Kurayami Monogatari

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Momoiro Clover – Akarin e Okuru Uta August 11, 2011

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 11:31 pm

Track Listing

  1. Deko Mayu-en no Saishuu Kessen
  2. Akarin e Okuru Uta

1. Deko Mayu-en no Saishuu Kessen

The B-side that came with the single comes first and is like some of their previous works but I really don’t like this track since it’s messy and vocally all over the place.  It’s like listening to “Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~” but it’s worse.  I really don’t know how they ended up releasing this AT ALL.  I just dislike this song a WHOLE LOT.

2. Akarin e Okuru Uta

Since this is Akari’s final song (well not really she did get that solo on “Battle and Romance”).  Akarin e Okuru Uta is actually one of the group’s slower songs available with only “Kimi Yuki” preceding it.  Since this was used as Akari’s farewell tune, it wasn’t surprising it’s one of the happy ballads.  Since there’s solos as well, they sound kind of good but also kind of nasally.  There’s also parts in the song where there’s discussions between the members which is kind of thoughtful.  Pretty song to say good bye with, but vocally could be a little better IMO.

 

 

Like “Momokuri”, this was released only at events and it’s suiting since this was sold at Akari’s final performance.  Akarin e Okuru Uta was a great thing to do for their member leaving the group and despite the meh vocals it was still sweet of a song to listen to.  Unfortunately it had a very lousy B-side in Deko Mayu-en no Saishuu Kessen which was all over the place and made zero sense to me in both vocals and arrangement…bah…

 

Nana Kitade/Loveless – Ai to Hate

Filed under: Nana Kitade — solarblade @ 11:13 pm

Track Listing

  1. Swallowtail
  2. Ai to Hate
  3. Gensoumamire
  4. Jabberwocky
  5. Snow Hell

1. Swallowtail

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Nana Kitade last and she returns with a new band and kicks things off with Swallowtail which sounds kind of like a gothic jazz tune (strange right?).  Since it’s been a while since we’ve heard Nana last her vocals haven’t really phased since the hiatus so that’s good or bad (depending on if you like her or not).  She sounds mysterious under the arrangement and it gives a pretty good performance and the guitars add a little more creepy than normal.  Good start!

2. Ai to Hate

The title track of the mini comes up next and gets even more sinister and freakier (especially in the arrangement).  It’s got a strange tempo going for it and Nana starts singing with filters but lets up on it but slowly goes back into it again before the chorus.  I remember the chorus the most since Nana repeats ~I hate you~ over and over.  It does come off as slightly messy, but still not too bad but oddly short at three minutes

3. Gensoumamire

We go from the shortest song on the mini to the longest at 6 minutes with Gensoumamire which could be best described as a ballad.  I actually liked her vocals in the song oddly enough and she sounds light and lonely with the arrangement at the beginning and gets stronger when more instruments enter the tune.  I like how dramatic it gets actually and it doesn’t sound half bad tbh!

4. Jabberwocky

No, it’s not an homage to that group of dancers that we Americans know XD.  I think of all the songs on the mini, Jabberwocky is the strangest sounding of the five.  The beginning sounds so odd and foreboding with distant guitar chords and some other small blips of sounds.  Nana seems to be using more of a cute voice for this one, but she’s also yelling a lot of the song as well which surprised me.  I’m not really sure how to feel for the song, but it’s definitely original lol.

5. Snow Hell

Closing things out is Snow Hell and I’d say it’s fitting to do that since it’s slow and even slower to move through it.  Nana is also changing her vocal style to more of a whisper which is alright and after a while her and the song builds a little but cools down quickly after.  I kind of got bored midway through the song unfortunately since it didn’t really move anywhere else.

 

 

It’s been over two years since we’ve heard Nana last and I actually enjoyed “Bondage” for the most part.  Since then she quit going solo and started a band called Loveless through it.  Even though it took them a while to finally release this mini-album they sound kind of experimental but there’s slivers of rock still in their music.  It’s an interesting taste from this band and I can see them working the kinks from this and gettin better.  Nana and her vocals are a bit more solid though I will say and that’s good!

