Archive for the ‘J-Music’ Category

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Artist Discovery: Tomofumi Tanizawa

July 9, 2011

Today, I present the singer Tomofumi Tanizawa (タニザワトモフミ). He is best known for his song Kimi ni Todoke which was used as the opening theme for the anime by the same title. He was born in 1981 in Hida City, Japan located in the Gifu Prefecture.  When he was 15, he learned to play the guitar and started writing his own songs leading him to begin in band activity.

Tanizawa attended a university in Tokyo and decided on going solo in 2003. He released his first mini-album, Kagero, in March of 2004 under Universal Music. He released several other mini-albums: Nanairo (2005), Soraji (2006), and Autobai Shonen (2009). He finally released his first album in 2010 titled Maboroshi Dokei. He recently released his second album, Nihon ni Ochitekita Otoko, this year back in February.

Here is a the PV of Kimi ni Todoke:

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Artist Discovery: Rie fu (リエ フゥ)

February 19, 2011

Well, I am featuring this gem of talent as my current header. Some may know her because her songs have been used for anime series such as Bleach, Gundam SEED DESTINY, and Darker Than Black -Kuro no Keiyaki-. I first heard of Rie fu when I heard “Life Is Like A Boat” from Bleach. I became an instant fan after hearing that song, though I haven’t been listening to her past albums. I’ve only taken a listen to Tobira Album and URBAN ROMANTIC.

In Tokyo, Japan Rie fu was born on January 11, 1985. Her stage name is actually abbreviated from her full name Rie Funakoshi From 1992 to 1995, Rie Fu lived in Maryland, United States with her family. In Maryland, she began playing the piano and gaining her music inspiration from artist such as Sheryl Crow and The Carpenters.

She learned how to play the guitar while in high school and began writing and recording songs. She later sent a demo tape to the record company Sony and they signed her to their Palm Beach label. Rie released her first single on March 21, 2004 titled Rie who!? while she was attending a university in London. Later that year, her song “Life Is Like A Boat” was chosen as the first ending theme for Bleach, garnering her widespread recognition. Rie fu graduated from the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design of the University of the Arts London in fine art. She often designs her own album and single booklets and even features her artwork.

Rie fu is known for her soft pop and bilingual songs, as she is fluent in English and Japanese, such as “Until I Say” and “Life Is Like A Boat”. Though, most of her songs are sung in Japanese with some verses in English. She also has some songs entirely in English and has made given some of her Japanese songs a few English versions.

Rie fu has launched a new era on February 16, 2011 with her newest single, For You. Rie hasn’t released any new material since her last album at Rie sessions back in March of 2010. Check out “For You” PV below:

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EOWO [5]: Busy Week

February 6, 2011

It looks like I won’t be watching much dramas for a while. I’ve been busy with school and probably won’t be updating for a week or so. I’ll try to get my Navi’s Hello review and that recap in by the end of the month! Also, a possible review for the Japanese drama JIN. I am almost done with JIN just another two episodes to go and I get to watch the second season during the spring quarter of this year! Yay!~

TOP SONGS OF THE WEEK (1/30 – 2/06)

1. MAA – Hangover Payback
2. Shota Shimizu – YOU & I
3. Casker – 꼭 이만큼만
4. Tomofumi Tanizawa – Kimi Ni Todoke
5. Noisettes – Wild Young Hearts

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Perfume’s “Hyouketsu” in a Kirin CM

February 2, 2011

Perfume‘s new song, “Hyouketsu” (Freezing), started airing yesterday JST (Feb. 2). The song is currently used as the new CM song for Kirin Beer.

{ Source: AnOldBear, Tokyohive }

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EOWO [4]: Distraction is a Gift

January 30, 2011

My rampage for JIN has taken a halt due to school (darn it)! I did manage to finish episode 8 Friday and start on episode 9. I only have three more episodes to go. All I have to do is wait for season 2 which begins in spring. I know some of you may realize I am doing the exact same thing I did with Hotaru no Hikari, but I swear that I didn’t know JIN had a bad ending until I read the reviews. On Friday, I also tried watching Fuyu no Sakura. I am still interested it’s just… I was multitasking on the first impression for SCHOOL!! and I ended up getting engulfed in that. I’m not even half way through on Fuyu no Sakura, but I am liking it so far. The promotion picture looks a bit depressing yet exquisite. Sigh, there’s sure to be plenty of heartbreak and reading the summary doubles the possibility:

“Fuyu no Sakura” is described as a pure love story with similarities to the popular Korean drama “Winter Sonata” (titled “Fuyu no Sonata” in Japan). Kusanagi plays a gentle glass craftsman in Yamagata who has no experience in love. Imai plays an older housewife with a husband and daughter who goes on a trip alone to Yamagata, hoping to see sakura trees blooming in winter. She gets into an accident, but is saved by Kusanagi. He ends up tending to her, and the two are soon drawn to each other.

I tried watching Utsukushii Rinjin, but it went at such a slow pace and started to drag for me. I managed to watch longer than I thought and that was because I wanted to see Nakama Yukie. I only watched Utsukushii Rinjin because I Saijo no Meii and Deka Wanko are not subbed yet.

On project news, I began a recap for Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta. I typed in Taisetsu na Koto on Google (and I will refer to the show as this title). I happened to stumble upon this video. A Bleach musical:

I nearly died of laughter yesterday. It was pretty late and I tend to think the simplest of things are hilarious. I’ve also never knew that musicals were made for animes. Anyway, back to topic. Recap for Taisetsu na Koto sometime this weekend or the next. I want to stay caught up with recapping so I can feel accomplished! Yay!~

On my Forthcoming Project, Navi’s Hello album is still up. I know I was supposed to do it this weekend, but I have to push it back to next week. I have been listening to MAA’s “Ballerina brain system” since my newest friend and affiliate, Pedro (ANTENNA POP), posted about her. I’ve also been listening to Japanese singer Miu Sakamoto and Korean indie band Casker since he did post on them. Thanks Pedro! I am in love with Shota Shimizu’s newest single, YOU & I, and the Japanese instrumental group, sonodaband. They have two – or maybe three – albums available on US iTunes and I am certainly buying their recent album, Renaissance, today. I’ve been discovering new artist left and right this week. I’ll introduce some more next week since there is a lot more on my list of discovery.

