Kurayami Monogatari

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What’s On Brett’s IPhone?: WEEK 10! DOUBLE DA FUN! March 4, 2012

Filed under: ~What's on Brett's iPhone~ — solarblade @ 7:18 pm

SO YAY IT’S WEEK 10!  Yep, every 10 weeks (so the next time it’s special it’ll be week 20) I’ll do double the amount of songs so this week there’s 10 songs that will be put on here that comes up on my iPhone first. 

1. PUFFY – Teen Titans Theme (Japanese Version)

The Song: One of PUFFY’s most recognizable songs, Teen Titans Theme is of course the theme song for the cartoon, Teen Titans and bygod was it a great series to watch (even though I still question that last season to its roots).  The Japanese version of said song is actually from their 59 album. 

The Video: I’m surprised this version actually got a PV at all considering it was never a single in Japan and mostly riding off the popularity in the West.  I mean PUFFY even got their own animated series out of the popularity they gained here.  Now the video is kind of cheap and kind of basic and probably thought of at the last second though I don’t know if it was made during the era or before in the NICE. era because the English version was on that album and also before said 59 album.  Anyways, Ami and Yumi are basically performing in front of the lettering ~TEEN TITANS~ and they squeeze shots of the cartoon in as well.  Add in some random moments like lightsabers, a solo guitarist doing his part….kind of mimicing Robin in a shot…it’s funny but still cheap of a MV/PV. 

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: My fandom of Teen Titans led me into loving this song to death and since it did cross my mind, it might have been one of my earlier forays into J-pop and J-rock despite the song being a little bit silly.  One of my fondest memories of a great cartoon ^_^

2. Patti Austin & James Ingram – Baby Come To Me

The Song: Off of Patti Austin’s album Every Home Should Have One, Baby Come To Me is her biggest hit and one of those songs that get mentioned in easy listening lists.  Then again it was released back in 1982 so it should feel old and classic. 

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: I think listening to the song so many times when my family was spamming it in the family car must’ve lodged this song into my brain.  Not gonna lie, it’s comtemporary and soft-spoken lyrics are really nice and hearing both Patti and James sing together has this odd yet cool melody to it that made me sway…Another oldies song that’s kept up with the times with me.

3. Utada Hikaru – Flavor Of Life

The Song: So the version of Flavor Of Life here is actually the original version of the song which wasn’t the one promoting the single and is a bonus track on HEART STATION.  You know the biggest difference is that this one is more pop-friendly than the ballad version. 

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: I actually don’t know why I have this specific version of the song but I do like it and it has features that made it better than the ballad version but also vice versa. 

4. Nobuo Uematsu – The Man with the Machine Gun

The Song: The Man with the Machine Gun is one of the battle themes from Final Fantasy VIII (more specifically the battle theme whenever you played as Laguna Loire, Kiros Seagill, and Ward Zebac).

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: Well, I do love my FF songs when they were being made by Uematsu for sure.  I also have a strong bias towards its OST which I consider one of the bests he’s ever made, next VI and X.  I honestly loved the battle themes though and Laguna/Kiros/Ward’s stood out as the best.  It’s like they mixed electro but made it serious…it’s crazy good and it stood out to me a lot. 

5. Morning Musume – Chokkan 2 ~Nogashita Sakana wa Ookiizo!~

The Song: There’s actually quite an interesting story with this one.  It was initially not going to be made BUT after a rather negative feedback from the initial song that was going to be a single, Koi wa Hassau Do The Hustle!.  UFA (or Tsunku) decided to take one of their old songs Chokkan ~Toki to Shite Koi wa~ and kind of add to the song and made the arrangement a bit more punchy as well. 

