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    31 mar 2012, 12:14

  • review:: CHROMINANCE DECODER // by April March

    12 sep 2007, 23:04

    April March is an amazing usanian singer and cartoonist who likes France a lot and does great music.
    Chrominance Decoder is in my opinion her most interesting work.
    Mixing very french sounds with the most alternative touchs of anglo music, April March explores a lot, giving an unique sound to this album. Chrominance Decoder has very nice songs, from very alternative sounds (Sugar, Knee Socks, Garçon Glaçon [which reminds me of Cibo Matto]), to very French songs, like my personal favourite Mignonette, or Mon petit ami, and soft songs like Martine or Mickey et Chantal, to balance experimental sounds like those included in Garden of April or Pas Pareil, which sounds like taken from Smash Brothers soundtrack.
    This is a great album by one of the most versatile artits of USA, I think. Papapa. A-tan. Anyone into yéyé and very nice music with a sweet and happy feeling should give it a try. It has a very unique sound, the only close sound I can think of is my beloved Kahimi Karie.
    The only clip I can find from this album is Mignonette. It's my favourite song of the album, and one of my favourite song of all times :o. The video is very nice and funny as well. I must have listened to this song some hundred times. It's not how the whole album sounds like, it's like the most French extreme of it.
    Enjoy this beautiful and multi talented girl.


  • きっと忘れない

    5 jul 2007, 02:14


    坂井泉水
    成仏する



    ZARD
  • review:: material // by ACO

    2 maj 2007, 00:41

    Aco is an amazing japanese singer, one of the best j-singers ever in my opinion.

    material starts with "[メランコリア" (melancholia), an excellent song showing inmediatly ACO's alternative style. Sadly I couldn't find any samples but you can hear the second song, "星ノクズ" (hoshi no kuzu/stardust), which can give you an idea of how this album sounds like (loungy trippy dark electronica, as I agreed with my friend losten). The third song is called "カナリアは鳴く"(canary wa naku), it's very good, slower and softer than the two first songs, with a creepy rythm, like Goldfrapp's Horse Tears. I love the violins and piano on this song. Later comes "真正ロマンティシスト" (shinsei romanticist), faster and more fluid than the ones before, kinda like dark lounge funk. Then comes "空シラヌ雨" (sora shirame ami), similar to the songs we've heard already on the album but with a more electronic touch.
    The 6th song is ASK ME, a happier mostly instrumental song matching the colours painted by the 5 first. Then comes one of the best covers ever done. Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" is taken by ACO and sung in such a beautiful way, she shows how good her voice can be, the instrumentation is very nice, I love her english, this is one of the best songs on the album, she sings it so confident that sounds like hers. Then comes "4月のヒーロー" (4 gatsu no hero), poppier than the rest but still good, sounds like the kind of music she used to do before. 9th is Time, which reminds me of Fiona Apple with its piano and strong melody. Very cool song slowly growing on me. Yeah. Follows a cool instrumental interlude.
    The next song is called "貴方に捧ぐうた"(anata ni sagasu uta), the only non-dark soft song in the album, nice. The comes the Special Branch mix of ハートを燃やして(Heart wo Moyashite), that sounds very similar to the original song only found on the single of this song (ハートを燃やして) which comes with a very nice version of Radiohead's Creep... It sounds like Yoko Kanno meets ayumi hamasaki in some way. The last song is a dub version of hoshi no kuzu, not as good as the original but nice enough.

    material is a great album, AKINO ARAI's そらの庭 Emilie Simon and Goldfrapp's darky era fans should really try her.




    quick links::

    material

    メランコリア Melancholia
    星ノクズ Hoshi no Kuzu
    カナリアは鳴く Canary wa Naku
    真正ロマンティシスト Shinsei Romanticist
    空シラヌ雨 Sora Shirame Ami
    ASK ME
    THIS WOMAN'S WORK
    4月のヒーロー 4 Gatsu No Hero
    Time
    Interlude
    貴方に捧ぐうた Anata ni Sagasu Uta
    ハートを燃やして(Special Branch Mix)
    星ノクズ(dub version)
  • review:: READ MY LIPS // by Sophie Ellis-Bextor

    6 jan 2007, 23:47

    Sophie Ellis-Bextor's debut album. It's so good. It was quite succesful, specially the single Murder on the Dancefloor.


