Kurayami Monogatari

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S/mileage – Aa Susukino/Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu August 20, 2014

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 4:58 pm

chikyuuwakyoumoaiwohagukumu

Track Listing

  1. Aa Susukino
  2. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu
  3. Aa Susukino (Instrumental)
  4. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu (Instrumental)

1. Aa Susukino

Oh boy, S/mileage has touched upon the Emo-musume of yore with Aa Susukino.  It opens with the strings and pleasantries (even adding that all the members got a solo line in the intro).  I kind of like the EDM elements of the track and the group sounds good overall.  Though I still couldn’t get behind the spoken dialogue from Ayacho and Rinapuu…seems tacked on almost.  After the shock value from “Mystery Night!”, this song wasn’t as great, but it’s definitely passable and sits next to “Ii Yatsu” since they’re quite similar to one another.

2. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu

I was expecting that the other A-side was going to be more of genki S/mileage, but with Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu we got another kind of serious track (not as much “Aa Susukino”).  I don’t know why, but this one should’ve led the single because while it fits the current H!P quota of A. Having somewhat of an EDM style to it and B. SAXES!  Yeah, this song is pretty cool and has a chill side, but also a punch that I love.  I was surprised the focus was mostly on Ayacho and Takechan here, but it’s still a pretty kickass song for them!

 

 

Now I seriously feel that all this year H!P releases are going to be double/triple A-sides and that’s it.  Back on the topic at hand, S/mileage’s Aa Susukino/Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu was a break of the bipolar style that we’ve had for quite a while.  Both songs have a great style for it.  The former touching upon the past and the latter a taste of the current.  I’m also noticing the group’s vocals are finally meshing nicely (and Kanana is becoming an interesting voice).  I hope they continue with this style :D

 

Kaela Kimura – OLE!OH! August 11, 2014

Filed under: Kaela Kimura — solarblade @ 6:01 pm

oleoh

Track Listing

  1. OLE!OH!
  2. MAKE THIS DREAM REAL
  3. Usagi to Otsukisama

1. OLE!OH!

So Kaela returns with OLE!OH! begins with a nice countdown and a sort-of 80’s riff in arrangement!  Of course Kaela is still at her peppy feel and it just adds to the cute and fun feel I get from this song.  It’s not as oddball as some of her previous singles, but it’s definitely a cute track to listen to that’s for sure.

2. MAKE THE DREAM REAL

When I heard the next track, I was kind of like wait…this song and “OLE!OH!” kind of has a similar tone with the synths used here.  Though the biggest difference is the pace and tone of the track is quite different and I actually enjoyed listening to this track a lot more.  I feel like this one had more of an 80’s influence.  Definitely the best from the single, but it’s no surprise since I enjoy these kind of tunes.

3. Usagi to Otsukisama

Then we have our other B-side, Usagi to Otsukisama and it’s a 180 from the rest of the single  It’s a ballad (almost a lullaby actually) and focuses on more of an acoustic style here well…at least until the 1:25 mark where the song kind of explodes into a more laidback rock ballad.  It’s a nice track overall, a little out of place on the single but eh.

 

 

After releasing her 2nd best “10years”, Kaela returns to the drawing board with a new single, OLE!OH!.  I must say that it was at least better than her last single, “Sun shower” which is great! OLE!OH! was fun and full of personality and was a good choice for an A-side, but I much prefer MAKE THIS DREAM REAL since Kaela sung it well and it sounded REALLY nice to me.  Usagi to Otsukisama was a nice track to close the single, but weird to be after two 80’s influenced tracks…Can’t wait to see her future releases ^^

 

T.M.Revolution – Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH!

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 5:26 pm

tsukiyabureru

Track Listing

  1. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH!
  2. Thread of fate
  3. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH! (Original Backing Track)
  4. Thread of fate (Original Backing Track)
  5. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH! (Anime Version)
  6. Thread of fate (Anime Version)

1. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH!

