Kurayami Monogatari

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OK, some news here and a poll ^_^ October 19, 2008

Filed under: ~Announcements~ — solarblade @ 5:49 pm

As you may see at the top, I’ve added a new page, which shows 10 tracks that was randomly picked out of my iTunes stash.   I’ve also added a poll which corresponds to the 10 tracks.  I want you all to do my poll if you can or want to.  At the bottom there’s some other things i ask of you guys to comment on

Oh yea, You all probably noticed that I’ve added Gackt & Nana Mizuki they will be two of the last artists I’m reviewing….last artist your wondering?

HANGRY & ANGRY

Yep, the last artist/group i’m adding is this brand new addition to the H!P party.  I mean it’s totally different and yet it has ex-Morning Musume members Yossy and Rika ^_^ I’ve heard their new track and they sound great.

 

Nana Mizuki – STARCAMP EP

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 4:20 pm
Tags: , ,

Track Listing

  1. Astrogation
  2. COSMIC LOVE
  3. Dancing in the velvet moon
  4. Soradokei

1. Astrogation

What actually got me into Nana Mizuki is this track which is a great combination of the strings and a strong dance track.  There’s something about that sounds so fresh to me and it probably is the strings.  If it was my choice, I’d think this’d be perfect for GUNDAM.  Now I think Nana’s vocals sound so much better than the other “Nana” I’m reviewing.  I really love this track a lot (thanx Efanz)….

2. COSMIC LOVE

COSMIC LOVE starts off weirdly and then turns into this crazy pop track.  It’s definitely more faster than “Astrogation” and the constant beat keeps it in perfect containment.  Nana this time sounds good, but the song is asking a lot from her because she’s singing pretty fast and taking a lot of short breaths in and out of the phrases.  I guess it’s alright, but not to the likes of “Astrogation”.

3. Dancing in the velvet moon

The powerful track in the single and to be truthful, I like this just as much as the A-side.  There’s some pretty sweet moments where the strings and piano take over.  I also noticed Nana’s vocals are pretty powerful as well.  It might sound like she’s struggling for the high notes, but I don’t really pay attention since I’m liking this whole dance/classical song.  Think of Hitomi Shimatani’s “crossover” stuff but leaning more on the dance side.

4. Soradokei

To end the single is this soft track which is pretty surprising after three dance-like tracks.  We get to hear more of her controlled vocals and not the high-note party.  I actually like how her vocals sounds pretty girly with the instrumentation.  Even though it’s a little slower.  They could have kept the synth stuff out, IMO because it just kind of took away from the song.  Still, a nice calm pop track.

 

 

Nana Mizuki also being a seiyuu surprised me with this single.  Not a lot of seiyuu’s can’t fully sing good, but Nana can and that’s great and this single showed off her vocals in a very good way.  Leading track, Astrogation is a great example and musically was amazing.  COSMIC LOVE has to be my least favorite but that’s not saying much since there’s things to like about it.  While Dancing in the velvet moon & Soradokei both complimented each other.  Great single for the new era.

 

Leah Dizon – Destiny Line

Filed under: Leah Dizon — solarblade @ 3:06 pm
Tags: , ,

destinyline

Track Listing

  1. IMPOSSIBLE
  2. Everything Anything
  3. Missing
  4. Koi Shiyou♪
  5. Unmei-sen
  6. Could you be that one?
  7. Are you feelin’ for me?
  8. Softly
  9. Time (Clock of the Heart)
  10. Aishiteru~Love Story
  11. Wonderlin’
  12. L·O·V·E U
  13. Drive me crazy
  14. Again and Again
  15. Koi Shiyou♪ ~yasutaka nakata-capsule mix~ (CD only Bonus Track)

1. IMPOSSIBLE

Alright, this is pretty awesome and has such a great beat to it.  She’s actually using English in the verses which are very surprising to hear on an artists debut album, especially the opening track.  I thought the song gave some great energy despite the vocal issues that Leah has in the first place.  Still, what a nice track.

2. Everything Anything

So hearing this track again brings me back to what I liked about her debut single.  I do like how she incorporated strings for the song and gave the song a needed cute factor.  Sadly, I didn’t really enjoy the fact that she speeds through the verses so fast and in a pretty annoying sound as well.

3. Missing

Leah sings the track with acoustic guitar being the main sound.  Though after the introduction, BKGD vocalists pop up and sing to a brilliant string chord.  I found that the clapping during the second verse was a bit odd.  Leah sounds alright, but not the best I’ve heard from her.

4. Koi Shiyou♪

Her most known song pops up and is the closest to a pop song so far.  I fell in love with the song just from the PV.  There’s just a great feeling when listening to the song especially with the English lyrics that we can understand.  It’s definitly one of her strongest A-sides in her repertoire.

5. Unmei-sen

The sounds of birds chirping leads into our next new track and I liked how softer sounding and pretty it is.  It’s still very pop-like with the beats.  Then the chorus happens and I was like it sounds weird to me because everything up to the end of the chorus she’s pretty monotone.  I think my favorite part is the middle, where things sounds so nice and angelic.  My favorite off the album.

