Kurayami Monogatari

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FLOW – Steppin’ out February 3, 2016

Filed under: FLOW — solarblade @ 4:17 am

steppinout

Track Listing

  1. Steppin’ out
  2. Aoki Hoshi
  3. Niji no Sora -Beautiful Sky mix-
  4. Steppin’ out -TV size-
  5. Steppin’ out -Instrumental-

1. Steppin’ out

I feel like when FLOW steps into the use of synths in their music, it’s a mix of what could come out of it.  I wasn’t expecting the song to be a lot more lighter than I expected but as an anime theme, it suits the Durarara!! series and is it strange that it reminds me of “Tokonatsu Endless” in some ways?  I like the feel of the song and well the section with KEIGO and the arrangement shifting to a more waltz-like section was just so out of nowhere but funny!  It’s definitely something different for the band and quite unique amongst their A-sides so it definitely left its mark on me in a great way!

2. Aoki Hoshi

The B-side Aoki Hoshi is a little more of the synth style, but it’s a lot more relaxed of a song that I was expecting from FLOW (again).  It’s got a lot more of a soothing and smooth arrangement with both singers slightly laid upon some auto-tune and filters.  The chorus sounds good as it includes some ~whoaaas~ from the band.  This actually isn’t a bad song and one of their better light songs out there.  Personally, it would sound great as a closing to a live performance.

3. Niji no Sora -Beautiful Sky mix-

It’s been a while, but we’ve got a remix, this time of their previous A-side, Niji no Sora.  Unlike the bright nature of the original, this remix actually changes the tune to a ballad with a piano leading the brigade.  I do fully appreciate the fact that KOHSHI and KEIGO resung the track to suit the slower tempo and general emotional pace it has.  I still do LOVE the original, but this alternate take is quite decent and it’s pretty rare to see FLOW do a full-on ballad like this!

 

 

As the 2nd and last single before their next album, “#10” releases, Steppin’ out is a pretty bizarre single for the band.  I was expecting the normal to come out of this due to the anime tie-in, but Steppin’ out is quite different and original for the band to tackle as well as Aoki Hoshi and I thought the ballad remix of Niji no Sora was quite decent as well.  I’m curious to see what the album will bring us though.

 

LADYBABY – Age-Age Money ~Ochingin Daisakusen~

Filed under: LADYBABY — solarblade @ 3:30 am

ageagemoney

Track Listing

  1. Age-Age Money ~Ochingin Daisakusen~
  2. Beard-chan Robot

1. Age-Age Money ~Ochinin Daisakusen~

A song about the economy and wanting to be paid more, only LADYBABY could think of something like this for an A-side!  Kind of taken a page from their last A-side, “Nippon Manju”, Age-Age Money isn’t quite as brash and heavy-hitting, but I’m loving the song a lot more for some reason.  I think it’s because Rei and Rie actually sing in the song and they both sound great.  Ladybeard though is up to his shenanigans and he still gives off such a cool devilish side to this Kawaiicore genre.  Plus, that chorus is AMAZING!!!

2. Beard-chan Robot

As for the B-side, Beard-chan Robot is surprisingly darker than any of their previous songs and I appreciate that as it gives Ladybeard a little more time up front but the ladies to take up more in the chorus.  As for the arrangement, it’s a lot more darer and ghoulish in comparison to the rockin’ A-side.  Though the chorus takes things into a more idol-like gravitas which is cool and all, but I think I wanted more of the darker tones more than anything, still not bad for a B-side!

 

 

As LADYBABY’s 2nd single, I definitely think they have something good going on with this trio and their assault to music.  Age-Age Money was surprisingly catchy and suited both areas of genres mixing it up, a perfect blend to say the least while Beard-chan Robot was more experimental and slightly putting a wedge in the genres.  Honestly, this is a nice follow-up to their debut.  Can’t wait for their next single!

 

lol – fire!

