Kurayami Monogatari

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SPYAIR – Sakura Mitsutsuki March 15, 2013

Filed under: SPYAIR — solarblade @ 10:01 am

sakuramitsutsuki

Track Listing

  1. Sakura Mitsutsuki
  2. Turning Point
  3. Sakura Mitsutsuki (Instrumental)
  4. Turning Point (Instrumental)

1. Sakura Mitsutsuki

I was thinking that since ENZEL left the band would just lose synths, but Sakura Mitsutsuki actually has a lot more synths than seen in the last couple of singles from the band WITH their DJ.  As it’s the band’s sakura song, this was quite nice to listen to.  The band is definitely rockin’ out and IKE’s vocals do seem a lot more steadier as well.  I enjoyed this quite a lot!

2. Turning Point

Then we get to the B-side and Turning Point is even heavier than “Sakura Mitsutsuki” which is really surprising and yet really cool to listen to!  It actually reminds me of a ROOKiEZ iZ PUNK’D song with the guitar riffs and powerful chorus.  This was just a epic song from SPYAIR and was surprised this wasn’t an A-side because this would’ve been great!!!

SPYAIR’s first single without ENZEL and they seem to really rock out on this single and it doesn’t even seem he even left the band with how much synth is in the leading track.  Plus, Turning Point is quite heavy and very awesome from SPYAIR.  Great single overall and it’s great to see the band moving forward ^_^.

 

Up Up Girls – SAKURA DRIVE/Dateline

Filed under: Up Up Girls — solarblade @ 8:35 am

sakuradrive

Track Listing

  1. SAKURA DRIVE
  2. Dateline
  3. SAKURA DRIVE (Instrumental)
  4. Dateline (Instrumental)

1. SAKURA DRIVE

Uhm, UUG is doing R&B now?  That’s a bit strange for me, but at least they’re singing the song unlike they were in “Respectokyo”.  The song is something new for the group that’s for sure and they’re stepping in new areas, but there’s like male vocals doing the rapping which kind of took me out of the song.  Even the girls later start rapping too which takes a LOT of time to get used to.  This is a pretty weird song for them, but at least it’s listenable.

2. Dateline

The other A-side is another song they’ve performed even before they switched labels like “Sutorera”.  I was kind of surprised with this song and was hoping it would’ve been on an album because it’s the group’s first ballad!  I’m not sure who leads the most of the song, but this is really pretty for an idol ballad.  Definitely was a bit more impressed with this song than “SAKURA DRIVE”.

It’s kind of sad that I haven’t really loved a song UUG has done since transferring to T-Palette, but I feel there might be one.  SAKURA DRIVE is nice, but the rapping kind of takes me out of the song when most of it comes off as a nice track and very unique for the group.  Dateline too is quite unique as well as being the group’s first ballad and it really caught my attention.  Maybe Dateline should’ve been the primary A-side (but going by what we know of UUG’s past it won’t matter, it’ll be on their next album) LOL.

 

YuiKaori – Shiny Blue

Filed under: YuiKaori — solarblade @ 8:16 am

shinyblue

Track Listing

  1. Shiny Blue
  2. Hatsukoi Maze
  3. Shiny Blue (off vocal ver.)
  4. Hatsukoi Maze (off vocal ver.)

1. Shiny Blue

I was kind of wondering where the duo would go next after “Wake Up!!” and it seems they seem to go back to some of their older songs but with more of technopop/electro arrangement but still quite anison since they are pretty much an anison group.  I mean the synths are aplenty and there’s even guitar thrown in the loop.  Yui and Kaori both sound good, nothing to really gasm over, but that’s been a thing they haven’t really had.  It’s OK, but nothing that I’ll remember after the review

2. Hatsukoi Maze

The B-side kind of goes into a more cuter route and would’ve strangely fit as the B-side of “Wake Up!!” because there’s something similar between the two (and it’s not the energy btw).  It also reminds me of stuff from their first album as well…maybe “Our Steady Boy”?  Still, this is kind of nice and not really all that annoying.

As the 3rd single in, Shiny Blue is probably my least favorite A-side of the current era just because Shiny Blue really doesn’t bring anything totally new to the table for my ears.  It’s not bad though so at least that’s great to see.  Hatsukoi Maze also reminds me of one of their older tracks but it’s not crappy either.  What’s going on here?  I wonder if an album is up in the works for them!

 

AAA – PARTY IT UP

Filed under: AAA — solarblade @ 7:16 am

partyitup

Track Listing

  1. PARTY IT UP
  2. ALIVE
  3. PARTY IT UP (PLAY IT ALL NIGHT REMIX) (CD only bonus track)
  4. PARTY IT UP (Instrumental)
  5. ALIVE (Instrumental)

1. PARTY IT UP

After the last couple of A-sides, I was honestly burned out by AAA by releasing subpar songs as leading tracks.  Luckily for me, PARTY IT UP is SUCH A KICKASS song from the group.  I have always said I love their dance tracks more than their peppy/ballad stuff so this was right up in my alley.  I still really think that it’s awesome to finally see Shuta and Shinji being active in the songs and not being merely backup dancers nowadays.  It’s a pretty badass song, but my only issue is HOW short it really is (consists of two verses, two choruses…that’s it and the ending too).  It just felt like it could’ve had more added onto it.  Still it’s a pretty awesome song!

