Kurayami Monogatari

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YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz – YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz I March 26, 2012

Filed under: YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz — solarblade @ 6:26 am

Track Listing

  1. CIRCLE
  2. Saishuu Tsuukoku COUNTDOWN
  3. Ren’ai DRIVER ~Foo-san no Uta~
  4. LAST KISS
  5. UNTIL THE LAST DAY (CD only)
  6. YOU ARE THE REASON
  7. MIND FOREST
  8. Mousou GIRL
  9. THE END OF THE DAY
  10. Mata, Koko de Aimashou
  11. ALL MY LOVE
  12. NOT ALONE “Kimi wa Hitori ja Nai”

1. CIRCLE

I love that YFCz already pulls out the guns for the first track on the album.  Of course it seems that the song is mostly sung in English and I’m surprised there’s a lot more of Jon than GACKT present in the song which hasn’t happened yet since they debuted together.  I’m loving hearing both of the guys together since they melodically sound great together.  The song is pretty edgy and furious like “THE END OF THE DAY” but a little more loose in execution.  It’s a great song to kick things off!

2. Saishuu Tsuukoku COUNTDOWN

Continuing the edgy sound of everything about the band, Saishuu Tsuukoku COUNTDOWN is pretty relentless and I felt this song was odd for them.  Since it primarily Japanese, it was interesting to hear Jon singing in the language.  I didn’t really like the auto-tune thrown on the vocals in the chorus since it’s adding salt to the wound.  It does feel like it can grown on me since it’s catchy and the rap-like verses stood out a lot…but I have to get used to this x.x

3. Ren’ai DRIVER ~Foo-san no Uta~

Damn they are just on a relentless roll huh?  I have to say though that the percussion of this song gave me a headache as well with the odd chords that open Ren’ai DRIVER.  It isn’t as catchy as “Saishuu Tsuukoku COUNTDOWN” but a least it doesn’t have auto-tune to really make meh.  Instead there’s a screamo area from who I think is Jon.  Nothing too special here.

4. LAST KISS

I was hoping for a break from the heavy song but not quite yet.  LAST KISS is another energetic song but all I really get from this is that LAST KISS is a hot mess and not in a good way either.  It just sounds all over the place and the ideas clashing with one another makes me just wanna take my headphones off and just point my finger at it angrily for letting me listen to this mess.  I just can’t with this one!

5. UNTIL THE LAST DAY

I found it strange to see that GACKT’s solo track, UNTIL THE LAST DAY made the CD only cut for the album.  Now going to look at the tracklist, it seems it has mostly English which I assume means that he rerecorded the song to have more emphasis with English lyrics and more Jon.  It’s funny that this has a lot stronger of a melody than the songs that came before this.  It’s still pretty powerful of a song and I do consider this over other tracks by a large amount.

6. YOU ARE THE REASON

At least “UNTIL THE LAST DAY” made sense to come before YOU ARE THE REASON but at the same time could have been after “Ren’ai DRIVER” honestly.  Since it was the secondary B-side of the band’s second single…I wasn’t too thrilled by seeing it here.  I still think the band sticks out a LOT more than either GACKT or Jon.  Just not that memorable to be honest.

7. MIND FOREST

The lone B-side and sort of pseudo-self-cover of GACKT’s songs, MIND FOREST is still pretty damn good today.  Like I used to really not like the original version at all but this new take plus the addition of Jon made it so much better.  I mean the flutes are still there and the band is just sounding a lot more controlled than before which is good.  One of the bests from the album.

8. Mousou GIRL

Whoa, a lot of sound impacting my ears all at once it seems.  Bringing back the auto-tune once again it seems to actually work a little better here since the song also utilized some synths and such alongside the guitars and such.  Once the chorus comes in though they start to slur the lyrics and it begins to become hard to follow…though I can’t explain the censored bleep in the second set of verses.  If I space out the messy arrangement, there’s a catchy song in there very deep inside but it’s difficult with all this noise!

9. THE END OF THE DAY

Sad to say that the best song the album really had to offer was their debut A-side in THE END OF THE DAY.  I love the controlled atmosphere and hearing GACKT and Jon sing seperately and together…they had perfect chemistry in the song and just really stood out to me.  It’s just powerful in all the right places and I loved how it turned out unlike their stuff after it.

10. Mata, Koko de Aimashou

Mata, Koko de Aimashou tricked me to believe it was going to be a slower song because of the strings that have their own intro to the song.  The song becomes a bit more like pop/rock when compared to the other songs on this album.  I do think the drummer is still being a bit too much in the song for some reason but I kind of like the happier side to YFCz.  I think if they toned Shinya (the drummer) a giant notch, this song would’ve been better…and to think it was a promotional song too >.<

11. ALL MY LOVE

Yeah, the second and primary A-side, ALL MY LOVE struck the wrong chord within me.  As the album’s rock ballad, ALL MY LOVE is so gritty and just wrong in many ways for me.  It’s just very dramatic of a song from GACKT and Jon and their overly expressive vocals surprised me a lot.  I just couldn’t take seriously and it was really my least favorite A-side. 

