Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Hitomi Shimatani – PAPILLON July 17, 2009

Filed under: Hitomi Shimatani — solarblade @ 4:59 am

Hitomipapillonalbumcover

Track Listing

  1. papillon
  2. Fantasista
  3. Ichiba ni Ikou
  4. Last Shooting Star
  5. his rhythm
  6. Kaihouku (album version)
  7. motto…
  8. SPLASH
  9. sugary
  10. thanksful
  11. Zettai Ondo
  12. Thinking of you
  13. papillon (eastern butterfly) (Bonus Track)

1. papillon

We begin the album with her biggest song at the time and it’s a cover of a Janet Jackson song, “Doesn’t Really Matter”.  Now it was a big change since it was all R&B and a bit futuristic as well.  The thing I liked about it was how fast Hitomi was singing in the song.  I’ll have to say, she done herself well on this song and is one of my favorite Hitomi songs.

2. Fantasista

Our first new track, Fantasista continues the latin trend she started back with her last single “Ichiba ni Ikou”.  There’s also a nice dance style going on here as well carrying Hitomi very well here.  It also helps that her singing is a lot more better here than it was on “papillon”.  I’m still thinking her more ethnic tracks are her forte.

3. Ichiba ni Ikou

Representing the last A-side of the era, Ichiba ni Ikou is one fascinating song since compared to “Fantasista” it’s not as latin-heavy.  Actually when compared to the other songs, it sounds like a mixture of the previous two tracks.  It might not be her strongest song, but it did start off the latin-explosion that Hitomi uses ALOT!

4. Last Shooting Star

I’m surprised our next song comes up next.  It starts with a synth boom and adds some R&B beats to give it that punch.  Sadly, it does sound like a repeat on “papillon” which is a bit unfortunate.  I do think the chorus is catchy as hell though.  So I can forgive that it sounds a but like something else. 

5. his rhythm

his rhythm is the first ballad off the album.  The plucked strings does sound almost like the ones from “Eternity”, but then it becomes more of the typical sounding R&B ballad.  I’m not a big fan of these kind of songs, but Hitomi did a good job trying not to make it drag hard and the extra vocalists were just as equally nice.  It might be too typical, but it’s nice sounding at the least.

6. Kaihouku (album version)

The album version of Kaihouku appears next and it seemed to fix all of the major issues that plagues the original.  I mean it went from a cheesy pop tune into something that’s more edgy.  I mean it still has the cheap 9o’s sound too it, but it’s not all over and messy.  The chorus still feels a bit too empty for me, but this was definitely a lot better than the original mix.

7. motto…

I’m pretty sure she’s doing something right with these latin tracks all over the place on the album.  I initially thought that motto… was going to be more of a ballad, but I was happy that it was another latin-infused track.  It once again shows how good of a singer Hitomi is compared to other artists that debuted, like Ayu. 

8. SPLASH

The only B-side to make it on the album, SPLASH after “motto…” is a bit sketchy since they are so similar to one another, but I have to say that it still is a bit better than said song.  The beginning is a little random, but the relaxing latin/dance tune is catchy and I love the solo parts with the guitar…it just makes the song sounds great.  Once again, continuing to show her strong vocals in the song.

9. sugary

Kind of more aggressive sounding R&B track, sugary was one of the song I was not liking on this album.  Actually, it’s even worse when I have to listen to it since it’s quite boring all-around and nothing to really come out of it.  I do like how there’s a bit of electric guitar looming in the song, but other than that, it should’ve been left on “SHANTI”.

10. thanksful

What?  thanksful?  Is that even a real word.  I doubt it so that right there was the first red flag.  Luckily, it’s a really nice mid-tempo track.  I love how the strings and synth open the track into a pretty cool sounding song.  It might be a little draggy at some spots of the song, but I think this was a nice break from the latin tracks.  Still the name of the song bothers me alot.

11. Zettai Ondo

Returning to our latin songs, Zettai Ondo sounds more serious than the previous tracks which is interesting.  After a while it starts to get a little more energetic, but still is a more serious sounding latin track from her.  Though now the problem is that she’s heavily shoving latin tracks on the album and they are harder to really differentiate from one another.

