Kurayami Monogatari

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MiChi – UP TO YOU September 30, 2009

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 6:47 am

uptoyou

Track Listing

  1. MadNesS vol.1
  2. PROMiSE
  3. ChaNge the WoRLd
  4. Why oh Why
  5. HEy GirL
  6. KISS KISS xxx
  7. RaiN
  8. Oh Oh…
  9. Something Missing
  10. One of a Kind
  11. Shibuya de Punch
  12. WoNDeRLaND?
  13. YOU
  14. UP TO YOU

1. MadNesS vol.1

Opening the album, MadNesS vol.1 kind of sounds like a whole lot of random thrown into the song, but with them strings, it’s tied together which is funny, and there’s even English lyrics filling the tune.  She so should’ve made this into a full track because this opening is really catchy.

2. PROMiSE

Ahhh, already PROMiSE shows nostalgia for me.  It just seems to be the perfect major label debut and PROMiSE was so damn good and continues to be better than all the singles released this era.  MiChi’s edgier rock sound with this tune totally made the song awesome and c’mon that long bridge where she’s pseudo-rapping was cool for me.  Best A-side from this album.

2. ChaNge the WoRLd

Fitting enough to put the next A-side of the era after “PROMiSE”.  While it’s more pop-focused and has a more positive feeling, ChaNge the WoRLd is another good tune when it was released.  Though it does have a bit of a similarity problem with the previous track as they are produced by the same guy.  I think the most memorable thing was the PV with the paint flying everywhere, that’s what I think of everytime someone mentions the song.

4. Why oh Why

While it’s not a totally new track, originally “YOY” from her last single, “YOU”, Why oh Why is a more edgier version and mixes the languages rather than taking one side.  I still think there’s a little something missing from the song, but I still love the electroish sound of the song for sure.  Ok, I know for sure that something is missing from the chorus….it felt really dry to me!  At least the rest of the song is pretty awesome.

5. HEy GirL

I think we all knew this was going to reappear on this album since it was the only B-side to have a PV.  Coming from the first single, I’m surprised at all the thing going on here, from chanting to elephants trumpeting.  It does fit after “Why oh Why” with a little bit of an electro side, but it also shows a sexy side to MiChi which is always plus.  Pretty awesome track still.

6. KISS KISS xxx

The 3rd A-side of the era, I initially started to think she was going to get more stale with her A-sides because they were all sounding sameish.  After taking the time to listen to the song, it still is rather a bit more like “PROMiSE”, with it’s alright verses, great bridge, and uber catchy chorus.  Cute song overall, even more than “PROMiSE”.

7. RaiN

We finally get into some new tracks starting with RaiN.  At first I like the whole acoustic vibe the song has and loved the little horns that came in every now and then.  I was expecting more of a ballad from this, but hearing this after “KISS KISS xxx” was also a nice change.  It’s another one of those cute songs you’d come to expect from MiChi.  I do love how it ends with ~girl, don’t cry~ and you start to hear rain falling.  Nice!

8. Oh Oh…

Then you hear MiChi count us into our next track and it carries a rather mid-tempo relaxing sound that comes from acoustic guitar.  This is actually a strange track because MiChi is showing a lot of personality with lines like ~Well, i don’t give a shit of what you think of me.  Why don’t you just shut the fuck up, right now.~  I think my jaw dropped when that line popped up and I’m like (YOU GO GIRL!)  She’s rather angry in this song and I loved every moment and probably a lot of girls would want to say it.

9. Something Missing

Weird that it’s tied-in with the video game, Bayonetta.  Something Missing takes a more grittier and darker sound and it oddly fits within this album, especially after “Oh Oh…”.  It might not have enough personality or interest like the other songs, but it’s rather catchy.  When she starts to ad-lib, I think that’s where I start to begin liking the song altogether.  Pretty shweet.