The Video: Sadly, the PV is just not good.  I mean the main version of the PV is just shots of them performing live (even then some shots they aren’t singing Chokkan 2).  I guess I could understand given the reasons it led to it.  Besides that there’s close-ups of the girls and Yossie banging a gong at the beginning and end of the song.  Yeah this is the groups weakest PV IMHO…

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: Once again, I’m a Momosu sucker and there’s only a couple of A-sides that aren’t on my iPhone.  Chokkan 2 specifically though is hyper and has a lot of punch to it and makes the original Chokkan so obsolete it’s not funny.  Then again the oddball lyrics also surprised me…It didn’t make sense…but it’s soooo fun!

6. Kahi – Dorawa Nappeun Neo

The Song: Dorawa Nappeun Neo is Kahi’s lead-in song for her debut mini album of the same name.  If you didn’t know Kahi is actually from AFTERSCHOOL and she’s both a singer and rapper for the group so she’s an interesting mixture of two different styles. 

The Video: The PV for the song is kind of you run-of-the-mill K-pop video.  Since it is just Kahi though there’s not a lot to go on by since it’s so focused on her and all.  It’s separated by black and white sets the former being where most of the choreography is found while the white is more along close ups and such.  It ends with the light and dark Kahi coming together as one…it’s interesting no doubt…and for the first time I noticed that Kahi has tattoos…I didn’t know K-pop idols (when it comes to women) were allowed to have those but Kahi has three that I saw!

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: Well to be fair, I do think the song suffers from being a little too repetitive in its nature.  Still, I’m a sucker for a good drive in the song and it builds up quite nicely where it needs to be even though it repeats itself.  Pretty good song, but short!

7. 3 Doors Down – It’s Not My Time

The Song: I’m pretty sure this was the leading single off their self-titled album (which isn’t a debut either…hmmm).  Not much else to say about this song

The Video: The video was a little more interesting for me at least than the information.  It starts with a guy standing on top of a tower or something and this little girl sitting in a seat that’s about to be hit by a semi-truck.  Then it goes back in time to this guy again and he starts running ALL OVER THE CITY ala like Parkour basically.  Now during this guy’s showing off/running, the band is performing in different areas but it’s all the same.  At the end the parkour fella manages to stop the SUV before it gets hit by the semi-truck.  LOL what, breaking the supposed future eh?  Yeah, it’s weird but whatever I liked the tricks the guy was pulling off.

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: I like my rock music and while 3 Doors Down isn’t a preferred band of mine, this song was all over my radio when I saw the MV.  The track is pretty good and I enjoy hearing Brad Arnold’s vocals since they’re pretty unique in the rock world.  Good song overall!

8. dance flow – Come On! Come On!

The Song: Come On! Come On! is this Taiwanese based group’s main promotional song for their first album df1.  It’s funny though because the guys from this group participated in Saihuun (you know that shortlived group whose song “Break your name” was on AAA’s single). 

The Video: As it is the group’s first PV, we learn the members and this is a good video for that because each member has an important line in the song and they get enough face time.  The first thing I noticed is the group’s bizarro clothing which is vivid and original and does put color to a rather bland performing stage.  The second thing is their choreography which is actually top notch, it impresses me how they do their moves so fast and together.  It’s just great!  That’s most of the PV though besides close-up shots…oh well XD

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: I’ll admit there’s not a lot of C-pop on my iPhone but there’s a couple on there and this would be one of them.  Besides the fact that half of the members are tied to AAA, their promotional song is pretty damn good and shows a good amount of equality in the song.  Even though nowadays the group is down to 4 members, I do think this was a great song to debut with!

9. Evanescence – My Immortal

The Song: My Immortal by Evanescence is pretty popular (might not be their most popular song but it’s pretty big).  There are two versions of said song that I know of and that’s the ballad version which is the original take while the one that was promoted was still mainly piano but after the midway point the band actually hits hard right up til the end of the song.  The one I have on my iPhone is the latter one since I grew up listening to that version.

