Kurayami Monogatari

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Koda Kumi – Get It On July 2, 2010

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 8:07 pm

Track Listing

  1. Get It On

1. Get It On

OMG, the opening to this song is pretty nifty and there’s not a lot that could compare to this song because for one thing it’s got this sexy and smooth Indian style going and Kuu sounds as sultry as always which definitely working the songs cords.  Take out the Engrish we’ve grown to love from her and we get a nice song.

 

 

While the full song doesn’t make it onto “BEST ~second session~” (being released to cellphones, 7 days before the album), we do get to see its resurgance on the 2009 “OUT WORKS” album.  I actually still think it’s one of her more extreme experiments that was done right, so I’m happy with this song quite a bit.

 

Koda Kumi – Someday/Boys♡Girls

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 8:00 pm

Track Listing

  1. Someday
  2. Boys♡Girls
  3. Someday (Instrumental)
  4. Boys♡Girls (Instrumental)

1. Someday

Yeah, it might not be the most interesting song of the era and not really bringing anything to the table, but it’s simple and to the point.  Otherwise I wasn’t really a big fan of the song since it didn’t do much but bored me the entire time. 

2. Boys♡Girls

I guess where gonna be classy for the other A-side.  It reminds me of a song from her but I can’t pinpoint which one right at the moment, but I actually like the rather chill and sort of electro-pop ness of the song.  I think Kuu gave a more enticing vocal performance and she sounds fun here.  Definitely better than “Someday”

 

 

Why was “Boys♡Girls omitted from the album?  I’m so shocked that they left the little gem on the single and as an A-side for that matter.  “Someday” was just plain bland here and doesn’t offer anything too good for me to remember it by.

 

Koda Kumi – KAMEN feat. Tatuya Ishii

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 7:49 pm

Track Listing

  1. KAMEN feat. Tatuya Ishii
  2. KAMEN (with your darling version)
  3. KAMEN (with your honey version)
  4. KAMEN (instrumental)

1. KAMEN feat. Tatuya Ishii

I thought Kuu collaborating with a male singer would be pretty interesting, more or less with Tatuya who’s pretty well-known in the J-pop world.  I thought the singing back and forth was an interesting way to sing and the parts when Kuu and Tataya were singing together was pretty hot, almost sensual…but there wasn’t enough of that since it was both of them singing their own parts which kind of made me frown a bit because they sound really good together.

2. KAMEN (with your darling version)

All these mean is that the next two tracks on the singles are respective solos for both artists.  I was actually saddened to not see that the Tatuya solo (and eventually Kuu’s) solo had very awkward moments of no singing so I guess they’re both karaoke parts.  Then again I remember more of Tatuya in KAMEN than Kuu to be honest.

3. KAMEN (with your honey version)

Yes, this would be the Kuu solo and it’s even more awkward because of not Tatuya at all.  I guess it was nice to have added this track, but there’s not a whole lot of Kuu in the song and that was just a bad idea IMO.

 

 

Without considering the two tracks that are their for karaoke, KAMEN isn’t too bad of a single…it’s just I though they were going to collaborate a bit stronger and not have seperate parts most of the way through.  Ehhh…she’s had better collaborative efforts…(I think…)

 

Koda Kumi – No Regret

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 7:32 pm

Track Listing

  1. No Regret
  2. Rain (Unplugged Version)
  3. No Regret (Instrumental)
  4. Rain (Unplugged Version) (Instrumental)

1. No Regret

I actually liked No Regret as well because it was totally different at the time.  I mean the singles beforehand also go and try new ideas and sounds, but No Regret is the closest thing to her past eras and she makes it sound nice and strong.  The arrangement doesn’t fully go anywhere but it feels ethnic and yet typical at the same time.  Fun tune.

2. Rain (Unplugged Version)

I kind of like that she did an acoustic version of Rain from her last album, “feel my mind”.  I think Kuu does a way better job at handling an acoustic tune than her sister misono and that’s not saying a lot.  It also does sound like it was done live somewhere and the feeling is quite nice.  The only thing that bothered me though was Kuu’s high note blubber…it was pretty harsh to the ears.  Still good overall though.

 

 

As the next important single in the era (the previous 6 were just the A-side and instrumental and I’m just gonna skip over those), No Regret was a nice single overall.  No Regret has a pretty nice sound to it even though she’s strengthening the stuff she released before and that being said, both No Regret and Rain sound a lot better I think.  Not as strong as “you” but good.

 

Koda Kumi – you

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 7:15 pm

Track Listing

  1. you
  2. Sweet Kiss
  3. you (Instrumental)
  4. Sweet Kiss (Instrumental)

1. you

I thought after taking a rather small break after that best-of, you represents a rather sweet side to Kuu’s music.  The song is a mid-tempo ballad that doesn’t sound so plain and boring like previous ones (and later ones at that).  It carries the mix of Kuu’s R&B style and gets her smokier vocals out quite nicely.  I don’t even know if the song is either a happy or sad ballad, but I did enjoy it.

