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08 October 2010 @ 02:38 pm
Welcome to leitoph, woof!
            2016-02-29 10.30.02_20160302021314936.jpg
Say yow to MAXX, my wonderful Golden mix. He's not as friendly as most Retrievers are,
but he makes a good guard dog, and is a sweet companion to the people close to him :)


This livejournal is a memento of different things and thoughts mostly revolving around the JPop idol group NEWS; especially its youngest member,  the shitty Tegoshi Yuya. Well, you'd instantly know that this is a fandom account, and a nice one at that. I am a blogger and I spend most of the time being an analytical, rant-all-ramble-on fangirl!

But I do not post regularly. I admit it's much nicer to use social media which is more practical, particular, and gives people chances to be famous and viral! Not that I'm giving hints that I want to be famous and viral... but yeah I do heheh *insert cool sunglasses emoji*

As for the 'journal' aspect, at first this site was treated like a diary (and it still is, at times). However, the things I prioritize posting now are music reviews, or any reviews, as long as they don't get far from the purpose of this blog.


The purpose of this blog are my fandoms. I am a very Tegoshi-biased fangirl but I can get gaga over NEWS anytime (music reviews aside, I love any discussions about all the members!). I also have/had a couple of posts about KARA, Avatar the Last Airbender, and Messi from FC Barcelona.

Along the years, I've gained and lost fandoms; some faves are still faves, some remained as memories and many I have yet to explore. This journal has been a partial witness to my fandom growth and changes. Here are my present fandoms, updated 2016:

Panic! At The Disco*
(*I became a fan months after this update~)

This is to give you an idea what I might be blogging about at the time of this update. Oh, but I'm really Tegoshi biased, I cannot ensure anything but him alone! *hmm, that sounded life-threatening tho hahaha*

To put it nicely, I cannot guarantee anything but the music reviews and Tegoshi-related ramblings and appreciation posts.


Tegoshi-related ramblings and appreciation posts. That's what the blogger is about… in the fandom world. Otherwise, I am a typical ambivert who sways between loving the spotlight, the loud giggles in the crowd and carefree proclamations; and being a loner, stuttering as I speak, and fearing the human race. I have a keen interest in Psychology as long as its not too Science-y, and Philosophy as deep as my brain could handle :p I self-study Astrology (I’m telling you, it’s more than just the Zodiac Signs). I hate sleeping and if only it’s possible I could stay awake 24/7.

I am a musician. I formally studied Music and performing. I excel in the music part (my teachers and classmates say I do LOL) but the performing part is not apparent because I lack self-confidence—jeez, I’m soooo awkward on stage. I freeze in middle of performances. I dunno why I still can't overcome this. T^T

Anyway, the thing I do best is singing at weddings. This is my comfort zone. When ya’ll gonna be married please invite me as your wedding singer~ although I just realized I’m saying this on a fandom blog and of course you already have your bias’ bandmates as your pick. :p Invite me nevertheless ;)

There you go, I think I said a lot about myself I’ve never elaborated before.
TLDR; look at the pie chart for easy reference! :p

If you read till the end, why, thank you! And please leave a comment, my dog will be happier if you do.
Mood: fullfull
On track:: 넌 is 뭔들 - MAMAMOO
18 December 2020 @ 10:53 pm
Lately I've been making icons (and other edits) but sadly misplacing them. ><
So I have to make a masterpost for all my graphics. I hope I can always update!
note: because this is a masterpost, not all stuff here are NEWS-related (though most of 'em are~)

icons *NEWS*Collapse )

icons *KARA*Collapse )

bannersCollapse )

headersCollapse )

Feel free to grab; credits are appreciated!
If the f-o banners are too big for your journal, you can always resize the pics to your preferred size ^_^
Mood: cheerfulcheerful
On track:: Pokoponpekorya - NEWS
14 September 2016 @ 07:05 pm
Wake me up when it's halfway September. ♪

My tab has died. It was a great loss; although my multimedia files are carefully backed-up, most of the things I created--from my recent diary entries to my graphics, to drafts of blog posts, weren't retrieved when the gadget was formatted. Worse, it was found out to have a more serious defect, and all the cleaning made wasn't sufficient. As much as my heart wasn't ready, my wallet bore the heavier load.

In addition to this, the tab is the only personal gadget I use to surf the internet so if you see this post, I'm using something that 's not mine. I went back to the years 2011-2012, when I was a cyber shop hopper LOL and it feels harder now that I'm already not used to surfing in a public computer. But this is the only way, so... I've been doing this for the past two weeks anyway.

