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Utada United 2006

by tomba on December 22, 2006 · 86 comments · AddThis

Utada United 2006 Poster Artist: Utada Hikaru
Product Code: TOBF-5506
Release Date: 2006.12.20
Debut Ranking: #4
Label: Toshiba-EMI

It’s only been a month since the release of her last single, “Boku wa Kuma”, and Utada has finished the year off by releasing a DVD of her summer tour, “Utada United 2006”. Being a HUGE Utada fan, I was obviously pleasantly surprised when the tracklist contained almost all of her singles (with the only obvious ones missing being “for you/time LIMIT”). Unfortunately, I was also disappointed by the appearance of some “Exodus” songs, which I felt were complete crap.

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Kiseki no Hoshi

by tomba on August 29, 2006 · 4 comments · AddThis

Kiseki no Hoshi Cover Artist: Keisuke Kuwata & Mr.Children
Product Code: B00005N34L
Release Date: 1995.01.23
Debut Ranking: #1

Released in early 1995, “Kiseki no Hoshi” was a joint effort between the frontman of one of Japan’s most popular band, “Southern All Stars’” Keisuke Kuwata and Mr.Children. Written and composed by Kuwata, and arranged mainly by Kazutoshi Sakurai of Mr.Children, this song was used as the theme for “Act Against AIDS”, a charity Kuwata has been participating in for more than a decade (and counting). Inside the single cover, and when the CD is removed, facts and a graph about AIDS is inscribed there. A peculiarity about this song is that it was never performed live until 2006’s “Ap Bank festival”, which Mr.Children was the main act for, and Kuwata was a guest in.

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Ultra Blue

by tomba on August 27, 2006 · 29 comments · AddThis

Ultra Blue Promo Artist: Utada Hikaru
Product Code: TOCT-26067
Release Date: 2006.06.14
Debut Ranking: #1
Label: Toshiba-EMI

It’s been 4 years since Utada’s last Japanese album, “Deep River”. During this time, she got and recovered from cancer, got married, released the overdue best album, the disastrous, disappointing, yet record breaking English album “Exodus”, and half a dozen singles.

“Ultra Blue” marks a few firsts for Utada – the first duet to ever appear on her album, the first time there isn’t a track that shares the album name, and the first time she released a Japanese digital single. For promotion of the album, Utada began on a 3 months tour, the “UTADA UNITED 2006”, across Japan. The tour has been much hyped about and was met with praise, with most tickets selling out in 2 hours.

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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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