Kurayami Monogatari

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Perfume – Mirai no Museum February 27, 2013

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 12:29 am

mirainomuseum

Track Listing

  1. Mirai no Museum
  2. Daijobanai
  3. Mirai no Museum -Original Instrumental-
  4. Daijobanai -Original Instrumental-

1. Mirai no Museum

When I first heard that Perfume’s next A-side was tied to Doraemon, I was extremely worried because the series is definitely geared toward the kids in Japan and it meant that Perfume were going to be exceptionally cute this time around for their single and sadly I was correct.  The song doesn’t really feel like Perfume to be honest, I mean it’s just kind of zoning music and SUPER cute…like back in their early singles.  It’s not terrible, but very forgettable when compared to everything else they’ve done!

2. Daijobanai

The B-side was something I was curious to listen to, but unfortunately I’m not a big fan of this either to be honest.  I mean it’s not as anger-inducing like “Communication” was, but it does contain the same problems like an overly repetitive melody and chorus.   Yeah the good thing is that the verses have a little more backbone to stand out and the synths are cute…but damn I was annoyed at the end of the song.  It could grow on me, but right now I’m just kind of meh.

What is going on Perfume?  You decide now to put out an underwhelming single?  Mirai no Museum is OK but it’s definitely not on the top 20 Perfume songs that’s for sure…it’s just a little too hokey and just doesn’t fit Perfume’s style well enough.  Daijobanai is kind of like “Communication” 2.0….less sugary, but still can’t shake of the grievances.  I hope this era comes to an end now…

 

girl next door – standing for you February 26, 2013

Filed under: GIRL NEXT DOOR — solarblade @ 9:55 pm

standingforyou

Track Listing

  1. standing for you
  2. Kokuhaku
  3. standing for you (English Ver.)
  4. standing for you (Instrumental)
  5. Kokuhaku (Instrumental)

1. standing for you

I was wondering what standing for you was like (especially for how many times they delayed the damn single), standing for you is more Igurashi love here and that strong 90’s tone.  At least this tune is more upbeat and honestly, it reminds me of old day after tomorrow which made me smile a bit.  CHISA’s bright vocals filtered throughout the song and I’m really enjoying it even if it’s VERY nostalgia-filled.

2. Kokuhaku

A 6-minute ballad?  Yep, that’s what we got with Kokuhaku and I was loathing getting into the track because gnd and ballads don’t really go well for them sans a rare few.  I do like that the song incorporates piano and acoustic guitar (with light electric) altogether.  CHISA does a good job and all, but the song is just way TOO long for its own good.

3. standing for you (English Ver.)

Oh…..this is just not kosher!  I mean the arrangement is the same which is great, but holy shit should CHISA just stick with just doing Japanese because I couldn’t understand anything she was saying minus a couple of buzzworthy words here and there.  This might have been the better version had CHISA sung this well…oh well…

I really don’t understand why the single was pushed back as much as it did (ironic that “Silent Stream” was too pushed back a lot too) but standing for you is a great gnd song and is the best of the “Life of Sound’s” singles.  Kokuhaku could’ve been better had it been a couple minutes shorter…and the English version of standing for you…well…ick…I just can’t wait for this era to finish lol.

 

BoA – Only One

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 9:22 pm

onlyone

Track Listing

  1. Only One
  2. The Shadow
  3. Only One (INST)
  4. The Shadow (INST)

1. Only One

Well, I’d never thought we get a Japanese version of Only One considering that she hasn’t done that for a LONG time and the original was released back in July of last year.  Hearing this in Japanese though felt so much natural for me and kind of does suit her style of music as well.  It’s kind of growing on me now hearing this here.  It’s like a more toned-down “Eien” and I kind of enjoyed that.

2. The Shadow

The B-side is also a Japanese version of the Korean original and The Shadow was a song that I actually remembered from the Korean album, but I did say that I wished it was a little faster.  I still feel that way here and now I feel like during the verses, BoA is mechanical kind of like “Eat You Up” mechanical, but I still think she pulled the song off well.

