Kurayami Monogatari

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Morning Musume – Pyocopyoco Ultra January 24, 2012

Filed under: Morning Musume — solarblade @ 8:54 pm

Track Listing

  1. Pyocopyoco Ultra
  2. Kanashiki Koi no Melody
  3. Pyocopyoco Ultra (Instrumental)

1. Pyocopyoco Ultra

I know I haven’t stated my opinion on anything that revolved around Pyocopyoco Ultra but this is my time to talk bout it hahaha.  I’m all for rejuvenating Momosu after their rather LONG line of solidarity…but since “Maji Desu ka Ska!”, it’s been an odd line though good shift of singles.  When I saw the covers/outfits for the single I was actually shocked because I knew they were dealing with 8 young members and all…but dressing them up like poor allusions to Chocobos was a BAD decision.  Even the elder members were kind of bleh at it.  As for the song, It’s not terrible but it’s definitely their cutest song since “Hyokkori Hyoutanjima” and actually sounds more like a S/mileage tune than a Momosu one.  I will say that it’s nice to hear most of the members get a solo line or two (though Kanon and Erina got royally screwed).  It’s not their worst song but it’s definitely on the low spectrum for me…>.>

2. Kanashiki Koi no Melody

However, I’m loving the B-side of the single and I’m surprised in recent times they’ve been getting better B-sides than A-sides >.>  Even better, all the members get a solo line and it actually works because they put as groups with their respective group like Gaki, Reina, Sayu, and Aika together and the kyuukies and jyuukies.  We also get better sounds from the new members mostly and I have to say Ayumi and Haruka sound great, Masaki has good S/mileage-tinged vocals but it works oddly enough…and well Haruna needs work…in time though…As for the song it reminds me of “Heroine ni Narou ka!” but lighter I think.  Still SO MUCH BETTER THAN PPU.

 

 

I have to say I kind of wished Tsunku didn’t take the group into S/mileage mode for this single.  I mean “Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!” was one thing but it didn’t sound like their younger sister group.  Pyocopyoco Ultra is just a slam on the brakes and way too oddball for them.  Like awkward actually.  Kanashiki Koi no Melody though is the MUCH preferred song…danceable and has good vocals and equality for the most part.  Yeah this was an awesome song.  As a whole?  PPU shouldn’t have been promoted (and it’s weird being the opening theme to their math drama)…

 

MONKEY MAJIK – HERO

Filed under: MONKEY MAJIK — solarblade @ 7:15 pm

Track Listing

  1. HERO
  2. HERO -English version-
  3. Headlight -DJ Mitsu the Beats remix-

1. HERO

I like how the tune starts with Blaise and Maynard opening the song acapella style.  Unlike “Headlight”, this is more of a traditional ballad from them but I have to say I really like hearing the two singing since their vocals are great for this song (even though it’s still a Blaise-fest).  It’s not as strong of a song like “Headlight” was, but it’s pretty solid of a song.

2. HERO -English version-

Like it says, it’s in English and otherwise it’s not really all that different musically so it’s just a shift of lyrics.  Even though I’m kind of surprised that it’s 10 seconds longer…wht?  I will say that it’s easier for Westerners because it’s easier to understand the song.  It’s actually quite romantic and deep which is typically MOMAJIK’s best assets!  I think I’d rather listen to this version.

3. Headlight -DJ Mitsu the Beats remix-

Talking about Headlight, we get a remix of the song, (y’know, the same guys that remixed “Aishiteru” a while ago).  Headlight got toned down quite a bit and seems like it’s a lullaby…odd.  It wasn’t resung either so it’s just a little bland actually.  It just took out what made the original awesome…

 

 

MOMAJIK’s HERO isn’t quite as up to snuff like “Headlight” was but that’s alright.  I will say that I enjoyed the English version of HERO a tad bit more than the Japanese version but I’m it’s just because I can understand it better that way.  The remix though for Headlight shouldn’t have happened IMO…I could’ve lived without it haha.

 

Yuya Matsushita – Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~

Filed under: Yuya Matsushita — solarblade @ 6:39 pm

Track Listing

  1. Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~
  2. Life in the dark
  3. Dream on dreamer (Limited D only)
  4. Virtual World (Limited E only)
  5. Fuyuzora (Regular edition only)
  6. Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~ (Voiceless)

1. Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~

I wasn’t surprised that Kimi e no Love Song would be a ballad from him but I didn’t expect it to be R&B as well.  I loving the relaxed nature of this song to be honest and Yuya really fits here quite nicely.  I will say this is surprising because I haven’t been the biggest fan of his ballads to be honest hahaha.  Definitely better than “Bird” as a song actually…quite nice!

