Kurayami Monogatari

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MEG – BEAUTIFUL May 26, 2009

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 10:58 am
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beautiful

Track Listing

  1. DAYS
  2. PRECIOUS
  3. TELEPHONE
  4. LIES
  5. STAR
  6. STAND
  7. WHY
  8. JOKER
  9. SKIN
  10. BEAUTIFUL
  11. FREAK <yasutaka nakata remix>*

* = only on DVD

1. DAYS

DAYS begins the album off….but oddly it’s an introduction and it’s quite bad.  The synths are like really bad because they are on these horrible chords and add on with MEG’s long and drawn out singing it really seems like it’s too slow for it’s own good.  The later half she’s talking against the synth issues and then kind of ends.  Yikes, this was not the way to begin an album off at all!

2. PRECIOUS

PRECIOUS is actually the only single to really represent the album which is kind of unfortunate in some cases.  Luckily, since it’s release last year in the summer it’s been oddly getting better and catchy.  Even though it’s considered old, PRECIOUS is still the very spacey electropop track that I’ve fallen in love with.  MEG’s vocals are a little deeper than normal which is cool.  Yes, I can’t mention this song without mentioning it’s PV with the cats YES PEOPLE CATS!!!

3. TELEPHONE

Our first new track comes up and it starts out hopeful since it’s acoustic guitar and synths which usually in Nakata talk = amazing song.  Well, don’t be surprised, but it’s quite awesome.  There’s some instances where I think Nakata is channeling Ami’s last album because I get that feel, but otherwise it’s still MEG-like and I kind of like it. 

4. LIES

Of the previews, I liked LIES a lot.  It reminds me of another MEG song at the beginning and I can’t remember at all.  Anyways, after that a very cool synth melody MEG comes in again and the song becomes something that tells me, that the should’ve been faster because I’m almost bored, but luckily the chords and melody are pretty good.  It sounds like “SUPERSONIC” got it’s tempo shot down basically.

5. STAR

A nice piano line begins STAR off, but quickly it gets really bothersome as it just kind of continues on (at least it changes notes).  STAR also brings out the fact that it’s the first ballad of the album which is so better than the songs off of “BEAM”.  Sometimes I think it’s a little too boring, but at least there’s something that keeps me interested in the song and I think it’s the whole natural vs. synthetic sound going on.  Good song.

6. STAND

STAND to me sounds a bit more like her “STEP” works which is nice to hear and then hearing more of the acoustic guitar again interested me good.  Though the rhythm seems a bit weird at the start, but things pick up after a while and it sounds like one of the stand (pun) out tracks from the album.  It’s quite nice to hear overall.

7. WHY

WHY though was the track that I wanted to hear as well because it’s hard and definitly freaking cool.  The synths from Nakata doesn’t sound much like anything he’s done on the album or any single…well….maybe “ONE”.  MEG is oddly sounding pretty interested especially in the chorus and to be honest…WHY is the “Mysterious” off this album since it was so out of left field here.  AWESOME.  Even better us the whole call and response thing she’s doing in the song….EPIC

8. JOKER

Is it bad that when I hear this I think of “One Room Disco”?  I seriously think Nakata is using the same synthesizer as both songs, so I otherwise declare this the album’s worst song.  I thought this was going to be a harder track, but I guess not.  Even MEG sounds more bored here than normal which is very unfortunate….especially being after such an epic track like “WHY”.

9. SKIN

The tracks here on out were all promotional songs for the album.  SKIN definitly wasn’t something I expected to have been promotion material, but there it was with a very WTF PV to back it up.  Seriously, though she chose an awesome song to have gotten it, because SKIN is like “MAKE LOVE” and “SUPERSONIC” rolled into one because like both they were more music fronted than lyrically important.  SKIN though really takes off because of the bouncy beat and the more grittier synth and I hear a bit of guitar in it which is awesome.  SKIN easily wins best song off the album.

10. BEAUTIFUL

MEG hasn’t had a title track since her debut album and it took Nakata that long to make one for her.  (BTW, where’s STEP and BEAM huh?)  Anyways it was the last PV to leak out and honestly, I wasn’t feeling much for it.  I mean it is slower than her previous PV’s which is a shocker she chose this to represent the album.  I have to say for being more of a ballad, this was a nice change after the frantic “SKIN”.  I kind of like the song more than when I hear it with the PV, but then again I don’t have to watch them dancing cats.  Another good choice and great way to end the album.

11. FREAK <yasutaka nakata remix>

I’m reviewing this track because it’s promotional for the album…I’m surprised it wasn’t even on the tracklist.  Anyway if memory serves you right, FREAK was a big WTF earlier this year because of MEG x Hadouken!  Luckily, for the fans she released a “Nakatafied” version of said song.   Other than the arrangement changes MEG has also been vocodered even further which is a risky touch on Nakata’s part.  Some points, I really like this version, but sometimes I think parts are a bit sloppy and in the end I really liked the original better because it was more in your face!

Tracks Recommended

  • SKIN
  • WHY
  • PRECIOUS
  • LIES
  • BEAUTIFUL

Song of Avoidance

  • DAYS

I got to be honest, I felt this album was a step-down to “STEP” (another pun).  I felt that Nakata was being too safe this time around and didn’t have the memorable songs that her previous album had.  MEG did surprise me with a few songs but otherwise, this album wasn’t as raw as it could’ve been because c’mon no really heavy beats this time around…I’m sorry, but this album will have to grow on me.

 

HIMEKA – Asu e no Kizuna

Filed under: HIMEKA — solarblade @ 10:14 am
Tags: , ,

asuenokizuna

Track Listing

  1. Asu e no Kizuna
  2. Sayonara Solitaire
  3. Asu e no Kizuna ~Instrumental~

1. Asu e no Kizuna

HIMEKA starts off her debut single with well, a typical anime opening-like song.  Asu e no Kizuna has the usual formula going on, but the nice thing is that the song features so great strings and piano mixed in with song rock twinges.  Now I’ve heard HIMEKA’s previous performances and thought she was outstanding, here it seems like she was holding back a bit when things got loud.  Oddly she was hitting the high notes a bit too thin, but otherwise this is better than a lot of debuts I’ve heard so I like this song.

2. Sayonara Solitaire

The B-side doesn’t come as a surprise being a cover….Though the cover is from Chiba Saeko who I know well from singing the theme song for “Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan”  So when I hear the linkage to one another, I kind of WTF since Chiba’s vocals in that song were way too cute.  Luckily, HIMEKA does a great job here showcasing more of her vocals and putting it in a ballad was even better.  She still has debut glitches, but that’s nothing to frown upon.  I thought this was better than “Asu e no Kizuna” IMO.

 

 

SONY did themselves very well by giving HIMEKA the contract because she’s a really good singer and her debut showed it well enough.  Asu e no Kizuna is pretty good for an opening and even though it’s her first song, doesn’t mean it’s not terrible, but maybe one day in the future she could come back to it and give a powerful performance.  Sayonara Solitaire though was amazing and as simple as this ballad is, it really came through in the end and was better than Asu e no Kizuna.  I’m hoping for a great 2nd single