Last post of 2012 !! ~

December 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM | Posted in !Random! | Leave a comment

Happy New Year, whether it’s still in advance or you’re already watching the fireworks!

2012 was a crazy year, really. For me personally it’s been 75% crap and 25% awesome, two complete opposites but it’s a fact. I’ve had some major issues during the first half of the year and that haunted me for a pretty long time, but then I started my studies at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam in September and it got soooo much better. I’ve met lots and lots of new people, I’ve made more friends than I could have imagined (including my besties Kylianne and Rachel ~) and I started to feel much better than I did before. So I hope 2013 will continue what the last 3 months of this year had brought me!

Stats: The Crunchy Numbers

As for this blog, MusicAddiction, oh my oh my. Guys… THANK YOU. I never thought the blog will grow this much! In 2012, I’ve had 18,000 views! I know some of you think that’s not much, some blogs have more. But just think about it, have they been around longer? Probably, yes, since I opened up shop in August 2010, which means I’ve only been around for little over two years now. Wow, how time flies. About those 18,000 views: 4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. If each view were a film, this blog could power 4 Cannes Film Festivals!
The busiest day of the year was March 21, 2012, on which the blog had 146 views. Most views were for the Ayumi Hamasaki – Party Queen review post.

~ Posts with the most views in 2012 ~

1. Ayumi Hamasaki – Party Queen (454 views)
2. Koda Kumi – JAPONESQUE (408 views)
3. Covers and tracklist for Namie Amuro’s Uncontrolled released (391 views)
4. Namie Amuro – Uncontrolled (336 views)
5. ayaka – The beginning (312 views)

Where were the visitors from?

You guys together come from 115 countries all over the world! My #1? The United States of America with 4,618 views! Canada, The Netherlands and Italy aren’t far behind with 2,207, 1,296 and 1,287 views respectively. A special message to all of you:

Last but not least, I’m going to continue doing everything I can to maintain this blog in 2013! Let’s fly off into the new year together and make it unforgettable!

See you next year ! xX


TaeTiSeo – Twinkle

December 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM | Posted in TaeTiSeo | 2 Comments

TaeTiSeo – Twinkle

1. Twinkle
2. Baby Steps
3. OMG (Oh My God)
4. Library
5. Annyeong
6. Cheoeumi Eotjyo
7. Checkmate

♦ ♦ ♦

Twinkle is the debut mini-album by South-Korean Girls’ Generation’s subgroup TaeTiSeo, released on April 29, 2012.

The fun retro sound that can be found in K-pop more often nowadays clearly returns in Twinkle, something I actually didn’t expect coming from a couple of Girls’ Generation members. Wat also surprises me is how catchy and addictive this song is. The concept is pretty simple, but the little funky retro touch and amazing vocals make it more than it appears to be on the outside. Taeyeon’s vocals are the best ofcourse with her ultra high adlibbing near the end of the song, but Tiffany and even Seohyun are very talented as well. Who says Girls’ Generation doesn’t have talented singers?!

Baby Steps is more of a Pop/R&B ballad and it puts the tracklist in some kind of schizo mood because it’s put right after the sassy Twinkle. Still I’m very impressed by the overall feel. It’s not the overly cute or heavily emotional K-pop ballad track, and yet it’s not too dry either. This ballad found the perfect balance to just be appealing and pretty without overdoing it. Great vocals again, makes me wonder why I still haven’t listened to music from the entire group… *slaps herself*

Back to the brassy retro stuff with OMG (Oh My God). I thought nothing was gonna beat that perfect lead track, but this track comes quite close with some surprising twists in the song (especially in the chorus’ melodies) and great attitude. To be honest, this even has more attitude than Twinkle had, so let’s make it a tie. Taeyeon apparently can’t stop showing off her great vocals but since she’s so good I’ll just let her.

Even with the 80’s kick drum, Library sounds like the first mainstream and stereotype K-pop song with a good dance beat and typical patterns. What gives this track the unexpected different touch is the use of an electric guitar in the background and some bells in the chorus. Makes it kind of cute and winter-ish for an April album, but it’s K-pop. After listening to this song, I find that it’s not as generic as I thought at first and I enjoyed this very much since it’s very uplifting.

