Kurayami Monogatari

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JASMINE – HERO July 30, 2013

Filed under: JASMINE — solarblade @ 9:09 pm

hero

Track Listing

  1. HERO
  2. Missing
  3. Why (T.O.M Remix for JAS VEGAS)

1. HERO

I was quite surprised she managed to pull in m-flo’s Taku to produce HERO (especially with how negative he’s been recently).  At first, the intro for the song reminded me of Brit’s “Scream and Shout” but once JASMINE comes in, the song becomes a bit more broader and alive.  Add her powerful vocals with the electro arrangement and you get a pretty loud and powerful dance track!  I’m enjoying this quite a bit and really improved on what happened on “High Flying”.

2. Missing

If I’m correct this is also a cover song (the same one Mika Nakashima did a while ago).  At first, I thought the song was going to be faster due to the intro, but it cuts out after a while and slows down to a ballad with piano and strings.  It’s a little bit like “BED” but less 90’s nostalgia.  It’s not a bad track, but after “HERO”, this is a forgetful song for me.

3. Why (T.O.M Remix for JAS VEGAS)

I totally forgot how Why went (it was an album track from “GOLD”).  It was originally an R&B track that was a bit normal of JASMINE’s style.  Coming back to the single, it was remixed by T.O.M (someone that’s familiar to me, because of his remixes for MiChi).  Why’s touch-up has a bit more of a mid-tempo dance style going on and it kind of works in a way.

 

 

JASMINE 5th and final single before her sophomore album, “Complexxx” releases and HERO is kind of a weird single to put out.  I meant like HERO is nothing like what she’s done before and that’s cool, plus it’s a great electro/dance track.  Missing was an alright cover, but it definitely isn’t as great as “BED” was and the remix for Why made the song a bit more original in my eyes, so I quite liked it…overall not bad…can’t wait for the album.

 

JASMINE – High Flying

Filed under: JASMINE — solarblade @ 8:49 pm

highflying

Track Listing

  1. High Flying
  2. BED
  3. High Flying (Instrumental)

1. High Flying

JASMINE took a little while to get the High Flying out but finally it’s time to delve into what I’ve been missing.  At first listen, it does kind of go back to her first two singles with a heavier R&B sound, but this one has a little more leniency towards having a bit of fun rather than that sappy, depressing tune (like “sad to say” and “No More”.  Due to its Americanized feel, the song does come off a tad generic…like “ONLY YOU” but moreso…

2. BED

The B-side this time around is a cover of one of DOUBLE’s hits.  JASMINE’s take of it really suits her vocals quite smoothly, especially in her adlibbing in the intro.  I just love the nostalgic 90’s R&B vibe I get from this track and JASMINE took advantage of that in every way!  Great cover overall!

 

 

As the 4th single, High Flying wasn’t all that great for JASMINE.  I mean she still sounds great (especially in her DOUBLE cover), but High Flying just fell flat for me.  It just didn’t seem like it was very thought out.  Though BED was the better track.  Very pretty song!  Ehhh…

 

Up Up Girls – Summer Beam!/Up Up Typhoon

Filed under: Up Up Girls — solarblade @ 1:44 am

summerbeam

Track Listing

  1. Summer Beam!
  2. Up Up Typhoon
  3. Summer Beam! (Instrumental)
  4. Up Up Typhoon (Instrumental)

1. Summer Beam!

As the primary A-side, Summer Beam! sounds like your typical idol summer pop song with a heavier dose of synths and beats.  It could really be a Aki.P track because of just how plain it sounds (though it has some quirks about it).  I feel like it could have a little more uniqueness about it, but there really isn’t many other summer songs in UUG so I suppose it does its job.

2. Up Up Typhoon

After all this time! We finally had gotten a PV from the group and strangely enough it’s of their secondary A-side, Up Up Typhoon.  At first it starts off slowly with spoken monologue from Morisaki and then a solo from Akari!  Once Konacchan enters in the song goes 180 into this wild and exciting tune!  It’s a very good song to pump the crowd up…my only gripe is Morisaki in that chorus just cramming words up like that…lord…Still I would’ve loved seeing more Maana, but this song is great fun!

