Kurayami Monogatari

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Sayaka Kitahara – Haru no Gradation June 17, 2014

Filed under: Sayaka Kitahara — solarblade @ 5:31 am

harunogradation

Track Listing

  1. HAJIKE-YO!!
  2. Gamushara
  3. Haru no Gradation
  4. Kanari Junjou
  5. Yume no Katamari
  6. Natsu ga Owacchau
  7. Madogawa Kara Ai wo Komete
  8. Kinou no Koi wa Doko Fuku Kaze
  9. Yappa Seishun
  10. Aijou・Jounetsu・Neppuu
  11. Natsu ga Yattekuru

1. HAJIKE-YO!!

So Saaya opens up her album with the 3rd A-side she released, HAJIKE-YO!! and honestly I’m not amused because I felt this was her weakest A-side of the 4.  I felt like majority of the song felt weak and the hook of the song being to spell the title out was a bit cheesy.  The chorus was also forgettable and didn’t make too much sense to me either.  I don’t know but I was just like forget it!

2. Gamushara

Then we move into the B-side from her debut single, “Yappa Seishun” and at first I thought it’d be a cover of MilkyWay’s “Gamusharara” but it wasn’t meant to be.  I wasn’t too impressed with this song either, but it’s more because of Saaya’s generally weak vocals…especially in the chorus…it was REALLY flat and just made me cringe.  Jeeze two poor songs opening the album…great…

3. Haru no Gradation

Only two new tracks on the album?  That’s really poor marketing right there.  As the promotional song and title track, Haru no Gradation in comparison to the previous two tracks was a jump because Sayaka’s vocals are a bit more stable and together.  I found the style of the track to be almost identical to “Gamushara” but at least this song is just better all-around~.

4. Kanari Junjou

Of the four A-sides, I still love Kanari Junjou the most because it’s poppy and the anison bass pop track just suited for me and Sayaka didn’t sound half-bad here.  Weird because this came out before “HAJIKE-YO!!”.  It’s just a straightforward song, but it was really catchy as one…Funny it’s still one of the better songs off the album too…says a lot >.>

5. Yume no Katamari

Moving to one of the two B-sides from “HAJIKE-YO!!”, Yume no Katamari was a song that was just an extra song found on edition of the single.  Though it was a great choice because her voice actually sounds decent and she’s giving some vibrato to kick alongside a relaxing arrangement (though one could argue that it’s more of the same style).  The keyboard solo was cool so overall this tune worked for me.

6. Natsu ga Owacchau

Moving onto the B-side from “Natsu ga Yattekuru”, I loved this B-side because it was something different and the tune really gave off this tropical setting (not like FLOWER’s “Dolphin Beach”, but similar).  Saaya’s softer vocals suited the setting as well and I was just swaying and happily tapping along to the song.  Definitely my favorite B-side released from her.

7. Madogawa Kara Ai wo Komete

Next is the ballad B-side, Madogawa Kara Ai wo Komete from “Kanari Junjou” and this song was a tumbling mess before and still is now.  It’s awkwardly slow and it’s to where you can FEEL that it needed to be sped up because the beat is sluggish and Sayaka can’t really hold notes very well as shown here.  Even the arrangement is a little beach-y but it doesn’t save itself from sheer boredom.

8. Kinou no Koi wa Doko Fuku Kaze

Moving to the other new song, I felt like Sayaka could’ve just released another single and avoided the album (though I suppose new tracks is good despite the lack of them here).  In comparison to “Haru no Gradation”, this has a little more oomph, but sacrifices good tone quality because she sounded flat once again here.  Still I do commend the tune for being upbeat and keeps at a steady pace without faltering.  It’s the better new track even with its discrepencies.

9. Yappa Seishun

It’s funny how we move to an album exclusive to Saaya’s debut song and unsurprisingly returning to this track hasn’t done too well.  Her voice is deeper and fuller, but she’s squeaky and flat.  Like the previous track though, the song is upbeat and has a lot of energy packed into it and sounds like a legit anison tune.  It’s alright, but there’s better songs.

10. Aijou・Jounetsu・Neppuu

Moving to the other B-side from “HAJIKE-YO!!”, we have another upbeat and solid track here.  A lot like “Yume no Katamari” which doesn’t bother me becuase that means it’d be just as good.  However as I listen to this I keep getting ironic thoughts oft he last two tracks especially within the chorus.  Plus the latin guitar solo still sounds amazing in the mid8 as random as it is lol.  I enjoyed it a lot!

11. Natsu ga Yattekuru

Ending the album is Saaya’s 4th A-side and the last before this album was released.  Unlike it’s B-side, Natsu ga Yattekuru had a different summer feel and it’s mostly because of the inclusion of steel drums.  I kind of enjoyed the arrangement, but I couldnt remember any of Sayaka’s melodies within it.  I feel like this was an odd decision to make it close the album with, but what can you do…”Madogawa Kara Ai wo Komete”?  No thank you😄.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kanari Junjou
  • Natsu ga Owacchau
  • Aijou・Jounetsu・Neppuu
  • Yume no Katamari

Song of Avoidance

  • Gamushara

Coming into Sayaka’s debut, I was rather unimpressed that it was merely a collection of all her songs she’s done under the Aoi Sorano moniker.  Haru no Gradation is a collection of somewhat good anison tunes but surrounded by weak arrangements and sometimes vocals.  I feel like maybe Sayaka after her stint in Hello! Project kind of messed her voice up (especially from Yappa Seishun).  At least the stuff she did closer to the album’s release fared MUCH better.  Overall, could’ve had more incense to pay attention besides two new songs (which could’ve been a single all its own) but meh it’s average I suppose.

 

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