12. Thinking of you

Then again, her R&B tracks are also getting pretty stale as well.  Thinking of you is another track that I kind of dislike because it sounds kind of disjointed at many places and just sounds like ideas were basically thrown in the song.  I do like how Hitomi sings herself out in the verses more than normal.  Still, I’m not a big fan of this song.

13. papillon (eastern butterfly)

As a bonus to the album, papillon (biggest song so far in her career), gets rearranged for the final track off the album.  Instead if the futuristic tones “papillon” had.  The song gets an Eastern flavor and sounds more traditional altogether.  The vocals weren’t redone and that disappoints me, but the new arrangement is kind of cleaner and makes the song sound a bit further different than the original mix.

Tracks Recommended

  • Fantasista
  • papillon
  • SPLASH
  • thanksful

Song of Avoidance

  • sugary

Well, on the debut side of things Hitomi debuted above average for me.  Unlike a few other artists, the quality of the tracks was great on the most part, despite a few trip-ups on the R&B songs.  Also, there was one too many latin tracks on the album which was hard to seperate which one was which.  I still think she should’ve put “Eternity” and “Kaze no Machi” on the album, but whatever LOL.  It’s an alright album

 

Shoko Nakagawa – Kokoro no Antenna

Filed under: Shoko Nakagawa — solarblade @ 3:00 am

kokoronoantenna

Track Listing

  1. Kokoro no Antenna
  2. Senode Koi Shichae_●
  3. Garasu no Prism (Regular Edition only)
  4. Moe yo Gizamimi Pichu! (Pichu Edition only)
  5. Kokoro no Antenna -Haruomi Hosono Original Mix-
  6. Kokoro no Antenna -Haruomi Hosono Original Mix- (Instrumental) (Pichu Version only)

1. Kokoro no Antenna

After the nice and calm “Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana”, Shoko decides to release something that’s a bit more upbeat.  It does sadden me that the song isn’t really nothing too special considering it’s tie-in to the Pokemon series.  Shoko does sound pretty good, but the arrangement seems too plain and the chorus does drag a bit…I just think the only redeeming quality of the song was the PV, which is so strange….meh.

 2. Senode Koi Shichae_●

Our first B-side is of course is a bit more energetic sounding.  Now, it sounds more like something that would’ve been more of a ending theme to the Pokemon movie.  The bouncy pop/rock sound brought out Shoko better than in “Kokoro no Antenna”. still it’s a pretty fun sounding track.

3. Garasu no Prism

The next track only appears on the regular editions of the single.  It sounds a bit more like a mix of the previous two tracks with the pop/rock sound, but mixed with the cuteness that the first track had.  I’m not enjoying the fact that is sounds boring, but Shoko tries her best to sound in the mood, but I’m not feeling this song much.

4. Moe yo Gizamimi Pichu!

Only featured on the Pichu edition, it’s kind of a funny track.  Easily based on Pokemon, you’ll expect it to be something uber cheesy, but it’s actually the best track off the single since it’s got a pretty cool 8-bit sound to it.  I love Shoko’s energy here and her sporadic singing works so good.  There’s places that the harmonization is a bit strange, but the song is so funny.  “Pokemon Narikiri Sundae” anyone?

5. Kokoro no Antenna -Haruomi Hosono Original Mix-

If you don’t know who Haruomi Hosono is then you should be shot in the arm.  He’s 1/3 of the founding members of Yellow Magic Orchestra or I like to call (the first huge Electropop group).  Now he’s take on this song is a bit more different, having a more clicky synth instead of the various instruments that was in the original.  I actually prefer this to the original as it doesn’t feel as dragged on as normal and is a lot more cuter as well. 

 

 

Shoko’s 2nd of the era, Kokoro no Antenna is the “Strawberry melody”/”Shiny GATE” of the era.  What I mean is that the A-side sucked hard, while the other tracks on the single took over.  I do actually think the rearranged version was to make up for that though.  Garasu no Prism was also not that good of a song since that was dragging a bit for me.  Senode Koi Shichae_● & Moe yo Gizamimi Pichu! were the shiners of the single.  This is the kind of Shoko I really like, but at the same time, I’m missing the more serious Shoko from her last single.