Kurayami Monogatari

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RURUTIA – RESONANCE May 2, 2011

Filed under: RURUTIA — solarblade @ 9:03 pm

Track Listing

  1. RESONANCE
  2. Invitation
  3. Shin’ai
  4. RESONANCE (acoustic ver)
  5. Invitation (acoustic ver)
  6. Shin’ai (Ballad ver)
  7. RESONANCE (instrumental)
  8. Invitation (instrumental)
  9. Shin’ai (instrumental)

1. RESONANCE

RURUTIA does great things in the time she’s been active as an artist and after “Behind the blue”, It seems she wanted to take a more aboveground sound and she takes a bigger risk with RESONANCE because it sounds like a normal J-pop ballad, but it’s good since she’s also not really using her whispery vocals (think “Seirios”).  It’s actully not that bad of song if not a little plain for her, but it fits her voice nicely.

2. Invitation

The next track also kind of sounds like new territory for RURUTIA, but barely because it’s more of a simpler ballad with mainly the typical instruments found in ballads.  I found this to be more forgettable than “RESONANCE” but whatever.

3. Shin’ai

I’m happy to know that Shin’ai sounds actually quite good despite not being a ballad really and more of a mid-tempo pop/rock track.  I kind of like the guitars used in the song as well as RURUTIA’s softer vocals as well.  There’s times in the song where I feel like the song makes for an amazing ending to a Drama or something.

4. RESONANCE (acoustic ver)

Take the drums out of the original and we essentially get the acoustic version of the song.  I’m not usually a fan of these bareboned versions of songs since it only takes the the beat that kept the song afloat.  RESONANCE does sound good however and has a more profound touch to it which makes me bite my tongue just a little bit.  Still sounds pretty basic, but pretty good.

5. Invitation (acoustic ver)

Really getting even more barebones with Invitation was probably a poor thing to do since it was already such a simple before.  It does sound a lot more like something RURUTIA would release in the past, but this song actually bores me quite a bit.

6. Shin’ai (Ballad ver)

I really did enjoy Shin’ai for being upbeat and having an interesting arrangement.  The ballad version of the song also has an nice arrangement going and RURUTIA’s whispery vocals make a return and they sound great and she builds up to the chorus which was jaw-dropping.  I don’t know what I prefer more between this or the original, but they’re both really good!

I don’t think RESONANCE does top “Behind the blue” really since half the songs were good and the other was kind of boring but she’s really starting to change her sound and I’m not sure if it’s a good step or not (Prolly isn’t for the RURUTIA fans/purists).  It’s an alright release…but I’m tired of these mini-albums already XD

 

GIRL NEXT DOOR – Destination

Filed under: GIRL NEXT DOOR — solarblade @ 8:32 am

Track Listing

  1. 3rd contact
  2. Freedom
  3. Yume no Katana
  4. Kaze no Capsule
  5. Aitai Yoru
  6. Winter breeze
  7. Wasuretai no Ni…
  8. Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny’s star~
  9. Impish music
  10. Ready to be a lady
  11. Hajimari
  12. Silent Scream
  13. Arigatou

Remix CD Tracklist

  1. MEGAMIX
  2. Seeds of dream (Blooming Remix)
  3. Be your wings (HI-NRG Attack Remix)
  4. Orion (Gold Remix)
  5. Winter Crystal (Euro Remix)
  6. Muboubi na Jun’ai (Eurogrooves Remix)
  7. Tri△ngle (Eurogrooves Remix)
  8. Koi no Mahou (HI-NRG Attack Remix)
  9. FRIENDSHIP (BE MY FRIEND Remix)
  10. sa・ku・ra (Cherry Remix)
  11. Sora e (HI-NRG Attack Remix)
  12. Jump (MORRIS CAPALDI VERSUS GND Remix)
  13. Infinity (EURODIMA Remix)

1. 3rd contact

Acting as the intro into the album, 3rd contact actually feels a whole lot different getting into the album since it’s heavy synths and lots of guitars.  After a while, the melody does switch over and you hear the ~heyeeee heyeeeeahhh oooohhh~ from “Freedom” take over and I was like oh that’s a cool way to start the album.