2. Life in the dark

Found on most editions of the single, the main B-side comes first in Life in the dark.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this song but it kind of fits in more alongside “Naturally” actually since it’s a little more upbeat and kind of is a mid-tempo kind of song.  I have to say I get nostalgic 80’s vibes from the song and I’m enjoying the tune a while lot.  The guitar solo though was kind of out of place but not killing.  Pretty interesting B-side.

3. Dream on dreamer

Then we get into edition exclusive songs starting with Dream on dreamer.  I was happy to see that this was the first upbeat song which is something he definitely excels in.  It’s a bit lighter than songs like “SUPER DRIVE” and “Secret Love” but this still has a solid beat and a great synth drive.  I actually really like this song…

4. Virtual World

I was curious to what this song would bring because it was the only track that didn’t have a title when the single was announced.  It’s not as virtual as I thought it’d be and it goes weirder because Yuya is rapping in the song which is something I didn’t exactly know he could do lol.  I don’t know why but I’m kind of turned off by it hahaha.  I think it’s just too random for him to pull and he suffers from MC stale notes (you know rapping on the same note and not adding spice to it). 

5. Fuyuzora

Finally, closing out this single is the tune found on the regular edition of the single, Fuyuzora is another kind of ballad but a wintry one at that.  I’m kind of just like it’s alright, but nothing entirely special about the song.  I’m sure it would’ve been more interesting in the “I AM ME” era and not here…then again we already have “LAST SNOW”…

 

 

As the final single for the “2U” era, Kimi e no Love Song isn’t all that bad but I don’t know if I called this his best single of the era.  I have to say though that Dream on dreamer is his best song on this single since it’s upbeat and has great flow to it.  After that, I’d say Kimi e no Love Song was the next best for it’s soohing atmosphere and good vocals.  Life in the dark is good too and brings us a nostalgic trip ^_^.  Fuyuzora and Virtual World though were kind of mediocre and forgetful overall (plus Yuya rapping is weiiiiird).  Now I’m curious to see what songs will make the cut for this album!

 

KOKIA – Memorial days

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 5:49 pm

Track Listing

  1. Memorial days
  2. 0 Kara no Hajimari
  3. Memorial days (Instrumental)
  4. 0 Kara no Hajimari (Instrumental)

1. Memorial days

As a theme for the GUNDAM series, I was kind of excited to hear Memorial days, though I wasn’t expecting something so quiet to come from KOKIA (especially after “New Day, New Life”).  It’s really light and it has KOKIA singing in a higher pitch than I’m used to which is different but she sounds OK.  It’s nice that more instruments join in after a while with just her and piano.  I’m just not really into the song as much as her other A-side.

2. 0 Kara no Hajimari

The B-side unfortunately goes in the same direction as “Memorial days” as a ballad but she sounds a little better here actually.  I’m stull bummed that it’s still essentially piano before underlying strings join in but I preferred this to be the leading song to be honest. 

 

 

Boring single is kind of boring here and I had rather high hopes for this single to be honest.  Neither Memorial days and 0 Kara no Hajimari really spoke to me and she clearly has better ballads in her repetoire to throw out so I’m rather surprised that it just didn’t work.

 

JUJU – sign

Filed under: JUJU — solarblade @ 7:17 am

Track Listing

  1. sign
  2. Be Myself
  3. Tsuioku
  4. sign -Instrumental-

1. sign

Wooo…>.>  Another JUJU ballad huh?  At least the good thing about sign is the fact that is has better movement than “YOU” and actually pulls you in with its chorus.  Of course there’s no problem with JUJU because she’s just that solid of a singer.  Definitely a nice moving ballad from her and makes up for the borefest of well…”YOU”…

2. Be Myself

Being a little more there and kind of having a guitar-based sound, Be Myself kind of worked for here though it doesn’t feel as strong of a song like “sign”.  I mean it’s at least upbeat but there’s something kind of missing from the tune that stops me from fully enjoying it.  I guess for right it can be considered all right…

3. Tsuioku

I can’t tell if it’s a cover (I think it is…but I can’t be 100% sure about that.  This is actually feeling like a little leftover from “DELICIOUS” because it’s a bit more on the slow, jazzier side of things.  It does kind of bore me because it’s going at such a snail’s pace and the only thing that’s keeping it from hitting rock bottom is JUJU’s vocals.  It does get better as times goes on and there’s a violin solo as well which is kind of cool.  Still…a little zzz for me.

