Kurayami Monogatari

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Momoiro Clover Z – Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai” March 8, 2012

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 8:50 pm

Track Listing

  1. Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”
  2. LOST CHILD
  3. DNA Kyoushikyoku (Regular edition only)
  4. Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai” (Off Vocal)
  5. LOST CHILD (Off Vocal)
  6. DNA Kyoushikyoku (Off Vocal)

1. Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”

Who knew Marty Friedman would actually join MomoCloZ for this ridiculously long titled song which I’ll call Mugen no Ai for short in this review.  I love that their A-sides have themes to it which keeps true for most of their singles (especially since adding the *Z* to their name).  Mugen no Ai’s theme is space pirates and I found this to be awesome so it’s pretty epic of a song.  Even though the members are yelling a lot of the lyrics, it didn’t bother me much.  This is definitely a great song, still not as great as “D’ no Junjou” but pretty damn close.

2. LOST CHILD

The first B-side of the single is definitely a lot lighter than “Mugen no Ai” but I wasn’t surprised.  I actually really liked this song as well because it’s continuing the space theme and instead of having a bombastic arrangement in the A-side, it’s more laidback and synth-based which also carries to their voices as well.  Definitely my favorite off the single and I want more of this!

3. DNA Kyoushikyoku

As the track found only on the Regular edition of the single, DNA Kyoushikyoku kind of represents the anime-ish kind of space song because it has a whole lot of strings and the flow kind of reminds me some anison songs out there as well.  It’s not as memorable like the previous two tracks but I’m seeing a lot of improvements in the girls vocals which is godly!

 

 

Wow who knew they’d make up for mehness on “Roudou Sanka” with this single which IMO is their best single yet!  I loved Mugen no Ai’s grandiose sound plus sounding like some epic Metroid tune and the girls were pretty good all over it.  LOST CHILD though was my favorite of the single since it should be known that the girls sound good with synths all over it haha.  DNA Kyoushikyoku is also good but the other two songs kind of surpass it in a big way!

 

Satsuki – FATE/INSIDE

Filed under: Satsuki — solarblade @ 8:16 pm

Track Listing

  1. FATE
  2. INSIDE

1. FATE

Kicking the single off, FATE is quite explosive and a bit darker than normal Satsuki songs for sure and hearing synths is also a bit of a surprise.  Add that Satuski sings the verses under a filter and you got this interesting song.  It kind of goes back to his RENTRER EN SOI days where their music was hard and darker.  It’s a nice song to hear after the happier “ROMANCE” that’s for sure.

2. INSIDE

INSIDE also seems to follow the more darker songs but a lot slower as well which is a nice opposite to “FATE”.  It’s definitely a dramatic song for sure but handled very well because of the flow and dramatics involved.  It’s definitely his most powerful song since “UPPER REGION” that’s for sure!

 

 

4th single eh?  Well FATE/INSIDE is a lot better than both his previous singles since this has a lot of powerful vibes in it and definitely is what makes me enjoy Satsuki’s music a lot!  I do prefer INSIDE more but that’s because it was all kinds of awesomeness!  Now we need an album!

 

Minami Kizuki – Kizashi

Filed under: Minami Kizuki — solarblade @ 4:36 am

Track Listing

  1. Kizashi
  2. Zutto Zutto
  3. Izayoi
  4. Kizashi (Karaoke)
  5. Zutto Zutto (Karaoke)

1. Kizashi

Rainstick?  I heard that at the beginning of the song for sure!!!  It’s weird listening to the song because Minami is pretty much straightforward in this ballad.  Her shima-uta style isn’t as up to the front like in many other songs of hers so this is actually quite nice to listen to all the way.  The arrangement is a bit plain but there’s times where I enjoy the soft pace. 

2. Zutto Zutto

Released as a digital single prior to the single’s release, Zutto Zutto sounds a little similar to “Kizashi” but that’s because of the instruments present which is still mainly piano and strings.  I will say a big difference is that Minami’s vocals are a little more riskier since she’s hitting high notes and pulling off the shima-uta style a bit more.  I do somehow find myself enjoying this a tad bit more but once again ballads aren’t my cup of tea.

