Kurayami Monogatari

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ANGERME – Manner Mode/Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku/Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends December 14, 2017

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 3:02 am

mannermode

Track Listing

  1. Manner Mode
  2. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku
  3. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends
  4. Manner Mode (Instrumental)
  5. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku (Instrumental)
  6. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (Instrumental)

1. Manner Mode

As the main A-side promoted, Manner Mode kicks the single off with an upbeat, sort-a rockin’ song.  I have to say, the song is pretty cool and hearing Rikako, Ayacho, and Momona having leads is pretty interesting to say the least.  The other members seem to also get lines here and there (but not quite the frequency the 3 mentioned have).  Kind of gives me slight “Umaku Ienai” and some early S/mileage feels here and I dug that about this song…not bad!

2. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku

Hold on, what’s this??? Is this the second coming of “Otome no Gyakushuu” here?  Quite possibly considering both tracks have this dramatic, gothic-like atmosphere about them.  I am a little confused about the 20 second intro…seemed so random and unusual, but it restarts and we get Funakki & Takechan solos and later Kanana & Rinapuu!  I have to say, this dark setting always seems to impress me when it comes from ANGERME and I always like the whole ~danger of my love~ line too.  It’s pretty neat!  Kind of the star song here and interestingly was initially going to be the primary A-side, but was switched with “Manner Mode”.

3. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends

Last, but not least is the song that focuses around the remaining members; Murotan, Kawamuu, and Kamiko!  It definitely feels like the “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe” or “The Vision” for ANGERME because of the mellow sound and the arrangement having some similarities to those songs (well, at least up to the chorus because the tune gets more upbeat and hopeful).  There’s a whole lot of Murotan in the song which is awesome…as for the totally new member, Ayano, she’s got a high voice which might rival Ayacho’s!  It’s nice for the most part, but not quite as good as the previous two tracks!

 

 

Is it time for a new album yet?  Seriously though ANGERME, stop adding so many members in such a short period of time lawd!  Now we have two more new members, (Funaki who was basically sent there because Country Girls is in a weird hiatus and brand new member Ayano Kawamura.  Funaki brings in her voice and she stands out with her lower timbre and sounds like she’ll fit in fine while Kawamuu will take a while to get used to because of her higher register.  The single itself is pretty good for the most part, no actual complaints beyond that I’m missing Maho still, but all three songs showcase the best of them!  Just, no more DVD single please…

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Morning Musume ’17 – ⑮ Thank you, too December 7, 2017

Filed under: Morning Musume — solarblade @ 2:10 am

15thankyoutoo

Track Listing

  1. Jealousy Jealousy (Album Version)
  2. Romance ni Mezameru Mousou Joshi no Uta
  3. CHO DAI
  4. Watashi no Nanni mo Wakacchanai
  5. Jama Shinaide Here We Go!
  6. Style of my love
  7. Narcissus Kamatte-chan Kyousoukyoku Dai 5ban
  8. Seishun Say A-HA
  9. Wakaindashi!
  10. Mou Gaman Dekinai wa ~Love ice cream~
  11. Dokyuu no Go Sign
  12. Koi wa Toki ni
  13. Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari (Morning Musume ’17 ver.)
  14. BRAND NEW MORNING
  15. Ai no Tane (20th Anniversary ver.)

1. Jealousy Jealousy (Album Version)

Opening the album is the secondary A-side from the single that kicked the era off (strange as there were more singles left off the album anyways),  Jealousy Jealousy.  Right from the start, I was curious to see what was so different between the album version and the single version but couldn’t quite tell initially.  I think the difference is that Maachan & Chiichan is included here which I mean in the long run doesn’t make too much of a difference.  Like literally it doesn’t feel like anything changed sadly.  Still, it’s a decent song and quite interesting they chose this to open the album instead of “BRAND NEW MORNING”.

2. Romance ni Mezameru Mousou Joshi no Uta

Funny enough, this song was the only song that hasn’t really been performed prior to the album’s release so having this song be the next track is curious.  The tune is aligned with more of the recent EDM tracks they’ve pulled off.  It’s a fun track and the chorus is a real cute one.  Reminds me a little of “Zenbu Owatta Kaerimichi” but with a stronger amount of electronics.  Decent!