 

D – Torikago Goten ~L’Oiseau bleu~

Filed under: D — solarblade @ 10:47 pm

Track Listing

  1. Torikago Goten ~L’Oiseau bleu~
  2. Hane wo Hitohira
  3. Denshou Sareshi Sora no Monogatari (Type B only)
  4. Torikago Goten ~L’Oiseau bleu~ (Voiceless)

1. Torikago Goten ~L’Oiseau bleu~

D returns to the music scene with Torikago Goten and I was surprised that ASAGI and the band actually tried for something totally different than anything before…well maybe closer to “Snow White” but with a little edge from the band.  Then again knowing this release is actually an indies one is a little surprising but it gives the band a little more freedom it seems.  It’s dark but ASAGI and the backup vocals sound really nice and together for some reason.  It is a bit slow in places, but otherwise it’s a good start to the era.

2. Hane wo Hitohira

The jumpy strings melody that opens up the B-side found on both versions of the singles was a little odd especially since it opens to a harder song than the A-side.  I felt the band’s presence was a lot stronger and felt like something I would’ve expected to be on “VAMPIRE SAGA”.  Good vocals from ASAGI and growly backups but otherwise not a real memorable song.

3. Denshou Sareshi Sora no Monogatari

Found on only the B version of the release, the second B-side actually opens up pretty strangely with ASAGI in a deep tone and sounds like a weird chanting style.  Once again the song feels hard and sadly this is one of those songs that I can’t find myself enjoying very much because ASAGI growls through most of the song but he does sing fully in some places which is good.  It really doesn’t sound like many of their other songs so it does get originality points.

 

 

It is a little sad that D is returning to an indies label with Torikago Goten, but by the feel of the single itself, it sounds like there was a little more musical freedom which is good.  Torikago Goten sounds a little better than D’s last A-side so that’s a good sign.  The B-sides though are a little on the forgetful side, but at least they’re listenable.

 

Momoiro Clover Z – Battle and Romance

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 9:12 pm

Track Listing

  1. Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~
  2. CONTRADICTION
  3. Mirai Bowl
  4. Wani to Shampoo
  5. Pinky Jones
  6. Kimi no Ato
  7. D’ no Junjou
  8. Ame no Tachikara wo
  9. Orange Note
  10. Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo
  11. Stardust Serenade
  12. Kono Uta
  13. MomoClo no Nippon Manzai! (bonus track)

Limited Edition A CD2

  1. Taiyou to Ekubo
  2. fall into me
  3. …Ai Desu ka?
  4. Datte Aarin Nanda Moon☆
  5. Arigatou no Present
  6. Koi wa Abare Ondekoza

1. Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~

Ugh, I still can’t get into Z Densetsu at all.  I mean I still like that it’s a nod to the Super Sentai series and all, but the girls vocals felt really shrill and kind of messy of a song itself to be making them that way in the first place.  I don’t know why but I just can’t find myself ever really enjoying the song at all.  The only thing it helped with me was to figure out the members but only in this song unfortunately.

2. CONTRADICTION

After that mess with the opening track, CONTRADICTION rushes in with more synths and a pretty speedy beat and that caught my attention pretty damn quickly.  Even the vocals were fixed up immensely which was also such a good move on their part.  I like the solos and the melodies together with each member since it didn’t feel stressed or pitchy.  Such a great improvement!

3. Mirai Bowl

As I learned from other people before reviewing this album it seems that all the songs that were released before Akari Hayami’s graduation from the group were recorded again without her presence.  Sadly, I didn’t know what voice she was in the songs so this actually was tougher for me.  Mirai Bowl is the group’s third A-side since going major and it still doesn’t interest me even with the new changes.  Like “Z Densetsu” it’s just very weird in it’s arrangement and unlike the song, this doesn’t have a lot of singing at first since the members are essentially “talking”.  I’m just not a big fan of this one.

4. Wani to Shampoo

It seems that only by two tracks so far, the new songs are gonna outshine the already released songs.  Wani to Shampoo (strange title aside) is kind of simple when compared to the last few songs but it’s catchy and I like the members and how they dealt with this track.  There’s a lot of energy to be had even though the song is a bit mid-tempo lol.  Fun song if you ask me.

5. Pinky Jones

Pinky Jones is prolly my second favorite of the A-sides released because it’s fast-paced and has such an interesting feel to it.  I can say the rather light Arabian feel from the sitars in the song gave it life and the members sound great together despite Akari being taken out.  One of the album’s better songs!

6. Kimi no Ato

The interesting thing about Momoclo was the fact that I actually have not heard a ballad from them since “Kimi Yuki”, but seeing that song isn’t present on the album, Kimi no Ato takes that place and actually surpasses their last ballad by a big time.  The thing that surprises me is that they can make such a bad song (“Z Densetsu”) for example and then pull off something like this is quite a 180.  Great song!

