Kurayami Monogatari

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Angela Aki – LIFE September 8, 2010

Filed under: Angela Aki — solarblade @ 4:54 am

Track Listing

  1. Ai no Kisetsu
  2. Kagayaku Hito
  3. Every Woman’s Song
  4. Sign
  5. Remember Me
  6. Unbreakable
  7. What Are The Roses For?
  8. Ai to Bansoukou
  9. Mad Scientist
  10. The Truth Is Like A Lie
  11. Bop Bop Bop (Colors Of Your Soul)
  12. Haha Naru Daichi
  13. LIFE

1. Ai no Kisetsu

I’m not all the surprised that Angela would begin her album with her two A-sides that were released in the era.  I still don’t think it surpasses anything I’ve heard previous from her and it still comes off as a little plain kicking off the album, but I still love how she sings the song with such emotion. 

2. Kagayaku Hito

As the second A-side, I was happy she changed up her sound a bit.  Ditching the piano, Angela goes and sings Kagayaku Hito with an acoustic guitar backing her up instead.  I mean it’s a bit shortlived when piano does come in, but it’s not at the forefront which is good.  Of course I’ll still loving Angela here and it’s just sweet to listen to.

3. Every Woman’s Song

At least the rest of the album is chockful of new songs.  Starting with Every Woman’s Song, part of the few full-on English songs, I was kind of like bored with the whole woman empowerment deal we got from this.  It could also be because I can’t connect to that kind of setting.  It’s definitely a song for women, not guys XD.  I guess the female-based choir near the end was nice, but c’mon oi ve!

4. Sign

At least we get out of the more cheesy sound and into something that I think she should do more of and that’s upbeat pop songs and not the piano variety either.  Sign a good amount of electric guitar mixed with the traditional piano.  It’s a bit like “The Chase” from her last single and I actually enjoyed that song a bit so hearing another is great to hear.  I’m happy that there’s at least one of these kind of tracks on here.

5. Remember Me

Going back to some ballads, Remember Me unfortunately just doesn’t work for me.  I mean it does kind of grow into something more mid-tempo, but I just feel like I’ve heard this song somewhere before and first thing that comes up is “Ai no Kisetsu”.  Still just a bit too plain for me.

6. Unbreakable

Dang, I was expecting this to be a harder hitting song like “Sign” was.  Unbreakable (another English song) is at least so much better in the lyrical sense.  In a way, if she went Country music on us, I wouldn’t mind and this song is the nearest thing to that genre.  It’s a good and sappy song so that’s good.

7. What Are The Roses For?

Two English songs?  While “Unbreakable” was more of a inner strength kind of song, What Are The Roses For? sounds like it’d be one of those kiddie songs because it’s repeats the idea like ~what are these diamonds for~ and etc.  It’s a simple song and since it’s piano and cello together it kind of stands out on the album. 

8. Ai to Bansoukou

After some soft songs, we return to some louder songs starting with Ai to Bansoukou.  However, I think this song for me is more of the kind where the chorus really owns the verses because if it wasn’t for the chorus, the song could be thrown away easily.  Well, then again the chorus is just golden.  Still the arrangement just fills out the speakers in a good way.  I think the after-chorus is the best part since her voice comes out so much better.

9. Mad Scientist

I know Angela hides an experiment or two on her albums and Mad Scientist would be that song.  This song really has this feel that makes me wonder if she knows of Regina Spektor because that’s what it reminds me of.  We also hear Angela sing kind of differently than her full voice, but more of a lighter and fun-sounding kind.  A line that makes me agree with it fully is the whole ~jealousy turned you into a mad scientist~.  Still what’s with the random ending…it was like, just out of nowhere with the screaming…Bizarre, almost silly, but together.  It’s my favorite of the new songs.

10. The Truth Is Like A Lie

I guess we didn’t get enough of the sadder side of Angela Aki’s music and with the help that it’s in English it paints a whole other picture.  I must commend Angela’s vocals to this song because she sounded just write with the melancholic arrangement and with the even harder lyrics.  Definitely a song for the newly broken-hearted.

11. Bop Bop Bop (Colors Of Your Soul)

I don’t know why but I’d place Bop Bop Bop in the experimentation sound that Angela does.  Out of the songs, I’d call it an actual pop song since that’s what it is.  Sadly, it feels rather short and sometimes those ~bop, bop, bop~ parts just kind of rub me the wrong way, but it pulls us out of the whole emo side of the album.

12. Haha Naru Daichi

Since we don’t have a “Requiem” on the album, the longest song on this album is near 7 minutes.  Haha Naru Daichi has the most amount of originality this album has come by.  I mean the opening is just fantastically done and just pretty.  I wish they kept it, but we all know, this is Angela Aki and she likes her piano.  It fits nicely with the strings that are playing and since the song title is “Mother Earth”, this song fit the mood nicely.  A bit long and boring in places but still not bad.

13. LIFE

Ending the album with it’s idealistic title track, LIFE is once again what Angela Aki does and that’s piano ballads with a positive message.  Throw in strings and you basically get the same thing as she’s done in the past multiple times.  Sorry just doesn’t cut it for me and doesn’t leave much of a mark on me.

Tracks Recommended

  • Mad Scientist
  • Unbreakable
  • The Truth Is Like A Lie
  • Sign
  • Kagayaku Hito

Song of Avoidance

  • Bop Bop Bop (Colors Of Your Soul)

In a way, LIFE does give us something different (or tried to) but for me, I don’t think I enjoy this as much as I did with “ANSWER”.  I think the problem was that there just wasn’t enough experimentation going on, but with the songs that she did she pulled it off and add in the amount of English songs and I was happy with that, but this felt more like a sleeper album.  It’s gonna need some time to catch on!