Kurayami Monogatari

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Asriel – Awaki Yumemiru Yoiyami no Gaibana May 3, 2012

Filed under: Asriel — solarblade @ 9:31 pm

Track Listing

  1. Catharsis
  2. Souyoku Fuuga
  3. Amethyst
  4. Nemuri no Mori
  5. Yoiyami no Gaibana
  6. Loveless

1. Catharsis

I really loved the intro for Catharsis, it was dramatic and pretty to listen to.  After that, Kurose comes in with his goth-rock shpeal and we’re back to something we probably have heard once already with the duo.  I mean it’s energetic for sure and it’s a fun arrangement and all but I’m so busy paying attention to KOKOMI that three’s not a lot of time to pay attention.  I do love the guitar solo though, that was pretty awesome.  About KOKOMI, she’s not as bad as she is normally…but she uses too much vibrato to express herself…it’s kind of frustrating sometimes (especially with the high notes she’s forcing out)…not bad of a start though.

2. Souyoku Fuuga

Oh hey, I hear synths once again being used.  It reminds me of “Silencia” from their first mini-album.  I love the fact the arrangement is pretty awesome and all but damn KOKOMI near ruined that for me.  Her vocals don’t seem to fit the song (except in the verses) but the chorus just sounds all kind of bad for me.  At least Kurose’s doing better arrangement-wise.

3. Amethyst

Once again, I’m really like Kurose on this mini, I still think he’s still inside his box with the strings/electric guitar/anime-esque feel but at least he’s changing it up slightly.  KOKOMI does slightly sound better here which is good but the chorus is slightly missing that spark that’s found in the previous two tracks but it’s a nice enough song for me to praise.

4. Nemuri no Mori

A 7 minute Asriel song?  Jeeze, that’s just wanting to put ignored haha.  The strings that open the song sound really nice and then the actual song starts quite smoothly with mostly piano, strings, and percussion which is simple but works before Kurose’s edgy guitar sneaks its way into the arrangement.  For being as long as it is, I didn’t mind it because once again…everything sounds good for once!  A solid Asriel track we have here and it’s the longest song of the mini XD.

5. Yoiyami no Gaibana

I was expecting the title track for the mini to be something a bit more different than what we got but it’s just like “Catharsis” but more dramatic and heavier with Kurose’s rock arrangement.  These kind of songs just make me yawn and the fact that there’s so much percussion annoys me to death.  The good thing is that KOKOMI isn’t too bad singing here and the slow parts were random but cool. 

6. Loveless

Closing the mini-album off, Loveless acts as the lone ballad here and it sounds totally uncharacteristic for Asriel because it’s bright and KOKOMI’s vocals are put on this light echo-y feel which REALLY works for this setting.  I really like this song for some reason…it’s just calming and really well put together!

 

 

After all that time that I’ve disliked something from Asriel, they finally got a good solid one in Awaki Yumemiru Yoiyami no Gaibana!  Only two songs I really didn’t enjoy, their 13th indies album (11th mini-album) was well structured and Kurose put a lot more effort in songs like Nemuri no Mori and Loveless…they still have some issues like clearly being obvious to what they’re doing (a problem they’ve had since the beginning) and KOKOMI’s vocals (which can’t be helped at this point XD) but this was something you wouldn’t expect Asriel of achieving LOL.

 

Eri Takenaka – Sang

Filed under: Eri Takenaka — solarblade @ 8:48 pm

Track Listing

  1. Gray
  2. Doushite mo
  3. Aishiteru
  4. Akai Love Letter
  5. Uta ga Kikoeru
  6. palm love
  7. Onaji Hoshizora no Shita de

1. Gray

Ah, the sounds of the beach opens up Eri’s mini-album.  Since she’s an acoustic ladened performer, I was curious as to how she’d handle this.  Gray sounds like what I would expect from a title like this.  It’s somewhat depressing and slow-paced and Eri’s vocals are really sweet to listen to.  I like it quite a bit for it’s sullen atmosphere and on-point vocals ^_^.

2. Doushite mo

Moving away from “Gray”, Doushite mo at first felt quite boring to me at first but hearing Eri sing at first threw me off because the first verse sounds like she was just merely speaking.  It gets better the deeper you get into the tune but it doesn’t really stand out to me like the first song did unfortunately.

3. Aishiteru

Hearing this song coming after “Doushite mo” made me happy since it picks up the pace and the song sounds heartfelt and really cute to listen to.  It’s almost quite a romantic song to listen to since the title kind of gives this loving feeling away.  I once again enjoyed hearing Eri’s soft vocals here…quite soothing to be honest.

4, Akai Love Letter

As the only upbeat song to the mini, Akai Love Letter sounds like it could’ve been performed by BONNIE PINK since it’s got a nice and steady beat and the vocals would just seem right but with Eri it works too because it’s charming and once again (cute).  Not much to say about it besides that it’s a good song!

