Kurayami Monogatari

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ARTERY VEIN – Pandora no Yoru August 31, 2011

Filed under: ARTERY VEIN — solarblade @ 4:31 am

Track Listing

  1. Pandora no Yoru
  2. Tada Hitotsu no Monogatari
  3. Pandora no Yoru (off vocal)
  4. Tada Hitotsu no Monogatari (off vocal)

1. Pandora no Yoru

It’s funny that when I listen to Pandora no Yoru I hear a more orchestral feel but under that feels like “Confutatis no Inori” for some reason.  Then again the better news for me was the fact that Eri and Asami sing a lot stronger and with more confidence in this song.  I love the anison feel of the song.  It’s not really dark but it works for the duo.

2. Tada Hitotsu no Monogatari

It’s nice to run into the B-side here since it’s a ballad and all of that.  Even though one of them does act as the more important member (Asami maybe?).  For me, it’s not a bad track which is good, but it doesn’t leave much of an impression besides that this duo thing is a little lobsided in the track.

 

 

ARTERY VEIN’s 3rd single does top their debut at least (still have to get through “Last Judgement” before I can say if this is or not better than their 2nd.  I liked Pandora no Yoru since it’s lighter and the vocals are way better here.  Tada Hitotsu no Monogotari was alright for a ballad but I couldn’t remember much out of it.  Let’s see if their next release will surprise me.

 

the GazettE – REMEMBER THE URGE August 30, 2011

Filed under: the GazettE — solarblade @ 6:38 pm

Track Listing

  1. REMEMBER THE URGE
  2. CLEVER MONKEY
  3. Chiyou (Auditory Impression only)

1. REMEMBER THE URGE

Unlike the previous singles I’ve reviewed it feels like REMEMBER THE URGE is the lightest and funnest song from the song and I’m happy they went back to basics and not do the stuff they did with “VORTEX” (you know all the vocal manipulations going with RUKI).  I really like the energy and force of the song but compared to both “PLEDGE” and “VORTEX” this seems to be in their normal side of sound so it’s nice and the growling section was impressive 😄

2. CLEVER MONKEY

So we get a 3 minute song with CLEVER MONKEY and it hits hard especially being after “REMEMBER THE URGE”.  The biggest thing for me is the filters in the vocals, the growling, and the chorus which feels that it shouldn’t belong there but in another song.  To me I’m not a fan of this one because of RUKI’s growling but it’s a lot more understandable than Kyo of DIR EN GREY’s or D’s ASAGI.  Ehhh….

3. Chiyou

Closing the single out with the Auditory Impression version’s Chiyou.  Unlike the other two songs, Chiyou is a bit lighter and slower than them but yet powerful when it gets into the chorus.  I mean RUKI’s growl/scream is starting to nerve me here and it’s here quite a bit more than in “CLEVER MONKEY” (ok, maybe they’re equal).  At least the song itself is workable and RUKI sounds good when he isn’t in screamo mode.

 

 

Finally closing the “TOXIC” era with their 5th single, REMEMBER THE URGE didn’t seem to stand out for me like their previous two singles did.  It just seemed basic out of the A-side and the B-sides was a bad time to throw in all the growling/yelling.  It just didn’t work for me as well as “PLEDGE” did…hopefully the album won’t have as much screaming to deal with >.>

 

JUJU – YOU/BELOVED

Filed under: JUJU — solarblade @ 7:37 am

 Track Listing

  1. YOU -Single Version-
  2. BELOVED
  3. YOU -Single Version Instrumental-
  4. BELOVED -Instrumental-

1. YOU -Single Version-

At first I couldn’t really tell what changed about YOU which was originally the final track of her last album of the same name.  Since this is somewhat of recut single I was trying to find the difference between the two tracks and it seems that it’s very minor when compared.  The biggest change I heard was this new take has strings but otherwise the same arrangement with the same instruments.  So basically if you liked the song from the album the same will be said here and it’ll add points if you like strings in your ballads but for me, this is still the same boring ass song and wished it wasn’t the one being recut.

