Kurayami Monogatari

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Tohoshinki – Keep Your Head Down January 10, 2011

Filed under: Tohoshinki — solarblade @ 6:53 am

Track Listing

  1. Wae (Keep Your Head Down)
  2. Mitgi Sirheun Iyagi (How Can I)
  3. MAXIMUM
  4. CRAZY (feat. Typhoon from TRAX)
  5. Honey Funny Bunny
  6. RUMOR
  7. Gobaek (Confession)
  8. Our Game
  9. SHE
  10. ATHENA
  11. JOURNEY (feat. SeoHyun of Girls’ Generation) (Regular Edition Bonus Track)

1. Wae (Keep Your Head Down)

Yay! we see the beginning of a new era with Tohoshinki, unfortunately we’re down to only two members: YUNHO and CHANGMIN who have been for me the lesser known members for me when I started listening to the 5-nin THSK.  I never thought the promotional song for the album would’ve been one to really strike me.  It’s also strange to listen and know there’s no JEJUNG or YUCHUN present, but this song is pretty kickass with it’s heavy beat and pulsating arrangement.  I mean there’s a whole lot of new things to deal with like CHANGMIN’s high ass notes and YUNHO’s weird rapping but still this song is great and tops their last energetic track, “BREAK OUT!”.  I’m more excited that there’ll be a JPN version later in the month releases as its own single.

2. Mitgi Sirheun Iyagi (How Can I)

I was wondering how they’d fare in the ballads since that was more for the other 3 members to shine, but it seems that they can do it well, but not as good.  I mean of course the arrangement is a little sweet with piano, strings, and acoustic guitar and the fact the two guys sound sweet is a plus, but it just feels like it’s missing a piece of the puzzle IMO.

3. MAXIMUM

Seeing as this’ll be the B-side for the JPN return, MAXIMUM sounds like it’d be pumpin’ just like “Wae (Keep Your Head Down)” but the beginning with the shimasen was a little bit odd, but it does become into a dance track after the beginning.  While it doesn’t have the same drive like the former song had, MAXIMUM to me is closer to “BREAK OUT!”.  I will say that it seems YUNHO takes charge of the verses while CHANGMIN mostly hangs in the chorus, but there’s times where one and the other take over each others parts so it’s pretty even.  Either way, it’s an interesting song from them and a bit scattershot in the arrangement, but still nice.

4. CRAZY (feat. Typhoon from TRAX)

Being the only collaboration on the album, CRAZY is definitely more poppish than the previous three songs and it’s nice for a change.  It kind of reminds me of the female K-pop groups that are overloading in Japan but with guys singing it.  I will admit though, Typhoon kind of sounds like a sex devient with the way he was rapping in the song.  It’s alright, nothing that really stands out for me.

5. Honey Funny Bunny

I kind of laugh at the title for this song for some reason.  Anyways since this is a YUNHO solo, I thought it was fitting for him since it’s more of a R&B track than anything else, but the song feels so busy and intricate with the way YUNHO is kind of melting through the song.  I could live without the whole title actually being said and the weird voice thing at the end of the chorus where the pitch keeps rising.  Still, it’s not a bad song.

6. RUMOR

To me, RUMOR sounds kind of like a sequel to “CRAZY” with the lighter sound going on, but it’s also closer to R&B as well.  I love the way the two harmonize with each other as well as with the background support.  It’s very much an interesting song, and easy on the ears, but it’d easily be forgotten on my end since it’s not my kind of song.

7. Gobaek (Confession)

Of course, the time that I start to whore over the fact CHANGMIN gets a solo, it turns out to be a damn ballad.  His last solo, “WILD SOUL” was amazing and quite hardcore, but with Gobaek it’s a simple ballad with piano and strings.  His voice does sound good, but out of the five guys, he’s prolly only above YUCHUN in ability for ballads.  It’s alright, but after the times with 5-nin, this comes up very short for me.

7. Our Game

Oh, the opening for Our Game sounds pretty cool and kind of fits with my enjoyment of TRON Legacy and all that.  It’s a bit more synthy and darker than most of the songs on the album, but it’s got this kind of mysterious glow and with YUNHO kind of doing his rapping/talking thing and CHANGMIN doing the singing, it’s interesting.  It’s cool and sly and just syrupy…I kind’ve like it!

9. SHE

So to me it’s like they wanted to have another song that was like “Doushite Kimi wo Suki ni Natte Shimattandarou?” with SHE, but it actually came out kind of good despite the fact that it’s a knockoff and not as strong as said song.  I will say though that it’s better than some other songs on the album.

