Kurayami Monogatari

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Best of 2011! Other Albums not reviewied Jan. through June July 3, 2011

Filed under: ~Best of 2011~ — solarblade @ 12:18 am

Kind of a new tradition that I started last year, I’m going to review all the best-albums and OTHER albums that I passed up this year so far, so hold on tight!!!!


Tsuki Amano – Appare

As the first album I passed up (and it was released on New Year’s Day along with her single, “CORE”) Appare was the start of interesting releases from our gal.  What it is is a self-cover album featuring various songs when she was on a major label (minus a select few).  It’s an interesting release and made moreso to find out it was all done in English.  It might interest bigger fans of her but it didn’t exactly interest me.

AAA – 6TH ALBUM “Buzz Communication” Pre-Release Special Mini Album

I find pretty interesting that AAA would release a preview mini-album even though it kind of wasn’t to be honest.  I mean “Aitai Riyuu”, “Makenai Kokoro” and “PARADISE” are great songs no doubt, but then the other half being lives of songs that more of being too exciting is a bit questionable.  Nothing to really get orgasmic over but whatever it’s there XD

Haruka Shimotsuki – Innocent Grey Haruka Shimotsuki Collection “Traumarei”

I actually don’t know A THING about this Haruka release really.  I guess once I researched it was that this is the songs that were used for the series and I do recognize a few songs…namely “Ruri no Tori” and “Snowdrop” but otherwise, none of the other 11 songs pop into my mind.  I guess it’s a good release to pick up if you’re into either Haruka’s music or the Innocent Grey series.

Chara – Very Special

Very Special is Chara’s 4th best-of album and was to commemerate the lady’s 20th year annivarsary of being an artist.  I have to say that’s impressive for an artist to be active for so long.  Sadly, I didn’t come into her music until the “CAROL” era and I’ve not heart most of the songs here.  However, it’s definitely for the Chara fans and I can’t deny that at all.


JYJ – The Anniversary Package of JYJ Worldwide Concert In Seoul

Not sure of the importance of this release really since it’s just “The Beginning” and “Their Rooms” all wrapped in one release.  Not very important and totally useless if you have both discs. 

Hitomi Shimatani – URA BEST 2000-2004 & URA BEST 2005-2010

It’s really unusual to discover that Hitomi would release ANOTHER BEST-OF right after “BEST & COVERS” but this time she put a huge twist on it.  The two-disc album is actually only available through digital sites (iTunes ofc).  Also this release contains most of the B-sides she released since her single “Kaihouku”.  Yeah once again showing that she doesn’t want “Osaka no Onna/Kaze no Machi” to be seen again.  It’s interesting and it does help a lot of people who don’t have all her B-sides…nice little completion package right?


Of course, we know that Yui released an album called BLOODY TUNE last year and this kind of follows it but only slightly.  I’m not entirely sure what this release was exactly about, but only having 5 tracks, it’s not big I guess.  Maybe some kind of seiyuu thing perhaps since that actually would make sense with the Radio in the title.



I’ve already reviewed the second disc which mostly had new songs for me to listen to and review!  Now the first disc has ALL of the A-sides alan released so far (and that included “Over the clouds” for those that were wondering).  Also, “Ai no Chikara” was on the second disc too.  Still the first disc’s tracklist is in release order so you can see her highs like “Gunjou no Tani” to her lows like “Swear”.  I actually do recommend this release since it shows so many different colors from her.


While the group was dealing with troubles with avex, they silently released a CD version of their live tour.  Now, I wouldn’t have minded this but it seems like a CASH COW of a move from avex to do this.  The songs they performed were odd choices (but really they couldn’t perform much else) and well it wasn’t the greatest of concerts TBH.  Ehhh, definitely wasn’t excited for this release but I’m sure not a lot of people were either.


Like Hitomi Shimatani, MOMAJIK decides to release ANOTHER best-of album after another.  Though unlike a coupling B-side best-of, the band decided to throw in some tracks that never were released and digital singles as well.  While I’ve not heard most of these songs, the ones that are on there are good choices.  And OMG, demo version of GINGER = WIN!

Tohoshinki – Keep Your Head Down (Repackaged)

I really don’t seem to understand why Koreans have to re-release albums with one or two extra songs just to garner sales but whatever, it’s a business move and speaks more for the CASH COWS of people in companies.  In Tohoshinki’s case, only a monologue and a new song appeared with the monologue’s instrumental also added on at the end.  A little poor planning.  Also it was re-released in Japan with the new song and monologue but changed “Wae” into “Why”.  Ehhhhh I’m not even fond of the new song either so it was a bust for them.

