Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

SID – Fuyu no Bench December 24, 2011

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 11:07 am

Track Listing

  1. Fuyu no Bench
  2. Otori
  3. Alibi (Live from “dead stock TOUR 2011”)

1. Fuyu no Bench

SID and ballads?  I would have never expected for the band to make their winter song to be as softly done as Fuyu no Bench was.  Though I will say that I’m kind of bored with this one despite Mao sounding really nice.  I mean I guess it’s alright and it’s a little more memorable than “Itsuka” but this is kind of being too soft and a little meh.

2. Otori

They never seem to ever disappoint in their B-sides and Otori continues this tradition quite well.  I’m like the faster pace of the song mixed with latin acoustic guitar and this kind of surfers feel (at least that’s what I think of).  Mao’s also singing better as well and it just left a better mark on me than friggin “Fuyu no Bench”.

3. Alibi (Live from “dead stock TOUR 2011”)

Of course, SID’s single is going to end with live version of one of their songs, this time it’s Alibi from their sophomore album, “Hoshi no Miyako”.  I love the strings that open the song and then hearing brass also being incorporated in the song as well.  I was surprised I missed this because it’s catchy and the right kind of light and spaz.  Yeah it’s really good.

 

 

SID ends the year off with a kind of disappointing A-side in Fuyu no Bench.  I’m not sure why but so far in this era they’ve been kind of slumping on their music (kind of how the first two singles from the “dead stock” era turned out).  At least it had Otori to fall back on since it turned out to be feisty and fun…but c’mon the live version of Alibi was what I wanted to hear more from SID…hopefully 2012 will be better for them.

 

U-KISS – Tick Tack

Filed under: U-KISS — solarblade @ 10:35 am

Track Listing

  1. Tick Tack
  2. Coincedence
  3. 0330 -Piano & Chorus ver.- (CD only First Press)
  4. Tick Tack (Instrumental)
  5. Coincedence (Instrumental)

1. Tick Tack

I really loved this song (even though the title is a bit wonky since it litereal sense it should be *Tick Tock*…damn them and phonetical reasons).  Besides that odd move, the song is J-pop WIN for U-KISS.  I will admit that it was expected that Soohyun and Dongho would literally be leading it but that’s ok given the dark and edgy dance style this song gives.  I will admit the first half is way better than the second half, but that’s mainly because of the rapping parts and placement of various ideas.  Still it’s one of my favorite and there’s just so many hooks in the song like the ~tick tock~ and the whole chorus for that matter.

2. Coincedence

I was curious about their B-side since it’s also an original composition and not merely a self-cover language translation.  To me, it doesn’t have the punch that “Tick Tack” has which is made clear for its B-side status but I wouldn’t say it’s a disappointing song because I can hear even more of the other members take longer roles.  It’s also filled with hooks like ~come this way, come this way, come this way~.  I say it’s a fulfilling B-side but clearly not to be made better than the leading track.

3. 0330 -Piano & Chorus ver.-

Funny enough that we still get a Japanese version of a previously released Korean song in 0330 (a song from “Bran New KISS” but is taking off from the Japanese version found on the JPN release of the mini-album).  Also this is a new version, only having piano and the boys singing.  After two dance songs, this is a sudden stop but I will say they sound good doing their oooos and ahhhhs.  Kind of simple but pleasant.

 

 

U-KISS was actually a group I somewhat followerd prior to their Japanese debut and I have loved the hell out of “Bengeul Bengeul” from their first album.  However, since then they lost two members but replaced them with 2.  Tick Tack is definitely ranked up there along 2PM’s “Take off” with best A-side debut in Japan.  It’s fierce and just vocally impressive and has a pretty interesting style including clock ticking in the arrangement ^^.  Coincedence was alright but I only remember certain things about it but it’s still a pretty good song otherwise.  The new version 0f 0330 is simple and sweet but what is it with boy bands wanting to do piano and chorus versions of their songs?

 

Onmyo-za – Kishiboshin

Filed under: Onmyo-za — solarblade @ 8:50 am

Track Listing

  1. Shuushuu
  2. Samayoi
  3. Ubugi
  4. Namasu
  5. Oni Kosae no Uta
  6. Gekkou
  7. Zakuro to Jubaku
  8. Kishibojin
  9. Urami no Hate
  10. Michi
  11. Kourui
  12. Kikoku

1. Shuushuu

A little introduction for the album kicks off Kishiboshin and I’m surprised by it quite frankly.  I’m used to hearing Onmyo-za just rockin’ things out but this is a breezy intro with piano (and it sounds happy?).  The band does come in at the 2/3 point of it and it sounds great from the guitarists!  though there’s a little chuckle before it seamlessly moves into…

2. Samayoi

Samayoi which is the first vocal track…though if the chuckle wasn’t there I wouldn’t have noticed the track changing.  Then again the furious guitars and pounding drums could also be a helping factor right?  I love hearing the three singers together and have their own parts which is strong and I always love Kuroneko and Mabataki’s vocals together…melds well together.  Good start!

