Kurayami Monogatari

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Ayaka Hirahara – Ohisama ~ Taisetsu na Anata e June 30, 2011

Filed under: Ayaka Hirahara — solarblade @ 1:37 am

Track Listing

  1. Ohisama ~ Taisetsu na Anata e
  2. Vocalise
  3. Ohisama ~ Taisetsu na Anata e (Vocal-less Track)

1. Ohisama ~ Taisetsu na Anata e

After the three melody cover eras, it’s nice to see that Ayaka is returning to original music and with Ohisama, she might not have struck gold, but it’s a great song after all this time.  I like the addition of the acoustic guitar though and it gives it a pretty touch with the piano, bass, and strings.  Might not be the best ballad she has but it’s still good.

2. Vocalise

The B-side Vocalise starts with Ayaka doing some ad-libbing with a harp acting as a back-up.  Then all of a sudden I instantly notice the melody of Ayaka’s ab-libs and it’s just her doing her thing to the melody of “Ohisama”.  I do think it’s pretty since it’s quieter and comes off as a lullaby to me, but c’mon really?  I would’ve liked a true B-side and not just Ayaka going ~whoooooo~ for 3 and a half minutes.

 

 

Ayaka’s first entry in a new era is an OK start but nothing to really get excited over.  Ohisama kind of reminds me of “Kodoku no Mukou” in that it’s one of the more quieter songs she released but in a way, this seems better.  I didn’t think Vocalise was much better since it was just ad-libbing the A-side when we had the instrumental to do that on….ehhhh next single plz.

 

Juliet – Motokare

Filed under: Juliet — solarblade @ 1:16 am

Track Listing

  1. Motokare
  2. Love Game
  3. Motokare (Instrumental)

1. Motokare

Moving out of the season-titled singles, Motokare might be one of the few A-sides that grab my attention and this is an R&B styled song from the trio.  I must say that the members sound really pretty in this song and even when they’re doing solo lines, it’s pretty good.  I mean it’s nothing jaw-dropping, but I actually think this is one of the more better A-sides they’ve released since their debut.

2. Love Game

Seems a lot of people enjoy putting the words together here recently.  However, most of the ones with the similar titles didn’t sound like Juliet’s which is more upbeat and fitting for the season of beaches and happy-go-lucky fun.  I must say I leaned toward this a bit more since it’s not like previous efforts. 

 

 

Juliet’s 4th single in the era is luckily a step up after the last couple of singles and that’s because both tracks are simply catchy and vocally impressive songs.  While Motokare is kind of a bit more like previous songs, there’s just something about it that caught my attention.  I will say for summer songs so far this year, Love Game has impressed me the most.  There’s just something so lighthearted and feelgood about it that pulled me into it.  When’s the next album…seems like there’s a 5th single in the works.

 

Morning Musume, teh members!: Generation 6: Teh Rokkies!!! June 29, 2011

Filed under: ~Morning Musume Special~ — solarblade @ 6:41 am

After losing Gocchin and Kemeko (the latter JUST one single before) it was time to bring in new blood and it seemed once again we got four new members.  Well, sort of.  Three were actually brand new members: Sayumi, Reina, and Eri while Miki was in training and working up a solo career at the time yet she got lifted to being a Momosu member (even though she was a solo artist).  Even more interesting is that unlike all of the previous generations, the Rokkies’ first single, “Shabondama” featured Miki and Reina at the forefront of the single which was new!

Miki Fujimoto

  • Tenure: Shabondama ——-> Kanashimi Twilight (15 Singles + 3 Albums + Kanashimi Twilight on “Platinum 9 DISC”)
  • Signature Song in Momosu: Samui Kara Fuyu da mon! ~Doumokou mo Naissu yo Mikitty~ (song from 7.5 Fuyu Fuyu Morning Musume Mini!)
  • Solo Career?: Yep, even before turning into a Momosu member and that stands out to me more than any other member of Morning Musume.
  • Sub-Groups: Gomattou, Odoru♡11, 11WATER, Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto, Sexy Otonajan, GAM and was in the special groups MM Otomegumi and Dream Morning Musume
  • Overall opinion: I seriously think that Mikitty is one of Momosu best and strongest singers.

