Kurayami Monogatari

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Super Mario RPG Sound Version: CD2 2/2 July 13, 2009

Filed under: Other V.G Soundtracks — solarblade @ 8:58 pm

Track Listing

  1. Margerie Margarita
  2. Dodo’s Coming!!
  3. Barrel Volcano
  4. The Axem Rangers Drop In
  5. Bowser’s Castle (Second Time)
  6. Weapons Factory
  7. Fight Against Smithy
  8. Fight Against Smithy, Who Likes Transforming
  9. Goodbye Geno / Seeing Dreams Through the Window of the Stars
  10. Happy Parade, Delightful Parade / And the Parade Draws to a Close
  11. The End!

1. Margerie Margarita

We begin the final half of the second CD with a pretty sneaky song and something that once again sounds like something from a past FF game.  The thing I find annoying is that laugh that happens like every 3 seconds.  It happens back and forth through my headphones, so you can imagine my annoyance factor here.  The music is kind of fast as well…baroque music maybe?  Don’t know, but it’s interesting nonetheless if not hampered by the laugh.

2. Dodo’s Coming!!

Ahhh, this track is one hot mess.  Dodo is Valentina’s partner in crime and he is a bit clumsy hence the songs wacky composition.  There’s parts in it that throws the listener off and makes the song oddly confusing, which I think was the point of it all.  Outlandish, but it is the last “funny” track.

3. Barrel Volcano

Mario in a volcano…haven’t we seen that somewhere before?  Anywho, the song carries a more mysterious sound and it’s quite fast as well.  The song is split in two parts.  The first is when the bass is doing the melody and the 2nd is where the xylophone takes over.  It’s quite cool since it does go back and forth, so it works at its advantage.

4. The Axem Rangers Drop In

Ahhhh, I love the beginning of the song with the acoutic melody and the rhythm that was going on.  After that though it becomes a rearrangement of the Underground Theme from the original Super Mario Bros. (for the second time, mind you).  It does get repetitious especially if it doesn’t really follow the song and the melody doesn’t fit with the arrangement.  Axem Rangers though…..x.x

5. Bowser’s Castle (Second Time)

Well, well, well…We’re back to what really started the game off.  It’s just a longer version of the track found on Disc 1.  It does add an extra part here which was needed since the earlier one felt like it looped way too fast.  Now the new part is quite cool and the beat is quite awesome and you can tell where it loops as well.  Better version if you ask me.

6. Weapons Factory

The final area of the game, Weapons Factory is another awesome track just because the mix of strings and the synth together here made this a worthy song.  Then there’s this little section where the acoustic guitar takes over and wow that was a nice touch before looping back.  It might not be the best song for a final area, but where this was played, it’s holding its own.

7. Fight Against Smithy

As we all should know, Smithy is the final boss in the game.  It starts off pretty cool with the pipe organ and that slide down from the keyboards.  Oddly enough, it doesn’t really sound like final boss music…Even the regular boss music sounds more convincing than this does. 

8. Fight Against Smithy, Who Likes Transforming

Then again when compared to the 2nd part of the final fight, this easily wins over as it is more convincing and well the battleground was creepy as hell.  I mean the faces on the walls and shit…Talk about bothersome LOL.  The song is fast-paced and the melody flows and get erratic at places…it’s like the song is bipolar.  Strong track though.

9. Goodbye Geno / Seeing Dreams Through the Window of the Stars

So the first part is basically where we do say goodbye to Geno since well…yeah can’t spoil here.  The usual twinkly sound of when you get one of the seven stars begins, but things get quite happy and joyous (because y’know the end of the game and such).  It finishes off with the melody to the beginning of the next part.  Seeing Dreams Through the Window of the Stars basically is one bittersweet song since when it plays it looks at what happens after the story and how it’s done s that it looks at the stars hence the title.  After a little bit, the song does get more happier.  Still, it’s one of the saddest tracks altogether.  Amazing track to finish the game

12. Happy Parade, Delightful Parade / And the Parade Draws to a Close

The credits of the game appear and well, of course Parade = March style so you’ve get to live it up with that.  It also seems that the first part carries tunes from various places here, but I’m not good at pointing which and where.  I still love the parade scene, that made me laugh at the various moments with the characters.  Funny that it’s like 5 minutes long as well and that’s just only the first part.  You’ll easily tell when it gets into the second part as it slows down at the end and returns to the twinkling star melody.  Once agan, very bittersweet since it’s another Geno moment, so you can’t deny it’s factor being really important. 

