Kurayami Monogatari

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Best-of Albums, Remix, etc., July to Dec. December 3, 2009

Filed under: ~Best of 2009~ — solarblade @ 11:27 pm

Here’s the other 6 months of releases that were filled with best-ofs, concepts…and other releases!  Once again, doing this by chronological release!, If you missed out on the first post you can find it HERE


Yui Sakakibara – LOVE×singles

Beginning the 2nd half of the year, Yui Sakakibara released this “best-of”.  It is a compilation of some of her early releases because most of the songs are really cute and not my thing.  Even worse, was that she included instrumentals of all the songs on the same disc.  Not the best idea ever, but I guess it deems good.  Still not my kind my cup of tea.

fripSide – nao complete anthology 2002-2009 -my graduation-

Since the then lead singer of the duo nao, was “graduating” I guess fripSide decided to throw this out to fans.  Basically it’s a complete best-of with 10 discs from the albums to 3 discs containing unreleased stuff to shock fans with.  Even the NAO! PROJECT was included.  Pretty great release, isn’t it?

Hitomi Shimatani – BEST & COVERS

Hitomi isn’t really having a great year (since it’s her 10th anniversary).  She released this mid-year after “SMILES”.  The BEST includes most of the A-sides that were released from “Viola” to “SMILES”.  However, most people will go immediatly to the COVERS disc.  Some of the songs were previously released (blech “Amairo no Kami no Otome”).  and some of them are old, but now finally released.  There was even two new cover songs, “Nagai Aida” & “Shiroi Chou no Samba”.  It depends on if you were a big fan of Hitomi’s to buy it…I think it’s worth it because of the many PV’s that are included.


capsule – FLASH BEST

It took Nakata 10 albums to finally release their first best-of album…Way too long IMO.  Anyway FLASH BEST chronicles all the songs from “L.D.K. Lounge Designers Killer” to “MORE! MORE! MORE!”.  Basically, it has the songs that got capsule to electro awesomeness they are today.  While I think it would’ve been nice to go back farther and include the A-side at least, this release isn’t too bad.  A few new rearrangements of songs (the first four tracks).  Still, it’s great for electro lovers.


Ayaka Hirahara – my Classics!

Released first in September, Ayaka released this concept album which can be classified as a half-best as too because well half the songs are oldies like “Jupiter” (her biggest song), and “Campanula no Koi”.  On the other side of the coin, we have new songs, but the main idea was that the songs had melodies from really old composers.  It’s a mixed bag for me and I just passed it over since it wasn’t really important to review

Crystal Kay – BEST of CRYSTAL KAY

While I’ve said a million times that I’m not a huge Kuri fan, this release was just overkill.  BEST of CRYSTAL KAY is clearly a best-of.  Even though it doesn’t include all of her A-sides…(where’s Shadows of Desire?) and includes a few album tracks it’s not a bad choice of songs and there’s many to cater to Kuri fans as well.  As a surprise there was a 3rd CD that featured new songs from Kuri, most were collaborations.  It’s definitely one of the bigger releases of the year.

Mai Kuraki – ALL MY BEST

Though, biggest release has to go to Mai-K this year.  Not only is this a 2 disc best-of, she released this in TEN different ways.  I don’t know how you get away with releasing this in that many formats but w/e she got #1 on Oricon because of it.  Now it isn’t a full collection of her A-sides (since she decided to ignore most of the “FUSE OF LOVE” singles…and there’s a few album tracks here as well as a new song, “Watashi no, Shiranai, Watashi.  Good release, but it’s definitely titled wrong…it should be “MOST OF MY BEST, PLUS SOME OTHER SONGS I DID”.

ayaka – ayaka’s History 2006-2009

Since ayaka *died* I mean is taking a break from music…well not yet, but she will be, ayaka released this whopper on us.  The first disc contains all of her A-sides, her collaborations with Kobukuro and the digital release for “For today”.  If that wasn’t enough, the 2nd disc was a fan based best-of which is basically filled with album tracks and a new arrangement of her last single “Minna Sora no Shita”.  It’s a great collection and the PV’s are also here as well. 

mihimaru GT – The Best Selection of ASIA

While this was released simultaneously with “Un♥Lock” I really didn’t understand this release at all.  They released their first one about 2 years ago and this release feature more than half the songs that were on their first one here.  This best-of is like a pick and choose from their debut “Yakusoku” to “Girigiri HERO”.  It’s such a strange collection and there were Chinese and Korean versions of their biggest song “Kibun Joujou↑↑”  Nice, but was it really needed?


