Ayaka Hirahara – Sky

Voyagers
2.5
Wall
2.5
Thanks
3.5
Everyday
2.5
Happiness
2.5
Dream Calendar
2.5
Gradation
2.5
Christmas List
2.5
Siciliana
2.5
Sky
2.5

thoughts. B-.
Ayaka Hirahara’s fourth album Sky is pretty much the same fare that I got from her previous two albums. I just don’t understand why her albums just don’t do it for me, despite me really liking her voice. This album is actually, if I were to be honest the best album so far from her and that isn’t saying much really. The only track that really stood out enough to get a good rating was Thanks, yet I still had to re-listen to it to remember it. Ayaka’s voice is gorgeous of course, I’ve always thought she had such a good voice in the songs aren’t terrible. They’re actually nice songs to listen to if your driving or trying to relax, things such as that. I just think with her earlier albums she was just playing it too safe, so the songs just don’t pop out but kind of like blend in. It just makes you think of scenery or a nice painting.

  • favorite track – Thanks
    least favorite track – Siciliana
    guilty pleasure track – Christmas List
    under rated track – Wall

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Keyshia Cole, part two

Woman to Woman
Enough of No Love feat. Lil Wayne
3.5
Zero feat. Meek Mill
2.5
Missing Me
2.5
Trust and Believe
3.5
Get It Right
2.5
Woman to Woman feat. Ashanti
3.5
Wonderland feat. Elijah Blake
3.5
I Choose You
2.5
Stubborn
2.5
Hey Sexy
3.5
Next Move feat. Robin Thicke
2.5
Signature
3.5

  • favorite track – Trust and Believe
    least favorite track – Zero feat. Meek Mill
    guilty pleasure track – Wonderland feat. Elijah Blake
    under rated track – Woman to Woman feat. Ashanti

*** stars

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Point of No Return
Intro (Last Tango)
2.5
Heat of Passion
3.5
N.L.U feat. 2 Chainz
2.5
Next Time (Won’t Give My Heart Away)
2.5
Rick James feat. Juicy J
2.5
New Nu
1.5
She
3.5
Believer
2.5
Love Letter feat. Future
2.5
Party Ain’t a Party feat. Gavyn Rhone
2.5
Remember (Part 2)
3.5

  • favorite track – Remember (Part 2)
    least favorite track – New Nu
    guilty pleasure track – She
    under rated track – Heat of Passion

*** stars

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11:11 Reset
Cole World (Intro) feat. DJ Khaled
N/A
Unbothered
1.5
You feat. Remy Ma and French Montana
3.5
Incapable
3.5
Best Friend
2.5
Vault
2.5
Act Right feat. Young Thug
2.5
Right Time
2.5
Emotional
2.5
Ride feat. Kamaiyah
2.5
Cole World (Outro) (feat. Too $hort
N/A

  • favorite track – Incapable
    least favorite track – Unbothered
    guilty pleasure track – You feat. Remy Ma and French Montana
    under rated track – Vault

** stars

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I was a bit underwhelmed with Keyshia’s first three albums, however from Calling All Hearts to Point of No Return were really good. I mean even Keyshia’s vocals had gotten better. As if she had went to a vocal coach. I’ve always liked the emotion she put into her songs, but she did have some real struggle vocals at the beginning of her career. I’m glad her voice has gotten better over the years. I didn’t too much care for her latest album, 11:11 Reset and I’m very surprised by that fact. Aside from a couple of tracks, the album bored me. If it wasn’t for the overall improvement in the quality of her albums as well as the sound, that would have probably been my least favorite album from her.