Wow, Takanori actually is active again lol!  Anyways, we have Tsuki Yabureru  begun strong with him singing with guitar, but I felt like the intro was kind of meh when it was going through its beginning interlude (like there should be powerful drums, rather than dance beats).  Basically I feel like this song is a watered down “Naked arms” with the similar speed and drive.  Also, it’s a pretty short track at a little under 3 minutes as well.  I don’t know but I feel like I was expecting more from a song like this and was disappointed in the turnout.

2. Thread of fate

As for the B-side, Thread of fate has a bit more of a toned down feel which is cool since Takanori can give a more pronounced performance.  The arrangement isn’t exactly totally intriguing, but at least it doesn’t feel weak like the A-side was.  After a while the song just kind of fades my attention away unfortunately…it comes off as an album song more or less.  I don’t know it’s better than “Tsuki Yabureru” but not by much.

 

 

Feels like forever since T.M.R. released something (though I’d rather have abingdon boys school back) and sadly, Tsuki Yabureru wasn’t all that memorable of a single.  Maybe it’s just me but Tsuki Yabureru sounds a lot like “Naked arms” without the energy behind it and that kind of disappointed whereas Thread of fate just kind of was there…not terrible, but nothing that’ll say come back to me.  With another single on the horizon, “Phantom pain”, I hope he can redeem himself.

 

Koda Kumi – HOTEL August 6, 2014

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 8:27 am

hotel

Track Listing

  1. Introduction ~Check IN~
  2. HOTEL
  3. Interlude ~Secret Room~
  4. MONEY IN MY BAG
  5. Interlude ~Last Night Dream~
  6. TURN AROUND

1. Introduction ~Check IN~

So kicking off Kuu’s annual summer single, we get an introduction with a cheesy ass hotel manager bringing us to “Kumi’s hotel” and telling us to enjoy our time and all that typical stuff.  Plus showing to us our room and calling us perfect…lord Kuu, why do you keep doing this?

2. HOTEL

As the leading song, HOTEL was such an odd song for me to get into.  It seems to have this Western groove going on and has such an interesting sound to it which sounds quite original to me.  A lot of the time Kuu isn’t really singing in the verses as she’s kind of speak-singing it through otherwise she gives a pretty good vocal performance.  I’m not entirely sure how this song stacks because while it’s upbeat there’s not much of a melody to remember IMO.  Let’s hope the other songs fare better!

3. Interlude ~Secret Room~

So the interlude of the single has a cool beat to it and it sounds like people just chillin around before the beat takes over and gets pretty cool before money is dropped and we’re shoved off to our next song…

4. MONEY IN MY BAG

Funny that the money dropping led into our first B-side, MONEY IN MY BAG and it’s another heavy track that kind of takes from “HOTEL’s” book.  Being a little more edgy, this song brings back Kuu’s unshamefully use of the ~bring bring~ fail.  I also wasn’t expecting the song to be a little under 2:30 in length…feels like it was just thrown in one sitting.  At least I can say I remember the chorus of the song…definitely catchy.

5. Interlude ~Last Night Dream~

The final interlude begins with knocking and there’s room service and saying that Kuu personally sent champagne before the guy wishes for the listener to come back and wishing for a good last night…meh…

6. TURN AROUND

Leading into our final track, TURN AROUND is surprisingly the ballad of the single, but something familiar to older Kuu fans as it reminds me of her early days.  As in this is an R&B track!  Ironically, it’s the best track from the single as Kuu sounds pleasant and the tune is refreshing.  Might not be the BEST of these kind of tracks, but with how unimpressed I am with this single.

 

 

I really am getting tired of these summer singles with these unnecessary interlude tracks…they really cheese things up for the singles.  HOTEL is pretty meh of a single because I just couldn’t get into HOTEL and MONEY IN MY BAG.  The only relatively good song is TURN AROUND, but it’s because it’s just the oddball song of the single and Kuu is actually fully singing.  I don’t know, but I’m not into this single.

