Kurayami Monogatari

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°C-ute – The Middle Management ~Josei Chuukan Kanrishoku~/GamushaLIFE/Tsugi no Kado wo Magare March 31, 2015

Filed under: C-ute — solarblade @ 7:17 pm

themiddlemanagement

Track Listing

  1. The Middle Management ~Josei Chuukan Kanrishoku~
  2. GamushaLIFE
  3. Tsugi no Kado wo Magare
  4. The Middle Management ~Josei Chuukan Kanrishoku~ (Instrumental)
  5. GamushaLIFE (Instrumental)
  6. Tsugi no Kado wo Magare (Instrumental)

1. The Middle Management ~Josei Chuukan Kanrishoku~

Kicking off this single, we get The Middle Management (funny title aside), this is their dance-centric song and it’s in the same vein as with a lot of H!P songs of recent.  I was surprised that Maimai got a lot of presence in the song (well, she and Nakky).  Still, the song is pretty cool and the sudden triplets thrown into the track gives the song more pep.  It’s pretty standard fare, but I still came out of it, enjoying this song.

2. GamushaLIFE

The next song, GamushaLIFE has an interesting backstory as it’s roughly a song that was created by a contest winner, SHOCK-EYE.  When the finalized song came out, I was less than interested in this song even though it’s kind of like how Berryz started to poke at their indefinite hiatus.  The song is bright and has some nice vocals too!  Though the chorus is a bit jarring, still it’s a nice song…but it makes me worried lol.

3. Tsugi no Kado wo Magare

So the 3rd A-side is a lot like ANGERME’s “Taikibansei” because it was made by the same guy, Takui Nakajima (who is releasing his version on his album a week after this single comes out).  When I first heard this track, all I could think of is how ANISON it sounds.  That’s not bad because, I’m loving the vocals and energy with the track too.  It’s a nice mature song for the quintet and definitely sticks out on the single.

 

 

As °C-ute releases their 10th anniversary single, one can only imagine how long until they go on a “indefinite hiatus” because Berryz released theirs and a single and a best album later, they were gone.  I’m loving how mature the group is looking nowadays and songs like The Middle Management and Tsugi no Kado wo Magare really showcases their talents.  GamushaLIFE is OK…maybe a bit off on this single, but overall, this single was quite nice!

 

AAA – Boku no Yuutsuu to Fukigen na Kanojo

Filed under: AAA — solarblade @ 6:56 pm

bokunoyuutsu

Track Listing

  1. Boku no Yuutsuu to Fukigen na Kanojo
  2. Boku no Yuutsuu to Fukigen na Kanojo (Instrumental)

1. Boku no Yuutsuu to Fukigen na Kanojo

I kind of enjoy the piano melody that opens up this track, but after that, the tune itself falls into a typical ballad setting which is not-so-good considering how much piano they’ve had recently in their songs.  I will say that it is a smooth one at that and doesn’t overdo itself.  Still not amongst their best songs in their collection.

As their 3rd single in their 10th Anniversary series, Boku no Yuutsuu to Fukigen na Kanojo just kind passes on by with little to no fanfare (no PV either).  It’s just a simple song and kind of lacks the emotional value that AAA mostly gets right in their ballads…wonder what their next single will be like.

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Stay with me

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 6:47 pm

staywithme

Track Listing

  1. Stay with me
  2. A New Departure
  3. Kasokudo
  4. Stay with me (Instrumental)
  5. A New Departure (Instrumental)
  6. Kasokudo (Instrumental)
  7. Say long goodbye -Vocal Only for REMIX- (Type A, B, C only)

1. Stay with me

It feels like we’re finally getting something different from being a ballad or being something funky…it’s actually a mix of both ironically.  Though what caught my attention the most is that this is mostly Hitomi singing here and the other 4 members are basically backups.  I’m a bit disappointed because I could so see Yuri or Ayano tackling these verses a lot better than just leaving it for one girl.  The song though sounds really refreshing but familiar to their fans.  Interesting though.

2. A New Departure

The B-side of the single though sounds more like familiar territory with the kind of discotheque/funk sounds and engaging arrangement.  After having some time with their last single, A New Departure sounds good and the line distribution is more equal which is a sigh of relief after “Stay with me”.  Unfortunately, the song in the long run really doesn’t stand out in their discography…but it’s bright and not on the serious side of things.

