Kurayami Monogatari

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Junko Akimoto – Karenai Hana August 26, 2011

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 7:26 pm

Track Listing

  1. Karenai Hana
  2. Precious ~Aitakute~
  3. Karenai Hana (Original Karaoke)
  4. Karenai Hana (Ippanyou Karaoke Han’on Age)
  5. Precious ~Aitakute~ (Original Karaoke)

1. Karenai Hana

I think Junko is trying to recapture the flame that made “Ai no Mama de…” so damn popular two years back.  Karenai Hana isn’t as forward with the accordion like her past song but it’s a pretty song nonetheless since strings play a bigger role than before.  I really like Junko’s vocals though since they have the right emotion and she also flows pretty nicely.  It isn’t as good “Sono Hana wa…” but I’d say it’s pretty consistent of A-sides for this era.

2. Precious ~Aitakute~

As for the B-side, Precious starts out like some kind of easy listening-type of song since it doesn’t feel like her normal style of music like she’s been doing with the previous B-sides.  It’s way simpler than “Karenai Hana” in the arrangement department but it gives Junko a little more room to show off her vocals even though she really doesn’t do anything huge.  I will say that the whole ~just fall in love~ lyrics are cute and fitting with how soft this is.  I liked it.

 

 

Closing out Junko’s 4th era, Karenai Hana is pretty good when set next to the previous two singles that make up the era.  I mean the lead track is prolly the best of them, but I still think “Kakurenbo” from her last single is still the best B-side.  I guess it’s alright but it’s just that to me lol

 

KOKIA – pieces

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 8:14 am

Track Listing

  1. KARMA
  2. Insomnia
  3. Transparent
  4. Chinmoku
  5. Fate
  6. Omoi
  7. Nageki no Oto
  8. Koto no wa
  9. Anata to Deatte
  10. Road to Glory~for Dragon Nest White Version
  11. EXEC_REBIRTHIA=PROTOCOL/.
  12. EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.
  13. Hikari no Naka ni

1. KARMA

I feel a little weird that KOKIA starts her outwork collection with the three singles preceding this album IN ORDER in A-side, B-side lineage too.  Anyways KARMA kicks things off with such soothing chanting and a quiet atmosphere at first really made this song just pop for me when it was first released.  After the first verse the song gains a steady beat and KOKIA’s ad-libbing just wows me.  It isn’t as grandiose like “Fate” or “EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.” but damn does it have its good parts…great start to the album.

2. Insomnia

I do think that besides “EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.”, Insomnia sticks out on the album simply because it is sung in a totally different language and that’s Italian.  However, the song does nothing for me because it’s so much of a lullaby and the arrangement doesn’t really go anywhere while KOKIA is singing in a very legato tone so it feels like it moves even slower.  It’s vocally very good, but this just puts me into sleep mode.

3. Transparent

I did just review this single beforehand today, but I’ve had this single for quite a while.  I still haven’t changed my opinions around at all since the singles review (god forbid that I reviewed before this album).  It does wake me up after “Insomnia” which is a good thing, but I’m still overall annoyed by that vague chorus.  Oh well.

4. Chinmoku

Of the B-sides that were released in the era, Chinmoku is my favorite of the three just because it doesn’t drag and it has this feeling that I just find myself loving.  Like I said on the single review earlier today, Chinmoku is pretty and KOKIA’s English in the line ~I wanna embrace you~ just stands out.  Love this tune!

5. Fate

Yeah, this song is epic and awesome to listen to.  It’s like walking to a battlefield or something with KOKIA and his orgasmic vocals hahaha.  From the marching style to the way the song was handled altogether it’s no wonder I’m just head over heels over this song.  She needs more songs like these since this is her at her best. 

6. Omoi

It’s really hard to place this or “Insomnia” as the worst of the B-sides.  With the latter it was from the sleepy arrangement that didn’t really go anywhere.  Omoi’s problem lies in the fact that it’s way too long for me.  However, the song is more interesting because of the depressing tone of the song mixed with KOKIA’s whispery vocals and low strings.  It might be interesting for the ballad fans, but this needed to be chopped in length.

7. Nageki no Oto

Finally songs that I haven’t already heard prior to this release!  I really like the depressing glow of this song as well which fits pretty nicely after “Omoi”.  At least KOKIA’s vocals are more impressive here and I love the bass in this song a lot for some reason but this song grows into something that’s a lil like “Fate” almost but not as jaw-dropping.

8. Koto no wa

Another ballad fills the headphones next with Koto no wa and since it’s only KOKIA with piano and strings with light percussion.  I get a wintry night kind of feel for the song and the mood is very relaxed and yet kind of bright at the same time.  I just get into a good mood whenever I listen to this song and is one of the more pleasant and calming songs.

9. Anata to Deatte

Another “Insomnia” on the album?!?  Yeah, it’s the same exact feeling I get listening to this track because it’s really slow and the legato singing is really dragging the song even slower which puts me back into a sleepy kind of mood.  I mean it’s a little more likeable than the B-side, but it’s very hard to fully enjoy since it’s just THAT SLOOOOOW.

10. Road to Glory~for Dragon Nest White Version

Wow, I didn’t think she would’ve added Road to Glory on here because it’s A. The only song represented from the mini-album from the era and B. I still quite like even if this is the third time I reviewed it really.  It’s really adventurous of a song and kind of falls into the same category as “KARMA” but with a lighter glow and a much prettier arrangement IMO.  Later on the song it does become stronger with erhu and brass mixed in with a marching beat ala “Fate”.  It’s one of the album’s best songs.

11. EXEC_REBIRTHIA=PROTOCOL/.

Ok, the strange titles for the next two tracks are because both songs are tied to the Ar tornelico series of games.  The first of the two tones down the epic factor to another ballad but unlike the sleeper songs, REBIRTHIA=PROTOCOL starts out with a long passage of ad-libbing before KOKIA comes in and she sounds kind of deeper than in the other songs which threw me off at first but it’s a nice change.  It isn’t an amazing song as I hoped it would be (considering I’ve had the next song on replay for a long time). 

12. EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.

For a song to have such an interesting title like COSMOFLIPS, I was expecting something way outrageous and outside of the box for KOKIA.  It seems that she conjured up another “Fate”-like track and I fell in love with this completely.  However, newbies will find themselves confused or trying to figure out what the hell she’s saying.  That’s because this song is sung under the fictional Ar tornelico language, Hymnnos.  It’s still pretty damn epic of a battlefield type of a song has a lot of punch and of course KOKIA sounds OMG good.  Yeah another grand slammer of a song!

13. Hikari no Naka ni

Closing the album out is Hikari no Naka ni which kind of sounds like something left over from her album, “REAL WORLD” since it has this Tunisian feel but in a more calmer and soothing fashion.  It does seem to slowly build into something better but also has a slow part as well before returning to it.  It’s a nice closing song to choose for the album IMO.

Tracks Recommended

  • Fate
  • EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.
  • Chinmoku
  • Road to Glory~for Dragon Nest White Version
  • Koto no wa

Song of Avoidance

  • Insomnia

It’s been a long time waiting for this album to finally come out.  Even though it’s credited as an outworks album, I consider it a main album since the last three singles she released are present on here with a bunch of other tracks that didn’t have an official KOKIA release.  If your looking for an album to start with “REAL WORLD” and “THE VOICE” still tops the list but this isn’t far behind and made up for that boring mess in “moment”.  Yeah, definitely check this album out *RECOMMENDED*