Kurayami Monogatari

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ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D – eggmate of the year July 30, 2012

Filed under: ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D — solarblade @ 9:01 am

Track Listing

  1. eggmate of the year
  2. stop the time
  3. eggmate of the year (instrumental)

1. eggmate of the year

I like that the band decided to have a little more fun for the second A-side in eggmate of the year.  It carries the summer feel quite nicely and has the same amount of rock added in!  Of course the energy brought from SHiNNOSUKE’s rapping and singing is quite strong and makes you wanna hit the beach and rock out.  Definitely an improvement over “Complication”.

 

 

*Will review the B-side if the single ever leaks!*  I’m actually surprised that their debut album, “From Dusk Till Dawn” will not feature the A-side in its tracklist.  It makes me wonder why eggmate of the year is omitted from the album because it’s actually quite good of a summer tune!  Then again it is the only single that hasn’t leaked yet either which is a bit meh…

 

Sayaka Sasaki – Reason why XXX

Filed under: Sayaka Sasaki — solarblade @ 8:48 am

Track Listing

  1. Reason why XXX
  2. Ordinary Day…
  3. Reason why XXX (off vocal)
  4. Ordinary Day… (off vocal)

1. Reason why XXX

It’s been a while since I’ve heard Sayaka and she comes back in an unusual way.  Reason why XXX is quite an enigma of a song because it has electro, 8bit, and rock tendencies which gives this wild arrangement.  I’m also surprised at the power of Sayaka’s vocals as well because they got a lot more heavier and has power behind it.  It’s varied and showcases the many good things about her.  Great A-side.

2. Ordinary Day…

I was really surprised when we came into Ordinary Day… because the song is a lot slower than the lead track but it isn’t a ballad by any means, it’s just a mid-tempo kind of song.  I’m not sure why but the song was extremely dragging the entire time and I was bored of it immediately after the first chorus.

 

 

I have to say, Reason why XXX might be a pretty good A-side from her but the single was dragged down with that boring B-side, Ordinary Day…  I mean it’s only a small step above “Starting Again” but I just don’t like that boreness!

 

ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D – Complication

Filed under: ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D — solarblade @ 8:22 am

Track Listing

  1. Complication
  2. Fortune
  3. BUMP ON da STYLE
  4. Complication -TV Size Opening Ver.-
  5. Complication -TV Size Long Ver.-
  6. Complication (instrumental)
  7. Fortune (instrumental)

1. Complication

Getting into the trio’s debut single, I was wondering why Complication is considered their most well-known track but I honestly can’t see why it’s good.  I mean it has a mix of anison and the band’s sound all rolled into one package.  I don’t think it’s as good as their later singles are which is a bit surprising but I think it’s a suitable debut A-side and I kind of like SHiNNOSUKE’s vocals but not so much of the rapping…that kind of threw me off.  Still not bad…

2. Fortune

At least the band kicks it up a notch for the first B-side, Fortune.  It’s still quite anime-esque and reminds of a NARUTO theme for some reason >.>.  I like the energy and the band has a little more fire going on in this song which is pretty cool.  I’m a little surprised that there’s a lot more of this rapping going on which kind of makes it sound like a FLOW song (something I’ve said before about the group).  I liked the song a lot more than “Complicaton”.

3. BUMP UP da STYLE

The last track on the single, I thought they made a funny with that piano intro.  It seems the song is suited more for their hip-hop side but the song switches genres by getting a bit more rockin and it goes back and forth lol.  There’s still a lot of rapping to be found which is no surprise but it’s kind of a fun tune.

 

 

ROOKiEZ and their debut is different from what I know of the band today.  Complication is a pretty good single but I do think their later singles are much better!  I like SHiNNOSUKE’s vocals when he isn’t rapping but the times he rapped were actually solid. 

 

Natsuko Aso – Fighting Growing Diary

Filed under: Natsuko Aso — solarblade @ 7:07 am

Track Listing

  1. Fighting Growing Diary
  2. WONDER SUMMER VACATION
  3. Hello, my world

1. Fighting Growing Diary

Besides the rather odd title (she’s known for this anyways) Fighting Growing Diary actually seemed like it toned down the cutesy vocals but managed to keep that bubbly anime pop feel to her style.  I mean the lyrics are a bit wacky and non-sensical sometimes but this song is kind of a step up from previous A-sides for sure ^_^

2. WONDER SUMMER VACATION

The first B-side on the single, WONDER SUMMER VACATION sounds a bit more idol-pop which is a nice change of sound and Natsuko’s vocals are a bit more suited here which is pretty nice.  It’s a pretty bright song and definitely a lot more fitting for her.

