Kurayami Monogatari

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BONNIE PINK – Chasing Hope August 11, 2012

Filed under: BONNIE PINK — solarblade @ 9:17 pm

Track Listing

  1. Stand Up!
  2. Natsu Gare
  3. Mountain High
  4. Bad Bad Boy
  5. Machi no Namae
  6. Animal Rendezvous
  7. My Angel
  8. Tiger Lily
  9. Baby Baby Baby
  10. Don’t Cry For Me Anymore
  11. Tsumetai Ame
  12. Change

1. Stand Up!

Ahhh, the opening song for BONNIE’s album is definitely going to make you smile for sure.  I like the bright atmosphere and Kaori’s vocals are just right for the song, that’s for sure.  It kind of does go back to “ONE” and some of the poppier tunes from said album…It’s a good opening track.

2. Natsu Gare

Though I think the album gets interesting when we get into the second track which carries more of a loungy setting.  I really like the keyboard-led arrangement and it’s light air about it, just took me somewhere else and it was a good place hah.  Definitely an early favorite for me.

3. Mountain High

Maybe it’s just me, but I was kind of bored with our next song, Mountain High.  I do like that it’s in English, but I just kind of found this song to be lacking when compared to the previous song.  I guess the guitar parts are something to make it pop, but there’s just not enough of it.  Meh…

4. Bad Bad Boy

At least we have Bad Bad Boy to bounce back on because this has the most spunk so far on this album.  I love the gritty guitar riff amonsgt Kaori’s vocals ^_^.  It’s just her way to get down and just have fun with the song and that’s what caught me in its grasp.  Song is just infectious!

5. Machi no Namae

As the second A-side representing the album, I kind of felt like this was a really nice slow track but amongst the album, it is rather unremarkable to ne because it kind of sounds like “Stand Up!” and “Mountain High” fused together with some extra knick-knacks here and there.  I think it’s an all right song, but I think it did better as a single more than anything else.

6. Animal Rendezvous

For some strange reason, this song first made me think of “Princess Incognito” with its similar nature.  Beyond that, the song is catch as hell as well which is a pretty good thing!  It just makes me wanna get up and dance to it because it just that infectious and the arrangement is really cool too.  Another one of my favorites from the album!

7. My Angel

After all of that fun-fest, we get into My Angel which is a piano ballad.  I really like Kaori’s voice in this song surprisingly and she just sings with a lot vindiction.  Makes up for the fact that the arrangement is really just a piano.  It kind of sticks out like a sore thumb on the album just a little bit, but it’s a solid ballad overall.

8. Tiger Lily

At least Tiger Lily kind of lightens things back up, right?  The song is kind of surprising, especially at the simplicity and sort of reggae-ish style it has.  There’s also the sounds of nature as well and that worked well here.  It’s a pretty unique song for Kaori and I think she handled it quite well!

9. Baby Baby Baby

At least we get a pretty awesome pop/rock tune with Baby Baby Baby.  To be honest, I kind of find myself tuning this out but I don’t know why because I usually like songs like this on the album.  I just find many other songs on the album are a bit more intriguing and has a bit more of a stronger identity.

10. Don’t Cry For Me Anymore

Another piano ballad?  Don’t Cry For Me Anymore sounds like “Machi no Namae” for some reason with its laidback arrangement, plus a couple songs from “Dear Diary” as well.  It’s all right for the most part, but maybe it’s a little too slow for me.

12. Tsumetai Ame

I have to say, Tsumetai Ame also is kind of weird on the album because it doesn’t sound like anything else on the album and it’s rockin’ atmosphere is different (especially at this point in the album).  I don’t know how to explain it better, but it really kind of just sounds different, more raw I guess?  I still think there’s something missing, but I do like it eitehr way.

12. Change

The final song to Chasing Hope, Change closes things up on a quieter note and while that’s good and all, I don’t find much in this song.  It’s like the other slower tracks on the album (mostly “Mountain High”).  As the ending song it’s good but on its own, I kind of seem to forget about it.

Track Listing

  • Animal Rendezvous
  • Tiger Lily
  • Natsu Gare
  • Bad Bad Boy
  • My Angel

Song of Avoidance

  • Change

I must say, Chasing Hope is at least better than “Dear Diary” since there were songs that were pretty awesome on this album but there were all some boring songs as well but it the former outweighs the latter.  Now I don’t think it’s going to surpass “Golden Tears” or “ONE” since both those albums were pretty awesome, this was just good. 

