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[Album] KinKi Kids’ ‘Phi’

ALBUM REVIEW: KinKi Kids- Phi

KinKi Kids- Phi

So I have a lot of hopes for the KinKi Kid’s latest album being that their last single was so fantastic. This will be my first new album by the KinKi Kids, so I guess it’s an exciting day… I’m really excited to listen, and I hope it measures up to the quality of their recent releases. They used a greek letter for the name, so I’m assuming that it will be fairly unique. I’m hoping for the best… Here we go! KinKi Kids’ latest album ‘Phi’.

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Wow, I am really pleased with the opening track, lOve in the Phi. The song is upbeat and a great way to kick off the album. There is a very apparent tone of sexuality, but I’m glad it’s not really blatant. The song has a heavy beat along with some synth and various other sounds. The duo gives a fantastic vocal performance that perfectly matches the overall feeling of the music and pace; I’m happy. This song is really a great listen. They harmonize well together and everything just falls into place amazingly. Although the KinKi Kids don’t have the best vocals, the way they sing in this song is a lot better than I expected, and I’m really proud. This song is really dancable and fantastically done. It’s a bit more on the serious side compared to the recent releases, but it’s quality is equal if not better.

Vocal Grade: A- — Musical Grade: A+ — Harmonization Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

The second song on the album is one of the B-Sides on their Eien Ni single, Namida, Hitohira. This is a well done song, but not particularly stand out. It’s upbeat as well and features fast paced percussion and some femenine background ‘oooh’ing and ‘ahhh’ing, which makes a nice atmosphere. Musically, the song is not as strong as the previous track, but it still makes a generally enjoyable listen. The vocals are fairly well done, KinKi Kids giving a pretty solid performance with only a few minorly iffy parts. I like the echoy ending, and I generally like the song, although I have to admit it is pretty average sounding. There isn’t a lot unique about it, but it’s a solid album track.

Vocal Grade: B+ — Musical Grade: B+ — Harmonization Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: B+

Following Namida, Hitohira is the slowed down, but not ballad, song snapshot. This song has a slight jazzy feeling to it, and the female vocals blended with those of the KinKi Kids actually work. The KinKi Kids give another good performance though I wasn’t super drawn in by this song. It has a lot of interesting aspects, such as the vocal composition, but I can’t say that it is one of my favorites. It’s above average for sure, but doesn’t reach the level of lOve in the Phi. My favorite part of this song is the musical aspect which features some really engaging and unique sounds that my vocabulary can’t really describe. It kind of gives it a (not sure that this will make sense…) late night city feel, like in a mellow club or something. The album so far is impressively diverse, though I’m still waiting for my attention to be snatched up by something after coming from the first song.

Vocal Grade: B+ — Musical Grade: A — Harmonization Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A-

Well the introduction music and vocals both reminded me of a folk song for some odd reason. the EDGE of the WORD starts off with really mellow sounds that were composed generally like I would expect a folk song to be composed. The verses continue in that manner, and the chorus picks up a bit. I think the song is unique, and it’s definitely more interesting than the previous two. My only problem was that the song didn’t have a lot of diversity which made it kind of difficult to pay attention. However, the well-composed guitar and above average vocals from the KinKi Kids kept my attention long enough to recognize the good qualities of the song, which are that the build up and chorus. The chorus is assuredly the gem of the song as it is the best performed section without a doubt.

Vocal Grade: A- — Musical Grade: B+ — Harmonization Grade: A- — Consistency Grade: A-

Overall Grade: A-

The beginning of the fifth track instantly pulled me in, which I was very grateful for. The violin and excellent composition of Rhapsody make for a brilliant song. KinKi Kids’ vocals are at their best, and I’m really impressed with the overall quality of the track. The song is beautifully dramatic and features gorgeous. This is easily my favorite song on the album so far, and I’m very happy with it. The KinKi Kids really dish out a heartfelt performance and make the feeling of the song very believable. This is the best vocal performance I’ve heard from them on this album. There is a really pleasant guitar solo in the song towards the mid-end, and it just adds to the dramatic and pleasurable aspect of the song. The song has an interesting concept and is performed very well.

Vocal Grade: A+ — Musical Grade: A+ — Harmonization Grade: A+ — Consistnecy Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

The song takes a giant leap up in tempo for the next track, Kaze no Iro. This is the kind of happy upbeat song that I first heard from the KinKi Kids in BRAND NEW SONG, and although they don’t sound a lot alike, they just have the same type of joyous feeling… I guess. The fast guitar and percussion in this song along with the mostly quiet but occasionally more apparent violin are pretty, and I liked the addition of the brass when the chorus began and when the song became more upbeat. Their vocal performance isn’t incredible and the song as a whole isn’t amazing, but it’s another somewhat average, solid song not unlike Namida, Hitohira.

