Ritsuko Okasaki – Joyful Calender

Let’s go out for a Walk
2.5
Spring 1993
2.5
Long Distance Call
3.5
Love Scene
2.5
Saiai
2.5
Nowadays
3.5
To The Sea in Spring
3.5
Starry Night
3.5
The Road Home in The Twilight
3.5
Beneath the Same Sky
2.5

thoughts. B.
I really like Ritsuko Okazaki and perhaps I said this in my review of her debut, but she’s so terribly under-rated it’s almost tragic. Her voice is really quite beautiful; the frailness of it always leaving you with a sense of touching sadness. Joyful Calendar is her sophomore album and it doesn’t really do much or really stands out. It’s a quiet and peaceful short of listen. I do like the songs, but they just didn’t pop out at me. The exceptions being Long Distance Call and Nowadays. I had to listen to it twice so actually accurately review this album, appreciating tracks such as: To The Sea in Spring, Starry Sky and The Road Home in The Twilight a little more. As I said before it doesn’t stand out but it’s a pleasant little listen nonetheless.

  • favorite track – Nowadays
    least favorite track – Spring 1993
    guilty pleasure track – Long Distance Call
    under-rated – To The Sea in Spring

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Rie fu – ROSE ALBUM

The Way You Are
3.5
5 minutes
2.5
Funny Dream
2.5
I Wanna Go To A Place…
4.5
Realize
2.5
Tiny Tiny Melody
3.5
Conversation
2.5
They Always Talk About
3.5
Kiss U Goodbye
2.5
Vintage Dream
2.5
Rose
3.5
Long Long Way -album ver.-
3.5
Wish
3.5

thoughts. B.
Rie fu’s second album THE ROSE is kind of weird to me, because the first half is kinda underwhelming; with the exception of I Wanna Go To A Place… and Tiny Tiny Melody. I almost wrote this album off as being a lot like her first, not technically bad but a pretty dull listen all the same. However, at around the maybe They Always Talk About and Kiss U Goodbye mark it started to peak my interest again and ended on a really good note. I actually liked Rose this time around and I honestly can’t remember ever liking it before this listen. I was also pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed Long Long Way -album ver.-, it really gave me such Norah Jones vibes. It’s a nice follow-up to her first album, which I thought was oddly tedious. Weak start, strong end.

  • favorite track – I Wanna Go To A Place…
    least favorite track – Funny Dream
    guilty pleasure track – Tiny Tiny Melody
    under-rated track – Long Long Way -album ver.-

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Perfume – ⊿

love the world
2.5
Dream Fighter
3.5
NIGHT FLIGHT
3.5
I still love U
3.5
The best thing
2.5
Speed of Sound
2.5
One Room Disco
3.5
Wish -album mix-
2.5

thoughts. B+.
I still cannot believe how much I disliked their first album. So, when they released their sophomore album (tri-angle), my expectations were very low. I did like the singles, especially Dream Fighter, but I wasn’t expecting to like the album as much. It’s not good by any means, but it’s leaps and bounds better than their first. I found myself so annoyed listening to GAME; I just didn’t like any of the songs. I really tried to force myself to and I couldn’t. Tri-Angle sounds a lot more polished; it also gives me a black, white and red vibe. The songs were really good this time around, as if they went in took some auto-tune voice classes or lessons or something, because even with the auto-tune their voices sounded pleasant. I was surprised by songs like NIGHT FLIGHT, I still love U, and One Room Disco. This album renewed my interest in Perfume, because I really wanted to write them off after GAME. A really decent second venture from them.

  • favorite track – Dream Fighter
    least favorite track – Wish -album mix-
    guilty pleasure track – One Room Disco
    under-rated – I still love U

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Otsuka Ai – LOVE JAM

Strawberry Jam
2.5
I Like You.
2.5
Fan
2.5
Crazy Chop
2.5
Two Stars Anniversary
2.5
Goldfish Fireworks
3.5
Black Grilled Cow’s Tongue, 735 Yen
2.5
Friends
3.5

thoughts. B.
I’ve always been a bit impartial to Ai-chan’s second LOVE JAM and even third albums. It does have some really good songs on it, even my favorite Otsukai AI song: I Like You. It’s not even a boring album like her fifth album LOVE LETTER is. All the tracks hit, but not with a bang, so it’s like even though the songs are good the album as a whole is just very meh to me. Strawberry Jam, Two Stars Anniversary, Goldfish Fireworks and Friends are the stand out tracks, as well as I Like You. I didn’t too much care for Fan or Black Grilled Cow’s Tongue, 735 Yen (that title though…). They’re both very forgettable despite getting a fair rating from me. As a whole it’s a decent album, but a step down from her first album which had a warmth and charm to it that is oddly absent on this one, despite the heartfelt ballads spilled across it. I do think I like this album more than her third album though.

