Kurayami Monogatari

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Piko – Make My Day! August 20, 2012

Filed under: Piko — solarblade @ 8:23 pm

Track Listing

  1. Make My Day!
  2. Gesshoku
  3. Invisible
  4. Make My Day! (PikoLess Version)
  5. Gesshoku (PikoLess Version)
  6. Invisible (PikoLess Version)

1. Make My Day!

I love that cute 8bit opening out of Make My Day!  Actually this is pretty strogn A-side from him since it’s nothing like his previous singles at all.  It’s a lot more energetic and Piko’s vocals ring out in a good way (plus that chorus is increasingly catchy).  It just is a fun rock song to listen to and surpasses a lot of songs from “2PIKO” quite strongly.

2. Gesshoku

The first B-side, Gesshoku is a bit more serious in style and has some cool things going on like a stronger instrumentation and Piko’s vocals sounding even better as well.  It’s like a really cool track and the synths being spun around works too.  I think I like the previous track a bit more but this was actually pretty good overall.

3. Invisible

I like that little ragtime intro for Invisible before it blasts out the door as the single’s most aggressive tune.  Invisible is interesting because it takes Piko out of his comfort zone because he raps and plays in both his deep vocals and high vocals (more of the latter since the chorus is heavily focused on that).  I love the energy of the song, but it’s so bipolar vocally that it’s gonna take a while to get used to.

 

 

Something must’ve happened because this is seriously has best single he’s done since debuting.  Make My Day! is just fun and not bland at all which is surprisingly a good thing.  Gesshoku and Invisible made great B-sides as well being powerful and still having that grear Piko feel…jeeze *RECOMMENDED*

 

Kaori Mochida – manu a manu

Filed under: Kaori Mochida — solarblade @ 8:01 am

Track Listing

  1. manu a manu
  2. Megumi
  3. HAJIMARI
  4. Utsukushii Uruwashiki Hito
  5. Ame wa Tsurezure ni
  6. Yasashiku Naretara
  7. tokyo hotaru
  8. State of mind
  9. Kanashii Toki mo Ureshii Toki mo
  10. to -album version-
  11. Yoake

1. manu a manu

A short introductory piece, manu a manu is Kaori singing under a filter in an unusually hypnotic way.  As for arrangement, it’s just a piano though it’s played like chords.  It’s pretty basic, but I guess it’s nice as a short intro. 

2. Megumi

Moving onto the first full track, Megumi was the primary A-side of the second single released.  I’ve always thought of Megumi as the morning song because of its bright atmosphere and happy-go-lucky sound from Kaori.  She still sounds a little bit lazy but it’s not bad and she puts a bit of effort into keeping things bright.  I like it and brings good things out from her.

3. HAJIMARI

As the first new track, HAJIMARI to me was a little strange because it’s bouncy and kind of like the stuff from “moka”.  You know, the laidback coffee-drinking sound.  Her voice has also seem to gotten into a cute mode which bothers me a little bit, but it’s not overbearing.  Not bad, but nothing exciting either.

4. Utsukushii Uruwashiki Hito

As the 3rd A-side, Utsukushii Uruwashiki Hito is probably my favorite released in the era.  I just like how simple and how much it feels like a lullaby to my ears.  Add in that Kaori’s vocals aren’t as odd like in “HAJIMARI”.  Then again, I was surprised that this was the longest track on the album at 5:40.  Yeah, this was a pretty sweet track ^_^

5. Ame wa Tsurezure ni

Back to new tracks, Ame wa Tsuresure ni to me is coined as the new weird song for Kaori.  I mwan it has glockenspiel and accordion which kind of makes it sound like a depressing circus song.  I guess you can say that it’s surprisingly unique for the album.  Kind of a cynical kind of tone but I’m sure it’s lighthearted with the lyrics…I don’t know…but I like this XD.

6. Yasashisa Naretara

I’m kind of off and on with Kaori’s ballads but Yasashisa Naretara is quite boring to me for being just her and acoustic guitar.  It just sounds a little too basic and needed some background support IMO.  I just don’t find anything remotely interesting about it (sounds like “green” but less instrumentation).

7. tokyo hotaru

Unfortunately, the boredom continues with the B-side from “Utsukushii Uruwashiki Hito”.  Actually the way it starts feels like it’s more of a continuation from “Yasashisa Naretara” but this actually gets the boost of extra instrumentation as time goes on.  That’s really the only big change to be had.  Her voice does sound stronger but she has moments of bad vocals, but I like this a bit more than the last track.

8. State of mind

Another one of these tracks?  I’m already starting to doze off in this album.  At least things pick up shortly after and starts to get better though I’m noticing that Kaori is pretty bad at English because I couldn’t tell what she was saying most of the time.  It’s another “moka”-inspired song but I think I like the other one much better.

9. Kanashii Toki mo Ureshii Toki mo

It’s funny, since I can barely remember this song as it was the secondary A-side off the second single during this era.  However, like “tokyo hotaru”, this song kind of sounds like a night time tune and it works because it contrasted from “Megumi’s” sunny disposition.  I kind of enjoy the song still a lot more than a lot of others on this album.

10. to -album version-

As the first single released last year (though it kind of was pushed back because it was originally supposed to release in March, but the earthquake set it back quite a bit).  I was a bit surprised that this song got a new version but it was needed since I couldn’t remember A THING about it.  It’s a bit more minimalistic with less strings involved but being replaced by whistling XD.  I do feel as if it’s a bit more campfire friendly but it’s a lot better (and more memorable) than its original counterpart.