3. CHO DAI

Seems like most of the album is once again laced with some kind of EDM.  The opening has this gritty bass synth and beats as well.  The tune is pretty interesting and I like the verses being all mysterious and whatnot.  I will say that some of those higher notes they land sound like they’d be difficult to do during live performances.  Unique song I’d say, definitely a cool song for them.

4. Watashi no Nanni mo Wakacchanai

GODDAMN FINALLY!!!  It feels like it took forever for this song to come out.  What I mean is is that this song was performed 2 years ago when both Riho Sayashi & Kanon Suzuki were still part of the group and before 13th/14th Gen entered the scene.  A lot of fans were clamoring for this one and I am so happy to see this on the album.  Though it’s no surprise that Riho and Zukki aren’t in the song (though Riho does some chorus parts here).  I’ve always loved this song and hearing it in full 320 is just an experience!  All of the members do end up with solos so it’s just awesome to hear.  This is just an epic song for them and this breath of relief is just welcoming (and closes this long ass wait!).

5. Jama Shinaide Here We Go!

Moving to one of the A-sides of the era, Jama Shinaide was pretty underneath expectations on the single just simply because this was the safe EDM track.  On the album, this song does pop out more, but it still kind of feels like it’s mixed in deep amongst the other tracks here.  Being as this is Chisaki’s debut with the group she had a bit of time here and she sounds like she fits in (but also feels like she could get lost with the other vocalists).  Overall, a decent song for the group.

6. Style of my love

So we have small grouping tracks to deal with on the album starting with Style of my love which was sung by Harunan, Odasaku, and Maria.  I was interested because I didn’t know how Sakura would handle to of the less powerful singers, but everyone seemed to handle it well.  I like the saxes in the arrangement and the tune is pretty Platinum era-like to me.  Surprising turn out and I enjoyed it a lot!

7. Narcissus Kamatte-chan Kyousoukyoku Dai 5ban

Next track and Narcissus is pretty similar to “Style of my love” with the glossy EDM synths and riffs and I’m ok with it here since it has a certain 90’s spark to it.  There’s some catchy parts, but some of the chords are a bit odd in transitions, but I’m OK with that overall.

8. Seishun Say A-HA

Another song that’s been performed for quite a while (not quite as ridiculous as “Watashi no Nanni mo Wakacchanai” but this was a while).  I kind of like the weird intro and the chanting chorus was a great to grab my attention.  The tune does feel a little empty in places and goofy in others and the bridge is funny to listen to as well up to the synths really take over.  I kind of dig it and it’s one of the more memorable tracks on the album!

9. Wakaindashi!

Surprised to see Duu’s graduation song make the album cut, but it was the best off that single so I’m not complaining here!  The whole tropical house feel I get from the song is refreshing and the whole sentimental feeling I get is just adorable.  Of course, Duu is all over the song with Akane, Maria, and Reina being secondary leads is just so cuuuute!  It’s a song that really makes me emotional and I love it for that…great track!

10. Mou Gaman Dekinai wa ~Love ice cream~

Next up is a track sung by Haruna O., Akane, Reina, and Kaede and I was quite worried because besides Kaedii all the other girls have weaker voices in comparison so I was slightly intrigued coming into this one.  It does feel like unlike other tracks on the album, this is more pop/rock which is a nice change of pace.  I love the atmosphere and the hooks are just impressive all around!  All 4 members really suit the song quite nicely.  What a cool song to have run into!

11. Dokyuu no Go Sign

Another A-side and another song where there’s a split between vocals & dance and it seems it’s just a nice segue between “Mou Gaman Dekinai wa” and “Koi wa Toki ni”.  Sung by Fukuchan, Maachan, Harunan, Odasaku, Akanechin, Haachin, Maria, and Miki, this song was wild and crazy and it’s been so long since the group has had a song like this up front and in your face.  I love the energy and all the members are quite keeping up with everything and it’s just so amazing to see.  I’m still thrown off by the bridge where it suddenly turns into this classical piece.  Otherwise, just a powerful song here!

12. Koi wa Toki ni

The rest of the members that haven’t been shuffled: Fukuchan, Eripon, Ayumi, Maachan, Duu, Miki, and Chiichan.  The song feels like an 80s new wave song mixed with some 90s tendency.  It’s a pretty straightforward song it sounds pretty in some places.  Makes me think of a happier and lighter “CHO DAI”.  Not bad, but I think this was the weakest one compared to the other 2 shuffle songs.

13. Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari (Morning Musume ’17 ver.)

It’s been quite a while, but here we are again with a new rendition of JKM (last time was done by a totally different set of girls back on “Rainbow 7”).  There’s just so much here to listen to but mostly because the group is so big these days!  Really it’s more of the same that we’ve heard those years ago (except for Miki who has an all English solo).  Still it’s a pretty fun song, although it can grow tiresome as it’s rather repetitive.

14. BRAND NEW MORNING

Not quite sure why it didn’t get the album treatment, but here we are with BRAND NEW MORNING and it still is quite a jam and a half.  The heavy march feel to the aggressive lyrics and cool verses and fun chorus just made a great song altogether.  Being this the debut for both Kaede and Reina was nice as well!  Odd placement being the last track and all, but still a great song!

15. Ai no Tane (20th Anniversary ver.)

So at the end of album we have an additional track, a remake of Momusu’s first song ever.  Though this is something different against the version that was released a month ago that featured the original 5 members.  This version is just the current members here but the same arrangement.  For what it’s worth I do think the version released with the original 5-nin is a lot more better than this take, it’s a nice update to a song that normally gets past over by “Morning Coffee” (hm…surprised “Morning Misoshiru” wasn’t on here).

Tracks Recommended

  • Watashi no Nanni mo Wakacchanai
  • BRAND NEW MORNING
  • Mou Gaman Dekinai wa ~Love ice cream~
  • Wakaindashi!
  • Seishun Say A-HA

Song of Avoidance

  • Koi wa Toki ni

It feels like forever but we finally got our new album from Morning Musume!  Being 3 years since “14shou ~The message~”, ⑮ Thank you, too was a lot of firsts for the group as the first album without Riho, Sayu, and Zukki and the first for 12th, 13th, and 14th Gens.  So there’s a lot of catching up to do.  For the most part, this album was pretty good with not a lot of songs that I would deem forgettable.  Though it does means that 15 A-sides are left without an album (a best album in the works?).  Overall a cool album and sad to see Duu graduate after this one.

 

Up Up Girls – 4th Album (Kakko Kari) December 6, 2017

Filed under: Up Up Girls — solarblade @ 7:38 am

force

Track Listing

  1. Party People Alien
  2. Upper Disco
  3. !!!!!!!!
  4. FOREVER YOUNG
  5. Shout!!!!!!!
  6. Seishun no Namida
  7. Future&Past!
  8. FLASH
  9. Seven☆Piece
  10. Appare
  11. Kimi to Iu Kasetsu
  12. Way of Our Life

Disc 2

  1. Samuraidol ~Bushi Onnamachi no Ue Yori~
  2. Darling wa Lost Child
  3. Megamorii! mavie!!
  4. Startline
  5. My World
  6. Kimi’iro Sky
  7. Shortcut ni Kataomoi

1. Party People Alien

I wasn’t surprised that the album would open with the leading A-side that began the era.  I do appreciate that it kicks the album off on a pretty strong note towards more of the electro sort and it’s a heavy song that goes back to many more of their older tracks.  It’s a very powerful track and while it’s a strange song itself, lyrically, it’s a fun time and a decent way to open things up.

2. Upper Disco

Moving to the last single released prior to the album, Upper Disco is more of a continuation of upbeat songs but focuses more on the funk/disco side of things. Compared to the oddness of the previous track, this one feels a WHOLE LOT safer with its content and surprisingly feels bland I suppose??  It’s still a good song for them, but there’s plenty of other, stronger songs available.

3. !!!!!!!!

I was hoping that “Ran Ran Ran” was going to make the cut, but it feels like it didn’t.  Anyways, the leading A-side of their 2nd single for the album, Ban Ban Ban is a lot more wilder paced than “Upper Disco” ever could be and I really enjoyed the crazy shenanigans this song has over a good portion of the album.  I still liked that Akari played a major role here with the intro (which was soft and acoustic) before it turned into this frantic pop/rock ditty.  It’s a fun song overall!

4. FOREVER YOUNG

Just like how “Upper Disco” was to “Party People Alien”, I feel like the cooldown from the previous track to this A-side from their 3rd single of the era, is a bit strange.  Taking more of a ska route for the track, FOREVER YOUNG once again feels a bit bland, maybe fitting more on their last album than this one.  Though I still kind of dig the more idol-like setting here.  It’s cute I will say.

