Kurayami Monogatari

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MEG – STEP August 31, 2008

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 12:42 pm
Tags: , ,

step

Track Listing

  1. MAGIC
  2. KITTENISH
  3. MAKE LOVE
  4. PRISM BOY
  5. HEART
  6. SUPERSONIC
  7. SEARCHLIGHT
  8. NATALIE
  9. KITTENISH <ynnk mix>
  10. PRISM BOY <extended mix>

1. MAGIC

So, we start off with the first single of the era and to be honest…it didn’t do anything for me.  The la’s were so annoying in the song…blech.  The music is your usual Nakata shtuff.  Though I can see why, it’s so girly that it’s makes sense on the album…Funny, go watch the new PRECIOUS PV and check it out she’s doing MAGIC, ironic huh?

2. KITTENISH

What “MAGIC” was missing was some power and this song made up for it in a big way.  The song carries the girly sound but adds more beats and some out of this world synths usage.  MEG sounds kinda sexed up for this song which also made a positive reaction for me.  The chorus was pretty sweet as well, carrying the smoothness of the entire song…Already this album is good.

3. MAKE LOVE

Ending cute and fluffy, MAKE LOVE is very different.  It’s beat-forward and the synths are cool in the song.  Then we enter a new MEG where she talks instead of sing.  To be honest her English is a bit messy but it’s enough to make some sense out of it.  Then it goes very gritty and totally weird in the beats.  It drags however being over 7 minutes so it’s going to bore you for a while….think of Perfume’s “Take me Take me” and you’ll get the picture very quickly.

4. PRISM BOY

I almost thought “KITTENISH” pt. 2 right from the start.  It has the same girly synth quality to it, but it’s more dreamy and has a soothing magical quality to it.  The chorus brings in some low synths which was pretty nice.  Y’know, this is KITTENISH pt. 2 at best.  Though it’s very good for being it.  Nice track.

5. HEART

HEART is what introduced me into MEG and I still thank the song.  It’s a solid girly-like track.  MEG in the verses really sound like a child and isn’t bothersome, though not a lot of people will agree.  It’s really a cute track with it’s playful sounds and her pronunciation of ~Heart~ is cool for being Engrishly. 

6. SUPERSONIC

0.o  What do we have here?  While “MAKE LOVE” was very boring and long, SUPERSONIC is the opposite.  Her darkest Nakata track to date, we start with some ominous sounds and MEG using her talking to convey the downright creepy vibe song has.  The various synths also do the same complimenting each.  Then all of a sudden a very aggressive track enters the fray even moreso than “edge” or even “GAME” for that matter.  Her singing does take a hit but the chorus saves it just in time.  It’s definitly a standout and my favorite from the album.

7. SEARCHLIGHT

After that surprising track, we get a calm dance track.  Piano is actually the prominent sound of the song and really is a nice addition.  MEG though messes the song up, or perhaps Nakata does, because the song would have sounded better without the Vocoder.  Some of the synths remind me of Namie Amuro’s “Come” so I was pleasantly pleased.  Then this 80’s like synth pops up and realy took the song to a new level.  Alright track.

8. NATALIE

NATALIE is even less synthed up and uses actual percussion, sadly her vocals are not for this kind of song.  I agree with a lot of people saying that they would rather have had the remix found on “HEART” on here than this song.  It’s just slow and kind of weird.  Though, is it me or does the percussion sound like the one’s used in “Macaroni” maybe it’s just me.

9. KITTENISH <ynnk mix>

At first I thought it would have been a new song, but no…it’s a remix of KITTENISH…they took the girly song and made it more different.  It’s definitly interesting to hear this song in a different tone, changing everything practically.  Though I felt the song was missing that oomph the original had.  Maybe it’s just me *sigh*

10. PRISM BOY <extended mix>

Yep, you guessed it, it’s a longer version of PRISM BOY….I’m not too fond of extended versions because I’m just used to the orignal mixes.  Though it does stay true to the main focus of the song with the beginning synthline.  Maybe, but I found it a little more better executed….So I naturally like the song.

