Kurayami Monogatari

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FLOWER – Still February 27, 2012

Filed under: FLOWER — solarblade @ 3:06 pm

Track Listing

  1. Still
  2. Fadeless Love
  3. Are You Ready?
  4. Still (instrumental)

1. Still

When I first turned on Still, I kind of got Juliet vibes with the first singer of the group lol.  It grows on ya since it’s a nice sounding track with synths and a constant R&B-like beat.  I’m surprised that of a group with that many members only three of the sing…it’s kind of odd but at the same time doesn’t feel busy.  The three girls actually sound good all-around so there’s no complaints there and I keep remembering that hook of ~I’m still in love with yoooou~.  Nice A-side!

2. Fadeless Love

A little more of what I was expecting to hear from the group to debut with, Fadeless Love is a little more synthy and towards more of an R&B style than “Still” actually.  However, when I listen to this song, I get Dream vibes but since they are similar it’s excusable.  Song is alright overall, but I felt the A-side was much better TBH.

3. Are You Ready?

I think this is the third time I seen this title…you know mini and Meisa share those times and it’s like I’VE BEEN READY!  At least out of all the songs on the single, they’ve built up to this cool dance track.  The first thing I noticed was the use of auto-tune here which kind of bothered me since Chiharu, Reina, and Kyoka are valid singers in their own right.  Besides that, I thought this was the best song off the single since it has great flow and the three girls sound great! 

 

 

As 1/3 of E-Girls and they’re own group I felt that FLOWER does have the chance to be pretty popular.  I liked their debut single, Still since both the A-side and Are You Ready? were great songs to show off their vocals.  Fadeless Love is alright but a little meh at the same time.  I do want the other members to do something besides dancing…I mean 3 out of 9 are vocalists…that’s a bit absurd…the other girls should sing too IMO.

 

ALTIMA – I’ll believe

Filed under: ALTIMA — solarblade @ 2:21 pm

Track Listing

  1. I’ll believe
  2. -Indefinitely-
  3. I’ll believe -instrumental-
  4. -Indefinitely- -instrumental-

1. I’ll believe

I love the intro opening with Maon singing by herself.  After that the song speeds up and gets into this synth anime/eurobeat track and of course motsu is shooting his raps alongside Maon.  I’m surprised that it’s that long of a song but I’m enjoying it all the way.  Everyone sounds good and oddly enough reminds me of m.o.v.e & fripSide (but a little more on that later).

2. -Indefinitely-

I’m surprised the B-side is actually longer than “I’ll believe”.  At first this sounds like an anime intro with the way it begins slowly but gradually gains energy the longer it goes.  Funny enough, I get the same vibes that I do with the A-side which is pretty disappointing when it’s put that way but I do think -Indefinitely- is a bit more darker and Maon is allowed to sing in a more stronger sound.  Definitely the better song though.

 

 

It’s awesome to see three well-known people coming together to form a quote-on-quote super group.  I mean we have Maon Kurosaki who’s already a name standing out amongst anison fans and there’s motsu who’s time in m.o.v.e is amazing and sat who’s the producer of fripSide!  I love the idea but I hope sat doesn’t make the mistakes he’s done with fripSide (what I mean, very sameish arrangements with the same sounds and shit…)  It’s so weird though because I get deja vu here where ALTIMA looks like another m.o.v.e (even though the latter are still releasing).  Overall, I’ll believe is a pretty good debut single but I thought -Indefinitely- was the better song for sure!

 

Hanako Oku – good-bye

Filed under: Hanako Oku — solarblade @ 2:03 pm

Track Listing

  1. Lost Time
  2. Toshiue no Kare
  3. Futari Kinenbi
  4. Cinderella
  5. Sayonara wo Iwanai Mama
  6. Shunshoku no Sora
  7. Kimi no Egao (album ver.)
  8. TAKOYAKI
  9. Kimi ni Arigatou
  10. Aishiteta
  11. Sotsugyou no Toki (Hikigatari ver.)
  12. GOOD BYE!
  13. Kanashimi Dake de Ikinai de
  14. Ashiato

1. Lost Time

Hanako’s album opens up with Lost Time and I thought it’d be an interesting song to open up the album but honestly, Lost Time is such a slow burner and lacked a lot of interest from me up (at least the until the chorus) at least that sounds rather nice but the other parts of the song are just disappointing for me.