7. D’ no Junjou

Which brings us to our 5th A-side released and I love this song still.  It’s the group’s best A-side of the era for sure and there’s no doubt.  I love the mysterious yet cute vibes I get from this song but it’s also the group’s darker tinged song and it shows a lot of character from the group.  D’ no Junjou just came out of nowhere and yet ended up being a quick favorite of the year.

8. Ame no Tachikara wo

I like that the whole traditional Japanese feel carries over to our next song as well.  I actually get a little mix of Arabia as well in some parts so it’s like a mixture of “D’ no Junjou” and “Pinky Jones” as well.  Sadly, I barely remember this song since it doesn’t really stand out besides the rockin’ chorus.  Otherwise, it’s forgettable.

9. Orange Note

At least we have songs like Orange Note to bring me back into focus.  It is one of the more cuter songs off the album, but it’s more like the songs that were more towards the beginning of the album with dance beats ridden throughout.  It might be like a typical idol song, but on an album like this, it’s actually refreshing to have oddly enough.

10. Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo

Then we get into the group’s first single since going major and I still slightly enjoy the song because it’s quite energetic and the whole ~we are the Momoiro Clover~ lines are so catchy and it’s what they are.  I do think the transitioning of the song is a little shaky but it’s not as jagged as “Mirai Bowl” was and that’s a good thing for sure.  Not bad for their first A-side and I kind of like it better than I did then.

11. Stardust Serenade

As the album’s last three songs are new tracks I was wondering how they’d treat the closing of the album.  The first, Stardust Serenade sounds kind of basic when compared to most of the previous songs.  I do like that it’s sparkly and cute of a track from them, but it feels like there’s just something missing here.  Maybe a little more interest or spice could’ve helped the song, but right now it’s just alright to me, nothing amazing.

12. Kono Uta

So the actual final track to this album is Kono Uta which I’m surprised by going of the title isn’t a ballad, but more of like “Orange Note” by being an idol song with splashes of excitement throughout.  I like how genki this song really is and stood out a lot more than the last song did but as a final track…it’s a little strange not gonna lie.

13. MomoClo no Nippon Manzai!

So the album contains a bonus track in the form of MomoClo no Nippon Manzai! which one of my friends explained is exactly like what Minimoni did in their song “Rock n’ Roll Kenchoushozaichi ~Oboechaina Series!~”.  It’s basically the group going through different areas of Japan and commenting about it.  Since this idea isn’t a new one, Momoclo’s was wild since there were energetic parts and slow parts and some other odd parts to it.  If I could understand what was being said, I could get a better understanding of the song.  It’s alright for what it is.

CD2

1. Taiyou to Ekubo

The second disc is actually six songs all solos by each member (including graduated member Akari Hayami).  Starting with Kanako Momota’s solo, Taiyou to Ekubo sounds like one of those typical cutesy idol songs that appear frequently.  I do like acoustic guitar and brass being involved for the most part and while I’m not a fan of Kanako’s vocals in this song it’s alright.

2. fall into me

Yup, Akari Hayami gets shafted on the first disc but somehow ends up with a solo on the second disc?  Yeah, it’s pretty confusing for the reasoning of the happening of it but whatever.  I really love the dark atmosphere that opens the song with pipe organ leading the way and then it turns into this edgy rock tune.  Then the weird things happen since Akari is rapping the verses and singing the chorus.  She has such a good deep tone to her voice that I really liked and she was the best singer of the 6-nin group.  Sad she left damnit!

3. …Ai Desu ka?

Shiori Tamai is next up and her song …Ai Desu ka? is more of a mid-tempo pop tune.  I’d say after Akari, Shiori has the next best set of pipes since their light and not too shrill to listen to.  The arrangement isn’t must to really gasm about and it reminds me of a softer version of “Taiyou to Ekubo”.  Just not that amazing.

4. Datte Aarin Nanda Moon☆

I guess we’d have to have another strange song and I thought by the beginning of the song I was listening to ANOTHER cover of “Koi no Dial 6700” with the ~rin, rin, rin~ parts going.  Ayaka Sasaki’s vocals are more suited for this super sugary songs and it shows since the song is very genki (prolly the most of the entire album).  Sadly, the song doesn’t really do much for me and just passes over my head.

