Kurayami Monogatari

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Aya Ueto – Namida no Niji/SAVE ME June 6, 2009

Filed under: Aya Ueto — solarblade @ 11:47 am
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namidanoniji

Track Listing

  1. Namida no Niji
  2. SAVE ME
  3. way to heaven ~100db mix~
  4. Namida no Niji -Instrumental-
  5. SAVE ME -Instrumental-

1. Namida no Niji

Namida no Niji begins the single off pretty awesomely.  Unlike the uber poppy “way to heaven”, this track is actually a ballad of all things and we get to hear more of a softer side to Aya.  The music is really nice mainly filled with strings and piano and drums.  I thought it was done pretty nicely.  Aya’s vocals however doesn’t well here as they sound a bit off the note most of the time.  It’s alright, nothing too special.

2. SAVE ME

At first, I thought SAVE ME was also a ballad, but it’s actually a rock/pop track which also brings out the better Aya as her vocals are more solid this time around.  Her high notes are a different story though LOL.  Still as I look deeper in the song, it features the same instruments as the last track except with the addition of guitar and bass.  So when it really came down to it, this tops the primary A-side.

3. way to heaven ~100db mix~

I’m not gonna question this, but way to heaven actually got itself a remix.  I really didn’t know what they could do with a remix of a girly pop song, but yet here it is.  Instead of the previous sounds, it’s heavy on the synths and Aya’s vocals and singing are messed around with a lot.  There’s just more music going on instead of Aya singing.  Even then it doesn’t fit in this single at all.  Not so good.

 

 

Aya’s 2nd of the era, Namida no Niji/SAVE ME was a step down from the last single.  First off Namida no Niji was just not that good of a track from here and she’s had better ballads I bet.  SAVE ME was a bit better, and it had a good punch to it, so easily it’s the best.  The remix was just so out-of-place on the single and even then it was a very messy remix at that.  I hope this hiatus has gotten her to make awesome songs.

 

MEG – OK

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 11:22 am
Tags: , ,

ok

Track Listing

  1. OK
  2. I’m in LOVE
  3. OK <sugiurumn remix>

1. OK

Ahhh, OK.  I swear this was one cool track from the “BEAM” album.  Right from the start, I was pleased that it doesn’t drag like “Amai Zeitaku” did and how bouncy the rhythm really was.  It still is cute, but not like where I just wanna turn on Metallica just to feel manly again.  Anyways it’s kind of upbeat in nature, but I’m not sure the lyrics are happy.  I still think this is more of a Perfume track than a MEG, but whatever, this song is pretty good.

2. I’m in LOVE

I am so confused by the B-side as it doesn’t exactly sound like something Nakata would do initially.  Just like “OK” though, there’s a pretty constant beat and MEG is singing a bit better, maybe except in the chorus, but we get another does of happiness which is pretty good.  I was pretty intrigued by the guitar solo in the middle though, like I said not Nakata-like, but this also pretty good. 

3. OK <sugiurumn remix>

Why is it always that sugiurumn has to make these awfully long remixes?  I mean jeeze…almost 8 minutes, you got to be kidding me.  Well, if you know sugiurumn well enough, you should know that the song is more club-like and has a long entrance and let me tell you, it drags big time.  The beat and sound just sounds lazy to me.  MEG’s vocals are filtered a bit, I don’t know but this was just too long and boring.

 

 

MEG ends the “BEAM” era with a better single overall than “Amai Zeitaku”.  Both the A-side and B-side compliments each other very well in this case being the 2nd Nakata single.  The remix however was the singles drawback and I don’t like it much personally.  Otherwise, great way to end the era.

