Kurayami Monogatari

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Utada Hikaru – HEART STATION/Stay Gold February 23, 2009

Filed under: Utada Hikaru — solarblade @ 9:30 pm
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Track Listing

  1. HEART STATION
  2. Stay Gold
  3. HEART STATION -Original Karaoke-
  4. Stay Gold -Original Karaoke-

1. HEART STATION

Damn, Hikki’s hitting all the right spots this era.  HEART STATION is once again a very ethereal A-side pops up and it’s sadly more evident that Hikki’s vocals are very weak and not supported when it’s just her singing alot.  Even with that problem lurking about, it’s very smooth and her English lines are just sexii.  She even goes far enough to mention God of all things.  The PV for HS though was just a bit weird and left us with questions about what the hell it meant.  It’s a great song though.

2. Stay Gold

Before the release, Stay Gold was well-known, practically when “Beautiful World/Kiss & Cry” came out.  It starts with a sad piano melody that resonates for most of the song.  Stay Gold brought back the R&B sound Hikki was well-known early in her career, but given a little bit of that new sound.  When the single first came out, I wasn’t liking this track much, but by the time the album was released it became very catchy and stood out for me.

 

 

Even though it was released like a few weeks before the album, we get a single and both songs are powerful in their lyrical content and brought the best of Hikki’s sounds together.  I’m a little surprised that Stay Gold didn’t get a PV, but it’s prolly for the better because all of the PV’s in this era were pretty bad. 

 

day after tomorrow – primary colors

Filed under: day after tomorrow — solarblade @ 7:05 am
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primarycolors

Track Listing

  1. Starry Heavens
  2. Time Machine de Tsuredashite
  3. Fitness
  4. Show Time
  5. Itazura na KISS
  6. CURRENT
  7. Shoujo no Mama de Ita Ano Koro
  8. regret
  9. wind flower ~spring ephemeral~
  10. Dear Friends
  11. These Days
  12. It’s My Way
  13. Hotarubi

1. Starry Heavens

If we have to, begin the album with the most well-known track.  I still don’t see where the whole, awesomeness factor comes in.  I fount the song to be just a little on the boring side and doesn’t have a big surprise in it at all until the guitar solo.  Definitly could’ve began the album more louder.

2. Time Machine de Tsuredashite

Our first new track off the album is probably more along the lines of what I wanted this album to start with.  We actually hear the guys get some singing parts which is good because misono definitly needed some backup.  It’s funny they put in a censored beep.  I was like what the hell is that about, haha.  It’s quite catchy, but the arrangement could’ve been more exciting.  Good track though.

3. Fitness

My prayers were answered with Fitness which did sound pretty cool right from the start.  Even though there isn’t anything exactly groundbreaking at this point.  It’s the usual fare of the combination of synths and guitar.  misono sounds a little dead in the song right up to the chorus.  I guess this is just a filler track for the album.

4. Show Time

I still laugh hard during the song’s first lines.  It’s so hectic and just them having fun with the song.  On the single, it sounded pretty different and so random and it continues to be so damn random on here as well.  The chorus is nicely done by misono and the band using arpeggios…though the transitioning between the bridge/chorus/after chorus is very questionable, it still has a cute charm to it.

5. Itazura na KISS

You know what, IMO this is dat’s best in their entire discography.  The main thing I remember about this song is how much I’d love to karaoke with it once Inuyasha ended.  Just like the previous track, they are having tons of fun for this song and c’mon the riffs are just so cool here.  I think misono sounds really cool here too and doesn’t rely heavily on that crazy vibrato.

6. CURRENT

Returning from the same single “Itazura na KISS” was from, CURRENT was the more serious one.  Once again it seems that it’d be a bit better had it been left on the single.  It’s just like the other tracks, but once again it’s used to split the happy songs, so CURRENT did its job right. 

7. Shoujo no Mama de Ita Ano Koro

Is it coincedence that I’m starting to feel the same just like I did with GND’s debut album?  Like how the songs are starting to sound the same and not enough difference between the songs.  Shoujou no Mama de Ita Ano Koro proves that theory because NOTHING makes it stand out at all.  The chorus reminds me of “CURRENT” which is a bad thing because that track was right before it…the solo though was nice though.

