Sunday, 10 May 2015

Let's Take A Moment with Yuuka Ueno's 5th single release, 'Hoshitachi no Moment / Slow Motion' [Review]

What is stated within these blogging walls are opinions of my own, no one else's. We are all born with a free-thinking mind, and I intend to share what is on my mind when it comes to Idols and music. If you do not like what is said here, then there is an option to leave, or to stay and think about how our opinions differ, as well as what we agree or disagree on as lovers of Japanese music and Idols. If you feel offended by anything I say, then I wonder; why are you offended? Someone else's words and opinions should not influence you in such a way.
 ... And that is my piece. Good day.

Okay, it's been a while (to me, at least), and now that University is over for the first year and Summer is ahead of me, maybe I can start on my blog again and review some songs that I have been loving recently~? Yeah, that sounds like a plan! But, who to review first? So many Idols, so little time...

Well, given that this is the soundtrack I'm currently listening to as I tap away at this post, it can only be the fabulous Yuuka Ueno with her fifth single, right!?

Ah, Yuuka, can you do no wrong? Right now it seems that you can't, because ever since your debut I have enjoyed all of your releases, b-sides and all; yes, some sound a little similar in composition, but I actually don't care, because it's your voice that really gets to me. That voice that makes the world go round, almost. I swear.

Okay, so I am a major fangirl for Yuuka's work, but why the heck not? She's incredibly talented, and so far her singles have been consistent and entertaining, with great b-sides to boot. Also, whilst her voice hasn't changed a great deal over the past two years since her debut, Yuuka still sounds amazing, you can hear that her confidence in singing has grown nicely, and she still sounds real. Also, she's just Heavenly.
 She is pretty much my Angel, and my favourite soloist right now, though there are some pretty darned good soloists out there at the minute.

Okay, annoying squeeing over Yuuka's perfection aside, today I actually wanted to take a look at the latest single release from Yuuka's ever-growing collection, Hoshitachi no Moment / Slow Motion, which is her fifth single overall as well as the first release of the year.

So, even though we are quickly moving into the season that is Summer, let's take a look at this sweet Spring release that Yuuka has presented us all with, and enjoy her heavenly voice together. Though Spring will end soon, together, we shall look at the flowers and enjoy the time of the year that creates life once again.

In this moment together, shall we enjoy the last fragments of the season of flowers together?


Hoshitachi no Moment / Slow Motion by Ueno Yuuka

Release Date: March 18th, 2015

Track List:

1. Hoshitachi no Moment
2. Slow Motion
3. Sudachi Passion (Regular edition)
4. Sotsugyou Shashin (Regular edition)

Hoshitachi no Moment

In similar fashion to most of Yuuka's previous leading works, Hoshitachi no Moment is what I would call a very pleasant song that is enjoyable to listen to, but also quite easy on the ears. It's soothing and gentle, qualities that are evident in quite a few songs of Ueno's (Winter Kiss and Dear My Hero come to mind) and, because of these qualities and how well the instrumental compliments her vocals, Yuuka's singing is enhanced greatly.
 Still, I do wish that sometimes, they would push the boundaries a little with her A-sides, and go for something a tad more energetic and bouncy (like what Diamond Days was), possibly bubblegum pop, even. Regardless though, I do like the songs that she has been given for her singles thus far.

 It would be nice for a bit more variety, however.

No matter what, though, Hoshitachi no Moment is a pretty song, and it allows us to appreciate the maturity and tone of Yuuka's amazing voice in full. She sounds great here, confident and proud, and I really do enjoy listening to this song. It's become a favourite of mine from the Spring Idol releases, and still stands strong even now. So, yeah, it's a winner in my books.

And with such an entertaining video to accompany it, of course I would love it even more! Ah, so good!

Hoshitachi no Moment is the theme song for the live-action drama, Wakako-Zake.

Slow Motion

Slow Motion, the second song to this double A-side track, is a cover of Nakamori Akina's 1982 debut song of the same name, adding a sense of nostalgia to the track list. I admit, when I first started to listen to this song, I thought that I wouldn't like it based purely on how the beginning sounded, however by the end I was simply amazed by how pretty the entire composition was, how Yuuka sounded, and basically how everything seemed to tie together seamlessly.

Yuuka really suits this song, basically; her voice is quite befitting of the nostalgic, 80's tone, and though she doesn't perform the song in the same way that Akina did when she first recorded it, Yuuka still does it justice, just in her own style - she makes it that little bit more modern, but she doesn't destroy that nostalgia, either. The song, though updated, still sounds similar to the original when I listen to it, it's just modernised in order to appeal to this era's audience.

It's a nice song, one that surprised me in how good it was, and I like that it shows off Yuuka's strength in singing a song as nostalgic as this one. She did the song well, and I find Slow Motion a very pleasant piece to listen to, overall.

If only there was a clip somewhere on youtube where she was singing this song. Oh, well.

Sudachi Passion

Okay, so Sudachi Passion has to be, by far, one of my favourite b-sides from Yuuka Ueno so far. I like a great deal of her single's coupling songs, but Sudachi Passion is probably that song I have been looking for from Yuuka - it's energetic, sweet, filled with pop and just a generally happy-go-lucky tune that makes me want to dance and sing! It's a song I didn't expect from such an elegant looking single, actually, but wow, am I happy that this song was added to the track list! It's absolutely glorious!

