Kurayami Monogatari

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Chara – Dark Candy April 19, 2011

Filed under: Chara — solarblade @ 9:21 pm

Track Listing

  1. Countdown
  2. Yura Shitagaru
  3. Eien no Uta
  4. Toy Soldier
  5. Little bird
  6. Koko ni Ite
  7. Rachel
  8. Naive to Innocence
  9. Dark Candy
  10. Sainou no Jyou

1. Countdown

Starting the album on a happy note, Countdown has a kind of groovy feel to it with a slight reggae feel but kind of catchy feel to it.  Now I’ve been mean to Chara since her vocals are very unique to her and oddly enough it fits this kind of tune.  She has a weird tone and the chorus does make me ears cringe as she goes into ultimate nasal mode…the verses though sound good…*sigh*

2. Yura Shitagaru

Even more bouncy and fun, arrangement-wise than the opening track, Yura Shitagaru has an interesting style to it and it’s fun to listen to and bounce along with the tune.  Chara once again takes her whispery vocals for the verses and gets louder in the chorus which doesn’t bother me too much.  Her vocals also are a whole lot easier to take in since she doesn’t hit high notes for the most part.

3. Eien no Uta

Moving out of the happy pop stuff, we enter our first ballad with Eien no Uta.  I find it weird that Chara likes to find solace in her songs by whispering through her stuff, but then again she sound rather good when she does it.  As solid as her singing is in the song, the arrangement lacks support and kind of just falls flat after a while.

4. Toy Soldier

Hmmm, Chara going for a more urban styled kind of track?  It kind of shows with the beats and interesting sounds that were being used.  I’m starting to get bored with Chara whispering in her songs at this point of the album and it reaches boiling point here.  The chorus does make the gal sound like a cat…but whatever.

5. Little bird

I really loved how Little bird sounds since it sounds clearer than previous songs and musically pleasant to the ears.  I can tell Chara wanted to sound a bit less nasally for the song and she does it well…until she makes the change back into her normal style and it kind of takes me out of the song.  Once again the chorus is just difficult…especially her wail at the end of each chorus….get me some advil!

6. Koko ni Ite

Going back towards a more cuter side to Chara’s music ala the first few songs, it’s an interesting song since it’s simple with piano and drums for the most part.  Chara sounds nice, but the filtered parts with her were a bit cringing.  Still a much stronger song on the album to be honest. 

7. Rachel

Rachel at the beginning, slightly creeped me out first with the changing of channels on a TV.  Once that clears up, Rachel turns out to be a rather cute song from Chara since it’s well bouncy with the repeating piano notes.  It’s a fun little track from her and she doesn’t seem to really hit sour notes for me…but she still has a way nasally tone to her voice here.

8. Naive to Innocence

I can’t believe that on this album, Naive to Innocence is the longest track at past 8 minutes in length.  I mean when it takes a minute and a half to finally hear her sing under such a slow arrangement, you know it’s going to be a huge borefest.  If you really like these slow songs you’ll like it and Chara doesn’t do too bad, but it’s too long for me.

9. Dark Candy

As the title track found near the end, Dark Candy is a weird surprise since it’s got an unusual arrangement and kind of sounds like something princess-y for the most part.  Also, this is where I don’t like Chara’s vocals since she’s uber nasal and yelling under the tone…it’s just too much and just sucks all-around.

10. Sainou no Jyou

Now we’re at the ending of the album with Sainou no Jyou and it took out the wacky keyboards from “Dark Candy” and left a bare version to me with strings, marching drums, and piano and some other interesting choices of instruments.  She does hit sour notes, but it’s oddly in between good notes so it’s like an odd barrage.

Tracks Recommended

  • Yura Shitagaru
  • Countdown
  • Rachel
  • Koko ni Ite

Song of Avoidance

  • Dark Candy

Yeah….I’m still not a fan of Chara’s voice, but her arrangements for the most part sounded good enough to make me enjoy it…it’s just the singer that totally bombs a good portion of her songs due to her really bizarre tone of singing.  At least there’s a few songs that were ok but she’s not my kind of artist.

 

Plastic Tree – ammonite

Filed under: Plastic Tree — solarblade @ 8:17 pm

Track Listing

  1. Thirteenth Friday
  2. Moonlight____. (ammonite Ban)
  3. Taikutsu Machine
  4. Mirai Iro (ammonite Ban)
  5. Setsugekka
  6. I Love You So
  7. Aria
  8. Duetto
  9. Bambi (ammonite Ban)
  10. Sabishinbou
  11. ~Sakuhin “ammonite”~
  12. Blueback
  13. spooky (Regular edition only)

1. Thirteenth Friday

LOL, kind of taking the lulz for the whole Friday the 13th and such.  Plastic Tree opens the album and I actually don’t really like the song much since it sounds so boring and kind of messy…almost like a watered down “Moonlight____.”.  Ryotarou’s vocals are kind of lazy sounding as well, but whatever.

2. Moonlight____. (ammonite Ban)

It seems that all the songs that were released on singles on the album have been edited starting with the last first A-side released in the era.  I actually think the changes in the song were pretty good and Ryotarou sounds better to me than when he did on the original cut.  You still have to deal with his stressed out vocals, but it feels a bit more powerful this time around.

