Kurayami Monogatari

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Nana Mizuki – Synchrogazer January 7, 2012

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 10:21 pm

Track Listing

  1. Synchrogazer
  2. Love Brick
  3. Risouron

1. Synchrogazer

It’s been a long while since we’ve seen Nana pull something with this much synth usage (last I can actually think of is “Astrogation”).  However, this is probably her tranciest song yet because it’s fast and there’s just a lot of synths abound.  I’m loving Nana’s singing here because it frantic and the parts with English are really epic.  Finally a song that really left a heavy mark!  What a great way to kick 2012 off with this song!

2. Love Brick

So I guess we ended up with another “Trickster” it seems with the first B-side in Love Brick.  I’m liking that it’s straightforward and doesn’t move like “Synchrogazer” but I kind of wished she left her heavy vibrato out of this one.  The chorus kind of sounds weird when she does it so much.  It does kind of grow on you after a while since the chorus is a bit catchy minus the over-use.  Hmmmmm…

3. Risouron

Oh?, another synth track fills the single out?  Since it was produced by the same person (or group…don’t know what Elements Garden is), Risouron tones down the energy from “Synchrogazer” and gives us a little more of an easier listen with even more strings to show off.  I much preferred this over “Love Brick” to be honest!

 

 

Nana really kicked 2012 with a bang with Synchrogazer!  It’s just all kinds of amazingness with it’s powerful tones and just great sound that I missed (even though she’s had a couple of album songs in the same field).  Risouron counts as well and turned out pretty well even though they share the same producers.  Love Brick though was a bit much like “Trickster” but it’s growing on me which is good…Great single overall ^_^

 

S/mileage – Please Miniskirt Postwoman!

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 5:21 pm

Track Listing

  1. Please Miniskirt Postwoman!
  2. Te wo Nigitte Arukitai (Regular edition only)
  3. Konnichiwa Konbanwa (Limited A, B, C only)
  4. S/mileage Singles Gekiyaba Remix (Limited D edition only)
  5. Please Miniskirt Postwoman! (Instrumental)

1. Please Miniskirt Postwoman!

Since it is the first A-side where everyone is a complete members and the last for Yuukarin, I have to say that at least Please Miniskirt Postwoman! actually sounds a little better than “Tachiagirl” but not by much.  Some of the synths remind me of their last A-side…but it’s not there the entire time and has a rather quirky strings/pop flair to it.  Line-wise it was alright, but I’m shocked to see that Kana got shafted since she only really had one solo line in the song!  I also was kind of meh-ing at Meimi becoming Yuuka’s replacement since she had a LOT of lines.  It’s cute and it’s great to see Yuuka begin and finish the song…awesome and a fair way to say goodbye.

2. Te wo Nigitte Arukitai

So for S/mileage’s cover song on the single they decided to cover Maki Goto’s Te wo Nigitte Arukitai.  Now It’s really hard to imagine Gocchin of all people doing super cute songs but she did earlier in her H!P solo days and it was mind boggling at the least.  At least this sort of song fits S/mileage and it’s great to see the line distribution the way it is because in the phrase of the first half of the verses it’s sung by the new members while the second is with Dawa, Kanyon, and Yuukarin.  It’s a nice and happy little tune and I’m hapyp they got to cover one of Gocchin’s song (but c’mon…”SOME BOYS! TOUCH!” next time) XDDDD

3. Konnichiwa Konbanwa

The actual B-side that’s found on most versions, Konnichiwa Konbanwa kinds of is like “Te wo Nigitte Arukitai” in the fact that it’s cute and happy and kind of has that “puts a smile on your face” kind of feeling.  Once again a little better with the lines for the girls and Kana doesn’t sound all too bad in her lines, but she doesn’t really sing em’ cept her last lines.  I prefer the last song though since it was just done better.

