Kurayami Monogatari

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AKB48 – 1830m August 30, 2012

Filed under: AKB48 — solarblade @ 4:40 am

Track Listing

  1. First Rabbit
  2. Ougon Center
  3. Miniskirt no Yousei
  4. Uekara Mariko
  5. Anti
  6. Lemon no Toshigoro
  7. Ren’ai Sousenkyo
  8. Yasai Uranai
  9. Everyday, Katyusha
  10. Hashire! Penguin
  11. Romance Kakuranbo
  12. Tsubomi-tachi
  13. Jung ya Freud no Baai
  14. Flying Get
  15. Kaze wa Fuiteiru
  16. Sakura no Ki ni Narou
  17. GIVE ME FIVE!

CD 2

  1. Hate
  2. Plastic no Kuchibiru
  3. Omoide no Hotondo
  4. Iede no Yoru
  5. Scandalous ni Ikou
  6. No-Can
  7. Avocado Jane~shi…
  8. Chokkaku Sunshine
  9. Bokutachi wa Ima Hanashiau Beki Nan da
  10. Sakuranbo to Kodoku
  11. Daiji na Jikan
  12. Itsuka Mita Umi no Soko
  13. Guu Guu Onaka
  14. Yasashisa no Chizu
  15. Itterasshai
  16. Aozora yo Sabishikunai ka?
  17. Sakura no Hanabira ~Maeda Atsuko solo ver.~

1. First Rabbit

Opening this rather large album, First Rabbit starts off innocently enough with orgel before opening into the main arrangement which is your typical Aki-P fare.  Looking at the girls involved, I was surprised it was most of the huge and popular girls singing along.  However, the song doesn’t really ping in my head and it kind of passes by.  Though I think it has room to grow on me.

2. Ougon Center

I’m surprised that the group has 5 B-sides on the album, but interestingly enough, the ones that were chose were exclusives on their Theater editions of the singles released.  From the first single of the era, “Sakura no Ki ni Narou”, Ougon Center is sung by the Kenkyuusei (their trainees) and back then I felt it was a weak track.  Now here we are on the album, I feel like the vocals are still pretty underwhelming but the disco vibes stand out in a good way and it does sound better than “First Rabbit”.  This has definitely grown on me!

3. Miniskirt no Yousei

So three members, who I’m not too familiar with any of them get a song with Miniskirt no Yousei and I’m kind of frowning with it’s anime-esque sound and to be honest, they don’t sound all that great either.  I just don’t find this song at all appealing and the choice to give these three such a dastardly song is baffling.

4. Uekara Mariko

Oh yeah the song just made for Mariko and centers around her winning the Janken Tournament, Uekara Mariko has suddenly become my least favorite of the A-side they’ve released for the album.  It sounds like one of their typical released B-sides which isn’t a good start, but what’s even worse is that the song just doesn’t even feel remotely memorable at that besides the chorus.  It’s still just a bland song though.

5. Anti

The Kenkyuusei team comes back again with Anti (which was the B-side from “Everyday, Katyusha”).  The song kind of feels like a mix of the previous two tracks which is a tad bland for me and the ladies are a bit unemotional in the singing unlike in “Ougon Center” so this is pretty much a dud for the most part.

6. Lemon no Toshigoro

4 more girls that I have no idea who they are get a song on the album and this is that song lol.  I like that things calm down a bit with this song which kind of feels like an enka tune but slathered in idol pop.  I think these four ladies sound a lot better together as a quartet than the three who did “Miniskirt no Yousei”.  The melody seems a little familiar for me but it might just be me.  It’s quite pretty and I feel like it’s one of the better songs on the album.

7. Ren’ai Sousenkyo

YM7 is a new group for me and their song Ren’ai Sousenkyo picks up the energy after the previous ballad.  Some of the members of the group I recognize like Aki, Sasshi, and Sumire so this is kind of bringing some good vibes.  However, the song doesn’t stand out to me at all and kind of reminds me of “Uekara Mariko” but without a memorable chorus. 

8. Yasai Uranai

I am happy they pulled this song from “Flying Get” to be included because it was one of the two B-sides that I actively enjoy.  With a lot of familiar faces involved I was curious to how this song was going to be handled.  I loved the latin flair of the track and it sounds like it was more of a party track because it’s upbeat and bright and captures my attention well.  One of the better songs off the first disc.

9. Everyday, Katyusha

I felt “Yasai Uranai” worked as well since the next track is the group’s summer A-side.  I was surprised when they used Russian stylings because it felt so unlike AKB to pull off a song like that when the theme is summer.  It’s not one of my favorite leading songs from this album because while it is themed, I just can’t seem to process its memorability.

10. Hashire! Penguin

If anything is considered my least favorite B-side, it’s probably this one from “Uekara Mariko”.  I’m pretty sure it’s because that it sounds like SO many of their other songs that it just became white noise to me.  I think perhaps the only reason it stands out is because it’s a wintry song and a joyous one at that.  Beyond that, the song just doesn’t work and I honestly would’ve preferred the other B-sides from the single.