3. Kasokudo

Then we get Kasokudo which doesn’t focus too much on the guitar licks and brass like “A New Departure”, it still does kind of depend on the same range of sounds regardless.  Call it shallow and bland because it really didn’t interest me…At least the vocals pulled me into it, they sounded a bit more relaxed and together which I haven’t heard in a while.  So it’s not a total fail, it’s just that I’m getting slightly tired of the same-ish arrangements.

4. Say long goodbye -Vocal Only for REMIX-

So the single ends with a remix?  Actually not really, it might be FOR a remix, however the tune itself is actually in a cappella where it’s just only the vocals.  I was surprised it’d open with those REALLY high notes, but this shows off how great they are at vocals.  I just wonder what’s the use for it on this single.

Pushing the best album back til May and announcing that this is their new chapter where they’re not gonna be idols no more, Stay with me has done little to show me that they’re not idols since they’re continuing to give the same stuff we’ve been getting since they debuted.  I will admit, Stay with me is nice, but a bit too Hitomi-centered.  A New Departure and Kasokudo have nice elements, but we’ve heard this all before…they’re going to need to hit gold if they want to be seen as non-idols after their best album.

 

Nami Tamaki – Graduation ~Singles~ March 24, 2015

Filed under: Nami Tamaki — solarblade @ 8:27 pm

graduation

Track Listing

  1. Believe
  2. Realize
  3. Prayer
  4. Shining Star ☆Wasurenai Kara☆
  5. Daitan ni Ikimashou ↑Heart&Soul↑
  6. Reason
  7. Fortune
  8. Heroine
  9. Get Wild
  10. MY WAY
  11. Sunrize
  12. Result
  13. Sanctuary
  14. 19 GROWING UP -ode to my buddy- (Limited only)

1. Believe

Why not, the song is a pretty badass track and an amazing debut for Nami!  Being the Gundam SEED theme definitely shocked me too and yet it fits the series so well.  Nami being so young when this released, Believe showed off a lot of her skills right from the start from singing to dancing so no wonder why she got such a fanbase from this.  The track itself, is anison of course, but it’s got some edgy guitars and transitions that furthered itself from being ordinary.  It always pumps me up whenever I hear this and still is one of my favorites from her today.

2. Realize

As the ending theme to the same series, Realize was a much lighter affair, but still contained a lot of the same things as “Believe”.  It’s just that the tune was more upbeat and bright and the synths were a bit more in the front as well.  I thought vocally, Nami did much better here as she had a much broader range and could emote a little better (even if she still kind of lacked it overall).  As a pair, these two songs are classics with one another…If one thing, it does remind me of a girl next door song hahah.

3. Prayer

The first song with no tie-in, Prayer was still surprisingly anison in its arrangement.  Being a little slower than “Realize”, Prayer was trying to go for something like a ballad or maybe a mid-tempo, but due to the beats and the guitar riffs, it doesn’t snuggly fit in either spot.  I don’t think her voice was quite as radiant as it was in the previous track, but it kind of worked here.  I mean I still do like the song, but after having it so long, I’m noticing the little things haha.

4. Shining Star ☆Wasurenai Kara☆

Ending the “greeting” era singles, Shining Star is the oddball of the four.  I mean it sample “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for one thing and the track is definitely dependent on synths to get it by which is a total 180 from the anison pop/rock sound of the previous three singles.  For some reason though Nami’s vocals got better from “Prayer” which is a solid thing to hear.  I did feel like it was a bit off as an A-side however, I still am not a big fan of the backup vocals used in the chorus…made a song that was already chintzy become cheesy.

5. Daitan ni Ikimashou ↑Heart&Soul↑

Maybe I shouldn’t have spoken too soon because Daitan ni Ikimashou was the first single from her “Make Progress” album.  Being a cover of an A*Teens song, “A Perfect Match”, this song was way out there.  If I thought “Shining Star” was a bit cheesy, then this was moreso.  It’s VERY Western sounding, but luckily Nami changed the lyrics around to be different from the original.  I will say, that I found this mad catchy though and Nami is sounding like she’s having fun here which is a plus of course.  I just can’t the fact that it’s a cover out of my head.

