Yamapi – Que Sera Sera PV preview

YamashitaiTomohisa

The PV preview for Yamapi’s upcoming new single, Que Sera Sera, was recently released.

I have to say as someone who is, and has always been, only a casual fan of Yamapi whenever he releases something I never have high expectations for it. Not to say that I think his music is going to be terrible, but Yamapi has always had a mix of great music and terrible music. I just remain completely indifferent towards him. If his music is good that’s fine, and if it’s bad, well, that’s fine too. This is nothing new really while he was in NEWS I only payed attention to him for his looks. Even now I only watch performances and concerts because among all the Johnny’s he’s the one most comfortable with taking his shirt off. And I of course appreciate whatever little fanservice Johnny’s throws our way.

Well, enough about dead fish eyes himself, and more about this song and PV. I actually forgot to make a post about the preview of this song, so I’m going to do it now.

I’m actually really happy with the song. Since switching over to Warner Music his music as a whole has been getting increasingly better. Supergood, Superbad was forgettable, but some of the songs on Ero were almost too good to miss. And as for singles, I actually think Que Sera Sera might actually be my favorite single by him ever. Initially when I heard about this song it did cut like a knife at the still unhealed wounds of Aicle’s disbandment. But once I listened to the song I was actually really impressed.

It’s got a really interesting instrumental. That I’m not exactly sure how to describe it. It’s got this subtle dark and eerie Jrock sound to it that I absolutely love. Something that old school Ayabie or THE KIDDIE would release. Tell me it doesn’t sound like a  toned down version of Ayabie’s Cubic’ [L/R] ock mixed with like the THE KIDDIES’s The Black Side. Maybe even with a dash of Japanese Low-res Caramel Town mixed in for good measure. (Sorry for all the Jrock references in this post that my readers might not get. All the songs I mentioned are quality, so listen to them if your interest is peaked enough.)

After reading the translation I like how the song itself also has a slightly dark themed lyrics, but in a fun way. Kind of like the playfullness and dark undertones of Tommy Heavely6’s songs. Who I’m a gigantic fan of by the way. I’m just really impressed with the song overall.

Moving on to the PV, I’m equally impressed with it. For starters Yamapi looks gorgeous in it. A lot better than he’s looked in his previous Warner Music PVs. He’s wearing a rockish outfits that looks like something Daigo might wear. I think it’s the fingerless glove that makes my mind immediately go to Daigo.

The PV itself is just visually stunning. It’s got this dark fairytale theme going on with dancing mushrooms, people dressed as rabbits, and a real lion. I’m just really blown away by it. The PV is almost like a mix of Misono’s VS PV and Kyary’s Tsukema Tsukeru PV. It’s just a really cool PV so far.

Yamapi-Love Chase PV preview

The PV preview for Yamapi’s 2nd solo single since leaving NEWS, Love Chase, has recently been released.

Am I the only one who thinks it’s hilarious how little effort is being put into Yamapi’s career post NEWS. Well, PV wise anyway. I don’t care enough to know if he’s doing concerts or appearances. He leaves NEWS just to have this medicore solo career. And it’s not even like he’s doing more once he left NEWS. His solo singles are being released just as frequently as when he was a part of NEWS, and he was in a drama. Pretty much just like he would be doing with NEWS. Sorry, but I’ll never stop being bitter about this.

But moving on to the topic at hand, I have to admit I actually do like his solo singles. But it’s more of a love/hate thing. His singles are really danceable and catchy. However, no matter how much he’s been pushing himself into the role, his voices has never suited dance music. He’s better suited for soft ballads. So, he’s in this weird place where the overall sound of his music is good but he’s voice sounds out of place. At least for me anyway.

And his PVs aren’t much better. This PV so far looks just awful. It’s basically nothing but Yamapi dancing in different outfits, sometimes with a girl, on a plain gray backdrop. Really cutting edge there Warner. There is absolutely no effort in this PV at all. It seems like the director is just hoping you won’t care boring the PV is and just focus on the fact that there’s 3 Yamapi’s.

