Girls’ Generation: ‘Holiday Night’ – Album Review

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Released: August 4, 2017 (SM Entertainment)

South Korea’s finest export, Girls’ Generation, have surprised the K-pop world with the release of their sixth studio album Holiday Night. And it looks like the girls are going back to the disco and funk rhythms they first adopted on their previous effort, Lion Heart. Damn, even though Lion Heart was released two years ago, it still feels like it was only released yesterday. The girls—Seohyun, Sunny, Taeyeon, Tiffany, Yoona, Hyoyeon, Yuri and Sooyoung—have showcased a variety of talents throughout the years, spanning from singing, songwriting, and performing, so with Holiday Night, it’s nothing but a walk in the park. Continue reading “Girls’ Generation: ‘Holiday Night’ – Album Review”

Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘M(A)DE IN JAPAN’ – Album Review

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Released: June 29, 2016 (Avex Trax)

So back last year, Ayumi Hamasaki—the queen of J-pop, so to speak—released her 17th studio album Made in Japan… without any hype or announcement… or musical teasers… aka, she’s trying something different for once (in terms of promotion, thank god…). But for me, it wasn’t a so-called surprise release because… well, she releases an album every single damn year, so it’s far from a surprise or a shock. Her going on a musical break would be a shocker (for me, to say the least). But alas, she treats her current fan-base with continuously-around-the-clock album releases. Continue reading “Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘M(A)DE IN JAPAN’ – Album Review”

Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Sixxxxxx’ – EP Review

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Released: August 5, 2015 (Avex Trax)

Clearly after the release of Ayu’s 2015 studio album A One, she sure had some unfinished business to attend to. And that business, predictably, resulted into her mini-album Sixxxxxx—a title that represents the fact it’s her sixth mini-album and that it features six songs—which, drum roll please… was released five months later. No tea or no shade y’all, but when I heard she was releasing this mini-album, I was just like “Really Ms. Thang? really? You gon’ be releasing this STRAIGHT after A One? Yup, okay then…”. Continue reading “Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Sixxxxxx’ – EP Review”

Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘A One’ – Album Review

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Released: April 8, 2015 (Avex Trax)

In 2015, Japan’s reigning queen of pop Ayumi Hamasaki released her studio album A One, her 16th to be exact. And do you want to know something exciting? Well, there isn’t any… It’s just Ayu-chan releasing another album… every year. These days, I just throw a dart on my calendar and just wait for Ayu to drop an album on that given month. Because quite frankly, it’s inevitable; Ayu releases an album every damn year, so don’t get too excited or frantic. But let’s just move aside this and talk about the album. Continue reading “Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘A One’ – Album Review”

Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Colours’ – Album Review

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Released: July 2, 2014 (Avex Trax)

Habitually, Ayu-chan would release a studio album every single year. It’s inevitable as hell and, giving the fact that she has pigeonholed herself now as songstress that only deals with J-pop tunes (ehhh…), it comes wholesomely inconsistent and predictable. So when Ms. Ayu released her fifteenth studio album Colours back in July 2014, I wasn’t surprised. I was like “Oh, okay, I guess I’ll stream samples on iTunes to check this shindig out.” But trust me y’all, I was hella shocked. And yes, I mean shocked. Continue reading “Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Colours’ – Album Review”

Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Love Again’ – Album Review

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Released: February 8, 2013 (Avex Trax) 

Ayumi Hamasaki’s 2013 studio album Love Again is as predictable as it could get. Having flourished with a slightly similar conceptual record back in 2010—the timid Love Songs—Ayu-chan most have said to herself, “You know what? F it, I’mma release another record like my other records.” And that’s the result of Love Again, a frilly J-Pop record that discusses nothing but forbidden love, lost love, current love, and… well, anything with the title love in it, to be exact. But unlike most of her records, Love Again is one of those golden moments that manages to be compacted quite nicely.

Continue reading “Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Love Again’ – Album Review”

Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Party Queen’ – Album Review

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Released: March 21, 2012 (Avex Trax)

Ahhhhhh, Party Queen. A title that Ayumi Hamasaki doesn’t particularly resonate well, seemingly because half her discography flourishes with J-pop ballads. But clearly Ayumi thought that 2012 was gon’ be her year with dance music, so she decided to belt that out with a title track of the same name. A glamorous hybrid of dance and rock together? Yes, it sure is. But a inspiring tune that showcases a crystallising edge that conveys Ayu’s capabilities? Ehhhh, no. Continue reading “Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Party Queen’ – Album Review”

Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Love Songs’ – Album Review

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Released: December 22, 2010 (Avex Trax)

Back in 2010, Ayumi Hamasaki had a pretty thrilling year with the release of one of her best records in my opinion, Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus. She ws on top, and to continue this reign, she decided to release another album Love Songs, in December that year. Because why? Because why the F not… that’s why. But unfortunately, what I didn’t understand is why she would release a completely J-Pop god-like album at one half of the year, then release a dull and monochromatic album like Love Songs. Whatever the meaning was, it’s still a lil’ bit baffling, but at least it isn’t entire bad. Continue reading “Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Love Songs’ – Album Review”

Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus’ – Album Review

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Released: April 14, 2010 (Avex Trax)

Ayu-chan’s studio album’s are always a case of hit-or-miss. She can belt out a pretty awesome single, and a few follow-up’s manage to showcase a fun yet slim diversity of style. But when it comes to album’s, Ms. Ayu never seems to reach a full-flight of potential or consistency as what we would expect from the singles she pre-releases. But back in April 2010, Ayumi Hamasaki’s eleventh studio album Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus, without a doubt, beat the odds. And thank the J-Pop lords for that… Continue reading “Ayumi Hamasaki: ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus’ – Album Review”