Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

PASSPO☆ – Next Flight June 28, 2012

Filed under: PASSPO☆ — solarblade @ 9:14 am

Track Listing

  1. Next Flight
  2. Bathtub
  3. Pock☆Star (CD+Individual Handshake Event only)
  4. Next Flight (Instrumental)
  5. Bathtub (Instrumental)
  6. Pock☆Star (Instrumental)

1. Next Flight

Since the group is going on a set of themed singles, it was pretty cool that they chose metal for their first of these singles.  Next Flight is not hard death, but it’s edgy and the girls get solos and they sound really good!  I just loved the energy and force behind it and kind of stands out from previous PASSPO efforts.

2. Bathtub

Strange title aside, Bathtub is a bit more towards what I’m used to by the group which is good and bad in ways.  I mean it’s lighter than “Next Flight” and all that but the vocals still sound quite strong and together.  It does seem to lack what the A-side and that’s energy.  Still a lot better than stuff on their last album.

3. Pock☆Star

Fitting in quite nicely with the theme of the single, Pock☆Star fits as the more genki track since there’s a lot of chanting as well as which is pretty cool to hear.  Sadly, the song is kind of otherwise there for the arrangement which is rockin’ and awesome.  Kind of forgetful though.

 

 

PASSPO☆ is definitely quite something now after this single.  Next Flight is probably the best surprise I’ve gotten all year.  It’s so badass and quite unexpected for an idol group!  I mean American rock stars? La Metal?  Count me in!  Bathtub and Pock☆Star though are more of what I came to expect from them.  I wonder what their next theme might be

Advertisements
 

Sowelu – 29 Tonight

Filed under: Sowelu — solarblade @ 6:17 am

Track Listing

  1. Introduction ~19:32~
  2. Arikitari no Yoru
  3. The Final Pride
  4. Milk Interlude ~22:22~
  5. Misty
  6. Interlude ~23:56~
  7. 29 Tonight
  8. happy birthday
  9. Time Capsule no Oka
  10. Ex-Love.
  11. Oh my memories feat. toshinori YONEKURA
  12. Interlude ~2:00~
  13. Amatsubu no Birthday
  14. Interlude ~2:20~
  15. Present

1. Introduction ~19:32~

Oi, how do you get away with all these interludes right?  Anyway our album begins with Sowelu leaving a message on someone’s phone…yeah that’s about it which is kind of unusual and starts the album in a weird way.

2. Arikitari no Yoru

Onto our first song from the album and Arikitaru no Yoru is a bit like the ligher stuff from “Let me…”.  It’s bright and lively and kind of jazzy at this same time (a little light but you know what I mean).  I like Sowelu’s voice though, it’s soft and cute to listen to.  I’m kind finding the chorus a little boring but it’s not bad.  Overall it’s a good first track to listen to.

3. The Final Pride

I kind of hoped that The Final Pride was going to be something big and powerful but we got a clone of “Arikitaru no Yoru” since it’s bright as well and has this R&B style going (like stuff from her SONY days).  I’m just not really into this song and it kind of lacks things that would make me remember it.

4. Milk Interlude ~22:22~

It’s really weird that I think Sowelu is singing in the tub and all.  BTW, she’s singing Chara’s song of the same name which was interesting.  I liked that it was acappella and Sowelu sounds really pretty and airy singing the song.  Just a little creepy that it’s in a bathtub XD

5. Misty

Moving into Misty, which is a ballad, I think it was nice the interlude came before since both tracks are sung in Sowelu’s quieter tones.  Since it’s just really piano and pipe organ, it’s a really quiet and bare-boned song.  To me it’s pretty because of Sowelu but the arrangement is just boring and lacks a lot of movement.  It actually almost has a gospel tinge to it…take it as you will…but this was nice.

6. Interlude ~23:56~

Another interlude after “Misty”?  It’s just 18 seconds of a clock tick-tocking…like WTF is that all about…almost as bad as BoA’s interludes from “IDENTITY”.