And I might me able to if his new haircut wasn’t so hideous. It looks fine went it’s styled a bit, but when it’s just laying flat it’s terrible. And the outfits he’s wearing aren’t helping much either. One of them looks like he’s ready to play golf or teach high school English. The other one is him in a trenchcoat. Which is ridiculous because no one wears them indoors unless they’re Columbo. And the last outfit is supposed to be the idol outfit for the fans. Since he’s wearing an effeminate parka and a skin tight shirt. Which I do admit I kind of like. Except for the ripped pants.

I’ve just so over Yamapi to be honest. When he was in NEWS he was never anything more than the guy who could sing and was eyecandy. That hasn’t really changed much now, except you add the animosity I still have towards him.

Yamapi-Ai, Texas PV preview

Recently a PV preview for Yamapi’s upcoming new single, Ai, Texas, was released.

After watching the PV preview I have mixed feeling about the PV. The first half of the PV preview shows Yamapi walking in front of some really cheap and poorly done GC backgrounds. You should never watch a PV and have your first impression be, “Well, that’s obviously fake.” The PV also doesn’t have any dance scenes so Yamapi makes up for that with some really ridiculous hand movements. I was literally waiting for him to throw up the Daigo cross rock hands, but then I remembered that was Tegoshi’s thing.

The PV isn’t really all bad, towards the end of the preview we see Yamapi in a bar setting. It’s not really super interesting, but I actually couldn’t tell that it was fake. And I do like the filter effects on that scene. It reminds me a lot of his Hadakanbo PV. And of course he’s looking as gorgeous as ever. But he really needs to work on his English, I had no idea he was saying don’t you think so until I watched this video. Perhaps he should spend time actually studing English with his random French chick.

Yamapi-Ai, Texas preview

Recently the full radio rip for Yamapi’s upcoming singles Ai, Texas was released.

I’m really surprised with the way that this song sounds. It’s so not like something Yamapi would make. And not even because lately he’s been releasing electronic dance music. The song is just so unYamapi, if that even makes sense. It just doesn’t really fit his voice. But I actually do really love the overall sound of the song. The music is this very soft sort of ballad like rock music. But the whole reason I love the music is because it sounds like something Buono would do. It sounds fairly similar in style to Take It Easy by Buono or even 1/3 no Junjou na Kanjou. (and yes, I am well aware that Buono’s version is a cover.) Also the last line’s of each verse where he changes the pitch and extends the lines sounds exactly like what Momoko does at the end of her lines in the verses of Buono’s Independent Girl.

But, I think the chorus of this song throws off the flow of the song entirely. It’s one of the only times in a song where the chorus isn’t the best part. It just sounds really awkward. There’s this weird echo effect on his voice that makes it sound really odd and creepy. And the same time it makes the chorus sound super serious and corny.

But favorite part of this song by far is Yamapi’s speaking parts. I’m just a sucker for when he speaks in songs. His speaking parts have always been my favorite parts of NEWS’s Bambina and Akaku Moyuru Taiyou. What can I say, Yamapi has a hot voice.

Yamapi to release first official solo single

It was announced that Yamapi will be providing the theme for his upcoming drama Saikou no Jinsei no Owarikata~Ending Planner~. The single will be titled Ai, Texas and will be released later this spring by Waner Music Japan. This will mark his 5th solo single overall, but also his first single since leaving NEWS and becoming officially solo. I guess that means his meetings with Warner Music had nothing to do with him debuting in America, but just securing his solo career in Japan. Which is awesome to be honest. I cannot imagine him in the US at all.

I knew Yamapi’s next single would be announced anyday now, but I really wasn’t expecting it to be this soon. And I really didn’t want him to release something before NEWS does. But I guess I should have been expecting it. Since Hey! Say! JUMP’s still unconfirmed new single, Super Delicate, is going to be the theme to Ryosuke’s and Yuto’s drama Risou no Musuko, and AKB48’s new single announcement didn’t mention anything about this drama, that only left Yamapi. This news is completely bittersweet. On one hand I’m still not over the whole NEWS fiasco, but on the other I am still excited for another Yamapi single. I really do like Yamapi’s voice and his solo releases are good. His solo singles anyway, his solo album was terrible.

