Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Sayuri Sugawara – Close To You December 22, 2010

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 10:24 am

Track Listing

  1. Sayonara Mata….
  2. So Long My Love
  3. Close To You
  4. “Suki” to Iu Kotoba
  5. Sunao ni Narenakute
  6. WINTER STORY

1. Sayonara Mata….

Beginning Sayuri’s mini-album, Sayonara Mata…. starts on a good note since it’s of course a slower song from her.  I love the songs quite lovely ballad-like atmosphere and is it just me or am I noticing her vocals have stepped up?  Her voice just radiates through the song and despite not really changing since “First Story”, the arrangement is quite sweet and the strings/piano/acoustic guitar sound good.  It’s a pretty pleasant tune!

2. So Long My Love

After the first thing I was wondering if the album was going to more or less any different, but So Long My Love dashed my theory out the window.  I mean it’s more along the lines of what she sounded like when she debuted with R&B, but this has a pretty strong amount of synths used throughout.  I also found myself liking the song quite a bit as well and I loved that it give Sayuri a bit more room for her vocals as well. 

3. Close To You

I guess she had to mix the two songs to get this one next.  Being the title track for the mini-album, Close To You is like I said a mix of both R&B and a ballad and while I’m not fond of these songs, this one feels like a throwback to 90’s R&B with an Americanized twist to it.  Beyond that, I’m still not too fond of it and it just kind of passes by me.

4. “Suki” to Iu Kotoba

I’m not sure why she had to actually put the 2 A-sides she released so far onto the mini-album but nonetheless there they are.  Being the most recent A-side, “Suki” to Iu Kotoba follows pretty closely behind “Close To You” even though it was released before it, this song is still one of Sayuri’s best A-sides released so far.  Even though I did just come out of a boring tune, this one lightened me up and gave me reason to love it even more. 

5. Sunao ni Narenakute

Of course, the first single released in the era is also found on the mini-album and I still don’t think much of it besides the fact her vocals sound nice, but it’s just like any other R&B song out there so for me it’s pretty bland as songs go.  I’m just going to slip by this song.

6. WINTER STORY

I’m happy that Sayuri decided to close the mini-album with a new song.  WINTER STORY might not be anything much for me, but it does stand out here as the atypical Winter ballad and it doesn’t cover itself in it like crazy.  There’s still not enough to make it memorable, but whatever it’s there lol.

Sayuri’s mini-album is half-half for me.  I mean the three songs that I really enjoyed stood out quite a bit and I fell in love with them quite strongly.  However the other half were just terribly plain from her and just didn’t do anything for me.  Iono, but if there’s an album in the era…I wonder what’ll be on it at this point…

 

DOES – MODERN AGE

Filed under: DOES — solarblade @ 8:39 am

Track Listing

  1. Bakuchi Dancer
  2. Rocker Holiday
  3. Tengoku Jam
  4. Super Karma
  5. Eureka
  6. Kamisama to Akuma to Boku
  7. Gunjou Yoru
  8. Bokutacki no Kisetsu
  9. Jack Knife
  10. Cider Hotel
  11. Yoake Mae
  12. Ha ni Notte

1. Bakuchi Dancer

Oh yeah, the bands biggest single this year!  Bakuchi Dancer is such an exciting tune and a great way to kick things off.  Ujihara and the rest of the band scored major points with this pretty kickass tune.  I love the heavy amounts of guitar, bass, and drums in the song and with Ujihara’s vocals they collided really nicely.  I still think the chorus is the best part of the song since it’s so fierce.  However, it’s just that short of a song too x.x  Ehhh, awesome tune.

2. Rocker Holiday

I didn’t think there’d be anything shorter than “Bakuchi Dancer” but Rocker Holiday is (only a few seconds, but still shorter).  It follows suit after the first song being all out and rockin’ with a very awesome chorus.  The only thing that fully makes this song stand out is Ujihara’s more expressive vocal work and the fact there’s filters abound and a more memorable guitar solo from Ujihara as well.  I like it a lot right now.