Annyeong sounds like another song I know, but I can’t seem to figure out which one it is. Also, in my opinion this song has kind of a Christmas song vibe to it, maybe it’s just the tempo and the piano parts or maybe I’m just crazy. It’s the cutest song yet, but on the other hand what makes it adorable is what makes this song so extremely catchy. It sheds another light on the retro concept of this album, and it does that extremely well for a change.

Cheoeumi Eotjyo (omfg what a title to memorize when you’re not Korean) continues the style of the album (with every track sounding completely different from the rest, that is). Being the second ballad on the album next to Baby Steps, it explores a more soulful side of K-pop music. The background beat is pretty basic with some 80s influences, but the little piano riffs and the vocals make it soulful which is something I haven’t found yet on this album. One minor detail: this song is way too short.

The last song on the original tracklist is Checkmate, which is probably the song with the most attitude of all. The kickdrum beat together with the electric guitar riffs and raw vocals make it the badass song on the album and that’s exactly what I was missing. Talking about your last minute surprises… The drumbeat definitely is the center of attention in this song and I always enjoy a good beat. This one reminds me a bit of the opening section to BoA’s ‘Easy’, but maybe that’s a little too far fetched. Nice brassy elements here too.

I didn’t expect TaeTiSeo, a group with such a cheesy name, to release such an AMAZING debut mini-album. I hope the word ‘debut’ means that there’s more coming up in 2013 because these girls are great! Minus the fact that it’s always Taeyeon that keeps the boat afloat, this group actually works because they took the girls that are probably SNSD’s best vocalists and put them together in one group with a very appealing musical style. True, it’s the style that everyone in the K-pop business is trying nowadays, retro is making its comeback there, but apart from SPICA’s latest mini-album I haven’t heard anything that makes it sound GOOD. TaeTiSeo caught my attention!

Favorite tracks: Twinkle | Baby Steps | OMG (Oh My God) | Library | Annyeong | Cheoeumi Eotjyo | Checkmate

5 stars

Best of 2012: ~Last FM Listening Trends~

December 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM | Posted in !Features! | Leave a comment

Every year, it appears I get a slightly different taste in music. I discover new artists, get tired of other ones, someone releases something that I absolutely love and get addicted to… So this is the second time I feature this list in the Best of 2012 post series, and it’s very different from the one I featured last year (except for the #1 spot ofcourse). From December 27, 2011 to December 27, 2012, I count my plays per artist with Last FM and here is my personal top 10 for this year! Less plays than last year, but that’s because I didn’t listen to much music during the first half of this year. But I made up for that during the past month with 2000 plays…

Bear with me!

1. Disney – 1,596 plays
Last year: #1
Just like last year, I’m not gonna explain this one, haha. If you know me, you know I’m a complete Disney fanatic, and I have this amazing collection box with 5 discs, containing a total of 125 Disney songs that I put on every once in a while. Mostly when I’m busy with my studies. Listening to Disney music always makes me very happy and I want to sing along to all the songs, so hallelujah, Disney can really brighten your day!

2. Koda Kumi – 974 plays
Last year: #3
The rising star on the list for this year is Kuu! My sweet Kuu, she has released one of the best albums of this year! JAPONESQUE may have had a weird title, but the songs on it were so GOOD. I definitely gave some of them a lot of plays this year (‘V.I.P. feat. T-Pain’, ‘No Man’s Land’, etc.). Besides, I decided to listen to her entire discography during a marathon twice this year, so that counted for a lot of plays too. And like I said last year, she gets better with every release, right?

3. Ayumi Hamasaki – 871 plays
Last year: #2
In 2011 I thought she did better than Kuu, but that was mostly because of their album releases in that year, This year the tables have turned and I was actually less enthousiastic about Ayu’s releases. Her album ‘Party Queen’ wasn’t what I expected it to be, although it wasn’t a complete disaster, but then she turned out her two mini-albums later this year and I only liked one of them entirely. The other one… well… just the original mix tracks. Three more releases are planned for the 15th anniversary release party, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

4. Christina Aguilera – 372 plays
Last year: #7
The biggest jump upwards on this list! And guess what, it’s all thanks to her album Lotus, in my opinion the best album of the year 2012 (like you probably have seen in the best albums post). That album was amazing, so original (yeah, laugh at me, I know you disagree), I just LOVED it okay. I still put it on repeat every week because I just can’t seem to grow tired of it. I really hope she’s still gonna tour with the album, can’t wait to see her live performing all the amazing songs!