 

 

As her first for a new era, sign was alright but nothing to fully gawk about in my opinion.  sign is the best thing on the single and it’s a shock since JUJU’s ballads aren’t my cup of tea most of the time.  I don’t know but it has great movement and sounds dramatic in a good way.  Tsuioku isn’t too bad since it has that slow tempo and jazzy undertones, but it’s a little TOO slow for me to pay attention to.  As for Be Myself, it’s got the right things going but I feel like there could’ve been more effort and excitement to make things a little more cohesive.  Alright single, but like I said nothing too extravagant here.

 

KOKIA – New Day, New Life

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 4:35 am

Track Listing

  1. New Day, New Life
  2. life ~Seimei no Hibiki~
  3. New Day, New Life (without vocal)
  4. life ~Seimei no Hibiki~ (without vocal)

1. New Day, New Life

Ohhhh, this is interesting that New Day, New Life sounds breezy and quite pretty from KOKIA.  I have to say that I love these kind of songs and she actually blew me away with this one because while it has this hopeful and bright feel, I can’t helped but be lulled away by KOKIA’s soft vocals in both verses and choruses.  It might not be epic KOKIA, but this is just as good and I’m loving this track!

2. life ~Seimei no Hibiki~

The B-side though is a bit of a surprise because it starts with some male, talking.  I’m not sure what language she’s singing but it’s definitely different and is a giant switch from the breezy “New Day, New Life”.  It kind of reminds me of the stuff on “REAL WORLD” but upbeat and I’m enjoying this as well.  It’s really good!  Maybe something off of “pieces” as well!

 

 

As this is the first of three simultaneously released singles, New Day, New Life has raised my interest a full jump for sure.  The leading song was bright and poppy but not so much that it’s tasteful…however the main star is life ~Seimei no Hibiki~!  It’s just so unique and fresh for KOKIA and she sounds AMAZING in it.  Though I still wonder what language she’s singing because I know it can’t be Japanese.  Now I’m curious to how “Memorial days” and “Hikari wo Kasanete” will sound! *RECOMMENDED*

 

Aki Toyosaki – music

Filed under: Aki Toyosaki — solarblade @ 12:37 am

Track Listing

  1. music
  2. anniversary
  3. music (Instrumental)

1. music

I thought it was rather interesting to see that Aki would begin her sophomore era with more of the same cutesy yet upbeat song once again.  To be honest, I didn’t think her vocals were unusually bad like I did in the last era either which is a good thing for her.  I’m loving the strings and piano though, it gives the song a jovial and bouncy feel and that made me bob my head to the music.  Good A-side!

2. anniversary

The B-side is kind of more cuter than “music” funny enough!  Sadly, I’m not into the song as much despite the joyous atmosphere.  The music actually sounds like it’s from a game (Mario Sunshine anyone?).  The thing I didn’t like though was Aki’s vocals which were super airy and high which makes just a tad bit too cute for my tastes. 

 

 

As this starts her second era, music was surprisingly a good A-side for sure.  I mean the song was good and her voice actually suited it better than her A-sides before.  anniversary though is just a tad bit cute and annoying for me.  Yeah, the A-side is good, the B-side not-so good LOL.

 

SNoW – Sakasama no Chou January 23, 2012

Filed under: SNoW — solarblade @ 10:45 pm

Track Listing

  1. Sakasama no Chou
  2. night light
  3. BleacH (English Version)

1. Sakasama no Chou

After her last A-side, I wasn’t expecting more of a sullen and a dead serious song from SNoW, but it worked because her vocals just seem to work fully with the mostly acoustic sound of Sakasama no Chou.  She just sounds great in this song and mixing a lot of English and Japanese together.  Might not be as great as “Hanabi Made Ato Sukoshi” but this is a rather strong follow-up!

2. night light

The B-side on the other hand is a little more different and stands out a lot more than “Sakasama no Chou” by being on the verge of being R&B and a ballad but that’s quite alright actually.  Once again, her vocals seem to be the main core of why the song is good…but there’s also some things in the arrangement that is cool like the background stuff.  Yeah this is what should’ve been the leading song!