7. 29 Tonight

A 6 and a half minute song to represent that album?  It’s like “Misty” but they added a beat a more instruments to play along with.  I like that it kind of is about the fact she turned 29 and all that.  I just like that it’s one of those songs to sing with and sounds sentimental.  I did feel like it started to drag towards the end though…and got repetitive…too long!

8. happy birthday

After sitting through that ditty, happy birthday isn’t as poppy and cutely as I tend to usually expect from artsits.  Actually, the song is kind of like “29 Tonight” but not as long and not as repetitive.  It’s kind of like your teenybopper music which isn’t bad persay but it’s kind of like…obvious cheesy lines are present.

9. Time Capsule no Oka

At least we get into a more serious side with Time Capsule no Oka which is also a piano-led ballad but with little tinges of jazz (I think?).  At this point in the album I kind of want something a little more upbeat and this song doesn’t seem to really interest me very well.  Oh well…

10. Ex-Love.

I just can’t with this album anymore lol.  Ex-Love. is just really bland and forgetful for some reason.  I mean the interesting thing of the song is the twisting sound that happens every so often…it’s different but the rest of the song is just light R&B with with pipe organ and I’m bored otherwise XD.

11. Oh my memories feat. toshinori YONEKURA

Kind of taking a little rip out of “Love & I.”, we get a collaborative song and I kind of find this pleasant for some reason.  I mean Oh my memories isn’t any different from “Ex-Love.” at all but adding toshinori is quite needed and both of them sound great together.  Plus the chorus is really catchy and pretty to the ears.  Not my style once again, but it’s prolly the best the album has to offer.

12. Interlude ~2:00~

9 seconds…of just water running….that’s just totally trolling the listeners out there.

13. Amatsubu no Birthday

Which flows straight into our next slow song in Amatsubu no Birthday.  The song sounds sentimental (like most of the other album tracks).  I just kind of zone out with this song because it doesn’t have much of anything to pull you in and Sowelu’s voice furthers the notion to zone out because it’s so quiet and such.  Just boring!

14. Interlude ~2:20~

The final interlude kind of mirrors the intro but it’s so short though.  The phone rings, Sowelu answers, a guy speaks and Sowelu speaks back.  I mean that’s about it…ugh…

15. Present

Yeesh, we finally come to the final track and it disappoints as well.  It’s fottong since it’s a ballad and all but I feel like at this point I would just quit the album.  I kind of forgot how it goes which is why it’s so unbelieveably forgettable.  Oh well…

Tracks Recommended

  • Oh my memories feat. toshinori YONEKURA
  • happy birthday
  • Milk Interlude ~22:22~

Song of Avoidance

  • Amatsubu no Birthday

Well Sowelu is on her hiatus now and decided to leave THIS album behind??  It’s so unbelievably boring and lifeless cept for the three songs above.  29 Tonight is such a fall back after how awesome the two tracks that promoted “Let me…” were.  It was like “Love & I.” but without all the collaborations.  It just didn’t feel like it was a goodbye and just musically bored me to death…This could be her WORST album since she debuted.

 

Namie Amuro – Uncontrolled

Filed under: Namie Amuro — solarblade @ 4:41 am

Track Listing

  1. In The Spotlight (TOKYO)
  2. NAKED
  3. GO ROUND (‘N ROUND ‘N ROUND)
  4. Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!
  5. Hot Girls
  6. Break It (AL Ver.)
  7. Get Myself Back
  8. Love Story
  9. Let’s Go
  10. SINGING “YEAH-OH”
  11. Fight Together
  12. ONLY YOU
  13. Tempest

1. In The Spotlight (TOKYO)

Opening Namie’s album up, we start with a new track!  Now the first thing that caught me off guard is that the song is sung in English! (or Engrish).  I kind of like the arrangement since it kind of reminds me of “Hide & Seek” but less marching.  It’s pretty upbeat and Namie’s voice is smooth like normal but I’m not sure of the English…it’s good but when it’s bad, IT’S BAD.  Still not bad and a good opening to the album.