11. Romance Kakuranbo

The final new song on the first disc, Romance Kakuranbo is actually the only solo song on the first disc…but the thing is, a Kenkyuusei member gets the solo so many red flags are popping up at the moment😄.  Miyuu doesn’t sound bad actually and kind of fits the ballad quite nicely.  I’m just surprised a trainee ended up with a ballad (actually I’m surprised that the first disc had a lot from them to be honest. 

12. Tsubomi-tachi

Sung by Team 4 (who are now disbanded), Tsubomi-tachi from “Kaze wa Fuiteiru” isn’t a bad song persay but it’s a little random where it is on the album.  I feel like it should’ve been much earlier on the album because of its bright and happy nature.  Not much to say otherwise, sadly since the song isn’t bad, just forgettable.

13. Jung ya Freud no Baai

Of the songs from the Theater Editions, I was most impressed with this B-side from the last single represented on the album, “GIVE ME FIVE!”.  Jung ya Freud no Baai is a little strange for a title, but the song is just so pretty to listen to and is one of the couple ballads I actually really enjoy from the group.  It’s light and full of heart as well.  It’s just a very pretty ballad and one of my favorites on the disc.

14. Flying Get

The rest of the disc is us purely A-sides which is all right for me because these four were quite good after getting used to them.  Flying Get is probably one of the songs I dismissed too soon, but Flying Get is just catchy and ridiculous for all the good reasons.  I know I bagged the vocals and they still are a little messy in places but this song is so catchy and the whole ~flyin ghetto~ is still kind of lulzy😄

15. Kaze wa Fuiteiru

I remember being a little disappointed with Kaze wa Fuiteiru because it wasn’t like “RIVER” and “Beginner” because they were released around the same time of different years.  After that initial disappointment, Kaze wa Fuiteiru became one of my favorite AKB songs of all time because it’s so depressing and cold but still true to their sound.  I feel like this was awesome and just fitting for when it came out,

16. Sakura ni Ki ni Narou

As the oldest single on the album, Sakura no Ki ni Narou was their Sakura-themed single and sadly I didn’t remember it since it’s been so long since I’ve too a listen to the track.  It doesn’t hold a candle to “Sakura no Shiori” still but they tried to make a good ballad out of it and I like how it starts with one girl and just continues to add more up to the chorus which all of them single in a relaxed tone.  It’s pretty, almost like “Jung ya Freud no Baai” but otherwise not their strongest ballad.

17. GIVE ME FIVE!

I guess it was appropriate enough to close the first disc with the most recent A-side right after the oldest.  I’m still kind of just unsure how to feel about GIVE ME FIVE!  In one way, the song is catchy and the brass is fun to listen to, but at the same time, it still feels kind of underwhelming as an A-side since it sounds like a SKE48 track.  It just was a meh track and not so good as the closing song either.

CD2

1. Hate

Luckily the second disc if entirely full of new songs but they’re all with different members and settings which is pretty good (maybe not for some).  Team A kicks things off with Hate which is something I was looking forward to because they always  have good songs.  It’s a mid-tempo track and the synths appear and the songs sounds cool and unique.  For such happy sounding song the lyrics are a bit opposite to it lol.  Catchy song overall!

2. Plastic no Kuchibiru

Next up, we get a solo track from Mariko with Plastic no Kuchibiru.  I’m surprised they gave her a solo track more or less one that’s like this because I’m kind of loving the synth-pop feel out of this.  It felt like there was more than just her singing the song but it’s really cool.  It kind of reminds me of Morning Musume’s “Suki da na Kimi ga” since both are heavily electronic tunes. 

3. Omoide no Hotondo

We also have a couple of duet songs on the 2nd disc, starting with Acchan’s and Takamina’s tune Omoide no Hotondo.  I wasn’t surprised that they were given a ballad however since this is Acchan’s last album she’s contributing to.  I love both ladies in the song as they compliment each others vocals smoothly.  However, the song itself is a bit bareboned and lacks interest…unlike “Jung ya Freud no Baai”. Oh yeah, it’s also almost 7 minutes long…x.x

4. Iede no Yoru

I always seem to mildly enjou Team K’s songs and Iede no Yoru is next.  Their song does have synths and guitars going and sounds like a good track to dance to, but it sounds a little cheesy and kind of uneventful unlike some of their previous tunes together.  Vocally, they are probably the strongest of the Teams IMO.  Not their best song, but it’s not crappy.

5. Scandalous ni Ikou

So Kojiharu and Yuuko get a duet with Scandalous ni Ikou which is kind of cool because they get something that’s a bit more rockin’ but at the same time reminds me too much of “GIVE ME FIVE!”.  I like both vocalists as well…they sound so good together! and the SCANDAL-like atmosphere is cool.  Though the synth horns and disc scratching is just bad choices to be honest…

6. No-Can

On the flipside, Team B has always been a little iffy on me because their songs cater to the cuter side to AKB and I’m not too fond of their songs at all.  No-Can does seem to shine a light for the Team because the synth lines are kind of infectious and there’s a little bit of randomness with the girls doing the genki outbursts and all that.  It kind of reminds me of some 80’s cartoon (like upbeat TMNT drowning in cute goo).

