Kurayami Monogatari

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Minori Chihara – TERMINATED October 18, 2011

Filed under: Minori Chihara — solarblade @ 9:18 pm

Track Listing

  1. TERMINATED
  2. Meguriai ~Kakegae no Nai Mono~
  3. HYPER NEW WORLD

1. TERMINATED

Finally something that actually doesn’t make me want to shoot poor Minorin.  TERMINATED finally has something that her previous singles lacked and that was powerful vocals that weren’t otherwise sugary cute (though I’ll make an exception for “Defection”).  I love the dramatic orchestrated intro before it turns into a synth/string battle and it sounds great!  Minorin also has got her vocals together and she sounds epic basically.  I’m still picking my jaw off the ground from this song, definitely her best A-side of the era by a LOOOOONG shot.

2. Meguriai ~Kakegae no Nai Mono

She hasn’t done a ballad for a while so it’s nice that Meguriai kind of takes up that spot on this single.  However, Minorin sings in a more pitchier tone which parallels like Miku Hatsune at some parts which bothered me a little bit.  Even the arrangement isn’t very engaging and it just doesn’t grab me as good as “TERMINATED”.

3. HYPER NEW WORLD

Of course it isn’t a Minorin single without something very upbeat and using her seiyuu vocals for.  HYPER NEW WORLD is kind of euro/anime-ish and very energetic which might be great and oddly enough the vocals kind of fit the style despite not being my favorite.  It’s a little better than “Meguriai” that’s for sure!

 

 

Is it album time yet?  I mean 5 singles (or 6) and still no album in sight?  I must say that TERMINATED, the A-side is her best song through the entire era which is great but shows how crappy most of the other songs are TBH.  Meguriai is a pretty failish ballad and her singing kind of ruined it that for me.  HYPER NEW WORLD was alright but kind of is just that when compared to other tunes in the era.  I really want this era to be over!

 

Mai Kuraki – Your Best Friend

Filed under: Mai Kuraki — solarblade @ 4:01 am

Track Listing

  1. Your Best Friend
  2. step by step
  3. Your Best Friend -Instrumental-

1. Your Best Friend

Really?  Mai, you’re starting to lose me at this point!  Your Best Friend marks as the 3rd A-side in a row that’s a ballad.  Luckily this one is fashioned more as an R&B ballad and it kind of oddly sounds like something Kana Nishino would’ve released for some reason.  Even weirder is that I do get Kana vibes even from Mai’s vocals which is a bit odd.  At least the tune fits with her vocals since she’s get light and thin vocals as it is.  It’s alright, but c’mon after “1000 Mankai no Kiss” and “Mou Ichido”, another ballad is just something I don’t want to hear.

2. step by step

I was happy to hear the B-side was something stronger since it builds on the ballad-like beats from “Your Best Friend” and makes it more danceable and adds a nice deep buzzing synth to make it pop out.  Once again, I get Kana vibes as well but at least Mai’s vocals sound like her.  I like the twinkly sound and the heavy beat at the same time. 

 

 

So far in this era, every song has been rather way light and has this breezy yet serious feel to it.  Sadly, Your Best Friend kind of bores me just because it had to be released after two other ballads as A-sides.  It just didn’t pop while step by step amped it up a little better but it’s still kind of light for her.  She does have “Strong Heart” releasing soon and I’m hoping it’s not a damn ballad because I will fume!

 

Morning Musume – 12, Smart

Filed under: Morning Musume — solarblade @ 3:26 am

Track Listing

  1. Give me Love
  2. Only you
  3. Silver no Udedokei
  4. Suki da na Kimi ga
  5. Kaiketsu Positive A
  6. Kono Ai wo Kasanete
  7. Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!
  8. Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!
  9. My Way ~Joshikou Hanamichi~
  10. Otome no Timing
  11. OK YEAH!
  12. Maji Desu ka Ska!

1. Give me Love

I guess that Emo Musume haven’t left the building just quite yet.  Give me Love definitely has that sound that they’ve had in their last couple of eras which is getting tiresome, but at the same time since this is essentially the only one on the album I can deal with that.  I really like the feel of the song no doubt and the it’s funny that Takitty, Reina, and Riho are taking leads in this song while other members kind of slide back a bit.  It’s a good opening track and all, but I was impressed by the previous album openers.

2. Only you

While this is a little more of Emo Musume being the second A-side released in the era, Only you is the group’s most serious A-side as well.  I still find myself thinking that this is an unorthodox kind of tune because of the different time changes and interesting way dealing with the verses.  While it retains the same main members: Ai, Reina, and Riho (with an auto-tuned Risa along for the ride).  I still enjoyed the song but one thing that bothered me (as it did for other people was the whole ~ell for you~…I still wonder if it was intentional since Takitty and Reina pronounced it like that.  Otherwise, great A-side.

3. Silver no Udedokei

Like most MM albums we split off into smaller groups starting with Silver no Udedokei which has Reina and Riho partnered up.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it is in the R&B style which sometimes works with the group, sometimes not.  Sadly, this is one of those not so much times.  Reina oddly sounds good to me hear but Riho kind of sucked in the song because she was either singing too loudly (and out of character) plus her vocals were way nasally in spots.  After a while this rapping starts and learned that Risa and Aika took to the rapping and they both did well (Aika more IMO).  Song kind of just fell flat for me after a while and Riho didn’t exactly get better here and at almost 6 minutes…that’s just too much.