Tracks Recommended

  • SUPERSONIC
  • KITTENISH
  • HEART
  • PRISM BOY
  • KITTENISH <ynnk mix>

Song of Avoidance

  • MAGIC

As much as I think Nakata is overworking for each artist/group this was actually a pretty strong album (much better than BEAM thank god) with what he created is a very girly-like sound that works to his advantage with MEG’s one of a kind voice.  She still has work to do on her vocals, but they were so much better this time around

 

Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVEppears

Filed under: Ayumi Hamasaki — solarblade @ 4:49 am
Tags: , , ,

loveppears

Track Listing

CD1

  1. Introduction
  2. Fly high
  3. Trauma
  4. And Then
  5. Immature “Album Version”
  6. Boys & Girls
  7. TO BE
  8. End roll
  9. P.S II
  10. WHATEVER “Dub’s 1999 Club Remix”
  11. too late
  12. appears “Album Version”
  13. monochrome
  14. Interlude
  15. LOVE ~refrain~
  16. Who…
  17. Kanariya (secret track)

CD2

  1. Ayu’s Euro Mega-Mix (Y&Co. Mix)
  2. Ayu’s House Mega-Mix (N.S House Mix)
  3. A Song For XX (Millenium Mix)
  4. Powder Snow (Acoustic Orchestra Mix)
  5. Friend II (Make My Mad Mix)

1. Introduction

Oh friggin sweet, the album starts off on a very good note with the intro, which is very trance-like and Ayu comes in for a repeated phrase, but the sound is so sweet and then it leads perfectly into…

2. Fly high

Fly high, which is like “Depend on you” but with more synths.  I think the chorus is where the song really stands out for me and is loud and sweet.  Ayu does some rapping or just plain fast lyrics.  The song is a pretty great start to the album and already shows the difference between her previous album.

3. Trauma

I definitly fell in love with Trauma’s affectious sound.  As it is most memorable as the tie-in for Chobits.  Trauma has a more pop sound to it sounds quite nice with strings also being in it as well.  Though the chorus didn’t stand out for me except for the last half of it.  Definitly a solid track.

4. And Then

The introduction is a very dark synth line which really puts this song for some interesting happenings.  It’s sadly a bit on the boring side of the dance genre.  The chorus has some odd chords in it and Ayu is clearly straining to hit some of the notes, but it isn’t as bad as some of her earlier tracks.  This is a very odd track but still has some good qualities.

5. Immature “Album version”

Wow, this opening is very creepy, but very fitting.  The synths featured in this track is very nice and once again, has a smooth dance quality to it.  This is more better than “And Then” which was almost at the same tempo, but this was executed so much better.  Ayu’s girly voice actually fit well in a song like this and then music had a nice beat to it and got some piano in it as well.  A much more effective track.

6. Boys & Girls

I’m sorry but I really didn’t like the track as much.  The chorus was just purely annoying to my ears and she was pinching some of her notes.  Musically, it was more surprising with guitars and synths in the mix.  In the end, this song was just so piercing to me.  The bridge does get some brownie points though, probably my favorite part of the song.

7. TO BE

Finally, taking the dance genre off, we get a somewhat of a ballad track.  Sadly, I can never remember how it sounds and then I have to turn it on just to remember it.  It’s a more honest track from her and the soothing instrumentation helps the song out alright.  Ayu still has some vocal issues as she still can’t sing higher pitched notes very well.  I liked hearing acoustic guitar through the song as well adding a more organic sound.

8. End roll

Then we start off by making a winter-like state of mind in End roll.  Also it’s a piano ballad which is a nice change.  There’s still synths don’t get me wrong, but they play a minor role this time.  The song is just isn’t memorable to me as well, though I like the guitar solo.  For the most part I thought this was mainly filler.

9. P.S II

Comparing to “Powder Snow” from “A Song For XX”, the sequel is just odd and kind of unfitting.  It just was kind of disappointing and the instrumentaion was just very strange…I loved the original, but this was kind of wrong.  Ayu’s voice sounds alright, but the overbearing percussion just bothered me.  Possibly my least favorite from the album.

10. WHATEVER “Dub’s 1999 Club Remix”

Not even featuring either versions found on it’s single, WHATEVER got remixed again and made it more trancier than either of the two originals.  To be honest I enjoyed the more futuristic sound found on this song.  Though the intro is long-winded it leads to Ayu singing with just piano and then she repeats and repeats….The song then gets better with the beats again, very nice.  Her ad-libbing is so cool, very strong remixed track she has and very long passing 7 min.

11. too late

I could never figure out why the beginning sounded so familiar.  Ayu’s using a megaphone and it’s nice how she transfers into the full voice.  The chorus is just weird and just kind of sounded odd.  The instrumentation is more along the lines of something you’d hear in FFX-2, omg the inderlude in the middle is very surprising and actually worked.  Good song, overall.

