Nana Mizuki – DREAM SKIPPER

Takaramono
2.5
Be Ready!
2.5
Keep Your Hands in the Air
2.5
Still in the Groove
2.5
Sabaku no Umi
2.5
White Lie
2.5
New Sensation
2.5
Refrain -classico-
2.5

thoughts. B-.
Nana Mizuki’s third album DREAM SKIPPER is strangely underwhelming compared to her previous two albums. Her voice is strong as usual an carries the songs well enough, but none of them really stood out to me or stuck. There was a few times that I had to re-listen to tracks, because they literally just did nothing for me. I even re-checked to see if there was even one three star song, and… there wasn’t. New Sensation I suppose came the closest, yet what surprised me the most were the ballad oriented tracks like Refrain -classico- for example, did not a thing for me. I love a good uptempo catchy song just as much as the next person, but I live for ballads and I normally like Nami’s because of her rather strong voice–not this time around though. Nami Mizuki is a guilty pleasure for me, however her albums are hard to digest because of how complex they come off to me, especially her later albums. OK album, could have been better; definite step down from MAGIC ATTRACTION.

  • favorite track – New Sensation
    least favorite track – Be Ready!
    guilty pleasure track – Sabaku no Umi
    under rated track – Refrain -classico-

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Momoe Yamaguchi – 15 Sai no Theme ~ Hito Natsu no Keiken

Hito Natsu no Keiken
2.5
Watashi no Nayami Dare mo Shira nai
2.5
Mabataki no Natsu
2.5
Taiyo no Tomodachi
2.5
Umi no Tomodachi
2.5
Mabushii Shisen
2.5
Koi ha … ING -Shinko ken-
2.5
Watashi wo Eran de
2.5
Asahi no Niwa
2.5
Kyoshitsu wo Detara Otona
2.5
Bara no Yuwaku
2.5

thoughts. B.
(sigh) 15 Sai no Theme ~ Hito Natsu no Keiken is Momoe Yamaguchi’s fourth album, and it plays pretty much like her previous albums. None of the tracks really stand out, but if I had to pick I’d say Watashi wo Eran de kinda stands out and maybe… Hito Natsu no Keiken and Asahi no Niwa though that isn’t really saying anything. Momoe’s pleasant vocals carries the album well enough, but it’s really just one of those albums you would put on and play as like background sound if you’re cleaning as I wouldn’t really skip a track despite the album being blase to me.

  • favorite track – Watashi wo Eran de
    least favorite album – Taiyo no Tomodachi
    guilty pleasure track – Hito Natsu no Keiken
    under rated album – Asahi no Niwa

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Namie Amuro – Queen of Hip-Pop

Queen of Hip-Pop
2.5
WANT ME, WANT ME
3.5
WoWa
2.5
I Wanna Show You My Love
3.5
GIRL TALK
3.5
Free
2.5
My Darling
2.5
Ups & Downs duet with Nao’ymt
2.5
I Love You
2.5
ALL FOR YOU
2.5
No
2.5

thoughts. B.
Queen on Hip Pop, Namie’s sixth album, was kinda the first and really the last to harbor this hip pop sound she started around her third or fourth album and then played around with with Style. It’s a bit more organized and cohesive then her previous album. As if she put more thought into it, instead of just having it be all over the place. Even so, it’s oddly bland to me. It is a better sounding album, but I think I dig Style a little more as it never got dull to me. Queen of Hip Pop sounds like another version of Namie’s Style, I’ve always liked WANT ME WANT ME. WoWa is OK. I Wanna Show You My Love is a nice an catchy fan song from her. GIRL TALK is quite possibly the song that made me go and seek out her albums. Free and My Darling are two under rated bops from her. Ups & Downs duet with Nao’ymt, I Love You, ALL FOR YOU and No round the album out nicely but don’t stand out as much as I would have liked them to. There is also a hidden track on this album: Yes which is like an answer song to No, with like everfree levels of under rated. A decent album, but I think I prefer Style over it.

  • favorite track – GIRL TALK
    least favorite track – Queen of Hip Pop
    guilty pleasure track – WANT ME WANT ME
    under rated track – I Wanna Show You My Love/Yes (hidden track)

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Miyuki Nakajima – Minna Itte Shimatta

