Kurayami Monogatari

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ARTERY VEIN – Last Judgement March 5, 2012

Filed under: ARTERY VEIN — solarblade @ 11:58 pm

Track Listing

  1. Last Judgement
  2. Mayoi no Mori
  3. Last Judgement -off vocal-
  4. Mayoi no Mori -off vocal-

1. Last Judgement

The duo begin their second A-side quite softly with their introduction lyrics before busting out the dark guitar riffs and swift piano playing.  I have to say that I’m loving Eri and Asami’s vocals in this song for sure.  The arrangement doesn’t fall to boring issues and the girl’s don’t really mess up in the song.  It’s probably my favorite A-side from this era!

2. Mayoi no Mori

I have to say that I did not see a 7 minute song coming after “Last Judgement” so this was pretty much something I was curious about.  Mayoi no Mori isn’t as powerful as the A-side but that’s alright because it does stand as their dark ballad.  After a while it just feels like the girls are just going through the motions of the song and I quickly lose interest.  Then again 7 minutes for a song like this is a tad bit excrutiating.

 

 

As the middle single for their self-titled debut era, Last Judgement is their best A-side for sure but that B-side of theirs kind of made me not like this as a whole.  My problem with Mayoi no Mori is that it’s just a little mundane and a bit too long for my interest.  Sad that it’s on the album though >.<

 

POLYSICS – 15th P

Filed under: POLYSICS — solarblade @ 8:44 pm

Track Listing

  1. Buggie Technica 2012
  2. ArigaTOISU!
  3. Mix Juice featuring TAKUMA (10-FEET), Eriko Hashimoto (chatmonchy)
  4. Whip and Horse
  5. Akarui Seikatsu featuring Yoshimi Tokui (Tutorial)
  6. Tomodachi Kecak featuring Tomodachi
  7. MECHA-MANIA BOY featuring Mark Mothersbaugh (DEVO)
  8. 1.2.Da! featuring Mayumi Kojima, Yuu (GO!GO!7188/Chirinuruwowaka)
  9. 783640 featuring Satoshi Mishiba

1. Buggie Technica 2012

Starting the album off we have a new version of Buggie Technica (which is a song they originally released on their first release “1st P”.  It makes sense as the intro because they are both instrumental songs for the most but also acts as an instrumental piece.  There’s a heavily synthed up voice but I’m not sure what it’s saying LOL.  After that’s over the band takes over and shows off their awesomeness!  It’s a pretty fun and aggresive and sets the album off on a good note!

2. ArigaTOISU!

Then we move into one of the oddest experiments POLYSICS has ever done.  ArigaTOISU! is a mish-mash of numerous old POLYSICS song played in sequences and it’s just all kinds of randomness.  I will say I’m a little disappointed in myself for not knowing most of these songs that are being sampled.  It’s really bizarre yet original and at the same time pretty badass from them to hear a lot of their old stuff flash by.  I loved this a lot and showed that POLYSICS are pretty damn amazing.

3. Mix Juice featuring TAKUMA (10-FEET), Eriko Hashimoto (chatmonchy)

Their album is mostly collaborative efforts and that’s something I’m not used to seeing from POLYSICS so I was curious to how it was going to turn out.  The first one, Mix Juice is tuning things slower and I’m curious to TAKUMA is singing or not because I hear HAYASHI and Eriko at first.  After the first chorus TAKUMA does come in and raps a bit which adds to the oddness going on overall.  I mean it doesn’t carry the torch to the previous song but it’s not offensive in any way lol.

4. Whip and Horse

As the other only POLYSICS song on the release, Whip and Horse has some great guitar riffs going and I love the sparse bleeps in the song mixed in with HAYASHI’s long single.  I will the speaking parts are a little oddly placed but the song is still pretty strong and I like the synth parts equally. 

5. Akarui Seikatsu featuring Yoshimi Tokui (Tutorial)

Oh my at the speed at how HAYASHI is singing in the intro of the song.  I was just kind of like surprised it was just so speedy and it’s like rapping but not xD.  Of course Yoshimi also has lines as well and takes over HAYASHI’s in the song.  However, I felt like the song was the basic POLYSICS rock/synth track so it doesn’t fully stand out.  Plus it’s kind of repeitive…>.<

6. Tomodachi Kecak featuring Tomodachi

I really don’t understand Tomodachi Kecak at all really but it seems like the sort of thing that the Katamari series would love to have on their OST.  I don’t get it because it’s a lot of chanting and repetition and a guy that sounds like he’s drowning LOL.  It’s abstract and pretty absurd to listen to.  What the hell was this about?

