Shiina Ringo – Lawsuit Winning Strip

Mythomania
2.5
Bathroom
2.5
Orthopedic Cast
3.5
Rain that falls in darkness
2.5
Identity
2.5
Crime and Punishment
2.5
Sickbed Public
2.5
Instinct
3.5
Dependence
3.5

thoughts. C.
Lawsuit Winning Strip is Shiina Ringo’s sophomore album and it’s a really weird and jarring listen. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t like this album at all. The songs were interesting, I’ll give it that but Shiina’s voice is just too much and not in a good way. I had a hard time getting through this album in I don’t remember it being this cringey the first time around. The only bearable songs were Orthopedic Cast, Instinct and Dependence. The rest were just a bit under bearable. I don’t know where Shiina was trying to go with this album, I know that her voice is of an acquired taste, but my ears were tortured trying to get through this album for this review. I had to listen to a few songs more than once, most notably Identity just to make sure I actually was partial to them. So far this is my least favorite album from her. A huge step down from her debut.

  • favorite track – Orthopedic Cast
    least favorite track – Identity
    guilty pleasure track – Instinct
    under-rated track – Dependence

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SE7EN – Must Listen

Passion
3.5
Yokshim
2.5
Honey I Know
3.5
2Nite
3.5
Dugeoreum
2.5
Munshin
3.5
Se7en’s Love
3.5
Ara
3.5
Ogi
2.5
Wishy Washy
3.5
Christmas With You
3.5
Deudgo shipji ahneun mal
3.5
You’re My Everything
2.5
Real Love Story
3.5

thoughts. B+.
It’s a little hard to believe that Se7en has only released 4 Korean Albums (they’re all good to). The focus is on his second album Must Listen this time around. I did like his first album, but the more up-tempo songs were pretty generic. This second time around there is more of a focus on ballads, yet the up-tempo tracks such as Passion and Real Luv Story are very catchy, engaging and fun. I loved the ballads the highlights being Yokshim, Honey I Know, Munshin, Se7en’s Love, Ara and Christmas with you; damn near every ballad on the album. The only song I can say I didn’t really like all that much was You’re My Everything, other than that this is a really good album from Se7en. I adore ballads, but I’ve said before too many can really drag an album down and make it boring. That is not the case with Must Listen, the ballads on this album were well sung and extremely heartfelt. Se7en always delivers when it comes to his ballads. He’s under-rated in my opinion to.

  • favorite track – Se7en’s Love
    least favorite track – You’re My Everything
    guilty pleasure track – Passion
    under-rated track – Christmas With You

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RURUTIA – Water Forest

Pavene
3.5
Sky of Suzaku
2.5
Oar
3.5
Star Souls
2.5
Something Unwaveringly Beautiful
3.5
Bewitching Wind
2.5
Shine
3.5
Dense Forest
2.5
Thinking About The Seasons
2.5

thoughts. B.
It’s a coincidence that the two artists I review with really fragile toned voices come one right after the number. RURUTIA is like a spirit-being to me, both real and unreal as where Ritsuko is so much so real, with the sweet fragility of her voice that it’s almost painful. RURUTIA’s music however is harder to get into, because it’s very experimental, airy and has a tendency to sound like different versions of each other. Water Forest (I think this is my favorite album from her), is her sophomore album and it’s a step up from her first in my opinion. The songs don’t really stand out, but unlike the tracks on her first album they honestly, oddly stick with me more. I can only really remember two tracks from her first album, however this album really paints a picture of startling fantasy and it’s gorgeous. It’s nothing to write home about, but this is definitely an album you can just pop on and listen to, if only to hear the stand out track Pavene.

  • favorite track – Pavene
    least favorite track – Thinking About The Seasons
    guilty pleasure track – Oar
    under-rated track – Something Unwaveringly Beautiful

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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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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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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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