10. ATHENA

Closing the album out, ATHENA has some pretty dramatic strings playing to open the song up.  Actually, skip it, this song is dramatic with the arrangement since it’s like a rock song but in THSK’s way.  That being said, the duo do tend to yell the song in the chorus and it’s kind of meh, but the energy of the song is quite killer and it has great parts to it that I’m surprised wasn’t used in the rest of the album.

11. JOURNEY (feat. SeoHyun from Girls’ Generation)

Ending the regular edition of the album, JOURNEY was kind of known beforehand and it was an interesting song for sure and it still is kind of having this breezy pop sound going for it.  Also going by the fact that it’s a collaboration (albeit last second inclusion), SeoHyun from SNSD is featured as well, but sadly it’s near the end so it kind of seems really last minute here.  Still, I kind of enjoyed the song a bit better than some of the others!

Tracks Recommended

  • Wae (Keep Your Head Down)
  • Our Game
  • ATHENA
  • SHE
  • MAXIMUM

Song of Avoidance

  • RUMOR

As it is THSK’s first Korean release as a duo, Keep Your Head Down is actually a bit stronger than their last one, “MIROTIC”.  Maybe it’s just that there wasn’t so many problems this time around in vocal land since both YUNHO and CHANGMIN have great vocals.  Though I will admit that it was awkward going through songs and actually wanting JYJ somewhere, but whatever.  It’s a pretty good release for the most part and at least there’s direction than JYJ right now.

 

BEST OF 2010: ALBUM COVERS…They are important right???

Filed under: ~Best of 2010~ — solarblade @ 5:11 am

So, albums this year have had some fun covers this year….let’s see em eh?

TOP ALBUM COVERS!!!

So BLOODY TUNE, to LOVE, REAL WORLD, La Vita Romantica, and HEARTFUL had great covers no doubt but they don’t hold a torch to these 10 covers!

10. Anna Tsuchiya – RULE

Iono why but I love the rather gloomy cover for RULE for some reason.  The kind of abandoned house setting is kind of different for an Anna cover and her in a white dress in that pose kind of makes it seem she’s an angel in a dark setting.  I have to say, it’s a pretty nice cover.

9. misono – Me

I’m not sure why I like misono’s cover for Me, but there’s something adorable and kind of reminescent about this.  The cut-outs kind of have that deja vu style to “never+land”.  Even the goth-like Hello Kitty is quite adorable.  It’s a little cluttered, but it’s still an interesting cover nonetheless.

8. Nana Mizuki – IMPACT EXCITER

There’s just something so epic with IMPACT EXCITER’s cover.  I will admit that the other cover is kind of poor, but this one looks like it was taken in a hangar or something.  All those windows and the support beams look pretty cool in the shot, so to me it’s one of the cooler “in the building” covers!

7. GIRL NEXT DOOR – NEXT FUTURE

Ok, while “IMPACT EXCITER” is inside, I love GND’s cover for NEXT FUTURE on the outside.  There’s just something that’s kind of epic when you’re sitting on the courtyard and the castle behind you has a giant black bow like it’s a present to CHISA or something.  Something tells me it kind of coincides with “Jounetsu no Daishou”, but I can’t be totally sure.

6. SAWA – Welcome to Sa-World

Generally, SAWA’s covers are usually weird or lame, but with her debut album, Welcome to Sa-World looks like a golden wonderland especially since SAWA is on a carousel, holding her disco ball (something she’s always brought to her PV’s minus a few of course).  It’s bright and full of flair just like the album itself.

5. Ayumi Hamasaki – Rock’n’Roll Circus

I know Ayu’s eyes are huge on the cover, but I can’t deny that it was a pretty strong looking cover.  I love the colors used since they’re bold colors and such.  The thing that kind of got me was the British look the album has and it’s pretty good but the hat kind of seems cheaply made.  Still it’s like pretty and cool (though it doesn’t convey the album right).

4. Aira Mitsuki – ???

I’ve always admired Aira’s art covers (cept for “6 FORCE”, but that was really plain for her).  ??? brings us a more traditional Japanese look but still catering to the fact that Aira is just not your normal artist.  Her kimono is all kinds of awesome of so colorful as well as that guitar she’s posing with (which is odd, simply because Aira’s a techno gal and all).  It’s just so different and she keeps putting that out there!

