BoA – NO. 1

NO. 1
2.5
Sweetie
3.5
Waiting
3.5
Tragic
3.5
Shy Love
3.5
Day
3.5
dear my love
3.5
Beat It!
2.5
P.O.L -Power Of Love-
3.5
Happiness Lies
2.5
Azalea
2.5

thoughts. A.
I really do love BoA’s second Korean album, NO. 1. I thought it would eventually fade after repeated listens, or I’d change my mind as I got older; it hasn’t. I always find myself amazed at how good the songs on this album are, to the point that I think it’s my favorite Korean album from her. I didn’t too much care for NO. 1, the title track, as it’s almost childish compared to the other tracks on here. There’s a quiet mature whimsy to this album that I like. BoA’s vocals could have been a bit better, but they were good enough (the rap on Shy Love is surprisingly good). I feel like all the songs aside from NO. 1 are under-rated on this album, which is a real shame, because the replay value is very high. I could listen to this without skipping a track. I wish she would tour and sing Sweetie, Waiting, Tragic and Power Of Love live (shoot, the whole album).

  • favorite track – My Sweetie
    least favorite track – Beat It!
    guilty pleasure track – Shy Love
    under-rated track – P.O.L -Power Of Love-

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BIGBANG – REMEMBER

Oh, Ah, Oh
2.5
Sunset Glow
3.5
Twinkle Twinkle
2.5
Strong Baby -Seung-ri solo
2.5
Wonderful
3.5
Foolish Love
3.5
Remember
3.5

thoughts. B.
I don’t get BIGBANG and how they release stuff. They push out solos and minis like no one’s business, but they really half ass their album releases. REMEMBER, their second Korean album, is a step up from their first, but not by much. It’s just they put better songs on this one. The album started off on an OK note (Sunset Glow makes me think of Haru Haru), then for some reason they forced in an awkward, misplaced solo from Seung-ri though it picked up toward the end where all the good songs were. It’s decent, doesn’t seem like a lot of effort was put into it; they don’t seem to care about releasing group albums all that much. It took years for us to get a third volume from them, and all the songs had been released as singles prior. This is worth a listen though, even if it does play more like a mini than an album.

  • favorite track – Remember
    least favorite track – Strong Baby -Seung-ri solo
    guilty pleasure track – Twinkle Twinkle
    under-rated track – Foolish Love

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BENI – Lovebox

Swaying
3.5
Sign
3.5
Close Your Eyes
3.5
Gimme Gimme
3.5
Girl’s Night feat. JAMOSA
3.5
a million jewels
2.5
It Has to Be You
2.5
bye bye
2.5
MOVE
3.5
he is mine
3.5
My Friend
3.5
Message
3.5

thoughts. A.
BENI is like Crystal Kay to me, she consistently puts out good music and albums yet is sadly under-rated and or ignored. As I’ve said I believe when I reviewed her debut album under the moniker BENI, I did not care for her when she was releasing music as Beni Arashino, but when she re-invented herself and started releasing singles I found that I liked this new sound and finally gave her a chance. I haven’t regretted it since. As where Bitter & Sweet was more like lukewarm water to me, I find that I enjoy her sophomore album Lovebox a lot more. The music is more sure and polished, where every song whether uptempo or not, pops out at you. The singles didn’t stand out to me when released like the ones on her first album, but they blend right in and the transitions between songs are well done, making this one of those albums you can just pop on and listen to without skipping a track. I definitely enjoyed her second album as I never got bored with it like I did with her first and that’s always a plus in my book.

  • favorite track – Girl’s Night feat. JAMOSA
    least favorite track – bye bye
    guilty pleasure track – MOVE
    under-rated track – he is mine

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Ayumi Hamasaki – I am…

I am
3.5
Connected
4.5
UNITE!
2.5
evolution
3.5
Naturally
3.5
NEVER EVER
2.5
A Song is Born
2.5
Dearest
3.5
no more words
3.5

thoughts. B-.
It’s weird how much I am… doesn’t really do anything for me. It is better than Duty in terms of how memorable the songs are, but it’s just one of her few albums that’s just there. I feel the same way about RAINBOW. I didn’t like her vocals when it came to tracks like UNITE! and especially A Song is Born, where her vocals became almost unbearable. However, you then have Connected and Naturally where she sounded pretty decent and the tragically under-rated no more words where her voice is actually quite gorgeous a la Close to you. So, it’s just a weird relationship I have with this album. I can’t really explain it, because I both like and don’t like it. The tracklist possibly could have been better, the songs aren’t really experimental but it just seemed like she was trying new sounds out and just threw them on the album, so it makes for a mixed bag listen. Up, down, in the middle. It’s just an interestingly bland listen.

