Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Best of 2010! Other Albums not reviewied July through Dec. December 11, 2010

Filed under: ~Best of 2010~ — solarblade @ 3:47 am

So since we’re nearing the end of the year of course it’s my duty to go through the albums that I passed up on purpose in a short lil review…if you need to remember the previous 6 months, then you can read that post here!  Anyways, let us travel down memory lane through July to December!!!

JULY

AKB48 – SET LIST ~Greatest Songs Kanzenban~

Well, it’s kind of strange that starting off in July that we get another best-of from AKB48 since “Kamikyokutachi” was released back in April.  Though digging deeper for information, it seems this is actually a reissue of “SET LIST ~Greatest Songs 2006-2007~”.  The tracklist is the same but with 4 new songs on it which makes the release at least worth looking into.  What gets me is the cover in which there’s 5 missing faces…is the dates on the faces from the girls that were there but left or what….it left me confuzzled.

MONKEY MAJIK – MONKEY MAJIK BEST ~10 Years & Forever~

I love that MONKEY MAJIK released their 2nd best-of album and it’s chockfull of interesting things like 13 A-sides, three new songs in “FOREVER”, “Daijoubu”, and “Fast Forward” (even though the latter was released as a B-side).  Also is three remastered songs from back in their early indies days.  I think the most interesting tidbit about the release was the fact that the CM for the best-of holds a World Record in longest CM which is them showing each PV for the songs minus the remastered stuff.  Sweet accomplishment if you ask me.

Ami Suzuki – BLOOMING

So unfortunate this year with Ami.  While I do love the fact that she’s found her niche in DJ-ing, she totally pushed her main music career to the side and released this as the second and final release of the year.  BLOOMING is best described as a DJ’s album since none of the songs minus “KISS KISS KISS” is hers and all it is is her playing around in the arrangement, talk about a wasted opportunity.  Sorry, just didn’t enjoy this release.

DOES – SINGLES

Seeing as I haven’t really gotten into DOES music yet, I’m surprised that after “Bakuchi Dancer”, they released this way quietly.  Of course there’s a good portion of A-sides released and a new versions of “Stainless” and their major label debut “Ashita wa Kuru no Ka”.

GACKT – THE ELEVENTH DAY -SINGLE COLLECTION-

I’m not sure why but to see GACKT releasing a best-of was definitely much needed at the time.  Seeing as it chronicles from “Kimi ni Aitakute” to “Flower” while skipping over the Kamen Rider singles and “Setsugekka -The end of silence-/ZAN”, it’s a great collection of songs from GACKT and 15 songs total is great but still…leaving off the single before “EVER” is just mean!

AUGUST

AKB48 – Team K 6th Stage “RESET” & Team B 5th Stage “Theater no Megami”

I know that AKB48 is split into three classes Team A, Team K, and Team B and I know they do theater shows and I’m guessing these are albums of the groups singing live I suppose.  I’m not interested in it to be honest and seeing as they don’t show up on ORICON, they won’t mean much to me otherwise…but damn at getting one of these albums for each team a year plus all the other releases…my god!

MAX – BE MAX

I was actually planning to review this, but as I noticed it turned into an anime cover album, I kind of just turned away and passed it up.  There’s a bunch of songs I recognize that they covered like Asia no Junshin, Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis, and Gakuen Tengoku.  It’s a pretty long album too with 15 tracks plus a megamix to top it off so it’s there. 

Buono! – The BEST Buono!

With Buono! just recently announcing a new single, so many people smiled and were happy that a best-of didn’t mean disbandment for what I call H!P’s gem group.  The BEST Buono! is an interesting best-of because of what’s on it.  The first disc contains most A-sides (missing “Gachinko de Ikou!” and “co・no・mi・chi”) and various album songs plus new versions of “Nakimushi Shounen”, “Rock no Kamisama” and “Last Forever” while the second disc contains all of their B-sides released through the singles.  Interesting release overall and it does have some of Buono! best tunes!

angela – Soukyuu no Fafner HEAVEN AND EARTH Image Mini-Album

The only mini-album I didn’t really review, angela’s mini-album release isn’t big at only 7 songs but 5 of them were previously released material and the only one I actually heard of previous was “Shangri-La”.  The two new songs “FORTUNES” and “Rikai to Hakai no Prelude” were pretty strong songs in their own right and if they’re on the next angela album, I might have to review this.