5. Maroon 5 – 322 plays
Last year: n.a.
New on this list, and my biggest obsession this year: Maroon 5! Somehow I got the Maroon bug during this year and I just couldn’t stop listening to their music, especially during the last couple of weeks where I constantly had their second album (‘It Won’t Be Soon Before Long’) on repeat. Badly. So what did I do to make my obsession even worse? I booked tickets for their Overexposed Tour! July 3, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, HERE I COME!

6. BoA – 227 plays
Last year: #6
Relatively, nothing has changed for BoA. Except for the absolute playcounts maybe, but compared to the rest of the artists’ plays she’s still at #6. She hasn’t released anything except for a tiny little mini-album, so I guess it’s not a big surprise for me to have less BoA plays this year. I really hope she’ll come with a big new release in 2013, I prefer a Korean album, because I don’t think I will ever grow tired of her music and amazing vocals!

7. alan – 222 plays
Last year: #4
The biggest drop on the list, and it’s actually because I got a bit tired of listening to the same songs every time. alan hasn’t released an appealing new thing in ages (‘Love Song’ was quite forgettable to me in the end) and she has completely disappeared from the Japanese market. Such a shame, I had big hopes for her. But then she returned to China and decided to do nothing shocking or big anymore. She dropped 333 plays this year, isn’t that crazy?

8. Kalafina – 215 plays
Last year: n.a.
These plays are from the last one and a half month only, so as you can see everything here is relative. I decided to pick up where I left off with their music, and the result was me putting their albums on repeat for… I don’t even remember how long. Long, anyway. Like I said a lot of times before: it’s amazing how a couple of Japanese girls became part of the FictionJunction concept and teamed up to become the fabulous subgroup Kalafina, and if you ask me they’re the most appealing subgroup there is. The vocals, the musical style, the ambience, I’m addicted. They’re gonna rise on this list for next year, for sure.

9. Namie Amuro – 207 plays
Last year: n.a.
Why wasn’t this woman on the list last year… Anyway, I think most of the plays she has this year are from her latest album ‘Uncontrolled’, another one of my favorites of this year. She has definitely grown over the past 15 years, I remember disliking her first album but then somehow her vocals got a lot better and her style became much more appealing. To me, anyway. When she released her latest album, I was sold again, and although I should’ve given her more plays, I know she’ll be rising next year.

10. Michael Jackson – 194 plays
Last year: n.a.
If I recall this correctly, all of these plays are from January. Yep, told you I haven’t listened to much music this year… I’ve had my reasons I guess, can’t remember what they are but I’m sure I had them. Whatever. I think very highly of dearly departed Michael, and the fact that he died way too early can make real fans a bit emotional. I can really enjoy his albums, but his masterpiece will always be the Thriller album, no one can change my mind about that one.

That’s it for 2012 guys, the feature posts will come back in December 2013!! Thanks for joining me!

KOKIA – Christmas gift

December 25, 2012 at 2:13 PM | Posted in KOKIA | Leave a comment

KOKIA – Christmas gift

1. Amazing Grace
2. Hallelujah
4. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
5. Christmas Medley
6. Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)
7. Ave Maria
8. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
9. Seinaru Yoru ni~Holly Night
10. Kokoro no Rousoku

♦ ♦ ♦

Christmas gift is the eighth album by Japanese singer KOKIA, released on November 12, 2008. The album reached #56 on the Oricon charts and charted for two weeks.

Amazing Grace starts off acapella with just some soft bells in the background, and it’s so amazing to hear KOKIA show off her classically trained vocals. She can sing long high notes with such a clear voice, it gives me goosebumps. Later, strings come in and KOKIA starts singing a duet with herself (her own background vocals). Her layered vocals sound great. It actually gives me ‘Fairy Dance’ vibes when the song develops. A beautiful version of the song, and perhaps even my favorite.

KOKIA’s voice is so cute when she sings Hallelujah, or well it isn’t actually singing, it’s more like softly speaking out the lyrics. Although it’s not the best version of Leonard Cohen’s song I’ve heard, it has something. I can’t tell what it is, but the song has a good emotional feel. KOKIA’s English is not that good when she sings certain words, but no one does a worse job than Kuu so… I like the little saxophone parts that drop in somewhere during the middle of the song. In the end, I’m surprised that I actually like it.

