PASSPO☆: Beef or Chicken?

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Honey Dish 5/5

Starting off the album is a high energy pop rock song. It’s a classic Passpo song, except it seems more cute somehow. I thought this was pretty generic before, but it is a really cute and catchy song once you listen to it more than once. The versus and chorus are pretty rockin. I love the English phrases throughout the song. Great way to open the album!

Itazura Rock’ n Roll 4.5/5

Another high energy pop rock song, though this leans more on the rock side! This clearly takes inspiration from American rock. The chorus get’s kind of repetitive in my opinion after a while, but I’m in love with versus: Mio sounds really cute at the beginning of the song.

Not in Theory 5/5

I love that passpo fully embraces rock, not just sticks with pop rock . This song is more darker than the group usually does; reminds me of songs like Wing and Baby Jump. My favorite part is at the end of the chorus where there’s that overlay of voices and the fade out, then Shiori’s part! I thought it was a great showcase of both her vocals and the songs’s innovation. Definitely impressed with this one.

Himawari 3.5/5

The song is classic passpo pop-rock. As much as I want to like this song, I feel as if it’s a tad too weak to be a single. It has a nice sound to it, but I feel as if the song is repetitive. I definitely don’t think this is their worse song, but it just isn’t as strong as their past singles.

Shiny Road 4/5

The beginning of this song is classic idol music. I almost thought I had the wrong group, but then the rock hits. I find this song weird because the group sounds like a regular idol group, but then there’s this hard rock background! It works, I’m digging this song. It’s cute, but the rock arrangement separates this song from being generic sounding. For some reason, the song sounds like a Momoiro Clover song, like some of the members sound like Ayaka and Kanako. This is goof for a b-side

Heaven’s Burger 5/5

The energy picks up again for this amazing number. Again, this song is a tad more cute and more “idol” than the group usually does, but again it works for them. I find the overall theme for this song super cute.

High Tension Emotion 4/5

Another pop rock song, but stronger on the guitar. I don’t have much to say about this song. I think it’s fun, and the “suki kirai?” “kirai suki?” parts are cute. Not my favorite song from the album but not bad either.

FAKE 5/5

Another more dark rocky song from the group! I like this better than Not in Theory, the chorus is stronger, though both are great. I love Shiori’s part near the end: “I’m Faking.” The buildup is great. This should have been Wing’s b-side!

Perfect Sky 4/5

This was released as a single. I think it’s a little weak to be a single. It sounds more like a b-side to me. I think the chorus sounds like something I’ve heard before, but the versus are good. This was the first song the group played as Band Passpo, so it’s nice hearing them play their instruments as a band to this.

You 5/5

We get back into the upbeat classic passpo pop-rock style. I don’t know why, but I absolutely adore this song. I find it super sweet due to the lyrics. The chorus is also really catchy with the repetition of the “Hey You”‘s. Near the end, I also really love Ai and Shiori’s solo lines. This song just has really cute nice touches to it, like the slowing down of Shiori’s line near the end.

Fairy Tale 4/5

Ending the album is this mid-tempo b-side. I quite like the versus of the song. The member that sings first, I think Nachuu, also has a really unique tone to her voice. The laid back instrumentals and the wind/air effects give this song a relaxing feeling. It’s fitting to end the album with this song, though I felt “I” did better to end the album in JET!JET!JET!

I’m pretty blown away by this album from the group! While Jet x3 had more of a hard, intense rock sound, passpo went more pop on this album, though still incorporating some hard songs. The group honestly continues to surprise me, and they are getting better and better with each release. Members even wrote the lyrics to many of the songs on the album, and they seem to be serious about their band thing as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country Girls: Boogie Woogie LOVE / Ran Ra Run ~Anata ni Michuu~ / Koi no Magnet

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Boogie Woogie LOVE 5/5

When I heard this song, I was pretty much blown away from the start. Incorporating old styled American music is something new for the group that I never expected them to do.  This song reminds me of classic American swing music. It’s upbeat, jazzy, and the new members show that they really belong in the group!

Ran Ra Run ~Anata ni Michuu~ 5/5

This song is a cover song, but I never heard the original. This song goes back to the traditional Country Girls style of “cute” idol music. This song is so laid back and cute, I love the vocals of all of the girls, especially Manaka. The repetition of “Ra Ra Run” is what keeps me coming back.