It's just a few hours to NEWS' 13th anniversary and of course I don't want to be sad. My Koi Wo Shiranai Kimi E review is put on hold; basically all my fandom projects, including blog posts. Aw. But I must confess that I had an almost full blackout from the NEWS fandom (for the first time in 6 years!--this signifies a lot!) for two or three months? I mean, a total blackout is impossible (if you have 70% of all your friends from the fandom world), yet it's short of that. Sort of waning feelings *gasp!*, not simply about time.

I didn't plan it actually; it was a little inevitable. Panic! came, RL was in the way, and I got too lax thinking that there are so much more active fans so I won't bother updating until I come back (OF COURSE, I WILL COME BACK. EVEN IT WAS "SORT OF WANING FEELINGS" I KNOW I STILL LOVE NEWS, AND THAT LOVE IS ETERNAL!). I made a comeback post on FB last week, a sad one telling about the situation of my tab, and a little hint in my renewed state as a fangirl that I'm not putting all of my focus on NEWS anymore. I have like, 4 more fandoms and I learned how to treat them as bona fide fandoms hahaha~ Simply put, I became a legit multifandom chick xD

But! Back to NEWS, I'm in love again. Catching up with everything: Hen Lab, 24hr TV, SCP, Koi wo Shiranai Kimi E, among other projects that prove 2016 to be NEWS' NEWSIEST YEAR *throws confetti*, that's what's gonna be the theme of my anniversary post. Lucky 13th year! #NEWS13thAnniversary ♥

The end of blurb, as my downloads are complete and I'm ready to watch. Bye!
Mood: rejuvenatedrejuvenated
On track:: The Sound - The 1975
17 June 2016 @ 09:02 pm

More than a month of fangirling over Panic! At The Disco and this band effortlessly makes its mark on me as a lifetime influence, just like NEWS. It took the same quick period for NEWS to secure that spot in my life, by the way. (And look how far I've gone walking with NEWS With Panic! it might just be the same!)

There's no denying it. Panic! is now at par with NEWS: My number 1 fandom, my favorite people, my greatest inspiration, etc. And because I can't just let two "number ones" compete for my enthusiasm, time and appreciation, I've cited a big distinction between the two; yeah, I sound like a sore arbiter but it has made me at peace with my feelings ever since. (Damn were the days in late April when I was very new to Panic! and I kept weighing my passion for both bands ><)

NEWS in QUARTETTO concert tour (cr: inala )

NEWS is my family. The place where I belong. It's a habitat that thrives on love; I get my ample share, and I give my ample support in return. Here is where I feel the safest, yet here is also where I feel bold. Tegoshi is my ideal person. Despite this, I don't actually want to be like Tegoshi. And NEWS' personality doesn't really speak to me on a personal level. I've found more of myself in Panic!.

Key word in NEWS is familial.

(cr: Panic!'s FB page)

Panic! At The Disco is my spirit animal. It's who I am both in my weakest and in my strongest. I see myself in the metaphors of their lyric-writing, especially Ryan's. I see my ideal self in Brendon's personality, musicality, and creativity. I want to be like Brendon. The band's success and freedom are my goals. But my source of nurturing and support is NEWS. And Tegoshi remains as my ideal person.

Key word in P!ATD is personal.

But maybe you wonder HOW it's Panic! among other bands and artists. Tbh, since I became into NEWS, Western bands, whatever genre they're doing, were all the same to me. The Panic! I knew, was a musical fling back in 2008. For a fact, I didn't know who Panic! was/were, except for the attention-hogging name *!* and a couple of songs which were a little part of my huge adolescent playlist by various artists and that was the actual musical fling).

I sang along to I Write Sins Not Tragedies and even made a Tagalog parody without knowing the names of the band members and what they look like. So how did that change? How was I reintroduced to the band and became the fan that I am today? Oh, well imagine, as I'm searching Wikipedia about Neoclassical Music and I can't help but to see, oh I can't help but to see a link that says: "List of Baroque Pop Artists"...

...It's partly NEWS' fault.

April 12, 2016. I was halfway through my QUARTETTO album review (that still isn't posted is also posted today, after almost 3 months delay, and it's partly Panic!'s fault! Hahaha) when I had to check Wikipedia for Classical Music terms and references. NEWS' new style is specifically Neoclassical (lit. "New Classical") and its subgenres, best known of which is Baroque Pop. Out of curiosity, I checked the link List of Baroque Pop Artists to see if maybe there are familiar artists I'd chance there. I saw Kalafina in the list and I was honestly not surprised, though very, very pleased because the JPop trio was my jam at the time (They're still my jam!). Besides Kalafina, Panic! At The Disco was present.