3. Izayoi

The second B-side doesn’t surprise me as it’s another ballad to deal with.  Of the three songs on the single, Izayoi has the cleanest vocals since she only does the note twitching in a very small amount compared.  However, at this point of the single, the arrangement is really boring me to death and makes me want her to add something else to the music.  Still it’s pretty overall.

 

 

As this is Minami’s 3rd single for the era, it’s simple and maybe a little boring at different points but at least she’s worknig on her vocals and she can sing without overloading on her vocal style in her songs unlike in “Warabegami”.  Kizashi is nice but a little too simple and white for my tastes.  Zutto Zutto was the better song on the single but not by much since Izayoi could possibly surpass in the future…I don’t know but she needs something to spice her music up a little bit.

 

Satsuki – ROMANCE

Filed under: Satsuki — solarblade @ 4:13 am

Track Listing

  1. ROMANCE

1. ROMANCE

Satsuki must’ve took notes since ROMANCE isn’t as boring as “SYMPATHY” was that’s for sure and I’m loving the upbeat nature of the song and kind of goes back to his last era minus the depressing songs.  I am getting the sense that it was tied to some anime because it has that feel to it as well.  Then it gets weird with the disc spinning in the middle of the song…what was that about?  I kind of enjoyed this!

 

 

I’m a little surprised that Satsuki would make this single only one track but I’m guessing he couldn’t think of a B-side in time (plus “SYMPATHY” failed on that aspect as well).  ROMANCE isn’t bad of a song but I still kind of like “INNOCENT” the best in the era.

 

Vanilla Beans – Tengoku e no Kaidan

Filed under: Vanilla Beans — solarblade @ 3:48 am

Track Listing

  1. Tengoku e no Kaidan
  2. Baby Portable Rock
  3. Nicola
  4. a little crying

1. Tengoku e no Kaidan

If the you look at the title and translate it actually is Stairway to Heaven and YES it is a cover of that Led Zeppelin song.  I found this to be shocking the system and quite sacriligious for sure.  Add the fact that Rena and Risa are singing it in Engrish and you got a potential hot trainwreck which is true.  Unlike the original’s rock format, it’s turned into this sort of folkish atmospheric version which is interesting but ODD.  Also it’s the full song so it’s pretty damn long past 8 minutes XD.  It’s an interesting cover no doubt but as an A-side?  Strange.

3. Nicola

As this was a special limited release, the second half of the single features two old songs first is Nicola which was the duo’s second A-side.  I used to think it was boring as hell and while it’s still not amongst their best songs, it’s got charm and the acoustic guitar arrangement has got me smiling.  Sweet song.

4. a little crying

I’m surprised they put the B-side from the duo’s first single, “U ♡ Me” on here and I’m not sure if it’s the original or the new version (the original had original member Rika and not Risa).  It’s a bit more relaxing than “Nicola” that’s for sure and they keep with the acoustic guitar as well.  Breezy song overall and it moves smoothly but it’s good background music nothing above that though.

 

 

FINALLY and will review the missing cover track as well.  While this is the only single that represents the “Vanilla Beans II” era, Tengoku e no Kaidan is a very oddball single.  I mean the A-side is a cover of Led Zeppelin’s biggest song word by word!  Also the first B-side is a cover of Pizzicato Five’s recognizable song.  Then the second half is songs the duo have already released.  I just didn’t understand this single at all!

 

m.o.v.e – XII

Filed under: m.o.v.e — solarblade @ 3:08 am

Track Listing

  1. Overture
  2. MAYHEM PHILOSOPHY
  3. KICKDOWN
  4. The World Of Prisoners
  5. Jasmine
  6. XII
  7. Shake The Babylon
  8. A Thousand Reasons
  9. NATIVE SHOUT
  10. FLY HIGH
  11. Sudden Romance
  12. D.C.

1. Overture

Beginning the album off, Overture is definitely the introductory track for the album and already I’m getting “Deep Calm” vibes from it with it’s goth-like orchestral piece mixed with the chanting to make it darker.  When the strings become a bigger factor it did feel upbeat but then quickly goes away for the chanting (which I think is Latin?).  Short and strange though lol.