10. One of a Kind

We go back to pissy-sounding MiChi and coming from the “ChaNge the WoRLd” single, this made a perfect fit.  You know I enjoy the rock sound from this track and compliments “Something Missing” pretty nicely.  Actually, she’s not too pissy, but it’s more like (I can do what I want despite what you think).  It’s probably my favorite B-side of the era.

11. Shibuya de Punch

I’m surprised that she delved outta the more rock-side of the album back into a dance style.  I actually think Shibuya de Punch is a whole lot more sexier than any other song off the album.  I have to say the edge here is definitely needed and is one of the standout tracks here.  I loved it.

12. WoNDeRLaND?

The song that I really didn’t like, WoNDeRLaND? pops up and still doesn’t make me enjoy the song anymore than i should.  It’s rather different because it mixes blues with MiChi’s synth/pop sound and while that might look nice, it doesn’t really sound good and it disappears when she enters the chorus.  It’s still not the best song off the album, but it’s alright.

13. YOU

The final song of the era, YOU was a surprise to many as it was a heartfelt ballad from MiChi which is a first for her.  I thought it was pretty cool that she’d do a 180 and release this as it is.  She showed us that she can win us over with a ballad and YOU did just that.  One of the simpler songs, but what a great track

14. UP TO YOU

I’m reading that the title track is a rearranged version of “Fuck You and Your Money” and honestly, I don’t care if it is or not because this ended the album pretty cool.  If it’s a different version, then the arrangement is more aggressive and there’s Japanese present as well.  Then again, it might’ve been more appropriate is this was after “WoNDeRLaND?” since she does say it and would’ve made “YOU” a more appropriate album finisher.  Good track though.

Tracks Recommended

  • PROMiSE
  • Oh Oh…
  • Shibuya de Punch
  • One of a Kind
  • YOU

Song of Avoidance

  • WoNDeRLaND?

MiChi’s album was surprisingly good after all.  Besides, the fugly looking cover, MiChi’s continuing her awesomeness with UP TO YOU.  Maybe into the next era, she can show even more of her personality because she’s really becoming someone to watch for!  Just don’t get in her way or she’ll beat ya up!

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JASMINE – sad to say

Filed under: JASMINE — solarblade @ 5:18 am

sadtosay

Track Listing

  1. sad to say
  2. i’m in luv wit u [1989 remix]
  3. Koi
  4. i’m in luv wit u [laid back remix]

1. sad to say

I was almost blown away by the emotional value of sad to say.  I really like that the song is a pretty chill R&B tune and while it’s a bit of a depressing track with the various lines JASMINE has in the song.  Then again I love the whole missing you, but not missing you kind of feeling and that was pretty cool.  The cussing is surprising, weird sounding, but c’mon at least she’s expressing herself.  I actually like this song for sure, I APPROVE!

2. i’m in luv wit u [1989 remix]

Why are you under auto-tune JASMINE?  Anyways, the first remix of a song that doesn’t have an original version does have a feeling of a love song and mixed in with the whole auto-tune makes it rather strange because damn JASMINE has some pipes on her.  I actually can say that the auto-tune ruined the song for me, because I know JASMINE is sounding really nice, but ugh…too much makes me not happy.

3. Koi

I love the beat for Koi already and showcases JASMINE in a more mysterious and sexy side.  I think she actually did come across like that especially with the urban-like arrangement going on.  I think I’m starting to really enjoy this song alot and the chorus was just hot.  Even the interlude with her voice being filtered was just as cool.

4. i’m in luv wit u [laid back remix]

The other remix for i’m in luv wit u fixed all the problems the first version had.  They took out the horrible auto-tuning and JASMINE sounds amazingly better already.  The laid back version is rather a bit too much like “sad to say”, but that’s a small price to pay when you look at her vocals here.  It’s a very cool and chill track and prolly will be one of my favorite tracks.