But the title of the single doesn’t really sit right with me. It’s completely random and makes absolutely no sense. What is so exciting about Texas honestly? There’s not really anything spectacular enough to write a Japanese song about it. Maybe he’ll film the PV in Texas and use this as some sort of cross-promotion for his new show Route 66. It seems like the most logical answer.

Best Album Songs of 2011

Now, I am bringing you my conclusion to my 2011 ranking, countdown extravaganza: Best Album songs of 2011.

This was the hardest list to write, there have been so many good album songs released this year. This list alone to be roughly 3 hours just to rank. I relistened to every album released in 2011 and wrote down every song that I liked. At that point I was at 26, and I then had to relisten to each song and painstakingly narrow it down even further. While some songs were more obvious then others, it was overall a pretty difficult task.

I actually wanted to add a part 4 this year: Best PVs of 2011. But these posts took way longer than I anticipated already, so I was completely uninspired to write it. But there’s always next year I suppose.

10. Renai Circus

AKB48’s first original album was pretty dismal at best. Renai Circus is pretty much one of the only decent songs on the entire album. But even this song isn’t all that spectacular, which is why it’s so low. I think the best way to desribe this song is adorable, but I’d expect nothing less from Team B. The music is pretty upbeat and silly, I do wish they incorporated more of a circus element into though. My absolute favorite part of the song is the chorus that’s when the song really picks up and is super cute. I also really love all the background speaking in noises throughout the song, it just adds the unseriousness of the song. The lyrics are also pretty cute. For the most part it’s just describing what a circus is, but I still think love and a circus is a cute comparison. Though I do think the trapeze parts describe love better. The song is just fun, and silly the type of song that I like.

9. Santa Maria

Yamapi’s solo album is another album I wasn’t really all that impressed with. His voice just does not fit with club music. So, I can just imagine how bad his solo career is going to be. But that’s off topic. But when I listened to this album this song just immediately stuck out to me. It’s probably one of the most meaningful songs on the entire album. It’s basically Yamapi losing, or about to lose, his girlfriend, and then begging Santa Maria to bring her back because he can’t bare to be without her. I think the song is incredibly sad and heartbreaking. And I’ll admit the reason I do like this song so much is because the lyrics remind me of Last Kiss by J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. But the lyrics still are good. The club music does kind of ruin the song a bit. It’s basically like saying, “I’m so sad that I feel like dying, but you know I could still dance.”

8. Icchoume Rock

I really love this song, I think it’s definitely the best song from the album. But that’s not really saying much as I consider 7 Berryz Times to be one of their weakest albums. But Icchoume Rock is really fun, and upbeat. It’s got a subtle rock beat and is extremely easy to dance to. The super positive message of the song is another reason why I like it. It’s basically a song about being and happy, and to just jumpi into things instead of waiting. I like idol songs like that, songs that just instantly cheer you up.

7. Tooku Made

Arashi’s Beautiful World album had a very a dance/electronic theme to it, I thought it just completely worked for them. As, a whole the entire album was great so it was super difficult to pick which songs were the best. But I picked Tooku Made because it has the unique Arashi sound. It’s slow paced, but at the same time it’s still upbeat. And the n the chrous hits and it’s just incredibly catchy and amazing. The song is pretty simple, but it’s simplicity is another reason I like it. It’s light, fresh, and really pretty. And since this is Arashi we get the pretty typical love lyrics. It’s about any mundane moment being significantly better because you’re with the person you love. It’s just really adorable.

6. Kakenukete Blue

I absolutely love YuiKaori because they encompass everything I love about idol music. Upbeat music and sugary sweet voices. And this song doesn’t disappoint. The music has heavy anime sounding music which is pretty much a standard with YuiKaori. The song is pretty upbeat for the whole song, but of course it really picks up during the chorus. Where you really get the full effect of their adorable voices and how well that they blend together. I just enjoy every second of this song. It is so fun and cute that I don’t even mind that I have no idea what the song is about.