I think we can figure why Miki was so bitchy joining Morning Musume.  I mean did she really want to go from a pretty good solo career into a group setting.  I wouldn’t be too pleased about it either in my opinion.  Anyways, Miki to me was always one of the strongest singers of all the members of Momosu and that’s saying something.  There were songs that really impressed me vocally like Shabondama, Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~, and even Kanashimi Twilight.  Given, those songs were for the vocally epic so it was no guess that she would kick so much ass.  Yeah she did leave without a graduation due to scandals happening, but I seriously think she wanted to leave in some way.  Still, she’s my favorite out of this generation and it sucks she had to leave early.  Would’ve made later song sound….less boggy….

Eri Kamei

  • Tenure: Shabondama ———> Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game (26 Singles + 6 Albums)
  • Signature Song in Momosu: Kataomoi no Owari ni (album song from “Platinum 9 DISC”)
  • Solo Career?: Well she did do cover songs in H!P land…but I wouldn’t say solo career in original songs though.
  • Sub-Groups: Tanpopo#
  • Overall opinion: In personality, it couldn’t get any better than Kame.  She always managed to make me laugh when the spotlight was on her and while she isn’t vocally as great as other members she found a nice niche for herself!

It’s really weird when there’s a member that just gets to you in a great way and that’s what Eri did for me.  After her ~refreeegeter~ episode, she’s always made me laugh at the things she does on the various shows she was on.  In the group, she was pretty much not too important in lines until Iroppoi Jirettai where she and Koharu shared the opening lines.  Since that single she’s appeared more and more on singles like Nanchatte Renai and Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game.  I am a little saddened that she left because of health issues but I hope she gets better and returns because I miss her a lot (the most out of the triple graduation).

Sayumi Michishige

  • Tenure: Shabondama ——–> TIKI BUN / Shabadabadoo~ / Mikaeri Bijin (39 Singles + 9Albums)
  • Signature Song in Momosu: It’s You (album track from “Platinum 9 DISC”), Fantasy ga Hajimaru (album track from “Fantasy! Juuichi”), and Lalala no Pipipi (album track from “13 Colorful Character”)
  • Solo Career?: Nope
  • Sub-Groups: Ecomoni and Zoku v-u-den and did MM Otomegumi and Mobekimasu
  • Overall opinion: She’s really adorable and after the twins and Rika-chan graduated she took up the sickingly cute spot quite quickly.

Sayu has always been a strange member for me.  When she first started I thought she was an attention hogger and she still does today but it’s not like enough to make me hate her anymore.  Like Konkon though, she’s a pretty crappy singer and her dancing is OK.  She does have moments where she fits in the music like Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago and various moans here and there, but once Tsunku found the auto-tune he’s been slamming her with it in recent times like in Fantasy ga Hajimaru.  She still is quite cute and now with her becoming the sub-leader, I just can’t imagine how she’ll do once Risa leaves.  Luckily, her leadership has suddenly brought Momosu up from the ashes with new life and popularity…it’s so amazing to see, though it was time for her to leave the coop and let the newer members take charge.

Reina Tanaka

  • Tenure: Shabondama ———-> Brainstorming / Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai (35 Singles + 8 Albums)
  • Signature Song in Momosu: Kira Kira Fuyu no Shiny G (song from “7.5 Fuyu Fuyu Morning Musume Mini!”), Heya to Y Shirts to Watashi (song from the Champloo album), Ai no Honoo (album song from “Fantasy! Juuichi”), Namida Hitoshizuku (album song from “13 Colorful Character”), and Rock no Teigi (B-side from Brainstorming / Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai)
  • Solo Career?: Like the other current H!P members, just only cover songs right now.
  • Sub-Groups: Aa!, Elegies, High-King, and Reborn Eleven and participated in MM Otomegumi and Mobekimasu
  • Overall opinion: As Reina is aptly called the perfect Momosu girl, I really dislike that name Tsunku gave her.  She’s not that great and kind of is getting tiresome like Takitty.