7. MECHA-MANIA BOY featuring Mark Mothersbaugh (DEVO)

It’s nice that the 7th track on the album is a DEVO cover since POLYSICS were pretty much influenced by them and all and I thought it was sweet they also ended up getting Mark from the band to sing.  At least that’s essentially how it is because POLYSICS are doing the music and leaving Mark to sing the sing entirely.  It’s pretty good still and it worked with Mark singing along in English so it makes sense to me.  HAYASHI does have small vocal appearance but otherwise relegated to the guitar.  Good track!

8. 1.2.Da! featuring Mayumi Kojima, Yuu (GO!GO!7188/Chirinuruwowaka)

Wow the arrangement at the beginning of 1.2.Da! is pretty interesting for sure and I hoped it was getting awesome.  It seems it’s all ladies for the most part since I hear more FUMI, Mayumi, and Yuu here which is amazing!  The three ladies sound great in their solo lines and then HAYASHI kind of sends the song out at the end of each verse.  It’s a really cool collaboration song to be found!

9. 783640 featuring Satoshi Mishiba

Ending the album, 783640 is kind of their poppiest song here which is a bit strange but I do like that fact since it has a stronger melody that isn’t fully beeps and such.  It seems Satoshi is the piano player in the song which makes sense and he has a piano solo but the singing is left to both HAYASHI and FUMI.  Hmmm, Is that Satoshi singing the last couple of verses…or is it YANO,,,,hmmm xD

Tracks Recommended

  • ArigaTOISU!
  • 1.2.Da! featuring Mayumi Kojima, Yuu (GO!GO!7188/Chirinuruwowaka)
  • Whip and Horse

Song of Avoidance

  • Tomodachi Kecak featuring Tomodachi

Celebrating 15 years together, POLYSICS released their album 15th P to the masses.  To be honest, I’m not fully into this album like I have been with the two previous releases after KAYO left the group.  I think the fact that they did collaborations this time around made it feel like it wasn’t totally them but whatever.  They did have a couple of bright songs though and their mash-up of their songs was impressive to say the least.  Not bad, but not their best.

 

Ayaka Hirahara – Doki!

Filed under: Ayaka Hirahara — solarblade @ 7:00 pm

Track Listing

  1. Namida Oto
  2. HUSH HUSH
  3. NOT A LOVE SONG
  4. My Road
  5. Aitakute
  6. Where Magic Goes ~Ai no Yukue~
  7. Night in Tunisia
  8. Ato Sukoshi Ato Sukoshi
  9. Kono Omoi Todoke
  10. Kesshou
  11. Itsumo Itsumo
  12. Vocalise
  13. Ohisama ~ Taisetsu na Kimi e

1. Namida Oto

I was liking the fact that Ayaka began her album with Namida Oto since it does show what a good portion of what it’ll sound like.  I also liked that I was getting similar vibes from this song paralleling to “NOT A LONG SONG” since they’re both upbeat and quite bright and refreshing to listen to.  A great choice to kick things off on the album.

2. HUSH HUSH

Carrying the album on an upbeat level still, HUSH HUSH is cute and it kind of reminds me of something Sara Barelles (or however her last name is spelled).  It’s kind of cute and I thought the chorus was pretty catchy after hearing it a lot.  It does feel short even though it is a little under the four minute mark but still, this song was pretty sweet and nice to listen to!

3. NOT A LOVE SONG

It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago since I reviewed the single for this.  As the 3rd A-side representing the album, NOT A LOVE SONG surprised me since it wasn’t like anything I heard before.  I mean I take that back here because the previous two songs are kind of like this song too.  However, I still enjoy the song because it’s such a positive song and the fact that it’s a bit out of her ballad zone was already a reason to love it.  Add in the unusual rapping section and you get this track.  Definitely my favorite of the era and happy it’s early on the album ^_^

4. My Road

Then again, moving into the 2nd A-side, My Road moves into Ayaka’s comfort zone but it’s also a little daring because instead of the usual stuff she uses, she incorporates electric guitar and percussion alongside the piano and strings to create a rather powerful ballad.  I actually still enjoy it more than “Ohisama ~ Taisetsu no Anata e” but that’s because she actually worked her voice in this one and it sounds amazing!

5. Aitakute

Going into the big batch of new songs on the album, Aitakute in my eyes seems to be merely an interlude or a short song since it is 2:50 in length.  When I hear this song I get this lullaby feeling from it because it really is only light keyboard and acoustic guitar alongside Ayaka’s light vocals.  It’s simple and to the point and I like that about this…but it does move at a snail’s pace.

