Kurayami Monogatari

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KOTOKO – Hiraku Uchuu Pocket October 10, 2011

Filed under: KOTOKO — solarblade @ 8:14 am

Track Listing

  1. TR∀NSFoRM
  2. ☆Mirai -Ressha-☆
  3. Metal Link
  4. Love Letter
  5. Aoi Jeep de
  6. mirror garden
  7. Command+S
  8. χ-kai-
  9. Sa・yo・na…ra
  10. beat
  11. Kikoeru
  12. Hiroke! Sora no Oto
  13. Chikyuu -TERRA-

1. TR∀NSFoRM

Awesome to begin the album with the promotional tune for sure and I thought there was gonna be an immediate change due to KOTOKO switching labels.  It seems like TR∀NSFoRM is the same electro I’ve Sound stuff she’s released since her start which is to me good for me since I like her electro-pop style.  I will say that the song has the same groove and touch like “SCREW” did and I loved the hell outta that song.  Basically this is pretty damn good for a tune to open the album up.

2. ☆Mirai -Ressha-☆

I would have never thought that KOTOKO would utilize her SHORT CIRCUIT vocals on her albums but it seems that is the case for Mirai.  I like the synth-pop out of this one and it sounds cute and almost Perfume-ish in ways.  It’s really sugary and add in the cutesy vocals from KOTOKO you get a song that most people would never expect her to pull (unless they delved into her SHORT CIRCUIT works).

3. Metal Link

Not surprised that we drift away from the cute synths to a more gritty synth/rock mixture with Metal Link.  I like the whole garage-rock feel of the song but once again KOTOKO is kind of in-between using her normal pipes and her SC pipes so it’s got this youthful sound to it as well but a little more authentic than “☆Mirai -Ressha-☆”.  It’s all right in the end, but it felt kind of fast and short.

4. Love Letter

Everyone is seemingly using this title nowadays rather than “Ai no Uta” hahaha.  I really like the mood and melody of the song since it has this fantasy-like tone going for it and it just sends me to places in a good way.  I’m also happy that KOTOKO is singing in her normal sound as well and it works for this fluffy mid-tempo track.  Beautiful little track we have here.

5. Aoi Jeep de

Another short tune comes next with Aoi Jeep de and this feels like more of the garage-rock sound that we had earlier with “Metal Link” but spun around a cute rod since KOTOKO’s vocals are back to the cute side of things and the piano in the song has placed this weird anime-like feel to the tune as well.  It does grow on you which is a good sign, but there’s something a little too basic here.

6. mirror garden

It’s a little strange we get back into the gritty synths and I’ve Sound-sounding songs.  mirror garden definitely feels like something that could’ve been on her previous albums.  I will say that I had problems getting into it since it was pretty slow for the most part and while it does it show off KOTOKO’s vocals and power…this really didn’t lead itself to anything good for some reason.  Wow a synthed up song that I didn’t enjoy hmmm.

7. Command+S

I didn’t expect the next song to start out like it was some kind of club song with the repearing beat and then leading into the melody and synths galore.  I must say this is a new side to KOTOKO and I thought the arrangement was pretty awesome…almost Underworld-like in ways.  At first I thought it was going to be instrumental for the 8 and a half minutes but after two minutes KOTOKO does come in and she sound quite nice.  It’s a bit too long for me, but I really like this song…why am I so on the fence for this one x.x

8. χ-kai-

I guess it’s a play on the word ~Chikai~ so I can see the gears turning in some peoples minds.  To me, the song is quite interesting because it’s one of the more darker songs on the album with the deep gritty synths and KOTOKO under filters at first.  It’s a little strange in the arrangement being slow and kind of like some of her older I’ve tunes.  It’s interesting no doubt, but there’s something off about it…prolly is due from the strange movement of the song.

9. Sa・yo・na…ra

Now this is something that belongs on a “SHORT CIRCUIT” album since it’s high-energy and features KOTOKO’s more cute vocals in conjunction.  At first I thought it was going to be really odd like “”☆Mirai -Ressha-☆”, but it kind of works a bit better because KOTOKO resorts back to her normal vocals for the verses while she peps her vocals in the chorus.  Better song after I listened to it a couple of times!

10. beat

To me, beat also kind of has a strange atmosphere.  It reminds me of stuff like “Aoi-iconoclast” and such since it’s rock, but it has various things in it like piano, strings, and synths.  Unlike most of the previous songs on the album, this one is kind of forgettable and to me is the filler song on the album.  It isn’t bad, nor is it that great…it’s just there.

11. Kikoeru

As the album’s token ballad, Kikoeru to me really isn’t that but it’s much lighter than everything before it (maybe with the exception of “Love Letter”).  It’s different and while KOTOKO is singing in a higher and cuter pitch it kind of becomes more of a chore to listen to.  It’s not that bad, but I can’t remember much besides the ~kitto, kitto, kitto~ at the end of the chorus. 

12. Hiroke! Sora no Oto

More of this garage-rock stuff it seems lol.  I actually kind of enjoyed Hiroke! quite a bit since the arrangement is more straightforward and KOTOKO didn’t sound too extreme like the other ones which is definitely good news.  I heard the strings and was also imagining that she was channeling a little of Nana Mizuki in this tune.  Good tune here

13. Chikyuu -TERRA-

Closing the album out on a rather unusual note is Chikyuu which could be paralleling “Love Letter” because both songs have this slowish atmosphere about it except this song is a bit more darker in approach with the synths and mechanical feel.  KOTOKO is singing quite lightly to fit the mold of the song more and I do think she does a better job at making this a lil more broad since the chorus is loud and has guitars ^_^.  Great ending to the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Love Letter
  • Command+S
  • TR∀NSFoRM
  • Chikyuu -TERRA-
  • ☆Mirai -Ressha-☆

Song of Avoidance

  • mirror garden

I’m a little surprised that KOTOKO would leave (technically she did) I’ve Sound to Warner but it feels like she didn’t lose her steam since she kept the producers from her I’ve days while working with new ones on this one.  Hiraku Uchuu Pocket was a nice effort despite not really surpassing “Epsilon no Fune” unfortunately.  I would kind of like KOTOKO’s higher tone to be kept elsewhere off her albums.  I will say also that better producers are needed I think.  Still a solid release and good first release on a new label.

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One Response to “KOTOKO – Hiraku Uchuu Pocket”

  1. […] stuff, you should be positioned to like the entire album. I’m inclined to look to this review as a template. But, again, that’s looking at it from someone who likes the Epsilon no Fune […]


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