3. Tengoku Jam

The opening for Tengoku Jam is a little funny after two hard rock songs and we’re led into this happy-go-lucky tune from the band.  I’m not sure why I feel this rather Winter-like atmosphere with this song, but it’s kind of catchy in a way.  At the chorus, all the members explode with sound and it turns into something pretty catchy and rhythmic.  It is a little strange after “Bakuchi Dancer” and “Rocker Holiday”, but it’s a good change and it’s nice for me xD

4. Super Karma

The rhythm from Kesaku (drummer) and Yasushi (bassist) is actually the biggest thing that I can remember from the next song off the album.  Super Karma does cut the upbeatness down a notch and it sounds a whole lot more serious than previous tracks.  That being said as well, it doesn’t really have much of a stronger hook either and I barely remember how the song goes after a while.

5. Eureka

With Eureka, my disappointment from the last track goes away and we get back into the more fun sounding tracks.  While it’s definitely not in the same zone as other tracks, there was a lot more going on in the song and with Ujihara at the front, it was pretty damn cool of a song.  The riff was pretty strong and everyone did their part very well. 

6. Kamisama to Akuma to Boku

~1, 2, 3, fouuuuuur~  I love how that began the song.  Kamisama to Akuma to Boku does kind of surprised me because of the structure of the song feels weird lol.  It’s like the took the lightheartedness of “Tengoku Jam” in the verses and just let it all out in the chorus that’s similar to “Bakuchi Dancer” (I’m referencing this song too much I know).  It’s alright, but it just seems like a mash-up of two songs and that’s kind of shaky.

7. Gunjou Yoru

Ahhh more serious songs on the album whoohoo!  Gunjou Yoru to me sounds like it was sung live because Ujihara’s vocals sound muffled or away from the microphone throughout.  As for the band, the sound strong and I’m loving the big amount of Yasushi in the track since it gives it a more fuller sound IMO.  It’s nice and it sounds great on the album because of its live sound.

8. Bokutachi no Kisetsu

As it’s the B-side from “Bakuchi Dancer”, I would’ve preferred the other singles B-sides over this one (I’m more lenient towards “Gingham no Machi).  The reason why I’m not so fond of Bokutachi no Kisetsu was simply because there were better songs that were done like “Yoake Mae” and now “Eureka”.  I’m not finding much otherwise that makes the song pop out at me besides the other members doing a little yelling before in the first track, but whatever not the best choice for B-side.

9. Jack Knife

Being the 3rd and final release of the era, Jack Knife at first was a step-up from “Bakuchi Dancer” because of Ujihara’s more vocally togetherness and melody, but to me I like the latter a whole lot more because it was just purely catchy.  It’s funny though since they both have the same time length so it’s kind of odd haha.  I thought for being an anime tie-in, it was pretty strong and had a lot of punch to it as well. 

10. Cider Hotel

For a song with such a light song title, it’s another one of the band’s darker songs and it was placed perfectly after “Jack Knife” because this has a nice feel to it and all the members did very well for themselves here.  Ujihara impressed me as much, maybe not as deeply as in the previous track, but enough to make this song stand out on the album.  Great tune!

11. Yoake Mae

As the primary A-side the began the album (still disappointed “Chocolate” didn’t make the cut) Yoake Mae continues the streak of dark songs on the album, but for me Ujihara’s vocals actually do sound a tad sloppy and kind of blah.  It might be the worst of the A-sides released in the era, but it’s far from being bad though.

12. Ha ni Notte

For the last song on the album, Ha ni Notte began with a slight surprise with synths being involved, but it quickly fades away once Ujihara starts to sing the track.  I love the slight beach-like feel of the song and it does fit because the track’s literal track meaning is “Ride the Wave” so it’s fitting as well.  It’s not a bad closer at all, but after the previous tracks, it’s kind of random.