 

BoA – Only One

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 5:39 am

Track Listing

  1. Only One
  2. The Shadow
  3. Nemonan Bakwi (Hope)
  4. Not Over U
  5. The Top
  6. Mayday! Mayday! (Neoege Dahgileul Ganjeolhi Oechida)
  7. One Dream (feat. Henry & Key)
  8. Only One (Inst.)
  9. The Shadow (Inst.)

1. Only One

BoA has returned in Korea again with a new album and Only One is the promotional track.  The first thing I thought of was “Eien” but not as hard-hitting.  It’s got that mid-tempo R&B feel to it and that’s nice but I probably wouldn’t have chose this to promote the album.  At least it’s a passable song from her.

2. The Shadow

Our next song, The Shadow is a bit more heavier which is a solid way to go since this song has more of a K-pop style which is cool but it’s still not an aggressive songs in the sense like “Adrenaline” or “HURRICANE VENUS”.  I like the song, but it feels like it needs more fire and the speed could’ve been better sped up too.  At least she sounds really good, especially in her whispering parts.

3. Nemonan Bakwi (Hope)

We slow back down for our next track, Hope and I find myself a little bored with the tune and it’s not simply just because it’s a ballad.  It feels like something off of “HURRICANE VENUS” but has more drums involved lol.  There’s just nothing remarkable about the song IMO and I just tune it out.

4. Not Over U

Another ballad after “Hope”?  Oh good, the song doesn’t seem to fall down flat on its face.  It starts off slow with an acoustic guitar before dance beats get added in and it grows into in this synth-fest in the chorus.  I actually like this build-up but I felt it was leading up to more, but it just gives up and moves straight into the second verse.  It’s pretty good overall though and it lasts a lot better than the previous three tracks.

5. The Top

I’m surprised that The Top is under 3 minutes (actually barely over 2 and a half minutes),  It’s the song that has the most oomph to it and I really like that about this song but it still doesn’t reach levels akin to “HURRICANE VENUS” since it kind of sounds messy too in its arrangement and vocals everywhere.  Sadly, this probably is the best song off the album XD

6. Mayday! Mayday! (Neoege Dahgileul Ganjeolhi Oechida)

I guess we have to slow things down again with Mayday! Mayday!  I was actually expecting a banger from the title, but it seems all we got is another “Hope” but has a little more going on and the song is a bit more dramatic too which is all right but it’s nothing new for her.  It’s nice and I probably would prefer this to the other ballad, but I’m still kind of unimpressed.

7. One Dream (feat. Henry & Key)

Featuring Henry from SuJu-M and Key from SHINee, the trio came together for this collaborative track and for the most part, it was a nice change but I’m surprised THIS was the shortest track (being under 2 minutes and a half).  I kind of like the upbeat and positive lyrics of the song but it’s also a bit cheesy and has this (sway your hands back and forth) kind of groove.  I think the two guys are relegated to being rappers here and BoA doing the singing.  Appropriate closing, but meh.

 

 

After “HURRICANE VENUS” / “Copy & Paste”, I would’ve thought she would’ve kept going on this streak of good releases but it seems Only One is a major disappointment to me.  None of the songs really stuck and they felt like bland songs overall (add in two tracks were under 3 minutes and it’s bad).  I just couldn’t get into the album very much…I hope the repackage album has something to save this mess!

 

ARTERY VEIN – Kagerou

Filed under: ARTERY VEIN — solarblade @ 1:21 am

Track Listing

  1. Kagerou
  2. Getsugen
  3. Kagerou -off vocal-
  4. Getsugen -off vocal-

1. Kagerou

I was surprised coming into the duo’s fourth A-side because Kagerou is anything like the previous A-sides they’ve done.  As an ending theme do a video game, Kagerou does sound rather like a lot of ending theme ballads.  I’m not exactly sure who is leading the song (Eri?) but she sounds amazing in the song while Asami kind of fills the background and harmonizes.  Not a bad A-side but kind of forgetful at the same time.

2. Getsugen

It’s rather funny that I felt that the duo did a much better job with the B-side this time around!  Well, a little bit because it’s still a little meh in places but it has a bit more punch with the percussion and guitarwork of the song,  I’m also enjoying the fact that both gals are getting lines all over the place…I really like it. 

 

 

I wasn’t expecting both Eri and Asami to actually continue being ARTERY VEIN after their album but here we are with the first single, Kagerou.  I think the leading song, is alright but nothing really redeeming about it (though it is a bit lighter than their previous songs).  Getsugen is a lot better and a lot more like the previous works…that should’ve been the main song to be honest.