6. Reason

After those two singles that tried to push her away from being an anison artist, Reason happens and of course it’s a Gundam SEED DESTINY theme!  It’s a lot like “Believe” with the kind of darker feel and the energetic dance motif it gets (which is her strong point).  It’s pretty awesome once again and with Nami’s vocals maturing, she was able to have a stronger performance out of it which is much appreciated.  I definitely loved this one, but it was the next A-side that really caught my attention.

7. Fortune

Used as the theme for the PS2 game, Radiata Stories, Fortune was an amazing surprise.  Yes, it screams anison, but Nami sounded perfect with this track that kind of sounded like it could’ve been another Gundam them.  I’m really loving the arrangement that includes a whole lot of strings and synths together.  Also, it’s a great song used for lives as it pumps up the crowd funny enough.  Definitely one of my favorite Nami songs!

8. Heroine

Ending the “Make Progress” singles, we have Heroine which takes out the strings and shoves guitars in the arrangement, but it’s still not a rock song…but sounds like a grittier anison song.  Nami is really pushing herself in the song with a lot of shouting in the chorus and it does kind of rubs me off a bit.  It’s not bad, but it’s quite rough to listen to.

9. Get Wild

We enter the final album represented on the best album.  Starting with Nami’s cover of the famous Get Wild from TM NETWORK.  This was a pretty faithful cover of the original and once again I feel like Nami’s vocals are 100 times better than what it was in “Heroine”.  The tune is a bit more current sounding with a lot of extra punch with the beats and synths.  I really enjoyed this cover a lot and surprised she’d cover it but happy she did!

10. MY WAY

However, I wasn’t expecting the next A-side she’d release to be so…strange.  I’ve never been a huge fan of this A-side (to be honest it still ranks as the lowest of her SONY era).  The song feels oddly slow even though the arrangement is engaging enough to be slightly faster.  Add on the anison riffs and it’s just strange.  Nami sounds good though which is a plus, but the song (and its accompanying PV) was just not working for me.

11. Sunrize

Sunrize also marked a couple things for Nami, this was a double A-side with “MY WAY” which was a first AND this song didn’t get a PV which meant it’s the only A-side with no PV.  Sunrize is more or less what we’ve been getting a lot on this album which is anison music.  In the long run, Sunrize really didn’t do much for me and while I seldom use generic to describe Nami songs this era had a LOT of weak songs with blips of genius.

12. Result

Then we get pulled back for ANOTHER Gundam SEED DESTINY theme with Result.  Just like “Believe” and “Reason”, Result has the same dark vibe that really excited her fans and be it so because the track was quite cool (despite the likeness to Ayu’s “UNITE!”).  The track had a lot more drums involved here and I liked that about this one…it had more punch and Nami’s vocals just sound so serious.  Another great hit, though I think the three other Gundam themes she did have more nostalgia about them.

13. Sanctuary

As the final A-side of this album, Sanctuary was used as the theme for KIBA and this was definitely another anison-laced song.  However, I thought Nami sounded amazing in this song.  She had such a good tone and with the arrangement flowing behind her, it was a strong song for her and one of the best ones from “Speciality”.

14. 19 GROWING UP -ode to my buddy-

On limited editions of the album though, we get an extra song…though it’s not brand new (it’s a cover of a PRINCESS PRINCESS song that was used on their tribute album released 3 months before Nami’s best album).  I had totally forgot its existence so coming back to it had me curious.  The song is upbeat and filled with tons of synths as well.  Though I can’t say that I’m for Nami’s shouting once again…seems a bit much.  Still I suppose it’s a nice bonus.

Tracks Recommended

  • Fortune
  • Believe
  • Realize
  • Sanctuary
  • Reason

Song of Avoidance

  • MY WAY

Ahhh, Nami’s first best album (yeah, she’s due for another one, but with her label jumping that might not happen anytime soon).  Going back to her glory days (her first three albums), Graduation was a nice walk down memory lane…although I will concede that it’s a hard listen since most of the songs are set in the same style as one another.  While I wished she held this album until have her label change (include the “Don’t Stay” singles here), it’s a good collection (plus the DVD has all the PVs)!

