Kurayami Monogatari

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RAINBOW – Mach December 4, 2011

Filed under: RAINBOW — solarblade @ 10:18 am

Track Listing

  1. Mach
  2. Not Your Girl
  3. Mach (Instrumental)
  4. Mach (Original Version) (CD only)

1. Mach

I’m already finding myself enjoying Mach a little more than “A” since it’s got a louder vibe and funny enough reminds me of a KARA tune.  Luckily, Mach has a bit more of a mature vibe to it and it works.  Even the brass in the song added kick.  I have to say that overall, this was a hit for me and such an upgrade after their debut.

2. Not Your Girl

The B-sides is a Japanese take of a song originally from their debut in Korea, “Gossip Girl”.  Like the B-side off their debut there’s something lacking a bit in the song as well and to be honest Not Your Girl is kind of too repetitive but the beat is quite solid and the girls sound interesting showing off a lot attitude.  Still it’s hampered by such an annoying hook…

3. Mach (Original Version)

Just like their last single it comes with the original Korean version of the A-side, this time Mach of course.  I can’t say much else really since the stuff I said above applies here as well except the fact that them singing in Korean once again trumps the Japanese version. 

 

 

It seems that RAINBOW flipped the idea for their second JPN single.  Mach was pretty good and really stands out when compared to “A”.  However, it falls flat when we get to Not Your Girl which was a disaster to listen to.  I’m sure the Korean version is just as saddening IMO.  Overall, I think this slightly did worse than “A”.  Bah humbug…this group needs to pick it up!

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2PM – REPUBLIC OF 2PM

Filed under: 2PM — solarblade @ 9:58 am

Track Listing

  1. I’m your man
  2. Ultra Lover
  3. I’ll be back -Japanese ver.-
  4. Stay with me
  5. Without U -Japanese ver.-
  6. Crazy In Love
  7. 100 Nichi Kinenbi
  8. Take off
  9. Hands Up -Japanese ver.-
  10. Unmei
  11. Heartbeat -Japanese ver.-
  12. Hanarete Itemo

1. I’m your man

Interesting that the group decided to open the album up with their 2nd A-side released.  Compared to the other A-sides, I didn’t exactly feel much for this song initially since it felt like something I’ve known for a long time.  It did grow on me after a while but I still consider it the era’s weakest A-side. 

2. Ultra Lover

Makes sense that at least the 3rd A-side appears next.  I really do find this song so refreshing and the members sound great and the chorus does sound like a Xmas GAP commercial but it’s got a great flow and of course Taecyeon’s rapping is quite strong in the song.  It’s a little strange coming after a more serious “I’m your man” to such a light poppy song…strange but still so good!

3. I’ll be back -Japanese ver.-

I kind of wished they didn’t bring the three Japanese remakes onto the album since they all felt dated and kind of basic compared to 2PM’s more recent outings.  The first of the three was originally off of “Ultra Lover”.  My opinion still stands in which I said the song felt uninspired and kind of light and empty. 

4. Stay with me

Only five new tracks on the album (which is alright for a debut album), Stay with me is the first of them and I’m kind of reminded of their Korean stuff with this one.  As well, it seems a little underwhelming but does better than “I’ll be back”.  I do like the boys’ vocals in the song which is good and all, but I’m still kind of unimpressed at the overall presentation here.

5. Without U -Japanese ver.-

Next up is Without U was off the “I’m your man” single.  Now this song was my favorite of the three songs that were redone since it sounds serious and the K-pop dance beats sound just right.  I love the deeper voices taking the chorus when compared to Junsu for that and it really adds a darker tone to an already dark song. 

6. Crazy In Love

I was hoping the rest of the album would start to pick up and luckily it does, starting with Crazy In Love which has a nice amount of high synths and smooth vocals mixed together under such a K-pop kind of atmosphere.  I’m also once again loving the rappers in the song since it gives edge to the song.  Even the slow parts was really cool too….hmmm liking this one a lot!