I think that this song is an original, but regardless of whether it is or isn't, I love it; it shows a cute and very Idol-like side to the singer that is Ueno Yuuka, one I don't regularly see or hear in her singles. It actually reminds me of Mano Erina during her days as a soloist, more specifically, it reminds me of Seishun no Serenade; both that song and this one are extremely fun and catchy, and when you hear them, you want to jump up and join in. It's great! So, yeah, this is a win for me!

My favourite thing about this whole song is that it starts off how I would expect one of Yuuka's more energetic songs to start, except this time, the song keeps progressing and only gets more and more energetic until it hits that all-important chorus, and then the party starts. It's wonderful, hearing Yuuka tackle a song this obnoxiously happy-go-lucky, because I don't think that I've heard her try this sound before, and I am loving it!

In short, it's wonderful, and by far my favourite track of the entire single. It's brought diversity to the single, though the previous two songs aren't really the same either, but it does allow the single to branch out in its sound a great deal, and I like that.

So far, Sudachi Passion is my favourite song, and until I look back at the other existing b-sides that Yuuka has sung, I will say that this is the most exciting, energy-ridden song that she has thus far created.
 But, yeah, I love it. 

Sotsugyou Shashin

The final song on the single, Sotsugyou Shashin, is another cover; originally by Yumi Arai and released in 1975 from the artists third studio album, titled Cobalt Hour, this song has been covered a few times by various artists, including Hamasaki Ayumi and Ikimonogakari. Sadly, I can't find an original version of the song itself, so I won't be able to poorly compare Yuuka's version to the original.

As a song, Sotsugyou Shashin is extremely pleasant to listen to, and for those who really love ballads, this may be right up your alley. It's soft and as gentle as can be, Yuuka sounds absolutely perfect for this song, and it has a very romantic, sweet tone to the composition. It's a lovely graduation ballad, one that is perfect and befitting of spring, and I'm honestly not surprised that a song such as this one made it onto the single. For me, however, it's not my favourite song: I find it a tad boring, at least until the chorus kicks, that is.
 I still find it really pretty to listen to, however, but until I get to the chorus, I'm not really left that impressed, though I can hear why others would enjoy this song, especially around the spring time of the year.

Still, I do think that this song could grow on me pretty quickly - I enjoy the instrumental enough, and hearing that chorus, I know that I could fall in love with the song, though only time will tell. I think, if I go back to Sotsugyou Shashin next year, I may adore it, but for now, whilst it is enjoyable at certain points, this is probably the song I like the least on this single, though it isn't a bad song in any respect.



I really like this single, and honestly, I had anticipated hating at least one of these songs, but instead I came out of this enjoying all of the songs, with only the last one being what I would call the weak point for me, but even then, it isn't that weak as a song - all of them are strong in their own respect, and they have good qualities about them.

What I love about this single the most, though, is the diversity in its sound; Hoshitachi no Moment is what I would say is your typical Yuuka Ueno A-side track, gentle and generally easy to listen to, but still a strong track, whilst Slow Motion is a nice nostalgic trip back to 80's pop that's pleasant to hear, and whilst not a ballad, really will soothe you. With the coupling tracks, Sudachi Passion is basically just a ball of fun and happiness, whilst Sotsugyou Shashin is a pleasant, spring-perfect graduation ballad that could easily set off your feels if you were to listen to it during your own graduation, or when remembering the good times with friends in school. No matter what, there is something in this single that could appeal to a wide variety of people, and with each song, we hear how well suited Yuuka's voice is to various tones of song.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this single, and hop to continue enjoying it as the year goes on, because it's a great release from Yuuka - she continues to show how talented she is, and expands on her music in different ways, I believe. Though her A-sides do seem to stick to similar formulas, I like that her b-sides are evolving with each new single she produces. For this one, I love that, not only has Yuuka sung something original, but also tackled songs from the past and made them her own. It's refreshing to see that in her discography, and I like that I was able to hear her versions of classic songs, ones that I would not have known existed if it were not for this single release.

Overall, Hoshitachi no Moment / Slow Motion is a great, positive release from Yuuka Ueno, and yet another successful single to add to her expanding collection. She truly amazes me, and I continue to adore her even more with each release that she produces, and I hop that this adoration continues for years to come; she is talented and wonderful, and her songs keep me entertained for hours on end.

If I had a ranking system, which I really must implement one day, then I would give Yuuka...

... About 4 Stars and a half, because this single exceeded my expectations, and I do think that it is worth such a high amount of praise. Then again, I'm biased.
 Sue me :p

It's a good single, and if you do ever get the chance to have a listen, I do highly recommend it and all of the songs present on the track list. To add to that, I think that, for the year of 2015, Yuuka Ueno is one artist that you should all definitely give a chance, even if it's for a minute or an hour. She'll be worth it, I hope, and if not, then hey! At least you gave her a chance, right?

I need to make this a series; As Recommended by Chiima. Pfft!


And for this single review, that is pretty much all, folks! Hopefully with this read, you found a new artist to look into, or maybe a few songs that may have piqued your interest. Either way, I do sincerely hope that you found some interest here, and that you do try and check out Yuuka Ueno's work, even if it's just one A-side track.

For those who have heard of Yuuka before, and if you have listened to this single, which song of Yuuka Ueno's is your favourite? For those who have heard the single that has been reviewed, which song is your favourite from the track list? If you want, be sure to let me know!

Until next time, though, I will have to say tata and Happy Idol Lovin'! For our next post, let's find more Idols to love!

Take care, and have an amazing week ahead!

Much Love,

You can purchase Hoshitachi no Moment / Slow Motion at CDJapan

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