SEPTEMBER

Versailles – Lyrical Sympathy -LIVE- & NOBLE -LIVE-

As a double release since Versailles was on break still mourning the sudden passing of their bassist, Jasmine You, they released live versions of their indies albums Lyrical Sympathy and NOBLE.  Given I didn’t go out of my way to listen to them, I thought it was kind of cool but oddly random since they released “JUBILEE” in January.

KOKIA – Musique a la Carte

I’m surprised it took KOKIA long enough to finally release a cover album (at that some are previously released material, but new versions).  I was going to review that, but the songs that I recognized just didn’t interest me so I didn’t review it, but while this is worse than “REAL WORLD”, but it’s still pretty nice. 

AKB48 – Team A 6th Stage “Mokugekisha”

So a month later we get Team A’s album, not much to talk about here, but I do question why these songs never see the day of light on a single or anything…it’s just a little strange for me how these albums work.

Junko Akimoto – Akimoto Junko LIVE BEST ~Kawaranai~

As it is Junko’s first live album LIVE BEST ~Kawaranai~ has basically something from all four albums she released so far in her career and it’s pretty good choice wise since she has all of the A-sides on here.  Interesting release, but live albums aren’t my kind of thing.

Maki Goto – Goto Maki COMPLETE BEST ALBUM 2001-2007 ~Singles & Rare Tracks~

Since I guess H!P/UFA can’t let Gocchin go, they decided to release this little sucker out.  While the first disc contains most (missing like 2-3 A-sides) A-sides, it’s a good selection and shows the growth from when Maki debuted solo to her last single with H!P, “Secret”.  The second disc is probably what most people would be more interested in seeing as its stuff that either hasn’t been released or quietly so on a VA or something.  I found it interesting since there’s Korean songs and solo versions of group songs…solid release, but isn’t it time to let go?

Vanilla Beans – VaniBest

Of all the groups I reviewed, I never thought Vanilla Beans would actually release a best-of album in September.  I mean what could you really do with 4 singles, a mini-album, and a full length album?  Well VaniBest does contain all the A-sides & D&D (promotional song from “Def & Def”. three B-sides (2 are new versions) and 4 new songs (2 are covers of MGMT and Pizzacato Five songs respectively).  Interesting release, but kind of randomly done so for some reason.

BoA – Copy & Paste

So, BoA, after how amazing “HURRICANE VENUS” ended up I guess she wanted to repackage it again a month later with two new songs: “COPY & PASTE” and “I’m OK”, it seems like a poor idea to do when she could’ve added those two songs in the first version.  Both songs are pretty good, I’ll admit, but still…unneeded release IMHO

JUJU – Request

Prolly the album I didnt review that did the best this year, JUJU’s Request album is nothing short of being that amazing.  She did justice to most if not all the songs that were chosen for this release.  It’s better than I knew most like “First Love”, “WILL”, “Suki”, etc…  Though what I’m more impressed of is that it’s not her first cover album at least to me.  Remember the second disc of “JUJU”?  YEAAAAAAAAH…so two cover albums in one year XD

MEG – BEST FLIGHT

So MEG unfortunately announces that she’s going to leave UNIVERSAL-J and take a hiatus for a bit to gather her mind up, but she did leave us this best-of album which is great since it goes through basically when she debuted under the label with “Amai Zeitaku” to recent “PASSPORT” (“PARIS” was left off but given a PV oddly enough).  While a good portion of the main album is fronted by none other than Nakata, 3 songs arent.  “Just Like That” is produced by the Shanghai Restoration Project, “FREAK” was produced by Hadouken!, and there’s a “LOVE LETTER” remix by ajapai so the album isn’t entirely Nakata-produced.  Though one of the versions includes a second disc containing 5 “acoustic” versions of different songs not included on the best-of and 8 old remixes…I’d say this was a pretty strong release made more if she had included the PV’s to all of em.

OCTOBER

OLIVIA – GREATEST HITS

As frequent as OLIVIA releases things *cough cough*, She finally releases her first best-of album and IMO with the amount she’s released since her debut, this kind of feels small on a scale.  Either way for two discs, it’s passable.  The first is the actual best-of and most of the songs that are on here has a more rockin’ feel like what most of her songs have been which is awesome and straightforward and there’s a new song “Sunlight”.  The second disc however is of OLIVIA’s choice and when compared to the first disc, this one has the synth experiments like “Trinka trinka” and also a new song “Be your friend”.  It’s a very strong release for her and for the most part I really enjoyed hearing all of her works (though I much prefer Disc 2).  Sadly, this was the only release I didn’t review in October XD

NOVEMBER

ikimono-gakari – ikimono-bakari ~Members BEST Selection~

Also a long time coming, ikimono-gakari finally releases their first best-of as well in two discs.  This time this one feels a bit more straightforward since it’s mostly A-sides (some big ones are missing!!!) and album tracks and I think a few B-sides.  Included is three new songs: “Ima Hashiridaseba “, “Kaze to Mirai”, and “Spirits”.  Good release, but why they didn’t include some of their best A-sides is quite baffling.

