Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Best of 2010: ART COVERS, the pretty and the ugly! December 31, 2010

Filed under: ~Best of 2010~ — solarblade @ 9:45 am

So, on part three, we get to the art covers that gracefully tried to show off this years awesomeness. Let’s get to it!

BEST ART COVERS

The 5 covers that were great, but not top 10 centered.

So the five that didn’t make the cut: COSMOS vs ALIEN, Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny’s star~/Hoshizora Keikaku, Senjou ni Saita Ichirin no Hana, Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru, and Everlasting are great covers and shows they can really pull it off if they wanted.

THE BEAUTIFUL 10

10. angela – Soukyuu

angela always seems to have interesting single covers like last year’s “Alternative”.  This year though angela released this piece of art near the end of the year, but it’s definitely a pretty cover.  Of course KATSU looks like Cloud for some reason while atsuko is more frilly.  I love the concept and the fact that it’s mirrored on the bottom gives more depth.  I don’t know but it’s pretty for sure.

9. Aya Kamiki – Revolver

I don’t know why but Aya’s second single under avex was a surprise to me.  I mean everyone knew she was hot during the GIZA days, but she stepped it up immensely for this cover.  Like Lex said, dystopia has never looked this sexy and I agree, Aya is one hot lady!

8. JUJU – Sakura Ame/READY FOR LOVE/S.H.E./Last Kiss

JUJU never really had such elegant single covers until she released her quad A-side this year.  Sakura Ame’s cover is very pretty and the fact of the falling rain, but starry sky is quite funny if not ironic in a sense.  Of course JUJU looks really formal and pretty and it does carry over to “Request” later on.

7. miwa – Otoshimono

I know, I know miwa looks a bit off for her cover for Otoshimono, but it’s the only one of this year that portrayed Autumn like the it is and it’s dying leaves surrounding the windows, the window frame being withered and such and miwa’s breath on the window showing that it was cold.  It’s not the most flattering picture of her, but it’s still a pretty sight.

6. school food punishment – future nova/after laughter

If this was released back in 09′ it would’ve joined its brethren on the No. 1 spot, but seeing as this was the only single by the band released this year, future nova/after laughter made it here.  I never figured out what it had to do withth other covers since most of them were linked in a way.  The whole cube tower thing does make me think of AAA’s PV for “Dream After Dream” since they have the cube thing going to…Still mysterious though with the girl.

5. D – Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai

For some reason this year, D has stuck out to me with their covers this year.  This particular version of Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai was pretty interesting since it was the only one with the band sitting down haha.  Anyways I think the thing that sticks out for me is that the whole setting of the room is very vibrant and edgy too.  It’s so red and just regal sort of.  It surprised me lol.

4. ALI PROJECT – Ransei Heroica

Like I said last year, ALI PROJECT always have interesting single & album covers so seeing as Ransei Heroica is on the list is no surprise, but “Katana to Saya” was also pretty amazing.  I think what stood out for me was that Arika was split in half with the wardrobe and I thought the pink-haired princess and the brown-haired warrior was nifty and THAT SWORD OMG, I NEED IT!

3. Perfume – Fushizen na Girl/Natural ni Koishite

I know that Perfume’s covers are usually simplistic when compared to other artists, but Fushizen na Girl/Natural ni Koishite was the most complex thing they’ve released in a while so it’s natural (haha) that I’d think it’s a great cover.  Since it’s basically a shot from the Fushizen na Girl PV, it’s fitting that the girls are in bright and bold colors with the various back-ups holding up those boards with different colors and maybe a slight nod to the album the was released before the single.  Good covers!

2. Kalafina – Kagayaku Sora no Shijima ni wa

I will say that with Kalafina, their covers always leave me wondering how they come up with it and with Kagayaku Sora no Shijima ni wa, I think this is their darkest cover yet.  While the other cover is a bit blah, this one is very pretty with the burning candles, the poses from the girls, and the clouds and dark sky in the background.  Love the cover and its gloomyness haha.

1. SID – Rain, cosmetic, and Ranbu no Melody

To me though this year, I think the top position should be given to SID and the three singles Rain, cosmetic, and Ranbu no Melody.  The thing the three singles share is that all the covers (there’s more than these, trust me) are all artistic and done with watercolor paint and it seems pen-drawn (prolly the same guy doing all three).  I do think the artists high point was with Ranbu no Melody which look pretty much epic especially the wolf cover XD.  I will say each cover brough an interesting idea along and I hope the album will follow with one more of these covers.