I’m going to be straightforward, when Reina opened up the Gen’s debut song, Shabondama, I was impressed by her almost by a longshot because she had edge to her.  Then she kind of backed off to the back for a while to let more of the powerhouse singers lead up until Iroppoi Jirettai where she did start to take more of a major role in lyrics.  Since then she’s kind of been off and on with how well she sings the songs since she can be nasally or she can sing it right.  I’m a little unsure what to feel, but I feel that her time to leave is near and I really don’t want her taking Ai’s already big enough percentage head-on!  Even though it did come to fruition Reina did get better vocally and now she’s graduating to a new band ^_^!  Can’t wait to hear how that turns out.

NEXT TIME THE 7TH and 8TH GENS….UBER CUTE, WTF DEBUT, AND PANDAS!!!!!

 

KARA – GO GO Summer!

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 4:55 am

Track Listing

  1. GO GO Summer!
  2. Girls Be Ambitious!
  3. GO GO Summer! (Instrumental)
  4. Girls Be Ambitious! (Instrumental)
  5. TO ME (CD only first press bonus track)

1. GO GO Summer!

Bah, gotta love when K-pop groups can do summer songs in their style and GO GO Summer! is actually quite awesome.  At first I was thinking it was going to be like their last single, but once the beats and synths entered the fray, I was floored because it’s so catchy and has a lot of energy.  Might not have the memorable lines like previous songs like “Jumping”, but this is close for me.  I enjoyed it and a lot better than the last A-side.

2. Girls Be Ambitious!

I really don’t know what’s so big with this phrase since I’ve seen other artists use this as a title.  Anyways, the B-side of the single isn’t as electro like “GO GO Summer!” but it feels like more idol-like with the happier atmosphere.  I get that they are idols, but I don’t I like songs from them that are like the A-side rather than this one.  It isn’t bad persay, just kind of uncharacteristic of them.

3. TO ME

Kind of like their other singles where the CD only has an extra song, this time we get an actual new track from KARA with TO ME.  However after listening to this for a while, it turns out TO ME is a new Korean song from the group and that surprised me since I was thinking they wouldn’t do that.  I will say the song does have the K-pop flair that has made them pretty catchy so far and the beat is nice and heavy.  As short as it is…it’s a good song.

 

 

 

I’m happy that GO GO Summer! is all in all much better of a presentation than their last single, “Jet Coaster Love”, but not by much since the B-side was a little weird for me and the new Korean track was a strange but good surprise.  KARA and K-pop go hand in hand and they should keep that side of them going and not switch into J-pop mode with the arrangements.  However, it’s making them quite popular so it just me being lame or something XD

 

miwa – 441 June 28, 2011

Filed under: miwa — solarblade @ 6:47 pm

Track Listing

  1. 441
  2. Chasing hearts
  3. Haru ni Nattara <acoustic version>
  4. 441 ~instrumental~

1. 441

To me, 441 sounds refreshing but I’m not sure why because it’s really only miwa, her acoustic guitar, piano, strings, and percussion present in the song.  It’s kind of catchy since it’s so upbeat and such but it has this sadness behind it…but I don’t know what the translation for the song really is.  It’s pretty good…but why does it feel like I should be saying otherwise…?  I don’t think it’s close to previous songs…?

2. Chasing hearts

Odd that the most important track turned out to be the B-side of the single.  Chasing hearts does a much better job at leaving an impression because the tune sounds so free and breezy like “Haru ni Nattara” was but done better IMO.  I actually loved miwa’s vocals and the upbeat and free arrangement was just right…Poor decision to make this a B-side (But, since it’s tied to FMA, I bet this’ll be on her next album.

3. Haru ni Nattara <acoustic version>

Instead of the pop/rock arrangement of the original, Haru ni Nattara gets stripped down but not enough to make it boring.  There’s still some interesting things like strings and bongos heard in the song and of course miwa having a bigger effect with her vocals and her playing.  It’s a pretty good track and I must say I’d like more of these in the future.

 

 

As miwa’s first entry in her sophomore era, 441 is a pretty good single, but might be slightly dragged because of the A-side because it kind of makes me think this was a cut song from “guitarissimo”.  Chasing hearts and the acoustic take on Haru ni Nattara were pretty awesome though and knowing the big tie-in for the former, that’ll be something I for sure want to see on her next album!