2. NAKED

Which is good because it leads into NAKED in an amazing way.  I still love this song a lot for being an A-side!  I mean it is a Shinichi Osawa song so it’s clearly going to be electro-heavy and it’s just a badass song.  I especially love that chorus which has this force of power behind it and all the Osawa-ness of the arrangement is just fiery.  Definitely my favorite A-side of the era…or is it?

3. GO ROUND (‘N ROUND ‘N ROUND)

Three of the A-sides of the album got edited for the album and it’s odd that all of the final single for the era got changed lyrically.  What I mean is that this song and “YEAH-OH” got English versions.  Now GO ROUND did start to grate on my after a while and I just kind of forgot about it.  I enjoyed the fact that I understood the lyrics better but once again her accent seems to bother me…but I liked her ~go round, go round, go round!~ a lot more here.  Did I forget to mention that it kind of has a new intro/sound to it? YEAH!

4. Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!

I’ve always found myself a bit annoyed when it came to SSWD for some reason.  I don’t know why but it feels to me as if she’s just singing the verses in such a monotone way and the bridge is slower and then the chorus is back to the monotone-ness.  I know it’s a love song (somewhat) but I felt the whole dog terms to be somewhat cheesy and more of a gimmick to the tune.  I’m just not a fan of this.

5. Hot Girls

At 3 minutes, Hot Girls is the shortest tune and it’s kind of a song I wouldn’t expect Namie to do.  I actually feel like this is more Kuu’s kind of lane.  I don’t know why Namie is on this English addiction because it’s kind of annoying.  The whole ~Hot girls make the world go round~ might be making reference to “GO ROUND” (XD) but it’s a little odd and kind of annoying hahah.  It just feels like it’s just there on the album and nothing to remember besides the hook.

6. Break It (AL Ver.)

It took a while but Break It also became a favorite of mine despite me giving low scores.  I loved the funkiness in the guitar lines and the arrangement was quite banging (especially the parts before each verse).  Then we get an album version of it and wasn’t expecting that the arrangement to be reworked.  Instead of the funky guitar lines, it’s got more of this industrial synth line which kind of made me frown.  I will say the chorus does sound stronger with more music but they should’ve kept the guitar lines.  Plus I don’t really like whatever they did with Namie’s vocals…they sound a lil muffled?  I don’t know but it kind of bothers me!

7. Get Myself Back

Awkward flow moment happens moving from “Break It” into it’s fellow A-side Get Myself Back from the same single.  Granted I’ve wanted to hear a softer song from her for quite a while.  I still do think that it feels American for some reason but I do enjoy Namie’s vocals quite a bit and the song itself isn’t great but it’s far from being bad.

8. Love Story

It’s funny that she stuck Love Story after “Get Myself Back” since I did compare the two together.  It’s not as R&B like the previous song but it is quite simpler and focuses on Namie’s vocals.  I do think at times it’s pretty but I’d have to be wide awake for this one because it’s quite boring otherwise.  I can get behind the previous track but this feels like it’s got pieces of “Get Myself Back” with the R&B style and “Tempest” with the chorus being so flowing.

9. Let’s Go

That R&B impasse was very strange and cuts the album in flow because once “Love Story” ends, we get into our next new track in Let’s Go and of the new songs, it’s the only one NOT in English.  I like the synth buzzes of the song with Namie just kicks the songs butt which is a surprise to me.  The chorus is a little disappointing since it doesn’t feel like it’s so big as I would’ve hoped from the arrangement.  I like it but I wouldn’t say it’s the best.

10. SINGING “YEAH-OH”

Yup, YEAH-OH got the English treatment as well and it’s kind of surprising since most of it was already in Engrish as it is.  I mean the fact that it’s kind of worse which isn’t surprising but I still do love YEAH-OH for some reason even though it’s kind of like her just riding the whole love of saying ~yeaaaaah-oh, singing yeaaaaAAAAaaaa-ooooooh~.  Very Americanized but there’s something about the song I love (but take the Japanese version, this is kind of ugh).