The Video: As the video is shot in black and white, My Immortal’s MV was pretty artistic and very deep of video…at least in my eyes.  Though in a humorous direction, Amy Lee (who’s gorgeous in the video) is walking around a city (kind of looks like Rome…maybe Paris?) and laying down on different things.  When it gets to the part where the rest of the band just explodes they join in the PV but they’re inside a room performing.  It’s pretty but…the video…did it have direction or is it just implied that there was a secret meaning to it…I don’t know the video didn’t really captivate me as it should have considering the song.

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: Evanescence was one of the bands I really loved before I started the blog and before the J-pop world took over my psyche.  I thought this song was a gem (a masterpiece you can say because it’s a breakup song but at the same it’s a dark way to say that it is because it also comes off as a cry for help and a little bit of love strewn in their for the subject matter.  Still Amy Lee’s vocals really stood out in the song and just blew me away.  Great GREAT SONG!

10. Miho Fukuhara – Nande Nakitaku Nacchaun Darou (Nande Another Mix)

The Song: The Nande Another Mix of Nande Nakitaku Naccahun Darou is of course a remix of the A-side off the same single of course.  This remix has more oomph and bass when compared to the original version!

So why’s it on your iPhone, Brett?: Like C-pop, it’s rare to see me put remixes on my iPhone but there’s a couple of those that I can’t help but admit was better than the original.  In the case of Nande Nakitaku Nacchaun Darou it was more fuller and complete and all-around made the original seem like a demo version. 

 

 

SO ANY OPINIONS ON THE SONGS YOU SEE HERE THIS SPECIAL WEEK? ^_^

 

U-KISS – A Shared Dream

Filed under: U-KISS — solarblade @ 4:37 pm

Track Listing

  1. Tick Tack
  2. Forbidden Love
  3. Show Me Your Love
  4. We Set off!
  5. A Shared Dream
  6. The Sound of Magic
  7. Orion
  8. Eeny, Meney, Miny, Moe
  9. Man Man Ha Ni -Japanese ver.-
  10. Bingeul Bingeul -Japanese ver.-
  11. Shut Up!! -Japanese ver.-
  12. Believe
  13. Tick Tack -MARCAN Mix- (First Press Bonus Track)

1. Tick Tack

Haha so I guess they group decided to kick things off with the two A-sides representing their debut album.  Starting with the actual debut single, Tick Tack is still just as badass as it was back in 2011.  I love the whole theme round clocks and having part of the ticking in the beginning.  I love Soohyun and Kevin’s lines in the song since they belt it out quite nicely plus the rapping from Dongho (and a little from Eli) and we get this epic song from them.  Pretty amazing song from a K-pop (and it’s an original song too).

2. Forbidden Love

Which leads to the other A-side released in the era, Forbidden Love.  I did find it absurd that they released this single simultaneously so it really didn’t give us time to get used to it and all that.  I still do think it doesn’t succeed on surpassing “Tick Tack” in any way but I still think it’s pretty good for a second release.  There’s a few surprises though like the odd dubstep breakdown and the love of the high notes towards the end.  I just found this song intriguing but not badass.

3. Show Me Your Love

Starting with the long list of new songs, Show Me Your Love kind of goes away from their aggressive dance track and into something a little poppier.  I do like hearing Kevin and Soohyun singing lines for sure and it seems to follow the same path. After a while I start feeling that it sounds a bit lazy and the rapping parts are kind of out of focus with the song as well.  I mean it’s alright but definitely not as good as the A-sides.

4. We Set off!

Oh hey, something that actually caught my interest in first listen.  The beat I think is at the same tempo as “Tick Tack” but the song is a bit lighter sounding and while that might not be good, I do kind of like the song.  I’m actually liking the rapping parts from Dongho for sure and he stood out next to Kevin.  To me it’s like 2PM’s “Unmei” where it’s really good but underneath the A-sides.

