Kurayami Monogatari

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Plastic Tree – Moonlight____. April 11, 2011

Filed under: Plastic Tree — solarblade @ 8:14 am

Track Listing

  1. Moonlight____.
  2. Bambi
  3. Rusty (Regular Edition only)

1. Moonlight____.

First song I’ve actually listened to by Plastic Tree, Moonlight started out quietly for me with Ryotarou’s vocals which are also quiet and in a whispery kind of feel before it builds up into him singing fully.  His vocals seem good at places and others it sounds stressed and somewhat forced, but I think it’s purposely done.  It’s still a good enough track to listen to, but Ryotarou’s vocals are one’s that ya have to get used to.

2. Bambi

Another song based off a damn deer?  Kidding aside, Bambi sounds harder and more raw than the A-side which is a good thing to hear in the band.  I will say that Ryotarou’s lighter and less forced vocals make a big difference between the two and I like this song since it’s just that catchy and full of energy.

3. Rusty

By Rusty, I’m kind of wondering what we’d get and I feel like we got a song that sounds roughly like something you’d hear when someone is surfing in the water because of the guitar chords and the overall mood of the song.  It is weird that Ryotarou’s vocals are much quieter than in previous songs, but just like “Moonlight____.”, they grow and sings his loudest in the chorus.  I also paid attention to the rest of the band as well and they did a great job actually.

Since it’s my first PT single reviewed I must say that I’m curious about their album, “ammonite” (which just released…but I wanna get through singles first).  Anywho, I can see myself falling for this band quickly if their music is as good as this.  I do need little time to get used to Ryotarou’s vocals, but it’s only when he stresses it out like he did on the A-side…he didn’t even do it that much in the B-sides…Let’s see if “Mirai Iro” is as good!

 

Ayahi Takagaki – Takaramono

Filed under: Ayahi Takagaki — solarblade @ 7:40 am

Track Listing

  1. Takaramono
  2. All around me
  3. The Rose

1. Takaramono

While Ayahi does stand out from the sphere members with the best vocals of the group, she gets shafted for getting such bland arrangements which has been since happening since her debut, “Kimi ga Iru Basho”.  I find that the slowish ballad-type kind of songs are starting to sort of wear thin and isn’t doing much for Ayahi who did start with a good ballad, but caked things on with “Hikari no Fillment” and now Takaramono.  I guess I can say that the thing that’s good that’s been consistent is the vocals as they are still sweet and pretty to listen to…but let’s try something different next time…and no, the chanting past the halfway mark doesn’t make the song any better.

2. All around me

This is kind of what I’m talking about, our first B-side actually sounds like something worthy to have been an A-side and it doesn’t make her vocals sound terrible (even though there’s parts where her vocals are auto-tuned).  It’s a bit cuter like a diet-coke sound against sphere’s overall sound with the synths and happy vibes the song has.  I kind of like it and much prefer it over the A-side.

3. The Rose

As it is the 2nd B-side and going in the realm of what has been going on in her singles, it’s going to be an English cover.  I didn’t think it be of Bette Midler’s famous tune.  Likewise, Ayahi’s English isn’t much better here, but there’s progress shown here, but I don’t think she gave much justice to the song overall and I kind of flew pass it.

Being Ayahi’s 3rd single, Takaramono is definitely not an upgrade after her debut single and doesn’t even top her last A-side either which was just as bad.  I will say that All around me is better than most of what she’s released thus far and it does make the single all-around feel better…As for the cover…she’s getting better…but she doesn’t need to sing ballads…so booooooring to me…x.x;

 

Nana Mizuki – POP MASTER

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 1:33 am

Track Listing

  1. POP MASTER
  2. UNBREAKABLE

1. POP MASTER

If you were hoping for a song that kind of reminded ya of “COSMIC LOVE” minus the crazy amounts of synths…so think of more of “Trickster”.  POP MASTER seems to be on the dislike list of most people, but for me the song isn’t too bad, but after “SCARLET KNIGHT” and “PHANTOM MINDS”, this is quite a downgrade since Nana’s vocals are kind of all over the place and her vibrato is taking over the song.  I will say the guitar solo was impressive…but right now the song is kind of on a love/hate relationship with me right now.

2. UNBREAKABLE

If “Dancing in the velvet moon” had to replicate into something cool, UNBREAKABLE would definitely take that role since it reminds me of that song and a bit of “SCARLET KNIGHT” as well which might be great for people who enjoyed the latter here recently.  It’s quite epic of a song, but it still doesn’t surpass some other songs she’s done here recently.

As the second single released simultaneously released, POP MASTER is slightly under “SCARLET KNIGHT’s” single since the A-side is a kind of hit-or-miss kind of song for me since it’s got an interesting arrangement but the vocals kind of turned me away.  UNBREAKABLE however is definitely in the veins of her good songs so that’s always a good thing….why couldn’t she just made it one single with the four tracks, like she has been doing the last few singles.

 

Nana Mizuki – SCARLET KNIGHT

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 1:17 am

Track Listing

  1. SCARLET KNIGHT
  2. HIGH-STEPPER

1. SCARLET KNIGHT

Since we can’t simply get enough of Nana’s anime-esque strings based music, SCARLET KNIGHT actually sounds good despite all the refute I had for her singles in the “IMPACT EXCITER” era.  I think it’s maybe the darker vibes with the bells and such.  Her vocals sound so damn impressive and the music was grandiose and just as powerful.  I must say, she’s on her way to something good if she keeps this up…hopefully it won’t be another “Mugen”.

