Kurayami Monogatari

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Ami Suzuki – KISS KISS KISS/aishiteru… October 28, 2009

Filed under: Ami Suzuki — solarblade @ 12:34 pm

kisskisskiss

Track Listing

  1. KISS KISS KISS (Japanese Version)
  2. aishiteru…
  3. KISS KISS KISS (Extended Japanese Version)
  4. KISS KISS KISS (Extended English Version)
  5. aishiteru… (extended)

1. KISS KISS KISS (Japanese Version)

While it’s a cover from The Ananda Project, KISS KISS KISS was translated over into Ami’s tongue and while it’s still pretty club-like there’s something about it that’s classy and in a good way.  I do think the chorus is way too repetitive for my tastes (coming from someone who loves “Chocolate Disco”.  I do however think it’s more stable as a song than “Reincarnation”.  I’m pretty sure I’ll come to enjoy it fully eventually, but right now it’s just average to me.

2. aishiteru…

Thank god for the B-side.  aishiteru… sounds like something Madonna would’ve released on her “Confessions of a Dance Floor” album it’s just that the synths used here are just that familiar to me in that way.  I’m just ecstatic that we finally get something that’s really exciting and easy to dance with.  She does do a little bit of that yelling in the chorus, but it’s not as forced like “climb up to the top”.  I’m happy with this track for sure.

3. KISS KISS KISS (Extended Japanese Version)

Adding about 2 minutes of instrumentation.  Basically it’s just a club edit.  The additional minutes don’t really phase me in anyway, it’s just amazingly longer.  I’m still peeved at how the song can get really annoying because of the whole ~kiss kiss kiss~ thing that keeps repeating itself.  The verses though are still really nice though, I guess it’s a love/hate relationship I have for this tune.

4. KISS KISS KISS (Extended English Version)

This was the first song we listeners actually got to hear since it was released earlier in the summer on the HOUSE NATION album “Aquamarine”.  It’s more of a cover of the original because it’s set in full English.  Sadly, that’s where things get bad.  Ami’s English is pretty bad in this version of the song and I barely understood her.  Still, apply same previous things in the last track and I basically feel the same way besides the Engrishyness.

5. aishiteru… (extended)

Adding a minute to the original, the extended version of Aishiteru… is also treated as a club mix because of it’s long opening.  I don’t mind the extension really, but was it really needed to begin with.  It just seems like it was a last minute plan (like how the single was changed to a double a-side a few days before release).  I don’t know, but I’m not really interested in an extension plz.

 

 

It’s cool that she went with Tomoyuki Tanaka for this single because it actually worked for her this time.  Unlike “Reincarnation” scream-a-thon, KISS KISS KISS brought back the more classy side of Ami and I sort of like it if wasn’t for the whole repetitive phase of the title, which is starting to become the next “Ai no Uta” jeeze no more of these same titled tracks plz!  Aishiteru… was a surprise for me because it was better than everything else she released this era so far. 

 

Morning Musume – Kimagure Princess

Filed under: Morning Musume — solarblade @ 3:27 am

kimagureprincess

Track Listing

  1. Kimagure Princess
  2. Aishite Aishite Ato Ippun
  3. Kimagure Princess (Instrumental)

1. Kimagure Princess

Oh was i totally numb from this track.  At first I was like Momosu is going back to “Koi wo Dance Site” because of it’s bhangra-ish sound and feel.  Then I noticed the strange chipmunky vocals this time around which honestly bothered me.  I’m not sure who was leading but it doesn’t matter the kiddie vocals just made my ears hurt.  Even worse, I can’t believe Tsunku gave the girls such naughty lyrics that it’d make wotas blush hard.  For me it was such a hard song to listen to and I’m probably the only that dislikes the song altogether.  To say that this was supposed to be Koharu’s single is just terrible….

2. Aishite Aishite Ato Ippun

However, the B-side does take over as being the better song easily.  It can be considered a dance tune because there’s synths (and they are the same used synths from “SONGS” so I actually enjoyed this easily.  I know Ai is singing here mostly and most of the other members get their own solo, but damn why was this the B-side?  It’s leagues better than “Kimagure Princess.”