7. 100 Nichi Kinenbi

After 6 tracks of upbeat songs it was coming that the group was going to put out a ballad and 100 Nichi Kinenbi would be that song.  Now I wasn’t expecting the ballad to be brighter than some of the other 2PM ballads I’ve heard.  It’s a great uplifting kind of ballad actually and the guys sound pretty strong against the strings and other assortment of sounds/instruments.

8. Take off

Of course I’m so happy Take off is on the tracklist because it’s still one of their best songs in their full discograhphy.  I’ve said it many times before on other singles that Ao no Exorcist has been producing such amazing songs for both it’s intros and outros.  Take off was the first ending theme and it still sounds unique amongst the album since it’s floaty and sooo good.  Still the album’s best track right here!

9. Hands Up -Japanese ver.-

Acting as the album’s main promotional tune, Hands Up is the Japanese take on their main track off the last released Korean album.  Now I’ve heard the song originally and to be honest it’s a little weird for me and in context is also a bit strange (especially after that light and fluffy “Take off”).  I mean most of the song that I can remember is the whole ~put your hands up, put your hands up~ lines that occur a lot.  It’s kind of funny to listen to in either language but it shows a different side to the group, I haven’t seen yet and I give brownie point to them for that!

10. Unmei

It sounds like a heart machine that opens up Unmei along with the sirens lmao.  Out of the new songs on the album, Unmei is actually my favorite of the bunch since it’s a great K-pop track once again.  The rapping was a little random, not gonna lie…but it sounds amazing and the strings during the rap was a nice twist!  Then again hearing ~unmei~ being repeated over and over is humourous.  Strange but awesome song!

11. Heartbeat -Japanese ver.-

Heartbeat has such a funny opening talk line.  After that the rapping starts with underlying synths and I’m just kind of lulzing at how wacky the rapping sounds (and surprised at how fast they’re spittin their Japanese words).  I think I’ve grown to dislike this song even more though.  It’s a strange tune but doesn’t seem to bore and it does have its own identity on the album.

12. Hanarete Itemo

Strange that the group decide to let Junsu get a solo to close the album with Hanarete Itemo.  For being a simple piano/strings ballad it’s kind of boring in the arrangement until Junsu leaves his uber deep vocals for something that has a little color in his vocals.  The other guys seems to play background support which is cool and all, but this is still Junsu-forward.  It’s an alright song and closes the album on a solid note…but I’m no fan of it.

Tracks Recommended

  • Take off
  • Crazy In Love
  • Unmei
  • Ultra Lover
  • Without U -Japanese ver.-

Song of Avoidance

  • Heartbeat -Japanese ver.-

2PM finally releases their Japanese debut and for the most part, REPUBLIC OF 2PM is quite solid for a K-pop group.  I will say that most of the Korean reedits kind of sucked on here and probably shouldn’t have been on the album.  The other songs show a whole lot of potential for the group though but nothing defeated their debut, “Take off” at all.  Hopefully they’ll continue!

 

Namie Amuro – Sit!Stay!Wait!Down!/Love Story

Filed under: Namie Amuro — solarblade @ 1:02 am

Track Listing

  1. Sit!Stay!Wait!Down!
  2. Love Story
  3. Higher
  4. arigatou <thank the world for LOVE…gift song for 2011>
  5. Sit!Stay!Wait!Down! (Instrumental)
  6. Love Story (Instrumental)
  7. Higher (Instrumental)

1. Sit!Stay!Wait!Down!

When I saw the title announced for the single, I was a bit baffled by this first track since it sounded like dog orders.  Then the art cover came out and it really made me go >.>  SSWD follows in the line with what she’s been doing lately with her hip-pop sound and she sounds great like she usually does.  Add in the song has a good movement (which later on does get tiring) but I still just can’t get the fact that the song just is a bit absurd and very unlike her to pull a “doggie song”.  WTF song…

2. Love Story

Every single of the era so far has featured a ballad as an A-side as well.  Love Story isn’t as grand as “Tempest” but a little more like “Get Myself Back” but more simpler and a tad slower.  Once again, her vocals is the best asset about the song but the arrangement is just a little too simple.  After a while the boredom starts to kick in and I basically just daze off away from the song. 