Jeeze, is it album time yet?  As the group’s summer single, I thought they did pretty well with it overall.  Summer Beam! might be a little bland, but it’s still quite jumpy for a song.  Though the clear winner is Up Up Typhoon, with its awesome energy and fun spirit…This era has been going on too long though…

 

Nana Mizuki – Vitalization July 29, 2013

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 11:50 pm

vitalization

Track Listing

  1. Vitalization
  2. Ai no Hoshi
  3. Dramatic Love

1. Vitalization

It seems Nana wanted to replicate the epicness from “Synchrogazer” and so she released Vitalization.  There’s so many similarities going on between the two, but I feel like the arrangement here is a bit rambunctious because there’s some vocal dabbling in the computers (especially the pre-chorus).  Nana still sounds grandiose and powerful which is an amazing feat for a song like this.  I still do prefer the aforementioned track more, but this song is not far behind…pretty chaotic, but fantastic track!

2. Ai no Hoshi

Once “Vitalization” ends, we come to a halting stop for Ai no Hoshi.  Reason being is that this song is a straight up piano/strings ballad which might throw some people off if they’re listening to the single fully.  I actually really like Nana’s vocal performance because she brings a lot of power to fill in the gaps of the slow arrangement.  This is definitely one of her best ballads, if not the best she’s had in her career to be quite honest.

3. Dramatic Love

I wasn’t expecting the other B-side would’ve taken the lighter pop route.  I feel like this song oddly reminds me of a more synth-friendly take of “Lovely Fruit” but there’s something about this song that also says it should’ve been a Character song.  Even though her vocals aren’t as impressive like in either of the previous tracks, the cute form does kind of work well on me. 

 

 

Starting a new era off, Vitalization was a pretty awesome single to start things off.  Vitalization might be a more crazier, insane, and loud version of “Synchrogazer” but this style of music really brings Nana to the front of the anison world, because she just has this AMAZING and boisterous tone that makes songs like those two SO DAMN EPIC!  Ai no Hoshi also is added to this regard, but this was a ballad but she ran through that almost perfectly!  As for Dramatic Love, she was having a bit of fun and that’s always a plus too…I almost could say it was perfect but that’s tough to do…but *RECOMMENDED* for sure!!!

 

Koda Kumi – Summer Trip

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 11:32 pm

summertrip

Track Listing

  1. Radio Show Start ~LALALALALA~ [Intro]
  2. LALALALALA
  3. Show Time ~IS THIS TRAP?~ [Interlude]
  4. IS THIS TRAP?
  5. Show Time ~TOUCH DOWN~ [Interlude]
  6. TOUCH DOWN
  7. Radio Show End [Outro]

1. Radio Show Start ~LALALALALA~ [Intro]

So it sounds like a radio station….you know 90.3, Koda Radio xD.  It’s kind of weird there’s a guy host and he’s introducing the single and the song coming up…different from past Koda summer singles…also a tad goofy in a way haha.

2. LALALALALA

The first song, opens up with Kuu wailing xD.  I’m not sure what to really think of the song quite yet because it’s poppy but it has its rock n’ roll quirks as well.  Actually, I could see Ayu singing this song instead of Kuu honestly because the arrangement has a certain Ayu flair about it.  I will say it’s quite different from the normal and surprising we’re getting more rock tracks from Kuu nowadays.

3. Show Time ~IS THIS TRAP?~ [Interlude]

It’s really strange to hear these interludes because it does sound like radio airwaves.  The guy does kind of explain what IS THIS TRAP? is all about which is quite nice for the international fans.

4. IS THIS TRAP?

Taking a bit more of Kuu’s recent synth songs for IS THIS TRAP?, it’s actually a mid-tempo track but with a little bit more oomph.  I feel that it’s gonna stand out the most from the single because these types of songs from her manage to make me take notice a lot quicker than stuff like “LALALALALA” would.  Cool track overall!

5. Show Time ~TOUCH DOWN~ [Interlude]

Not much to say here, the same ideas from the last Show Time are applied here though the host is a bit horny sounding XD.  Weird stuff if you ask me!

6. TOUCH DOWN

I will admit, I was expecting this track to be the dirty song of the single and I was correct.  The auto-tuned male voice is a bit gritty, but this song is something Kuu hasn’t really touched upon for quite a while and I’m loving her voice in this song (even if the empty arrangement is kind of forcing you to pay attention to Kuu).  It does sound VERY Americanized, but regardless…this is a cool track as well!

7. Radio Show End [Outro]

Ending the single, we get an outro from the host fella and like any other outro.  It’s cool and suited the theme of the single, but still kind of hilarious xD

Seems like every summer now on, we’re going to get a single like this.  Summer Trip when compared to “4 hot wave”, “3 SPLASH”, and “4 TIMES”, is a tad weaker to me for some reason…but her releasing schedule has been funky since her baby was born so we can’t fault too much.  Summer Trip isn’t a bad single and the concept of radio airplay is cool and all, but really I think the older singles had WAY better songs.  LALALALALA is my least favorite since summer rock tracks don’t mesh well for Kuu…IS THIS TRAP? and TOUCH DOWN sound more like album tracks rather than A-side material…but they’re cool nonetheless.  I wanna see what she’ll do next single.