 

alan – Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR’s~/”Ikiru”

Filed under: alan — solarblade @ 6:24 pm

Track Listing

  1. Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR’s~
  2. “Ikiru”
  3. Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR’s~ (Instrumental)
  4. “Ikiru” (Instrumental)

1. Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR’s~

With a title like that above, it really makes you wonder if alan was really trying to shock people with such an uber cute title.  I was happily surprised that Minna de ne isn’t sugary cute like the title would suggest and this is one of the more interesting songs she has to date.  You can hear the Chinese Elements like the flutes and alan’s unique vocal properties.  It does turn from a ballad into a light pop track which is also a plus.  And I swear, alan is sometimes trying to vocalize herself as an erhu and I was impressed that a few times I heard that fully!

2. “Ikiru”

As the secondary A-side, I was wondering what “Ikiru” would be like and it sounds like more of a ballad than “Minna de ne” did in the beginning.  I love alan’s vocals in the song and it gives off this fairytale-like atmosphere which is cute and pretty at the same time.  I do prefer the previous song, but this isn’t half bad either.

 

 

After alan’s first best-of album was released, I was wondering what direction she would take and it seems she’s going to continue the way she’s been since “Kaze ni Mukau Hana” in the way she’s doing songs with Chinese elements.  Minna de ne/”Ikiru” isn’t a bad single at all and if she keeps it up her next album will sound really good….I hope.

 

Mano Erina – My Days for You

Filed under: Mano Erina — solarblade @ 5:57 pm

Track Listing

  1. My Days for You
  2. 10 Carat no Kirameki.
  3. My Days for You (Instrumental)

1. My Days for You

Weird to see that Manoeri actually going back to something light and more focused with piano for an A-side.  It kind of sounds a bit cheesy but in a typical H!P way with how she’s handling the song itself.  To me it harkens back to the days of her debut era where it was pretty much simple songs and nothing random like synths in her last few singles.  It’s alright, but she sounds bored in the song…it could just be me…but still, put some effort in next time!

2. 10 Carat no Kirameki.

Manoeri’s B-sides of recent have been oddballs for me, but I really liked that she took this song and gave it a slight acoustic twist to it and she actually sounds much stronger than in “My Days for You”.  The thing of it though is that it does have a B-side feel, but it’s a bit memorable at the same time.  Ahhhh…..confusing right?

I’m gonna say that this single is pretty bad when compared to her last single, “Seishun no Serenade” in the way that neither track really did stand out from the crowd.  My Days for You does have a little bit of the past written in, but I was tired of that past quickly when she released her first album.  10 Carat no Kirameki. is something new for Manoeri, but something is holding it back from being a great track.  Ehhhh…

 

Kana Nishino – Thank you, Love June 27, 2011

Filed under: Kana Nishino — solarblade @ 4:54 am

Track Listing

  1. *Prologue* ~Sunrise~
  2. Esperanza
  3. Clap Clap!!
  4. Together
  5. Distance
  6. I’ll be there
  7. Flower
  8. Every Boy Every Girl
  9. Where are you?
  10. if
  11. Alright
  12. Kimitte
  13. Wishing
  14. *Epilogue* ~Thank you, Love~

1. *Prologue* ~Sunrise~

Like her other albums, Kana begins the album with an introduction and like it says, it feels like a song you can wake up to because it has a light beachy feel with acoustic guitars and light maracas.  I do like that Kana sings amongst the arrangement and she sounds beautiful to listen to.  I kind of enjoyed this intro more than previous ones tbh.

2. Esperanza

Makes sense that she’d put her last A-side in the era up after the intro simply because this tune has more of a tropical feel and stands out in her discography since it is her first dabble in such a style.  I still think it fits more with Yuna Ito, but it’s a fine start for her since it’s fun and kind of cute to listen to every once in a while. 

3. Clap Clap!!

I’m already sensing this album is going to be like her last album in the way that it’s summery, especially with this song at the forefront.  I’m surprised that it’s all beach-warming fun time with the song but it’s hard to keep a straight face when it’s all ~crap crap~ for the chorus.  I just can’t help but snicker at this.  Otherwise, it’s a pretty solid song and continues to show Kana’s lighter and fun side.

