Kurayami Monogatari

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So yeah where have I been?!? July 31, 2011

Filed under: ~Announcements~ — solarblade @ 3:31 am

Yeah I took a vacation which is why I took a week break so posts will happen but slowly as im also dealing with strep throat…so keep watchin!

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Namie Amuro – NAKED/Fight Together/Tempest July 23, 2011

Filed under: Namie Amuro — solarblade @ 11:51 am

Track Listing

  1. NAKED
  2. Fight Together
  3. Tempest
  4. NAKED (Extended Instrumental)
  5. Fight Together (Instrumental)
  6. Tempest (Instrumental)

1. NAKED

I can already tell that Shinichi Osawa had something to this because the opening melody sounds relatively similar to his friggin work on Angelababy’s “Beauty Survivor”.  I will say that Namie has been continuing kicking ass with her main A-sides (“Break It” has become another of my favorites once I started to listen to it again).  Anyway, this song has attitude and is very catchy once you get past the directions of the song…even the dance break in the middle can be a little odd at times. 

2. Fight Together

Our next track really did come as a surprise and wasn’t even because it was the first known track off the single either.  It’s the pure fact that it’s tie-in was to One Piece! (wait, that anime is still going?!?).  Namie is no stranger to anime themes (“Come” is the first thing that comes to mind).  Fight Together sounds actually pretty good for some reason since it’s also another dance number and has random parts as well…like the brassy bridge.  I actually like this the best out of the three songs…not sure why, but Namie sounds really good and it does sound like a song played on the seas so it’s fitting for sure!

3. Tempest

I wasn’t surprised to find out that the 3rd A-side of the single was going to be a ballad but after two dance tracks, it’s nice to get something soft and something to show off Namie’s vocals in a better light.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard something quite grand and dramatic from Namie in a long time and Tempest definitely overpowers “Get Myself Back” by tenfold.  Must say, I’m impressed!

 

 

 

There is also an extended instrumental of NAKED on the single as well which is for Shinichi fans!  Anyways, Namie really picked up with this single.  I love all three songs that she put out and showed off multiple sides of her musicality.  The epic dancing queen with NAKED, the more fun-loving freebird with Fight Together and ballads with Tempest.  It couldn’t get any better than this single.  *RECOMMENDED*

 

Natsuko Aso – Eureka Baby

Filed under: Natsuko Aso — solarblade @ 11:50 am

Track Listing

  1. Eureka Baby
  2. Pop step trip!
  3. Eureka Baby (Instrumental)
  4. Pop step trip! (Instrumental)

1. Eureka Baby

I seriously wished Natsuko would escape the grasp of sugary genki music, but I guess it seems she’s forever stuck in this direction.  I just don’t know why, but I seriously couldn’t get into Eureka Baby just for the reasoning.  I mean she’s singing alright, but the background randomness and the music is just too sugary for me.  It just isn’t my cup of tea.

2. Pop step trip!

I’m also on the fence with this one as well since it’s just as cute and genki all rolled in one song.  However, I do feel that Natsuko is trying to add the cuteness to her vocals and I will admit isn’t so bad and at least this song doesn’t come off as a bit kiddy which is good, but it comes off as a summer track which I’ll take.  At least it’s better than “Eureka Baby”.

 

 

Since this is Natsuko’s 4th single (probably the last) of the era, Eureka Baby is just like the other releases she’s done.  Poor A-side and better B-side it seems to be her work release nowadays.  I don’t know…Why can’t she ditch the sugary stuff and go back to the stuff when she first debuted….ugh

 

Dream5 – Like & Peace!

Filed under: Dream5 — solarblade @ 2:43 am

Track Listing

  1. Like & Peace!
  2. Koi no Daiyogen
  3. Open Sesame
  4. Like & Peace! Anime Ver.
  5. Like & Peace! (Instrumental)
  6. Koi no Daiyogen (Instrumental)
  7. Open Sesame (Instrumental)

1. Like & Peace!

I like the fact that Dream5 knows how to be genki and turn a song’s instrumental into their own.  Like & Peace! has a pretty groovy and funky arrangement and since it feature mostly the girls (of course) it’s not very band and find it kind of fun and actually good from an avex idol group eh?

2. Koi no Daiyogen

Jeeze, is the group trying to follow misono’s covering?  I mean their last single was a cover of “Koi no Dial 6700” from Finger 5 and now their covering the same band but a different song with Koi no Daiyogen.  Of course this is the shortest tune off the single, not even making three minutes in length.  Dream5’s cover does keep the genki sound going, but I’m hearing more than the two main singers actually have parts and I like the vibe of this cover.  I still prefer their last cover though sadly.

3. Open Sesame

As the other new track on the single, Open Sesame does change the arrangement around slightly by making it include sitar (is that what it is?) and I hear a lot more synths being used which makes this a bit more danceable.  It’s a bit more stable as a single since it doesn’t have a whole lot of random sounds going so I’d say this is pretty good.

