Category Archives: Music Review

Review: VIXX Shangri-la In Sydney

*Reproduced with permission from Asian Pop Radio*

Welcome to the first of a series of reviews from the Asian Pop Radio team on VIXX’s Shangri-la tour in Australia! We will be covering both the Sydney and Melbourne legs of the tour; showing you, our APR crew member’s experiences and each sharing our favourite highlights.

Our first review comes from crew member Katy, who attended the Sydney concert on Monday the 27th. Please look forward to the others we have in store for you!

On Monday evening VIXX kicked off the Australian leg of their Shangri-la tour, performing at the Big Top in Luna Park, Sydney. Fans lined up from early in the day, and were excitedly chatting with each other around the venue, setting the place abuzz with energy well before the show started.

As a ST☆RLIGHT; a member of VIXX’s fandom, I too was excited for the evening performance. This would be the first time the 6-member group would be coming to Australia, and expectations had already been raised when Ravi appeared at Rapbeat: promising a tour together with the other members soon after. Now the day had arrived, and I was more than ready to get inside and dance to their live performances!

When we were finally allowed inside, the attendees were more than ready to start the concert as soon as possible. Cheers and fanchants erupted even as the music videos counted down the minutes until the boys appeared on-stage.

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Finally, the time came and the screams grew even louder as the six idols stepped into view. From my spot in the Silver standing section I had a clear view of the stage, and was able to watch all of the amazing choreography that accompanied the songs. Starting with the more recent songs: Fantasy and Desperate, VIXX set the standard for the evening very high straight away.

Midway, VIXX took the chance to answer several questions posed by fans; showing what they had been doing recently, where they had been in Sydney, and throwing in some aegyo for good measure. Main vocalist Ken was being his usual cheeky self; messing around and teasing leader N whenever possible during the talk, while youngest member Hyuk forced Hongbin to pull cutesy poses.

​My favourite parts of the concert were towards the end: as the show drew to a close, VIXX returned to their earlier hits: On and On, Error, Love Equation and Angel. The fans in the venue went wild; chanting, singing and dancing along, and I couldn’t help but join in too! As the concert drew to a close, everyone kept calling for more songs, and the show finished on a high note. All the members looked happy and waved farewell with smiles and many love hearts.

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​I thoroughly enjoyed the evening out, and was very happy with the experience I had. Though there were fewer people there than at other concerts, this gave those in the standing area room to dance and thoroughly enjoy themselves.

I hope that VIXX return soon with another concert, and for Melbourne ST☆RLIGHT: this is one concert you don’t want to miss!

Written by: Katy Phillips
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Twitter: @sonymusicsg

Review: Metal Resistance – BABYMETAL

The Japanese female trio of Su-metal, Moametal and Yuimetal known as BABYMETAL are back with a new J-Rock offering for 2016, Metal Resistance. Straight off the bat, this album is amazing! I’m not one for too much rock or metal but this blend of rock, metal, pop and kawaii really hits the spot for me and BABYMETAL do it so well.

This new album is the 2nd studio album for the trio and is headlined by the lead single, “Karate”.

I won’t go over each song and pretend to be a professional music critic, which I’m not, but I’ll say as whole, the album puts out exactly what you’ve come to know about BABYMETAL. It’s loud, fast, rocking and surprisingly at times, very pop oriented and ballad-like. Coming back to the lead single, “Karate”, this is a fantastic stand out track which exemplifies exactly they’re well loved and admired by fans around the world. With their very pop vocals laid over a double drum beat, this song is non stop from start to end with a very pop middle bridge, great stuff.

There were some tracks that I found myself coming back to. The aforementioned “Karate”, “Awadama Fever” which also blend some subtle electronica into the mix, “Amore” which sounds like an anime into track, “No Rain, No Rainbow” which slows down the tempo of the album considerably and sounds more like the ED of an anime and the only English track on the album “The One” which is another track with its share of slow tempo, up beat pop and very 80’s sounding guitar riffs, awesome…loved it. Not to take anything away from the rest of the album but these are the tracks that I found myself coming back to.

This is one group that I would love to see live, this explosive sound is barely contained and would be even better on stage. This album gets 2 thumbs up!