  • favorite track – I Like You.
    least favorite track – Black Grilled Cow’s Tongue, 735 Yen
    guilty pleasure track – Crazy Chop
    under-rated track – Friends

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Okui Masami – V-sit

MASK -masamix-
2.5
Risky GAMBLE
2.5
Shake It
2.5
Liar Smile True Tears
3.5
Lonely Soul
2.5
DREAMING HEART
2.5
Two People
3.5
LOVE IS FIRE
2.5
GET MY WAY
2.5
Battlefield of Madonna
2.5
Area ~Heaven & Hell~
2.5
Serious Chance
2.5
You can’t Stop Me -live rock-on-
2.5
Friends
2.5

thoughts. B.
Okui Masami’s sophomore album V-sit isn’t as good as her debut; just didn’t feel like the songs stood out as much or even really stuck with me. The songs aren’t bad and Masami has a really nice an clear voice for her to be a seiyuu singer. To me the songs were just pretty average. The only song that really stood out was Two People in that was a slow song. I was also surprised that I didn’t like her more up-tempo or faster paced songs. Well, it wasn’t that I didn’t like them they were decent enough, they just didn’t really do anything for me in my opinion. V-sit however is an album I can listen to all the way through, it’s just the songs were better on her debut. It is honestly just one of those background noise type of albums.

  • favorite track – Two People
    least favorite track – You Can’t Stop Me -live rock on-
    guilty pleasure track – DREAMING HEART
    under-rated track – Liar Smile True Tears

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Christina Aguilera – Christina Aguilera

Genie In A Bottle
3.5
What A Girl Wants
3.5
I Turn To You
3.5
So Emotional
2.5
Come On Over (All I Want Is You)
3.5
Reflection
3.5
Love For All Seasons
4.5
Somebody’s Somebody
2.5
When You Put Your Hands on Me
1.5
Blessed
4.5
Love Will Find A Way
3.5
Obvious
3.5

thoughts. A.
Christina Aguilera’s debut self-titled album Christina Aguilera reminds me a lot of Britney’s debut as where it has mostly all of my favorite jams by her and mostly all of of the songs by her that I loved are on her first album. Damn near every track on this album is a banger. I remember singing I Turn To You with my god-sister all the time back when it first came out. Genie In A Bottle, What A Girl Wants and Come On Over (All I Want Is You) give me life. Christina’s version of Reflection is really nice to; the album only tracks: Love For All Seasons, Blessed and Obvious are in my top 10 favorite Aguilera songs and are super under-rated. What’s crazy though is that just like with Britney she put all her singles toward the first half of the album, yet what saves this is the fact that the latter half of the album is just as good. The only track I believe I didn’t really like was When You Put Your Hands On Me, I thought it was a really obnoxious, misplaced and odd track. The other album only tracks on the other hand were really good: Love Will Find A Way standing out because I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. So, backtracking this does remind me of Britney’s debut just sung better and with better album only tracks. I hope her follow up albums are just as good (I won’t be reviewing her Spanish album).

  • favorite track – I Turn To You
    least favorite track – When You Put Your Hands On Me
    guilty pleasure track – Genie In A Bottle
    under-rated track – Love For All Seasons/Blessed/Obvious

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Namie Amuro – break the rules

no more tears
3.5
better days
2.5
break the rules
3.5
LOOKING FOR YOU
2.5
PLEASE SMILE AGAIN -album mix-
2.5
never shoulda
3.5
CROSSOVER -album mix-
2.5
GIRLFRIEND
3.5
NEVER END -album mix-
3.5
think of me
2.5
HimAWArI
3.5

thoughts. B+.
I have a weird relationship with this album because when I first got into Namie, I literally had zero interest in this album and I can’t even remember why. It just didn’t really click with me the first few times I listened to it. So, one day I’m listening to it, like really listening to it and was like wow this is a really good album. This is Namie Amuro’s fourth album break the rules, an it doesn’t have a very obvious rnb/pop sound like GENIUS 2000 did. It’s a lot more subtle. I like how different this album sounds from any of her other albums, honestly, it really stands on its on and I say that because a lot of the tracks on here were songs that at one point in time I would not have given a second listen to. Crossover is a great example of a song I would have wrote off, but is actually not that bad. The same can be said for Looking For You and Please Smile Again. The tracks that stood out for me were No More Tears (great song), Never Shoulda and Girlfriend. Never End is such a touching song in memory of her mother who was killed. Better Days is nice and HimAWArI are really under-rated treats from her. At one point in time I would have said this was maybe my favorite album from Namie (I think that honor belongs to PLAY or Queen of Hip Pop). Even so this is an interesting album and probably her most under-rated in my opinion.