    Murder on the Dancefloor opens the album. It is a great dance pop song. It is hyper catchy and groovy. The video is bombastic too, reminds me of Carnival's. I once had to do the choreography of the video with my class, we had so much fun :D. No dance music fan can not have heard this song. But as much as I like this song, it was Take Me Home the one that made me fall for Sophie. The song has such a nice feeling, with an 80's dance touch. The video is also nice, she appears wearing lots of different clothes and dancing and showing how glamourous she is. Even her eyes radiate glamour. This song is great. And it's all instruments making dance music, not electronic weird sounds based. Well, some small loops but rarely heard. Great great song, my favourite dance song, oh yeah. The third song is Lover, mid-tempo and well, great, as always, as Sophie :). Here you can hear it, with a fanmade creepy video to it. Move This Mountain, is kinda dense and slow, hard to get used to it. But after a few listens you can. I just don't like the bell-like sound, but that's all. It isn't as good as the next, Music Gets the Best of Me, with a great beat and catchy melody. Very refreshing and soft. It's one of the lightest dancy songs of the album, and the video is nice too. There's another very cool video for the song, that I have no idea why wasn't shown.
    The Universe Is You is the sixth song (on my version of the album), where the line Read My Lips came from. Very catchy and groovy. One thing I don't like is a synth phrase she sings, but it's just that phrase, not enough to make me dislike the song. It might not bother some people, but I find those stupid manipulations damn annoying. Well, bands I love have done it too, like Garbage, so I can't hate her for that one phrase. The next song doesn't have any manipulated voice effects, they wouldn't fit on it. I Believe is a slow song which is almost not dancy, but the chorus, though lazy and not catchy enough, lets the song win a place on some discos for couples to hug. Aww clichéness.
    8th is Get Over You. The beat is very fast and the eye-eye-eye-ah sticks like bubblegum on your hands on a very hot day, and the chorus too, and the stanzas too, and and and it's awesome! Why is she so amazing? She blows out of the dancefloor so many dance artists. The next song By Chance, is a bit boring because it's not as dance and fast and beatastic as the rest, but as a song alone it ain't bad. Slow is also the next one, Is It Any Wonder which is much better in my opinion. The lyrics are very nice, and it has a very relaxing and cool vibe. Then comes Leave the Others Alone. The song is not bad, but it is a slow song after 2 slow songs, and these 2 slow songs after a pack of fast dance catchy songs! So people who enjoyed the first part might wish to skip this part, but it's good, it's another twist on Sophie's music. The song is great. Everything Falls Into Place is a good song, but not fast enough to revive the dance vibe of the beggining. The last song is a live version of the song that relatively threw Sophie to be worldwide known, Groovejet (If This Ain't Love), which she composed and sung with the italian DJ Spiller. The song is great, the original version is much more catchy, but it's still greeeeeat.

    So.. This album is a MUST hear for any dance music lover undercover. Sophie is the queen! Oh yeah. Some versions of this album include two bonus songs, a hidden one, Sparkle, and Final Move. For some strange reason, I'm so sure mine had Sparkle but I can't find it anymore, maybe it had an expiration date? Heh.
    Why is Sophie so great? She's got the moves, the groove, and the juice. Stylish, with a glamorous look and voice. And, most important, she writes and composes each of her songs, which is not very common on dance artists.
    Is Sophie the queen? Hell yeah she is :).

