Kurayami Monogatari

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Yui Sakakibara (PHANTASM) – ~PHANTASM~ Revival Prophecy March 29, 2012

Filed under: Yui Sakakibara — solarblade @ 8:12 pm

Track Listing

  1. Tokitsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku
  2. Sora to Chijou no Creation
  3. Preghiera no Tsukiyo ni
  4. Masquerade ~Noah Daisanshou Retsu-ou Shinseiki-hen Yori~
  5. Innocence  ~Satsuriku no Souseikishi-hen Saishuushou Yori~
  6. Inori no Violet
  7. EUPHORIA ~Tsugunai no Requiem~
  8. Uruwashiki Seduce
  9. Shinen no Lumière
  10. Hisui no Cavalier
  11. Zaika ni Keiyaku no Chi wo (Album Limited Version)
  12. Prophecy ~Gate of Steiner~
  13. Unmei no Farfalla

1. Tokitsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku

Starting off the second PHANTASM album, Tokitsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku (third A-side of the era), I like the rather creepy atmosphere we got from this song.  I love the power of Yui’s voice in the chorus too even when she does start to somewhat squeak but it goew hand in hand with the verses which are so unsettling and cool to listen to ^^.  Like I said, best A-side of the era hahaha.

2. Sora to Chijou no Creation

Only four new songs?  Talk about depressing…then again “End Prophecy” had like what two new songs amongst the amount it had (though it was a smaller album too).  Back to the song at hand, Sora to Chijou no Creation is pretty hard hitting with an amazing guitar solo opening the song before becoming this heavy goth-rock track with chanting in the background…so cool!  Yui is singing deeper but the arrangement does manage to overcome here because I can’t really hear her in the verses but everywhere else it’s good!  Not bad though but I could use less of the pounding drums tbh.

3. Preghiera no Tsukiyo ni

The fourth and final A-side representing the era, Preghiera no Tsukiyo ni still somehow impresses me as well and sounds a lot more powerful than a lot of the PHANTASM songs I know.  Yui’s vocals are amazing in the song for me and while I keep tossing between best A-side between this and “Tokitsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku” I have to say it was great competition but I like the latter just a smidge more.  Still epic song here!

4. Masquerade ~Noah Daisanshou Retsu-ou Shinseiki-hen Yori~

I will admit that I didn’t like how the tracklist squished ALL of the old songs together but it’s whatever…what else could you really do with just only four new songs.  Masquerade (B-side from “Unmei no Farfalla”) is kind of the oddball song for me because unlike most of the other tracks on the album, it’s more poppy and less dreary and hard like the others.  Sadly, I felt this was a weak song after listening to it more.  I will say that Yui’s vocals are alright but nothing amazing.

5. Innocence  ~Satsuriku no Souseikishi-hen Saishuushou Yori~

Innocence on the other hand is a little more fitting towards the album.  Beginning with a metronome clicking it really instills that creepy vibe quite nicely.  Coming from “Inori no Violet”, Innocence was nice and I definitely preferred it to its A-side which is a suprise for me.  While it’s a little more darker than “Masquerade” it’s still considered light when compared but that’s alright since it’s an anime theme (well all of them are but still).

6. Inori no Violet

Talking about Inori no Violet, the second A-side appears and remains my least favorite of the four.  I will say though that it’s not even bad so it’s a song to keep tabs on too.  The reason why I wasn’t too big of a fan were once again too much percussion involved.  Lighten that shit up please!  Beyond that, Inori no Violet was mysterious and kind of foreboding which is good to have that feeling.  Not bad.

7. EUPHORIA ~Tsugunai no Requiem~

Moving to the B-side from “Preghiera no Tsukiyo ni”, EUPHORIA is pretty much considered the ballad of the album and is also the longest song of the bunch passing over 6 minutes (only a couple seconds longer than “Inori no Violet” though).  I like the gloomy and melancholic feel of the song but it doesn’t go anywhere until the end where other instruments get added.  It’s just kind of boring to me unfortuantely.

8. Uruwashiki Seduce

If there was one song that was better than “Tokitsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku” I’d easily pick this song (and it was the B-side of that single, mind you).  I mean it was fierce and just full of personality and energy which made me all giddy on the inside!  Plus the additional synths added along the rock style pulled me in further.  Definitely my favorite song on the album! (well out of the old songs)

9. Shinen no Lumière

After trudging along the amount of old songs on the album, we finally get to the area with new stuff starting with Shinen no Lumière!  I felt like this was “EUPHORIA” done right because it’s a ballad but has orchestration and the rockin’ atmosphere boosting it which left a better and powerful song behind.  I actually really enjoyed this tune as well!

10. Hisui no Cavalier

Ooo I like the string intro to Hisui no Cavelier.  It does give this rather adventurous medieval feel to it which is a little different against other songs.  However, I feel for this the same way I do with “Sora to Chijou no Creation” in where if not for the meh drums, this would’ve been a better experience.  Luckily, I could forgive this one because it’s pretty good as well!  Dramatic but awesome!

11. Zaika ni Keiyaku no Chi wo (Album Limited Version)

Of course this would be the third version of this song!  First one was the original of course and that was Yui’s debut under the PHANTASM moniker and the second was found on the “Inori no Violet” single.  The difference between the Album Limited and the Single Limited (not the original) is that the arrangement was cleared up a little more and some of the singular guitar lines are more pronounced and I’m pretty sure Yui did resing this so it’s a little more cleaner as well and maybe slightly deeper?  I don’t know but otherwise the song remained the same and my feelings towards it hasn’t changed a lot since I last reviewed it.  Great verses but a little much with the chorus…Not terrible in the least but not one of the best either.