  • favorite keyshia cole album – Point of No Return
    least favorite keyshia cole album – The Way It Is

Keyshia Cole, part one

The Way It Is
(I Just Want It) To Be Over
2.5
I Changed My Mind
2.5
Love, I Thought You Had My Back
2.5
I Should Have Cheated
3.5
Guess What? feat. Jadakiss
2.5
Love
3.5
You’ve Changed
2.5
We Could Be
3.5
Situations feat. Chink Santana
2.5
Down and Dirty
2.5
Superstar
3.5
Never feat. Eve
2.5

  • favorite track – Love
    least favorite track – Guess What feat. Jadakiss
    guilty pleasure track – I Should’ve Cheated
    under-rated track – We Could Be

** stars

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Just like You
Let It Go feat. Missy Elliott & Lil’ Kim
3.5
Didn’t I Tell You feat. Too $hort
2.5
Fallin’ Out
3.5
Give Me More
2.5
I Remember
3.5
Shoulda Let You Go feat. Amina Harris
3.5
Heaven Sent
3.5
Same Thing (Interlude)
1.5
Got to Get My Heart Back
2.5
Just like You
1.5
Losing You feat. Anthony Hamilton
2.5
Last Night feat. Diddy
2.5
Let It Go (Remix) feat. Missy Elliott & Lil’ Kim
2.5

  • favorite track – I Remember
    least favorite track – Just Like You
    guilty pleasure track – Shoulda Let You Go feat. Amina Harris
    under rated track – Fallin’ Out

** stars

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A Different Me
A Different Me (Intro)
N/A
Make Me Over
1.5
Please Don’t Stop
2.5
Erotic
3.5
You Complete Me
2.5
No Other feat. Amina Harris
2.5
Oh-Oh, Yeah-Yea feat. Nas
2.5
Playa Cardz Right feat. 2Pac
3.5
Brand New
3.5
Trust w/ Monica
3.5
Thought You Should Know
2.5
Where This Love Could End Up
2.5
Beautiful Music
2.5
A Different Me (Outro)
N/A

  • favorite track – Trust w/ Monica
    least favorite track – Make Me Over
    guilty pleasure track – Erotic
    under rated track – Playa Cardz Right feat. 2Pac

** stars

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Calling All Hearts
I Ain’t Thru feat. Nicki Minaj
1.5
Long Way Down
2.5
Tired of Doing Me feat. Tank
3.5
If I Fall in Love Again feat. Faith Evans
2.5
So Impossible
2.5
Sometimes
3.5
Take Me Away
3.5
What You Do to Me
3.5
Last Hangover feat. Timbaland
2.5
Thank You feat. Dr. Yvonne Cole
2.5
Better Me
3.5

  • favorite track – Take Me Away
    least favorite track – I Ain’t Thru feat. Nicki Minaj
    guilty pleasure track – Sometimes
    under rated track – Better Me

*** stars

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ayaka – Rainbow Road

number one
3.5
Have fun!!
3.5
Wheel of Thanks
3.5
No End
2.5
I Think Strongly
2.5
Beautiful
2.5
Fantasia
2.5
Lose Control
2.5
Through the Ages
2.5
Always Important Feelings
3.5
Small Footsteps
2.5
Rainbow Color
2.5

thoughts. B+.
I have to say this; ever since ayaka went on her hiatus because of her illness then came back in went independent her music has gotten so much better. Even though I liked Sing to the Sky, it seemed uneven to me. The beginning and her fourth album, Rainbow Road seems a lot more polished and cohesive. The tracks have purpose and meaning, so that you never lose interest or get bored. The only songs I can say didn’t really do much for me on this album were: No End and Lose Control, but even then they’re better then any track on her first album (except I believe and Mikazuki). I think what I love the most is that despite her illness her voice is still so strong, an it just shines in tracks like: number one, Have fun!! and Wheel of Thanks. All the tracks were good though and none, surprisingly, sounded like filler. I was worried about her after she went on her hiatus, but seriously her music just keeps getting better and better. I hope her recent album 30 yo keeps the momentum going.