Vocal Grade: B+ — Musical Grade: A- — Harmonization Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A-

Overall Grade: B+

The album takes an incredibly sexual turn with the appearance of Lose Control. When this song began I was instantly reminded of Koda Kumi’s Candy from her 12 singles collection… It features very arabin/african instruments along with a heavy percussion. This song very blatantly sexual in both the Japanese and English lyrics. I think it’s very unique, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it, but I’m bugged by their vocals to a degree in this song. The normal parts are okay, but neither of their falsetto is very pleasing, and the heavy breathing and sex sounds don’t sound very appealing. I will say that this is one of the better songs on the album because it’s really… interesting to listen to, but their little uh uh uh during the chorus sounded kind of strange. The music is definitely the best part of this songs, though there are moments when I certainly enjoy their vocals.

Vocal Grade: B- — Musical Grade: A+ — Harmonization Grade: A+ — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

We once move in a more jazzy direction with the addition of brass instruments in the song that proves this to be the KinKi Kid’s 10th year anniversary, since 1997. I can’t believe they’ve been around so long, but I suppose I can see what to some degree. The KinKi Kids have kind of monotone vocals in this song, but the calm jazzy upbeat nature of the song makes it unique and interesting. The song starts off with some gentle guitar chords and a repetetive trumpet (at least I think it’s a trumpet) piece begins, which lasts until the chorus. The music for this song is unique in the sense that it combines modern beats with classic brass, but I didn’t find it particularly engaging. The song as a whole is well done, but it is little more than average. It kind of reminds me of a detective song in some ways, like something that would play at the beginning of a spy movie. Not too serious, but still mature sounding.

Vocal Grade: B+ — Musical Grade: B+ — Harmonization Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: B

The ninth track, unchanged, continues on in the kind of old fashioned manner that it had been, but is probably, as a whole, more interesting than the previous track. The vocals were again unfortunately monotone, but the upbeat background music was more entertaining. I don’t particularly care for the jazzy element of this album because it’s not really making me stay focused on the album. I’m getting easily distracted. The one thing I really like about this song is the vocals, which were made superb not only by great performances but by excellent harmonization. The two worked incredibly well together and each had their own power notes that impressed me. This song is really relaxing, but it is verging on boring. It’s surely above average, but only just.

Vocal Grade: A — Musical Grade: A- — Harmonization Grade: A+ — Consistency Grade: A-

Overall Grade: B-

Yet another jazz influenced song, the KinKi Kids’ single from before Eien ni BRAND NEW SONG appears on this album as track ten. This is yet another jazz influenced song, and I have to be honest and say that this album is arranged unfortunately. All the jazz songs are hitting at the same time and I can’t say that they’re keeping my attention very well. BRAND NEW SONG is actually more entertaining than since 1997, as the upbeat and happy nature really saves it from being bland. There are more brass instruments featured in this song, like the others, but because of the diversity between the chorus and verses, it was more interesting to listen to. When the music faded and it was just some childish piano every once in a while, it really reminded me of the music on the Sims when you’re shopping… I guess that’s not bad, I just thought it was funny. The vocals in this song are average, but I guess they’re enjoyable.

Vocal Grade: B — Musical Grade: A — Harmonization Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A-/B+

The next song is the ballad-ish yet somehow upbeat Giniro Angou. This song features quick beats but mellow vocals enhanced by female harmonizations. There are some ringing, sort of ambient sounds along with the percussion, and the overall effect is well done. I don’t really understand this monotone vocal trend, but I didn’t really notice in this song until I actually looked for it. Even though there isn’t a lot of variation in their vocals, they match well with the feeling of the song and efficiently convey the emotion that I think they were trying to. All in all, there isn’t really a lot to say about the song. It’s generally well done, but it doesn’t have any outstanding qualities. It appears as thouhg all the amazing songs were placed at the beginning of the album. I don’t know if this is just their way of winding down, but this sure is drug out.

Vocal Grade: B+ — Musical Grade: B+ — Harmonization Grade: A- — Consistency Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B+

The second to last track on the KinKi Kids’ latest album is Noochuundo. Although it’s been a long time coming, it seems that of the new songs, the KinKi Kids saved the best for last. This song’s composition is gorgeous and everything about it from the soft violin, piano, and even jingle bells blend beautifully together. To top it off, the vocal performance by the KinKi Kids is essentially flawless, and every note is well executed and draws you in. I would go as far as to say that this song, if not the best, is in the top two songs of this entire album. The inspirational and uplifting aspect of this song really draws me in and it is incredibly well done. This would have made an amazing single, and I’m quite genuinely impressed with it.