2. Sweet Kiss

One of two songs in the era this oddly not found on the album, Sweet Kiss is surprisingly one of her more upbeat and dance-ish songs.  Then again it also fits in the group of summer songs Kuu has done.  The disco-style the song has kind of feels a little bit like of an upbeat “Chase” but expanded on and I’m kind of in love with the song haha.

 

 

Beginning this wild 12 singles in in three months shindig, you stands out amongst the other singles partly because you was Kuu’s first #1 single on Oricon and that’s a feat in the first place.  I really liked the fact you was a better made ballad than songs before and she’s going in the right direction.  Sad though for Sweet Kiss because it’ll always just be remembered as a B-side…still a good song though!

 

misono – Me

Filed under: misono — solarblade @ 1:41 pm

Track Listing

  1. Tales… ~Me Ver.~
  2. Kyuukon ~Yaruki, Genki, Sono Ki no Nekko~
  3. “…Suki×××”
  4. Usotsuki Tane
  5. 0-ji Mae no Tsunderella
  6. Joker
  7. Tenbin ~Tsuyogari na Watashi × Yowagari na Kimi~
  8. 11 eleven or end=START
  9. Shuuten ~Kimi no Ude no Naka~
  10. Watashi Iro
  11. ?cm ~misono to Ninin Sankyaku! Partner Ver.~
  12. music letter ~Me Ver.~
  13. Kazoku no Hi
  14. “Me” ~Me Ver.~
  15. Last Time ~Romejuli~
  16. Last Time ~Romejuli~ (Daishi Ver.) (Fanclub Edition only)

1. Tales… ~Me Ver.~

I’m surprised that misono’s album begins with the lone song that was found on her quote on quote “best-of” album.  Now the album version of the song made it so much better by not being a dat reject song.  There’s a lot harder hitting guitars while retaining that sound which is basically positive and amplified sound.  Actually turned out to enjoy it quite a bit.

2. Kyuukon ~Yaruki, Genki, Sono Ki no Nekko~

As part of the 2nd single released in the era, Kyuukon was the first of the fun rock songs she released and it’s still one of the better songs off the album.  Yes, misono’s vocals are quite whiny of course, but what rock song isn’t she?  If there’s anything to worry about, it’s the chorus because while it’s catchy as hell…it’s her worst part in her vocals.

3. “…Suki×××”

Which leads us to her final single released in this long era, I definitely thought she hit it right with this song.  While it might not be as powerful than let’s say “Zasetsu Chiten” or “Ninin Sankyaku”, “…Suki×××” isn’t vocally as demanding and the chorus is pretty powerful in itself.   I was happy to see that this made the album.

4. Usotsuki Tane

On an album that has only 3 brand new tracks, that really tells you something doesn’t it?  Anyway, Usotsuki Tane tries to mix her fun side with gritty rock sounds and sometimes it works, but her voice leaves a lot to be complimented about.  The verses were pretty good, but when that chorus opens up her vocals kind of just wanes a bit.  Not my kind of song.

5. 0-ji Mae no Tsunderella

Thank god for an album version of the other A-side on her last single.  While the single gave us a little taste of this song it’s its bare piano version, this one definitely proves to be one of her better ballads she’s released in a long time.  It starts off like the piano version, but the change happens quite abruptly once the chorus begins and I love the power behind that.  It’s definitely risen to become a favorite.

6. Joker

The second of the new tracks, Joker is the strangest song and yet coolest song she’s done in quite a while.  I never thought misono under that strange vocal filter would actually sound pretty cool.  To me, the song has a strange Halloween sound and it just sounds so different in an amazing way.  It’s probably the best song she’s done IMO, but I think fans of her will prolly shoot this down quite quickly. 

7. Tenbin ~Tsuyogari na Watashi × Yowagari na Kimi~

After such a good track, we hit rock bottom so damn fast.  Coming from her collaboration single, “It’s all Love!” with her sister Kuu, Tenbin was probably THE WORST idea to have added to the album.  The problem with this song is that it’s purely acoustic and with misono wailing like a dead cat for a lot of it.  I know she’s trying to be emotional, but why are we (the listeners) suffering because of it…it’s just not right.

8a. 11 eleven

I guess depending on random of the CD’s you either get 11 eleven or “end=START” but not both (and this goes for all editions of the album, yes even the Fanclub edition).  On one hand 11 eleven is the more weirder of the two because this was released in 2003 as the techno version with Cyber X.  Then came its rock rearrangement on “Pochi”  in 2007.  That also said 11 eleven is a song released in her sophomore era…like “Hot Time” before it, it’s a song that is an era too late XD.  I’ll be honest, I’m not too fond of the rock style for this song, but it’s worth a listen, but I rather it stay a trance tune more than anything else.

8b. end=START

Which bring us to our 4th single of the era.  end=START is probably her edgiest song released in the era and I loved every second of it because of the hard guitar riffs and stronger vocals from misono herself.  It kind of ranks up there with “…Suki×××” on how strong of an A-side it was and for the most part, it was great!  Also one of the few PVs I can actually remember this entire era too, so that’s another plus.

