Kurayami Monogatari

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Kanon Wakeshima – Foul Play ni Kurari/Sakura Meikyuu November 8, 2012

Filed under: Kanon Wakeshima — solarblade @ 10:17 pm

Track Listing

  1. Foul Play ni Kurari
  2. Sakura Meikyuu
  3. Foul Play ni Kurari -instrumental-
  4. Sakura Meikyuu -instrumental-

1. Foul Play ni Kurari

It’s been so long since Kanon did anything, and with Foul Play ni Kurari it sounds she kind of stuck to the cuter side of things which is a bit strange since I’m so used to her dark songs.  Then again she’s on Warner so I guess it makes sense since her producer isn’t the same.  Foul Play ni Kurari has some great moments like the waltz-y parts but everything else is kind of cute anison-ish stuff.  Kanon’s vocals are a bit squeaky but I can handle it.

2. Sakura Meikyuu

At least with the other A-side, Sakura Meikyuu kind of goes back to the darker side (not as creepy as her first two singles) but this is quite nice and almost reminds me of a mix of her solo SONY days and her short stint with AN CAFE’s kanon.  I enjoyed it quite a bit and still entranced by Kanon’s cello skills.  It’s definitely the better track of the single…but it’s not creepy as I would like it to be personally.

 

 

WOW it has been a long time since Kanon released a single by herself (last single was 2008’s “Suna no Oshiro”) and since then she’s switched labels (seems like EVERYONE is leaving SONY) and joined Warner Japan and released her first single Foul Play ni Kurari/Sakura Meikyuu.  To be honest, it kind of sounds like it is something after “Shoujo Jikake no Libretto” but both songs lack the creepyness that I’ve grown accustomed to.  Foul Play is a bit too cute for me and her vocals aren’t that great here while Sakura Meikyuu sounds like a good kanon×kanon song but not as heavy on the guitars.  Overall not a terrible single, but of the 3, this is the worst one she’s released.

 

GRANRODEO – DARK SHAME

Filed under: GRANRODEO — solarblade @ 9:30 pm

Track Listing

  1. DARK SHAME
  2. Brand New DAY
  3. DARK SHAME (OFF VOCAL)
  4. Brand New DAY (OFF VOCAL)

1. DARK SHAME

Something about DARK SHAME reminds me of T.M.Revolution for some reason, maybe it’s from that synth arrangement but it’s pretty cool since KISHOW gives such an awesome performance and his voice suited the atmosphere quite well.  It’s not as badass as some of the songs from “CRACK STAR FLASH” but this is a good follow-up and one of their more memorable A-sides.

2. Brand New DAY

Only one B-side this time?!?  That’s new to me… Brand New DAY is kind of the total opposide to “DARK SHAME’s” synth by being more focused on e-ZUKA’s guitarwork.  This song is pretty run-of-the-mill for GRANRODEO, but it’s a little brighter and happier which might not work very well for them, but I don’t think it’s a terrible track, just slightly normal stuff.

 

 

It hasn’t even been a full month since “CRACK STAR FLASH” was released and GRANRODEO is already beginning a new era.  DARK SHAME is pretty unique for the duo since they relied on synths for the most part, but it turned out well…even if it sounds like something T.M.Revolution would release.  Brand New DAY is kind of cheesy, but it’s OK…nothing amazing though.  Not bad of a single but they have better.

 

Eri Kitamura – Destiny

Filed under: Eri Kitamura — solarblade @ 11:02 am

Track Listing

  1. Destiny
  2. SHINE
  3. Destiny -off vocal ver.-
  4. SHINE -off vocal ver.-

1. Destiny

Even though I listened to her first album, Destiny marks as my first A-side reviewed!  As I’m already used to her through ARTERY VEIN, Destiny does come off as familar to me since it’s got a heavy anison feel with guitars, piano, and strings which is always a good mix if treated the right way.  Eri sounds great though and she powers through quite easily!  This is pretty awesome for the most part but I like “re;story” much better.

