Kurayami Monogatari

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Chiaki Ishikawa – Gyakkou August 2, 2010

Filed under: Chiaki Ishikawa — solarblade @ 5:26 pm

Track Listing

  1. Gyakkou
  2. Ruisen
  3. Rakarui ~2010 NewYork Trad-Mix
  4. Gyakkou (without vocal)
  5. Ruisen (without vocal)

1. Gyakkou

After hearing her last album kind of was meh to me, Gyakkou rightfully put me back into place.  Opening with a beautiful erhu solo, I was surprised with the light dance style with acoustic guitar.  Even Chiaki’s vocals sounded sweeter than normal.  Though to me she sounds older than stuff found on her last album.  I guess that being said, she is a little shriller than I remember from stuff on “Daremo Oshiete Kurenakatta Koto”.

2. Ruisen

Being a ad similar to “Gyakkou”, but replace the erhu with shakuhachi and it seems a little bit of an easy way out.  Her vocals are a bit normal for me and I thought she did this song better than Gyakkou since it’s a simple ballad from her and the chords of the song were more pleasant.  Should’ve been the A-side IMO.

3. Rakarui ~2010 NewYork Trad-Mix

I remembered that I actually enjoyed Rakarui back on “Daremo Oshiete Kurenakatta Koto”.  I was surprised that it gets remixed for the single and I was somewhat disappointed.  I loved how epic and folkish the original was.  This was sounds like too many ideas collided for this one.  The rather weird echo beginning kind of put me off.  Otherwise, not too much has changed, but I rather take the original.

 

 

Beginning a new era, Gyakkou is a nice single, but I miss songs like “1/2”, “Uninstall”, and friggin “Prototype”.  I’ll admit that her choice of style for the single is nice and Ruisen was the best song here since it was simple and pretty haha.  Maybe she’ll get more exciting with more singles.

 

faylan – Senjou ni Saita Ichirin no Hana

Filed under: faylan — solarblade @ 4:51 pm

Track Listing

  1. Senjou ni Saita Ichirin no Hana
  2. Tobe Aoi Tori
  3. Senjou ni Saita Ichirin no Hana (off vocal)
  4. Tobe Aoi Tori (off vocal)

1. Senjou ni Saita Ichirin no Hana

After having so many rock songs from faylan, it seems she wants to be epic for this song.  It opens up with only faylan singing by herself before some strings enter in.  I was really surprised by her vocals since they were really strong.  After that, her guitar-ladened sound returns but it sounds really good since it mixes with a lot of shakuhachi giving it this battle-like sound.  It’s definitely faylan’s best song since “errand”.

2. Tobe Aoi Tori

Oh I love the opening to Tobe Aoi Tori since it’s so haunting and chilling to listen to.  About that, it’s a pretty lengthy opening as well that last about a minute and 40 seconds long.  Once it reaches that mark the song opens up and more instruments and shakuhachi are reintroduced again.  It might be a continuation of “Senjou ni Saita Ichirin no Hana” but this was a little more folkish, but with a rock twist.  This was just as good as the A-side if not better.

 

 

I am so disappointed that Senjou ni Saita Ichirin no Hana is not on, “Polaris” which is faylan’s debut album coming out after this release.  This single is definitely her best one yet and it sounded so epic from opening to ending.  Both songs just are great and made up for the somewhat lacking “SERIOUS-AGE”.  Oh well, can’t have epic on an album I guess *sad face*

 

Miliyah Kato – HEAVEN

Filed under: Miliyah Kato — solarblade @ 3:22 am

Track Listing

  1. BYE BYE
  2. Last Love
  3. I miss you
  4. X.O.X.O.
  5. HEAVEN
  6. Baby I See You (feat. VERBAL)
  7. Sora
  8. WHY
  9. FREE
  10. Endless Love
  11. Sweet Angel
  12. Destiny
  13. B.F.F.
  14. Don’t wanna let go
  15. Silent Ocean
  16. Owari Naki Kanashimi

1. BYE BYE

I was happy to see that BYE BYE opens up HEAVEN since it always opened up really nicely and it fits better to the album.  Since most of the era had Miliyah lightly testing new sounds and BYE BYE was roughly trying out some electronic stuff and mixing her dance and R&B style.  I still kind of dislike her looks in the PV, but the song is still so darn catchy.

2. Last Love

Then we get into the final A-side of the era which is a pretty ballad coming from Miliyah.  It might not be anything new to her older and well-known fans of hers, but I thought the simplistic arrangement made this a nice listen and Miliyah sounds great. 

3. I miss you

It seems after “Last Love” we just end up going back to what “BYE BYE” gave us and that’s an upbeat R&B song and I get the same feelings from this tune as well which is good because her vocals to me are more suited into these kind of songs.  I’ll admit though that her vocals in “BYE BYE” were a bit better and it didn’t have that speaking part.