  • favorite track – number one
    least favorite track – No End
    guilty pleasure track – Have fun!!
    under rated track – I Think Strongly

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ARIA – SHINING

BRAND NEW ARIA!!!
2.5
You don’t know
2.5
To the rain…
2.5
SHINING
2.5
Special Special
2.5
DESIRE
2.5
LAST BITE -Wrapping in the end-
2.5
High, Get high!
3.5
ESCAPE 3 AM
2.5
My Life For Life
2.5
Eternal ballad
2.5

thoughts. B.
ARIA is pretty under rated in my opinion and her music, especially when she was ASUKA is damn near impossible to find. I use to be really into her years ago when I stumbled across her The Jukebox album. She makes me think fondly of Double; plus she has a really good voice. SHINING is her first album under her former name, ASUKA in though I really dug it when I first heard it I feel sort of indifferent toward it now. Of course it’s not bad, despite it not really doing much I never got bored, just a little frustrated with how stagnant it seemed. The only track on here that will really succeed in getting your blood pumping is High, Get high!. ARIA has some decent ballads on here though such as To the rain… and Eternal Ballad. I always find myself a little bitter when I go back to listen to albums that I once loved and find that the novelty has worn off. Still, she’s super under-rated in I really hope she releases another album or single at some point, it’s been a minute.

  • favorite track – High, Get high!
    least favorite track – ESCAPE 3 AM
    guilty pleasure track – Special Special
    under rated track – To the rain…

Folder

ARASHI – Iza, Now

Kotoba Yori Taisetsu Na Mono
3.5
JAM
2.5
The Bubble
3.5
Thank You For My Days
3.5
PIKA★★NCHI DOUBLE
3.5
Eyes With Delight
2.5
Right Back To You
2.5
Rainbow
2.5
Yasashikutte Shukoshi Baka
2.5
Dear My Friend
2.5
Kimi Dake Wo Omotteru
2.5
Chekku no Muffler
2.5
Tochuugesha
2.5

thoughts. B.
ARASHI keeps pleasantly surprising me. I did not expect to like their fourth album Iza, Now but I do. I honestly thought it was going to be pretty run of the mill. An album with a couple stand out tracks, a few decent ones and some filler. However, most of the tracks on here are pretty good. It’s not one of their albums that really stand out, in fact the only album from them that has always stayed with me was Time. Kotoba Yori Taisetsu Na Mono, The Bubble, Thank You For My Days and PIKA★★NCHI DOUBLE are the tracks I really like, but the rest were good to. Even if it did get pretty same-y towards the latter half of the album. It’s always been a pet peeve of mine when the first half of an album is good and then the rest just drags to fill space and time. Even so, this is a pretty solid album from them even if it is not all that memorable and more of a time-passer.

  • favorite track – The Bubble
    least favorite track – Eyes With Delight
    guilty pleasure track – Kotoba Yori Taisetsu Na Mono
    under rated track – PIKA★★NCHI DOUBLE

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Angela Aki Home

Kiss Me Good-Bye
2.5
Love Is Over Now
3.5
The Warrior Within
3.5
MUSIC
3.5
This Love
2.5
Wishes
2.5
Universe
2.5
Rain -Re-Arrangement-
3.5
Miracle
3.5
Overstatement in an ‘I Love You’
2.5
Hallelujah
3.5
HOME
2.5
Your Love Song
3.5

thoughts. A.
I loved Angela Aki’s first three albums, but her latter three albums were at the time so boring to me I literally dropped her off my roster. I did the same thing to YUI, AI and a few others. I decided (just like with YUI), to give her a second chance after many years of just ignoring her. She hasn’t released an album since 2012 and I don’t quite know how to feel about that. Home is her first album; it’s one of the better debut albums I’ve heard. Of course the novelty of it wears off after many listens, but it doesn’t change that this is one of the best debut albums I’ve ever heard. I tend to sometimes be more into Angela’s up-tempo tracks as her ballads, depending, bore me. That was then though, I’m actually starting to warm up to the ballads of hers that I once thought was tedious, like Home for instance. It starts off strong with Kiss Me Good-Bye, then slows it down with the wistful Love Is Over Now. I’ve always liked The Warrior Within but I have to be in a certain mood to listen to it. You have your run of the mill Angela Aki songs until we get to Rain, I don’t know why she re-arranged it though, the original was fine, but it’s not bad. Overstatement in an ‘I Love You’ was another track from her I didn’t care for, yet has grown on me a little despite not having much presence. Hallelujah is such a good song, a lot of emotion and one that I tend to overlook, like Miracle. HOME has definitely grown on me, because I didn’t like this song at all when I first listened to it. The album ends on a really poignant in great note with Your Love Song. I’ve always tended to like her closing album tracks. A really good debut.

