Destiny Line – Ai no Matador –

Posts Tagged ‘Oricon Year 2005 Singles

mm2

Morning Musume’s 27th single, entitled 色っぽい じれったい, was released on 07.27.05.

色っぽい じれったい shows the girls adapt to a Spanish setting. Opening the song are a few lines spoken by Koharu and Eri before the girls dive into the first verse. The whispering adds a certain desperation and sexual atmosphere, which hooks the listener. Soon the Spanish influenced instrumental comes in and leads the listener along into the first verse. The girls split into pairs to sing each line and all the combinations sound good as they compliment the other girl. The chorus is enjoyable although the “SEXY ISLAND” phrase sounded a bit strange. Ai did a great job however of ending that section with her solo line. The pure instrumental section nicely gives the listener to fall into a lovely Spanish sound before the chorus re-emerges. As the last vocalist of the song, Reina gives her strong vocal presence and makes herself known. Overall it’s a very enjoyable song with a very fun atmosphere for the listener to enjoy.

愛と太陽に包まれて is the B-side and it’s surprising that it’s another cute poppy song. This one is a slow number with more of an emotional setting. However that doesn’t stop it from being not particularly interesting. It was a nice attempt to stray from the usual B-side formula but it just didn’t work out this time.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 色っぽい じれったい was made. The video is quite simple, just featuring the girls dancing along with close-ups of the girls. They are dressed in red outfits and fit with the whole Spanish theme of the song very well.

Single Ranking: B +

Although it isn’t as strong as their previous single, 色っぽい じれったい is still an enjoyable track taking on Spanish influences. At least the B-side isn’t another boring cutesy song even if it didn’t come out as strongly as hoped for.

mm1

Morning Musume’s 26th single, entitled 大阪 恋の歌, was released on 04.27.05. It is the last single to feature both Rika Ishikawa and Mari Yaguchi.

大阪 恋の歌 is a addictive edgy song that will have the listener moving. The song begins with a very mysterious instrumentation with some talking over it to only add to the ominous atmosphere. Soon the song’s true hot dance beat comes in and the first verse arrives. Hitomi does a great job of giving sleek and cool vocals to match the song’s atmosphere and the backing vocals add a nice little touch to the song. Ai jumpstarts the chorus with strong vocals, evoking an emotional presence that catches the listener’s ear. As usual, Miki delivers wonderful vocals whenever it’s her turn to sing so she stands out on this song. The small pure instrumental section doesn’t show much of a different side but that’s okay because the music is addictive as is.

NATURE IS GOOD! is the single’s B-side. It should have been very obvious from the title that this song was going to be an upbeat happy number and that’s exactly what it is. It’s just another more “traditional” H!P sound that focuses on cuteness but this track isn’t really worth checking out. It’s no surprise though that the song was going to turn out like this since H!P B-sides tend to be pretty lackluster.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 大阪 恋の歌 was made. The video features a blaring red that makes it difficult to see the girls during the dancing sequences. Although it might seem slightly annoying, it does fit with the coolness of the song quite well. There are also scenes of the girls as angels under an ominous sky which add to the whole mysterious vibe. It’s actually a pretty enjoyable video worth checking out.

Single Ranking: A –

大阪 恋の歌 is definitely one of the girls’ strongest songs and one to check out. There is a cool and sleek atmosphere that drives the song, fueled by a genuine emotional presence. It’s a great combination and the girls get to show off their vocals nicely as well. The B-side is pretty generic but it was truly expected.

butterfly-01

Koda Kumi’s 16th single, entitled Butterfly, was released on 06.22.05. Used as the theme song for the dorama Kosume no Mahou 2, this single is considered to be Kumi’s breakthrough single and that which really propelled her into the spotlight.

Butterfly is an addictive dance pop number that shows Kumi’s playful side. The song begins with the chorus, which features some great vocals over a very catchy instrumental. The English phrases like “burning heart” and “butterfly” are nice because they really pop against all the Japanese lyrics. After that is a small instrumental section in which you can a voice in the background saying English phrases like “I wanna kiss you all over” and “your body” before the first verse begins. On the verses, there is a more relaxed feeling as Kuu’s vocals are deeper and crisper, matching the instrumentation. The hook is a good transition as Kuu’s vocals get more powerful and it sets up the listener for the chorus strongly. Tha pure instrumental section is great as we hear those phrases in the background along with some moans and giggling, which is perfect for Kuu’s playful side. It’s no wonder why Butterfly became a smash hit: it’s catchy, fun and has that Kuu magic on it.

