Kurayami Monogatari

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KOKIA – REAL WORLD April 3, 2010

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 5:54 am

Track Listing

  1. Birth
  2. Road to Glory ~ for Dragon Nest
  3. U-CHA-CHA
  4. REAL WORLD
  5. Saishuu Jouei
  6. Love is Us, Love is Earth
  7. Dugong no Sora
  8. Kodoku na Ikimono
  9. single mother
  10. Kimi wo Sagashite
  11. Oto no Tabibito
  12. Watashi ga Mitamono
  13. Kono Chikyuu ga Marui Okage de
  14. The woman

1. Birth

Beginning KOKIA’s album, Birth starts things off kind of mystically with piano and drowned up percussion.  I kind of like the song’s flow and KOKIA’s vocals suited perfectly with the pseudo-marching arrangement.  It really comes off as a lullaby to me and kind of an epic one at that.  The solo string parts are quite nicely done as well, but the only thing that got me was the transition from the slow part to the louder part of the track.  Then again, KOKIA sounded amazing in that part…what a good start!

2. Road to Glory ~ for Dragon Nest

Getting into our next song, Road to Glory continues this rather mystical sounding arrangment but ties it in with a flute opening and an acoustic guitar entering a bit after.  I was surprised at the low-lying beat under the song’s structure that gave it this cool and desert-y sound and with KOKIA’s vocals, it just worked for me.  If I knew any better, I would’ve been like…did Kajiura work on this?  It sounds like a Kalafina tune, but done so well!

3. U-CHA-CHA

I’m starting to believe KOKIA really stuck it to the album by making it sound so worldly and different.  U-CHA-CHA sounds so different and with the song being a jungle-y type of song, I was pretty impressed with it overall.  She is layered like crazy, but given the way this song reaches its climax rather quickly, I thought it was a nice song and it sounds more like it should’ve been on “Fairy Dance”. 

4. REAL WORLD

After hearing those three songs and having this other-worldly feel, REAL WORLD just throws you back down to Earth with this kind of happier sounding tune.  Though I’ll admit the way KOKIA is filling this song really makes up for the rather pop/rock arrangement that seems to be otherwise a wrench in the album.  Some of the song KOKIA is filtered, but the chorus really lets her shine quite nicely.  Not as good as the previous three, but it reminds people that she’s more than “that girl who sings slow and epic ballads”.

5. Saishuu Jouei

I honestly had no idea what we were going to get from our next new song, but Saishuu Jouei starts with with some strange space ideas and someone rewounding something….After a little bit it just kind of slows and stops and KOKIA comes in with ~Welcome to the magical world~.  I really don’t know how to really classify the song because of its overall sound, but it’s slow and takes you to another place.  Mix in the various levels of vocal layering the song has to offer and it’s almost hypnotizing.

6. Love is Us, Love is Earth

Then we start moving away from the more complex arrangements to the more simpler sounding songs starting with this track.  Leaving the vocal layering, this song isn’t too bad, but it’s not as majestic as the previous songs were, and the hot mess of a title just kind of bothers me a little.  As the song moves along, it does bring back a stronger arrangement than the classic piano/strings.  It’s a grower for me.

7. Dugong no Sora

Ok, well maybe Dugong no Sora really got me back in because it’s just so ethereal and just right for me that it isn’t terribly boring.  It’s slow-paced and the opening has a pretty lengthy ad-libbing section but once KOKIA starts to sing, things just becomes immensely better.  This song really just fits perfectly with the album’s cover art and all that.  It’s a pretty song altogether and just felt nice.

8. Kodoku na Ikimono

Then we start to get in the era’s released singles (all digitally BTW), starting with the final A-side released, Kodoku na Ikimono.  Strangely enough, my feelings for this song has been kind of dashed because of its bare-boned sound when compared to all the tracks previous to this one.  Take the complexity out and leave the nice vocals from KOKIA and you basically get this track.  That being said, it’s not that amazing of a track, and here it just seems to be filler material.

9. single mother

Going to the 2nd digital single of the era.  I can’t believe this is longer than friggin “Kodoku na Ikimono” and just like that song, it’s another piano ballad from her and I’m sadly not feeling this song as well.  Would you believe it’s even more bare sounding?  I mean I was really bored with this tune and even KOKIA couldn’t make it any more better.  Sorry…

10. Kimi wo Sagashite

At least the first digital single of the era was a bit more nicer to me than the previous songs.  I get this rather light R&B sound coming from this track and while that is pretty experimental (not like her previous efforts, but…).  I kind of like Kimi wo Sagashite’s more honest feel and it’s kind of sad/hopeful in sound so that’s also a plus for her.  KOKIA’s vocals aren’t like as hard and loud, so this quieter side of her is nice…just wished she had better arrangements like this in those two previous songs.

11. Oto no Tabibito

I really liked that this song has this rather Native American feel to it which once again fits the mood of the album and right there brought back the awesomeness from KOKIA.  Once again, her vocals are up in the higher register and she cannot get anymore better than this one.  While it is a ballad, it’s got more style than those digital singles and her voice is just great…then again it could be the vocal layering again that’s pulling me in.

12. Watashi ga Mitamono

Once again opening with an ethereal flow, Watashi ga Mitamono seems to be the most simplistic of the new songs and that’s not a bad thing at all because KOKIA really gave the song some color.  Actually, this song kind of reminds me of a stronger sounding “Kodoku na Ikimono” since they both are similar in the way it’s a piano/strings song.  I don’t mind it too much, but it’s my least favorite of the new songs.

13. Kono Chikyuu ga Marui Okage de

Another ballad, Kono Chikyuu ga Marui Okage de kind of bridges in between the real simplistic songs (the digital singles) and the more filled ones (“Watashi ga Mitamono”), now that being said, I’m kind of like the song, but it’s far from the other ones here.  I like when the heavy drum beat is added like it’s the heartbeat of the song.  Oddly, it’s slow paced feel makes the song go by very quickly, but I like the emotion put into the song.

14. The woman

As the album’s promotional track and final song as well, The woman wouldn’t have been the song I’d choose to represent the album, but I guess this works quite nicely since it’s just really pretty sounding.  KOKIA definitely loves holding her notes in a legato-like style, but I don’t mind it at all.  The song does feel empty, but I think it was on purpose.  Just like “Love is Us, Love is Earth”, this song is definitely a song that has to grow on me.

Tracks Recommended

  • U-CHA-CHA
  • Saishuu Jouei
  • Road to Glory ~ for Dragon Nest
  • Dugong no Sora
  • Birth

Song of Avoidance

  • single mother

While this is my second album I’ve heard from KOKIA (“THE VOICE” being the first), this one is definitely a strong album, but then again what isn’t strong from her right?  The album could’ve been perfect if it wasn’t for those weak digital singles that she added to the album.  They didn’t fit right especially with the amount of really amazing songs on here.  I also was wondering why there wasn’t no weird song from her…y’know like “Follow the Nightingale”…Still pretty strong album once again.