Kurayami Monogatari

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MAA – Ghost Enemy October 14, 2010

Filed under: MAA — solarblade @ 4:33 am

Track Listing

  1. Ghost Enemy
  2. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom

1. Ghost Enemy

I really don’t know why but MAA debut A-side definitely kind of interest me.  For one thing her voice is pretty deep than some other J-pop artists out there and I like the dark flow of the music.  Unfortunately, that dark flow is way too much like ICONIQ’s “Crystal Girl” and it’s hard not to make that comparison since they’re just too close.  However, besides the fact that the songs are similar I really like both.  MAA’s gets better towards the end since it somewhat moves in a different direction.  I’d say it’s a pretty good first song, even though it took pages out of well a certain ICONIQ book.

2. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom

As the B-side of the single, Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom is surprisingly the opposite of “Ghost Enemy”.  Comparing, the song has piano and synths of course but the mood is way lighter and seems like a mid-tempo synthpop song.  I don’t know where I stand with the song because it doesn’t really have much to remember it by, but I guess it’s OK as a B-side.

While she isn’t a new artist persay (most will recognize her from her MarBell stuff).  I took a listen and MAA I guess went for a more synth based career starting with Ghost Enemy.  I really enjoyed the A-side despite what’s already been said and Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom is purely B-side material.  I’m happy she announced another single and a mini-album coming up ^_^

 

JERO – COVERS3 ~Roots of JERO~

Filed under: JERO — solarblade @ 4:13 am

Track Listing

  1. Echigojishi no Uta
  2. Tsugaru Heiya
  3. America Hashi
  4. Chigiri
  5. Yozakura wo Shichi
  6. Tsugaru Koi Onna
  7. J

1. Echigojishi no Uta

I don’t know why, but I really like the opening for Echigojishi no Uta for some reason.  It might be the shakuhachi/flute mixed melody, but there’s just something good and folkish about it that sounds pretty.  Of course JERO comes in and sings and he sounds pretty good for the most part since he’s singing in his lower tone and he’s shown a bit of improvement in his vocals as well.

2. Tsugaru Heiya

I really don’t like when JERO pulls off songs like Tsugaru Heiya because the lack of a good arrangement kind of makes this song bery hard to listen to.  There is acoustic guitar and light percussion, but I was being annoyed by JERO’s overbearing vibrato to really care what was going on in the song.  Definitely not a good song for me.

3. America Hashi

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good enka tune and with America Hashi it happens quite nicely, even though JERO’s vocals are really unstable, but at least he has better control than he did in “Tsugaru Heiya”.  Otherwise, this is actually kind of a good song from him ^_^

4. Chigiri

If you thought “Tsugaru Heiya” was simple in it’s arrangement, Chigiri is even moreso and more emptier of a song than I thought it’d be.  At least it’s a song that builds up to something grand for sure.  While it isn’t anything jaw-dropping for being a ballad, it’s rather simple and nice.

5. Yozakura wo Shichi

Hey…is this ocarina that’s opening up Yozakura wo Shichi?  I don’t know why but of the songs so far, this one sounds pretty sad and depressing to listen to.  After the first verse the song really opens up into this edgy track that has a lot of electric guitar in it.  It’s pretty cool of a song and is the best this album has to offer.

6. Tsugaru Koi Onna

I can’t believe we have to deal with another one of these acoustic songs.  I really have nothing much to say about it because I barely remember anything from it.  I mean even when it does bring in strings and drums, I’m still not really impressed and I don’t think I can keep paying attention.

7. J

A song titled…J…talk about being off hahaha.  At least J sounds a bit more like gospel music because of the fact there’s BKGD vocals present in the song.  It still sounds rather plain and kind of one-dimensional, but at least it fully isn’t acoustic heavy like others

I don’t think it’s long enough to have the recs and avoidance so I won’t do em.  FINALLY IT LEAKED!!!!  Anyways, JERO’s third cover album isn’t really memorable for me and kind of just wants me to stop listening to him if he keeps this cover albums going on…There’s just isn’t a lot of anything interesting to make me enjoy things here…hope this is the last one for a WHILE.

 

Koda Kumi – ETERNITY ~Love & Songs~

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 2:32 am

Track Listing

  1. TATTOO
  2. Love Is Over
  3. SWEET MEMORIES
  4. Ienai yo
  5. 0-ji Mae no Tsunderella
  6. Megumi no Hito
  7. BE MY BABY
  8. Chiisana Koi no Uta
  9. Wine Red no Kokoro
  10. I love you, SAYONARA
  11. Swallowtail Butterfly ~Ai no Uta~
  12. Sayonara no Mukougawa

1. TATTOO

I’ve said before that Kuu and rock songs are very hot or miss and not in between.  TATTOO luckily is the only one found on the cover album and for me it just shows how much it doesn’t suit her because her sultry vocals just don’t add up with the guitar riffs and edgy atmosphere.  So it’s not a great start for the album with TATTOO.