3. Hello, my world

A first for Natsuko, we get another B-side in Hello, my world which also has an idol-like style for it but there’s a bit more of a beat to me whereas
WONDER SUMMER VACATION” is a bit lighter.  I think the song is also better because it’s catchy and the chorus is easily hummable to me.  Definitely my favorite track off the single.

 

 

I have to say that it has been quite a while since I liked a Natsuko single and Fighting Growing Diary is a pretty impressive single.  All three songs all trumped over her last single, “Lovely Girls Anthem” by a huge leap.  I have to say though that both WONDER SUMMER VACATION and Hello, my world were shockingly the better songs since Natsuko’s vocals got let up on the squeaky cute but kept that idol-style.  Fighting Growing Diary is good too but it’s a bit odd lyrically so it’s kind of taking time to get used to.

 

Nana Mizuki – BRIGHT STREAM July 28, 2012

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 11:47 pm

Track Listing

  1. BRIGHT STREAM
  2. FEARLESS HERO
  3. Sacred Force

1. BRIGHT STREAM

Maybe it’s just me but I’m kind of finding myself picking apart Nana’s A-sides unless they’re extremely unique.  BRIGHT STREAM ranks up there with her strings/anime songs which isn’t good because there’s a LOT of those.  The good thing is that I like the guitar riffs in it and Nana sounds really good in this song which isn’t surprising.  I don’t know but it doesn’t seem to really stand out like “Synchrogazer” and “Junketsu Paradox” did.

2. FEARLESS HERO

Which bothers me when we get into FEARLESS HERO which also suffers a little bit from the staleness factor.  I do like the beats of the song but it’s kind of just like “BRIGHT STREAM” and “Mugen” fused together which just doesn’t impress me one bit.  I like how soaring Nana’s vocals are here though (makes me think she took more risks in this song).

3. Sacred Force

Then we get into Sacred Force and I’m already enjoying the song because unlike the previous two, this has more of a synth-driven arrangement and I REALLY liked the addition of the guitars as well.  It kind of reminds me of a toned down and controlled “Synchrogazer” so that’s always a good sign for me.  Yeah, it’s actually the best off the single!

 

 

Since there’s an album coming next for Nana, I think BRIGHT STREAM is actually quite weak of a single to be honest.  BRIGHT STREAM and FEARLESS HERO kind of weren’t new or even unique in the way that some of the other singles have been and normally I wouldn’t be having a problem but I just couldn’t remember how these two go…it really does sound like a lot of “IMPACT EXCITER’s” singles have been.  Sacred Force even though it does remind me of a toned down “Synchrogazer” is actually the best of the single…a lot of great moments to be found in this song ^_^

 

Haruka Tomatsu – Yume Sekai

Filed under: Haruka Tomatsu — solarblade @ 11:20 pm

Track Listing

  1. Yume Sekai
  2. Issai Gassai
  3. Yume Sekai (Instrumental)

1. Yume Sekai

I like how Haruka opens the song quite smoothly, I wouldn’t have expected a ballad to come from her but this is a nice change of setting actually.  Her voice is actually quite solid which I don’t think I’ve said yet through the singles I’ve reviewed from her.  It’s a song that actually fits the anime its for and is just pleasant to listen to song.

2. Issai Gassai

The B-side is actually was what I was expecting the A-side to sound like.  I don’t know why but when I listen to this but I keep thinking of sphere’s music because it’s right in their lane of stuff they would release.  It’s upbeat, silly, and Haruka is enjoying the song even though her pitch is a bit higher.  It’s fun and made me tap my foot with it lol.