12. appears “Album Version”

appears is so weird in the beginning and very quiet too.  Was this a winter track?  Not that I’m fond of them, but they just seem too close too each other.  Yea, this track does not standout for me at all.   I just thought it wasn’t as good as the other tracks.  I guess with the guitar, it does make a little more sense.  *hasn’t heard the original*

13. monochrome

Oh man, do I love monochrome.  I love the drum beginning for sure.  The song still has dance properties but there’s piano featured as well.  The percussion can get in the way of her vocals sometimes but they aren’t too loud.  It’s got a meloncholic feel to it and she displays it well, I must say.  The ending was so surprising because it just ends point blank.  The single version has a guy saying no your not and shutting a door which marked the end.  So I was disappointed that they cutted it.

14. Interlude

I didn’t like the interlude as much as “Introduction”.  All it is is more synth playing and a more space-like atmosphere as well and that’s it where it leads pretty oddly into.

15. LOVE ~refrain~

It’s a solo version of “LOVE ~Destiny~” and a different accompainment as well as some lyrical changes.  This song is strange on the album because there’s no synth in it and is R&B actually.  It’s soothing to hear but there was just no spark to it.  I would have had the original than this song.

16. Who…

We are on our final track, and not surprisingly it’s a ballad and it’s a staple track in her concerts and I can understand, it’s beautifully written and beautifully sang.  Ayu really sounds pretty good and using very good vibrato for the first time.  It gets louder as the song goes on and gets more better….Then I wonder why the song is uber long….oh wait it ends and there’s a long period of silence until…

17. Kanariya

Where she starts with BKGD singers.  It’s a more R&B track and to be exact there’s some soothing parts of the song.  Then the chorus hits and she’s straining terribly.  Though I love the dreaminess the song is promoting, and it ends pretty fast…I’m surprised of this and was disappointed that it was really short.

CD2

1. Ayu’s Euro Mega-Mix (Y&Co. Mix)

  • WHATEVER [Sentimental Mix]
  • Trust [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • YOU [Aggressive Mix]
  • Boys & Girls [A Eurosenti Mix]
  • Trust [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • End roll [ayu-ro Extended Mix]
  • Boys & Girls [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • YOU [Aggressive Mix]
  • Fly high [Euro-Power Mix]
  • Depend on you [Extended Power Mix]
  • Trust [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • Trauma [Eurobeat Mix]
  • too late [Euro-Power Mix]
  • WHATEVER [Euro Power Mix]
  • monochrome [ayu-ro Extended Mix]
  • Depend on you [Extended Power Mix]
  • poker face [Extended Power Mix]
  • Trust [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • Boys & Girls [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • End roll [ayu-ro Extended Mix]
  • YOU [Aggressive Mix]

So I don’t know all of the tracks, until I do the album where these remixes came from.  The only one i really recognized is YOU (Aggressive Mix) which was used at the start and at the end of this 10 minute dancefest.  ^_^ Surprised they also used the song at the 2 minute mark, I noticed Depend on You was used right after YOU….Though kill me for not noticing any of them…All I know is that she incorporated songs from this album and the previous.  They all actually connected pretty well.  Damn look at all those tracks though, some of them are just instrumental moments but some of them are fully implemented.  Like I said only a certain few I really knew of.

2. Ayu’s House Mega-Mix (N.S House Mix)

  • Boys & Girls (Dub’s club Remix)
  • Hana (D-Z Deadly Rose Approach)
  • FRIEND II (MAKE MY MAD MIX)
  • too late (Razor ‘N Guido Remix)
  • SIGNAL (Y&Co. TASTE) (intro)
  • SIGNAL (Groove That Soul Mix)
  • monochrome (Dub’s full color Remix)
  • poker face (Spiritual Guidance Mix)
  • Trauma (Heavy Shuffle Mix)
  • Depend on you (dub’s electro remix)

Alright, so you know the deal, 10 minutes as well and truthfully, I didn’t enjoy this mix as much as the one above.  There’s more fancy and controlled sounds in this mish-mash of mixes of various songs.  I’ll review the album as well so don’t worry right now.  Notice, the song is just as long as the first yet, there’s less songs meaning more time on each one

3. A Song For XX (Millenium Mix)

The remix of A Song For XX is a bit different than the original as it has guitars in it making it a more powerful song.  I actually enjoyed the remix a lot more than the original.  It made the song sound more complete IMO.  Very good track.