3. Taikutsu Machine

To me Taikutsu Machine feels a bit more basic and upbeat when put against the last track, but Ryotarou keeps his wacky vocals in the song and it places it’s pretty bad, but other times it fits….so it’s strange for me.  I personally loved guitarist, Akira’s solo.  It’s a fun song to listen to overall.

4. Mirai Iro (ammonite Ban)

Then getting into the new version of Mirai Iro, I’m unsure whether I liked this version more than Mirai Iro since it does fix a lot of things, but due to that it sounds a bit like “Taikutsu Machine” as well which is a bit strange but whatever.  I still enjoyed the anime-like opening kind of feel it has and it still is a better A-side than “Moonlight____.”.

5. Setsugekka

Slightly slowing things down for a bit, Setsugekka is actually a surprising song since it starts out quiet and more of a rock ballad but the chorus throws that out the window and just explodes with energy and good stuff from the band.  Ryotarou’s vocals are verging from the good vocals into the crackly ones…it’s hard to say if I loved the song or just got used to it.

6. I Love You So

If garage band was put in my head, I Love You So has definitey achieved its purpose.  It’s loud, abrasive, and just in your face with the band just rockin’ out and not caring for a totally noticeable melody.  It’s a bit messy for me and just kind of tunes me out.

7. Aria

Thank god Aria came in and cleaned up after “I Love You So” to be honest.  Despite that it fits along with “Mirai Iro”, Aria’s similarities aren’t so bad and the riffs and arrangement is a lot more stronger and together than said song as well.  Ryotarou’s vocals also sound a lot better as well which was what I needed after the last few songs.  It’s one of the better songs on the album.

8. Duetto

Are things starting to get better from the band now?  I actually think so because Duetto is pretty cool of a song with the guitar plucks and the energetic performance from them, but not overbearing.  I’m liking this just as much as “Aria” if not more here.  Awesome rock song!

9. Bambi (ammonite Ban)

Of the three B-sides presented during the era, I was surprised to see that Bambi was chosen.  Not beef towards the song since I still enjoy it, but the other two were better IMO.  Anyways, like the other older songs, Bambi was edited to feel a bit more edgy than the original and it worked which made this song a whole lot better than the first version.  It does come with a price seeing that Ryotarou’s voice is covered up by the rest of the band, but whatever.  It’s a good song still.

10. Sabishinbou

The click of a lighter begins our next song and it’s a surprise after all the tracks previous here simply because acoustic guitar is the main instrument of our next song.  It’s weird because I get odd Suneohair vibes out of the song because of Ryotarou and the flow of the song.  It does grow out of that and the rest of the band appears, but after that happens the song just becomes a slight bit boring.

11. ~Sakuhin “ammonite”~

As the album’s interlude, Sakuhin sounds like it’s underwater since there’s bubbling going on of some sort.  It does fit since ammonite’s were water-based creatures.  Sadly, it doesn’t go anywhere besides some guitar thrown in towards the middle of the track. 

12. Blueback

Closing the limited edition of the album, Blueback is fitting to close the album, but it’s one of the more boring songs off the album since it’s so slow-moving and kind of has a crawling kind of thing going for it.  It’s cool that it’s a smoother and more ethereal kind of track of Plastic Tree, but it just went nowhere in the long run.

13. spooky

On the other hand, spooky as the closing for the Regular edition of the album is surprising simply because it’s the hardest arranged song on the album.  If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve said this was by some V-kei group or Oshare-kei.  It’s got energy and the vocals are great as well…but it’s loud for sure xD

Tracks Recommended

  • Duetto
  • Aria
  • Taikutsu Machine
  • spooky
  • Bambi (ammonite Ban)

Song of Avoidance

  • I Love You So

As it’s my first Plastic Tree album, ammonite isn’t really anything that stands out for me.  I like their rockin’ sound but its always hindered by either Ryotarou’s vocals or just suffering from a bland arrangement.  It was hard to sit through most of the album, but then again…this album was released in a shitty quality so maybe I need a better take perhaps.

 

T.M.Revolution – vestige

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 7:02 pm

Track Listing

  1. vestige
  2. crosswise

1. vestige

Like I said on the GUNDAM compilation mini for Takanori, I’ve never full enjoyed the song.  I mean it’s the slowest of his GUNDAM themes and it fits the series, but it still doesn’t really capture the essence as strong as his previous efforts.  I will say the beginning with the powerful guitar strikes was impressive but after that it sort of fell flat.  I’ve never been this disappointed with an A-side since….”BOARDING” I guess?

2. crosswise

I find it very odd that the B-side is pretty damn heavy.  It almost gives us a taste of what abingdon boys school would sound like (remember this single was released before their debut, so put that perspective in).  Though I will say that the song sounds a bit better after “vestige”, but I’m still kind of unsure about it since it’s almost a replica out of “Web Of Night” which was two A-sides ago.

Could you imagine that vestige began the “CLOUD NINE” era….and this was a 2005 single?!?  Talk about holding out on us right?  Anyways, vestige isn’t the worst of the era, but it’s not a favorite of mine since it lacked something his other GUNDAM themes had.  crosswise felt a bit much like “Web Of Night” but I still enjoyed the song nonetheless.  I’m surprised both tracks made the album’s cut so who knows what’ll happen.