 

 

JASMINE!  Damn girl has kicked off her career with a very strong single.  Despite the whole appearance between this and her next single, sad to say was a great single and showcased her abilities quite nicely.  All the tracks except the [1989 remix] are great songs in their own right and I hope she continues with “No More”.

 

Sayuri Sugawara – Kimi ni Okuru Uta

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 4:58 am

kiminiokuruuta

Track Listing

  1. Kimi ni Okuru Uta
  2. Destiny feat. FEROS
  3. Koi
  4. Tsuyoku Naritai
  5. I still love you

1. Kimi ni Okuru Uta

Ahhh, Sayuri begins this mini-album with a mid-tempo tune.  First thing I notice about Sayuri is that her vocals are quite relaxed when compared to other artists that do similar tracks.  It’s also delving in a little of R&B and that’s quite nice.  I do think her English is a little off, but it’s easily understandable and she doesnt make those parts stand out.  It’s a nice track altogether and she sung sweetly as well.

2. Destiny feat. FEROS

Released previously as a digital track, Destiny is surprisingly a ballad starting with a beautiful violin opening.  Then things kind of go back into that R&B sound that made up the first track.  After Sayuri’s little dit, FEROS raps along with this and it’s rather tasteless and doesn’t set up Sayuri for after his rapping.  She doesn’t sound right here and beyond the arrangement, this song is skippable.

3. Koi

Koi is a whole lot different than the previous tracks because of the overly Western sound Koi’s got.  Sayuri also sounds a bit more deeper and with the acoustic track behind her, she actually made this a whole lot better.  Still with the happy feeling songs, I thought this was done a whole lot better. 

4. Tsuyoku Naritai

A song that’s like “Koi” again?  I’d say this was more of a contination more than anything.  It does sound like an ayaka song, but I can’t think of which one at the moment.  That being said, it’s rather a nice tune, but placing it after a rather similar song does hinder it.  Tsuyoku Naritai’s acoustic, lively arrangement is possibly a good sound for Sayuri but I don’t want her to possess this side all the time.

5. I still love you

The final track off the mini-album, is finally a pure ballad from Sayuri.  Led by piano and a low thumping beat, I have to say she really scored points with me on this tune.  Her voice is nice and sounds beautiful especially at the end of the chorus where the song sounds like it went sad for a little bit.  Though, it’s weird that she’s saying ~I shtill love u~….though I think she’s playing on words by mixing it with ~aishiteru~ which is basically the same thing.  Clever perhaps?

 

 

I have to say, I can see how Square-Enix chose her to be the gal to sing the insert song for FFXIII.  Her voice is clean and very pretty given the right arrangement.  I do have to say that Destiny was probably the worst song off the mini-album, but I think it was first song issues.  Overall, it’s a nice presentation for Sayuri and I can’t wait to hear her next single.

 

Mano Erina – Kono Mune no Tokimeki wo September 29, 2009

Filed under: Mano Erina — solarblade @ 12:56 pm

konomunetokikmekiwo

Track Listing

  1. Kono Mune no Tokimeki wo
  2. Happy Birthday Mama
  3. Kono Mune no Tokimeki wo (Instrumental)

1. Kono Mune no Tokimeki wo

It’s nice to see a ballad take over as A-side again, because we needed one right?  I’m surprised at the overall wintry feel the song has with the jingle bells and the drifting arrangement.  Manoeri’s vocals haven’t really been fixed for this release and it’s kind of sad to hear her in such a weak tone.  Of the major label tracks released so far, this is probably the weakest one of them.

2. Happy Birthday Mama

The B-side however is a 180 compared to the A-side.  The arrangement is a bit more peppy and cutesy which fits the H!P rule.  I’m noticing Manoeri’s vocals are layered a little bit, but they still aren’t that strong when compared to other H!P members.  It still isn’t as strong as “Sekai wa Summer Party” nor as memorable, but I guess it’s alright.