 

Up Up Girls – Zenryoku! Pump Up!/Kono Melody wo Kimi to August 2, 2014

Filed under: Up Up Girls — solarblade @ 2:40 am

TPRC-0091_マキシ2折表_15

Track Listing

  1. Zenryoku! Pump Up!!
  2. Kono Melody wo Kimi to
  3. Zenryoku! Pump Up!! (Inst)
  4. Kono Melody wo Kimi to (Inst)

1. Zenryoku! Pump Up!!

I enjoyed the opening of UUG’s first A-side with the shimasen that transitions into another one of their EDM tracks.  It’s not as wild and crazy like their other heavy tracks of the same genre and I can enjoy that since sometimes it’s better to be more safe than sorry.  The group is singing in unison majority of the time, but they all have lines when the dubstep/rap sections kicks in.  It’s a pretty good song from the group and I would definitely recommened it.

2. Kono Melody wo Kimi to

The other A-side is a bit more brighter (kind of like the “End Of The Season” single) where it’s got dance beats but has a lighter feel.  It’s kind of cute for what it is and I love that each member has some time to shine as well but after “Zenryoku! Pump Up!!” I was kind of hoping for more.  Still I do love that it reminds of songs like “End Of The Season”, “Cyalume”, and “Beautiful Days!”.  It’s basically a really nice technopop song with pleasant vocals!

 

 

Wow, UUG’s newest single impressed me quite a bit!  As the group’s 3rd single for their 3rd era, they impressed me with this one.  They are just getting better songs and I loved Zenryoku! Pump Up!! a lot and it’s one of their bests in their discography.  Kono Melody wo Kimi to is also pleasant to listen with sweet vocals and a nice arrangement.  They are just at that point that anything they’ll release I’ll enjoy (single-wise at least) lol.

 

THE Possible – Yuuki Super Ball!

Filed under: THE Possible — solarblade @ 2:05 am

yuukisuperball

Track Listing

  1. Yuuki Super Ball!
  2. Do Me! Do! (Regular & Type E only)
  3. Jinsei wa Parley! da! (Type A only)
  4. Shiawase no Tenbin (Type B only)
  5. Nasty! (Type C only)
  6. Zenryoku de Aishite ne…! (Type D only)
  7. Yuuki Super Ball! (Instrumental)
  8. Do Me! Do! (Instrumental)
  9. Jinsei wa Parley! da! (Instrumental)
  10. Shiawase no Tenbin (Instrumental)
  11. Nasty! (Instrumental)
  12. Zenryoku de Aishite ne…! (Instrumental)
  13. Yuuki Super Ball! (Live)
  14. Do Me! Do! (Live)
  15. Jinsei wa Parley! da! (Live)
  16. Shiawase no Tenbin (Live)
  17. Nasty! (Live)
  18. Zenryoku de Aishite ne…! (Live)

1. Yuuki Super Ball!

So THE Possible kicks the single off with Yuuki Super Ball! which immediately brings excitement with a chanting opening.  I was quite surprised when this song released because it’s a little calmer than the previous A-sides released in the era.  I’m enjoying the vocals from the group as they haven’t lost the energy and such.  I wouldn’t say this song beats “Nanja Korya!?” but this song is quite nice!  Though in the mid8 section, the gals sound live and they are doing a call and response chant which is a little odd because this is the studio version and feels like they clipped this in it.  Overall, it’s a good song…tad odd with the live shouting, but still good.

2. Do Me! Do!

So prior to the single release, fans were ask to choose between all the songs on this single to be promoted as the A-side, as you can see Yuuki Super Ball! was the winner of course and I assume that Do Me! Do was the 2nd winner as it’s found on two editions.  Anyways, this song is a bit more serious but it has the same energy as the leading song.  Aina and Robin lead the song which is pretty cool as the both had a lot of cool moments.  Definitely a fitting song

3. Jinsei wa Parley! da!

So the next song is a little more hokey that what I would’ve expected.  Jinsei wa Parley! da! is definitely you all-around typical idol song which I suppose works but I don’t remember much of it.  All the members (except Mororin) got solos which surprised me.  Otherwise, it did nothing for me.