4. Powder Snow (Acoustic Orchestra Version)

This was actually the version of “Poweder Snow” I’m used to…This actually sounded like snow falling in the song, it’s a strong track for being an a different version.  Ayu sounds very sweet and doesn’t quite get nasally.  This should have been the main track, very nice from Ayu.

5. Friend II (Make My Mad Mix)

As surprising this remix was, this was by far the coolest remix on this CD.  It’s very dark and aggressive and kinda has some hip-hop flavor in it also.  Then these very gritty synths pop up, Damn…that was awesome.  It’s good but isn’t the best remix. ^_^

Tracks Recommended

  • monochrome
  • Immature “Album Version”
  • Fly high
  • Friend II (Make My Mad Mix)
  • Trauma

Song of Avoidance

  • P.S II

Ayu’s sophomore album was a blessing for her.  It really was a change of sound from her previous albums and really stuck out from a lot of other artists at the time.  The dance/trance mood she was going for worked out for most of the album and there was some tracks that weren’t even that.  The 2nd CD had 2 remix album previews and 3 remixes of 3 tracks from “A Song for XX” which were pretty good.  Definitly a nice album from the Empress.

 

 

access – Dream Runner August 30, 2008

Filed under: access — solarblade @ 9:33 am

Track Listing

  1. Dream Runner
  2. PARADISE
  3. Dream Runner (TV version)
  4. Dream Runner (Instrumental)

1. Dream Runner

Definitly an odd and annoying start with Takami bein long and stupid.  Daisuke comes in with some interesting synths I have never heard in his collection.  There’s something obviously familiar with the song and Takami is in limbo with some of the worst notes to hold.  Just ruins the song, but the angry verses are quite nice for being access…Not a good A-side and disappoints after “Doubt & Trust”

2. PARADISE

Then we get this very upbeat, almost soothing dance track.  Then Takami shoots lyrics like rapid fir which was hard to swallow but he comes back to Earth with some smoother stuff.  It’s odd for me and was probably unusual for them using many new sounds and tricks and there’s a whistle…this was just as random as T.M.Revolution’s track “Salsa Bazaar”  Definitly a nice listen.

 

 

access’s newest single was much a more of a nod to their past songs though I can’t say it was as good as “Doubt & Trust” this was a bit of a step down and I enjoyed the B-side much more than the A-side.  Still, I love how Daisuke is reaching to new sounds with each release whether it’s with access or T.M.R.

 

Reason August 27, 2008

Filed under: ~Announcements~ — solarblade @ 7:37 am

Ok, so you’ve noticed that a lot of my album pictures on the blog aren’t showing and it’s because Wiki.theppn is down for awhile due to programming issues. 

This also has meant I haven’t been able to review either since I get the pictures all from there.  So hold your breaths and hope I can get it soon ^_^  Though I will still do access’s “Dream Runner” this week when I get it.

 

Momoi Haruko – FAMISON 8-BIT STAGE 2 August 25, 2008

Filed under: Momoi Haruko — solarblade @ 3:49 am
Tags: , , ,

Track Listing

  1. Pegasus Gensou
  2. Bara wa Utsukushiku Chiru
  3. Dare Yori mo Tooku e
  4. Midori no Hidamari
  5. R-R-R-Russian Roulette
  6. Shin Obake no Q-Tarou
  7. Majokko Megu-chan
  8. Attack NO.1 no Theme
  9. Sukisuki Song
  10. Hana no Ko Runrun
  11. Tonari no Totoro
  12. Teleportation -Koi no Mikakunin-
  13. Youkai ni Goyoujin
  14. Banana no Namida

1. Pegasus Gensou

The instant you start this up you will figure out is that this album is all 8-bit music and Momoi is a seiyu.  Put the two things together and you have uber cute.  Pegasus Gensou sounds like Pokemon and it’s downright freaky.  I would say she is using sounds from said games and oddly the tune is a cute one.  Momoi sounds weird but that’s because seiyu’s are usually that way anyway.

2. Bara wa Utsukushiku Chiru

I don’t know what to say but this song has a dark feeling to it (then again I’m used to Nana’s version).  So, it’s pains me to say I wasn’t feeling this version.  I did like the descending lines after she says the title that was just perfect to me. 

