Albums (Page 2)

Please choose an album below. I've numbered all the official albums like this: (#1). The remaining albums are compilations/remixes of previously released songs. New albums are always displayed on the first page.

There are two ways you can sample the songs:

1) HTML: This is the original way I had it set up, where you'll have to manually download and listen to each file. Also, if you hover over the links, you'll see the kanji title of each song.

2) Flash Player: This flash player will let you listen to each sample in REAL TIME. (^^) Occasionally you can choose between different playlists (especially if the CD is a remake/tribute to another artist's work).

Here's a quick summary of how the flash player works (image opens in a new window)

Click on the 'Lyrics' icon to access the lyrics. ALL lyrics will open in ONE popup (i.e.: all of the lyrics share the same popup). This way, you won't have a TON of popups open. Besides, you can't read two lyrics at the same time, right? (^^) But if you want to open the lyrics in more than one window, feel free to right-click the links and choose "Open in New Window".

Lastly, to make the pages load faster, the albums have been split into several pages (hence why I alternated/color-coded the links).

regular text (no link) = song not available yet

  1. (#1) Farewell
  2. VOICE ~cover you with love~
  3. VOICE 2 ~cover lovers rock~
  4. (#2) Van.

VOICE ~Cover you with love~
(Cover/Tribute Album #1)

+Produced by: avex trax
+Catalogue #: AVCD-23227 [CD + DVD], AVCD-23228 [CD Only]
+Release Date: March 28, 2007

+More Info:

Individual Song Reviews
(note: these will load in the iFrame above)

I Liked Van's Cover/Remake Better
Both Versions Were Nearly The Same
I Liked The Original Version Better

This is technically Van's second album (and it was released almost EXACTLY one year after "Farewell"). But since most of these songs are covers (i.e., Van's not the original singer), I haven't listed it as an official album. Instead, I've called it her "first tribute album". (^_^) The DVD just has one thing: the music video/PV for "Yoru ni Kizutsuite".

Most of these songs are classic Japanese hits, with four exceptions (see below for more info). Overall, I think Van did a good job. (^^) A lot of the original artists were also impressed. You can read more on this page, which also has a special picture on it!!

Some songs were better than the original; some were about the same. And others...were a bit worse. (^^;) You can read my short reviews to learn more. And you can also sample the original songs AND her remakes, then judge the songs yourself. ;)

  1. Coffee Rumba: This song was originally Venezuelan (i.e., sung in Spanish) and called "Moliendo Café". It was performed by Mario Suárez, and became an international hit. A few years later it was redone in several otherlanguages, including Japanese. The Japanese version was done by Sachiko Nishida, and renamed "Coffee Rumba". Then nearly 30 years later, another Japanese artist (Yosui Inoue) redid the song and made it popular again. Van covered the "Yosui Inoue" version of the song.
  2. Truth '94 -meets Tomiko Van- : This isn't a "classic Japanese song". In fact, it was released a few years before this album came out. (^^;;) The song IS a cover, though; TRF (the original artists) collaborated with Van on a special jazz remix of their song, "Truth '94"...which itself is a 1994 remake of their 1993 song, "Truth". (The original "'94 version" was also a jazz song. The original/1993 version is a pop song.)
  3. If: This isn't a "classic Japanese" song. It was done by an American band called Bread. ^^
  4. Yumeji [Acoustic Version]: This isn't a "classic song", either. Van did this song herself, and it was released a year earlier. (xD) But it IS a bonus track, so I guess that's okay.
  5. Kitte no Nai Okuri-mono: For some odd reason, Van sang an abbreviated version of the song. (o_O) At least, I THINK her version is abbreviated. I had a real problem finding the original song. For one, it wasn't listed on any of Kazuo Zaitsu's "classic" CDs (I went to his official site and looked in the Discography section). So I was only able to get the song by ripping it from a YouTube video. >_<;

    So basically, I don't know if the YouTube version is the full song, or extended...and I don't know if Van's version is the full song, or abbreviated. =\

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VOICE 2 ~cover lovers rock~
(Cover/Tribute Album #2)

+Produced by: avex trax
+Catalogue #: AVCD-23569 [CD + DVD], AVCD-23570 [CD Only]
+Release Date: March 5, 2008

+More Info:

Individual Song Reviews
(note: these will load in the iFrame above)

I Liked Van's Cover/Remake Better
Both Versions Were Nearly The Same
I Liked The Original Version Better

This is Van's second tribute album, which -- like her last two albums -- was released in March. (She reeeally likes March for some reason. xD) The DVD has the music video/PV for "Cherry", and two bonus clips: the commercial for the "Voice 2" album, and a Photo Gallery (which I assume is just pictures from her "VOICE 2" photoshoot[s]).

I'm sure some people were mad that her second album was yet another tribute CD (instead of an original album). But there is some good news: this album is MUCH BETTER than the first "VOICE" album.

I'll start with a random note: the subtitle of this album does NOT reference the genre of music called "lover's rock" (which has a reggae sound). For this CD, "lovers rock" means "rock songs that talk about love". That means, yes, Van's music still deals with jazz...but it also has more of a rock edge to it. There's a delicate balance this time, similar to her days with Do As Infinity. ^^

One problem with the first "VOICE" album is that a lot of the songs didn't mesh together; the songs had different types of music -- some were fast, some were jazz, some were pop...but this time around, all of the music has a similar tempo, and all the songs have great arrangements. And, Van's voice is amazing as usual. She even managed to make a few boring songs (like "OH MY LITTLE GIRL") sound fun, catchy, and inventive!

I really, really like this album. The only song that disappointed me was "Aisubeki Hito yo"; I felt that Van's version was a cheap imitation. (T__T) If you want to know why I feel this way, you can read my review and find out for yourself. (^_~) And feel to sample the songs yourself, and make your own decisions.

Lastly, I need to give a special note about two of the songs!:

  1. Sakura: On Van's official site (and a LOT of other places online), you might see this song called "Sakura [Dokushou]" instead of just "Sakura". But both titles are basically the same thing.

    When "Sakura" was originally released on CD single, there were three versions: the original/solo version, the choir version ("Sakura [Gasshou]") & the instrumental version ("Sakura [Bansou]"). The original version was just called "Sakura"...but to diffrentiate it from the other versions, a lot of people call the original version "Sakura (Dokushou)". "Dokushou" means "vocal solo".

  2. Aisubeki Hito yo: This song is done by a band called "The Kaleidoscope"...but I just realized that their singer/lyricist/guitarist is Takumi Ishida!

    Takumi is now part of Do As Infinity's new "GREAT TOUR BAND (GTB)". GTB is the support/backup band for Do As Infinity when they perform live. (^_^) Not only that, but Takumi has invited Missile Innovation to be his support band when he performs live ("Missile Innovation" is Ryo Owatari's band). Although to more specific, "the twins" -- Yoshiyasu and Hisayoshi -- are performing live for Takumi. (Ryo must have been busy with other projects...)

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