Kurayami Monogatari

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Minami Kizuki – Shiroi Tsuki July 19, 2009

Filed under: Minami Kizuki — solarblade @ 10:31 am

shiroitsuki

Track Listing

  1. Shiroi Tsuki
  2. Hikari Sasumichi
  3. Shiokaze to Kogarashi

1. Shiroi Tsuki

It’s funny how much a song sounds better with a full arrangement.  Unlike the e.p. version there’s actually piano and some bongos that lead in the song.  I’m still not feeling for the shima-uta style that’s prevalent with Minami as I think she sounds really good without it.  It’s good that it does make her stand out in this ballad, but seriously she sounds really good without it. 

2. Hikari Sasumichi

The first B-side comes up and it’s even more of a simpler ballad than “Shiroi Tsuki”.  I really like how the verses are mostly absent of her signature sound which is a plus.  Even then she’s not depending on it so much and that makes me a happy person as we get to hear more of her nice vocals.  She’s no ayaka, but she can hold her fort down pretty well.  I do think the song is a bit better than “Shiroi Tsuki” albeit a little bit better, but that’s because of the more stable vocals here.

3. Shiokaze to Kogarashi

How unexpected that Minami would put out something that’s upbeat and so bouncy.  I mean it’s good to finally hear something that’s not a ballad and full of the meh vocals we’re usually stuck with.  She’s actually using even less of the shima-uta to the point where it’s not even that noticeable (thank god).  At the price of that, her vocals are a bit airy and flat at points since she doesn’t have a good overall vibrato (not shima-uta, but like regular vibrato).

 

 

I got to say, of this era, Shiroi Tsuki is her best single since she doesn’t use her shima-uta throughout the entire single which is such a plus.  Shiroi Tsuki is a bit like “Ai Tsumugi” in the way she overuses it while both Hikaru Sasumichi and Shiokaze to Kogarashi aren’t dependent on it (the latter not even using it).  She probably should get lessons though to get some regular vibrato since Shiokaze to Kogarashi was lacking in that area…Still good single.

 

Minami Kizuki – Kaiki Nisshoku E.P.

Filed under: Minami Kizuki — solarblade @ 10:09 am

kaikanshoku

Track Listing

  1. Shiroi Tsuki (Kaiki Nisshoku ver.) with Chen Min
  2. Taiyou to Kakurenbo with MIHO HATORI (CIBO MATTO)
  3. Shiki Utakata with sleepy.ab

1. Shiroi Tsuki (Kaiki Nisshoku ver.) with Chen Min

It’s kind of weird to see Minami release a short release.  Here we have basically Minami singing with some flute and that’s about it.  The vocal thing that I keep bagging her about is actually her main style of singing called “Shima-Uta” and it’s where she purposely clips the note and that makes the singing sound like it’s messy (and it is, but it’s kind of forgettable).  I don’t like how that the song is really short and basically nothing but flute is backing her up.  It kind of sounds too empty if you ask me.

2. Taiyou to Kakurenbo with MIHO HATORI (CIBO MATTO)

Being 10 seconds longer, Taiyou to Kakurenbo is quite nice sounding actually and the slight electronica feel mixed with Minami’s shima-uta style fits in pretty well.  It also sounds a little traditional with the drums pounding away like it is.  It’s quite nice actually and is a step-up from the last track.

3. Shiki Utakata with sleepy.ab

Then we get a ballad outta Shiki Utakata.  It is a bit more towards Minami’s vocals which is better, then again it is making her standout is a somewhat bad way because of how she’s choosing her notes to flail around like that behind the more band-like sound. 

 

 

So Minami releases an E.P. on iTunes a week before her single “Shiroi Tsuki” which is a little odd considering what we have.  This Shiroi Tsuki felt really empty and the flute mixing with Minami’s signature vocals were not a good pairing.  Taiyou to Kakurenbo and Shiki Utakata sounded a lot better, but that’s because the arrangement was more filling to the occasion.  Also, she was collaborating here, so I’m guessing she’s trying out new waters right?

 

BREAKERZ – Hikari

Filed under: BREAKERZ — solarblade @ 9:52 am

hikari

Track Listing

  1. Hikari
  2. Faraway so Close.
  3. B.R.Z. ~Ashita e no Kakehashi~ Acoustic Version (Regular Edition only)
  4. Everlasting Luv Live Version (Limited Edition A only)
  5. BAMBINO Live Version (Limited Version B only)

1. Hikari

I think for the first time listening to BREAKERZ, I finally hear a ballad-like track from the trio.  DAIGO sounds really good doing the more serious singing this time around and his emotional vocals resonate very well through the song.  Even when one of the guitarists come in for their solo at the midpoint, it stays true to its form and I like it.  It might not be as good as “BAMBINO”, but this is a pretty good rock ballad for sure.

2. Faraway so Close.

Unlike the soft relaxing feel “Hikari” gave, Its B-side was a return to a more rocking BREAKERZ we have all loved from the start (not me though).  I do hear snippets and synth here and there through the song and that’s always a nice welcome to their music.  It’s furious and full of life.  I think it made a great B-side to “Hikari”

3. B.R.Z. ~Ashita e no Kakehashi~ Acoustic Version~

Just like how the last single had a past song,  “Hikari” also features a song from the same past album.  It’s funny since I haven’t heard the original, but the song sounds a bit like reggae and jazz mixed together to make a strange hybrid with each other.  I’m not sure if I like it much, but it’s kind of different from the band and I like that they can keep it original and keep it as a band.

4. Everlasting LUV Live Version

Now for different versions of the CD+DVD versions, we get a live version of both of the last A-sides.  Everlasting LUV was the more frenetic one between the two and it seems to continue in their live performance.  DAIGO does live performances well even though he might sound off at places, it’s still not bad here. 

5. BAMBINO Live Version

BAMBINO was actually the fun song here.  Now the live version of this track is very explosive and pretty sweet and more of the crowd was even into this track moreso than the last track actually.  There’s still problems that DAIGO is stressing himself off like that, but still a pretty worthy performance.

 

 

BREAKERZ’s 3rd single was a nice surprise as Hikari showed off a softer side to the group and I like that they can just take it slower.  Faraway so Close. was more serious than what I’ve heard from them and I really thought it was a catchy tune.  The other 3 tracks were alright more or less to the respectable originals.

 

Aya Hirano – Super Driver

Filed under: Aya Hirano — solarblade @ 8:58 am

superdriver

Track Listing

  1. Super Driver
  2. Aishite!
  3. Super Driver (off vocal)
  4. Aishite! (off vocal)

1. Super Driver

So unlike the last single, Super Driver is more rock-oriented which is definitely a positive thing.  I don’t know why, but this song is a energetic as the title suggests.  Even though the song doesn’t do anything good for Aya vocal-wise, she does sound so much more into the song than she did for either of the previous A-sides.  The only problem though is that Super Driver might come off as a mirror to “Set me free”.  For me though, it’s a pretty good A-side, just as worthy as “Set me free”.

2. Aishite!

Thank god Aishite! comes in.  It’s still rock, which is starting to run dry for her.  At least she featured brass in the song and vocally she isn’t yelling her heart out until the chorus.  I do like the energy as well here, but sometimes she’s going into idol mode.  The interlude of the song was a bit weird, but otherwise another fun song from Aya.

 

 

As a package, Super Driver was a good pickup after “Set me free/Sing a Song!” as both songs were different from each other.  As for the songs themselves, I thought Super Driver was more or less sameish to the stuff on her last single while Aishite! took a more brass-forward approach with the rock song.  Maybe she’s getting a little stale now, but the single is keeping her afloat.