Tracks Recommended

  • Bakuchi Dancer
  • Eureka
  • Jack Knife
  • Rocker Holiday
  • Cider Hotel

Song of Avoidance

  • Super Karma

So being my first DOES album reviewed on the site, MODERN AGE was actually a pretty strong album for being their 4th studio.  I love the bands changes through their fun rock tunes, poppy tunes, and darker tinged songs, but I’m surprised there was no real slow song.  I’m not complaining about that though, the thing that might worry is their songs kind of slightly sound like one another and Ujihara’s vocals can sometimes be ehhh.  Still not bad from the band here!

 

Suneohair – Akai Coat

Filed under: Suneohair — solarblade @ 7:11 am

Track Listing

  1. Akai Coat
  2. Walk and Joy
  3. Beep Yeah
  4. Email Shite

1. Akai Coat

Being as it’s Kenji Watanabe’s Wintry song, Akai Coat is more or less anything different from his past acoustic works, but it’s actually quite nice to listen to because it also has this anime-ish feel to it that I kind of enjoyed about it despite no tie-in to such a thing.  I really like Kenji’s vocals in the song as they sound not as deep as I thought it was when I first listened in.  The best part is that middle part where his voice kind of goes higher than I expected and the song gets more peppier.  I actually enjoy this song quite a bit!

2. Walk and Joy

Getting into our next song, Walk and Joy slows down quite a bit after the eccentric “Akai Coat”.  These kind of songs kind of bore me here since it’s more of a mid-tempo pop/rock song.  Add to that, Kenji is kind of singing in a rather boring way so it kind of just phases me out for a bit.  Even with the 5:35 time, it’s going to be a long listen.

3. Beep Yeah

Then again the next song has the same length, but Beep Yeah has a more interesting vibe going than in “Walk & Joy”.  I really like Kenji’s vocals a tad bit more though since there’s some life going on in it, but it’s still not as the peppier tone from the first track.  I mean it sounds pretty good and when we do get to the chorus, it does become louder and more interesting.  The only thing that caught me off guard was the whole ~ra-ra-ra-ra-ra~ ordeal.  Other than that, great song.

4. Email Shite

And ending the mini-album with the longest track found, Email Shite sounds like a mix of “Akai Coat” and “Beep Yeah” since it’s like upbeat, but at the same time sounds quite serious.  Kenji’s vocals of course sounds relaxed and yet cool, but he takes a lot of time to get into lyrics since there’s a lot of music/space moments which is kind of strange but whatever.  It’s alright, but probably a little too long.

I don’t know why Kenji made this a mini-album when it’s a single for sure but whatever.  Akai Coat at first started out great with the lead song, but the rest of the songs kind of had their own issues going on but whatever XD.  I think it’s an alright release though so no worries I guess.

 

NAOYA URATA feat. ayumi hamasaki – Dream ON

Filed under: Naoya Urata — solarblade @ 12:36 am

Track Listing

  1. Dream ON
  2. Dream ON (BROKEN HAZE remix)
  3. Dream ON (Instrumental)

1. Dream ON

Being as it is Urata’s first single, collaboration and A-side, Dream ON is surprisingly good for him and even better getting Ayu to join in the song since it’s the first time she’s done something for another artist.  I was a little worried because both singers have rather unique vocals amongst the avex artists and yet together they sound really good together.  Of course Ayu is utilizing this new vocal style that we’ve seen a little bit on her most recent album.  The song is actually not bad and somewhat catchy and is consistent for Urata since it’s like a lot of the material found on “TURN OVER”.

2. Dream ON (BROKEN HAZE remix)

As for the single’s remix, Dream ON feels a little more synth-based than the original so it has much of an interesting sound when compared to.  To me it’s not a big deal to listen to, but it makes an interesting song a little more funky and it’s different in a good way. 

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since Urata released anything and as it his first single, Dream ON isn’t totally a terrible song and it’s an interesting collaborative effort with Ayu.  While I hope Urata won’t let this be his only release for another two years, Dream ON is pretty nifty and the remix is alright…