5. A Shared Dream

I was lulzing when I saw that the PV for A Shared Dream was put up just a day after “Forbidden Love” (then again simultaneous release is the reasoning behind it).  Quite frankly, I was pleasantly surprised that the song is actually a ballad from them.  Actually it’s a bit cheesy of one too (have you seen the PV for this?).  It’s nice and all but it’s way into the books of a natural J-pop ballad and I’m kind of bored.  The rapping from Dongho and Eli was just unusual and lacked something about it.  I don’t know it just wasn’t promotional material IMHO.  Even with Kevin, Soohyun, and Hoon taking lead roles.  >.<

6. The Sound of Magic

I needed something to pick me up after “A Shared Dream” and The Sound of Magic does a good job in doing that because I was really intrigued by the opening since I think I hear many of the guys sing something (I’m not sure all of them had a line though).  Once the chorus kicks up, it’s kind of bright like “Show Me Your Love” and I’m a little surprised that the change from verse to chorus was that big of a jump.  I will say though that this song is much better too.  Once again, not as strong as the A-sides but good on the album.

7. Orion

The next song Orion, sounds just like your typical K-pop based R&B track that has Japanese lyrics which is a bit of a disappointed.  Nothing in the really impresses me much here and the movement is kind of a bit too laidback for me.  I can’t even remember the melody very well and the vocals (while good) are also kind of going to the background as well.  I’m just pretty vacant towards this song.

8. Eeny, Meney, Miny, Moe

This song has so much potential to be amazing but it kind of falls short because of the tried formula in the song.  Despite the rappers doing pretty good with what they have, the rest of the song feels lazy and almost forgetful at times.  They also seem to try to replicate “Forbidden Love” with its very laid back dubstep breakdown.  It’s just lame here.

9. Man Man Ha Ni -Japanese ver.-

The next three songs are oddly enough Japanese translations of three of their older Korean songs like before Hoon and A.J. replaced Xander and Kibum.  So of course along with the translation, the new vocalists took over the old ones.  Starting with Man Man Ha Ni from their “ContiUkiss” mini-album, goodness god could they have screwed it up any further.  I love the original song (despite not being my first U-KISS song).  The good things is basically Dongho’s lines are still pretty damn good and the arrangement was spruced up as well.  What’s bad?  THE REST OF THE DAMN SONG!!!  I mean Kevin’s lines weren’t bad which a surprise but when it came to Soohyun’s parts, his vocals have deepened a lot since the original so hearing him trying to sing the chorus is a tragedy in itself and sounds awkward.  At least they kept the ~you make me pissed off~ line XD.  Just no, this song should not have been touched. 

10. Bingeul Bingeul -Japanese ver.-

Off of their first Korean album, they redid Bingeul Bingeul and this worried me a lot more because this song was the first U-KISS track I ever heard.  I’m wondering why they chose to clear up the arrangement and add more to it or change things (very small changes though).  While the original was in love with auto-tune, the Japanese follow suit so I can see why it stayed.  Once again Soohyun really destroys the song for me because he’s so off pitch from the original that it’s just hard not to ignore.  It also lost a lot of attitude from the original and it felt like the boys were just singing it and not adding their emotions to it.  It’s not as tragic as “Man Man Ha Ni” but it’s not very well done either.

11. Shut Up!! -Japanese ver.-

The third of the Japanese remakes is actually recent (well considering).  It’s from their 4th mini-album, “BREAK TIME”.  I’m not a big fan of the original unlike the other two so coming into this, I wasn’t very thrilled especially with how the previous two tracks turned out.  HOWEVER, I actually didn’t think they did too bad with this song since Soohyun’s problem isn’t prevelant here and the song sounds better in Japanese than Korean.  Odd…>.>

12. Believe

Closing the album out, Believe kind of throws a wall to the album coming off of those three energetic tracks into this.  It’s like they slammed “A Shared Dream” and “Orion” together and came up with this track.  I mean vocally, it doesn’t do anything wrong and Kevin is quite the singer.  Though once again in shares the awkward rapping parts…fair way to close the album though ^_^.

