Kurayami Monogatari

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Aira Mitsuki – 6 FORCE June 7, 2010

Filed under: Aira Mitsuki — solarblade @ 10:58 pm

Track Listing

  1. HEAT MY LOVE
  2. Wonder touch
  3. lie days
  4. display toy (Regular only)
  5. Yellow Submarine (Limited only)
  6. FAKE
  7. LEVEL5
  8. TURKEY
  9. I can’t (TOWER RECORDS Bonus)
  10. Grotesque (HMV Bonus)

1. HEAT MY LOVE

Beginning Aira’s first mini-album, HEAT MY LOVE actually has been known since maybe a few months after “PLASTIC”‘s release.  I found it strange that it was basically the only news from it until the last month or so.  Anyway, HEAT MY LOVE oddly reminds me of a more upbeat “Spring Sky”.  It’s got your typical Terukado sound to it, but there’s something about it that made it catchier than normal.  It’s a pretty good opening track.

2. Wonder touch

I was surprised at how Wonder touch came out.  I mean Terukado here took the rapping verses from capsule’s “the Time is Now” with some extra quips from this “Roxanne”.  As for the song, it goes back into her debut era with the deeper synth drive and funky rhythms.  I’ll admit that I missed this side of Aira and it’s gotten better it seems.  I’ve also noticed Aira’s vocals have also sort of got back to that way as well which is amazing.  I think this is better than “HEAT MY LOVE”.

3. lie days

So of course since this is a D-topia release, there always has to be a ballad and once again I’m finding myself pretty bored with it.  I mean yeah, there’s programmed strings and a real chill sound to it, but c’mon this sounds like a refined version of “Every night heartfull music song” and that was already 1-upped by “distant STARS”.  Let’s just say Terukado’s ballads aren’t great with Aira…her voice isn’t that nice to listen to through that style.

4a. display toy

Now depending on which edition you bought, it comes with a different song.  The regular edition comes with display toy.  Now this song is definitely like the return of songs like “Robot Honey” and “BARBiE BARBiE” since it has that sparkling electropop sound and well they all sound similar to one another and I don’t mind that because of this time, Aira/Terukado and whoever produces the sound made it correct and it doesn’t sound jarring.  I thought it was pretty catchy overall and made me dance!

4b. Yellow Submarine

As for the limited edition, Yellow Submarine takes over and while it does have the leftover “PLASTIC” sound, it’s kind of funky and fresh at the same time and it could be the synth melody.  It seems Aira uses a whole lot of English as well in the song.  It’s prolly got the heaviest beat here.  There’s also some stock vocals present in the song that sound like Aira, but people think it is her and I’m like….Aira doesn’t speak English that well lol.  Still good song!

5. FAKE

Before, all we knew was Aira and Terukado and they were inseperable.  Starting with this mini-album though, Aira has flown from her nest and joined Sawagi (a J-rock/electro fusion band).  Right from the start you’ll feel the total difference from her works with Terukado.  With a guitar/synth melody it makes you wonder how she was capable of taking the stuff that made her good and apply it here.  Though it seems that Aira’s lisp is more obvious sounding, but there’s less vocal manipulating here.  FAKE is nice, but she’s just speaking majority of it and hearing her actually singing with Sawagi supporting would’ve been nicer.  Those parts are nice!

6. LEVEL5

However, I’m definitely giving a trophy to this song.  The dark bass riff really made this song for me and with Aira singing in a pretty mysterious way, it totally worked for me and showed a way better cohesive pair between the two.  Yes, Aira’s lisp definitely has overrided the song at points and the lack of vocoder is still daunting, but I still ended up loving this rock/electro mix-up.  At 6 minutes, it’s a guilty pleasure for me.

7. TURKEY

The last of the Sawagi-produced tracks, TURKEY is just a lulzy title for me.  Compared to the last two tracks, this has the most amount of electro inspiration in it, but at the same time, Aira’s lisp has died down this time and it sounds better almost.  I’m not sure how to really describe the song, but it’s kind of different and yet familiar and that’s always a good thing to have.  It’s a nice tune and ends the mini-album off nicely.