 

 

It’s been a while but it’s nice to see Haruka release a new single (the third one in this set) but Yume Sekai is probably my favorite single I’ve reviewed yet from her.  The leading song is a pretty strong ballad and made me notice her vocals a lot more in a positive light while Issai Gassai took more of a fun and silly route and that actually worked here…so where’s that album? XD

 

Berryz Koubou – cha cha SING

Filed under: Berryz Koubou — solarblade @ 8:34 pm

Track Listing

  1. cha cha SING
  2. Loving you Too much
  3. Momochi! Yurushite Nyan♡Taisou
  4. cha cha SING (Instrumental)
  5. Loving you Too much (Instrumental)
  6. Momochi! Yurushite Nyan♡Taisou (Instrumental)

1. cha cha SING

I found it interesting that Berryz would once again humor everyone by doing a cover song (this one is from Thailand’s own Bird Thongchai McIntyre’s “Row mah Sing”).  The last time Berryz covered a big song “Dschinghis Khan”, it went with a lot of positive comments.  The same thing can be said about cha cha SING which is incredibly catchy and random that it’s hard to see this done by anyon else but Berryz.  I’m loving the energetic arrangement and it keeps true to its Thai roots.  I’m also enjoying the different vocals styles coming from the girls (especially Miyabi, Risako, and Momoko) they were actually impressive and the other four ladies got solo lines throughout which is good too.  Definitely had me enjoying it a lot more faster than I did with “Be Genki”.

2. Loving you Too much

The first B-side is also a cover of another Thongchai song “Too Much So Much Very Much” and I was wondering if it was going to be as wild as “cha cha SING” was.  I guess my overall thought was no it isn’t but it stands out as well since I felt this could’ve been an A-side as well.  I also find myself enjoying Risako a lot more in this song funny enough.  I think the song has some hooks but none that are as memorable as the A-side.  I think what stood out the most in this song was the rapping section from the ladies…I don’t think the Berryz gals have ever rapped in a song (I know I could be wrong though).  It isn’t bad but I don’t find it as exciting as “cha cha SING”.

3. Momochi! Yurushite Nyan♡Taisou

Then comes the scariest part about this single.  Momoko got her own solo song and it’s based off her catchphrase on shows ~Yurushite Nyan!~ *and insert cat paws*.  I’m just surprised it was worth a song because this song gives me a HEADACHE.  I hate Momoko’s cute voice so putting this with a cute song is just torture.  The rest of the girls are here but they are backups and one-word quips.  It is short though being under 3 minutes…but this was just unneeded…

 

 

I have to say this single is quite weird for me.  2 Thai covers and that ugly Momoko solo and it just seems so out of the blue for me.  I have to say cha cha SING though is a pretty awesome song and definitely makes me wanna do a flashmob and dance it down yo!  Loving you Too much is alright but it lacked something to make it really good and like I said Momoko’s song is just bad…bad, bad, bad!

 

Junko Akimoto – 24-ji no Kodoku

Filed under: Junko Akimoto — solarblade @ 7:36 pm

Track Listing

  1. 24-ji no Kodoku
  2. Omoide Serenade
  3. 24-ji no Kodoku (Original Karaoke)
  4. 24-ji no Kodoku (Ippanyou Karaoke Ham’on Age)
  5. Omoide Serenade (Original Karaoke)

1. 24-ji no Kodoku

 I was happy to hear that Junko’s next A-side kind of surprised me since it reminded me of her big single a couple years back.  It’s calming and has a pretty arrangement that contains a lot of strings, castanets, and accordion as well.  I actually enjoyed how this tune flowed and Junko’s vocals are complimeting it all so it works altogether.

2. Omoide Serenade

As for the B-side, Omoide Serenade has more of a calming effect going on which is pretty nice as the opposite to “24-ji no Kodoku”.  I think the song was more to show off Junko’s vocals a little bit more than the music being the standout song.  It’snice but I like the A-side’s sound a lot more.

 

 

As Junko starting her 5th round of singles before the 5th album, 24-ji no Kodoku is nice and is better than some of the other singles she’s released.  The A-side is probably the best A-side I’ve heard from her since “Ai no Mama de…”.  The B-side though is kind of forgetful even though it sounds nice, it just kind of acts as background music TBH lol.

 

Akiko Hasegawa – Simply Lovely July 25, 2012

Filed under: Akiko Hasegawa — solarblade @ 9:17 am

Track Listing

  1. Simply Lovely
  2. LEVEL∞ (Hard Rock ver.)
  3. Sunrise!
  4. I Can Fly
  5. Sourin no Pendulum
  6. Fateful Actor
  7. LEVEL∞ (Famison 8BIT ver.)
  8. XXX
  9. 2100nen no Tokyo Tower
  10. Stay Tuned!
  11. On Our Way
  12. Iya da yo Suki da yo
  13. Fateful Actor (Relieve ver.)
  14. LEVEL∞ (Disillusion Special ver.)
  15. Onigiri March

1. Simply Lovely

One of the two new tracks of the album, we start things off with the title track, Simply Lovely.  I like that it’s a bit more cuter and has a bit more cute synths going around which fits with her high-pitched voice style.  It actually sounds more like an idol song that longer I listen to it.  It’s a fun song to listen to and a nice opening song for the album.

