Kurayami Monogatari

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AFTERSCHOOL – Dress to kill June 18, 2014

Filed under: AFTERSCHOOL — solarblade @ 4:45 am

dresstokill

Track Listing

  1. Dress code ~Theme of “Dress to kill”~
  2. Dress to kill
  3. Ms. Independent
  4. Triangle
  5. Crazy Driver
  6. Shh
  7. Yes No Yes
  8. Heaven
  9. in the moonlight
  10. rock it!
  11. Spotlight
  12. Killing eyes ~End of “Dress to kill”~
  13. FLASHBACK (JPN Ver.) (CD only bonus track)
  14. Lucky Girl (mu-mo bonus track)

1. Dress code ~Theme of “Dress to kill”~

Opening up the album is an introduction, to be more specific a 30 second intro😄.  Starts off with some footsteps alongside some ominous sounds with a voice saying the title of the track lol.  Yeah, it’s that simple…

2. Dress to kill

Funny it leads into the title track huh?  The ominous sound opens to something I would’ve expect f(x) would’ve released, but there’s that signature smoky feel that the group has been exuding since the beginning of the era.  I still can’t really tell who’s who in the group so I can’t really tell you who is impressing me.  This tune is actually a solid track though and made me groove the entire time.

3. Ms. Independent

Moving to our next track, Ms. Independent comes next and things are a bit more quick-paced and has such a beat going for it that I just can’t help but love.  I just love the hooks of the tune and the chorus is just one major banger.  Man I could just keep this song on repeat and not get tired of it once, it’s that good!

4. Triangle

Future Unison?, doesn’t JASMINE say that😄.  I guess it’s the producer’s shtick.  As I get into Triangle, the song takes a more club-friendly stance and since the album is revolved around this genre, Triangle would be a great fist pumping song lol.  The prechorus does throw me off, but the rest of the song has a lot of things going on from the various blips and bloops of the arrangement to the kind of pseudo-dubstep flow going on.  It’s an interesting song but “Ms. Independent” still stands out.

5. Crazy Driver

Then we move to the B-side from “Heaven” and Crazy Driver to me still is a pretty cool song, but I still would’ve loved if they had sung this without the auto-tune and vocal filters throughout.  It just sounds like the group would’ve powerbombed the song with their already established vocals.  I’m still trying to decide whether I enjoy the song, or just over it because of the choice on auto-tune.

6. Shh

Ahh, the 2nd A-side released in the era, Shh and it still captivates me everytime I listen to it.  I love it from the smoky atmosphere, slick style, and the sexy voices from the group.  Knowing Shinichi Osawa had a hand in this just impressed me to no end, because this song is just so sexy and smooth and the chorus just has great flow.  It’s definitely the group’s best song after debuting in Japan!

7. Yes No Yes

Onto the next new song, Yes No Yes I thought would’ve been another smoky song, but it takes a more R&B feel style and there’s just a lot of vocally pleasant areas of the song and the beat of the song is cool too.  After a while, it does kind of fade my interest because the song doesn’t fuly go anywhere for me and it’s kind of an odd track in an album full of dance tracks…hmm…

8. Heaven

As the A-side that started the era off (because for some reason they omitted the “Lady Luck/Dilly Dally” single on this album), Heaven raises the style up to a mixture of dance and disco with some funk thrown in for good measure and I enjoyed this tune too.  The voices do seem a bit thin sometimes and the chorus could’ve utilized stronger vocals for better effect too.  Still, it’s such a fun track to just jam alongside it, another favorite from the album (even it it’s pre-released) lol.

9. in the moonlight

I like how the intro for our next song kind of bridges from “Heaven” a little bit and then turns into a beat-driven mid-tempo tune but still retaining some synthfunk.  Though I will say the whole ~dancing in the moonlight~ section throws me off whenever it comes up and the ~round-oun-oun-ound~ does turn me off.  Still, the effort here is surprisingly chill and the mid8 with the solo was nice as hell.  A song I need to get used to, but somewhat nice.

10. rock it!

Man, does this album just keep throwing those upbeat songs here.  Though I’ve heard this one before since it was the B-side from “Shh” and keeps up with its album-centric style and I love the beat to this one.  I think it would’ve actually fared better if it was placed earlier on the album, but at least this gives us a cool and edgy tune to listen before we head to the finale.  Great song!

11. Spotlight

As the album’s final track (well not really) but for the main 12 songs, this is the final new track.  Spotlight also to me feels like a tune that would’ve worked towards the beginning of the album, but there’s a lot to this song.  I actually loved the sound of it and just shows the excitement the members have to their music.  A very loud way to end the album and for good reason…might be my favorite of the new songs all-around.

12. Killing eyes ~End of “Dress to kill”~

The album closes out with the outro and it’s kind of the reverse of “Dress code” where it starts with music going on and ending with the footsteps…I sense the idea was that the protaganist was walking into a club and the album was all just that lol.

13. FLASHBACK (JPN Ver.)

So we got two bonus tracks on the album depending on what version you bought.  The CD only comes with a Japanese version of FLASHBACK which was the first release in Korea without Kahi and first with Gaeun.  When I first heard the original, it was a great way to say that AFTERSCHOOL was able to keep things going without their leader…and after 2 years coming back to a Japanese take, the song is still fresh and the group sound sexy with this one.  Great inclusion here and would’ve fit amazingly in the main tracklist just perfectly.

14. Lucky Girl

So people who bought the album through mu-mo got Lucky Girl which was promoted as a song made before “Dress to girl” was started on and it shows clearly that before the album got an actual motif, this song wasn’t going to be a part of that and was dropped.  I can see why because this song is poppy and doesn’t suit the main songs more club sound.  It doesn’t help this song is nothing really special to write about (should’ve left it for a Korean release >.>).

Tracks Recommended

  • Shh
  • Spotlight
  • Heaven
  • rock it!
  • Ms. Independent

Song of Avoidance

  • Lucky Girl

So what did I think of AFTERSCHOOL’s sophomore Japanese album?  Boy did they produce a great album and “PLAYGIRLZ” was a decent album too so this was a great experience.  What makes Dress to kill a great album was that it had a solid direction and knew what it wanted to create for the album, sure there were some oddballs (mostly Yes No Yes and Lucky Girl) but the latter was just a bonus incentive so it kind of doesn’t count.  Also, even though I know they didn’t include the “Lady Luck/Dilly Dally” single because it included Kahi who graduated just after that, it feels weird that it’s kind of left out (though it wouldn’t have fit…well maybe “Dilly Dally”).  Still a really great album and a good “RECOMMENDED” here.

 

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