Kurayami Monogatari

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CAPSULE – CAPS LOCK October 22, 2013

Filed under: capsule — solarblade @ 11:19 pm

capslock

Track Listing

  1. HOME
  2. CONTROL
  3. DELETE
  4. 12345678
  5. SHIFT
  6. ESC
  7. SPACE
  8. RETURN

CD2

  1. CONTROL (extended mix)
  2. DELETE (extended mix)
  3. ESC (extended mix)

1. HOME

Opening the album with the ever-so prevalent introduction, HOME begins with a repetitive piano line before Nakata’s synths add melody on top of that.  To be fair, with the sound of the track I would’ve thought it’d be more a Kyarypamyupamyu intro because of the added toy piano.  I mean it’s nice but it doesn’t have a lot of direction to be honest and by the time I felt it would have, we’re already moving into the next track.

2. CONTROL

As the album’s title tracks revolve around buttons on a keyboard, it’s no surprise that it begins with someone literally jamming their fingers on a computer keyboard >.>.  I’m kind of annoyed with the repetition in the melody, but it gets pushed back when Toshiko enters but she’s heavily computerized and half the time, I don’t understand what she’s singing.  I do like a lot about this song especially once it finally gets on its legs…but it had to work up there…hm.

3. DELETE

Some odd chords and some ticking open up our next track and honestly, I kind of was a little turned off with such a long intro.  I will say, this kind of jungle-like atmosphere mixed in with the electro elements really stuck out in a good way.  The bad thing though is the fact that this is a 6 and a half minute instrumental and to be honest, I would’ve preferred to have heard Toshiko somewhere in the song because it would’ve sounded great with how mysterious and dark this track came off.  I love the melody, but it’s missing something…

4. 12345678

Oh we get another 6 minute track.  It opens with some…weird sounds like the AHWOOOGAH horn and some weird creaking sounds as well.  God is this such a turnoff from the song.  It’s like a calamity of sounds to make a song out of it and it tries to come together with Nakata’s synthwork and 8bit stuff.  I mean when the halfway mark passes then Toshiko starts to sing but by then I’m SOOO annoyed by the arrangement that she totally flies by me with not much notice on my part.  Suffice to say, I hate this song XD.

5. SHIFT

To be honest, the only “capsule-like” song on the album has to be SHIFT but it does take some elements from “CONTROL” which I don’t totally mind but similarities are a bit surprising.  The whole glitching of Toshiko’s lines is also quite a bit jarring, but there’s something about this tinkering that made me think there was something a bit genius about the tune.  I enjoyed it!

6. ESC

Only a second longer than “HOME”, ESC starts off with this ominous breeze and some whispery voices and then bubbles and dark piano lines and other random shit (ala “12345678” but less distracting).  Really that’s all there is to it…atmospheric and yet…doesn’t even fit on this album.  I mean it’s also a bit off to have an interlude on such a short album as it is, but holy shit was this the epitome of useless.

7. SPACE

After that colossal failure, SPACE comes in with a certain atmospheric but a little more electro (like “WORLD OF FANTASY”) but keeps it on a chill pace.  It’s nice to hear Toshiko return to the vocals, but it just sounds like she’s just ~ahhhhh-ing~ the entire track which makes it lose points for not filling in the spaces because that was just disappointing to me.  Lost potential in this tune >.>

8. RETURN

The final track on the album slightly mirrors “HOME” with a piano introduction but it leads to something that kind of reminds me of something they would’ve done from their debut album, “High Collar Girl” minus the synths that are present.  Sadly once again it’s like a 5 minute outro…with no Toshiko…man what is with the absence?  Honestly, this was boring…

Tracks Recommended

  • SHIFT
  • DELETE
  • CONTROL

Song of Avoidance

  • 12345678

With capsule changing labels and changing their name to CAPSULE…their first album…honestly sucks.  I mean this could be their worst album they’ve done since they debuted.  I mean if there was a theme, it didn’t stick very well and a lot of the songs sounds more Nakata than CAPSULE…I mean Toshiko only appeared in half the songs, but one she was just ahhh-ing and another the song sucked entirely.  Yeah, I have no idea what went wrong and I wished Nakata had some liner notes about this one because right now…MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT.