3. Ubugi

The intro for Ubugi is quite pounding and has a lot of Maneki playing guitar.  As dark as the song is, I think it worked for Kuroneko’s vocals since she’s leading the song for the most part.  I’m not complaining about how slow the song is though since it’s been a while since I’ve heard one of these kind of songs from them. 

4. Namasu

I didn’t really understand what was said in the beginning of Namasu but I guess I’ll just roll with it for right now.  I will say this is more of their edgier songs in the first half of the song since there’s some growling and an evil glow coming from Mabataki and then all of sudden, Kuroneko’s higher vocals just kind of pop out of nowhere and moves the song forward.  It’s kind of rigid of a song and while there’s a story to this album, musically it’s a bit rough on the edges.

5. Oni Kosae no Uta

I saw the word *oni* in the title and I kind of pictured we were going to get an eviler song than “Namasu”.  This one starts with filtered chanting with a flute playing in the background.  Kind of sound like a carnival really.  This one is actually not as forboding or scary as I thought since the arrangement is ligher a bit more playful.  Kuroneko also sounds like an enka artist as well which was an interesting twist to the song as well.  I also like Mabataki’s parts and Maneki’s guitar solo.  It was a song that I wasn’t expecting but it turned out quite nicely!

6. Gekkou

I didn’t think Gekkou’s opening had to be as long as it was before Kuroneko started to sing but this is actually a solo song for her and it’s pretty odd that most of the band members are absent in the song so we’re left with a little percussion from Atsushi…but otherwise the song is a twinkly, slow ballad.  It’s different and I do like that about, but it’s a sore thumb because of the lack of the band.

7. Zakuro to Jubaku

Funny how that the first half of the album each track didn’t even reach the 5 minute mark while all of the second half is over 5 minutes…clever idea perhaps?  We do start with the album’s longest song though with Zakuro to Jubaku at 7 minutes.  Mabataki kicks things off singing pretty slowly with not a lot of stuff going on in the background.  It’s a good intro and then the band comes and and Kuroneko starts to sing her parts.  It’s not a heavy song and that’s pretty good to hear that to be honest.  I’m enjoying this track!

8. Kishibojin

I guess this is considered the album’s title track since it’s similar to the title of the album.  I love the opening orchestral piece since it had such a dark aura to it!  I will say I’m kind of getting a little tired of these long intros but it seems like it takes forever to get to vocals.  Once again, it’s really only Kuroneko singing the song and I found her better in this song since she has a great voice when she’s singing with the band playing along.  So yes, this was pretty good as well.

9. Urami no Hate

I like how our next song kind of just slides into the headphones and I felt like this song sounds like an ending theme to a video game or a song you would literally hear in a Guilty Gear game.  It’s got a consistent beat and melody and Mabataki reminds me of GACKT in this song funny enough.  Otherwise, this is pretty straightfoward for them, but it’s a solid track nonetheless.

10. Michi

A guitar solo starts our next song and like “Urami no Hate”, this is also quite straightforward for the most part but it’s a little slower than said song.  I will say that the heavier arrangement is a little more memorable than back in the previous track though.  Both main singers really brought it this time and while this isn’t as quick-paced like “Aoki Dokugan”, this is close enough for me!

11. Kourui

Things slow down once again for Kourui and it’s different since I hear a little more strings than normal used here.  It’s a bit like the other songs on here with a relaxed setting and Kuroneko leading once again.  It’s dramatic and it shows in her vocals, but I’m just kind of forgetting the song overall.

12. Kikoku

Closing the album off is Kikoku which has that same bright piano melody that was found in “Shuushuu”.  However this 4 times as long as the intro and is more hard-hitting that I would’ve expected but that good after all the mid-tempos.  I admire hearing Kuroneko singing and this is her best place to hear epic vocals from her.  It’s a good end to the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Michi
  • Zakuro to Jubaku
  • Oni Kosae no Uta
  • Kikoku
  • Kishibojin

Song of Avoidance

  • Namasu

I knew coming into this album review, Kishiboshin is a story album and while I don’t understand what the might be, I can insinuate that it’s about life to death which is a cool thing to do right?  Well since I can’t totally talk about that the music is what’s important and for the most part, this album triumphs over their last album, “Kongou Kyuubi”.  I am curious to why there’s no “Konpeki no Soujin” but guessing it makes sense not having it because it probably be odd to the story.  Still, great album from them and a good little Christmas gift to the fans ^_^