Diggy-MO’ – WHO THE Fxxx IS JUVE? + Remixies

Yeah, this is a DVD tour of Diggy-MO’s tour for his Diggyism album and the singles released afterwards.  Point of it was though was that this release came with a remix CD that featured 5 songs remixes.  I didn’t get to this release, but remixes are usually bad and with Diggy’s vocals being as whack as they are, they’re probably bad remixes.

Morning Musume – Morning Musume Zen Single Coupling Collection

Another big release, Morning Musume finally released a B-side collection which featured EVERY B-side they released.  There wasn’t anything new here, but it was great to finally have all the songs collected into one huge collection of songs.  It even has all of the members on it as well, old and new…It’s a great pickup if you wanna hear how much the group has grown since their debut.

abingdon boys school – Teaching Materials

Really?  I guess I can’t blame them for making this move.  To most JPN fans, this can be classified as a best-of, but to Europeans some will think of it as a regular album.  The tracks here are of all the A-sides to B-sides from every single they released so far.  The only track missing though is “STEALTH -Reigoushiki JAP-” because that’s just an English redub of “JAP”.  It could’ve been a bonus track but w/e not a big loss…Otherwise, it’s a good album to start with a.b.s, I just wouldn’t recommend it if you’re already a fan though.


FLOW – Coupling Collection

Another B-side collection of the year, FLOW asked the fans to pick out the best ones and they would stick it on here.  I mean sweet “ESCA” and “RISING DRAGON” are on here!  It’s definitely got its high points and having 4 bonus tracks makes it even better.  It’s an interesting album, though wasn’t as exciting as the other best-ofs (but that’s just cuz I don’t know many FLOW songs to begin with).

Ai Otsuka – LOVE is BEST

Why did Ai release another best-of only two years after “Ai am BEST”?  At least this one doesn’t scroll down the A-sides like the first best did.  This one was more of a concept album since all of the songs featured a love feel to it.  You’ll see a mixture of A-sides, B-sides, album tracks.  She even threw in 4 rearranged songs including “aisu×time” and a new song, Is.  I guess she’s just tying us over until her next release…oh wait she did release “LOVE.IT” under her bunny moniker…w/e.



UVERworld finally releases their first of two best-ofs, first being Neo SOUND BEST.  It features most of the A-sides, a few B’s. and a few album tracks.  While there isn’t new songs to point out, they snuck in “D-tecnoRize” which is a song they did when they were known as Sangoku Road and new versions of “CHANCE!” and “Yasashisa no Shizuku”.  Interesting release but the lack of “GO-ON” and “endscape” made me frown hardcore.

Crystal Kay – THE BEST REMIXES of CK

Pass, We all know remix album fail to make anything better and by the tracklist alone makes me shudder altogether.  There’s a mix of new and old found here like Genki Rockets version of “Koi no Ochitara” and “ONE (CORNELIUS REMIX)”.  I don’t know how it’ll go, but I’m prolly not gonna enjoy it much.


I think this was long over due.  5 albums since her last best-of Rina releases a full A-side best-of.  It features every single A-side she’s released since her debut and spans 3 CDs.  It even includes a new song, “GIFT” which is great and all, but her music as of recent has been less than stellar, so I’m sure that some fans will prolly pass it over.


Ending this year of crazy best-ofs, KOTOKO releases her first best-of comprising of her better anime tie-in songs.  It includes favorites like, “Re-sublimity”, “Chercher”, and “BLAZE”.  Sadly, a few of the tracks like that last one was just on her last studio album, “Epsilon no Fune” so it’s a little disappointing.  Still good tracks IMO.



PHEW, I’m finally done.  Look at all those releases in the year.  Crazy eh?  Well, coming up on the lookback of 2009, I’ll be going through the debutees of the year ^_^


Q;indivi Starring Rin Oikawa – Winter Celebration

Filed under: Q;indivi — solarblade @ 3:47 am

Track Listing

  1. Prologue – Winter Prelude
  2. Last Christmas
  3. Joy To The World
  4. Jingle Bells
  5. Interlude – Snow Drop
  6. Silent Night
  7. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  8. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
  9. Interlude – Snow Crystal
  10. White Christmas
  11. Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer
  12. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  13. Epilogue – Winter Celebration
  14. Kiyoshi Kono Yoru

1. Prologue – Winter Prelude

As it is the opening to the album, Winter Prelude begins with a cute piano opening, but things just get strange when Rin of all people shows up and announces what’s going to be on the album…I’ve never heard of an album utilizing this method of opening stuff up, but it made me laugh.  Felt more like a CM to me.

