Kurayami Monogatari

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Meisa Kuroki – UNLOCKED February 16, 2012

Filed under: Meisa Kuroki — solarblade @ 12:32 am

Track Listing

  1. Hit the Road
  2. Shake it Off
  3. Wired Life
  4. One More Drama
  5. Take Me Away
  6. Flash Light
  7. Woman’s Worth
  8. Breeze Out
  9. LAST CODE
  10. Happy to be ME
  11. PARADE
  12. S.O.S -Watashi Sagasanai de Kudasai-
  13. UPGRADE U!
  14. Aimai de Zeitaku na Yokubou

1. Hit the Road

Kicking the album off, Hit the Road is actually a nice and light song to introduce us to the album.  I mean I hear piano and strings (mixed with synths) and it kind of makes this light but ethereal kind of feeling.  Not like “Wired Life” since it’s brighter but this is still a nice first song and while I would’ve liked a little more oomph to it…this is nice.

2. Shake it Off

To me the album quickly moves forward with Shake it Off which kind of reminds me of “Are ya ready?” without the pounding beats.  That being said it has this rather edgy sound and kind of has this cool groove.  The thing that bother me is the high-pitched buzz that floats in the song…it kind of hurts my ears but that’s a small nitpick.  I still think it’s rather catchy and has a bit of attitude and spaz to make me tap my toes along with it…Different but cool!

3. Wired Life

Which brings us to our second A-side released for the era and Wired Life is just all kinds of awesomeness.  Also having that different kind of atmosphere from her norm, I just found myself lulled by the song’s ethereal verses to the powerful chorus (well powerful in Meisa’s sense).  There’s something magical about this song and she pulled it off epicly…definitely one of my favorite Meisa songs…if not my top favorite.

4. One More Drama

Before “Wired Life” was announced, One More Drama was the song to go to as well and still is (even though the last track is better).  One More Drama had the beats down and the sexual drive down pat and it sounds really epic since we didn’t expect this from her at the time.  Plus I love the acoustic melody for some reason, even though it’s so simple XD.  Yeah, this isn’t bad at all and it close behind…like the tracklist LOL.

5. Take Me Away

I have to say that I really liked this track as well, which is surprising because I can’t recollect any slow song that I’ve fully enjoyed from Meisa since her debut.  The problem is that she does rely a bit on auto-tune but it’s not as bad as some other songs but it just be nice to hear her naturally on songs like this.  Still, this is nice and she doesn’t go overboard.  Sweet tune!

6. Flash Light

Adding a more solid beat and some synthed up strings and light shimasen, we get Flash Light which is a little weird coming after “Take Me Away” since they both have a similar light style going on.  It’s a little weird but I get “MAGAZINE” vibes from this song so it could’ve been an older song or not XD.  It’s an alright song but it didn’t leave a solid impression on me.

7. Woman’s Worth

Since the single’s review, I’ve really started to fall for Woman’s Worth even though I still kind of call of a hot mess of a song.  There’s just a lot of different things going on.  I mea it doesn’t surpass the previous two A-sides but it’s up there with them since it’s groovy and just fun to listen to.  Problem might this it’s gritty and Meisa kind of sounds stressed singing the song…personally I got used to that so I enjoyed the song fully…not as much as “Wired Life” or “One More Drama” but still pretty good.

8. Breeze Out

Unlike it’s sister A-side “Woman’s Worth”, I’ve kind of started to wane on this song.  I’m not sure why I’m not enjoying it as much as I did when it came out on the single but this song doesn’t stand out to me as much.  I still think it shares a little bit with “One More Drama” but with a lot more faults.  I think those high notes were bad and the melody doesn’t stick as well as the other A-sides it did…yeah it’s definitely the weakest of the four.

9. LAST CODE

Getting into 4 new songs, we start with LAST CODE (or as Meisa says, ~last cozze~…what?).  As it’s another slow song in the bunch, LAST CODE is kind of interesting with the shuffling beat and the fluctuation of synths involved.  It lacks something for me and comes off as a tad boring for me but I know people that love R&B ballads will find something good in this.

10. Happy to be ME

In my opinion, I felt the album was starting move into a rather dull state with this song which sounds like “Take Me Away” with the whole bright and ethereal glow of the song, this song just made me felt like it was hitting a bit laziness on the producer’s part.  Maybe it’s a little more R&B, but I still felt gipped listening to this.

11. PARADE

After that area of rather forgettable stuff, PARADE brings us back into some upbeat stuff.  To be honest, it’s also just as busy as “Breeze Out” and has a similar darker theme to it.  I have to admit that hearing her in the song has kind of left rolling my eyes because it sounds like she singing sharp and doesn’t sound right.  The arrangement had promise, but didn’t really go anywhere really…not a fan of this one.

12. S.O.S -Watashi Sagasanai de Kudasai-

I don’t get S.O.S because it sounds so unusual on the album with it’s beach-pop kind of feel to it like it was made as a summer song.  Once again Meisa and her high notes are a big negative in the track.  I just don’t know about this song because it’s so not her but at the same time it’s different.  If she had sung better for this one I might’ve liked it a lot…but because of the pitchy high notes it doesn’t work for me…At least it caught my attention.

13. UPGRAGE U!

As the only B-side to make the cut it’s understandable because it was initially an A-side before becoming just a B-side prior to the release.  Now I can see why S.O.S came before since it was pop/rock and UPGRADE U! began with guitar before getting in the synths and all that.  I actually do think it’s A-side worthy and a lot better of a decision than choosing the other B-side, “Go Ahead”.  Though finding it towards the end is kind of odd…but still a good song!

14. Aimai de Zeitaku na Yokubou

Closing the album out, I wasn’t surprised she was going to close the album with a ballad but it’s Meisa using natural vocals alongside a piano melody!  It does grow with light beats, strings and backup vocals to help out after a while.  It’s a pleasant song no doubt, but I can’t remember the melody and while Meisa sung better than she has before…it’s still kind of weak to me in places…fitting ending though!

Tracks Recommended

  • Wired Life
  • One More Drama
  • Take Me Away
  • Shake it Off
  • Woman’s Worth

Song of Avoidance

  • PARADE

At first I loved the first half of UNLOCKED there was really nothing wrong with it really…that is until the second half seemed to half-ass everything and put Meisa on a weird decision-course on singing and music.  It’s like black and white on this album for me.  Though more good since there was UPGRADE U! on the good side.  I mean maybe if she got different producers some songs wouldn’t have been half-assed and got her to hit crazy ass high notes that she CAN’T PULL OFF.  Right now, I think this album is a little better than “MAGAZINE” but it’s solely on the fact that 3 of the 4 A-sides were magnificent songs in their own right…so yeah…Meh…