Tohoshinki/DBSK – Rising Sun

Tonight
3.5
Beautiful life
2.5
Rising Sun
2.5
Love Is Never Gone
3.5
Love after Love
2.5
Dangerous mind
2.5
One
2.5
Love is…
2.5
Love Is All I Need
2.5

thoughts. B.
I have this weird relationship with TVXQ5’s Korean albums, one day I will listen to them an like them and then another time I will listen in feel sort of meh about them. I guess I sort of feel the latter this time around with DBSK’s second Korean Album Rising Sun. They’re more ballad oriented songs on this album, which isn’t bad because I like their ballads yet on the other hand it doesn’t offer much in the form of variety. I didn’t too much care for Rising Sun the song when I first heard it but it eventually grew on me. I’m not entirely sure why I like Dangerous Mind, but it is an… interesting song to say the least. I love Tonight, it’s possibly my favorite Korean song from them (Love In The Ice being my favorite Japanese song from them). The ballads are pretty good, the best one being Love Is Never Gone, right behind Tonight of course. I’m not sure if I like this more than their first Korean album or if I feel sort of the same about them. I do think this is a tiny step up though, to be fair.

  • favorite track – Tonight
    least favorite track – Dangerous Mind
    guilty pleasure track – Rising Sun
    under-rated track – Love Is Never Gone

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Tasha/Yoonmirae – Gemini

G Fire Party
2.5
Meditation
2.5
Me We
2.5
Memories (Smiling Tears)
2.5
Boundless Ocean
2.5
Concrete Jungle
2.5
Combination Platter
2.5
Memories (Smiling Tears) -English vers.-
3.5

thoughts. C.
Disappointment would be an understatement with this album, though not surprising as Gemini, her second album, is most probably my least favorite album from Tasha. I just couldn’t even begin to care for it. Do not get me wrong, Tasha’s rapping is good, but she just sounds so tired and wannabe-ish on this album and it’s all just very strange to me. I just wasn’t here for it this second time around. The only song I believe I actually liked was Memories (Smiling Tears) both the Korean and English version (Boundless Ocean a little as well). It’s a nice, poignant song in Tasha has such an under-rated voice as a singer. The others were more rap-oriented (it was a special hip-hop release so that explains why). I’m not really all that into rap, but I dig Tasha. Her raps weren’t bad but as I stated before I just couldn’t really get into on this album. Gemini isn’t awful, just astoundingly forgettable, kinda boring and a huge step down from her first album.

  • favorite track – Memories (Smiling Tears)
    least favorite track – Concrete Jungle
    guilty pleasure track – G Fire Party
    under-rated track – Boundless Ocean

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SNSD – GIRLS’ GENERATION

THE GREAT ESCAPE
2.5
BAD GIRL
3.5
I’m In Love With The HERO
2.5
Let It Rain
3.5
Beautiful Stranger
2.5
You-Aholic
2.5
BORN TO BE A LADY
3.5

thoughts. B-.
I am floored that this is their best-selling Japanese album. I’m not saying that it’s a bad album (after a few listens I like it a lot more than I did back when I first heard it years ago), but it’s nowhere near million-selling good. GIRLS’ GENERATION is their debut Japanese album and like most first releases most of the tracks are Japanese covers of their Korean songs, but I focus mainly on the original material. I did not like this album at all when I first heard it, in fact I think I only liked Bad Girl, Let It Rain and BORN TO BE A LADY. The rest aren’t too bad though, they’re pretty decent listens once you give them a chance to grow on you. Their other two follow up Japanese albums after this one are better in my opinion, but this wasn’t a bad start to their Japanese careerespecially considering it sold over a million copies.

  • favorite track – Bad Girl
    least favorite track – You-Aholic
    guilty pleasure track – BORN TO BE A LADY
    under-rated track – Let It Rain

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SHINee – THE FIRST

BETTER
3.5
To Your Heart
3.5
Always Love
3.5
START
2.5
Hello -Japense ver.-
3.5
Seesaw
2.5
Stranger
2.5

thoughts. B.
I actually didn’t think I would be a fan of SHINee’s Japanese music. Their Japanese debut album THE FIRST is pretty OK though. I tend to avoid Korean Japanese language music with the exception of BoA and TVXQ5. I also hate how they take their Korean songs and just sing them in Japanese, it’s just so lazy in uninspired to me. The only time I can remember liking a debut Korean Japanese language album upon first listen is SE7EN’s debut Japanese album. Most of the tracks were Korean songs sung in Japanese (I actually like the Japanese version of Hello). However, the tracks that weren’t their Korean material were really colorful an a lot of fun. I just kept picturing bright, cheery colors while listening to this. To Your Heart and Always Love really just shine. It’s not their best Japanese language album, but it was a surprisingly good start to their Japanese singing career. RIH Jonghyun.

