Kurayami Monogatari

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Minako Kotobuki – My stride September 21, 2012

Filed under: Minako Kotobuki — solarblade @ 10:28 pm

Track Listing

  1. STRIDE
  2. Lilac
  3. Kokoro Sky
  4. Brand New World
  5. Dear my…
  6. Ivory
  7. Shiny+
  8. Colorful Diary
  9. echo hearts
  10. brilliant focus
  11. Tsuki no Hikari
  12. Startline

1. STRIDE

Opening the album, STRIDE was chosen as the song to promote the album and compared to the previous singles, STRIDE is a bit more energetic which is a nice way to kick things off.  I enjoyed Minako’s voice in the song and she has a bright tone to her voice that makes the song come to life.  It does remind me of the songs she does while in sphere, but I think this is a pretty good opening track.

2. Lilac

I’m pretty happy that Minako chose only 2 B-sides to accompany the album, the first is from her debut single, “Shiny+”.  I’m also very happy that she chose good ones to represent the album since I thought Lilac was personally much better than it’s A-side.  I like the relaxed nature of the song and Minako’s vocals sound a lot more comfortable as well.  I still ended up liking it.

3. Kokoro Sky

It’s kind of funny that we toned things down back on “Lilac” and then we get Minako’s 4th A-side and it sounds pretty similar too “STRIDE” which the pop/rock arrangement which also sounds like an opening theme.  Sadly back then, I didn’t find this intriguing and today it still doesn’t leave much of an impression on me like what the opening track did.

4. Brand New World

I was kind of curious to what Minako had in store with her album tracks and the second, Brand New World somehow easily impressed me since she traded the pop/rock style for something more peppy and danceable.  I like the synths and sparkly stuff for some reason…even though I get a Hannah Montana feel through it.  At least Minako’s vocals are at their strongest here so far.  It’s cute and not at all offensive ^_^

5. Dear my…

Lord this song has to come up.  It’s the slowest song so far and still remains the longest song Minako has done yet.  Taking the pop/rock arrangements and slowing it down and stretching it at 6 minutes is just a little too much for me.  The song isn’t really even that remarkable to begin with.  Too long and too boring basically…and this was her 3rd A-side? Yeesh…

6. Ivory

Makes sense that Ivory would basically be “Dear my…” but shorter and a little more lively of a song which does make it better than the previous track.  However, that’s only a small upgrade because the song doesn’t do much for me otherwise and just sails by with no impression.

7. Shiny+

Moving onto Minako’s debut, Shiny+ is like the other pop/rock songs on the album which at this point is making me just a little disappointed.  Then again, Minako started with this song so I can’t put too much blame here.  I like the little Western sounds in the song and Minako doesn’t sound totally bad (but not as good as she sounds today oddly enough).  It’s a fair song overall at least.

8. Colorful Diary

At least something that’s really good ended up on the album.  As the other B-side (this one from “Dear my…”).  I kind of find it ironic and humorous that the intro is a lot like the intro for “STRIDE” where it’s just Minako and guitar.  As it was one of my favorite B-sides of 2011, I’m so happy that Minako chose this to be on the album because it’s still as strong and fun to listen to just as it was last year.  One of the album’s best tracks!

9. echo hearts

At least the next three tracks are brand new and we get a break from the old stuff.  echo hearts comes first and like “Brand New World”, it has a bit more synths involved which is something I was hoping more for from Minako.  I liked the song up to the chorus because the chorus just felt uninspired and forgetful to me. 

10. brilliant focus

So we have synth horns to kind of back up on the acoustic guitar arrangement for brilliant focus?  I kind of enjoyed the song even if it’s a lot like the other tracks on the album.  I think maybe it’s the flow or Minako’s lovely vocals that made me enjoy it a lot more than the others but this was pretty good!

11. Tsuki no Hikari

I kind of figured that the last of the new songs would be a ballad.  At least this one isn’t as redundant and bland like “Dear my…”.  Actually I think this track showcased Minako’s vocals the best since the arrangement isn’t loud or wanting to take over.  Just a simple piano and string assemble.  I was quite pleasantly surprised with this track.

12. Startline

Strange that “Tsuki no Hikari” didn’t close things out since it’s a MUCH better choice than Minako’s 2nd A-side, Startline.  I mean I used to really enjoy the song a lot but on the album it just kind of sounds forgetful and bland against the tracks and it’s hard to remember the melody as well. 

Tracks Recommended

  • Colorful Diary
  • Brand New World
  • STRIDE
  • Tsuki no Hikari
  • Lilac

Song of Avoidance

  • Dear my…

For a debut album, I was kind of disappointed with Minako.  I mean I knew her singles have been around the same style and such, but I didn’t think the album would also carry that torch which made most of the songs quite forgettable and even made the singles look bad too.  Seriously the five I chose are the ones that you should really listen to because the rest are clones basically…Meh release!

 

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