Kurayami Monogatari

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SID – Itsuka September 26, 2011

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 8:04 am

Track Listing

  1. Itsuka
  2. Akikaze
  3. NO LDK (Live from “dead stock” TOUR 2011″)

1. Itsuka

Whoa there Mao, let’s not overdo that opening eh?  Itsuka to me comes off as a regular rock track from SID and as much as that sounds bad…it kind of isn’t considering their last few singles lol.  It’s a bit tame and toned down when compared to their last single “Ranbu no Melody” but this has a nice feel to it though.  Mao does a good job of singing the tune and the added strings was a nice touch as well.  Though yeah, after their last A-side…I was kind of expecting something different, but this was nice.

2. Akikaze

I love SID’s B-sides so much more than their lead in songs (which makes me hope for a B-side collection in the future).  Akikaze might not be as oddball as some of their previous B-sides, but it’s different enough from “Itsuka” to make an impression on me.  I mean it’s brighter and there’s some good light guitar notes in the song that gives it this playful nature.  The guitar solo was a bit random, but for a song meaning autumn breeze, this is really nice.

3. NO LDK (Live from “dead stock TOUR 2011”)

Rounding out the single is a live version of the first track off their last album, “dead stock”.  I remember having mixed feelings about the song, but the fact that the dance beats are not as prevalent here is nice and the band takes over the song much more.  I think they do great when they pull live versions of songs and they pulled off NO LDK quite good.

 

 

SID begins a new era with an alright single with Itsuka.  After all the awesomeness in the “dead stock” era, it’s really weird that Itsuka kind of pulls them down to a normal level.  I still think the B-side, Akikaze was the best off the single…but I think that’s been the norm with SID.

 

Juliet – Shibuya

Filed under: Juliet — solarblade @ 7:27 am

Track Listing

  1. Here We Go!!
  2. Yuki Love
  3. Saku Love -Sakura, Chiru-
  4. Stripe
  5. Motokare
  6. Motokano
  7. Manneri
  8. Kimi e
  9. Chikai no Uta
  10. Shinyuu
  11. Image

1. Here We Go!!

How in the world did Juliet end up opening the album up with a B-side more or less the most recent one from “Motokano”.  I guess it’s fitting since it makes sure to tell the listener that the album won’t be like their previous two albums.  I like the summery vibes the song gives and all three members sound pretty lively for sure.  I did recall that I did say their vocals aren’t as their best here but it’s still a fun tune…though interesting choice of opening song.

2. Yuki Love

Since it’s the first A-side released in the era, Yuki Love might seem strange since it’s only the fall, but I guess the trio wanted to get their seasonal songs out of the way.  I actually had time to somewhat enjoy this because while the fact is that the next track was just a slight copy, Yuki Love felt more stronger and the gals sound pretty damn amazing.  I still do think Juliet’s ballads are mostly filter-like songs but this was nice overall.

3. Saku Love -Sakura, Chiru-

Like I said on the single review, Saku Love would’ve been a clone of “Yuki Love” if it wasn’t for the acoustic guitar and synths that were thrown in.  Being next to each other, it does sounds a little faster, but it’s still pretty basic.  It does grow on you though I will admit so after the review and listening to it again, it’s kind of nice listen…slightly better than “Yuki Love” actually.

4. Stripe

Random, a new song in between these old ones XD.  Stripe kind of reminds me of a cuter “Here We Go!!” but that’s pretty good because there’s just a bright atmosphere thrown in between these serious tunes and I found it as a smart move.  Actually it’s kind of catchy and when they get em right (like this song) it’s worth more than one listen.

5. Motokare

It’s pretty hard to actually determine whether or not if this song is my least favorite of the era since I’ve started to really enjoy “Yuki Love” and “Saku Love”.  I mean from previous reviews it would seem that I would dislike it for the genre it’s under, but it’s not as bad as I thought nor as cheap as some older songs were.  Strong vocals also helped it here though.  Hmmm…

6. Motokano

I found it kind of funny that the trio placed the last track and this one next to each since they kind of relate to each other and all that.  Unlike “Motokare”, Motokano is more of a light dance/pop song and it kind of works as well.  Still, I think this is the best of the era but I think “Saku Love” could give a run for its money. 

7. Manneri

Odd that the rest of the album is straight up new songs.  From the new songs I’ve heard (ok only “Stripe” so far) it’s upbeat as well but this one is funky as bright just like the previous mentioned song but also synthy like “Mou Hitotsu no, Aki Love”.  Another winner here just for having a party atmosphere going!

8. Kimi e

Kimi e would be the kind of song I’d normally avoid because it’s R&B and slightly cheeseworthy.  I mean it has a different sound that makes it pop amongst the songs but there’s just something that’s also holding it back from being as good as other songs.  It could be that the vocals aren’t as good as the other ones perhaps?  I don’t know but I’m not too big of a fan of this one.

9. Chikai no Uta

Why is my initial idea that the trio is adding upbeat songs in the way of album songs continuing?  I get island-y vibes out of Chikai no Uta with the overload on brass and hearing steel drums as well.  It’s a very interesting sound and I really did like this song because it’s fun (like the others) but mix in the island flavors and you get a pretty colorful tune.

10. Shinyuu

Shinyuu at least breaks my thoughts finally.  It’s actually the only new ballad off the album oddly enough.  The only thing going for this song is the typical strings/piano formula…plus the three gals.  I’m still kind of surprised that they’d stick one over here after such a line of upbeat tunes.  As simplistic and minimalistic the song comes off as, it really works with them and their pretty vocals. 

11. Image

Closing the album is strangely the album’s cutest song but I don’t think it’s bad, but it kind of just flies over my head oddly enough!  I mean it has the right things going for it, but since all of the new songs minus one were upbeat in some way, I’d say it’s the weakest of the bunch. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Chikai no Uta
  • Motokano
  • Stripe
  • Saku Love -Sakura, Chiru-
  • Manneri

Song of Avoidance

  • Kimi e

After I basically bombed Juliet after listening to their sophomore album, “Real”.  I was almost close to giving up on them since they just weren’t my thing.  After “Shiki Love”, I was like maybe they have something.  With Shibuya though, they struck something good in me this time and I really enjoyed this one from the trio.  I mean since the album’s mood has brighten, I think it did them well and the slower and serious tracks turned out good without going into boredom.  Sweet album here!