Koi no Magnent 5/5

This song also surprised me! One, because it takes on a more serious tone, two because it sounds very 80’s inspired, and three because it has a slight electro feel to it with the instrumentals. I absolutely love the whispered “Shall We Love?” etc parts. I hear Chisaki heavily in these parts, and she sounds great. This is such a great song that never gets boring!

This is the group’s third single, and I continue to be blown away by this group. This single showed us that Country Girls is more than just a “cutesy” girl group. They explored two different genres of music while still staying true to their themselves. The two new members are a nice addition to the group, especially Funaki who is I can see becoming one of H!P’s vocal powerhouses like Airi, Sakura, and Sayubee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crayon Pop: Evolution Pop

 

Vroom Vroom 3.5/5

This is one of the songs that had to really grow on me. When I first heard this song, I was kind of disappointed. It seems too linear, and not exciting enough. The chorus and after chorus are very catchy, but the rest of the song is kind of bland. This song reminds me of a song that would have been released in the Saturday Night era of crayon pop.

Too Much 5/5

Things pick up a bit with this song. My first impression of this was that it doesn’t sound like a crayon pop song, but like any other group’s song. Even if this song has less of crayon pop’s quirkiness, it’s still really catchy! I love the chorus as well as the rapping at the end of the second chorus. This song is really cute and reminds me of something Girls’ Day would have released in their early days.

Doo Doom Chit 5/5

This is the 2nd song the group used to promote this album, the song they promoted the most, and rightly so! Doo Doom Chit is filled with energy and character. Right off from the bat, you get an explosive sax solo, with the girls chanting their group name. And the energy never goes down throughout the whole song. My favorite part is the “Baby Baby I’m so Fantastic Girl” sung at the end of each chorus. The dance, while simple, is really cute and matches the song well. This song is very “crayon pop” while still creating a new sound for the group.

Boogie Woogie 5/5

This song is the song that made me want to listen to this album in the first place in the sense that it was the first song that immediately caught my eye (ears?). The chorus is really the best part of the song with the repetition of “Boogie Woogie Baby.” The “Hey Hey leggo go” parts are really cute as well. Once again, this song could have been just a generic cute kpop song, but it’s the little added features that crayon pop adds that makes this song more than that. Unlike Too Much, this song feels more “crayon pop” to me due to its more disco instrumental.

Tonight 4/5

We get away from the more cutesy stuff for something more dark. Tonight is more serious, yet still keeps the signature playfulness of the group. It’s a pretty straight forward song that repeats the versus and chorus without change, but I like the “peek a boo” parts at the end of the chorus. Also, the screams and weird haunty noises are really cool. This song sounds a Halloween song, but yet it still fits the album nicely

Get it Here 5/5

This song is more dance and less disco, and it’s definitely one of my favorites off of the album! It combines classic k-pop with Crayon Pop’s unique sound. The chorus is so catchy with the repetition, and the raps in the song are my favorites from any crayon pop song.

Sketch Book 5/5

Things slow down even more with this song. Sketch book is the typical sweet kpop song. I could see Oh My Girl or Lovelyz singing this, even Apink. But again, it’s the vocals and delivery of the song that makes it stand out. My favorite part is at the end of the chorus where ChoA sings “Everything is Spring. Everyone’s all good. Everything all right.” In addition, when all of the girls names are mentioned near the end is also really cool. Overall, I think this song is super sweet and I was expecting something like this from this group.

Love Couple 4/5

I wasn’t expecting a song like this either. This sounds like it came straight off of a drama OST. The formula is the same! Random guy rapping + girl sings the chorus = every drama ost ever. It kind of makes me mad that this wasn’t used in a drama because it’s so perfect. Ignoring all of that, this song is pretty nice. It’s semi-up beat and pretty catchy.

Bar Bar Bar 4.5/5

Ah, the song that got the group famous (for a while). It’s not even worth debating if this song is catchy or not. Everything about it is extremely catchy and addicting! I’ve listened to this song too much to the point where it has gotten old, but I feel like this song really represents Crayon Pop’s style and image the best even if it isn’t their best song (In my own opinion of course). I love the “Hey, You Guys” part the best. It’s just so random.