    To buy, go to any good music store!




    quick links::

    Read My Lips

    Murder on the Dancefloor
    Take Me Home
    Lover
    Move This Mountain
    Music Gets the Best of Me
    The Universe Is You
    I Believe
    Get Over You
    By Chance
    Is It Any Wonder
    Leave the Others Alone
    Everything Falls Into Place
    Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) (Live Version)
  • review:: 寓言 // by 王菲

    6 jan 2007, 22:15

    寓言, also known as Fable, is an album Faye Wong released on 2000, and so far, one of the most challenging and original albums she's done.

    Out of 12 songs (actually 10, as 2 are cantonese versions of two others), Faye composed 5, the first 5, which are so good that you can forgive the following 3 for being so bad.
    寒武纪, also known as "The Cambrian Period" opens this wonderful cd. A great stringed introduction performed by the Beijing Symphony Orchestra opens, when suddenly Faye voice joins as another violin of that cool instrumentation. But she's like the magic violin. The chosen one. Telling the story of the little prince the song goes on, while some creepy background chorus backs up Faye as she sings "lai, lai" (come, come). With a growing strenght in instrumentation the song comes to an end, right at the hand of some weird voices that will be followed in the next one.
    And the next one is 新房客, also known as New Renters or New Tenant. Italian airport voices call people to get on their flights as the song beggins, with a cool piatto crash like sound, or maybe maracas(nah, it can't be maracas), violins, bass and Faye join to the party and the song beggins. Very calm she sings until the chorus where she'll ask us, na li zha? (where can it be found?), and so the song will practically repeat the first part with different lyrics, to then in the last chorus break in some iiiii in a very high tone, and when the electronic thingies take the melody, it's the song coming to an end. Aw.
    The third song is called 香奈兒, the chinese name for Chanel. Increasing strings open the song, to be followed by drums and guitar, but then Faye singing again in the story telling style, to end up in a soft chorus of just "xiang nai er.."(chanel). This is one of my favourite Faye songs, and the video is also very good, she looks very beautiful on it! The song was one of the biggest hits of the cd, and it was featured on a very cool Head & Shoulders commercial, which scenes were taken and another video for this song was made, which is very good as well (though near the end it gets a bit boring).
    With bells opens as fourth 阿修罗, Asura, another masterpiece telling a story, in a stringed way like Cambrian Period, but gloomier. Woodwinds, french horn, piano, harp and strings give this song like a dark fairytale soundtrack feeling. Sadly, the video's gone from YouTube, but I could find a flash animation that includes the song, though the flash isn't very good, at least you can listen this jewel!
    As fifth strikes 彼岸花, flower on the other shore/flower of paradise, with a quite large stringed intro, a very beautiful song that closes the Fable, the extraordinary tale that Faye was telling us from the first song. Yup.
    And then, like lemon on milk, like water on fire, like bullet on the heart, come three commercial pop songs. "如果你是假的"(if you are fake), "不爱我的我不爱"(I don't love those who don't love me), and 你喜欢不如我喜欢. Even though they are not SO bad, the 6th sounding quite alternative, and the one I just put the video of has a bit of Cranberries sound, it's just that after the 5 five songs, they just sound like crap. But I'd say that in a pop cd, regular pop cd, they wouldn't be so bad.
    The 9th song was for a long time one of my Fayevourite songs. 再見螢火蟲(goodbye firefly). This song, is very underrated. As it is in a cd with a supreme sound, it might sound cheap, but actually it is pretty good. It has a very "The World Is Not Enough" feeling, Bondish, and Faye sings in a way that she didn't in any of the other songs on this cd. Just as an extra detail, a very bad german singer, Jeanette (do not confuse with Jeanette Dimech, a great spanish singer), made a shameless copy of this song. It's on her first cd, and it's retitled "Mystery". It isn't credited to Faye, nor to C.Y. Kong (the composer), so yeah, she sucks. Here you can listen a bit and you'll see the instrumentation it's EXACTLY the same.
    The tenth song is 笑忘书 (though this link goes to the 12th song, its cantonese version). 笑忘书, xiaowangshu, can be translated as Laughter and Forgetting Book. It is a very beautiful ballad, with strings and piano. It was also one of my favourite Faye songs for a while. And yeah, it's a nice song to close the album. The second part of it, I mean.
    The last two songs are cantonese version of Goodbye Firefly (retitled 萤火虫, firefly) and Love Letter to Myself (给自己的情书).
    The japanese version of the album includes a japanese version of Xiang Nai Er, which sounds very cool. It also includes a very bad remix of Eyes on Me (Faye's Final Fantasy VIII song) which sucks.