6. Could you be that one?

I’m still like thinking WTF, when I heard the song was used for Ninja Gaiden’s CM.  Like it just doesn’t seem right.  I still think it’s a carbon-copied “Koi Shiyou♪” and that’s not right.  I mean there’s nothing new that made it stand out and to put it on the album makes it filler to me.  Probably the worst track so far.

7. Are you feelin’ for me?

Oh my, is she trying to be all Koda Kumi all of a sudden?  The music is very dance-like and there’s like bells randomly ringing creating this interesting atmosphere.  I think her voice is a little weak putting against this kind of music, but I do like how she took on the song. 

8. Softly

As we enter out ballad debut, I’m quite happy to see this.  Even though it’s still pretty generic as ballads go, I did stop the pop songs for a little bit.  Leah’s vocals sounds so good, but why did the music have to be so bland.  I mean it’s your usual fare of piano and strings.  Nothing to stand out.

9. Time (Clock of the Heart)

A Culture Club remake?  That’s quite disturbing.  So this means that the song is entirely in English which is great.  The song sounds pretty funky with the synth being so fast and bells and strings being the back-up.  Sadly, I felt the song lacked any effort and Leah was just bored through it. 

10. Aishiteru~Love Story

I actually liked this song from it’s respectful single.  Just like I said it’s another aggressive dance track which is definitly a plus for me.  How she flowed through the verses and chorus was great and including clapping beats was a good idea.  Even the brass dropoffs were pretty cool.  Great song.

11. Wonderlin’

Wonderlin’ is pretty odd track.  Like it starts off pretty weird with her singing and the background sounds popping in and out.  Then when the song catches on there’s obviously brass instruments included, but Leah sounded tired or really weak in the song.  I like how the pace quickened at the bridge, nice!  Oh yea, brass solo = WIN!

12. L·O·V·E U

I’m still trying to decide which A-side was worse this one or “Softly”.  While the latter was uninspired, this track was damn annoying.  Like the chorus is consisted with some cheesy lines and spelling the title like crazy.  Like what the hell were you thinking?  It’s just as poppy as a few other tracks, but lyrically it’s pretty bad.

13. Drive me crazy

Just like how “BxKxRxxx” is like punk rock, this track is like what a prelude to it.  Though this one has a lot more synths and some pretty bad vocals this time.  I kind of found the song to be a little underwhelming, but I like her attitude when she says “Drive me crazy” and the little moment of asian sounds, that was surprising. 

14. Again and Again

Learned that she wrote the song with her brother which is a nice thing to do.  The music was quite soothing at the start with bubbles or underwater sounds happening.  Not this is what I wanted “Softly” to be like because this is an actually nice ballad.  Her vocals don’t seem too poor as well, which is great!

15. Koi Shiyou♪ ~yasutaka nakata-capsule mix~

I think this has to be the most awkward remix.  Though it does sounds like Nakata’s works for sure, I was like why did you choose Leah?  Anyway it changed the song into an electropop track and to be honest, I’m not sure if she went under the vocoder.  Sadly, I didn’t really enjoy this remix much because of how strange it sounds.

Tracks Recommended

  • Koi Shiyou♪
  • Unmei-sen
  • Aishiteru~Love Story
  • Again and Again

Song of Avoidance

  • Could you be that one?

Leah’s debut was alright, I’ve heard better but this was a pretty good start.  What I thought was lacking is originality.  A lot of the songs sounded more or less related to other artist’s songs.  There were a few songs that stood out, but that was it.  Another issue is her singing ability, which is mostly pretty weak most of the time…she needs to work on that.  Still, Destiny Line is a good album, even with its problem.

 

m.o.v.e – worlds of the mind

Filed under: m.o.v.e — solarblade @ 1:26 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Track Listing

  1. Blazin’ Beat
  2. words of the mind -brandnew journey-
  3. majestic flight
  4. time machine
  5. silent white?
  6. singin’ 4U
  7. flash you back (electro house mix)
  8. platinum
  9. BREAK IN2 THE NITE
  10. knock’em out
  11. cafe ROZA ~For Johnny and Mary~

1. Blazin’ Beat

This is still my least favorite A-side of the era.  There was just something wrong with the songs presentation.  I mean the brass line was kind of uneventful and pretty blah.  I think Yuri saved the song because she actually sounded nice.  Other than that, motsu didn’t really excite me either.  Luckily it’s the first track.

2. words of the mind -brandnew journey-

As we enter our last single of the era, I was pleasantly surprised at how unique the song really was.  There was some different sounding synths and melodies that made it stand out.  The music had some kind of mysterious life and interesting stuff through it.  Yuri sounded softer than when she sang on “Blazin’ Beat” which is good and motsu sounds a lot more deeper as well. 

