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!

 

Seira Kagami – First Sight feat. Ryohei

Filed under: Seira Kagami — solarblade @ 3:04 am

Track Listing

  1. First Sight feat. Ryohei
  2. Super Special
  3. First Sight -exclusive edit-

1. First Sight feat. Ryohei

I really don’t know where Seira is going with her career music-wise, but I think she found a rather steady one in dance music because First Sight is really catchy.  Seira vocals are really amazing in this song and reminds me of Yuna Ito’s vocals which is surprising.  Ryohei (R&B artist) is also in the song and his singing actually fits as well.  I don’t know why, but this song is exciting and heavy and full of life.

2. Super Special

Ugh ~You’re always super special, that’s why you’re always here with me~ will always be a cheesy line for me, especially how she goes and sings it…  Anyway, the B-side of the single is pretty awesome after the opening lines because it’s more electro sounding than “First Sight”.  I sense a little bit of guitar and a little bit of 8bit as well which makes it so super special to begin with hahahaa. 

3. First Sight -exclusive edit-

Ending the single is a remix of the A-side which still features both Seria and Ryohei still.  I wonder who actually did the edit because it’s pretty damn amazing and with more beats and buzzing synths that song got a whole lot better.  It might’ve lost some energy, but it’s not bad and the song has great transitions.

 

 

I guess roughly ending the “Celebration/IdeAnimation” era, First Sight was amazing of a single.  Beating out her last single, this one actually sounded danceable and had energy and Ryohei was great giving his input in the song.  Makes me wonder what’ll be on the mini-album and album ^_^

 

MEG – HEART

Filed under: MEG — solarblade @ 2:47 am

Track Listing

  1. HEART
  2. NATALIE <FM16 MIX>
  3. HEART <PARTY MIX>

1. HEART

I really like HEART kill me…at least it’s better than that meh-fest with “MAGIC”.  HEART continues this release of rather cutesy songs but unlike the last three singles, this one doesn’t feel exactly caked on and I really do love when MEG says ~heart~.  It does sound a lot like Nakata’s works currently which kind of is unsettling, but HEART is rather good and MEG made it her own.

2. NATALIE <FM16 MIX>

I’m not sure why we’re getting a remix of NATALIE before seeing this on “STEP”.  Oddly enough, the remix is actually a bit better than the original because of the extra synths involved to actually move the song along.  The chorus of the song kind of reminds me of an upbeat “Macaroni” but the rest of the song is quite enjoyable. 

3. HEART <PARTY MIX>

We also get a remix of the A-side which is basically a more beat-driven cut of the song with a new melody and arrangement.  While I do enjoy the heavier feel for it and with more synths involved, I felt this was a bit more complete than the original which is pretty good. 

 

 

Ending the “STEP” era, HEART is clearly better than “MAGIC” ever was.  I’m not sure why, but the cutesy arrangement of the song lulled me in once again like how “OK” did.  Both remixes were also done quite nicely and still retained that cute side of her.  I just wished that this version of NATALIE was on the album.

 

ayaka – Mikazuki

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 2:25 am

Track Lisitng

  1. Mikazuki
  2. Kimi no Kiss de…
  3. Yume no Kakera -Live Version-
  4. Mikazuki (Instrumental)

1. Mikazuki

Most people that didn’t get into ayaka via “Why” mostly entered the ayaka fandom with this really pretty ballad.  While I know that ayaka is mainly a balladeer, she really stepped up her game with this song.  Simplistic as ever with piano and acoustic guitar later on in the song, Mikazuki definitely is one of the best ballads ever.  ayaka’s voice is so sweet and nice that it made the song so much more sentimental.  One of her best songs to date!

2. Kimi no Kiss de…

As for the B-side, I wasn’t expecting such a tropical song to fill up my headphones like Kimi no Kiss de… did.  I’m just so surprised by the entirely different feel when compared to “Mikazuki” and since this is loud and full of lively emotion, this was just as amazing is not more better.  Definitely one of her best B-sides XD

3. Yume no Kakera -Live Vesion-

While we were lacking an actual live version on her last single “Real voice”, Yume no Kakera (B-side of her debut, “I believe”) appears on this single and the acoustic only feel really stood out from her previous live versions.  It’s just funny that Yume no Kakera was one of the songs I wanted to hear live and since we have a chance to, it’s great, maybe not as amazing as some of the previous lives but still great nonetheless. 

 

 

ayaka’s 4th and final single of the era, Mikazuki was definitely saved for last and the entire single is win.  I mean we have ayaka’s token ballad, but was perfectly done.  Kimi no Kiss de… gave us an upbeat and tropical side to ayaka and that was done awesomely and c’mon do we need to even talk about the live?  *RECOMMENDED*