favorite track – Love Is Over Now
least favorite track – Overstatement in an ‘I Love You’
guilty pleasure track – Hallelujah
under rated track – Your Love Song

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Ami Suzuki – AROUND THE WORLD

2.5
Hopeful -OVERHEAD CHAMPION MIX-
2.5
Beautiful
2.5
Sweet Voice
2.5
Delightful
2.5
For yourself
2.5
A Wish
2.5
Risk
2.5
Eventful
2.5
with you
2.5
Times
2.5
I’m alone
2.5

thoughts. B-.
Ami Suzuki’s fourth album AROUND THE WORLD came a little after her fall from grace, and it’s honestly not all that bad. I remember when I first listened to it I possibly thought it was forgettable trash; all the genuine innocence of her previous three albums was gone replaced with robotic and flat run of the mill tracks. However, upon repeated listens this album has grown on me in I actually like it more than infinity eighteen vol.1. It has a euro-centric vibe to it, Ami playing around with different sounds. I dig the first half of the album but the second half of the album drags a bit. None of the songs really stand out, but Ami’s vocals are nice an the tracks are interesting enough to be one of those albums you can throw on and listen to while you’re cleaning. It is a step down from INFINITY EIGHTEEN Vol. 2 but that isn’t really saying much. I like Ami, but at the same time the only album that really ever did anything for me was DOLCE.

  • favorite track – Delightful
    least favorite track – Eventful
    guilty pleasure track – AROUND THE WORLD
    under rated track – For yourself

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Akina Nakamori – ANNIVERSARY

Asylum
2.5
Mabushii Futaride
3.5
Easy
2.5
Yumeo Misasete…
2.5
Kita Wing
2.5
100℃ Vacance
2.5
Natsuhazama
3.5
Melancholy Festa
2.5
Ballerina
3.5
Shut Out
2.5

thoughts. B.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about Akina Nakamori’s fifth album ANNIVERSARY, but I think I like it. She is one of the newer artists I just got into, so I’ll have to listen to her albums a few more times before they really stick. It is a step up from her previous album as it is a bit more on the memorable side; the songs jump out at you more and you get more of a taste of how good and unique her voice is. Mabushii Futaride, Natsuhazama and Ballerina are the tracks that were the best to me, especially Ballerina. Akina has such a great voice, so it’s sucks that the only song from her disco so far that stays with me is Image no Kageri. Still, I dig her a lot in I’m sure that with a few more listens her tracks will stick to my ribs more. So far, this is the album that I like the most.

  • favorite track – Mabushii Futaride
    least favorite track – Easy
    guilty pleasure track – 100℃ Vacance
    under rated track – Ballerina

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Akeboshi – Yellow Moon

Peruna
2.5
Fireworks
2.5
Yellow Moon
3.5

thoughts. C.
One thing I don’t like is when an artist comes out with a mini album, then an album in decides to put all or a majority of the tracks on the mini on the album. It makes the mini album as a result completely pointless. That is the case with this mini, Yellow Moon (well all of Akeboshi’s mini albums really). The songs were OK; Peruna, Fireworks and Yellow Moon even so that didn’t stop this mini from being boring an just seeming like a complete waste.

  • favorite track – Yellow Moon
    least favorite track – Peruna
    guilty pleasure track – N/A
    under rated track – Fireworks

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