JERO – Best & Rare

JERO…releasing a best-of album only after one studio album, 5 singles and 3 cover albums?  Seems to be a little weird to be releasing your first best-of album.  I guess he did add a couple album songs, B-sides, and digital releases to this album and that kind of warrants a buy I guess.  I’m still not fully into JERO to be interested in the songs I’ve not heard but whatever.


Sweet Vacation – Suibake no Early Best+8

You’d think once you’re releasing a best-of album you’d see songs that would look familiar.  Sadly the first disc of Sweet Vacation’s last release mostly has songs that were released during their indies days which surprised me and I found myself not even knowing any of their old stuff.  The second disc however has familiar tracks from their major label days but they’re remixed which is a frown.  It’s a good release no less, but what I wasn’t expecting.

the GazettE – TRACES BEST OF 2005-2009

Fitting that the band would let KING RECORDS release this best-of album in 2011 since the band was already releasing singles under their new label on SONY.  TRACES BEST OF has all the A-sides from “reila” to “BEFORE I DECAY” and that’s pretty awesome and snuck in some songs which to me are album songs but I’m not sure since I’ve just started listening to them.  I think it’s a good album for those wondering about the bands time with KING RECORDS TBH.

Tsuki Amano – DECADE

So here we are with another (sort-of) best-of album release by Tsuki and DECADE might be more of the better choice than “Appare”.  The reason why is that most of the songs minus “Howling” and “Zero no Chouritsu” have new versions and it prolly is worth the look to be honest.  It seems this is the better tracklist as well….hmmmm


FLOW are definitely not strangers when it comes to having tie-in to animes and they celebrate by bringing them altogether for this album starting with “GO!!!” from NARUTO.  I must say this collection of songs is great because each song was memorable for what they did to each series.  The last three tracks were also quite interesting…a collection of the opening/endings…a remix…and a new song.  I thought that was super cool.  Now FLOW needs to return to music!

Ayumi Hamasaki – ayu-mi-x 7 -LIMITED COMPLETE BOX SET-

avex, being the major cash cows they are really shocked Ayu fans with this uber big release.  This certain release will be the one talked about because I don’t exactly wanna talk about the 5 discs on their own.  Now Ayu releasing ayu-mi-x 7 with ayu trance 4, ayu-ro 4, and Acoustic Orchestra aren’t new to the fans since she’s done each before.  Sadly, the tracklists of all of them weren’t stellar and it seems that not many of the remixes/orchestrated stuff weren’t up to par either.  The new one, version House seemed to be quite good though.  As for the fifth CD, it’s a megamix combining the 4 other albums and that’s just wrong and it seriously does sound wrong.  Whatever, huge release…crappy experience.

Dream Morning Musume – Dorimusu. 1

It seems like we got our wish as fans of the “Golden Age” Momosu members (most of them) got back together and kickstarted off with a new album.  Of course the reason I didn’t review it was primarily because it was a special kind best-of at least in my eyes.  The first disc was the more important one since all 10 tracks were vocally new.  7 were basically revisions of Momosu’s songs from the popular “Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari” to the more recent “Mikan” there was a little token for people that loved Momosu.  The two new tracks: “Atto Odoroku Mirai ga Yattekuru!” and “Koibito no You ni Kao wo Shite…” weren’t as great as I hoped but brings hope for the group.  It also has Afternoon Coffee (which is a slight not to “Morning Coffee” if you’ve noticed…The second disc though was a little disappointing since it was 10 of their older songs in their original format…I would’ve enjoyed hearing revisioned stuff!  Still a solid release I say!


Another live CD released, GACKT’s release isn’t very important to me since it’s essentially the “ARE YOU “FRIED CHICKENz”??” album sans a couple of songs so this is kind of a waste of a buy to be honest.  At least it’s live I guess????

Kanako Ito – “Thank You” ITO KANAKO the BEST -Nitroplus songs collection-

Since I’m just a new fan to Kanako’s music, this release is definitely for the people looking to get into her music.  Most of the Nitroplus songs she’s done (game company BTW) have found its way on this release.  Some are album songs and a few are A-sides as well “A.R.” is the only song I recognized immediately.  Good release here.



Yep, it’s what it is…it was MIYAVI promoting his last album “WHAT’S MY NAME?” and with a couple of previous songs he did.  Not an exciting release but one nonetheless and it’s MIYAVI live…can’t go wrong with that can you?

