Kurayami Monogatari

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Kyarypamyupamyu – Pikapika Fantajin July 7, 2014

Filed under: Kyarypamyupamyu — solarblade @ 11:49 pm

pikapikafantajin

Track Listing

  1. Pikapika Fantajin
  2. Kira Kira Killer
  3. Yume no Hajima-rin-rin -album mix-
  4. Mottai Night Land
  5. Serious Hitomi
  6. do do pi do
  7. Family Party -album mix-
  8. Ring a Bell
  9. Tokyo Highway
  10. Koi Koi Koi
  11. Sungoi Aura -album mix-
  12. Explorer
  13. Pikapika Fantamix (iTunes only)

1. Pikapika Fantajin

Like all of Kyary’s previous album we begin with an introduction piece!  I was surprised it starts off with such fanciful strings before sparkles and synths join in.  It sounds so regal and so formal but in reality the noteworthy thing is that Kyary just says the album title and we’re off to our next track.

2. Kira Kira Killer

I’m kind of sad that they didn’t change anything with Kyary’s 4th A-side released prior to the album (more or less didn’t even go with the extended mix which is 100% more better than the original).  Anyways, Kira Kira Killer is probably my favorite A-side regardless and even though it’s all about luck, the tune is cool (although in this era it blended with the other A-sides a little too much).  Still, it’s an energetic track and the chorus is my favorite part of the song! I still way prefer the extended mix, but this is a worthy tune and kicks things off nicely.

3. Yume no Hajima-rin-rin -album mix-

So somes songs got edited up for the album release and the first one Yume no Hajima-rin-rin got 40 seconds added to its time.  Actually some of the changes dull out the song so it doesn’t sound AS fantasy-like but still has a little bits here and there.  The new changes don’t change things too much for me, but the song is still rather nice as it feels smoother?  It’s nice, but I think I’d take the original more but this is a nice listen too…hmmmm >.<  At least the ending was a nice way to close it off.

4. Mottai Night Land

As the first A-side, Mottai Night Land came in and funny enough to me it’s Kyary’s 2nd Halloween song and while it doesn’t stand out like “Fashion Monster” did, this song kind of takes cute and uses spooky chords to move on which surprisingly worked.  Also it stood out as an A-side moreso than the other 3 did as they all kind of sounded similar in one way another, Mottai Night Land had its own personality.  It’s pretty much tied with “Kira Kira Killer” as favorite A-side.

5. Serious Hitomi

Finally, we get to our first new track and already it’s different from songs we’ve heard this era by having this gritty electric guitar riff!  I wasn’t expecting Nakata to do something like this but hey it’s unique and random.  Serious Hitomi feels energetic and kind of takes Kyary’s cute vocals and meshes it with this almost shoegaze (albeit dirty) sound.  Can’t deny that it’s really interesting and sticks out on the album in a good way!

6. do do pi do

So another staple of Kyary’s is a capsule cover, this time do do pi do from “L.D.K. Lounge Designers Killer” and once again chooses the song I least liked from that album (similar to “Super Scooter Happy” but I ended up liking Kyary’s a lot XD).  Kyary’s do do pi do of course suits her sugary voice a lot better than it did with Toshiko’s and of course I instantly fit myself interested here.  Though the deadpan voice is kind of meh to listen too lol.  It’s a bouncy song though and the chorus was done better.  Overall much better than the original xD.

7. Family Party -album mix-

As the 3rd A-side, I hate to be mean but I instantly forgot how this song went lol!  The changes though on the album mix basically made the song fill out more with the synths so it doesn’t sound as tinny when compared to the original.  Otherwise it’s basically the same song otherwise.  I still can’t be too bothered to remember this one.  There’s just a lot of things that stick out to me (maybe the chorus) but that’s repetition and that doesn’t count for me.  My least favorite of the A-sides released.