In order to promote the single, a PV for Butterfly was made. The video features Kumi’s ero-kakkoi side and in a very strong way. It begins with Kumi boiling some tea before she goes to a bed to get her phone. She then goes to the mirror and puts on some lip gloss, transforming her into Butterfly Kumi (in a seperate scene). She also appears as a student and she dances with the other students during the chorus. There are also scenes of Kumi and two girls in a garage with soap bubbles and hoses as they spray each other. There’s a lot of great dancing and Kumi looks absolutely fantastic, which makes this one memorable video.

Song and PV Ranking: A +

Butterfly is a fantastic song and definitely one of Kumi’s most memorable to date. It features a great dance sound alongside a playfully sexy atmosphere that suits her perfectly. Her vocals are strong and the music is addictive so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t listen to it.

endless-story

Ito Yuna’s debut single, entitled ENDLESS STORY, was released on 09.07.05. The title track was used in the movie, Nana, which Yuna starred in herself [thus the reason the single was released as Reira starring Ito Yuna].

ENDLESS STORY is a heart-touching ballad packed with emotions. The song begins with the piano, giving a very grandiose and powerful emotional atmosphere for the listener to sink into. Following is the first verse and Yuna’s vocals are very pretty here, portraying the emotions of her character very well. It’s also nice to have those English phrases such as “If you haven’t changed your mind” because they really pop around the rest of the Japanese lyrics. On the chorus, there is a more grand feeling as the instrumentation becomes more diverse and involved and Yuna’s vocals become stronger. The pure instrumental section is fantastic, allowing the guitars to really shine and open up another layer of emotions before the chorus returns.

Journey, a driving midtempo number, is the single’s B-side. An almost eerie instrumental opens up with the album before the song’s true beat comes in. When the music comes in full effect, it sounds a little cheesy and predictable but it’s nice to hear something upbeat from her. On the verses, Yuna’s vocals are enjoyable and go very nicely with the very natural atmosphere of the instrumental. It really evokes the feeling of taking a drive, which works with the whole theme of the song. The chorus isn’t as enjoyable since her vocals sound a little nasal so it comes off as awkward sounding. Unfortunately, this song doesn’t come even close to the level of the title track and it doesn’t really compliment ENDLESS STORY.

In order to promote the single, a PV for ENDLESS STORY was made. The video primarily features Yuna performing the song live but there are also scenes of Yuna looking absolutely gorgeous in front of a dreamy pink background. There are a few too many close-up shots but it’s a pretty enjoyable video.

Single Ranking: B +

ENDLESS STORY was a pretty good song to debut with since it shows Yuna’s ability to bring emotions to the listener’s ears. Journey wasn’t a very memorable song but on the other hand, it’s nice to hear something upbeat.

Suzuki Ami’s 15th single and debut single with avex, entitled Delightful, was released on 03.24.05.

Delightful is a great dance song that keeps the listener moving. The song starts off with an upbeat dance instrumental that immediately catches the listener’s ear and then the first verse begins. There is a dark atmosphere about the instrumentation and her vocals are a little deep here, staying with the music perfectly. Soon the instrumentation becomes a little more diverse and comes to a lighter climax on the chorus. English phrases such as “crazy my love” and “body shaking now” really make the chorus pop. Following the chorus is the pure instrumental section, which really demands attention and entrances the listener. Then we return back to the darker atmosphere of the verses.

The B-side is the sweet magical ballad, About You…The strongest part of the song is the magical atmosphere that the music exutes. On the chorus especially, her vocals show just what Ami can do and it fits very strongly with the music. About You… is a very nice compliment to Delightful to make this single enjoyable.

In order to promote the single, a PV for Delightful was made. The video is very enjoyable, featuring Ami in a red outfit and another scene in a yellow outfit as she dances with some backup dancers, dressed in all black. It looks like they are in a factory of some sort and it has that coolness that the song supports so it makes for a nice video.

Single Ranking: A

Delightful is certainly a delightful single. While the A-side has a fun dance atmosphere while channeling some dark elements, With You… features a magical sound that really resonates with the listener. It’s a great debut single on avex that shows what Ami can do.