4. X.O.X.O.

Going towards more of her R&B sound, X.O.X.O. to me sounds a bit much for me since there’s a lot of music going around in the song.  I do love the fact that there’s so much bass in the song that brings punch in the song.  Otherwise, it might’ve needed a little more punch and not to sound so repetitive to me.

5. HEAVEN

I’m liking that so far that there’s more upbeat songs here than on her last album “Ring”.  For being the title track and all, I was surprised how urban it sounded against the songs I’ve heard so far on this album.  As different it sounds, the urban scratch…w/e it is kind of bothers me a little bit, but it’s still not that bad of a song.

6. Baby I See You (feat. VERBAL)

Great…another song that has to feature VERBAL (the boring rapper from m-flo).  It’s also unfortunately the longest song as well being the only track surpassing 6 minutes.  I was even more surprised that this collaboration is a ballad which made me think that Miliyah will sound amazingly pretty and rappers + ballads = terrible idea.  I was right on both thoughts.  VERBAL just doesn’t fit in this song and should’ve been excluded.  Miliyah though sounds amazing in her parts as well.  Pretty voice here.

7. Sora

After leaving that ballad, we enter another one, but it’s definitely something you would’ve heard on “Ring”.  Not a whole lot instrumentation until the chorus, but the verses has this R&B beat that just seems used before in her music.  I was like, I’m just a tad bored with this song and wanted something louder.

8. WHY

I’m still surprised that Miliyah began the “HEAVEN” era with a rock track.  At first it didn’t seem that way because it opens like a ballad with piano and strings.  After Miliyah’s opening electric guitars, bass, and drums get added to the mix and I was blown away at her experimentation.  WHY was definitely a reason to keep following her since it was pretty good and she can pull this style off.

9. FREE

After such a hard song from “WHY”, FREE calms things down slightly.  There’s still a lot percussion present in the song, but there’s synths and a light R&B flavor thrown in.  I was digging the song’s arrangement quite a bit since it’s agressive without being so overbearing.  Definitely an enjoyable tune.

10. Endless Love

If I remember correctly, Taku Takahashi actually produced this track on the album and it shows because it quickly reminds me of Rie fu’s “Romantic” with the repetitive string/synth mix in the background.  However Miliyah’s song sounds darker and with even more strings being involved made it nice.  I don’t know why but this song has a lot of deja vu moments since it sounds like a lot of Taku songs.  I still think it’s one of the strongest songs off the album.

11. Sweet Angel

Sweet Angel to me just doesn’t work for some reason.  It’s starting the show the album’s slight flaw which is songs that are sounding a little alike to each other and using boring ideas to get a song out of it.  Besides Miliyah’s soothing vocals, I just had a hard time paying attention to the song and letting it fill my ears.  The sitar is a nice touch?

12. Destiny

I know “SENSATION” had a PV as well which would throw the reason that “WHY’s” B-side made the album and not “BYE BYE’s”.  Destiny since I reviewed has become less liked from me even though it’s getting us out of her ballads.  I did enjoy the piano melody, but this song just screams Jeff Miyahara and everyone knows how much I don’t like his arrangements for the most part.

13. B.F.F.

HEY GURLFRIEND, U BE MY B.F.F. YO!  I’m kidding, who really goes and says that?  I haven’t felt that any of the new songs were really kicking things up, but with B.F.F., I was impressed right from the start since it started with a lot of synths and then guitar joins.  It definitely gets the trophy for most energetic song, especially with that chorus of hers being hard and catchy at the same time.  Best new song off the album.

14. Don’t wanna let go

What’s up with Miliyah putting the harder songs near the end of the album.  If there was anything to slightly compare to “WHY” it would have to be this song.  They both have this more rock-oriented style, but this seems to be more lighter and less darker lyrically than the A-side.  I’m not sure that I’m totally on board with this song, but it’s not terrible.

15. Silent Ocean

Making a bit of sudden halt in the flow of the album, Silent Ocean finally is a ballad that sounds good and doesn’t have unneeded rappers in them.  It’s also the simplest of the ballads with just piano and flowing strings and a bit later in the song, some acoustic guitar.  I do like when Miliyah does straight-up ballads and not twist em up in her R&B style.  I definitely feel for this song.

16. Owari Naki Kanashimi

This is another one of those times where I facepalm myself because this song should not have fell as the final song off the album clearly because the song before “Silent Ocean” felt so much more like an ending to the album.  Then again any other place would make this song feel generic and it kind of does (even though the opening was heavenly). 

Tracks Recommended

  • B.F.F.
  • BYE BYE
  • Endless Love
  • WHY
  • Silent Ocean

Song of Avoidance

  • Sweet Angel

Hands down, HEAVEN is a major step up from “Ring” just because I remember most of these songs after the fact.  I only remember the collaboration single she did with Shota Shimizu in “Love Forever”.  There were a few weak songs on the album, but it’s probably just my bias at those kind of R&B songs.  Still, I was impressed with this album and I want her to continue to experiment with genres because she’s working them good.