Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Mika Nakashima – Helpless Rain June 17, 2009

Filed under: Mika Nakashima — solarblade @ 5:01 pm
Tags: , ,

helplessrain

Track Listing

  1. Helpless Rain
  2. Helpless Rain (but I’m fallin’ too deep)
  3. Destiny’s Lotus (Version)
  4. Helpless Rain (Instrumental)

1. Helpless Rain

Helpless Rain actually took Mika into a more R&B styled track and it’s kind of got an odd instrumentation that is the strings.  I mean it’s quite normal for Mika to have it, but to an R&B track….ok whatever.  Though the other problem is actually Mika’s singing it’s downright terrible in the chorus.  She really stresses out the notes on the higher register.  I don’t know but she’s just not sounding any good here and the use of male BKGD vocalists = bad idea.

2. Helpless Rain (but I’m fallin’ too deep)

I really don’t know what happened, but the song continues the same R&B route and instead of the strings covering most of the music, it’s actually taken out.  There’s also a longer opening that features a small rapping section and a repeating line which is that line in the parentheses.  Other than that, the same problems exist in this version…I’m still disliking it.

3. Destiny’s Lotus (Version)

The first thing I notice is that the title isn’t in all caps WTF!  Next thing I notice is what version is this? Was someone lazy to hook something to it what?  There’s still a sense of boredom, but luckily the new sounds are quite interesting and sounds more like a disco than the original.  I still don’t particularly enjoy the rapping sections that much, but I can handle it…I think. 

 

 

Wow, Mika totally went the wrong direction for Helpless Rain.  The main track and its remix were terrible tracks and I’m pretty sure she’d rather forget about it.  The remix of “DESTINY’S LOTUS” was pretty nice even though how it’s written out is completely strange.  I have to say worst of the era.

 

Stephanie – Colors of my Voice

Filed under: Stephanie — solarblade @ 6:11 am
Tags: , ,

colorsofmyvoice

Track Listing

  1. Kotoba Nanka Iranai Hodo ni
  2. Changin’ feat. Roma Tanaka
  3. FUTURE
  4. Kindan no Knockout
  5. Together
  6. Forever
  7. Pride ~A Part of Me~ feat. SRM
  8. KISSES
  9. Kizuna
  10. a song for you
  11. Daisuki ni Minna e. feat. fans

1. Kotoba Nanka Iranai Hodo ni

We begin Stephanies sophomore album with a soft pop track, Kotoba Nanka Iranai Hodo ni.  I guess I can easily say that she didn’t open up with those whistle notes like how “Kimi ga Iru Kagiri” opened up “Stephanie”.  She might come off as a little bit too stressed at the start but this is actually quite nice.  I really like the chorus though, that was pretty nice from her.  Nice opening track

2. Changin’ feat. Roma Tanaka

Lulz at the recent problems Roma has been xD.  Anyway this was the track the kickstarted off this era and it’s interesting that she chose the duet over the solo version.  It’s a nice track to listen to because its of it’s more orchestral sound, but I just can’t get my head around to exactly like Roma’s voice…it just doesn’t sound appropriate especially with Stephanie’s nicer vocals.  She should’ve just stuck the solo version on.

3. FUTURE

She ended the era off with this A-side, FUTURE.  Interesting that it was the only upbeat A-side of the era and I quite liked it alot since the single’s release.  Stephanie sings pretty brightly and she sounds really good hear with the strings playing around mostly.  The song does sound a bit similar to “Winter Gold”, but otherwise it’s still pretty good as the leading, danceable A-side. 

4. Kindan no Knockout

I was expecting something quite explosive from this track, was I wrong.  The song is actually something more like that acoustic pop song some artists like to do….y’know like Shion Tsuji or YUI.  It’s a bit darker which is what she needed and it sounds quite mysterious (for an acoustic track).  She should do more of these kind of tracks, LOVIN’ IT

5. Together

Together was originally off the “Changin'” single as a B-side and sadly it carries that “Stephanie” sound that was sadly prevalent on the album.  Very laidback and somewhat cheesy.  It’s alright, but I think she should’ve left this on the single because right now, it doesn’t exactly fit the mold of this album.

6. Forever

I really love how she opened up Forever in her higher register and then it turns into this dance track which surprised me because she hasn’t done something like this before.  Another thing I noticed was that the song is mostly sung in English.  It might be lyrically cheesy, but the song does harken back to when this eurobeat was pretty popular and I quite like this track as well.  Surprising, but handled great.

