single review: BoA “MASAYUME CHASING”

Next up on the nostalgia train is K-pop singer BoA, who J-pop fans may recall as one of the biggest soloists of the early 2000s era. Having pumped out tracks that include ‘LISTEN TO MY HEART’, ‘DOUBLE’, and a Western-favorite known as ‘Every Heart -Minna no Kimochi-‘, BoA was (and still is) a household name. Anime fans know her for ‘Every Heart’ for InuYasha, as well as other obscure tunes like ‘BESIDE YOU’ for Asobotto Senki Goku.

As of recent, BoA has made her mark on another popular shounen series; this time, it’s for the anime FAIRY TAIL, providing the first opening for its 2014 reboot. Is this track fitting for the series, with its B-side being as ‘fun’ as it claims, or is the entire single just a continuous chase to nowhere?

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single review: NeonPunch “MOONLIGHT”

I didn’t forget K-pop! I’ll also be going down memory lane for a lot of Korean pop releases throughout the year, so keep an eye out!

My next review focuses on a really recent release, having been distributed in the summer of 2018. You might not have heard of NeonPunch, but you may have seen MIXNINE, where a few of its members have gone on to compete. Heralding from small company A100 Entertainment, NeonPunch is the company’s first girl group and made the scene with a ‘debut album’ that makes us wonder if this will be the perfect night out for moonlight. Will it be as bright as ever, or is it too dull for us to proceed further?

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single review: Morning Musume. ’20 “KOKORO & KARADA / LOVEpedia / Ningen Kankei No way way”

2020 marks a new year, and it also marks a new number for Morning Musume to add to the end of their name (which has been going for about 6 years now, it really sticks!). Kicking things off for Hello! Project in this clear vision year is a new single release, introducing their fifteenth generation (yowza) members. There’s also a slight interesting quality to this single, proclaimed by Morning Musume themselves as something they’ve never done before.

With that said, is this going to be a new era for Morning Musume, prepping our minds and bodies for something amazing, or is this a bad start to our new year?

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single review: Perfume “Spice”

It’s the new year, and I’m finally back from the annual Christmas holidays to wreak havoc on Asian music once again… I kid, I kid.

This year, I’m feeling very nostalgic, and I’ve decided to make 2020 the year of nostalgia. Can you believe it’s already been nine years since 2011? That means it was nine years since the release of Perfume’s single “Spice”, the final single from their album JPN. It’s time for me to see how this has held up through the test of time.

Is this spice worth sprinkling over onto my New Year’s dinner, or will this be too spicy for my liking? Let’s head into 2020 with my first review of the year!

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single review: Utada Hikaru “FINAL DISTANCE”

Continuing in the Utada Hikaru series is the single “FINAL DISTANCE”, which was originally meant to be a re-cut single from their second album, formerly titled ‘DISTANCE’.

A little bit of history behind the single itself: the single was made in honor of student Yamashita Rena who was tragically killed in a Japanese school shooting. Rena had won an essay competition with their dreams to be a singer much like Utada, and having heard this, Hikki remade the planned single to pay respect to Rena.

Having the same lyrics as its original counterpart, “FINAL DISTANCE” takes on a new approach; I won’t say anything snarky or pun-like here. Is “FINAL DISTANCE” a beautiful tribute to Rena?

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single review: Utada Hikaru “Hikari”

Bet you were waiting for this!

Next up in the Utada Hikaru series is a single that Westerners who know of Hikki know all too well. Having the exclusive tie-in to the Square Enix-Disney video game Kingdom Hearts (a formidable video game, at least by my standards), “Hikari” is one of Utada Hikaru’s most-beloved songs and continues to be by the PS2 gaming generation.

With this being said, it has been nearly 17 years (holy), and one has to wonder if this song and its single still holds through the test of time. Is it a light enough song that it is still accessible to this day, or has its light flickered out?

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single review: ITZY “IT’z Different”

The hype train is real! This is the case for five-member pop group ITZY, introduced to the K-pop world under the JYP Entertainment umbrella, featuring members you might have already been familiar with under the likes of SIXTEEN, MIXNINE, and Stray Kids. ITZY’s hype was so huge at the beginning of 2019, being that they are TWICE’s ‘little sisters’ and that they were the group that even JYP’s former starlet Somi was supposed to be in.

But with that hype comes the actual delivery, and when the delivery doesn’t hold up, the hype becomes unsatisfactory. Is ITZY really all that different from every act on the K-pop scene, or are they just the same as everyone else?

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single review: Utada Hikaru “Addicted To You”

Next up in my Hikki series is the hugely-successful single “Addicted To You”, a single that does not even bear an original mix, but two ‘mixes’ with different nostalgic appeals. With this single, Hikki continued to reign, having dominated the Japanese music scene with their fresh R&B sound that was already making waves in the West. Being one of their best-selling singles of all time, Hikki joins forces with famed R&B recording duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who Westerners may be familiar with from the tunes of Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men, Usher, and the like.

Here’s the question I pose now: Is this single addicting to you, or is it just a one-time thing?

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single review: Utada Hikaru “traveling”

If you haven’t already figured out, I’ll be reviewing more of Hikki’s older discography.

Next up is another from the album ‘DEEP RIVER’, known as “traveling”, which is the first of Utada Hikaru’s transition into different experimental genres, stepping outside of their usual late 90s-early 00s R&B sound. In fact, this was one of my very first Hikki songs outside of their more well-known songs! Going for a more electronic sound with this release, is this single worth the travel or is it simply a waste of vacation time?

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