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

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Lena Park – A SECOND HELPING

Crazy People
2.5
Something in My Eye
2.5
I’ll Write You A Letter
3.5
Last Night
2.5
Confession
2.5
Like Friends
2.5
A New Start After Parting
2.5
I’ll Give Back Now
3.5
The Flower That Falls In The Wind
2.5

thoughts. B.
Lena Park’s second Korean album A SECOND HELPING is a bit better than her debut. There wasn’t as much variety as their was in piece though as it seemed to play like one long ballad as to where there were only a couple on her previous album. I didn’t mind that too much, Lena is one of those artists whose down-tempo or more ballad-oriented songs I prefer. She has a great voice with really good range so it’s a real treat when she goes for high-notes or plays around with her vocals. It wasn’t so much of that on this album, but still the songs are very nice and easy on the ears. I do wish the tracks had stood out a bit more as the only track I really remember is I’ll give back now and Last Night only because I liked how she ended that track. A step up from her first album, yet still a little on the forgettable side.

  • favorite track – I’ll give back now
    least favorite track – A New Start After Parting
    guilty pleasure track – Crazy People
    under-rated track – Last Night

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Miguel – All I Want Is You

Sure Thing
3.5
All I Want Is You feat. J. Cole
2.5
Pay Me
2.5
Quickie
3.5
Girls Like You
3.5
Hard Way
3.5
Teach Me
2.5
Hero
2.5
Vixen
2.5
To the Moon
2.5
My Piece
2.5

thoughts. B-.
I like Miguel, but I didn’t really start liking him until Adorn. All I Want Is You is his debut album and I’m half and half about it. To me it seemed like all the good songs: Sure Thing, Quickie, Girls Like You were put on the first half of the album and the more forgettable tracks like: Hero, Vixen, To The Moon where thrown on to make the album longer; it definitely brought the quality of the album down. I even dug Pay Me and Hard Way, however when I got to Teach me and beyond my interest started to wane. So, it went from me thinking I would buy this album, to… never mind. I do really like Miguel’s voice though, he adds such flavor to tracks that I would write off if they were sung by anyone else. It’s like you’re in a pleasant trance while listening to him. All I Want Is You is decent for a debut, I just wish that the second half had played like the first.

  • favorite track – Sure Thing
    least favorite track – Vixen
    guilty pleasure track – Pay Me
    under-rated track – Hard Way

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Lee Hyori – Dark Angel

Get Ya’
2.5
Depth
2.5
Straight Up
2.5
Dark Angel
2.5
Dear Boy
2.5
Winter Freshness
2.5
Closer
2.5
Stealing A Glance
2.5
Shall We Dance?
2.5
Slave
2.5
Last Farewell
3.5

thoughts. C.
I really thought I liked this album more than I do. I don’t recall it being this mediocre the first time I listened to it. Didn’t really care for her first album but it was better than this. I don’t know how she managed to take a step down with Dark Angel, but as I was listening to this album again for this review I just couldn’t find a fuck to give about it. Hyori has a lot of watered down rnb tracks on here, that seems like they should be dance or up-tempo tracks yet the delivery on every last one of them was just so lazy. I don’t know how she stayed conscious enough in the studio to record all these forgettable tracks. The only good songs on this album were, believe it or not, are the ballads: Winter Freshness and Last Farewell, which isn’t saying much as they were dull but her vocals were nice. I’d skip this if I were someone just getting into her, her later albums are much better. Start with It’s Hyorish and go from there.

  • favorite track – Last Farewell
    least favorite track – Get Ya’
    guilty pleasure track – Dear Boy
    under-rated track – Winter Freshness

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Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans

Grenade
2.5
Just the Way You Are
3.5
Our First Time
2.5
Runaway Baby
2.5
The Lazy Song
2.5
Marry You
3.5
Talking to the Moon
3.5
Liquor Store Blues feat. Damian Marley
2.5
Count On Me
3.5
The Other Side feat. Cee Lo Green and B.o.B
2.5

thoughts. C.
I’m still trying to figure out how I feel when it comes to Bruno Mars. I never particularly cared for his music, but some songs I do like. Just always thought he was really corny. He’s gotten better as I love his song Versace On The Floor, but even so I’m still on the fence in terms of whether I like him or not. Doo-Wop & Hooligans (which has to be one of the lamest album titles ever, I don’t care what it represents) is his debut album and it didn’t really do anything for me. It’s not too bad, Bruno Mars has a nice voice, but the majority of the tracks were just OK or blah to me. I have never liked Grenade or The Lazy Song, both tracks are whack and annoy the hell out of me. Liquor Store Blues was a track I wanted to like, but it fell flat and so did The Other Side. I like Marry You even though the lyrics are laughable. Runaway Baby was irritating. The songs I did like though, surprisingly were Just The Way You Are; I think it’s a very sweet song (Our First Time was OK). Looking At The Moon and Count On Me. Very corny, but in such an endearing and romantic type of way. I think I like those types of songs from Bruno Mars the most. I’m not a fan, but maybe with his next two albums it could happen. I’m warming up to him. OK debut, but nothing to write home about.

  • favorite track – Just The Way You Are
    least favorite track – Liquor Store Blues feat. Damian Marley
    guilty pleasure track – Marry You
    under-rated track – Looking At The Moon/Count On Me

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