Kurayami Monogatari

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ON/OFF – Eien no Setsuna April 16, 2010

Filed under: ON/OFF — solarblade @ 6:24 am

Track Listing

  1. Eien no Setsuna
  2. Wasureranu Hitomi
  3. Eien no Setsuna (Instrumental)
  4. Wasureranu Hitomi (Instrumental)

1. Eien no Setsuna

God does the beginning of Eien no Setsuna is pretty.  It does kind of sound like a typical anime track with prominent acoustic guitar.  I guess it’s alright because Naoya and Kazuya sound great here and their deeper vocals are a nice change to these anime themes.  That breakdown in the middle was a little strange but nice hahaha.  Ok it’s good, but I wouldn’t say amazing.

2. Wasureranu Hitomi

Why was I so entranced by the B-side has got me all up in arms haha.  I thought the guys did better with this song vocally here.  I’m not sure there’s a big difference between the two songs to make the single really pop out but this definitely should’ve been the A-side.  It might be a little more somber, but this was better IMO

 

 

ON/OFF’s debut major label single was alright…nothing special.  I mean yeah it’s more of the guitar-laced songs that made “yokogao” nice, but SONY didn’t really do anything to boost things up.  Just an alright single.

 

Rina Aiuchi – GLORIOUS/PRECIOUS PLACE

Filed under: Rina Aiuchi — solarblade @ 5:56 am

Track Listing

  1. GLORIOUS
  2. PRECIOUS PLACE
  3. GLORIOUS -A.C.E.2 ver.-
  4. GLORIOUS -A.C.E.2 BATTLE MODE ver.-
  5. PRECIOUS PLACE -A.C.E.2 BATTLE MODE ver.-
  6. GLORIOUS -Another Composite Edition-

1. GLORIOUS

After some rather odd experimentation within the singles beforehand, GLORIOUS sounds like we’re back to the more synthy side of Rina that I’m used to.  While it’s not at the tempo I would’ve like to hear this in the dance-ish tune, it’s not too bad.  I think Rina sounds quite good here and a lot better overall than in some past songs.  Good tune.

2. PRECIOUS PLACE

Now this is where things get better.  PRECIOUS PLACE is actually at a very energetic pace and mix in the amount of synths with guitars was a great idea.  It feels like she put effort in the song where it was needed.  It kind of has this epic feel like she did with “CODE CRUSH”.  Oh the piano after the choruses were nice too…Damn I definitely prefer this over “GLORIOUS”.

3. GLORIOUS -A.C.E.2 ver.-

Trying to redeem itself, GLORIOUS actually did hahaha.  The A.C.E.2 version of the song sounds more fulfilled with a new arrangement and some epic placement of various sections of the song.  I still dislike the way she pronounces the title in the chorus and that still doesn’t fit in the song really.  Ok, the game version of the song totally beats the original version by a wide margin.

6. GLORIOUS -Another Composite Edition-

After going through the games instrumentals of both A-sides, we’re treated to another version of the primary A-side.  This version of GLORIOUS does make the whole ~glorious line~ stand out while the arrangement changes into a eurobeat song but not the energetic kind.  It’s not too bad and gives the song a much lighter feel and yet it’s still danceable.  Not too bad.

 

 

GLORIOUS/PRECIOUS PLACE actually surprised me because it’s her best single she’s had since “START”.  I’m happy she’s back to dance music since it’s her calling moreso than this rock and ballad stuff.  While the main GLORIOUS was overshadowed by both remixes, PRECIOUS PLACE was good on its own.  Awesome single from Rina.

 

FLOW – WORLD END

Filed under: FLOW — solarblade @ 5:26 am

Track Listing

  1. WORLD END
  2. LEATHER FACE
  3. I WILL
  4. WORLD END -Instrumental-
  5. WORLD END -CODE GEASS Opening Mix-

1. WORLD END

It’s amazing when you hear a song on American TV and since CODE GEASS is played in the states, WORLD END was pretty awesome when I heard it on TV.  The opening could’ve been better, but at least when it actually begins it’s pretty awesome and with KOHSHI and KEIGO leading the song, I was happy.  I definitely thought this track was much stronger and represented the band as a whole more than “WORD OF THE VOICE” but both songs are good in their own rights.

2. LEATHER FACE

LEATHER FACE continues on with the single with a pretty edgy arrangement and thought it’d be more epic than “WORLD END” but it’s so hard to say that because the verses are so filtered and synthed that it’s difficult to figure who’s singing it (which it turned out to be both guys).  It’s still a pretty good track besides that little issue.

3. I WILL

FLOW going gospel?  Nah, though it did sound like that with the choir singing along with the guys.  I WILL marks a change for the group because it’s way slower and less needy on hard guitars and exploding drum parts.  It’s pretty refreshing after the previous two songs and rounds out the single quite nicely. 

 

 

WORLD END definitely outshone “WORD OF THE VOICE” almost entirely.  I felt this was a solid single and with the only issue coming from the odd verses from LEATHER FACE all three were what I was looking forward from FLOW.  Let’s see if the last single of the era finishes with a bang!

