Kurayami Monogatari

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Sayuri Sugawara – Open The Gate November 19, 2012

Filed under: Sayuri Sugawara — solarblade @ 9:32 pm

Track Listing

  1. Star Drop
  2. Tada
  3. Itsu no Hi mo
  4. Habataku Kimi e
  5. ROCKSTAR
  6. Beyond The Sky
  7. LETTER
  8. Koi no Mahou
  9. Love Again
  10. Forever…
  11. Kanade
  12. Basket Court
  13. SONOMAMA
  14. Sunao ni Narenakute (Piano Ver.) (bonus track)

1. Star Drop

I love that Sayuri opened the album with Star Drop which was the album’s promo song and this track is so good.  It does have a certain style about it that seemed to work with it quite a lot.  Some of the arrangement (especially the bridge) reminds me of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” but then again it’s only really a short part.  The song is cool and I love the beat of it all.  It’s definitely a great way to open the album up!

2. Tada

Tada pushes Sayuri in the vocal department a lot more and I’m finding myself enjoying it and the fact that it’s a lot more upbeat also seems to work in its favor.  It sounds like it’d be something from “Forever…” but that’s a pretty good thing since I’m enjoying this song, not as much as I did with “Star Drop” but very passable!

3. Itsu no Hi mo

Third track in and we get our first ballad with Itsu no Hi mo.  There’s something so very ayaka-ish about this song which is a great thing becuse I’m really impressed by Sayuri’s performance alongside this somewhat haunting ballad.  Another great track! ^_^

4. Habataku Kimi e

As the second A-side released for the era, Habataku Kimi e is still a prety good song overall and fits on the album quite seamlessly!  After “Itsu no Hi mo”, this coming after is quite a smart choice since it still is a ballad, just with beats.  I have to say I love that she chose this over “Ashita ni Naru Mae ni” tbqh.

5. ROCKSTAR

Which also brings up the question of why “Ashita ni Naru Mae ni” was missing on the album when both B-sides from said single made the cut.  I wonder it myself…but hey we have to talk about ROCKSTAR which is probably my favorite B-side of hers.  I love when Sayuri steps out of her comfort zone and gives us something completely not her style and ROCKSTAR feels like a sequal from one of her older songs, “Fly”.  It’s a fun song and I’m sure it’ll be a favorite live!

6. Beyond The Sky

After that little burst of energy, we come back down to earth with Beyond The Sky which to me is a little mundane to me since the previous five tracks have managed to rather pop out while this song just kind of feels like it’s more of a filler track.  I do like some of the arrangement, but otherwise…not the best here.

7. LETTER

Moving on, LETTER continues to slow things down, but I felt like I really enjoyed this song a lot more than “Beyond The Sky” since it feels a little nostalgic and the crying violin is very pretty as well as Sayuri herself.  It does seem to border being a Country song but I’m just fine with this since it’s not so hokey and gross.  Definitely one of the nicer and relaxing tracks on the album. 

8. Koi no Mahou

Then we reach one of the slowest songs on the album with Koi no Mahou.  It kinds of sounds like “Habataku Kimi e” especially once the beats join in the song.  Actually it kind of reminds me of a JUJU/Kana Nishino R&B ballad…it’s strange but I found it somewhat relaxing as well.  Not bad of a song though.

9. Love Again

Bringing back the experimentive side, Love Again has a lot of synths going on and it’s also styled as a R&B track which is a cool mix and I actually really liked this song since it sounds so different and closest to a dance track she’d get to.  Though Sayuri reminds me of Namie in some light here which is different but I liked it A LOT!  Another favorite of mine from the album.

10. Forever…

As the leading song from her 2nd mini of the same name (meaning “Close To You” was left off), Forever… is a really strong track and I’m glad she chose this over most of the other songs.  When I listen to it today, it does have a certain holiday feel to it…it could be from that bouncy nature.  I think it’s one of her better songs in her discography and I love the subtle romantic feel about the tune as well.  Good song, good song!

11. Kanade

As this was the digital single of the album, Kanade is another simple ballad from Sayuri which starts off with just piano as the backup instrument.  With the amount of R&B ballads on here, I wasn’t really into Kanade unfortunately.  It just seemed to be like “Beyond The Sky” where it does sound nice, but it really feels like another filler track from my viewpoint. 

12. Basket Court

The other B-side from “Ashita ni Naru Mae ni”, Basket Court never really intrigued unlike “ROCKSTAR” which instantly caught my attention.  I do like it’s a bit more loud and has a nice pop/rock groove to it.  Meaning that it stands out on the album more than it did on its single and I like that about the song…it’s slowly growing on me ^^

13. SONOMAMA

As the album comes to an end, SONOMAMA ends things on a good note and appropriate enough of a track to end things off since it has that feeling going.  It’s got a cool, heavy beat and Sayuri sounds great but oddly enough it doesn’t leave a mark as much as other songs on here.

14. Sunao ni Narenakute (Piano Ver.)

As a little bonus incentive, we get a new version of Sunao ni Narenakute (her 3rd A-side).  Like the title implies it really is just the song but with piano AND Sayuri actually resung the song which is even better.  Simple but it’s a very nice bonus to hear…a good clean ballad!

Tracks Recommended

  • ROCKSTAR
  • Love Again
  • Star Drop
  • LETTER
  • Itsu no Hi mo

Song of Avoidance

  • Beyond The Sky

I will say that Open The Gate is a giant step forward from her debut album, “First Story”,  She just pulled the right strings for this album and all but two tracks left a really good mark on me.  I have to say she really has become stronger and more impressive as time goes on.  This is definitely *RECOMMENDED*

 

2 Responses to “Sayuri Sugawara – Open The Gate”

  1. m Says:

    Kanade is just her cover of Sukima Switch’s Kanade. So it isn’t her original song.


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