Kurayami Monogatari

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SAWA – I Can Fly July 24, 2009

Filed under: SAWA — solarblade @ 12:32 pm

icanfly

Track Listing

  1. I Can Fly
  2. Sing It Back
  3. NightDesert
  4. I Love You Always Forever
  5. My Sunny Days
  6. Sing It Back -Extended Club Mix- Japanese ver. (limited only)
  7. Sing It Back -Extended Club Mix- English ver. (limited only)
  8. Sing It Back -Extended Club Mix- Instrumental (limited only)

1. I Can Fly

Ok, so the main promotional track for SAWA’s 3rd mini-album, it’s actually quite a departure from what her last promotional track, “Stars” was like.  Instead having a harder edge, SAWA is a bit more lighter, in the synthpop sound.  Sadly, the song didn’t really do anything for me because of it’s lighter image and the annoying girly vocals saying ~I Can Fly & etc.~  SAWA herself sounds a bit more refined here which makes up for some of the problems, but the song itself isn’t anything special.

2. Sing It Back

Sing It Back is actually a Japanese cover of a Moloko track.  Really though, you don’t actually hear the cover until the chorus comes in.  I actually find it a bit more nice compared to the stale “I Can Fly” as it sounds a lot different than her last release as well.  I mean the light dance beat and the acoustic guitar here, it’s pretty cool.  SAWA still is a bit sketchy on her English, but she sounds really good, especially in the slower part in the song…wow.

3. NightDesert

At first, NightDesert has a pretty ethereal background and SAWA’s ad-libbing filtering through the track.  It’s funny that the arrangement has like Tourette’s syndrome because these deep synths just seem to pop in and out of the song in the most inappropriate of times.  SAWA sounds good here as well, I’ve just been noticing she’s been getting better as a singer so that’s good.  I like NightDesert, but the random synth parts make it hard to like it fully…

4. I Love You Always Forever

Another cover track, this one from Donna Lewis’ biggest hit.  I love the original, don’t get me wrong, it’s like one of my “MUST HAVE” songs on the iPod.  Sadly, SAWA just took the song and butchered horribly with such an empty arrangment and Engrish up the know-how.  It really makes you wonder how she’s an English teacher.  After the empty opening, the song gets a funky kind of sound going on, but c’mon, why did you slow things down and mess it up lyrically?

5. My Sunny Days

My Sunny Days is probably SAWA’s happiest tune she has right now.  It has a light club feel to it, which is a nice change and her vocals are back to normal.  It sounds like a more better and happier version of “I Can Fly” and thank god.  SAWA in the chorus is a bit weird, but it’s not enough to really persuade me away from the song.  I actually think it’s a pretty good song.

6. Sing It Back -Extended Club Mix- Japanese ver.

Basically almost 2 extra minutes of song, Sing It Back got extended and is only on the limited edition of the single.  Other than various instrumental parts in the song, and it’s not all crowded in the front of the song or the back.  It’s still danceable and the latin sound is ever so nicely placed in the song.  I thought it was a good extension.

7. Sing It Back -Extended Club Mix- English ver.

I think the more important extension was the English version.  It’s the same length as the last track so don’t worry about that and the arrangement is the same as well, so another thing to not worry.  The new addition is SAWA using English here and even though she still is terrible at singing our language, she did a good job to not make it so horrible like she did in her Donna Lewis cover. 

 

 

SAWA, like immi debuted under a major label as well and I Can Fly isn’t as good as her “TIME&SPACE* mini-album.  I do know that’s it’s better than her first for sure.  It sucks that she had to pick “I Can Fly” to represent this release as it’s so bland.  She did win me over with Sing It Back and My Sunny Days so that’s good right?  NightDesert was a little erratic for me, but it’s ok.  the extension as well were alright and gave the song more life and well I Love You Always Forever is pretty bad as a cover IMO…..Average release, but I do like she’s keeping dance as her main style.  immi vs. SAWA?  immi had the better A-side, but SAWA didn’t have remixed to plague the single, it’s hard, but I think SAWA had a slightly better release.

 

FLOW – NUTS BANG!!!

Filed under: FLOW — solarblade @ 11:54 am

nutsbang

Track Listing

  1. NUTS BANG!!!
  2. SUMMER FREAK
  3. Bring it on!
  4. Tasogare Summer Days
  5. SURFIN’ U.S.A.

1. NUTS BANG!!!

So we begin this mini-album with a pretty rockin’ track from the group.  We also see a return of some rapping from the group which I missed.  Now this is the FLOW that I’m used.  They’re lively, excited and pretty amazing as they go through the song.  Both Keigo and Kohshi do a really good job singing and rapping, they even threw in some growling in it.  Ok, that’s a bit weird…but the song is pretty cool.

2. SUMMER FREAK

SUMMER FREAK is a bit more faster than the last track and since both Keigo and Kohshi are singing this time.  It still carries their fun and energetic style for being J-rock and they’re still sounding so cool here.  Even the rapping seemed to fit here better.  Another good track.

3, Bring it on!

Surprisingly, they sound like they’re throwing in some reggae in with their rock sound to make a pretty tight song.  The vocalists sound a bit funny as they try to sing deeper than normal and it made for some lulz.  I’m not sure who’s the worst offender of doing it between the two, but cool and flow (pun) in the song is just oozing from them.  I think besides the weird vocal style, this is the best song so far.