 

Perfume – Perfume Global Compilation “LOVE THE WORLD”

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 7:09 pm

lovetheworld

Track Listing

  1. Polyrhythm
  2. edge (⊿-mix)
  3. love the world
  4. Electro World
  5. Chocolate Disco (2012-Mix)
  6. SEVENTH HEAVEN
  7. GAME
  8. Secret Secret
  9. NIGHT FLIGHT
  10. Baby cruising Love
  11. Butterfly
  12. FAKE IT
  13. Laser Beam
  14. GLITTER
  15. MY COLOR (LTW-Mix)
  16. Dream Fighter

1. Polyrhythm

Figures they would begin the album with the song that boosted their careers straight out of the water.  Polyrhythm is definitely a classic and even today still sounds REAL fresh for the group.  The effervescent arrangement and the twinkly piano line just gives off such a fantasy-like feel to it that I can’t help, but love it!  I especially love the bridge where they go repeating the title and ~poly-loopu~ to make the effect of the song just come together.  I can’t help but continue to gush over this song since its release.  Just amazing how electro has come to its state these days because of Perfume, but more Nakata!

2. edge (⊿-mix)

Then we hit one of my personal favorite Perfume songs with edge, even better that they chose the version from their “⊿” album.  This mix filled out an already badass song by including more synths and twists n’ turns to really make this song an electro paradise of song (which Perfume has been slightly struggling with doing more of).  The fact is is that the song is based around repetition (like many other songs in their discography) but it has its own identity and the darker and grittier synths make it sound so much more badass of a song.  It might be a bit long for some at nearly 9 minutes, but for me…it’s an eargasm of Nakata’s genius here.

3. love the world

Which is funny because “edge” was originally the B-side to this single.  As the best album’s focus track, love the world was such finessed kind of song (maybe the antithesis to the above track).  The arrangement is more pinprick yet the trio sound smooth and they hold their notes quite nicely.  The tune after years, is also quite nice coming back to and shows a much bouncier side to them.

4. Electro World

As the only song to come from their “Complete Best” album (more typically known as their first album), Electro World was an awesome choice, but clearly left off some other good tracks as well.  As the version not from the album, Electro World instantly kicks in with the girls singing the opening lines with a gritty synth melody.  Looking back on it today, the song is still a cool song, but compared to the other tracks on this best-of, it does slightly sound dated in comparison with Nakata’s mix of synths and guitars.  I still love the overly futuristic vibe here and the roboticness of the trio just adds that cold feeling that makes the song just work…definitely my favorite of the first era.

5. Chocolate Disco (2012-Mix)

So the best album includes two new mixes of old songs, starting with Chocolate Disco.  When it first started I noticed that the intro starts off a bit different with the longer intro (means more sparkly synths in my ears!).  It feels like the song didn’t change too much in arrangement which is nice enough but there’s more oomph to it’s percussion.  Maybe it’s just me, but I did get a little annoyed with the repetition (which is odd since the original is pretty repetitive too).  Still. not a bad choice to include.

6. SEVENTH HEAVEN

I was so happy they included this song since it was snubbed from “GAME”.  As the B-side from “Polyrhythm”, it was already having a hard time living up to how HUGE that song was.  What we got from SEVENTH HEAVEN was a lighter affair that include some natural elements like acoustic guitar and piano mixed in with Nakata’s arrangement.  It’s a really pleasant song though and leaves me feeling happy and relaxed.  Just a nostalgic song overall, one of my favorites!

7. GAME

I’m loving this tracklist right now, next up is the title track of their 2nd album and boy did it surprise me a lot.  I didn’t know if Perfume could handle a hardcore track, but GAME was just edgy and cool to listen too even if the lyrics are light here.  The arrangement feels like “Electro World” but more refined and yet smooth as well.  It’s a pretty impressive song and still remains a great choice for pumping the crowd up.

8. Secret Secret

As the promotional song for “GAME” it had a lot of hyped up to see how awesome this album could be and Secret Secret did an amazing job doing that!  I mean it’s got everything I love from Perfume with a catchy chorus, epic synth melodies and a high sense of fun.  Nakata really worked up something amazing here and I couldn’t stop listening to this for the longest time.  It’s a hard choice to really find my favorite now hahaha.

9. NIGHT FLIGHT

A similar thing happened with the promotional song from “⊿”.  NIGHT FLIGHT had the right amount of catchiness and wonders that “Secret Secret” had but with a more classy 80’s vibe to it and the fact it kind of had to do with planes was also a nice catch for me.  It’s pretty catchy overall and the bridge towards the end while weird initially, add some roughness which is pretty neat.  Great song!