2. SHINE

SHINE at first sounded like it was going to be the ballad because it was slower and simple but then furious guitar riffs and a heavier instrumentation is added in and I’M LOVING this a lot!!  Eri’s vocals are so good and the chorus slows down giving it an epic touch.  It’s a really powerful song (much louder than “Destiny” shockingly enough). 

 

 

Eri begins her second era with a pretty awesome single in Destiny.  I was hoping that Eri would do more darker stuff like some of the songs from “RE;STORY” and it’s great that she did and both the leading track and SHINE are great examples of that.  If you want a good place to start, I’d say this is a worthy place *RECOMMENDED*

 

Asriel – XANADU

Filed under: Asriel — solarblade @ 10:14 am

Track Listing

  1. Nights of Blood
  2. CRIMSON
  3. Sabaku no Kouro
  4. BIRTH
  5. COCYTUS
  6. Yume no Kyoukai
  7. Sono Negai ga Tsumi Naraba
  8. ILLUMINATE
  9. Botan
  10. Marionette no Koi Moyou
  11. Shirayuki Matoi
  12. XANADU

1. Nights of Blood

The album begins nicely with a light and slow tune with Nights of Blood (with such a title though, you’d expect something 10x more heavier).  I have to say that the intro though was a tease because right when the piano intro ends, Kurose revs up the guitars and the song shifts into this speedy rock song.  KOKOMI joins in and the song sounds like something we’ve all heard before from Asriel which is more or less a good thing.  It’s not bad, but a little typical.

2. CRIMSON

Unlike “Nights of Blood” the song immediately begins on a high note and is one of their more chaotic songs in their discography and most of the time, this is where Kurose shines in arrangements.  It’s heavy and it actually fits KOKOMI’s vocals since she doesn’t sound as thin and shaky which is definitely a good sign for me.  This is pretty damn good!!!

3. Sabaku no Kouro

Things go into weird mode with Sabaku no Kouro which kind of sounds Indian in a certain light mixed with Kurose’s normal Gothic arrangement.  I would have to say the background is a bit loud and kind droning but the guitars/strings and KOKOMI try to deal with that by being louder.  Sadly, her vocal performance is really weak and she sings mostly in a higher tone which bothers me a lot here.  Yeah not good.

4. BIRTH

Fortunately, the album moves away from the ickyness of “Sabaku no Kouro” into BIRTH which is just straight up rock with not a lot of strings (though they are more of the background stuff).  It’s like they took the annoying things from the previous track and left off something good here.  KOKOMI sounds slightly better here luckily so it’s exactly wished the previous track was.

5. COCYTUS

Asriel keeps tricking me on this album with these intros because they start off slow and quietly and then does a 180 and turns the energy by 100%.  It’s actually one of the more cooler tracks since it has a certain quality that makes it stand out (maybe because it’s not all fast and shit XD).  It’s actually another one of my favorites on the album!!!

6. Yume no Kyoudai

Then the next track comes up and tones things down a little more but it’s more of a mid-tempo track but still has moments of intense rock which is more or less starting rub off on me in a negative way.  KOKOMI’s voice is back to its terribly shaky status and kind of ruins the song for me for the most part. 

7. Sono Negai ga Tsumi Naraba

Such a dark and foreboding intro with this one!  I actually love that for some reason, but then the guitars come in and the whole feeling just disintegrates.  I mean it still continues on well-after, but would it have killed Kurose to leave the guitars for this one.  I feel like this would’ve been an amazing ballad.  Since it isn’t the song is still good, just not the style I would’ve personally put it in.

8. ILLUMINATE

I wonder if ILLUMINATE is supposed to be the epic track because it’s loud and in your face.  Sadly, the song just doesn’t do much for me since it’s melodically kind of stale and once again sounds like tons of songs Asriel has done before.  Plus KOKOMI seemed to kind of struggle in the song because her voice cracks so much in the song…terrible song!

