Kurayami Monogatari

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Konomi Suzuki – DAYS of DASH November 25, 2012

Filed under: Konomi Suzuki — solarblade @ 9:44 pm

Track Listing

  1. DAYS of DASH
  2. Fly to the stars
  3. DAYS of DASH (Instrumental)
  4. Fly to the stars (Instrumental)

1. DAYS of DASH

Well after “CHOIR JAIL”, I wasn’t expecting Konomi to move onto something much more cuter and sugary (sounds similar to Sayaka huh?).  DAYS of DASH is a bright song that caters more of Konomi’s cuter vocals as well, but I think she tackled it nicely but the song is a bit *shrugs*.  I’m not too impressed with this song.

2. Fly to the stars

I will say that I’m a little more inclined with the B-side even though it’s more of the usual anison stuff.  I do like the energy of the song and the power from Konomi here as well.  It’s probably my favorite track from Konomi so far in her career, that I’ll give…but she needs something more.

 

 

Already on her second single, Konomi switched style from a darker setting to a more bright and happier setting with DAYS of DASH.  The single is a bit underwhelming because it’s more of like songs I’ve heard by others before.  Fly to the stars is a slightly better song, but still kind of bland.  Meeeeh…

 

Fairies – White Angel

Filed under: Fairies — solarblade @ 9:27 pm

Track Listing

  1. White Angel
  2. One Love
  3. White Angel (Instrumental)
  4. One Love (Instrumental)

1. White Angel

It just seems that Fairies seem to get things right when things don’t work the first time.  White Angel is a lot like how I felt with “Beat Generation” because it’s just a really edgy song and a cool dance track.  It also has auto-tune but it’s not as atrocious as it was used in “Tweet Dream”.  I just love the pounding beat and the members are really giving it all.  Plus that chorus is just YAY!

2. One Love

HOLD UP!!!, this is their first legit B-side?  Yup, One Love marks as the groups first coupling track and it’s kind of just there when compared to other songs released in the era.  I’m not entirely sure how to feel because it’s kind of in between “No More Distance” and “Sweet Jewel”.  It’s not a terrible song, but it’s rather forgetful.

 

 

I would’ve expected that Fairies would’ve released their first album by now but here we are at their 5th single which is also their first single with ONE A-side.  White Angel is definitely an improvement from their last single by a big amount!  The leading track is really awesome and stands up there with “HERO” and “Beat Generation”.  One Love is OK, but nothing special…I can see why it was put as a B-side lol.

 

Fairies – Tweet Dream/Sparkle

Filed under: Fairies — solarblade @ 9:14 pm

Track Listing

  1. Tweet Dream
  2. Sparkle
  3. Tweet Dream (Instrumental)
  4. Sparkle (Instrumental)

1. Tweet Dream

I thought the group would continue with the epicness from “Beat Generation” but Tweet Dream is really annoying and cheap compared to their last single.  First off, the arrangement is kind of running through the idol/technopop phase most idol groups have tackled and I really don’t think it was necessary to drown the group in a giant goop of auto-tune ickyness.  It’s just amazingly horrid of a song and I don’t wanna witness it again.

2. Sparkle

*sigh* the auto-tune is also in Sparkle, but it’s not as annoying as “Tweet Dream” was which is good, but I would’ve loved to hear this single without the auto-tune because it probably would’ve been an epic song because the arrangement is strong (except the chorus which needed a heavier beat).  Yeah it’s not great but it’s better than the other A-side that’s for sure.

 

 

After being so impressed with their last single, Tweet Dream/Sparkle just wanted to destroy everything that Fairies had built on me.  The auto-tune was ridiculously bad here and Tweet Dream is just annoyance in a can which really made me want to go deaf for a while.  Sparkle was a smidge better, but it felt unfinished like there some key elements missing.  Just overall a bad single!

 

Fairies – Beat Generation/No More Distance

Filed under: Fairies — solarblade @ 8:51 pm

Track Listing

  1. Beat Generation
  2. No More Distance
  3. Beat Generation (Instrumental)
  4. No More Distance (Instrumental)

1. Beat Generation

Funny enough, I was so disappointed in “More Kiss / Song for You” that I passed up their last single and reappeared when they released Beat Generation because Fairies were on Kurobara alongside Morning Musume which I’ve heard this song and fell in love with it, so it was the song that brought me into Fairies’ music (yet I passed over their next single “Tweet Dream/Sparkle” for some odd reason.  They really stood out with this song because it was dance heavy and once again like “HERO”, the chorus is incredibly catchy (even if it’s ridden with Engrish).  Even though there aren’t any solo lines to hear, Beat Generation was VERY impressive and they’re really growing on me.