5. Arigatou no Present

I was guessing there’d be another ballad somewhere on this album and Momoka Ariyasu’s solo fits that role.  Sadly, likewise with the other solos on this disc, it’s pretty forgettable and Momoka’s vocals don’t really sound great under such ballads.  The music is alright and has a little more going on then “Kimi no Ato”, but I like the latter better still since the vocals in that song don’t sound so blah.

6. Koi wa Abare Ondekoza

I’ll say that Reni Tagaki’s solo is pretty much the other solo that is interesting to listen to (Akari’s is the other BTW).  I mean first off the song is under the Ondo style so there’s the fact that it’s set under a Japanese Folk style that makes it stand out.  Reni though has shaky vocals and it’s pretty obvious some of the notes are questionable, but the fact the arrangement is spiffy enough makes me give her a second chance.  Good little tune.

Tracks Recommended

  • D’ no Junjou
  • CONTRADICTION
  • Pinky Jones
  • fall into me
  • Orange Note

Song of Avoidance

  • Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~

Momoiro Clover Z finally releases their debut album and for the most part it’s alright but nothing totally amazing.  I did love that for the most part, they tackled different styles of music which is a plus for idols but sometimes the arrangements of some of the songs are pretty weird and messed up in a few others.  I didn’t like that they had to redo the older A-sides because Akari left and yet somehow she ended with a solo on the second disc.  By the way, the second disc is kind of a miss…only two of the girls’ songs stood out and that’s Akari and Reni’s solos.  It’s a good album, but nothing overly amazing.

 

Stereopony×Kariyushi58 – Tatoeba Utaekunattara

Filed under: Stereopony — solarblade @ 7:23 pm

Track Listing

  1. Tatoeba Utaekunattara
  2. SHOOTING STAR!
  3. Tatoeba Utaekunattara -AIMI duet Ver-
  4. Tatoeba Utaekunattara -Shingo Maekara due Ver-
  5. Tatoeba Utaekunattara -Instrumental-

1. Tatoeba Utaekunattara

It’s really cool that Stereopony can calm down a little bit after their last few A-sides were pretty rockin’.  Tatoeba Utaekunattara also marks as the group’s first collabortion and it’s with Kariyushi58 who I’m not too familiar with besides the fact that they’re a duo.  I really enjoyed AIMI and Shingo’s vocals especially when they sung together.  Still, it’s a good refreshing slower song for the ladies so I commend them for that ^^

2. SHOOTING STAR!

The actual B-side for the single is Stereopony only and I actually am surprised that it’s also rather tame for the trio since their last single, “Chiisana Mahou” was so upbeat and energetic and SHOOTING STAR! is rather poppy.  AIMI does sound good though so I can’t blame too much for it’s light sound.  Still, I like their last B-sides more!

 

 

As this is Stereopony’s 2nd single of the era, Tatoeba Utaekunattara is a bit lighter than more of their previous releases but overall it’s a solid single.  The collaboration with Kariyushi58 was an interesting choice but it was done pretty well.  SHOOTING STAR! wasn’t I was expecting from the trio, but it was alright.  Can’t wait for the next single.

 

JERO – Tada…Namida

Filed under: JERO — solarblade @ 1:29 am

Track Listing

  1. Tada…Namida
  2. Kaenju
  3. Tada…Namida (Original Karaoke)
  4. Kaenju (Original Karaoke)

1. Tada…Namida

To me it seems that JERO is slowly trying to deviate from his enka style starting with Tada…Namida which is a straight up ballad.  The beginning sounds sad and quiet with just piano playing the melody and JERO singing the song.  His vocals sound really deep and full filling in the lonely tune.  After a while, strings fill in the other empty spaces and fills the song out more strongly.  It’s a pretty good ballad from him and his dramatic sadness through the song worked for me.

2. Kaenju

The B-side is more or what we’ve known from JERO with the inclusion of flutes and electric guitar together in the opening.  It’s not as slow as “Tada…Namida” but it’s still considered a ballad but with a little more oomph to it.  It’s also a bit more closer to some past songs so it does sound rather familiar, but it’s not bad and some of the instrumentation is really nice to listen to.

 

 

Since I’m guessing that this single is the first for the era (since his last release was a best-of album) Tada…Namida is actually quite good of a single and much better than his last few for sure.  The main song is a good dramatic ballad that might be a little outside the box for JERO but he pulled it off nicely.  Kaenju is more of what I liked in the last eras and he still can pull of enka songs as well.  Good start for an era!