2. Toshiue no Kare

I guess I can be happy that she put this song afterwards because this is actually a whole lot more interesting.  I’ve always said that Hanako’s strengths are in her upbeat songs (and some of her ballads).  Toshiue no Kare has this kind of cute/genki feel that oddly feels like You Kikkawa’s music haha.  This is pretty good actually hmmm…

3. Futari Kinenbi

It’s nice they followed up with Futari Kinenbi since it tones down the energy that was in the previous song.  Even though I still think Hanako’s vocals are very cutesy and pitchy, she doesn’t do too bad in this song really.  Not bad and is still kind of catchy, especially the chorus here.  Not bad!

4. Cinderella

Funny enough, the fourth song is actually the lone A-side to represent the era here.  I thought this’d be the perfect to follow after “Toshiue no Kare” but somehow that didn’t happen here.  It’s not bad and it’s better than a couple of the other A-side I’ve reviewed since adding her to the site.  Quite passable!

5. Sayonara wa Iwanai Mama

Slowing down back to ballad land, Sayonara wa Iwanai Mama.  It’s funny though since the song reminds me of “Kawaranai Mono” in some cases especially some of the chorus.  It’s a memorable melody even though the arrangement is pretty sparse with only piano as the backing instrument.  Basic, but it works.

6. Shunshoku no Sora

Another cute tune huh?  There seems to be more of these than we had in “Utakata” it seems.  It isn’t as upbeat like the other upbeat tracks I’ve reviewed so far, but this is breezy and pretty to listen to.  It almost seems to suit her cute vocals.  I thought it kind of worked for her once again and I thought it was endearing and just adorable!

7. Kimi no Egao (album ver.)

You might be wondering what this song is since it got tagged with an album version and all.  Well, it’s actually one of the two new songs that were found on “Kimi no Egao -smile selection-” (her first best-of).  To me, it seems like it was resung and the arrangement has added strings.  It’s alright but there’s nothing extravagant to make it stand out.

8. TAKOYAKI

Eh?  A song about takoyaki, the food? What?!?  Yeah I don’t get it either it but this is actually pretty interesting of a song.  Taking a few notes from “Shunshoku no Sora”, TAKOYAKI is also quite adorable and strangely enticing coming from her.  It has this innocent flow to it and while Hanako has a little trouble emoting the song, it’s not bad and had quite a bit of charm.

9. Kimi ni Arigatou

As the album’s longest track at 6 minutes flat, I did guess that I was going to have a problem paying attention to this song as it’s a ballad.  The melody of the chorus once again seems to be the song’s best quality but otherwise, it’s still mundane and comes off very boring.

10. Aishiteta

Adding acoustic guitar in the mix of things usually won’t save Hanako’s songs because they still come off as plain and not very exciting.  In the case of Aishiteta it’s missing something to tie it all together in a nice bow and I think it’s maybe in the arrangement.  I do feel that it’s relaxing and surprised that Hanako played as nice as she did but I think the drums didn’t add a lot of punch nor there wasn’t bass to make if full.  It’s ok, but nothing memorable.

11. Sotsugyou no Toki (Hikigatari ver.)

As the B-side off of “Cinderella”, Sotsugyou no Toki got a new version on the album but it’s not very dramatic of one to be honest.  All they did was take the strings out of the song and Hanako resang it and it kind of sounds live as well.  I thought that they took off what made the original work so well and now it’s just a plain ole ballad, disappointed here!

12. GOOD BYE!

As the title track, I was happy that it was another upbeat song for her.  It’s bouncy ad kind of has a great feeling throughout.  She seems pretty comfortable there and her voice sounds pretty nice otherwise.  I like this title track a lot but I don’t think it’s my favorite from the album.

13. Kanashimi Dake de Ikinai de

As we near the end of the album, we get two ballads to close things out.  The first in Kanashimi Dake de Ikinai de is quite quiet here and even though a good portion is just her and the piano, strings to play a rather light role in the song.  Like I’ve said about her other ballads on this album, they’re OK just nothing I’d really go back to.

14. Ashiato

Didn’t Gocchin end her album with “Ashiato” as well? XD.  I can totally say the same that I did with the previous song as it doesn’t bring anything new to the table but it’s suitable as the album’s final song so I guess I’ll give that to her.  I will say that oboe was a nice touch…or was that clarinet…hmmm. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Shunshoku no Sora
  • TAKOYAKI
  • Toshiue no Kare
  • Cinderella
  • GOOD BYE!

Song of Avoidance

  • Sotsugyou no Toki (Hikigatari ver.)

I initially came into reviewing this album with a bleak look because of the boredom I felt with her last album, “Utakata”.  However with good-bye I felt she kind of redeemed herself since this album wasn’t heavy with ballads this time around (which I still think is a weak point to her music at this point).  At least the upbeat songs were pretty good for the most part, but I still think she’s a poor man’s Angela Aki.  LOL