2. No More Distance

Finally it seems their R&B style has finally moved into their secondary A-side.  I have to admit, this song is pretty good too even if it’s roaming towards a style that I’m not too fond of.  There’s just something about No More Distance that’s so relaxing and yet so smooth for the group.  It was really impressive!

 

 

I think Fairies have hit their peak in their first era with Beat Generation/No More Distance.  Both tracks were superb to what they were going for and is one of the more impressive singles this year! *RECOMMENDED*

 

Fairies – HERO/Sweet Jewel

Filed under: Fairies — solarblade @ 8:19 pm

Track Listing

  1. HERO
  2. Sweet Jewel
  3. HERO (Instrumental)
  4. Sweet Jewel (Instrumental)

1. HERO

Already with the second single, I was more intrigued!  HERO continues with this slightly urban and slightly dance style which works for sure.  It seems there’s not a whole lot of solo lines, but the other girls have more time to get their style out there.  It’s a really interesting song and it’s incredibly catchy as well which is just crazy.  I just love that chorus for sure.  Great song!

2. Sweet Jewel

Then we get into Sweet Jewel and this is kind of that typical idol song with extra energy lol.  I do think the duo lines are a bit eh and some of the voices don’t seem to mesh well together, but since I’m not sure who’s who quite yet…I can’t tell you who I don’t like lol. 

 

 

Second single and HERO/Sweet Jewel was a much better single from the group.  There was no spotlight for just one of the girls this time around and HERO was just all-around catchy!  Sweet Jewel is kind of meh since it’s not really new in the idol world so I just passed it up.

 

Fairies – More Kiss/Song for You

Filed under: Fairies — solarblade @ 8:08 pm

Track Listing

  1. More Kiss
  2. Song for You
  3. More Kiss (Instrumental)
  4. Song for You (Instrumental)

1. More Kiss

When this was first released, More Kiss was really unimpressive because when I saw this only Momoka only had the solo lines (which is pretty bizarre in idol land!),  I do like the song’s urban feel but mixed with the idols of Fairies (or in this case Momoka).  The song is just pretty unimpressive of a debut and compared to their stuff today, this is probably their worst XD

2. Song for You

The other A-side is a bit more interesting since it’s more upbeat and has some guitars.  I will say that the Momoka hax is still pretty much prevelant, but it’s not as crazy in your face like “More Kiss”.  I think this song could be tons more better if it had a harder punch because while I love the melody of the song, it really needs something to make it hit harder. 

 

 

I really didn’t like Fairies’ debut single that much (which is why I avoided them for as long as I did).  More Kiss/Song for You suffered from member hax with Momoka being the lead vocalist and only one with solos.  It just made the rest of the members nonexistant which is a problem I have with certain groups like FLOWER, DiVA, and EXILE.  If you have members use their potential not let them just be background dancers…seriously.  Luckily for Fairies, this problem gets fixed.

 

Takuma Terashima – magic words

Filed under: Takuma Terashima — solarblade @ 7:52 pm

Track Listing

  1. magic words
  2. FAKE
  3. hazy
  4. magic words (Instrumental)
  5. FAKE (Instrumental)
  6. hazy (Instrumental)

1. magic words

As it’s Takuma’s debut, magic words is kind of different for me because he doesn’t seem to fit the voice of anison music because he has a certain voice that kind of mirrors vocalists like SID’s Mao.  Beyond that, the song isn’t very memorable but some of the string elements were cool…oh well moving on!

2. FAKE

Onto the B-sides, the first is actually a bit more SID-like for some reason.  Takuma’s vocals sound really good and mysterious at the same time which fits the rockin’ atmosphere I’m hearing.  It’s a lot more impressive than “magic words” and I would’ve loved if this had been the leading track!

3. hazy

I wasn’t expecting Takuma’s second B-side to include synths!  Mixed together with guitars, hazy is kind of its own thing which is pretty cool because I liked how funky it was and I think Takuma was channeling his inner KISHOW it seems lmao.  He sounds really good with this track and it’s definitely the best the single to offer.  Forget “FAKE”, this should’ve been the A-side!

 

 

Even though he’s known more as a voice actor, Takuma’s musical debut (well his first single), magic words is not a bad debut.  magic words is a little meh, but FAKE and hazy more than make up for that easily.  I am definitely looking forward to his next release!