12. NOT ALONE “Kimi wa Hitori ja Nai”

NOT ALONE closes the album out but not as a ballad which is odd considering that “ALL MY LOVE” precedes it and all that.  Actually it’s kind of refreshing almost as the album’s final song.  I mean there’s strings and less mess from the band.  I once again though loathe the auto-tune being used in this song especially in a setting like this >.<  Leave that for “Koakuma Heaven” and “GHOST”.  Minus that, the song is still enjoyable and stands out than most of the album itself lol.

Tracks Recommended

  • THE END OF THE DAY
  • UNTIL THE LAST DAY
  • NOT ALONE “Kimi wa Hitori ja Nai”
  • Mousou GIRL
  • Saishuu Tsuukoku COUNTDOWN

Song of Avoidance

  • LAST KISS

I wish I was more positive with this album, I really do!  YFCzI just doesn’t cut it for me.  I had high expectations since THE END OF THE DAY was an amazing single but ALL MY LOVE/YOU ARE THE REASON were kind of disappointing.  As a whole it was just a mess and while there were songs that did stand out for me…altogether it felt like a mess more than a meeting in heaven.  Yikes…btw, the album tracklist has extra things going on like [.jp],  [.eu], and [.com] which only means English mostly, Japanese mostly, or equal amount.  It’s a pretty stupid thing to do to be honest and that’s why I left that off because it’s so redundant and lame.

 

9nine – 9nine

Filed under: 9nine — solarblade @ 4:40 am

Track Listing

  1. Fly
  2. Shoujo Traveler
  3. Chikutaku☆2NITE
  4. Natsu wanna say love U
  5. koizora
  6. Orange days
  7. Cross Over
  8. too blue
  9. Love me?
  10. Darling, Darling
  11. #girls
  12. SHINING☆STAR
  13. 9nine o’clock (bonus track)

1. Fly

Starting things off, Fly opens up 9nine’s album with a pretty aggressive pop/rock sound that I’m not very used to by 9nine at all.  At the same time, the synths and beats add a great touch to the song.  While it’s not as power heavy like other songs, it’s a pleasant beginning to the album and the girls definitely have solid vocals already so it’s nothing terrible.

2. Shoujo Traveler

Luckily enough, as the fifth and final single released Shoujo Traveler is the best song they’ve done since getting a stable group going and joining SONY.  It’s very electro and quite epic for such an idol group.  Almost taking up a Perfume slot here.  I just found this song to be my cup of tea and really kicked things up for them which is great!  Very catchy and just all kinds of awesomeness ^_^!

3. Chikutaku☆2NITE

Moving to the 4th A-side released, Chikutaku☆2NITE really had troubles when I first heard it because it didn’t really bring anything new to the table.  It does have a little bit of the vocal filtering on it like “Shoujo Traveler” but the song aims for a more cuter style which kind of took its toll on me.  I still think it feels pretty bland for them but it’s a good happy song from them.

4. Natsu wanna say love U

The only other A-side that really stood out to me since they debuted was their summer song.  I do feel like it’s a lighter “Shoujo Traveler” because it has a need to want more synths involved but it doesn’t but I like that about it.  The rhythm and synth beats really helped out and I liked it too…it was almost like it was transforming the group from “Cross Over” and “SHINING☆STAR” to this and I was loving the direction.

5. koizora

Back to some new tracks, koizora tones things down after all that synthy fun.  I was hoping to hear something soft from the group and we got it with this one that has acoustic guitar and piano playing together with some light knick-knacks.  I will say that I love the solo lines a lot here and when they come together it just works so well!  Good ballad here!

6. Orange days

Of course they quickly move back into some fun tracks with Orange days and funny enough the song sounds more summery than “Natsu wanna say love U”.  Orange days has an interesting feel to it but keeps with their primary style.  It doesn’t really stand out to me in any way but there’s nothing really wrong with the song itself so it’s neutral I guess?

7. Cross Over

Then we move into the group’s debut under SONY with Cross Over.  I felt it worked coming after “Orange days” since they share the same overall style but this was a little more upbeat.  Despite not having any solos overall in the song and being a little anime-esque when compared to other tracks, it’s not bad but once again I don’t feel like it leaves as much memorability like the other A-sides of the era. 