    So, Fable is an amazing album. Maybe one of the best in chinese modern music history (right at the top with Faye's Impatience from 1996). Sadly, it is very divided, as the first five songs are masterpieces that are followed by non very special commercial songs, so many fans are still waiting for the second part of Fable.

    The Fable songs, the first five, can be heard here, if you're too lazy to hear them all separately. This should give you an idea of how this album sounds like.

    So yeah. I extremely recommend this album. Like, very much.

    To buy click here.


    Special version cover




    Regular version



    quick links::

    寓言

    寒武記
    新房客
    香奈兒
    阿修羅
    彼岸花
    如果你是假的
    不愛我的我不愛
    你喜歡不如我喜歡
    再見螢火蟲 plagiarized on Mystery
    笑忘書
    螢火蟲
    給自己的情書

    pinyin

    Yu Yan

    Han Wu Ji
    Xin Fang Ke
    Xiang Nai Er
    A Xiu Luo
    Bi An Hua
    Ru Guo Ni Shi Jia De
    Bu Ai Wo De Wo Bu Ai
    Ni Xi Huan Bu Ru Wo Xi Huan
    Zai Jian Ying Huo Chong
    xiao wang shu
    Ying For Tsoong
    Kup Ji Gei Dik Tsing Shue

    unofficial translation

    Fable

    The Cambrian Period
    New Tenant
    chanel
    Asura
    Flower Of Paradise
    If You Were Unreal
    I Won't Love Anyone Who Doesn't Love Me
    My Likes Are More Important Than Yours
    Goodbye Firefly
    Book Of Laughter And Forgetting
    Firefly
    Love Letter for Myself

  • review:: ECDYSIS // by Miho Hatori

    5 jan 2007, 20:36


    In this review, the word funky is a whore. So what I say that is funky isn't strictly funky, but Mihoish, and well, it's hard to know what's Mihoish is if this is her first album! Just think something like Cibo Matto's funk.


    Miho Hatori
    , founder along with Yuka Honda of the now extinct band Cibo Matto, has a new album. Ecdysis.

    The album opens with Ecdysis, the song the album got the name from. The first line, including candies, might make the listener think that the album will be Cibo Matto reminescent, but it isn't, and a few seconds after that line it can be proved. It is a little Björkish song, but different and still good. Maybe the Björkish scence is because of the experimental feeling on it, and the vocals play, not the voice, because Miho voice is VERY different. It is.. Mihohatorish. A Song for Kids is a song from Miho to all japanese kids, and yes, it's in japanese. It's a very light and sweet song, reminds me to the cover of Astroboy theme song Cibo Matto did once (actually, it isn't that similar, maybe it's just because it's in japanese), it's a bit atarish :), very japanese, with samba! more than bossa nova. The chorus is very catchy and dreamy :), beautiful song. In Your Arms is a song Miho dedicates to her mother, it's a very sweet and the lyrics are loveful :). I fear this is going to be a boring review, there's no bad song to me so.. I'll just say they're all good. It has a cool either clavecin or citar (or that damn instrument I always forget the name of). It is maybe the less bossa nova song, it's more like a sweet ballad trapped in this dreamy experimental insect cd. Barracuda follows with its bossa nova clear influence, half english and half portuguese song (maybe 3/4 english 1/4 portuguese), exquisite melody, instrumentation, and groove, :) very nice song to listen to, it's like a mix of Smokey & Miho's bossa nova with Stereo Type A's funk. Very very catchy, one of my favourites. The easy categorization of Barracuda is something The Spirit of Juliet doesn't allow. Beggining latin, slightly becomes sci-fi-ish, probably because it's about a cyborg who started having memory. Very cool song, strange maybe. But if The Spirit of Juliet is weird, then I'm lacking of adjetives for Walking City. "My dad is an inspector who got messages from insects, now humans lost how to get that..", yup, those lines aren't along common rythmns. Bossa nova hits every corner of Miho's spectrum of music, sometimes strongly, sometimes slightly, but always present. In this song even sci fi turns nouvelle vaguish near the end. Walking City, It's a pessimistic view of the future of the earth, she says.
    Sweet Samsara Part 1, one of my favourite songs of the album, it's awesome. Samsara is Miho's new favourite word, standing for
    samsara: Sanskirt samsAra, literally, passing through
    sam=together
    sara=flow/go
    : the indefinitely repeated circles of birth, misery, and death caused by karma