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misono – symphony with misono BEST October 18, 2013

Filed under: misono — solarblade @ 7:21 am

symphonywithmisono

Track Listing

  1. Starry Heavens ver. 2013
  2. Soshite Boku ni Dekiru Koto ver. 2013
  3. Ninin Sankyaku ver. 2013
  4. Junction Punctuation Mark
  5. 61 Byoume no…Fura Letter Saigo no Hatsukoi ~Copernicus Tekitenkai~

1. Starry Heavens ver. 2013

As this is another “best” from misono dealing with the Tales of… series, it isn’t surprising we’re getting retreads of old songs misono has done for the series!  Starry Heavens was one of the more popular songs when she was in day after tomorrow and honestly, hearing a new version of the song is nice because it sounds different with strings and a crisper sound and less of that GND sound, but it’s still there as well.  I did like it and oddly misono’s voice sounds…nice?  It’s not as whiny as it has been…one can wonder…did she resing it…and copy and pasted??? XD

2. Soshite Boku ni Dekiru Koto ver. 2013

Possibly one of the more underrated dat songs, Soshite Boku ni Dekiru Koto is such a great song to listen, but sadly it lost all the magic that made the original so good…it’s like they diluted the great guitar lines that make the original SO GOOD and replaced it with synths >.<.  Actually listening to the song even further, it sounds like she has not resung the songs…bummer.  “Starry Heavens” was a much better track that changed…I was disappointed here.

3. Ninin Sankyaku ver. 2013

The only Tales song to make the cut here for the change when misono went solo, Ninin Sankyaku had also had it’s guitarwork removed for the most part and gave it a more GND-ish feel.  Though if it had to happen, it would sound like this so my expectations were met.  I kind of like it, but at the same time the original was pretty damn good so this is kind of on the fence for the most part!

4. Junction Punctuation Mark

Though I guess it’s a nice enough move to include 2 new tracks on this “glorifed single” I suppose.  The first song, I was surprised that the sound is similar to the previous tracks but has a lot more guitars present to match with misono’s current feel.  I’m happy misono toned down the whining that’s been plaguing her in recent times and honestly it feels like such a throwback to her days in day after tomorrow that it makes me lulz.  I actually like the song though and fits well on this mini

5. 61 Byoume no…Fura Letter Saigo no Hatsukoi ~Copernicus Tekitenkai~

The other song (with a ridiculous title again >.>) 61 Byoume no… is the slow rock ballad on the mini and I know go in with a warning right?  At least its not an acoustic song because I would’ve been cringing.  The whining is slightly more apparent here and her vibrato is a bit less liked as well…kind of ranking it low on her ballads (which isn’t hard to do).  Yeah not a very good track.

 

 

Even though misono is spacing her releases now, I guess avex felt like she needed a 2nd Tales best-of to have her fans not forget her.  At least this time they SORT-OF did some changes.  As much as I enjoy the new takes of her old songs, only one of them is good…and also…they’re lazy for not having misono resing any of the three >.<  The new tracks…well Junction Punctuation Mark is good but 61 Byoume no…is just weak…odd release…

 

Ai Otsuka – Re:NAME

Filed under: Ai Otsuka — solarblade @ 6:12 am

rename

Track Listing

  1. Re:NAME
  2. Hello me
  3. Toilet Paper Blues
  4. Re:NAME (Instrumental)
  5. Hello me (Instrumental)

1. Re:NAME

It’s been so long since I heard Ai-chin last!  Re:NAME kind of brings back a more smooth sounding Ai and I totally forgot how sweet her voice comes off in slower songs.  Add in this slow bossanova / easy listening feel of the song and I’m just enjoying this a whole lot.  Definitely better than her last couple of singles (though they’ve been released so far apart as it is…).  Definitely a nice song to listen to on a slow day granted might be a bit long (almost 6 minutes).

2. Hello me

The first B-side kind of follows alongside quite nicely after “Re:NAME” but this has a bit more life into it being all pop/rock.  I actually feel like Ai’s voice has slightly deepened since “I ♥ ×××” which is a nice thing I think.  The song is very Ai and I easily fell in love with the song due to all the good things she’s pulling it off…it’s like a “LOVE LETTER” song but memorable!

3. Toilet Paper Blues

Though the one thing I love about Ai is how wtf she can get with her songs.  So I was very amused one of the songs was titled as such…then to find out the song is stylized in Jazz and unlike “Shachihata”, she actually SINGS in the style and BY LORD SHE SOUNDS ORGASMIC!  I knew Ai would handle jazz like a boss, but damn this song was the single’s WINNER!