5. Ok Yeah

Here comes Morning Musume delivering a hard-hitting, heart pumping dance song. This song is just perfect in every way. It is insanely upbeat and incredible to dance to. The music is amazing, and I love all the voice and sound effects. Like all the woos straight out of eurobeat. (Or Uchouten Love.) And I love when Reina’s, Risa’s, and Sayumi’s high hotes are distorted and extened with the robot effect. I think it completely works with the song. And I love the intense music break where it’s just nothing but electronic trance music for like 30 seconds. The song is about enjoying your youth and going all out chasing your dreams and life. While I am not really in my youth (Technically I am since I’m only 19, but I’m not in my high school youth, which is what they most likely mean.) But the lyrics are still good if you disregard all the youth and young girl aspects. The song then just means being confident and not living without regrets.

4. Mada minu sekai e

This song is just incredible. Which is why they made a PV for it. The music has this futuristic, electronic sound to it. And it’s not too much. It’s like the perfect balance of intense music and soft parts. I absolutely love the autotune they put on Sho’s rap parts, it’s added at the perfect part of the song and it’s done perfectly. The entire song is catchy from start to finish. I have not been able to get this song out of my head for months. They lyrics are pretty encouraging too. Basically telling you to keep going no matter how usure you are of the future.

3. Suki da na kimi ga

This song, I have been absolutely in love with this song since I first heard the radio rip. It’s just perfect. You Mainly hear Sayumi’s voice and instead of ruining it she actually enhances it. Which is a complete rarity for her. This song just completely compliments Sayumi’s and Mizuki’s voices. And Sayumi and Mizuki blend together so seamlessly it almost sounds like one voice. People have complained that you can only hear Sayumi, but that completely isn’t true. Really listen and you can hear Mizuki. She’s just taking the lower parts and is harmonizing, like what Aibon used to do in W. Songs like Juushichi no Natsu you mainly hear Nono.Off topic, I know. This song is just amazing! It’s cuteness overload. It is soft, airy, and pretty, while still have upbeat and interesting elements to the song. The lyrics are also equally cute. It’s about liking someone no matter what their falts are and still thinking they are cute. And wanting to be with them no matter what.

2. Iza, Susume! Steady go!

Iza, Susume! Steady go! has always been one of my favorite songs off of C-ute’s 6th album. But I didn’t realize just how much I loved this song until I saw them perform it live. And it is incedible! This song is nonstop energy from start to finish. The music is heavy and intesnse and the singing matches. Airi sounds just amazing in this song, you can really hear the emotion in her lines. This song is so positive, and upbeat, and fun, and just everything about it is amazing. Everyone’s singing is just so powerful. This song is just so engaging on every level from start to finish. I can’t get tired of this song or get it out of my head. The lyrics are great too. About going full force no matter what. And to always be positive and dream endlessly.

1. Wani to Shampoo

And MomoClo manages to come out on top! After I heard Battle and Romance for the first there was no doubt in my mind that Wani to Shampoo was one of the best idol songs. When I first heard it I wasn’t even thiking about my 2011 top 10 posts, I just thought it was one of the best idol songs I’d heard in a while. Momoiro Clover Z really is the most energetic idols out there. This song hits you with a powerful punch of energy as soon as the chorus hits. And you can’t help but being as over the top as the song itself is. I just can’t properly put into words how much I love this song. The intensity of the song, the energy, the singing, how danceable it is, it’s just an amazing song. If anyone ever asked me why I liked idol music this is the song I’d have them listen to. I don’t even care that this song is about forgetting to do you summer homework. It just shows that idol music is supposed to be fun, and not serious. Especially from an idol group that wears panda makeup and wears power rangers costumes in their PVs. Whenever I’m in a bad mood or just want and instant shot of energy, I play this song.