4. S/mileage Singles Gekiyaba Remix

  • Koi ni Booing Buu!
  • Short Cut
  • Tachiagirl

I guess we get another of these megamixes huh?  Well it starts off at a slow pace which is kind of weird but it does start with the chorus from Koi ni Booing Buu! but that’s shortlived because it quickly gets into the majority of the remix in Short Cut and the beat gets a little more faster.  I’m also noticing that Kanon resung Saki’s lines…talk about a a mean kick in the leg right?  At first I couldn’t tell until they hit the chorus and I’m like OHHHH!  It slides effortlessly into the chorus of Tachiagirl which starts off at a slower tempo than the original but after the first run through there’s a break and you hear ~Buu!~ in the background from the first song and then Tachiagirl comes back with another chorus and it’s REALLY good.  Kind of what it should’ve been originally TBH.  I actually considered this remix of the Gekijou Moe Remix off of “Tachiagirl” to be honest.

 

 

With another (starting to become too much AGAIN!) single coming out soon in “Chotomate Kudasai!”, I have to say that they’re slowly working their kinks out and since PMP! is Yuuka’s final single, I’d say it was a moderately good way to leave with.  I do think the leading song is nice but funny enough thought their cover of Te wo Nigitte Arukitai was better LOL.  Konnichiwa Konbanwa would’ve been nice if it wasn’t sounding like Gocchin’s song as it was and the remix was pretty cool too (though I really wanna hear a full version of “Tachiagirl” with the electro stuff going).  Overall good single and good ending to 2011.

 

Best & Worst of 2011: COVER ART!

Filed under: ~Best of 2011~ — solarblade @ 1:38 am

Lots and lots of good (and bad) covers this year so there’s a rather big list but I had to whittle it down this year ^_^

BEST

  • Akiko Hasegawa – Sourin no Pendulum
  • Akiko Shikata – Byakumu no Mayu ~Ricordando il passato~
  • BREAKERZ – Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou/CLIMBER×CLIMBER
  • DiVA – Tsuki no Uragawa
  • faylan – TOMOSHIBI
  • faylan – Blood teller
  • FLOW – Hey!!!
  • hinaco – Kaerimichi Diary
  • JUJU – Sayonara no Kawari ni/Negai
  • Kylee – CRAZY FOR YOU
  • Maria – Deep into You
  • Mika Nakashima – LOVE IS ECSTASY
  • Minori Chihara – TERMINATED
  • Nana Mizuki – SCARLET KNIGHT
  • Natsuko Aso – Renai Koujou committee
  • Rie fu – For You
  • sphere – HIGH POWERED
  • the GazettE – VORTEX
  • WEAVER – Egao no Aizu
  • YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz – THE END OF THE DAY

The 5 covers that edge out the list!

Like I said, it was a prety filled list for best covers this year.  Not sure why I like mihimaru GT’s Evo★Revolution’s cover but the outer space idea and the amount of cover surprised me quite nicely…plus miyake looks rather cute there heh.  Something about Maaya’s Buddy cover was radically simple yet looks beautiful since it’s just her posing with a barren land behind her but she sticks out a lot.  Laser Beam’s cover was clearly going to make it but was surpassed but the girls posed with literal laser beams pointing in different directions was coool!  Like Maaya’s cover, NICO’s cover for Diver was simple but left a powerful look to it with the guy looking like he was dunked in water XD.  Last but not least is Anna Tsuchiya’s artwork for Switch On!, it’s so bright and Anna looks great on the cover as well.  A lot brighter than most Kamen Rider art covers TBH.

10. SCANDAL – LOVE SURVIVE

WHOOHOO! kicking off the top ten is SCANDAL’s single cover for LOVE SURVIVE!  It’s bright and really gives off this watery feeling because I like how the water looks and of course all of the members looking like they went for a swim as well.  Just a fun and cool cover for them!

9. Porno Graffitti – One More Time & Yuki no Iro

It’s funny that I put two covers for the same spot by the same band but they were pretty similar to each other that I couldn’t help but do that.  In the case of One More Time, the night time atmosphere is great and the starry sky really looked pretty.  Yuki no Iro also has the night sky going but there’s an Aurora on the cover and snow which adds stuff.  Pretty and is good amongst nature-themed covers.

8. Satsuki – INNOCENT

The cover might be a little confusing, but one can’t deny that it’s a pretty looking cover from the bed on the water to the strawberry bush and the angels, butterfly, and stars.  Dark and yet light at the same time…it’s quite something and ranked up this year ^_^

7. Do As Infinity – Ariadne no Ito

Whenever I see the cover art for DAI’s Ariadne no Ito, I think of Mary poppins for sure.  I mean seeing Tomiko and Ryo floating down from umbrellas is humorous (especially at Ryo) but seeing the background with the vast city (which I’m not sure what it’s based off of) but still pretty damn cool!

