Kurayami Monogatari

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Yun*chi – Yun*chi December 4, 2012

Filed under: Yun*chi — solarblade @ 9:31 pm

yunchi

Track Listing

  1. Reverb*
  2. Guruguru*
  3. Believe*
  4. Mekurumekuru*
  5. Surfer*

1. Reverb*

When I first heard this song (promo song), I kind of thought it was Nakata at the reins, but it really is kz (who I know of through his VOCALOID works).  Reverb* is a pretty sparkly little technopop track that suits the atmosphere.  I quite like the song a bit but Yun*chi’s vocals remind me of YUKI’s vocals in an odd way.  Still the song is catchy and the chorus is bumpin’!  I quite like the song despite the vocals being a little meh.

2. Guruguru

The rest of the mini is also produced by kz and I’m happy with that decision.  Our next track on the mini, Guruguru takes off the multitudes of auto-tune from the previous track so we get to hear more of what Yun*chi sounds like naturally which really sounds like YUKI.  The song at first sounded nice but then there’s that dubstep breaking into the track and I’m just kind of like over it. 

3. Believe*

Yun*chi slows down for the third track and the vocal filters return which isn’t toally bad because I like the light-hearted nature of this song since she sounds cute and the slow-moving arrangement is kind of fantasy-like.  It’s a nice song though overall.

4. Mekurumekuru*

Mekurumekuru* could be considered similar to the previous track, but this song is a bit more vibrant with a bit more oomph going on in the track and I’m loving the deep synths in the verses.  Though her voice kind of irks me in the song…it’s really shrill and doesn’t fit the arrangement much.

5. Surfer*

The mini ends with Surfer* which sounds so totally unlike the rest of the mini-album.  I kind of like the 80’s vibe I get from this song and while Yun*chi kind of shrills on by.  It’s a cute song though, but I don’t think Yun*chi got the title right (it sounds like she’s saying sofa XD).  Oh well lol

 

 

I’m surprised that Yun*chi is from the same label as Kyarypamyupamyu but then again with her slight electropop style, it really isn’t that surpising.  Her self-titled debut mini isn’t bad but there’s not a lot to remember it by (kind of like how I felt about “Moshi Moshi Harajuku”).  I’m sure she’ll get better after this but this mini isn’t totally memorable for me.

 

AMOYAMO – A☆M☆O☆Y★A★M★O

Filed under: AMOYAMO — solarblade @ 8:43 pm

amoyamo

Track Listing

  1. A☆M☆O☆Y★A★M★O
  2. HEART♡♥CANDY
  3. X☠BOYFRIEND
  4. LITTLE MISS “SUMMER DAYS”

1. A☆M☆O☆Y★A★M★O

No surprise that they would start their mini with a kind-of introduction to the group lol.  When I took my first listen it sounds like it was a mix of february and heavenly because they have a poppy sound going but also they have a lot of punk rock in them.  AMO and AYAMO’s vocals aren’t the best and the song can be quite annoying after a while but it’s interesting I guess?  I can see them totally rockin’ it out at live performances.

2. HEART♡♥CANDY

With the next song, I immediately thought of Tommy feb with that kind of cutesy intro and then the background guitars reminded me of heavenly XD.  HEART♡♥CANDY is kind of catchy in its own way since both singers aren’t as annoying here which is always good!  It’s a great track on the mini for sure!

3. X☠BOYFRIEND

I feel like this song focuses more on the guitars than the previous two tracks which is a cool thing I think?  Once again, both vocalists are kind of interesting to listen to as they both kind of have better vocals but there’s one (AYAMO?) that has the deeper vocals that I like!  It’s a good track overall, nothing to tally gasm over but it’s fun to listen to…plus ~birthday cake and chocolate cake?~ interesting XDDDD

4. LITTLE MISS “SUMMER DAYS”

The mini ends with probably the weakest song off the mini because I seriously don’t remember the song after I’ve listened to it.  I think it’s a bit too slow for me and the girls don’t really sound as intriguing as they did in the previous two tracks.  I wish I knew what else to say about the song, but it’s just not that memorable.

 

 

A pre-debut mini?  I don’t understand that, but whatever.  A☆M☆O☆Y★A★M★O is actually not too bad, but it’s not really all that great either.  It is that release where they test the waters (as in both the singers and their producer Tomoko Kawase).  It’s a stepping stone and they kept it safe for the most part…I’m intrigued to hear their actual debut single now lol

 

Yukino – You make me blue

Filed under: Yukino — solarblade @ 8:01 pm

youmakemeblue

Track Listing

  1. You make me blue
  2. BaDream ~Warui Yume~
  3. Tell me why?
  4. Cry and Cry
  5. Aitai

1. You make me blue

Starting the mini-album off, Yukino opens with the promo song for the mini and she starts off quite strongly to show her pipes which are really impressive to me at first listen.  I was surprised to hear synths involved but that actually adds a little spice to the song because it still remains as this ballad that has little tricks up its sleeves.  Suffice to say, I really enjoyed the song though and a good choice to debut with!