2. Freedom

Now if it could’ve transition into Freedom.  That was pretty herky-jerky and could’ve been handled WAY better IMO.  Being as the first A-side of the era, Freedom was such a great track from GND from the push and pull of the heavy beats to CHISA’s more controlled singing in the verses and then exploding in the chorus…ugh this song was one of my favorites of 2010.  I mean really, even the PV was just that awesome with the military-like atmosphere.

3. Yume no Katana

First new song off the album, Yume no Katana is easily one of their edgiest songs yet.  I love that it opens with an explosion and some guitars from Yuji.  What surprised me more than the heavy arrangement was the fact that CHISA’s vocals were deep again and that sounded great compared to her normal pitchy psuedo-yelling.  The arrangement might be loud for some people, but I actually really enjoyed it…one of my early favorites.

4. Kaze no Capsule

The lone B-side of the album makes an appearance and I seriously think it probably was a poor choice for me since this song sounds like a quicker-paced “Drive away” for some reason.  I don’t know why but after coming off the high of “Yume no Katana”, this feels quite underwhelming and so bland!!!

5. Aitai Yoru

I guess I could say the same for Aitai Yoru which is our next track, but the interludes of music is a lot more memorable and more guitar-based than that of “Kaze no Capsule’s”.  I’d actually go and slightly compare it to “Ready to be a lady” with it’s happier composition and stronger sound.  It sounds good but formulaic to GND (which isn’t new AT ALL).

6. Winter breeze

So of course we get another “Winter ____” song which is the fifth one if I remember correctly.  It does suit the song actually since it has a significant change of sound from “Aitai Yoru’s” more upbeat and summery feel.  Still feels strongly formulaic and feels like it should’ve been on “GIRL NEXT DOOR” rather than on their third outing.

7. Wasuretai no Ni…

As the album’s first ballad, Wasuretai no Ni… sounds quite innocent oddly enough and brings out an interesting tone change for CHISA who doesn’t sound too bad which is great.  Sadly, the verses were the best parts of the song since the chorus sounds just like any other GND track…talk about a pretty disappointing tune. 

8. Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny’s star~

Id’s say that the fact there was a ballad before this track was to give a smoother transition because Unmei no Shizuku does start off on a slow note and grandiose at that before turning into the speedy track it does become.  I have to say since the single’s release, I’ve seriously falling for this track harder than I did with “Freedom”.  I love the dramatic of the opening to the frantic and crazy ass arrangement of the rest of the song…it just feels so right and so good.  I must say I LOVE this song!!!!

9. Impish music

Acting as the album’s lone interlude, I was saddened to find that out when Impish music is prolly the heaviest song to utilize synths throughout because it carries the chaotic flurry of them from “Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny’s star~”.  The best part is when it seems to stop and then rewind back

10. Ready to be a lady

Likewise, I didn’t understand the transitioning from “Impish music” to Ready to be a lady but who cares since the era’s 2nd A-side and I still enjoy the song despite being a mixture of “Drive away” and “Seeds of dream”.  I love the peppy atmosphere (even though that’s kind of me being hypocritical to songs like “Aitai Yoru” and “Kaze no Capsule” but seriously those songs lacked something).  I mean this song has filters, an uber cute feel to it and well an exciting chorus and interlude.  It doesn’t surpass “Freedom” or “Unmei no Shizuku” but it’s a great A-side.

11. Hajimari

I guess we needed another song that’s similar to some of the more darker tracks the trio has done throughout their careers.  Actually it kind of reminds me of “Jump” from their last album so this comes off a little bit blah, but the song isn’t bad and CHISA does a pretty good job singing here.