Uh-ee 3.5/5

What kind of kpop group releases a trot song? Only Crayon Pop of course! Trot is seen as something only older Korean women sing, but the group pulls it off. The instrumental for this song is great, but I don’t 100% love this song. Maybe because I just don’t like the trot sound. Even if I’m not a huge fan, I think the vocals and personalities of the girls really come out in this song due to its silliness.

FM 5/5

If we’re just talking about singles (not album songs) FM is definitely the group’s strongest single ever! FM is this melancholic power ranger-esque song that still keeps the groups dance theme. I love the build up to the chorus, which is amazing. People may view the slightly monotonic vocals as boring, but it fits the song so well. The group seriously outdone themselves with this epic song.

Saturday Night 3/5

I believe this was the groups debut song, as in it was the first to have an official MV. Unfortunately, I’m just not a big fan of this song at all. I think it rightly set the tone for the groups image, as it sounds very disco and dance themed. I just feel like the vocals and the rapping are a little flat. This was not the best song to debut with because it just didn’t stand out enough.

Hello 4/5

A piano is something you never hear in Crayon Pop’s song. Oh wait. This is Strawberry Milk. The sub unit of the group made up of twins ChoA and Way! I haven’t checked out their mini album, I only know their other song OK, so I’m not sure what kind of image Strawberry Milk has. But this song is pretty nice. It’s a typical ballad in it’s structure. As stated before, the piano sounds really nice. It’s the vocals that really give this song it’s character. Way is definitely the best singer of the group. She’s proved that in lives and in other songs. But ChoA blew me away because she usually sings very “cute” so to hear her belt her lines was amazing.

 

As a jpop lover, I understand why some jpop fans do not like kpop. I feel as if kpop can sometimes be repetitive and generic (so can jpop), so I try to highlight groups that are doing something different and Crayon Pop is definitely one of those groups that aren’t choosing to conform to the generic kpop group.

Evolution Pop is probably one of my favorite kpop albums ever, even rivaling f(x)’s Pink Tape. Crayon Pop is such a diverse group full of quirky, talented members, and this album showed that they can do it all, from trot, to disco, to dance, to standard Korean pop. They are so underrated that it hurts to see how many people are sleeping on this group. I’m excited to see what the group releases for their next comeback!

Country Girls: Wakatte iru no ni Gomen ne / Tamerai Summer Time

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Wakatte iru no ni gomen ne 5/5

People often compare this song to itoshikutte. In my opinion, wakatte surpass itoshikutte for me! Wakatte is more upbeat and less repetitive. I like how the song tells a story with its speaking parts. When I first heard this song and it ended, I cried because the story was so cute and touching.  It’s refreshing. The play on “Gomen ne” from their first single is really cute as well. They even incorporate the hand movements from it. Chisaki still isn’t that good of a singer, but she’s cute and tries her best. Overall, probably one of my favorite Country Girl songs so far.

Tamerai Summer Time 5/5

Tamerai Summer is a sugary sweet song, but with a more laid back sound. This is a perfect blend of the old and new Country Girls style. The chorus is really nice . The girls sound so good singing together as one. My favorite part is at the end of the song when Chisaki sings “Darin Kamo ne?” Overall, this song reminds me of a relaxing spring day. It’s very pleasant.

Country Girls debut single was so amazing, it blew everyone out of the water. Due to this, I think that there was a lot of pressure for their 2nd single to be just as amazing. In addition, Uta left Country Girls. She was the most popular member after Momoko, so a lot of people were wondering how the group would function. This is definitely an amazing 2nd single for Country Girls. I like it slightly better than their first, and Uta’s absence isn’t really noticed. I think Country Girls future is bright, and they seem to be doing really well with their cute concept.

News #5

Hi guys!!! It has been foreeever since I’ve logged in/looked at/posted on this blog. I definitely want to get back to reviewing music again. It’s a new year with new goals. Plus, my tastes in music has definitely changed a little, so it’d be interesting to see how that compares with my old interests. With being gone so long, I have gotten interested in a lot of new artists and lost interests in others.

Artists to Add:

Tsubaki Factory

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Since I added their sister group, kobushi factory, why not add Tsubaki as well? I admit, they don’t impress me as much as kobushi does. Kobushi just has better personalities, vocals, music, etc, but I admit that tsubaki has been improving a lot so they are worth giving a try at least!