 

 

Poor Koharu…She’s leaving the group with this single which is the worst single I’ve reviewed so far (I grew to really love “Pepper Keibu”)  I don’t why they had to get pitchy for the A-side nor do I understand why the lyrics are so x-rated.  Aishite Aishite Ato Ippun though would’ve made a better A-side.  Definitely the worst A-side of the era so far.

 

Chihiro Onitsuka – DOROTHY

Filed under: Chihiro Onitsuka — solarblade @ 3:02 am

dorothy

Track Listing

  1. A WHITE WHALE IN MY QUIET DREAM
  2. Kagerou
  3. X
  4. Storyteller
  5. STEAL THIS HEART
  6. I Pass By
  7. Kaerimichi wo Nakushite
  8. Losing a distance
  9. Last Melody
  10. Hotaru
  11. VENUS

1. A WHITE WHALE IN MY QUIET DREAM

I love the tribal opening to this album.  It seems like one of those Native American chants or at least the closest I could compare it to.  The only thing accompanying Chihiro is a pounding drum that has this punch.  Chihiro’s English is pretty hard to understand at intervals of the song, but it’s like a poem and has a nice meaning to it.  I was impressed with this opening actually.

2. Kagerou

As the last A-side released in the era, Kagerou was probably my least favorite for some reason.  I mean it’s a bit like a few other tracks on the album to begin with and it also sounds like a bit of her “INSOMNIA” works that weren’t ballads.  Not to say it’s not horrible or anything because I like the relaxed nature and Chihiro’s vocals are also really nice to listen to.  Still not the best of the era (even I thought “Ai no Serifu” would’ve been a better choice as an A-side.)

3. X

Ahhh, X…It’s Chihiro’s angry tune and I was so damn happy to see her get out of her comfort zone with this track.  At first, it does seem like another sad ballad, but right as you cement the idea, the angry guitar riffs pop up and Chihiro’s vocals get stronger and gain that angst that I enjoyed.  It’s rather one of the odd tracks off the album, but still one of her strongest A-sides in a while.

4. Storyteller

I’m not sure what’s with the flow of the album entirely, but Storyteller is a little bit folkish and also a little bit pop as well.  I love the harmonica solos in the song and I’m noticing that Chihiro is sounding a whole lot fuller here than she was in “X”.  Though the way she says ~storyteller~ is too cute for words hahaha.  This is by far my favorite new track off the album.

5. STEAL THIS HEART

The album’s promotional song, STEAL THIS HEART would be the album’s ultimate weird song.  There’s a whole lot more synth featured in the song and Chihiro is filtered in the song like crazy.  People have complained this song is like the crap that Tommy Heavenly6 did with her last album release…I honestly don’t see the comparison because Chihiro is way into it and her vocals are different to the other songs and it sounds quite refreshing to hear, especially with how Chihiro does songs for her albums.

6. I Pass By

Well, this is a new version of the craptastic track from “Kaerimichi wo Nakushite”.  The Darksmoke Version was basically an acoustic version of the album track we have here.  Instead of acoustic guitar, we get a more broader sound and oddly enough it sounds like a country song.  I’m still not liking the fact I can’t understand what the hell she’s saying since it’s all English.  At least the energy is good and the chorus is so much more catchy.

7. Kaerimichi wo Nakushite

I’m not sure why Kaerimichi wo Nakushite had an extended strings opening on the album, but one the familiar opening comes in we get back into one of Chihiro’s strongest ballads since recent.  I love how the entire song builds itself upon the volume of the strings and Chihiro getting more profound and stronger.  Once it does hit its highest point, it’s just amazing sung and I was stunned by the sheer awesomeness of the person who produced this.  AMAZING BALLAD.

8. Losing a distance

I’m guessing we’re getting into the ballads of the album because Losing a distance is also a ballad.  I’m actually enjoying the piano lines in the song and while it’s not as epic as “Kaerimichi wo Nakushite” it’s got its own thing going on in the song and Chihiro’s calmer vocals make the song flow nicely.  It’s a bit forgetful on the album, but alone it’s a nice track.