3. Dare Yori mo Tooku e

OMG, her voice is painful in this song and just so awkward to even listen to.  Then again the video game theme works in this song and could be used in once again Pokemon…Yea it’s that 8-bit.  Not my favorite track.

4. Midori no Hidamari

What?  This has a bit more adventurous and got some interesting stuff going on but I’m still kind of turned off by her vocals.  I can picture her as a character and just going on an adventure on this song.  I love the sounds of this one though.

5. R-R-R-Russian Roulette

Though we continue the very strange vocals, we get a more consistent song with this one.  The synths are a bit more deeper and not so peppy and happy.  Oddly, this song is more catchier than the last few songs and has a good synth line! 

6. Shin Obake no Q-Tarou

Then we just get kooky here.  The song is really happy and full of fun sounds and there’s some BKGD vocalists here which brings more life to Momoi’s stressed cute vocals.  Sadly she turns up the ante on the cute and really strikes a chord with me.  Luckily it’s a short track so it doesn’t last long.

7. Majokko Megu-chan

This is got to be one of the better tracks since she sounds ok in this song.  There isn’t too much going on and it sounds like a traveling song which is nice to hear.  Though probably now regular listeners will be like this is just too much and will stop here.  There isn’t nothing new in sound that we haven’t heard earlier.

8. Attack NO.1 no Theme

If they stop there they’ll miss this gem of a song that is this one.  It’s pretty much slower and has a sweet introduction.  After the slow startup we get into a speaking part and it’s where the song shows its colors.  It’s one if her best songs on this album.

9. Sukisuki Song

This song is very fast and is very short too.  Sad most of the time she’s saying ~Suki~.  It wasn’t really memorable to me as it was so repetitive and just crazy.  Still, it is the fastest on the album I’ll give that.

10. Hana no Ko Runrun

Whenever I hear the beginning of the tune, it reminds me of Mario Tennis and how I always lost to Mario damn small buttons!  Still it’s got cute synths and cuter vocals from Momoi which really doesn’t bother me in the song.  It’s just got the right amount of cute but not being overbearing.  Well, it’s H!P’s lane of cute but with Nintendo sounds.

11. Tonari no Totoro

I’m really confused about this song.  One side it’s got a fantasy like sound to it, but on the otherhand, I really hate Momoi in this song.  There’s just something that really makes me cringe from this song and it’s Momoi’s awkward vocals.

12. Teleportation -Koi no Mikakunin-

I thought it was going to be a mysterious song but then it turns to another friggin happy song.  Not that there’s anything bad but there’s just too many uberly cute stuff here.  Thouch I love how she says ~Teleportation~ it’s just the right English. 

13. Youkai ni Goyoujin

Laidback is what this game track is.  Except it is ruined by the horrible sounds of Momoi.  IMHO she should have just gone with her natural voice because she sounds horrible being layered.  Then again it stands out because of it’s relaxed overall sound.  So it’s a case of good sound with bad vocals.

14. Banana no Namida

Well this is definitly catchy.  It’s got an islandy feeling to it which is a nice change then again it’s still 8-bit so you know how strange it would seem to be listening to it.  Then again the chorus was just boring and laaaaaame.  Seems like I was playing a Kirby game and if this song came up I’d be like it’s catchy!

Tracks Recommended

  • Attack NO.1 no Theme
  • R-R-R-Russian Roulette
  • Hana no Ko Runrun
  • Banana no Namida
  • Pegasus Gensou

Song of Avoidance

  • Tonari no Totoro

Seriously, this album was very different to me since, I’ve never heard this side of Momoi before.  Actually it’s kind of sad to say the first FAMISON is better, and had more difference and had “Moonlight Densetsu”.  Still 8-bit is at a high point in this album if it wasn’t for Momoi it could’ve easily put in some games easily!

 

immi – Switch August 22, 2008

Filed under: immi — solarblade @ 4:57 am
Tags: , ,

switchimmi

Track Listing

  1. Go with the flow feat. Shigeo
  2. Ups & Downs
  3. Power Station
  4. Hazy
  5. 1 Upper
  6. Milk & Honey
  7. Klaxon (Album ver.)
  8. Cosmic Pink (Album ver.)
  9. Girlfriend? feat. kNY
  10. Local Train
  11. Anju
  12. Lovesong
  13. Klaxon

1. Go with the flow feat. Shigeo

Not that I was going to be shocked, but I was from the starting track.  it’s so aggressive and got some pretty radical beats to it.  It’s actually a nice change to the normal electropop sound and she’s not under the famed vocoder.  Shigeo sounds pretty awesome in the song too being the 2nd voice.  Definitly an awesome 1st track.

