Kurayami Monogatari

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Aki Toyosaki – Shirotsumekusa May 24, 2012

Filed under: Aki Toyosaki — solarblade @ 11:13 pm

Track Listing

  1. Shirotsumekusa
  2. Ringo no Sei
  3. Shirotsumekusa (Instrumental)

1. Shirotsumekusa

Poor Aki, still getting the cute songs of the sphere girls that do solo work.  Shirotsumekusa sounds like something that belong in her debut era because it’s kind of homely and cute at the same time.  It’s soft and has a bit of charm going for it, but I rather listen to “music” because it was more fun and a lot more memorable to be honest.

2. Ringo no Sei

At least the fun side comes out in Ringo no Sei and I love that intro to the song.  I’m rather perplexed at why Aki is singing in such a cutesy and pitchy tone for this song because it feels like she’s just trying to be a seiyuu more than ever!  Yes, her voice is quite the reason that I can’t listen to this much either.

 

 

After “music” I had hoped she found her style and she still has because the arrangements for both tracks are really nice.  HOWEVER, her voice is just a little underwhelming because she’s taking it to an overly cute place even though she shouldn’t.  I wish she didn’t sing the way she does but whatever…maybe she’ll do something in the future.

 

faylan – WHITE justice

Filed under: faylan — solarblade @ 10:55 pm

Track Listing

  1. WHITE justice
  2. Kimi to Ita Hibi
  3. WHITE justice (ballade version)
  4. WHITE justice [Off Vocal]
  5. Kimi to Ita Hibi [Off Vocal]
  6. WHITE justice (ballade version) [Off Vocal]

1. WHITE justice

A new ending theme from the GUNDAM series huh?  WHITE justice is definitely true to faylan’s form A-side-wise because there’s a lot of her guitarwork alongside the underlying strings that goes through the background quite a bit.  However, it’s not a memorable song of faylan’s either since it feels a little dated and kind of in the same realm as “AROUSING SOUL”.  Not very impressed here besides faylan’s vocals.

2. Kimi to Ita Hibi

The B-side, Kimi to Ita Hibi is not surprisingly a ballad but it sounds quite pleasant to the ears to listen to.  It’s got an unsettling feel in the background but I love that the song makes sure faylan stood out a LOT more than in “WHITE justice”.  Yeah, the arrangement could’ve had more going on, but I liked the song better this way for some odd reason.  Not bad!

3. WHITE justice (ballade version)

Adding an extra minute and turning WHITE justice into a ballad is not a good plan of action especially since it’s after “Kimi to Ita Hibi” and all that.  She tried to replicate the same feelings into this version but I found this to be lifeless and needed more movement.  Not even the acoustic guitar really helped with this mess XD.

 

 

A new faylan single and I’m kind of bummed about it.  I mean once again, the B-side easily triumphs over the leading song but to be honest WHITE justice is just plain for her and doesn’t stand out very well amongst her leading tracks.  Kimi to Ita Hibi was pleasant and nice but other ballads were better.  At least it was better than the ballade version of the track.  Hopefully the next single will be better!

 

BUCK-TICK – Elise no Tame ni

Filed under: BUCK-TICK — solarblade @ 8:38 am

Track Listing

  1. Elise no Tame ni
  2. Yumemiru Uchuu
  3. SANE -type II-

1. Elise no Tame ni

I really like the riffs for the A-side for some reason, it’s qutie catchy and carries for a good part of the song.  It’s kind of a fun song for BUCK-TICK and it shows with the use of synths and the way Atsushi is singing.  It isn’t totally serious but not cheerleader either hahaha.  Definitely a pretty good track from the band ^_^

2. Yumemiru Uchuu

The B-side is a bit more serious than “Elise no Tame ni” but it has a rather solemn and melancholic tone to it even though it’s got a lot of the band present in the arrangement.  Sometimes the music covers Atsushi for some reason and I have to pay a lot of attention to his vocals.  It’s not bad, but I rather listen to the A-side.

3. SANE -type II-

Last but not least, we get a new recording of SANE which was originally from the band’s album, “COSMOS” which was released back in 1996.  I’ve not heard the original but I’m sure the updated version is a lot more pleasant.  Unlike the clear vocals in the other tracks, Atsushi is quite covered in filters in the track but it has a rather eerie and calming effect on me lol.  It’s actually not a bad song and sounds pretty…especially when you can hear Atsushi. 

 

 

Starting a new series of singles before their next album, I really liked Elise no Tame ni.  It follows their more upbeat and fun tracks and it suits them and definitely reigns better than the A-sides from “RAZZLE DAZZLE”.  Yumemiru Uchuu could’ve been better but it’s WAY better than “Yougetsu” from their last single…I think Yumemiru Uchuu is alright, but the music does cover Atsushi up a lot.  SANE though was pretty good too and I’m wondering if the fans think it’s better than the original…I really like it though.  With “MISS TAKE ~Boku wa Mistake~ coming out in July…I wonder if another album is right after!

 

ORANGE RANGE – NEO POP STANDARD

Filed under: ORANGE RANGE — solarblade @ 8:14 am

Track Listing

  1. Restart
  2. Subway
  3. Soul to Soul
  4. Hello Sunshine Hello Future
  5. Warning!!
  6. Lion
  7. Dry Hard
  8. Morning View
  9. Deep Blue Sea Flower
  10. Baby Baby
  11. Backpack
  12. Magical Mystery Hunter
  13. Anniversary Song ~10th~

1. Restart

Opening OR’s first album under Victor, Restart immediately makes me think they’re for sure wanting to do more experimentation than their days under SONY.  HIROKI and YAMATO care pretty synthed up for the most part and it kind of fits their arrangement.  It’s danceable and yet minimal for some reason…it’s interesting and when RYO gets a short part, it gets more progressive and such…it’s a weird tune but a good tune to start the album…kind of reminds me of Sakanaction XD.