There are some carols on this album as well, and the first is I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. It starts off very harmonious with strings and a piano, and that’s where I had the feeling that this will definitely be a calm ballad album. KOKIA’s vocals are way better this time, her English is good and her voice actually blends in very wel with the overall soft jazz ambience the song has. The arrangement is the best thing this song has to offer, with the strings and piano playing around each other and magically flourish.

We Three Kings Of Orient Are is another traditional Christmas song that I don’t know because I’m not a Christian. A saxophone solo smoothly leads into the song, and every now and then it returns with a little accent around the piano music. There’s a sense of mystery to this version that I like very much, it already distincts itself from the rest of the songs on the album. Another nice fact about this song is that KOKIA’s vocals are much stronger and I can even hear some of the Irish vocal techniques she learned while recording her previous concept album.

The Christmas Medley: 13 minutes of joy! KOKIA’s rendition of Santa Clause Is Coming To Town is soooo cute, like… she sings ‘Sahnta Close’ to an adorable melody. And faster paced too! The next song is Let It Snow, with matching bells and oboe accents. The entire medley has a soft jazz feel to it, and it always fits the Christmas ambience in my opinion. The Little Drummer Boy is where KOKIA starts singing with a borderline British accent during some parts, if you ask me. Not familiar with this song but she doesn’t make it very special or anything. The First Noël is another s0ng I don’t really know very well, but KOKIA sings it with such a beautiful and controlled voice that I instantly love it. The little jingle bells and soft harpsichord fit very well together to create the best Christmas/Renaissance ambience. Until I hear a sheep. Yes. Jingle Bells is more bossa nova stuff, turned cute. Her version has a nice tempo and beat to it, and it comes off as very modern to me. Then we get back to Santa Clause Is Coming To Town one last time and a very cute message from KOKIA to Santa Clause set to the melody of Silent Night before this medley is over. Very nice medley with good Christmas songs, but there was no transition between the different parts.

The first use of Japanese in a song: Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together). Is it just me or is there a sense of melancholy all over this song? I bet it’s that harpsichord, it makes the song very haunting when it’s not meant to be. Still, the ambience is enjoyable. I like the English and Japanese in the same song together. But although the song lasted for four and a half minutes, it went by way to fast for me.

The next song is Ave Maria, an opera song but not traditionally a Christmas song. I guess you can turn anything into a Christmas song? KOKIA’s voice is clear and strong, but also almost angelic, against the piano and violin music. She hits amazing notes in this song, and the best thing about KOKIA’s opera vocals is that she doesn’t make it heavy. I don’t feel pressured when listening to this!

A nice acoustic guitar melody opens It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, and that same acoustic quality stays throughout the song with some lighter strings added later on. The melodies are the most appealing yet, just like KOKIA’s middle range voice here which I love to hear. A real surprise in this heavenly arrangement was a panpipe, a unique touch to a song on this album and it kept the attention. Very good song!

Seinaru Yoru Ni~Holly Night has a huge typo in the album’s official tracklist but who cares, THIS SONG IS SO BEAUTIFUL. One of only two Japanese-only song on the album, it’s a very mysterious but beautiful song with some kind of accordion playing some nice accents and KOKIA’s light angelic vocals singing the melodies with a slight echo to them. The notes she hits are amazing again. One of my favorite songs on the album.

The other Japanese-only song on this album is the piano ballad Kokoro no Rousoku, and I’ve always thought that KOKIA’s voice sounds best with piano music while she’s singing in her soft airy voice. It’s a very simple song, yet the emotion it oozes is breathtaking and it just silents me. It’s a beautiful way to close this album, it’s almost like it has come full circle with this lovely piece of music.

Christmas gift may be filled with ballads and the only uptempo stuff was in the Christmas Medley, but KOKIA did give us some beautiful Christmas songs with this release. Her voice is something you need to get used to, but once you know how she rolls you can enjoy almost everything she does. Just look at Hallelujah. She sings in a very cute, almost childish voice and it didn’t disturb me a bit. I just fell in love with her music as soon as I heard the Irish concept album, and it’s great to hear she still uses some of the singing techniques she learned while recording that album on this one. Too bad Christmas is only once a year,  but on the other hand, if you listen to this album just once a year you can enjoy it every time without letting it bore you!