10. Baby cruising Love

After that line of amazing songs from Perfume we calm down for Baby cruising Love (which is right around the time I joined the fandom) so this song is another personal favorite of mine.  After “Polyrhythm” I figured many were wondering what would be their next move and surprise, surprise, the song was a lighter affair (like “SEVENTH HEAVEN” ironically.  The focus on the piano on top of the synths were a nice touch from Nakata and the trio sounds great (with the exception of the intro).  Still a nice chill song from the group and paired with “Macaroni” was an overall solid single and deserved its praises.

11. Butterfly

You can tell a whole lot of love on this album went to “GAME’s” tracks considering there’s a bunch of them.  Butterfly was an interesting choice because it wasn’t a single, yet it did get a PV.  The tune reminds me of a jungle with the arrangement, the arpeggios from the synths and the percussion that sounded so primal almost.  I LOVED IT!  Add on the smooth vocals from the trio (plus the chorus with the repeating ~butterflyyyyy~.  I kind of wished it was the shorter version used in the PV, but this is still a different kind of Perfume song and I still love how unique it stands out amongst the other hits here.

12. FAKE IT

Which is funny because this release included FAKE IT (which got a PV on this release specifically so it was the promo track for the best).  Being the B-side from “Nee”, FAKE IT is an interesting choice to include.  I do like it being the strong upbeat song for the “JPN” era, but that harsh sounds of the intro give me a headache.  Besides that, I do like the funky riffs and the energy, but those headache-inducing moments push me away.

13. Laser Beam

Wow, Laser Beam still sounds good in my headphones!  This track had a bit more 8bit used in the arrangement here and I couldn’t help but love the way it flowed even if some would call it messy.  The vocals are a bit too whispy for some reason, but the song is still really cool from Nakata’s arrangement.  It might not be the best of the songs on the best album, but it’s a nice A-side.

14. GLITTER

I’m happy they didn’t choose the album mix from “JPN” and stuck with the original B-side from “Spice”.  GLITTER was a song I wasn’t expecting them to release, but I LOVED the arrangement to this one especially the opening…that’s just heaven in my ears and struck me in a good way.  Does have a similar rush like “Laser Beam” but it’s still quite refreshing to listen to.

15. MY COLOR (LTW-Mix)

The other new mix on the album, MY COLOR was an odd choice (because let’s be honest, the “JPN” album songs were quite forgettable).  MY COLOR’s new treatment is nice and the synths are a bit more colorful (ironic) and gives some new life to the song.  Though I will say some of it sounds like it was ripped from “GLITTER” and “Laser Beam”.  Not bad, but still doesn’t help the song much in the long run.

16. Dream Fighter

I do wonder why they chose to end the album with Dream Fighter because it’s another song that kind of is forgotten by many.  To be fair, the song when it first released didn’t strike as something that pushed Perfume, but more kept them on the safe side of things.  I also wasn’t connecting to the new voice filters/auto-tune that was used here.  After a while it did stick on me and the song got better, but it still was no “Secret Secret”.

Tracks Recommended

  • Secret Secret
  • edge (⊿-mix)
  • GLITTER
  • Electro World
  • SEVENTH HEAVEN

Song of Avoidance

  • MY COLOR (LTW-Mix)

LOVE THE WORLD really surprised me with how much of the amazing songs they included (especially going out of their way to include B-sides and album songs at that).  There could’ve been more choices here too (like maybe one or two more songs from “Complete Best”), still a great best album that showcases some of their best hits!

 

Ami Suzuki – FUN for FAN

Filed under: Ami Suzuki — solarblade @ 5:50 pm

funforfan

Track Listing

  1. love the island
  2. alone in my room
  3. all night long -Single Mix-
  4. white key
  5. Nothing Without You
  6. Don’t leave me behind
  7. Silent Stream
  8. BE TOGETHER -ORIGINAL MIX-
  9. OUR DAYS -ORIGINAL MIX-
  10. HAPPY NEW MILLENIUM
  11. Don’t need to say good bye
  12. THANK YOU 4 EVERY DAY EVERY BODY
  13. Reality -TK Original mix-
  14. Dancin’ in Hip-Hop -Original mix-

1. love the island

Ahhh, going back to the classics!  As Ami’s debut single, love the island really struck me at first listen when I first started the blog.  From the free-spirited arrangement and the definite 90’s flow, the song is a blast of nostalgia for me.  Now don’t get me wrong, Ami’s debut was a bit rather strained for her voice because she was singing in a higher pitch than where we would find her after joining avex.  There’s also a male background singer as well which is slightly distracting, but he only appears throughout the chorus (and probably a good thing because it’s where she struggled the most (high squeaks and all).  Overall, it’s still a great song for me and one of the high points in her career.