 

Hitomi Shimatani – papillon

Filed under: Hitomi Shimatani — solarblade @ 10:51 am
Tags: , , ,

COVER

Track Listing

  1. papillon
  2. Boys don’t cry
  3. papillon (instrumental)
  4. Boys don’t cry (instrumental)

1. papillon

Does this song sound vaguely familiar to you?  It should because it’s a cover of Janet Jackson’s “Doesn’t Really Matter”.  It’s surprisingly fitting for Hitomi despite the freaky fast lyrics in the verses and chorus.  I know this is a hard track to sing along with and Hitomi actually did a superb job and it garnered Ayu to duet with Hitomi on this song HOW AMAZING.  Now if you don’t know Janet’s version both songs are definitly R&B tracks but with added synths and the like.  It’s really good and another one of those tracks that is memorable enough to tie to the artist. 

2. Boys don’t cry

I kind of got a similar feeling from Boys don’t cry except there’s a bigger influence of brass.  It’s quite interesting we went from a smooth dance track to something that sounds Ayu-ish because it’s all brass and stuff.  Problem is though is that it’s just a too boring and sameish for me.  I’d have to classify it as a pop song gone awry. 

 

 

Hitomi struck right with “papillon”.  After the disappointment of “Kaihouku” avex probably thought something along the lines of, OMG LETS CASH COW HITOMI!   They did it by releasing a cover to a pretty recent song and it sounds pretty good, not as smooth as Janet’s but still pretty good.  They were also smart enough to put the bad song as the B-side because that’s what Boys don’t cry was.  Pretty good.

 

Momoi Haruko – Loosey Goosey

Filed under: Momoi Haruko — solarblade @ 5:16 am

looseygoosey

Track Listing

  1. Loosey Goosey
  2. Brand New Music

1. Loosey Goosey

Loosey Goosey is definitly something different featuring a different side of Momoi…a more seiyuu-like Momoi.  Luckily the music isn’t entirely sugar-coated and it’s actually quite cute if you listen to it enough.  There’s a mix of acoustic guitar and cutesy played woodwinds, and it fits with its tie-in as it’s pretty laid-back and calm.  Despite Momoi’s saddening vocals, it’s not a bad track.

2. Brand New Music

Then we get the B-side and it’s very seiyuu-typical of Momoi.  It’s just a flurry of synths and ear-piercing vocals from poor Momoi.  I’ll agree that it’s so much more energetic than normal, but this just doesn’t sound vocally special.  I guess I’ll have to warm up to it.

 

 

Momoi started up her own label which isn’t a surprise to many, but after “Sunday early Morning”, I was expecting her to have stayed longer.  Her first single is different from her last single “Lumica” as it isn’t as J-tek as I liked to be, but being so laidback, Loosey Goosey was nice.  Brand New Music was more energetic, but at the cost of good vocals.  I’m sure she’ll do better next release.

 

Shoko Nakagawa – Big☆Bang!!!

Filed under: Shoko Nakagawa — solarblade @ 3:58 am
Tags: , ,

big20bang20cd20coverxr2

Track Listing

  1. We can do it!!
  2. Sorairo Days
  3. Koi no Kioku
  4. snow tears
  5. Brilliant Dream -shoko☆planet mix-
  6. Fruit Punch
  7. Strawberry melody
  8. pretty please chocolate on top
  9. calling location
  10. happily ever after
  11. starry pink
  12. Sukashikashipan Sukoshi Hen?

1. We can do it!!

Wow, who knew we’d start up with a synth/rock track to start this album up.  It’s definitly got some cute factors going on and some catchy guitar riffs to go along.  Shoko’s very energetic throughout the song, but her English pronunciation is pretty sad to hear LOL.  Still a very exciting way to begin Shoko’s debut.

2. Sorairo Days

How many times have I reviewed this track….jeeze…Anyways representing the 3rd single of the era, Sorairo Days was basically what brought my attention to her.  Unlike the other A-sides, this was more of a rock track and I really enjoyed this track a lot more now, even though it’s being milked of every last drop.  Shoko did this track awesomely. 

3. Koi no Kioku

After those two energetic tracks, we calm down a little for Koi no Kioku.  It’s definitely in its pop roots and sounds like something that’d come from her last single “snow tears”, but it isn’t.  Sadly, it doesn’t seem to strike me as being anything too memorable as it is a bit boring to listen to.  I’m suggesting that this is the filler track.