Favorite tracks: Amazing Grace | Hallelujah | We Three Kings Of Orient Are | Christmas Medley | Ave Maria | It Came Upon A Midnight Clear | Seinaru Yoru Ni~Holly Night | Kokoro no Rousoku

4 stars

Merry Christmas♥

December 25, 2012 at 12:27 PM | Posted in !Random! | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas lovelies ♥
Make it special!

Much love,

Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long

December 24, 2012 at 6:56 PM | Posted in Maroon 5 | Leave a comment

Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long

1. If I Never See Your Face Again
2. Makes Me Wonder
3. Little Of Your Time
4. Wake Up Call
5. Won’t Go Home Without You
6. Nothing Lasts Forever
7. Can’t Stop
8. Goodnight Goodnight
9. Not Falling Apart
10. Kiwi
11. Better That We Break
12. Back At Your Door
13. Infatuation

♦ ♦ ♦

It Won’t Be Soon Before Long is the second album by American band Maroon 5, released on May 16, 2007. The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling around 430,000 copies in its first week and, as of 2011, approximately 5 million copies worldwide.

The album opens with If I Never See Your Face Again, the solo version without Rihanna that is. It instantly shows the funkier side of the rock music they’re pursuing for this album. I knew the version with Rihanna before I heard this one so I had to get used to the lack of synths in this version, but they made it more pop than it’s supposed to be anyway. I really like this song and it’s the first of many favorites on this album.

The next one follows immediately: Makes Me Wonder, which is probably also one of their best songs ever. What I like best here is the catchy guitar riffs throughout the track and Adam’s amazing vocals in the chorus. I love his unique voice anyway so the guy can do no wrong tbqh. Whenever this song plays, I put it on full volume. Fun fact: it’s another great example of their ‘borderline porn lyrics’: ‘The way it felt between your thighs | Pleasure that made you cry‘…

Little Of Your Time is the fastest song on the album, and although its chorus is very simple, catchy and memorable I wouldn’t say this is one of my all time favorites on the album. It’s also the shortest track so it won’t give you much time anyway. The chorus is the highlight when it comes to the perfectly layered vocals with Adam singing the lines in one pitch and an exact octave higher, very nice. Some of the lyrics are probably about sex again but WHO CARES at this point, haha.

Wake Up Call is the bad-ass song on the album, with Adam singing about how he shot the guy his girl was sleeping with behind his back. ‘Six foot tall, came without a warning | So I had to shoot him dead‘. Very happy, right? Still, it’s one of those tracks that can give you goosebumps even though it has ‘melancholy’ written all over. Another favorite on the album to be honest, although I’m probably not gonna make you guys buy it now but you really gotta give it a try if you don’t know the song yet.

Wikipedia is telling me Won’t Go Home Without You is a ballad, but since I’m pretty stubborn I’m gonna tell you: it’s not. It does have emotional lyrics, I have to hand it to Adam. Too bad the song just drops right in without an introduction but it doesn’t take longer than a couple of seconds to really get into the song. Once you’re into it, it sounds pretty good. Not a ballad, but okay, a very good midtempo pop/rock track then.

When I heard  the chorus of Nothing Lasts Forever for the first time, I instantly recognized the lyrics and melody from the Kanye West song ‘Heard ‘Em Say’, which features Adam Levine (what a coincidence). Then again I would always pick the Maroon 5 version over that one because this is so much more appealing (and the melodies are less flat and dead). Adam’s voice comes out way better in this version as well, I don’t think he should ever get involved with hiphop again haha.

Can’t Stop is like Little Of Your Time: a short and fast song with lots of attitude. When it comes to the latter it beats Little Of Your Time by far, but you have to admit the tracks have certain things in common. The electric guitar playing the same melody over and over again in the background is very catchy and the first thing that you will remember about the track (besides the ridiculous lyric ‘…making love to a pillow‘). Verses and choruses flow seamlessly into each other together they make for a pretty good track.

If I have to pick one track that is my least favorite one on the album, it has to be the fifth single Goodnight Goodnight. It’s a heartfelt song that could’ve easily been a leftover track from their first album ‘Songs About Jane’. Although the lyrics are very emotional (‘I’m sorry, I did not mean to hurt my little girl | It’s beyond me, I cannot carry the weight of a heavy world‘), I’m gonna have to say I’m not really touched or anything. Still, I’m not saying it’s a bad track. Just making comparisons here.