 

Stephanie – Winter Gold

Filed under: Stephanie — solarblade @ 4:57 am

Track Listing

  1. Winter Gold
  2. Life
  3. Kimi ga Iru Kagiri (Acoustic ver.)

1. Winter Gold

Finally, we get out of the ballads and into something different.  Problem is is that different is now a cheesy winter pop song.  I mean OK, give her credit, she sounds pretty great and the arrangement is fun and poppy with some disco thrown in but the way it just flowed and the way Steph was singing it made it seems kiddy-like.  Still it doesn’t beat that one lyric parody that was on YouTube where it seemed like she was high as a kite and bitchy XD  Best thing ever right there!

2. Life

Carrying on, Life is actually more rockin’ kind of like some of the stuff found on her debut single.  Life is so girl rock and although Stephanie has a great voice, that chorus did not need that screaming…It reminds me of Kylee’s music, but since Stephanie came first I can’t really say anything else haha.  I laughed at when the music stops for the piano melody…funny stuffs.

3. Kimi ga Iru Kagiri (Acoustic ver.)

Opening the exact same way like the original with that uber high whistle note segment, Kimi ga Iru Kagiri got stripped of everything that was in the original and replaced with just an acoustic guitar and some percussion.  While I love the orchestral touch of the original, the acoustic took it to a rather smooth place.  I think it felt a little more honest and hear a little more of Stephanie but damn girl yelling ur song like that is not gonna get you anywhere.

 

 

Stephanie’s 3rd single did manage to get her out of the ballad rut I felt she was in (even though they were good).  It was nice but did Winter Gold have to be so cheesy?  By the way yelling in the songs is not really good for you.  Still the single can be really enjoyable and is better than “Kimi ga Iru Kagiri” tbh.

 

Yui Sakakibara – Tsurugi no Mai

Filed under: Yui Sakakibara — solarblade @ 4:27 am

Track Listing

  1. Tsurugi no Mai
  2. Toki wo Koete
  3. Tsurugi no Mai (off vocal)
  4. Toki wo Koete (off vocal)

1. Tsurugi no Mai

It’s no surprise that I’d actually love Tsurugi no Mai because of it’s overall electronica feel.  Then again it’s also a song where I don’t have to deal with Yui’s poor vocal choice.  In Tsurugi no Mai, Yui’s vocals are quite deeper but at points she’s rather quiet and gets covered up by the beats and synths, at least until she gets into the chorus.  About the chorus it’s like there’s no energy behind it and left the verses to just take over the song which is good because they are better IMO.  Good tune from Yui.

2. Toki wo Koete

I like how there’s just a lot of Asian influence on this single and Toki wo Koete also has it, quite a bit more than “Tsurugi no Mai”.  While this is a little more like a ballad, it’s not too bad and Yui is on the fine line of good and bad vocals.  There’s not a lot to talk about it besides the Asian touches, otherwise kind of a forgettable B-side.

 

 

Tsurugi no Mai does mark somewhat of an end to an era (A-side was on “EVERGREEN”), this single was alright but not amazing.  Tsurugi no Mai was dance goodness while Toki wo Koete stands as the forgettable B-side the usual for her I guess lol.

 

KOKIA – KARMA

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 3:47 am

Track Listing

  1. KARMA
  2. Insomnia
  3. KARMA (instrumental)
  4. Insomnia (instrumental)

1. KARMA

KARMA…wow.  I mean this song is quite enchanting and filled with mysterious wonder because of the way it’s presented and with KOKIA also providing some of the background stuff, I was surprised at this.  I thought when it grew louder and gained that heavy beat, that was when I fully noticed the song was going to just get epic in every way.  It’s a very interesting song and one of those songs that’ll always be KOKIA.

2. Insomnia

As for the B-side Insomnia is a bit more forlorn than “KARMA” was.  While I didn’t think the A-side was really a ballad, Insomnia is definitely a ballad but a mystical one at that.  I love the harmonizations through the song and with the bittersweet piano melody, this song felt nice to listen to.  Makes you drift to another place in my opinion.

 

 

As it is KOKIA’s debut under the great Lantis label, KARMA was really an epic single of sorts.  The A-side being so dramatic and so crazily good.  Insomnia also was nice and took charge for being a slower song.  *RECOMMENDED*

 

W – Robokiss

Filed under: w — solarblade @ 3:22 am

Track Listing

  1. Robokiss
  2. SEXY SNOW
  3. Robokiss (Instrumental)

1. Robokiss

I definitely was surprised that Robokiss wasn’t as electronic as I initially thought it’d be, but W really caught me with this song.  Both previous A-sides weren’t as idolly like this song is and while I was wondering when we were going to get the cute outta Nono and Aibon, Robokiss filled that space up nicely.  I like the energy of the song itself and while both girls aren’t amazing singers they held their own and sounded cute all the way through.  Good song and ranks at the top favorite W songs.

2. SEXY SNOW

Snow being sexy?  Wow Tsunku…you just want everything around ya seem sexy huh?  Compared to the A-side, SEXY SNOW is a bit more sultry sounding for the girls and since it’s also more danceable it worked a lot more than “Robokiss”.  While I’m not sure it’s a winter song on purpose I have no clue that it would’ve been without a title.  I can actually commend the girls’ singing in the song since they aren’t trying to be idol-like for now. 

 

 

As the 2nd single of the era, Robokiss was definitely a bit more memorable than “Aa Ii na!” was and I was seeing some actual work being done for the duo.  Though the titles are getting a bit more absurd and uhm off…still a great single!