7. Pride ~A Part of Me~ feat. SRM

Her second A-side comes by and it’s so much better than “Changin'” even though they basically are close enough in style to one another.  I really think this should be one of Stephanie’s epic ballads because it really is.  Stephanie’s really sounded great and this other girl SRM was just as good because they were together and sounding in synch.  A way better song that Hector Fierce’s.

8. KISSES

KISSES also was a B-side, coming from “Pride’s” single and it actually fits on here better than “Together”.  It’s kind of like “Kindan no Knockout” in the way that it sounds darker than normal and it’s prolly from that bass synth.  It sounds pretty nice on the album IMO, it might come off as a bit disappointing, but this was nice.

9. Kizuna

Artists love using the orgel huh?  Well, Stephanie begins this track off with it and then coming in singing the opening line and she almost goes into whistle note mode, but luckily she keeps it tame here.  It’s a bit of a light acoustic pop track and oddly sounds nice after “KISSES”.  There’s also a guy singing a little bit with her in the bridge…that made me raise my eyebrows a little bit.  It’s not too bad, but I think it’s my least favorite of the new tracks.

10. a song for you

Jeeze….another orchestral ballad.  At least she’s doing this alone finally, I’ll have to say she knows how to do these ballads really well because Stephanie just sounds like an angel here.  She does yell out a few notes here and there, but I think it’s for dramatic effect and I quite like it.  While we’re here, the lyrics are wow.  Even though she switches languages a few times, the English parts are nicely written and it doesn’t come out as horrible cheesy.  Another epic ballad? I think so.  She finally does some whistle notes at the end and brings the song to its ending.  Super nice.

11. Daisuki ni Minna e. feat. fans

I mean at first, I was like WTF….feat. fans?  What’s that supposed to mean?  Anyway, this song does sound a bit like “FUTURE” which is good for me because it’s upbeat and easily danceable.  The chorus was kind of cool with the falling notes, that was cool.  I love the echo addition in the middle, I thought that was an interesting addition.  Still what’s this fans thing about?  I mean I can see this song being used on a tour and have her “fans” sing with her. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Pride ~A Part of Me~ feat. SRM
  • Forever
  • Kindan no Knockout
  • a song for you
  • Kotoba Nanka Iranai Hodo ni

Song of Avoidance

  • Together

I’ll be honest, I came to this album with a very negative outlook of what it was going to be like….and that cover….why Pineapples?  Anyways, this album basically blew me away especially since “Stephanie” was otherwise a really meh album.  She stepped up her game really well and I like all of the tracks except Changin’ well I like the solo version so, in this case I like the entire album.  Surprise, Surprise it’s another album I enjoyed fully! *RECOMMENDED

 

SCANDAL – ShoujoS

Filed under: SCANDAL — solarblade @ 4:30 am
Tags: , ,

shoujos

Track Listing

  1. ShoujoS
  2. Natsu Neiro
  3. SO EASY (Type A only)
  4. FUTURE (Type B only)
  5. ShoujoS (Instrumental)

1. ShoujoS

Each A-side SCANDAL they throw out at us shows them getting better and better and Shoujo S right now is there best one.  Instead of having a rock party (DOLL) or a set melody (SAKURA Goodbye) they decided to do a bit of a mix.  Throw some harmonizations from the gals and we get this song.  There’s something I really enjoy by the more laidback rock sound from the group.  It’s one of their catchiest songs.

2. Natsu Neiro

Even more laidback, Natsu Neiro pops up next and gives the girls a bit less of an energetic performance.  It’s a little bit on the boring side however since it is a bit of a slow pop/rock.  I still have no idea who’s who singing, but the solo lines are pretty good, but the chorus was where things get kind of shaky, especially since those high notes here were terrible.  Other than that, they have them an ok track, nothing too specatcular lol.

3. SO EASY

SO EASY takes notes from “SAKURA Goodbye” since there’s clearly a set melody which is pretty cool and once again the girls sound really good here and singing fast at different parts.  It’s loud, forceful and full of life here.  It’s pretty interesting that it’s only on the Type A of the single….way better than “Natsu Neiro”

4. FUTURE

FUTURE however was a bit like “SAKURA Goodbye” is arrangement, but there’s enough difference to actually enjoy it, but I have to say it isn’t as memorable really.  Sounds like something you’d hear from their indies collection.  It’s not very exciting unlike the previous tracks, but I guess it can hold its own candle.

 

 

SCANDAL really are gettin popular especially if ShoujoS is tied-in to Bleach.  ShoujoS brought a more free rock track that sound super in this case and the PV helped it as well.  SO EASY also was really good and very catchy…it was hard to choose what was the best track.  Natsu Neiro and FUTURE though kind of ran them down to a bland sound so I can’t say I like them alot, but they’re alright.