  • favorite track – Dearest
    least favorite track – A Song is Born
    guilty pleasure track – Naturally
    under-rated track – I am/no more words

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Ayumi Hamasaki – Duty

Duty
3.5
vogue
3.5
End of the World
3.5
SCAR
2.5
SURREAL
2.5
AUDIENCE
2.5
teddy bear
3.5

thoughts. C.
Duty is Ayumi Hamasaki’s third and I believe best selling studio album, and I’m both surprised and not surprised. I use to really dig this album even going as far as to say that at one point it was my favorite album from her. It’s crazy, but true. With repeated listens however, it’s dawned on me that this is a really boring and almost forgettable album. It’s a little perplexing to me, or maybe it’s because I always end up liking the albums no one really does, and feeling impartial to the albums everyone does like. I’m not saying everyone likes this, I’m just saying I don’t get why it’s the best selling. I am… was a bit better. I also don’t get the appeal of SURREAL, like, I don’t. It’s one of her signature songs, was a huge single for her, but no matter how many times I listen to it I never remember it. Almost like Carols. The only songs that really stick out to me on this album are Duty, vogue, End of the World and teddy bear. The rest are just album filler to me. Sorry.

  • favorite track – Duty
    least favorite track – AUDIENCE
    guilty pleasure track – vogue
    under-rated track – teddy bear

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Ayaka Hirahara – The Voice

BLESSING -Album ver.-
3.5
Rainbow Premonition
3.5
Dream Seed
3.5
i
3.5
Smile
2.5
Heart Pattern
2.5
Call Me
2.5
Wish
2.5
Hello Again
2.5

thoughts.
For Ayaka Hirahara’s sophomore album to be called The Voice, there was a lack of it on here. If I dare to keep repeating myself, I’m not saying it’s a bad album, because it isn’t. It just doesn’t do much for me. I felt like I remembered the songs more on her debut, in which with this one only a few stuck with me after a listen and I still had to go back an re-listen to them. Ayaka’s voice is really nice as usual, but the songs are pretty safe and that’s unfortunate because she’s capable of much more hard hitting tracks a la Jupiter. Her debut didn’t do it for me either, but the songs were better and I think she had like two straight instrumentals!

  • favorite track – Rainbow Premonition
    least favorite track – Wish
    guilty pleasure track – Call Me
    under-rated track – BLESSING -Album mix-

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ayaka – Sing to the Sky

POWER OF MUSIC
2.5
Let’s Sing Love
3.5
Sky
2.5
Jewelry day
4.5
Good Night Baby
2.5
For today
2.5
Why?
3.5
Gold Star
2.5
The Magicians Deeds
2.5
Let’s Hold Hands
3.5
Love, Lies and Truth
2.5
CLAP & LOVE
2.5
Because I Have You
3.5
Wrapped in the Stars Tonight…
3.5

thoughts. B.
I did not like ayaka’s debut, so much so in fact that it would be in my top ten least favorite albums if I ever get around to making such a list. However, her sophomore album Sing to the Sky is loads better. I actually really loved this album when it first came out; it’s died down a bit after repeated listens, but I still like it even if only half of the songs interest me seeing as I sometimes wonder why I like Gold Star and CLAP & LOVE, but it’s most likely because of ayaka’s strong vocal performances. Ayaka went all out vocally for this album and it shows. Sing to the Sky use to be one of those albums that I could put on and listen to all the way through without skipping a track. It still kinda is, especially with tracks like Jewelry day, Why? and Wrapped in the Stars Tonight… it could have been better as I didn’t really care for the track listing (it doesn’t flow well to me). Still, a decent album, much better than her first.

  • favorite track – Jewelry day
    least favorite track – Gold Star/CLAP & LOVE
    guilty pleasure track – For today
    under-rated track – Wrapped in the Stars Tonight…

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ARASHI – Here We Go!

You Are Not Bad At All
2.5
Tokyo Towers Tune Night
2.5
ALL or NOTHING ver. 1.02
2.5
Sleepless Body
2.5
Because You Don’t Want To
2.5
The Fast
2.5
Tell Me That You Love Me
2.5
FreeWay of Stars
3.5
Let’s Talk About Love Now
2.5
WOW!!
2.5
Nice Spirit
2.5

thoughts. B-.
I don’t really have much to say when it comes to ARASHI’s second album, HERE WE GO! It’s like a lot of albums I listen to as to where it’s not bad, but it’s not good either. It sort of settles itself in the middle and is a pretty average yet decent listen. I didn’t feel like their voices stood out as much as they did on their first album. I say that because I really dislike listening to a song or even an album and once it’s over I completely forget it. That’s how I felt about a majority of the tracks on here; they weren’t bad when I was listening to them, however once the song was over I couldn’t really remember it at all. It’s an OK album, the replay value isn’t very high though and the only songs that stood out to me were FreeWay of Stars and Nice Spirit.

  • favorite track – FreeWay of Stars
    least favorite track – ALL or NOTHING ver. 1.02
    guilty pleasure track – WOW!!
    under-rated track – Nice Spirit

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