2. HIGH-STEPPER

As the single’s B-side, HIGH-STEPPER sounds kind of unusual with the guitars and synths mixed together…kind of like “SCOOP SCOPE” off her last album, but with a stronger melody and more focus with the guitars.  It’s kind of catchy and has some fun parts strewn throughout…it’s a great B-side!

Nana begins the new era with a simultaneous release of two seperate singles.  Since I’m reviewing the one that was was revealed first first, SCARLET KNIGHT is actually not a bad single as all.  While both songs have elements that Nana has been comfortable in for quite a while, she definitely pulled off another set of great songs…now let’s see what “POP MASTER” has in store…

 

°C-ute – Chou WONDERFUL!⑥

Filed under: C-ute — solarblade @ 12:40 am

Track Listing

  1. Chou WONDERFUL!
  2. Midnight Temptation
  3. Kiss me Aishteru
  4. Iza, Susume! Steady go!
  5. Rururururu
  6. Wakaretakunai…
  7. Aitai Lonely Christmas
  8. Circle
  9. Dance de Bakoon!
  10. 3ban Home 3 Ryoume
  11. Campus Life ~Umarete Kite Yokatta~

1. Chou WONDERFUL!

Starting the album off with the album track, Chou WONDERFUL!  The music sounds interesting and so out of place because I feel like this is a Berryz song than one for this group.  It’s kind of futuristic and catchy with the synths…but seriously…it so sounds like a Berryz song.

2. Midnight Temptation

After that odd start, Midnight Temptation actually sounds more like what I was expecting.  I love the kind of dark-opening into the synthy song and since Airi still has most of the lines, I can already tell that there’s equality in the vocals and I’m actually impressed by it since it’s one of the catchier songs.  I will say the guitar solo is pretty epic in this song! XD  Ok, so it might be an early favorite.

3. Kiss me Aishiteru

As the 4th A-side and last released in the era, I was so excited to see this song for sure since it’s one of the more energetic songs °C-ute has done in quite a long while and the synths are at a max in this song.  I will say it does take a while to get used to the song since it has a lot of repetition spaced in the song, but it’s still one of the harder-hitting songs I’ve heard from the group since “FOREVER LOVE”.

4. Iza, Susume! Steady go!

Why does the beginning of our next new song reminds me of “Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~”???  It could be the guitars and synths together.  Listening past that part, it feels like this song would be great performed live since there’s a good amount of chanting throughout the chorus and various parts of the song.  It’s the fun song of the album, so I have to say it’s fun to listen to as well.

5. Rururururu

Who knew the track with the goofy name was going to be a ballad…I’m still unsure about ballads and H!P altogether so I might be slightly biased about them singing them so much.  To me °C-ute’s vocals are great singing as one group (as shown in the choruses), but I think the five singing solo lines is kind of shaky for the most part since they don’t really sound right in the arrangement, but like I said, when they all sing together, it’s great!

6. Wakaretakunai…

After the ballad, we slide up into kind of a retro cute song with Wakaretakunai…  It does sound like something I would’ve expected to hear on “Shocking 5” since it has that laidback kind of groove going on, but the synths here were interesting to be honest and it makes me wanna skip down the street listening to the song.  It’s pretty catchy actually.

7. Aitai Lonely Christmas

As the groups 3rd A-side, Aitai Lonely Christmas has kind of grown on me since the single’s release last year, but I’m still having thoughts that it’s not as good as “Kiss me Aishiteru” and “Dance de Bakoon!”, but it’s not the worst of the A-sides so I guess it means something right?  Of course Airi will still have the most songs, but it’s a good song even though the arrangement isn’t very special…”Namida no Iro” much?

8. Circle

Probably the worst of the new songs, if I felt “Wakaretakunai…” fits more on “Shocking 5”, then this song also does even moreso to be honest.  The arrangement is kind of very stale and lacks energy and tries to push the girls vocals to make it try and stand out.  It’s forgettable altogether.

9. Dance de Bakoon!

A lot of people were so excited to see the return of epic °C-ute with Dance de Bakoon!.  I will say that the more guitar-based arrangement is a fresh feel for them and it doesn’t sound like it would be based off of any Buono! song that’s for sure.  It’s also nice to know that Airi and Maimi do take up majority of the song while the other three do have lengthy parts…it’s good but it’s not as good as “Kiss me Aishiteru” or “Midnight Temptation”.

10. 3ban Home 3 Ryoume

As the final new track, 3ban Home 3 Ryoume sounds like usual °C-ute, genkiness that fits the mold kind of like “LALALA Shiawase no Uta” but not as uber cute as “Ooki na Ai de Motenashite”.  It does have a slight interesting R&B twist to it, but otherwise it’s a nice listen, but isn’t as strong as some of the other new songs x.x;

11. Campus Life ~Umarete Kite Yokatta~

Being the first A-side that began the era, Campus Life is still the weakest of the four since it really didn’t come off as anything special or anything that really stood out.  By the PV, it just kind of sounded like °C-ute’s version of friggin “Seishun Collection”.  I guess it does make sense that it ends the album, but it’s still not the great of a song in the long run.

Tracks Recommended

  • Midnight Temptation
  • Kiss me Aishiteru
  • Wakaretakunai…
  • Iza, Susume! Steady go!

Song of Avoidance

  • Circle

°C-ute’s 6th album actually is a definite step up after the bomb that was “Shocking 5”, but I think it was due to them having to get used to a 5-nin setup rather than the 7-nin they were known as an album before.  The singles were mostly strongs releasese (with the exception of Campus Life).  I do also think that when compared to their sister group, Berryz Koubou, this was stronger than “7 Berryz Times” but not too much since the new tracks for the most part were kind of a mixed bag.  Interesting album overall.