Kurayami Monogatari

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Aya Hirano – RIOT GIRL July 16, 2008

Filed under: Aya Hirano — solarblade @ 5:14 am
Tags: , , ,

Track Listing

  1. LOVE★GUN
  2. HERO
  3. MonStAR
  4. Ashita no Prism
  5. Breakthrough (Album Ver.)
  6. Bouken Desho Desho?
  7. Aimai Scream
  8. Yorokobi no Uta
  9. Maybe i can’t good-bye
  10. NEOPHILIA
  11. Harmonia Vita
  12. For you
  13. Hoshi no Kakera
  14. RIOT GIRL

1. LOVE★GUN

We kickstart this awesome album with this rock track.  Aya goes through many different voices and this is her uncontrolled voice.  It fits with the wild track.  Some of it reminds me of like Final Fantasy battle themes for some odd reason.  I think she’s putting punk princess down as things she can do right.

2. HERO

Continuing with the pop/punk rock sound, HERO is definitly calmer than the previous track.  I kind of dislike this track because it’s just lifeless musically, like it’s stuff we’ve heard before so it’s pretty much a filler track.  Dang, already we have our filler track *sigh*

3. MonStAR

A piano intro starts off with this punk/synth track.  I found myself really enjoying the synth of the song.  The chorus really kills Aya’s voice talent in this song. Why?  She’s so nasally in it, it’s almost terrible.  Though the verses were very good.  Depends on your mood to which if you like the song or not.

4. Ashita no Prism

OMG, I thought of Nami Tamaki from that guitar solo in the beginning.  This pop/rock song was a single also and it was a good choice to do that.  Aya’s voice still seems off, however but it’s more like Nana Kitade’s voice in this song.  So I wasn’t too bothered with her this time.

5. Breakthrough (Album Ver.)

Ska?  That’s the feeling I’m getting from the song.  The whole carefree sound with brass adding excitement, surprised me alot.  I haven’t heard the single version, but I don’t think it can surpass this.  It’s fun, poppy, full of life and just cute.  Aya doesn’t sound quite as bad either!

6. Bouken Desho Desho?

I kinda thought it as gonna be a dark track hence the church bell.  I was surprised it turned into this pop tune that’s sugary cute.  The chorus is so catchy, I’d just sing along with it.  Another single right here.  Still it’s a bit too sugary and Aya is in her “cute” sound.  Which I like sorta XD

7. Aimai Scream

Ick, she’s combined her cute vocals with the synth stuff and they don’t mix well together.  Not my kind of tune either, it sounds like something you’d hear in “Doraemon” or something like that.  I wished it was better performed.

8. Yorokobi no Uta

A rock ballad?  Hey, it also introduces to a new sound from Aya, her deep voice sounds real good, like almost better than Ayumi good.  This is where the album steps up and gets good too.  Yorokobi no Uta is a good track with the instrumentation.  Aya thank you!

9. Maybe i can’t good-bye

Hard rock is pulsing in this track.  Aya sounds really creepy with her steady vibrato and strong vocals.  The beginning guitar sounds sounded like Blur’s “Song 2” which is one of my favorite rock tracks to begin with.  I think Aya should go in this direction and not the poppy side.  The chorus is so hard and so cool.  Kudos to the drummer too, those was some good beats right there.

10. NEOPHILIA

Strange opening, though she gets more darker entering this track.  I’m starting to notice that there’s two different Aya’s pop princess & rock queen…sound familiar, how about Tommy February6 and Tommy Heavenly6?  Yeah this is how it’s changing to.  Aya still sounds very awesome, holding her ground.

11. Harmonia Vita

Ok, this is like Ayu’s “Marionette”.  It’s the darkest, evilest track on this album.  This has some of the hardest sounding guitars and bass it’s awesome.  Aya, going through both her lower and higher register creates a dark theme, just like “Marionette” they might be sister songs, I swear.  Best song on this album.

12. For you

As we lighten the mood up, For you goes back to the pop/rock sounds from earlier.  I think the drums in the chorus was a bit overbearing, however Aya still manages to overcome that factor and doesn’t overkill her voice.  However, I’m reminded of misono’s work as well…the overall song just sounds one on the same.

13. Hoshi no Kakera

The main ballad of the album, is kinda of a cute song.  with Aya using her normal tone.  She sounds so beautiful in this song and can be easily be a tie-in to an ending of a anime easily.  There is power to the song mostly in the chorus which prevented it from getting to boring.  The twinkling sounds also made this song worthwhile.

14. RIOT GIRL

The title track is the final track as well?  The beginning was so catchy then it’s led to this crazy rock song.  Aya ruins this song as well by using her “Uncontrollable” voice.  The bridge was pretty awesome and had a good pace to it.  The chorus is a little too weird for me.  I think she should’ve put this song somewhere in the middle of the album, rather than the end.

Tracks Recommended

  • Harmonia Vita
  • Maybe i can’t good-bye
  • LOVE★GUN
  • Yorokobi no Uta
  • Hoshi no Kakera

Song of Avoidance

  • Aimai Scream

Aya Hirano’s debut album was definitly split in the middle, half being reminescent of Tommy February6 and the other half being the Tommy Heavenly6 side.  Still, Aya Hirano has made this album her own, and it’s not that bad.  Most of the cute songs needed some work on.  The 2nd half was almost pure awesomeness.  Recommended to everyone!