4. Shiawase no Tenbin

A 6 minute mid-tempo song with Shiawase no Tenbin?  Well I suppose it had to happen right?  Anyways this song is pretty laidback for the group and we have solo lines from everyone which is great to hear.  The only problems was that it dragged a lot and the chorus is very pitchy with some of the duo lines (especially trying to hit those high notes) whoever thought that bringing two ladies to try to hit those lines together was pretty damn on drugs because no one worked it right?  I just didn’t care for this one much.

5. Nasty!

I actually voted for this one because I thought it would be hilarious to see an A-side like this.  Funny enough, this is my favorite track from this single.  It’s set in a dance style and it’s such a catchy track (almost “Ijiwaru Crazy love” levels of catchy).  I really love that Akkyan was leading alongside Hashimon and Robin.  It’s definitely the best off the single and I wish they did more songs like this.

6. Zenryoku de Aishite ne…!

The last track reminds me a lot of “Jinsei wa Parley! da! with the overall idol tones.  It does have some disco feels but it honestly sounds like an AKB song for some reason.  There’s nothing totally memorable here except for the arrangement with all the horns, but other than that meh.

 

 

*Won’t review the live versions* Closing out the group’s era before their next album, “1116” releases, we got Yuuki Super Ball! and this single was filled and so many versions too (like the other singles).  I really found myself enjoying most of the single especially with Yuuki Super Ball!, Do Me! Do! and Nasty!  Well looking at it now, it was half and half because the other 3 songs were either too generic or just boring as hell.  Can’t wait to see what will appear on the album!

 

Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – Hoshi Furu Yuuenchi August 1, 2014

Filed under: Mix Speaker's Inc. — solarblade @ 6:47 am

MSI_遊園地ブックレット1004入稿

Track Listing

  1. Prelude
  2. Shiny tale
  3. Death Parade
  4. Wanderer
  5. Urameshi Yashiki Chika Nikai
  6. Kagayaku Sora to Umi to Sekai ni.
  7. ONESTAR
  8. Tenshi to Itazura (YUKI Voice) (Limited only)
  9. A devilish teacher (MIKI Voice) (Limited only)
  10. The only sweet heart?
  11. SCREAM go AROUND
  12. SKY HEAVEN
  13. promise

1. Prelude

The album opens up with a 2:23 long intro with the Prelude.  It begins with a ticking and a deep clock going off.  Then it gets all mysterious and creepy with clanking noises and echoes and then a pretty string melody that turns angsty.  It grows into something of a march which is pretty cool and I honestly wouldn’t think this would be something from the band, but I like it…it really fits the themes they’ve tackled in this era.

2. Shiny tale

I can’t believe I’m reviewing this song for the 3rd time.  When I reviewed it the first two times, I didn’t think much of this one because it was heavily anisoned up which was something I wasn’t expecting from the band.  I don’t exactly hate this song as much as I did back then, but it still kind of feels generic from the band.

3. Death Parade

I was wondering what the album songs would bring and already from Death Parade, I was already loving the edgier arrangement and the energy was great!  I’m loving the dual lines from both YUKI and MIKI.  They definitely turned this song on its head and it just sounds like what I’ve been loving since I started reviewing the band.

4. Wanderer

Then we hit even harder with Wanderer which brings in the pounding drums which annoyed me a LOT, but things quickly get fixed when they start the verses because it has a lot of funk and bass lines.  Both members seem to sing a bit deeper as well.  Add some chanting and wild arrangement and I was kind of left confused and just not into it.  It just didn’t have a lot of cohesion so I just kind of forgot about it.

