KOKIA – Songbird

I’m a Little Songbird
2.5
Like a Gentle Breeze Stroking the Grasslands
2.5
I catch a cold
2.5
White Snow
2.5
River
3.5
Early Afternoon
2.5
You
2.5
Live Alone
2.5
Thank You…
3.5
Because I Love You
2.5

thoughts. B.
KOKIA’s debut Songbird makes me think of Akeboshi cause it’s just a really relaxing album. OK, all her albums are really relaxing listens. I feel like she has such an under-rated voice, and she has a ton of albums and I can’t say at the moment that one has really disappointed. I always have at least one album from a artist that I really dislike, but not in the case of KOKIA. That’s kinda rare with me and singers I listen to. KOKIA’s Songbird album isn’t as good as I remember it being as songs I thought stood out don’t really do much for me now and it just isn’t as memorable as it use to be. I won’t say it’s boring, but aside from KOKIA’s pretty vocals it’s just OK to me now. It’s a pretty good debut though.

  • favorite track – Thank You…
    least favorite track – I catch a cold
    guilty pleasure track – I’m a Little Songbird
    under-rated track – Live Alone

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Koda Kumi -affection

Trust Your Love
2.5
Go Together
3.5
Your Song
3.5
feel me
2.5
Color of Soul
2.5
My Dream
2.5
So Into You
2.5
Come Back
3.5
Take Back
3.5

thoughts. C.
I was very tempted to give every single song on here a 2.5 because Koda Kumi’s debut album affection is just so damn generic. I honestly use to like this album back when I was first getting into her music. I think I got into her during her 1000 no Kotoba and Real Emotion era or it was her twelve singles thing she had going on back in 2005/2006? I can’t really remember which. I know I use to love singing Take Back. Now that I’ve listened to it so many times it tends to irk me like a lot of the big name Jpop stars of the back then period does aka Namie Amuro, Ayumi Hamamsaki… it just doesn’t stick and just sounds thrown together and cheap. I mean perhaps this is a casualty of time, but Hikki, Namie and Ayumi pushed a million+ with their debuts and those aren’t good albums by any means (I’m looking at ayaka’s debut as well). So, I’ll go with the fact that people weren’t really feeling her sound or her image, which was really tacky then. Kuu peaked music-wise during her Secret to Kingdom era; affection is just generic and mediocre with a handful of pretty decent tracks.

  • favorite track – Go Together/Your Song
    least favorite track – Color of Soul
    guilty pleasure track – Take Back
    under-rated track – Come Back

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Kana Nishino – LOVE one

Being Distant feat. WISE
3.5
doll
2.5
Your Voice feat. VERBAL
2.5
Style.
2.5
Life goes on…
2.5
candy
2.5
MAKE UP
2.5
glowly days
2.5
celtic
2.5
Because I’ve Grown To Miss You
2.5

thoughts. B-.
I actually like Kana Nishino’s albums. Her debut LOVE one. not as much as the others but it’s a pretty OK debut album. It sadly doesn’t make as much noise as it should, especially with how popular her Being Distant single was. It just seems really innocent and childish to me. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s hardly a memorable debut and aside from a couple of tracks the songs are just average; competently sung but nothing to write home about. LOVE one. is a cute start though to what became a pretty good career for her.

  • favorite track – Being Distant feat. WISE
    least favorite track – doll
    guilty pleasure track – candy
    under-rated track – glowly days

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Kalafina – Seventh Heaven

oblivious
3.5
love come down
2.5
Summer Apples
3.5
fairytale
3.5
ARIA
2.5
Scar
3.5
serenato
2.5
Music
2.5
The Scenery of Tomorrow
3.5
sprinter
2.5
You Turn It Into Light
2.5
seventh heaven
2.5

thoughts. B.
Kalafina’s debut album Seventh Heaven is pretty good and the majority of the reason, at least to me, is because their voices are really good. They make songs that would probably sound ear-numbing to me, almost magical. Even so only two songs really stand out to me: oblivious and Summer Apple, the rest range from good to OK. I can tell some actual effort went into this debut though, it wasn’t just an album that was hastily put together. It’s so annoying listening to a album and only a couple of songs are good and the rest are either bad or album filler. This sounds like a fantasy anime soundtrack; a nice debut from the amazing singers of Kalafina.

  • favorite track – Summer Apples
    least favorite track – ARIA/Music/seventh heaven
    guilty pleasure track – oblivious
    under-rated track – You Turn It Into Light

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JJ Lin – Music Voyager

Wing
3.5
Celestial Body
3.5
Freeze
3.5
Heaven’s Kiss
2.5
Person That Startles Me
3.5
Can Have That One Day
3.5
Don’t Understand
2.5

thoughts. B.
With a title like Music Voyager I honestly wasn’t expecting to really like JJ Lin’s first album. I’m not sure how I quite got into JJ Lin but I remember hearing a few of his songs while going through a male Cpop singer phase and liked his voice a lot. I’ve always liked Music Voyager, I suppose. It’s a quiet little album that doesn’t do much but there are a handful of songs on here that are really good in such an under-rated way. Freeze and Celestial Body have always been two of my favorites from him. Music Voyager does what it should as a first offering; makes you look forward to what’s next to come.