 

Hitomi Shimatani – Flare

Filed under: Hitomi Shimatani — solarblade @ 3:46 am
Tags: , , ,

Track Listing

  1. Heavenly
  2. Start
  3. Ame no Hi ni wa Ame no Naka wo Kaze no Hi ni wa Kaze no Naka wo
  4. Dita
  5. Shinku
  6. Nakitai Nara
  7. Dear…
  8. Taiyou no Flare
  9. WAKE YOU UP
  10. Shake it up!
  11. Neva Eva
  12. Marvelous
  13. Ai no Uta (Strings Version) (Cd Only Bonus Track)

1. Heavenly

This oddly sounds like a Perfume track huh?  Well, it’s a dance track for sure and Hitomi sounds great doing her vibrato in the song.  I’m betting this a winter track howver with the bells and strings.  Her English however is questionable, I mean she says ~Heavenry~ more, so it’s a bit bothersome, but not too much, it’s a pretty good start, BTW…

2. Start

The jazzy sound of a song appears as No. 2.  I’m also left hanging as to why this sounds like every other Mai Kuraki song…I mean its got your usual fare here, piano, groovy percussion, and synths.  It’s not bad but it leaves a bad taste since your used to so much of it already.  Hitomi sounds good though I’ll give her that.

3. Ame no Hi ni wa Ame no Naka wo Kaze no Hi ni wa Kaze no Naka wo

What a long ass title of a track Hitomi.  I thought it would’ve been a ballad, it turns out to be a feel good pop track.  The chorus is mostly made up of this long title as well, which makes it an easy song to remember, probably one of the better moments of the “Flare” era.

4. Dita

So, are we getting to a lounge genre now?  Dita actually makes itself well known on the album, and IMO is definitly a plus to hear.  Hitomi sounds really hot here with her smooth lyrics it’s just nice.  The whole song actually made me want this song to be an A-side.  Oh yea flute solo FTW

5. Shinku

Now we’re led to the usual dance stuff from our dearly beloved.  Shinku was a single paired with “Ai no Uta”, but I definitly take this over it.  Shinku is powerful and reminds me of “Perseus” a lot.  It’s a great track and single too, definitly a high mark on the album.

6. Nakitai Nara

Another single, and it’s an acoustic ballad.  Hitomi and ballads are usually hits, there’s a few bad ones but this isn’t one of them.  She sounds real beautiful going in and using her awesome vocals to express her feelings.  The accompainment was also very fitting to the song as well.  It isn’t her best ballad however.

7. Dear…

Back to lounge again?  Still, it’s just as strong as “Dita” if not more.  Hitomi once again sounds really good in this track, however as time goes on, it starts to drag a little bit not really changing the main sounds.  Luckily, Hitomi keeps it from getting too bored.  I hear guy’s voice as well which did compliment Hitomi pretty nicely.  Ohhhhh, piano solo is a fun one too, awesomeness.

8. Taiyou no Flare

The title track, usually Hitomi’s title tracks are very memorable, this is the case with Taiyou no Flare.  This is the song I was waiting for!!!!  A real good dance track, with Hitomi’s powerful vocals.  It’s not as powerful as her earlier dance tracks, but this is pretty awesome in its own way.  The synths are so great here, another awesome track.

9. WAKE YOU UP

WAKE YOU UP comes after and is a funky track.  It’s quite catchy, but it just seems there’s something missing from the track.  This was part of the triple A-side of the era and it was my least favorite from it.  The BKGD vocals are kinda annoying but Hitomi I mean I think you were bored with the song huh.

10. Shake it up!

A quiet tribal dance track?  That’s what Shake it up! is all about.  I thought the music was too quiet and held back this time.  If it was more powerful or a bit faster, this would have been so much better.  I also found that she’s also bored in this track as well, she isn’t showing too many emotions which bored me.  Least favorite new track.

11. Neva Eva

Hahaha, the chase track in Hitomi’s discography.  Neva Eva is so catchy and fun.  I love all the instrumentation in it and Hitomi was just having the time of her life with this track.  I remember 1st hearing this song and thinking to myself, is she high?  Hitomi, this is probably the best track on this album!

12. Marvelous

The last track from the triple a-side single and this album.  Marvelous has mostly piano playing but is set to an awesome dance track.  Marvelous was a nod to her past work, which I thought was great.  It’s also fitting for the last track as it is kinda of a bittersweet song too. I’m pretty sure she says ~Marvelous~ but her English needs some work.

13. Ai no Uta (Strings Version)

DAMNIT, another artist fallen to the “Ai no Uta” craze.  Every Ai no Uta I hear is beyond boring and just uber generic, except Ami Suzuki’s where it was too much of another artist than herself.  Anyway, back to Hitomi’s take of it.  Her voice is beautiful and the music has Japanese sounds to it making it more fitting to her Enka past.  Right now, it’s the best “Ai no Uta” out in the J-pop world to me.  The strings being worked in also made more classical or fitting with the “crossover” she’s doing.

Tracks Recommended

  • Neva Eva
  • Taiyou no Flare
  • Ai no Uta (Strings Version)
  • Shinku
  • Dita

Song of Avoidance

  • Shake it up!

Flare, I think she should’ve named the album something else because it didn’t burst my temptations, It still was a definitly great album.  The new lounge sound she went for was a great start, the ballads were even better and the title track was awesome, however there were some songs that Hitomi was bored in, which was bad.  Still, this album is good, though it isn’t GATE ~Scena III~