  • favorite track – Always Love
    least favorite track – Seesaw
    guilty pleasure track – Hello (Japanese ver.)
    under-rated track – To Your Heart

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Sammie – From The Bottom To The Top

The Bottom
2.5
I Like It
3.5
Can’t Let Go feat. Lloyd
1.5
Crazy Things I Do
3.5
Stuff Like This
3.5
When I Grow Up
1.5
Hero
3.5
Catching Feelings
2.5
Count
2.5
If I Can
3.5
Fell for Her
2.5
Friend Like You
2.5
Do It for You
3.5
I Like It (Remix)
2.5

thoughts. B.
I can remember it like it was yesterday when Sammie dropped I Like It followed by Crazy Things I Do. I was 10 and me and my friends use to love singing these songs during PE or when we were practicing. I’ve actually never listened to the album, the only other song off this album I heard prior to this listen for this review is Hero. From The Bottom To The Top is Sammie’s debut album and it’s surprisingly not bad at all; I actually like it more than Lloyd’s debut. I don’t know what I expected but I do know that I wasn’t really feeling this album at the start (aside from the singles), that was until I got to the track Stuff Like This and the dynamic shifted. Sammie was really young when this album dropped, like 12 or 13 and his voice reflected that however he showed some real vocal finesse with the tunes: Stuff Like This, Hero, If I Can and Do It For You. I was really impressed. I kinda expected his voice to be kid-ish throughout, so I was relieved that that wasn’t the case. The tracks I gave a fair rating to were decent in an of itself, but sounded more like filler to me, not bad filler, but still somewhat forgettable. I would definitely buy this, which is crazy because I honestly thought I wasn’t going to like his debut.

  • favorite track – Crazy Things I Do
    least favorite track – Can’t Let Go feat. Lloyd
    guilty pleasure track – I Like It
    under-rated track – Stuff Like This

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Aaliyah – Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

Intro
2.5
Throw Your Hands Up
1.5
Back & Forth
3.5
Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number
3.5
Down with the Clique
2.5
At Your Best (You Are Love)
3.5
No One Knows How to Love Me Quite Like You Do
2.5
I’m So into You
2.5
Street Thing
2.5
Young Nation
2.5
Old School
2.5
I’m Down
2.5
The Thing I Like
2.5
Back & Forth (Mr. Lee & R. Kelly’s Remix)
2.5

thoughts. C.
I didn’t really think it was possible, but there is an Aaliyah album I do not like in it just so happens to be her debut album: Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. I am literally flabbergasted at how much I disliked this album, almost to the point that I don’t even want to listen to it in it’s entirety again. Aaliyah was my favorite 90’s solo singer. I just loved her style and her humble demeanor. Devastated wasn’t even the word when she died, I literally cried the whole day after I found out. She died way too soon. Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number is just a mess to me. Aaliyah’s voice is pleasant enough but it doesn’t stand out, the only track that really stood out to me was At Your Best (You Are Love) and that isn’t even an original song from her! The single releases were OK; aside from Down With The Clique and That Thing I Like (in which neither I cared for). The rest were just there. I honestly went into this with an open mind an thought I would enjoy it, but I found myself disinterested, bored and just flat out confused. It’s just not her, it seemed like she was being what R Kelly wanted her to be and it just made for an all around awkward listen. As I said, Aaliyah’s voice is very pleasant but it’s wasted on this type of watered down, poser-esque rnb music. Thank goodness for One In A Million. I wouldn’t buy this, even as a hard-core Aaliyah fan, but that’s just me.

  • favorite track – At Your Best (You Are Love)
    least favorite track – Throw Your Hands Up
    guilty pleasure track – Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number
    under-rated track – Back & Forth

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SNSD – Oh!

Run Devil Run
3.5
Oh!
2.5
Echo
3.5
Star Star Star -Acoustic RnB ver.-
3.5
Show! Show! Show!
2.5
Fun&Fun -Sweet Talking Baby-
2.5
I Want To Dream Forever With You
2.5
Just Smile
2.5
Martian Virus (Boys & Girls) feat. Key of SHINee
2.5
Caramel Coffee (Talk To Me)
2.5
☆★☆
3.5
Gee
2.5
Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)
3.5

thoughts. B.
I really didn’t think I would like this album less than their first Korean album, yet I do. Their second Korean album Oh! is not bad (as I’ve heard worse), it’s just a mixed bag of an album. It starts off great with Run Devil Run, Oh! and Echo are fun songs in I absolutely love Star Star Star -Acoustic RnB ver.- perhaps moreso than the original (it’s a gem of a song and an under-rated balled from them, both versions). However, once you get to Show! Show! Show! all the way down to Caramel Coffee (Talk To Me) you’re wondering if you’re listening to a completely different album. I loved how every song on Girl’s Generation just flowed one into the other an the charming innocence of it just seeped out making for a refreshing listen. This album has a strong start, weird and forgettable middle but it does end on a fun and bright note with Tell Me Your Wish (Genie). Gee is also a song I use to loathe, but has grown on me. This album is OK, but a step down from their first Korean album.