3. BleacH (English Version)

I’m not sure what this is an English version of persay…that is until I see that the Japanese version is on her “Hatsuyuki” album.  I have to say I’m liking this song as well even though it kind of has the same instruments that was in “Sakasama no Chou”.  At least it’s a bit more upbeat in a sense.  There is a little accent in SNoW’s English here as well but it’s kind of cute and made the song more interesting.  I liked it, can’t wait to hear the JPN version.

 

 

SNoW’s second major single is a little under her debut but it’s still a great single overall.  I will say that night light and the English version of BleacH left more of an impression than the leading song.  Solid single overall!

 

Ifu Sarasa – Curriculum

Filed under: Ifu Sarasa — solarblade @ 10:16 pm

Track Listing

  1. Curriculum
  2. Kotoba to Slime

1. Curriculum

As this is Ifu’s debut song I was curious to what we’d get and if I remember correctly, it’s a little more natural sounding than her 4th single actually lol.  I kind of enjoy the song since Ifu’s vocals are light and happy and mixed in with an upbeat setting, it actually works.  It does seem a little basic but it’s understandable because it’s a debut but it’s still kind of nice once in a while.

2. Kotoba to Slime

The B-side though was a surprise because it’s harder hitting than “Curriculum” and kind of reminds me of PUFFY’s songs.  Even her voice reminds me of one of them.  It’s hard, yet still poppy which is great.  I kind of actually prefer this song over the A-side funny enough.

 

 

Ifu’s debut single was alright actually.  I mean Curriculum isn’t anything special really, but it’s not bad just kind of forgetful.  Kotoba to Slime was definitely the preferred song actually.  I mean it’s harder and has better sounding vocals.  I wonder where the bridge to her recent synthwork happened….must’ve been in the next two singles.

 

ALI PROJECT – Kyomu Densen

Filed under: ALI PROJECT — solarblade @ 7:54 pm

Track Listing

  1. Kyomu Densen
  2. Yomi no Tasogare no, Utsurou Naru Aoki Hitomi no.
  3. Tainai Hitogata Yuugi
  4. Kyomu Densen (Strings Version)
  5. Kyomu Densen (Instrumental)
  6. Yomi no Tasogare no, Utsurou Naru Aoki Hitomi no. (Instrumental)
  7. Tainai Hitogata Yuugi (Instrumental)

1. Kyomu Densen

It has been a while since we’ve seen a single from ALIPRO and they’ve returned with Kyomu Densen which is oddly a bit brighter than previous efforts that I’ve reviewed.  It’s kind of a mystical sounding song and that’s quite awesome actually.  Arika as usual sounds great and fits the atmosphere of the song as well.  I’m a little surprised that it does remind me of “Katana to Saya” just a little too much but it’s still a worthy A-side.

2. Yomi no Tasogare no, Utsurou Naru Aoki Hitomi no.

The first B-side is Yomi no Tasogare no, which is definitely more along the lines of songs that really interest me from the duo since it’s slow and mysterious.  Add in the strings that play along with the song and it’s just mesmerizing to listen.  I really enjoyed this tune a bit more since it also gets dramatic and aggressive (well, sort of).  Still, a pretty song overall!

3. Tainai Hitogata Yuugi

It’s been a while since I’ve seen ALIPRO have another B-side to a single so it’s a rather nice surprise.  It starts with brass having this kind of battle-like theme to it.  After that short intro, it moves into this ballad of sorts which electronic buzzes and Arika singing in a rather higher pitch than the previous two songs.  To be honest, it’s kind of an abstract song for them, but it’s kind of interesting as well.  I still prefer her lower tones though…but she hits them high notes just right in this song.

4. Kyomu Densen (Strings Version)

I’m also shocked that we get a strings version of Kyomu Densen and not wait for it on a future album.  I love that intro that gives a rather dark and nightmarish feel to the song.  Without the poppy undertones, the song struck me better and Arika did a better vocal performance out of it as well! 

 

 

ALIPRO begins their 2012 with a rather solid single in Kyomu Densen.  It surpasses the last couple of singles and goes beyond by adding more songs lol.  I will say that the strings take of Kyomu Densen is a lot better than the original but I think that was a given in the first place.  As for best song though, it goes to Yomi no Tasogare no since it’s mysterious but done very well!  As for Tainai Hirogata Yuugi, it would’ve been better if she wasn’t all in high-note land through it…take it down an octive maybe XD.  Still I enjoyed this single quite a bit!