Kurayami Monogatari

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GACKT – Flower June 30, 2009

Filed under: GACKT — solarblade @ 4:59 am
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flower

Track Listing

  1. Flower
  2. In Flames
  3. Flower (Instrumental)
  4. In Flames (Instrumental)

1. Flower

Who would’ve expect GACKT (now penned as) to release a hard rock track in the name of Flower?  I thought we were going to get a more softer track.  I was kind of happy with what we got here because it loud and stronger than a good portion of the tracks released in this project.  There’s just a lot f everything in this trac GACKT sounds good here.  Good track in its own respect.

2. In Flames

In Flames actually brings out the more experimental side of GACKT again.  In Flames is quite the mysterious track in this collection with it’s distant sounding piano and guitar passages.  After a while things start getting crazy with a heavier rock sound.  It kind of has this epic factor just like how “LOST ANGELS” had, but even more creepier.  I think he saved the best for last.

 

 

GACKT ends this off his month-long project with the best single of the four.  Flower shows off what he’s best known for and his rock sound continues to be surprisingly amazing.  In Flames though was clearly better and I loved how eerie it is then it turns hardcore and stuff and goes back and forth.  Wow, he did live up to the end.

 

Mai Kuraki – Winter Bells

Filed under: Mai Kuraki — solarblade @ 12:21 am
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winterbells

Track Listing

  1. Winter Bells
  2. thankful
  3. always -Gomi’s Lair Club Mix- (Radio Edit)
  4. Winter Bells ~Instrumental~

1. Winter Bells

I’m not sure why the song starts out in the studio with some guy talking…anyways, whenever someone would ask me name a song that reminds me of Mai Kuraki, Winter Bells comes up first because well, it’s so joyous and giddy in a good way.  Mai’s vocals are a bit soft-spoken, but I love this song too much for my own good.  She chose a great song to be an A-side IMO

2. thankful

thankful is of course the ballad of the single and sadly it’s terribly bland.  I mean it’s got piano and a light R&B sound going on and well, you can’t get any more unoriginal after this.  It does gradually get better and more musically better as well…but ~I’m so sankful?!?~ whoa Mai-K, fix your English please xD

 

 

Mai-K does her self good here with Winter Bells, the overly fun and joyous winter song and thank god it wasn’t a ballad….thankful was that and I quite hated it for sure….not the most original track she’s done, but I know she can do better for sure.

 

Hitomi Shimatani – Ichiba ni Ikou June 29, 2009

Filed under: Hitomi Shimatani — solarblade @ 11:57 pm
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Ichibaniikou

Track Listing

  1. Ichiba ni Ikou
  2. SPLASH
  3. Ichiba ni Ikou (Instrumental)
  4. SPLASH (Instrumental)

1. Ichiba ni Ikou

Well, we finally get something new and original from Hitomi and it also becomes one of the styles Hitomi gets to be known for a lot.  Ichiba ni Ikou and a Spanish flavor to it and it’s quite ethnic and quite cool for her.  There could be some Asian influences as well, but this song has a nice summery feel to it that would make anyone sway their hips to it.  It’s a catchy track I’ll say and I like it.

2. SPLASH

SPLASH is also Spanish-influenced as well but features a vivid cast of brass within the songs entirety.  I actually prefer this track over “Ichiba ni Ikou” since it sounds more together and Hitomi’s vocals shine better in the song.  I don’t know why, but this song is definitly a strong ass B-side, can’t help but love it.

 

 

Oh wow avex….who knew you’d get it right on the 3rd single of the “PAPILLON” era.  Unlike the awkward “Kaihouku” or cover “papillon”, this time Hitomi went all out latin on us and I loved this single good.  Both Ichiba ni Ikou and SPLASH took the fun in latin tracks and made em her own and it worked very well.  I’m even more elated that both tracks appear on the album, that made me happy!!!!

 

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – Tadoritsuku Basho/Oxalis

Filed under: HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR — solarblade @ 11:36 pm
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tadoritsukubasho

Track Listing

  1. Tadoritsuku Basho
  2. Oxalis
  3. Tadoritsuku Basho (MOVIE VERSION)
  4. Tadoritsuku Basho (Less vocal track)

1. Tadoritsuku Basho

After the amazing “Enrai”, Tadoritsuku Basho went for a more pop like sound which is pretty interesting since Tadoritsuku Basho isn’t all about heavy sounds and hard rock sounds.  It’d definitely different from what they’ve previously been releasing and in this case, I’m not a big fan of the song because well, it’s quite boring actually xD.  Maaki tries to keep some emotion and Yuusuke’s rapping parts were covered by the music so it was pretty tough to follow. 

2. Oxalis

Same problem lies within Oxalis because this track is basically the same exact track.  I mean it is a different melody but the same emotion just pops off here.  It’s also a pop/rock ballad which kind of disappointed me.  Sadly, the song is quite worse actually because Yuusuke is singing in a bad way….oh well….