11. Fight Together

Moving onto another one of my favorites, Fight Together (or that One Piece tune) makes its place on the album and I’m surprised and elated to see it.  I love that it fits the atmosphere of the series and has kind of an intriguing arrangement which most of the songs seem to lack.  I mean synths and a funky bridge area and it’s like soooo good.  I keep switching between this and “NAKED” on best song of the era/album…they’re both SOOOO good!

12. ONLY YOU

Great, more English with our final new song, ONLY YOU.  I kind of like that it sort of has the same synth-y flow like “Fight Together” but it’s kind of shrouded by the engrishness which is at its worst in this song for some reason.  I just feel that it’s really plain and doesn’t seem to fit the album (and yet I love the previous track).  I don’t know it’s a little off for me but I’m not sure why.

13. Tempest

Appropriate to close the album, we get Tempest which I think is her best ballad she’s done in a long time!  I mean yeah, the verses are empty as hell since it’s just only piano and some twinkling sounds.  Luckily, it all changes because the choruses are flowing and dramatic and so Disney-ish to me.  It’s a pretty damn good closer and thought nothing else would’ve been a suitable choice other than Tempest.

Tracks Recommended

  • Fight Together
  • NAKED
  • Tempest
  • GO ROUND (‘N ROUND ‘N ROUND)
  • Get Myself Back

Song of Avoidance

  • Hot Girls

Now there’s been a lot of people that were orgasming over this album and to be honest I’m failing to see the good side of it.  Yes, it does have EVERY A-side in the era…but good lord 4 new tracks only and three edited A-sides?  This feels more like a singles collection than an actual studio album.  Add that 5 songs were in all English and it felt like this was just a mess!  I really didn’t understand the reasoning for that and none of the songs felt like they connected which is also different as well.  I hope Namie doesn’t pull this again because this is not a great album…

 

DOES – KATHARSIVILIZATION

Filed under: DOES — solarblade @ 3:39 am

Track Listing

  1. Ima wo Ikiru
  2. Across the Life
  3. Nice Day
  4. Albatross
  5. Dance Hall Girl
  6. Katharsis
  7. Thunder Light
  8. Blue Night
  9. Tribe Drive
  10. Vitamin U
  11. Laika no Yume
  12. Brighten A
  13. Korekara Koko Kara

1. Ima wo Ikiru

Appropriate that the band decided to open up the album with the leading A-side huh?  I will say that I enjoyed the arrangement quite a bit since it was softer than previous efforts.  HOWEVER, I did think Ujihara’s vocals did stop the song from being amazing because it was really scratchy and not there.  Oh well so much for the leading track to be anything special right?

2. Across the Life

Since the rest of the album is filled to the brim with new songs, I was curious to how it would end up.  The introduction already stood out to me since it starts like “Ima wo Ikiru”.  I find it to be light and breezy and while Ujihara is trying hard not to be scratchy, the chorus is probably not a good place to be for him.  Basically I get the same feelings here as I did in the first track.

3. Nice Day

I don’t know why but their opening riffs are catchy!  Nice Day has more of a garage band feel to it and Ujihara’s vocals sound like they’re doing this live for some reason.  The good thing is that they went with simple is better because I don’t feel like Ujihara is sounding cracked which is nice to hear and I love the hook of ~have a nice day~.  Not bad of a song actually!

4. Albatross

Going from the basics of rock to something a little more experimentive, Albatross includes synths behind the band’s style.  I liked the track and since it feels like a full song at 5 minutes, Albatross kind of stands out for some reason.  I guess that lazy style of singing kind of worked with the laidback arrangement.  It could drag for some people since it is so relaxing.  I’m surprised it wasn’t an A-side.

