Kurayami Monogatari

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Aira Mitsuki – PLASTIC July 26, 2009

Filed under: Aira Mitsuki — solarblade @ 9:08 pm

plastic

Track Listing

  1. Robot Honey
  2. Summeeeeeeeer set (feat. AYUSE KOZUE)
  3. Knee-high Girl
  4. BAD trip (feat. Terukado)
  5. CHANGE MY WILL
  6. HiGH SD Sneaker
  7. distant STARS
  8. Plastic Doll
  9. Sapuri
  10. Natsu Ame (feat. Kuchiroro)
  11. Time is (feat. Shigeo)
  12. Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS
  13. BARBiE BARBiE
  14. Re:†
  15. Spring Sky (TOWER RECORDS Bonus Track)

REMIX CD

  1. BARBiE BARBiE (80kidz rmx)
  2. Summeeeeeeeer set (feat. AYUSE KOZUE (Terukado rmx)
  3. HiGH SD Sneaker (Yuki Saito rmx)
  4. Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS (Traks Boys rmx)
  5. Swallowtail D.A.N.C.E (Cherryboy Function rmx)
  6. China Discotica (Substance rmx)
  7. Robot Honey (Sound Around rmx)
  8. Happiness land (I Am Robot and Proud rmx)

1. Robot Honey

So we begin the album with what started it in the first place, Robot Honey was pretty sweet at first when it was released since it didn’t sound like anything else.  Though after time, it started to grow less on me as it was replaced by other songs and the fact that the song sounded really gritty which is unusual for an Aira song at the time.  I do like she incorporate more electric guitar in the song, but I still don’t enjoy it as much as I did then.  Like one person said, “Kill the mastering operator”, It’s terrible here.

2. Summeeeeeeeer set (feat. AYUSE KOZUE)

It’s awesome to see two of my artists working together.  We got Aira’s special set of vocals mixed with AYUSE’s more cleaner vocals together.  Both are under vocoder BTW so it does make it a little hard to figure them out, but the obvious is there so hahaha.  It does sound a little like something off her last album, but the two gals together made it better for me as it’s pretty bouncy.  Good job!

3. Knee-high Girl

Seriously?  Knee-high Girl over “SAZAE FUNKEDELiC”?  I don’t know, but since it was off of “Robot Honey’s” single, it’s understandable that she was bringing at least one B-side to the album from each single.  Knee-high Girl is definitely a lot more in your face and is one of those tracks that are dependent on the music, rather than the lyrics.  It’s funny that the voice from “Swallowtail D.A.N.C.E” returns here and has a bigger role in the song as well too.  It’s alright, but I’d rather have “SAZAE FUNKEDELiC” instead.  Sadly, it’s another one of the tracks where the mastering sucks completely.

4. BAD trip (feat. Terukado)

I have to say, Terukado knows how to make hardcore tracks.  Though he’s heavily taking what he did to Saori@destiny’s “EZ DO DANCE” and giving them to Aira.  It’s funny because it also worked well in this track.  It’s got more of a good melody unlike Terukado’s last work with Aira “Beep Count Fantastic”. but this song just screams rave right here.  I love it though despite having so many clear ripoffs going on. 

5. CHANGE MY WILL

I do think that CHANGE MY WILL was the best track off her final single of the era and seeing it on here was like duh, we already knew that.  Following after “BAD trip”, I thought this was a pretty sweet idea.  Now this is the song that I thought was to be the next “Beep Count Fantastic” since it’s aggressive and more of the whole repetition in the lyrical sense, but it’s still good.  It just was suck with two bland tracks. 

6. HiGH SD Sneaker

I’m just surprised she didn’t stick all of “Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS’s” tracks on this album since all of it was pure gold.  Unlike the previous tracks, it starts pretty quietly before running into the more energetic trance sound it’s holding.  There’s also more of a tune going on here rather than mindless music which is what I wanted with her more aggressive tracks.  It even tricks people by sounding like it ends, but it explodes back…I though that was amazingly done.  Besides “COSMiC CHOPPER”, this is the best B-side of the era.

7. distant STARS

I’m looking at the album and I’ve already heard the new tracks, so being the lone ballad off the album, distant STARS was easily the better choice between it and “Every night heartfull music song”, even though both are strikingly too similar to one another.  The thing that makes this standout is the fact the beginning sounds muffled, like it’s being played by a record.  After that, the song clears up and stuff.  Actually it does sound like a track Q;indivi would’ve done actually.  It’s nighttime feel and overall calm feel to it. 

8. Plastic Doll

After the barrage of pre-released tracks, we start with the new ones including Plastic Doll which was the main promotional track for this album.  It’s actually a really nice track, giving her a more ethereal arrangement works for sure.  The beginning is like orgasmic to my ears which is so good.  I will say it has some influences from “Yellow Supercar” but they are few and far between and it is the “GALAXY BOY” of the album.