Taking a break from my NEWS review I clicked on Panic!'s Wiki page, and it's not that I didn't have any choice of other artists yet I was genuinely interested why the band is under Baroque Pop. I knew them as an alternative rock band--again, I actually didn't know anything about the band prior to rediscovery but I wasn't that ignorant to not know they were alternative rock. Sure, I memorized 'I Write Sins...' stripped down to its cello intro but the other Panic! songs I remembered were so different from each other.

But the thing that intrigued me more was seeing the current line-up: a one-man band! Naturally, you'd check that sole member when there are no other options to check (ex-members are another topic). Coincidentally, it was Brendon *I wrote "Brandon" in my diary and people in the fandom said 90% will probably get his name wrong at first encounter--and I belong to that huge percentage orz* Urie's birthday that day so being a cheesy believer of fate I believed the coincidence was a sign I have to explore the band.

no title
He's approximately 7 months older than Tegoshi, and approx 8 years older than me. Wtf is with these '87-liners huhuu

Also as I was having problems regarding my feelings for Tegoshi *HAHAHAHA I NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT IT, LIVEJOURNAL!* the urge for exploring other artists was strong (though I have been in the exploration phase since last year). I listened to MAMAMOO, AOA, and Kalafina more frequently than I listened to NEWS, and since Panic!'s confusing genre retained to me throughout that week, I finally searched the band on Youtube.

Tonight we are victorious. Feel optimistic about the little things in life yet?

Victorious was the first I thing I saw; honestly, I was disappointed because it sounded cliche--cite similarities with Taylor Swift's Bad Blood (or was it just me?)--but the music video was utterly entertaining! And Brendon's attractive af. I went to I Write Sins... for relieving those high school memories. It has been a while since I heard that song in spite of still singing it (and the parody) from time to time. :p

Panic!'s debut MV won an award. This has set the standard for all and every succeeding Panic! MVs.

I can't recall any instance of me watching the video before but when I watched it, it was so familiar. Maybe because the song was popular back then that I somehow knew what the video looked like? Either way, it gave me intense throwback feels! And I also saw Nine In The Afternoon, another song I knew and enjoyed, but have forgotten until it showed on the related videos.

At this point my interest to know Panic! grew at a fast rate. Aside from the obvious that Victorious, I Write Sins Not Tragedies, and Nine In The Afternoon are insanely different songs for a single band and that kind of variety is my ultimate dream if I become a de facto musician, I was sure I knew more songs; I just haven't recalled everything yet.

In my second try at exploring the band on Youtube I saw more recent as well as familiar songs/videos, and the incessant variety kept me excited. I was particularly awestruck by Time To Dance, it was one of the old songs I liked so baaaad. Hearing it again after years was so classic it evoked an important question--why didn't I appreciate Panic! as much as I did for Paramore?--that question is important because Paramore is my first-ever favorite artist, hence I never dared to put it in line with my fandoms and other favorites.

Caption: Idk why but I love this song so much.

Until I rediscovered Panic! and I was oddly attracted to the band strong enough that after Youtube I immediately followed fandom pages/websites too. Finally, it was during midnight of April 22, ten days after Brendon's birthday and the accidental rediscovery, that I proclaimed over a sleepless night of laughing to Panic! memes: The band is now officially added to my fandoms.

That's when something unprecendented (at least for me) happened. A couple of hours later, Panic! announced that they'll be having a concert in the Philippines this August!

Caption: This kind of news would really give one a panic *oh yeah I just made a pun involving my two faves! xD

The rest is history; I mean, it's just a little over a month since I entered the fandom but in the days and weeks I've spent many big changes already happened, as seen from how it quickly climbed the ladder from being "just another fandom" to being the number one fandom.

Discography & Line-up changes. You know you truly love something when you love every aspect of it. (cr: panicatthesocialgrathering)

And no, it's more than fandom stuff. Things have changed personally, from my way of thinking, to my habits, to my goals. I'm currently working all of these so it's not a great time to discuss personal matters, and maybe they're too personal for the blog anyway.

I still love NEWS truly, deeply... but Panic! At The Disco redefined me. As I said, Panic! is my spirit animal. For the band's fans, it feels uncomfortable when the exclamation point in the name is missing. For me, it's my turning point in that exclamation point.