4. snow tears

Plus, it doesn’t help it’s before the amazing snow tears which ended the era off.  I’m quite happy with this track since it is her first full-on ballad and it just kicked ass.  Shoko sounds so much better when she’s being mature rather than being all seiyuu-like.  snow tears is definitly one of her best songs ever.

5. Brilliant Dream -shoko☆planet mix-

Then for the biggest WTF on the album, Brilliant Dream gets rearranged even moreso than from what was on her debut single.  Instead of the eurobeat covering the song.  Auto-tune and added synths were added and basically made it all J-tek.  I was definitly surprised and at the same time loving it as well.  She could be a great techno artist because this is just ❤  Though being after “snow tears” does throw the listener off for sure.  What’s with the Mario bleeps though?

6. Fruit Punch

Then we get into the cheesy part of the album starting with Fruit Punch.  I’m gonna say that I’m not a huge fan of her uber poppy stuff and since Fruit Punch is borderlining that pretty harshly.  There just too much meh vocals going on that I just despise it.

7. Strawberry melody

Yeah, we get worse when we get into our 2nd single of this era.  Strawberry melody is definitly the worst A-side and seriously, why did it have to be so damn cute and annoying at the same time.  There might be some people that’ll like the song, but for me it’s a reject song and will continue to despise it xD

8. pretty please chocolate on top

Wow, doesn’t the title just scream desperate?  Well, Shoko does do a better job at it than “Strawberry melody” it’s also sounding a bit more serious sounding rather than completely cute.  It still isn’t one of my favorites of the cute songs, but this will definitly top a few others.  It’s catchy too damnit!

9. calling location

Finally, something to beat “Sorairo Days” as the rock track.  calling location features “mature” Shoko singing to a full-on rock arrangement which isn’t totally surprising, but it was well needed after the last few tracks for sure.  I was happy to listen to a track like this, one of my favorites.

10. happily ever after

Does anyone remember this being the B-side off of “Sorairo Days”?  I know!  It fits actually quite well after “calling location” as they are both rock tracks.  That’s where it’s letdown kind of happen because they were both too similar.  Still it is the best B-side of the era….especially looking at the other ones…the only other one was “Winter Wish”…

11. starry pink

And then we have starry pink, which made “snow tears” look like an amateur song.  Shoko has done another ballad and yes, I’ve came to realize that Shoko does ballads the best and starry pink is at the forefront of this entire album.  It’s got a sad feeling to it and with Shoko’s vocals singing it with some great emotions, this is great.  Especially with the explosion of sound in the chorus….AMAZING.

12. Sukashikashipan Sukoshi Hen?

Then, we hit the worst song off the album and the album finisher….This is just as random as “Oedo wa Carnival”.  It’s like an acoustic children’s song and Shoko is using her seiyuu vocals which makes things that much worse.  The dude’s voice is weird and I don’t even know who the hell it is.  It’s a little catchy, but Shoko and that guy do not mix well and Shoko should stay away from doing these kind of songs.  Luckily, it’s a pretty short track or I would’ve died.

Tracks Recommended

  • starry pink
  • Brilliant Dream -shoko☆planet mix-
  • calling location
  • snow tears
  • We can do it!!

Song of Avoidance

  • Sukashikashipan Sukoshi Hen?

I will honestly say that this is a better album than her sophomore album, “Magic Time” clearly because there weren’t a lot of filler tracks and there were a bit more of a vareity in her songs.  I still think she should keep the uber poppy stuff in the trash because they are mostly trash.  Her rock songs, dance song, and ballads should continue on…AWESOME

 

Chihiro Onitsuka – INSOMNIA

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 2:49 am
Tags: , ,

 insomnia

Track Listing

  1. Gekkou
  2. Innocence
  3. BACK DOOR (Album Version)
  4. edge
  5. We can go
  6. call
  7. Shine (Album Version)
  8. Cage
  9. Rasen
  10. Memai
  11. Gekkou (Album Version)

1. Gekkou

I guess it was appropriate to begin the album with Chihiro’s biggest song.  Gekkou is still definitly one of the best ballads she’s done and it shows with how soothing Chihiro’s vocals and the lone piano playing along.  How she tackled the chorus was so soulful and c’mon this is one song not to pass up!  Great track.