Honestly, why would you release this like half a year later after the originals?  While this single was one of her better Japanese singles, this screamed a little bit of laziness given BoA’s track record of original songs before this.  I think they both were the best tracks since the “Only One” album was really disappointing to me (well I would’ve like “The Top” to have been included but you know…Single was just unnecessary to be honest.

 

Up Up Girls – First Album (Kakko Kari)

Filed under: Up Up Girls — solarblade @ 9:01 pm

firstalbum

Track Listing

  1. overture (Kakko Kari)
  2. Ichiban Girls!
  3. Going my ↑
  4. UPPER ROCK
  5. Marvel Hero
  6. Barebare I LOVE YOU
  7. Mecha Kyun♡Summer ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ
  8. Yuudachi! Through the Rainbow
  9. Namen na! Ashi Girls
  10. Uppercut!
  11. End Of The Season
  12. Cyalume
  13. Uppercut! (super combo Remix)
  14. UPPER ROCK (ScreeeeeeaMix)
  15. PandaBoY DJ Mix

1. overture (Kakko Kari)

Opening the album up is an introduction and yes it has been used in lives.  overture has a pretty awesome arrangement of guitars and the melody is BANGING.  However, the only things the girls do is repeat the group’s name over and over and introduce themselves.  It’s a pretty cool track though, but damn this would’ve been awesome as a full song with lyrics.

2. Ichiban Girls!

I’m surprised the group decided to put the secondary A-side from their 7th single (which was the last to represent the album).  I do think it does a good job making how energetic this album will be because it is a VERY frenetic song.  It’s so loud and wild and most of the time, the music does cover the girls.  This song is kind of grating though because it’s so loud and everything is just messy.  Yeah, not a big fan of this.

3. Going my ↑

At least with this song, there’s more of controlled chaos to be found here.  This is the group’s debut song and today it still sounds really refreshing on this album.  It’s fun and the vocals are great to hear especially since all the members have lines and such (with Akari and Minami getting the most, I suppose since they’re the most well-known members).  The energy is a lot more easier to take than “Ichiban Girls!”.

4. UPPER ROCK

On the other hand, we move for their first song to their most recent song with UPPER ROCK.  You know it’s bad when this is the song that basically solidified my love of the group!  I’m a big sucker for electro-idol songs and this was a jam and a half!  It was heavy, the girls sound great and the energy from them really excited me (plus when they perform this, it’s AMAZING).  This really is their most unique song to date and I really love it!  It’s just something I hope UUG will do more of in the future.

5. Marvel Hero

Unlike the electro goodness, Marvel Hero is synthy too, but it’s more poppy and techno sparkly which is cool in a way.  In a strange way this song has slightly grown on me, but the song is still kind of underwhelming than most of the A-sides here.  I kind of like the song though since it’s sparkly and just a lot of fun…

6. Barebare I LOVE YOU

Before “UPPER ROCK” came around, Barebare I LOVE YOU was hands down my favorite A-side from the group and it’s understandable because it’s kind of like “Maji Desu ka Ska!” in it’s groove and flow.  That opening line is like such an earworm for me and it’s all over the place in the song too.  I also love that Azusa got to lead the song because she really put her all in this one and it’s great.  This was a great song for them for sure!

7. Mecha Kyun♡Summer ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

As the group’s 4th A-side, Mecha Kyun♡Summer ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ is a nice change of pace and slows the album slightly for this summery mid-tempo track.  I think for the group, this does a better job to show off the girls’ vocals, but I’m start to notice more that the group throws in the whole ~up up~ theme just a bit too much (I think most of the songs on the album do that >.>).  It’s not bad, but not very memorable either.

8. Yuudachi! Through the Rainbow

All I can think of when I listen to this song is how closely it reminds me of “Marvel Hero” because of it’s progressive synth idol pop sound.  Like I said in the single review, this song doesn’t have many solo lines (really Minami and Azusa have one while Akari has a big one in the second verse).  Yuudachi! also kind of fails alongside the previously mentioned track as it’s barely memorable to me and doesn’t have a strong chorus.  Oh well…

9. Namen na! Ashi Girls

Funny, of all the A-sides they’ve released, I barely remember Namen na!  Now going back and listening to the song now, I wonder why I didn’t like the song initially because this is kind of unique on the album with its mix of technopop and oriental themes…actually it could pass as a DDR song hahah.  It’s quirky and I really found myself loving this song or adding a more diverse track.

