Kurayami Monogatari

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Masami Okui – Renka Tairan April 20, 2010

Filed under: Masami Okui — solarblade @ 6:53 pm

Track Listing

  1. Renka Tairan
  2. Kagen no Tsuki
  3. Renka Tairan (off vocal ver.)
  4. Kagen no Tsuki (off vocal ver.)

1. Renka Tairan

Hey finally we’re back to some energetic stuff from Masami.  I love the guitar riff of this song and while there rising and falling synths heard in the song they don’t play much of an important role unlike the edgier guitar, piano, and drums.  Even Masami sounds more alive in this song than in “Starting Over” and “Melted Snow”.  Definitely an upgrade after some meh singles. 

2. Kagen no Tsuki

I love the fact that this song opens up so nicely like it did.  As the B-side of the single, Kagen no Tsuki is unsurprisingly a ballad, but I felt this one is a really great one compared to her last few ones.  There’s a nice amount of strings present and Masami sounds pretty strong as well.  Not sure why, but I might like this more than “Renka Tairan”.

 

 

Wow, an actual strong single from Makkun.  After “i-magination” I was worried on what she’d put out next because that album felt bland and somewhat outdated.  With Renka Tairan though, I can still see the energy she has and I love the soothing quality of Kagen no Tsuki.  Best single she’s had in a while

 

MiChi – All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~/Together again

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 6:21 pm

Track Listing

  1. All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~
  2. Together again
  3. dance DANCE!
  4. All about the girls ~Iijanka Party People~ (Instrumental)
  5. Together again (Instrumental)
  6. dance DANCE! (Instrumental)

1. All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~

It’s been a while since I’ve fallen totally in love with a MiChi song (last song to really get catch me was “PROMiSE”.  It seems like she pulled me back again with All about the Girls which features snippets of “Scatman” which explains the various scatting found throughout the song.  I don’t know why but this song is just so catchy and full of class and attitude which I LOVE in MiChi.  This is actually the best song she has right now TBH because everything is just right and amazing!

2. Together again

I kind of knew that Together again would be more slower than “All about the Girls”.  Then again I wasn’t expecting MiChi to go all R&B on us for the other A-side.  While it’s not like “YOU”, Together again is vocally nice and the chorus does speed up so it won’t be as much of a boring ballad.  I liked it, but somehow most of the other known A-sides are a bit better, but this is good.  Basically throws us back to the “UP TO YOU” era

3. dance DANCE!

Released digitally back in January, dance DANCE! gets the official addition onto a physical single.  At the time, I didn’t really enjoy it since it was basically a slower version of all of the previous A-sides (minus “YOU”).  I do like the nature of the song and the positive meaning as well since dancing does feel good.  It might be a little slow for me, but it’s great to listen to.

 

 

MiChi begins her sophomore era with one of her best A-sides yet with All about the Girls.  There’s something about it that just told me we were getting a more energetic and sassy girl even though we’ve seen it with previous songs, this one just amplified it!  dance DANCE! was also pretty good even though I think the tempo should be moved up a little, but it’s positive and fun!  Together again though kind of is just in the middle.  Like I’m pretty sure I won’t remember much of it until album time.  Good single from MiChi!

 

YAZIMA Beauty Salon feat. Princess Seiko – Idol Mitai ni Utawasete

Filed under: YAZIMA Beauty Salon — solarblade @ 5:55 pm

Track Listing

  1. Idol Mitai ni Utawasete
  2. Idol Mitai ni Utawasete (KARAOKE)
  3. Idol Mitai ni Utawasete (Princess Seiko de Utaou! ver.)
  4. Idol Mitai ni Utawasete (Margaret de Utaou! ver.)
  5. Idol Mitai ni Utawasete (Strawberry de Utaou! ver.)
  6. Idol Mitai ni Utawasete (Naomi de Utaou! ver.)
  7. Idol Mitai ni Utawasete (YAZIMA Beauty Salon de Utaou! ver.)

1. Idol Mitai ni Utawasete

I thought the group was actually finished after “Okayui Tokoro wa Gozaimasen ka?”.  I guess not because we have this song.  As it is the opening theme for the movie for the group, I loved this since it was fun, exciting and just feelgood.  As it is a collaboration with Seiko Matsuda, it’s great to hear her voice in the song since it actually works.  Sometimes she does cover up the guys, but whatever lol.  I think it might be their best A-side!

 

 

The other tracks off the singles represent what part is missing in that version so that’s why I’m not gonna go through them.  While now I feel that Idol Mitai ni Utawasete is their final single since it is promoting the movie and soundtrack, I thought this song was great and to collaborate with someone who’s pretty popular also helped.  I really do wanna see more of them, but I know it’s more of a gimmick group than anything.