To close this week’s overview, take a listen to sonodaband’s song, “Soul River”:

TOP SONGS OF THE WEEK (1/23 – 1/30)

1. MAA – Ballerina brain system
2. MAA – Hangover payback
3. sonodaband – Soul River
4. MiChi – JUMP ON IT (Yes, I am still lovin’ this jam!)
5. Tomofumi Tanizawa – タイムトラベラー

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Kazusa – Kimi to Deatta Sono Hi Kara

January 29, 2011


1. Stand Up For Love
2. Yumemiru Kimochi
3. Beautiful Soldier ~Kyou wo Ikiru Subete no Josei-tachi e~
4. Summer Butterflies
5. Year’s End
6. Kimi no Hitomi ni wa Watashi wa Utsuranai
7. Aitakute
8. Tanpopo
9. you were my baby
10. Zutto, Kono Mama, Eien ni
11. Distance
12. Stand Up For Love -voice & piano-

Kimi to Deatta Sono Hi Kara is Kazusa’s debut album and it was released on November 3, 2010. Her album reached #128 on the Oricon charts, charting for one week, and sold 937 copies.

∞ ∞ ∞

Stand Up For Love” is Kazusa’s third single and was the last to be released before her debut album. The song starts slow and mellow with a piano backing Kazusa nicely. To be honest, I’m not too fond of this song, however I do love Kazusa’s vocals and the building chorus.

Yumemiru Kimochi” and “Beautiful Soldier” are the upbeat tunes of the album, which are both distinct in their sounds. “Yumemiru Kimochi” is more rock orientated and seems to build up slowly as it reaches its chorus. As for “Beautiful Soldier”, it retains a pop centered sound. I am in love with the arrangement. The light electronic sounds in the verses are fantastic! It’s especially fun to sing along with Kazusa during “Namida wooo~”.

The light electronic feel follows into “Summer Butterflies”. Afterward, Kazusa has a string of slow paced songs ahead “Year’s End” reminds me of December with the use of sleigh bells. “Kimi no Hitomi no wa Watashi wa Utsuranai” sounds slow paced yet upbeat at the same time, especially at the chorus. I do love the sound of this long song title. It seems Kazusa has been experimenting much throughout this album. “Aitakute” is Kazusa’s debut album and I do not like it because of the lack of sound. “Tanpopo” isn’t my favorite, but the uplifting feel of this song is quite charming. “you were my baby” is very different. Its rhythm and percussion reminds me of an R&B track and Kazusa’s voice sounds less mature than her other tracks. Maybe she had done this before she was signed with Sony because her voice sounds very different.

Zutto, Kono Mama, Eien ni” definitely sticks out. Kazusa’s vocals sounds crisp along side the piano and when she hits high notes, it sounds so angelic. “Distance” is Kazusa’s second single and it’s the song that got me interested in Kazusa. The song carries itself well and I love when the arrangement soars at “Dakishimete kowareru kurai ni /
dekisugita kotoba nanka ja
/ kono mune no fuan wa kitto kese wa / shinai kara”.

The album started with “Stand Up For Love” and ends with “Stand Up For Love –voice & piano-”. I found it a nice way to end the album, since Kazusa decided to strip most of the arrangement aside from the piano. It sounds absolutely beautiful since it is sung more softly than the original track.

OVERALL: Kimi to Deatta Sono Hi Kara is a nice debut album that showcases Kazusa’s talent. I felt that she did not really bother with the order of the tracking and seeing if they blended well with each other.  However, I do find that Kazusa is experimenting a little which shows in the tracks “Beautiful Soldier” and “Summer Butterflies”. That’s always a good thing. Maybe she’ll continue to do so in her future releases.

Favorite Tracks: Beautiful Soldier, Distance, Yumemiru Kimochi,
Zutto, Kono Mama, Eien ni

RATING:

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Artist Discovery: Kazusa (和紗)

January 27, 2011

The first time I saw Kazusa was when I was looking through newly released albums during November.  I finally decided to take a listen to her in December when I was checking her out in Last.fm. I listen to her debut album Kimi to Deatta Sono Hi Kara and its a great starting point to start listening to her.

Kazusa Yuasa was born on July 2, 1989 in Kyoto, Japan. Her stage name is her last name, Kazusa. Kazusa was surrounded by music due to her father, who was a drummer, and she was influenced by him for music. She learned to play the piano at the age of three. When Kazusa was in elementary school, she had a dream of being a singer and joined her school’s choir. In high school, she formed a girl group called CanCan, however when she graduated they disbanded. After high school, Kazusa performed with E-Pro and was under the name Kazusa with E-Pro until she met her current producer, Kawaguichi Daisuke. Kazusa was signed with Sony Music Entertainment and made her major debut with her single, “Aitakute”, which was used as the theme song for the TV and radio program Oishii no Uta.

You can watch Kazusa’s recent PV below:

Albums —

[2010.11. 03] Kimi to Deatta Sono Hi Kara

Singles —

[2009.07.29] Aitakute
[2010.03.24] Distance
[2010.09.01] Stand Up For Love

Digital Downloads 

[2009. 07. 01] you were my baby

Music Videos (PV) —

Aitakute (2009)
Distance (2010)
Stand Up For Love (2010)

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