2. BELOVED

As the other A-side, at least it’s a new song.  It sounds pretty opening up with strings and acoustic guitar with a rain stick being used.  That was really pretty but one JUJU comes in and the piano and acoustic guitar are left, I kept getting “ANTIQUE” vibes and it really didn’t help this song because it also left a sleepy feel to it.  Also add in that it’s actually not that impressive of a GLAY cover and you got a pretty lame secondary A-side.

 

 

 

Wow this was a poor decision all-around.  To me YOU and BELOVED were too sleep-inducing to let it be released together more or less be counted as a recut single as well.  I don’t know why but I was hoping for something more grand for YOU at least besides just throwing strings in.  BELOVED just could not make up for because it too was pretty boring but at least it’s a happy ballad but a cover from rock band, GLAY???…but still boring…Girl needs a little break

 

Sowelu – Let me… August 29, 2011

Filed under: Sowelu — solarblade @ 9:16 pm

Track Listing

  1. I want U to… feat. WISE Produced by ☆Taku Takahashi (m-flo)
  2. Let ME Lead U
  3. WOMAN
  4. One more kiss (for MEN edition only)
  5. Diamond (for WOMEN edition only)
  6. Endless Summer
  7. Kimi no Nai Sekai

1. I want U to… feat. WISE Produced by ☆Taku Takahashi (m-flo)

Starting the mini-album with the first of two promotional songs is the lone collaboration tune.  Now, Sowelu isn’t a stranger to Taku’s arrangements since he produced “MATERIAL WORLD” which is literally her last single released.  Though I have to admit that Taku shouldn’t really try to do dubstep since it feels weird but yet I still found myself liking the song.  WISE does a good job adding a bit more spice to song and just makes the tune that more enjoyable.  It might come off as messy to some people or others will just love it…it depends.

2. Let ME Lead U

I’m gonna be frank about it and say I love this song ten times more than the opening track just because it’s dance done well (and that’s a surprise coming from Sowelu).  It’s sexy, groovy and mysterious and it just oozes this new side of Sowelu perfectly IMO.  The chorus is also pretty damn catchy to listen to and especially the second half of it where she’s just like ~i…want you…now!~  Yeah, I love this song and she gets censored OH MY! hehehe!

3. WOMAN

After two synth-bombers it’s comes to a sudden halt when WOMAN starts up.  It’s pretty basic of a song with not a lot going on in the arrangement cept finger snapping, acoustic guitar, and some light percussion.  For something so simple it kind of fits Sowelu nicely as it’s not abrasive nor out of character even though I question why it had to be after “Let ME Lead U”….

4a. One more kiss

So the mini album comes in two versions of course and each of them have a different fourth track.  The for MEN version comes with One more kiss which would be a nice nostalgic run for the fans of her days on SONY since it’s R&B and all the bells and whistles that come with it.  I mean it’s really alright, but nothing stands for me in this track (maybe the verses) but that’s about it for me. 

4b. Diamond

Strange that the WOMEN’s only comes with another dance track.  I must say that it is a pretty consistent beat to it that works for me and Sowelu sounds quite nice.  Though it’s weird that she hits high notes in the chorus but I can’t blame it since it didn’t detract me from the tune.  It doesn’t have the punch that the promotional songs had, but it’s pretty good as un upbeat tune.

5. Endless Summer

She seems to be hitting different styles and moods on this mini because while Endless Summer would have fit better have “Let ME Lead U” since it has synths and such it does pick up after the two slower songs.  It’s a really nice summery song and Sowelu sounds breezy to sing along.  I can find myself enjoying this a lot!