12. Silent Scream

Oh yeah, the A-side that was held for release way too long.  As the final A-side of the era, Silent Scream still doesn’t grasp my attention like the other A-sides that were released (including “Hoshizora Keikaku”).  I mean it’s slow and fast and grows into mid-tempo, but Silent Scream otherwise just doesn’t do anything for me nor it’s very memorable.

13. Arigatou

Fitting that Arigatou would go and close up the album.  I love the fact that it’s not like any GND ballad yet since it’s mostly acoustic guitars, strings, and piano for the most part.  It’s sounds kind of like an uplifting kind of tune and it’s cute as well.  Sadly, it lacks an interesting focus and CHISA’s vocals keep going between good and not-so-good. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny’s star~
  • Freedom
  • Yume no Katana
  • Hajimari
  • Ready to be a lady

Song of Avoidance

  • Kaze no Capsule

Ahhhh, GND’s third album!  Destination isn’t bad as I thought it’d be, but I still much prefer “NEXT FUTURE” over this album by only slightly.  Some of the songs were lackluster (which isn’t new) with sameish arrangements and CHISA’s normality with her singing.  However, the singles for sure beat out the previous era’s set of A-sides and that was a surprise and mostly were the gems of the album.  Now I wonder if Daisuke will stay for a fourth album…since he left after his third album with day after tomorrow….so hmmmmmmmmmmm.

 

Kaya – QUEEN

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 5:28 am

Track Listing

  1. Arachne
  2. Nouvelle Mariee
  3. Awilda
  4. Ophelia
  5. Sorcière
  6. Rose Kingdom
  7. Sugar Rose (Type B only)
  8. Medusiana
  9. Last Snow piano ver.
  10. Addict
  11. Transmigration

1. Arachne

Starting the album off, Arachne actually sounds pretty damn good when it opens up with such an ethereal glow and the ad-libbing that’s going on.  It’s almost surreal to listen to the song in the beginning.  Once Kaya enters the ad-libbing stops and it’s left with timpanis, acoustic guitar, and an interesting sound that sounds unworldly to me.  I thought it was a pretty awesome opening track and with Kaya’s light vocals it really worked here.

2. Nouvelle Mariee

I do know that a lot of the album is going to be Kaya’s electro sound and starting with Nouvelle Mariee, it makes me kind of wonder who he’d work with on the album seeing as there’s many people he did work with.  I like Kaya’s vocals here since they’re more deeper and with a more gothic/electro feel it’s an interesting mix.  I do think the arrangement is a little more better than the vocals, but not by much.

3. Awilda

As the era’s 3rd A-side, Awilda has always caught my attention with such finesse between the electro beats and strings used in the song which made for a good and evil sounding tune.  I also think Kaya’s vocals totally took me by surprise because they were strong and just full of emotion.  There’s also times where I heard the Pirate theme being prevalent so that caught me too….such a great A-side ^_^

4. Ophelia

Then we get the A-side released before “Awilda” and it has similarities to said song but without the pirate twist thrown in.  To me it feels like what if “Arachne” was given an electro boost.  However, time has not done well for this song because amongst the other tracks, this feels almost disappointing…even though I really liked the song before it kind of died out after “Awilda” and “Madame Rosa no Shoukan” were released.

5. Sorcière

Oooo, another new song found!  This one amps up the grittyness after “Ophelia” quite well with a little more guitarwork and different set of synths.  It’s dark and creepy and Kaya’s vocals sound pretty much different than it is in other songs and that’s pretty cool.  However, it’s pretty short at 3 minutes straight, but it’s a great song. 

6. Rose Kingdom

Being the only B-side added on the album, Rose Kingdom (B-side from “Ophelia”) was probably the best choice to add from the other B-sides of the era.  It still does have similarities to “Ophelia” to be honest, but the biggest changes were the amount of filters were used on Kaya that made him sound like he was singing underwater.  It doesn’t stay as his voice comes out afterwards.  Beyond that, the marching drum line stands out as well.  It’s pretty cool and did a much better job standing out than it’s accompanying A-side.

