Kurayami Monogatari

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ALI PROJECT – QUEENDOM June 1, 2011

Filed under: ALI PROJECT — solarblade @ 6:29 pm

Track Listing

  1. Troubadour
  2. Kishi Otome
  3. Ranse Eroica
  4. Takarajima
  5. Naki Oujo no Tame no…
  6. Datengoku Sensen
  7. Yuki no Onna
  8. Katana to Saya
  9. Ude kaina
  10. Hell’s Maria
  11. Haizakura
  12. Ranse Eroica (Strings Ver.)

1. Troubadour

Opening the album up, I felt like I was getting into a Strings album by ALIPRO with how dramatic the strings opened up the song.  Of course this isn’t the case but it’s kind of interesting that this song sounds like it would fit there if it wasn’t for the synths and percussion used here.  I will say that I loved Arika’s vocals in this song since it fits this sort of track.  Might not be as strong as some of the singles, but this is a pretty nice track to open the album.

2. Kishi Otome

I’m not really surprised that the album doesn’t have a lot of new songs on it (only 4 new songs).  Kishi Otome definitely switched things around by having more focus on the guitars over the synths and I like the change since it has power.  Sadly, it feels a little robotic in places the song and with the weird tempo the rhythm is at, it creates an uncomfortable kind of feel.  I don’t think I really enjoyed this tune very much.

3. Ranse Eroica

So I’m assuming this would be the 2nd A-side released for the era.  I loved this song when it was released because it was like a mix of their classic goth style mixed in with some electronic influences and a tad bit of an animu sound too.  The thing was the rubberband vocals from Arika since they kept swerving up and down notes like waves.  It’s still one of the better A-sides of the era.

4. Takarajima

It’s awesome that the B-side from “Datengoku Sensen” makes an appearance on the album and is still one of the best tracks off of QUEENDOM as well.  I love the mysterious glow with the chanting and and kind of Egyptian vibe.  Mix in the light vocals from Arika and the filtered chorus and you get a pretty eventful kind of song.  I still love the ascending harp part that comes in after the chorus too….it’s just a majestic piece and one of ALIPRO’s best songs.

5. Naki Oujo no Tame no…

So here we are at another new track on the album and while “Takarajima” does musically sound creepy and stuff, Naki Oujo no Tame no… sounds creepy in another light.  As this is another ballad from the duo, I’m not sure what to think of this song because it’s slow…but it has a strange arrangement especially with that solo with the keyboard…it’s definitely one of their more experimental songs and I kind of ended up liking the whole abstract side of it. 

6. Datengoku Sensen

As the first A-side released for the era, Datengoku Sensen is still pretty awesome especially starting with a jazzy atmosphere before entering their goth/dance mix.  Nowadays, it does remind me a little much of “Ranse Eroica” because they’re pretty similar in styles and such which is bad.  I will say this does stand out a little more since Arika’s vocals are a bit more stronger and nice when compared.  Definitely my favorite of the A-sides.

7. Yuki no Onna

So our last new track comes in the form of Yuki no Onna.  To me it sounds like a darker “Naki Oujo no Tame no…” for some reason, but it’s most likely from Arika’s stretched out vocals and slow tempo.  I don’t feel like it does anything for me and just is pretty forgettable.  At least the synths are pretty good???  Ehhhh….

8. Katana to Saya

Unlike “Ranse Eroica” and “Datengoku Sensen”, this A-side wasn’t really that strong to be honest.  Then again, this song is lighter than those two songs and not as vibrant and fast-paced.  I don’t know why but besides Arika’s pretty good performance, this song feels empty and comes off as a little tiring after a while.

9. Ude kaina

As the B-side from “Ranse Eroica”, Ude kaina has always been the more quieter yet stronger song because of the more epic orchestral feel it has and I loved every second of this song for some reason.  On the album, it feels a little odd hearing it after “Katana to Saya” but this song is still just as good as I remembered it. 

10. Hell’s Maria

I like how this is probably one of the more random additions to the album.  If you don’t remember, this song is the B-side from “Senritsu no Kodomotachi”.  It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to this last and to be honest, being on QUEENDOM is a little weird since it doesn’t sound like it’d fit because of the odd arrangement with strings.  It’s still an alright song, but nothing I’d love to death here.