9. Botan

As the album’s longest track (a little over 7 minutes), Botan is kind of lighter and doesn’t seem to run the same angsty tone like most of the other tracks on here which is slightly a good thing for the album.  After “ILLUMINATE” it’s really nice to hear KOKOMI actually sound good and hitting high notes without making me cringe.  There’s even a really cool flute solo in the middle.  A bit long, but it’s quite worth it!

10. Marionette no Koi Moyou

I guess the flutes made another appearance opening our next track.  Once Kurose inserts guitars, the song is another mid-tempo anison-esque track which is nothing that raises my spirits any.  It’s mostly a forgetful track for the most part and I’m bored with it.

11. Shirayuki Matoi

The same can be applied with Shirayuki Matoi which also has a beautiful intro but leads into mundane and unoriginality.  The song actually sounds a LOT like “Marionette no Koi Moyou” but the melody actually stands out a smidge more.  Beyond that, the song doesn’t do much otherwise for me.

12. XANADU

The final track, XANADU is kind of disappointing for a closing song because once again it kind of just sounds like most of the previous tracks (and moreso stuff from their last album, “Oratorium”).  I don’t know but at this point this is just white noise to me and this didn’t exactly close the album well x.x

Tracks Recommended

  • COCYTUS
  • CRIMSON
  • Botan

Song of Avoidance

  • ILLUMINATE

Well it seems like XANADU takes Asriel back down again.  I mean this was even more bland than their last album, “Oratorium”!  I’m shocked though that there’s no ballad in sight here and most of the songs could be strung together and it would feel like one LONG song.  It just really was boring and Asriel has seen MUCH better days.

 

MISIA – DEEPNESS

Filed under: MISIA — solarblade @ 2:38 am

Track Listing

  1. DEEPNESS
  2. Koi Gram
  3. DEEPNESS (GOMI’S LAIR REMIX)
  4. HEAL THE WORLD (GOMI’S UNITY OF LOVE REMIX)

1. DEEPNESS

When I first heard DEEPNESS, I thought it was a pretty cool and dark ballad from MISIA and with her ballads, she always manages to impress me in some way with her soaring vocals.  For a ballad, this beats out “Koi wa Owaranai Zutto” by a long shot, but still is kind of underneath “Kioku” but I’m still quite happy with this A-side…it’s a really strong ballad ^_^

2. Koi Gram

The B-side isn’t as powerful of a song like “DEEPNESS” was but this is more of a song with beats and your normal R&B slow song stuff.  It does kind of remind me of something that could’ve easily been on “SOUL QUEST” but otherwise this song didn’t do much for me.  At least her voice is consistent enough ^_^

3. DEEPNESS (GOMI’S LAIR REMIX)

Getting into the remixes, DEEPNESS gets one and GOMI returns to remix as well.  I feel like I’m loving the remixes GOMI does since he tries to make the vocal melody work with the arrangement.  Turning the song from a ballad into more of a danceable track is quite awesome and I really found myself liking this more than the original version.

4. HEAL THE WORLD (GOMI’S UNITY OF LOVE REMIX)

Like with her last single, HEAL THE WORLD gets a remix but the original is from her cover album and that said it’s also a Michael Jackson cover at that.  In this remix, HEAL THE WORLD has a little bit of a reggae feel and less dance.  It’s a nice remix, but I don’t think reggae should be mixed with such a classic like this.

 

 

With another single coming out very soon, we get DEEPNESS first and this single is good if not slighlty better than her last single.  DEEPNESS is a much stronger ballad than “Koi wa Owaranai Zutto” ever was and that stood out to me.  Koi Gram is OK, nothing totally special.  As for the remixes, DEEPNESS is the better one while HEAL THE WORLD is good but strange.  I can only hope her next single does wonders.