 

 

I think it’s time for a damn album Manoeri!  Kono Mune no Tokimeki wo is probably the worst single since switching into major.  While I do think the A-side is a nice arranged ballad, her vocals leave nothing to be happy about.  Happy Birthday Mama can be cute when it wants to be, but with that last single, this came up short for me.

 

melody. – READY TO GO! September 28, 2009

Filed under: melody. — solarblade @ 10:38 pm

readytogo

Track Listing

  1. Finding My Road
  2. with you
  3. Love Story
  4. All For Love
  5. HOPE
  6. Glory of Love
  7. READY TO GO!
  8. ONE DAY
  9. Lovin’ U
  10. REAL ME
  11. ALL I DO
  12. Shine
  13. Dangerous

1. Finding My Road

I guess it was appropriate to introduce melody.’s newfound sound with Finding My Road.  While most people would initially put melody. with the whole R&B shtick she’s done, Finding My Road takes a more electronic route and she obviously kicked up her vocals ten fold with this release.  Even better is that this song has a catchy beat and sounds like a good positive song.

2. with you

Our first new song, with you opens up with melody. singing a line and then becomes rather a mix of past and present.  What I mean is that the song has an R&B sound to it, but with the electronic beeps and sounds that is covering this album.  It’s smooth and the interlude with the harmonization and the arrangement was downright amazing.  I’m starting to really love this album already.

3. Love Story

The era’s final A-side, Love Story slows things down immensely for this really pretty ballad.  As the main ballad of the era, Love Story is a beautiful track from melody. and shows she can really sound great.  However this track reaches epic status towards the end where she belts out so well with the song….DAMN!

4. All For Love

Starting up like “with you”, All For Love begins with a simple vocal line from melody. before the song comes in.  Then again I find myself thinking almost the same thing as said track because of the same mixture of genres.  It is a tad bit faster and the harmonizations are once again spot on nice….I wish there was a bit more punch to it, but this is nice.

5. HOPE

If you know me real well, then you know HOPE is my favorite melody. song.  HOPE is probably one of the most chilliest, dark songs I’ve heard from any electronic artist.  melody. is purposely being monotone throughout the song and it really fits the mood.  She throws a lot of English in the song and while it is rather short and the ending probably wasn’t the best way to end it, HOPE is just so epic for me.

6. Glory of Love

The lone cover on the album, melody. covers a Peter Cetara tune and gives it a nice touchup.  There’s a bit of whimsical feel to the song and it could be from the happy violins and the quick electronic blips that come in through the song.  Now this is also a full English tune and I have to say melody. does an amazing job at it.  Good song

7. READY TO GO!

Being the album’s title track, READY TO GO! is a bit more softer on the electronic sounds, but there’s still things the keep it interesting.  Sadly, the song sadly sounds boring in the chorus and I was like…(damn girl, way to fail).  I’m sorry, but so far this song is the worst off the album.

8. ONE DAY

I’m starting to sense the songs are going a bit downhill after “READY TO GO!”.  ONE DAY harkens back to her previous two albums with its R&B sound with little sounds of electronic.  ONE DAY does flow nicely and while melody. doesn’t try to really push her vocals, it’s alright, but not as good as the other tracks. 

9. Lovin’ U

Beginning the era off, Lovin’ U wasn’t exactly the strongest song she’s had.  It actually was perceived that the era was going to continue her line of meh songs and Lovin’ U sadly suffers from that.  On the album, it’s a bit better since it doesn’t really sound like any other track…talk about strange right?

10. REAL ME

We get back into the more interesting songs here starting with the string-based REAL ME.  I just love the beat for this and then add the quick strings and the light latin-y sound and you get a great song.  She’s still not vocally singing out, but this is still a cool dance track.

11. ALL I DO

Oddly enough, ALL I DO is actually the purest form of a ballad melody. has on the album and I loved finding that.  Finally though, melody. is singing out strongly and I’m so happy that it came out so well as it did.  The arrangement not be the most original ideas and probably is rather a mundane track alone, but where it’s on the album, I thought it was a fresh breath of air.