Not Falling Apart on the other hand is again one of the best tracks on the album. Also not one of the happiest tracks on the album, it touches me more than Goodnight Goodnight did. ‘Now I can’t walk, I can’t talk anymore | Since you walked out the door | Now I’m stuck living out that night again | I’m not falling apart‘. The way Adam sings the title words, that’s exactly my favorite part of the song. One of the most perfect examples of a heartfelt uptempo Maroon track.

Aaaaahhh it’s Kiwi! That deliciously controversive track with the lyrics that crack you up every single time! ‘Sweet kiwi, your juices dripping down my chin‘, like… ew. STILL, it’s very enjoyable and quircky, and it has a very nice arrangement. It’s a little heavier than in some of the other tracks on the album, especially when the electric guitar solo comes along in the bridge (goosebump alert) and it also makes it very memorable. But nothing can beat those lyrics, right?

From wet erotics to a piano ballad. Better That We Break is still battling with Makes Me Wonder to be crowned as the very best track on the album, but after a couple of years I still haven’t found a winner so let’s make it a joint first place shall we. As the first real ballad on the album, the thing that captures me most is the amazing piano melody by Jesse Carmichael. Maroon has a lone ballad on every album and I’m lucky this is one of their best yet. Definitely worth a recommendation.

Back At Your Door also gives a unique twist to the album. In fact, it seems as if the entire second half of the album features several different musical styles. From sexy to emotional, to this bluesy showstopper. It’s the only song on the album that hasn’t been written or co-written by Adam, but has been the work of Jesse only. He did a very good job putting together this amazing standout track, and it proves that Maroon 5 can do more than just catchy pop/rock.

As a bonus track we have Infatuation, and it took its time to grow on me but now I really like it. It has this amazing ‘question and answer’ part in the bridge, with Adam singing his lines and an electric guitar playing its great solos as an answer. It’s not a very catchy song or anything, but it has that sensual slow tempo and great vocals by Adam that makes it hard to forget.

I just had to review this album because I’ve had it on repeat this week and I just can’t stop listening to it ❤  It’s still Maroon 5’s best album and I’m so glad I have an original CD version with booklet and everything, I’m so addicted to this album. And I’ve only been listening to it for a year, while I knew some of the songs before. Guess it never occured to me that this album was filled with great songs that brought out the best in Adam, Jesse, Mickey, James and Ryan. They did an amazing job on all the songs. Adam’s vocals and songwriting (together with Jesse), James’ lead guitar and the instrumental backup by Mickey and Ryan never fails to amaze me when put together. These guys have come a long way, I’m curious about their fifth studio album!

Favorite tracks: If I Never See Your Face Again | Makes Me Wonder | Wake Up Call | Won’t Go Home Without You | Nothing Lasts Forever | Can’t Stop | Not Falling Apart | Kiwi | Better That We Break | Back At Your Door | Infatuation

5 stars

*EDIT*: OMFG you guys I just bought tickets for their Overexposed concert tour, CAN I FANGIRL ABOUT THIS PLEASE <333

Best of 2012: ~Albums~

December 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM | Posted in !Features! | 5 Comments

Probably the most anticipated feature post of all: the best albums of the year 2012! I pretty much reviewed all of them so there should be no surprises in here (yep, can’t review everything), and again this list is based on overall ratings, plays and just the memorability of an album. So, here you go, and let’s hope the albums to be released in 2013 will be just as awesome as these!

~Top 10: Best Albums 2012~

1. Christina Aguilera – Lotus
2. Koda Kumi – JAPONESQUE
3. Namie Amuro – Uncontrolled
4. P!nk – The Truth About Love
5. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
6. ayaka – The beginning
7. AFTERSCHOOL – Playgirlz
9. BoA – Only One
10. Ayumi Hamasaki – again

~Top 5: Best Album-Only Tracks 2012~

1. Koda Kumi – No Man’s Land
2. Christina Aguilera – Cease Fire
3. P!nk – Just Give Me A Reason (feat. Nate Ruess)
4. Maroon 5 – Lucky Strike
5. Nicki Minaj – Marilyn Monroe

Koda Kumi – Koishikute

December 21, 2012 at 11:41 AM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment

Koda Kumi – Koishikute

1. Koishikute
2. Alone

Koishikute is the 54th single by Japanese singer Koda Kumi, released on December 26, 2012.