7. Sugar Rose

Funny that Type-B’s edition contains an extra song in the form of Sugar Rose.  Also it’s bold because it was released in limited takes on his live tour.  I will say this actually stands out on the album being as there’s this repeated trumpet line and Kaya’s more feminine vocals take charge here.  I found it to be the kind of fun and happy song on here and while it does slightly break the darkness in half, Sugar Rose isn’t too bad, but his vocals here can be unfitting sometimes…

8. Medusiana

Returning to the dark side of Kaya’s music, Medusiana feels like a mix of “Ophelia” and “Rose Kingdom” with the gothic music and then Kaya’s vocals under filters again.  Then again it seems to be the sequal to “Rose Jail” because the parts where his vocals aren’t filtered are repeated a lot…that is until the song goes into this creepy waltz tone and things just become odd and add salt to the wound that it’s the shortest of the songs on the album.  After a while…the song really does feel like it’s “Rose Jail” pt. 2.

9. Last Snow piano ver.

Oddly enough, I found it surprising that he added Last Snow to the album since it’s been a long ass time since it was released.  It also got special treatment in that the original’s arranged form was stripped to just Kaya and piano.  I wasn’t too big of a fan of the original and the new version is slightly better by being more relaxed and calmer.  Kaya also isn’t stressing too much by being louder than the arrangement either so that’s a plus.  It’s good actually but not as good as various other songs.

10. Addict

Nothing like more darker electro songs on the album right?  The beats in the song also remind me of “Rose Jail” for some reason but whatever.  I kind of like the arrangement out of this song since it’s dark but it’s also great to dance and lose yourself with.  Kaya also does a good job vocally keeping up with the song and his deeper vocals really sends shivers down my spine sometimes.  Great track!

11. Transmigration

Closing out the album is oddly enough the song that promoted the album.  Unlike the other electro songs on the album, this one is more happier and light-hearted.  Sadly, I don’t think I was finding myself too interested in the song because it felt somewhat corny to listen to, but the synths here were just flying all over the board giving this traveling kind of feeling.  It’s good, but not as good as I thought it’d be.

Tracks Recommended

  • Awilda
  • Addict
  • Sugar Rose
  • Arachne
  • Rose Kingdom

Song of Avoidance

  • Ophelia

I actually can say that I loved Kaya’s 2nd album…or is it 3rd???  I don’t know but he put out a great album this time with QUEEN and I wasn’t really disappointed with any track…Ophelia still gets its listens despite being the “worst” of the album.  I think he stepped his game up and did well on the songs and working with different producers worked as well!! GO KAYA!!!

 

Aki Misato – Spread Wings

Filed under: Aki Misato — solarblade @ 4:00 am

Track Listing

  1. Spread Wings
  2. PARANoiA
  3. Spread Wings (Off Vocal)
  4. PARANoiA (Off Vocal)

1. Spread Wings

I’m not surprised that Aki would pull off another “Saigo no Eden” basically with Spread Wings.  It’s not actually a bad track since it’s all animu and all that with the synth rock arrangement and good vocals coming from Aki.  I kind of enjoyed it since the vocals are better than they were back in “Saigo no Tabi”, however that was a ballad and this is a mid-tempo track so it might not be fair.  Still, good song overall.

2. PARANoiA

As for the B-side, it’s a bit lighter and sounds like an ending theme to me with the breezier feel and acoustic take as well.  If it was me, this sounds like something that’d be found in the “from now on” era since it has that kind of happier feel.  I found it to be more unimpressive and boring after a while and although her vocals are sweet and simple, it didn’t save the track.

I know I haven’t reviewed “My Honesty” yet since it hasn’t leaked but this is actually the first single of the new era being as this was released a week after the album.  Spread Wings was actually not that bad of a song but it’s playing off a few songs from the last era, but it’s not bland to me.  It isn’t the same with PARANoiA since it was oddly light and upbeat and kind of lacking in the arrangement…ehhhh.