RATING: 4/5

Review: AKB48: Kamikyokutachi

akb48

In Japan there is J-pop and then there is J-pop! And one of the biggest groups to exist in Japan is AKB48. This is a girl group made up of 48, yes, 48 members in three teams, Team A, K and B. They have a great presence in Akihabara in the Don Quixote building in downtown Chuo Dori where they do regular concerts and signings. Formed in 2005 by super producer, Yasushi Akimoto and releasing their first single in 2006, AKB48 have steadily and consistently been building their fanbase around the world by the thousands as well as currently holding the world record for most members in one group! They have already released over 10 albums ranging from studio to stage albums with each one selling extremely well and charting with great success on the Japanese Oricon music charts.

One of these albums is Kamikyokutachi, which translates loosely as Goddess Tracks, is a compilation of their greatest hits previously released on other albums as well as two previously unreleased singles. There are some absolute corkers in here with tunes that will have you tapping your foot and nodding your head to the beat. Now keep in mind that J-pop, just like anime, isn’t for everyone but if you’re a J-pop Otaku, then you simply must have some AKB48 in your collection and this cd is a great place to start.

AKB48From my personal collection, Harajuku March 2010

Dripping in sugary sweetness, the high pitched voices are immediately infectious and catchy and will make anyone an instant fan eager to keep track after track coming. I dare anyone to skip past any of the tracks on this album as they are all massive chart toppers in their own right. Particularly worth mentioning are “River”, “Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara”, “Baby! Baby! Baby! Baby!”, “10nen Zakura” and Iiwake Maybe. But to be completely honest, on my very first listen through, I didn’t feel the need to skip any tracks and loved them all but I do like my J-pop very sweet and not so mature. I’ve included a You Tube clip of “River” just below just to give you an idea of what to expect. This cd, as most Japanese releases, also comes with a DVD disc which has three of their songs performed in a studio with multiple camera angles on offer which offers more than one viewing just to make sure you can appreciate all of their dance steps.This album also went to the top of the Oricon charts so you’re in great company by buying this and adding it to your music library.

Will AKB48 be for everyone? Maybe not but give the clip below a go and if you like it, maybe give their You Tube channel a look so you know what to expect and then when you’re ready head straight to Otaku Fuel and snap up this slice of J-pop goodness that will remind you why one of the things that Japan is known for, is their quirky and infectious anime sounding tunes.

Review: AKB48: Kamikyokutachi

AKB48 Kamikyokutachi cd supplied by Otaku Fuel

akb48

In Japan there is J-pop and then there is J-pop! And one of the biggest groups to exist in Japan is AKB48. This is a girl group made up of 48, yes, 48 members in three teams, Team A, K and B. They have a great presence in Akihabara in the Don Quixote building in downtown Chuo Dori where they do regular concerts and signings. Formed in 2005 by super producer, Yasushi Akimoto and releasing their first single in 2006, AKB48 have steadily and consistently been building their fanbase around the world by the thousands as well as currently holding the world record for most members in one group! They have already released over 10 albums ranging from studio to stage albums with each one selling extremely well and charting with great success on the Japanese Oricon music charts.

One of these albums is Kamikyokutachi, which translates loosely as Goddess Tracks, is a compilation of their greatest hits previously released on other albums as well as two previously unreleased singles. There are some absolute corkers in here with tunes that will have you tapping your foot and nodding your head to the beat. Now keep in mind that J-pop, just like anime, isn’t for everyone but if you’re a J-pop Otaku, then you simply must have some AKB48 in your collection and this cd is a great place to start.

AKB48From my personal collection, Harajuku March 2010

Dripping in sugary sweetness, the high pitched voices are immediately infectious and catchy and will make anyone an instant fan eager to keep track after track coming. I dare anyone to skip past any of the tracks on this album as they are all massive chart toppers in their own right. Particularly worth mentioning are “River”, “Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara”, “Baby! Baby! Baby! Baby!”, “10nen Zakura” and Iiwake Maybe. But to be completely honest, on my very first listen through, I didn’t feel the need to skip any tracks and loved them all but I do like my J-pop very sweet and not so mature. I’ve included a You Tube clip of “River” just below just to give you an idea of what to expect. This cd, as most Japanese releases, also comes with a DVD disc which has three of their songs performed in a studio with multiple camera angles on offer which offers more than one viewing just to make sure you can appreciate all of their dance steps.This album also went to the top of the Oricon charts so you’re in great company by buying this and adding it to your music library.

Will AKB48 be for everyone? Maybe not but give the clip below a go and if you like it, maybe give their You Tube channel a look so you know what to expect and then when you’re ready head straight to Otaku Fuel and snap up this slice of J-pop goodness that will remind you why one of the things that Japan is known for, is their quirky and infectious anime sounding tunes.