2. LEVEL∞ (Hard Rock ver.)

I’m surprised at how many versions of Akiko’s debut single there are on this album.  However, this is the only new version of the song which took the song and gave it more of a rockin’ touch up which is pretty nifty but it doesn’t seem to really fit with her voice which isn’t shocking.  It’s a nice try to give the song a different flavor and it might impress someone out there.

3. Sunrise!

From this point on, majority of the album is filled with old songs!  Starting with her second A-side (first under 5pb. Records), Sunrise! was a huge change of sound from her first single by trading 8bit/Trance to this song which is bright pop (with a lot of anison styles behind it).  It’s a lot like “Simply Lovely” but with more emphasis over the strings which what made the song great because they sound beautiful in the song.  It’s overall a good A-side!

4. I Can Fly

I noticed that the A-sides go in order which is pretty cool in a way but a makes things a little boring.  Coming next was the third A-side and unfortunately my least favorite of the A-sides.  I like that it does come off as a little more rockin’ but at the same time it lacked something for me and it just didn’t work out.  I do like the verses a lot more than the chorus for sure.  I guess it’s not terrible but it’s not all that great either.

5. Sourin no Pendulum

Moving onto the final A-side released prior to the album, Sourin no Pendulum was definitely my favorite of the four and it still is!  I mean it’s anime-esque for sure and sounds like an intro which is cool but Akiko sounds surprisingly strong in the song and the arrangement is jsut on spot to fully enjoy. 

6. Fateful Actor

I wonder if they seperated the original track and the Relieve ver. because they were of the same song so that’s why it’s after “Sourin no Pendulum”.  As the B-side of said single, Fateful Actor really impressed me a lot.  I never expected Akiko to pull off a big band tune and I was definitely impressed with what we got here.  I loved her vocals as well, she sung a little more deeper here as well…I just loved this song…one of the best B-sides she’s released yet!

7. LEVEL∞ (Famison 8BIT ver.)

Interestingly enough, we get into the 8BIT version of LEVEL∞ and I was kind of surprised she debuted with this song (well this wasn’t the version that was promoted but still).  Her higher vocals did fit the 8bit style and it wasn’t filtered and auto-tuned which kind of is a surprise for this track.  It’s a cute song and fun to listen to and a little absurd to see on the album.

8. XXX

Tracks 8-13 are all the B-sides that were released in chronological order it seems starting with “LEVEL∞’s” B-side.  I have such a love/hate relationship with the song.  I seriously love the electro arrangement of the song and the lyrics are seriously one of the catchiest of the album but what holds the song back in a big way is Akiko’s way of singing the song.  It’s at its highest peak and she’s being extremely pitchy and cutesy and hitting these high ass notes so abrasively that it kind of does hurt.  I really like some parts of the song but the vocals are just terrible here.

9. 2100nen no Tokyo Tower

I couldn’t remember much of the B-sides from “Sunrise!” but 2100nen no Tokyo Tower was one of the better ones from memory.  I like it today since the song is a little bit of techno-pop but also anison which is no shock to me.  The song is rather adorable and sounds like a song you’d hear in the afternoon at the park.  It just sails by nicely and has a pretty good flow overall.

10. Stay Tuned!

Moving to the other B-side from that single, Stay Tuned! is a bit more chilled out and adds this fashionable kind of feel to it which is something I didn’t pick-up on the first time I heard the song.  It’s relaxing and has a cool vibe to it that I somehow started to really enjoy fully.  It does kind of start to become too chill and flatlined towards the end, but the song has a numbing feel to it lol.

