Kurayami Monogatari

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Sakura Gakuin – Sakura Gakuin 2011 Nendo ~FRIENDS~ April 8, 2012

Filed under: Sakura Gakuin — solarblade @ 2:52 am

Track Listing

  1. Verishuvi
  2. FRIENDS
  3. Please! Please! Please! / Baton Club Twinklestars
  4. Rapicamu / Baton Club Twinklestars
  5. Hashire Shoujiki Mono / Go Home Club sleepiece
  6. Yokubari Fille / Cooking Club Mini Party
  7. Ii ne! (Vega Mix Version) / Heavy Metal Club BABYMETAL
  8. Otomegokoro.
  9. Pictogram
  10. 3.a.m
  11. See you…
  12. Tabidachi no Hi ni

1. Verishuvi

Opening the album up, Verishuvi and it’s sea shanty/melody sampling self, introduces us to the album.  I have to say though that I really do enjoy the song for some reason because it’s lively and the girls sound really nice.  It doesn’t let up the entire way through and keeps with this happy-go-lucky atmosphere.  Hard to decide though on which A-side was better since both were great in different ways!

2. FRIENDS

At least we have 4 new group songs on this album (one more than on “message” at least).  The title track of the album comes next and unlike the goofyness of the first song we get a little more into their idol status which is pretty cool.  However, it does seem like your run-of-the-mill kind of idol song which celebrates friendship and all that.  There’s a lot of solos to be found which are awesome so this is nice but plain as well of a song.

3. Please! Please! Please!

Of course since it’s a SakuGaku album, it’s also means that the sub-groups also return (with the exception of the SCOOPERS…which is sad because they were my favorite sub-group next to BABYMETAL).  Twinklestars is one of the cuter ones from the five and they got two songs for this album.  Of course getting into the song, I was expecting cute to just splash into my ears and it’s true because it’s adorable and the piano is cute too plus all that ~chu chu chu chuuuuu~ lines.  I do like the harmonizations as well (despite not knowing who’s in the group) lol.  Does remind me of a Katamari song which is awesome!

4.  Rapicamu

Continuing with the other Twinklestars song, Rapicamu (what???) doesn’t sound as intriguing as “Please! Please! Please!” and the harmonizations aren’t as many either which is a little meh but it’s ok for a song like this.  Not much else to really say about the song really…cute and all that but not as good as their other song.

5. Hashire Shoujiki Mono

Moving onto sleepiece’s song, I never was really interested in them because they also follow along Twinklestars cuter style but worse because I thought “Medaka no Kyoudai” was a terrible song.  At least they slightly redeemed themselves with Hashire Shoujiki Mono which is cute but still slightly annoying after a while but doesn’t make me pull my hair out. 

6. Yokubari Fille

So we have a lot of those cute and genki songs so I’m kind of hoping to move out of that section quickly.  Mini Party gets one song on this album oppose to their two on the last album but Yokubari Fille is interesting because it has 8bit sounds in it (like SEXY-SYNTHESIZER got their hands all over this song).  Definitely true to the style Mini Party is going for, I was enjoying this song because the Galaga sounds really fit with the genki vocals in the tune.  I actually liked this song!

7. Ii ne! (Vega Mix Version)

Yeah BABYMETAL managed to release a single before the album release (actually a joint release with Kiba of Akiba).  After “Doki Doki☆Morning”, I was excited to hear more from BABYMETAL since they have achieved the most out of the sub-groups and they bring an exciting twist to idols and metal.  Ii ne! does get a new mix (but the difference is hard to spot actually…someone tell what’s different?).  I love that it’s a bit more electro but also holds onto their death metal sound in various parts.  However my frown comes in the form of the random rapping section (well it’s not rap but it’s a giant crack in the song either way).  Great song and awesome follow-up to “Doki Doki☆Morning”.

8. Otomegokoro.

Back out to the full group songs, Otomegokoro. kind of follows along with “FRIENDS” in the way that there’s a lot more guitar influence which is pretty sweet to hear.  Plus hearing the girls singing with a lot more gusto is impressive.  Pretty good song and none of the girls sound bad here which is a surprise!

9. Pictogram

I get such weird vibes listening to Pictogram for some reason.  I mean the intro with the synths and the sound of gears clicking or some odd thing is quite nice to listen to.  It’s like a BABYMETAL song without the death metal which is pretty awesome and the chorus is a breezy one which I love.  I didn’t expect to get a synthy-song from the main collection of the girls but it’s really nice!

10. 3.a.m

Oh hey one more sub-group huh?  Oddly enough, 3.a.m is actually the only song where (besides BABYMETAL) we get who’s in the group from the start.  It’s actually for the three members (Ayami, Ayaka, and Airi) who are graduating right after this album (might have already done it actually).  It’s definitely unusual to go out with such a celebratory kind of song like this one.  As they were also the oldest girls of the bunch, they sound really good together and their harmonies is pretty.  Though the unusual thing is that the song has seperate areas which definitely have odd transitioning periods.  Makes sense though that there’s seperate parts to showcase the three ladies seperately which is nice of them to do.  Though one could wonder how could it would’ve been if each section was its own song….hmmm.  Still for a goodbye song it does its job right.

11. See you…

I guess it seems to be that song to be rest of the members saying goodbye to the three mentioned above.  Like “FRIENDS” once again, it has a lot of electric guitar involved and has a certain resemblance to that song as well.  It’s really depressing that I couldn’t remember this song from all the others which is meh. 

12. Tabidachi no Hi ni

Appropriately closing the album, the second A-side (and final) for the era, Tabidachi no Hi ni is quite a different kind of song for the group.  Considering it’s a cover of a school choir’s song and it kind of ties in also with the three ladies that are graduating, I found this to stick out on the album in a kind of good way.  I mean this song is about all the girls melodically coming together and it sounds heartfelt.  This was a very nice way to close the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Ii ne! (Vega Mix Version)
  • Yokubari Fille
  • Please! Please! Please!
  • Tabidachi no Hi ni
  • Pictogram

Song of Avoidance

  • See you…

SakuGaku’s sophomore album actually built upon their last one making this one a lot more memorable of a release.  I think the fact that there was a little more effort (and the ladies are used to each other now) also accompanied the reasons this was a better sounding album.  Despite three members leaving, I think SakuGaku will be alright since they sound more than capable of releasing things in good quality (like the A-sides and BABYMETAL’s popularity).  I will say the lack of SCOOPERS was sad since I loved them as much as their darker rock sister sub-group.  Great release!

 

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