5. Dance Hall Girl

I’m starting to feel like the album is a lot more laidback and refined than their previous album, “MODERN AGE”.  I haven’t come to any hard songs from the group and keep getting the same tracks over and over and I’m reaching a point of boredom as we get into our fifth song.  Dance Hall Girl is OK but it’s lazy atmosphere from Ujihara makes it a hard listen.

6. Katharsis

Sort of the title track, Katharsis actually tries to amp up the action up with more from the guitars but it’s just only a manner of just for effect and for the most part it didn’t really succeed.  I will say this is the best song Ujihara has sung in yet on this album.  It’s not bad and the backup effects are a surprisingly nice effect for the tune.  While I still kind of yawn at the whole alt/rock feel of the song…this is probably the best so far.

7. Thunder Light

I saw the tracklist and was hoping this was one of the more powerful songs and I was happy with what we got for the most part.  It’s a lot more fast-paced than the previous tracks and it has a good melody to it and a lot of harder melodies to pull.  It’s no “Bakuchi Dancer” but this is a solid rock track here.

8. Blue Night

It gets stronger with our next track which has a LOT of guitar presence in it but it’s also quite good as well being better than “Thunder Light”.  This is a good and dramatic rock song and Ujihara sounds a lot cleaner and stronger than in the first half of the album.  It’s a strong track and is my favorite from the album.

9. Tribe Drive

After that awesome track, we get into Tribe Drive and it’s an unusual song for DOES to tackle since it’s a bit more garage band once again but somehow kind of unique.  I will say the chorus is definitely punk rock and I kind of loved that about this song.  It’s a catchy song for sure….where was this earlier on huh?

10. Vitamin U

I think DOES wanted to go back a little to “FIVE STUFF” with this song because it reminded me one of the songs from that mini-album.  It’s more poppy and upbeat which is something I’m not really used to by the group.  Add in that I can’t really stand Ujihara in the song and you get this weird collision course.  I’m not really into the song…

11. Laika no Yume

As we get close the ending of the album, we somehow get Laika no Yume which is pretty much their rock ballad of the album.  As it is also the longest track, I was wondering how it’d turn out because Ujihara doesn’t seem to ballad vocals (if you know what I mean).  It was nice for the most part but he still doesn’t seem to have great vocals to mix it up well with the strings and the band together for some reason.  It’s alright but nothing I’d repeat again.

12. Brighten A

Funny how we go from a ballad setting to DOES’ happiest song on the album which is just lulzy in many ways.  I kind of dig this song because it’s full of sound and Ujihara doesn’t sound bad amongst the amount of synths and bandwork thats going on.  It’s a pretty good track from them and surprised me that they pulled one off!

13. Korekara Koko Kara

Finally ending the album, Korekara Koko Kara seems to follow-up “Brighten A” since it’s just as upbeat and energetic which is awesome.  I love that filters were used on Ujihara in the verses.  Sadly, the chorus is kind of screwy with the note breaking he does in it which knocks the song a couple of pegs.  I do feel that this wasn’t as good as an ending song and should’ve had “Laika no Yume” be the final track…

Tracks Recommended

  • Blue Night
  • Thunder Light
  • Brighten A
  • Katharsis
  • Albatross

Song of Avoidance

  • Vitamin U

So here we are at my second album reviewed by DOES.  I feel that they’ve lightened up their sound a lot since “MODERN AGE” and I kind of don’t like that because they’re good songs in their catalog which I seem to love more and there wasn’t really any of that despite having good songs.  I mean no hardcore “Bakuchi Dancer”?  It’s just a bit meh.  As a whole, KATHARSIVILIZATION isn’t bad but their previous album was a lot more memorable to be honest.

 

Mano Erina – Song for the DATE June 27, 2012

Filed under: Mano Erina — solarblade @ 8:33 am

Track Listing

  1. Song for the DATE
  2. Aozora ga Waratteru
  3. Song for the DATE (Instrumental)

1. Song for the DATE

I wouldn’t have foretold that Manoeri’s next single would have so many synths in it.  However, after how much praise “Glory days” had gotten this was only logical.  It kind of feels nostalgic but at the same time cool and darker than your normal H!P song.  I just like the fact there’s something more going on here than the usual fare from Erina.  It’s been a long time since I loved a song from her (“Lucky Aura” basically).

