Kurayami Monogatari

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Junko Akimoto – encore ~Jazz Standard~ April 13, 2010

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 7:01 am

Track Listing

  1. Besame Much
  2. Misty
  3. Autumn Leaves
  4. After You’ve Gone
  5. Mamma
  6. Summertime
  7. Lover, Come Back To Me
  8. I’ll Wait For You
  9. Bei Mir Birst Du Schon
  10. Exactly Like You
  11. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

1. Besame Mucho

Starting off this jazz album, Besame Mucho opens up with a beautiful string opening before changing the solemn mood into a rather sultry jazz setting.  Now, unlike Aibon’s recent jazz endeavor, Junko’s vocals fit a whole lot better with the arrangement and her English as well is pretty sharp, though still not perfect.  The mood is quite soothing and the piano solo was quite nice.  Nice opening song.

2. Misty

Oh god that low bass note was cool.  Misty seems to fix all the vocal minorities that the last song had and give it that Charlie Brown feel going and we get another sweet song from Junko.  Better was the fact that there was saxophone that was included which also ended up with the solo this time and I liked that alot.  Definitely enjoyed this song.

3. Autumn Leaves

Unlike the two previous songs, Autumn Leaves is actually set in Japanese, which to me surprised me a little bit since I wasn’t expecting such a hybrid between the two languages on this album.  Junko’s vocals are of course better, but I have no idea why the song didn’t really sound jazzy until she started singing in English.  Strange idea, but it was pretty good and when the song actually started going things cleared up.

4. After You’ve Gone

I’m starting to notice that so far the songs haven’t really been upbeat, but at least After You’ve Gone isn’t totally boring.  First thing I noticed after the arrangement is the weird way Junko actually pronounces ~aching~ and made it sound like ~arching~…Really Junko?  I’m not sure why that was the only mistake she makes.  After the rather short drum solo, the song gets more faster and upbeat.  I thought that everything beyond that was gold.

5. Mamma

I’m not sure what the song’s language is set in, but I think she’s singing the song in Italian or French and with that, she impressed quite a bit with this more happier tone.  It’s a rather fun song and with the bongos being present, I was happy.  The 2nd verse though is in Japanese which gave even more color to it.  I liked this song quite a bit.

6. Summertime

Opening with a darker sounding piano line, Summertime should feel somewhat happy, but Junko made it seem rather sad and depressing which is kind of a paradox I guess.  The song is rather slow and drags on a bit too much for me to carry my attention along.  Sorry, but the song just was too boring.

7. Lover, Come Back To Me

At least they made up for it on our next track which is exciting and full of life.  I love Junko’s sultryness in this song and she gave it her all in the song and I LOVED IT!  It could also be also the jazz effects that caught me in the trap.  Even the brass solo was enough for me to jam along.  I ended up loving the song the most on the album!

8. I’ll Wait For You

Another piano opening appears for I’ll Wait For You and by the opening stanza of lyrics, it sounds just as droopy and sad as “Summertime” was which could be pretty bad.  Lucky for me, this song isn’t as boring because there’s xylophone and accordion present to give it a more lounge-like sound.  I was having fun with this little ditty and Junko’s vocals were cutting nice for the song as well!

9. Bei Mir Birst Du Schon

Based off a Yiddish tune but with a title that’s German?  I find that a little odd that there’d be something like that going on.  Opening with a trumpet solo that’s been muffled by a mute, Junko is singing acappella to the trumpet at first, I thought that was clever, but it does show Junko’s Engrish pretty boldly and I could somewhat tell what she’s saying, but oh well.  After that opening section, the song gets a little more sexier so it got a bit better. 

10. Exactly Like You

I love the bass string, just epicly opens up this track.  Basically being the main instruement, it stood out a whole lot more than Junko did…When you get more exposure than the singer, you knows there’s something wrong.  Still nice, just not a strong song for her.

11. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

Interestingly the shortest song on the album, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing ends the album off quite nicely.  It might not be as exciting as previous songs, but I do enjoy how Junko sung it quite smoothly and with a lot passion. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Lover, Come Back To Me
  • Misty
  • Mamma
  • I’ll Wait For You

Song of Avoidance

  • Summertime

Between Aibon’s and Junko’s, it’s tough.  Junko’s was more serious and since she’s got a bit more on her side to begin with, I wasn’t surprise this was to me the better album. but Ai’s was good too.  There wasn’t too many problems within this album, but she could’ve added a bit more spice to it so it didn’t come off as a lil boring.