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.

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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…