3. Tadoritsuku Basho (MOVIE VERSION)

So both songs were used in the same movie where Maaki was lead singer for a fictional band.  Weird that the A-side’s movie version is on this single while Oxalis’s appears on the upcoming album.  If you really think about it, Yuusuke isn’t even part of the song which I guess is good and the song sounds a bit more raw I guess?  Then after a while, I start to miss Yuusuke’s parts and the song sadly feels empty….hmmm

 

 

Honestly, this is HandMC’s worst single to date.  Both songs did nothing for me and they were both boring rock ballads.  The movie version made Tadoritsuku Basho sound even more boring than it already was.  I’m sorry but what the hell happened here.

 

 

Tohoshinki – Stand by U

Filed under: Tohoshinki — solarblade @ 10:18 pm

standbyu

Track Listing

  1. Stand by U
  2. Tea for Two
  3. Sky
  4. Stand by U ~Luv Behind The MLD mix~ (CD only)
  5. Stand by U (Less Vocal)
  6. Tea for Two (Less Vocal)

1. Stand by U

After the somewhat high energetic “Share The World”, we calm down for our next A-side, Stand by U.  It’s got a pretty safe-sounding arrangement to it and more of the soft-spoken vocals from the guys.  It’s actually calming, but the piano kind of annoys me here since it’s just hitting notes over and over and it bugs me.  Luckily the guys sing out in the chorus and it sounds great.  I think I like this track a bit.

2. Tea for Two

Tea For Two is basically just like “Stand by U” but instead of piano there’s an actual beat to it and there’s even strings to even out the playfield for the song.  It does sound similar to one of their songs….but which one I have no idea.  Still, it’s not as good as “Stand by U”.

3. Sky

I was surprised that Sky would’ve been the more aggressive track on this single and I love it.  I mean it isn’t as epic as the remixes of the past singles, but at least this has punch to it where the others don’t really have one.  I swear though the song sounds like something Kuu would’ve sung to because the arrangement just has the Kuu sound to it.  Good B-side.  Then you look at more closely, you’ll be disappointed because it is an old track….back in the “Five in the Black” era….first “Asu wa Kuru Kara” and now this?  Why are they once again recutting their old tracks?

4. Stand by U ~Luv Behind The MLD mix~

The only remix on the single…this kind of took the song into a more R&B style (albeit light R&B).  The first thing I notice is the synths here are kinda out of place while taking that annoying piano repetition…it’s kind of a love/hate kind of relationship here.  I’m not gonna say I like this remix more or less than the original, but it could’ve had some more work done to it.

 

 

Tohoshinki’s 2nd release of the era continues this whole safe sound which I kind of disliking.  I’m waiting for some epic ballad or hard dance track.  Stand by U is alright, but that piano hitting needs to stop and the remix didn’t exactly help the song any either.  Tea for Two sounds vaguely familiar and I can’t decide if that’s good or not….still Sky was the best off the single…hmmm 3rd single should get them back up strongly….i hope…

 

Ai Kago – no hesitAtIon

Filed under: Ai Kago — solarblade @ 9:48 pm
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nohesitation

Track Listing

  1. no hesitAtIon
  2. Children of the night
  3. no hesitAtIon (Instrumental)
  4. Children of the night (Instrumental)

1. no hesitAtIon

Another ex-H!P artist debuting this year?  How crazy right?  Well Aibon releases her first A-side and in some ways it’s good and some ways its bad.  Good thing is that the song’s pop/rock sound works for her and it somewhat sounds like something Ai Otsuka would release, but then the bad thing of the song is Ai’s vocals through some of it.  She sounds nasally some of the time and I quite dislike it.  It’s still pretty lively and filled with good emotions and it’s cute hearing Aibon saying ~hesitation~.

2. Children of the night

The B-side is of course a ballad, so it was easy to have guessed it was.  Though all of a sudden, Ai’s vocals become nice and sweet under the acoustic guitar arrangement.  It’s definitely more fitting than the A-side and well, hearing Aibon using English in the song is pretty rad.  I think that half the song is English….talk about sweet.  Cute interlude with Ai speaking in the middle of the song. 

 

 

So after Aibon’s bad experiences during her stint with H!P she finally returns and under a new label and well, she definitely shows future greatness, but I think one of her problems is her idol voice still bores through the song and well, she’s not an idol anymore.  no hesitAtIon was alright, but Children of the night was something super nice from Aibon…hope for a good future for her.

 

capsule – Sugarless GiRL

Filed under: capsule — solarblade @ 6:38 pm
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capsule

Track Listing

  1. Welcome to my World
  2. Starry Sky
  3. REALiTY
  4. Sugarless GiRL
  5. Catch my breath
  6. Spider
  7. MUZiC
  8. melting point
  9. Sound of Silence
  10. Secret Paradise
  11. Star Sniper (iTunes exclusive)

1. Welcome to my World

All that’s going on here is just a talking opener to the album.  That’s just because we love our stock vocals right?  It’s kind of freaky actually since it’s a female robotic voice….shocker right?

