Kurayami Monogatari

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Koda Kumi – Ai wo Tomenaide September 24, 2011

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 8:58 pm

Track Listing

  1. Ai wo Tomenaide
  2. You are not alone (CD only)
  3. Anata Dake ga (Strings Version) (Movie Version only)
  4. Anata Dake ga (Music Box Version) (Movie Version only)

1. Ai wo Tomenaide

It hasn’t been that long since we’ve had an A-side Kuu ballad (“Suki de. Suki de, Suki de./Anata Dake ga” would be the last one if I remember right.  I kind of found this really pretty for some reason because of the arrangement and the little splash of spanish guitar in the beginning.  It’s dramatic but not overly so and she sounds really pretty here.  Pretty ballad…and I was surprised it turned out as good despite being a rushed single!

2. You are not alone

However, I can’t say the same for the B-side because it just lacks something.  I mean given that it’s poppy and a little R&B-ish and has a good positive message for it.  It reminds me of my feelings of another B-side she’s released, “Come Over”.  They both have this uncharacteristic sound and it feels either cheesy or just boring at other times.  This was definitely the rushed song XD

3. Anata Dake ga (Strings Version)

The other version of the single included two versions of Anata Dake ga oddly enough.  First off is the strings version of the song of course and it’s definitely a pretty version of the song.  It seems to fit Kuu’s vocals quite a bit better than the original’s synth version and it’s even better to hear the woman actually resing the tune to the point where it’s just perfect.  There’s some points where I think she’s a bit airy in her singing, but this is a nice version.

4. Anata Dake ga (Music Box Version)

On the flipside of the coin, we also get a music box version which is true to its title but honestly I would’ve enjoyed it if they kept it that way like what Kuu did with “stay with me”.  Kuu actually sings along with the tune once again and since the song is essentially one instrument, it’s just kind of blah.  I rather listen to the strings version here!

 

 

 

Ai wo Tomenaide is pretty strange of a single.  I love the A-side no doubt since it’s strong and Kuu continues to sound pretty damn awesome with this ballads (even though she still has an equal amount of bad ballads under her belt).  You are not alone though is just strange and being that it’s placed after Ai wo Tomenaide is even more absurd.  It has its moments but it’s not even B-side worthy tbh.  Also, the new versions of Anata Dake ga is alright but I really prefer the strings take more than the music box.  I think Kuu should slow down though seeing this single was a little strange.

 

Lia – Kimi wa Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo/Song of Life

Filed under: Lia — solarblade @ 8:26 pm

Track Listing

  1. Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo
  2. Song of Life
  3. Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo (Violin Sei-Ensou Remix)
  4. Song of Life (Piano×Violin Sei-Ensou Remix)

1. Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo

I have to admit, Lia has one of the strongest voices in J-pop and it works well with the first A-side, Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo since it is essentially just her and piano which might bore a lot of people but I really enjoyed Lia’s vocals a whole bunch.  Otherwise, I can’t say much else because it’s pretty basic of a song I must admit.  Still pretty.

2. Song of Life

Luckily, things get interesting for the other A-side with Song of Life which has a little more going for it, but it’s still a ballad.  Nothing like CASIO keyboards and strings and some other small things to give it that spark.  To me, it feels like an ending theme but that’s alright since Lia can pull it off!  Still a little basic…but strong!

3. Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo (Violin Sei-ensou Remix)

Unlike the original take of it, the so-called remix of the song is takes the piano’s melody and let’s the violin pull it off.  Of course the piano is still in it, but doesn’t stick out.  To me, the violin does add a little to the song to get it out of the basic zone, but I still feel like there could have been more to make it epic and grand. 

4. Song of Life (Piano×Violin Sei-Ensou Remix)

Of course we also get another version of Song of Life and instead of the interesting arrangement of the original it gets taken out for strings and piano.  I like the soft mood and it seems to suit Lia’s vocals so much better than the original as well which is interesting because I didn’t think the added strings in “Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo” really worked for me.  Hmmmm, strange….but I like the version more!

 

 

If you were expecting something like what Lia has been releasing in her last few single, then you will sorely be disappointed in this one.  It lacks energy and interest in the arrangements and is basically there to show off Lia’s incredible vocals which is good.  However, when your last single was something like “kizunairo” or “Kokoro ni Todoku Uta” then this is probably not a good direction to go.  I liked the original version of Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo and the remixed version of Song of Life but the other two tracks just were kind of meh…

 

Porno Graffitti – One More Time

Filed under: Porno Graffitti — solarblade @ 7:41 pm

Track Listing

  1. One More Time
  2. My Model
  3. Goodbye Summer

1. One More Time

I’ve always enjoyed when PG uses synths along with their rockin’ style like in songs like “Koyoi, Tsuki ga Miezu Tomo” and “Rainbow” so it comes as no surprise that I loved One More Time through first listen.  Even though there’s some filtering going on in Akihito’s vocals, it’s still a pretty awesome song since it fuses dance beats and awesome guitars.  After all the singles with just the two, it was definitely time for a change and they scored highly with this song!

2. My Model

The B-sides do revert back, but adds different amounts of spice.  With My Model, they threw in a little bit of synths and a lot of brass to make it stand out.  To me, it felt empty for a good portion song and Akihito was really left to make things interesting up until the chorus where things open up and synths take over.  It’s interesting but those verses are odd XD.

3. Goodbye Summer

I don’t know how to really describe Goodbye Summer’s style but it’s also kind of refreshing.  I mean claps, a funky melody, and some brass.  For a song aptly titled as such I was figuring it was going to be a ballad of sorts but the mood is anything but.  It’s different likewise with the other songs on the single and I found it easily likeable as well!

 

 

I think PG is definitely on their way to something big because One More Time is the best single released so far in this era.  All three tracks bring something positive to the table and the fact they aren’t like their previous efforts is quite shocking!  Even better is that I didn’t have any problems with Akihito’s vocals…hmmm a sign perhaps?!?