6. Kimi no Nai Sekai

Closing the mini is Kimi no Nai Sekai which is another ballad but has a little more emotional value than “WOMAN” but the latter does have the better lyrics I think.  The strings and kind of uber light R&B feel to it fits and I don’t think I’ve heard Sowelu pull off a better ballad since she has really nice vocals in this song.  Did very well for itself I must say.

 

 

 

I couldn’t get myself back into “Love & I. ~Ren’ai Henriki” because it was plainly a boring album with just a couple of hitters and that was her first album under rhythm zone.  Luckily her first mini-album Let me… was such a strong release at least in my eyes that this is what she should’ve done and not a collaboration album XD.  Half the mini was upbeat dance tunes while the other was a more refined, calm side.  Yeah, this was pretty damn good even with the naughty cover art (the women’s one is so lulzy with turkey!).

 

ARTISTS BLOWOUT!: Fill you in time I guess!!!!

Filed under: ~Artists Blowouts~ — solarblade @ 5:58 am

So yush I have been randomly adding new artists over time since I don’t get spazzy enough to add 10 or more different ones but I have added a few before and I’m adding new ones now so here’s the list y’all!!!…Starting with the ones I have reviewed already 😄 (and a few that don’t have profiles ((excluding that uber big post))).

Sakura Gakuin

I can’t believe I never wrote about them on at least one of the artists blowouts I had.  Sakura Gakuin is of course an idol group with older and younger set girls.  Good thing is is that 2 of the members originally came from Karen Girl’s which meant that they were in it to get popular.  Of course at the time I saw them the first time they hadn’t released “Yume ni Mukatte/Hello! IVY” and today they’ve also released their first album after that.  Looking forward to what’s next from them.

miCKun

At the time I didn’t really think about him or HIROKO having a profile considering they were already there as mihimaru GT but I guess I’ll be nice and just put em up.  miCKun when I first caught notice had announced that “Kyouka Suigetsu” was his solo debut so I had added him simply because so (and this was before HIROKO’s announcement).  Speed up to now and we have one single and one album.  Since the members came back, I guess solo works are on hiatus.

HIROKO

HIROKO’s announcement came soon after miyake’s and she came out strong with “GIRLZ UP” and “Saigo no Koi” before releasing “OPEN THE DOOR”.  it was alright but by smart decision skills she joined back together with miyake and once again solo activities have stopped for the time being. 

Rina

Rina or Rina Sakurai back in her indies days kicks off her major label career and while she only has two singles out “Angel” and “Gray Zone”.  She’s still pretty new since she’s a model turned singer but I think she has hope if she continues to release music ^_^

DiVA

It’s weird to see that Aki.P decided to take DIVA which was kind of a small sub-group to just have songs be essentially the B-sides to AKB singles before cutting the members down to four amazing singers to form DiVA with a lower-case i.  Now they’ve only released two singles in “Tsuki no Uragawa” and “Cry” but it’s sad since new members will join for the third single sadly…

You Kikkawa

I guess I forgot to mention Yuu here.  She was announced as a solo singer before Sayaka announced her solo career and TBH, I think Yuu is for the long run since she joined UNIVERSAL-J and all that and has one single out with “Kikkake wa YOU!” and a second one coming out soon with “Happy Wrapping ~Sunrise~”.  I think she has a bright future since she was one of the better singers originally from Hello! Pro Eggs.

Marina Kawano

So I’m gonna say that every year that the Animax Anison Grand Prix happens I’m always gonna add the winner and 2011’s winner was Marina Kawano.  She has released her debut single, “Morning Arch” at least but she’s been quiet lately…hope she announces a new single soon!

Larval Stage Planning

I did explain who LSP were in my single review of the single but it’s literally I’ve Sound’s three new singers (and possibly to make up for the fact that KOTOKO left for Warner).  To me they have voices that kind of cross between Mami Kawada’s and Kaori Utatsuki’s but more towards the cuter side unfortunately.  I do hope for more stuff from them because their debut wasn’t too bad!

RO-KYU-BU!