3. Higher

It’s been a while since Namie had a straight up B-side but she decided to break that line with Higher which is seriously the single’s best song.  It’s also quite upbeat and it’s weird because it feels like a reversed “Dr.” for some reason.  I mean the beats are a little similar and then all the synths used just remind me of it so much.  Still, this is so much better than the previous two tracks LOL.

4. arigatou <thank the world for LOVE…gift song for 2011>

Kind of last minute to be putting another B-side on the single isn’t it?  Not sure what’s the whole deal with the tag but this is a much better representation of a ballad when compared to iono…”Love Story”? XD  They move at a similar pace, but the arrangement has a lot more going on that worked for Namie’s vocals.  Still…after “Tempest” ballads are quite meh for me…but this is pretty damn close!

 

 

One can only hope that this is the final single of the era because of the three released this was the worst in A-sides.  SSWD is just too weird and unusual for me to enjoy and is kind of weak when compared to all of the other upbeat A-sides.  Same for Love Story but on the ballads spectrum.  HOWEVER, I really do think it should’ve been Higher/arigatou since both those songs sounded great (on both spectrums no less) and they just continue a solid streak of songs…I want to forget the A-sides of this single though >.>

 

Tomato n’ Pine – Nanairo☆Namida

Filed under: Tomato n' Pine — solarblade @ 12:24 am

Track Listing

  1. Nanairo☆Namida
  2. Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Etcetera
  3. FAB (Free As a Bird)
  4. Tabidachi Transfer -Supersonic Hydro Guitar Remix-
  5. Nanairo☆Namida -Instrumental-
  6. Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Etcetera -Instrumental-
  7. FAB (Free As a Bird) -Instrumental-

1. Nanairo☆Namida

I was curious to how Nanairo☆Namida would sound since it is a trio ido group (like Buono!).  However, unlike said group Tomapai takes it more towards Perfume by having light dance and slight synthed vocals.  I kind of like this breezy sound coming from the group and it’s a little unfortunate that the song features no solos between them.  It’s got a nice spring to the beat and the girls together sound quite good (even if the vocoder is evident).

2. Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Etcetera

The second song on the single is actually a cover of PUFFY’s 4th A-side ever released.  That was so long ago but hearing Tomapai giving it an update was a nice choice for them to do.  I actually get some weird dejavu from this because the vocals kind of remind me of how cosmeticROBOT’s vocals sounded in their songs.  A lot of autotune present but it works with this sparkly pop tune.  I don’t think it’s as memorable as “Nanairo☆Namida” but it’s still quite good.

3. FAB (Free As a Bird)

FAB is prolly the nearest song to the style of electropop which is quite awesome for an idol group to dabble in.  I actually love the arrangement of the song since it sounds like some 80’s New Wave pop song which I love.  It might just be me but I hear more of the gals natural vocals through this one which might be good or bad depending.  The chorus though was a little disappointing but nothing failish!  It’s still my favorite from the single.

4. Tabidachi Transfer -Supersonic Hydro Guitar Remix-

The last major song on the single is a remix of Tabidachi Transfer (which was their major label debut A-side).  I’ve not heard the original but I’m sure it was as poppy as the tracks above.  The remix like it’s titled features a lot of guitar and more synths…kind of like electro-rock.  It’s kind of catchy and the rhythm really gets you pumped up.  However, in the context of the song’s melody and the girl’s singing…it’s an awkward mix.  I guess it does get better by the time when we hit the chorus which is a godsend.  Good remix overall

 

 

Since this is Tomapai’s second single of their first major era, I thought Nanairo☆Namida was a pretty nice single.  I can see why they’re getting popular and that’s because they aren’t as electro-like Perfume but they aren’t as super cute poppy like….well anything that’s idol-like.  Both the leading track and FAB were great songs while their cover song was ok but nothing special.  As for the remix, I was quite surprised at how well it turned out…Definitely going to pay attention to them in the future…but I was there was a download for their first single “Tabidachi Transfer”.