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Crayon Pop

I KNOW. What is a kpop group doing on this blog? The HORROR. I have been increasningly enjoying a lot of kpop girl groups lately, but even before this new craze, crayon pop has always been one of my favorite groups. They’re silly and a little quirky. Due to that, they don’t get a lt of attention and are often labeled “weird.” Despite this, I am a huge fan of theirs and think they should be added.

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Stellar

Another kpop group! Stellar is a small 4 unit girl group, and like Crayon Pop, they are seriously underrated. When their cute concept wasn’t working, they turned to a more mature style to gain attention. This came with extreme backlash from the public and now this group is kind of hated a bit. Despite Stellar’s mature themes, their music is actually very good. They have an interesting and unique sort of synthpop style.

Thinking About Adding

Predia: This group was requested, and I have taken a peek at their music. They all seem to have good vocals and I love that they embrace a more mature image instead of going for the typical youthful idol thing

Gfriend: This is a kpop group again. Although I’m not blown away by Gfriend’s music, their dances and concepts are always really cool

WJSN (Cosmic Girls): This large kpop group is very cutsey which I normally don’t go for, but they have a very “cosmic” or “spacey” quality to their music which I like

Not Reviewing Anymore

Dream5: They are disbanding soon and my interest over the years has gone down

Momoiro Clover Z: My interest with momoclo also dwindled down. I think them doing blackface was the last straw for me honestly…

Sakura Gakuin: Once all of my favorites graduated, I lost interest in this group which is such as shame. They were just a generic idol group, but their songs were so lively and the members had spirit

Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku: See Sakura Gakuin

Weather Girls: I really liked this taiwanese-japanese group but it seems that are not active anymore : (

 

 

ANGERME: Nanakorobi Yaoki / Gashinsoutan / Mahoutsukai Sally

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Narakorobi Yaoki 5/5

When I first heard this song, I was blown away. This song is probably the group’s most epic, bad*** song to date. Everything about this song just screams “power.” The vocals are powerful and passionate, the instrumental is bursting with powerful sounds.  I love the repetition of the English translation of the song : Ups and Down, especially the end when they sing: “Life is full of ups and downs.” Even the MV is pretty epic! It’s dark tone matches the song well, and the choreography is smart. Overall, this is a pretty strong song for the group.

Gashin Shoutan 5/5

This is the more playful side of the single. Gashinshoutan is more upbeat and a little playful. It has a nice beat to it, keeping the song engaging the whole time. This songs reminds of a song kobushi factory might do because it has a lot of character to it, but ANGERME does quite well in this song on their own, especially with the vocals. The MV is a little weird because it seems dark and a weird contrast with the pastel color scheme, but the choreography is really fun and innovative.

Mahoutsukai Sally 3.5/5

This is a cover of a song, so you can’t really critique it too much. I’ve listened to the original and I think ANGERME does a really good job of making the song their own. I don’t hate this song, but It’s not something I would actively listen to. It’s like when MM did “Koko kara hajimaru” it was really cute and the song was catchy, but it lost its appeal not too shortly after. I guess I just don’t like anime tie-in songs??

 

After the masterpiece that was Taiki Bansei, I wondered what the group would release next. Nanaokrobiyaoki showed that the new members have great powerful vocals while Gashinshoutan was sillier and included more character. I think this was the perfect single to release after Taiki Bansei.

[On a side note, I hope to get back to reviewing music again! I haven’t been active on this blog, and since my taste’s have changed, I think its time to get back into it. hopefully I can still post often despite school and the busyness of life *sigh*]

 

 

4TE: Leave a Message

Leave A Message cover art

Leave a Message 5/5

US based jpop group 4TE is back with their second single, and boy did they start 2016 with a bang!

Leave a Message reminds me a lot of MORE, except it’s edgier, heavier, and more mainstream. The instrumental is fantastic, filled with interesting sounds to keep your feet taping and your head bobbing. I love the phone sounds at the start of the song. Chii sings the first line of the song, and her vocals are powerful and velvety. The chorus is amazing with the “ring ring ring” parts and the repetition of “Leave a message at the ring.”