5. Shout!!!!!!!

Moving to some B-sides they’ve released this era, this one from their first single, was a surprise to see (though all of the B-sides of the single made the cut).  Shout!!!!!!! brings us back to the club-heavy beats mixed with their idol voices.  I really enjoyed the beat and the underlying guitarwork as well giving it a weird underground feeling.  There’s just something edgy and cool here and it’s grown on me immensely since the single’s release!

6. Seishun no Namida

It just seemed that the B-sides of the single really outweighed the leading tracks of that first single.  Seishun no Namida is also quite an EDM-heavy song as well, but unlike the previous track where it could be heard during raves, Seishun no Namida is more traditional like something Nakata could pull off.  I love the arrangement and it’s heavy assortment of tricks in its sleeves.  The group sounds interesting (minus the odd rapping section).  The chorus does find itself moving away from the heavy synths for a bit, but it comes back quickly.  Great song and my favorite of the B-sides featured on the album.

7. Future&Past!

As a B-side of the 2nd single, Future&Past! is an odd choice (much preferred “Ran Ran Ran”) but here we are.  It starts off with potential with ethereal sounds and a light arrangement before it breaks into this hip-hop kind of section and it kind of breaks the song a bit.  I’ve gotten used to it, but it does break the mood a bit.  I will say this kind of split makes for an interesting listen to though.

8. FLASH

Back into more EDM tracks, FLASH was a B-side off the 3rd single and it’s a pretty cool song to hear once again.  It definitely makes me think of songs from their first album as the vocals are sounding a bit youthful and the arrangement is loud and in your face.  I like that it pumps you up without going too overboard with the electronics…seems like it would’ve fit better after “Seishun no Namida” but I’m not complaining.

9. Seven☆Piece

Of the A-sides that were released, I think Seven☆Piece was the one that didn’t quite stand out for me but it was hard when most of the other songs they released for the album had a similar feel.  As in the tune has a lot of EDM elements involved here.  For me, the tune comes off quite repetitive with its chorus and really nothing much else is standing out.

10. Appare

In technicality, Appare was the first release for the album (it was a bonus CD on one of their live DVDs).  Of course it does make a reappearance as a B-side on the “Party People Alien/Seven☆Piece” single.  The tune gives me similar ska vibes like in “FOREVER YOUNG” but this is a bit more peppy and exciting of a song for me.  On the album it stands out a little bit, but I think once again there were better ones here.

11. Kimi to Iu Kasetsu

As the last of the old songs, this A-side from the 2nd single feels like a sentimental track (probably didn’t help the PV made it feel moreso that way).  I love that once again, all the members get a good chunk of solos here and the song is just sweet and charming here.  I’m a bit surprised it wasn’t the closer but it’s still a pretty cool song for them considering what’s happening.

12. Way of Our Life

The album oddly enough ends with the only NEW track on the first disc and unlike the others on this album, it has the most joyous arrangement of them all.  Another song where I feel this belongs maybe on a different album as this feels like it doesn’t suit the album.  Though I feel like since this is the 7-nin’s last song together before Minami and Ayano graduated, it makes sense (though “Kimi to Iu Kasetsu” does too).  Interesting song to end the first disc on.

CD2

1. Samuraidol ~Bushi Onnamichi no Ue Yori~

The 2nd disc though comprises of 7 songs sung solo by each member of the group!  The first one is from Sengoku and I swear Morisaki did the monologue before Minami takes over the track.  First thought was how this is reminding me of “SAMURAI GIRLS”, but with only one member, the song is rather interesting.  The verses were pretty cool and the chorus is genki (but quite compact with those lyrics).  Good way to kick this 2nd disc off!

2. Darling wa Lost Child

Konatsu takes the next track and it easily reminds me of similar songs with this middle-of-the-road mid tempo EDM track which the group has done plenty of.  There’s some nie things about it, but from Konatsu’s straight-line singing and most of the arrangement sounding a bit bleh…it wasn’t all that great IMO.

3. Megamorii! mavie!!

Next up is Morisaki’s solo and I was expecting something goofy, but what we got feels more like a winter track (in August?).  Though it goes on for about a minute and 10 seconds before hell breaks lose and Saki is yelling in the song.  The arrangement also switches up to a quick-paced bass heavy beat and Saki is going nuts.  Weird song and it goes back and forth so it’s pretty jagged at that too.  Though it is interesting to say the least.