11. Yoake

Closing the album out, Yoake has a nice ending feel to it since it’s slow and the arrangement is simple but different.  It’s a relaxing track which has a kind of old time feel to it which sounds good.  Kaori also sings nicely and it closes the album on a nice note.

Tracks Recommended

  • Utsukushii Uruwashiki Hito
  • Ame wa Tsurezure ni
  • Megumi
  • to -album version-
  • Kanashii Toki mo Ureshii Toki mo

Song of Avoidance

  • Yasashisa Naretara

I might actually consider this to be her best album yet.  While I do think that this album did start to get boring in the middle, everything else was a lot more memorable and stronger of a release than both “moka” and “NIU”.  Maybe it’s a turning point for her?  Keep things more interesting and leave out the boring songs XD

 

SID – M&W

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 5:35 am

Track Listing

  1. Konagona
  2. Ghost Apartment
  3. Fuyu no Bench
  4. Ito
  5. Cafe de Bossa
  6. S
  7. MOM
  8. Itsuka
  9. Dress Code
  10. gossip!!
  11. Nokoriga

1. Konagona

SID opens up M&W with Konagona and wasn’t surprised that was a pretty straightforward rock track from the band.  I will say that I liked the verses and the chorus broadened things out in a good way too.  Mao’s vocals are quite nice and doesn’t seem to bore me so I felt overall, this was a pretty good first track.

2. Ghost Apartment

I really think that the album begins with Ghost Apartment because this stood out to me in a lot of ways!  I mean, I love the big band feel of the track and fits the title nicely.  I think the thing that stood out for me the most was the fact that the band just rolled with what they got and it turned out to be a winner for me…Great song here!

3. Fuyu no Bench

Moving onto the second A-side released for the album and the album’s wintry tune.  It does seem a little weird that they placed it after the exciting “Ghost Apartment” but whatever it’s still early in the album.  Fuyu no Bench has slowly grown on me over time but I still am a bit bored with the song because of its closeness to the other A-sides (sans “S”).  Mao sounds also much tamer than the previous track which is nice too.  Good rock ballad for them though.

4. Ito

Back to the new tracks, Ito is also considered a rock ballad as it’s much lighter than “Fuyu no Bench” is.  I really didn’t know what to say because I was kind of tired of listening to the slower tracks from SID and here’s another one for the album.  I do kind of think it is better than most of the other tracks on the album since it’s not boring and it does get cooler once the guitar solos kick in. 

5. Cafe de Bossa

If you wanted something to lighten things up, Cafe de Bossa comes in as a strange light-hearted tune that has that Starbucks laidback atmosphere mixed with the band’s sound.  It’s a strange mix like I said and it’s refreshing but I don’t feel like I remember this song compared to the others.  At least it doesn’t make a next track feels as random have it been after “Ito”.

6. S

About our next tune, S is their hardest track they’ve had in a long while and I’m happy it’s on the album, but it still doesn’t seem to fit very well simply because of it’s hard rock sound.  The thing about it that struck me the most is how that it harkens back to their older days which to be honest a lot more stronger than what they have been doing (even though I did like “dead stock”).  S just shows that that flame in SID hasn’t died out yet!

7. MOM

Kind of strange to see MOM come after “S”, but this song is quite funky and represents the good side to SID’s experimentations.  I was surprised to hear how much saxophone was actually present in the song and the funky guitar riffs to be added as well.  A rather good surprise for the album, not better than the previous track but MOM is probably one of the better album tracks ^_^

8. Itsuka

The oldest of the A-sides, Itsuka escaped my mind because I didn’t think it was really memorable for me.  Hearing it now, it’s like a mix of “Fuyu no Bench” and “Nokoriga” by being slow most of the time but having a quicker chorus.  Actually to be honest, it reminds me more of “Konogona”.  Itsuka isn’t a totally bad song because I do like how it flows and Mao sounds great and all, but I feel other songs surpass it. 

9. Dress Code

The shortest song at 3 minutes, Dress Code takes after “Ghost Apartment” but has less excitement going on but still kind of has a mysterious but classy glow about it that I enjoy.  The chorus is stronger and I love the piano fiddling around the arrangement.  The only thing I kind of was frowning about is the slower middle section that kind of had an awkward transition…otherwise this is good enough to be passable.

10. gossip!!

The final new song, gossip!! is pretty much a fun song to listen to actually.  I’m loving the California-esque feel of the song and Mao sounds a bit more interested in singing the song, scratch that…the entire band sounds like they’re having a blast with it.  I liked this track for it’s basically cool style.

11. Nokoriga

Appropriately enough, SID decided to make Nokoriga (the 3rd A-side) close the album out.  I find it better on the album as compared to being the single after “Fuyu no Bench”.  The main problem I had was that it sounded like the A-sides previous and really didn’t have identity on its own merit.  I still do feel the same way but as it’s the album’s conclusion…I find it oddly better.  I still do consider the 2nd A-side better but Nokoriga is slowly growing.

Tracks Recommended

  • S
  • MOM
  • Ito
  • Ghost Apartment
  • gossip!!

Song of Avoidance

  • Cafe de Bossa

I was kind of worried with M&W compared to “dead stock” this time around simply because the A-sides weren’t all that great except “S”.  The album is good for what it is, but it’s just not as good as their last album.  It just feels as it SID took it maybe a but too easy this time around and I kind of wanted more out of it.