5. Urameshi Yashiki Chika Nikai

Which makes no sense why it leads to our next song which sounds like something that could’ve been in the band’s first era with it’s Halloween-esque/Carnival-like atmosphere.  As playful as it is, the song doesn’t seem as powerful as I would’ve expected.  Though I wasn’t expecting YUKI and MIKI being playful in their vocals.  Also the kids that chant in the second verse…wow.  It’s not as messy as “Wanderer” but it pretty wild.

6. Kagayaku Sora to Umi to Sekai ni.

We escape the hard songs for actually a lighter tune from the album with Kagayaku Sora to Umi to Sekai ni.  I really loved the fact we got a reprive from the album here since we can hear how the duo sings and they work really well together.  The overall acoustic tone of the song (plus the mid8 section) just sounded great.  It is a bit strange where it’s placed, but it’s still a neat song in and of itself.

7. ONESTAR

So they brought the promotional track from “SEAPARADISE no Hihou” onto the album.  I like how we move genres again from the softer tones of the previous into an energetic track that has a surprising amount of synths behind the band’s riffs.  Like I said on the mini-album review, the only bad thing of this song is the grunting rap sections…what the hell was that all about?  It’s a cool track albeit strange…I guess that works (though the raps need to GTFO).

8. Tenshi to Itazura (YUKI Voice)

So on the Limited editions of the release, there was two bonus tracks added but the two were split between YUKI and MIKI.  YUKI’s Tenshi to Itazura comes first and it’s pretty straightforward which kind of adds a simplicity kind of feel to it.  There’s even a little section where it feels like a carnival but it’s not the whole track.  I do like YUKI’s voice…he brings energy to songs and this was a good track to showcase it!

9. A deviish teacher (MIKI Voice)

Then we get the other track which is MIKI’s tune!  I can quickly tell that MIKI go the edgier track right from the introduction because it has a grittier feel and the guitars are heavy.  MIKI’s voice though is oddly filtered here and sounds like hes doing it double.  He seems to have the deeper voice of the two and so his singing reminds me of ASAGI from D which is cool…but was it necessary to throw filters?  It’s OK, but I don’t think I’ll come back to this one for a while.

10. The only sweet heart?

Whoa, the opening for the next song caught me off guard!  Starts with an 8bit intro then a force of sound from the band kicks in.  I do like the heavy feel and the vocalists sound great together with MIKI having an easier time hitting notes through it.  It does slightly chill, but only shortly.  It’s a pretty wild song but I actually enjoyed this than the other ones of the same calibur.

11. SCREAM go AROUND

Moving on, SCREAM go AROUND brings us to well another heavy rock song but it sounds a little more like well…the previous track, but the members are having more fun lyrically as both MIKI and YUKI do some weird things.  It’s a nice track, but it doesn’t really go anywhere during its duration so I feel a slight bit bored.

12. SKY HEAVEN

At least we get this song, as the 2nd A-side released, SKY HEAVEN was a song that brought me back into the fangasm of the band.  I mean it is kind of anison like “Shiny tale” but I thought the guys did a much better job with this one.  YUKI/MIKI sound great too so it adds up and it’s still definitely one of my favorite songs from this album.

13. promise

Ending the album, promise seems to be another odd song from the band as it’s more alternative and suiting to close the album as it’s light and includes strings and piano.  I really like the vocalists took a lighter route singing and once again like in “SKY HEAVEN”, they sound plesaant together.  For an ending job it was pretty damn good!

Tracks Recommended

  • SKY HEAVEN
  • Death Parade
  • Tenshi to Itazura (YUKI Voice)
  • promise
  • The only sweet heart?

Song of Avoidance

  • Wanderer

As the band’s 4th studio album, I was kind of surprised that Hoshi Furu Yuuenchi didn’t have a solid idea behind it unlike the previous ones.  It really felt like the group was just wanting to throw this album out there because it had been a while.  There’s some good songs no doubt, but there’s some meh ones too.  I would say this wasn’t as good as “It’s a Dream World” but it’s OK.

 

 
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