2. BaDream ~Warui Yume~

Since I did manage to only hear You make me blue back in the past, I was curious to how the rest of the mini fared.  Starting with BaDream, it’s got a great laidback feel about that fits with Yukino’s light vocals as well…it’s just really cute yet funky and yet so chill.  Another pretty tune here!

3. Tell me why?

I think I really dig Yukino’s sound on this mini-album so far.  Tell me why? has a pretty funky vibe to it but unlike the previous two tracks, this is actually upbeat and while it doesn;t showcase Yukino’s powerful vocals, the song is still quite enjoyable and the chorus was different for sure.  Her voice goes into a higher register and sounds more younger LOL.  Actually she pulls off the vocals quite nicely!  Yeah this is really good!

4. Cry and Cry

The horns are placed to the forefront for our next track and we get another unique song here which is pretty funky as well but in a good way!  This girl has a lot of power and she definitely had a lot of fun with this song!  It’s definitely an impressive track and is probably one of my favorites from the mini!

5. Aitai

The album closes out kind of like the same way “You make me blue” opened but the song is a bit more closer to “BaDream” with the chilled out arrangement that lulls me into a relaxed state.  It’s great to see what Yukino can do with her vocals because she’s pretty damn good…add in that nice guitar solo and I’m just like impressed!

 

 

WOW, this is a pretty damn amazing debut we have here.  Yukino has a WHOLE LOT of potential for future release because she has this soulful groove to her that fits all of the songs she sung on the mini-album and the arrangements were pretty good as well!  I can’t wait to see more of her next year *RECOMMENDED*

 

Etsuko Yakushimaru – Yamiyami/Lonely Planet

Filed under: Etsuko Yakushimaru — solarblade @ 10:49 am

yamiyami

Track Listing

  1. Yamiyami
  2. Lonely Planet
  3. Yamiyami (Off Vocal)
  4. Lonely Planet (Off Vocal)
  5. Yamiyami (TV Size)

1. Yamiyami

There’s something about Etsuko that gets to me with her songs.  Yamiyami has some weird things in it like glock and accordion and the song just sounds really devious and sneaky behind it’s young nature.  I guess it’s something that just really impresses me.  As for Etsuko, she’s quiet like she usually is in her songs and it adds the cute factor to the song.  Interesting song overall…

2. Lonely Planet

Why is the other A-side 16 minutes long?!?  That really shocked me since I never knew Etsuko could pull a song that long.  The song does have a lonely feel it with electronic picking in the background while acoustic guitar acts as the main organic instrument.  During the song you can tell the song is adding more to its instrumentation to get more interesting and strong which impresses me a lot.  After the peak moment it does go into a rather lengthy instrumental which is mainly the reason the song is REALLY long.  Then it starts to slow itself down and Etsuko returns to kind of close it out before it gets two slow and ends…strange song…a bit too long for its own good, but one can wonder if she’ll shorten it if there is an album.

 

 

5 (or 6) singles in and still no sign of an album?  Etsuko you gotta get on that!  Yamiyami/Lonely Planet is one of the better singles I’ve heard from her and that’s good.  Yamiyami is cute but mischievous and I like that about the track…it’s definitely unique for Etsuko (but then again her solo discography is unique as it is lol.  Lonely Planet though was a lot to take in for a 16 minute song…I think if it makes an album, it should definitely either not appear or get shortened big time!  Good single overall though.

 

Kazusa – Oboetemasuka

Filed under: Kazusa — solarblade @ 10:25 am

oboetemasuka

Track Listing

  1. Oboetemasuka
  2. Hello, It’s Me

1. Oboetemasuka

It’s been quite a while since Kazusa released anything but taking a two year break would do that to ya.  Oboetemasuka reintroduces us back to Kazusa who sounds just as lovely as she did back in 2010.  It’s a simple ballad which isn’t surprising since that’s her style and all that!  Still, she sounds really pretty and the song is quite pleasant and has a soothing feel to it…I enjoyed it quite a bit!

2. Hello, It’s Me

The B-side of the single reminds me of a mixture of Rie fu and Kaori Mochida’s sound since it’s quite laidback and Kazusa is singing in English which has a bit of added twang to it that kind of sounds different from before.  It’s kind of nostalgic, but I really liked this song as well!

 

 

I’ve always wondered what happened during the two year hiatus Kazusa was under because her debut album was such a pleasant listen and one of the more interesting releases of 2010.  Though she’s back and released Oboetemasuka which shows that it feels like Kazusa was never really gone and her music remained pleasant and easy to listen to…Great single overall!