 

MOON -kana- – MOON DRAGON

Filed under: Kana — solarblade @ 5:19 pm

Track Listing

  1. Hikari no Tegami
  2. Tsuki Kabuto
  3. Hoshi no Tsubasa
  4. Ryuujin
  5. Star★Tears
  6. BUNNY DRAGON
  7. Neko Punch
  8. Dragon Matsuri
  9. Tsuki no Sakura
  10. Moon Wings ~Dragon no Hikari~

1. Hikari no Tegami

Beginning the album with the first song that was actually known on the album, Hikari no Tegami is a very quiet song from her.  All there is to the song is piano and tambourine being the song’s rhythm section.  While it has been a while since I’ve heard voice, I can say she’s gotten less pitchy and can actually hit some notes.  Midway there’s a rain storm and some kiddie piano added but that only stays for a lil bit before getting to the rather empty arrangement.  It’s alright.

2. Tsuki Kabuto

After that pretty slow opening, the tone of the album just flips over and we finally see a return to an edgier Kana because of the songs very heavy percussive sound.  Though I do love the fact that her rock songs have a little more stability unlike in her early days.  Kana’s not really singing here, almost talk-singing here which can be pretty annoying and almost comes off as lazyness. 

3. Hoshi no Tsubasa

Now this is what I’m talking about some meh arrangements because this is more of what I heard in the “Ningen” series of albums.  I like the fact there was acually some reasonable amount of English, but Kana, you have to stop being so repetitive in saying ~star~.  Besides those parts she sounds more interesting than let’s say back in “Tsuki Kabuto”.

4. Ryuujin

Going mid-tempo for our next track, Ryuujin actually sounds promising because Kana’s vocals are filtered out under a mainly acoustic arrangement.  There’s parts where electric guitar is prominent and fills up the song.  There’s times where I thought Kana was being nasally in her singing, but for the most part, I liked this song though it’s so underproduced.

5. Star★Tears

Getting into the odd, Star★Tears begins oddly with like a fuzzy background and Kana repeating the title of the song before the electric guitar,bass, and drums appear.  While we actually get some singing from Kana this time, she’s once again repeating various lines over and over again and she’s falling back into her old ways where she doesn’t sound pleasant.

6. BUNNY DRAGON

Every album seems to have the “cute” song and BUNNY DRAGON is definitely that song.  While it’s not as amazing like “Maid” or “Puppy-chan”, this one actually is fun and the repetition made the song, how can I say this, sickingly cute.  A little under 3 minutes, I found this song to be an early favorite and Kana’s cute voice is a whole lot easier to listen to than her more serious voice…

7. Neko Punch

Another short tune (actually the shortest), Neko Punch isn’t as cutesy as the last song and we’re back to Kana’s bad vocals though I love it when she says ~neko punch!~  she really likes to make the oddest line stand out.  It’s pretty funny to listen to and the chorus is a hot mess but still too funny.

8. Dragon Matsuri

Repeating the same thing is starting to become this album’s main problem and it comes as the main point with Dragon Matsuri.  She says ~dragon~ way too many times and worse she says this everywhere in the song.  Besides that, I’m guessing it’s supposed to be cute since she does the cute yelps, but the song was so annoying, music-wise it was nice to hear some oriental tonage…that was nice…but…otherwise I’d pass it up.

9. Tsuki no Sakura

This song sounds oddly familiar to something off of “Spade” and/or “Tsuki no Usagi”.  The laidback rock arrangement and even more laidback Kana whose vocals are actually alright here and sounds like it has potential to be good.  I guess there could’ve been more sound coming from the tune but it’s alright.

10. Moon Wings ~Dragon no Hikari~

Ending off another album with a Moon Wings song (she had two on “Tsuki no Usagi”).  The song is totally different from the other songs because this is just a pure acoustic track with Kana singing.  Problem is is that Dragon no Hikari is mostly in English and pretty bad English at that since I couldn’t understand and even worse is that the song is a ballad which means long notes and it’s terribly obvious she can’t hold these notes cuz she cracks so badly.  Then she pulls off these whistle notes which aren’t as bad but they aren’t supported well enough…kind of a bad way to end the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • BUNNY DRAGON
  • Ryuujin
  • Tsuki no Sakura

Song of Avoidance

  • Moon Wings ~Dragon no Hikari~

So after a 3 year break, MOON -kana- returns with MOON DRAGON and while I don’t think it’s better than “Spade” it is somewhat better than “Tsuki no Usagi” in the way the arrangements are a bit more solid and have some variety.  Her singing also has gotten better, but it kind of sucks that she repeated way too much here than on previous albums.  Not horrible, but not that good either.

 

Shoko Nakagawa – Tsuzuku Sekai

Filed under: Shoko Nakagawa — solarblade @ 5:50 am

Track Listing

  1. Tsuzuku Sekai
  2. through the looking glass
  3. Tsuzuku Sekai -Instrumental-
  4. Sorairo Days feat 8bit Project -spiral chiptune mix-

1. Tsuzuku Sekai

It isn’t surprising that Tsuzuku Sekai was supposed to be like the era’s “Sorairo Days” and while I do enjoy that it’s replacing it (hell, there’s too many versions of that song), Tsuzuku Sekai is actually somewhat better for me.  I love Shoko and rock arrangements just because she fits in the style a whole lot more than anything else really.  While it’s anime-ish, it’s not bad and Shoko really pushed herself for this.  Great song!