9. Last Melody

I’m not why, but Last Melody never really crossed my mind as a song that I’d fully enjoy.  Then again since it’s a bit like later released “Kagerou” it’s quite difficult to really not bag on both of them because of their similarities.  Obviously, there’s differences, but I just can’t help but compare the two like crazy…So I guess it’s not too good for me.

10. Hotaru

Being the oldest A-side on the album (released last year in early August), Hotaru fits in this quite snuggly.  Then again it is in the middle of the ballad section of the album.  I do love how it’s different from the previous ballads because of its lullaby-like arrangement.  Chihiro’s vocals are soft and with the piano backing her up for most of the song.  It’s the most basic ballad, but it’s nice either way.

11. VENUS

Ending the album is a whopper of a track.  VENUS is shockingly over 7 minutes of balladness.  That being said, you know I was moaning and not really wanting to spend time listening to this long song, but honestly it’s like VENUS is wondrous a interesting altogether.  It makes the fantasy-like picture in my head and oddly feels like it’s pertaining to the cover because it’s like when she walked through the door she just sung what she say and/or felt and I loved it.  I think giving it the award of longest track was a smart idea.  One of the best on the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kaerimichi wo Nakushite
  • VENUS
  • STEAL THIS HEART
  • Storyteller
  • X

Song of Avoidance

  • Losing a distance

Seriously, I think DOROTHY is Chihiro’s most vivid album she’s released ever since her debut.  There was a lot of different styles played around on the album, but as a whole you could tell the album was split between her more energetic songs and heartwarming/wrenching ballads.  There were a few songs that kind of lacked the more refreshing sounds.  To be honest this is Chihiro’s best album. 

 

TWITTERLICIOUS! October 27, 2009

Filed under: ~Announcements~ — solarblade @ 11:03 pm

So yeah I have a twitter that’ll act like a part of the blog, also could mean what’s on my mind when I review things too  So people follow me on Twitter if you can and you can get some kind of update from me XDDD

twitter.com/SolarbladeJP

 

JASMINE – No More

Filed under: JASMINE — solarblade @ 4:32 am

nomore

Track Listing

  1. No More
  2. CLUBBIN”
  3. what you want?

1. No More

Wait, we’re getting another “sad to say”?  I’m not sure, but I like this song a whole lot more than her debut A-side.  No More is of course an R&B tune and it’s got a pretty cool beat to go with it.  JASMINE’s singing is still very strong and shows great emotion and definitely never under the music.  The ending though should’ve been handled better because it felt like it was left unfinished.  Oh well, at least the PV had Kuu and Hikki in it LMFAO

2. CLUBBIN”

For a song that’s named CLUBBIN”, I would’ve expected to see a club song, but we don’t.  It’s actually JASMINE’s first foray into the rock scene and it’s like something Western, but with JASMINE pseudo-rapping in the song which is a big lulzfest.  I’m not sure what the lyrics are suggesting, but I’m guessing it’s pretty raunchy hahaha.  Nah, but I’ll say this…it’s not a good track IMO.

3. what you want?

The 2nd B-side, what you want? returns to her urban style and for me this is just a good place for her because she’s not forcing herself to move with the music like she did with “CLUBBIN”‘.  It’s smooth and got that sexy feel that JASMINE worked with quite nicely.  JASMINE’s more cleaner and her voice is really nice here.  Damn, another good song.

 

 

JASMINE is on a roll here.  No More continues to show JASMINE’s rising fame nicely 2nd single in.  No More and what you want? really was a plus for her soul voice and she carries herself so well.  I can’t say the same for CLUBBIN”, but at least she’s spreading herself out and seeing what she’s good in.  Can’t wait for the 3rd single.

 

BoA – BUMP BUMP! feat. VERBAL (m-flo)

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 3:11 am

bumpbump

Track Listing

  1. BUMP BUMP! feat. VERBAL (m-flo)
  2. IZM feat. VERBAL (m-flo)
  3. BUMP BUMP! feat. VERBAL (m-flo) Instrumental
  4. IZM feat. VERBAL (m-flo) Instrumental

1. BUMP BUMP! feat. VERBAL (m-flo)

Another collaboration with VERBAL?  You know I’m not the biggest fan for him and I still not too fond of his appearance in this song.  I’ll admit that BoA is continuing to get better with her A-sides since her floptastic “Vivid” single.  I enjoy the saxes and the dance style here and it mixes together very well.  BoA isn’t showing as much attitude like she was in “Eien”, but it’s passable.  It might be one of BoA’s better releases as of recent IMO.