13. Tick Tack -MARCAN Mix-

I’m not sure what to think of the remix of Tick Tack (of course one of those extra bits thrown in the album).  It has a lot of the same stuff found in the original, but they also took out a lot and gave us a rather watered down version of the song unfortunately.  I don’t think any part really works with this remix and just felt like it was thrown together at the last second to be honest

Tracks Recommended

  • Tick Tack
  • Shut Up!! -Japanese ver.-
  • Forbidden Love
  • The Sound of Magic
  • We Set off!

Song of Avoidance

  • Man Man Ha Ni -Japanese ver.-

Honestly, I came into this album expecting to be rather impressed by U-KISS but what I got was something that was just lukewarm.  I mean Tick Tack was an amazing debut A-side from them and Forbidden Love while not as strong continued to show the group’s positives.  Then came the album songs and none of them could stand up to either A-sides which is unfortunate.  Then came the Japanese versions of the Korean songs and honestly two of the three sounded atrocious.  Though I’m curious to why they chose to do three songs that were before Hoon and A.J.’s addition and not anything from “Bran New KISS” & “NEVERLAND”.  Sadly, this album is not very good and the good tracks is seriously the A-sides and Shut Up!! LOL…

 

Minori Chihara – D-Formation

Filed under: Minori Chihara — solarblade @ 4:42 am

Track Listing

  1. D-FORMATION
  2. Dream Wonder Formation
  3. Usotsuki ParADox
  4. Metamorphosing Door
  5. Planet patrol
  6. KEY FOR LIFE
  7. Kono Sekai no Mono de Kono Sekai no Mono de Nai
  8. X-DAY
  9. Defection
  10. Akatsuki Tsukiyo
  11. TERMINATED
  12. Ai no Uta
  13. Yume no mirage
  14. Freedom Dreamer

1. D-FORMATION

The title track of the album is just merely an introduction to the album but it does show what majority of the album will sound like.  I love the synths in the song and then hearing Minorin under filters also seems to work as well.  It gives the song this cold and robotic feel to it that sounds really cool.  Even though it does have actual verses and a chorus, it’s still pretty short being 2 and a half minutes.  Nice start though!

2. Dream Wonder Formation

It would make sense also if this counted as a title track since it does have D-Formation in it right?  Well the first full song and promotional song for the album, I have to say I enjoyed hearing this song since it’s not like any of her stuff that she released as A-sides all throughout the era.  It has a little more of an electro/anison arrangement going and even added some guitars for kicks.  I mean Minori’s vocals are still a bit higher than previous song but she doesn’t seem to be forcing like she has in other songs so it’s a step up.  I really did enjoy the song and it works with the PV it got.

3. Usotsuki ParADox

Being the same length as our previous song, Usotsuki ParADox continues to supply us with the synthy goodness that filled our ears in previous albums.  It’s funny though because as I’m listening to this song it really makes me feel like I’m listening to KOTOKO’s “SCREW” since they both sound similar for some strange reason.  I will say, the song kind of sounds great and the darker glow of the song worked for Minorin here.  It might not be as explosive like other songs on the album but it stood out to me for being rather different!

4. Metamorphosing Door

I actually thinking we were getting more of that darker sound going with our next track but in reality it went the other direction and is one of the new songs that utilize Minorin’s higher vocals (though not very high amongst others).  I do like the synth melody, but besides that there isn’t much to remember it by and I kind of just forget the song.  I’m sure it’ll grow since I do adore the melody but Minorin doesn’t impress me here.

5. Planet patrol

Getting into two A-sides of the era, we all know that I’ve just disliked most of them.  As the sixth A-side of the era, Planet patrol since I reviewed it has kind of dropped immensely of my liking.  Maybe it’s just listening to it again but nowadays it kind feels a bit plain and slow and Minorin’s vocals are pitchy here.  Just not my kind of song anymore.

6. KEY FOR LIFE

Which moves into another A-side that I pretty much dislike from first listen and continues to disappoint me.  I mean it shares a lot with “Freedom Dreamer” and “Planet patrol” like the rather weak arrangement along with Minori’s squeaky high voice.  There’s not a lot of anything remarkable about the song and it kind of ranks on the lower side of A-sides from her.