4. Tasogare Summer Days

Hmmm…they seemed to split the song at first with this reggae, but then I bit my tongue and learned that it’s their most complex rock track off the mini-album.  I mean Iwasaki (drums) and Got’s (bassist) are doing a lot more here than they were in the previous tracks.  If it wasn’t for the reggae pauses during the song, I would’ve said this’d be awesome on “#5”.  It’s just that hard and awesome.

5. SURFIN’ U.S.A.

Jeeze….a cover of that famous Beach Boys song?  I’m sorry, but Japanese guys singing American rock songs just doesn’t cut it and sadly, FLOW did not do a good job covering this.  I mean the music is there, but it’s Keigo’s terrible lack of English that really took me out of the song.  He kind of likes to overaccent the words and it’s bothersome.  The FLOW energy is still there, so it’s not all bad and Take’s solo was awesome.

 

 

For being a summer album, they really upped their personalities and liveability ten fold with this release.  It was fun, very energetic, the songs didn’t sound like each other at all and even though the cover was meh, the rest are so good that I can see one or two of these tracks on their new album as they are that good.  *RECOMMENDED*

 

immi – WONDER EP

Filed under: immi — solarblade @ 10:49 am

wonder

Track Listing

  1. WONDER
  2. Joe le taxi
  3. Cosmic Pink (THE LOWBROWS Remix)
  4. Aru to Lito
  5. WONDER (RimmiX)

1. WONDER

I love how the song starts up with an 8-bit like introduction into the song.  After immi comes in with her vocals, the song actually sounds like something that would be exactly from “SWiTCH” and that’s good that she’s been consistent with her more electro-based sound.  The beat is pretty cool and some of the synths are so pretty cool too.  Pretty sweet A-side if you ask me.

2. Joe le taxi

Being a cover of a Vanessa Paradis track, I wasn’t exactly feeling the original, but knowing immi, I knew she was going to make it more enjoyable and since it’s a French song as well, I was really curious to see how she’d fare overall.  What I got was pretty darker and heavier electro track from immi.  I can’t comment on her French, because I know nothing of the language really, but the song is so catchy and immi did a really cool job with this cover.

3. Cosmic Pink (THE LOWBROWS Remix)

Grand, another THE LOWBROWS remix…Cosmic Pink gets the remix this time and instead of the cutesy feeling of the original version, we actually get a more somber sounding version of the track and I think it suited the track overall.  I do have to admit though that how immi’s vocals are processed in the song are a bit strange as it sounds like it was sung in a studio with no editing.  I’m not exactly feeling that, but the rest is pretty good.

4. Aru to Lito

I can only suggest that Aru to Lito is something she really wanted to do because this has a lot of odd things going on.  I mean 8-bit sounds here and there with the synths, immi singing English through most of the track.  It’s something new at least and it’s not too bad, but it’s nothing eye-popping either. 

5. WONDER (RimmiX)

I’m surprised to see WONDER why a tag like that.  Anyways, if you haven’t noticed they took the song and remixed it and it’s the longest track here also.  Right from the start the music is more aggressive in nature and immi’s vocals are filtered all over so it’s not like messy, but it could’ve been handled a little better. 

 

 

immi’s major label debut was something good actually.  If she continues to release songs like WONDER and Joe le taxi then she’ll be in good hands for sure as both continued to show her progress as an electro-pop artist.  The remixes were alright, nothing to spectacular and Aru to Lito is meh as a B-side.

 

school food punishment – butterfly swimmer

Filed under: school food punishment — solarblade @ 1:17 am

butterflyswimmer

Track Listing

  1. butterfly swimmer
  2. beer trip
  3. futuristic imagination -AVALON Remix-

1. butterfly swimmer

Ahhhh, butterfly swimmer is definitely something fresh and sweet from the band.  Right from the start you notice the song is a bit calmer than their last A-side, but you still hear the how elusive the song’s arrangement is.  After a while of Yumi’s singing, the song becomes more energetic when Hidai (drummer) comes in and adds his take.  I really love that they take their pop song and mix electronic elements to it.  I thought this is just as good as “futuristic imagination” if not more better from them. 

2. beer trip

beer trip is the funniest title I’ve seen in a while.  Then again, beer trip remids me a bit of “flat” with it’s more acoustic driven sound and the 8-bit sounds that are covered in the song.  The thing that makes the song so much better though is the fact it’s actually catchy and Yumi does a good job with what she has.  Even the band has a good overall sound in the song, wow sweeet.

3. futuristic imagination -AVALON Remix-

Just like the previous single, we get a remix of the last main track.  futuristic imagination gets a remix and that is good, but I actually think the remix doesn’t go anywhere efficient enough to make it stand out like “you may crawl’s” did.  Weirder is that there’s like no lyrics here and times there are, it’s muffled to the point where it goes by unnoticebly.

 

 

school food punishment contines to release pretty strongly with the release of this single.  butterfly swimmer is a bit more pop-laced that “futuristic imagination”, but in a way that’s good because it shows their magic in their music and I love it.  Same thing about beer trip.  It’s like they know how to keep releasing strong works and utilizing their original sound.  The remix though was terribly useless since it featured like nothing of the original, even the lyrics were put out enough IMO…That’s kind of why I think this single is a bit lesser liked than “futuristic imagination”.