2. through the looking glass

It’s been quite a while since I’ve actually listened to through the looking glass and returning to it brings back the reason I didn’t exactly enjoy the song much.  I’m not sure why I dislike it alot because it sounds like some of her earlier songs, but it’s just so opposite to the rockin’ “Tsuzuku Sekai” and Shoko in the chorus is bad!

4. Sorairo Days feat. 8bit Project -spiral chiptune mix-

Ok, everyone knows that I love my 8bit stuff and for the first time Shoko gets one out of her biggest song (at the time).  While I’ve heard of the 8bit Project, it feels rather empty for some reason.  Though it’s great to hear random sounds from games I’ve played and Shoko’s rather synthed up vocals from auto-tune, it’s interesting but I think YMCK could’ve done more justice to Sorairo Days.

 

 

After that terrible “Shiny GATE”, I was wondering what we were going to end up with for the 2nd single of the era and Tsuzuku Sekai definitely pwned quite nicely and is her strongest A-side yet.  However through the looking glass was just not what I wanted to hear from Shoko, just too cute and vocally weak as poop.  The remix was interesting though, so it ended up being a good single.  Why though was that B-side on “Magic Time” really?!?

 

day after tomorrow – Kimi to Aeta Kiseki

Filed under: day after tomorrow — solarblade @ 4:56 am

Track Listing

  1. Kimi to Aeta Kiseki
  2. Tsuishin
  3. Setsunasa wa Kono Mune no Naka ni
  4. Kimi to Aeta Kiseki -Instrumental-
  5. Tsuishin -Instrumental-
  6. Setsunasa wa Kono Mune no Naka ni -Instrumental-

1. Kimi to Aeta Kiseki

It’s been a while since an A-side has impressed me from dat, but with Kimi to Aeta Kiseki pulled me back in right from the start with the opening lines and opening instrumental.  It is a surprise there’s less going on vocally from misono since she isn’t exactly wailing her mouth across.  The chorus though is just all kinds of catchy and one of the coolest riffs from the band!   Great song!

2. Tsuishin

The first B-side of the single definitely reminds me of something off their last album “primary colors”.  Then again some of it sounds a bit like their next single which is a little preceding I guess.  Compared to the first song, this is a bit more boring and a little less exciting.  I guess it’s better than some of the older songs, but I’m not totally for it.

3. Setsunasa wa Kono Mune no Naka ni

It seems by this single that it goes from the most exciting to the least and with Setsunasa wa Kono Mune no Naka ni, it’s definitely like that.  It’s a little bit more to the point than “Tsuishin” but it feels like it’s dragging itself across the entire length.  Not saying that misono is giving a good performance or anything, but the songs slow moving arrangement did not really make it worthwhile

 

 

As we near the end of the band’s life, Kimi to Aeta Kiseki just shadows the problem within.  I mean the A-side is excellent and could be one the bands best song within the time they were togeher.  Tsuishin and Setsunasa were just too bleh for me to leave much of an impression.  Oh well…

 

m.o.v.e – FUTURE BREEZE

Filed under: m.o.v.e — solarblade @ 3:15 am

Track Listing

  1. FUTURE BREEZE
  2. Passenger Seat
  3. FUTURE BREEZE [Summer Breeze mix]
  4. FUTURE BREEZE [Daddy Budda “NRG” mix]
  5. FUTURE BREEZE [Orbitribe “End of summer” mix]
  6. FUTURE BREEZE [Instrumental]
  7. Passenger Seat [Instrumental]

1. FUTURE BREEZE

I don’t know why, but I’m unsure why m.o.v.e went backwards with FUTURE BREEZE.  I thought we were out of the corny stuff and unusually slow stuff.  I noticed that the way the song goes into the first verse is the exact same set of notes found in “Gamble Rumble/strike on/destiny”.  Vocally, it’s the typical upbeatness that keeps Yuri afloat and motsu is rapping of course.  Then again the chorus was a little happy-happy.  Though motsu’s stuff in the song was what gave it some life, hahaha.  I don’t know but the song really feels a little overused and a bit bland when compared to the rest of the era’s main A-sides.

2. Passenger Seat

Why wasn’t this the A-side?  I mean Passenger Seat might be somewhat like “Romancing Train” in ways, but I definitely think this had more of an effort behind it musically than “FUTURE BREEZE”.  I like Yuri’s vocals in this song as well since it actually melds nice with the chilled dance beat.  motsu’s rapping also seems to flow a lot better in this song as well keeping it smooth and yet quick.  Ok, great song.

 

 

FUTURE BREEZE wasn’t as good as previous singles in this era since the main A-side was well like previous songs and felt rather bland.  Passenger Seat though was the gem off the single and makes me wonder why it never was included on the album…wtf XD.  Also it’s not a part of the “SYNERGY” era and why I reviewed this before said album is because after this single, things radically change for m.o.v.e