Mood: happyhappy
On track:: Hallelujah - Panic! At The Disco
10 June 2016 @ 07:33 pm
I realized there's a reason why I do my reviews late, aside from the fact that I'm the best procrastinator you'll ever know! (LOL).

I like comparisons. I like to find a common ground between the things I perceive, and I like to note the differences. I like to know which is better than the other, or which are on the same level; or how things turned out in the past and I use that as a basis for the present. Even if it takes time, it is through comparison and contrasting that I believe I could write my reviews effectively and in detail. In other words, these reviews aren't founded on first impressions alone. I wish I could write by my first impressions though, as most (if not all), reviewers do!

This is my first serious NEWS album review. I didn't make one for last year's WHITE because... I kept putting it off. xD

Artist: NEWS
Release date: March 9, 2016
Tracks: 16 (12 + 4 solos)

►L-R: Limited Edition and Regular Edition covers◄
General comments

QUARTETTO is an album I was too excited to write my first impressions about. (Now you know why I explained myself above!). It's an album that blew me right away, that I hadn't even finished listening to it and I already commented about how it could make former NEWS fans regret leaving the fandom. It had such a huge impact; surely, it's NEWS' release. Every NEWS release is literally mind-blowing for me (duh, Paana!). Of course I could hear what I don't like from the first listen, but I can't impart these properly in the height of excitement. It is only through a longer period of listening that I could make a fair judgment.

Listening to it for weeks (edit: months!) now, I won't take the statement back--QUARTETTO is good and it'll make former NEWS fans regret leaving the fandom. Better than the disheveled WHITE album, QUARTETTO is solid and easy on the ears. For these reasons:

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Song by song comments

01 Theme of QUARTETTO, or the instrumental-only overture, follows some rules from the Classical era. It's in Binary form, in which the first part differs greatly from the second, but the second is actually just a development of the first part. It can also be considered as a "Theme" in Theme and Variations form; or in the modern music sense it contains different sections comprising all the other parts of the whole piece. In the simplest terms, it is a remix, a medley of all the songs in the album. It is its sole purpose--an introductory medley, yet the way all the songs are thrown in a rhythmic blender is very hip-hop, an unexpected move for NEWS. It also introduces the use of body percussion, and looping machine that makes music production impressive. I think this album aims to show the technical aspect of music to fans.

02 QUARTETTO, the actual song, is EDM (electronic dance music) all the way (quite surprising for the title, isn't it? But not that surprising, consideringTheme of QUARTETTO introduces this sound). It has the ingredients of an electronic genre: Fast rhythm, standard Eight note-beats, autotune, and of course the electronic humming of the bassline. The twist is, it has a prominent string accompaninent so that it sounds fairly classical. The contrast makes it catchy--even though there's no proven correlation, the arching violins works with the structured, synthetic beat.

The best part of the song is the most unprecedented one: the Koyashige blending where Shige sings the upper harmony! Too bad it's just one line. Well, the whole song lasts for only 2 minutes but it's okay; otherwise, it would turn out dull.

In a poll at 4newsfans, it shocked me that many voters have this track as their favorite. With its techno base, short span, and monotonous nature, maybe it is the consistency from start to finish that makes listeners appreciate it. And again, the contrast between the classical violins and buzzing bassline, if listened to closely, is actually breathtaking.

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NEWS knows how to sound refreshing at the right time, in spite of being almost 13 years in the business, and this showed in QUARTETTO. My hopes for the next album: 'refreshing' in the sense of trying concepts, genres and techniques that'd be deemed surprising in Johnny's. Actually, NEWS is already doing this through couple of releases including this one, but a full-blown surprise would be better in my opinion. QUARTETTO is a good album nonetheless; it's a very transparent material enjoyed by new and old fans alike.

Album rating: ♪♪♪♪ (4 eighth notes out of 5!)
Mood: bouncybouncy
On track:: LA Devotee - Panic! At The Disco
22 April 2016 @ 08:25 pm
Hey. :)
It takes gut and true randomness to write an entry without thinking it beforehand (coz I almost always plan my entries)

I have a lot of queued posts! Mostly NEWS reviews of course, but the drafts I have so far in 2016 ranges from girl groups to Philippine politics to memes to graphics! But I dunno if I could post even half of these, because aside from laziness (laziness actually comes in at #2!), I have a new fandom. ♪ "AGAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIN" ♪ *belts that lyric from I Write Sins Not Tragedies*

The title is a giveaway. Yes, it's Brendon Panic! At The Disco!!!

