Soulhead – new album ‘The Best of Soulhead’
Posted by redracer on March 9, 2007
Released on the 21st February, this is the first Greatest Hits release from Soulhead, who has released 3 studio albums and 2 remix albums in 5 years, and this collection is basically a compilation of all their singles so far (and some B-sides).
Soulhead are two sisters, Yoshika (20/07/78) & Tsugumi (25/01/81), surname unknown, who came from Hokkaido and were signed up by Sony Japan. We had the privilege to host them in Australia for a year while they improved their English – unfortunately I didn’t get to meet them 🙂 Their first release was in 2002, and their style is not really ‘soul’ like their name might indicate, but a mixture of funky hip-hop urban R&B grooves with strong harmony vocals. They do not dress up in sexy outfits, or do numbers with lots of backing dancers like many current artists. Most of their songs are sung with a majority of the lyrics in English, and the girls write all their own songs (rare for most Japanese pop artists). Their recordings are played on and produced by a duo know as Octopussy (Aki Hishikawa & Tomokazu Matsuzawa). Their first album ‘Oh My Sister’ reached #3 and sold over 210,000 copies in early 2003, and the followup ‘BRAIDED’ got to #4 and sold around 140,000 in 2004. Their latest studio album ‘NAKED’ was released in 2006 and reached #5 and sold just over 100,000 copies (reaching #132 on the 2006 yearly chart). Their highest placed single was #5 with ‘D.D.D.’ in late 2005. This song was recorded with Kumi Koda, released it as part of her 2005 ’12 singles’ project. This probably gave Soulhead a good deal of exposure. Conversely, their own version of the song (with as different chorus), called ‘XXX’, only reached #22 in early 2006. Yoshika also wrote the single ‘Fortune’ for Sowelu in 2003.
This album has already reached #5 after just 2 weeks. The album tracks are …
01-Step to the New World (single and on the album ‘Oh My Sister’)
02-Lover, Knight, Man (single and on the album ‘Oh My Sister’)
03-Oh My Sister (title track of the album ‘Oh My Sister’)
04-Sora (single and on the album ‘Oh My Sister’)
05-Get Up! (from EP ‘Get Up!’ and album ‘Braided’)
06-You Can Do That (single and on the album ‘Braided’)
07-No Way (single and on the album ‘Braided’)
08-At the Party (single and on the album ‘Braided’)
09-Fiesta (single and on the album ‘Naked’)
10-Sparkle Train (single and on the album ‘Naked’)
11-Got To Leave (B-side of ‘Sparkle Train’ and on the album ‘Naked’)
12-Pray (single and on the album ‘Naked’)
13-XXX Feat. Kumi Koda (B-side of ‘Pray’ and on the album ‘Naked’)
14-Kimi no Kiseki (single from late 2006)
15-Itsu made mo (B-side of ‘Kimi no Kiseki’)
16-Dear Friends (single from early 2007)
17-Feel Like Jumping (B-side of ‘Dear Friends’)
The DVD version release strangely contains 18 tracks, and not the same list of songs as the CD. There is no clip of ‘Oh My Sister’ (an album track) and ‘Got To Leave’ (B-side of ‘Sparkle Train’), but included ‘I’m Just Going Down’ (B-side of ‘Oh My Sister’ remix release), ‘FURUSATO’ & ‘One more Time’ (both album tracks from ‘Naked’).
Their web site, if you want to find out more info, is http://www.soulhead.net
Most other good J-Pop blogs, like beyondthesea, keeptryin209, finalhikari, nekouniverse & hellomusic, don’t mention Soulhead, so I hope this can help broaden your musical experience with this excellent artist.
Conclusion: Good value with a CD of 77 minutes and a DVD of 87 minutes – if you like smooth urban grooves with good vocals and catchy beats, I think you will like SOULHEAD 🙂