12. Prophecy ~Gate of Steiner~

OIC, the last new track is merely an interlude before “Unmei no Farfalla” it seems.  Under 2 minutes, Prophecy doesn’t seem like it suits this whole PHANTASM thing (you know since “End Prophecy” didn’t have one).  However, it does suit it because it’s heavy, dark and VERY furious (which could also say it doesn’t fit).  You hear some ad-libbing but that’s about it…weird…

13. Unmei no Farfalla

I can see why Unmei no Farfalla would be at the end because it has a slight Arabian intro which hasn’t been the sound of the album.  The A-side that kicked off the era, I feel it still does leave a good mark even though it’s a lot lighter than most of the songs.  Makes for a good song to wrap up the album with though but meh

Tracks Recommended

  • Uruwashiki Seduce
  • Hisui no Cavalier
  • Tokitsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku
  • Preghiera no Tsukiyo ni
  • Shinen no Lumière

Song of Avoidance

  • EUPHORIA ~Tsugunai no Requiem~

PHANTASM’s 2nd album, a bit more fleshed out than “End Prophecy” was for sure is still quite good.  While I’m currently unsure if it ranks better than the first one, Revival Prophecy is a great collection of goth-rock and slower stuff.  Though there were some misses (in which I don’t think the first album did) but it doesn’t deter away from what’s good.  Still a pretty great album nonetheless.

 

Sayuri Sugawara – Habataku Kimi e

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 6:33 pm

Track Listing

  1. Habataku Kimi e
  2. Sakura
  3. My HERO (CD only)
  4. Habataku Kimi e (Instrumental)
  5. Sakura (Instrumental)
  6. My HERO (Instrumental)

1. Habataku Kimi e

Beautiful piano open up Sayuri’s second A-side of the era, Habataku Kimi e which is more of the same we’ve gotten from Sayuri since she debuted two years ago.  Meaning more of that R&B style is found here and I’m thinking it’s her niche but it works with me because her voice is really pretty for some reason.  It just sounds great and she gets stronger towards the chorus for sure ^^.  Impressive song and better than couple of her last leading tracks (from the mini-albums) and A-sides.

2. Sakura

Of course since it’s that time of year, it’s no surprise we’d get our Sakura-themed song from Sayuri.  Unlike “Habataku Kimi e”, Sakura is more ballad-friendly for people with strings and piano leading it up lol.  For how simplistic it is in its arrangement, it’s a pretty song and Sayuri sung it very well (even throwing some English in the chorus).  I honestly wouldn’t have minded if she had chose this as an A-side because it’s pretty good! lol.

3. My HERO

Oh a CD only song?  Well My HERO began with Sayuri opening it up in an acappella style before acoustic guitars join in after the intro.  Her voice are a bit more at a comfortable level since she was singing high notes in “Sakura” and all that.  I do chuckle at the ~my heelow~ in the chorus and various other places but not bad but nothing too remarkable here.

 

 

As the second single of the era, Habataku Kimi e actually impressed me a bit more than “Ashita ni Naru Mae ni” since two of the three songs are pretty damn good for here…she keeps on impressing me with songs like the lead track and Sakura.  My HERO is alright…but is obvious it’s a little under the other two songs.

 

2NE1 – SCREAM

Filed under: 2NE1 — solarblade @ 5:23 am

Track Listing

  1. SCREAM
  2. FIRE
  3. SCREAM (INSTRUMENTAL)
  4. FIRE (INSTRUMENTAL)
  5. SCREAM (m-flo Remix)

1. SCREAM

Ahhhh their first original Japanese song and I couldn’t be anymore happier with it.  SCREAM is definitely true to the girls with great raps from CL and Minzy.  Plus add in Dara and Bom’s singing and you get another great mixture of personalities that have made them as huge as they are.  I think my favorite would be the hook with the ~scream ah-ah-ah-ah~ parts…I thought it was clever and handled easily too xD.  Great song!

2. FIRE

I consider this 2NE1’s debut even though in literal, “Lollipop” was the debut but that was a collaboration IMO so it doesn’t count in my mind.  FIRE was the first song I heard from the group and loved it a lot and continues to be one of my favorite songs from them.  Now we’re dealing with it’s Japanese form and to be honest, I prefer the Korean more because it does flow better and has less of a jerkier stance than this version. 

3. SCREAM (m-flo Remix)

This is a nice surprise to see a remix on the single (more or less from Taku (who is currently butthurt)).  For this 7 minute remix we have here, for the most part I was kind of enjoying this one even though the chorus and the hooks really take advantage of the arrangement while the verses are kind of sloppy and doesn’t fit well the music at hand.  Though the biggest offense is VERBAL.  He just took the song and ran it into the ground.  I mean his rap just didn’t work and the whole dubstep background was stupid (Taku get off that shit plz!).  Otherwise everything else was good…just needs some cleaning!

 

 

While I’m not going to review “COLLECTION”, I did want to review the single that came out simultaneously with it!  I have to say their first song originally sung in Japanese was awesome!  SCREAM is classy and has the normal hooks that makes most of 2NE1’s works SOOOO GOOD in the first place (though I still prefer “I AM THE BEST”).  The remix for SCREAM is terrible for what it is, but there’s some nagging flaws that makes it a little less than good.  As for the new version of FIRE…it’s not great but they tried and it’s not terrible, just better in Korean lol.  Overall a good single and definitely was better than their first single by a long shot!