Kind of like sphere but at the same time not, RO-KYU-BU! I think is just a one-off group because they are a group based on the anime of the same name so I wouldn’t be surprised if “SHOOT!” was their only release but if they get another one out that’ll be pretty awesome too.

Kyarypamyupamyu

Kyarypamyupamyu is Nakata’s newest understudy and she seems to replace MEG with the cute-techno vibes with her first major debut mini, “Moshi Moshi Harajuku”.  I like her and her voice is easier on the ears but she needs some edgy songs before I can conclude how I feel towards her right now!

AND NOW THE NEW ONES!

Chiaki Takahashi

One of three new artists starting out their JPN careers the first caught me off guard like HYNA did earlier this year.  Chiaki is relatively an unknown to me like Aimer which gives a mysterious vibe but I will definitely have fun reviewing “Konya wa Chupa♡Riko”.  Such a raunchy little video too…damn I think Kuu needs to teach these new gals a lesson 😄

Tomato n’Pine

Yup it’s another idol group but they also just came out of indies-land with their first single “Tabidachi Transfer” and they released their second one “Nanairo Namida” just recently.  They actually sound good and could have the following Momoiro Clover did in their early days too hopefully.

Aimer

Another brand new artist to debut but with a triple A-side “Rokutosei no Yoru/Kanashimi wa Aurora ni/TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR”.  I don’t know much about Aimer but her voice has a YUI-ish sound to it so I guess you might like it if you like piano music too 😄

Sakanaction

Sakanaction to me is if School Food Punishment stuck to more of an electro underground sound and I like that a lot about Sakanaction because it’s more synthetic and cool to listen to.  While their album “DocumentaLy” is coming out next.  I’ll review their three singles leading up to it hopefully beforehand.

2NE1

Oh yeah, I’m definitely adding this K-pop group to the site because they have a JPN discography piling up and it’s definitely sweeeeet.  Now they second album is coming soon but they’ve released 3 digital singles to lead up to it and that’s where I’ll start with them is “I Am The Best”.

 

4minute – HEART TO HEART August 28, 2011

Filed under: 4minute — solarblade @ 7:54 pm

Track Listing

  1. HEART TO HEART (JAPANESE VERSION)
  2. YOU KNOW (KOREAN VERSION) (CD+DVD A only)
  3. BADLY (KOREAN VERSION) (CD+DVD A only)
  4. HEART TO HEART (KOREAN VERSION) (CD+DVD B only)
  5. MIRROR MIRROR  (KOREAN VERSION) (CD+DVD B only)
  6. SWEET SUGA HONEY! (KOREAN VERSION) (CD only)
  7. FIRST (KOREAN VERSION) (CD only)
  8. HEART TO HEART (Instrumental)

1. HEART TO HEART (JAPANESE VERSION)

4minute in Japan had been releasing singles and the main track were giant club bangers so HEART TO HEART is a little twist to the fans of them because it’s more poppy and lighter than songs like “FIRST” and “WHY” but I like the original Korean take of it for sure but the Japanese one is quite nice as well.  I mean the good English hooks are still there and the chorus is still damn catchy and with the language switch I felt a little more comfortable with this one…I like it.

2. YOU KNOW (KOREAN VERSION)

Unfortunately like their previous few singles, especially “WHY”, the rest of the singles is full of their Korean songs from “4minutes Left” which is pretty damn annoying to see a bunch if not all the songs originally from that here.  Starting with You know, I still love this song a lot since it’s not hard but not poppy like “HEART TO HEART”.  Plus it’s kind of cute for a song that basically says there’s no one else like you…meaningful and one of my favorite tunes from the group.

3. BADLY (KOREAN VERSION)

I didn’t know what track was this because it seems when the track is written in Korean it goes into it’s English translation when it goes to a JPN singles.  This is Nappeuge and this was a pretty interesting slow R&B tune from the group since it felt so relaxed.  I was a little taken aback when I heard accordion join in the song but I grew into liking the track for being what it is.

