Kurayami Monogatari

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KOKIA – Yume Oibito March 13, 2012

Filed under: KOKIA — solarblade @ 9:53 pm

Track Listing

  1. Yume Oibito
  2. Yume Oibito (Piano Version)
  3. Yume Oibito (Instrumental)
  4. Yume Oibito (Piano Version) (Instrumental)

1. Yume Oibito

Dang, KOKIA really likes her ballads huh?  I mean in recent times her ballads have been oddly very boring despite KOKIA’s amazing vocals.  Yume Oibito it’s like the other ballad A-sides she’s released so far in the era which is not a good sign IMHO.  I’m just overall not impressed here.

2. Yume Oibito (Piano Version)

Just to add salt to the already existing wound, she puts out a piano-only version of the song and I’m even further bored by it.  I mean yeah the vocals are pretty great, but it just doesn’t seem like it makes up for the bored and tired arrangement. 

 

 

While I think KOKIA is a great singer and all, her singles as of lately have been mostly disappointments and makes me wonder how well she’ll do with an album of these.  Yume Oibito is just too plain for me…it’s like “Memorial days” but less because it has an even more boring piano version of it.  Girl, needs to pick up the slack badly!

 

moumoon – “Love is Everywhere”

Filed under: moumoon — solarblade @ 9:24 pm

Track Listing

  1. “Love is Everywhere”
  2. Bon Appetit (M&M DISCO MIX)
  3. “Love is Everywhere” (instrumental)
  4. Bon Appetit (M&M DISCO MIX) (instrumental)

1. “Love is Everywhere”

It hasn’t been that long since we’ve heard moumoon last (a little over a month ago) but they are release hounds all of a sudden!  Their new song “Love is Everywhere” is an interesting song since it seems they’ve taken up more of a dance style since a couple of songs from “No Night Land” carried a few.  I actually really enjoyed the song since YUKA sounds great and fits the style like a puzzle piece.  Though the funny thing is the during the first verse, they seem to sample the melody from Martin Solveig’s “Hello” which made me laugh a lot.  Great A-side!

2. Bon Appetit (M&M DISCO MIX)

The other song on the single is a remix of Bon Appetit from “No Night Land”.  I will say that at first I didn’t hear what the difference between the two but as I played both of them, it seems this one is less fuller in the arrangement and there was some corrections in the vocal chords in the melody.  Not much of a different opinion against the original so it’s still pretty good.

 

 

moumoon is just throwing these singles out now, “Love is Everywhere” though is pretty good not gonna lie and kind of catchy all over.  I think it’s definitely their best A-side since “moonlight” for sure.  As for the remix, Bon Appetit didn’t go through as many changes as I thought it would but that’s alright.  Great single overall!

 

Juliet – Jimoto

Filed under: Juliet — solarblade @ 9:01 pm

Track Listing

  1. Jimoto
  2. Sayonara to Hajimari
  3. Jimoto -Instrumental-

1. Jimoto

It feels like it’s been a while sicne we’ve heard Juliet last and they’ve returned with a new A-side in Jimoto.  Unlike their last couple of songs, this is more of your slower R&B song from them.  Sadly, it’s these songs that kind of make me just zzz since it’s kind of where it’s like “it’s been done” already kind of feeling.  I’m just not really feeling the song sadly.

2. Sayonara to Hajimari

The B-side sadly follows “Jimoto’s” line of work but without the dubious R&B beats.  It’s actually a straight up piano/strings ballad with little percussion and synth splotches.  It’s doing a better job at showing off the trio’s vocals which is nice and while the song takes a while before it opens into this loud chorus it has, I found myself actually enjoying it better…a little more dramatic actually. 

 

 

Juliet begins their 4th era with a poor A-side against a great B-side.  I really wish they kind of make their R&B songs a little more different to each because I was just plainly bored with Jimoto.  Sayonara to Hajimari though was pretty damn good.  I have to say they need to do more songs like the B-side now!!!! LOL

 

Kou Shibasaki – Strength

Filed under: Kou Shibasaki — solarblade @ 8:19 pm

Track Listing

  1. Strength
  2. Mou, Inai yo
  3. Strength -Instrumental-

1. Strength

For a song that’s titled Strength, I wasn’t fully expecting Kou to make it something totally different than I had in mind and I like that little twist.  I love the string bass and clapping rhythm going on as well.  It kind of gives the song a retro feel that’s nice to listen to.  Add in splashes of synths and it’s a very pretty little tune here.  Entirely different from anything back in the “CIRCLE CYCLE” era so this is a new and fresh start for her.

2. Mou, Inai yo

The B-side of the single takes things at an even lighter viewpoint with acoustic guitar and what I think is a harmonica (but it doesn’t really feel like it’s literally played.  I’m even surprised that the song also has a male backup to sing along with her in the chorus which is a nice move.  Very relaxing of a song but it’s got so much charm that I can’t help but love the hell out of it.

 

 

Starting a new era off, Strength was surprisingly good.  Despite my lack of interest in “CIRCLE CYCLE’s” singles except for “wish”, Strength brought back a little more of cute within Kou’s sound and she’s sounding quite nicely. Mou, Inai yo though was pretty awesome.  It got the feeling of night time just right and the softly sung Kou fit the mood even better.  Definitely *RECOMMENDED* here. 