2. Starry Sky

That voice actually reappears into our first track off the album which was also the lone A-side released single for the album.  Starry Sky does drag itself at the start since it has a long instrumental before Toshiko comes in and sings off.  Now right from the start, you can tell this is a evolution of capsule because of the harder synth style and J-tek style that has taken over.  Now all of the vocoder also works here as well giving Toshiko something to make her off vocals work and this is a good way to begin the album.

3. REALiTY

I’ll be honest, the first B-side off the album, REALiTY is another surprise, especially to the more Shibuya-kei fans because not only does it not feature Toshiko it’s got a male vocalist going on here and I kind of like the songs where Nakata uses a male voice for a song (like “Phantom”).  After a while it does become a little too formulaic and maybe a bit repetitive, but y’know how J-tek works.

4. Sugarless GiRL

The next three tracks, are like the trinity to capsule on this album.  Starting off with Sugarless GiRL which was a B-side to “Starry Sky” (WTF, why is this a B-side?????).  Clearly Nakata didn’t have high hopes, but this song would be the epitome to what capsule new sound was like and was further driven for other acoustically driven J-tek songs like Perfume’s “Computer City”.  To be quite honest, it is their best song they’ve had so far.  I mean it isn’t as heavy like the last two tracks, but it’s enough to dance too and Toshiko returns as well.  Toshiko also added some emotion to the song which made it even better….ahhhh this song is a legend.

5. Catch my breath

I kind of consider this to be a long interlude rather than a full on track…I mean well it’s two parts repeated and Toshiko isn’t even it (at least I don’t think so).  Why I consider it part of the trinity?  Well it bridges “Sugarless GiRL” and “Spider”.  Now this has a heavier beat and it sounds dark but the thing that gets me, is that the lyrics are hard to decipher.  It’s those damn stock vocals, but in my mind, I think not knowing what they are saying is actually quite different.  ~It’s nice to know that you were there.  Thanks for acting like you care, I can hardly catch my breath~  Sweet ass line.

6. Spider

Then we get to Spider, Damn…this was one mindfuck of a song going around IMO.  Toshiko returns and she brought freaky in a new way.  The arrangement does have electric guitar which is pretty cool and the heavy dance beats continue.  Seriously though, Toshiko’s lack of emotion in the song worked especially when the topic is about how she’s stuck in love and this person is like a spider.  The chorus though kind of draggy, it pretty dark-like and eerie especially when Toshiko is all like ~spidaaaaaaaah~

7. MUZiC

Enough of that fangasm xD.  MUZiC kind of bores me actually.  I mean there’s a bit of a lulz factor to it, since the song sounds like something from some gay porno.  There’s some moans here and there and the beats is jumpy which is nice.  I just found this song to just fly by me, but it’s funny to hear it once in a while, just for those moans.  After a while stock vocals return too….hmmm lack of Toshiko FTL.

8. melting point

Strange to have a piano interlude on an electro capsule album….It just doesn’t seem to fit at all on here (then again, it wouldn’t really fit on any of their other albums).  So it’s longer than the opener and I guess it gives us a break from the album.

9. Sound of Silence

~I’ve never felt this sound of silence!~  Oh wow, this would be under something different on the album as it is more pop-laced than the other tracks, but once again no Toshiko in sight.  It’s more around the club/house sound and I quite like it actually since the music sounds easily like a Perfume tune, but with stock vocals.  It’s quite interesting and I like it, though throw in some Perfume though….xD

10. Secret Paradise

Ending off the main album, Secret Paradise is quite the odd track IMO.  I don’t know why but it seems ethereal as a J-tek track, then again it actually sounds like something off their last album so it’s nice to see something on here that’s like that.  Still the whole sound of it is quite nice actually. 

11. Star Sniper

So if you bought the album via iTunes, you get another track…hmmm Star Sniper is different from the other tracks in the way it sounds a little tribal almost or maybe that’s me.  I love the heavy synths playing around here.  There’s some whispering going around which bothers me, since iono what language it’s in….French?  Who knows, I guess after all that the song just doesn’t make me like it much…where’s my Toshiko?

Tracks Recommended

  • Sugarless GiRL
  • Spider
  • Catch my breath
  • Sound of Silence

Song of Avoidance

  • Star Sniper

capsule really made their fans turn their heads in two directions with this album.  Some like the new fresh sound Nakata was using on the album while others were basically shunning them because they lost their original sound altogether.  For me, I actually love this album and shows Nakata can do a lot more than pico-pop and thrust himself into the J-tek field.  Sugarless GiRL is one of their best if not their best album.