9. Sapuri

Sapuri to me sounds like the oddball off the album because it really sounds like 80’s new-wave or something off of “JAPANESE CHAOS”.  That right there kind of tells me the song just isn’t that good because oddly true.  It might be a new sound Aira is under, but the song lacked something to make it standout.  The mid-tempo is also is another boring thing IMO. 

10. Natsu Ame (feat. Kuchiroro)

I’m clearly trying to understand why Aira is getting weird all of a sudden.  Anywho, Natsu Ame is actually a rearrangement of “Fantasy Candy” off her debut album.  Instead of the cutesy synth-pop from the original it’s giving a jazzy feel or like how Selly says it, bossa-nova vibe.  That is true since the feeling is quite different this time around.  Also the inclusion of Kuchiroro gives it the male touch to it as well.  I myself don’t like the guy since he sounds so boring during his parts.  Strange song though XD

11. Time is (feat. Shigeo)

Time is is a bit strange as well because it’s like more funky and once again shows versatility in Aira’s favor.  The music definitely sounds new and quite calm as well.  Shigeo’s part fits in a whole lot better than Kuchiroro’s part in “Natsu Ame”.  I do laugh every time that Aira says ~time iszzzu up~ So damn funny.  It could be another quick favorite off the album for me.  OMG, near the end, another WTF moment  happens and I love it XD

12. Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS

Well, we’re saving her amazing A-side for the late part of the album eh?  I love how different it sounded when it was first released.  Unlike “Robot Honey’s” overload of synth, this track actually takes it lightly and the almost hip-hop sound overall was just crazy cool.  I don’t know, but this could be the best A-side of the year, maybe.  The chorus (though repetitive) was catchy as hell though and the after-chorus bit weird in the transition, but just as catchy.  Wow!

13. BARBiE BARBiE

It does seem better that BARBiE BARBiE is far away from “Robot Honey” on this album.  I mean they both are quite similar (except RH has a more powerful 8-bit sound).  I’m not sure why she chose this to be a single because it doesn’t standout when compared to the other 4 singles in the era (counting “Valentine STEP” and “Aira no Kagaku CD).  It’s just otherwise very stale, even the PV was obviously a rehash of “Robot Honey’s”.

14. Re:†

I don’t know how to even pronounce this, but our final track on the album is oddly the longest track she’s ever done (that isn’t a megamix).  Clocking in at almost 8 and a half minutes, Re:† has a lot of interesting things going on.  I mean the beginning sounded like something Halloween-ish, then Aira comes in a pretty aggressive part.  I can hear a little bit of JUSTICE and I wondered if she worked with them on this track.  It’s quite epic for being such a long track.  There’s this guy in it and he’s sounds so creepy and Aira’s quips too…one of her standout tracks for sure.

15. Spring Sky

Released as a bonus track on a seperate CD ala “L0ne1yBoy L0ne1yGirl”, Spring Sky is a TOWER RECORD’s exclusive and sad it is because once again, just like the previous track, it’s another song that sounds so good that why she didn’t put it on the album in the first place is baffling.  It does sound like a more danceable track off of “C.O.P.Y” and the song’s heavier bass sound is so good.  It’s funny that I do get a sense of spring in the song and Aira’s echoed vocals are a nice welcome.  Shame, it’s that good.

REMIX CD

1. BARBiE BARBiE (80kidz rmx)

So our first of three new remixes, BARBiE BARBiE gets a remix from 80kidz who’s getting some notice around the electro community.  I actually think it’s the more interesting choice for them to remix it as has only parts from the chorus playing around most of the time and even though that can be annoying, the music is pretty good which is a first since Aira doesn’t have many “good” remixes. 

2. Summeeeeeeeer set (feat. AYUSE KOZUE (Terukado rmx)

I’m kind of surprised they didn’t remix “Plastic Doll” instead, but what we have here.  Taking the summery track and morphed it into some good, heavy techno sound.  Summeeeeeeeer Set was a good choice from Terukado to remix (though, does that mean AYUSE do the original?).  On here it doesn’t really sound like the other remixes, rather a more important track.  Good song, all-around.

3. HiGH SD Sneaker (Yuki Saito rmx)

The last of our new remixes, HiGH SD Sneaker comes raring its head on the remix cd.  Ehhhhh, I’m not sure it I’m liking this remix as it takes out the aggressive nature of the original and kind of throws parts of the song to a pretty wacky arrangement that sounds a bit all over the place.  Maybe it’s the point of it, but it’s the worst of the 3 new remixes.

4. Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS (Traks Boys rmx)

The remaining remixes come from previous singles/album.  Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS comes first and I love how begins with Aira repeating the chorus over and over and listen as the music gradually gets louder and louder.  By the time Aira gets into the other vocal parts, Half the song has already gone by.  I do love the harder edge this remix brought and after getting used to it from the single, it’s one of my favorite remixes in the list of em. 