7. Avocado Jane~shi…

So here we are with Mayuyu and Sasshi doubling together for this odd titled song.  Of course since we’re dealing with Mayuyu, I wasn’t surprised that the song was going to be sugar-filled.  With the recent drama with Sasshi, I’m happy she did manage to get this song still on the album.  Now it’s not a bad song but it’s not my kind of song but Mayuyu and Sasshi sound good together as well…Hmmm these pairings so far have been good!

8. Chokkaku Sunshine

This could be considered Team 4’s final song before their dissolution.  Chokkaku Sunshine is bright and synthy which is nice and the acoustic guitar as the melodic force is a nice touch.  Vocally, it’s kind of all over the place and there’s some girls who struggle in the song, but meh not my favorite.

9. Bokutachi wa Ima Hanashiau Beki Nan da

Tomochin and Yukirin gets a song too?  Lord…Now I actually don’t like Tomomi’s vocals because they’re extremely pitchy and thin while Yukirin’s vocals are one of my favorites.  So hearing the two is like polar opposites coming together.  Minus the lackluster arrangement, the girls kind of come together in a nice way but Tomomi’s vocals still rub me the wrong way >.<  Actually this song is just unimpressive the longer I listen to it…

10. Sakuranbo to Kodoku

Another Kenkyuusei song?  Good lord are they getting lucky on this album!  I kind of liked the marching drums intro for the song since it kind of reminds me a little of “RIVER” but once they disappear, so does my interest.  A little too cheap and plain for my interest.  I feel like if they had continued with the setting like the intro, it would’ve been a MUCH BETTER song.

11. Daiji na Jikan

The rest of the album (sans the final two) are kind of just random shufflings with various members.  Daiji na Jikan features 8  members that I recognize and that’s all of them.  Another one of those sappy ballads (which I could assume deals with Acchan’s upcoming graduation and all that).  The song is just too blah for me and goes nowhere…I usually don’t like these 8 singing together…someone doesn’t sound right…Tomochin and Mayuyu prolly are probably the ones that ruin the melodic properties tbh.

12. Itsuka Mita Umi no Soko

Up and Coming Girls?  Looking at the girls singing this song, I’m dreading seeing Mayuyu involved because she’s already made a name for herself damnit!  Though I see a bunch of girls I don’t know and Jurina which is interesting since she’s been getting a lot of attention.  I’ve been kind of wanting an upbeat song that I could remember and this is working.  I will say the song does sound like something typical of SKE48 but this sounds a bit more intriguing…not sure what to say in conclusion for the song.

13. Guu Guu Onaka

I’m not sure how to feel about Guu Guu Onaka x.x  I mean this song sounds like it’s sung by 12 year olds which is a twist to the album since everything else is seriously or just having fun…not cute children randomness.  Then again I didn’t think Wasamin, Acchan, and Sumire were capable of this >.>

14. Yasashisa no Chizu

I kind of was surprised about Yasashisa no Chizu since I kind of heard so duo lines amongst the many members involved here.  I love the guitar solos that are found all over the song which is probably the first time guitar solos are actually strong and the line distribution was interesting! 

15. Itterasshai

So now the big 12 get a song and sadly it’s another blah ballad!  It’s about as lifeless as “Daiji na Jikan” if not worse since they’re so similar to one another.  I just kind of zoned this song out because of those reason and don’t feel anything striking about it.

16. Aozora yo Sabashikunai ka?

So I’ve said that I don’t like the other __48 groups being involved but this is kind of the penultimate song with AKB, SKE, HKT, and NMB all singing together for this song…which is a BIG ASS collection of girls.  As another ballad *sigh*, Aozora yo Sabashikunai ka? is kind of like “Koko ni Ita Koto” as in like it’s supposed to be grand and have a feeling of togetherness.  It’s alright, but nothing spectacular here.

17. Sakura no Hanabira ~Maeda Atsuko solo ver.~

Fitting that Acchan gets to close the album with a solo version of Sakura no Hanabira-tachi (which was AKB’s debut single).  I’m not too big of a fan of Acchan’s vocals but she gave the song a nice take and she actually sounds good in the beginning.  It’s not a terrible rendition, but I liked the original quite a bit more.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kaze wa Fuiteiru
  • Flying Get
  • Jung ya Freud no Baai
  • Lemon no Toshigoro
  • Yasai Uranai
     
  • Plastic no Kuchiburu
  • No-Can
  • Yasashisa no Chizu
  • Hate
  • Avocado Jane~shi…

Song of Avoidance

  • Miniskirt no Yousei
     
  • Daiji na Jikan

Yeesh was this a long review to do…AKB’s second studio album does seem to slightly improve the blandness from “Koko ni Ita Koto”, but at the same time…was it REALLY necessary two have 34 songs?  I mean the first disc was the A-sides, B-sides and a couple new tracks that were slightly known to the public for a some time, while the 2nd disc was new stuff!  1830m is a bit much for me and might be for the AKB wotas to sit through it all….but this was slightly better than their first.

 

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