Kurayami Monogatari

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Dream – Ev’rybody Alright! October 8, 2010

Filed under: dream — solarblade @ 10:09 am

Track Listing

  1. Ev’rybody Alright!
  2. GLORY
  3. Secret Party
  4. cinnamon
  5. Ev’rybody Alright! [Instrumental]
  6. GLORY [Instrumental]
  7. Secret Party [Instrumental]
  8. cinnamon [Instrumental]

1. Ev’rybody Alright!

I love that Dream decided to get all dance on us for Ev’rybody Alright! though it’s kind of a letdown that there’s a fair amount of auto-tune to go around here, but I like that this time around there’s a different lead here instead of the usual suspects.  It’s definitely their coolest of the dance songs since it up in the times and yet is interesting like their previous A-sides.

2. GLORY

For the first B-side of the single, GLORY is actually a lot lighter than what I expected the song to have ended up as, but it’s a nice change of styles from a dance-heavy song to a more R&B inspired mid-tempo tune.  Of course I don’t know who’s leading, but it sounds like the normal girl who’s lead the previous songs in the era.  It’s a good representation for the more calmer side of Dream and I like it so far.

3. Secret Party

A secret party now huh?  It does slightly move faster than “GLORY” and has a rather classy vibe to it and whoever is singing majority of the song rather reminds me of Meisa Kuroki’s vocals in the wrongest of ways, but it still is passable and has a good vibe.

4. cinnamon

I really do think the best thing about Dream is how they treat their more upbeat songs and even though this is no “Ev’rybody Alright!” it’s alright, but it’s kind of missing that oomph that said A-side did have so it’s kind of underwhelming for me, but it’s still a dance song and I’ll end up prolly putting this on repeat for right now.

Wow finally ending this kind of hyped up era for me, Ev’rybody Alright! is definitely my favorite A-side from the group since officially returning to releasing things.  There’s just something about this A-side that made me smile and choosing a different gal to lead up was a great idea.  cinnamon is slightly as danceable, but I’m having a hard time remembering the song as much.  GLORY and Secret Party are lighter songs and I’m for sure hoping there’s a few songs like em.  Good single and great way to finish the “Hands Up!” era.

 

Shoko Nakagawa – Cosmic Inflation

Filed under: Shoko Nakagawa — solarblade @ 8:39 am

Track Listing

  1. Flying Humanoid
  2. Gozen Rokuji
  3. Namidaboshi
  4. Kokoro no Antenna
  5. rainbow forecast
  6. shortcake adventure
  7. Jewelry heart
  8. lemonade
  9. “Arigatou no Egao”
  10. RAY OF LIGHT
  11. Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana
  12. TYRANT too young
  13. Sen no Kotoba to Futari no Himitsu

1. Flying Humanoid

Beginning the album with the final single released for the era, Flying Humanoid isn’t much of a surprise since there was quite a bit of rock songs found in the Cosmic Inflation era.  I don’t think it’s as memorable as “RAY OF LIGHT”, but it’s a nice try and the mid-temponess of this song starts the album up nicely.

2. Gozen Rokuji

Each album we see Shoko choose 1 B-side to make the album cut, Gozen Rokuji (originally from “Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana”) continues this rock-side of the album.  I’m not exactly the biggest fan of the song since she could’ve chose something else to have taken its place “Moe yo Gizamimi Pichu!” anyone?  It’s alright and I do think it’s better than the opening track, but it’s still not the B-side I would’ve personally chosen.

3. Namidaboshi

Being the 1st of five new tracks on the album, Namidaboshi changes the rock style for a more synthy pop sound for only like 10 seconds before it turns into another rock styled song.  Now I know I’ve said I wanted more rock tracks since it suits her quite nicely, but I’m even starting to feel bored (especially this early in the album), still it’s not bad, just needs to be different .

4. Kokoro no Antenna

At least we leave that part of the album and get into the more poppier songs from the album starting with Kokoro no Antenna which was tied to Pokemon.  I still kind of prefer the original version of the song a bit more than the light pop/rock arrangement here.  It’s alright, but it’s not my favorite A-side of the era.

