Kurayami Monogatari

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Aki Misato – Shiawase wa Tsuki Yori Takaku July 31, 2010

Filed under: Aki Misato — solarblade @ 3:45 am

Track Listing

  1. Shiawase wa Tsuki Yori Takaku
  2. Akarui Koi no Uta
  3. Shiawase wa Tsuki Yori Takaku (off vocal)
  4. Akarui Koi no Uta (off vocal)

1. Shiawase wa Tsuki Yori Takaku

At least we’re getting something that’s relatively exciting from Aki this time around?  It’s like she took her light-hearted sound during the “from now on” era and added a bit more oomph to it but not sacrificing her vocals.  It’s more upbeat, but retains the happy-go-lucky feeling for the most part.  I think she’s finally leaving her ugh fest behind her and finally getting some good stuff going.

2. Akarui Koi no Uta

Looking at the art cover for this single makes me want to think Aki was going to get uber cute for either the A-side or the B-side, but I’m so happy she didn’t go that direction because neither songs sound like that (well maybe a little bit.)  Akarui Koi no Uta is a little bit lighter than “Shiawase wa Tsuki Yori Takaku” in the way that the percussion is lighter and there’s more piano. 

 

 

I think so far this era has been really good for Aki (thank god, I can’t imagine going through another one like “from now on”).  Shiawase wa Tsuki Yori Takaku is pretty light-hearted for a single, but I didn’t mind it since there was effort put into doing these songs right.  Good job Aki!

 

D – Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai

Filed under: D — solarblade @ 3:09 am

Track Listing

  1. Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai
  2. Hibiwareta Zakuroishi
  3. Hēilóng (Regular Edition only)
  4. K no Hyousoukyoku (Limited Edition B only)
  5. Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai (Voiceless)

1. Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai

I love how ASAGI opens the song by whispering to the listener before letting the band move in and add their awesomeness.  I wanna say this is lighter than their usual stuff, but it’s all heavy which is good.  Now I like ASAGI’s vocals and for the most part was good, even the high notes were done very classy.  In places I can hear some other genres placed in there like jazz or even some 50’s diner pop.  It’s strange but I felt happy that they are being continously original in their A-sides.

2. Hibiwareta Zakuroishi

The B-side that’s found on all three versions of the single starts off really nicely with some strings playing in the background.  I was so happy to find out that this song ended up being more of a rock ballad than the other songs and I think D excels at these kind of songs because of ASAGI’s more expressive vocals.  Very impressed by this B-side!

3. Hēilóng

Only found on the Regular edition of the single, Hēilóng is what most fans would call a typical D rock song, but is that really a bad thing?  Well, for me it really isn’t since I only joined during their debut major album era so it hasn’t been that long, but I can see where they are coming from because it reminds me of a bunch of B-sides.  I mean it’s rockin’, ASAGI’s deeper vocals make an appearance and there’s more guitar than ever.  Without ASAGI’s vocal changes…this probably would’ve been pretty forgetful.

4. K no Hyousoukyoku

On the Limited B version of the single, it came with a different B-side that is much harder than “Hēilóng”, but sadly is worse mainly because ASAGI is utilizing his terrible metal growling (check for “Toki no Koe” from “7th Rose” and you’ll understand.  I really hate that kind of singin just because it’s annoying, you can’t tell what they’re saying…is it really singing though?  I’m sorry ASAGi, but when you turn normal, I was happy…but it goes back to shit vocals.  Hate it!

 

 

To begin their 3rd major era, Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai is actually a pretty good single to start things off.  I think both Akaki Hitsuji and Hibiwareta Zakuroishi are great songs that shows off the band’s original feel and touch while Hēilóng gives us the typical D sound we’ve grown to enjoy.  However K no Hyousoukyoku is just terrible to me ears and I can totally live without hearing it again.

 

Kaya – Awilda

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 2:45 am

Track Listing

  1. Awilda
  2. Sink
  3. Awilda -Kayaless ver.-

1. Awilda

I’m always pondering what Kaya will release next as his A-side.  Even though the last few singles have been changing things up (except Ophelia, since that was electro).  Awilda starts out like something you would hear in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie with it’s string play and such before Kaya’s electro beats appear.  They don’t seem to take over and Kaya does fine singing along with this mixture of genres.  I know that this and “Ophelia” share somewhat of a topic on past legends which is awesome and it seems Awilda is based off a female pirate so that’s even cooler to know.  I liked this tune a bit.

2. Sink

The A-side might be about a legend, but Sink is more of a personal song to Kaya and was about leaving his hometown to pursue his career in music.  It does carry the same strings-based electro feel that “Awilda” had, but this seems more like it could easily be remixed and turned into a heavy track easily.  It might not have the same boom that previous B-sides have had, but I like this as well.

 

 

I am surprised that Kaya released Awilda as an indies single rather than major and that could either mean he’s just doing that for this single or his label dropped him.  Anywho, I think so far this is his strongest single yet because both songs sound equally great and if he continues this legend project, he might have a great album in process too!

 

4minute – I My Me Mine July 30, 2010

Filed under: 4minute — solarblade @ 9:57 pm

Track Listing

  1. I My Me Mine (Japanese Version)
  2. Goodbye
  3. HUH (Original Version)
  4. I My Me Mine (Instrumental)

1. I My Me Mine (Japanese Version)

I know we’ve had the Korean version for a while and it was bound that we were gonna get a Japanese cut of one of the songs from their second mini-album.  I My Me Mine has been one of my favorite K-pop songs released as of recent years because it’s sassy, has a lot of punch, and the arrangement is just epic K-popness.  Now yes, compared to their last JPN rework with “Muzik”, I thought the Japanese here was so much stronger and better to listen to, but there a few slipups and a lot more English lines as I’ve noticed as well.  It’s still a pretty epic song and there are some parts where the Japanese sounds a whole lot better than the Korean so that should tell ya they did well here.