Filed under: lol — solarblade @ 2:56 am

fire

Track Listing

  1. fire!
  2. shake shake
  3. fire! (Instrumental)
  4. shake shake (Instrumental)

1. fire!

I was interested to see what this new group was to offer on their debut single and with fire!, I was slightly digging it, but at the same time not.  What I will begin with is the positives which are from the fact that they seem to be a dance unit which is always a nice thing to see from avex!  However, it feels like Moca and Yusuke are the de-facto leads and the other members kind of just lay low, made even worse is that the two members are just overloaded with auto-tune and that’s getting very tiresome and overdone at this point in music.  It’s an OK debut, but nothing that will stick to me in the long run.

2. shake shake

As for the B-side, musically it’s a bit more interesting and a lot more open and loud with the electro/dance arrangement.  It does seem that Naoto is also going to be one of the more pushed members as he gets just as much lines as Moca and Yusuke does as well (oddly enough, I prefer his voice).  It’s a little more edgier than “fire!” and hearing Hibiki do the rap section alongside Naoto is pretty rad!  It’s the better song for sure!

 

 

As this is the group’s debut, I have to admit at first glance I kind’ve though that this was going to be the new younger AAA to take on the faster songs, but as it stands, the group is a little but not a whole lot.  The songs were pretty energetic and the beats were intoxicating, but I think the problem here is their overuse of auto-tune, it really shouldn’t be used to fill a whole song (more or less two).  I just hope their next single is better, though it’s doing well on ORICON currently…hmmm.

 

Ciao Bella Cinquetti – Doushiyou, Watashi/Ichigo Ichie February 1, 2016

Filed under: THE Possible — solarblade @ 4:17 am

doushiyouwatashi

Track Listing

  1. Doushiyou, Watashi
  2. Ichigo Ichie
  3. Ai no Dotanba – Dai 6kan ni Iya na Yokan!? Kanashimi ni Kureru… Robin ver. (Limited A only)
  4. Ai no Dotanba – Suki Dakara Shinjiteta!? Namida ni Yureru… Gotuu ver. (Limited B only)
  5. Ai no Dotanba – Kowaresou na Glass no Heart!? Nayameru Joshi… Hashimon ver. (Limited C only)
  6. Ai no Dotanba – Nankai Demo Nando Demo!? Shiawase na Doko… Mororin ver. (Limited D only)
  7. Doushiyou, Watashi (Instrumental)
  8. Ichigo Ichie (Instrumental)

1. Doushiyou, Watashi

Being the leading track, Doushiyou, Watashi was something I wasn’t expecting from the (now quartet) at least not since “Ijiwaru Crazy love”.  It’s a bit more electronic than A-sides previous and it has a certain mature vibe to it.  I think the best part is that everyone has a lot of solos and spotlight (especially for Gotuu and Mororin who usually are in the back).  Also special mention to ex-ANGERME member, Kanon Fukuda, who wrote the lyrics for the song which is quite catchy.  Very cool song for the group and a smooth transition after Akkyan left the group.

2. Ichigo Ichie

The other A-side is a little more towards the group’s sound before the name change.  Meaning this song is a bit more guitar-heavy and just in-your-face which is nice since I’ve missed that sound that THE Possible was delving in through their 2nd/3rd album.  Little strange that I can see Buono! or even ANGERME be given this song and I think it’s from the producers here.  Still, the song is pretty much what I was expecting from the group.

 

 

*will review Ai no Dotanba as they become available*.  This single was actually a lot better than their last single (which was their first under their new name).  Both songs give a pretty good vibe even if it seriously is blending to H!P’s arrangements.  Also, I’ve mentioned already, but this is also the first single with only 4 members after Yurika’s announcement of leaving the group back in August.  Great single overall and their best one in quite a while!