5. Uta ga Kikoeru

Since ballads are surrounding “Akai Love Letter”, I was slightly disappointed in finding that out.  Uta ga Kikoeru might be the one I’d be rather uninterested in because of its light instrumentation and acoustic base.  I just don’t find it great for me…but it might be good for those people that like stuff like this.

6. palm love

The sounds of the jungle open up palm love and is probably the most unique song off the mini-album since it sounds different but still retaining Eri’s acoustic sound.  It’s calm and Eri’s vocals sound amazing here!  I actually think it’s my favorite song here which is funny right?

7. Onaji Hoshizora no Shita de

Closing the mini out, Onaji Hoshizora no Shita de sounds kind of weird to me for some reason XD. It feels low quality because it feels like there’s some kind of sound blockage.  It’s also the simplest ballad as well since it’s only strings and acoustic guitar.  Honestly, it didn’t do much for me and it kind of blew over my headbut it works as the ending song.

 

 

It’s been a while since we’ve heard original music from Eri (meaning I don’t count the Ghibli cover album much).  Sang is a pleasant mini-album from her and she sounds quite lovely in all of the songs.  I do think Gray, Akai Love Letter, and palm love were the best of the mini…but the rest is actually quite nice as well…should try her out, might surprise you!

 

Dream5 – I★my★me★mine/EZ DO DANCE

Filed under: Dream5 — solarblade @ 7:48 pm

Track Listing

  1. I★my★me★mine
  2. EZ DO DANCE
  3.  I★my★me★mine (Daisuki Ver.)
  4. Dream5 Gakuen Gakkou Seikatsu Drama~Seitokai Member to Arai Sensei
  5.  I★my★me★mine <instrumental>
  6. EZ DO DANCE <instrumental>

1. I★my★me★mine

Oh darn, I thought Dream5 was covering POLYSICS or 4minute…but it’s the only original track on the single.  It continues by bringing us Dream5’s idol pop to a forefront and once again, it doesn’t seem to be really all that interesting to me but I thought the chorus is kind of cute in a way.  It just kind of falls flat altogether like how “Kirakira Every day” turned out.

2. EZ DO DANCE

It’s not surprising they’d do another cover and this time one most people recognize.  EZ DO DANCE is originally a tune from TRF so it fits since they’re both avex groups and all that.  Of course I’m so used to Saori’s version that every other cover is deemed useless right from the start.  Dream5’s version of the song is a little more faithful to the original since you hear those 90’s synths being used.  I kind of enjoyed the vocals a lot more than I did in the other song for sure.  This isn’t that bad but still is a mile away from being as good as Saori@destiny’s version.

 

 

As this is Dream5’s third single for the era, I found myself enjoying this single a little bit more than I did with “Kirakira Every day” but being a little under “Like and Peace!”.  I★my★me★mine is alright, but against other idol songs out there, this was a bit fomulaic and not surprising in any way, shape, or form but it’s still average so it’s not too much of a fail.  Their EZ DO DANCE cover isn’t bad at all either and surpasses the other A-side quite nicely.  For being just a TRF cover, I thought they handled it pretty good actually.  I wonder if an album is being planned >.>

 

Daichi Miura – Two Hearts

Filed under: Daichi Miura — solarblade @ 5:23 am

Track Listing

  1. Two Hearts
  2. Burning Weakness
  3. True Colors -live recording-

1. Two Hearts

I shouldn’t be surprised that Daichi would begin a new string of singles starting with a ballad with Two Hearts.  I like how heartfelt the song sounds but it could be any of the slower songs from “D.M.” for all I care which is a little meh for me.  I like his vocals a lot but the song doesn’t really resonate with me.

2. Burning Weakness

At first I was surprised Burning Weakness was also another ballad which is a little eh for me…but there’s beats in it to make it sound more like an R&B song which is a step up for me.  I like the depressing vibes of the song quite a bit and Daichi sounds great here.  I wonder why this wasn’t the lead song to be honest, it has more variation and color whereas “Two Hearts” lack interest for me.

3. True Colors -live recording-

The third song is a live cover of a Cyndi Lauper tune (why do the Japanese cover her sooo much?).  It’s definitely a live take with just acoustic guitar as the only melodic component of the song.  Daichi sounds nice at times but others, his accents does flash across.  Otherwise it’s a nice little extra for the single.

 

 

Daichi Miura is back to do doing some ballads for A-sides and Two Hearts might be his weakest one yet.  I don’t know why but I can’t seem to connect to it.  Burning Weakness though would’ve been great as the leading song because it’s the best the single has to offer.  The True Colors cover is in the middle since it was nice but nothing repeatable (at least to me)…hope he kicks it up on the next single!