4. Suki da na Kimi ga

Next up is a Sayu and Mizuki song and it fits Sayu quite a bit since it’s more synth and electro-pop than previous songs on the album and while I found it amazing, it seems this tune has no solos.  I will say that Sayu is singing over poor Mizuki but they sound great together.  Beyond that I thought this was pretty much enjoyable throughout and they sound great together (but next time I wanna hear more Mizuki!).

5. Kaiketsu Positive A

Yay! another song that features all the members together and every member gets a good amount of solo lines.  It kind of moves just like “Maji Desu ka Ska!” with line distribution, but I felt they were allowed to have a little more attitude with this song which is great because I swear the two songs have the same build almost.  I liked hearing more of the 9th Gen show their pipes…(not so much Riho, because she really stretched her vocals too tight on one of the swooping notes and kind ruined that).  Still not a bad group song, but it is a little much like the first A-side of the era.

6. Kono Ai wo Kasanete

Of course we get a Ai/Risa song (luckily the last one at that lol).  Of course it comes of as something sappy but I guess that’s supposed to be because Ai and Risa are the only Gokkies on this release.  It does turn into a more happier “Silver no Udedokei” minus the rapping and such.  I think “Ano Hi no Modoritai” was a much better representation of the two elder members IMO.

7. Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!

Then comes the most of the 3rd single starting with the primary A-side.  Not gonna lie, I was quite impressed with this one the most out of the era but I’m not sure why.  I love the disco vibes that harken back to a great time for Momosu and of course the line distribution is seperated between Ai, Reina, Risa, and Riho which might be a bummer to the fans but it’s a good list of singers since they sang great.  It’s fun but not overloading on it or making it cute like two of the other A-sides of the era.

8. Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!

Since “Kono Chikyuu…” does end into our next track, I’m not surprised they would keep it that way.  I love this song for some reason and it might be from the lulzy PV that this song went with or the fact that Takitty is shafted towards the back and letting Sayu take the reins along with Reina.  I also said that they’ve been missing genki from their songs for a LONG time and while “Maji Desu ka Ska!” was a good start this was much MUCH better.  It’s silly but honest and I adore that about this tune and while some people might be wary seeing as Sayu leads and isn’t on auto-tune, she’s not that bad and fits the atmosphere to a T.  Probably my favorite of the A-sides.

9. My Way ~Joshikou Hanamichi~

I’m not sure what to think of My Way to be honest.  It seems so weird to have something that’s upbeat and kind of rockish, but I can see this being popular live more than on the album to be honest.  Also, it’s really awesome to see that Fuku-chan actually get the first line of the song ^_^.  Also lulzing at Takitty only really getting two words in the sense of a solo line 4 times and all the members get more than her LOL.  Otherwise beyond the verses the rest of the song is all of them singing and that’s a lot of time singing together.  Overall, it was nice but definitely an album track and not worth to be an A-side.

10. Otome no Timing

The final split off song is between the rest of the members that didn’t get a solo which are Aika (I guess her rapping in “Silver no Udedokei” was null), Kanon, and Erina.  I really want Aika to sing less cutesy songs because of the last couple albums she’s had the cute ones and she doesn’t sound good (not even her solo in “Platinum 9 DISCO” was that good for her).  I will say that we get to hear a lot of Eripon and Zukki and they do cute well but likewise especially with Eripon, I don’t wanna see this cute side to them as much because it feels forced IMO.  Yeah, not a great track here.

11. OK YEAH!

Did anyone else felt like the beginning of this song sounded like “Hand made CITY” from the “Kanashimi Twilight” single?  Yeah the call and response shindig really reminded me of that B-side so much.  I’ve seen people relate the song to Parapara and DDR and I can agree with that because it has a fast pace and quick synths thrown throughout.  I will say the line distribution is really left for the 5 oldest members with Riho on like 2-3 lines haha.  It’s alright, but after a while it kind of gets forgetful and just annoying in some places lol.

12. Maji Desu ka Ska!

I really would like to know why the producers chose Maji Desu ka Ska! to close the album, it just doesn’t seem right nor does it even work as a closing song despite this being the Kyuukie’s debut A-side.  I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before on the single review but I really hate the girls laughing and having fun as the intro of the song and even moreso on the album…Pass that, I feel that this is a pretty fun song to listen to and line distribution is pretty much equal but it’s still a Ai/Reina hog-fest.  I mean some people dislike the song nowadays, but I still feel like it’s good and better since it was the first time we got to hear the new girls so it’s special for that haha.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!
  • Kaiketsu Positive A
  • Only you
  • Suki da na Kimi ga
  • Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!

Song of Avoidance

  • Silver no Udedokei

Momosu’s 12, Smart album was a bit of a curious one for me just like “Fantasy, Juuichi” I was curious to the fact that were they gonna focus on the group or more importantly the fact that Eri, Junjun, and Linlin were graduating.  Here, it was more of were they gonna pay attention to the Kyuukies or Takitty graduating.  Luckily they did the former which is nice because we still haven’t had a full grasp on what they sound like and they did better hear (maybe not Mizuki since she was covered up by auto-tuned Sayu).  Still the songs where everyone was together were pretty much great stuff and they let Takitty lead a few new tracks while others were more equal line distribution.  Sadly, the songs with two or three members failed for the most part (cept the Sayu/Fuku-chan duet).  They lacked a lot and some of them sounded BAD.  Oddly enough I wonder what’ll be next…their powerhouse singer in Takitty is gone and we have four new members in Haruna, Masaki, Ayumi, and Haruka.  I’m really curious where Tsunku will take the 12-nin now after this album!