2. Last Christmas

Last Christmas is the only Christmas tune I’m not too familiar with.  I think it’s a cover of a pop hit since it doesn’t feel like one of the old classics that fill the rest of the album.  It’s just like most of Yusuke Tanaka’s most recent remixes, but with more jingle bells and such.  Rin isn’t too bad here and it actually fits the mood, than let’s say anything on their main albums.

3. Joy To The World

Now we get into some familiar songs.  I think we know what Joy To The World sounds like.  I thought the twist between some of the lyrical lines was interesting and such and Rin once again fills the song nicely with her airy vocals.  The dance beat feels added on cheaply since the song isn’t meant to roll that way, but I guess it’s alright.

3. Jingle Bells

I have to say within this album, I’ve been kind of lenient on the dance beats added to the songs just to make them Q;indivi-related.  I’m still not liking the cheap addition, but Rin is continuing to sounds quite perfect singing.  Her accent is starting to show off.  There’s even some new lyrics which kind of strange, but it’s kind of cool to see something that actually made my pay attention.

5. Interlude – Snow Drop

The first interlude of the album, Snow Drop features Rin talking like she’s taking you somewhere.  It’s a little cheesy because it’s one of those positive talks.  The music is nice and you hear little bits of synth playing around in the background. 

6. Silent Night

I think that Silent Night was perfect with Rin’s airy vocals and it shows because she gets really airy for this cover.  It’s really nice and calm and the addition of more vocals was needed to make it good.  After going through the song, the dance beats start to appear and the song becomes a little more original to Q;indivi.  The new parts are interesting and kind of made a lullaby more interesting.  It’s funny, the main song became the chorus of the song while the verses were new.

7. We Wish You A Merry Christmas

One of my most memorable Christmas songs that’d prolly never leave my head, We Wish You A Merry Christmas really feels weird to me.  I’m not sure, but the song has a waltz-ish feel to it and it’s oddly cute.  It’s one of the more simpler arranged tracks since there’s not a lot of synths present and more towards piano & strings.  It’s nice for sure.

8. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

One of the shortest songs, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, remains faithful to the original and not adding anything new or throwing the mood of the song off its hinges.  Ok, so there’s a dance beat, but the song fits nicely with it because its always been known as an upbeat song.

9. Interlude – Snow Crystal

Another short interlude pops up and seriously…another one?  Rin once again returns again to talk about looking at people and being happy and all that giddy stuff…It seems like monologue from Kingdom Hearts IMO…it’s just strange, but w/e works I guess.

10. White Christmas

Oh yeah, White Christmas…Rin is singing nicely to this ballad.  At least it’s not dance-based so it’s just nice to listen to a simple Christmas song getting covered.  It’s slow-paced and sticks to the original which is another plus.  It’s nice and true to the album, so I naturally like it.

11. Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer

Ok, as a child I used to love this song to death because it was catchy (and use can echo parts with anything you want).  Even I had trouble remembering the damn reindeer’s names…Since it is a track that is upbeat, it gains dance beats to go along with it.  Since it is one of the tracks I’ve grown up to, I once again naturally like it.

12. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

As if cheating on your husband was bad enough, we get a song that is based on cheating on your hubby with Mr. Claus…(who’s also married BTW).  Not that it’s creepy, it’s just wrong!  I only remembered the beginning lines of the song so I can’t tell if there were new lyrics or not, but I hear bongos being used here so that’s cool.  Still, it’s not the best Christmas song, because of its nature, but it’s fun?  Even the spoken dialogue made me laugh hardcore. ~I’m telling daddy!~

13. Epilogue – Winter Celebration

I’m guessing the was the last track, the ending song plays the melody of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” while Rin talks again (as usual).  Once again the dialogue feels ripped from Kingdom Hearts but splashed with Christmas joy and all the goodness.  Then it ends with piano.

14. Kiyoshi Kono Yoru

Basically, this track is the Japanese version of “Silent Night”.  Is it just me or Japanese versions of English tracks seem really awkward?  This is also way shorter than the other one earlier on because it doesn’t have the new parts added.  It’s alright, but I’ll stick with the English side.

Tracks Recommended

  • Silent Night
  • Jingle Bells
  • White Christmas
  • Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer

Song of Avoidance

  • Kiyoshi Kono Yoru

I’m guessing Q;indivi is releasing consecutive “Celebration” albums I guess…I’m still not sure what’s going on between Yusuke and Rin, but it must be that she either is just lessening her role or something.  Winter Celebration is a good collection of Christmas classics and they did mostly a good job on most of the songs, but the dance beats felt mostly tacked on.  Still better album than “Celebration”