4. Together

I mean Kana doesn’t really go off and do cute songs THAT much, but with Together, you might as well get a lollipop and a soda for this one.  I’m kind of surprised that she pulled more of an acoustic track off after the previous two songs, but I think this is a more reserved and better style for her.  However, I can’t shake off the feeling that this is kind of too Disney for her lol.

5. Distance

Of the singles released, I must say I have a fond admiration for Distance.  After the previous two A-sides, I was ready for something that had energy and something to remember it by and I loved how this song moved throught the verses and chorus.  It was pretty magical and Kana’s vocal performance was pretty sharp and fun to listen to.  Favorite A-side for sure!

6. I’ll be there

I’m quite shocked that of the B-sides she’s had in the entire era, she chose a crappy one to put on the album.  Then again it does signal a change of moods since this is the first ballad on the album.  Instead of the synth-pop of the last track, I’ll be there carries a piano, some strings, and beats to fill it up.  On the single it was kind of crappy, but on here it feels a bit more natural and kind of sounds better lol.  It still was a poor choice, but at least it wasn’t an uber poopy song like “GIRLS GIRLS”.

7. Flower

Carrying it further down to a REAL ballad, Flower only really has piano and Kana (mixed with background singers).  I do like that she toned things down and while the R&B elements made me frown a bit, she sounds pretty singing along the song.  Of course by going by the lyrics, it seems to be a summer ballad and that also works for me as well.  Pretty song and stands out better than the other ballads of the era.

8. Every Boy Every Girl

After the two slow songs, we needed to get ourselves back into something quite awesome and I LOVE EVERY BOY EVERY GIRL!!!!  There’s just something about a mix of electro-rock and Kana’s attitude that always make sense and sound pretty tight.  It’s not straightforward like “WRONG” was, but it’s kind of like “ONLY ONE” off the “Esperanza” single but done better and sounds so much more memorable.

9. Where are you?

Then again, Where are you? reminds me of a more synth-based “WRONG” but I don’t mind this because Kana sounds pretty good and the song moves at a good pace.  After a while I do kind of feel bored for some reason, but I think it’s because I prefer “Distance” as the synthy pop song more.

10. if

Of the A-sides, I also found myself enjoying If since it’s not like her other R&B songs she has out there and it sounds pretty soothing and quite strong for Kana’s vocals.  I still don’t understand the NARUTO tie-in very well, but I guess it’s fitting???  It’s different for Kana and I liked this song because of that.

11. Alright

Hey!  Let’s give “if” a heavier beat and throw it right after it as well!  Seriously, if the beats and extra synths would disappear, it would slightly sound like the previous song but on the flipside of the coin it’s also kind of like “Distance”.  I like the positive message Kana is singing about, but the arrangement kind of just doesn’t feel new and kind of stale after the previous songs. 

12. Kimitte

As my least favorite of the A-sides Kimitte felt like something that should’ve been on “to LOVE” or something.  It has the usual R&B + strings and piano arrangement that a lot of Kana’s previous singles have had.  The good thing is that there isn’t a whole lot of ballads on this album so it kind of stands out a bit.  I still don’t really think it’s amazing, but better than the last song XD

13. Wishing

Another ballad after “Kimitte”?  It’s also kind of like it too?  Yeah, not a big fan of the similarities between the two tracks really.  I do think Kana does a better job at giving a strong vocal performance and the chorus is pretty epic as well.  I must say that I like this song quite a bit more than the last track and this wasn’t even an A-side.

14. *Epilogue* ~Thank you, Love~

Finally we get the outroduction and it’s a pretty sappy outro with Kana (or someone else, I don’t know) but she is saying thank you for different things with a kind of fairytale-like atmosphere.  I don’t get the need for addition of dance beats in the later half of the song.  Altogether it’s a nice outro and a pleasant track like the introduction.

Tracks Recommended

  • Every Boy Every Girl
  • Distance
  • Flower
  • if
  • Clap Clap!!

Song of Avoidance

  • Alright

Kana’s 3rd album definitely felt a bit like her last album, “to LOVE” in the way that it was also pushed out as a Summer album.  That being said she did put more focus to the synths in her songs and while I like that and all…she kind of got bland (especially in the later songs).  I’m not sure if this album ranks higher than her last, but I’ll say there weren’t any songs that came off like “Aitakute Aitakute” and “WRONG”.