11. The End!

After you let the ending screen stand for a bit, The Mario theme starts to play, kind of a nice nod if you ask me (especially for a game, that was covered in Easter Eggs).  It’s got a twinkly sound going on and there’s something else like a string instrument or just keyboard.  Doesn’t it make you wanna play the game all over again?

Tracks Recommended

  • Weapons Factory
  • Goodbye Geno / Seeing Dreams Through the Window of the Stars
  • Fight Against Smithy, Who Likes Transforming
  • The End!

The final 11 tracks did pretty much change moods when in conjunction with the previous tracks.  Though at the cost of the mood switch, the songs lost a bit of memorability and though Yoko Shimamura fixed it with the last few tracks, the early tracks just didn’t work for me…

The OST itself was a great listen, though some of the songs were too short and had a lot of potential, but because of how the game was already jam-packed, it’s understandable that the music would be cut down short.  At the same time, it did bring ot some of Yoko’s memorable work here.  Still it is one of the best RPG’s of the SNES for sure.

 

Super Mario RPG Sound Version: CD2 1/2

Filed under: Other V.G Soundtracks — solarblade @ 7:37 pm

Track Listing

  1. The Marry Mary Bells Ring
  2. Celebrational
  3. The Starlight’s Flower
  4. Sunken Ship
  5. Going Shopping in Seaside Town
  6. My Paradise -Monstro Town-
  7. Fight Against Culex
  8. Victory over Culex
  9. Conversation with Culex
  10. You and Toadafski Create Exquisite Music
  11. Let’s Do the Fooka-Fooka

1. The Marry Mary Bells Ring

If you haven’t guessed already, it’s the town theme for Marrymore which basically where a certain somebody almost gets married and where you collect Bowser as a team member (wait, Bowser good?).  Back to the track, it’s set in the mood where it sound like a peppy folk tune of all things.  I’m surprised that it comes off like that, but it makes the song stand out. 

2. Celebrational

Odd that a 15 second track appears, though a bit fitting after the last track.  What it is is a small excerpt of when someone gets married in the game, and it has a cute moment whenever Mario goes into a spot, that’s where I remember the track is bein played.  Nice pipe organ.

3. The Starlight’s Flower

Anyway, we continue our progress into the game into the oddest place in the game (well, from here on out.)  Star Road.  Just like the name implies, it’s got a twinkly sound to it, but it doesn’t really lead anywhere which is bad and it gets old after awhile, walking around in the confusing maze area.  It is wondrous though so I’ll give it that.

4. Sunken Ship

Yeah, we do get all pirate-like for our next song.  Interestingly enough, the track does sound like something Nobuo Uematsu did because of the closeness it takes after Final Fantasy, especially in the 2D days.  It’s got like oboe-like melody and strings mixed in with sounds that make the boat sound like it’s being pushed by waves.  Creepy tune but it did its job.

5. Going Shopping in Seaside Town

Our next town theme pops up next and it’s kind of strange and yet something about it lures me to it.  I guess it is because it s close to the Sunken Ship, but it’s got a happy-go-lucky sound to it.  The chords are a bit strange, but it works to an extent…I don’t know why but I love this town theme for some reason.

6. My Paradise -Monstro Town-

Monstro Town also got to me for some reason, maybe its simplistic bouncy factor got to me.  I remember this town the most though with the things you can do in this area of the game.  The later part of the track before the loop makes it sounds like a march…odd in a town like this. 

7. Fight Against Culex

If you don’t know who Culex is, shame on you.  Culex was an optional boss that was actually harder to defeat than Smithy (then again, Square has always put in an optional boss that was hellishly harder than the final boss).  Also, if you’ve noticed the fight music is different as well, being a rearrangement of the FFV boss music.  It’s energetic compared to the normal boss theme of this game for sure.  It’s a nice nod from Square to their own series.