11. Haizakura

Yup, the B-side from “Katana to Saya” makes another appearance as well.  I like the fact that they chose Haizakura to sort of bridge from the last track to the final song on the album since it needs to move more along the lines of stringswork.  It’s not really that groundbreaking compared to the other B-sides of the album, but it’s a pleasant listen and Arika sounds really nice singing over the flurry of strings. 

12. Ranse Eroica (Strings Ver.)

See what I meant when I said “Haizakura” made a nice bridge to our final song?  Of course this is an orchestral version of Ranse Eroica and I’m surprised they made this song even more epic because it sounds really good and of course Arika resung this as well giving it a complete feel.  It’s pretty damn good of an edit and it sounds AMAZING!

Tracks Recommended

  • Takarajima
  • Naki Oujo no Tame no…
  • Troubadour
  • Ranse Eroica (Strings Ver.)
  • Datengoku Sensen

Song of Avoidance

  • Kishi Otome

I’m pretty happy with QUEENDOM since it brought a lot of the good songs ALIPRO did in the era.  Oddly enough there’s only a couple of songs that bored me, but the energy level was brought a bit afterwards.  Nothing bad and Arika still sounds amazing.  Good job!

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JUJU – Mata Ashita…

Filed under: JUJU — solarblade @ 3:08 am

Track Listing

  1. Mata Ashita…
  2. Love again
  3. You’ve Got A Friend
  4. Mata Ashita… (Instrumental)

1. Mata Ashita…

After that awesomeness with “Sayonara no Kawari ni”, it’s a bit disappointing that Mata Ashita… is a ballad and not really a memorable one for that matter.  Of course since this is a JUJU track, it’s pretty clear what we’re dealing with from pretty vocals to a unimpressive arrangement…it’s a bit meh…but I guess the song’s dramatics kept it afloat. 

2. Love again

Likewise, Love again is your run of the mill R&B track from her and simply put…if you enjoyed her stuff in this kind of mid-tempo feel then you’ll really enjoy this.  Otherwise, it’s a bit forgettable like “Mata Ashita…” but with some English lyrics lol. 

3. You’ve Got A Friend

No, this is not a cover of that silly Toy Story song sung by…well that odd dude.  No it’s actually a cover of a Carole King song that was first heard back in 1971.  Out of the songs on the single, this feels like the most laidback and relaxed as well.  It’s a nice cover since JUJU’s vocals sound really sweet and soft against a rather oldies-like arrangement. 

 

 

Is it me or does it feel this single was a little rushed being released pretty quickly after “Sayonara no Kawari ni/Negai”?  It’s not as strong and none of the songs really made an impact like the previous single either.  I guess the good thing was the cover track but otherwise…forgettable.

 

YUI – HELLO ~Paradise Kiss~

Filed under: YUI — solarblade @ 2:43 am

Track Listing

  1. HELLO ~Paradise Kiss~
  2. YOU
  3. It’s My Life ~YUI Acoustic Version~
  4. HELLO ~Instrumental~

1. HELLO ~Paradise Kiss~

It seems that YUI has really lightened up after the serious factors of the last era.  HELLO isn’t as jaw-droppingly cute like her last A-side released, but it’s still an interesting song nonetheless.  It’s kind of simple of a song really, but the thing that kind of just made me slightly tilt my head was how off YUI’s vocals sounded here….like she was struggling with the song for some reason.  It’s alright, but something about this song sounds rather not pleasant.

2. YOU

As the single’s B-side, YOU is a nice switch from the happier and upbeat A-side to the more serious and forlorning song.  I find it so much better to hear YUI’s vocals here since they don’t sound like she’s in pain trying to sing here.  The fact that there’s strings, piano, and of course acoustic guitar is nice as well.  So much better than the A-side for sure.

3. It’s My Life ~YUI Acoustic Version~

So to keep the single afloat, It’s My Life of course gets the acoustic version and well it’s at least not as random as its original counterpart.  I love the lighter vibes in this version and YUI sounds quite good singing the song in a more comfortable atmosphere. 

 

 

YUI’s third single for the era was I guess alright, but slightly better than her last single at least.  HELLO was pretty bad on her vocals and it really showed quite a bit despite having a fun arrangement backing it up.  YOU was a lot better and goes back to the previous era with such serious stuff and the acoustic take on It’s My Life wasn’t bad really…ehhhhh im ok with the single I guess.