2. MAYHEM PHILOSOPHY

Getting into the vocal track’s MAYHEM PHILOSOPHY definitely has a rather unique feel to it since there’s more guitars and motsu is rapping first.  It’s pretty cool sounding and when yuri joins she has a pretty good tone to her voice almost like she’s singing in a stronger feel.  I also they toned down the auto-tune by a nice amount since she failed that on “Fate Seeker” and all that.  Not bad!

3. KICKDOWN

Interestingly enough, getting into KICKDOWN is a bit like going back in time because the edgier guitar-riffs and overall rock-style kind of goes back to their “Deep Calm” and “BOULDER” eras when this was their style for the entire album.  I like the heavier sound for sure but it still doesn’t hold a candle to other rock songs similar to this one but it’s good nonetheless.

4. The World Of Prisoners

Now this song is definitely a song I would’ve expected on “Deep Calm” since it’s rock-heavy and dark like a lot of the songs off that album.  I’m kind of liking yuri’s vocals in the song since once again I felt that her voice has more volume and power behind it.  Actually it reminds me of “Pure Minds” in many ways.  Not bad but a little stale for me.

5. Jasmine

The clock starts ticking when we begin Jasmine up before fading and letting guitar take over the song.  The guitar chords and yuri’s performance really impressed me in the song and gave me a good mood to the song for sure and then hearing motsu rapping wasn’t bad either.  While it lacks a pounding energy about it, it’s not terrible and stands out on the album.

6. XII

As we get into our title track, XII is probably the closest thing to their last two albums since there’s a bit more of a synthetic arrangement when compared to the previous songs before it.  It’s almost like a tuned down “SPEED MASTER”.  It’s pretty good though and I love the synergy between the two members and it impresses a lot still.  This is definitely their best title track they’ve had in a while.

7. Shake The Babylon

Oh wait here’s another synth-like song.  Shake The Babylon starts off slowly and fades into the actual track which is actually kind of like “NOIZY TRIBE” but less aggressive and the rapping from motsu is a little easier to understand.  yuri also takes over for the chorus but I somehow can’t seem to get used to it either because the arrangement is just a little too sparse and empty for me. 

8. A Thousand Reasons

After that last track, I was happy they were moving back into their rock/synth mixture with this track and I liked that there was more yuri present since I wanted to hear more of her actually.  The arrangement and background kind of sounds blurry at times and kind meshes as this buzz for most of the song.  Kind of meh for me but not too terrible.

9. NATIVE SHOUT

This song kind of gives me “DIVE INTO STREAM” vibes since both have a mixture of rock/synth/and anison throughout which might be great for fans that love that sound from them.  For me, it’s kind of cool to listen to and yuri gives a solid performance.  motsu though has a lot of attitude to give here and it works with the arrangement.  Not bad!

10. FLY HIGH

I don’t know where to classify this song since it doesn’t sound like anything I’ve really heard…maybe “DECADANCE” but that’s a bit of a strectch since there’s not a lot of ethnic touches in the song.  It has a lot of unique properties to it and it’s definitely a motsu heavy song as well so if you like him then this is a good track to begin with.  I thought the song would’ve been a little more heavier but this is alright.

11. Sudden Romance

Funny enough as we near the album’s end, Sudden Romance surprises me by being the ballad of the album.  I thought the synthed guitar added a little spice in it alongside motsu’s rapping sequences even though they didn’t really fit.  It isn’t as awkward as the chorus because it felt like it was trying to be big and powerful but fell VERY short because the arrangement sticks with it’s light and sporadic flair.  Weak track.

12. D.C.

I wasn’t prepared for such an 80’s rock song to come from the final song of the album.  It sounds a lot more broader than the first half’s rock tracks and yuri once again powers through the song with her voice.  I’m surprised it took so long to get to motsu’s rap which is softer than normal.  This was a nice song to end the album with!

Tracks Recommended

  • XII
  • D.C.
  • MAYHEM PHILOSOPHY
  • NATIVE SHOUT

Song of Avoidance

  • Sudden Romance

If you were a fan of m.o.v.e’s stuff during the “Deep Mind”/”BOULDER” era this might be your album since it was more based on strings and rock and a little bit of synthy stuff.  Sad to say, but I wasn’t a big fan of those times and oddly enough XII didn’t really interest me any.  Definitely a drop after “oveRtaKerS SPIRIT” for sure…