The most impressive part of the song is Jenny and Chii’s raping. It’s explosive, it adds so much energy to the song. I love the sassyness of the girls performance during the rap part, as well as the mix of English and Japanese. Seriously, Jenny and Chii remind me of CL (From 2NE1) when they are raping their parts. Then Mei follows up with her amazing deep and smooth vocals in her solo after the raping part, and it sounds amazing. Micchi is also killing it with her lines, and I especially noticed that she was the best at facial expressions and performance.

Overall, this song is just so amazing, and it sounds like a whole other group. I could see this song being played in a dance club and enjoyed I’d sing this with my friends at karaoke.

These girls are seriously slaying, and I can’t wait to see what they do for the rest of the year

Please support 4TE!

http://4teofficial.bandcamp.com/album/leave-a-message

Watch the MV here

 

Juice=Juice: First Squeeze! (Disc 2)

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WONDERFUL WORLD & ca va? ca va?: See review here

CHOICE & CHANCE 5/5

This song’s instrumental is hardcore. Well, more hardcore than the group usually does. I love the instrumental, it’s so interesting. I love the girls all taking turn singing their short solo’s in the versus. The chorus is catchy and has a good rhythm. Most of all, I like Tomoko’s goodbye part! It sounds like some filter was put on Akari and Yuka’s vocals? Other than that, this is a solid song.

Ai ・Ai ・Gasa 5/5

This is a very happy and upbeat J=J like song. Love how the song starts out with the chorus, which is definitely the best part of the song with the repetition of the Ai Ai Ai Gasa part. The solo’s are on point, and everyone pretty much has an equal chance to sing. Love the ending part with the I love you…I want you…I need you which reminds me a lot of AKB’s Heavy Rotation.

Umaretate no Baby Love 5/5

Another upbeat song! Reminds me of ai ai gasa, except less dreamy. This song actually made me check out this album. I usually do not bother too much with album, but once I heard this song live, I had to. Overall, this is one of the best songs on the album to me.

Erabareshi Watashitachi 4/5

This song takes a lot to warm up to. It’s one of those “mature” songs that sounds generic in a way. but if you listen to it, it eventually sticks. Not sure I like those weird shouts in the versus. Also, despite Sayubee having the most lines, Yuka’s vocals fit this song the best. Not bad, but it took me too long to fully like the song.

GIRLS BE AMBITIOUS 4.5/5

This song has a lot of energy, I love it! The line distribution is extremely fair, and every member gets their own solo line. Love the chorus part where they sing “Yeah Yeah Yeah Girls be Ambitious.” This song would song great live, but seems to fall a little flat in this recording.

Ai no Diving 4.5/5

Another mature song, like Erabareshi Watashi. I think this song is superior to Erabareshi Watashi. It has a really interesting instrumental, and the chorus repetition of “Ai no Diving, yuukan ai no diving” is really catchy, along with the ending. Akari sounds amazing here as well.

Tick-tock Watashi no Shun 5/5

This is definitely the most fun song on the album! It has a fantasy-like feel to it. The members sing with a lot of emotion in the lyrics, and there are a lot of singing parts. The chorus is really fast paced, and it’s overall one of the best songs on the album that feels like it would be fun live too.

Mirai e, Saa Hashiridase! 3.5/5

Probably my least favorite song out of the whole album. It just sounds really generic, and the vocals sound a little strained in the chorus. I do like how they say their name at the end of the chorus, and the song gives off a feeling of a concert ending song or an encore. This will probably become their song.

Tsuzuiteiku STORY 4/5

The album closes with a ballad. I don’t think the group has done any ballad’s ever before, so for their first ballad, they hit the nail on the head. This song is nothing really special. In fact, it would be really boring, but the members have amazing strong and distinct vocals that really “make” the song. The versus are my favorite part!

 

So this is the groups first album! It took them many years to release one, but it was so worth it. H!P albums can be a hit or a miss, this one was definitely a hit. The new song’s were overall really great, and had diverse sounds.

SIlent Siren: 31 Wonderland

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Ring Ring Ring 4/5

At 0:15, this song kind of sounds too similar to Kimi wa Tenki, their other song. Other than that, this is a solid song. I love the “Hey, Hello, Ogenki desu ka?” part, because of the blend of English and Japanese. The chorus is catchy with the “Ring ring ring” part as well. Other than that, this song seems a little too similar to some of their other songs.