Hamasaki Ayumi’s 37th single, entitled HEAVEN, was released on 09.15.05. The title track was used as the theme song for the Japanese film Shinobi Heart Under Blade while Will was used in a Panasonic CM.

HEAVEN, an emotional ballad, is the single’s A-side. The song begins with an absolutely beautiful instrumentation that introduces the first verse strongly. Ayu’s vocals here really communicate a sorrow that is solidified by the music. Soon the instrumentation strays away from this soft sadness and Ayu gives stronger vocals to match the louder instrumentation. The chorus stands out for just that reason, Ayu’s vocals show off the sorrow of the lyrics. HEAVEN is so pretty and it will give the listener goosebumps while listening, perhaps even making the tears fall.

The B-side of the single is the absolutely gorgeous song, Will, composed by CREA herself. Opening the song is a very pretty instrumentation driven by traditional Japanese instruments to catch the listener’s ear. Ayu then sings two lines with a prettiness in her voice that suits the music so well. The chorus becomes so memorable for the words that feature repeating syllables as Ayu’s voice really carries them strongly. During the pure instrumental section, the beauty of the music is spotlighted before the chorus is re-introduced. As the song ends, there is a lighter feeling that comes through and actually is a nice change of pace. The lyrics for this song are beautiful and Ayu’s vocals are perfect, really making this one of the best songs in her discography.

In order to promote the single, a PV for HEAVEN was made. Done completely in black & white, the video is the perfect visual representation of all the emotions of the song. Ayu sings in a train station and looking at her face, the viewer automatically believes her. The video finishes with all the other people getting on the train, leaving Ayu alone. There is a real honest beauty about this video that captures the viewer from start to finish, making it one to definitely watch.

Single Ranking: A +

Both songs on this single are beautiful, showing the fragility of Ayu. On HEAVEN, she communicates that sorrow so perfectly that the listener can’t help but feel the emotions with her. Will is the beautiful B-side composed by Ayu herself (under the name CREA) and she does a fantastic job of bringing a traditional sound here. Once again, Ayu delivers a quality single start to finish.

Hamasaki Ayumi’s 38th single, entitled Bold & Delicious / Pride, was released on 11.30.05. Both songs are covers of Sweetbox songs of the same name with newly written lyrics by Ayu herself. Bold & Delicious was used in order to promote the Lumix photo camera by Pasasonic.

Ayu takes an upbeat and fun route on the first A-side, Bold & Delicious. The opening vocalization of “ya-ya-ya-ya, ga-ga-ga-ga, da-da-da-da, wo-wo-wo-wo” is really addictive and really brings out the song’s light atmosphere. Coming next is the first verse as Ayu delivers smooth vocals with a certain sleekness that catches the listener’s ear. It’s the chorus that really stands out as she is joined by a choir who sing “bold and delicious” and Ayu brings out some great vocals. On the final chorus, she delives the best vocals on the entire song as she belts out the title of the song. Vocalizations then bring the song to a close as she says “bold and delicious” in a slightly distorted voice. Bold & Delicious is an absolutely fantastic song and one of Ayu’s most unique ones to date.

While Bold & Delicious is fun and happy, Pride is the pretty emotional ballad. An orchestral instrumentation begins the song, really displaying the song’s emotions to the listener clearly. Ayu sings with a painful beauty during the first verse as she supports the music perfectly. The chorus stands out as the music becomes slightly louder, which takes the listener from that softness into an even more emotional world. She then shows off a little more vocal power on the second verse on the final lines and brings the best vocals on the third verse as she holds her notes with power and emotion. Finishing off the song is the chorus and then more beautiful instrumentation. Pride is the perfect compliment to Bold & Delicious and it’s definitely worth the listen.

In order to promote the single, two PVs were made: one for Bold & Delicious and one for Pride as well. Both videos were filmed in New York and have a similar feel to them, keeping the same look in both videos. The video for Bold & Delicious features Ayu being driven around, dressed in a fur coat as she sings. Her face really expresses her happiness and the song’s atmosphere, making it an enjoyable and carefree watch. There is a darker look for Pride as Ayu sings in a cold and dark place, even drenched by the rain. She looks very pretty and it definitely supports the song’s feel.

Single Ranking: A +

Bold & Delicious and Pride are perfect compliments to one another, making this a fantastic single for Ayu. While the former is happy and upbeat, featuring a choir for accompaniment, Pride is a beautiful and emotional ballad. Both songs are great and show off Ayu’s versatility.