2. Ups & Downs

This song has cowbell in it YES!!  The song is a little more darker than the starting track and to be honest it sounds a bit cooler.  Though It would be easier if Immi was a little more stronger vocally because she sounds airy in this song.  I think her voice sounds a bit like BoA’s interestingly.

3. Power Station

Immi’s English is put into question with this song as I can only decipher a little bit.  Though here the song is even more mysterious and kind of has a build like an angry song.  It’s dark and has some interesting lyrics.  I really loved her voice in this song and the synth line of the verses, definitly a memorable track.

4. Hazy

Hazy to me is so weird to listen to with its quiet beats and strange synths.  If there was any less instrumentaion I would have considered this acapella.  The chorus brings in the funky synths and and some quirky lyrics.  Not the best song of the album though.

5. 1 Upper

1 Upper has got some awesome beats to it and some very sensual lyrics from Immi.  The verses did bore me though and made me wanna listen to the beat more then the louder chorus flies by and really struck me.  Her ad-libbing is quiet sexy to hear definitly a plus to hear.  1 Upper is a cool track even with its faults.

6. Milk & Honey

This is what would be like to “Macaroni” from Perfume’s “GAME”.   It’s more of a transition from the E-pop to a more fresher sound because there’s actual drums and guitar in the song.  Though it retains some pretty low synth sounds as the bass of the music.  It still is pretty good and wow there’s some magical qualities in it too which is good for a laidback song like this.

7. Klaxon (Album ver.)

Then, I’m finally disapponted in one of the songs.  The album version of Klaxon is just unusual to me.  The music is a little annoying and somewhat overpowers Immi.  Some of the music in it is pretty catchy but there was just too much sound coming in as just noise.  Though I do love the title.

8. Cosmic Pink (Album ver.)

Sounds a little 8-bit at the beginning.  I haven’t heard the original so I can’t compare much.  This is kinda catchy and really cute.  Immi’s voice is once again airy going through the song until the chorus.  I don’t know if I wanna consider this E-pop but it’s Pop for sure.  Very cute song.

9. Girlfriend? feat. kNY

It’s 80’s synth pop all over again.  The song definitly catches the sound of the era very well.  Then again I can see this being her corniest track…I mean I can picture the PV as her in some exercise outfit…creepy huh?  Thought so, I have to say this is very cute also and just full of girliness.  kNY, though just sounded horrible rapping in it and he sounds horribly flat to me.  Terrible but cute track.

10. Local Train

This would be the first track I heard of from her and it’s so catchy but very dotty at the beginning.  Used as a track in the “Beautiful Techno” series as with MEG and Aira Mitsuki this song is definitly great for the album and definitly great here.  It’s happy, smooth and full of beautiful sounds.  The chorus is so good and just filled with some great sounds from Immi and she’s not even vocally changed. Great dance track.

11. Anju

Wished I knew what it meant since it’s very beat-forward.  This would have been more down Nakata’s lane.  It’s classy and Immi’s airy voice fits once again with the synths and sounds very ethereal, well for a dance track.  I also keep noticing they keep changing the tempo every so often throwing the listener off a lot.  Other than that there isn’t anything too special about the track.

11. Lovesong

I was starting to say that she fell to the “Ai no Uta” group of people but this was a remake of a classic track from The Cure which is totally shocking at least to me.  The song that I knew was rock-affiliated and Immi changed it straight into a dance-heavy track but it’s one of the better tracks off the album and her English seems right here. 

13. Klaxon

The original version of Klaxon is so much better and sounds more better than earlier on.  It’s slower but still aggressive in sound.  Immi’s vocals also surprise me as very smooth and very well laid out.  It sounds like a marching beat in the synths and it just brought so much power in the song.  Her ad-libbing still appears which is great.

Tracks Recommended

  • Milk & Honey
  • Klaxon
  • Lovesong
  • Local Train
  • Go with the flow feat. Shigeo

Song of Avoidance

  • Klaxon (Album ver.)

