Kurayami Monogatari

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moumoon – PAIN KILLER February 10, 2013

Filed under: moumoon — solarblade @ 3:18 pm

painkiller

Track Listing

  1. DREAMER DREAMER (PAIN KILLER ver.)
  2. Vanitas
  3. Help Me
  4. PAIN
  5. Hanabi
  6. Midori no Michi
  7. Utsukushii Hito
  8. Anniversary
  9. “Love is Everywhere”
  10. Never Enough
  11. Doko e mo Ikanai yo
  12. Flowers (Acoustic ver.) (CD only bonus track)

1. DREAMER DREAMER (PAIN KILLER ver.)

As the last A-side released before the album, I was quite worried about what changes were made to DREAMER DREAMER because I seriously loved this track!  The only difference that the PAIN KILLER version has over is that the song has a different introduction, but beyond that, the song remained entirely the same!  I really thought that DREAMER DREAMER is one of those songs that really definie what moumoon are all about and I was happy that it opened the album up!

2. Vanitas

The next track up is bolded because it was released digitally before “DREAMER DREAMER/Doke e mo Ikanai yo” was released.  I thought it was great seeing the duo include this track since it is one of the slower songs they did for the era (although kind of strange seeing it come after something upbeat this early in the album).  YUKA’s vocals sound so light and bright.  It’s just a really good ballad…not as dramatic as some others in the past, but I can be happily listening to this one!

3. Help Me

I found it strange that Help Me is the shortest track on the album (only barely passing 2 1/2 minutes).  I suppose this was kind of the replacement for “Wild Child” which is oddly missing from the album.  What I meant is that Help Me is more along the rock side of the spectrum but still has that playful tone to it.  I really do like it, but it felt so damn short!  I think YUKA really did well here!

4. PAIN

Strange we’re slowing back to once again to get into the title track and I kind of figured the song was going to be dark and a bit more dramatic than it actually did.  Though the lyrics will say otherwise and YUKA emotes quite perfectly here and she sounds heavenly as well!  I do think there’s other ballads that are better from moumoon, but this isn’t half bad!

5. Hanabi

The follow “PAIN” up with another ballad?  That might be hard for listeners to pay attention but I actually liked Hanabi (the 2nd A-side representing the album).  To me, this ballad really takes the cake for me because it’s VERY beautiful and YUKA sounds just delightful to listen to.  A lot stronger than most of the songs on this album too!  I just felt like sailing on a boat at night listening to this.  Great track!

6. Midori no Michi

As the only B-side to make the album cut (and it also got a PV on the album), Midori no Michi might be stretching the slow songs a bit even though I’m coming off my high from “Hanabi”.  That said, the song doesn’t resonate with me much here as much as it did on the single.  I do think it has a certain “15 Doors” kind of sound which is a nice throwback, but it just flew past me in the long run.

7. Utsukushii Hito

As the promotional song for the album, I was curious to what Utsukushii Hito brought to the table and sadly it’s another ballad to deal with which at this point, I’m getting tired of and starting to lose focus on the album.  I can say that this song sounds more mellow and tries to follow songs of the past like “Aoi Tsuki to Ambivalance na Ai” which the dramatic orchestral feel which does make it stand out and YUKA once again sounding powerful!  Even the English lines slightly parallel their awesome ballad of the past…it’s kind of freaky, but at the same time smart!  Of the ballads in this area, this and “Hanabi” rank high for me.

8. Anniversary

At least we finally exit the slow parts for a little while and move onto something peppy like Anniversary which kind of takes up the cute, sparkly pop tune.  It is quite a 180 coming after “Utsukushii Hito” in terms of emotional tone but I kind of like this tune.  It’s like lipgloss with glitter in it.  Has a lot going on and just feels so polished (maybe a little too much).  It’s kind of overbearing at times for me to listen to all this cuteness.

9. “Love is Everywhere”

Which is strange because this song is ADORABLE!  However, this song is bloody fuckin’ amazing!  I mean if they needed a song to shake off that “Sunshine Girl”-mania that was going on, this song was just kicking that door down HARD.  I mean it’s dance, true to moumoon, and YUKA does a great job holding down both the amount of Japanese and English in the track.  Yeah the verses’ melody is essentially ripping off Martin Solveig’s “Hello” to a T, but Masaki and YUKA definitely worked their magic all over it and that’s why it still remains my favorite off the album!  It’s just an amazing song to listen to!

10. Never Enough

Then we slow down once again for the closing songs of the album.  I kind of found myself thinking it was a more guitar-heavy take of “Utsukushii Hito”, but I kind like that song better.  This one just sounds nice but doesn’t do much for me otherwise besides the good arrangement and YUKA’s vocals.  Kind of forgetful.

11. Doko e mo Ikanai yo

Of the A-sides that had to be included, I really wasn’t into this track very much and as it’s the final track (minus the bonus), it was appropriate since PAIN KILLER ends with a track like this.  The light atmosphere works, but it’s another one of those songs that sound like it would belong on “15 Doors”.  Simple and effective, just not memorable otherwise.

Tracks Recommended

  • “Love is Everywhere”
  • DREAMER DREAMER (PAIN KILLER ver.)
  • Utsukushii Hito
  • Hanabi
  • Vanitas

Song of Avoidance

  • Doke e mo Ikanai yo

*will review the acoustic take of Flowers once it leaks* Even though PAIN KILLER is not as vibrant of an album to moumoon like “No Night Land” was, I have to say they did a pretty good job here with what they have.  I mean my top 5 easily crushes my favorites on their last album by quite a long shot!  So I can say that this was the better album!  There were points where the ballads were kind of meh, but the upbeat songs brought life back easily.  Definitely impressed from moumoon, though I wonder why they left off “Wild Child” >.> I’m not complaining because it’s a bad song, but still wondering why it didn’t make the cut.

 

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