Kurayami Monogatari

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Plastic Tree – Ink December 18, 2012

Filed under: Plastic Tree — solarblade @ 4:08 am

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Track Listing

  1. Rorschach (Hidari)
  2. Ink
  3. Kuchizuke
  4. Piano Black
  5. Avantgarde
  6. Life Is Beautiful
  7. Kimi wa Canary
  8. Joumyaku
  9. Chouchou
  10. Shion
  11. 218 Shousetsu, Kaku mo Nagaki Fuzai. (CD only)
  12. 96 Shousetsu, Nagaki Fuzai. (2CD & 2CD+DVD only)
  13. Rorschach (Migi)

1. Rorschach (Hidari)

Ryotarou opens up the album with a rather light introduction with Rorschach (Hidari).  It’s really only him and a light guitar background.  It’s kind of creepy but at the same time, kind of cool at the same time because I like Ryotarou’s light vocals.  Interesting way to start the album.

2. Ink

Onto the first song which is also the title track, Ink continues to show quite a bit of that dark tinge which is kind of cool and I’m surprised to hear a lot of what I think is bass in the song.  Ryotarou’s vocals do seem to be overwhelmed by the band a lot of the times but at least he comes out in the chorus, but his voice breaking every so often feels a bit concerning for some reason.  It’s like he’s tired and his voice cracks to show how tired he is.  I guess it’s his thing but ehhh.  The song is still good for what it is though lol.

3. Kuchizuke

Moving into the 2nd A-side released for the era, Kuchizuke is probably my favorite of the three songs and I’m also happy to see that none of the A-sides were changed unlike the two from the “ammonite” era.  Ryotarou sounds slightly cleaner than he usually is which is great, but the song has this eerie but cool sound abouti ats well.  Definitely one of the best songs on the album to be honest.

4. Piano Black

I was kind of surprised at the synths that open the next track as I was expecting another dark track like the previous songs to come after.  I just really like the bright atmosphere about the song.  Once Ryotarou joins in, the same thing happened like in “Ink” where his voice is covered by the music…I could barely determine what he was singing in the track.  Though, I was in love with the arrangement being all hard, but floaty as well.  This might actually grow on me a lot though.  Very unique from them!

5. Avantgarde

For a song titled as such, I was worried that the song was going to be some strange tune.  HOWEVER, Avantgarde is a bit of a boost in energy because when I listen to the song, I kind of get a certain punk-rock feel which is pretty cool and a change from the brooding songs.  Ryotarou sounds a bit more cooler and his voice doesn’t sound as stressed as it is in “Kuchizuke” but it’s still there.  I actually quite like the song though and it has picked me up from a slight slump,

6. Life Is Beautiful

The next track, Life Is Beautiful lets up on the band by making this Ryotarou and acoustic gutiar and it’s great to hear him not stressing and all, but he’s singing quite fast which is amusing to listen to for some reason.  Then the chorus comes in and I’m super annoyed because it’s so repetitive and the croaking is at an all time annoyance for me.  This song would’ve been great had it not been for that gross chorus! 

7. Kimi wa Canary

The intro of the next song was a bit strange with those dissonant strings that sounds like it was playing at 128 kbps.  I like the flighty track since it sounds ratehr tame and doesn’t take risks which is a total 180 from the previous track.  Ryotarou sounds really nice and non-offensive which is also a good change as well.  Not bad!

8. Joumyaku

As the A-side that begun the “Ink” era, going back to Joumyaku is kind of strange to me because like “Kimi wa Canary” it’s not very risk-taking of the group and they seem to take smoothly through (as wekk as Ryotarou).  I still do think there’s some struggling going on with his vocals but they aren’t as harsh as some of the other songs on the album.

9. Chouchou

It really feels like this song and the two previous tracks all seem to tie together because they have a similar tone and arranging as their all kind of those mid-tempo rock tracks.  Unfortunately Ryotarou is so amazingly quiet in this song that it was even harder to tell what he was singing than in “Piano Black”, clearly the band has overpowered the singer!  At least the arrangement is good…just let Ryotarou sing louder!!!

10. Shion

Then we get to the last A-side before the album with Shion and I never really connected with it.  With that acoustic guitar intro it did remind me of “Life Is Beautiful” and it’s really the same way how I felt about the song entirely because once again Ryotarou just seeems to slightly kill the chorus, but it’s not as tragic as I once thought lol.  I still think it’s the weakest of three but it’s whatever.

11. 218 Shousetsu, Kaku mo Nagaki Fuzai.

So depending on what version of the album you got, you got a track that’s similar but not?  Here’s how it goes, if you just got the CD, you get this track which is a shocking 12+ minute track which is mostly an OVERLY-glorified instrumental.  If there was something I couldn’t stand it’s a long ass instrumental and this really bored me to death.  Granted, Ryotarou isn’t in this track, but I need more substance that this!

12. 96 Shousetsu, Nagaki Fuzai.

If you got the either of the 2CD versions, you ended up with a shortened version of the song above (which is really absurd to pull).  I like that they shaved more than half the song down to a little above 5 minutes, but it’s still an instrumental so it’s not like the cut was beneficial otherwise that it’s shorter.  It reminds me of something of Radiohead’s but not sure what.  Not totally bad, but this is probably the better version.

13. Rorschach (Migi)

Finally the album comes full circle to its outro Migi.  It’s slightly longer than the intro, but it’s once again Ryotarou singing quietly with a light acoustic guitar so it’s a pleasant track to close out but for people that have the CD only…this could just be like why after such a long track while the 2CD will probably appreciate it much more.

Tracks Recommended

  • Piano Black
  • Kimi wa Canary
  • Avantgarde
  • Kuchizuke

Song of Avoidance

  • 218 Shousetsu, Kaku mo Nagaki Fuzai.

After listening to a better quality version of “ammonite” I concluded that the album was better to me and I started to like it, but some of the problems had remained like Ryotarou’s vocals and some boring arrangements.  With Ink, it’s really more of the same footwork to be had.  Though the problem here that’s new is that Ryotarou gets covered by his band a lot and it feels like I’m barely forced to pay attention and more to the music (and the LONG instrumental was definitely not needed).  It’s not a bad album overall and I did like more of the songs here which is nice, but Plastic Tree might be on the ending for some reason to me.  BTW the 2nd disc is really just the Rebuild tracks from the singles and two new ones and two new tracks?  I don’t know but that was a little nice to see!

 

One Response to “Plastic Tree – Ink”

  1. Suisai Says:

    @Ryu’s Vocals: There’s a similar problem on the rebuild with him getting lost in the background. One thing to keep in mind is that most songs on Ink are shoegaze; it’s pretty common in that genre for the vocals to be mixed in under the music instead of on top of it, it seems like. I don’t always like it, but sometimes it works out alright. I don’t mind listening to the band instead of him, sometimes the arrangements really are the focal point of the song. (Besides, he gets all my attention when I’m watching the lives, so it evens out…)

    I agree Life is Beautiful’s chorus is jarring; it reminds me a lot of songs like Yasashida Club, where they’re obviously just fucking around and having fun, so I try to think of it that way. Probably should not have opened with a pretty verse if they were going for that though, it’s confusing.


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