Kurayami Monogatari

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Shoko Nakagawa – Sakurairo April 7, 2011

Filed under: Shoko Nakagawa — solarblade @ 1:50 am

Track Listing

  1. Sakurairo
  2. Marshmallow
  3. Lavender
  4. Sakurairo -Instrumental-
  5. Marshmallow -Instrumental-
  6. Lavender -Instrumental-

1. Sakurairo

Bah, another rock track from Shokotan?  I mean I know I’ve wished more of those songs in the last few eras, but it seems its what all we’ve got since…”RAY OF LIGHT” and the whole era as a whole had many many rock tracks so with Sakurairo, it kind of disappoints me that it just seems like a repeat after a lot of stuff.  I mean it’s upbeat and Shoko’s vocals sound pretty good, but I wished the song was a little different after “Cosmic Inflation”.

2. Marshmallow

Sadly, my opinion doesn’t sway much when Marshmallow opens up which is unfortunately like a less-controlled “Sakurairo” with more yelling from Shokotan and more guitars.  I’d say it’s a bit more memorable than the A-side, but only because Shokotan’s vocals are more squeaky and the guitars have more punch, otherwise forgettable.

3. Lavender

Luckily, Lavender comes and changes the formula up a bit from just being a pure rock track to being a bit more like a cutesy pop/rock kind of song.  Add in some background vocals and synths and Lavender comes together.  I felt it was a lot more memorable than the other two songs for sure and I wanted this to have been an A-side.

As Shokotan begins her fourth era, she begins things off with well…a not so strong single.  I know that I’ve wanted more rock songs from Shoko during her sophomore days and she answered that nicely with “Cosmic Inflation”.  Sadly, there was too many rock songs there and I got tired quickly of that album and Sakurairo doesn’t really phase me.  All three songs have such strong rock influences that could’ve easily fit on her album so it felt like leftovers.  Lavender was the best the single had to offer but Sakurairo and Marshmallow….forgettable IMO.

 

4minute – 4minutes Left

Filed under: 4minute — solarblade @ 12:22 am

Track Listing

  1. 4minutes Left
  2. Geoura Geoura
  3. Heart to Heart
  4. Sweet Suga Honey!
  5. Moreuneun Cheog
  6. You know
  7. ALREADY GONE
  8. FIRST (Korean ver.)
  9. HIDE&SEEK
  10. Nappeuge

1. 4minutes Left

I really don’t know what else to say about this opening that I haven’t talked about in the mini-album review.  Out of the three that are out, this is the most impressive one, but it’s still just an intro.  It’s dark and quite the intro…but it could’ve been turned into a full song. 

2. Geoura Geoura

As one of two new tracks on the album, Geoura Geoura was the missing piece that made “Heart to Heart” such a disappointing mini-album since it’s heavy and follows fellow songs like “HUH”, “Muzik”, and the like.  However, it kind of feels a little more like it’s taking slight notes from “FIRST”, but has tons of hooks.  It’s definitely my favorite of the album right now since the vocals are pretty good.

3. Heart to Heart

As it was the promotional track on the mini-album, Heart to Heart was a surprising choice since it wasn’t really as jaw-dropping as previous promos.  I do think the lighter dance K-pop feel is pretty interesting and the members put enough effort in the song to make it float…but after “Geoura Geoura”, it kind of feels underwhelming.

4. Sweet Suga Honey!

One week later and Sweet Suga Honey! still hasn’t found its hook to me.  It’s one of the cuter songs the group has under their belt, but it did nothing for me.  It just simply passed over my head…I think if the arrangement had more going on, it would’ve been slightly better IMO.  I still think HyunA’s rap is out of place xD

5. Moreuneun Cheog

I was kind of surprised that of the “Heart to Heart” songs here, I was surprised they switched around “You know” and this song on the tracklist.  It does seem a bit strange as this is a ballad and all.  Vocally, I was most impressed here since there wasn’t any auto-tune present and the style of the song was more softer and more towards R&B.  To me GaYoon had much more of a presence than in any other song, but everyone else was present as well.  It’s a nice tune after all.

6. You know

After the ballad, You know seems to move the energy back up again and I thought it was pretty awesome since it was my favorite off the mini-album despite the similarites to “Heart to Heart” in some of the arrangement.  It’s fun and just full of life and I can’t wait to see this turned into Japanese to be honest XD

7. ALREADY GONE

Do you remember “DIAMOND”?  You know, their debut Japanese album?  Yeah, there were two new songs on there that were in Korean and they find their place on this album.  ALREADY GONE is just like “WHAT A GIRL WANTS” with the cuter vibe and a slightly refined R&B sound in it.  I still don’t really find anything amazing about it, but it’s a little better on this album than on “DIAMOND”.

8. FIRST (Korean ver.)

I’m just a little surprised they’d go ahead and Korean-ize FIRST and not “WHY”.  I love the Japanese version to death, but this I just can’t get into because of the change of languages here.  It sounds so…mechanical and not clean when compared and it’s just a hard pill to swallow.  I swear there’s a little change in the composition too…it’s so off XD  I want my Jappy version plz!

9. HIDE&SEEK

The other Korean song off of “DIAMOND”, HIDE&SEEK isn’t much better than “ALREADY GONE” since it follows the cuter side of the group than focus on something deeper and/or have a heavy arrangement.  All-around, it’s just not my cup of tea and the abuse of auto-tune is to a maximum in this song…it’s just very annoying. 

10. Nappeuge

Closing the album with the other brand new song, Nappeuge is more of the chilled out mid-tempo song.  It’s a bit weird because they’re dealing with not just only the slower R&B-side to the music…but an accordion-based arrangement which is very strange and yet charming at the same time.  I’m not sure if to like it or not, but the vocals are more pleasant after that mess in “HIDE&SEEK”

Tracks Recommended

  • Geoura Geoura
  • You know
  • Heart to Heart
  • Moreuneun Cheog

Song of Avoidance

  • HIDE&SEEK

Just like the mini-album, I felt the full debut album from the group was a little disappointing.  The new songs were pretty interesting at best, but it was surrounded by somewhat mediocre songs and a bad Korean version of FIRST…plus adding the Korean songs from “DIAMOND” was also pretty poor as well.  They are showing a bit more experimentation, but it’s not done well here for the most part.