10. Uppercut!

Probably the group’s most recognizable song in lives, Uppercut! starts off slowly with some announcer and then becomes this dance track.  It’s got a bouncy arrangement and the chorus is nifty (and they kind of mentioned their first single in there too).  There isn’t any solo lines, but there are a lot of duo lines so that makes up for it.  Even though it’s a popular song amongst fans, I’m not the biggest fan of this track.

11. End Of The Season

The group’s 6th A-side comes next and I thought this song was another one of those odd dives into experimentation because there’s a lot of auto-tune present in this track.  It actually kind of sounds like it could be a Perfume song, but as I found out, it was produced by none other than RAM RIDER.  It’s an interesting song and the arrangement with including the steel drum is just strange but cool.  I’ve definitely grew to like it more nowadays and happy it’s on the album.

12. Cyalume

I’m surprised that only one B-side made the album lmfao!  Though to be fair, I’m happy it’s this song from “Mecha Kyun♡Summer ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ” that made the cut (even though “Rainbow” and “Beautiful Days!” are quite awesome too).  As the last original song on the album, this was a nice way to end it off because it’s so sparkly and cute!  Plus it’s another track that really lets the girls show off more of their vocal talent less so of their energy and dancing.  Good song for sure!

13. Uppercut! (super combo Remix)

Remixes?  Strange to be honest xD.  Well, I can’t argue too much because it’s something new on the album.  There’s some dubstep in the song but it’s not at Skrillex levels of atrociousness.  It does make the song slightly more danceable, but it’s still kind of forgetful (minus the bell dinging) hahahaha.

14. UPPER ROCK (ScreeeeeeaMix)

The other remix is for UPPER ROCK and I was wondering why it would have a remix when its original version might as well have been one hahah.  It has a lot of neat tricks up its sleeves and I loved the various buildups and strong electro arrangement.  There’s also some dubstep thrown in and a little ethereal stuff so it’s a very well thought out remix that makes it even more danceable.  So I quite liked this.

15. PandaBoY DJ Mix

The final track on the album is a medley done by PandaBoY who produced quite a number of songs for the group.  There’s a lot of songs to be found here and they all have different new quirks and arrangement changes so I found that to be good.  There’s I think 5 songs represented here not all of them I recognize because of all the new melodies and I haven’t really memorized the vocal melodies/lyrics except for “Going my ↑” and “Barebare I LOVE YOU”.  For a 14 minute medley, this was pretty cool!

Tracks Recommended

  • UPPER ROCK
  • Barebare I LOVE YOU
  • Cyalume
  • Namen na! Ashi Girls
  • Going my ↑

Song of Avoidance

  • Ichiban Girls!

Finally, UUG released their first album and I’m a little disappointed there was no new track lol.  Though most of the songs on the album were rather forgetful, but when they hit their good stride, it’s epic.  My only wish is that the group stop repping their group name in 90% of the songs…it’s just starting to wear thin for me.  Still, this album is good and since they’ve switched labels they can only go up.

 

Kavka Shishido – music February 25, 2013

Filed under: Kavka Shishido — solarblade @ 1:08 am

musickav

Track Listing

  1. music
  2. Recovery
  3. Muteki no Rock Star
  4. music (Demo version) (Regular only)

1. music

I have to say I’m getting more impressed with Kavka as an artist especially with music, her second A-side!  This definitely fits alongside every track she released on her debut single because this has fire and energy and she sounds quite nice.  Best part of the song though is the chorus…definitely loud and really shows Kavka’s strength in her vocals.  Definitely an impressive song to listen to!

2. Recovery

Moving into the B-sides, I have to say that this has a unique sound with that repetitive sax line but has Kavka sounding slick in and around the melody before the chorus opens the song up further.  It’s a strange song to get used to, but overall, this was a pretty solid track if not something that says Kavka wants to try new things here and there.