Ame ga Sora wo Suteru Hi wa
2.5
Kanojo no Ikikata
2.5
Truck ni Nosete
2.5
Sasurai no Uta
2.5
Itsutsu no Koro
2.5
Fuyu wo Matsu Kisetsu
2.5
Yokaze no Nakakara
2.5
Usotsuki ga Suki yo
2.5
Yaiteru Wake ja Nai Keredo
2.5
Wasurerareru Mono Naraba
3.5

thoughts. B.
Miyuki Nakajima’s second album Minna Itte Shimatta is giving me pretty much the same fare as her debut, though this one kinda stands out a little bit more. There are some short tracks on this album, as was with her first, which was kinda the norm back then; short tracks that got straight to the point. I did have to listen to numerous tracks over again to decide whether or not I liked them, or just to try and remember them. The only tracks that really stuck with me were: Fuyu wo Matsu Kisetsu, Usotsuki ga Suki yo and Wasurerareru Mono Naraba. Even so I still had to re listen to them a few times as well, something in which I don’t like to do, but since she’s a new artist whose music I am just getting into I will give it a pass. It has that enka vibe to it, and though not as prominent this time around I still got a country vibe, which works for her. Miyuki has a nice voice in good songs, so I’m hoping her next albums give me a bit more. I know this was like in the mid-70’s but the best of Motown was like in the 50’s and 60’s and those songs popped. I like her though.

  • favorite track – Wasurerareru Mono Naraba
    least favorite track – Truck ni Nosete
    guilty pleasure track – Fuyu wo Matsu Kisetsu
    under rated track – Usotsuki ga Suki yo

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Namie Amuro – STYLE

Namie’s Style
2.5
Put ‘Em Up
3.5
So Crazy
2.5
Don’t Lie to Me
2.5
Lovebite
3.5
Four Seasons
3.5
Fish feat. verbal & Arkitec
2.5
Gimme More
2.5
As Good As
2.5
Shine More
2.5
Come
3.5
Wishing On The Same Star
3.5

thoughts. B.
STYLE is Namie’s fifth album and this was when I really started getting into her music, I really liked this mild form of rnb from her because she did it so well. This album is alright, she was just testing the waters; working with different sounds. It’s not so much a mixed bag of an album as it comes across as slightly all over the place to me. Everything about this album just screams of her experimenting with this hip pop sound that she cemented in her follow up album. It’s a pretty even mix of rnb and pop, though neither overwhelms the other. Put ‘Em Up, Don’t Lie to Me, Lovebite, Four Seasons, Come and Wishing On The Same Star are the tracks that stand out to me. Four Seasons, Come in Wishing On The Same Star being a few of the gateway tracks that lead me to becoming a fan of Namie. If I was to have any gripes on a couple of the tracks her vocals seem either all over the place or lazy. It’s why this album isn’t as good as it could be. You have tracks where her vocal performance is pretty good: Four Seasons, then you have a track where it just seems like she’s going through the motions: So Crazy. Which is the main reason why I gave the 2 star tracks a fair rating. I liked break the rules better, but this wasn’t a bad introduction to her distinct flavor of hip pop sound.

  • favorite track – Four Seasons
    least favorite track – So Crazy
    guilty pleasure track – Put ‘Em Up
    under rated track – Don’t Lie To Me

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Momoe Yamaguchi – 15 Sai no Theme ~ Momoe no Kisetsu

Memai no Kisetsu
2.5
15-sai no Koi
2.5
Himitsu wo Motta Shojo
3.5
Ame ni Nureta Shojo
2.5
Hi no Ataru Apartment
2.5
Harukaze no Itazura
2.5
Ogenki desu ka
2.5
Hoka Go
2.5
Koi no News
2.5
Kata Omoi
2.5
Yume no Koibito
2.5
Sayonara no Kisetsu
2.5

thoughts. B-.
15 Sai no Theme ~ Momoe no Kisetsu is Momoe Yamaguchi’s third album in I really hate that they don’t have any English translations of the older artists songs titles. This album plays like the previous two, it’s good enough and an album I can listen through without skipping a track. However, which has been the case so far with her earlier albums, it doesn’t stand out an the songs just sound like different variations of the previous. I also didn’t like how short a lot of the songs were, but Momoe’s voice makes up for that. Honestly, her voice is so rich for her to have been so young. It makes songs that would have been boring or even more forgettable, just work. Himitsu wo Motta Shojo was the only track that got a good rating from me, as it has just enough going for it to get it over that hump. The other tracks aren’t bad either, they’re sung well at least.

  • favorite track – Himitsu wo Motta Shojo
    least favorite track – Hi no Ataru Apartment
    guilty pleasure track – Harukaze no Itazura
    under rated track – Ame ni Nureta Shojo

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Miyuki Nakajima – Watashi no Koe ga Kikoemasuka

Abuna Zaka
3.5
Shinjirarenai Koro ni
2.5
Boggy Bobby no Akai Bara
2.5
Umi yo
2.5
Azami Jou no Lullaby
2.5
Odori Akasou
2.5
Hitori Asobi
2.5
Uta wo Anata ni
2.5
Nagisa Dayori
2.5
Jidai
3.5

thoughts. B.
I’m just now this year getting into Miyuki Nakajima one of the more older artists on my list as she started releasing music in the 70’s. Watashi no Koe ga Kikoemasuka is her debut album, and it’s decent. There isn’t much I can say as it has that simple 70’s sound to it, so the tracks tend to sound the same to me and it’s hard to differentiate. I did like this album more when I first listened to it (I listen to albums twice before reviewing them), but only for Eastern artists, not Western. Miyuki has a really nice voice, but it sounds very enka-ish on this album in it gives the album a country flare, whether that was intentional or not. I don’t know, but I liked it. Abuna Zaka and Jidai are the two tracks that stood out to me, but truthfully I can’t really remember them. It’s probably because I just now started listening to her and she has a huge discography. All in all it’s not a bad debut.