9. Shuuten ~Kimi no Ude no Naka~

Even though the flow breaks quite strongly (especially if it’s after “end=START”, Shuuten began misono’s trek through where her ballads start getting better and less wailish and less acoustic because I actually think it sounds pretty epic in a way.  Maybe a little bit like an anime ending, but still pretty to listen to.  Yes, I’ll admit “end=START/Shuuten” was the best the era had to offer.

10. Watashi Iro

I’m surprised misono chose to include Watashi Iro over Bokura Style since mostly everyone chose the latter as the better song even though they shared the same melodic arrangement.  Not too keen on the song still even though it’s a mid-tempo tune.  There’s just something missing from this song that “Bokura Style” had.

11. ?cm ~misono to Ninin Sankyaku! Partner Ver.~

Uh oh was the first thing I thought of when I saw the tag for the 2nd A-side of the second single released.  I’m so terrified with how misono treated ?cm on the album because it seems she picked a lot of random people to sing the song like some karaoke track.  At least it’s a whole lot more interesting than what she did with “Kimi no Watashi no Uta” and “music letter” on her last single…my god are these people tonedeaf?

12. music letter ~Me Ver.~

Speaking of music letter, (a B-side off her first single of the era) I’m happy that they cut off a minute of the song off because it was just too long off the single for me.  Take out the part where she starts talking and crying and you’re left with what was there minus the crying and vocally stressing parts.  Not that the part where she sniffles was kind of emotionally a plus for the song, but misono and emotions mixed with singing is a lethal injection to my ears.  So here she might’ve resang it to not crack.  Still a boring song though xD

13. Kazoku no Hi

WOW, it’s been a long time since I’ve really gave a listen to Kazoku no Hi.  I liked the acoustic opening for the song, but that’s shortlived because it gets into a pop/rockish tune.  I’ve actually grown to enjoy the song as it is since it fits really nicely on the album and is one of the stronger songs off the album.  I’m surprised how a song can do that to you over time especially since this entire era has been a rollercoaster.

14. “Me” ~Me Ver.~

So we can put “Me” on the album, but no “Lum no Love Song”?  Anyways, the new version of the A-side on her 5th single released didn’t fully sound any different from the single version because it has the same vocal issues and same acoustic arrangement.  Actually the difference is subtle, but there’s an addition of background vocals…not that much of an importance, but I guess it’s nice anyway.

15. Last Time ~Romejuli~

So, if you thought misono and acoustic guitars wasn’t abrasive enough…damn woman goes and makes the last track off the album an acappella track.  I really dislike the idea of just listening to misono singing with nothing backing her up because it sounds awkward and she pulls out some awkward vocal tricks on us.  I’m hoping there’s a reason there’s another version of it.

Tracks Recommended

  • Joker
  • end=START
  • Kazoku no Hi
  • 0-ji Mae no Tsunderella
  • Shuuten ~Kimi no Ude no Naka~

Song of Avoidance

  • Tenbin ~Tsuyogari na Watashi × Yowagari na Kimi~

God, this era was way too long and that paid a price when looking at this tracklist which has many bad songs that it could’ve in place with better A-sides (“Lum no Love Song” and “Bokura Style”, hell even “It’s all Love!” would’ve been a treat.)  I guess when you only have 3 new tracks things go downhill, add in the fact she did two cover albums to stretch this era out even longer was worse.  I’ll say it, “~Sei ~say~” was a much more easier album to get through than this one.

 

Sukima Switch – Ice Cream Syndrome

Filed under: Sukima Switch — solarblade @ 6:00 am

Track Listing

  1. Ice Cream Syndrome
  2. Yuunagi
  3. 1017 Shousetsu no Lovesong
  4. Ice Cream Syndrome (backing track)

1. Ice Cream Syndrome

As it’s tie-in is for the upcoming Pokemon movie “Pocket Monster Diamond Pearl Genei no Hasha Zoroark”, Ice Cream Syndrome is a bit more different than I thought it’d be especially with Kuri and Shokotan’s tied tracks in the previous movies.  Unlike those two fully produced, this feels more acoustically driven and singer Takuya’s vocals are kind soothing and though sometimes he misses notes it’s a pretty song.  Yes, there’s a second member in Shintarou but he plays in the background and only comes in the chorus. 

2. Yuunagi

The first B-side, Yuunagi to me starts up kind of like a recording session a bit.  The tune’s mood is more downtrodden and a bit more retro-y for me.  To me Takuya’s vocals here are a bit more nasally which is a little bit of a turn-off, but it’s not terrible.  The chorus is kinda catchy to be honest and some of the song comes off nicely done, but nasally done.

3. 1017 Shousetsu no Lovesong

As the final B-side of the single, I thought the was the nicest one off the single.  Taking the acoustic route a bit more lighter and adding piano to the mix made things a bit different to the other two tracks.  Now Takuya’s vocals are a bit better here.  It is the single’s simplest track arrangement-wise, but it was done pretty nicely.

 

 

As my first single reviewed by Sukima Switch, Ice Cream Syndrome was pretty nice (though oddly titled if I may add.)  Both Ice Cream Syndrome and 1017 Shousetsu no Lovesong are really nice songs from the duo.  As for Yuunagi…it’ll take time because of the choice of how Takuya singing, but it’s nice nonetheless.