8. Victory over Culex

Yep if you guessed, it is the FFV Victory Theme which is kind of odd this time around since your party aren’t FF characters.  I’m not sure if it’s a direct translation of the track or was rearranged, but c’mon still….it seemed a bit more random here, though understandable.

9. Conversation with Culex

So once you whoop Culex’s ass (give or take a few tries), he will talk to you about something and yadda yadda and this song will be playing in the background.  LOL Funny that it’s the Crystal Theme that’s been prevalent everywhere in the series, so it’s there for the nostalgic factor and ends the whole “Culex” part of the game. 

10. You and Toadofski Create Exquisite Music

Another quick tune and anothr sidequest, This was the music you played and tried to get the melody right with the song and let me tell you, before internet this sucked hardcore, nowadays it’s easy as hell.  The excerpt is quick and it flows nicely, but it does end too quickly since it doesn’t loop.  It does sound like it’s missing something, and that’s because they didn’t add the melody the player had to make.

11. Let’s Do the Fooka-Fooka

This track is the last town theme and for Nimbus Land hence the light, airy and giddyness of the track.  I’m a bit take aback when I hear flute being the main instrument while the strings take the rest of the song.  There’s also a little bit of acoustic guitar as well.  It’s another one of my favorite tunes just because of it’s nostalgic factor to me and the storyline here worked out….c’mon Birdo…WTF was she doing here?

Tracks Recommended

  • Let’s Do the Fooka-Fooka
  • Going Shopping in Seaside Town
  • The Merry Mary Bells Ring
  • My Paradise -Monstro Town-

If you look at my recommedations.  All of the town themes were the best here and it’s true…besides the uber short tracks what else was their really to make the first 11 tracks of the 2nd disc.  We do however leave the happier sounds for the final 11 off the album. 

 

Ok, it’s been half-a-year (well a little past), but let’s take a look bit at this year so far!

Filed under: ~Best of 2009~ — solarblade @ 8:59 am

So yes 2009 has been so far a pretty hectic year so let’s see what has happened this year in J-pop

 

Of course there were big surprises this year with an explosion of new artists that debuted this year!

aikagoAyakiayumi sabentleyguardianshimekamarimeisaminaminananinaoyasphereyuka

Don’t these artists look promising so far?  Yeah, can’t wait to see what happens here.  I’m it’s a colorful bunch of artists and they all brought something new to the table….well mostly. 

 

Now there’s also artists that have delved from their groups to go solo this year which really are Naoya Urata from AAA who went solo this year. 

Also quick to note, ex-H!P artists Ai Kago and Mari Yaguchi have also debuted as solo artists which is amazing.

News

  • Let’s see there was the big oops that SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi was caught drunk and naked in public, which basically exploded all over the Johnny’s Entertainmet fandom…talk about disturbing…aren’t they like in their 30’s?  time to let these men go JE.
  • J-pop artist ayaka goes on another hiatus due to her announced condition that she has Graves’ Disease and got married somewhere in between all the hubbub.
  • Supposedly Nocchi was caught with some guy (which turned out to be a close friend, nothing more).  A-chan complaining on the direction of the group and Kashiyuka’s fetish for snakes appeared. 
  • Well, the boards definitely took to this fodder, but Roma Tanaka dug himself a deep ass hole with what I call a career killer.  Basically, it’s said that he was leaving the industry for some odd reason, slept with people to get where he was in it andwell has a deformed penis…Iono how deformed a penis can get and I don’t wanna know either.
  • melody. and miyavi surprises many by announcing they are getting married of all things (imagine the kids).
  • Do As Infinity releases their first single in 4 years
  • Karen Girl’s breakup after a less than a year together (no surprise)
  • Lots of groups/artists went Major this year, that includes; immi, SAWA, school food punishment, Versailles, and Sweet Vacation
  • Nami Tamaki is transferred from SONY to UNIVERSAL-J
  • Sowelu is transferred from SONY to avex
  • Mai Hoshimura and the brilliant green and related Tommy groups had their contracts expire and now aren’t part of SONY.
  • Momoi Haruko goes independent and starts her new label Akihabara Records
  • HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR did find a new singer in HALCA in the process dropped to Spice Records (which still has ties to SONY).
  • Kalafina dropped Maya out of the current lineup for who knows what reason behind it (probably for her to focus on her schoolings than with the group)
  • One of m.o.v.e’s co-founders, T.Kimura resigns as the trio’s 3rd member and will be just a co-producer from now on.
  • BoA and Utada Hikaru both released English albums this year (Hikki’s 3rd).  To which both are good LOL
  • After all of this time, Sisters Kumi and misono finally get together for a single.
  • Nana Mizuki is the first seiyuu to hit No.1 with her album, ULTIMATE DIAMOND.