Vocal Grade: A+ — Musical Grade: A+ — Harmonization Grade: A+ — Consistency Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

The exit song of the KinKi Kid’s ten year anniversary album, Phi, is their latest single Eien Ni. This song was the song that really solidified my faith in the KinKi Kids to make good music, and is definitely one of the strongest tracks on the album. This is the only song that I can say fills the role of a classic ballad, as it features almost exclusive piano and wonderfully soft vocals. I loved the song, but KinKi Kid’s vocals were just a bit shaky, and it did detract slightly from the quality of the song. I have to say this is, however, easily the most heartfelt song on the album, which gives it some points in my book. Compared to the first time I listened to this song, I think I actually like it a little bit more because I’ve grown used to the manner in which the KinKi Kids sing. Their vocals sounded much shakier to me when I first listened, but I’m noticing that they sound better now.

Vocal Grade: A- — Musical Grade: A- — Harmonization Grade: A+ — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A-

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Although the flow of this song wasn’t as good as it could of been in the sense that they could have arranged the songs better and spread out the fantastic songs better, but generally it was a fairly strong album. I have to say that there were so many songs that were just average that the album was partially me sitting and waiting to be wowed. I don’t know why they arranged it as they did, but I guess it worked out in the end.

ALBUM GRADE: A-/B+

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SINGLE REVIEW: KinKi Kids- Eien Ni

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Eien Ni is one of the better songs that I’ve heard from the KinKi Kids, and I really think that their vocal performance is much better than usual as far hitting the right notes and putting emotion into the song. The translated title is ‘Forever’, and the concentrated line of the chorus is ‘Forever, together with you’. I think that the KinKi Kids really put out with this song-mostly due to their heartfelt vocal performance. Sometimes their vocals are a bit too iffy for me, but I find myself drawn to this song for some reason. I like the fact that the music is kept simple and soft, because it lets you finally listen to their voices. To me, the KinKi Kids always have amazing musical aspects to their songs, because they’re so diverse and powerful. This song features calm piano, but still manages to be stand out. I don’t know if they compose their own music, but either way, the songs are always well composed. The other thing that draws me to this song is how well they harmonize, and how well their voices flow together. Some of the Johnny’s artists are a bit much for me, but I think the KinKi Kids were really a good investment. Investment, they hit a lot of sweet notes in this song, and there aren’t any sour ones, which is really a relief to me. I sometimes get the occasional unpleasant note from them, which I didn’t find in this song.

Vocal Grade: A- — Musical Grade: A- — Harmonization Grade: A- — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A-

I really like Namida, Hitohira, and I think the way it is composed makes it really pleasant. I haven’t ever been very big on the KinKi Kids, though I’ve followed them, but this single is slowly changing my mind. This song is a somewhat upbeat [mid-tempo] heart warming, encouraging song. Though it is assuredly the B-Side of this particular single, I think that it would make a nice A-Side as well. Their vocals are a bit questionable, but they aren’t as bad as I’ve heard them before. I think they’re showing overall improvement, though they weren’t that bad to begin with. The KinKi Kids may be an acquired taste, but I like them. This song just shows one of the many styles they are capable of within their Jpop spectrum. I love the music to this song [as I do for most KinKi Kids songs], and I thought it was really complimentary to the vocals in the song. The song could be a bit more diverse, but I think for its intended purpose it is really well done.

Vocal Grade: B — Musical Grade: B+ — Harmonization Grade: B+ — Consistency Grade: A-

Overall Grade: B

Mugen Nosutaruji- (Nostalgia?) is another upbeat and somewhat… inspirational song, which features some cool flute music. I always love the sound of instruments other than guitar and piano because it creates an original song. Harmonica can be grating, but it really changes the atmosphere from normal pop to something slightly original. I love to hear instruments that are out of the normal instrumental spectrum. One of the things I didn’t really understand about the song musically was the random sound of breaking glass. It’s not bad, I just didn’t really see the point of putting it in there since it’s not even really noticeable, and it only happens once or twice through the whole song. Vocally the duo did very well, and I think this is probably the second best song on the single behind Eien Ni. There’s a really cool guitar solo near the middle that kind of brings a Spanish feel into the song, which I really liked. The vocals are a bit boring, but the overall song is pretty nice. Not their best, but it makes a nice B-Side, featuring nice vocals, and impressive music.

Vocal Grade: B+ — Musical Grade: A — Harmonization Grade: B+ — Consistency Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B+

Again, the music to Tabiji ~You’re my Buddy~ is really fun. The intro confused me a bit, and the song seemed kind of jumbled in the beginning, although it wasn’t that bad. After the song finally got going, I thought the general feeling was pretty nice. I think that this song is the worst performed vocally on the single, though it sounds okay. The brass instruments created nice laid back jazzy vibe which was nice, though I don’t think their vocals flowed well with it. It’s an interesting song, but I don’t feel that umph that a good song should have. The overall song was somewhat boring, and I almost forgot to listen to this song after I listened to the other ones [I didn’t write this until I was about to post the review…]. Its definitely the least interesting song, and probably the least well performed. Not really horrible, but lacking.

Vocal Grade: B- — Musical Grade: B+ — Harmonization Grade: B — Consistency Grade: C+

Overall Grade: B-

Single Grade: A-


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