(cr :P!ATD instagram)

I'll post about how I got into Panic! but it would be a disgrace to my other *ehem, new* fandoms if I don't post about 'em first. I'll get to it! I'll get it! Can we fast forward to go down on me it? ;)

Okay, bye. It takes a lot of gut and true randomness AND enough extroversion to write an entry without thinking beforehand.
For those who have no idea what the band is about... I'm posting one of their most innocent videos to create a good reputation. LOL
And a #throwback to Beatles-inspired 2008. :')

Mood: crazycrazy
On track:: Nine In The Afternoon - Panic At The Disco
Have you noticed how late I am in posting my reviews? I need to get this off my list so I can start with the newly released album!

Title: ヒカリノシズク/Touch
Artist: NEWS
Release date: January 20, 2016
Tracks: 4

L-R: Regular Edition, Hikari no Shizuku Edition (LE A) and Touch Edition (LE B)

General comments

NEWS' first single of 2016, a double A-side single, is released roughly 2 months after their last single of 2015. The first of the A-sides,Hikari no Shizuku, serves as the theme song for the drama adaptation of Shige's book Kasa wo Motanai Aritachi wa which also includes Shige in the cast! The other A-side, Touch, is used for NEWS' newest product endorsement, Nissen Touch 'n'. At the time of writing this review, we're counting hours to the new album QUARTETTO's release (Edit: upon posting, QUARTETTO is already out), added to the news of a regular show *FINALLY!* that keeps the fandom in a feast for days.

Or for months. Definitely, for months.

So what's the point of these italics--I mean, good news in here? The management is gearing the previously unnoticed NEWS again. In other words: we're unbelievably active just when we thought we're starting to lose our shine. Whatever the long-term plan for us is, we are certain that we're staying because of 1) World Cup 2) *possible* Bra CMs, and 3) Classic sound. This latest single, according to the sources, is headed in the latter direction. Music-wise, it seems NEWS has finally found its niche.

Curiously enough, Hikari ni Shizuku/Touch is a single you'd be careful before listening. Classic sound is no joke; Yonjuushi and its enigma gives a clue that at least one of the songs would give another Rachmaninoff--or whichever classical composer one would think--vibes off. And of course, the more curious matter is the 'Touch' song. Looking at NEWS' discography, touch is the title of their very first album... When there were still 8 members and their musicality wasn't a priority then.Turns out, this single is appreciation-guaranteed! Pulling off the charms in unexpected ways, the single finally fills what has been missing from the group since they became four: a legit ballad, and a legit feel-good song. Steering away from the too energetic and commanding A-sides NEWS has shown since the group's comeback, Hikari no Shizuku/Touch brings the "less is more" style back into play.

Song by song comments

01 ヒカリノシズク (Hikari no Shizuku) is a standard Johnny's pop-rock ballad, that NEWS does not only give justice to, but makes it their own, like only NEWS could sing this song. Even it's supposedly generic. And it's true. The power lies in the distinct vocals.

The instrumentation is quite simple underneath the heavy air of the ballad. For example, the piano uses very basic chords. The strings play a continuous composite melody that repeats itself every section; and the bassline, guitar line and drumline are also predictable. But combine these and it forms a thick stratum of harmonies. What makes this song soar above their past slow tracks is NEWS' vocals matching the air of the instruments--it's so profound that the voices and instruments sound one, inseparable.

As just mentioned, the power lies in the members' vocals. It's not upbeat at all (though in a walking pace) but the dynamics of the voices, from soft to loud, low to high, is a head-turner; neither it is in NEWS' widest of vocal range for a song but it gives that good illusion. The instrumental is subdued, making the track feel very light at some moments, especially in the verses. The soft strings gives the song a soulful touch, pop-rock the genre may be. Somewhat it reminds me of a slower Full Swing with less rock and more pop.

It's supposedly a simple song but the emotion of the vocals really carries it away. Starred by Shige this time, his voice actually fits ballads and though it's not a surprise in the fandom anymore this is like the ultimate proof that he also does well in these kinds of songs. And boy, Tegoshi again gives the edge, especially in the bridge, without doing it overboard. (Fangirl moment: whenever I listen to that part I'm always on the verge of tears!)

02 Touch is a fan and non-fan favorite--that's how fine the song is. It's hands down catchy, owing to the holistic feel-good vibe of the song: the sugary tones of the vocals and the instruments throughout, and the silliness of the melody as heard on the instrumental flourishes. All these while NEWS doesn't even try to sound goofy or whatever. It has an even blend of larkiness (in the sound) and maturity (in the arrangement; and the slightly suggestive lyrics).

