Kurayami Monogatari

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Akiko Shikata – Inori no Kanata April 28, 2010

Filed under: Akiko Shikata — solarblade @ 4:16 am

Track Listing

  1. TETHE’ALLA ~Tsui no Kodomotachi~
  2. Inori no Kanata
  3. Akakakushi
  4. Inori no Kanata -instrumental-

1. TETHE’ALLA ~Tsui no Kodomotachi~

Opening this single up, Tsui no Kodomotachi is quite the strange song, especially since I’m not used to Akiko’s vocals yet.  It does sound like Kalafina tripled its members and are singing together.  While the language to my ears are very foreign right now and hard to tell because the harmonizations are kind of meshing too crazily.  Not sure what language it’s actually in…I wanna say Japanese but it’s difficult to tell with Akiko’s singing…still good opening!

2. Inori no Kanata

As the primary A-side of the single, Inori no Kanata opens up in a diff language for sure before opening into its grandiose setting.  Akiko’s vocals by herself are pretty high and almost into whistle land here.  At least through these parts she’s singing in JPN which is good to hear.  The song is very pretty and is a mix between folk and fairytale and I like that about this song.  Just like her previous single, Inori no Kanata has different passages within, but still makes it fluid enough to star together.  Good A-side.

3. Akakakushi

Compared to the other two songs on the single, Akakakushi has a more evil and dark tone to it.  I mean Akiko’s thin and sweet vocals at the start didn’t exactly really make it stand out that way, but once the driving beat pops in, you get what I mean pretty quickly.  While I’m pretty sure this is purposefully done, Akiko kind of swerves her notes a little too much into song and it kind of becomes the distraction in the song.  Not better than “VII” but it’s alright for now.

 

 

Akiko’s 2nd single Inori no Kanata might not have the lasting power that “Katayoku no Tori” did, but it’s a solid release overall.  I liked the A-side and Tsui no Kodomotachi, but Akakakushi was a little too weird for me.  Maybe the 3rd single will fix things up.

 

T.M.Revolution – Albireo

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 3:52 am

Track Listing

  1. Albireo
  2. Goin’

1. Albireo

You know after “INVOKE”. I was wondering where Takanori and Daisuke were going next and I was blown away with Albireo.  I mean besides the lack of a good tie-in, this song has the same synth and guitar mix that made their last single spark so high.  I just wish he didn’t gay himself so hardcore for the video’s main PV…what a travesty that was.  Still it’s another one of those amazing T.M.R songs that’ll always be on my iPod.

2. Goin’

I like how that the group make similar songs now to feed the fandom going on.  Goin’ reminds me of “Madan” a little bit, but I don’t think it’s exactly that bad of a song.  They aren’t really known for really amazing B-sides so it isn’t a surprise that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did with “Albireo”

 

 

As the lone single for the “SEVENTH HEAVEN” era, Albireo is definitely a great song in its own right and is just as strong as their last A-side, “INVOKE”.  Goin’ though is the typical meh B-side and luckily doesn’t make the albums cut.

 

Shoko Nakagawa – RAY OF LIGHT

Filed under: Shoko Nakagawa — solarblade @ 3:36 am

Track Listing

  1. RAY OF LIGHT
  2. diamond high
  3. calling location -Live version-
  4. RAY OF LIGHT -Instrumental-
  5. RAY OF LIGHT -TV Edit- (FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST edition bonus track)

1. RAY OF LIGHT

RAY OF LIGHT is finally something that brings the great Shoko out.  While I admit that she’s a little out of her comfort zone for RAY OF LIGHT, I thought it turned out pretty well and Shoko sounds pretty darn strong especailly since “Arigatou no Egao” was a little boring for me.  I like the mid-tempo string arrangement and that boosted my likeness for the song.  Good A-side, but where’s something upbeat?

2. diamond high

I’m surprised she didn’t make diamond high the A-side of the single.  I love the energetic flow when compared to “RAY OF LIGHT” and to be honest it sounds more anime-ish as well.  While it isn’t as strong as “Tsuzuku Sekai” or “Sorairo Days”, this is definitely that song of the era…I hope this makes the third album to be all honest. 

3. calling location -Live version-

Remember calling location from Shoko’s debut album, “Big☆Bang!!!”?  Yeah, one of the best songs on the album gets a live version, which is also a first for Shoko as well.  I notice as the song plays is that Shoko’s vocals are immensely deeper than both tracks.  I like calling location and hearing it live like this makes it more better.  I don’t know where this was recorded, but it sounded really good.

 

 

RAY OF LIGHT is definitely the era’s best single, but it’s definitely not topping previous big singles she’s done.  I do like the different style she took for RAY OF LIGHT, but diamond high was clearly the better of the two…why it wasn’t an A-side, i have no clue.  calling location sung live was a new experience and it was sung well live hmmm…Is this era over yet?

