Kurayami Monogatari

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Nanase Aikawa – REBORN February 18, 2009

Filed under: Nanase Aikawa — solarblade @ 6:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,

reborn

Track Listing

  1. Yumemiru…
  2. Keep Singin’
  3. I love my way
  4. PRISM
  5. Come Closer
  6. REBORN
  7. GOODBYE YESTERDAY
  8. Dark & bright
  9. Glorious Night
  10. “Sukidayo”
  11. Circle Of Life (Bonus Track)

1. Yumemiru…

You know it’s bad when you take about 4 years to put out a friggin album and the first track is a reworked version of your debut single…Oh no you didn’t GIRL!  I do like the fact that she redid her debut because that song is just effin amazing.  You can really tell her vocals have matured since then which is cool and the whole rock/dance combination is so cool.  You got to remember though that this isn’t a direct cover of “Yumemiru Shoujo ja Irarenai”.  For one thing, the chorus is totally different except the last stanza which is from the original, everything else is brand new.  Music-wise, it’s also from her debut so hmmm.  Worst thing is how she did the “resonance” thing with her PV as well….WTH…

2. Keep Singin’

Keep Singin’ has some dark chords and I love how that her vocals are tinkered with as it sounds a little robotic fitting with this song.  I do wonder how much better if this song was sped up, because that’d be epic right there.  I love how she belts out the chorus with the whole ~Sha-la la laaaaa~.  So cool!

3. I love my way

I really thought this opening was crazy and the guitar+synth riffs was just awesome.  I do question the songs arrangement because the verses seem really dark and creepy and the chorus is all happy and hopeful….It’s just a strange way to go about the song, but luckily this song a good listen and the bridge is awesome.  Nanase seems to have a good rocker chick voice IMO.

4. PRISM

The only song that actually got to be a digital single last year, People were fangasming at how long it’s been since she’s released something.  PRISM does sound a bit different to the earlier tracks as it’s mostly happier and showcases a more powerful Nanase.  The problem is that she is doing a bit of yelling here and there’s other good tracks, but thank god she gave us something before this album.

5. Come Closer

After the string of highly upbeat tracks we get our first ballad in Come Closer.  With just the piano + strings backing Nanase up, this was just a big mood twist because it is so soft spoken.  I really love Nanase’s vocals…she knows when to be soft and be loud.  The percussion just seemed random at first but when the guitars came in through the chorus, it just made the song so much more powerful.

6. REBORN

 Our title track appears next and from the starts it was hard to picture where it was going exactly.  Adding a bouncy synth beat and clapping beats didn’t exactly help, but then the beat sped up so fast for the chorus.  It’s not what you call a good thing to do and then it just stops and goes back to the mid-tempo clapping verses….Srry, but I just didn’t really thought this track had any good flow….

7. GOODBYE YESTERDAY

Organ starts up GOODBYE YESTERDAY and then it turns into a rock track.  The verses have a ethereal kind of sound to it also with Nanase’s subdued vocals also making it feel surreal, but the chorus was so loud and in your face.  Definitly a westernized track, I could imagine this being on the radio in the states, givin if it had an English version LOL.

8. Dark & bright

Whoa, Dark & bright has the freakiest opening on the album.  Then the song turns into a fusion of dance and western-themed guitar.  I was like this is just awesome right from the start.  Just like “Yumemiru…”, this has just the right amount of energy and including some cool BKGD synths, this is another one of my favs from this album.

9. Glorious Night

I love how she accented the beginning parts of Glorious Night, and then it turned into a happy track.  The arrangement is just blazing with synths and guitar-work.  Sadly, the music can be too much for Nanase and cover her which forces her to yell real loud.  There are some awesome parts, mostly in the after chrous after going through the 2nd one. 

10. “Sukidayo”

Of course, a way to finish an album off is with a ballad.  Just like “Come Closer”, she’s more emotional and soft.  It doesn’t even have a trace of drums or anything.  All it is, is a full orchestra, making a stronger impact to the song.  I’ll say it, this is a way an album should end and this was the right example for me.

11. Circle Of Life

Surprisingly, the album has a bonus track on it and it’s not a cover of that famous tune from Lion King.  I love the harder guitars and basic angry singing, but I felt that the chorus was just quite too happy and didn’t sound right with the verses.  Not my kind of track, but I guess it was good to hear it.

Tracks Recommended

  •  Yumemiru…
  • “Sukidayo”
  • Dark & bright
  • Keep Singin’
  • Come Closer

Song of Avoidance

  • REBORN

Wow, for being on this hiatus for so long, you sure did make a comeback with this album.  I had such a good listening experience with this because Nanase can really do high-octane music, but she can also do some great ballads as well.  I just hope she returns to music for now because she is somewhat underrated at least what I see….

 

MiChi – ChaNge the WoRLd

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 6:03 pm
Tags: ,

michi

Track Listing

  1. ChaNge the WoRLD
  2. One of a Kind
  3. PROMiSE (Smart Sports ver.)
  4. HEy GirL (XB remix)

1. ChaNge the WoRLd

At first, I was turned off by the PV that accompanied this track, because it was almost a replica of “PROMiSE” but with paint.  MiChi does sound a lot more better than her last single, thank god.  I actually liked the chorus more than the bridge and how she mixes the English here is more clearer this time around.  I still rather listen to “PROMiSE” though, just cuz it was that good, but this was a nice follow-up A-side.