Well, since it’s December 21 and we’re all still here (right guys? ;p), let’s just move on and do this thing!

I already thought Koishikute was gonna be a ballad, and I also expected a little bit more winter vibes than I actually got from it. I mean, it’s a nice, emotional ballad, fits right into her discography but no, no winter bells or ‘stay with me’ vibes from this one. Doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable, there’s a beautiful arrangement going on here with lots of strings, a piano and soft percussion. It builds up into something that’s more like a power ballad, another very good aspect of the song. Kuu’s ballads are usually good in my opinion, and although this one may not sound very original, I suppose I really like it eventually because of Kuu’s very impressive vocals.

Alone is a cover of a Mayo Okamoto song (don’t know who that is, excusez-moi), and ofcourse another ballad. It’s a lot calmer than the A-side but the soft arrangement is actually nice for a change. I know Kuu can oversing a ballad, but she doesn’t even get the chance to do that on this one. The song itself got some ‘meh’ comments here and there, but I must say I find the chorus melodies very appealing. The guitar gives it a nice and a bit of a funky touch, so it also distinguishes itself from the previous ballad. Material for her next cover album (TBR February 2013) perhaps?

So why wasn’t this on the ‘Best Singles of 2012’ list? Simple, because it’s not among the top 10 and for that ‘Go to the top’ was a better single. But still, doesn’t mean that this single is bad! It could’ve been #11 or #12, who knows. Two ballads on one single usually doesn’t work, because ballads (and especially Kuu’s) can sound alike. Not in this case. Kuu gave us two very different ballads, one with lots of power and emotion and one with a more relaxed feel. If you have to release an all-ballad single, than go ahead and do it this way. But ofcourse, Kuu can’t go wrong if you ask me.

4 stars

Best of 2012: ~Singles~

December 21, 2012 at 9:21 AM | Posted in !Features! | Leave a comment

You know how I roll, right? The best singles of 2012, based on either the amount of plays I have given them, their ratings or the overall feel and memorability of a single. Maybe some surprising appearances here, and I may not have reviewed every single yet, but I’ll get there. Here’s the cream of the crop!

~ Top 10: best singles 2012 ~

1. SHINee – 1000 Nen, Zutto Soba ni Ite…
2. Namie Amuro – Go Round / YEAH-OH
3. Koda Kumi – Go to the top
4. AFTERSCHOOL – Lady Luck / Dilly Dally
5. Kalafina – moonfesta
6. Maroon 5 – Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
7. P!nk – Try
8. Lana del Rey – Ride
9. Utada Hikaru – Sakura Nagashi
10. BENI – Eien

~ Top 5: best B-sides ~

1. SHINee – Kimi ga Iru Sekai
2. Kalafina – Manten
3. Koda Kumi – darling
5. J-Min – Cry Baby

Best of 2012: ~New Discoveries~

December 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Posted in !Features! | 2 Comments

Another year goes by! 2012 is drawing to an end, so it’s time for some ‘Best of’ feature posts on MusicAddiction! Just like last year, I’m gonna start by presenting you some new groups/artists I (re)discovered this year.

Lana del Rey
Love her for: Her unique voice and addictive hiphop influenced tracks
Best tracks: American, Born To Die, Blue Jeans, Radio, Ride, Diet Mountain Dew, National Anthem, Off To The Races

When I heard Lana’s song ‘Video Games’ I started to really HATE the girl because of her ‘boring voice’. Well, that was actually true for that track and I still dislike it, but the rest of her material is very addictive! The does have a good voice and she surprised me with her higher register in tracks like ‘Off To The Races’ and ‘Radio’ and her talent for rapping some of her lyrics in ‘Off To The Races’ and ‘National Anthem’. She uses oldschool beats in her music, which I absolutely love. I don’t particularly like everything she does, but her album ‘Born To Die’ is pure diamond. I’m not done with this girl, on to 2013!