  • favorite track – No More Tears
    least favorite track – Crossover
    guilty pleasure track – break the rules
    under-rated track – HimAWArI

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Britney Spears – … Baby One More Time

… Baby One More Time
3.5
(You Drive Me) Crazy
3.5
Sometimes
3.5
Soda Pop feat. Mikey Bassie
2.5
Born to Make You Happy
3.5
From the Bottom of My Broken Heart
3.5
I Will Be There
3.5
I Will Still Love You duet w Don Philip
2.5
Thinkin’ About You
2.5
E-Mail My Heart
2.5
The Beat Goes On
2.5

thoughts. B.
I’m actually surprised (an I’m not sure why), that I like this album as much as I do. Debuts rarely ever do anything for me and I thought I would come out of Britney’s debut feeling like I’d only like the singles and nothing else. Britney’s Spears’ debut album aptly called … Baby One More Time after the smash hit single of the same name is a pretty decent album. All her singles banged literally; half I either didn’t know were singles or didn’t know were on this album. Such as: Born To Make You Happy and From The Bottom of my Broken Heart. I will admit though that the singles do save this album from being pretty bland and or mediocre. I say that because even though I liked a couple of the album only tracks: I Will Be There being the stand out one of the bunch, they’re incredibly forgettable or tired a la I Will Still Love You and E-Mail My Heart. I also thought her cover of The Beat Goes On was boring. The singles are where the album shines in she has them for some reason lumped at the front of the album. I’ve never really liked that sort of track-listing, because you get hit after hit, then suddenly your listening to a track that just throws everything off and it really brings the quality of the album down. Even so, I use to love (You Drive Me) Crazy, remember watching the Making of it on MTV back in the day. The stand out to me and quite possibly my favorite Britney Spears song of all time is Sometimes (I was sad to hear she doesn’t really like it). That’s like a top ten karaoke track for me. All in all I enjoyed Britney’s debut, I do wish the track-listing had been better or the album only tracks had a bit more kick. It’s her best selling album though… and I’m not mad at that fact.

  • favorite song – Sometimes
    least favorite track – I Will Still Love You duet w Don Philip
    guilty pleasure track – (You Drive Me) Crazy
    under-rated track – I Will Be There

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Nana Mizuki – MAGIC ATTRACTION

Through the Night
2.5
Protection
3.5
Futari no Memory
3.5
Free Style
2.5
Stand
2.5
Deep Sea
2.5
Suddenly ~Meguriaete~
3.5
Orgel to Piano to -Holy Style- U
3.5
Love & History
3.5
Climb Up
2.5
Brilliant Star
3.5
Ano Hi Yume Mita Negai
2.5

thoughts. B.
I think I prefer Nana Mizuki’s earlier albums as opposed to the albums she releases now. They just come across as too experimental and it just be way too much going on that the music and her vocals just get lost in the mix (that’s for later reviews though). MAGIC ATTRACTION is her sophomore album and it’s not bad. I think I see it in the same light as her debut, it doesn’t stand out much but it’s still a decent listen. Nana has strong vocals so it saves a few of the tracks from being mediocre or forgettable however, I can’t really pinpoint a stand out track on here yet with this album I preferred her more slower-paced tracks like: Orgel to Piano to -Holy Style- and Ano Hi Yume Mita Negai as it showcases how nice her voice really is. I do like her hard-hitting songs to though as Nana has an incredibly powerful voice for a seiyuu singer.

  • favorite track – Futari no Memory
    least favorite track – Stand
    guilty pleasure track – Protection
    under-rated – Orgel to Piano to -Holy Style-

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Namie Amuro – GENIUS 2000

LOVE 2000
3.5
RESPECT the POWER OF LOVE
2.5
LEAVIN’ for LAS VEGAS
3.5
SOMETHING ‘BOUT THE KISS
3.5
I HAVE NEVER SEEN
3.5
STILL IN LOVE
3.5
MI CORAZON (TE’ AMOUR)
2.5
YOU ARE THE ONE feat. IMAJIN
3.5
THINGS I COLLECTED
3.5
NEXT TO YOU
2.5
ASKING WHY
2.5
GIVE IT TRY
2.5

thoughts. B-.
Namie Amuro’s early career and albums are strange to me. I got into her during her Style and Queen of Hip Pop eras, so when I went back to listen to her before albums I was blown away. I remember only liking her break the rules pre Hip Pop era and that still holds true now. I do like her third album GENIUS 2000 more than her previous two albums. She was clearly dipping her toes into the rnb pool with this album in I definitely liked the tracks that came as a result of that. Namie has an interesting voice, sometimes she sounds good an sometimes she sounds very strain-y, but she never really disappoints me. This album is both generic/decent. I thought the oddest track on this album was LOVE 2000, which sounds so early aughts. Then after that you have very watered down rnb tracks, that aren’t bad. The highlights are LEAVIN’ FOR LAS VEGAS, SOMETHING ‘BOUT THE KISS, STILL IN LOVE, YOU ARE THE ONE and THINGS I COLLECTED. I HAVE NEVER SEEN is pretty good as well. The rest are OK. I did think it sort of tapered off and got really dull towards the end as if NEXT TO YOU, ASKING WHY and GIVE IT A TRY were just thrown on last minute to stretch the album out a little more. This album is nothing to write home about, but a tiny step up from her last two albums.

  • favorite track – STILL IN LOVE
    least favorite track – GIVE IT A TRY
    guilty pleasure track – LEAVIN’ FOR LAS VEGAS
    under-rated track – THINGS I COLLECTED

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