4. Startline

Ayano’s track is next and this one gives me anison vibes purely just from its arrangement and the chords it strikes.  Add that Ayano’s vocals has this higher squeak and it kind of works together.  Sadly, the song just doesn’t resonate with me and feels like a throwaway song more than anything else (which is cruel because it’s a B-side on the group’s upcoming single, which Ayano isn’t a part of due to her graduating between the two releases).

5. My World

I feel like Akari gets so many solo tracks just because she’s the more well-known one of the group.  I am surprised the song has a bit of a tropical vibe to it and I think it definitely caught my attention despite Akari not being the best vocally in the group.  It’s not quite as epic as “Abyssal Drop” was, but for a solo track this held my attention nicely and the lightness mixed with the bells and beats were pretty cute.

6. Kimi’iro Sky

Sekki’s track comes next and it fits alongside the other heavy EDM tracks from the album and it really does have that strong beat here.  Sekki’s voice is pretty much straight too like Ayano’s but the chorus does fix things somewhat.  The tune reminds me of something fripSide would pull…sticks out!

7. Shortcut ni Kataomoi

Rounding the 2nd disc off is Maana’s solo and Shortcut ni Kataomoi between the 7 of them feels the most idol-like of them with guitars, brass, and a light ska feel.  Of the members it really feels like Manami has gotten better vocally and it shows here with the bright and colorful atmosphere of the track.

Tracks Recommended

  • Seishun no Namida
  • Shout!!!!!!!
  • Kimi’iro Sky
  • !!!!!!!!
  • Kimi to Iu Kasetsu

Song of Avoidance

  • Startline

Finally we get to listen through UUG’s 4th album!  I will say that compared to the previous album, it kind of sucks that the main disc only has ONE new song, but balances it out with a separate disc for solo tracks.  Overall, the album is OK there could’ve been more to this but considering the timing with the new units in relation to UUG and the fact that Minami Sengoku and Ayano Sato graduated…I suppose this is what they could throw out there.  Not bad, but not great either.

 

Aira Mitsuki – Pyramidal October 17, 2017

Filed under: Aira Mitsuki — solarblade @ 7:14 am

pyrimidal

Track Listing

  1. Future in Loop
  2. Pyramidal
  3. Chewing on Love
  4. LIGHTSAVER
  5. DIS&CO
  6. Detective A
  7. Recommunication
  8. Nabwa
  9. Days
  10. I’LL AGAIN..

1. Future in Loop

Kicking the album off is the lead-in track, Future in Loop and hearing Aira jumping back into some more club-like sounds for her album is definitely a new change of pace for her and I kind of dug it!  It’s definitely a song that while doesn’t have a lot of drops, has a cool vibe and such.  I think it sets the album up nicely and makes me excited to hear what else there is to hear!

2. Pyramidal

Moving onto the title track, Pyramidal caught my attention with the harder beats and more experimental sound in comparison to “Future in Loop”.  It sounds a bit destructive, yet composed with Aira’s lispy vocals to give some poppy feels.  There’s just something so lowkey yet gritty about it all.  What an interesting track, this is!  I’m quite enjoying this more than I should~

3. Chewing on Love

After that, I wasn’t expecting the jump back to something a bit more familiar to fans of her D-TOPIA works.  Chewing on Love is so far the poppiest track I’ve come across the album, but it’s nice as I hear some acoustic guitar mixing it up with the low bass hits and then adding this light tropical house sound, giving this electric 80s sound which is great to hear!  Another strong song for the album here!

4. LIGHTSAVER

So we finally get to our first old track and it’s Aira’s first song when she came back from her hiatus (and leaving of D-TOPIA).  As this was a song that was released back in 2015, it was going to be interesting to come back to this.  I do like how it was like a throwback to Aira’s stuff circa “C.O.P.Y” with the grittier synths and Aira’s filtered vocals just feels right!  Though, it’s odd that I think that it does sound safe in comparison to the previous three tracks, but IzeMac had to start somewhere!

5. DIS&CO

I was hoping the next one would be a literal disco track, but DIS&CO is hitting hard.  I really like the edgy arrangement that kind of has the same kick and fire that “Pyramidal” had, but after the intro, it starts going into a club beat and flow and it really makes you wanna lose yourself on the dancefloor.  Simple, but effective track!