2. Love Is Over

I found it pretty ironic that Kuu decided to cover this song because misono also ended up covering this song.  Unlike misono’s acoustic take of the song, Kuu’s is more of a smooth R&B take of the song.  I like the fact that this song sounds really sexy and yet so reserved that it just sound right, but it’s funny to hear Kuu say the title in odd fashion.  It’s a good nod to her early albums as well since this would fit pretty nicely.  Much better of a cover.

3. SWEET MEMORIES

Oh hey, someone covering a Seiko Matsuda song that I have never heard!  Kind of just like how “Love Is Over” is reminescent to her early albums, SWEET MEMORIES also kind of gives off that feeling even though it doesn’t exactly sound like anything she’s done in the past.  The arrangement is very light and kind of like mediterranean as well.  It’s interesting and it’s a good kind of light from Kuu.

4. Ienai yo

I personally don’t remember this song’s original sound so don’t mind me if I passed up the whole comparison deal.  Though, Ienai yo for me is kind of forgettable since it’s definitely along the lines of like “WIND”, “Always”, and the like.  That being said, it’s not one of the most interesting songs on the album and just seems like filler-ish for me.

5. 0-ji Mae no Tsunderella

As the most recent song off the album, it is of course a cover of misono’s song from her most recent era.  Now, I loved misono’s version and is one of the few songs from the album I can repeatedly listen to, but Kuu basically jumped in and said “Now this is how you sing” and totally blew her version away.  It’s also very simple of song consisting only of Kuu and piano which is great and the whole piano version take is nice for sure.  I’d say this basically better than the original (and most covers aren’t that to begin with).

6. Megumi no Hito

I found it kind of hilarious that we go from a heartbreaking ballad to an electro dance track.  Either way, I’m surprised this is a cover because Kuu really went out of the way for this one and it sounds energetic and kind of sexy like…well most of her songs that are like this.  I’d say it’s a pretty strong dance tune since she really hasn’t had something of this calibur since….”Driving”.

7. BE MY BABY

Following “Megumi no Hito”, I’m surprised we get an even stronger dance track from Kuu that has even more interesting stuff going on and has tons more of energy.  Besides the nice use of auto-tune in the song, Kuu pulled this song just as good if not better than “Megumi no Hito”.  I really think she should’ve released this or the previous song as a single.  I really love this song right now!

8. Chiisana Koi no Uta

Getting out of the heavy dance tracks, we slow down with Chiisana Koi no Uta which seems like a acoustic pop song.  I actually get a feeling of a Children’s song from this song and I don’t know why but since Kuu’s vocals are mostly quiet until the chorus where more instruments are introduced here.  I’m not really impressed otherwise and it kind of goes over my head.

9. Wine Red no Kokoro

Here we go again with the sultry and slow R&B songs.  Wine Red no Kokoro really takes things to a crawling tempo and kind of is there to really show off Kuu’s vocals even more.  It feels a bit short even though it’s 4 minutes long, but it still moves quickly.  I just wish the arrangement had a little more going for it.

10. I love you, SAYONARA

Jeeze, what’s up with the album becoming more bland and boring deeper we dive in?  I love you, SAYONARA would’ve been nice if it wasn’t just an R&B ballad IMO.  I’m sorry, it’s just another song that kind of goes nowhere for me.

11. Swallowtail Butterfly ~Ai no Uta~

Wow, a cover of YEN TOWN BAND (which was a special band made for a movie and ended up being Chara’s biggest song).  Now since I do review Chara and I’ve heard her singing, let’s be honest, anything sounds better than Chara.  Of course it’s a ballad and I’m a bit tired of listening to em, but whatever.  Kuu’s take on the song is actually quite nice and even though it runs in the same direction as “Alive” did, Swallowtail Butterfly isn’t bad and at least I can sit through this.

12. Sayonara no Mukougawa

Another one?!?  I can’t believe she strung so many ballads towards the end of the album.  Anywho, I love the opening for this cover of Momoe Yamaguchi’s song of the same name.  I also really like hearing Kuu’s more deeper and smooth vocals as well.  Besides that, it’s basically kind of like “Swallowtail Butterfly” in the dramatic sense of the arrangement.  Oh well…

Tracks Recommended

  • BE MY BABY
  • 0-ji Mae no Tsunderella
  • Megumi no Hito
  • Love Is Over

Song of Avoidance

  • I love you, SAYONARA

So we’re finally getting a cover album from Kuu and I was rather disappointed by it.  Besides the four songs I chose to recommend which were really good, the other songs seem to be missing a spark that the originals had.  Then again, love songs and ballads are probably the most chiche thing and it made these songs seem uber boring.  After “UNIVERSE” you’d think she’d keep pushing boundaries, but she really didn’t here.