4. HEART TO HEART (KOREAN VERSION)

Yeah, no surprise that the single would come with the original version of the A-side.  The Korean version of Heart to Heart has a lot of punch even though the song isn’t calling for that but I still enjoy this song because it has a lot personality and JiHyun just sounds orgasmic…then again she sounds powerful in any song let’s be honest XD. 

5. MIRROR MIRROR (KOREAN VERSION)

To me Geoura Geoura is definitely the booty poppin song on the single and even though it’s still Korean, I doubt they could pull off a JPN version if they tried.  Still this song is catchy and the chorus with them repeating ~geoura geoura~ is quite catchy as hell.  Yeah this is pretty awesome of a song and is still my second favorite after “You know”.

6. SWEET SUGA HONEY! (KOREAN VERSION)

Of the songs from their Korean album, Sweet Suga Honey! was and is still one of my least favorite songs from the group because it’s way poppy and it didn’t really suit the members really.  Like I said before, HyunA’s rap just did not work here either and made the song worse by doing that.  Lame song!

7. FIRST (KOREAN VERSION)

The only song that I would’ve expected to have seen on a JPN release somehow is the Korean take of FIRST.  I really think FIRST sounds a little different than the JPN version for some reason but I think it’s because of the lyrics and how they’re sung.  They even took out some of the English lyrics to put in some Korean and it feels VERY awkward to listen to.  It just didn’t work being reversed like that and I just rolled my eyes for this version.

 

 

Really 4minute?  Another single was an absurd amount of already released Korean songs and only one true Japanese song (and at that, a JPN remake of Heart to Heart).  I liked HEART TO HEART no doubt but as a whole this single feels a lot like “WHY” as a presentation and I’m sorely disappointed.  Luckily there’s only a few Korean songs left to really shove on a JPN release sooooo…who knows…

 

PASSPO☆ – ViVi Natsu

Filed under: PASSPO☆ — solarblade @ 6:02 am

Track Listing

  1. ViVi Natsu
  2. Jaa ne…
  3. ROCK DA WEEK
  4. ViVi Natsi (Off VOCAL ver.)

1. ViVi Natsu

It doesn’t take much for me to like an idol song and even though I liked their last single, ViVi Natsu did a WAY BETTER job of leaving an impression on me because it’s sounds like a summer tune but has this flying feel as well but done so much better for some reason.  The vocals were pretty solid and the minor rapping parts were well rather interesting but still I loved this song a lot more than “Shoujo Hikou”.

2. Jaa ne…

Hey another blast of idol-pop but a little more typical for the group and a little like well…some AKB songs I’ve heard.  It just feels like I’ve heard this arrangement in AKB’s music and it’s just hard not to compare that because it sounds cheap and dated and well if I didn’t know any better I would’ve said this was roughly a AKB song and not a PASSPO☆ tune.

3. ROCK DA WEEK

After the meh-fest, ROCK DA WEEK sounds actually refreshing and something new for the group to tackle and that’s something that would be considered something like SCANDAL’s music but a little cheesier because they’re singing about the days of the week (and not a certain day…thx Rebecca Black).  I say it’s actually not bad, but isn’t as awesome as “ViVi Natsu”. 

 

 

 

Since it’s their 2nd single since becoming major, ViVi Natsu did a great job standing out, even surpassing “Shoujo Hikou” which I still lulz that they dropped from 1st place on Oricon and dropped to an astounding low at 102 the next week…something went very wrong in between the week and it just collapsed.  Hopefully ViVi Natsu doesn’t crash and burn like that because the A-side and ROCK DA WEEK were pretty cool songs while Jaa ne… was really AKB-ish and just omg bland.  They aren’t as great as of course AKB, Momosu, or even TG’S but at least they’re trying to make a name for themselves and find a good niche in their music.