 

i☆Ris – Color

Filed under: i☆Ris — solarblade @ 7:16 pm

Track Listing

  1. Color
  2. Ramune Sunset
  3. Color (Instrumental)
  4. Ramune Sunset (Instrumental)

1. Color

As avex’s new idol group, i☆Ris kicks their career off together with Color which is quite synth heavy and also idol-like so it’s kind of like their other idol groups on the same label.  I will say it’s quite tame and to-the-books which is a bit unfortunate, but I guess it’s a good song to cheer you up, I just wish the song had some solo lines to at least give us a bit to learn the girls voices at least >.<

2. Ramune Sunset

The coupling song for the single is sadly a bit more generic idol music which disappoints me as well a the fact that the girls are singing altogether which makes it even more meh.  It’s a bit slower as well so it kind of shows the girls ability to sing together better.  It’s not much better but it’s a step above “Color”.

 

 

As it’s avex’s new “anison idol” group, i☆Ris right now isn’t impressing me very much like how TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE, SUPER☆GiRLS, and even Fairies have before.  It just seems that they started off on the lowest foot possible with Color and both tracks really don’t impress me very much.  Maybe they’ll grow on me in the future, but for right now…this is kind of bleh.

 

Konomi Suzuki – CHOIR JAIL

Filed under: Konomi Suzuki — solarblade @ 6:55 pm

Track Listing

  1. CHOIR JAIL
  2. Zanzou Mirai
  3. CHOIR JAIL (Instrumental)
  4. Zanzou Mirai (Instrumental)

1. CHOIR JAIL

It’s weird getting into Komomi’s debut because it kind of mirrors Sayaka Sasaki’s debut (I’ll tell ya why at the bottom).  CHOIR JAIL is a pretty dark song and mixed with its anison roots, it’s kind of typical sounding, but there’s something about Konomi’s vocals that really stand out.  It’s not a bad debut for the winner of 2011’s Animax Anison Grand Prix.

2. Zanzou Mirai

Luckily, the B-side does more for Konomi’s vocals than what “CHOIR JAIL” did.  It’s also on the darker side of things which is a bit nice to hear since it’s kind of slower than said song as well.  I just really love Konomi’s vocals, but I feel like the song could’ve been more faster for some reason.  I think it’d been more epic that way…still not bad.

 

 

As the winner of the 2011 Animax Grand Prix, Konomi Suzuki’s debut single mirrors that of the 2009’s winner Sayaka Sasaki in which her debut, “Seisai no Ripieno” was also a dark single overall.  With CHOIR JAIL, I found Konomi’s vocals really nice and strong and suited the dark atmosphere of both tracks even though they aren’t particularly unique arrangements themselves. 

 

Haruka Shimotsuki – Omoi no Concerto

Filed under: Haruka Shimotsuki — solarblade @ 7:55 am

Track Listing

  1. -HISTORIA-
  2. Tsubasa wo Motanai Shoujo
  3. Kokoro no Kakera
  4. a little more
  5. Kimi to Miru Yume
  6. Harukana Sora e
  7. Hana ga Saku Machi de
  8. Sora to Kaze no Senritsu
  9. Mizu wo Utsusu Mono
  10. Hoshikuzu
  11. Soukoku no Libra
  12. RAINBOW
  13. unnamed place
  14. Tsuki no Uro
  15. Omoi no Concerto

1. -HISTORIA-

Haruka kicks things off with -HISTORIA- and I quite like the fact she opened the album with a slower song!  There’s something quite nostalgic with this song because of the arrangement and Haruka’s vocals being more distant and filled with echo filters.  It’s a really interesting way to open this best album and I quite like the tone of the track!

2. Tsubasa wo Motanai Shoujo

The next track, Tsubasa wo Motanai Shoujo takes more of an acoustic drive for it and I was pretty impressed with this song with it because it also included some electric guitars and keyboard/piano.  It does start to add more instruments before the chorus which is also a smart move.  Pretty good track overall and a smidge better than “-HISTORIA-“.

3. Kokoro no Kakera

Kokoro no Kakera is the slowest track I’ve come along so far on the album and boy does she take it to the simplest level.  I do think it’s pretty to listen to because of the flute arrangement and then the quiet piano melody once Haruka starts to sing.  It’s kind of like a fusion of the previous two tracks to be honest.

4. a little more

At least Haruka seems to turn the energy up for our next track which is pretty upbeat and heavy on the anison side of things, but I don’t mind that when Haruka pulls it off.  Haruka keeps up with the song and even though she doesn’t pull any vocal stunts, she keeps the song at a very strong pace through the entire track.  Definitely an early favorite here!