Koda Kumi – Driving Hit’s 3

It seems like Kuu is starting a tradition by having a remix album every year.  Her 3rd entry to the Driving Hit’s haven’t hit my eardrums yet but the bigger tracklist does surprise me and the tracks used does pique my curiousity.  However unlike the previous two remix albums, there’s no song on their that isn’t remixed which sucks but makes sense. 

Ataru Nakamura – Wakage no Itari

Besides the humorous cover, Wakage no Itari marks as Ataru’s first best-of album.  It does chronicle all her A-sides from when she was an artist on the avex label.  There’s also a couple of album songs thrown in for good equality as well.  I’d say it’s worth a look because the songs I know on there were pretty interesting songs. 

Ataru Nakamura – Nibansenji

Released simultaneously with “Wakage no Itari”, Nibansenji is a 5-song self-cover mini-album.  Now I would’ve reviewed this but it hasn’t been leaked (at least not at this point).  Either way the only songs that I know are “Hare Butai” and “Tegami wo Kaite yo” since both songs were sung by JERO.  I am a little surprised to not see “Chewing Gun” since Ataru penned that for AAA.  Hmmmmm interesting release eh?

Haruka Shimotsuki – melodies memories

I like the fact Haruka decided to release a live album with melodies memories and I do notice a couple of familiar songs, I just can’t seem to get Haruka singing live just quite yet.  She’s good and all, but pitchy sometimes and her live performances aren’t always great.

Asriel – AntiQue 2nd collection

Not a year later, Asriel releases another one of these AntiQue album (which are essentially self-covers).  To me the songs aren’t very wise choices, but they did turn out better than before which is great to hear.  Interesting release I will say.

Aya Hirano – AYA MUSEUM

Oh Aya, you have been off your rocking horse this year and last year being almost crazy.  I’m not sure why of the release of a Best-of album but whatever works for you I guess.  The first disc is of Aya’s main songs which consists of her A-sides and a couple album songs and a few B-sides.  The second disc (which is on the Limited only) contains songs from character singles and stuff she’s done anime-wise which is prolly much more of the importance of the release.  Good release, but like some others…quiet.

RYTHEM – RYTHEM COMPLETE BOX ~Music 0f the people, by the people, for the people~

Even though the duo split, RYTHEM decided to have one last hurrag with this box whioch contains all their albums which there  are four of them to be heard, one of rarities and new songs and two of them are live discs.  Of course it comes with every PV they’ve done as well.  I must say this is a packaged deal to buy. 


TWO-MIX – Perfect Best

Kind of doesn’t surprise me that TWO-MIX would release a best-of this year, but when it’s full of songs that were already on different best-ofs it’s kind of a unneeded release.  I would’ve enjoyed seeing more of the recent songs like LIGHTNING EVOLUTION…I mean I’ve seen RHYTHM EMOTION way too many times on their albums…

Megumi Hayashibara – VINTAGE White

Not surprising that Megumi would release her best-of now since it’s been quite a while and she has two discs full of songs to listen to on this release.  Sadly I only have heard one era with of songs plus a single after but I’d say this is a release to get if you’re looking to get into Megumi.

Hanako Oku – Kimi no Egao ~smile selection~

A best-of album that I could easily pass over, Kimi no Egao isn’t interesting for me simply because Hanako isn’t interesting.  As it is a best-of though it doesn’t seem like one since there’s not a lot of A-sides present and a lot of the songs are album tracks.  Meh for me, but for piano lovers, this might tickle your fancy

JERO – covers 4

JERO has been wearing me out with these cover albums so I kind of got tired and passed this one up.  Just like all of his others, they’re covers of different enka and kayoukyoku songs.  So if you’ve heard any of his previous cover albums, this isn’t isn’t so different.

Lia – Key+Lia Best 2000-2010

So I guess Lia released a best of with Key who I guess us the producer of the album?  I don’t know but it’s a best and it seems quite awesome.  since My Soul, Your Beats! was so good on Oricon.  I’d say if the other songs are that cool, then the rest of the best should be full of them ^_^.

Eiko Shimamiya – E.P.S ~Eiko PRIMARY SELECTION-

Before Eiko goes into hiatus mode, she releases her best-of and it contains a lot of popular songs that are usually her most well-known songs and it feature two new songs in “River” and “inner child”.  Might not be the most well-known release but it’s something.