2. alone in my room

Moving onto her 2nd single, alone in my room seemed to fix the nuances that came with her first single.  She is sounding a lot more confident and not striking high notes like crazy.  The tune also doesn’t feel quite as dated as “love the island” was but there’s those CASIO synths that caught me off-guard.  Ever since I reviewed the “SA” album and singles, I’ve found myself enjoying this a lot more, its summer tone and happy-yet-sad style was pretty neat too.

3. all night long -Single mix-

Yes, when it comes to the “SA” singles, all night long is still beyond my favorite from the album (and possibly her entire SONY era at that!  After two upbeat singles, all night long has a totally different feel to it, taking it more to a creepier place with 90’s euro-pop as its basis.  I couldn’t be more happier because this song is so cool and grimey and just oozes personality (not saying the previous two didn’t but c’mon!).  Yeah, definitely worth listening to if you get the chance!

4. white key

So the CASIO keyboards come back in white key and I keep moving back and forth between liking this song or just slightly loathing it.  I mean Ami’s vocal performance is very shaky and she hits notes so flat here as well and the chorus is the worst because she’s layered with her nasal voice (yeah very tight sounding).  I think after being spoiled by her first three singles, her 4th would be the first to kind of crash.

5. Nothing Without You

It’s funny, after “white key” the remaining singles for “SA” flew over my head when I first reviewed them.  Nothing Without You begins in what I think is a café?  Anyways, the tune kind of moves towards a slight R&B fashion with piano acting as the melodic force.  I will admit, the song is kind of cute to listen to and once again some pretty icky background voices are thrown into its chorus.  The worst thing is that 2nd chorus where she kind of overdoes it in vocals as she pushing her squeaky vocals out…makes me wince everytime!

6. Don’t leave me behind

I don’t remember why it wasn’t tagged as edited since it has the version with the R&B background vocalists opening the tune.  A lot of this song reminds me of “Nothing Without You” with the R&B beats and style which is probably why I forgot this A-side existed in the first place.  I don’t know, but whenever I listen to this one, she sounds so very one-note and it bores me quite a lot!

7. Silent Stream

The final A-side to represent her debut album, Silent Stream does try to separate itself from it’s sister A-side by being a little more pop/rock in its execution.  Sadly, the guitar felt muddled by the arrangement and tempo of the track, at least Ami’s vocal melody is a bit more stronger than in “Don’t leave me behind”.  Still, with how long this era took, I was way over this by that point.  Overall, it’s not bad, but forgettable.

8. BE TOGETHER -ORIGINAL MIX-

Next up is her biggest hit in her career which is also a cover of a popular TM NETWORK track and boy was it nice to have this come after some pretty mediocre singles.  The tune is still showing signs of Ami heading towards her urbanized sound that would be in the remaining albums she would put out.  It’s a quirky song and shows off a more fun-side to Ami which is a nice change of pace.  Definitely another need-to listen.

9. OUR DAYS -ORIGINAL MIX-

Then we slow things down for OUR DAYS and I definitely remember the PV for this one being a whole lot like High School Musical without being the musical XD.  The song itself is a ballad and it has some interesting moments especially that serious after-chorus.  Ami is still kind of struggling here with her vocals hitting some tight spots.  The arrangement though is nice and memorable at least.  Not bad for her first ballad.

10. HAPPY NEW MILLENIUM

Rounding out the first “infinity eighteen” album, HAPPY NEW MILLENIUM was released before 2000 hit so it was a pretty big song for her.  A lot of the arrangement did remind me of “BE TOGETHER” which might not be the best thing to do, but hey it was the late 90’s.  The song is nice to listen to, sadly the album version did pop out at me more in the long run so this was a bit meh of a song.