 

AAA – No cry No more June 26, 2011

Filed under: AAA — solarblade @ 5:40 am

Track Listing

  1. No cry No more
  2. ID
  3. SUNSHINE (2011 Ver.) (CD only)
  4. No cry No more (Instrumental)
  5. ID (Instrumental)

1. No cry No more

Oh?  AAA is still hanging with Tetsuya Komuro?  Ugh, I am really starting to dislike him meddling with AAA because now he seems to be running around with the same arrangements.  With No cry No more my first thoughts were… *Why does this sound exactly like “Makenai Kokoro”?*  Seriously, the way Misako opens the song up sounds like the chorus of their older track.  About that…Misako doesn’t sound great opening the song and it shows.  Either way, this song does not impress me one but even if Nissy and Urata sound good.  This is just throwaway.

2. ID

I really didn’t like the A-side of course so I was hoping ID would fix things up and it actually did since I prefer this A WHOLE LOT MORE than “No cry No more”.  This is kind of feeling totally different than previous Komuro works and the group sounds great together and I was happy to hear Shuta and Shinji singing as well and they sound good in their own tones.  Ok, why wasn’t this the A-side?!?

3. SUNSHINE (2011 Ver.)

I’m surprised there’s a new version of SUNSHINE on this single.  If you remember it was the leading song off of the summer-themed single, “Natsumono”.  Not much has REALLY changed in this new version, but there’s a different ending and some parts have slightly grown longer and I’m sure that they resang the song.  It’s still one of those peppy summer songs like “Kirei na Sora”.  It’s fun has energy and gives off such an exciting mood that you can’t help but enjoy it.  New version or not SUNSHINE has always been a great song from them.

 

 

With one more single before the best-of is released, I must say No cry No more sucks and just the song by the way.  Komuro really went lazy for this A-side and it shows since majority of their fans pretty thinks it sucks.  ID is better since it’s a bit more refreshing to the ears and doesn’t have that dated Komuro feel tbh.  I don’t see the reason for a new version of SUNSHINE but whatever it’s summer so I guess that was the excuse they went with and I didn’t mind since the song is still pretty good.  I hope the next A-side trumps this one by a MILE!

 

Miliyah Kato – DESIRE/BABY!BABY!BABY!

Filed under: Miliyah Kato — solarblade @ 5:03 am

Track Listing

  1. DESIRE
  2. BABY!BABY!BABY!
  3. Ain’t no other
  4. DESIRE (Instrumental)

1. DESIRE

Gotta say, I like Miliyah’s ballads and all, but her upbeat stuff is so much better in my opinion because with songs like DESIRE, she knows how to work that well.  I love the deep synths used here and the kind of edgy feel the tune has mixed with Miliyah’s vocals since they’re sultry and it’s just that hot.  I’m not sure if it beats “BYE BYE” but it’s pretty catchy and fun to listen to.  Then again…almost 7 minutes long, yeah I’m shocked too.

2. BABY!BABY!BABY!

I’m not sure how to really explain the other A-side to be honest.  It starts slow that might’ve been kind of cool to listen because it’s funky but then this male vocal yells and the song speeds up quiet a bit into…even I’m not sure.  BABY!BABY!BABY! feels pretty rushed of a song and it kind of doesn’t connect to me as good as “DESIRE” did…I hope this isn’t on any album because I just don’t like this song right now.

3. Ain’t no other

As the single’s lone B-side, this is more of the Miliyah we’ve known to enjoy.  No, it’s not a ballad but it’s still R&B and it sounds kind of cool simply because the beats of the song are pumpin blood into the song and I’m loving it.  It might be just “Ring” fodder, but this has got some attitude to it and I enjoyed it.

 

 

I mean after the trainwreck of “Yuushatachi”, I thought DESIRE/BABY!BABY!BABY! was a good step back up into interests.  I love DESIRE since it’s a synth heavy track that’s catchy and has good vocals.  Ain’t no other is the same but switch the synths for more of an R&B style and you got the same.  BABY!BABY!BABY! though is just a messy ass song and I question why it’s even an A-side when the B-side and some of the songs from her previous single sounded so much cleaner.