Onitsuka Chihiro – FAMOUS MICROPHONE

June 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm (Onitsuka Chihiro) (, )

1.Scarborough Fair
2.Brass in Pocket
3.Mother Nature’s Son
4.Time After Time
5.Desperado
6.Sweet Home Alabama
7.Take Me Home, Country Roads
8.You’ve Got a Friend
9. I Need To Be In Love
10. The Rose
11.Bitter Flavor Road

As part of what appears to be a growing fascination of American culture, Onitsuka Chihiro decided to release a cover album of exclusively Western songs. And she didn’t do any translation either; it’s all in English. While her pronunciation was never quite amazing, there was hope that she would still twist the songs a bit and make them her own. Unfortunately, she didn’t.

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Onitsuka Chihiro – HOTEL MURDERESS OF ARIZONA MY GUN

March 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm (Onitsuka Chihiro) (, )

  1. Sweet Rosemary
  2. Aoi Tori (青い鳥; Blue Bird)
  3. everyhome
  4. Kohaku no Yuki (琥珀の雪; Amber Snow)
  5. Time After Time(Cyndi Lauper cover)
  6. The Rose(Bette Midler cover)
  7. Hotaru (蛍; Firefly)
  8. Arashi ga Oka (嵐ヶ丘; Wuthering Heights)
  9. EVER AFTER
  10. Watashi to Waltz wo (私とワルツを; Waltz with Me)
  11. Storyteller (ストーリーテラー)
    Encore
  12. NEW AGE STRANGER
  13. Beautiful Fighter

It’s more or less pretty well known that Onitsuka Chihiro’s condition is deteriorating, and fast. Despite having regained control of her voice after her vocal surgery after what must have been years of tough vocal training, she seems to have lost much of the power in her voice leaving her with a wispy shadow of what it once was. Her most recent album, Ken to Kaede featured interesting new styles from Chihiro, some of which were not amazingly well received by fans. Despite these, Chihiro announced that she would embark on a three-date tour; the first she’s held in ten years. HOTEL MURDERESS OF ARIZONA was advertised as having a full band led by her producer Sakamoto. Later, “ACOUSTIC SHOW” was tagged on to the end of the title, leaving just Chihiro to sing with Sakamoto on piano. This relieved some of the fears about some of the strange antics she might have displayed with a band, but it also raised other concerns about what might have caused the change. Regardless, Chihiro went into the tour with heavy expectations from fans.

The three dates were moderately received. Some fans raved about the performances, while others seemed to have been completely horrified by her performance due to her vocals, forgetfulness of lyrics, and her…well, antics. The songlist was also quite short, leaving much to be desired in that aspect. Still, the DVD was announced at the dates (original having the title HOTEL MURDERESS OF ARIZONA VOLUME OF MY GUN), although it was later delayed for a month past its original release date.

Now that the DVD is out, what do I think of it?

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Onitsuka Chihiro – Aoi Tori

May 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm (Onitsuka Chihiro) ()

1. Aoi Tori
2. NEW AGE STRANGER (MAD EYE MOODY VERSION)

I know, I know, I reviewed the album already, so why this and now? Well there was a time when I really wanted to buy this too, because the first press edition came with a message card that was said to be instrumental in linking to the album (or something like that), and I would’ve like to know if it was worth it. Well, it wasn’t.

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Onitsuka Chihiro – Ken to Kaede

May 15, 2011 at 11:25 am (Onitsuka Chihiro) (, )

1. Aoi Tori
2. Yume Kamoshirenai
3. EVER AFTER
4. IRIS
5. Boku wo Wasurenaide
6. An Fhideag Airgid
7. SUNNY ROSE
8. NEW AGE STRANGER
9. CANDY GIRL
10. Tsumi no Muko Gin no Maku
11. WANNA BE A HAPPY WARRIOR
12. Kohaku no Yuki

Ken to Kaede is Onitsuka Chihiro’s 6th studio album, released alongside her first book, “Tsuki no Hahen”. And for some who have been following her, it will probably be good to have that book too, provided you can understand Japanese (or at least find translated excerpts). Why? The album was said to be Chihiro “going back to her roots”. What many people expected was the sounds of Insomnia and her other early works, but what we see is anything but. As it turns out, she has never really shown her roots. Her producers and managers under EMI had a lot of creative control over the material on the albums. But now, she is able to be as versatile as she has wanted to be, and that is what shows on this album. Is it bad? Well…

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Onitsuka Chihiro – Sodatsu Zassou

May 13, 2010 at 2:00 pm (Onitsuka Chihiro) ()

1. Sodatsu Zassou
2. Rainman
3. Sodatsu Zassou (Instrumental)

As the first single after her surgery and departure from EMI, “Sodatsu Zassou” is somewhat of a special one. I think it’s amazing that she was able to do this song in her condition, and its a shame she never included it on any album, as it really shines. I mean c’mon, it’s B side made it, but not the main track?