  • favorite track – Freeze
    least favorite track – Don’t Understand
    guilty pleasure track – Heaven’s Kiss
    under-rated track – Person That Startles Me

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Jay Chou – Jay

Adorable Lady
3.5
Perfectionism
2.5
Starry Mood
2.5
Wife
2.5
Basketball Match
2.5
Instabul
2.5
Tornado
3.5
Counter-clockwise Clock
2.5

thoughts. B.
Jay Chou’s first album Jay is a pretty OK album, but it’s not one of his albums that really stands out to me. It’s like his Ye Hui Mei album where it’s a part of his disco but it’s one I never remember. I actually use to think Fantasy was his first and not second album. There are two stand out tracks on this album; the rest range from pretty good, to decent, to OK. Even though Jay is a bit on the dull side, I like the quiet atmosphere of it and Jay Chou’s vocals are always nice, especially on his ballads.

  • favorite track – Tornado
    least favorite track – Perfectionism
    guilty pleasure track – Basketball Match
    under-rated track – Adorable Lady

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IU – Growing Up

Overlook
2.5
Boo
2.5
A Dreamer
3.5
Every Sweet Day
3.5
Mia
3.5
I Do Four
2.5

thoughts. B-.
I’m not really sure how I got in IU I just happened to be listening to some of her songs and really liked her voice. I was also looking for female Korean solo singers to get into cause KPop is saturated with groups. I did like IU’s first Korean album Growing Up and even though I don’t like it nearly as much as I did when I first listened to it–it holds a special place in my ears (lol). It’s the first and last album of hers to have this fresh sound; her follow up albums are a bit more fantasy and experimental sounding. IU has such a good voice in it was displayed in songs like Every Sweet Day and Mia then you have the songs like Boo and I Do Four which are nice, but do nothing for her voice and are irritating (the former) or surprisingly forgettable (the latter). I would suggest fans getting into IU start with her second album or her REAL mini album. Growing Up is OK, but a little stale around the edges.

  • favorite track – Every Sweet Day
    least favorite track – Boo
    guilty pleasure track – I Do Four
    under-rated track – Mia

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infinite – Over The Top

Be Mine
3.5
1-3
2.5
Paradise
3.5
Cover Girl
3.5
Tic Toc
2.5
Julia
3.5
Because -Sungkyu solo-
3.5
Amazing
2.5
Real Story
2.5

thoughts. B.
Infinite is a group I didn’t think I would like but I ended up liking a lot. It’s not everyday I look pass the music an actually get into the members to invest in knowing their names and their personalities and so on… I’ve been out of the loop with infinite for awhile now though, since being a mom keeps me from being a fangirl as much as I would like to be or once was. Over The Top is their first Korean album and it’s OK. Well, maybe a little better than OK. What I mean is it’s not as memorable as I’d hoped it be, especially since infinite tends to release really ear-catching songs. You have the stand-out tracks like Paradise and Julia; but on the other hand you have the songs that are just there like 1-3 and Tic-Toc. So, in my opinion Over The Top is a mixture of hit and miss to me.

  • favorite Track – Paradise
    least Favorite Track – 1-3/Tic-Toc
    guilty pleasure track – Because -Sungkyu solo-
    under-rated track – Cover Girl

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Fly To The Sky – Day by Day

In My Dream feat. H.O.T
2.5
Day By Day
2.5
I Don’t Wanna Say Good-bye
2.5
Fly to the Sky
2.5
Wanna Be With You
2.5
Everything
2.5
Beautiful
3.5
A Song For Love
2.5
Warning
2.5

thoughts. C.
Fly to the Sky’s first Korean album Day by Day is one of the cheesiest album’s I’ve ever heard (and I’m thinking the only one, maybe). I know it’s crazy because this album I think is my least favorite from them. Even if I do still like it ’cause it’s pretty sincere in it’s delivery. Brian who is both a singer and rapper in the group had me wondering if he has been cheated on especially in Warning. This song always has me laughing out loud when he says, I knew you was a ho when you got on them knees. I almost died. Day by Day is corny, dated and pretty mediocre; but I think that’s why it works and also why I find that I always enjoy this album when I go back and listen to it.

  • favorite Track – Beautiful
    least Favorite Track – In My Dream feat. H.O.T
    guilty pleasure track – Warning
    under-rated track – Wanna Be With You

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Fish Leong – Grow Up Overnight

Sorry, I Love You
2.5
Grow Up Overnight
2.5
The Rainbow
2.5
Getting Lost
2.5
Only Hold You
2.5
Going Round in Circles
2.5
Sunny Innocent
2.5
Rubber Band
2.5
Note
3.5

thoughts. C.
Fish Leong is another singer I am surprised I’m into. I really liked her Silk Road song and just finally last year got into her music. I’m partial to her right now. As in I feel pretty indifferent when it comes to Fish Leong, but I think she has a nice voice and her music is good enough to keep me interested. Grow Up Overnight is her first album and it’s just like Faye’s first major studio album; pretty boring. I mean it has a really loving and romantic vibe going for it that I like, but the songs are terribly forgettable and sound so much alike that they just bleed into each other which makes it hard for me to distinguish them in give a more fleshed out review. It’s nice for what it was going for, just not memorable.

  • favorite track – Note
    least favorite track – Going Round In Circles
    guilty pleasure track – Rubber Band
    under-rated track – The Rainbow

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