 

Honorable mentions:

1. Berryz Koubou – Onna No Pride
2. C-ute Chou Wonderful
3. C-ute Midnight Temptation
4. Morning Musume – Silver no udedokei
5. Morning Musume – Kaiketsu positive A
6. Arashi – Morning Light
7. Arashi – Negai
8. Arashi – Always
9. Arashi – Shake It
10. Arashi – Doko ni Demo Aru Uta
11. Momoiro Clover Z – MomoClo no Nippon Manzai!
12. YuiKaori – Magic Starter
13. YuiKaori – Puppy Love
14. YuiKaori – Crystal no Chikai
15. AKB48 – High School Days
16. Yamashita Tomohisa – Kuchizuke de Adios
17. no3b – Cloudy Sky

Yamapi and Ryo-chan announce withdraw from NEWS

I said I was going to do it, and I did. I was absolutely optimistic until the very end. But in the end, reality catches up to all of us. And now I have to blog about an announcement I never wanted to hear. And announcement I never wanted to admit would happen. It was announced that Yamashita Tomohisa and Nishikdo Ryo are withdrawing from NEWS, and that NEWS will now carry on as a 4 person group. Yamapi said his reason for leaving is to persue a solo career. And Ryo-chan’s reason is it has become to tiring to be part of 2 groups anymore.

Well, I was right about NEWS not breaking up. And I was right about Yamapi’s departure not spelling the end for NEWS. So why aren’t I happy? I am actually as far away from happy as you can get. Devastated is nowhere near a strong enough word to describe how I feel right now. I have such a huge attachment to NEWS that this news has caused such an intense, almost crippling, pain. After I found out I immediately started to cry. Which is one of the few advantages of being a female idol fan. I’m not sure if male fans cry over news like this. But as a fan I developed a relationship with my favorite idols. After following them for so long, and knowing almost everything about them it really feels like we’re friends. Not in the normal sense of the word, but in this odd way that is completely unique to idol fans. So, if anything happens to my favorite idol group or idol that makes it so I can no longer see them, of course I’m going to react as if this was happening to a regular friend. And the only logical responce then is to cry. And I’ve cried many times over idols. I got 10 minutes into Kon Kon’s graduation concert and started crying and have never watched it to this day for that reason. Kago Ai announced she was making a come back in the entertainment world so I cried tears of joy. Arihara Kanna left C-ute I weeped. Kusumi Koharu announced her graduation I was hit with a devistation as strong as I’m feeling now. I got half way through Koharu’s graduation concert before I cried and could no longer watch it. Didn’t even trying to watch Eri’s, LinLin’s, and JunJun’s graduation concert. Crying just seems like an automatic, uncontrolable responce.

Right now it literally feels like there is a giant gaping hole in my chest. I cried for about 20 minutes straight. Even now I am struggling to keep the tears back. And people reading this can mock that all they want. They can think it’s an overreaction all they want. But I honestly don’t care, I’m putting it all out there. People might even think there’s not a reason to cry because NEWS isn’t breaking up. But there obviously is. And I’m not going to sit here and pretend this doesn’t effect me at all, because it does. It effects me a lot. And I’m honestly crying for a number of reasons. I’m crying because I will never see Ryo-chan in NEWS again. (Believe it or not I don’t care that Yamapi is gone.) I’m crying because NEWS will never be the same again. But I’m mostly crying because NEWS as I know it no longer exists, which is the reason I cried so much over Koharu. I cried a lot over Kusumi Koharu because I loved her. She was my absolute favorite H!P person at the time, and still is. I loved everything about her. And for her to go suddenly was heartbreaking. But really the main reason I cried was because Koharu was the reason I knew what Morning Musume and Hello!Project was. The reason I found out about idols in the first place. And it was like the whole reason why I loved idols was disappearing. Which is exactly what NEWS was with Johnny’s. Before I heard of NEWS I literally didn’t know there even were male idols. No, seriously I didn’t. And when I first heard Weeeek it was like I was introduced to a world I had no idea existed. The same way that Dir en grey was my introduction to Japanese music as a whole. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if they broke up.