Sukima Switch – Sukima Switch TOUR 2010 “LAGRANGIAN POINT”

I haven’t been following Sukima Switch like a hawk since I first reviewed them and it’s sad that I only noticed this release simply because of NINKI.  Otherwise, I don’t know much besides the fact it’s a live album so….yeah xD

Utada Hikaru – Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2

Besides that rather disappointing art cover, Hikki leaves to another hiatus be leaving us with a Best-of album and unlike her first one where it’s chronological by songs, it’s reversed here starting with “Prisoner Of Love” and ending with “Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro”.  Then closing with a new version of “Beautiful World” that was released as a digital single.  As if that’s not enough, she makes the best-of greater by getting another disc with 5 brand new songs.  Have to say, I’m going to miss her while she’s on her extended break.

Utada – Utada The Best

It’s one thing to release a best-of album, it’s another thing to have one released where the artist was oblivious to it and asks her fans to not even buy it.  So as the case of Utada The Best which is simply her two American albums split in half and put onto this (with some remixes of course).  To me, the tracklisting does hold a lot of strong songs, but where’s “Simple and Clean” and do we really need two versions of “Sanctuary” AGAIN?!?  Sorry, but I would’ve been happier with a slightly modified tracklist…and poor Hikki too.

DECEMBER

YUKI – YUKI “The Present” 2010.6.14,15 Bunkamura Orchard Hall

Of course here’s another live album from YUKI.  Looking at the tracklist it seems like most of the songs she performed are from her most recent album, “Ureshikutte Dakiau yo”, plus some of her known songs.  Other than that, not much else to really say.

Yuna Ito – LOVE ~Singles Best 2005-2010~

Of course it’s nice to see someone actually release a best-of when they needed to and Yuna Ito took that card and used it well.  I’m happy to see that all of the A-sides make an appearance + “Ima Demo Aitai yo…” which wasn’t a physical single.  Even better is that there’s a 2nd disc with 6 cover songs (though half were released digitally).  I actually enjoy the look of this release TBH.

Hello! Project – Petit Best 11

Of course it’s nothing without one of these albums ending the year for the company.  It’s the best of the best…well maybe, but it’s a collection of one or two songs (3 in Momosu’s case) that stood out this year.  To me the selection of songs is alright and have reviewed every group except Lilpri (which is basically S/mileage sans a member).  I will say that the 5 tracks were interesting, but a Reina solo…oi…but a Risako solo ❤

Tohoshinki – TOHOSHINKI LIVE CD COLLECTION ~Heart, Mind, Soul~, ~Five In the Black~, ~T~, and ~The Secret Code~

So of course since avex are whores to no end, they decided to release 4 live albums from the now defunct 5-nin Tohoshinki.  If you have noticed each of the four albums are based off a different tour promoting each of their albums that they released during their time together.  To me it’s a poor idea, but whatever it’ll probably sell like hotcakes still.

Tohoshinki – Tohoshinki Premium Classic Collection

And finally…closing out the year on the last week of December, avex is releasing ANOTHER THSK album, but at least it has somewhat new stuff on it.  What it is is two discs (both fan-picked BTW).  One’s actually filled with their songs done under an orchestra and the other disc is full of music box versions of songs chosen. 

 

 

So there you have it! Stuff I didn’t review in the second half of 2010. SO MANY RIGHT?  Yeah, talk about too much hahaha.

 

S/mileage – Warugaki ①

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 3:38 am

Track Listing

  1. Onaji Jikyuu de Hataraku Tomodachi no Bijin Mama
  2. Odorou yo
  3. Onna Bakari no Nichiyoubi
  4. Yumemiru 15sai
  5. Shooting Star
  6. ○○ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!
  7. Suki-chan
  8. Gakkyou Innchou
  9. Shikkari Shite yo! Mou
  10. Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!!
  11. Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai
  12. aMa no Jaku

1. Onaji Jikyuu de Hataraku Tomodachi no Bijin Mama

Pretty clear that S/mileage would begin their album with their most recent single released.  I actually liked Onaji Jikyuu de when they first released since it was rockin’ and yet vocally strong for most of the members.  I still think there’s a little too much percussion for the song and it kind detracts, but I still think this was so much more cleaner and easy to swallow than “○○ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!”.