6. Detective A

Despite the fact I didn’t review two of the digital A-sides Aira released back in 2016, I’m kind of happy to see both make the cut!  Detective A was the more interesting of the two because unlike most of the tracks, this one felt very anthemic and unique amongst the other EDM tracks we’re offered here.  The introduction is a bit slow, but it grows into an 80s-inspired club bopper!  Pretty strong then and pretty strong now~

7. Recommunication

Back to new tracks, Recommunication continues to bring more experimentation to the table and I’m just impressed by the new clicks, bells, and whistles that it brought along with this dubsteppy kind of riff.  Gone are the more grittier synths for something a little more poppy and glossy and Aira seems to be taking the reins vocally here which is awesome because it feels like I’ve been more into the music than her.  That said, the pre-chorus is amazing and the chorus (while busy) is pretty damn cool!  Definitely my favorite off the album!

8. Nabwa

As the last of the new tracks, Nabwa (odd title aside) is something I wasn’t expecting.  Like “Pyramidal” and “DIS&CO”, Nabwa has more of a darker vibe to it and has a bit more of a grungier kind of club sound that pushes it along.  Aira does seem to sit back a little bit as her contribution is more or less the same throughout (not very much).  It’s OK, but of the previous tracks mentioned, it’s a bit weak.

9. Days

The other digital single released, Days definitely tries to really pop out from the album, but it features a lot of the same sounds that I came across in other songs from this album and while it did come before most songs here, I can’t help but think it has a little too much of the gritty bass synths that are all over “LIGHTSAVER” & “I’LL AGAIN..”.  The quieter parts are nice, but the rest is kind of forgetful.

10. I’LL AGAIN..

The album ends with arguably the first song she actually came back with and like with what I said in “Days” the gritty synths are present, but I’m not quite as harsh as it was her first song back in the limelight.  I also feel like this could’ve made a better opening to the album than “Future in Loop”, but that’s just me.  Still it’s a decent song overall.

Tracks Recommended

  • Recommunication
  • Pyramidal
  • Detective A
  • Chewing on Love
  • LIGHTSAVER

Song of Avoidance

Nabwa

Wow it’s been quite a while since “I’LL BE BACK” (released back in 2013) hasn’t it?  Yeah, a bit bummed that she isn’t working with Terukado anymore, but it means she gets to stretch her works to other people.  Pyramidal is actually surprisingly good and a good step up over both her last album and her previous “???” album as well.  I do think while this is a good album, maybe more producers could help out while I liked IzeMac here, it did feel samey and a bit messy through some songs.  Also, while I’m not surprised that “Animo!” isn’t here (was produced by others), I’m a little surprised that “F.F.C.” didn’t make the cut.  Still, an overall good album and hopefully Aira can release more regularly again.

 

VIXX – Lalala ~Ai wo Arigatou~

Filed under: VIXX — solarblade @ 4:52 am

lalala

Track Listing

  1. Lalala ~Ai wo Arigatou~
  2. Celebration!!
  3. Crush My Mind
  4. How ’bout you
  5. Saboten

1. Lalala ~Ai wo Arigatou~

As the leading track of the mini, Lalala is definitely a style VIXX doesn’t really cater to very much and that’s the bright piano-laced songs.  Definitely makes me think of “G.R.8.U” in the sound and the fact that it just sounds so positive is a bit unusual for me as a fan.  Though I’m liking that I hear N, Hyuk, and Hongbin quite a bit and there’s points where Ken & Leo are popping up to you.  Was surprised the chorus is in unison and Ravi’s rap section is kind of covered by the other members too.  Odd song for them.

2. Celebration!!

Next up is Celebration!! and it definitely fits the bill as the upbeat party song with funk vibes and brass and slapbass in the arrangement.  I really like the fun vibes here and funny enough it does give me similar vibes to “Mukae ni Ikou” in the exciting and fun vibes I get.  I do find myself kind of enjoying the song and gives the group some color!

3. Crush My Mind

Of the 5 songs of the mini-album, Crush My Mind is the one that caters to the fans that are used to VIXX’s darker concepts back in Korea.  The song itself isn’t too bad, but I do think it’s somewhat cluttered in the chorus section as it just buzzes by a lot.  I do like the slick feel and Ravi sounds cool whenever he’s up but it doesn’t quite stand up to other songs in their discography.