 

 

Ever since “Bye Bye”, I felt like Ai-chin lost the spark for J-pop and nothing she released after had really stuck on me (except “LUCKY☆STAR”) and it didn’t help she started releasing digital singles and then the stint with Rabbit…I felt like I was just not into her anymore, but then she releases this single and all the good feels came back in full force.  Re:NAME is a nice track, very nice but not minimal luckily (unlike her last single) and Hello me is a good pop/rock tune that old Ai fans will enjoy.  Of course I have to give the trophy to Toilet Paper Blues for finally bringing Ai’s jazz voice to a much better height than “Shachihata” did (plus it’s what I wished for XD).  Yeah this single is a great comeback for Ai *RECOMMENDED*

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Get The Star/Last Forever

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 5:39 am

getthestar

Track Listing

  1. Get The Star
  2. Last Forever
  3. Get The Star -Orland Remix- (Type C only)
  4. Get The Star (Instrumental)
  5. Last Forever (Instrumental)

1. Get The Star

Wow, a song that immediately starts with lyrics and doesn’t sound like their last bunch of singles!  Yeah, it seems that the group switched to a punk rock sound for Get The Star and it seems it’s a unison track for the group which is very surprising given the group’s sound the last couple of years.  I enjoy the melodies the ladies tackle and it fits the arrangement which I read was done by a member from Luna Sea!  I have to say, I LOVE the change for the main A-side.  Catchy tune overall!

2. Last Forever

It even carries into the other A-side!  Though this time, the song has a LOT more solo lines and is presented as a rock ballad.  I was quite surprised with Ayano, Hitomi, and I think that’s Miyu? leading the track.  I haven’t heard the group tackle a ballad in a while so it’s great to see a return to that, WITH GUITARS AND STRINGS!!!  Even though it’s vocally a little less redeeming than in “Get The Star”, this made a great ballad still.  Very nice!

3. Get The Star -Orland Remix-

Wait, a remix that isn’t done by Royal Mirrorball? THE AMOUNT OF WTF.  It begins mid-chorus with the original arrangement but loosens up and shifts into a more poppier drum n’ bass remix which has it’s ups and downs throughout the track.  I do love some of the synthwork found here, but I think the vocal melody doesn’t work when it comes to the song’s chorus.  Unique, and finally a single that didn’t have a damn RM remix!

 

 

If you’ve been a fan of TG’S for a while, this single will clearly surprise you.  I mean this single couldn’t be anymore different from well…ANY of the singles before this.  They switched from that funky, disco, style that was starting to grow stale on them and went for a more punk rock meets idol sound (not like BiS mind you) and released this single which was pretty awesome!  Get The Star and Last Forever just had solid vocals and they’re both memorable while the remix does make Get The Star bridge a little closer to stuff like “W.M.A.D” and “Unmei”.  Overall strong offering from the group, though it seems like they’re returning to their sound they’ve been following with “ROAD TO BUDOKAN 2013 ~Chiisana Kiseki~”…..hmm.

 

Berryz Koubou – Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta/ROCK Erotic October 5, 2013

Filed under: Berryz Koubou — solarblade @ 9:04 pm

mottozutto

Track Listing

  1. Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta
  2. ROCK Erotic
  3. I’m so cool! (Limited A, B, C, and Regular only)
  4. Koisuru Technique (Limited D only)
  5. Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta (Instrumental)
  6. ROCK Erotic (Instrumental)

1. Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta

Opening the single, Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta is one of the group’s slower tracks and to be honest, I kind of was not interested in it because while it has some of the electro we’ve been seeing from Tsunku, the song seems a bit boring!  I like the ooo-ing in the background during the musical interludes.  I like that all the members are singing, but I still kind of feel that the song is just lacking for me.  That breakdown during the middle 8 was a bit messed up to be honest as well.  I guess vocally it’s nice…but otherwise…meh.

2. ROCK Erotic

The other A-side is of more to my liking because it mixes the aggressive electro we’ve seen with guitars and I quite like it.  I actually preferred this song way over “Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta” just because it’s faster and the vocals are quite striking.  The direction of the song is a bit weird at first because with Risako and Miyabi’s lines (I thought that was the verse) but it might…because the parts with Yurina…it seems like another set too.  Still, I really like the dramatics of the track and it’s just rather cool!