 

 

After their mini-album, Dream5 begins a new era with quite a nice and fun tune with Like & Peace!.  The main track is like I said energetic and full of life and they brought life into the song.  Open Sesame was pretty good as well, taking it a bit more in stride than in the A-side, but still pretty good.  Their Finger 5 cover was alright, but like I said….doesn’t beat “Koi no Dial 6700”.

 

Tohoshinki – Superstar

Filed under: Tohoshinki — solarblade @ 2:00 am

Track Listing

  1. Superstar
  2. I Don’t Know
  3. Superstar -Summer Heat Remix- (CD only)
  4. Superstar -Less Vocal-
  5. I Don’t Know -Less Vocal-

1. Superstar

I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to make Superstar feel like a “BREAK OUT!” copycat to be honest.  I mean it’s three less members but it doesn’t mean that I get the same feelings.  YUNHO and CHANGMIN sounds pretty good in the song, but I don’t understand the need for auto-tune for CHANGMIN really since he’s a good enough singer.  It’s alright but it doesn’t surpass “Why? (Keep Your Head Down)”.

2. I Don’t Know

I’m starting to find myself not interested in the duo THSK because so far in their Japanese discography, there hasn’t been a slow song and I Don’t Know feels kind of lifeless for some reason.  I mean I do get a mysterious vibe from the song, but I find myself not remembering any of the song except YUNHO’s rapping.  I’m just feeling at this point that there’s no need to continue.

3. Superstar -Summer Heat Remix-

Like many of their singles, we get a remix on one of the editions and this one for Superstar is kind of weak here.  I do like that the remix is a little more louder than the original, but the song still kind of feels unimpressive and it’s shorter than the original too…odd. 

 

 

Tohoshinki’s second single as a duo really failed to leave a mark on me unlike how “Why? (Keep Your Head Down)” did.  I don’t know why but releasing another single with two dance tracks (though not Korean originals) was a poor plan…maybe a ballad perhaps?  The remix by the way, isn’t too different from the original but ehh…Then again I’ve heard these two aren’t exactly ballad-strong vocals…who knows but I’m not liking this single at all.

 

Kylee – NEVER GIVE UP!

Filed under: Kylee — solarblade @ 1:56 am

Track Listing

  1. NEVER GIVE UP!
  2. My Best Friend
  3. NEVER GIVE UP! [Less Vocal]

1. NEVER GIVE UP!

Kylee in recent times has been opting for a more positive outlook for her music and sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t.  It’s really because of her singing and in this song it’s still pretty harsh and does feel like she’s yelling the lyrics which is a no-no in singing.  I do enjoy the arrangement quite a bit and does act like a fun summer song, but damn she needs to tone her vocals down a couple notches.

2. My Best Friend

I’m surprised that the B-side is also a summer song but unlike the previous track, this one feels a lot more stronger and the synths have more prominence as well.  She still does sound kind of harsh against the music but the fact that it’s catchy and a lot of it is in English makes me happy. 

 

 

Kylee’s 4th single and I still think she hasn’t really worked on powering down on the vocal chops.  She does have a powerful voice, no doubt, but there’s songs that she has down where it just wasn’t needed like in the case of NEVER GIVE UP!.  If she didn’t yell, I’m sure the song would’ve struck me a lot better.  My Best Friend is slightly better, but only because of the arrangement.  Is it album time?

 

MAA – OKay July 21, 2011

Filed under: MAA — solarblade @ 1:14 am

Track Listing

  1. OKay
  2. F.B
  3. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom -THE LOWBROWS Remix-

1. OKay

Ahhhh, so I guess it seems MAA decided to take things to a different route with OKay which feels like a mix of her last album and a new direction since the track is lighter than her two previous singles.  It’s nice that it’s different from them but at the same time I feel slightly uninterested in the song for some reason.  It might be from the slower tempo or from expecting that she’d be epic.  I must say I could see immi singing this instead but this is alright.

2. F.B

F.B falls into the same category as “OKay” since it’s also pretty light compared to some of the stuff she released on “Monkey Kingdom” but I actually fell for this one.  I’m liking MAA and the amount of vocal layering that helps her out and the arrangement is a bit more synthetic and stuffs.  Not much else to say, but this was great.

3. Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom -THE LOWBROWS Remix-

Closing the single out is a remix of one of MAA’s B-side from her debut single, “Ghost Enemy”.  THE LOWBROWS isn’t a new name for me seeing as I reviewed some of the other remixes they did for various artists.  I also will say that they don’t really stand out for me and most of their remixes ruin the song for me.  Sadly, I stand by that rule since this felt awkward and unusually slow and the synths just were messy…I’m sorry but the original or GTFO!

 

 

I’m not surprised that MAA starts off an era with a slightly weak release but that’s alright since I didn’t think “Ghost Enemy” was all that great either.  Also, it is her first physical single so it kind of surprises me a little bit that only F.B left an impression.  OKay sounds way like an immi-kind of song while the remix for Tomorrow @ Your Kingdom just sucked…hope she can slide back on her next single.