8. Ring a Bell

Going into a small string of new songs, we begin with Ring a Bell and there’s something about it that reminds of songs from “Pamyupamyu Revolution”…it’s just that cutesy/bouncy track with fantasy-ish sounds.  Though this song is ridiculously odd in the lyrics which are mostly in English surprisingly.  Talking about going to the studio and looking for a microphone and being happy today.  It surprised me a lot since I didn’t think Kyary would tackle something like this.  However, it’s a friggin earworm of a song and found myself singing along with Kyary.  I think after the initial response fades I might like it less?  For now, it’s a pick-me-up after the boredom in “Family Party”.

9. Tokyo Highway

Moving on, Tokyo Highway is an interesting song as the song is a bit more faster but it also reminds me of the various A-sides she has which means its got quality behind it.  There’s something about it that feels like an adventure is happening in this tune and I liked that.  Though after a while I do feel like the chorus just drags itself dry and had me longing for it to end, still it’s a rather nice track…one of the better within the new songs.

10. Koi Koi Koi

What is going on here with this song.  There’s a lot of minor chords here and it sounds totally unexpected after the previous song used here.  Unlike the other songs which filled out the spaces, Koi Koi Koi takes a more minimalistic approach by mostly using piano/xylophone/bells.  It’s a very unorthodox tune for this album but I kind of enjoyed this like oddball.

11. Sungoi Aura -album mix-

Of all the B-sides, you had to choose the worst one Kyary?  Sungoi Aura definitely didn’t do anything compared to “Slo-mo” and “Scanty Skimpy” so seeing this make the album is disappointing.  More or less getting an album mix.  It gains a minute extra which is a new extended ending, but the song is still overall the same song we got mostly so I’m just here nor there and kind of meh-ing all over the place.  Never really liked this one.

12. Explorer

So the album ends with Explorer which begins with a march arrangement which makes sense since some of Kyary’s songs have that feel.  Not sure how it’s supposed to mean at the end of the album but whatever.  The song seems so simplistic and Kyary’s voice is a lil squeaky.  I don’t know, but this song just didn’t stand out to me and feels well bland?  It just didn’t work.

13. Pikapika Fantamix

So on iTunes, you get a bonus track which is essentially a medley of the songs from the album.  I suppose it’s a nice incentive since it’s all the songs in rapid succession.  Not really an important track though.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kira Kira Killer
  • Mottai Night Land
  • Tokyo Highway
  • do do pi do
  • Koi Koi Koi

Song of Avoidance

  • Sungoi Aura -album mix-

Ahhh Kyary’s 3rd album and it’s where I’m starting to feel the gimmick starting to run dry.  Pikapika Fantajin is an OK album but she’s starting to somewhat slump in her music and it’s all kind of starting to meld into one another.  I mean it’s kind of meh that even the A-sides are lacking this time around.  I don’t know but “Nanda Collection” is way better of an album than this one >.<

 

MiChi – EYES WIDE OPEN

Filed under: MiChi — solarblade @ 10:38 pm

eyeswideopen

Track Listing

  1. MadNesS vol. 4
  2. STARTING OVER (album mix)
  3. Saturday Night
  4. Lighten the Fxxk Up
  5. Nearly Maybe…
  6. INdependeNt GiRL?
  7. Just because
  8. HEARTBEAT (album mix)
  9. still missing you
  10. Hello
  11. Journey (feat. Jake Shimabukuro)
  12. YOUR Life

1. MadNesS vol. 4

Like all her previous albums, MiChi opens up with her 4th MadNesS!  As the intro to the album, it’s quite funky and has MiChi saying the title of the album with extra lyrics thrown into it.  I actually like how this becomes a song that’s more familiar to her fans by adding dance beats and the like.  It’s an interesting tune and I thought it kicked things off with something that would’ve been great with more lyrical content.

2. STARTING OVER (album mix)

Then we move into STARTING OVER and funny enough the digital singles get album mixes while the actual single that was released doesn’t.  After the intro, I was expecting the album to continue with something upbeat but STARTING OVER starts with acoustic guitar!  It sounds like a song I would’ve expected from “UP TO YOU” but it’s a pleasant song that mixes her lighter side with a little of that dance side.  Honestly though, this sounds like it would’ve made a great closer to this album so having it as the 2nd track is a little odd to me.

