Kurayami Monogatari

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Buono! – Renai♥Rider February 4, 2009

Filed under: Buono! — solarblade @ 8:49 pm
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renairider

Track Listing

  1. Renai♥Rider
  2. Janakya Mottainaii!
  3. Renai♥Rider (Instrumental)
  4. Janakya Mottainaii! (Instrumental)

1. Renai♥Rider

Unlike “Honto no Jibun”,  Renai♥Rider seems a little more rockier than before and there isn’t really any bad things to note here.  Maybe Momoko can sound a little less nasally, but the song has great energetic qualites and how they tackled the song was great.  There’s a great solo as well.  So much better than their debut.

2. Janakya Mottainaii!

What’s with the other H!P groups having better B-sides than their A-sides?  Janakya Mottainaii! reminds me of fellow MilkyWay’s “Sansan GOGO” as it has the same rock feeling and other similarities.  I also found it weird that the 2nd verse from both tracks on this single are both muffled.  I think it did its job right.

 

 

Buono! final single for the “Cafe Buono!” era was just downright amazing.  Both  songs were awesome rock tracks and was different at the time of its release for H!P.  I’m a little saddened that Janakya Mottainaii! wasn’t featured on the album, but I’ll live, I hope. 

 

 

Utada Hikaru – Beautiful World/Kiss & Cry

Filed under: Utada Hikaru — solarblade @ 7:57 pm
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beautifulworld

Track Listing

  1. Beautiful World
  2. Kiss & Cry
  3. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) -2007 Mix-
  4. Beautiful World (Original Karaoke)
  5. Kiss & Cry (Original Karaoke)
  6. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) -2007 Mix- (Original Karaoke)

1. Beautiful World

People definitly said that this was the epitome of her ethereal J-pop style that she’s heavily been under since “DEEP RIVER”.  Honestly, I can agree to it since it isn’t so slow, but more like a dance-like vibe.  The lyrics are a little more on the sad side of things which throws people off because of how dancey it is.  I’m starting to notice though that Hikki is getting weaker with the higher notes for some reason.  Another fault was the long ending…You didn’t need to ad-lib for that long Hikki…Still I love this song.

2. Kiss & Cry

Well, obviously you’ll notice the mood change pretty quickly with the brass fanfare that opens up this lively track.  We do seem to go back into the early days of Hikki with it’s R&B styling.  What people will immediatly figure out though is that the bridge is a sample of Hikki’s English track, “Hotel Lobby”.  I for one do think the transition from verse to bridge is a bit wonky…but it isn’t the worst I’ve heard.  Once again though Hikki, your taking too damn long to finish the song up.  I mean it’s bad you ad-libbed in “Beautiful World”, but it’s worse here…Another great track, but bad ending choice.

3. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) -2007 Mix-

I guess it’s alright to feature a cover track that you already covered before Hikki.  Anyways Hikki fine-tuned a track that was originally found on her “Wait & See ~Risk~” single.  There wasn’t much difference between the two minus a few sound changes, but they were so minor you might as well miss it.  Still, you gotta wonder why she chose such an odd track, other than the movie tie-in.

 

 

Even though this single wasn’t phenomenal like “Flavor Of Life”, This was a pretty strong single for being a double A-side.  Beautiful World is a great song and probably the most memorable of the era, or maybe it’s the others….yea it was that hard picking a favorite of the era.  Kiss & Cry was a nice nod to the past and the resampling of a previous track was genius.  Once again the cover track doesn’t appear on “HEART STATION” which is just well….stupid and it still remains the only track in her JPN discography to not appear on any album.

 

Tommy heavenly6 – Heavy Starry Heavenly

Filed under: Tommy heavenly6 — solarblade @ 6:30 pm
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heavystarryheavenly

Track Listing

  1. Heavy Starry Chain
  2. Stay away from me
  3. I’m Gonna SCREAM+
  4. My bloody knee-high socks
  5. DOOR MAT
  6. Lollipop Candy ♥BAD♥ girl [album version]
  7. THE CASE
  8. ABOUT U
  9. I♥XMAS
  10. Pray
  11. GOING 2 MY WAY!
  12. Lucky Me

1. Heavy Starry Chain

Beginning the album with the final single of the era, Heavy Starry Chain was definitly the right choice to have it start up as it is her hardest song as well.  The guitar riffs blare out and there’s obvious angst throughout that made me just fall in love with the song.  Tomoko also has the right vocals too, love it!!!

2. Stay away from me

The shortest track off the album, Stay away from me has a raw punk style which also sounds funny because of Tomoko’s attitude here.  She’s obviously warning you to stay away.  The chorus was a little happy sounding, but the verses were right. 