2. Subway

Moving onto our next song, Subway is even more minimalistic than “Restart” was.  It kind of has the cute hop about it which did interest me the most about the song.  Still it felt that YAMATO and HIROKI were lonely when they sung the verses and the chorus didn’t exactly help much either.  The strings are a nice inclusion…but I’m kind of bored with this one.

3. Soul to Soul

When I first heard the intro to Soul to Soul it made me think of “*~Asterisk~” for some reason but I think it’s mostly because of RYO’s deep vocals used in the tune.  I’m kind of weirded out from the strange arrangement the song has and kind of puts me off.  Abstract stuff here for the most part and I don’t think I’m really into it.

4. Hello Sunshine Hello Future

At least this song sounds a little more interesting than the last two tracks.  It’s a bit more aggressive and kind of harkens back to their SONY days by including a little more of the band and less of the experimentive side (but it’s still there).  I just love hearing HIROKI singing lead here and they sound great for the most part.  The chorus is a bit mechanically sung…but that’s not too much of a problem for me. 

5. Warning!!

A little more funky in the way that “Locolotion” was so long ago, Warning!! does go back to minimal arrangement but it kind of works and it doesn’t really last long.  HIROKI sings really good but the song kind of hits a sour point when he repeats ~waaaaning, waaaaaning!~ over and over…it does get a bit abrasive lol.  At least YAMATO does quite a good job in his parts and doesn’t do the repetitive parts.  It grows on you, but the repetitive parts do bring it down.

6. Lion

After the upbeat stuff comes our laidback and somewhat reggae-ish track Lion.  I wonder what got them to choose YAMATO to lead the song because his voice is a bit nasally in the tune.  The arrangement is nice though because it’s true to their style and has a certain summery vibe.  Even RYO gets a part too ^_^ and he sounds good!  Might not be everyone’s cup of tea…but it sounds natural (even though it kind of isn’t).

7. Dry Hard

The title sounds aggressive doesn’t it?  Well, to be honest, by the album’s overall sound so far, this is a lot more progressive and more intricate which is nice and it kind of reminds me of POLYSICS’ stuff minus the guitars.  The chorus really disappointed me in this song because it kind of changed the tempo/rhythm around quite suddenly and it’s just happy and makes you want to skip down your street…it’s a little freaky from the verses to be honest…

8. Morning View

I kind of like the atmospheric sounds of Morning View for some reason, the band’s minimal direction to their music finally seems right with this song for sure.  I hear all three of the singers actually and that’s quite awesome!  It’s a different kind of song and I appreciated that at least it worked for them this time around…good song overall…definitely has that morning feel to it ^_^.

9. Deep Blue Sea Flower

Strings open our next song up and we’re back to some bandwork even if it’s one of the slower songs on the album.  They don’t seem to rely on the synths on this song very much and I’m happy there’s a break from that.  The vocalists do a good job here as well…even YAMATO whose voice is heard quite a bit in the tune.  I just like the mysterious feel of the song (plus the plucking sounds are for added effect).  Yeah, this isn’t bad either and unique to the album.

10. Baby Baby

Then we dive back into the experiments again with Baby Baby, but this once has more drive and carries a little of the mysterious glow in the ascended synth notes.  I wish the chorus had a little more bass involved but it’s not terrible.  It’s a song that I love the verses but kind of less so on the chorus…*sigh*.

11. Backpack

The opening arrangement for Backpack is just a little on the weird side and kind of annoys me for some reason lol.  They got YAMATO singing first and once again sounds a bit nasally…luckily the other members get their lines.  It’s somewhat catchy but the fact that it sounds so busy kind of makes me think that it’s the only reason it’s not a trainwreck of a song. 

12. Magical Mystery Hunter

At first I was wondering why the piano sound so low quality but it’s meant to be that way XD.  I’m surprised that at first it lacked the electronic buffs…but then I was proven wrong because the chorus just rakes that shit in and destroys the song entirely for me.  The synths made the song feel as if it was moving at a snail’s pace.  Just a bit too slow for me.

13. Anniversary Song ~10th~

Finally, making to the end of the album is the only song that was released prior before the album (it was a digital single to celebrate the ten years they’ve been a band).  I was hoping it was going to be a little more natural sounding, but it wasn’t and kind of made for an odd ending because it has a certrain children’s song sound lol.  Though I hear them saying the band’s name throughout.  It’s catchy in some parts and annoying elsewhere…it’s a song that’ll have to grow on you.

Tracks Recommended

  • Morning View
  • Deep Blue Sea Flower
  • Hello Sunshine Hello Future

Song of Avoidance

  • Soul to Soul

ORANGE RANGE’s first album under Victor and for the most part, I just didn’t like it.  I haven’t heard “orcd” yet (their last album before this one) but I don’t think their pico/synth pop/rock works for me because a lot of it feels lifeless and empty and makes the groups vocalists sound more vulnerable to problems.  NEO POP STANDARD does have a couple of OK songs but the rest was kind of just ehhhh….