6. Where Magic Goes ~Ai no Yukue~

I guess “Aitakute” wanted to bridge from the bright and upbeat songs (sans “My Road”) and move deeper into ballads since Where Magic Goes is a much simpler affair with just piano as the backing instrument in this song for a while before more stuff is added along like acoustic guitar and strings.  Actually it kind of sounds just as simple as the previous song but longer and has a couple more instruments than it.  I kind of just zoned out for this song.

7. Night in Tunisia

At least things turn pretty quickly when we get into Night in Tunisia which features Ayaka beatboxing and scatting…OH HEY it sounds like we’ve got another “Spain” going on here!  I’ve really enjoyed whenever Ayaka really goes outside of the box and instead or impressing me with her grand vocals, she impresses me by trying new vocal styles like this and she’s hitting some notes that I never thought she could.  If you like her weird stuff as of recent, this’ll fill that void up!

8. Ato Sukoshi Ato Sukoshi

After that goodness, we get into another one of those upbeat and positive sounding songs.  I was surprised that how funky and surprisingly catchy this song was for sure.  It’s pretty breezy and Ayaka’s vocals are so bright and fits with this poppy atmosphere almost perfectly.  I wouldn’t say it’s out of character for her but it’s definitely different but I like it!

9. Kono Omoi Todoke

As the 4th ballad, Kono Omoi Todoke reminds me of “Where Magic Goes” because it’s kind using the same instruments and has a similar mood here.  I actually felt like this was the better song though because Ayaka was singing a lot stronger and the arrangement did grow more (even threw in an electric guitar solo for kicks).  I mean I thought there’d be more going on other than that but I’m pretty content iwth this ballad at the least.

10. Kesshou

So it seems all of the B-sides did make the cut (“NOT A LOVE SONG” didn’t have an original B-side just a live version of a different song).  So the first one that came up was Kesshou from “My Road” and I’m happy they seperated the two because they were similar to one another.  Though Ayaka had some backup vocals which is the biggest difference I can make between the two songs, plus it’s a smidge more upbeat as well.  This one has grown on me though and I’m liking the overall feel of the song and hearing Ayaka’s voice power through the song was impressive ^_^

11. Itsumo Itsumo

As the album’s shortest song, Itsumo Itsumo kind of felt like I was listening to “Aitakute” since the simplicity of the song was just bleh for me.  However, there’s an interesting thing in the song and it’s the form of a male counterpart singing (weird that she didn’t exactly credit him on the tracklist).  Still, it’s just a tad boring and kind of didn’t leave in impact on me.

12. Vocalise

When I saw the tracklist there was one song that seriously left me bewildered and confused.  If you didn’t remember or don’t know about this, Vocalise is the B-side from “Ohisama ~ Taisetsu na Anata e” but it’s unusual because all it is is just Ayaka ad-libbing to “Ohisama’s” vocal melody.  I would’ve like that if she had made it shorter (like an album version) but nope it’s hear in all its boring glory.  I thought this was the album’s worst song because it just wasn’t necessary!

13. Ohisama ~ Taisetsu na Anata e

Which the only reason “Vocalise” could fit the album is to be a rather LONG introduction to the actual song.  So I learned from one of my commenters that Ohisama is actually fitting along with ALL of the “my Classis!” eras because it is a melody cover of a classical tune which I was totally oblivious to (and thank god it didn’t mean a 4th oe of that mess).  I thought it was appropriate to end the album with this song for sure but of the A-sides this was the weakest and I barely remember the melody either way.  I will say it’s exciting to hear Ayaka so strong in this song and worked with the dramatics.

Tracks Recommended

  • Ato Sukoshi Ato Sukoshi
  • NOT A LOVE SONG
  • HUSH HUSH
  • Night in Tunisia
  • Kesshou

Song of Avoidance

  • Vocalise

Ayaka’s 6th studio album (my Classics era don’t really count in my eyes) is surprisingly a lot more approachable and a big identity shift especially after “Path of Independence”.  I wasn’t expecting Ayaka to put out such a positive album with fun pop songs and yet pull of grand ballads (even though there’s no ballad that reaches the amazingness of either “Jupiter” or “Campanula no Koi”.  Still, I enjoyed this album quite a bit and while there were a few misses (the two short songs and useless Vocalise), this was solid but Hirahara fans will more than likely be surprised LOL.