2. One of a Kind

Yeah, One of a Kind finally brings this punk rock style instead of what “PROMiSE” and the previous track did.  MiChi sounds OMG pissed off, totally awesome if you ask me.  Also the song is all in English which every B-side has been in her career so far and this track is just so cool and showing off some British attitude. 

3. PROMiSE (Smart Sports ver.)

Hey, PROMiSE got some work done to it.  Basically it’s just a more easier listening version because it took out some major sounds, but kept the form.  Like the guitar has a lesser importance than the other stuff.  Maybe there isn’t enough happening in this version…I think the only + side about it is how much clearer the vocals are.  There’s a new part also included which is interesting because synths take over that part and it seems to be cut n’ pasted ad-libbing though…I guess it’s alright though.

4. HEy GirL (XB remix)

Yep the last B-side gets a remix as well and it’s a more dance-friendly remix with not that many vocals.  A lot of bubbly synth and a hard beat to go along which does make it really awesome. I did think the beginning was too long, but surprisingly, this is an awesome dance remix.

 

 

MiChi really did well for herself this single.  All the songs had good hooks and even the remixes were just as good as the originals which is good for me.  One of a Kind is my preferred track, just because it’s more rock than she usually does.  ChaNge the WoRLd was good, just not as good as the previous A-side.

 

Junko Akimoto – Ai no Mama de…

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 6:42 am
Tags: , ,

v30q40

Track Listing

  1. Ai no Mama de…
  2. Wasure Mono
  3. Ai no Mama de… (Original Karaoke)
  4. Ai no Mama de… (Ippanyou Karaoke)
  5. Wasure Mono (Original Karaoke)

1. Ai no Mama de…

I can only imagine why this song is loved so much in Japan for it being NO.1 on the Oricon charts for so damn long.  For being in her 60’s, Junko has a deeper womanly voice and she knows how to control her vibratos unlike some other artists today.  There isn’t much in the music so it isn’t too important because Junko is the important one here.  I like it more than JERO’s “Umiyuki” actually.

2. Wasure Mono

Wasure Mono is still enka, but it’s got a saxophone in it, which usually doesn’t make any sense on any enka track, but luckily it isn’t used too much.  Once again the more minimal, the better.  I got to say, I admire Junko’s vocals here as it’s just emotional and so together.  Even better then the A-side actually.

 

 

I have no idea what number single this is, but all I know is that Junko broke a record for hitting No.1 on the Oricon and it’s that she’s the oldest the reach it, which is showing that Japan still loves their Enka.  Both tracks were just so amazing and even though, I am a tekkie person, this is just a nice leeway out of it.  *RECOMMENDED*

 

OMG, 1st ARTISTS BLOWOUT on a new laptop!

Filed under: ~Artists Blowouts~ — solarblade @ 6:11 am

So yeah, I’ve been paying attention and I wanna add some new artists

Junko Akimoto

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So Junko would be my 2nd offering of the enka style since JERO is the other user of it and seeing as how her song “Ai no Mama de…” is still way high in the charts, I’ll start a review that single and move on to her album “Second Story”

Mari Yaguchi

yaguchi_mari_4531

Yep, Marippe is so going to be reviewed on here.  From way in the start as the member of Momosu to actually have becoming the last member of the LOVE Machine members to leave (not graduate), Mari finally decides to have a solo career.  Her debut is out in March so it’ll be awhile before you see her on the site.

COLTEMÖNIKHA

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It’s been a while, since I’ve reviewed anything related to Nakata, since he’s on his own break for right now.  This duo is a bit like capsule, y’know the girl/guy coupling, but the music is also a little bit different as well.  I’ll begin with their debut self-titled mini-album.

MONKEY MAJIK

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So MONKEY MAJIK peaked my interest when they collaborated with Anna Tsuchiya on “GINGER”.  Since then learning that the bros are Canadian and fluent in JPN is just crazy.  Since they haven’t announced anything recent, I’ll review their “Time” album.

ravex

ravexsn9

Actually what brought me into MONKEY MAJIK to finally appear here was their collaboration with the group.  Another one of those annivarsary groups like GIRL NEXT DOOR….This trio is actually well-known.  Taku from m-flo, Shinichi Osawa, and Tomoyuki Tanaka, they really do make a great team and their works have been great so far.  I’ll start with their debut single and work up

Nanase Aikawa

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Thx to Noah, I found this artist and instantly fell in love with her debut track and since as of today, she released her long awaited album, so I’ll get onto that tomorrow and begin doing her discography.

Bentley Jones

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Probably an unknown to many, Sonic the Hedgehog fans will definitly remember as Lee Brotherton, who did Silver’s Theme “Dreams of an Absolution”.  Since then he’s done different Sonic songs and now is releasing an upcoming album as well as a single that I want to review.  Oh yea, He also remixed Ayu’s “STEP You” and covered “Depend on You” as well giving birth to an English version called “Depend on Me”  YAY!