2. ALIVE

The beat of “PARTY IT UP” leads into the B-side and it’s got a darker synth riff at first and we hear Chiaki singing quite lengthily then Shuta and Shinji which is really cool.  The song is kind of a danceable ballad?  It’s definitely different from the previous track and is quite unique in AAA’s discography.  Actually you really don’t hear a lot of the primary members until the later half which is cool.  Not bad of a B-side.

3. PARTY IT UP (PLAY IT ALL NIGHT REMIX)

We get a remix of the A-side as a special CD only treat.  It’s like they wanted to turn it into even more of an electro song and while the melody doesn’t match the lyrical melody, the song isn’t a bad remix.  I wish the chorus had a little more oomph to make it pop out more but this is OK…

AAA finally found the light again with PARTY IT UP.  The leading track is really cool and very them but I still do feel like the song needs more especially after the second chorus and its remix was solid, not the best but not terrible either.  ALIVE was different for sure and I love that the song mostly circled around Chiaki, Shuta, and Shinji here while everyone else was back up essentially.  This definitely made up for their last couple of singles and I hope they release another dance track after this one!

 

AYUSE KOZUE – LOL

Filed under: AYUSE KOZUE — solarblade @ 6:41 am

lol

Track Listing

  1. LOL
  2. Kimi no Koto feat. RED RICE
  3. CLAP!
  4. SURVIVORS
  5. What They Say feat. TSUGUMI (ex SOULHEAD)
  6. My Friend
  7. Shinji Sasete
  8. Ienakatta I LOVE YOU
  9. A GOOD GIRL
  10. STORY

1. LOL

For a title like LOL I wasn’t expecting the song to be kind of a mid-tempo song for some reason.  I mean it should be silly or even random, but this song sounds a lot like what was on her last album.  For a title song, this was kind of VERY bland and vanilla from an R&B standpoint.  Yeah this was a weak opening track.

2. Kimi no Koto feat. RED RICE

Erasing that taste of the first track, I was trying to get into Kimi no Koto BUT RED RICE is in this song.  As he’s a part of SHONANNOKAZE, I was REALLY dreading his appearance as he screwed up Aoyama Thelma’s song up badly.  While AYUSE does nice and the song is a bit generic in the arrangement, RED RICE SOUNDS TERRIBLE IN THE SONG.  His quips just annoys me to no end and ruins whatever I liked about the song.  Blech.

3. CLAP!

At least CLAP! tries for something a little more playful.  It still does have an American feel to it, but this time AYUSE is drowning in auto-tune for the entire song which REALLY doesn’t work for the song because she would’ve sounded great without it!  The arrangement is quirky and quite nice to listen to, but the auto-tune MUST go.

4. SURVIVORS

Going into SURVIVORS, I was kind of wanting AYUSE to change styles and she really doesn’t here.  I mean it’s another “LOL” and “Kimi no Koto” minus the annoyances.  Which means this song didn’t do so bad, but it’s still kind of forgetful in the long run, but I do like the electric guitar present in the song…that I can say I enjoyed a lot.

5. What They Say feat. TSUGUMI (ex SOULHEAD)

I honestly could’ve lived without TSUGUMI being processed as she’s a good enough rapper without that BS going on.  There’s a lot of her as well with AYUSE singing the chorus which is nice but once again the auto-tune prevents me to enjoy the song in full.  At least AYUSE sounds really pretty in the song right?  Even that guitar solo was a bit of a weird but nicely done solo.  I can grow to enjoy it somewhat.

6. My Friend

I love the fact she uses the same beats and synths throughout this album…totally original right?  Once again I feel like it’s another one of those I’ve already heard this song somewhere else on the album kind of feeling.  Nothing really new to report that I haven’t already said in “SURVIVORS” so apply that here once again.

7. Shinji Sasete

Moving into an actual ballad, Shinji Sasete could’ve been a great song to listen to from it’s synthed up arrangement, but once again it comes with a lot of auto-tune present as well.  There are just times where processing your voice is VERY inappropriate for a song and this is one of those times.  It would’ve been a really solid song had it not been for that.  Ugh…

8. Ienakatta I LOVE YOU

Maybe for the first time, there’s a song that really stood out on the album.  Ienakatta I LOVE YOU doesn’t feel like a cheap rehash nor the song is drenched in auto-tune.  Plus hearing AYUSE in a higher pitch is quite pleasant and she fits this piano-fronted R&B song and maybe the auto-tuned parts are nice and not annoying (and small).  Not bad.

9. A GOOD GIRL

I kind of enjoyed the loopy synths the opened up A GOOD GIRL.  It actually might be the first song that kind of surprised me by its arrangement, but don’t get me wrong, it’s still an R&B track through and through.  AYUSE is singing in a deeper tone as well which also tends to impress me nicely.  It’s a pleasant and non-offensive track so that’s a real nice thing, but at this point many people would be REALLY tired of this sound.

10. STORY

As the final song for the album, STORY is a bit more heavier on the beat but like “SURVIVORS” it just rides that same train which is just kind of a bit of kicking a dead horse at this point.  It’s OK, but the I’m basically done talking about this song.

Tracks Recommended

  • Ienakatta I LOVE YOU
  • SURVIVORS
  • A GOOD GIRL

Song of Avoidance

  • Shinji Sasete

AYUSE…what is happening?  I mean LOL is a slightly better album than “U&I” but you were making more crappy mistakes like all that auto-tune present.  That was the most loathing thing on the album tbh.  I wished AYUSE would go back to the days of “Simply Good” where her stuff didn’t feel so washed up.  Yeah not a great album here…again!