 

Best of 2012: Debutees & ARTISTS BLOWOUT (I guess?)

Filed under: ~Artists Blowouts~,~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 6:33 am

It’s strange, this year there didn’t seem to be a lot of debuts when compared to last year…even with the artists I know that I haven’t reviewed that still is a pretty small number….but I tried to get a couple.

February

leoi

So the first artist that debuted, Leo Ieiri was coined as the next ayaka/YUI and so far she has shown a lot of potential for the future.  This year alone, she has released three singles (Sabrina, Shine, and Bless You) before she released her debut album, LEO in October. She’s rising to be quite popular and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013!

mayu

Ever since Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 began, I’ve always said that I wanted Mayuyu to go solo and invade ORICON with her cuteness and she did!  She’s really only released three singles (Synchro Tokimeki, Otona Jelly Beans, and Hikaru Monotachi) and with a possibility of an album looming in the distance, she’s becoming one of the better soloists to come off from AKB48!

yanagi

Even though she was well-known as part of binaria and she was the lead vocalist during supercell’s second album era, Nagi finally got hold of the reins and debuted with solo works in 2012.  Like the previous artsts, she too has also released three singles in Vidro Moyou, Ambivalentiea, and Laterality.  I hope an album comes soon!

show

Known better as Show Luo, SHOW is a pretty well-known name in China, but it seems he wanted a taste of Japan and in 2012 kickstarted his career in Nippon with his first single DANTE in February and MAGIC in June before releasing his first original Japanese album, THE SHOW in September.  Not bad, but hopefully he’ll continue in Japan!

stylips

Remember Team DEKARIS back in the end of 2009?  Well it seems like the group reformed (Arisa Noto, Maho Matsunaga, Yui Ogura, and Kaori Ishihara) and got renamed to StylipS (of course, this group doesn’t have ties to their old name).  They released three singles this year: STUDY×STUDY, MIRACLE RUSH, and Choose me♡Darling to which they’ve been gradually getting more popular with each release.  They have a mini announced for 2013 titled “Step One!!” so I can’t wait to hear what’ll be on it!

yukino

Finally in February we got Yukino who hasn’t fully popped out into the mainstream zone, but she has loads of potential from her debut mini, You make me blue….however the rest of the year has gone by with nothing from her until the announcement of her first single RanTiKi in February of next year!

March

upup

Up Up Girls (Kari) actually formed in 2011 by a good portion of the Hello Pro! Eggs that had finished training at that time (sans Yuu Kikkawa and Sayaka Kitahara who both went solo).  This lively group consisting of Minami Sengoku, Konatsu Furukawa, Akari Saho, Ayano Sato, Saki Mori, Azusa Sekine, and Manami Arai and they REALLY busted down the doors this year.  With the added fact they are also UFSZ, the group had so much work and it showed with a whopping 8 SINGLES this year.  Which were Going my ↑, Barebare I LOVE YOU, Uppercut!/Yuudachi! Through the Rainbow, Mecha Kyun♡Summer (‘▽`)ノ, Namen na! Ashi Girls/Marvel Hero, End Of The Season, UPPER ROCK/Ichiban Girls, and finally Chopper☆Chopper/Survival Girls (in which the last single was released under their new label T-Palette)….yeah they get the crown for release whores this year XD.

babymetal

Technically they debuted last year, but they were more of unit that is really only for Sakura Gakuin.  This year though with their surge of popularity, managed to debut as their own unit with their joint release with Kiba of Akiba.  Then released another single Headbanger!! and another single coming up next month with Ijime, Dame, Zettai.  This group is just impressing me on so many levels!

April

konomi

Like Shuhei Kita, HIMEKA, Sayaka Sasaki, and Marina Kawano before her, Konomi Suzuki was the winner of 2011’s ANIMAX competition and finally debuted in April of this year with her single, CHOIR JAIL and then released her second, DAYS of DASH in November.  She kind of reminds me of Sayaka in how she’s releasing the singles but she’ll find her niche soon enough!

May

kavka

Just seems like a lot of models are turning into singers nowadays (there’s a couple that have debuted this year that I haven’t paid attention to)  Kavka Shishido though is impressive since she’s a percussionist and that always wins me over.  She did debut in May with a digital single in Day Dream Rider, but officially released her first physical Aisuru Kakugo in September, I hope to see more of her next year because she’s really got potential too!

July

myname

So one of the newer Korean groups formed last year, decided to debut in Japan after only one single in Korea and so be that their first song in JPN is their debut in KOR.  They have two singles out here with Message and What’s Up…hope to see more next year!

rola

Not much is known about Rola except she’s a model turned singer and she debuted with Memories which was tied to Pokemon: Best Wishes…after that nothing…one off deal or is she really just waiting for the next thing?

