Kurayami Monogatari

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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!

 

One Response to “Akiko Hasegawa – Simply Lovely”

  1. Tweendoriru Says:

    Such a cute album cover~~ I haven’t heard any of the songs on the album (except Level Infinity and XXX, though both were a long time ago). Gotta get me a copy of this😀


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