11. On Our Way

It seems to work though as we move into the B-sides from “I Can Fly” because On Our Way is actually the lone ballad of this album.  Now I’m not sure how to take Akiko’s vocals for this song because while it’s nice she toned it down to this, her vocals really aren’t suited for these kind of tracks and she is pretty pitchy in the song…not as bad as “XXX” but enough to ward people off.  At least she tried…

12. Iya da yo Suki da yo

I’ve always wondered why the B-sides from “I Can Fly” were both ballads…Well Iya da yo Suki da yo is different from “On Our Way” simply because this is more of a cute and brighter ballad which isn’t to everyone’s tastes and it kind of pushed me away from it because it was just a little too risky.  I just didn’t like this song either.

13. Fateful Actor (Relieve ver.)

I’m surprised they added this onto the album.  This is actually a jazz version of the song and I was equally impressed with this version and oddly enough it seemed to fit the lyrics a little better than the original version.  Also, Akiko actually resung the song and I loved every little bit of it.  I actually prefer this version over the original overall.  It’s just that good!

14. LEVEL∞ (Disillusion Special ver.)

I’m happy they put this version of the song which is more Trance/Happycore version of LEVEL∞!  Now I’m also happy that they basically cut it down two minutes because the original off the single did feel a little too long-winded.  I really love the energy of the song and I honestly think this version suits Akiko the best of the three versions of the song on here.  Though it seems to be out of nowhere from the last few songs which were quiet…this’ll wake your ass up for sure!

15. Onigiri March

Ending the album finally, we get another new track in Onigiri March and it’s kind of cheesy and cutesy all rolled up in one ball.  It also seems to utilize Akiko’s cutesy vocals which is a little meh for me but as she is a seiyuu it’s not a complete shock.  This goes on for about 3 minutes then Akiko gets the angry shout out and the song switches to a heavy rock sound and Akiko starts to sing in a deeper tone which is really good (like wow).  Sadly the ends a but too quickly (only a minute) and the loud guitars disappear to the ballad section of the song.  It’s a pretty song which goes on for just as long and the song ends.  The remaining 2-ish minutes is silence followed by Akiko talking about the album (I think)…Odd song but did do a good job closing things.

Tracks Recommended

  • Fateful Actor (Relieve ver.)
  • Sourin no Pendulum
  • LEVEL∞ (Disillusion Special ver.)
  • 2100nen no Tokyo Tower
  • Sunrise!

Song of Avoidance

  • Iya da yo Suki da yo

Finally this album found its way out!!!  Akiko’s debut album might just simply be a collection of everything she’s released so far plus two new songs but this had a LOT of variety from cute anison songs to big band to happycore and even ballads.  It was a really random album with an assortment of styles and I think the gives Akiko an enigma-like feel since she can tackle tons of styles!  Her voice does have some work to do but when she puts in a strong effort, she’s got a LOT of potential!  Not bad for a debut!

 

U-KISS – The Special to KISSME

Filed under: U-KISS — solarblade @ 5:28 am

Track Listing

  1. Believe
  2. Te Amo
  3. Inyeoninga Bwa
  4. Let’s Get
  5. Believe (Inst.)
  6. Te Amo (Inst.)

1. Believe

I’m surprised with Believe because this is a really cool song and just a lot stronger of a lead song than “DORADORA” was.  I have to say that I love everyone in the song from Kevin and Soohyun’s lines to AJ’s rapping and everything else in between.  It’s not a hard song but it’s got crazy hooks and I like the message of the song.  It’s just an overall strong track from the group.

2. Te Amo

The other song that was promoted, Te Amo shows a little more spice with saxes and before the song gets into a heavier synth style which is pretty awesome.  Though how they say ~te amo~ is kind of lulzy but this song continues to show a lot of stuff that the group lacked in their last mini.  Impressive tune.

3 Inyeoninga Bwa

My least favorite song on the mini, Inyeoninga Bwa isn’t bad persay but it lacks the movitation to move which is surprising.  I like that I hear a lot of Kevin in the song and some other guys.  I just felt bored with this song and kind of lacked what the other three tracks had.

 4. Let’s Get

The hardest track, Let’s Get is quite hard and very K-pop heavy which is always awesome but then again here comes the auto-tune.  It’s still pretty awesome and great to hear everyone get lines for this song and they all have pretty momentous moments.  This is the U-KISS I know and love!

 

 

I’m surprised that this was released as a tribute to their fanclub…but honestly, KISSME is 10x more stronger of a mini-album than “DORADORA” since all but one song were pretty amazing tracks which is something I would have never expected from U-KISS!  This is pretty much *RECOMMENDED*