I can't figure out what's the key accompaniment used in the song, aside from the soft piano and modest bass. It has such a high prominence--it's the driving force that keeps the song charged and moving! It might be the work of a snyth, but to compare it to a real instrument it seems like a Piccolo Trumpet*. Similar-sounding with the White album track NYARO especially on the intro, the snyth/instrument has its own spotlight, playing a larger role in Touch than the former.

*Piccolo Trumpet = the smallest of the Trumpet family

The melodic lines are a giveaway. The song doesn't have very high nor low notes, yet the intervals are pretty varied, and that gives the playful aura of the track. Also, the 'fan favorite' is probably the falsettos in the chorus, smoothly and even sensually delivered, blended with splashy effects and the continuous fanfare in the background--makes it suitable for both listening and singing alike. Touch is an absolute LSS!

03 星の旅人たち (Hoshi no Tabibito Tachi) sounds like Don't Stop Believing on the intro and is especially developed to make you feel you're in a pop musical. Within the same key yet a lot rhythmic than Touch, the song has a generous amount of different effects, that may not be obvious at first but becomes apparent as it progresses. Its steady beat doesn't necessarily make it a dance song; however, it's the main driver of the track. This is a nice contrast to the previous track because although both are clear-cut pop music the arrangements are entirely different. The former has a free rhythm while this is strictly accented--it makes Hoshi no Tabibito Tachi rather stale, if not for the embellishments that can be heard once in a while. NEWS' vocals are okay; I hear faint echoes as if this was recorded in a concert hall... presumably, this is part of the song's musical play style. Just one thing I am not happy about is the inclusion of (Spanish style?) guitar-plucking parts on the interlude and epilogue. For me it's out of place. Minus that and the song is actually charming, especially if you're fan of upbeat modern musical repertoire.

04 whisper doesn't deserve to be the last of the B-sides because it's close to perfection and is in a genre that fits NEWS best, in my opinion: Jazz. Not the traditional jazz in entirety, though even for a casual listener it obviously belongs to this genre. To be precise, the song sounds close to those of 80's Bebop and Funk. It's similar to Sweet Martini but this is faster, and unlike the more electro base of the other, here the glorious brass dominates the instrumental. Plus it's auto-tune free! I'm actually a fan of autotune so I don't mind if the song has its share, but for a vocally exhausting song, the breaks in whisper are magnificent. The rhythm change, the unpredictable instrumentation, the constant alter in pitches, the crazy dynamics... don't expect it'll sound very intense because it's not rock after all, but for a jazz song this is totally rockin' it.

The odd one among the tracks, it has no trace of JPop at all. It's in a different key signature too (the other three are in Cmajor). I would have wanted this to be a part of NEWS' next album rather than placed last in a single, but since the 'Classic sound' I expected is not to be found, this Ballroom-apt track compensates with its heavy brass use and complicated melodies Pop songs don't usually have. Lastly, the vocals are natural and each of the members' lines and adlibs are flawless! It's a challenging song that NEWS (not just Tegoshi, or not just any member) sings perfectly.


I loved Yonjuushi the single and I thought the next single wouldn't get any better than that, but this turned out to be better. I was only disconcerted at the lack of the "Refined classic sound" tag the album is supposed to have; However, the tracks are overwhelmingly good that the theme need not be needed anymore. I’ll bet that instead on the upcoming album.

Single rating: 4.5 out of 5!
Mood: crappycrappy
On track:: Speed Up - KARA
04 March 2016 @ 07:04 am
We've seen a lot 'stages of fangirling' memes, charts, and posts on the internet. Me, who always attempts (and enjoys!) turning existing ideas into my own version, never did one, because this is one aspect of fangirling I'm not very certain about. It's like evolution--you will never know what's next except if you're the next. In general we are better in exploring backwards that's why it's easier to be a historian than an inventor.

Fangirling has its Jurassic Period, Ice Age, Dawn of Man, Dark Ages, Contemporary, blah blah blah counterparts.

And I love history. I may never have made a ‘stages of fangirling’ post, but I always love to backtrack. NEWS did the Myojo 10,000-character interview twice; the first was in 2011, the latter was last year. Chankapaana means "my beloved" and it's our name since 2012. I remember one day in March five years ago when I first cried hard because of Tegoshi (for you know, langit ka lupa ako reasons ><"), to the first time I pulled an all-nighter for NEWS; the first time I played a NEWS song on the piano on impromptu (improvising chord progressions lol); and definitely, the very day I became a fangirl. Good thing I had just started writing a serious diary back then. Everything was recorded and it was hilarious. I cannot believe I fell for a Japanese! Not being racist--I just didn't appreciate Japan, it was the country I had the least interest in. I even wanted to go to Africa first!