 

Shion Tsuji – Summer Flag!/Hanabi ga Agattara

Filed under: Shion Tsuji — solarblade @ 3:49 am

summerflag

Track Listing

  1. Summer Flag!
  2. Hanabi ga Agattara
  3. Summer Flag! (Instrumental)
  4. Hanabi ga Agattara (Instrumental)

1. Summer Flag!

I was surprised to hear Shion again and her return with something that’s true to her sound and something a bit more lively and suiting for the Summer time.  It also does have a certain anison vibe to it which makes sense as her earlier singles were tied to different animes (though I recall this one doesn’t).  There’s something a little different about her voice though and I think it’s slightly deeper and maybe a smidge more nasally.  This was a nice track though for how long we’ve waited for this…maybe wasn’t a good choice.

2. Hanabi ga Agattara

Unlike it’s sister A-side, Hanabi ga Agattara is a bit more of a serious song that focus a little more on Shion’s vocals which is more familiar to me than the tone she took for “Summer Flag!”.  Despite the fact the melody of the track is nothing totally spectacular and things can be compared to other guitar-ladened singers, it’s not too bad.

 

 

Wow, almost 4 years without a single from Shion Tsuji…talk about a wait (although she did manage a couple digital singles in the last year).  While the single isn’t something to write home about, it’s nothing bad which is definitely a plus.  Still, I just hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next release from her >.<

 

NEXT YOU / Juice=Juice – Next is you!/Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai January 28, 2016

Filed under: Juice=Juice — solarblade @ 3:55 am

nextisyou

Track Listing

  1. Next is you!
  2. Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai
  3. Next is you! (Instrumental)
  4. Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai (Instrumental)

1. Next is you!

As the leading song and currently being used for the group’s TV drama, Budokan.  Next is you! seems to be like the theme song.  It does seem like Tsunku was involved in the song which is pretty familiar to my ears and seems typical.  As per usual, Karin, Tomoko, and Sayuki seem to lead the song which is pretty much the norm for the group.  Though I can’t help but think it’s a bit weak for the group coming after their last single and the promotional tracks from their album.

2. Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai

As the other song credited to Juice=Juice, I definitely was enjoying this song despite that it almost sounds a LOT like “Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru” with the brass and guitars.  Unlike the other A-side, this has some interesting levels of vocals and we see a lot more of Aarii in the song.  I think it’s one of the weaker A-sides, but it’s definitely got some magic in it.

 

 

So to explain, NEXT YOU is basically Juice=Juice as they are portrayed on their show Budokan (funny though that Erina Mano is playing the 6th member that leaves shortly after formation).  Moving on, after having almost a year without a single released by the group (though did release their first album), their first single in 2016 is kind of average at best.  Neither song really stuck out to me in anyway, except the possibility of Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai being somewhat catchy in arrangement.  Not sure what the year will have for the group, but here’s hoping for them to be a little more active.

 

Mami Kawada – Contrail ~Kiseki~

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 3:35 am

contrail

Track Listing

  1. Contrail ~Kiseki~
  2. Halfway
  3. Contrail ~Kiseki~ (Instrumental)
  4. Halfway (Instrumental)

1. Contrail ~Kiseki~

I have to say I’m surprised with Mami’s recent switch of styles and I’m not sure if I quite like it a whole ton.  Unlike the past where she’d put out something electronic or something rockin’ and dark, Contrail seems to follow the path that her last A-side, “Gardens” by having a more standard anison which bores me quite a lot in these days.  I do like that it has more synths and beats over said song, but I still don’t feel like it really stands out amongst her past endeavors.

2. Halfway

I was a little more curious to see what would come out of Halfway, but it’s really more of the same if not a little slower than the leading track.  I’m not sure what was going on with this song, but I feel like it was just a clone and there’s nothing much to really catch on with it.

 

 

I wonder what’s going on with Mami and her recent slump in A-sides because this is the single A-side that I didn’t care for at all (yet, her album between these two singles was her best so far???).  Yeah, while “Gardens” survived through its B-side, neither tracks from Contrail did much of anything for me.  How unfortunate!  Though, one of my readers mentioned that she’s retiring in with a last performance in May, if this is her final single, then this was a pretty mediocre way to say goodbye IMO.

 

 

 
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