Is this the year for Electropop?  I mean 1st we have the album that set huge standards Perfume’s “GAME”….Then came the surprising “STEP” from MEG that helped her gain more popularity.  After that came a flourish of singles that became popular from Ami Suzuki, Perfume, and Aira Mitsuki.  Now it’s the end of summer and Immi comes along and blows me away and will probably hold me over until “COPY” comes out.  This album is just as good as any of the Nakata works maybe even better.  Definitly check this album out!

 

 

ICEMAN – GATE II August 21, 2008

Filed under: ICEMAN — solarblade @ 8:25 am
Tags: , , , , ,

gate2

Track Listing

  1. RED gate OPEN
  2. PERFECT FUTURE?
  3. Expander Drive Machine ~ Haten Tojoujin Gata Android no Mita Yume
  4. Wish Matrix
  5. CAUTION!
  6. Space Dreamer
  7. FATE WEATHER
  8. GATE II-sensitive gate
  9. Shining Collection
  10. For the next gate from RED

1. RED gate OPEN

Kind of a bleak opening to an album with this strange opening.  There’s some music to it but it’s happy and getting faster and faster…Definitly some odd stuff going on here.  Freaking out man!

2. PERFECT FUTURE?

Starts out with an odd clapping beat and then the song flies off and really sounds new and fresh.  Though I’m not sure why Michihiro has a lisp in the song.  It’s pretty good and they harmonize pretty well in the chorus.  It’s futuristic and rockin’ at the same time.

3. Expander Drive Machine ~ Haten Tojoujin Gata Android no Mita Yume

Pretty nifty title don’t you think?  This song is just like “PERFECT FUTURE?” but this time Michihiro sounds pissed in this song.  I didn’t really like that sound of his voice so much, and the chorus sounded weird and they say the title sooooo bad.  Though I do like Kenichi’s guitarwork in the song. 

4. Wish Matrix

The beginning left the song in a more standout position since it sounded almost naturistic.  Though I don’t know if I really liked the guitar to have been in this track.  It made it more complicated as song altogether.  Then the chorus comes out and he’s squeaking and that turned me off.  I loved the after-chorus though.  Different to my ears and pretty cool.

5. CAUTION!

A mysterious track this is for sure.  The start is so cryptic and alluring to me, then the dance beats start out which is usual, but then Daisuke plays piano and hits some god awful chords on purpose.  Luckily it didn’t bother me too much as the voices are still there.  It’s got such a hectic beat.  Michihiro comes in sounds pretty cool getting some fast lyrics out.  A very cool track.

6. Space Dreamer

Kenichi solo at the beginning, then becomes an odd pop tune.  With organ in it which is awkward and Michihiro being so forceful with the lyrics.  I like Daisuke playing the piano though that sounded nice but this was just weird overall.

7. FATE WEATHER

Kenichi totally owns in this song and so does Daisuke for that matter.  This is probably the fastest track so far and synths and fast and so is Kenichi too.  The chorus has them once again showing they can sing in tune.  If they were thinking space travel they hit gold doing this track.

8. GATE II-sensitive gate

Title track is actually a more subdued track and softer.  Michihiro though is speaking in the song which turns the listener off, it’s mostly a Daisuke track however since he’s leading most of the synths.  When he plays the melody it sounds like something from FFVIII.  Maybe it’s just me being too close to that series and all.

9. Shining Collection

ICEMAN is mostly famously known as them guys who did the Gravitation opening and this song was that song.  Even faster than “FATE WEATHER” this song is hectic and so damn fast.  Michihiro even is fast in the verses.  The chorus is prety cool and says ~Shining~ pretty well.  Kenichi and Daisuke worked together and synthed up the guitar actually.  The middle of the song was so cool sounding as epic and crazy at the same time.  No wonder why this song os one of their bests.

10. For the next gate from RED

The ending of the album is a bouncy ending from them, another Daisuke thing but Kenichi is in it also.  It sounds real sinister like something is going to happen.  Think of  the “Metal Gear Solid” series and you’ll that same feeling in this song.  Then the album goes back to the breathing found at the beginning of the album….hmmm strange

Tracks Recommended

  • Shining Collection
  • CAUTION!
  • PERFECT FUTURE?

Song of Avoidance

  • Space Dreamer

GATE II was actually pretty good and a definitly a turning point where they were getting more futuristic in their overall sound.  Actually most of it was based on that if not all of them.  Shining Collection definitly was a high point in the album, being so damn fast and all.  I recommend this album