J-POP OVERVIEW

ALBUMS

CHEMISTRY - Second to None

CHEMISTRY has made it. This the R&B duo's second album, and they are very popular. Let's see what they have in store for us this time.

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PUFFY - NICE

This is PUFFY's album that was completely made in America, produced by Andy Sturmer. It was released in Japan first, but apparently a special version will be made available in North America later in the year. PUFFY was performing some of these songs on their North American tour, even though most of them had not been released on a CD until now.

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Ayumi Hamasaki - A BEST

The long-awaited first best compilation album from Jpop queen, Ayumi Hamasaki, is finally here! This disc is maxed out at 16 songs, taking over 76 minutes! Contained is a wide variety of Ayu hits spanning the artist's entire career so far, which (for the most part) are in chronological order.

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Utada Hikaru - Distance

Fans have waited over two years for a new Utada Hikaru album. Her previous album, "First Love", broke a sales record for the total number of units sold. Releases from the artist have moved at a relatively slow pace since the release of the first album, but now the long wait is finally over and her millions of fans have a second album. During a break from her studies this year at Columbia University, the six new tracks written for this album, along with her recent single, "Can You Keep A Secret?", were apparently recorded last December and January. The efforts have yielded pleasing results. The new songs not only meet the expectations of the fans, but the new album is also definitely better than the previous one, with an overall stronger lineup.

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LUNA SEA - LUNA SEA

LUNA SEA was formly known as "Lunacy". It was started by J (bass) and Inoran (guitar) when they were in high school. They joined members from their rival band "Pinocchio", Sugizo (guitar) and Shinya (drums), in Junuary 1989. They recruited the vocalist from "Slaughter", Ryuchi, in June 1989. In November 1990 they officially changed their name from Lunacy to LUNA SEA. They were scouted by Hide from X-Japan and signed to Extasy Records. They released their first indies album, "LUNA SEA", in April 1991. In Septebmer 1991 they were signed to MCA Victor and made their major debut with their second album, "IMAGE". Ever since, LUNA SEA has been one of the top rock bands in Japan. The band disbanded at the end of 2000, and the vocalist, Ryuichi Kawamura continues a solo career.

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B'z - ELEVEN

Here's the eleventh album from B'z. As expected, this album made it to the number one spot on the Oricon chart. You will be amazed by the number of good new songs available on this album. The only previously heard tracks are the four singles, and then all of the other ten tracks are brand new. You'd think that an album with this many original songs would contain many mediocre 'filler' tracks, but this is not the case with "ELEVEN".

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