3. majestic flight

Another off the wall eurobeat the focuses more on the percussion.  What I first noticed is how smooth the song is and how deep Yuri is singing.  It’s like she was whispering the verses before the bridge comes in where the drums become very loud and you can barely hear her.  It’s nice to know motsu can yell as well.  Definitly stands out from the album.

4. time machine

I think 80’s synth-pop is the perfect way to describe time machine.  Like it’s just the perfect sound from those years.  Interestingly, we start the song off with motsu rapping which is pretty smooth for the most part and when Yuri comes in she’s in a higher register which was not such a good idea because she’s pretty thin on the notes.  Anyways, there’s like BKGD vocals doing the English and even with the bouncy beat, I actually am fond of the song.

5. silent white?

I’m actually surprised to see this track.  It’s still dance, but you know with the song’s speed it’s actually a ballad.  A dance-like ballad?  I think Yuri sounds really good in the song, but the awkward style of combining a ballad and a dance track just didn’t work this time with me.

6. singin’ 4U

I know it’s me but I still think this song is kind of random.  I mean it’s slower than “silent white?” but it has an urban feel and even motsu and yuri are acting like they can totally get down and be cool.  Though I still think the song has good things about it.  It didn’t bore me which is always good, but I’m surprised at the same time.  Song is just nice and smooth.

7. flash you back (electro house mix)

Thank goodness that they remixed “flash you back”.  Problem with the original was how boring it sounded because it lacked any interest and sounded like a lot of the bad tracks off their debut.  This time they gave it a House-feel to it and I think it worked.  This time they took out the synths and added piano to do most of the work.  I still think Yuri has some vocal issues here like in the chorus where she sounds terribly nasally.  Other than that, a pretty good remix.

8. platinum

I knew this was another good A-side.  The song is probably there first dark eurobeat track and it has moments where it felt like it was rock.  The only gripe I really had with the song is how awkward Yuri sounded singing with it, because usually they shouldn’t be mixing from all the rock sounds.  motsu on the other hand raps pretty aggressively and really made the song.

9. BREAK IN2 THE NITE

Still one of my favorite songs, BREAK IN2 THE NITE still sounds pretty different against the album tracks.  Like “Blazin’ Beat” there’s a lot of brass which initially turned me off but at least Yuri sounded pretty good, except that high note before the chorus.  I’m still shocked at motsu’s part in the song because the song goes into this chaotic synth moment…see the PV and you’ll get what I mean.  Still one of my favorite m.o.v.e tracks.

10. knock’em out

knock’em out actually seems very trancey, but has the problem that’s been plaguing them since the first album, which was the whole it feels too slow.  I mean I think that the song could have had its tempo kicked up a few levels.  What I do like is Yuri here.  Once again singing in a pretty smooth fashion against the synths and beats.  Then once you get into it the song slows down even further for motsu’s rapping where I thought was WTF.  His skills are really good and he shoots them out.  Then it stops and goes back to Yuri singing again.  Nifty track really.

11. cafe ROZA ~For Johnny and Mary~

The last track is the longest over 7 minutes long.  It starts kind of odd and sounded like white noise until the actual music starts up and there’s latin influences and piano.  Once again there’s too much percussion which took away from the song.  I actually think motsu kind of ruined the song because it was quite slow for one thing, and I didn’t think they needed a rap section.

Tracks Recommended

  • BREAK IN2 THE NITE
  • words of the mind -brandnew journey-
  • time machine
  • singin’ 4U
  • knock’em out

Song of Avoidance

  • cafe ROZA ~For Johnny and Mary~

Already by the time I heard through the single, I knew this was gonna be a better album than “electrock”.  There were minor problems but they weren’t like too important, maybe they are depending a little too much on the eurobeat stuff, but other than that I thought the album was a good one.

 

 

 

Gackt – REDEMPTION

Filed under: GACKT — solarblade @ 4:59 am
Tags: ,

redemption

Track Listing

  1. REDEMPTION
  2. Longing
  3. REDEMPTION (Instrumental)
  4. Longing (Instrumental)

1. REDEMPTION

I was obviously surprised when this track was announced to be used in Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus.  I always think FF vocal tracks are awesome, so I had high hopes and I was right.  The song just screams hardcore rock and represented the game in a great way.  Gackt’s voice is very strong and very spooky at the same time.  His profound wavering can throw you off, but other than that, it’s a real awesome track.

2. Longing

Longing is just as rockin’ as “REDEMPTION”, but there’s more interesting things happening.  Like Gackt’s voiceis filtered and deeper until the chorus.  The use of synths in the chorus really gave the song a good spark and totally caught my attention.  Then the song goes into this pipe organ moment and sounded quite unusual and freaky.  A great compliment to “REDEMPTION”.

 

 

Gackt’s 1st single of the era is well, for a video game.  Luckily, this was a pretty good single overall.  Both songs are rock hard and very relative to each other.  REDEMPTION is probably one o his best tracks he had in a while, while Longing was just the at the same calibur.  to be honest, I don’t know which one I like more.