Right now about 40 minutes have past since I heard about this. And the news is sinking in. I’m starting to accept it now. Well, not really accept because I don’t accept it and never will. I’m pretty much just acknowledging that it happened and there’s nothing I can do about it. Because there’s not. Like I said before, us idol fans are completely helpless when it comes to things like this. I honestly don’t know what to do right now. NEWS is my favorite group, but they are becoming a shell of what they used to be. NEWS started as 9, but is now down to 4. And NEWS to me has always really just been Ryo-chan. He’s the first person I noticed. And instantly become my favorite. When I first got into NEWS people told me I shouldn’t like him because of how much of a jerk he was. I found a video of Ryo saying he hated Ueda and I literally laughed about it. And from that moment I fell in love with tsundere, poison tounged Ryo-chan. And he’s pretty much all I focused on. Yamapi is gorgeous but he’s a little boring to me. And it’s because he’s to nice and softspoken. And hardly ever makes jokes. I cannot stand Tegoshi because of how arrogant he is. Kei-chan and Shige are awesome. But they are only really entertaining together. Alone they are kind of hit or miss. And Massu I’m sort of indifferent towards him. However, together they kind of bring out the best in each other. They are always hilarious moments on TV appearances or concert DVDs.

I can’t even imagine what NEWS being 4 members will be like. Ryo and Yamapi sing a lot of lyrics. And most of those lyrics will not sound as good with someone else singing them. Do you think anyone but Ryo could pull off Code? Or listen to Kei-chan’s high note in Sayaendou comapred to Yamapi’s. It’s nowhere near as good. Shige is the worst singer in NEWS and can barely handle his own lines. NEWS needs Ryo’s deep husky voice and Yamapi’s soft pretty voice. But obviously they don’t have it anymore. When I first became a NEWS fan Fiesta became my favorite song, and it still is. Half because it’s catchy and half because Ryo-chan sings a big chunk of the song. What will Fiesta sound like now? I mean, it’s still not the same without Kusano. But without Yamapi and Ryo, I can’t imagine it.

I can understand that Ryo wanted to leave NEWS. I get it. They overworked him so much, that eventually something had to give. But Yamapi, seriously. I’m sorry if his solo activites are really about the US as well, he’s worse off then Jin. And I have to admit that I am slightly angry at Yamapi and Kanjnai8. But there’s not point in feeling that way. It’s not going to change anything.

I’m not really sure what I’m going to do now. As heartbroken as I am now, and as much as I don’t want to at this moment, I’ll most likely continue to support NEWS as I always have. And of course Yamapi’s solos stuff, and I’ll probably even give Kanjani8 another shot. Well, not another shot. I’ve actually never really cared to even listen to them beyond singles. I never bothered to watch more then a couple of their appearances. Kanjani8 is now officially the only way I get to see Ryo-chan. When he was in NEWS I didn’t have to bother with them because I could just focus on him in NEWS.

The bottom line is this isn’t really the rest of NEWS’s fault. And NEWS is still NEWS no matter what. And I actually have a lot more respect for Tegoshi and Massu now. They could have jumped ship because they have Tegomass. But sticking with NEWS basically just for the fans and KoyaShige, you can’t help but admire them for that. Even though Tegoshi is probably thrilled now. He’ll most likely be the face of NEWS now, and attention whore Tegoshi will love that.

The funny thing is just last night I watched a bunch of old NEWS clips and shows because I had faith in them returning. And I hadn’t watched some of those clips in a while. It’s funny how much can change in a day.

Here are some nostalgic NEWS videos. Well, mostly nistalgic for me.

NEWS’s Weeeek PV, the first song I ever heard by them.

My favorite NEWS song Fiesta.

Kei-chan saying they will be nothing without Yamapi. Which actually isn’t funny anymore. Skip to 8 minutes in to see that part.

I loved this game from the Shounen Club. And love Ryo-chan yelling in Osaka ben.

And my favorite NEWS wo abake.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Share, the song NEWS wrote together.

Just a sad song that kind of sums up how I feel.

And Dreams from their comeback concert. Where NEWS was so happy to be back together they cried. The fans cried too.