Kurayami Monogatari

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Maika – never cry June 3, 2010

Filed under: Maika — solarblade @ 3:20 pm

Track Listing

  1. never cry
  2. real size

1. never cry

Ok, yeah 3 major label single reviews in a row hahaha.  Here we get to Maika’s major label debut never cry and it seems Maika’s vocals remind me of Avril Lavigne’s vocals but in Japanese and not in the way it’s ruined.  I don’t know why but her uber throaty vocals gave the song punch and it ended up actually being good. 

2. real size

The B-side though takes the seriousness out of “never cry” and leaves us with a nice upbeat B-side and I’ve found myself enjoying this song quite a bit more than the A-side which is a good thing since she’s capable of releasing strong songs on both sides of the spectrum. 

 

 

I think Maika’s debut major single is pretty good even though her vocals are definitely not for everyone, at least the B-side was able to sound fun and interesting.  Since she already announced another single and album, I can’t wait to see what’s in store from Maika

 

hinaco – Nakigao Smile

Filed under: hinaco — solarblade @ 2:45 pm

Track Listing

  1. Nakigao Smile
  2. Mangetsu Kirari
  3. Nakigao Smile (planetarium ver.)

1. Nakigao Smile

I don’t know about you but hinaco’s vocals remind me of Chihiro Onitsuka’s vocals for some reason.  She’s got that same throaty sound as her but under a more simplified arrangement.  I actually thought I was listening to a Disney song at first before the chorus comes in that reminds me of well more girl-fronted acoustic ballads.  Might not be the best ballad of the year, but it’s kind of good and her vocals is one that’ll take a little time to get used to.

2. Mangetsu Kirari

I was honestly not expecting something like this for a debut.  Mangetsu Kirari is definitely different from “Nakigao Smile” in the way that there’s a lot more synths involved in the arrangement and I ended up liking that a bit.  The chorus did take a pop/rock sound but keeping the rather interesting synth melody for the ride.  I actually that there was more effort in this track than her A-side!  Nice!

3. Nakigao Smile (planetarium ver.)

Basically, this is a piano instrumental with Nakigao Smile’s arrangement.  While I was surprised hinaco’s vocals weren’t present for this version, I thought it was a pretty way to end the single.  It’s also a little shorter than the original cut so that’s worth noting as well.

 

 

I can see hinaco getting some big songs in the future, her voice is actually quite nice, but it’s when she goes for those lower tones that things get a little sketchy.  Nakigao Smile is a bit plain ballad-wise but its B-side is definitely worth a listen.  Let’s see what she does next!

 

miwa – don’t cry anymore

Filed under: miwa — solarblade @ 2:25 pm

Track Listing

  1. don’t cry anymore
  2. Megurogawa
  3. Wake Up, Break Out!
  4. don’t cry anymore ~instrumental~

1. don’t cry anymore

Really?  miwa’s first major label A-side kind of reminds me of both Shion Tsuji’s and Maria’s soun.  You know, acoustic guitar with a string background to support things.  While most of you are thinking I’m crazy for taking another acoustic chick under my wing, don’t cry anymore actually has some emotion and energy behind it and I really like miwa’s strong grasp at English as well.  Her vocals are a bit like Shion’s though, but I mean isn’t everyone just trying to be YUI on the inside?  Still for a major label of an A-side, it’s actually pretty sweet and catchy!

2. Megurogawa

The first B-side, Megurogawa takes out the acoustic guitar for a slightly cute piano track from miwa.  Now, I really feel that miwa’s vocals are somewhat weak and not sharp, but it could be debut issues.  Sadly, she adds in the acoustics in the chorus where the song sort of just becomes boring to me.  I guess I do like that it sounds Country-ish, but otherwise very plain to me.

3. Wake Up, Break Out!

As for the other B-side, I much preferred this song over “Megurogawa”.  Her vocals seem a bit more nasally, but the song’s upbeat nature and happy flow made this a whole lot better than I expected.  I think the way she holds the longer notes in the song are pretty bad but still it’s nothing extreme. 

 

 

miwa’s first single to me is a bit like playing off similar artists.  I can tell many people would call her as the YUI-Shion Tsuji wannabe and to be honest I would too because right now miwa doesn’t stand out to me with this single.  If I didn’t know this was miwa, I would be guessing between the other two.  Time will tell for her and hopefully “Little Girl” will do just that!

 

Meisa Kuroki – 5-FIVE-

Filed under: Meisa Kuroki — solarblade @ 1:50 am

Track Listing

  1. 5-FIVE-
  2. The Only One
  3. So Smooth
  4. 5-FIVE- (instrumental)

1. 5-FIVE-

So, Meisa starts off her second single off with 5-FIVE- which right now is probably the happiest song she’s released so far as in the promotional songs she’s put out.  The groove of the song is very dancey and there’s a good amount of synths available.  The arrangement does come off as a little messy, but not at the point where it’s “SHOCK -Unmei-” bad.  I thought it was catchy and the counting in the chorus was cool. 

2. The Only One

The first B-side definitely has that “ATTITUDE” sound going for it, but at least it shows off Meisa’s vocals in a softer light unlike all those other times where she’s yelling her vocals out.  While I’m confused where the song is trying to pull off…like is it supposed to be sexy or just sympathetic?  Little bit weird, but it’s good.

3. So Smooth

This really isn’t a smooth track once you really get down to the nitty gritty.  I do like how So Smooth has a rather 80’s synth sound going for it and while Meisa’s vocals are under a little bit of vocal manipulation and her English has still not improved since “Are ya ready”.  There’s something about the hook that caught me and it ended up being the best one off the single.  She even sounded on pitch which is good for once.

 

 

Meisa’s 2nd single definitely tops her first single by a long shot.  All three songs are pretty good for her.  Problem is is that she’s starting to suffer from same style syndrome, which basically killed “ATTITUDE”.  It might be because of who she worked with, but next time try something that isn’t so similar!