5. Swallowtail D.A.N.C.E. (Cherryboy function rmx)

Wait, why do we have an album track on the remix CD?  I mean everyone remembers this track being the funky one on “C.O.P.Y”.  I’m pretty sure there’ll be an original version one day…Anyway the song definitely brings back the edgier sound found on her last album and it’s still one of the best new tracks off her debut album.  I love how the synths are like bouncy and erratic altogether at the same time.  Even better is the parts Aira and the other voice has, it’s awesome.  Whatever, it’s crazy good.

6. China Discotica (Substance rmx)

I’m not sure why I’m reviewing this a 3rd time, but here we go again.  Being the earliest remix of the CD, China Discotica does sound a little bit electro-poppish compared to the others here.  Instead of the crazy and random original version, the Substance remix takes the song into like i said, electropop sounds and even though Aira is singing a good portion, it doesn’t stand to the original.

7. Robot Honey (Sound Around rmx)

I barely remembered this remix from said single at all.  Unlike the crazy mastering fail of the original, the song sounds a whole lot better with this remix as it doesn’t make horrible strides to cut apart the song.  It actually takes out the 8-bit sounds, kept the electric guitar parts and Sound Around added their own flavor into the track and I thought it was way better than the original IMO. 

8. Happiness land (I am Robot and Proud rmx)

Another track I have to review a third time? WTF?!  I swear one more time and I’m going to shoot someone.  Anyways, the track is a more refined and upbeat take on the closest thing to a ballad on “C.O.P.Y”.  I think I prefer the original though as it has the right set of mind while this takes a more joyous route, but this isn’t that bad either.  I just wished, like I said the last time, it didn’t end so randomly like it did, definitely left me wanting a lot more.

Tracks Recommended

  • Sayonara TECHNOPOLiS
  • Plastic Doll
  • Swallowtail D.A.N.C.E. (Cherryboy function rmx)
  • Time is (feat Shigeo)
  • Spring Sky

Song of Avoidance

  • Natsu Ame feat. Kuchiroro (PLASTIC)
  • HiGH SD Sneaker (Yuki Kaito rmx) (Remix CD)

Let’s talk about the album first.  For being Aira’s sophomore album, she did actually quite well with what she was given and it came out really good.  I did have problems with tracks and their mastering even more so than I did back on “C.O.P.Y”.  A few tracks sounded really out of line and gave me headaches.  Now taking the headphones off, it’s actually a pretty good album.  I think she would’ve benefitted more if she had put “Valentine STEP” and “Science Music” because both were so experimental just like a good portion of the album was and I love Aira for doing that.

Now the remix album was kind of an odd choice to really go forth with.  8 tracks though isn’t really worth it when 5 tracks are previously released remixes.  Maybe 2 more new remixes would’ve soften the blow, but c’mon this was just not that smart of a plan.  Honestly, she should’ve stuck “Natsu Ame” here instead of the album IMO.

Now, my thoughts on the Aira vs. Perfume deal?  Since Triangle and PLASTIC are their “2nd” album, I felt that Perfume did a better job going in the direction they were meaning to go as their songs were more synth-pop more than anything (and IMO get some slower songs,so they won’t have an overload of dance tracks).  Aira’s album however is a bit more underground electro which is basically what she was going for anyways so she tops on that lane.  Sales-wise is obvious.  As a total package, Aira definitely won.  I mean the album had more tracks, a remix CD, an extra track if bought from TOWER, and a DVD with ALL OF HER PV’S….Perfume’s was just pathetic compared to this….So in the end, I think Aira is having her year. 

 

sphere – Super Noisy Nova

Filed under: sphere — solarblade @ 1:33 pm

supernoisynova

Track Listing

  1. Super Noisy Nova
  2. Dangerous girls
  3. Super Noisy Nova (off vocal)
  4. Dangerous girls (off vocal)

1. Super Noisy Nova

Instead of the euro sound “Future Stream” had, Super Noisy Nova has a more typical anime-sound going and the collection of seiyuu’s in the group means vocal issues are full and plenty in the song.  I was expecting something explosive with a title like Super Noisy Nova.  All I got was just your typical cutesy anime opening…

2. Dangerous girls

Then we get Dangerous girls that’s actually more like something Buono! would have done earlier in their careers.  I prefer this track, even though Haruka Tomatsu stands out in the song and not in a good way if you ask me.  It still does scream typical, but the energy is good and besides Haruka, the other gals do a fine job in the song. 

 

 

I actually think their 2nd single is a bit more idol-like just because of how both of the tracks work.  I do still enjoy “Future Stream” a whole lot more as it wasn’t so obvious.  Seiyuu’s and this kind of music are all over the place and even though their was the rockish Dangerous girls…it’s all stuff we can compare to easily.