    This Part 1 is awesomely catchy, specially the first part, 'cause the song changes a lot, never coming back to the way it was before, begins orchestrated, then drummy, dreamy, funky dreamy, funky, latinish, and then everything comes together until the end, but it a very smooth way. Sweet Samsara Part 2 is maybe the most Cibo Matto-ish song of the album, very funky. Faster than the first part, with a catchiest chorus (although Part 1 didn't have a clear chorus). A great pack of songs covered with sweet samsara. To follow the flow comes Today Is the Day, a great slow funky song. It's very refreshing after the strenght of Samsara, the most stable song on the album maybe too, flat, but not boring, really nice. The River of 3 Crossings comes from a buddhist term and talks about all the fantasies human have created about the afterlife. The chorus is delicious and quite different from the rest of the song, oh, sweet Miho, allowing people to say things "It's a mix of Bossa Nova and Traditional Buddhist Music". Haha, not really traditional buddhist music, but an ancient vibe can be felt (don't I sound cheap!). Has a japanese part near the end, the rest is all english. The song that dares to close this eleven track album is Amazona, it's a tremendous song, nouvelle vague clearly behind (interesting how the translation of Bossa Nova in english is New Wave, which is a totally different music, and in spanish is the Nueva Ola, which is a sucky old style), it could've been so much larger, it really had the enough material to be, but it's only 2 minutes long. It is, anyway, an awesome track, and excellent choice to close the album. It's like Faye Wong's end of 浮躁/Impatience, with 野三坡->Ye San Po->Wild Three Hills, like..coming back to the wild three hills...or in this case, to the amazonas. Yet.. as a japanese tourist! Haha. No, no, I really feel Miho's got a deep connection with brazilian music, not as a cheap artist who says "Oh what the hell I'll make some bucks out of world music", no no, Miho knows what she sings about, knows bossa nova and Brazil, knows Japan and its tradition, knows space and sci fi.

    So, Miho's debut couldn't have been better. Ecdysis shows Miho is able to be a solo artist, songwriter composer and self producer, with an exquisite knowledge of languages (I'm strongly atracted to people who speaks a lot of languages :)), and make a remarkable album. It's so cool how she mixed the old Cibo Matto funky samples with sweet bossa nova,
    It's definitely one of my Top 5 of 2005, extremly, extremly recommended. Every song is backed with maracas or tambores, while some funky bass line or weird sci fi sound guides the melody, all this with Miho's unique voice, whose sweetly funny pronunciation of english is nothing but an extra that gives more original flavour to each tune.

    To buy click here.



    quick links::

    Ecdysis

    Ecdysis
    A Song for Kids
    In Your Arms
    Barracuda
    The Spirit of Juliet
    Sweet Samsara Part I
    Sweet Samsara Part II
    Today Is Like That
    The River of 3 Crossings
    Amazona