Kurayami Monogatari

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Up Up Girls – Second Album (Kakko Kari) April 5, 2014

Filed under: Up Up Girls — solarblade @ 3:52 am

secondalbum

Track Listing

  1. Ginga Joujou Monogatari
  2. SAMURAI GIRLS
  3. Chopper☆Chopper
  4. Survival Girls
  5. Respectokyo
  6. Burn the fire!!
  7. Sutorera ~Straight Up!~
  8. SAKURA DRIVE
  9. Starry Night
  10. Widol Seven
  11. Seishun Build Up
  12. Up Up Typhoon
  13. Next Stage
  14. Ano Saka no Ue Made,
  15. Summer Beam!

CD2

  1. Cherry to Milk
  2. Kakko Tsukete Ii Desho
  3. Santa Claus
  4. Up Ome ~Up Aga no Oshougatsu da yo Zenin Shuugou!~
  5. Chopper☆Chopper (PandaBoY Remix)
  6. Respectokyo (TANUKI Remix)
  7. SAMURAI GIRLS (★STAR GUiTAR Remix)
  8. Widol Seven (y0c1e Remix)
  9. Starry Night (SEKITOVA & Shu Okayama Remix)
  10. Sutorera ~Straight Up!~ (fu_mou Remix)

1. Ginga Joujou Monogatari

Pretty awesome that the group would open the album up with the track with a pretty lengthy intro.  It’s a great track to open up since it was a favorite of mine during the era, plus it had such a cool futuristic sound to it where majority of the album didn’t.  It’s kind of a song that’ll stand out amongst the crowd and I liked it a lot, I was especially happy that it opened the album.

2. SAMURAI GIRLS

Which is led to probably the edgiest tracks they released.  It sounds like it has the same gritty sound like “UPPER ROCK” did it it’s definitely one of those high-energy songs that really focused on the group’s dance abilities.  It’s a relentless A-side from them and probably is compared to all the other A-sides😄.  I just really liked this song and while the whole ~up, up~ still bothers me, it’s a great track for them.

3. Chopper☆Chopper

As the first single for the album (and the first after switching labels), Chopper☆Chopper was released before their first album so the timing was a bit confusing for some.  Chopper☆Chopper as song is still danceable, but a lot more lighter than “SAMURAI GIRLS” but keeping the same fast pace throughout.  Though the song did start a new trend within T-Palette / TOWER with the whole ~no music, no idol~ lines.  It’s a pretty big step for the group and it’s a good energetic song overall!

4. Survival Girls

As this is the shared A-side with “Chopper☆Chopper”, Survival Girls had a lot going for it, but dropped it entirely.  The song itself doesn’t sound half bad and probably would’ve worked if the songs switched places.  Also the song has a lot of even line distribution so I really liked what I was hearing.  That is, until the chorus jumped in.  All you get is a lot of shouting of ~semete, semete, semete etc.~ as the chorus and I was just turned off.

5. Respectokyo

The album just keeps up with them dance beats huh?  Respectokyo does slightly calm things down but it’s still a song that sounds fun to jam to and have a party going.  I will say that it actually has grown on me since the single review funny enough and it gets stuck in my head.  Though sometimes the group repeating the song title, does get annoying…other than that mishap, it’s still a pretty good song!

6. Burn the fire!!

One of their pre-T-Palette songs, Burn the fire!! really sounds fitting on this side of the album as it also has a dance beat and upbeat style of sound though it does have a stronger idol feel as well.  Though it’s another song that surprisingly stuck on me during the era, so that’s good right? LOL.

7. Sutorera ~Straight Up!~

I’m starting to see a small shift from the dance style to their more experimental songs.  Sutorera kind of fuses piano, dance, and rock together for a rather interesting song.  I really liked the song but once again the whole name repping kind of throws me off.  Still, Sutorera is a solid track and is a great middle between their styles.

8. SAKURA DRIVE

I will say one of the more experimental tracks on the album is definitely SAKURA DRIVE because it’s along the lines of an R&B track.  When I first heard this song as the primary A-side, I was a little confused because of the change of genres (even more here on the album).  It’s got a nice nostalgic tone to it and the chorus changes the pace by being faster.  Still there are better songs on the album.

9. Starry Night

As the final single released for the album, Starry Night at first I thought was a ballad, but I quickly proven wrong when those dance beats enter the fray alongside some acoustic guitar.  Overall, the song is pretty safe for the group and while the vocals have some tone issues hitting those crazy high notes, it’s not a terrible song and reminds me of songs like “Beautiful Days!” and “Cyalume”.

10. Widol Seven

It’s pretty cool that Widol Seven opened up with that 8bit intro, but the song quickly shifts tone to which is mainly a punk rock setting with brazen guitars and a fun vibe.  However, like I said…it sounds low quality and almost like a last minite creation in comparison to its sister A-side, “SAMURAI GIRLS”.  It’s probably my least favorite of the A-sides released.

11. Seishun Build Up

I don’t know why but the melodies of this song remind me of some electropop artists (mainly Aira Mitsuki’s “China Discotica” for sure).  Actually some of the arrangement has some similar techniques and sound which caught me off guard.  The tune is surprisingly well-done and I like the group’s vocals here especially since there’s solo lines.  One of my favorites from the album.