5. rainbow forecast

Oh wait…she included more than one B-side on the album?  I guess this is a special case because it was supposed to be the A-side, but instead it was moved when she announced that “Arigatou no Egao” was going to be that instead.  Anywho, rainbow forecast isn’t bad for a cutesy pop song from Shokotan.  I found it funny that there wasn’t enough of this going on in the era and rainbow forecast filled up that space kind of quickly.  Much better choice for B-side addition IMHO.

6. shortcake adventure

Luckily the next three songs are brand new tunes starting with shortcake adventure.  Basically, this song says let’s get amazingly super-cute for this song.  Luckily, there wasn’t a lot of that in the era and I was pleasantly happy to see a song like this pop up and even though it’s not my cup of tea, I love the energy from Shokotan here and since the arrangement might be still full of rock, it’s not bad at all.

7. Jewelry heart

One if not the cutest songs off the album, Jewelry heart just does nothing for me even though it does kind of goes back to when she debuted and her music was more pop-fronted than anything else today.  It’s definitely not a bad song and it seems she’s working on making cute songs more tolerable than stuff like “Garasu no Prism” or even “Shiny GATE” for that matter.

8. lemonade

What’s up with Shokotan in this album it’s like all but one or two songs on the album so far have been rock songs and lemonade kind of just feels boring and useless on the album.  I’ll admit that her vocals sound much better suited here than in like “Flying Humanoid”.  Otherwise the song doesn’t really do much for me and just flies over my head.

9. “Arigatou no Egao”

Being the 3rd A-side of the era, “Arigatou no Egao” isn’t the first ballad of the era, but it still doesn’t really leave a big impression on me like the other ballad A-sides.  I’m not sure why I’m not fond of it because of the fact it’s what she does best…but at the same time, it feels like she kind of dragged this song into the ground. 

10. RAY OF LIGHT

To me, Shoko’s most important A-side was her 4th because it was tied to FMA.  While I’m happy it’s one of the more calmer songs from the album RAY OF LIGHT somehow surpasses a bunch of A-sides with it’s anime-ish flow and relaxing vocals from Shokotan.  It still stands as one of the best A-sides from the era and that’s a good thing.

11. Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana

Since this was the first A-side of the era, Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana is one of the best ballads she released for the entire era and fights with “Sen no Kotoba to Futari no Himitsu” for THE best of the album.  While it does sort of streams away from being a ballad for the chorus, it’s one powerful song and I don’t mind the rock-style here.  I actually think it sounds more anime-like than “RAY OF LIGHT”…strange right?  Great song!

12. TYRANT too young

As the final new song off the album, TYRANT too young disappointed me with the fact that it’s another rock song.  However, it does a great job seperating itself from the others because it sounds like a V-kei kind of rock song with gritty guitars and very quick-paced drums.  I was surprised that Shokotan held her own with this one and sounds great throughout.  Energetic and brought my attention to full light with this one!

13. Sen no Kotoba to Futari no Himitsu

I thought it was cool that they made “Flying Humanoid” the opening for the album and the other A-side as the ending.  However, coming after “TYRANT too young” is a bit abrasive and breaks the flow in a harsh way.  Now since “Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana” is more of a pseudo-ballad, Sen no Kotoba to Futari no Himitsu is a straight-up ballad from Ms. Shokotan and it’s definitely a lot more appropriate and fitting to listen to than “Arigatou no Egao”.  Shoko’s vocals are just right and while the music isn’t totally fresh, I think it was memorable in the long run and made for a great closing, but once again out of left field because of the previous song.

Tracks Recommended

  • Namida no Tane, Egao no Hana
  • TYRANT too young
  • Sen no Kotoba to Futari no Himitsu
  • rainbow forecast

Song of Avoidance

  • lemonade

Wow, we’re already at Shoko’s 3rd album?  For me Cosmic Inflation kind of ended up at the same feelings I had with “Magic Time” but maybe I liked this one a bit more.  There wasn’t any real “bad” songs on the album, but my problem was that this album stuck to rock-styled songs for a good portion of the album (the middle being the cutesy songs and Sen no Kotoba to Futari no Himitsu).  I know I should’ve loved this seeing as I love Shoko’s rock songs…but for the most part they were a bit plain here…and only 5 new songs?  Yikes…  At least I can tolerate all the songs on the album so that’s a good thing right?