August

amoyamo

Everyone knows who Tomoko Kawase is right?  Well she’s the creator of our next group who debuted in August with their mini-album, A☆M☆O☆Y☆A☆M☆O.  Then in November they released their true debut, LET’S GO OUT.  Not bad for a duo created by Tommy…hopefully they’ll last MUCH longer that Tommy☆angels.

October

modelg

I don’t know too much about these girls but they’re all models coming together to form this kind of quote-on-quote super group.  Together so far, they’ve only released one single in ROCK STAR.  Let’s hope there’s a second in the works.

Panache

It’s hard to find an idol group that’s somewhat original with the amount that are around these days but panache! is trying to be more like a cosplay idol unit which is a bit new to me for sure.  They look bright and cute so it might be cool to hear.  They’ve only released Kirameki Miraizu and I’m excited to hear more.

weather

Like the Weather Girls. I’m not sure what the whole idea of the group is but they’re from Taiwan so that must mean something right?  They’ve only released their first single Koi no Tenki Yohou this year but it sounds like their might be a second in the works…Hopefully they’ll stick on to me.

November

iris

I really don’t know what’s with avex and their sudden interest in idols groups the last couple of years (I guess they’re just following the trend huh?)  Their newest addition is tagged as an anison idol group and well i☆Ris haven’t been together long enough to show off their personalities or real style with their lone single for the year, Color.  They will probably gain some push next year but right now they don’t stand out to me lol.

takuma

The last artist I added that debuted this year is still kind of hard to find much info about, but I know he’s a seiyuu so it’s no surprise his debut, magic words was well anison lol.  Hope to hear more from him in the future!

 yunchi

I was wondering when I’d get a new electro artist to simply enjoy this year and it seems that Yun*chi is another model turned singer but she has the added effect that she’s on asobisystem (the same record company as Kyarypamyupamyu).  She only released her self-titled debut but it’s not true worry as it’s November

yurika

2012 must seriously have been the year for models to turn into singers because Yurika debuted at the end of the month of her cover of Ann Lewis’ Roppingi Shinjuu…it’s actually not that bad of a cover and she’s got potential as her voice is powerful enough to do wonders!  Hope to see more!

 

SOOOO…there you have it….Comment if any of these artists impress you or any other debutees of 2012 have….

(EDIT: since I guess I added a bunch of new artists, why don’t I just call it an ARTISTS BLOWOUT which means writing up a profile for Fairies

fairies

Fairies debuted last year so they aren’t with the above artist/groups.  Anyways I added them because while I have a love/hate relationship with them, they got potential to lead avex in with solid vocals and dances (though TG’S seem to be the group that avex spends their cash on clearl) XDDD…I’ve reviewed all 5 of the current singles they’ve released so I hope an album is on the way!+++++++++++

 

Mika Nakashima – Hatsukoi

Filed under: Mika Nakashima — solarblade @ 4:33 am

hatsukoi

Track Listing

  1. Hatsukoi
  2. Kioku
  3. Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Nara -World’s End Ver.-
  4. Hatsukoi (Instrumental)

1. Hatsukoi

In recent times, I haven’t been the biggest fan of Mika’s ballads (simply because she was doing too many weak ones for me to really take notice).  She tries to interest me with Hatsukoi and somehow I feel like I really enjoyed the song despite that its really nothing much.  Though my biggest complaint is Mika herself because she’s singing in a higher register and she just can’t pull off those notes very well…it’s very thin and pitchy all in one.  I like the arrangement, but if I wanted that, I’d listen to the instrumental.  Mika’s vocalwork, is just icky here.

2. Kioku

I kind of hoped that the B-side would’ve been the upbeat song, but it seems that Kioku is the kind of holiday track Mika would release.  I don’t find the arrangement to be as intriguing as “Hatsukoi’s” for obvious reasons, but once again the fault here is Mika’s need to try for high notes that she can’t hit…It’s OK, but it’s definitely in the lower spectrum of her ballads that I enjoy.

3. Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Nara ~World End’s Ver.~

So the single ends off with a new version of Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Nara and for the changes it had, they were continuing to make the song sound very dark and haunting which I feel it succeeded in keeping with this new version.  The original had less sound whereas this new version filled the background with a haunting fluff that makes the song a bit more creepier?  I don’t know but this is really nice and it’s a toss-up to as whether I like this more than the original.

 

 

Closing out the “REAL” era, Hatsukoi is probably my least favorite of the four singles she’s released.  There’s just something about both Hatsukoi and Kioku that doesn’t seem to work well and this time I think it’s mostly Mika’s vocals that turned me off this time.  I mean she’s done songs with high notes, but none that annoyed me until now…The single only really was kept afloat by the new version of Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Nara since it’s creepy and cool and Mika sounds amazing in that.  With the album coming up I’m excited for the prospect of a bunch of new tracks (hopefully)!