WORST ART COVERS

Not grating, but it’s almost top 10 worthy

Yep the covers for Can We Go Back, PARADISE/Endless Fighters, Haru no Arashi, Re:ache, and SAKURA are pretty icky covers but aren’t as bad as these

THE UGLY 10

10. the GazettE – SHIVER

It’s not that it’s ugly or anything, but it’s just that awkward of a cover.  For some reason it’s not that I don’t mind shirtlessness, it’s the whole I’m into kinky sex kind of look that sort of weirds me out.  I still don’t understand the binoculars either so don’t ask me anything.

9. Ayaka Hirahara – Ifuu Doudou/JOYFUL, JOYFUL

It’s another one of those covers for me that’s more awkward than ugly, but it’s slightly a bit more less offensive as “SHIVER”.  For me is Ayaka’s pose and the lack of anything on the cover besides the title of the single (well, sort of).  I do laugh though at her lower half since it’s shaped like a muffin/cupcake.  Blah cover though.

8. JUJU – Kono Yoru wo Tomete yo

After all these good cover arts (“Trust In You”, is ok at best), Kono Yoru wo Tomete yo comes as a pretty big disappointment with the fact that all it is, is just a blue rose turning to dust.  Add the fact that the title of the single is covered in the blue fadeout.  Otherwise, it’s just really lame of a cover.

7. mihimaru GT – Omedetou

Poor mihimaru GT, acting as the last single release before the duo taking a break and go off on solo careers, Omedetou was an oh my detour.  I mean yeah I liked miyake’s silver/white hair for the cover, but hiroko’s was just WTF+.  It was a bad hairdue and it makes her look like she doesn’t wash her hair enough hence the wacky objects found in it.  It’s just a icky cover xD

6. Meisa Kuroki – 5 -FIVE-

This is a mess, just a big mess.  I really don’t know why Meisa chose to take the cover for this and turn it into a photoshop mockety with bad nods to comics like Superman.  It’s just a terrible act and such a drop from her last few singles/albums.

5. ikimono-gakari – Arigatou

Nothing against old people, but old people in beach attire on a rather blah background is not acceptable ikimono-gakari!  I really wanna know why they came up with the cover for that (and for “Kimi ga Iru” for that matter).  It just looks very awkward and unusual for me at least.  Sorry weird cover.

4. mini – GiRLZ SPiRiT

Another case of awkward pose and lack of an interesting background, the thing that really made it bad though was those goofy claw gloves or whatever they were supposed to be.  That wink as well was just very strange…what am I supposed to think when she’s doing that huh? 

3. XIAH junsu – XIAH

Yeah there’s not much to say here.  JUNSU has always been my least favorite from THSK so I might be biased here, but this cover was as boring as boring could get.  I mean the shadow idea didn’t exactly help either, but whatever…he could’ve had a much better cover IMHO.

Juliet – Haru Love & Haru Love 2

We all know Juliet are lazy with their covers and while I’m sure people will disagree and say “Aki Love” and “Yuki Love” have more boring covers, I think HL and HL2 take the cake because they use the same dogs for all four covers (two each).  Still, it feels like a copout with Haru Love 2 (the only difference is background colors though and positions of the dogs).  Still very lazy work.

1. flumpool – Kimi no Todoke

And like last year’s wors art cover, this year’s is from a group that I don’t review and flumpool really did a number with this cover and the alternate as well.  There’s just something really foul about this (though not as bad as Yuzu’s though).  Just ugly looks of people really letting it out…though if I remember, I thought one was really bad cuz their nose tears was going in the mouth or something, maybe I’m crazy XD.  Still ICK+

 

NEXT TIME: OVERALL BEST/WORST SINGLE!

 

AMWE – GIRLS

Filed under: AMWE — solarblade @ 4:03 am

Track Listing

  1. GIRLS AND BOYS
  2. GROOVE IS IN THE HEART
  3. I SAW AN ANGEL
  4. BE STUPID
  5. GIRLS NIGHT OUT
  6. ROCKSTAR
  7. CUT, COPY, AND PASTE
  8. MOONLIGHT
  9. STUPID GUYS, STUPID GIRLS
  10. GIRLS AND BOYS (CUBISMO GRAFICO DIZZINESS MIX)
  11. MOONLIGHT (ELECTROCUTICA REMIX)
  12. ONLY SHALLOW (LEE JAY POW REMIX)

1. GIRLS AND BOYS

~e, e, e, ah ah ah~.  I really don’t know why, but that always amuses me whenever I hear the song…it must be that lulzy.  Anyways, already from the start of the album, AMWE has taken a slightly lighter direction with this cover from Blur.  To me, AMWE’s vocals have kind of taken a backseat since she’s kind of messy singing and English as well.  I sitll find myself enjoying the song though since it’s electro-pop goodness and has a pretty awesome hook to it.