 

BONNIE PINK – Dear Diary

Filed under: BONNIE PINK — solarblade @ 2:23 am

Track Listing

  1. Is This Love?
  2. Morning Glory
  3. Cookie Flavor
  4. Suki KILLER
  5. Hurricane
  6. Find a Way
  7. Home Sweet Home
  8. Many Moons Ago
  9. World Peace
  10. Birthday Girl
  11. Here I Am
  12. Kite
  13. Grow
  14. Nagareboshi
  15. Nami Nami

1. Is This Love?

We begin Kaori’s album with the two digital singles she released in the era, starting with the second released, Is This Love?  I do like the fact this is an upbeat song since her main songs have been low-tempo slow songs, so it was refreshing to hear something like this.  I do think the song is rather repetitive especially in the later half of the song, but I liked the meaning of the song and it’s hard not to really hate it.

2. Morning Glory

Then again, I have a hard time remembering Morning Glory which was the first digital single and first released in the era.  I’m not sure why I have deja vu moments to Reading Rainbow when I listen to this song because it has the rather oldish sound going on and with the synths, it didn’t help the situation.  At least it wasn’t too boring of a song right? 

3. Cookie Flavor

As we get into our new songs, Cookie Flavor is quite the strong track from the album.  It has this kind of pop/rock sound that she carried over from “ONE” and I think it’s great she’s keeping that up and since the song is humorous, Cookie Flavor is a lulzy song.  I mean ~cuh-cuh-cuh-cuh cookieeee!~  I just can’t really take the song seriously…but it’s still cute for Kaori.

4. Suki KILLER

I like how chilled out and funky Suki KILLER is even though it has a much simpler arrangement than “Cookie Flavor” for sure.  It’s a bit unusual since the minimal sound it has is the only thing going for it, but whenever Kaori sings the title, it’s oddly catchy and easy to sing along with.  Weird song, but I kind of like it despite such a laidback flow.

5. Hurricane

At least we’re going back into more fuller arrangements starting with Hurricane.  For me, it’s the first rather mid-tempo song and it definitely has a “ONE” kind of sound going on.  Sadly though it’s kind of one of the less memorable songs for me since she doesn’t really sound into the song and neither am I. 

6. Find a Way

Find a Way doesn’t exactly really do much of trying to fix what happened in “Hurricane”, but I think I prefer this more just because Kaori sounds interesting here and the chords are good to listen too as well.  I’m surprised the chorus is as loud as it is because I just didn’t expect it from a song like this, but it’s a good touch.  Ok, it’s much better than I thought it’d be.

7. Home Sweet Home

As the album’s first ballad, Home Sweet Home sticks to its roots and just stays very sweet and very Kaori-like through the entire thing which is great for fans of her earlier music since it just has this nostalgic feel.  I think the best parts of the song is when Kaori sings in a higher register TBH…good ballad, but sleep-inducing.  Did I mention it’s a bit of a jazz ballad?

8. Many Moons Ago

Why does this song sound familiar?  I don’t know why, but Many Moons Ago is kind of like “Hurricane”, but I did find the synth involvement endearing and kind of bold for a song like this.  It’s alright, but the Western feeling is kind of dragging me down and making me sleepy here.

9. World Peace

At least we finally leave the kind of sleepy area and get into some of the odder songs from the album.  World Peace is pretty weird because of the light Indian sound it’s putting off, but I don’t mind this since it’s really catchy and not shoved down your throat.  It’s simple and sweet and to the point and I enjoyed it a lot.

10. Birthday Girl

Wow, right from the start, I was like…”Catch The Sun”?  Yeah, they are pretty similar to one another, but I don’t mind it because Birthday Girl is one of the better upbeat songs from the album since it has a good happy mood going for it.  I definitely approve for songs like this which is good.  One of my favorites of the album.

