Kurayami Monogatari

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Nami Tamaki – Missing You ~Time To Love~ feat. KWANGSOO, JIHYUK, GEONIL (from Choshinsei) January 14, 2011

Filed under: Nami Tamaki — solarblade @ 7:05 am

Track Listing

  1. Missing You ~Time To Love~ feat. KWANGSOO, JIHYUK, GEONIL (from Choshinsei)
  2. Missing You ~Time To You~ feat. KWANGSOO, JIHYUK, GEONIL (from Choshinsei) (U.F.S Remix)
  3. Missing You ~Time To Love~ feat. KWANGSOO, JIHYUK, GEONIL (from Choshinsei) (Instrumental)

1. Missing You ~Time To Love~ feat. KWANGSOO, JIHYUK, GEONIL (from Choshinsei)

While it’s not news to see Nami cover something (she always does it seems nowadays…) Missing You marks two things for Nami, her first Korean cover turned to JPN (this is a cover of T-ara’s song “TTL (Time to Love) and her first collaborative song with Koreans (specifically Choshinsei, though they’re known in Korea as Supernova.  Anyways the song actually stays pretty faithful (she doesn’t usually do this don’t forget), so it’s a solid track already.  However the things that bothered me in the original are here as well and it’s Choshinsei….TERRIBLE.  Add that very awkward opening and you get an alright cover…nothing like her SONY days, but passable. 

2. Missing You ~Time To Love~ feat. KWANGSOO, JIHYUK, GEONIL (from Choshinsei) (U.F.S Remix)

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a remix hit a Nami single…last one was…well the stuff from her remix album basically.  However, this remix of Missing You is kind of blah when compared to past remixes.  All it feels like is that she took out the energy and beats and left this rather softer and more lighter backup.  To me, it’s not really all that memorable and just seems fail-tastic for me.

Being the only single to represent “Ready”, Missing You ~Time To Love~ is a slight upgrade after her “STEP” singles, but only slight because she’s still far away from what she used to be and it shows on the Oricon charts.  The thing is that her covering songs over and over is starting to feel a bit redundant since Nami has wanted to write more songs but she hasn’t really proved that yet since leaving SONY.  I will say it’s catchy, but there’s some things she needs to work on.  The remix though is bland though yeesh, hope this album will be more interesting…

 

Maki Goto – Gloria

Filed under: Maki Goto — solarblade @ 6:11 am

Track Listing

  1. Ashiato
  2. Hanataba
  3. Koi Hitoyo
  4. Fake
  5. Age♂Kyoku

1. Ashiato

Opening the mini with the promotional track, I was pretty surprised that it was actually a jumpoff from her style that she was pulling off back on both “SWEET BLACK” and “ONE”.  Instead we get a pop/rock side to Gocchin and it actually sounds lively and it does show off more of Maki’s vocals which is great, but it’s definitely out of her zone, but she gave it a try and it’s catchy for the most part, good choice for a promo song.

2. Hanataba

I actually thought we’d only have one song that came out that way, but it seems to be the theme for the mini-album.  Unlike “Ashiato’s” more brand of pop/rock, Hanataba seems to represent the lighter R&B sound and I would’ve expect something like this after “SWEET BLACK” so it comes off as a sweet tune.  The piano solo was a nice twist to the song, but Maki gave it life.

3. Koi Hitoyo

Seeing as this is the only cover song, Koi Hitoyo (originally done by Shizuka Kudo) to me reminds me of my slight dislike to “Wagamama”.  I mean the acoustic R&B feel feels kind of weird to me and the way Maki is singing the song is kind of eh to me since the chorus consists of the same note syndrome that hurts it quite a bit.  So basically this was my least favorite song from here.

4. Fake

I will say that I was also shocked to see that Maki also tried out the more angsty side to rock and it actually sounds like it would be suited more better for Ayu.  I guess there’s something about that just doesn’t seem right in this song and I can’t put my thumb on it besides the fact Maki and rock don’t mesh very well.  Maybe it’s just takes time to get used to this new style she’s under.

5. Age♂Kyoku

Though there is a song that’s kind of reminescent to either her dance style back on “ONE” and maybe a slight push further back to her H!P days.  I’m surprised that it’s the only one that has a dance style going and has the most amount of synths playing around.  While it isn’t jaw-dropping like other songs of hers, it’s fun and has a lot of energy (maybe the yelling guys are a bit much, but still…).

Wow, what a departure for Maki since joining avex.  All we really have seen was either dance, R&B, or ballads, but with Gloria it’s a totally different playfield and I’m not sure if I had enjoyed entirely.  Like I can see where some songs are catchy and such, but it’s a style unfitting for her.  I will say it was a risky, but interesting change of sound!

 

Yui Sakakibara – LOVE×Quartet 2010

Filed under: Yui Sakakibara — solarblade @ 4:30 am

Track Listing

  1. Again (Quartet Ver.)
  2. Kono Hanasaku Koro (Quartet Ver.)
  3. Katayoku no Icarus (Quartet Ver.)
  4. Again (violin Ver.)
  5. Kono Hanasaku Koro (violin Ver.)
  6. Katayoku no Icarus (violin Ver.)
  7. Again (Quartet Instrumental)
  8. Kono Hanasaku Koro (Quartet Instrumental)
  9. Katayoku no Icarus (Quartet Instrumental)

1. Again (Quartet Ver.)

While it’s easy to see that this single is actually more or less recut or remixed…iono how to describe but it’s new versions of past A-sides from Yui.  First up is Yui’s 5th A-side and while I’ve never heard the originals of these songs, but I’m guessing they were poppy enough.  Anyways Quartet version means the song’s original arrangement is replaced by an orchestra so it’s definitely different.  Yui also resang the song and her voice fits Again’s arrangement here.  I’m surprised she had such control over her voice (cept in a certain few places).  It’s still an interesting new take on the original.

2. Kono Hanasaku Koro (Quartet Ver.)

Going even further back to her 2nd A-side of her career, Kono Hanasaku Koro sounds so much like a ballad by guessing from this take, but it’s a lot more interesting since there’s piano and tambourine added to the strings for a more powerful performance.  I also found Yui’s vocals to be more pleasant here than in “Again”.  I was definitely much more impressed with this new version.

3. Katayoku no Icarus (Quartet Ver.)

Ending the main part of the single with a Quartet version of her 10th A-side, I remember Katayoku no Icarus being a very interesting song originally, but this took the song and made it more grand and sweeter than the original which is nice.  Saying it’s graceful is definitely fitting and the arrangement so fits Super Mario Galaxy 2 for some reason.

While I don’t see why she released this in the first place, it’s definitely one of the more impressive things she released in 2010.  I think going back and giving three A-sides a revisit but with a new theme was a good idea and for the most part she did very well.  I just hope she has more of these kind of singles in the future.