3. school food punishment – amp-reflection

If you like abstract art, school food punishment has definitely got your back with their cover for their debut album, amp-reflection.  While the over cover is slightly different (with a kind or warped area), the plain cover was enough to be up here.  I’m not exactly sure what the point of the art cover was, but it reminds me of something inside a computer (kind of like a drive), besides that, it’s very odd and colorful cover no doubt and one that would hide the surprises that the album has *snickers*

2. Yousei Teikoku – gothic lolita agitator

Finally, a rather sweet cover from Yousei Teikoku in the album side of things.  To me gothic lolita agitator is a perfect example at what Yousei Teikoku’s sound has gone.  I mean the smoky aura mixed mirrored images of a building and tree has this kind of freaky image happening and the fact that Yui is in the middle posing in dark clothing and a flag sticking out, it’s striking and kind of scary. 

1. Kalafina – Red Moon

Of course, this year album cover winner goes to Kalafina.  It seems their covers never really disappoint (well “oblivious”, “progressive”, and “Lacrimosa” were kind of sad) but either way, Red Moon’s covers are just as vibrant like the others but has this sense of mystery in it.  From the oddly placed trees and furniture to the obvious red moon and the pose of the members, it’s just perfection and weird and almost artistic view of the group.  Gotta say, I was definitely impressed with this more than the covers for “Seventh Heaven”.

WORST ALBUM COVERS!!!!

So I guess we have our bad album covers with MOON DRAGON, First Story, Possible, BEAST, and PROTOSCIENCE.  Yeeesh, and that’s not the worst of them haha

10. RIZE – EXPERIENCE

I guess since we had to start somewhere, RIZE’s cover for EXPERIENCE was so much weird.  I mean a Dalmation in midair?  Like really, you couldn’t have done with a little more effort?  At least the Kurohyo version of the album had a pretty badass cover. 

9. Masami Okui – i-magination

I really wanna know the concept of Masami’s cover was because it seems like a lot of artists earlier this year had some kind of attraction to red eyes.  This is the brightest red, but Masami being topless and having that weird thing on her chest didn’t make any sense to me.  It’s just very ick and the lack of a interesting background kind of sucked to.

8. kumi – Koisuru Kimi e

Why does this remind me of a BENI album cover?  *shrugs* kumi’s debut album does kind of show off that the album isn’t really all that and a bag of chips since it’s only kumi sitting on a heart with a ribbon around it.  The only thing that’s relatively interesting is the rainbow thing she’s wearing, but it’s still not that much.

7. Ayumi Hamasaki – Love songs

Why does this remind me so much of friggin “MOON/blossom”?  I mean the covers are quite similar in too many ways and they were boring to begin with anyway, but this rehash basically made me frown quite hardcore.

6. Juliet – Real

Gyarus crying?  Yeah, I really wanted to see that more or less as an album cover.  While it was the third to break the monotony of their single covers, Real was just three ugly pictures taken and Microsoft Paint to make them go together.  It’s just a trainwreck of a cover and just yikes.

5. High Speed Boyz – are u docono Softpunk!?

While it can be said that High Speed Boyz covers have usually been really crappy (with the exception for “Kanaetai Yume ga Aru”).  This one though takes the cake because it’s so plain and lifeless.  I don’t even know what the letters on the bottom are supposed to represent, but whatever, it’s just booooring.

4. 4minute – DIAMOND

I can’t believe that after an era of singles with all the members on it, their JPN debut doesn’t have them AT ALL!  Talk about disappointing all over.  The other cover is a little more represented since it’s white and more fitting to the cover of DIAMOND.  The pink cover though wasn’t right.

3. JYJ – The Beginning

I can’t explain why, but I just didn’t enjoy this cover for some reason.  I mean well I know the initial reason is purely on JUNSU who looks ugly (not new) on the cover.  It just looks like an odd cover and picture shot of the trio.  Not a very suited cover IMO and the limited edition wasn’t any better to be honest. 

2. ALI PROJECT – Gothic Opera

I’m for ALIPRO covers all the time, but they aren’t ok.  It’s either uber amazing or in this case sick-inducing.  While Gothic Opera was a great album from them, the cover was just terrible and not gothic.  I mean the bright colors, Arika in that poofy pink dress and the random inclusion of butterflies, a white tiger, and lion….I mean it’s a confusing cover and kind of too much for me.

1. Q;indivi starring Rin Oikawa – Wedding Celebration & Happy Celebration

I’m so tired of these covers.  They’re so boring and the kids in it aren’t exactly helping it out either (especially in the Wedding one where kids shouldn’t even be there IMO).  I’m just sad that there were more of these albums from them this year…still icky covers and worst of this year

 

 

NEXT TIME: THE BIG SHIBANG…BEST AND WORST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR WHOOP WHOOP