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miwa – guitarissimo

There are a few things, musically, I’m prone to loving. First is genki idol music – like Guru Guru Jump by Momusu, and most of Momoiro Clover’s singles, second is American Pop-Punk, and thirdly, it’s a girl with a guitar. So, as it hits #3 – miwa’s “guitarissimo” has been my latest guilty pleasure.

 

Miwa debued last year, and her singles, hadn’t, for some reason, piqued my interest, but sometimes you have to hear songs within a context of an album to realise why they’re special – or even have the right setting around you. Picture this – a sunny Friday afternoon, walking home from work, and her latest album shuffles on through pure coincidence.

 

Oh miwa, how could I have overlooked you before? Pop-rock guitar and light vocals, you’ll make even the K-ON! girls jealous.

 

miwa will probably be best known outside of Japan as singing the 12billionth opening to BLEACH – chAngE, which although I don’t think is the best song on this album, is pretty damn catchy. This album has a lot of energy, it starts off with the rocking “Arienai!” which sounds like a mad mash of a PUFFY song with YUKI’s vocals. miwa doesn’t just do bubbly pop-punk however, she covers a range of rocky styles and seems to be a pop-rock chamelon, easily flitting between various styles (check out the vocals on hys and the beautiful ballad, Otoshimono). However, miwa’s vocals are something unbelieable – her range is not only on the “high” side, but she also has the ability to hit all the notes perfectly, without screeching (Don’t cry anymore is a good example of this). She’s also not part of that high pitched whiny singing circle which seems popular in Japan, and something which puts me off listening to full albums of high ranged vocalists.

 

The album overall is well balanced, opening on a powerful, fun song, and ending on the ballad Tsuyoku Naritai (I want to become strong), which I personally thought to be a nice touch. I have to admit, the singles are the strongest songs of the album, however, considering the majority of them weren’t massive hits (well, maybe with the exception of Don’t cry anymore which did quite well in digital sales), the album tracks definetly glue the album together.

 

A strong debut album is always a good foothold of success in Japan, as it could possibly be your only notable album. Miwa’s cracked it, and hopefully, she’ll be back sooner than later with another helping of warm summery guitar pop.

 

Recommended if you like: YUI, SCANDAL, Stereopony, YUKI

 

  1. Arienai!!
  2. Don’t Cry Anymore
  3. Friend ~Kimi ga Waraeba~
  4. Haru ni Nattara
  5. hys~
  6. Otoshimono
  7. Dear Days
  8. Samenai Yume
  9. chAngE
  10. Megurogawa
  11. Hatsu Natsu
  12. Little Girl
  13. Bokura no Mirai
  14. Tsuyoku Naritai

 

Does anyone else find the cat on album cover a bit too big and creepy by the way?

 

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BLEACH prizes

I almost forgot to mention one of the coolest things which happened to me over the Christmas period.  I won 2 limited edition BLEACH boxsets from a UK Anime Network twitter competition!

I haven’t won many prizes in my life, and I wont pretend that re-tweeting something on twitter required much skill or effort from me – but this is by far the best thing I’ve ever won!  And a good excuse to start watching BLEACH again.  The quality in these boxsets is really nice – manga have really turned into a superior DVD distributer!  Even better, I found this out on boxing day.  The weirdest thing of all though… the BLEACH boxset #1 was limited edition #84 ~ the same number as the Ai no Dai 6 Kan limited edition trading card I got ~ both of which arrived on the same day… I think I may have a new lucky number!

Thanks a load to UK Anime Network who put on the competition!  This really made my day – now to stop my brother from stealing them…

Aqua Timez – Velonica

aqua-timezAqua Timez present their first single of 2009 Velonica (also being used as the 9th Bleach Opening) provokes a darker edge from their 2008 ballads (Niji and Natsu no Kakera), with faster rapping, rockier guitars and chilling synth keyboard while remaining at a mild tempo.

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