12. Up Up Typhoon

Funny as the only PV they released just for the album, Up Up Summer was such a fun-loving and exciting summer tune for the group.  I especially love the opening with that overly dramatic dialogue between Morisaki and Sahochan.  The track though is so exciting and really is one of those times where I can stomach the group repping.  Another one of the bests from the album!!!

13. Next Stage

Moving to the longest track (at least on the first disc), Next Stage opens up with a pretty strings intro before going into the opening verse and before getting into the more steadfast arrangement.  Though unlike the other fast-paced tracks on the album, Next Stage kind of flies over my head.  Though the strange reggaeton/dubstep (?) section is a bit strange and out of place loool.

14. Ano Saka no Ue Made,

Fitting the the other A-side that went with the previous track comes up next.  When I first heard it, I thought it was going to be a straight-up ballad like how I thought “Starry Night” was, but I was wrong yet again and we got another upbeat track, somewhat.  Ano Saka no Ue Made, kind of goes back and forth upon an upbeat dance track and a ballad.  It’s a pretty strange track.

15. Summer Beam!

Ending the first disc is Summer Beam! and I was surprised they didn’t let “Ano Saka no Ue Made,” end it off because that felt appropriate as an ending theme.  Summer Beam! on the other hand sounds like it should’ve been closer to “Up Up Typhoon” considering both were together as their summer single.  The song is very tropical and bright so it fits the bill.  Odd way to end things but still a good song!

CD2

1. Cherry to Milk

The second disc starts off with Cherry to Milk which fans have known before they joined with T-Palette but was never released in any fashion until now.  The song itself isn’t bad persay, but you can tell this was before they started getting harder songs (basically most tracks from the first disc).  The bridges are cute synth beeps and the rest is pretty straightforward for idol-fare.

2. Kakko Tsukete Ii Desho

The next song however was released as an event single but never was placed on main single.  Kakko Tsukete Ii Desho sounds even more like an 80’s song but thrown with the UUG energy.  It does have more guitars as well which is cool and a lot of the song is just really catchy lol.  Good song overall but still defeated by the tracks on the first disc.

3. Santa Claus

At the end of 2013, the group released two digital singles.  As their Christmas single, Santa Claus is an alright song from the group, but it doesn’t really stand out to me very much beyond it’s dance arrangement.  It’s just a plain track for me.

4. Up Ome ~Up Aga no Oshougatsu da yo Zenin Shuugou!~

The last of the original tracks and the other digital single released, Up Ome reminds me a LOT of “Namen na! Ashi Girls” with it’s mixture of their hyper dance sound and traditional Japanese instruments.  Though the latter gets dropped off once the girls kick it up, it’s exciting and just fun to listen to and the chorus is so catchy😄.

5. Chopper☆Chopper (PandaBoY Remix)

The rest of the disc are just remixes for some of the A-sides.  When it came with PandaBoY remixes they make the song even MORE familar as in the case of Chopper☆Chopper.  Actually it doesn’t seem TOTALLY different here as the difference between the original and remix are little.  I think the beat is slightly heavier here and there’s some cut n’ pasting going on.  Not bad, but wasn’t special.

6. Respectokyo (TANUKI Remix)

The remix for Respectokyo sounds a lighter in the arrangement but the remix is an actual switch of music.  A lot more focus was put on the remixer’s skills and there’s a lengthy space for him to show his talent.  I wasn’t too fond of it, but when the group was singing their parts, the remix sounds pretty cool.  Interesting remix overall.

7. SAMURAI GIRLS (★STAR GUiTAR Remix)

With how gritty and in your face, SAMURAI GIRLS is, this remix was a breath of air.  It’s still a busy remix but the sound switched to a more suave and groovy remix with cool synth lines and even a cool area where there’s slap bass brought in alongside the synths.  Funky, but cool remix.

8. Widol Seven (y0c1e Remix)

Funny enough, the least favorite track of mine from this album gets reworked with a new remix and honestly, this remix is SO MUCH BETTER.  Like the rockin’ parts sound more full and works with the melody and the musical interludes add a bit of that synth flair and gives it a much fuller feel.

9. Starry Night (SEKITOVA & Shu Okayama Remix)

For Starry Night, the new remix tones things a bit lower by giving it a more chill sound that kind of sounds like something Nakata would be behind.  The vocals are still an issue for me, but the fact they filtered the vocals to make it seem quieter than the arrangement was a nice move…still the vocals are still kind of meh otherwise😄.

10. Sutorera ~Straight Up!~ (fu_mou Remix)

The final track is of course Sutorera and I found it funny the song is a lot more louder and in your face than the original with its arrangement.  I like the change because now it sounds like it’s just a big finale!  It’s a pretty cool remix and just definitely fills out the cool for the ending.

Tracks Recommended

  • Up Up Typhoon
  • SAMURAI GIRLS
  • Seishun Build Up
  • Up Ome ~Up Aga no Oshougatsu da yo Zenin Shuugou!~
  • Summer Beam!

Song of Avoidance

  • Widol Seven

Phew, took them long enough to release their sophomore album right?  I was pretty torn about the tracklist.  I mean we did get more new material than their first album for sure…but two discs and the first one is ALL old songs as it is.  Second Album though is a nice step-up for the group as most of the tracks did leave a good impression and shows improvement from the members.  I just wish they would release a true studio album and not 8 singles in succession y’know?

 

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