11. Don’t need to say good bye

Is it weird that I feel like this song seems to hop on the same similar train as “Don’t leave me behind” and “OUR DAYS” in ways?  I really felt like I was hitting deja vu with this song and sadly like the former track, it’s a bit boring to listen to sadly!

12. THANK YOU 4 EVERY DAY EVERY BODY

With the way the song title looked and sounded, I thought this was going to be a goodbye song, but in technicality, it really wasn’t.  The tune is a lot like her sound in the 2nd “infinity eighteen” album which was a lot more urban than I was expecting Ami to go.  I actually liked the song a lot, the arrangement (while at this point in her career was getting quite stale) still had some punch and Ami sounded like she was having fun in the song (as much as she did in the PV).  Good song!

13. Reality -TK Original mix-

The best album ends with the lone single to represent it (would go on to be her final single under SONY as well), Reality.  When I heard it, I was surprised it was kind of going back to something along the lines of “all night long” with the mysterious sound and some synth usage.  Though, the sparse arrangement and focus on Ami’s vocals was an interesting route (add that the song’s structure is a bit odd too).  I do love it’s funky vibes though and Ami’s vocals are surprisingly enticing here.

14. Dancin’ in Hip-Hop -Original mix-

I’m not sure what was with the other A-side because it was a collaboration with Infamous Syndicate (though not mentioned anywhere) this song was a weird combination of pop and rap.  Actually it felt like a song more for the latter and not much for Ami which kind of left me confused.  It just didn’t work and it’s made worse by being the last track.

Tracks Recommended

  • all night long -Single mix-
  • Reality -TK Original mix-
  • alone in my room
  • THANK YOU 4 EVERY DAY EVERY BODY
  • BE TOGETHER -ORIGINAL MIX-

Song of Avoidance

  • Dancin’ In Hip-Hop -Original mix-

So a best to commemorate essentially all of Ami’s time under SONY, FUN for FAN was a rather bittersweet album to say the least.  Most of her early works were kind of struggles with her sound and her own voice which tried to sound higher than she could muster.  It’s not a bad collection, but more of a reminder of where she came from before her sudden resurgence during her avex days.

 

Country Girls – Itooshikutte Gomen ne/Koi Dorobo March 23, 2015

Filed under: Country Girls — solarblade @ 4:27 am

itooshikuttegomenne

Track Listing

  1. Itooshikutte Gomen ne
  2. Koi Dorobo
  3. Itooshikutte Gomen ne (Instrumental)
  4. Koi Dorobo (Instrumental)

1. Itooshikutte Gomen ne

I was wondering what Country Girls would sound like when they debuted and the first song was a total surprise to me!  Starting with some cute English lyrics (not by the girls oddly enough) the tune is pretty cute and upbeat as it goes.  I do think it does highlight Uta, Mai, and Chisaki more than the other A-side which is great!  When it comes to it, I think Chisaki and Uta have clean vocals where Mai has a bit of a huskier tone which is a surprising twist considering who else is in the group.  I really do LOVE this song though and they managed to evade the EDM virus that has plagued H!P for quite a while which is a BIG win.  Overall, this song is a WIN for me.

2. Koi Dorobo

Even though it took longer for this song to pop up, I was curious to see if since the above track focused on the non-already established H!P girls, if Koi Dorobo was more for Risa, Manaka, and Momoko.  It’s funny because I was right well they got more lines but the other three have their solos too.  The song itself feels like a summer ditty with a cool surfer vibe to it (strange I know).  It has a fun vibe to it and the members sound great and Mai doesn’t sound as gritty as she does in the other song.  It doesn’t have an immediate hook like “Itooshikutte Gomen ne” does, but it’s just as adorable.

The debut of one of two new H!P groups, Country Girls’ debut single was a winner in my book, it lacked the current “in-thing” from H!P and yet it had a gloriously catchy set of songs.  I did have my worries with Momoko joining the group (and cutting their indies single to move them up to a major label debut), but interestingly enough Momoko had the least appearance in the group (makes sense).  A lot of the current eyes are on Uta Shimomura because she’s just so memorizing yet really acts mad cute.  Not to say Mai Ozeki and Chisaki Morito aren’t doing because they’re quickly gaining fans as well.  Yamakki and Manakan hasn’t made a punch quite yet, but I hope that they’ll get the love with more appearance in their next single!  *RECOMMENDED*

 

 
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