8a. I can’t

So, on specific versions of the mini, you get a special track.  From buying this at TOWER RECORDS, it comes with a cover I can’t which is from Saori’s “WORLD WILD 2010” album which is a surprise!  Hearing this version, Aira’s take sounds like it went up a couple of bars higher than Saori’s take.  I have a bit more trouble hearing Aira’s lyrics because of her lisp and all, but this could’ve been a bit better handled.

8b. Grotesque

So buying the HMV version of the album came with an extra disc containing Grotesque which is of course if you guys remember Saori@destiny’s track off her album “WORLD WILD 2010” as well.  Aira’s version of the song sounds exactly the same arrangement-wise as Saori’s put with Aira’s vocals.  To me that feels sort of like a copout since I think Saori’s is much more cleaner and clearer to listen to.  At least it was a nice try.

*will review the bonus track, “I can’t” when it leaks!!!*  Aira’s first mini-album is more or less a continutation of what we’ve been listening to since the girl debuted, but with a twist!  The five songs Terukado worked on weren’t exactly breaking new ground at this point and was more of a “if it’s that good why change it” kind of attitude for this mini-album.  However, Aira switched things up working with Sawagi and those songs came off pretty good.  Even though Saori’s album is still high and mighty right, Aira’s is a nice listen.  Let’s see what’s in store for the other two new acts from D-topia!

 

Yuya Matsushita – I AM ME

Filed under: Yuya Matsushita — solarblade @ 10:51 pm

Track Listing

  1. Prologue ~I AM ME~
  2. YOU
  3. foolish foolish
  4. Interlude I
  5. Mr. “Broken Heart”
  6. LAST SNOW
  7. Koe ni Naranakute feat. Sista
  8. Agitation
  9. Interlude II
  10. Futari
  11. Negai ga Kanau Nara… -Album version-
  12. Trust Me
  13. first snow feat. Sista
  14. Sono Toki Made no Sayonara
  15. Interlude III
  16. Hallucination
  17. Kiss Me
  18. Honesty

1. Prologue ~I AM ME~

The album opens up with a small introduction into the album.  It makes the album start off sounding like it’s going to be an urban albun filled with hip-hop beats and tons of auto-tune.  Hahaha, fortunately it’s far from that hahaha. 

2. YOU

First vocal track is the fifth A-side and last single of the era, YOU.  To be honest the whole era was crying for a song like this from Yuya and it’s actually one of my favorite songs from him because it’s got a heavy dance beat and his vocals are great!  Even the chorus is like surprisingly catchy.  Good kickstart to the album.

3. foolish foolish

I guess it was fitting to go from the last single he released in the era to his debut A-side, foolish foolish.  Things also kind of immediately switch like the mood from “YOU” to this slower R&B song.  I’ll admit I’m more of a bigger fan of that remix than the original and probably would’ve made a better fit after the last song.  Good thing is that Yuya’s vocals are pretty smooth and strong, even though the arrangement is kind of lacking a lil bit of excitement.

4. Interlude I

I’m kind of disliking the fact that the album has three interludes, but since this is one of those albums that each song flows into each other…it makes better sense.  You can hear a bit of the melody from our next track, “Mr. “Broken Heart”” before getting into that track.

5. Mr. “Broken Heart”

Like I said on the review of “foolish foolish”, this song doesn’t really capture my attention like his other songs have and unfortunately it still doesn’t really even with the interlude tied to it.  I guess it’s a pretty deep song and that I’ll give props to that, but otherwise I just can’t remember it.

6. LAST SNOW

2nd A-side of the era pops up and it’s actually more slower than the last song, but seriously…I can’t really remember this song either but I do love his vocals in this song.  I guess since it is his winter song that has to be said it’s nice…but “Hallucination” kind of runs circles around this tune.

7. Koe ni Naranakute feat. Sista

While this is my first time reviewing the track, it was actually the first of the digital singles released and also one of two collaborations on the album.  Koe ni Naranakute tries for a rather “Close to you” vibe woth the sitar parts, but unfortunately this is the first bad song off the album because I didn’t like Yuya’s talking idea for the verses while Sista sounded better.  It seemed way too laidback too…hmmm Sorry Yuya talking in your songs don’t work!