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Onitsuka Chihiro – Watashi to Waltz wo

May 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm (Onitsuka Chihiro) (, )

1. Watashi to Waltz wo
2. Rebel Luck
3. Watashi to Waltz wo (Instrumental)

As the last EMI era single, Chihiro definitely went out with a blast. Not that she had planned it that way, but well, hey. A blast is a blast. And unlike the last single, it’s not a CCCD (See “Ii Hi Tabidachi – Nishi e” for that).

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Onitsuka Chihiro – Ii Hi Tabidachi – Nishi e

May 11, 2010 at 3:23 pm (Onitsuka Chihiro) (, )

1. Ii Hi Tabidachi – Nishi e
2. Gekkou (from ULTIMATE CRASH ’02)
3. Ii Hi Tabidachi Nishi e (Instrumental)

Well I suppose I’m sort of cheating, because I didn’t actually buy this single. Why? Well I think at the time it wasn’t available from eBookoff, so I didn’t get my teacher to get it for me. That and I didn’t think it was necessary. After all, it was released as a CCCD. What is that you ask? A stupid move by Universal, that’s what. “Copy Control” CD simply means that you cannot rip the CD onto…well…anything. Play it on your computer or CD player, but not rip it. I would think perhaps it was for legal reasons, since it was a cover of an old famous song, but it was included on SINGLES 2000-2003 with no protection, and its also on iTunes Plus in Japan. So what was the big deal? Seems that the whole thing was against Chihiro’s wishes, and Universal was just jumping the bandwagon.

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Onitsuka Chihiro – Beautiful Fighter

May 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm (Onitsuka Chihiro) ()

1. Beautiful Fighter
2. Arashi ga Oka
3. Beautiful Fighter (Instrumental)
4. Arashi ga Oka (Instrumental)
Koe (Piano Edit)

“Beautiful Fighter” is Onitsuka Chihiro’s 8th single, and again, she deviates from the norm established by her first three albums.

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Onitsuka Chihiro – Sign

May 10, 2010 at 3:36 pm (Onitsuka Chihiro) ()

1. Sign
2. Dining Chicken
3. Sign (Instrumental)
Tiger in my Love -Special video edit-

“Sign” is Onitsuka Chihiro’s seventh single. I would have simply purchased SINGLES 2000-2003 to get the song, but I was interested in “Dining Chicken”, and what the CHIHIRO Archives were. And here we are.

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Onitsuka Chihiro – ULTIMATE CRASH ’02 LIVE AT BUDOKAN

May 9, 2010 at 11:07 am (Onitsuka Chihiro) (, )

1. Introduction (Moonlight Sonata)
2. NOT YOUR GOD
3. Cage
4. infection
5. Hyouryuu no Hane
6. Memai
7. interlude (Rurarura Taishi)
8. Tiger in my Love
9. Innocence
10. edge
11. Shine
12. BORDERLINE
13. Mamotte Agetai
14. Koe
15. King of Solitude
ENCORE
16. Gekkou
17. Castle imitation
Special track: BORDERLINE

I’ll try to be as unbiased as possible towards NINE DIRTS. After all, this was released about six years earlier, and of course isn’t meant to measure up, right? Well I guess I shouldn’t say that; indeed, Onitsuka’s music has matured over the years, as has her style in performance. That shouldn’t mean at all that her later performances are better, and I was definitely anticipating my reception of the DVD for months beforehand.

A few things you can look out for throughout the DVD. Firstly, she’s placed a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the foot of her carpet, just in front of her speakers. Secondly, she’s got a bottle of water and a can of Coke behind her. Guess what she goes for the most? And then there’s that one time that Onitsuka turns around to Hal-Oh and he smiles at her. Brief, but nice to see.

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