When I entered the fandom, it was a totally warm and welcoming world that I felt I was going to last. In fact, I have a long-time envy of long-time fans... there's this want to reach what they've reached. Most fans I know were ahead by 3 or 4 years while I was a newbie. During my 3rd year, which means the older fans passed the 6th and 7th year mark, the want turned into an aim. I aimed to reach the 6th, 7th years. I dunno what will happen next, or if NEWS would still exist, but that was my conscious decision: to be a long-time fan.

Working towards this aim I actually felt very natural. Even there was only a single release in 2014, that year was one of my active years. 2015 was a NEWSfest and I forgot about my internal timetable. Stages of fangirling what? Where am I? Where should I be?? Nah, everyone's enjoying the heap of activities and so do I!

NEWS appears to be unstoppable. I, meanwhile, am beating the 6th-year mark in June--three months from now. Taking a little time (thus writing this entry) to reflect, it’s meaningful and relieving, because in a way it has become a life goal and I've reached it faster and easier than I imagined. My dream of celebrating my longevity--a dream almost as intense as seeing Tegoshi in person, is just on the horizon. ♥

This sentiment will probably make the older fans, the 3 or 4 years ahead of me fans, laugh at how silly I am with this 6th year thing whereas they’re in their 9th or 10th year now! Or better yet, they can relate. I've never known a fan who isn't sentimental and counts the years of stay in the fandom like celebrating wedding anniversaries.

Maybe I'm not concerned with the stages of fangirling, because I find eras more appealing, as I've lept the stages in time, and all I could ever think now is how far could this go (I've always thought of that, apparently). Another aim: 10 years? Nah, everyone's enjoying the heap of activities and so do I! But seriously. Betting on 10 years, I'm getting unnecessarily anxious.

Whenever I'm feeling unnecessarily anxious I just think of Tegoshi's cheeks that are like dough. I don't necessarily know why too. (gif: koyamacchi)

Below is the most famous 'stages of fangirling' meme, or the most accurate among the ones I researched for the sake of this post. :> Okay, though I'm not very attentive, it doesn't mean I deny the truth that's in these memes. It happens to me and it happens to everyone else; within these long eras and years of being in a fandom these stages repeat themselves over and over again. Sigh. This is why I stayed.

Mood: glamorous
On track:: You're the Best - MAMAMOO
19 February 2016 @ 07:44 pm
Because I'm very industrious today! :)

Title: 四銃士 (Yonjuushi)
Artist: NEWS
Release Date: November 25, 2015
Tracks: 4
►Limited and Regular Editions jacket covers◄

General comments:

Yonjuushi is NEWS' first-ever DVD single. I don't know its difference from an ordinary single (What's the point of a DVD for a single? Enlighten meee). Regardless, it deserves its whole upgraded packaging. I honestly didn't expect this year-end release to be good--having the group release songs in an unusually fast pace I was a tad worried if the last of NEWS' 2015 spectacle would be spectacular too.

Subjectively, it is! I love the whole package. It's my new favorite. I am charmed by the tracklist, and the PV couldn't be more sophisticated. Musically, level-headedly, the tracks are hit-or-miss. Luckily they are all 'hit' to me; I can't even choose a favorite because all tracks are my jam! Like KAGUYA and チュムチュム, NEWS prioritized variety here. But I think the assortment is less apparent in this single due to having four tracks instead of the past singles' five. Three out of four are upbeat; two out of four are 'party'; four out of four have the beginning parts sung by Tegoshi! (Am I that observant, or just biased?)

Yonjuushi the single is innovative, albeit only in certain angles. Otherwise it could bring about a generic sound impression. NEWS is still an idol group with the same league of composers and same 'ol lyrical themes. Even so, if we focus on the innovative angles, this single is more than a Johnny's pop puppetry. Theyactually explored music, especially the title track. Let's now look into each of the songs.

Song by song comments:

01 四銃士 (Yonjuushi) may not be one's cup of tea. It wasn't for me, either. An arrangement by orchestra conductor Nishimoto Tomomi, the song is entirely based on the Classical piece Rhapsody in a Theme of Paganini (which I'll simply refer as Paganini in this review), by Romantic period composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. It's not a song only made to show NEWS trying the 'classic' sound; it is also the opening song for the anime Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo.