8. Agitation

Wow, we finally get into our first of three now songs and Agitation is in the veins of “YOU” and “Trust Me” but with auto-tune.  It kind of reminds me of some latin tunes but he actually pulled it off quite nicely and the auto-tune wasn’t caked on like it was on “I’m Sexy”.  I think the way he says the title of the song is kind of weird, but still is pretty cool and the rapping was pretty funny as well.  I actually was liking this one.

9. Interlude II

Our second interlude oddly starts with a piano melody which is probably playing some of the melody of our next song, “Futari” and it flawlessly flows perfectly into it.

10. Futari

I think of all the ballads he’s done in this era, either Futari or “Hallucination” takes the trophy for best ballad.  I like the way the interlude flowed straight into the song and once again I’m finding myself loving Yuya’s emotions in the song.  Very pretty song and the light R&B tintage also made it more pretty.

11. Negai ga Kanau Nara… -Album version-

The B-side from “Honesty” appears next and it’s the only track to have been changed for the album.  The original started out with a short piano intro, but here it starts immediately with Yuya singing new lyrics before the piano comes in.  Otherwise, it’s the same but also feels like the arrangement has been dumbed down a little bit.  I actually ended up liking this version more because there wasn’t anything too awkward to bag it about.  Good job!

12. Trust Me

4th A-side, Trust Me showed off a new side to Yuya and it’s a pretty energetic tune like “YOU” is but the hook of the song isn’t fully here.  It’s still got your fare of synths and a heavy R&B rhythm.  Now at the time this was my jam and it still is and all but it got trumped when I gave the next single a listen.  Not to worry, it’s a good song still.

13. first snow feat. Sista

As for the other digital single released, first snow actually is an answer song to “LAST SNOW” which is oddly interesting.  Though I’m fearing that the song was going to end up the same way as “Koe ni Naranakute” and somewhat it does because Sista takes over the song a whole lot more than Yuya.  I do admit her voice is pleasant but this is Yuya’s song and he’s even worse with the speaking parts.  I did like the chorus where it plays parallels to “LAST SNOW” and both sound nice together but Yuya should never do the deep talking shit he’s pulling.

14. Sono Toki Made no Sayonara

I was surprised when Sono Toki Made no Sayonara kind of sounded like a slower Porno Graffitti song because of the rather rockish arrangement.  It’s one of those songs that is a little random on the album, but still sounds nice nonetheless.  I guess they could’ve added a little more oomph to it, but it still is pretty good for a first try in the rock genre.

15. Interlude III

The third and final interlude of the album is probably the worst because there’s just nothing to it.  To me it comes off as a lot of static noise and that’s just not good to listen to… Sorry but, worst interlude…

16. Hallucination

I guess the interlude does get a few points because it’s linked to Hallucination, “YOU”s B-side.  While I think “Futari” was simplistic, this song has a bit more flavor and the beautiful strings helped him out quite a bit.  Then again it sounds like a dark ballad as well.  It’s definitely one of the better ballads I’ve heard this year so far. 

17. Kiss Me

Then we get into our final new song and Kiss Me does kind of disrupt that flow between “Hallucination” and this but it kind of had to happen since this and the next song are the poppiest tunes off the album.  Kiss Me kind of has the fun groove to it that kind of makes it easy to fall in love and while the foundation of the song feels like a lighter “Trust Me”, it’s still pretty catchy!

18. Honesty

I don’t really know why Yuya went and made this the final song off the album.  I mean it’s just as upbeat and fun to listen to, but it just doesn’t sound like ending material for the album yknow?  I do think “Kiss Me” is a whole lot better than this song though, but I still enjoy listening to it on occasion.

Tracks Recommended

  • Hallucination
  • YOU
  • Kiss Me
  • Agitation
  • Negai ga Kanau Nara… -Album version-

Song of Avoidance

  • Koe ni Naranakute feat. Sista

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this album.  While it’s Yuya’s debut album…it is pretty strong (that is if you haven’t heard any of the preceding singles that is).  I mean only three new songs, three interludes, and an opening to basically say “new things” was pretty bad.  I did however like the songs he did choose on the album…even though there’s only 3 songs missing to begin with hahahaha.  Not bad for a debut though.