3. I’m so cool!

At least unlike their previous single, we got two B-side over NONE!  The first one is the one found on most of the editions of the single.  It’s actually quite a cute song to listen to.  Something about the playful synths is just a bit strange after the previoue two tracks xD.  However, the group seems rather bored with the song and the chorus is just a tad bit mundane.  I think they should just avoid cute songs from now on, it’s not their forte anymore.

4. Koisuru Technique

I was really interested when the other B-side opened up with all those buzzing synths!  I actually enjoyed this track as well because I love that they threw in some strings alongside the techno-bits.  It might not interest many because it stays at the same pace majority of the track, but the song did show quite a bit of some good melodies!  Definitely the preferred B-side.

 

 

I think I can agree that Berryz is just losing their spark the longer they continue.  Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta might grow on me, but it’s just really mediocre on me right now (even though there are some good parts).  Also I’m so cool! is just icky to listen to, way too boring and cute.  At least the single is save by ROCK Erotic & Koisuru Technique, the former being edgy and really catch while Koisuru Technique has a good arrangement and some good vocals.  Overall…I do like there’s more songs than their last single, “Golden Chinatown/Sayonara Usotsuki na Watashi” though in the end I liked 2 tracks as well xD.

 

Kalafina – Alleluia October 1, 2013

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 1:29 am

alleluia

Track Listing

  1. Alleluia
  2. dolce
  3. seventh heaven ~2012 Christmas LIVE ver.~ (Regular edition only)
  4. snow falling ~2012 Christmas LIVE ver.~ (Regular edition only)
  5. fairytale ~2012 Christmas LIVE ver.~ (Anime edition only)
  6. Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku ~2012 Christmas LIVE ver.~ (Anime edition only)

1. Alleluia

The leading track, Alleluia at first sounded like it was going to be another one of the throwaway ballads, but luckily the chorus comes in and actually saves the song from being mediocre!  I love hearing KEIKO leading the track as her deeper vocals really stand out in this song.  After the 2nd chorus though, the song does start to kind of dragging itself but I do like the song even if it’s not exactly something that’ll stand the test of time when compared to other ballads of theirs.

2. dolce

I was surprised that the B-side is one of their short songs not even getting in 3 minutes.  The song sounds more like a chant because it’s got mostly just the trio in melodic form with strings behind them.  It actually reminds me of “Koto no wa” off their 3rd album.  It’s OK…but not very memorable for me…just a little on the bland side.

3. seventh heaven ~2012 Christmas LIVE ver.~

The remainder of the single is that we have 4 live songs during their Christmas live.  The regular edition comes with two while the anime edition and has 2 different songs.  I try to remember seventh heaven (from their same titled debut album) and honestly hearing it live, it’s rather nice to listen to.  Of their ballads, this is one of their better ones and of course they pull it off flawlessly live.  Not much to say really because ballads done live are usually great for Kalafina.

4. snow falling ~2012 Christmas LIVE ver.~

Though we move into a rather OK ballad to one that is just utterly boring.  As much as I love saying the ladies sound great singing the song, the song itself is just INCREDIBLY plain and really would sound *passable* live because there’s no way I’d survive listening to the studio cut.  snow falling was just not needed.

5. fairytale ~2012 Christmas LIVE ver.~

Then we get into the Anime version-only tracks.  Of the ballads they’ve released as A-sides, I think this is still one of my favorites from them.  I love the violins in the song and really keeps that slow wintry, isolated feel in the song.  I do love HIKARU in the song and everyone backing her up and all, so it was a very effective live of a pretty good ballad.

6. Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku ~2012 Christmas LIVE ver.~

Last, but not least, the final track is originally a B-side from their debut single, “oblivious”.  Back then, I wasn’t the biggest fan of it, even though KEIKO rocked that song nicely.  Though being another ballad, I’m at the point on this single where I just wanna tune it out because like “snow falling”, it’s a bit plain of forgetful.  I mean this is originally sung by KEIKO & WAKANA.

 

 

Beginning their 5th era, Alleluia was a pretty boring single for them.  I mean it was packed with nothing but ballads which really made me struggle to pay attention.  Alleluia isn’t bad of an A-side, but it’s quite nice.  dolce though was a bit short and kind of boring.  Add in the lives where it really only cemented the fact that they sing great.  Still, snow falling and Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku are just snoozefest songs.  Yeah, with their next single “Kimi no Gin no Niwa” coming out next month, I hope it’ll be better!