8. regret

See, regret is something this album needed.  It’s what we’d call a rock ballad because the synth aren’t as important as the other instruments this time, such a great change of sound.  I think misono sounds jsut right with this song and if she wanted to, she could cover it in her solo career.  I have no idea why she hasn’t yet, it’s the best of the new tracks.

9. wind flower ~spring ephemeral~

However, the last new track on the album sounds like the return of a more fierce “CURRENT” which is what I really wanted and I got it through this pretty sweet track.  misono is pretty loud and the guitar wailing  just somehow attributed to this songs great power.  I thought it sounded a bit American, but in a good way. 

10. Dear Friends

I’m still surprised at how wintry it starts off and things pick up so quickly for the chorus and dies down again for the verses.  It has a very topsy-turvy arrangement and the guitar riffs are so cool and are very reminescent to a future track of theirs.  What saved the song from bein just another one of their typicals was a stronger presence of actual piano.  Cool!

11. These Days

Why, oh why, did you have to add this song on the album.  There’s a few good things to point out and it’s mostly for piano inclusion, but the song is suffering from the boring syndrome.  It does sound like something that should’ve been on their first full album, but on here it seems like it wasn’t produced fully enough.

12. It’s My Way

Even though the song is a secondary A-side, I thought this was a bit more meh.  I mean with the songs beforehand having a very similar arrangement, come closer to the end, this song is just made worse by inclusion on this album at a very late time.  There’s nothing special here anymore….Best left on the single for sure. 

13. Hotarubi

Hotarubi is a very appropriate song, to finally end the album up.  It just has ending properties that signals the closure.  The single was a good idea, but it kind of was weird paring up with “Show Time”.  At least it makes sense now, so I can appreciate it more than before

Tracks Recommended

  • Itazura na KISS
  • regret
  • wind flower ~spring ephemeral~
  • Dear Friends
  • Hotarubi

Song of Avoidance

  • It’s My Way

dat’s sophomore album, is a minor step-up from their 1st full-album.  I found that a lot of the tracks were very similar to one each other, but it’s nice to know that there was equality between the singles and new tracks (even though it was heavy with single tracks).  I did miss the fact there was no piano-only ballad though, but we’ll see with their final album.

 

Kaya – Meikyoku Series 1: Bon jour! Chanson

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 2:46 am
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bonjourchanson

Track Listing

  1. Aux Champes-Elysees
  2. C’est si bon
  3. Je te veux
  4. Padam Padam
  5. Barairo no Jinsei

1. Aux Champes-Elysees

We begin with an orgel opening, but pretty short.  Then it leads to a very weird, happy track and Kaya sounds like a chick, but given one of the childish music tracks that you’d see in Disney flicks.  It’s not good for Kaya to start off, sounding like a gal.  There’s even a flute here….what the hell is wrong here? 

2. C’est si bon

I think things really start to get stranger because Kaya once again delves into the Jazzy/Lounge genre once again.  I always keep thinking Kaya is saying ~Sexy Bomb~….Maybe it’s fitting to the song’s mood because it actually does sound really good, even for Kaya.  The long sax solo also just made the song so much more interesting and sweet. 

3. Je te veux

Je te veux starts off with Kaya and some accordions being muffled, and it sounds like carnie music.  That’s when it gets annoying, the music arrangement doesn’t change much and the muffled sound is through the entire track, which is just horrible at this point.  My least favorite track, even the musical interlude with the random duck quacking, is just WTF…

4. Padam Padam

Kaya finally bring in his firepower in this track that would sound so perfect in a Cirque du Soleil performance.  Kaya’s lower pitched vocals are filling out and hearing the dramatic French properties, it gave the song a very vibrant outlook.  Definitly one of his best unique works for me.

5. Barairo no Jinsei

Finishing off the mini-album is the ballad, Barairo no Jinsei.  It seems oddly strange on the mini because it seems to be a futuristic French themed song.  Maybe a little reggae thrown in just for the fun of it?  I don’t know but the mixture seemed pretty outlandish and maybe would’ve been better left off, perhaps.  I do like Kaya’s airy vocals and the strings though. 

 

 

Ok, where the hell is my trance, Kaya?  The mini-album is definitly French-themed and the songs really do well showing off the music from the country.  I am surprised at how off-the-wall it is for him, maybe except C’est si bon, but he’s doing good changing up his styles.  Still, I want trance bb!