Kurayami Monogatari

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Masami Mitsuoka – Black Diary August 14, 2009

Filed under: Masami Mitsuoka — solarblade @ 10:24 pm

black diary

Track Listing

  1. last cross
  2. I am (Album Version)
  3. End for End
  4. Todokanai Omoi… ~ROAD another story~
  5. Distance Love
  6. Jewel Days
  7. REFIND
  8. CHESS BOARD
  9. Black Diary
  10. As for you
  11. Hana (Album Version)
  12. Bokutachi no Shippai
  13. Single Stone (bonus track; CD only)

1. last cross

Beginning the album with the last A-side of the era, last cross was somewhat of a nice choice.  I still think her vocals are a bit too squeaky and tight to listen to.  I still like the song though because it’s got a cool rock sound to it and Masami in the bridge is amazing.  I still love the bridge…one of the coolest riffs in the song. 

2. I am (Album Version)

We get a new version of I am next.  What they changed around was that the song was focused more on the guitars than the synths and I thought it fixed some of the problems the original for sure.  I also felt the song had a stronger presence overall and had a harder punch than “last cross”.  Masami continues to sound way too much like Ayu in how she’s hitting those high notes…weird.

3. End for End

Our first of our new tracks, End for End starts out way too similarly to one of Ayu tracks because I’ve heard the exact same vocal melody Masami opens up with.  Though I do love how electronica this song comes off and is a drastic change after “I am”.  Masami does sound vocally stronger, but she still sounds off pitch-wise.  It’s a good song though.

4. Todokanai Omoi… ~ROAD another story~

The ballad A-side of the era, Todokanai Omoi… is a pretty interesting song.  Masami sounds pretty good until like I said in the single review, in the chorus where she gets unbearably whiny and nasal with her notes.  Right now though besides the godawful chorus, Masami sounds the nicest here.  After a while the song does drag with it’s arrangement, but this is a pretty nice song.

5. Distance Love

We get another ballad, but I consider this over “Todokanai Omoi…” because well Masami doesn’t really mess up with her vocals and really struck me good.  The arrangement is explosive and full of life….though it might be too much as it’s really loud.  I think it’s a pretty great track though.

6. Jewel Days

After going through some old tracks, we begin the nice line of new tracks with Jewel Days.  It starts with a space-like beeping sound and some acoustic guitar as well.  It seems they stripped the loudness of “Distance Love” and just put a new melody and lyrics and we get this track almost.  I don’t why but this track flies over my head a lot.

7. REFIND

I really love the piano opening to REFIND.  It has a very dark and somber tone to it and flows just right.  When Masami comes in though, the piano dies off and it’s almost like she’s doing some acappella, but strings fill in after a little bit.  Then the chorus turns into a pop track before going back into ballad mode.  It’s a little strange to transition into it, but it’s ok…nothing more or less.

8. CHESS BOARD

CHESS BOARD is definitely the standout song off the album for sure.  It sounds like a hard rock song and Masami’s vocals sound a little more airy than usual and she’s singing out as well.  It might not really showcase Masami in a better light, but the song’s harder arrangement was a surprise and I love the verses of the song.

9. Black Diary

Orgel opens up our title track and oddly enough it’s once again a pop/rock kind of sound.  I’m noticing that Masami is either being layered or is under light vocoder and it fit with the dance mood of the song.  It might not be as edgy as “CHESS BOARD” but this song is catchy and I think it’s the first time I’ve fallen for a Masami track as it’s catchy.  One of her more interesting tracks off the album.

10. As for you

As for you has a similar opening to “End for End” and leads into a ballad.  It’s weird because the song has an odd structure to it.  The first bridge sounded like it was going to the chorus because Masami was holding a note and getting louder, but tricked me back into another set of lines.  The chorus (which eventually happens) doesn’t really stand out and the song came out to be just a bit boring.

11. Hana (Album Version)

I’m not sure the main difference in this updated version of her debut A-side, but I’m guessing it has to be the better production.  It sounds a little fuller in sound and there might be something else but I can’t really tell the difference too much.  I’m still not a huge fan of Hana though because Masami’s vocals are so hard to listen to here so I guess it’s alright to pass this track up.

12. Bokutachi no Shippai

Ahhhh, the strings opening was so nice to hear.  Masami sounds actually quite nice in this song and thank god.  Only having strings and acoustic guitar with a slight touch of electric, this arrangement is really pretty and very fitting.  It’s sad that the simpler arrangements make Masami sound so much better.  Strange…

13. Single Stone

Funny how there’s a bonus track on this album….I got to say of all the Ayu similarities I’ve heard from Masami, this is got to be one the most prime examples of why I compare them two.  Single Stone is easily a melodic copy of Ayu’s “Fly high”.  Maybe, it’s coincedence, but damn is this just too funny to pass up.  I do love “Fly high” though so I naturally like this track as well and Masami channels Ayu well in the song…Pretty good.

Tracks Recommended

  • Bokutachi no Shippai
  • Black Diary
  • last cross
  • CHESS BOARD
  • Distance Love

Song of Avoidance

  • Jewel Days

Masami’s only album released via PONY CANYON, Black Diary is alright.  It doesn’t make Masami a great singer nor her songs are really something that you should rush out to get, but it’s ok.  I still can’t get the thought out that Masami’s producer’s were allowed to blatantly ripoff Ayu in some songs (Single Stone being the worst offender).  Now, she might have a chance to be better since she was dropped from PONY CANYON and going by a new name Mizca and heading towards electro-pop, can’t wait to see what’s in store after “FREE BIRD”

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