2. Goodbye

Marking as the groups first original Japanese song, Goodbye is a bit more mellow than their more well-known songs, but it does showcases the singers of the groups a lot stronger and their Japanese isn’t auto-tuned which is great to hear.  It should shut up those fans that keep saying they’re half-assing it because they aren’t here and I approve of this all the way.

3. HUH (Original Version)

Coming also from their 2nd mini-album “Hit Your Heart”, HUH is in its original Korean form here.  I’ll admit that I’m a fan of 4minute’s more hard and epic songs like “I My Me Mine” and HUH which makes me happy to see it here, but I can only imagine what would happen if there was a Japanese version.  Still this song is hardcore as well!

 

 

For 4minute’s 2nd single, I My Me Mine was definitely a song I wasn’t expecting to get the JPN treatment, but hearing it calmed me down because it was just as good as the Korean version.  The extra english lines might’ve been weird, but the girls sound just the same sassy selves which is always a plus.  Goodbye was also good since it was their first actual Japanese song and showed the girls voices off better since there were no vocal manipulation going on.  HUH was a nice treat, but then again I would’ve just be fine with the original version of the A-side.

 

lecca – TSUBOMI feat. Kusuo/Snow Crystals July 29, 2010

Filed under: lecca — solarblade @ 1:52 am

Track Listing

  1. TSUBOMI feat. Kusuo
  2. Snow Crystals
  3. Neko Shitantan
  4. Deliver Man

1. TSUBOMI feat. Kusuo

I actually thought the beginning of TSUBOMI sounded pretty cool with those sitar notes that were placed there.  It’s a bit more R&B-like rather than “My measure” but I think otherwise it’s a good song from lecca.  Now about her collaboration with Kusuo, he has a normal tone to his voice so clearly most people will admit that he sounds better.  Together it seems like lecca wants to overpower him, but they sometimes sound good when they are together so that should tell you something.

2. Snow Crystals

I much preferred the other A-side of the era for sure.  As we get back into her dancehall style, Snow Crystals might be the winter song from lecca, but I’m happy I can dance to this song.  It’s a bit slower than I would’ve thought but I think it might’ve been the PV that made me think it was faster.  Definitely the best A-side this era had to offer.

3. Neko Shitantan

I’m not sure how to describe the first B-side since it’s like 90’s pop and that was muffled a bit before lecca does her calling and synths come in and turns into a reggaeton song with synths involved and I loved this quite a bit.  However, just like her last B-side “Hyaki Hime Yakou” it suffers from same note bewilderedness.  At least the arrangement is keeping it afloat and makes me wanna move my hips.

4. Deliver Man

As for the other B-side, it’s a bit more down to earth than her other songs.  It could be the fact that it’s in the reggae side of things and less instruments plus lecca’s vocals is better in my opinion.  I think it should’ve been an A-side but whatever I’m not lecca. 

 

 

I do think that TSUBOMI/Snow Crystals is a huge step-up from “My measure” since all the songs have strong arrangements and aren’t as boring as I thought it’d be coming from a winter single.  All four songs sound so different from each other and lecca is straightenting her voice out, but it still sound original which is good. 

 

lecca – My measure

Filed under: lecca — solarblade @ 1:24 am

Track Listing

  1. My measure
  2. Hyaki Hime Yakou
  3. somebody else’s guy

1. My measure

To me, getting into lecca has been a strange road of course.  Yes, there’s not a lot of artists that is styled into reggae/dancehall/pop like lecca.  Now what makes me pay attention to lecca is her vocals because they’re so one of a kind because they sound rather deep (and some cases manly), but I think that’s what makes her original and it sounds different from what I’m used to.  Now My measure isn’t what you call into the style, but it’s more towards regular ole pop and it’s catchy once you get used to lecca’s vocals.  Might take a while to grow but it’s worth a listen.

2. Hyaki Hime Yakou

Getting into some dancehall for the B-side, Hyaki Hime Yakou has a pretty cool beat and arrangement going for it and for the first time I’m hearing lecca singing at a fast pace against some repeated strings and heavy dance beats.  I could not follow what the girl was saying but I was kind of disappointed that she stayed on two notes for most of the song, so it became mundane to listen to after a while. 

3. somebody else’s guy

I can never understand why she sang a song about this since it sounds a little selfish.  Now since the song is more towards an R&B kind of sound, somebody else’s guy actually sounds really good vocally since she pulls off her deep vocals quite nicely.  It’s also the chillest song off the single as well so it took off the things that would’ve otherwise take the good feelings out!

 

 

Since this is the first single released for the “Power Butterfly” era, I think lecca did a pretty good job.  I’ll admit that her voice is one of those ones where you have to get used to before actually enjoying it, but I think it’s a good single.  Well, Hyaki Hime Yakou is kind of bleh, but yeah My measure and somebody else’s guy are good songs.

 

IMALU – 1.2.3.4

Filed under: IMALU — solarblade @ 12:28 am

Track Listing

  1. 1.2.3.4

1. 1.2.3.4

It’s a little sad that IMALU is somewhat pulling away from her electropop mix into a more pop/rock sound with 1.2.3.4.  For the most part she actually pulled the song off nicely and her vocals are pretty strong and the chorus is a little weird being ~3, 2, 1, 0~  Kind of makes the title of the song kind of wonky doesn’t it?  Maybe the title is a bit wrong, but I still think it’s one of IMALU’s fun rock songs to chant with.

 

 

I really hope IMALU is prepping up for an album next because I’m thinking she straying a bit far from what she began her career like and this pop/rock style should be left to someone else.  Still not that bad of a song and can be quite catchy.