3. Muteki no Rock Star

Remember “Count Down”? from her last single, I was kind of think this is a parallel because this is more of like that awesome Kavka rock song.  I’m starting to really love her voice as well and just love the power and edge she has…it just makes the song sound so much more lively.  See this is just the kind of song I like and once again definitely say this is the best song on the single.

4. music (Demo version)

I’m just surprised they didn’t call this an acoustic version because that is just what it is, but shorter than the main version.  I do like the simpler arrangement here and it kind of works here in a good way.  I just like listening to the acoustic guitar alongside Kavka’s vocals which has a bit of an echo effect going.  Nice little bonus since it’s only on the Regular edition.

I’m seriously falling for Kavka now.  She just has something that current J-pop acts are kind of lacking at the moment and it’s that musical spark and strong showcase of talent.  music was a great upgrade from “Aisuru Kakugo” in the way that all the songs offered something different.  The leading track is much more memorable than her debut and Muteki no Rock Star was that epic rock song I needed!  Recovery is interesting and something really unique with the saxes being thrown in and last but not least, the bonus version of music was a different take of an already good song.  Yeah this single was pretty amazing! *RECOMMENDED*

 

mihimaru GT – Kimi Dake no Story February 24, 2013

Filed under: mihimaru GT — solarblade @ 7:16 pm

kimidakenostory

Track Listing

  1. Kimi Dake no Story
  2. We Got Restart
  3. Kazoku ni Narou yo
  4. Kimi Dake no Story (Instrumental)
  5. We Got Restart (Instrumental)

1. Kimi Dake no Story

I was surprised that mihimaru would make their next A-side kind of a midtempo R&B track that’s quite upbeat and happy sound.  I do like the fact that there’s some electric guitars present and the song gots a lot more color than some of their more recent offerings.  It’s not a bad song though, so I suppose that’s good right?

2. We Got Restart

Then we slide into the B-sides and We Got Restart is definitely more along the lines of what I like in mihimaru GT.  Minus the small tinges of Oriental music, the song has more of a dance style and I actually like listening to HIROKO’s vocals in the song.  Though I still do think it’s just a bit strange hearing the title sung and all because that’s broken as hell lol.  Not bad, not bad.

3. Kazoku ni Narou yo

I’m surprised that mihimaru did a cover of a song that was released back in 2011.  You know, that Masaharu Fukuyama song that was immensely popular?  Granted the song keeps its sentimentality and quiet feel but with HIROKO singing by herself.  It’s a pleasant cover, nothing that ultimately says KEEP ME…but it’s a nice extra.

With mihimaru getting all ridiculous with releasing best albums now, it’s nice they threw this single out there.  Kimi Dake no Story isn’t too bad and it’s cute and fun to listen to but We Got Restart was a much better track even if the title makes 0 sense lmao.  Their cover of Kazoku ni Narou yo was pretty good, but I think I like Masaharu’s version more still.  Overall not bad…but the group needs to stop releasing so many best albums T.T

 

Mami Kawada – FIXED STAR

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 6:34 pm

fixedstar

Track Listing

  1. FIXED STAR
  2. intersection
  3. FIXED STAR (Instrumental)
  4. intersection (Instrumental)

1. FIXED STAR

Well it’s no surprise that Mami releases a kind of animu-rock song with FIXED STAR, but it’s such a cool track to listen and I just love her voice in the song.  It does remind me of her last single “Borderland” because it has a lot of arrangement similarities.  I think it’s a pretty solid track, but the fact that this is a recut song from her best album last week makes this just a little strange of a song to me…still not bad!

2. intersection

At least the B-side is all new.  I don’t know why, but I love the intro for this song…it was progressive rock and the song gets heavy and kind of reminds me of stuff from “SAVIA”.  There’s just some good guitar riifs, I know it reminds of one oh her older songs, but not sure which one at the moment.  Very fitting B-side.

So this single was released as a recut single (only a week after her best) and this seems to be alright, but nothing that overly excites me.  FIXED STAR is a good track for Mami don’t get me wrong, but I think intersection did a lot better overall.  Overall, it’s one of her better singles, but strangely released lol.