2. Innocence

We get into our first new track, I’m starting to sense a little bit og emotional pain with Chihiro because this song is very melancholic in sound and Chihiro’s vocals are a bit more vulnerable sounding.  I love how things get more energetic in the chorus where a band appears and plays along.  It’s definitely a dark song and I praise it.

3. BACK DOOR (Album Version)

There’s a few songs that have been rearranged on “INSOMNIA” starting with BACK DOOR which was originally a B-side from “Shine”.  I clearly noticed the change that went around with the song and I kind of wished they didn’t do it because BACK DOOR was an alright pop track and they just stripped that off and made it into a simple ballad.  I do like how Chihiro asks ~Where is the back door?~  Maybe she’s blind or something?

4.  edge

Representing part of the double A-side that ended the era, edge makes the jump onto the album and it still kind of feels like a filler track more or less.  We do get to hear Chihiro in the higher register, so I really enjoyed her there, but otherwise there’s still nothing that really makes it stand out.

5. We can go

I guess I’m starting to get somewhat bored of the album here because of how calm and yet nothing is standing out from the album yet.  We can go kind of sticks out with it’s more upbeat nature and sounds like something you’d hear on the beach.  At the same time, she sounds like a country singer with everything going on.  That was smart planning to do a song like this and I quite like it alot.

6. call

After the minor boost of energy, call pops in and brought me back down to boredom.  I mean it’s nice enough that it’s calm and stuff, but this is just too calm for me.  Chihiro just drags the song the entire way and doesn’t make anything stand out.  Talk about boring.

7. Shine (Album Version)

Once again, I’m slightly disappointed at the change made with her debut as well.  She stripped whatever made Shine listenable and turned it into a straight-up ballad, which once again fails to make me pay enough attention.  I do love the fact her vocals are amazingly better, but still c’mon….another ballad?!?

8. Cage

3rd single, Cage pops up next and I was so elated that it wasn’t tagged by (Album Version).  We needed another upbeat tune to fill up the album and Cage does it very well.  I mean it’s still pretty calm as Chihiro tracks go, but seriously?  Can we spice things up, you know go electro? xD JUST KIDDING!  Cage is still a great track on the album.

9. Rasen

The final new track, Rasen is a lot like “Innocence” in a way that it’s very melancholic and sad to listen to.  I actually enjoyed this track more because in some places it’s like a gospel track and at other points it just sounds like a hopeful song.  It’s definitly soothing despite the rest of the album is similar.

10. Memai

Memai ended off the era on a good note, but on the album it just doesn’t sound orgasmic as the new tracks have been.  I don’t know why this doesn’t sound as good as the others, but I guess it’s still alright despite the unoriginality hitting this track.  I’ll say the chorus is still the best part though.

11. Gekkou (Album Version)

Can you really make a ballad even more ballady?  I guess so, because Gekkou got this tagged and interestingly took out some important stuff and just left some BKGD vocalists and piano….It’s definitely a lot more simpler and Chihiro resung it as well.  I still enjoyed the original a lot more than this version though. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Gekkou
  • We can go
  • Rasen
  • Cage

Song of Avoidance

  • call

Chihiro’s debut album isn’t one of the best albums out there, but it does solidify her as a great ballad singer.  I think what made me not enjoy the album fully was in that all but 2 songs were ballads which is a hard listen for me.  Having some of the tracks rearranged was mainly not the smartest idea as well.  Still Chihiro’s vocals are great and I love a few of them, so it’s not an entirely bad album, just a little stale.