Kurayami Monogatari

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9nine – MAGI9 PLAYLAND June 26, 2014

Filed under: 9nine — solarblade @ 3:20 am

magi9playland

Track Listing

  1. Re:
  2. Forget-U-not
  3. With You / With Me
  4. THE MAGI9AL FES.
  5. out of the blue
  6. 9uestions
  7. ATASHI≒WATASHI
  8. NeXT to FUTURE
  9. LOVE VAMPIRE
  10. To be continued…
  11. 【fu:】
  12. D.N.A.
  13. Evolution No.9
  14. ALGORHITHM + LOVE
  15. Prism Drops & Falls
  16. With You / With Me (Album Ver.) (bonus track)

1. Re:

Interesting that group actually would open the album with the 2nd A-side to represent.  It’s a pretty good choice despite being the weakest between the three leading songs.  I enjoy the electronic influences found throughout the track and the energy is already at a nice level too!  Like I said, it does remind me of “Shoujo Traveler” in some ways and that’s a very good sign!  Overall good way to kick things off.

2. Forget-U-not

Onto our first new track, Forget-U-not is actually what I was expecting to come from the album.  Love the synths and beats that came along with this one.  The chorus does take things to a better place, but the melodies are a bit messy here and there, but I can handle that.  Actually it almost reminds me of AKB48?  I don’t know but it was OK overall.

3. With You / With Me

Then we move back to the 3rd A-side 9nine released and it’s still the era’s best track.  It starts out slow and ballad-like before gaining some background beats and synths that turn out to be electronic overall which is how the group made the song so impeccable.  It’s a cool track from them and I’m happy to have it early on in the album to kind of prepare me for the rest of the album.

4. THE MAGI9AL FES.

That said, 9 brand new songs in a row?  We must’ve been really good to get this.  Starting with THE MAGI9AL FES., I wasn’t expecting some happycore idol track to come after the previous tune.  Listening to the song, it does seem like we could’ve had a faster tempo thrown in since the song is so focused on beats and such.  I mean there’s a lot of potential with this song, but I don’t know it could’ve been faster IMHO, though we did have that mid8 section which answered that completely…but still I wish it was the whole song.

5. out of the blue

With my disappointment of the last track, out of the blue was something I quite needed.  The beat is more aggressive and catchy and the group sounds a little more full of life and energy.  Also, the chorus is pretty catchy as all hell and made me wanna fist pump along with the beat!  The group does sound pinchy whenever they do sing the chorus but I though the rest of the song was pretty neat!

6. 9uestions

Oh hey more synths!  Unlike how forward “out of the blue” was, 9uestions takes a more subdued approach by having more a chilled out arrangement and slower lyrics as well.  Without the beats, I would’ve expected this to be a ballad.  Amongst most of the other songs from the album, it’s a bit weak for me…but I don’t dislike it either…it’s a strange thing for me.

7. ATASHI≒WATASHI

Oh boy, more symbols to deal with huh?  Man, 9nine are really just infusing every song on this album with EDM huh?  ATASHI≒WATASHI picks up the energy after the last track and infuses it with idol-pop to kind of give this sort of Kus Kus-esque track IMO.  Like, I really do love the synthplay of this song and the melodies are quite nice to listening to, but there’s something missing here…maybe it’s some attitude or something to make this tune pop?  I don’t know, but I do know this song will grow on me with more listens at least.

8. NeXT to FUTURE

Whoa, way to wake me up 9nine!  NeXT to FUTURE amps the energy even more with a more futuristic drive and funny enough, they actually filled in the spaces and the group really came together for this one.  There’s times where I felt dubstep was going to be thrown in (like in “Re:”), but doesn’t go there until the mid8 section…like the aforementioned track.  It’s a pretty catchy song and the group while a bit off vocally, pretty much sold me here.

9. LOVE VAMPIRE

With a track like this, I thought for a second we might have a reprieval from the EDM, but nope.  The song doesn’t even sound all vampiric which throws me off entirely.  Sadly, it does sound a bit generic here with not a lot of give out and on top of that, the vocals from the group are kind of grating (maybe not so much in the verses) but the chorus is annoying to me.  Meh song.

10. To be continued…

Moving on, I kind of got this weird 80’s/chiptune vibe here which kind of abandons the EDM a little bit before the verses brings them in afterwards.  I like how it tries to spread itself out away from the other new songs on the album which is something at this point, I can appreciate.  The vocals are as high-pitched either which is something that adds a bit more style with this tune.  It’s definitely a song I could back to again and again.

11. 【fu:】

Ugh, more symbols XD.  After the unique feel of “To be continued…” we get another interesting arranged song that takes some like Disney-esque forest theme and throws acoustic guitar and EDM.  It has some weird things going on that I like and some things I kind of don’t agree with (mostly the vocals, once again).  Plus some dubstep moments here too…with some of that theremin fill the arrangement…I mean it’s different so I kind of dug it.

12. D.N.A.

After those two tunes, we get back into some straight EDM with D.N.A. had it kind of reminds me of how I felt with “THE MAGI9AL FES.” in which it could’ve been better if the tempo was raised.  There are some odd time signature changes that make the song go in different directions so sometimes it’s slightly hard to follow, but this song kind of just here and there for me, at least the arrangement was cool.

13. Evolution No.9

Funny how the first A-side is all the way in the back of the album away from the other leading songs.  Evolution No.9 is such an odd song to come along on the album because it doesn’t focus on the EDM arrangements but has a more guitar-fronted arrangement which to me is a breath of fresh air for this album.  I do still kind of get confused with the mid8 section where it gets all chorale-fronted then back to the original arrangement with disc-scratching…I was like huhhhh?  Still overall, it’s a pretty good song!

14. ALGORITHIM + LOVE

As we move on our final stretch, we get ALGORITHIM + LOVE and I’m already loving the beat and arrangement mixed in with the vocals kind of going back and fourth (you can REALLY hear it if you’re wearing headphones).  It kind of reminds me of a Up Up Girls song for some reason, but hey the beat is kickin’ and the whole club-friendly sound altogether is nice to hear then the song goes up in keys a couple times before just ending it out with no cool down…that surprised me a lot…Pretty neat song!

15. Prism Falls & Drops

So dramatic of an opening there 9nine!  After the fun experience I had with the previous track, I was happy to see that Prism Falls & Drops is kind of going back to where the beginning of the album sort of sounded.  For a mid-tempo track, this song actually sounds nice to come to but without the lack of feelings they had earlier.  Good song!

16. With You / With Me (Album Ver.)

I’m surprised they featured the original version and then tacked on a new version as the album’s final song.  It’s strange still since I didn’t think it needed a new version especially since it only adds more emphasis on beats and synths that kind of makes the original seem more strong.  I will say the arrangement is cool and fitting to the arrangement and well the girls didn’t resing it either.

Tracks Recommended

  • With You / With Me
  • out of the blue
  • ALGORITHIM + LOVE
  • Evolution No.9
  • NeXT to FUTURE

Song of Avoidance

  • LOVE VAMPIRE

As the group’s 3rd major album, MAGI9 PLAYLAND is a MUCH better turnout than I expected after “CUE” for sure.  I mean there still was a lot of problems, but at least they tried to pull away from the stale and generic slate they had with the last album.  16 songs with the mofif of being EDM/Idol music is going to throw some people off (especially fans of 9nine) but this album was a much needed change.  My only problem was was that the group should focus on vocals a tad more and try not to half-ass some of their songs like they did here but overall I liked what they put out here.!

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