8. too blue

I’m surprised that out of all of the great B-sides the girls have done for the era, they only chose one and a good one at that with too blue (originally one of the B-sides from “Natsu wanna say love U”.  After the last two tracks, it was nice to see a little bit of a leeway away from the anime-like songs.  Plus the fact that there’s solo lines here really got me good.  I would’ve placed this somewhere in the front of the album to be honest but at the same time I think it worked here since the other tracks after it seem to take over lol.  Great B-side addition!

9. Love me?

Going back to new tracks before the ending, Love me? seem to have an energetic arrangement and deeper synth bass whick would’ve fit around the beginning of the album.  They seem to really work with this style for some reason but the chorus felt somewhat anticlimatic…like it was lacking energy where the verses had em’.  Not bad, but not very good either.

10. Darling, Darling

I felt like I was listening to a Q;indivi or DAISHI DANCE produced song with Darling, Darling because it’s so light and while it has dance beats, it also has some piano and strings in the background which led me to my analysis.  It’s kind of cute and fits the personality of the mood a lot better than what “Cross Over” and “Chikutaku☆2NITE” tried to do.  Very pretty and moving song here.

11. #girls

I also felt #girls was also a better representation of summer for some reason since the beat and the happier vibes from the ladies gave the song a good vibe for the beach.  It’s pretty cool to listen to it but there are better songs from the album to be honest but I like it for what it is ^_^

12. SHINING☆STAR

I guess since this should close the album out, we end it with their 2nd A-side and I really didn’t like this song when it first came out.  I mean when I took a listen to it now I still feel like it’s weak like “Chikutaku☆2NITE” since I can’t find much to really say about that makes it memorable to me but it’s not as bad as I thought it’d be.  I will say the vocals sound great though…hmmm maybe I need to reassess things hahaha.

13. 9nine o’clock

However, it seems there’s been a bonus track lodged in here in the form of 9nine o’clock.  I’m not sure why it’s a bonus but I’ll just go with the flow for the time being.  The album’s true final track sounds a little different from the previous songs but it does have a lot of synths which work for me.  It’s pretty good at it kind of reminds me of “Fly” but just a little.  Pretty good song though and it was a much better song to close than “SHINING☆STAR”.

Tracks Recommended

  • Shoujo Traveler
  • Natsu wanna say love U
  • too blue
  • koizora
  • 9nine o’clock

Song of Avoidance

  • Chikutaku☆2NITE

Ahhhh 9nine’s debut album under SONY…it was actually not half bad oddly enough.  While there were songs that were forgettable this one stood out to me but I think it’s because this has been a group that’s been together for a long time so their skills are natural at this point.  9nine shows off their style currently and it sounds really good and different from other idol groups currently making a splash which is good.  For a group that’s been together since 2006…One can wonder what’ll happen now lol.

 

IU – Good Day

Filed under: IU — solarblade @ 3:13 am

Track Listing

  1. Good Day (Japanese Version)
  2. Rain Drop (Japanese Version)
  3. Good Day (Original Karaoke)
  4. Rain Drop (Original Karaoke)

1. Good Day (Japanese Version)

I’m happy that there’s a new artist coming from Korea debuting (that isn’t in a group setting of course XD).  IU of course takes the easy route by debuting with Good Day which is a Japanese take of her Korean song, Joheun Nal.  I have to say that the light and poppy feel of the song stands out to me and has this cute glow to it.  Even the added horns was interesting.  It’s almost like a Katamari Damacy song but less redonkulous.  IU’s vocals though are pretty and has a unique tone to them when compared to other K-pop ladies.  It’s nice and this song turned out quite nice as well.

2. Rain Drop (Japanese Version)

The B-side though is different!  I didn’t expect IU to make Rain Drop sound so unusual but so very charming!  As it’s also a case of KOR to JPN, Rain Drop was also a great choice to kick things off since it’s pretty and shows off IU’s vocals quite nicely.  To be honest, IU reminds me of BONNIE PINK but with louder vocals.  I just found myself enjoying this song just as much as “Good Day”!

 

 

Wow, as another artist moves from Korea and debuts in Japan, Good Day by IU really is a great single to debut with.  Even though I am a little tired of artists lazily choosing to just sing new versions of their homeland songs, I thought the choice she made were great for the most part.  Both songs have a lot of charm and IU’s vocals really fit the style.  Time will tell if she can keep herself afloat in Japan but I think she’ll do good ^_^

 

Masami Mitsuoka – PAST TRUNK

Filed under: Masami Mitsuoka — solarblade @ 2:37 am

Track Listing

  1. OUT of STEP
  2. inter face
  3. dead end
  4. Nothing Spirit
  5. Private moon
  6. Kaleidoscope
  7. monologue letter
  8. TRICK
  9. Real Face
  10. Doll
  11. innocence
  12. garden

1. OUT of STEP

Starting Masami’s album with the digital single, OUT of STEP opens up things with a bang.  Starting with this odd ethnic sound before edgy guitars and flowing strings enter the fray, OUT of STEP is definitely back to Masami’s Ayu-like style of music which could be interesting.  I do feel like I’m listening to Ayu for some reason because it sounds like it belongs on “GUILTY” or something.  It’s not bad for what it is though so I guess that’s good right?