12. Shine

The last two tracks rather seemed like last-minute additions to the album.  Shine comes up first and it probably one of the poppiest sounding tunes on the album and the carefree feelings were really nice.  The thumping beats sounded strong as well…Gotta say it’s poppy, but in a good way.

13. Dangerous

Even more bizarre is that Dangerous was placed to end the album off on a hardcore sexii vibe.  Being another English track, she exudes the mood quite nicely and it’s funky and fun all mixed in together.  She just sounds amazing for the song.  I just wonder why these two tracks ended the album rather than “ALL I DO”

Tracks Recommended

  • HOPE
  • Finding My Road
  • Glory of Love
  • with you
  • Dangerous

Song of Avoidance

  • READY TO GO!

melody.’s 3rd album pwns her previous efforts hands down.  It might just be the fact that she decided to get original and sing out more and with the newfound love in the electronic scene, I was amazed at how this album came out to be.  Though I did question why two of the more energetic tracks had to end when they had a perfect album ender in ALL I DO.  Oh well right?

 

Chihiro Onitsuka – Hotaru September 27, 2009

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 9:17 pm

hotaru

Track Listing

  1. Hotaru
  2. HIDE AND SCREAM

1. Hotaru

I think Chihiro by now knows what to do with ballads of course and Hotaru continues this trend pretty nicely with Hotaru.  After “LAS VEGAS”, Hotaru is pretty fresh to me and having a more piano-friendly melody works for her.  Her vocals are feeling so much stronger than it was on “infection/LITTLE BEAT RIFLE”.  It could be said that Hotaru could be a lullaby and it does come off as that as it’s free-flowing and very pretty.

2. HIDE AND SCREAM

HIDE AND SCREAM is such a pretty track as well.  Being an acoustic track, HIDE AND SCREAM feels natural to Chihiro and sounds like she’s just singing along and playing guitar (even though I don’t think she does).  After the first chorus, percussion comes in and fills the song out more and seriously, soothing tune. 

 

 

I actually just wanted to get this single outta the way before “DOROTHY’s” release.  It’s saddening that HIDE AND SCREAN isn’t going to make the album as I think it would’ve benefitted the album moreso than “I Pass By” from the “Kaerimichi wo Nakushite” single.  However, I am pleased that Hotaru made it since it fits with the other ballads she released in the era so I’m happy with that.  Altogether, very pretty single…though would’ve appreciated an instrumental

 

Chihiro Onitsuka – infection/LITTLE BEAT RIFLE

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 9:05 pm

infection

Track Listing

  1. infection
  2. LITTLE BEAT RIFLE

1. infection

I’m so surprised at Chihiro for making infection.  It could be on of those heartwrenching ballads that’ll blow your mind.  Chihiro’s vocals are really pretty in this song and they also emit this sadness that made it so much more memorable.  It’s just a beautiful ballad and is up there with “Gekkou” as epic ballad status.  Though there was an issue about it…

2. LITTLE BEAT RIFLE

On the other side of the coin, LITTLE BEAT RIFLE was a bit more upbeat and on a positive note when compared to “infection”.  The arrangement isn’t terribly new to Chihiro as it reminds me of “BACK DOOR” and some of her upbeat songs off of the “INSOMNIA” album.  I did enjoy the feel-good presence and Chihiro’s vocal suited nicely despite sounding familiar.

 

 

The reason the single has problems was because this release came 5 days before 9/11 happened and that kind of backfired on Chihiro.  infection became somewhat less likened because it rather foretold, with some of the lyrical content.  Still, I have to say, infection is one of Chihiro’s best ballads in her career (so far).  LITTLE BEAT RIFLE was an alright upbeat pop/rock tune that does show consistency with her works.  I do hope she does change up a little bit on her next singles.