11. Here I Am

Finally getting into our second ballad of the album, Here I Am kind of reminds me of a mix of “Home Sweet Home” and “Hurricane”.  I mean it starts off quietly and moves along itself until the chorus where it becomes a mid-tempo tune with drums and acoustic guitar.  At least it moves better than previous songs, I’ll agree to that and it’s better than some other songs.

12. Kite

Since it only has been two weeks since Kite was released, I still haven’t really gotten to enjoy the song as I should be.  Besides the obvious allusion to Owl City, Kite isn’t so much of a bad song…but sometimes it’s just a tad bit annoying to hear ~I’m a kite, I’m a kite~ every so often in the song.  Though on the album, this kind of is an odd song because the synths aren’t like the others and the flow is different.  I think I’ll eventually fall for it.

13. Grow

After an interesting song in “Kite”, Grow kind of comes in and cuts the mood lower.  Being an English-only song, Grow is pretty to listen to, but the surprise is that it’s just acoustic guitar and Kaori singing for the most part.  I did like the fact that Kaori cleaned her English up quite nicely because she doesn’t sound like she has a thick accent like in some other songs.  It’s the simplest song off the album, but at the same time, it’s vulnerable and the lyrics are so sweet.  WAY TO GO!

14. Nagareboshi

Nagareboshi slowly brings the mood back up with something simple, but once again like “Hurricane” the way it sounds is just a bit lifeless for me and her vocals aren’t as great as in previous songs.  I don’t know how to really explain this song, but it’s just a little meh for me.

15. Nami Nami

A song about Nami Tamaki?  Oh no no no…ending the album off, Nami Nami doesn’t seem like the song to finish the album, but it’s quirky and the added strings gave it a nice touch for sure, but there’s something still missing for me.  There’s just something different going on and I’m not sure if I’m a big fan of it.

Tracks Recommended

  • Birthday Girl
  • Find a Way
  • World Peace
  • Grow
  • Cookie Flavor

Song of Avoidance

  • Hurricane

I don’t know why, but for me Dear Diary just kind of fell flat for me when compared to her last few albums.  There wasn’t a song that instantly popped out and I liked it immediately like with “ONE”.  About that, this album really does take “Thinking Out Loud” and “ONE” and mixed them together to get this album.  I don’t know it just wasn’t that good at first listen, but I’ll grow to like it I hope.

 

Joe Inoue – GO★

Filed under: Joe Inoue — solarblade @ 12:50 am

Track Listing

  1. GO★
  2. WHAT IS YOUR NAME?
  3. Jinkoueisei

1. GO★

Being used to Joe’s next single “Kaze no Gotoku”, I was wondering what he released before the single and I’m surprised that I ended up enjoying GO★ a whole lot because of its upbeat nature and catchy lyrics and fun vibe.  I really liked Joe’s interest in the song since it gave the song even more of a reason for me to like it.  It’s definitely better than “Kaze no Gotoku” for sure.

2. WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Then again I wasn’t exactly expecting WHAT IS YOUR NAME? to be somewhat of a pop/synth/rock/jazz fusion of a song, but somehow…this song kind of passed over my head because I’m not used to Joe’s weird stuff going on here like his whispering, his real deep man voice and high voice.  It’s just a bit too much for just one song.  It’s definitely a hard song to get used to.

3. Jinkoueisei

As for the 2nd B-side, Jinkoueisei takes the low road here and is one of Joe’s more serious songs in the era and his smoky vocals really played well here.  Even when the chorus explodes and brings his vocals to a much rougher state, it’s still pretty damn strong of a song.  Great B-side!

For being the first of the “DOS ANGELES” era, GO★ is surprisingly better than the next single which is not surprising for me.  I think the main song is a good song if you wanna be happy and such and need that extra boost.  Jinkoueisei is more for the people that enjoy his more serious-sounding songs which also did very well for itself.  WHAT IS YOUR NAME? though is just a little strange for me since Joe is utilizing different vocal styles for this one, but the music is relaxing though lmao.