Kurayami Monogatari

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Masami Okui – Self Satisfaction II February 22, 2011

Filed under: Masami Okui — solarblade @ 1:14 am

Track Listing

  1. Cosmic Dance
  2. Garden of Eden
  3. Fates
  4. Beloved
  5. Hi no Hana
  6. Still Love
  7. DEAD or ALIVE
  8. Happy Days
  9. GRADUATION
  10. Utakata
  11. KOHAKU
  12. Satisfaction

1. Cosmic Dance

Beginning Masami’s 3rd cover album, Cosmic Dance (a sort of self-cover since she’s a part of JAM PROJECT) opens the album with a nice ethereal opening with an interesting ad-lib section from Masami.  I like the ocarina insert that comes in and out.  I find the instruments that are used in the song to be so different.  I like when she does finally start to sing in the song and even though it’s more of a mid-tempo kind of song, it still is pretty damn strong.

2. Garden of Eden

Now despite never hearing ANY of these songs that Makkun is covering, it’s still a good treat.  Garden of Eden really reminds me of various GUNDAM themes and Masami sounds amazing since she transformed the song into her own.  It’s still one of the coolest tracks off the album and one of Masami’s best since joining Lantis.

3. Fates

Slowing down a bit from “Garden of Eden”, Fates is definitely reminescent of Makkun’s main stuff with the whole slow anime track that has a powerful chorus.  As much as I enjoy Masami’s songs that have this style, it just seems very boring after the first two tracks.  Sorry to say.

4. Beloved

Let’s tone things down even further with Beloved with is more of an acoustic-based song than the previous songs.  I kind of like this stripped down setting for Makkun and she of course sounds pretty strong even with the chorus adds more music to things.  It’s a pretty good ballad and I wouldn’t have expected less.

5. Hi no Hana

Makkun opening a song in acappella?  I don’t know why but I didn’t like her airy start to the song to be frank since it was just pitchy.  While not much of a ballad like “Beloved” was, it’s still soft but I don’t exactly find this song to be better than said song even though the sitar did make it slightly stand out.  I still think “Beloved” is much memorable.

6. Still Love

I’m now starting to now realize that I’m starting to feel the same way about this album against the previous “Self Satisfaction”.  Too many ballads/slow songs bunched up together.  There’s even less to remember about this cover at all since it’s kind of like an R&B ballad, but very diluted it seems.  I think right now, Still Love is the album’s worst song.

7. DEAD or ALIVE

I’m so happy to get out of the slow section of the album because DEAD or ALIVE was the boost of energy that I needed to wake up from those tracks.  With a very hard rock atmosphere (seeing as it’s a cover from The Idolm@aster, it’s just in your face and pure energy.  Masami’s vocals really just pop out at you with the guitar riffs and pounding drums.  Gotta say, it impressed me quite a bit.

8. Happy Days

I’m kind of surprised we haven’t totally had a happy pop song from Makkun on the album until now.  It might not be as happy as one might think it’d be, but Happy Days is something that stands out on it’s own.  However, it features a lot of the same instruments that were found in the beginning of the album.  It might come off as forgetful, but it does stand out.

9. GRADUATION

I thought for such a title, GRADUATION was going to end up as a ballad, but it’s actually more of another happy song (even moreso than “Happy Days”).  However, I enjoyed this much more than the last track since the arrangement was more profound and stronger overall…plus I loved Makkun’s vocals a whole lot more…it might not be the best on the album, but it’s damn close XD

10. Utakata

Of course, we have to slow down for another set of ballads starting with Utakata which has beautiful strings to open the song up.  I think of the ballads on the album, this one has a much stronger and dramatic effect partially on both the arrangement and Masami’s tone.  I have to say it’s a great ballad on the album…but still doesn’t erase the fact there still is too many.

11. KOHAKU

Of course, KOHAKU is the other ballad found here.  I kind of enjoyed the oriental-like piano melody that opens the song…but sadly it’s the only true thing that makes it stand amongst the ballads.  I also do think she gave an amazing vocal performance despite the lack of an interesting arrangement.  I’m kind of stuck whether it’s a great song or just there because of Masami’s awesome vocals.  I think it’ll grow on me since it’s getting better with each listen.

12. Satisfaction

Closing the album with a title track, Satisfaction surprised me because it sounds like a mix of “Garden of Eden” and “GRADUTATION” since it’s edgy and kind of anime-upbeat in a way.  The energy is definitely there, but there’s something about it that’s off about it.  I could totally see this performed live and with tons of enthusiasm!

Tracks Recommended

  • Garden of Eden
  • GRADUATION
  • DEAD or ALIVE
  • Cosmic Dance
  • Utakata

Song of Avoidance

  • Still Love

For being Makkun’s 3rd cover album, I once again found myself not knowing ANY of the covers (same thing happened with the first “Self Satisfaction”) so I can’t say if she did justice to the songs or not, but for the most part, this felt better than the first.  I still think she’s added too many ballads once again and they were some of the weaker entries in the album.  Hopefully she’ll start to release singles again (It’s been a while since “Renka Tairan” came out…).

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One Response to “Masami Okui – Self Satisfaction II”

  1. As I see, you have enough from ballad songs. 😀 But you’re not the only whom I read this album is not her best… And I’m agree with you, she has much more better albums.

    By the way, Masami has a new song (Dive to Future), but I don’t know will it be released in single.


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