  • favorite track – Abuna Zaka
    least favorite track – Nagisa Dayori
    guilty pleasure track – Boggy Bobby no Akai Bara
    under rated track – Jidai

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Misia – MARVELOUS

Rhythm Reflection
2.5
Love Song
2.5
SUNNY DAY
2.5
Just Like That Summer
2.5
Nocturne
3.5
Escape
3.5
la la la
2.5
Change for good
2.5
Everything
3.5
Stop Time
2.5
I miss you ~Crossing Time~
2.5

thoughts. B.
MARVELOUS Misia’s third album has always just seemed there to me, but if I were to be honest; they all are to some extent. Misia is an artist whose voice I am quite fond of and she has a lot of really good and interesting songs, but none of her albums wow me. The only one of her albums that comes close to standing out to me is Ascension. Anyway, this isn’t a bad album. I do believe I like it more than her previous two albums as the only song on this album that didn’t really do anything for me was I miss you ~Crossing Time~. Nocturne, Escape and Everything are the stand out tracks. Nocturne being a rather smooth ballad from her, Escape is a lot of fun and Everything is quite possibly my favorite Misia track. The others are good to, they just such as the case with most of my fair rated tracks, don’t stand out as much.

  • favorite track – Everything
    least favorite track – I miss you ~Crossing Time~
    guilty pleasure track – Escape
    under rated track – Nocturne

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Miliyah Kato – TOKYO STAR

LALALA feat. Wakadanna
2.5
19 Memories
3.5
Better days -sweet love side-
2.5
You Go Your Way
2.5
Kiss
2.5
Love is…
2.5
The Last I Love You
3.5
Just Wanna Have Fun
2.5
TOUGH
2.5
Young Lady
2.5
Love Is Unchanged
2.5
Tokyo Star
2.5

thoughts. B.
Miliyah is my girl, but her earlier albums, though not bad are a bit blah. Thankfully, she has definitely become more polished over the years. Most singers/artists get worse album by album, i.e Koda Kumi and Ayumi Hamasaki and then on the other hand some people, like Miliyah, gets better. TOKYO STAR her third album, is decent enough. I think I can safely say I like it more than her previous two albums, definitely more than her second for sure. It doesn’t stand out much, becomes kinda forgettable like the other two, but its not awful. Miliyah gives competent vocal performances, especially in tracks like 19 Memories, Kiss and The Last I Love You. An those are the tracks that I actually remember, the rest are like a blur but they’re OK. 19 Memories was actually my favorite Miliyah track until she dropped Last Love.

  • favorite track – 19 Memories
    least favorite track – LALALA feat. Wakadanna
    guilty pleasure track – Kiss
    under rated track – The Last I Love You

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Mika Nakashima – MUSIC

When The Cherry Blossom Colours Dance
3.5
Misty Moon-lit Night~Prayer
3.5
Phoenix
2.5
Spider’s Thread
2.5
Rocking Horse
2.5
Carrot & Whip
2.5
Shadows of you
3.5
LEGEND
2.5
Hemlock
2.5
SEVEN
2.5
FAKE
2.5
Alone
2.5

thoughts. B.
Before I heard YES Mika Nakashima’s third album MUSIC was my favorite album from her (or maybe I’m confusing this with LOVE…). Her first album was decent, but a bit too generic to be a Mika album. LOVE brought things back on track, and MUSIC solidified it. I really liked this jazzy, moody style from her. Mika’s voice is of an acquired taste, because it’s very raspy so it can turn you off, but despite that she still manages to deliver very surprisingly good vocal performances. And when I say that I’m talking specifically about her ballads, which to me are severely under rated. The album started off pretty strong with When The Cherry Blossom Colours Dance and Misty Moon-lit Night~Prayer, then it just kinda fell off only coming back up for air with Shadows of you and FAKE, I believe. Mika like Miliyah has some really nice album only tracks, but this time around they were pretty weak. They weren’t bad by any means just didn’t stand out like the ones on her second album. I’m not saying this is a step down, but I do think I prefer LOVE over this album, especially when it comes to replay value. I could put this on and play it, but aside from those tracks I mentioned, the rest are a little bit forgettable and just fill up space.

  • favorite track – When The Cherry Blossom Colours Dance
    least favorite track – SEVEN
    guilty pleasure track – FAKE
    under rated track – Shadows of you

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