H!P News

  • Let’s begin with the big hitter here.  Earlier in the year/2008, WE learned that Tsunku was basically letting all of the Elder Club go with a concert to commerate the loss with it.  Now the list is pretty huge considering all who left, but I do wish the best for them, luckily a few did which will come later.  All in all, lost some of the more memorable members.
  • Tsunku announces two immediate groups, Guardians 4 and S/mileage to coincide with shows.  Both groups aren’t permanent (no surprise)
  • Kanna Arihara of °C-ute had to take a break because she had Bunions and was left out for a few singles until July where H!P officially announced her resignation from the company to return to life as a “normal” girl.
  • Also in July it was announced that Tsunku was planning to bring back a few old groups and he definitely did with Aa!, High-King, Petitmoni V, Tanpopo#, Shin Minimoni, Zoku・v-u-den, and ZYXα which meant none of these groups will really be permenant, maybe v-u-den and Minimoni but the other groups will probably return to obscurity. 
  • In the process of all the wacky things, MilkyWay quietly breaks up (or did they) due to Kirarin☆Revolution ending its series.  Also to note that Koharu’s solo career might have ended with the series as well. 
  • Alright, earlier you’ve seen artists debut, well.  Former H!P artists Maki Goto, Mari Yaguchi, and Ai Kago debuted this year and so far Maki is the only one who’s gotten herself put out there. 
  • The now only current solo artist, Mano Erina goes Major this year, starting with “Otome no Inori”.
 

Ayaka Ikio – GOSSIP

Filed under: Ayaka Ikio — solarblade @ 4:59 am

gossip

Track Listing

  1. Get Out
  2. Plastic Baby
  3. Cat’s Free
  4. ANARCHY IN THE UK
  5. Spider Web
  6. Scream
  7. Groove is Mine

1. Get Out

Right from the start we get into some electronica/disco music. At first the start of the song reminded me of something ravex would’ve done…Sounds like the Tohoshinki track.  Luckily the song goes back into some sort of cool feeling and Ayaka is showing better vocals this time around, thank god.  I just love the synth parts of the song.  Good first track…

2. Plastic Baby

We get into something that brings back Ayaka’s bad attitude and it actually works.  The synth is on major overload in the song which freaks me out to no end and I love every minute.  She’s using a lot of English here, if not the entire track to a hard beat.  The chorus is a bit monotonous, but besides that, the rest of the track is like a mix of electronica, club, and maybe a little bit of reggaeton for kicks (last genre might be pushing it, but w/e).  Strange song, but a good one.

3. Cat’s Free

Sound a bit more futuristic, Cat’s Free brings out the sexy side of Ayaka Ikio and it’s another surprise off the album.  It’s the closest thing to her big song “Spin Me Round” from her last mini-album.  The club sound definitely catered to the mood and wow, it’s quite cool and easy to dance with.

4. ANARCHY IN THE UK

The only other artist I remembered that covered this Sex Pistols song is Anna Tsuchiya and that turned out pretty well as a rock track.  Ayaka’s turned the rock song basically into a trance song and even there’s more instrumental parts (no surprise) it’s actually on of the best tracks off the mini-album.  It’s got a more aggressive nature behind it and seriously besides Ayaka’s slight problems in the accent, it’s not terrible and amazing.

