From the monthly archives:

August 2006

Ai Otsuka – Momo no Hanabira

by Rinoa on August 27, 2006 · 13 comments · AddThis

Ai Otsuka's early photoshoots
An early photoshoot of Ai Otsuka during her debut era.
Artist: Ai Otsuka
Product Code: AVCD-30525/8
Release date: 2003.09.10
Debut Ranking: #24
First Press: Picturebook
Label: avex trax

Ai Otsuka had always been into the music since childhood. She started playing the piano when she was merely four years old. At the age of fifteen she began composing music and lyrics with the help of her piano teacher. By the time she was seventeen Ai-chin had already composed and written the lyrics for the songs “Always Together” and “Momo no Hanabira”, which were dedicated to a friend of hers. Too shy to perform by herself, Otsuka enlisted the help of several other friends and sang it as a chorus.

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CLAZZIQUAI Project

by yukino on August 27, 2006 · 54 comments · AddThis

CLAZZIQUAI Project

Ears suffering from the strain of all that loud, obnoxious pop you’ve been listening to? Give them a break with CLAZZIQUAI, a Korean/Canadian group whose repertoire spans many genres – jazz, trance, house, and chill-out lounge being only a few of them. (Fans of the Shibuya-Kei movement may be familiar with their style.)

Their smooth combination of vocals and musical arrangement can bring relaxation even on the most frustrating of days. CLAZZIQUAI Project (also known as Clazziquai/CLAZZIQUAI or simply CZQ) boasts a total of three official and one unofficial members, all with excellent English skills.

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Into the Stars

by Spyro on August 25, 2006 · 9 comments · AddThis

Into the Stars cover Artist: OLIVIA
Title: Into the Stars1
Release Date: 2002.09.04
Peak Position: #99
Label: cutting edge

Since OLIVIA’s great comeback single “a little pain” has already been released in June, it’s a nice opportunity to consider some of her older releases. So let’s go back and see her most ‘recent’ single, which happens to be almost 4 years old. Oddly enough “Into The Stars” is her least selling single, charting at #99 for one single week. However do not think though that this has to do with the quality of this single, at all. Olivia isn’t as popular as those icons that come in our mind when we think about the Japanese music industry, although that makes her even cooler. “Into the Stars” is also the last production she made in Japanese; the rest were completely in English (till ‘a little pain’). Personally I’d buy this even just because the cover.

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4 hot wave

by tomba on August 25, 2006 · 6 comments · AddThis

Koda Kumi Artist: Koda Kumi
Product Code: RZCD-45435
Release Date: 2006.07.26
Debut Ranking: #2
Label: Rhythm Zone

Koda Kumi’s newest single, “4 hot wave”, is now the best-selling female single of the year, and Koda’s best selling single ever! Since it debuted at #2 (kept from the top by the amazing Kinki Kids’ “Natsu Moyou”), that was quite a disappointment, for a single with 4 A-Sides to only debut at #2 (like Glay’s G4). However, it has persevered and is still currently in the top 10.

The cover of this single was taken in Morocco for her new photobook, “Maroc”. For promotion, all 4 songs were used as commercial endorsements. “Ningo-hime”, a hard-rocking song, was used for a Vodafone commercial. “I’ll be there”, a peaceful summer tune, was used for a SEEBREEZE commercial. “JUICY”, an Indian influenced r&b song, was used for a Gem CEREY commercial. “With your smile”, a fun summer dance track was used for NTV’s 2006 Japan Pro Baseball and a Dwango commercial.

Koda also filmed a promotional video for all the songs. Although the songs are all very different, the theme in the videos do link together. It’s similar to how Utada’s Kiriya trilogy linked together. The theme revolves around a treasure map and the search for the prize. Let see if all the hype was worth it :P.

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Dirty Old Man ~Saraba Natsu Yo~

by tomba on August 25, 2006 · 7 comments · AddThis

Southern All Stars Artist: Southern All Stars
Product Code: RZCD-45435
Release Date: 2006.08.09
Debut Ranking: #1
First Press: Stickers
Label: Victor Entertainment

Southern All Stars’ 52nd single, “Dirty Old Man ~Saraba Natsu Yo~” is the groups first release since their album “Killer Street” in October of last year. Known for their fun comic-styled songs, “Dirty Old Man” is the 8th consecutive upbeat single released since 2000’s “HOTEL PACIFIC”.

The cover of the single features a naked man with a watermelon as a head and a hat covering his “privates”. The single, as suggested in the title, is the groups’ farewell to summer. Each song’s tempo becomes much slower than the one before it. The fun and party style “Dirty Old Man” drifts into the easy going “BREEZE”, while “Taiyou ni Hoe Ru!!” has Kuwata, the lead singer, begging for summer to come back.

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