2. IZM feat. VERBAL (m-flo)

Ugh, I do not want VERBAL under stupid auto-tune.  IZM feels like an emptier version of BUMP BUMP! since they have sax parts and similar flow.  IZM is slower though and showcases BoA’s vocals quite a bit more.  I’m thinking that this song was showing BoA in a more sexier light and it kind of works because the music is pretty chill and I liked hearing BoA singing. 

 

 

I’m happy BoA finally released something in Japan because both her American album and the “Eien” single was starting to get overplayed for me.  While BoA likes the R&B genre, I don’t think she’s ever had this good of a single in quite a while.  I still dislike VERBAL being part of the song because he was actually the worst thing idea, but whatever.  This single is good!

 

Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – Wonder Traveling

Filed under: Mix Speaker's Inc. — solarblade @ 2:48 am

wondertraveling

Track Listing

  1. Mach Stars Instrumental
  2. YOU♪Ai♪Message
  3. ☆ San Station
  4. ROBOHOHHO
  5. Uchuu Iro Parasol
  6. Crash Clover
  7. little star

1. Mach Stars Instrumental

You know it’s weird when the first thing you hear from the group is something that The Candy Spooky Theater would’ve produced and that’s what we get with Mach Stars Instrumental which is surprisingly not an instrumental as thought.  YUKI’s vocals are pretty cool and has that sly that made me like metronome, but the song seems to repeat itself over and over and it’s creepy but a good creepy.

2. YOU♪Ai♪Message

I do like that the next song has the visual-kei sound that I was expecting from the group here.  It’s definitely hard rock and there’s a little bit of 8bit going on here as well giving it a full punch.  I love YUKI and MIKI’s voice as they sound not as typical to other V-kei bands I know of.  The chorus is a bit more lighthearted rock and it reminds me of the more recent Sonic / Jun Senoue rock tracks so I really did enjoy this a lot.

3. ☆ San Station

It’s lead quite nicely into our next track and is like a wacky combination of the previous two tracks.  You get the goofy synths going and the hectic guitarwork from the group.  I think the band sounded a whole lot awesomer with this track leading them since you hear the entire band’s work and it’s great.  My favorite track right now.

4. ROBOHOHHO

What’s with the ad-libbing that opened this track?  It’s too damn funny and at the same time it’s amazingly catchy and mix that with acoustic guitar and synths and we get ROBOHOHHO.  While it does sound different because it’s more dance-like and jazzy, I couldn’t help but scratch my head in confusion with what was going on here.  I wasn’t expecting a track like this, but damn it’s also good.  I blame YUKI and MIKI!

5. Uchuu Iro Parasol

On the flipside of the coin, we devoid ourselves from the synthy side of “ROBOHOHHO” and get a full on rock and jazz mixture with Uchuu Iro Parasol.  I really like the heavy use of bass in the song giving it that jazzy sound and then YUKI’s strong singing through the chorus giving it that dark sound that’s mixed with the angry guitars.  Different for sure.

6. Crash Clover

Then we go back into the visual-kei metal that surprises me just as much as their pop stuff.  In actuality, it’s probably the hardest song off the album, but that’s only in the verses.  The chorus calms things down and we get some piano chords mixed in there.  I don’t know but the back and forth between these two parts causes a riff, but it’s not amazingly bothersome. 

7. little star

The final tune from the mini-album, little star is back to the mainstream J-rock sound that was heard earlier on in the mini.  YUKI now sounds like someone familiar but I can’t place my finger on it.  If it was my choice he sounds like the lead singer from Phantasmagoria.  I don’t know but this song is quite good and makes a good finisher.

 

 

I actually enjoyed listening to Mix Speaker’s, Inc.’s first mini-album.  It shows a lot of different styles that band uses and since they did start out as a Halloween-themed group, they’ve shaken that off starting with this mini-album and it’s pretty good.  I mean rock, to pop, to even jazz I’m sure there’s going to be a lot more interesting releases to come from this band.