3. I’m Gonna SCREAM+

What began the era, appears here and it’s dark almost metal sound was definitly made “Stay away from me” seem a little more like a filler track because to put it in between the two obvious harder tracks just seemed awkward.  I’m Gonna SCREAM+ is just Tomoko’s epic rock track. 

4. My bloody knee-high socks

Other than the minorly disturbing title, My bloody knee-high socks is just like “I’m Gonna SCREAM+” if not literally alike.  Tomoko’s screaming through this tune as well, but what stands out the most is the bass line which was very prominent in the verses.  The chorus is loud and very dark, but I just felt that the song was a replicant of the previous one.

5. DOOR MAT

It sounds like hair metal if you ask me from the beginning.  Once Tomoko comes in, it’s like her deeper vocals just sound so much more better than her screamy vocals.  The chorus does have her yell, but not in her higher register which is good.  This is my favorite of the new tracks.

6. Lollipop Candy ♥BAD♥ girl [album version]

A 3rd rendition of the Halloween song?  Well the album version ditches all of the Halloween-like parts and just sticks with Tomoko’s singing parts and the angry guitar riffs.  I have to say though, as much as I love the song, this is my least favorite version as it just isn’t “Lollipop Candy ♥BAD♥ girl” without the creepy Halloween parts. 

7. THE CASE

My least favorite of the B-sides of the era.  It just bothers me when the chorus flys by because it just sounds wrong.  It’s like forcing me to listen to it by just sounding that bad.  I would’ve wanted “Always Somethin’ New” to have replaced this. 

8. ABOUT U

So, our next B-side appears and like I’ve said before, this can parallel “Hey my friend” from the first album.  It is the slowest track off the album which is a nice change after all those hard rock tracks we’ve had so far.  I found it much more appealing on the album than on the single just because of what I explained.  Props for this song being on the album.

9. I♥XMAS

To have the Christmas A-side was obviously needed for the album, right?  I don’t see where the connection in the music to Christmas, but the lyrics are pretty obvious however.  I was just a little bored with the song on the album and even though it’s in the holiday mood, it just didn’t strike me as anything special.

10. Pray

Pray somehow did get better with time.  As I find it more appealing as well on the album.  There’s still a sense of minor boredom with the song, but the song’s underlying catchiness and guitar riffs really caught onto me in the end.  It’s somehow a little on the short side for me though…

11. GOING 2 MY WAY!

Sadly, I would’ve left this B-side as well.  It’s not that it’s because it’s bad, but this track would just seem to be a filler on the album.  It’s a little too slow and messy to be that effective as a track on this album.  I honestly think it should’ve stayed on the single. 

12. Lucky Me

Ending the album out is the last of the new tracks and was a great album finisher.  Tomoko is using the deeper tone and the song is definitly more upbeat than a lot of the tracks.  There’s great consistency throughout and just ended the album with a great note.

Tracks Recommended

  • Heavy Starry Chain
  • DOOR MAT
  • I’m Gonna SCREAM+
  • Lollipop Candy ♥BAD♥ girl [album version]
  • Pray

Song of Avoidance

  • THE CASE

Unlike “Tommy heavenly6” this album was more cohesive and easier to swallow than her debut.  I think the main problem with this album though is the lack of anything new.  Only 4 tracks were new and 3/4 were lukewarm tracks anyway.  Obviously the singles did drown out the new stuff and while there was an overload of em, they were mostly good stuff.  Still, it’s a pretty good album.

 

JERO – Eisa

Filed under: JERO — solarblade @ 12:36 pm
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covervg5

Track Listing

  1. Eisa
  2. Hare Butai
  3. Eisa (Original Karaoke)
  4. Hare Butai (Original Karaoke)

1. Eisa

Eisa really sounds like traditional enka, even moreso than “Umiyuki”.  Like there’s no modern twists to it and JERO deep vocals really speaks out in the song.  He’s also seemed to work on his vocals since then because he really has no odd notes in the song and he seems to be able to twist his vocals better.  Definity a vast improvement since the debut.

2. Hare Butai

Finally, there’s an actual ballad that isn’t flavored in enka juice.  Hare Butai does come as a surprise because this is almost jazzy in sorts.  JERO sounds really good here and the song has a nice atmosphere with JERO’s vocals.  There’s even strings to add effectiveness in his sound.  Nice B-side.

 

 

JERO’s 2nd and final single of the “Yakusoku” era is actually way better than “Umiyuki”.  JERO has seemed to finally get comfortable in his vocals and even try a new style as well.  Eisa definitly beats my expectations.  I have to say I love Hare Butai a lot!