6. eufonius – Literal

I’m trying to figure out what the cover is all about but to me it looks like a lot of colored marbles/rock/or something.  However, it’s colorful and kind of meshes together in an odd (but good) way.  I’m sure there’s more to the cover but hmmm pretty!

5. Me – Ho・n・to・u・so/Su・ki・ra・i

misono has been getting better with her covers and her first under her new pseudonym is quite cool to look at actually.  I love the dark cover and her posing while her shadow is posed different though as well.  Plus I love her outfit here…just awesome all-around!

4. mihimaru GT – One Time

While I did enjoy “Evo★Revolution’s” cover quite a bit, I thought One Time’s was a lot better of a cover to be honest.  It’s a little random for them just sitting there in the woods, but the contrast of the gloomy forest plus whatever that is behind them is cool.  Pretty cover though.

3. JASMINE – ONE

Covers that use black and white always seem to fascinate me like 2009’s “Alternative” from angela.  JASMINE’s ONE takes what she’s been doing since her debut to a new level by having this rather Native American design for her cover.  Plus her outfit is her best one yet TBQH…simple, might give a little headache from the black and white stuff going on.  Still it’s quite artistic for me.

2. MONKEY MAJIK – Headlight

Why does it seem that 2011 has a night theme for me where most covers I liked had a night base eh?  MOMAJIK’s cover for Headlight is also weird but awesome at the same time since they have good covers most of the time (sans “SAKURA”).  I mean an astronaut floating above a road shining his light on a flower, who thinks of that kind of picture?!?  Random but I LOVE IT!

1. Aimer – Rokutosei no Yoru/Kanashimi wa Aurora ni/TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR & Re:pray/Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa

See! the number one spot is another night theme cover (but TWO of theme as well!).  In Rokutosei no Yoru, I’m really loving the fact that Aimer is wrapped in lights and is floating next to a black cat too LOL.  In the case of Re:pray, the cover works with Aimer standing in the middle of a lake but with shards of (what I’m guessing ice) trailing behind her.  Both simple but really pretty and just stood out all year!

WORST

  • Aki Toyosaki – SHUN PU
  • Chiaki Ishikawa – Fukanzen Densho/Switch ga Haittara
  • Dream5 – Like & Peace!
  • GACKT – Graffiti
  • Hello! Project Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku
  • Hitomi Shimatani – Kantan ni Ietanara
  • JUJU – Mata Ashita…
  • Juliet – Motokare
  • Juliet – Motokano
  • KOTOKO – Light My Fire
  • Kylee – NEVER GIVE UP!
  • LM.C – Hoshi no Arika.
  • Mai Kuraki – 1000 Mankai no Kiss
  • Maria – Good bye Good day
  • MiChi – ONE
  • Miliyah Kato×Shota Shimizu – BELIEVE
  • Minori Chihara – KEY FOR LIFE
  • Minori Chihara – Planet patrol
  • MIYAVI vs. KREVA – STRONG
  • Momoi Haruko – Yoake no Samba
  • Natsuko Aso – Eureka Baby
  • Porno Graffitti – EXIT
  • RO-KYU-BU! – SHOOT!
  • S/mileage – Koi no Booing Buu!
  • S/mileage – Uchouten LOVE
  • S/mileage – Tachiagirl
  • Safarii – BAD DAY
  • School Food Punishment – RPG
  • Stereopony – Tatoeba Utaekunattara
  • Tohoshinki – Winter
  • Tsuki Amano – Ringo no Ki
  • YuiKaori – Shooting☆Smile

The 5 that are bad but not bad enough!