Mandy Moore
Love her for: Her catchy folk music and breathtaking, well-trained vocals
Best tracks: I Can Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week, Merrimack River, Everblue, I See The Light, When Will My Life Begin

I already knew Mandy as a singer and on occasion as an actress. I loved her voice work in the Disney film Rapunzel, but I hadn’t really gotten into her music until I heard her album ‘Amanda Leigh’ in June 2012. That album was very enjoyable and she displays some very good and even amazing vocals on that album. Most of the tracks on the album are very good and it made me very curious about her other material. Yet, since I’m not particularly into artists’ older material, I think I’ll wait with whatever comeback album she’ll come up with somewhere in the spring of 2013.

Maroon 5
Love them for: Their well-composed, catchy songs and spot-on lyrics
Best tracks: (All of them??) If I Never See Your Face Again, Makes Me Wonder, Wake Up Call, Not Falling Apart, Better That We Break, One More Night, Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa), Must Get Out, Misery

Ahhh, the Gods of pop/rock music! I have already known them since the ‘Songs About Jane’ era, but I didn’t become a big obsessed fan until early this year. I don’t even know how that got to be, all I know is that when I listened to their album ‘It Won’t Be Soon Before Long’ (which is their all-time masterpiece) for the first time, I put it on repeat for weeks. Adam Levine has an amazing voice, very unique for a man if you ask me, and I have to admit I also like him because he’s such a looker. About their music, I love their style very much, yet I still don’t know what to think of the new soul/rock incorporations in later albums. This is pretty much the only band of which I definitely prefer the older over the newer material.

Love them for: The variation in their music and well-trained, mature vocals
Best tracks: Oh Yeah (feat. Hyun A), G.O.O.D Luv, One Better Day

What I know about this group after listening to their music for only a week or so, is that I can definitely love this group in the future. It’s like MBLAQ has the complete package: boys with great looks, catchy music and they can all dance, what else do you want? I started out with their first single/mini album ‘JUST BLAQ’, and I was very enthousiastic. I instantly downloaded the rest of their discography and although I still have to try out ‘Mona Lisa’ and ‘BLAQ%Ver.’ I’m pretty sure I’m not done with this group yet. I really need to emerge myself into their music but I don’t think that’s gonna be a problem!

The Script
Love them for: The amazing Danny O’Donoghue and nice twist to pop/rock music
Best tracks: Six Degrees Of Seperation, The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, Hall Of Fame, If You Could See Me Now, For The First Time

Another re-discovery like Maroon 5. I have know their music since 2008 or so, when their amazing single ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved’ came out. I loved it, and I remember listening to their first album but I pretty much forgot about them until a couple of months ago. I heard ‘Six Degrees Of Seperation’ on the radio and I have to admit it choked me up, that song is almost the story of my life so I was crazy about it instantly. I loved it and started to download their music again. Their album #3 is pretty good, I gotta give it a couple more listens, but it definitely has some good tracks like the single ‘Hall Of Fame’, whether it’s the version with or without that stupid guy. Yep, I’m back in love with these boys again!

Son Dam Bi
Love her for: Her amazing influence on the K-pop music and catchy dance/pop music
Best tracks: Bad Boy, Ipda Jillin Ot, Nunmuri Jurureuk, Geulaess Nabwayo, Saranghago Sipeosseo

I remember seeing cover art which showed her collaborations with After School, but I didn’t really took the initiative to really listen to her solo material until later this year. It started with her new release ‘Nunmuri Jurureuk’, which really caught my attention and made me download her full discography. I found out that her first mini album was pretty amazing, and although the second one didn’t amaze me at much I was still interested in this girl. I still have to listen to her music more often to really determine where I stand with her, but ‘Nunmuri’ left me the good vibez.

Love them for: Their amazing vocals, always surprising musical styles and overall presentation as kick-ass girl group
Best tracks: Painkiller, Russian Roulette, LONELY, With you, Geunal Bam

The group I LOVED ever since I heard their track ‘Painkiller’ and saw the PV for it. Especially Bo Ah and Bo Hyung are very talented singers, and in the case of Bo Ah her amazing timbre and unique vocal techniques keep surprising me. Although she has the weirdest face (sawry), she’s the most talented of all. Their first release ‘Painkiller’, a mini album, was pretty amazing, but when they released ‘Lonely’ last month they really got back in the game again. Pursuing a more vintage retro musical style they surprised me and gave me one of this year’s best releases. I hope they come up with some new material soon since I’m pretty sure I can’t get enough of them after a while, give me an album already!

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