 

Fairies – Hikari no Hate ni

Filed under: Fairies — solarblade @ 11:02 pm

hikarinohateni

Track Listing

  1. Hikari no Hate ni
  2. Yell
  3. Hikari no Hate ni (Instrumental)
  4. Yell (Instrumental)

1. Hikari no Hate ni

It has been forever since we’ve seen the group release a single and they return with Hikari no Hate ni and I’m a bit undecided about the track.  I will say this is definitely a lot more idol-heavy than anything previous of there’s but it feels AMAZINGLY generic at the same time because it’s so genki and just bright.  Especially coming after “White Angel”, this song just came out of nowhere…Should’ve left this for SUPER GiRLS to handle, honestly.

2. Yell

Going into their B-side, it’s even moreso NOT Fairies because this song is an acoustic idol track and that’s very disappointing to me.  I mean the vocals are kind of all over the place, the arrangement is once again very generic…and overall…this is not what Fairies is.  Ugh….

This has got to be the worst single the group has done since their debut.  Both songs reek of this plastic, typical idol sound that it’s even more generic than it should be.  Did losing Kawane and having a sub-group ruin their trail?  Jeeze…after the amazing “White Angel”, this has got to be the biggest disappointing single of the year so far!  Fairies wtf are you doing?!?

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Unmei/Wonderful Smile

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 10:49 pm

unmei

Track Listing

  1. Unmei
  2. Wonderful Smile
  3. Unmei -Royal Mirrorball Mix- (CD+DVD only)
  4. Futari Kiri -Royal Mirrorball Mix- (CD only)
  5. Unmei (Instrumental)
  6. Beautiful Smile (Instrumental)
  7. Unmei -Royal Mirrorball Mix- (Instrumental)

1. Unmei

I’m actually not surprised that the group still hasn’t shifted their sound much since “Limited addiction”, but this is getting ridiculous!  I will say that this sounds the most 80’s of the last couple of singles, but I’m getting tired of that long musical sections because it’s the same bullshit that has happened for a long time now…GET OUT OF IT PRODUCERS >.>  Besides that, this song is great for the vocals because they are sounding more much deeper and mature!  I’m also loving that Miyu is one of the leads of the song replacing Hitomi for once! Plus Ayano is being her awesome self…If they had cut the damn music breaks down, this would’ve been an amazing song!

2. Wonderful Smile

Talking about Hitomi’s lack of appearance in the song, she gets a pseudo solo track.  What I mean is that she’s the only one from the group singing, but she accompanied by Wanko Matsushima (who is a cartoon character)…collaborated for this song based round the Touhoku Earthquakes.  Compared to “Unmei”, this song is ridiculously short and surprisingly cute.  Hitomi’s vocals are in the higher pitch to fit the nature of the song, but this track did nothing for me hahah.  It’s a good bonus, but it’s definitely not A-side worthy IMO.

3. Unmei -Royal Mirrorball Mix-

The single comes with two remixes from RMB and the first up is of Unmei’s which is at an alarming 8 minutes in length.  Of course since Royal Mirrorball is a VERY common name to TG’S, they try to give us something a bit different from the original.  Their take on Unmei’s sticks to 80’s sound, but it sounds more like new wave which is a quirky take.  I do like the arrangement which is no surprise, but it doesn’t seem to fit the vocal melodies very smoothly.  It’s also a bit too long for me…because it started to drag midway…

4. Futari Kiri -Royal Mirrorball Mix-

The other remix is of Futari Kiri (from their last album, “Yakusoku”).  Now I loathed the original and was the worst of the album for me.  RMB’s remix gives it a synthed touch-up and it kind of made it slightly better, but like the previous remix, it’s near 8 minutes so it tends to drag as well.  It could’ve had a bit more oomph, but this is a pretty slick remix if I say so myself.

Kicking off their 4th era, TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE started things off on a strange foot.  As much as I like Unmei and what they did for the girls, the producer’s formula is HEAVILY getting stale and the songs keep getting longer and mundane with those music breaks…they need to change it.  Wonderful Smile is a bit out of place and Hitomi didn’t sound that great, just felt unoriginal.  As for the remixes, Futari Kiri’s stood out more than Unmei’s but both songs are just a tad bit too long.  Not a great place to start but it’s whatever.