5. Spider Web

Anything that deals with spiders are always amazing andthis is no exception.  The feel does remind me of “Spin Me Round”, but Ayaka’s vocals weren’t tampered with and she sounds more together and deeper, how awesome is that.  Compared to the last track, this is a bit more chill and laidback.  The break-down in the middle, did throw me off, but still a good track overall.

6. Scream

Scream brought back dance fever in the song, but the song is a bit freaky as she talks about killing and such.  I do love me the darker dance tracks and Ayaka’s attitude drive in the song works in its advantage here and I once again fall in love with it.  Damn, where did she get all awesome all of sudden?  This song is shweet.

7. Groove is Mine

The last track actually goes back into her previous era where she’s under vocoder and the auto-tune.  The beginning is a bit weird as Ayaka’s vocals are all over the place and cut n’ pasted everywhere.  Once the synths calm down it does fix itself, but Ayaka’s vocals are still a bit all over the place.  Seems like it’s more of a remix than anything…but there’s a lot of good chords played around with in the vocals and synths

 

 

Ayaka’s sophomore effort trumps her debut by a big shot.  I was not disappointed with any song on this mini-album unlike “Re: ACID QUEEN where I only liked one track (which BTW is still better than a good portion of the tracks here).  I was one of those listeners that did question how good she’d be, but what I got was more than enough.  All the tracks showed a more cleaner Ayaka Ikio, which to me was a painful blow….I like that she incorporated that in her songs, because it did make her a badass J-tek artist.  She did keep the attitude though which is a plus.  It’s such an upgrade though. *RECOMMENDED*

 

Q;indivi Starring Rin Oikawa – Celebration

Filed under: Q;indivi — solarblade @ 2:50 am

celebrationq

Track Listing

  1. Air On The G String
  2. Pomp and Circumstance
  3. Wedding March
  4. Salute D’amour
  5. Turandot
  6. Serenade for Strings
  7. Pathetic
  8. Gymnopedie
  9. Clair de Lune
  10. Etude
  11. Jesus, Joy Of Man’s Desiring

CD 2

  1. Pomp and Circumstance (Long Extended Mix)
  2. Pomp and Circumstance (Long Extended Mix-inst)

1. Air On The G String

So the album starts with a pretty piano melody and some birds chirping that leads into a dance track that mixes it with the previous stuff.  Right from the start, Rin clearly has gotten better as singer, but is still airy though.  I really like the light dance mood and the sampling of the piano melody going on. 

2. Pomp and Circumstance

I’m going to guess this was the track that advertised the album, Pomp and Circumstance continues the trend of piano + dance, but it sounds so much more cleaner.  The melody sounds so damn familiar though…like someone took it from a Disney track.  By all means though, this is a very good track. 

3. Wedding March

Hey, I do know the melody of this song immediately, it’s the damn Wedding Song that every marriage plays, but with lyrics.  I’m also starting to notice that so far in the album Rin has been singing in English, which is a bit surprising because Rin is singing clear and fluently.  I don’t know why but adding a dance beat with such a memorable tune, is basically a stab to the original…It’s alright, but don’t make it danceable.

4. Salute D’amour

Our next track, it’s just comes off as a little cheesy because of the arrangement and overall lyrical sound.  The piano melody is once again familiar to me, but it still comes off as a bit meh since its utilizing the same thought process again.  Time for a new change Q;indivi.

5. Turnadot

~This train is taking you away~.  I’ll have to say, Turnadot is so innocent at the beginning…it really made the song work for me really.  The dance beats are a bit more fast-paced here which is awesome.  I do like the other parts of the song that made the piano sound very important.  I don’t know but this might be my favorite song off the album.

6. Serenade for Strings

It’s kind of odd that the song sounds a bit like “Turnadot” actually it sounds like a continuation if anything.  It’s even funnier that there’s a lack of strings period which is so funny.  I do feel bad that it’s a carbon copy of the previous track because of the overly sameish arrangement here that I got bored of the track pretty quickly. 

7. Pathetic

Pathetic is a bit odd title to choose, especially if the song is once again basically summed around the last few songs, how unfortunate.  I do think the song’s regretful nature, but there’s something that doesn’t sit right with me and maybe it’s the lighthearted sound that’s going on through the track.  I don’t know but I guess it’s alright.