Biisan 4/5

The “Whoah oh oh” parts are really really cute and catchy. This song has a very summery and refreshing sound. The versus are really boring, but the chorus is solid. I don’t really think this is a strong single for them, but it’s a solid song.

Are You Ready? 4.5/5

This song takes on a much darker tone than most of their songs. I love the the interruptions with the vocals in the versus. I have no idea what they’re saying, but it sounds good. The chorus is really good as well. I love the whispered “Are You Ready” part. Definitely the best so far on the album.

LOVE FIGHTER 4/5

This is pretty average song. It kind of sounds like their past songs, but it somehow has a very calming and comfortable feeling? I like all of the chanting, it adds energy to the song. I think I prefer this over the a-side IxU.

Antionmy 4/5

The beginning of the song starts out great with the piano, then it feels kind of feels that part crashes too much with the rock sound. I do like the instrumental though, and some of the vocals have a filter applied, which sounds cool. Other than that, I just can’t seem to get into this song.

Delay 4/5

The instrumental has a cool rhythm to it, it’s not new, but it’s familiar, which I guess is why I like it. This song has a calming feeling, and I like the “sono kimi ga” part before the chorus.  Not a bad song, it feels like a solid b-side song or something.

I x U 3.5/5

Here’s a sort of christmasy ballad that was one of the groups singles. Suu’s soft vocals in this song are everything. It’s an okay song. Not really single material in my opinion.

Limited 5/5

I heard this song before I got this album. Basically, this song made me want to listen to this album. This song is darker, more so than “Are You Ready” , and I love it. Love the chorus with the repetition of words, as well as the “Semai semai sekai” part. One of the better, if not best songs on the album.

Milestone 4/5

Can’t be an album without a ballad! Here is the album’s ballad. I like the “kira kira hikaru” part of the versus. The chorus however, is quite annoying compared to the calmness of the versus. I don’t if it’s just Suu’s vocals, or if it’s the melody? It isn’t bad at all, but it’s definitely not their best ballad

Amefuri Frill 5/5

Here is a song that quickly became one of my favorites. It really stands out due to the pauses in the song and the variation in how the lyrics are sung. It sounds different from what they’ve done in the past, and it’s fun. One of the best on the album!

Guru Guru Wonderland 4/5

Here is the title song. It’s a really upbeat and happy song, perfect for ending an album. The versus are a little bland, but the chorus rocks. I love the “iin jan” parts, and the little chants. It has a lot of energy, but I just can’t love this song 100% no matter how many times I listen to it for some reason.

So… I wasn’t really feeling this album. In their past 2 mini albums, I liked 90% of the songs. This album, I can only say that I really fully like 3-4 of them. It isn’t a horrible album, but It just didn’t feel as good as their previous mini albums.

Fairies: Kiss me Babe/Hirari

Kiss me Babe 4.5/5

This song is so different than the group has done in the past. The instrumental has character, and I absolutely love Sora’s rap! It sounds really good. Even Miki get’s a line right before the chorus. In the recording, she sounds good, but live she’s screechy. The chorus is catchy and easy to sing. Near the end though, it kind of sounds a little messy, but other than that, this song just adds another awesome song to Fairies impressive discography.

Hirari 4/5

This song is more idol-y than ksb, but it has a very catchy and sort of flowy melody for the chorus. It sounds kind of dreamy, and feels like it would be a great b-side to “Hikari ni hate ni“. All of the members sing the chorus; always a plus. The versus are okay, but at least Miki get’s a lot of solo lines. I think the auto-tune is completely unneeded though.

Tokimeku Tokyo 4.5/5

This song seems very American/Kpop inspired, but somehow it still feels fairies-like. Feels like it should have been a b-side for BLING BLING love. I love the powerful chorus, with the melodies, and overlapping vocals. Though the rap near the end, not Sora’s rap, but the one before that sounds really really lame. The lyrics are just too typical. It’s not their fault though because whoever wrote this song isn’t writing it for native English speakers, but still. Also, this should have been the other a-side instead of Hirari because it’s so good!

So this single is just as sold as their previous one’s. It’s still very Fairies-like, but with trying a new sort of sound. I’m excited to review Soushisouai destination.