My introduction to this track was a statement from a member (I think it was Shige?) saying  Yonjuushi is very different and new from all the songs NEWS have sung. Of course it sparked my utmost curiosity. When I heard the Anime theme version I was worn for I didn't hear a bit of newness to it--except for the strange musical Form not commonly found in pop songs. Its A-B-A-B-A-B (Extended Tertiary) Form is molded in such a way that it sounds like a draggy Sonata-Allegro even though the track's tempo is actually fast.

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My rating for this single is highly subjective. Yep, even I do have wordy comments and strong opinions in my reviews, when giving ratings I consider the impact to majority of listeners and not mine. Yonjuushi is a hit-or-miss package. You need to understand Yonjuushi (the song)'s origins to appreciate it. You need to at least differentiate the preceding soccer songs before seeing the uniqueness of ANTHEM. While Eien's bad ending is really unsatisfying; and SPEAKER is mediocre. My rating therefore lies on how these songs help NEWS' musical image to be pushed upward--and in that sense, for the fans they do. The single once again showcased the flexibility of the group.

Single rating: ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (4 lovely eight notes out of five!)
Mood: amusedamused
19 February 2016 @ 07:21 pm
NOTE: Originally, this review was omitted from my fandom projects list--for the usual reason, busy in RL and all. I began re-working on it months after its release, reckoning I still got time to do it! Can't deny that this single is too awesome to be ignored.

Title: チュムチュム (Chumu Chumu)
Artist: NEWS
Release date: June 24, 2015
Tracks: 5

►L-R: Regular, LE A and LE B jacket covers◄

General comments:

While the previous and the first NEWS single in 2015, KAGUYA, was as fresh as the new years could be, Chumu Chumu is a summer single, and I expected 'freshness' on a summer scale.

Well, as far as the seasons are concerned, Chumu Chumu doesn't belong to a particular season; instead it's a storehouse of seasonable tunes. We get grandiose, instrumental-heavy tracks, and a smooth flow from one genre to another; giving all the five songs a near equal significance in the single. The cohesiveness I was finding in KAGUYA? I've found it here. It isn't as powerful as my overall perception of ONE -for the win- single; although it is not the power I am noting this time, but the needed balance of the tracklist. Standalone and steady, Chumu Chumu is a quality package. NEWS' musicality still soars up high.

The only discord that has made me unsettled is the choice of Chumu Chumu as the carrier track. I know NEWS is creating a pattern of strong lead singles, and the India-themed song has the ultimate bragging rights... but I wonder if it would've been better for the group to deviate and rather chose the less upbeat tracks? As I said, almost all the songs in the single are standalone, meaning they're great on their own. With some exceptions I will discuss later, I find it a little unwise that the other great songs are just B-sides. Don't get me wrong, I looooove Chumu Chumu and its choreo and the costumes. However, other tracks have just-as-huge potential.

Song by song comments:

01 チュムチュム (Chumu Chumu) has the ultimate bragging rights! Lavish, compelling, this kind of music will never leave you without a wham or two. Obviously its inspiration is India, from the title (Chumu Chumu means "kiss" 'twas said), to the melody, to the style, execution, odds and ends. Just a simple reminder: I'm no expert on Indian genres but I've heard enough mainstream to get the idea. Most of us get the idea, don't we? *And please, I do not want to go into talks about Cultural Appropriation, better keep them out of here*

The India flair is most obvious at the intro and the outro having the exact sound, the gallant pattern of 5-bar overtones within a static chord, with a chanted "Chumu chumu" at the end of every measure, ineligible sounds such as "eiyah" and "acchacha" (in the bridge) comprise the Indian highlights, along with the accompanying instruments which set the song into a whooping feast of beats and tones.

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I've said in the beginning of the review that the only discord I have is the choice of Chumu Chumu as the A-side. I love the song so much, don't get me wrong. But it has a remote resemblance to KAGUYA so I would also appreciate if they chose either Hi wa Mata Nobooru or Sweet Martini (or even Megalomania) that have entirely no similarities with the grandeur KAGUYA already offered this January. Even so, with the excellent connection of all the 5 songs, I'm very contented with this release.

How the 5 songs connect excellently :
• if Chumu Chumu is melodic, Hi wa mata noboru is harmonic
• The first two songs have loud and grand sound; Sweet Martini is relaxed
• Sweet Martini is a slow auto-tuned jazz piece, while Megalomania is an techno treat
• The third and fourth songs are effects-dominated; Sasabune is a melodious ballad

Single rating: 4.5 out of 5!
Mood: energeticenergetic
On track:: Like OOH AAH - Twice