3. Saturday Night

Which is made more apparant when Saturday Night comes up because it would’ve perfectly made sense coming after the opening.  As the secondary A-side of the only single released for this era, Saturday Night was just a pretty great dance track from MiChi and shows this kind of dance/disco jive that really caught me by surprise.  It’s just great to hear MiChi sing in English and she brings a lot of spunk and energy with this track.  What an awesome tune!

4. Lighten the Fxxk Up

She always seems to have a song with Fxxk somewhere on her albums xD.  Unlike the others where it’s an energetic dance track, Lighten the Fxxk Up is a bit lighter and we hear MiChi cuss again which is always a fun trip to hear XD.  There’s some easy chords to fall in love with this song and it was quite perfect for me.  Actually had me humming and singing along with.  This was a pretty fun song and one of my early favorites!

5. Nearly Maybe…

After the upbeat songs, we fall back to a simpler tune with Nearly Maybe…  What I meant is that the tune features a lot more acoustic guitar like “STARTING OVER” but doesn’t go much further beyond light percussion and light electric guitar.  As lighthearted as the song was, it didn’t strike any remote chords with me.  I mean it’s not terrible and feels unplugged which is mostly nice but after the previous songs this kind of halted the album a bit.

6. INdependeNt GiRL?

Moving to the primary A-side, we got sticky keys MiChi titles back and INdependeNt GiRL? took her through a different kind of sound by having a more funk-ladened sound.  Almost soulful but MiChi doesn’t have that kind of belting voice to throw out here.  It’s a pleasant track overall, though it gets passed by other songs this album has to offer.

7. Just because

A guitar line opens our next tune, Just because.  This to me feels like it’s going back to “UP TO YOU” as well by kind of mixing styles and I like that about this tune.  It does show off MiChi’s vocals a bit more and I liked that about this song.  It’s a familiar song to fans and I doubt there’d be much of anything to deem this song bad.  It’s catchy ^^

8. HEARTBEAT (album mix)

As the other digital single, HEARTBEAT has more of a “THERAPY” feel which is also a sound I enjoyed from her and HEARTBEAT is another song that just won me over easily.  There’s something deep about this song which is nice to hear too!  I couldn’t tell you the differences between the album mixes to the original versions.  Was there any?!?  Still this is a pretty great song and I’m happy it made the album.

9. still missing you

Then we come to another halt for our ballad, still missing you.  It begins with a simple piano melody.  MiChi sounds pleasant enough and the song warms up to be a little more active by adding percussion and guitar (sounds like “Nearly Maybe…”).  After a while, MiChi starts to feel almost monotone to me especially near the end…could just be me though…mileage varies on this one.

10. Hello

It seems this album is split between the dance/pop songs and acoustic tracks.  Hello tries to kind of work with both of them to get this kind of mid-tempo pop tune with a punchy beat.  It’s an odd feel, but to Americans this might sounds familiar to something like Jessica Simpson or the like.  It’s OK at best but not near the top for me.

11. Journey (feat. Jake Shimabukuro)

At first I was surprised that the song has a dance/pop feel but almost Hawaiian-based.  Turns out, Jake Shimabukuro is the one that plays the ukelele in this track which is a nice touch for MiChi to include.  As for the song, it’s bouncy and surprisingly pop (almost that 2000s American pop).  I found it quirky and lighthearted and one of the better songs on the album!

12. YOUR Life

The final track on the album, YOUR Life is another of the bright songs from MiChi and just closes the album on a happy note which is a great surprise (still think “STARTING OVER” would’ve made a better closing though).  It’s just a pretty catchy song for the most part and MiChi sounds energetic too…ahhh so good!

Tracks Recommended

  • Saturday Night
  • Lighten the Fxxk Up
  • HEARTBEAT (album mix)
  • YOUR Life
  • Journey (feat. Jake Shimabukuro)

Song of Avoidance

  • still missing you

After how much “THERAPY” felt like a more serious release from MiChi, we got EYES WIDE OPEN and the whole thing overall felt like it was just MiChi letting down her hair and being bright and happy and each song did feel like that.  I had heard this album wasn’t that great, but after hearing it…I enjoyed this more than BOTH of her previous albums.  The upbeat dance tracks were the best of course but it’s still worth a listen!~