Kurayami Monogatari

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FLOWER – Flower April 1, 2014

Filed under: FLOWER — solarblade @ 10:06 am

flower

Track Listing

  1. Still
  2. forget-me-not ~Wasurenagusa~
  3. let go again feat. VERBAL
  4. Taiyou to Himawari
  5. Fadeless Love
  6. YOUR GRAVITY
  7. Boyfriend (Moonlight Version)
  8. To Be Free!!
  9. Koibito ga Santa Claus
  10. Shirayuki-hime
  11. SAKURA Regret
  12. Hatsukoi
  13. CALL

1. Still

Fitting that the album would begin with the group’s first single, Still.  When I first got into them, I thought they were pretty and had a nice sound going with their first single because it was R&B but had a nice dramatic flow to it.  As time when on and the group released more singles, the song did lose its luster quite a bit and I was totally forgetting what this sounded like.  I mean it was a good debut for them, but I don’t think it lasted the test of time.

2. forget-me-not ~Wasurenagusa~

Being a little faster than the opening track, forget-me-not at the time didn’t stand out to me for some reason, but on the album I actually find the boost of speed after “Still” to be quite welcoming and I found myself warming up to the song a lot more surprisingly.  I also LOVED whoever sung the song (Reina?) though all three vocalists REALLY sounded pretty together…yesh…I’m liking this a lot now!

3. let go again feat. VERBAL

For FLOWER, the album included two new tracks, the first is the only one with a collaboration and it’s VERBAL (ugh…great…).  let go again is also the longest track on the album reaching 6 minutes.  It begins nice before it just kind of turns into an R&B ballad (like what most of FLOWER’s sound is already).  I wasn’t really into the song and VERBAL once again manages to destroy the song too…yeah rapping with only piano behind ya is a poor idea.  No I just can’t with this song.

4. Taiyou to Himawari

I will say that “let go again’s” arrangement does lend itself to lead into the group’s 4th A-side nicely.  That being said it’s basically more of the same like the last track except VERBAL isn’t in the song and there’s acoustic guitar added in the arrangement.  Yeah, this was a bit bland on the album.

5. Fadeless Love

I was surprised that FLOWER would include B-sides on the album but there’s three (possibly 4?).  Fadeless Love came from their debut single and I do like that this song has a bit more depth to it than “Taiyou to Himawari” and has a cool buzzing synth melody.  Though I am started to get bored of the R&B beats and sound but granted I knew I was getting nothing but that for this album…but this is where I started to struggle with paying attention to the album.

6. YOUR GRAVITY

Coming from their 3rd single, this B-side tries to spice the album a bit up by going slightly more upbeat, but the song didn’t really intrigue me and the vocals were somewhat thin to listen to.  Also some of the arrangement had a Western groove which reminded me of those early 2000’s pop songs.  Yeah, I just wasn’t digging the song for the most part and seriously the lead vocalist sounds so much like Kana Nishino here that it’s not even funny.

7. Boyfriend (Moonlight Version)

Moving to the B-side from “Taiyou to Himawari”, I was just disappointed that this made the album’s cut.  As I’ve mentioned on the single review, there’s another version of this song by sister group, Happiness and it is LEAGUES better than FLOWER’s version.  To be honest, it kind of reminds me of “Still” with that fluttery piano mixed with a simple dance beat.  I will say the vocals are on point and after the last few tracks, it did bring my concentration to the group.  It’s not bad, but the other version is just so much better.

8. To Be Free!!

Then we hit the other new song on the album and I was wondering how this would turn out and it’s kind of like “YOUR GRAVITY” in where they tried to change the style up a little.  With To Be Free!!, it sounds like a disco track but a tad more refined.  Sadly, after a while the song kind of just becomes white noise to me as my mind drifts out again.  Though I think I could get into this song if I gave more listens to it.

9. Koibito ga Santa Claus

I hate to say it, but the album’s best song is simply a cover song!  As a Yumi Matsutoya song that’s been covered numerous times, FLOWER’s version stood out for me on this album as it’s probably the most energetic track of the album.  Also with the 3 ladies taking some good solos, I was just pleased with this song.  Though it is very unfortunate that I think a cover song is the best the album had to offer.

10. Shirayuki-hime

Fitting that they put the two Winter songs back-to-back on the album.  As the group’s 5th and final A-side before the album, Shirayuki-hime unfortunately did nothing for me in the context of the album.  It does sound less R&B than the other songs, but at this point, I was tired of hearing the piano in their songs.  At least the 3 gals sound beautiful in the song.  Still, it’s OK but not the best.

11. SAKURA Regret

Onto their 2nd A-side, I actually remembered coming into enjoying the group with this song more than their debut.  They are pretty similar with the arrangement, but the descending piano lines add a touch of sadness where “Still” couldnt.  Though when the chorus comes in, I’m just zoned out from the boredom that I’ve gathered from the previous songs on the album.

12. Hatsukoi

As the group’s digital single, I never got to review the original version but instead reviewed the acoustic version that was found on “Shirayuki-hime”.  Back on that review I said that the acoustic was a lot more nicer and the arrangement was better.  On the album we do get the original take and listening to it…yeah…it sounds like a clone of most of their works on this album.  Not even into the chorus and I was already bored of the track…it just did nothing for me

13. CALL

It’s weird when a group ends the album with a B-side isn’t it?  As the B-side from “forget-me-not ~Wasurenagusa~”, CALL honestly feels like a song that should be towards the front of the album alongside “Still” as they sound REALLY similar except this song is a bit slower.  I just was that impatient to get over this song and end the album finally.

Tracks Recommended

  • Koibito ga Santa Claus
  • forget-me-not ~Wasurenagusa~
  • Fadeless Love
  • Boyfriend (Moonlight Version)

Song of Avoidance

  • let go again feat. VERBAL

Lord this album was a bore!  I don’t know what it was but FLOWER’s debut album felt like one LOOOONG album that really had small changes within songs.  I do love the vocalists which is great but when they’re given such stale yet glossy R&B tracks and ballads…it really doesn’t work for me and I got bored and even sleepy from the album with really the only poppy and upbeat song being the cover track.  Though I still wish the trio of singers just ditch the backup dancers as they really don’t contribute to the music (just the visuals really >.>).

 

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