Kurayami Monogatari

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Ayahi Takagaki – Tsuki no Namida June 18, 2012

Filed under: Ayahi Takagaki — solarblade @ 5:52 am

Track Listing

  1. Tsuki no Namida
  2. Namonai Hana
  3. Think of Me

1. Tsuki no Namida

I love the fact that Tsuki no Namida begun with shimasen and has this traditional folkish feel to it.  It was almost as if Ayahi wanted the song to come off as enka-ish because I get that feeling as well.  It was easy for her to tackle it because her voice is pretty amazing and she sung strongly ^_^.  It’s definitely a moving ballad for her and something you wouldn’t expect her to pull off (especially after “Meteor Light”).

2. Namonai Hana

So is the single traditionally Japanese overall?  I’m curious because Namonai Hana begins with shakuhachi instead and even has more of a feel of the old days.  Ayahi’s vocals are really nice once again but when I listen to the song I feel like it could’ve been sung better if it was alan at the reins.  It’s a pretty sounding tune and a lot more original sounding than “Tsuki no Namida”.

3. Think of Me

As the cover song of the single, Think of Me is pretty and unlike the previous two tracks has more of a flowing orchestral feel rather than one of traditional sounds.  Also, Ayahi is singing in her operatic tone and dramatic voice which is her best tone.  I feel like this song is related to Disney…but I’m not sure.  By the way, the song is sung in English and Ayahi did really well even though she slips up a couple times.  Seriously a pretty song though.

 

 

I’m kind of surprised that Ayahi would release a traditional themed single in Tsuki no Namida and its B-side in Namonai Hana.  They both sound real pleasant and worked well with her vocals.  A bit surprising since her last A-side was the energetic anisong, “Meteor Light”.  I found also that Think of Me was really good and made me love her dramatic opera tones.  She should utilize that more in her main stuff and not the cover songs.  Still, five singles and no album announced yet?  JEEZE!

 

JUJU – Tadaima

Filed under: JUJU — solarblade @ 5:11 am

Track Listing

  1. Tadaima
  2. Hana ga Meguru Tokoro e
  3. Natsu no Hana -Touch of Jazz Version-
  4. Tadaima (Instrumental)

1. Tadaima

I know I may be cynical for saying this, but can we have something different JUJU?  I know you’re more than capable of releasing upbeat stuff like “Sayonara wo Kawari ni”.  Tadaima is more of a mid-tempo track and has more movement than “sign” did which is good but I kind of find myself struggling to be interested in the song because it’s more or less what we’ve been getting from JUJU for a while.  I still do enjoy her vocals a lot and the melody is a little memorable but I just want something different from her for an A-side.

2. Hana ga Meguru Tokoro e

The next track though is more of a song that probably should’ve been on “YOU” for some reason because it has that piano + strings arrangement that seems to be her forte.  Sadly, the song goes into bore mode for me quite quickly just like “YOU” did.  I mean it has a little nostalgia in it but at the same time, the song just moves a bit too slow.  At least JUJU’s vocals are quite strong and left a nice mark on a rather boring song.

3. Natsu no Hana -Touch of Jazz Version-

JUJU’s 4th A-side gets touched up in a new version for the single.  I never heard Natsu no Hana so I can’t really compare the differences but I’m going to say it’s more jazzier than the original LOL.  It’s mostly just piano, strings, and light percussion.  Once again, I kind of fall into a lull just listening to the song so I kind of zone it out.  I thought there’d be more to like “Lullaby of Birdland’s” arrangement but this is too bare-boned.

 

 

I keep going back and forth between liking the hell out of JUJU and just being unimpressed.  Tadaima is oddly enough has the least amount of faults in it because it’s lively but it’s a little plain at the same time.  Sadly, Hana ga Meguru Tokoro e and the updated take on Natsu no Hana were just BORING.  I just couldn’t listen to them back to back since they just did nothing for me.  I just hope she does something exciting next >.>

 

AFTERSCHOOL – Lady Luck/Dilly Dally

Filed under: AFTERSCHOOL — solarblade @ 4:38 am

Track Listing

  1. Lady Luck
  2. Dilly Dally
  3. SLOW LOVE (CD only)
  4. Lady Luck [Instrumental]
  5. Dilly Dally [Instrumental]
  6. SLOW LOVE [Instrumental]

1. Lady Luck

Now I haven’t listened to AFTERSCHOOL for very long and such but I have heard all their Japanese releases and so far they haven’t had a cute song lead a single yet and that’s where Lady Luck comes in because it’s cutesy and kind of reminds me of some of SNSD’s more cuter stuff.  I’m not a big fan of the cute K-pop stuff bit since Lady Luck is an original tune, I can’t fault it on that.  It’s sparkly and full of girliness and cute plushies which is different for the group which I can respect, but it’s just not my thing.

2. Dilly Dally

If you were a fan of their album, “PLAYGIRLZ”, Dilly Dally would be more down your line because it’s more darker and sexy to listen to.  I really liked this tune because it took what was good from their previous releases and made the idea a lot easier.  I also think it’s like KARA’s “Speed Up” for some reason but it’s just me I guess.  I love hearing the ladies in a deeper tone than before.  Plus the song is just all kinds of catchy for some reason.  Definitely the better A-side of the release.

