Kurayami Monogatari

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Maon Kurosaki – VERTICAL HORIZON November 22, 2013

Filed under: Maon Kurosaki — solarblade @ 9:44 am

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Track Listing

  1. Umare Iduru Monogatari
  2. UNDER/SHAFT
  3. 【Dreamed wolf】
  4. Juu Oni no Kizuna
  5. VERTICAL HORIZON
  6. starry×ray
  7. Dresser Girl…♡
  8. Distrigger
  9. Nari Hibiita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku
  10. FRIDAY MIDNIGHT PARTY!!
  11. Just believe.
  12. reimei
  13. story ~Kimi e no Tegami~

1. Umare Iduru Monogatari

We begin the album with a minute introduction track, Umare Iduru Monotgatari and all it really is mostly a piano melody and some haunting sounds but it grows more louder with some spiffy synth sounds and then quietly ends when it hits the loudest point.  It’s ok, but nothing to groundbreaking.

2. UNDER/SHAFT

It leads to the 3rd A-side released, UNDER/SHAFT!  It works because the haunting intro beforehand does make it suit since UNDER/SHAFT is one of the more darker songs Maon released.  As a standalone, I did say it wasn’t as good as most of the songs from “HELL:ium”, but this works on its own since it sounds more anison than those songs so it’s a good mix of the two ideas.

3. 【Dreamed wolf】

The first new song on the album, 【Dreamed wolf】 might just be the first new track to blow me away completely!  It starts dark like “UNDER/SHAFT” then it became this synth beat before letting loose fully as a rock song and returning with the harpischord and I’m just loving this side to Maon’s music.  She sounds absolutely great in this song and the chorus is powerful as well!  Maybe “Umare Iduru Monogatari” would’ve suited better with this song as the preceding track because this impact would’ve benefitted more here.  Still, this was a much more impressive start to the album!

4. Juu Oni no Kizuna

The heavy rock theme continues onto our next new song, Juu Oni no Kizuna but this time includes some anison keyboards and strings to give it a wider sound that the previous track didn’t have.  I have to say that this worked better as a anison rock track moreso over “UNDER/SHAFT” and that’s a bit shocking to me.  Maon sounds even MORE amazing as she has such control and she just made the song perfectly here, I would say it’s equal to the last track on favorites!

5. VERTICAL HORIZON

Then we enter the title track and I was kind of wondering what we’d get.  It seems to be the bridge out from the harder rock songs because VERTICAL HORIZON isn’t really on the rock side of things (cept the chorus).  This is actually kind of a ballad in a weird way, but I do like how sly and smooth it sounds.  Plus Maon is hitting some pretty high notes which impresses me.  It did stop the flow of the album pretty hard, but I still did find this song very well done and loved Maon’s performance the most.

6. starry×ray

Which baffles me because starry×ray is a bit more of that rockin’ style, but then again it actually focuses more on the synths and electronic style which I’ve always wanted to see more of from Maon.  I really love the mix of the styles and Maon’s vocals being layered and focusing more on the lower register is awesome!!  She actually kind of reminds me of Nana Mizuki in this song and I LOVE IT!  Even though the bang is not huge, it’s still a pretty wicked song and definitely is up there on favorites!

7. Dresser Girl…♡

Remember “Emergence!” from her previous album?  I felt like this song was to be the sequel because this song is definitely riding Maon’s electro side quite nicely but there’s just something quirky about the song and Maon’s vocals.  I just found this to be in a level of its own because whoever produced this wins in my book because it has attitude and it’s just a lot of fun to listen to.  Another favorite!

8. Distrigger

It seems like we’re already leaving the synthwork to go back to a mix of guitars and synths with Distrigger.  I like that the song focuses on the rock and less on the synthwork (so its opposite to “starry×ray”).  She vocally sang her ass off here and that’s what I enjoyed, BUT the song compared to other big hits on the album seems to not be as strong?  I don’t know but it is surpassed by many songs on this album!

9. Nari Hibiita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku

Ok, so the main song from “HELL:ium” comes next and while that title is still rather long, it’s still actually pretty damn good!  I was surprised it wasn’t placed near the other hard songs, but then again listeners I don’t think would be OK with that.  I would say it falls in between “Dreamed Wolf” and “Distrigger” which is pretty cool xD.  It still is pretty awesome of a song and definitely deserved its place on the album!

10. FRIDAY MIDNIGHT PARTY!!

With such a title, I was really expecting a girly song but it’s kind of a lighter rock track on the album which is a nice change of pace from the more aggressive stuff.  I kind of reminds me of SCANDAL’s songs if you heard their music because this punk rock is kind of their thing and Maon sounds girly enough…not bad, but like “Distrigger”, surpassed by many!

11. Just believe.

I was kind of surprised she didn’t seem to end the album with this song because it just screams ending song for the album.  Though being from the “HELL:ium” single, I’m quite glad she chose this but, I wished she just threw the entire single on here.  I love the flow of the song and Maon just sounds so beautiful singing this ballad, but like I said…weird placement >.>

12. reimei

Which is led to what I think is the worst A-side Maon has done.  It really sticks out on the album in the worst way possible!  I mean I know she’s an anison singer and all but honestly, listen to the album and then listen to how much sense this song makes.  I don’t even think Maon really sounds all that great and even sounds like she’s holding back.  I just never got into this song, though it would’ve been a good song back on “Butterfly Effect” to be honest.

13. story ~Kimi e no Tegami~

The album ends with story which is a bit more uplifting than “Just believe.” but I think they should’ve traded places as it would’ve been more appropriate to end with the mentioned track.  Plus it also had a pretty rockin’ chorus which would’ve suited nicely after “FRIDAY MIDNIGHT PARTY!!”.  Vocally, it’s not that memorable, but I suppose it works with the feelings the song was putting out.  story isn’t a bad decision, but not well enough to be the ending of the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • 【Dreamed wolf】
  • Dresser Girl…♡
  • Nari Hibiita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku
  • Juu Oni no Kizuna
  • Just believe.

Song of Avoidance

  • reimei

Let’s be straightforward with this, VERTIAL HORIZON STOMPS ON HER LAST ALBUM!  There are no words to explain how badass this album is.  I mean it took out the things that Maon didn’t really get right from “H.O.T.D.”, “Butterfly Effect” and her mini-album and just stuck to her guns and wow there was just a lot of win on this album.  The only track that didn’t really work was reimei (and I presume the only reason it’s even here is because it was an A-side).  I’m surprised I missed this album and happy I decided to relisten to Maon *RECOMMENDED*!!!

 

2 Responses to “Maon Kurosaki – VERTICAL HORIZON”

  1. Mint Says:

    I was trying to find a way to contact you but you don’t seem to have an email posted anywhere.

    Sorry to post this publicly, but I wanted to recommend an artist that maybe you can start reviewing.

    Her name is MILANO LOA. She’s produced by HIEROPHANT GREEN. She’s a Japanese indie artist, and I really like her songs. I’m trying to spread her around so she can get noticed. Please check out some of her material. If anything, listen to the “Dress Code EP”.

    Place where you can listen/buy tracks: http://milano-loa.bandcamp.com/

    Her official website: http://www.milanoloa.com/


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