 

UVERworld – Timeless

Filed under: UVERworld — solarblade @ 2:11 am

Track Listing

  1. CHANCE!
  2. Toki no Namida
  3. Rush
  4. D-tecnoLife
  5. Yasashisa no Shizuku
  6. ai ta Kokoro (Album Version)
  7. Burst
  8. Nitro
  9. just Melody (Album Version)
  10. Lump Of Affection
  11. Tobira
  12. SE
  13. D-tecnoLife (Album Version)

1. CHANCE!

Beginning the album off with the era’s middle single, CHANCE! was definitely the era’s best A-side and it’s just because it’s so relaxed for the band and didn’t really call for TAKUYA to overload on his vocals.  I like the upbeat J-rock from the band and it’s exciting in its own way and pretty epic.  I love CHANCE!

2. Toki no Namida

Getting into our first new track, Toki no Namida really pushes the energy levels high and while it does remind me of a more refined version of “D-tecnoLife”, Toki no Namida is a pretty awesome song from UVERworld and everything feels right and strong, no problems from me.

3. Rush

Turning the mood into a darker setting, Rush is heavier than the previous two songs featuring some rather loud yelping from TAKUYA.  I was so unsure what to think because while I love the dark stuff UVERworld releases, whenever they get more edgy it seems things get messy and vocally hard to handle as well.  Especially with the swervy wail we got in the chorus.  Not too bad, but it can get annoying after awhile.

4. D-tecnoLife

What began UVERworld’s career and beginning off with a song that was tied-in with Bleach, D-tecnoLife was a pretty good opening for the series that’s for sure, but the problem here is that the song got pwned by both “CHANCE!” and “just Melody”.  I’m not sure why I don’t enjoy the song as much as I used to when I first heard it through the anime.  It just feels empty and sadly just feels so iono…”Ichirin no Hana” fixed things up XD

5. Yasashisa no Shizuku

After getting through some of the louder stuff from the band, Yasashisa no Shizuku calms things down a little bit…well at least it did at the beginning.  I’ll admit that I love how it sounds and the more need of bass in the song.  I finally take notice at TAKUYA’s Engrish in the song and it’s sometimes hard to understand what he’s saying, but it’s still a good relaxing song from the band.

6. ai ta Kokoro (Album Version)

The only B-side found on the album, AI TA Kokoro from the “D-tecnoLife” single got changed and the caps was toned as well XD.  Actually shorter than its single counterpart, ai ta Kokoro’s changes don’t really pop into my mind, cept maybe a shortened ending and perhaps a little more involvement in the music.  I still enjoy it’s light side and is one of the more memorable songs from the singles. 

7. Burst

The shortest song off the album, Burst is definitely like what the title suggests.  It’s a powerful burst of energy after the last two songs and they fixed the problems that made “Rush” hard to listen through.  TAKUYA’s energy is just through the roof.  It’s these songs that really take me by surprise and I’m happy there’s at least a few of these here. 

8. Nitro

After such a fill with “Burst”, I was thinking Nitro was going to be just as hard hitting and I was right actually.  The opening doesn’t really sound like it would lead in, but it does and I like the aggressive arrangement.  TAKUYA’s vocals are more strict and deeper which is a nice change to the vocal work, but it sounds rather iono sloppy and his English also kind of fails a bit again as well.  The chorus is weird with that ~so sorry~ line hahaha.  Interesting song haha.

9. just Melody (Album Version)

Adding 34 seconds to the final single released in the era, just Melody’s additions only really are the extended guitar/synth opening which was a pleasant idea since it was one of the best parts of the song.  While it’s not the best of the era, just Melody reminds me of a more lightheated “GO-ON” since there’s parts that reminds me of it.  Not a bad song at all.

10. Lump Of Affection

I kind of like the more experimental side of this album, but I’m not really liking the song much.  I’m not sure why, but there’s just something about this song that rubs me the wrong way.  It’s a slower song, but I’m not finding anything that makes it stand out.

11. Tobira

Which we get into Tobira which is like a clone of “Lump Of Affection” but with edgier guitar parts and a whole lot more interest from TAKUYA.  That being said, it’s a little better than the last track, but there’s not much going for it still besdies the plus’s of the song.  So much for that I guess.

12. SE

After two meh songs, I think we make it into the home stretch with something good.  SE is totally different from anything on the album.  Especially with that weird solo opening turning into a pseudo electro track.  Then again, as this is the lone interlude of the album I was surprised UVERworld would actually supply an interlude that’s all trance and such…so random but it does make a nice transition into our final track.

13. D-tecnoLife (Album Version)

So we have two versions of D-tecnoLife on Timeless huh?  Whatever…the chances to their debut A-side was surprisingly major when compared to the changes on the other tracks.  They fixed the emptiness that plagued the original, but it still feels under both of the other singles.  It is the better version, but it’s definitely not a strong song still.

Tracks Recommended

  • CHANCE!
  • Burst
  • ai ta Kokoro (Album Version)
  • Toki no Namida
  • Nitro

Song of Avoidance

  • Lump Of Affection

UVERworld’s debut album was actually kind of nice.  I mean strong new songs mixed in with the pretty good singles representing it.  It did however start to wane near the end where things got too boring and outrageous…I mean does SE even make sense here?  Still, a pretty good start for the band!