 

Tohoshinki – STILL

Filed under: Tohoshinki — solarblade @ 7:56 pm

Track Listing

  1. STILL
  2. One More Thing
  3. One More Thing -SAKURA Version- (CD only)
  4. STILL -Less Vocal-
  5. One More Thing -Less Vocal-

1. STILL

Hmmm interesting choices of instrumentation for STILL to be honest.  I mean the light piano mixed with a heavy-set beat but still retaining it’s light tone.  I do like the way it flows and both Yunho and Changmin really sound nice singing together which isn’t news but just wanted to point it out.  While I do consider “Winter Rose” their better ballad track, this isn’t too bad.

2. One More Thing

The B-side of the single, One More Thing at first started out slow like “STILL” but as soon as I move along Changmin’s lines it seems the song it’s building up into a mid-tempo dance tune.  I actually think there’s a lot more Changmin than Yunho in this song which is different but cool but I just can’t with the chorus of ~one more ding~…just too funny.  Still not bad here either.

3. One More Thing -SAKURA Version-

Instead of the original arrangement we’re kind of given this softer version which has more prominence with the piano and strings and kind of has this nature-friendly atmosphere to it which adds to the whole SAKURA feel I guess.  Beyond the arrangement changes, the song remains the same otherwise and while it’s sad that it wasn’t resung…I can take this song and I think I like it a little more than original. 

 

 

Tohoshinki’s first (or second since “Winter Rose” is questionable) single is quite nice and soft for the group which is kind of making me curious to if their sound is going to shift to a more softer feel…but it’s too early to tell.  STILL is a nice ballad and has good vocals from both men.  One More Thing could come off as cheesy but it’s nice but the SAKURA Version is where its at on a stronger position as a song.  Not bad from the duo.

 

SPYAIR – My World

Filed under: SPYAIR — solarblade @ 7:23 pm

Track Listing

  1. My World
  2. Come on
  3. BEAUTIFUL DAYS (acoustic version)

1. My World

I’m happy that SPYAIR began their second major era with a GUNDAM song like My World since it’s pretty rockin’ and just them.  I mean it’s not as explosive as “Japanication” or “Samurai Heart” but this is pretty standard and memorable piece of work they got here.  IKE sounds strong singing as well which isn’t new to me hahah but this is awesome to listen to.  Definitely a great way to kick things off.

2. Come on

Calming things down a little bit, Come on kind of feels unplugged even though there’s electric guitar.  I just enjoyed the laidback atmosphere I felt from the song and IKE even tuned down his vocals (at least until the powerfully striking chorus).  I kind of liked this track a bit more than “My World” oddly enough but that’s because this felt more like SPYAIR I like so this was a winner for sure.

3. BEAUTIFUL DAYS (acoustic version)

Closing the single out is an acoustic version of their last A-side, BEAUTIFUL DAYS.  The original didn’t really impress me much because it sounded so very plain even for such a band like SPYAIR.  I kind of like hearing a more stripped down version of the song even though it still barely leaves a mark on my mind.  Overall though IKE is a great singer if he wants to do more acoustic tracks like this.

 

 

Kicking off a new era, My World is actually a pretty solid single.  Nothing too bad but nothing (besides Come on) noteworthy.  My World is pretty tame for them but it’s kind enough energy to keep it afloat.  The acoustic take for BEAUTIFUL DAYS wasn’t bad either but I still can’t remember the song otherwise.  Come on though is the star choice for me though.  It’s pretty awesome and has the great SPYAIR energy that got me into the band in the first place!  Let’s keep em coming!

 

RAINBOW – Gonna Gonna GO!

Filed under: RAINBOW — solarblade @ 6:06 pm

Track Listing

  1. Gonna Gonna GO!
  2. Hello
  3. Gonna Gonna GO! (Instrumental)
  4. Hoi Hoi (CD only first press)

1. Gonna Gonna GO!

Finally the group gets into their first original A-side in Gonna Gonna GO! and this kind of sounds like KARA almost and I don’t know why…but I think it’s a nice change from both “A” and “Mach”.  The girls sound really sweet and pleasant to the ears but the chorus is kind of meh which has been a problem for RAINBOW since their JPN debut.  Not too bad for their first original A-side.

2. Hello

Oh!  The B-side is original too…sweet deal!  I actually have to admit but the opening for this song was pretty as hell for some reason and then just jumps into this gritty dance beat which kind of goes back to “Mach” which is a nice move for them.  I thought this did pretty well since the girl’s sound a lot stronger than before.  Not gonna lie either but the rapping was pretty awesome too…wow best song they’ve done!

3. Hoi Hoi

As a little incentive for getting a first press release, we get the Rainbow Pixie song (still in Korean though).  If you don’t know about Rainbow Pixie, they are a sub-group from RAINBOW that features three members and they’re style is a bit more cutesy pop.  At the same time, I feel like it reminds me of “Gonna Gonna GO!” soooo hmmm.  It’s pretty catchy no doubt and the girls sound good but after “Hello” this is missing a bit of style for me.

 

 

As their 3rd and final single for the “Over the Rainbow” era, Gonna Gonna GO! to me is their best single released yet.  The A-side was a bit more cuter than I would’ve expected after the last two A-sides but it’s alright.  Hello though was the clear winner and would’ve been amazing had it been the track promoting the single.  As for Hoi Hoi, it’s a nice little bonus but still reminds me of the A-side…this album is going to be odd, not gonna lie.