2. GROOVE IS IN THE HEART

Another song from the past being covered, this time Deee-lite’s one-hit wonder, GROOVE IS IN THE HEART, is vocally another failed attempt since the English here is even more harder to convey, but AMWE’s more electro take is what tries to keep the song afloat, but it lost a lot of what made the original so damn amazing and in that respect, this wasn’t such a hot cover.

3. I SAW AN ANGEL

I think that there’s others covers as well, but I can’t be so sure which ones, except for the previous two.  I SAW AN ANGEL is more along the lines of what I was expecting after her first album, and it’s groovy and has a good rhythm.  Despite AMWE’s meh vocals again, there’s not a lot of it like the last two tracks so that’s a little bit of a good thing. 

4. BE STUPID

I’m surprised that she has another one of these more darker electro songs in her repetoire because BE STUPID is quite more memorable and quite the club thumper of a song.  Once again not being totally vocally important (though I can understand her at least when she does in the song).  She just scored good on this song and I can see myself replaying this over and over.

5. GIRLS NIGHT OUT

After those two strong electronica songs, GIRLS NIGHT OUT pulls us back into a more electro-pop like area and I actually noticed that she pulled out the piano for this track.  I pretty much love the arrangement here and it’s great to hear AMWE singing in Japanese as well.  I actually don’t think it’s a cover so that’s good. 

6. ROCKSTAR

~I wanna be your rockstar~ oh boy another kind of musically pronounced track.  ROCKSTAR though has some weird synths playing around the song and it has this weird mid-tempo feel to it.  I also found the song was pretty repetitive all-around and it kind of pushed me out of the song. 

7. CUT, COPY, AND PASTE

LOL, saying you’re stupid AMWE is definitely not something you should be saying out loud.  I do notice that like the title implies, the song has a lot of cut vocals that repeat a lot in some weird ways.  Besides the two vocal parts, it feels like a long interlude than anything else, but CUT, COPY, AND PASTE isn’t all that bad, but nothing that’s jaw dropping.

8. MOONLIGHT

This 80’s synth-pop for MOONLIGHT sounds absolutely addictive for some reason.  I’m not sure why, but it’s like the first time I noticed AMWE actually singing in a song where she hit some higher set notes and not sounding like a drunk butt.  It’s actually a pretty good song on the album.  Maybe not as addictive as “GIRLS AND BOYS”, but it’s passable.

9. STUPID GUYS, STUPID GIRLS

Hey more of that cut’n’paste crap that I’m not a big fan of.  SG, SG kind of is along the lines with the other songs that has more focus on the music than the lyrics.  Actually there’s not many to begin with since the song feels already cluttered as it is.  I don’t know, but it didn’t feel like it had a concrete direction and just felt smushed together in 5 seconds.

10. GIRLS AND BOYS (CUBISMO GRAFICO DIZZINESS MIX)

So after the main album of songs ends, we get three remixes whoohoo!  The first is of the promotional track for the album and the remix feels a bit more smoother and ethereal than the original and I still love the whole ~ee, ee, ee, ah, ah, ah~ ordeal.  I will say that because it’s the longest song off the album, it’s good…but I miss the oomph of the original that the remix lacks.  I’m not fully sure what I think of it.

11. MOONLIGHT (ELECTROCUTICA REMIX)

The second remix is of MOONLIGHT and I loved the original for sure so the remix had a lot to work for.  I will admit that I didn’t enjoy this remix even though it was more beat-driven.  The thing that made me dislike it was the whole repetitiveness and the cut’n’paste style that was found here.  Though the parts where AMWE sang were still pretty good, the music felt absent for me…iono. 

12. ONLY SHALLOW (LEE JAY POW REMIX)

The final song on the album is a remix of ONLY SHALLOW…but I’m not certain where the original is from, but I’ll treat it as a an original one.  I’m not sure, but the way AMWE is singing is kind of strange yet hypnotic almost.  Add in the electric guitar parts and it gives it a mysterious vibe.  It sounds like the original could be good if the remix is like this, but who knows.

Tracks Recommended

  • GIRLS AND BOYS
  • MOONLIGHT
  • BE STUPID
  • ONLY SHALLOW (LEE JAY POW REMIX)
  • GIRLS NIGHT OUT

Song of Avoidance

  • GROOVE IS IN THE HEART

For being AMWE’s sophomore album, GIRLS maybe at the same place where “I AM AMWE” was when she debuted.  There’s of course a lot of hope for her since her arrangements are pretty strong themselves.  Problem is that she’s not a very good singer and that does propose a problem in the future if she chooses to go that direction.  Maybe vocal lessons?  I don’t know, but we’ll see.