8. Gymnopedie

*sigh*…I do like how the song works as more of a fantasy-like track, but I’m starting to feel a little bored with the album since it doesn’t really sound different which is a bit disappointing at this point of the album.  Rin here though is using a higher register this time around and even though it’s airy as hell, it’s kind of in tune and so much better than past endeavors from her.

9. Clair de Lune

So our next track comes in next and it starts off quite nicelt, and to some extent it’s kind of a magicanl and soothing tune, at the same time, it is a bit bland.  It does take a bit before Rin comes in but she’s not singing, she’s speaking the song a bit before the song takes over again, so it’s an extensive interlude of sorts. 

10. Etude

Etude could be the most boring title ever, but the song is actually a ballad unlike the dance hybrids that plague the rest of the album.  It’s simple piano arrangement and distant snaps and lone strings made the song such a good listen.  Rin sounds quite nice though the airyness of her vocals will get to you, but this another good track and I love the climaxes of the song, now this is a ballad done right. 

11. Jesus, Joy Of Man’s Desiring

Kind of like a lullaby, Jesus, Joy Of Man’s Desiring reminds me of like orgel music, but with Rin included.  It’s amazingly more simpler than “Etude” and makes quite the difference.  The lyrics are just as magical and it’s quite nice.  It’s such a fitting way to end the album IMO.

CD 2

1. Pomp and Circumstance (Long Extended Mix)

Pomp and Circumstance is originally a little over 6 minutes, but here they added two minutes here and well, it’s basically the same song with an extended startup and longer times in the instrumentals of the song.  Still it’s catchy and such so I can’t bag on it too much 

Tracks Recommended

  • Etude
  • Turnadot
  • Pomp and Circumstance
  • Jesus, Joy Of Man’s Desiring

Song of Avoidance

  • Wedding March

So Q;indivi is kind of following with what GEO from Sweetbox has been doing recently with the classical mixing and such, and this album really isn’t that much to talk about, even though it’s doing very well on iTunes right now.  Now I’m also like unsure, if this is their 3rd album or just a concept album because; 1. feat. Rin is on the title (is she leaving?) and 2. “It’s Time To Say Hello” isn’t on this album, which was a preview back on “philharmonique;”.  Iono, but since Q;indivi has been doing this longer than GEO, I was expecting something more expressive and memorable, but all in all, it was a bit stale at places, but I really like the melodies that were recognizable.

 

Momoi Haruko – ☆Jien Otsu☆Song

Filed under: Momoi Haruko — solarblade @ 12:23 am

jienotsusong

Track Listing

  1. ☆Jien Otsu☆Song
  2. Shihatsu ni Notte
  3. ☆Jien Otsu☆Song (Karaoke)
  4. Shihatsu ni Notte (Instrumental)

1. ☆Jien Otsu☆Song

Oh this was not the direction I wanted Momoi wanted to go towards.  I mean it’s of cource typical since Momoi is an idol in Akihabara so it’s not totally surprising, but her seiyuu voice is put to the max in this single and I’m crying just a bit listening as well.  No I don’t know where Yuichiro fits, but if she’s the softer vocalist, she clearly won because it isn’t coming off as a ear killer.  The music is typical if you follow Momoi enough, but c’mon choose a side, rock or synth pop….not both. 

2. Shihatsu ni Notte

I’m pretty sure that I think Momoi scored another song.  Shihatsu ni Notte is quite a bit like her track “Thunder Shot!” with its overall stronger rock sound and Momoi’s vocals aren’t as destructive as it is in the last track.  There’s a bit of synth involved, but otherwise it’s a mix of pop/rock and a little of punk maybe?  No idea, though this track is another good track from her.

 

 

So after “Loosey Goosey”, Momoi kind of continues the trend of horribly sung pop tunes with ☆Jien Otsu☆Song and I’m not liking her seiyuu voice again.  Luckily, Shihatsu ni Notte does give me some comfort as the song is back to her rockish side back in her days in UNDER17.  Split single overall