2. inter face

With a title like that, I was expecing something like an interlude for some reason.  Coming off her Mizca experience, inter face might be close to it sinec there’s synths and quick lyrical spitting as well.  I do think Masami has problems with emoting and the arrangement of the song feels rather dated (which isn’t new for me).  It’s not bad but I think of “last cross” whenever I hear this.  Still not bad though.

3. dead end

Actually, dead end might be something totally unexpected because of the harder guitars that almost parallel faylan’s work.  I kind of enjoyed the song a lot and while I do feel the chorus is weak compared to the verses, it’s overall pretty impressive and one of the cooler songs she has under her belt…she even snuck in some Mizca with the 8-bit parts.  Pretty impressive of a song though ^^

4. Nothing Spirit

After three upbeat songs, we get into the first ballad of the album in Nothing Spirit and it’s interesting since it does remind me of some songs from “Black Diary”.  Sadly, the arrangement screams some old Ayu ballads which once again is Masami’s shtick.  Kind of reminds me of “Secret” or “Decision”.

5. Private moon

Which leads to our problem in Private moon.  A little more of a happier ballad compared to “Nothing Spirit”, this song is quite odd since it reminds me of “Rafiora” but somehow finds its own place on the album.  I still don’t remember it very well beyond that because of this fact but it’s whatever.

6. Kaleidoscope

I can see that this is going to be “Black Diary” pt. 2 with the way the album is turning out.  While I do think this escapes the ballad zone, it’s still a bit on the slower side and kind of has the anime ending tone which is a little weird to me.  Kaleidoscope just flies by my mind at the end of it all sadly.

7. monologue letter

A line of slow songs huh?  At this point of the album I’m just kind of yawning and rather wanting to get through this area (if it ends).  monologue letter lacks energy and with Masami not putting a lot of emotional in her vocals it just makes this song bland and boring overall.

8. TRICK

At least we finally get out of the slow section and get into TRICK which brings back Masami’s anime-esque style with gritty guitar riffs and synthetic sounds placed throughout.  I like the creepy vibes with this one and Masami’s tone doesn’t seem to take away from the track unlike in previous songs.  Definitely the album’s best song lol.

9. Real Face

I guess “TRICK” was only used to break the ballad line for a short time because Real Face reenters the ballad zone once again.  It does remind me of “monologue letter” but a little more mysterious with the crystalline background music for some reason.  It almost makes the song very mysterious and different which is what I wanted from Masami.  It does grow into a guitar-laced chorus which reminds me of Ayu’s “SCAR” if only a little bit.  Not bad for a ballad though…probably the best one of them oddly enough.

10. Doll

Doll comes in next and continues to be trying to be like “Hana” or something which I don’t disagree to enjoying but I thought it’d be nice for something new unfortunately.  I’m trying to find something that makes it stand out but there really isn’t…just feels like many of the songs here meshed together.

11. innocence

As the album’s lone promotional song (and the only one with a PV here), innocence was probably the best choice she could’ve made probably.  I mean I could’ve enjoyed seeing a “TRICK” or “dead end” PV but this works as well.  I mean I can’t think of any song that it rips off from Ayu which is pretty good.  It does have a “Black Diary” sound as well which might not impress people but this was nice for some reason.  Not a bad choice to promote…ehhh I think?

12. garden

As the album’s shortest song under three minutes and the final track, garden actually sounds really good and has the most emotion I can find through all the ballads oddly enough.  I will say the arrangement isn’t something to gasm about since it’s cello and piano for the majority of it…it grows with strings.  Very pretty but it doesn’t make up for all the previous songs x.x

Tracks Recommended

  • TRICK
  • dead end
  • garden
  • Real Face
  • innocence

Song of Avoidance

  • monologue letter

Since I can’t really compare to the last album (since it’s totally two different genres and different pennames), I can compare to Masami’s debut album, “Black Diary”.  I feel like PAST TRUNK didn’t really excel at anything to make it better than her debut sadly…and I don’t think she made a better album because they aren’t really any songs that stood out in a good way unlike her first which had “last cross” and “Single Stone”.  I do wish that she goes back to Mizca and finish the second era since it left “1925” and “Rafiora” all lonely with no album.  Yeah, this album just failed for me.