Rounding out before the top 10 eh?  YUP!  Something about Yousei Teikoku’s cover for Kuusou Mesorogi just kind of comes off as uninspired and reminds me of some of their other singles to be honest…plus it’s monochrome which is kind putting salt on a wound.  AYUSE KOZUE’s Cry For You/Kimi no Sei ~u knocked my heart~ also feels randomly plain but she kind of looks like a clown with all the blush on her face LOL.  When a dog seems to be more important than the artist…then it’s just bad news like in the case of Namie’s Sit!Stay!Wait!Down!/Love Story what was she thinking of putting a big ass dog on there that looked like he/she was going to nom on her XD.  Chihiro Onitsuka’s Aoi Tori does have the right thing going but damn she looked uber pale and the major amount of lipstick kind of looked ugly, clownish like AYUSE’s overdose on blush!  Though it isn’t cheap looking like Sayaka Kitahara’s Kanari Junjou cover where it’s just ridiculously awkward.  I mean crappy background and posing next to your anime half is just unusual…sorry but ewwww!

10. Lia – Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo/Song of Life

Nothing is quite poor as your cover being a shot of you singing in the studio.  I mean granted in recent times, Lia’s singles have been shown off with anime characters which is not surprising at the least.  Still, this is just disappointing and she could’ve put more effort into having a cover and not a lame ass shot of her in the studio!

9. Tomato n’ Pine – Jingle Girl Joui Jidai

Christmas covers are rarely good so it’s no surprise that I’d see at least one make it on the bottom this year.  First, those ugly clothes just do not work (well maybe with the expection of the girl in red) but polka dots and YELLOW?!? yeesh.  Add in that they must’ve went to Chuck Testa for those reindeers and it’s just kind of icky!

8. Sukima Switch – Hare Tokidoki Kumori

I’m kind of confused by Sukima’s cover for Hare Tokidoki Kumori.  I mean I know it’s a sign and such but the airplace symbol, then the words “let’s stay close” than two people walking AND THEN left or right between happy and miserable and it’s kind of like WTF.  Kind of just loses its meaning and it’s kind of too plain for me.

7. 4minute – HEART TO HEART

Once again proving that sometimes monochrome just doesn’t work with covers as in the case of 4minute’s HEART TO HEART.  Plus the banner kind of bothers me here…being soooo REEEED…Also I can’t believe that on a cover that’s monochrome and red…one of the girls wears pink…wth is this? XD

6. alan×Kei Fukui – Ai wa Chikara

Uh-huh….there’s a couple of these kind of covers (singles and albums) and I’m just like where’s the originality here?  Ai wa Chikara being a powerful and dramatic opera song has a really poor ass cover!  The sunset is pretty, but c’mon this is weak even for her!  C’mon, a little more effort please!

5. lecca – Right Direction

Seriously?!? Why would there ever be a girl in a ballerina outfit running and hopping down a beach?  Just doesn’t make sense and well…using white kids in your covers is already embarassing as it is >.>  This is just not a good cover!

4. °C-ute – Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko

There’s just seems to be too much white for °C-ute’s cover Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko.  It doesn’t help they put the signs in front of their bodies to makes us think they’re actually naked…but in reality they have white dresses on which kind of blends into the background.  H!P just couldn’t make this cover interesting and it kind of is weak all around.

3. Crystal Kay – Superman

Let’s be honest, what was the first thing you noticed?  The hideous looking turtleneck, the super pink background or the fact that Kuri is showing major cameltoe?  If it’s all three then wow you sure are really good at this.  Still all those things are really what makes this cover pretty embarassing…just all kinds of wrong XD

2. Miyu Kasegi – Nihon wa Hitotsu Chikyuu mo Hitotsu

Enka covers are usually pretty poor when compared to the more mainstream artists but Miyu’s is confusing and ugly.  The text used for the title and such are kind of bizarre and oddly sticks out from the cover.  The second is the fact that Miyu looks kind of weird looking on the cover…face…pose…everything…just odd.  Last but not least is whatever is on the bottom…I see a guy’s face on the bottom right, a dog in the middle, and something/someone sittin with legs crossed…confused and kind of disturbed actually. Blech!

1. Yuya Matsushita – SUPER DRIVE

I think it was fitting to put Yuya’s cover for SUPER DRIVE since it went from worse to terrible.  I mean all of his singles prior to it have been just purely head shots of him…yeah not original…but then all of a sudden we get this bomber of a cover and it’s like REALLY?!?  Making it even more sillier is that he put the website URL ON THE FRONT…what is this travesty?!?  UGH, still isn’t as terrible as Yuzu’s disturbing cover…but this is BAAAAD

 

NEXT TIME:  SINGLES OVERALL…YOU KNOW, THE BIG CAHONEYS!!!