7. Kono Sekai no Mono de Kono Sekai no Mono de Nai

At least after those two songs we get back into some new songs that kind of return to the synthy drive that made the first four songs stand out.  This rather arduous title, is actually the first ballad to pop up on the album and I kind of enjoyed it even though I would’ve preferred her using her good tone and not her squeaky self.  At least this is a little more engaging than “Yasashii Boukyaku” and “Ittousei”. 

8. X-DAY

After three shrug-worthy songs, it’s nice that X-DAY follows up.  I was actually surprised the song begun with a spoken monologue from Minori before the song moves into a anison/dance track and even better is to hear Minori back to her normal tone.  It does kind of remind of stuff from her last album in a good way.  While it’s not the most epic track on the album, it’s kind of nice to listen to and there’s no problems here.

9. Defection

Moving to the 4th (or 5th seeing as it was released simultaneously with “KEY FOR LIFE”), Defection is one of the few A-sides that really caught me by surprise and turned out that I liked it.  I have to say that putting it after “X-DAY” was smart because to me, this track adds to it and making it a bit more faster paced and a tad bit more heavier.  Not bad here!

10. Akatsuki Tsukiyo

I enjoyed the fact that our next new song begun with a strings introduction and then opens to an even more aggressive synth track that almost reminds me of “Dream Wonder Formation” but she added a lot to this song to make it stand out and have a stronger arrangement makes it sound complete to me.  Of the synth heavy songs though, this probably has the most going on and the biggest punch but oddly enough, I still prefer “Usotsuki ParADox”.

11. TERMINATED

I will say that I’m elated to see that my favorite A-side made the cut!  As the sort-of final single of the era (of the album it is the last A-side she released for D-Formation…overall her last single was “Minorin Ondo”).  TERMINATED is epic and just all kinds of dramatic strings and great vocals.  I will say it’s not as beat-heavy like “Akatsuki Tsukiyo” but this is near it at least but I felt like Minorin was trying to channel a little ALIPRO with the music.  It’s still great though and it surpasses many of the songs on this album.

12. Ai no Uta

Another artist that has fell to the Ai no Uta curse it seems lol.  At least this one isn’t a ballad (like nurmerous others are).  I will say that I like that I hear a mix of synths and natural instruments like guitars.  It’s upbeat and to be honest it kind of reminds me of “Planet patrol” but a little less cheery.  It doesn’t speak to me much despite it sounds alright.  Her voice does rub me the wrong way in the song.  It’s ok but nothing spectacular.

13. Yume no mirage

The final two songs though are kind of just ugh to me.  The first is the last of the new songs.  I couldn’t believe Minorin would return to use squeaky vocals in this song and it just doesn’t get better for me.  I guess since it is a pop/rock kind of song it should be alright but her voice just makes me frown.  It just doesn’t work for me and should be avoided.

14. Freedom Dreamer

As the first A-side represented for this album (second if you’re counting missing ones), Freedom Dreamer is just as disappointing if not more than “Yume no mirage” for me.  It’s just a bit too sugary for me and her vocals displeases me even moreso!  I don’t know why she really chose to make this song the closing track but it fell flat for me!

Tracks Recommended

  • Usotsuki ParADox
  • Akatsuki Tsukiyo
  • TERMINATED
  • Dream Wonder Formation
  • Defection

Song of Avoidance

  • Freedom Dreamer

This era has been nothing but a fail fest for poor Minorin. Of all 8 A-sides she’s released in the era…I really only liked 3 of them (Ittousei, Defection, and TERMINATED) so it’s nice she included 2/3 on the album and surprisingly enough, the new tracks did turn out nice for the most part but had some stinkers as well.  I hope she doesn’t pull a stunt like this again and goes back to epic music because the singles nearly killed me from her!