Archive for the ‘Ken Hirai’ Category

SINGLE REVIEW: Ken Hirai- Canvas/Kimi wa Su・Te・Ki

Ken Hirai- Canvas/Kimi wa Su・Te・Ki

My god, this single is way overdue. Ken decided to wait half a year before releasing another single (I guess that’s his way…), so everyone has just been sitting idle going to back to questioning his sexuality… poor Ken. Either way, does it really matter? If his homosexuality is going to make you stop listening to his music then you’re pretty close-minded. I don’t think I’d like Ken nearly as much if he didn’t put on that damn glittery shirt more than two years ago for POP STAR. I still laugh randomly in class when that comes into my mind. Well now for the long awaited review of Ken Hirai’s ‘Canvas/Kimi wa Su・Te・Ki’


Canvas opens with light string plucking soon supported by wind instruments then replaced with piano chords. Overall I really enjoy the musical aspect of the song because of the soft air. The song doesn’t have any melancholic qualities because of the percussion that comes in near the one minute mark. The song takes an oddly upbeat turn as it progresses, though it’s really only apparent in the music. Vocally this track is fairly strong. I have never thought that Ken’s voice was that great in ballads, but this song is impressive. Ken’s voice is great when it comes to more soulful sounding music, but it works out surprisingly well here maybe due to the percussion. The tempo is also good for the slightly nasal he has when he sings. It’s definitely no Elegy, but it’s a solid ballad.

Vocal Performance Grade: B+ — Musical Performance Grade: A- — Composition Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B+

The introductory beats of Kimi wa Su・Te・Ki caught me completely off guard. With a title that basically means You are Fabulous, I was expecting POP STAR back from the grave. But what I got was… Uhh, I have no idea what this is. The verses are… hardcore…? And the chorus is pop with a layer of faux hip hop synth poured over it. I bunch of people don’t like this song but… I guess… I do… Wow this song is really surprising. Okay so it starts out with trash-can percussion and Ken saying ‘You listen to me‘, and then jumps into a synthetic party with a very enjoyable melody and some ungodly high pitched and disturbingly fast vocals. It’s really hard to understand what he’s saying because of the pace, but it’s really really engaging. Overall I definitely like this song better than Canvas sheerly for the fact that it’s so unique. I haven’t heard anything like this in all of my years of Jpop, and I’m genuinely impressed. Leave it to Ken Hirai whom I thought had expended all of his tricks to expand my music horizons. There are a couple really cool points in the song, which are the ‘Yukou’ notes and the ‘Hop, Step, Jump‘. I also am very impressed with the vocal performance. It’s a difficult song to pull off, but he managed to do it. The performance is perfectly edgy. The melody is catchy and I just don’t see how you can’t like this. It’s pure Ken brilliance.

Vocal Performance Grade: A — Musical Performance Grade: A+ — Composition Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

Cry & Smile!! opens with happy piano chords and some sweet Ken wailing. Reminded me of a Little Big Town song. I really like the way it flows overall. The piano and that one instrument that you shake (god I’m an insult to music lovers everywhere) work oddly well together, even more so when the clap beats show up. I thought Ken said Smile a few to many times, but I suppose it’s forgivable because it’s in the name of the song… My only problem with the song as a whole is that the composition is a bit boring. However, I like Ken’s vocal performance once more and this is overall better than Canvas. I hate punctuation in titles, but I guess since Ken is the master of flamboyancy I can just let it go. I make too many allowances for him. But I do like this song. From the snaps to that unnamed instrument, it all just works. Thought it flows a bit too well, I did enjoy it in the end. Definitely worth listening to more than just once. Ken gives a nice performance, and it’s pretty engaging as a whole.

Vocal Performance Grade: A- — Musical Performance Grade: A- — Composition Grade: B+

Overall Grade: A-



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SINGLE REVIEW: Ken Hirai- fake star



Introducing the controversial [everyone thinks he’s gay] mega star in Japan ‘Ken Hirai’. Ken Hirai is a long time vetran in Japan, and I have never really been too fond of his music. I didn’t like POP STAR, because I thought it sounded really… well… gay. He sings constantly in a falsetto-esque voice, which I would imagine makes it difficult to sound manly at all. The other controversial idea about poor maybe-gay Ken is that everyone thinks he might be a HALF-BREED. In Japan, being a foreigner and being famous at the same time is a difficult task, so you really have to come to Japan fluent in Japanese and with a huge drive for Japanese culture to make people like you. Leah Dizon has a problem making friends, because she never put in the effort to learn Japanese, which irks the other famous people. SO basically, if Ken is a half-breed, it will damage his career. How sad. Well, here is ‘fake star’, supposedly the opposite of POP STAR [thank god].


Poor Ken. Even though the fake star video is filled with him nearly having sex [or being had sex with?], he appears even gayer than ever. He looks so completely uncomfortable with this woman practically ripping his pants off, and he spends the whole time brushing his teeth and ignoring her.. Way to treat a lady, Ken! Other than the masquerade for a straight looking music video [unlike the flamboyantly gay POP STAR], the song is pretty good. I like the cool introduction guitar, along with the heavy breathing. I think that the verses are by far the best part of this song, and they really make the song worth listening. Ken’s voice is really nice in this song, and not really as falsetto-y as the other songs he has sang. The chorus of this song is prety nice, though I lke the verses more. Theres a part around 2:16 where it sounds like he says ‘Who is a Fake Whore?’, and I can’t really understand what he’s saying. I hope it’s not whore, because that is so random…

Vocal Grade: A- — Musical Grade: A

Overall Grade: A



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