2. Odorou yo

Getting into the first of five new songs for the album, Odorou yo is definitely catering to the people that like their cute songs.  With a light reggae-ish feel going, it’s a bit strange for S/mileage.  To be honest the song is a mess and kind of annoying to listen to.  It’s added that those guys are kind of MC-ing the song and it’s craptacular.  I know they are supposed to be the cute/genki group of H!P, but this is too much.

3. Onna Bakari no Nichiyoubi

At least that changes with Onna Bakari no Nichiyoubi which is surprisingly all synthy and some rock on the side.  It’s a bit strange on the melody and feel, but I do feel more connected to this than “Odorou yo”.  The energy is there and the while the vocals are a bit more chipper than normal, it’s no way bad and is one of the better album songs from the album.  Also it’s one of the few with less solos and more focus on the members.

4. Yumemiru 15sai

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve taken a listen to S/mileage’s major label debut.  While I do think the more synthy style they’ve taken up does well for them, it was done the best in this song since it’s amazingly catchy and the vocals are a lot more together.  While they have some questionable parts in the song and the chorus isn’t as good as the verses, I think it’s a great debut for them.

5. Shooting Star

I love the S/mileage does want to try different style for their music and with Shooting Star’s upbeat pseudo-jazzyness, they’ve scored pretty well for themselves.  I do feel like someone in the group (Kanon?) takes over just a bit too much so it feels like a “SHOCK!” kind of track.  Still, it’s cute but not overbearing and that’s a good thing for them so it’s passable!

6. ○○ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!

Sadly, we have to get into the song in my opinion is the worst S/mileage song yet and since it is their 2nd major label single, Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!! really struck a bad nerve on me.  It sounds so bizarre and just like someone in the studio was thinking to just add every weird sound they could muster and then add the four gals to it.  Yeah, I’m just not into it and never will.

7. Suki-chan

Then we get into their 3rd indies single released and out of the four released, I can barely remember this one.  To be honest, it actually still does sound like a song that should’ve been either for Buono! or Guardians 4 for some reason.  I mean the genki-rock is alright, but it feels good that they strayed away from this.  It’s like they took the last song and took the funky shit out and slid in guitars. 

8. Gakkyou Iinchou

Of course it isn’t an H!P album without the signature ballad and Gakkyou Iinchou takes up that spot.  While I don’t think S/mileage is strong enough nor well enough to handle ballads just quite yet, but it’s there and of course kind of seems to be the throwaway track.  While it’s not terrible, it’s not fitting for them…sorry…

9. Shikkari Shite yo! Mou

Really, they had to throw another one of those sickingly cute songs on the album?  It’s not as random as “○○ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!”, but it’s also more of a mid-tempo kind of song, but it seems oddly plain to me and just flys over my head and doesn’t leave much of an impression on me. 

10. Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!!

Since “Shikkari Shite yo! Mou” was the last new song off the album the rest of the album is represented by A-sides.  As the fourth and final indies release from the gals, Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!! didn’t really bring anything to the surface through the singles since it was still cute and full of well sugary stuff.  It was a much needed improvement over “Suki-chan” though, but it’s still kind of blah somewhat.

11. Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai

As their 2nd indies release, I actually thought that the direction S/mileage was taken was kind of the meh kind of one since it brought out a whole list of not-so-good cute songs from them.  Luckily, Asu wa Date na no ni is actually stand good since it’s not fully charged with meh vocals.  I like the arrangement as well since it feels jolly and happy and not overly so.  The only thing I didn’t fully like was the lines right before the chorus…that was bad, but the rest of the song is pretty nice.

12. aMa no Jaku

And ending the album, aMa no Jaku is of course the groups debut.  I actually am one of the few that really enjoyed this song and it fitted nicely for S/mileage’s start.  I mean it’s one of the more serious songs from the album and it’s great to see that with this song.  It doesn’t call for too much from the girls and I can see why that this song isn’t so much a fan favorite since the chorus is a lil weak, but I found it better than most of the other A-sides.

Tracks Recommended

  • Yumemiru 15sai
  • Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai
  • Onna Bakari no Nichiyoubi
  • aMa no Jaku
  • Onaji Jikyuu de Hataraku Tomodachi no Bijin Mama

Song of Avoidance

  • ○○ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!

While I wasn’t expecting S/mileage’s album to be that great in the first place, Warugaki ① tried to be something passable and it seems like the A-sides kind of over-powered the new songs, but then again there were some pretty bad songs as well.  I don’t know but they need to do better on the 2nd album!