2. Aozora ga Waratteru

Since there were no previews of this track before the single’s release, Aozora ga Waratteru was something I was curious to hear.  Sadly, it follows in the vein of rock based tracks which kind of disappoints me since it’s a bit like Momusu’s “Watashi ga Ite, Kimi ga Iru” but less guitar licks.  It’s alright but quit forgetful for me.

 

 

I’m happy that Erina has gotten a little more attention than she did in 2011.  Song for the DATE is quite possibly her most intriguing A-side since “Otome no Inori” (her major label debut).  It’s aggressive and has a great melody to it.  Aozora ga Waratteru is B-side fodder for her though and might just be forgotten…Good start to the 4th era!

 

Momoiro Clover Z – Otome Sensou

Filed under: Momoiro Clover Z — solarblade @ 8:15 am

Track Listing

  1. Otome Sensou
  2. PUSH
  3. Mite Mite☆Kocchicchi (Regular only)
  4. Otome Sensou (Off vocal)
  5. PUSH (Off vocal)
  6. Mite Mite☆Kocchicchi (Off vocal)

1. Otome Sensou

After “Mugen no Ai”, I was hoping their standards were going to get higher.  Sadly, Otome Sensou was kind of a drop backwards back towards “Roudou Sanka”.  Actually it might be closer to something like “Z Densetsu” and a lot of people know how much I dislike that song.  I mean it’s fast-paced and has a lot of synths involved and all the girls do have lines.  However, I don’t approve that it’s 7 minutes long and kind of doesn’t work without the PV’s help.  This is just a big disappointment to me!

2. PUSH

The song from this single whose PV came first, PUSH is actually the better song for me (besides that lulzy Olympics PV it got).  It’s an energetic song like it’s fellow A-side but it’s less cramped and psychotic so it suits me more altogether.  I just enjoy the energy and the ladies sing pretty good and feisty like the song calls for. 

3. Mite Mite☆Kocchicchi

The second B-side was the first known song on the single that was known because it was tied-in with the recent Pokemon movie.  At first, I was kind of thinking it was going to be overly genki but it kind of rides on the lines of it.  I mean the song isn’t as sugary and overly crazy (actually, it’s probably the least spastic of the three).  It’s like a cuter “LOST CHILD” if that helps.

 

 

MomocloZ since Akari’s graduation has been riding this wave but they seem to finally meet the middle somewhat.  Otome Sensou isn’t a great song to be honest (but then again, nothing could really compare to “D’ no Junjou” or “Mugen no Ai”).  Both of the B-sides though are on the good side and I would love to see PUSH on their next album for some reason.  Hmmm…

 

Shoujo Jidai – PAPARAZZI June 26, 2012

Filed under: Shoujo Jidai — solarblade @ 5:21 am

Track Listing

  1. PAPARAZZI
  2. PAPARAZZI -Instrumental-

1. PAPARAZZI

I’m happy that SNSD have found themselves back to Japan with another original song up their sleeves in PAPARAZZI.  It does kind of have a certain feel like their Korean album “The Boys” which is cool.  The big thing is that this song doesn’t have a repetitive hook like their previous Japanese singles which is a godsend to me!  I mean it follows behind similar songs like KARA’s “Speed Up” and AFTERSCHOOL’s “Dilly Dally” with that darker K-pop feel to it which I adore and it turned out well…it actually has more substance.

 

 

I have to say, I liked PAPARAZZI quite a bit even if it’s so different from stuff like “Gee” and “MR. TAXI”.  My biggest surprise with this single is that it’s so empty of one.  I would’ve expected a B-side or even a Korean version of it but nope just the song and its instrumental.  If they continue to release out here they’ll need to step it up xD