4. How ’bout you

Cooling things down for the rest of the mini-album, How ’bout you is laidback and smoother for the group and I kind of enjoy the R&B vibes I’m getting here as it showcases the singers’ voices in a more chiller setting (except Ravi, who gave a pretty good rap).  It’s OK for the most part, maybe a little under the interest, but it’s a decent mid-tempo track for them.

5. Saboten

As the final track, I wasn’t expecting acoustic guitar to open the track and be a good portion of the melody here.  Actually the track entirely is quite relaxing and makes me think of sunsets on the beach.  I really liked the soothing sound and hey even Ravi sings in this track (albeit a little rough because he’s in a deeper range than the other members).  Still, I quite liked this and they should do more of this in the future!

 

 

I wasn’t expecting VIXX to release a mini-album (and to not include “Hana-Kaze” at that).  Though since the group was still going strong with the whole “Ker” and “Shangri-La” era in Korea, I was hoping for some strong songs here, but it came off as more of middle of the road with Lalala.  None of the songs (bar Celebration!! & Saboten) really have a long-lasting feel to them so it feels somewhat throwaway.  I suppose it was a release, but I mean…it could’ve been worse.

 

AAA – LIFE October 8, 2017

Filed under: AAA — solarblade @ 6:56 am

life

Track Listing

  1. LIFE
  2. LIFE (Instrumental)

1. LIFE

I like that the song opens up with marching drums (and jingle bells?).  OK?  Anyways it does seem like the song is a bit brighter and happier in moods which works after their last single.  It does seem like everyone in the group is managing to keep up vocally (even Hidaka who is singing and not rapping).  It does remind me of earlier AAA songs once again stuff like “Friday Party” and “Kirei na Sora”.  It’s just poppy and very breezy!

 

 

Ugh, we’re back to one song singles are we now?  Anyways, after “No Way Back” I feel like LIFE is a bit more of that, but I’m not quite sure why it was by itself with no B-side, just feels like it needs one there.  Not bad, the group is doing well enough and Misako found herself back in the main singers as well.

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – water lily ~Suiren~

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 6:20 am

waterlily

Track Listing

  1. water lily ~Suiren~
  2. illusion
  3. water lily ~Suiren~ (PARKGOLF Remix)
  4. water lily ~Suiren~ (Instrumental)
  5. illusion (Instrumental)

1. water lily ~Suiren~

Opening the single, we get a very different side to TGS with water lily which is more relaxed a totally different setting from the norm that everyone had gotten used to.  It definitely is laidback and taking upon a more tropical house setting is something new yet familiar to the quartet.  It’s refreshing overall and the members are sounding better in harmonies (or it could just be studio magic).  Still, not so bad of a song!

2. illusion

The B-side though is not exactly new material, it’s more of a original version to the illusion found on their last album, “REFLECTION”.  Not sure why they waited so long to put this on a single considering it’s been quite a while.  As mentioned in the album remix of it, it’s a Mei solo but unlike the arrangement, this goes back to the funk/disco vibes (when the group was still 5 strong).  It’s nice to hear a song like this again, but I was alarmed about the amount of auto-tune used on Mei’s voice.  It’s a bit distracting and doesn’t really work with the arrangement.  I suppose the single needed something, but eh…it’s kind of disappointing.

3. water lily ~Suiren~ (PARKGOLF Remix)

Of course it’s remix time and it’s of the leading track here.  The PARKGOLF remix feels a bit more organic sounding having a bit more piano and this reggae-ish mood as the main style.  Not quite sure if I was liking the auto-tune placed in this song either as it makes the group sound more squirrelly sounding.  I think I like musically more than the original, but the vocal melody needs to be fixed up some.

 

 

As the group’s 4th single since their album, I feel like water lily is kind of the middle-of-the-road single (considering this before they had announced two best mini-albums).  I feel like nothing totally stood out here, but it’s not horrid enough to be shelved.  Both the main song and remix have good points and bad points, but it’s different from their usual shtick.  illusion on the other hand was just thrown on here for no good reason IMO, but likewise it’s fine if you’re into the older TGS sound.  Interesting to see what’s in store from the “PERIOD. BEST” albums.