5. Kimi to Miru Yume

After that boost of energy, we simmer down with Kimi to Miru Yume which is another ballad from Haruka which also shares similarities with “Kokoro no Kakera” so seeing an upbeat track in between is a little strange.  Kimi to Miru Yume does show Haruka’s vocals off in a better light, but the arrangement is a bit jagged in areas and gets loud when it doesn’t need to be.  Not really that memorable to be honest.

6. Harukana Sora e

It seems that Harukana Sora e reaches into Haruka’s folk style and it really does kind of remind me of something off of a VOLKSLIED album which is something I have missed with her music…you know something breezy, wavy, and cute.  This definitely worked as a mid-tempo and while her vocals are pretty high and weak in some areas, the song itself made up for it ^_^. 

7. Hana ga Saku Machi de

Getting past that long track before, Hana ga Saku Machi de is another folkish wonder with flutes playing a role here as well.  This one sounds a bit more cuter than the previous track which is the first thing that stuck out when I listened to the song, plus it’s half the time that “Harukana Sora e” was.  It has a lot of charm and it stuck out on the album.

8. Sora to Kaze no Senritsu

Another lengthy track (not as long as “Harukana Sora e”), Sora to Kaze no Senritsu kind of feels a bit bland when compared to the previous tracks because while it’s upbeat…it kind of sounds like a typical happy anison track but a little more breezy.  In a way it’s nice though, but Haruka doesn’t seem to be into the songas she lets on.  As time goes on, the song does seem to grow on me since the chorus is affectious as hell! Not bad!

9. Mizu wo Utsusu Mono

Funny enough on the album there is only ONE song I have come across since I’ve started reviewing Haruka’s music.  This song was the primary track from her “Hikari no Amaoto” single back in 2010.  Returning to the song, I still feel like it’s a great song and I’m happy it made the album’s cut since it’s one of the better tracks off the album!  Just all kinds of folkish goodness here!

10. Hoshikuzu

Haruka opens up Hoshikuzu by herself before the arrangement comes in shortly after…it’s a bit of a weird tease.  Like the opening is loud and orchestral, but the verses come in and everything dissipates leaving Haruka and piano….yeah it’s a bit strange.  As time goes on, it starts to make better sense as that dramatic ballad, but it’s a bit boring to me.

11. Soukoku no Libra

It seems like Soukoku no Libra was going for a grand feel because of the addition of strings and horns and overall it has an epic anison feel which is a pretty cool choice.  There’s a lot of percussion going on, but it doesn’t seem to deter from the experience.  I will say though I enjoyed Haruka’s performance since she’s hitting a lot of different notes and tackling it nicely!  Good song!

12. RAINBOW

With a song titled as such, I was definitely expecting something very cutesy and we did oddly enough, though it’s kind of fitting for some reason because it sounds more like a Winter song because of the arrangement which didn’t help it much.  This song is so generically cute that unfortunately it does stick out on the album but in a bad way!

13. unnamed place

At first, I thought unnamed place was going to be another ballad, but as it turns out it’s kind of a darker piece with a light arrangement but with a touch of mystery about it and I loved it since it sounds like something I would listen to over and over again.  It’s just really pretty and makes such a difference coming after “RAINBOW”…Definitely my favorite song off the album!

14. Tsuki no Uro

It feels like this and “unnamed place” were tied to the same series because both tracks have this dark glow to them and both stand out in similar areas.  This is more of a ballad though, but I wasn’t too phased, it’s not half bad, but the previous track still trumps it.

15. Omoi no Concerto

So like with Haruka’s last best album, she ends it with a new track which acts also as the title track.  Though when I begun it, it sounds almost exactly like “Michibiki no Harmony” which was the same thing for said album.  It’s meant to bring closure but in a happy light which is a bit bland with this one.  Just a bit similar too similar to a bunch of other tracks that it’s just a bit ugh…

Tracks Recommended

  • unnamed place
  • a little more
  • Soukoku no Libra
  • Mizu wo Utsusu Mono
  • Sora to Kaze no Senritsu

Song of Avoidance

  • RAINBOW

As this is the second best album I’ve reviewed from Haruka, I have to say that Omoi no Concerto when compared to her last one, “Michibiki no Harmony” is kind of bland and the choices of songs were a bit less out there.  I think if there was more vareity, this would’ve ended up a lot better than it did.  Maybe her tie-ins are starting to give Haruka less interesting songs…so I hope she’ll get more!