or arrangements, but they oddly tend to fade from my mind. I’m not saying all as there is a slew of tracks from Maaya that stick with me, such as Tomodachi, Gravity and Platinum. Yet, those are anime songs. Her original songs sadly don’t stay with me as much as I would like them to. A really nice sophomore album from her though.

  • favorite track – Run
    least favorite track – Peace
    guilty pleasure track – Heavenly Blue
    under-rated track – Monday Morning

300px-Sakamoto_Maaya_-_DIVE

Kelly Rowland – Simply Deep

Stole
2.5
Dilemma w/ Nelly
3.5
Haven’t Told You
3.5
Can’t Nobody
2.5
Love/Hate
2.5
Simply Deep feat. Solange Knowles
1.5
(Love Lives In) Strange Places
3.5
Obsession
2.5
Heaven
3.5
Past 12
2.5
Every-time You Walk Out That Door
2.5
Train on a Track
2.5
Beyond Imagination
2.5

thoughts. B-.
I really like Kelly Rowland and I’m going to admit when she releases her solo singles, she be releasing some bangers and or her to have always been overshadowed by the over-ration that is Beyonce, she’s had a pretty successful solo career. Kelly’s debut Simply Deep sold over 2 million, which is nothing to sniff at. It’s not a bad debut, it’s just the track-listing is a bit weird to me. The first part of the album seems to play like some pop tunes and then after that we get the rnb, and not very good rnb might I add, just OK rnb. I do like Kelly’s voice and it shun in tracks like Haven’t Told You, (Love Lives In) Strange Places and Heaven. However, there are the tracks where her voice fell flat like in Stole for instance, a song I loved when it first came out back in the day, but sounds very corny now. Dilemna, another track I love, but her voice though fine, is oddly annoying to me. Oh, an don’t get me started on that tragedy of a duet between her and Solange (I like Solange to, now anyway), their singing was so off-key it was almost like they weren’t even trying to stay in tune with each other. Can’t Nobody is an infectious dance track, but annoying now as well. The others, though decently sung are forgettable. It’s an OK debut, but I really hope her other albums are better, especially the one that has Motivation on it.

  • favorite track – Haven’t Told You
    least favorite track – Simple Deep feat. Solange
    guilty pleasure track – Can’t Nobody
    under-rated track – (Love Lives In) Strange Places

220px-Simply_Deep