3. SLOW LOVE

Weird that the lone B-side is on one edition of the single!  Another side of AFTERSCHOOL I’m not totally used to quite yet, SLOW LOVE is set as an R&B track and lets the ladies have more room to sing and goodness it sounds quite pleasant despite this genre of music bores me.  It’s a bit cute since there’s some synths involved but it’s not bad and I really enjoyed the flow of the song as well.

 

 

As it is Kahi’s final single with the group and before Ga Eun’s debut with the group, Lady Luck/Dilly Dally isn’t a bad single but it might surprise their Japanese fans.  Why?  Well Lady Luck is cute and their A-sides before have all been these dance heavy tracks like “Diva” and “Rambling girls”.  I’m not a fan of Lady Luck since it isn’t my taste but might tickle someone’s fancy if they like the cute tracks.  Dilly Dally was more along my lines since it was darker, cool, and just all around stronger!  SLOW LOVE was a pretty good surprise since it was sultry and something they haven’t done a lot of.  Nice single…now I wonder how Ga Eun will fit in the group ^_^

 

2PM – Beautiful

Filed under: 2PM — solarblade @ 3:56 am

Track Listing

  1. Beautiful
  2. Kimi ga Ireba
  3. Beautiful (Aqua blu mix) (CD only)
  4. Beautiful (without main vocal)
  5. Kimi ga Ireba (without main vocal)

1. Beautiful

Since the group is considered the upbeat group compared to their brother group 2AM, I’m not surprised I’m more interested in this group.  Beautiful keeps up with it’s dance style that the group has had since the beginning and that’s great to hear it.  It isn’t as forward as “Ultra Lover” was but it’s got good flow and the synths are pretty interesting.  Sometimes I get MBLAQ vibes from the song but it’s still a solid song and all the members sound smooth like velvet in the tune.

2. Kimi ga Ireba

The B-side is probably the nearest I’ve heard that sounds similar to “Take off” since it has breezy synths mixed with piano chords all over.  It’s really pleasant and add the dance beats and it’s so smooth and just flows like the wind for me.  I’m surprised to hear a lot of the guys are singing in a higher pitch which is cool to witness lol.  Really good song but then once it’s over, I feel like it’s too short…still REALLY good B-side from them!

3. Beautiful (Aqua blu mix)

The remix of Beautiful (found only on the CD only) is a bit more dance-friendly but kind of not much of a big change at all really.  I mean it sounds a bit more basic than the original which is kind of weird.  Like this was the original idea before the piano and the deeper synths made the decision changed.  I can’t describe that very well, but it just sounds like it would’ve been the original…since it sounds like it’d be perfect on their Korean releases or on “REPUBLIC OF 2PM”.  It’s a really good remix oddly enough.  Fits the atmosphere quite nice…and the rapping worked ^_^

 

 

2PM begins a new era with a pretty good single in Beautiful.  Since now I know that 2PM is mostly a group that does upbeat stuff, they kind of blended well with what they have in the leading track.  Oddly enough though, I prefer Kimi ga Ireba since it’s really light and flows a lot better than I thought it would but it is short.  The remix also was nice and accentuates the original’s lack of heavy beats.  Good single!

 

LIL – Koi wa PUSH! feat. HALCALI/99

Filed under: LIL — solarblade @ 3:17 am

Track Listing

  1. Koi wa PUSH! feat. HALCALI
  2. 99
  3. 99 (TeddyLoid Remix)

1. Koi wa PUSH! feat. HALCALI

HALCALI aren’t a new name for me and I’ve heard a couple of their songs before but now we see them being the collaborators with LIL for this single.  The song is definitely them since it’s heavily synthed up and such which is great to hear from LIL. I am surprised that ucio doesn’t have as much input as the duo of HALCALI does but I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.  I will admit that ucio’s parts are more memorable than the lines from the duo but it didn’t matter…I liked what we ended up with and I can’t help but get that chorus stuck in my head!

2. 99

The other A-side on the single is more along the lines of what we’ve come to enjoy from the duo and it’s just a great electro song!  ucio once again seems to mesmerize me with her vocals which are quite unique to my ears.  I definitely enjoyed the more smoother parts with her rather than the chorus.  It does have a “Synchonize” feel but it’s not bad and I could get into loving the song…but right now “Koi wa PUSH!” and “LUCKY STAR” still outrank it.

3. 99 (TeddyLoid Remix)

Finally, we have a remix of 99 from TeddyLoid and I was hoping for something quite great because usually I love TeddyLoid remixes and at first I was in love with it because it has more punch and flow.  Then things begun to drop when dubstep enters the field and my interest dropped off.  There are parts where it worked but majority of it was just a headache to get through.  Minus the dubstep breakdowns. the remix wasn’t too bad and it carried the spark of the original in a more club-friendly way.

 

 

As the second and final single to close before LIL releases their album, “L2”, Koi wa PUSH!/99 isn’t a bad single at all and is a much better package than “LUCKY STAR” was.  Koi wa PUSH! was a pretty good collaboration and makes for a great A-side.  99 was also pretty rad too since it was just TSUGE and ucio doing what they do best.  The remix might be the song that I liked the lease but clearly the only reason I didn’t like it was because of the dubstep shit…TEDDYLOID GET OFF THAT BOAT!!!!