  • favorite track – Run Devil Run
    least favorite track – Just Smile
    guilty pleasure track – Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)
    under-rated track – Star Star Star -Acoustic RnB ver.-

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SHINee – LUCIFER

UP & DOWN
2.5
LUCIFER
2.5
Electric Heart
3.5
A-Yo
3.5
Obsession
2.5
Quasimodo
3.5
Shout Out
2.5
WOWOWOW
2.5
Your Name
2.5
Ready Or Not
2.5
Love Pain
3.5

thoughts. B.
I won’t spend too much time talking about the unfortunate passing of Jonghyun, maybe I will touch on it when I get around to reviewing his solo material. I will say that it was such a great loss, his voice… he was one of my favorites and I hope he’s found the happiness in death that he could not find in life. LUCIFER is their second Korean album; I didn’t too much care for the title, but it is a catchy song. The dance is crazy difficult to. I like how creative they were with their song titles this time around, very experimental an weird in a good way. Even so, I think it’s a little step down from their first Korean album. They do have some really good tracks on here like Electric Heart, Quasimodo and Love Pain. As well as some tracks that surprised me in how much I liked them such as UP & DOWN, A Yo, Ready or Not and to some extent LUCIFER. It just didn’t charm me as much as The SHINee World did an just didn’t stick. I felt that certain tracks stood out more than others and the majority played more like filler. It’s not a bad album though, just thought I would like it more than I did.

  • favorite track – Electric Heart
    least favorite track – Your Name
    guilty pleasure track – A Yo
    under-rated track – Quasimodo

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Shimizu Shota – Journey

Journey
3.5
FOREVER LOVE -Shimizu Shota x Kato Miliyah-
3.5
Kimi ga Suki
3.5
CREAM
2.5
Starlight
2.5
Sayonara wa Itsumo Soba ni
3.5
Kimi ga Itakara
3.5
Close to you
3.5
Utsukushiki Hibi yo
3.5
Cherry Blossom
2.5
DAYS
3.5
Let’s Groove
2.5

thoughts. B+.
I liked Shimizu Shota’s debut album Umbrella when I first heard it, but after multiple listens it just became a very dull and generic listen. It wasn’t a bad debut, just a somewhat forgettable one. When his sophomore album Journey dropped, I remember not really like it at all with the exception of the singles and CREAM. I mean I did like DAYS; the rest aside from those I just mentioned I could not remember in I rarely ever listened to this album unless I wanted to hear Utsukushiki Hibi yo. So, upon listening to it for this review a few of the songs grew on me: Kimi ga Suki, Close to you and Cherry Blossom really surprised me in how much I liked them. Journey, Sayonara wa Itsumo Soba ni and Kimi ga Itakara also pleasantly surprised me. I always like his duets with Miliyah Kato, so FOREVER LOVE is no exception. The only song I can say I didn’t really like was Let’s Groove, it just didn’t do anything for me. A nice sophomore album and a step up from his debut.

  • favorite track – Utsukushiki Hibi yo
    least favorite track – Let’s Groove
    guilty pleasure track – CREAM
    under-rated track – DAYS

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Shimatani Hitomi – Peace

Peace
2.5
The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
3.5
Glorious Day
3.5
A.S.A.P. ~as soon as possible~
2.5
She is…
2.5
Remember of you -RHAPSODY-
2.5
The Way to Discover an Affectionate Kiss
2.5
freeze ~The Summer Day We Lost~
2.5
Hello!
2.5
beloved
2.5
farewell
2.5
colors
3.5

thoughts. B.
I didn’t dislike Shimatani’s debut album, it wasn’t bad persay, just sounded a bit generic. Her sophomore album Peace is a lot better in terms of sound. It still has that Spanish edge to it, but in a more fresh and genuine way. The tracks stand out more and I was more engaged an into Shimatani’s vocals this second time around. I was surprised at the lack of ballads, but then again Shimatani is more in the up-tempo to mid-tempo range song-wise; she does ballads like how BoA does or Namie Amuro does ballads, rarely. Honestly I prefer her more fast-paced and instrumental heavy songs. The first half of the album stood out more with tracks like The Girl With The Flaxen Hair and Glorious Day really standing out. The second half wasn’t bad, but the only track that stood out to me was colors. It’s a pretty fair album. Shimatani has such a nice, under-rated and pretty strong range/voice.

  • favorite track – Glorious Day
    least favorite track – beloved
    guilty pleasure track – The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
    under-rated track – colors

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