Kurayami Monogatari

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Kalafina – One Light August 17, 2015

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 5:40 am

onelight

Track Listing

  1. One Light
  2. Mahiru
  3. Samidare ga Sugita Koro ni
  4. One Light ~instrumental~
  5. One Light ~TV size~

1. One Light

It feels like it’s been a while since Kalafina released a good anison/pop/rock track and with One Light they seemed to find their placing again.  The tune really reminds me of a mix of “sprinter” and “consolation” which is pretty awesome to say the least as they’re songs I love from the trio (or quartet with the former).  The trio seems to really pull this song off and there’s some great parts in there (mostly from HIKARU), but even so this is a pretty cool track, probably my favorite of the era.

2. Mahiru

Of course it isn’t a Kalafina single without that signature ballad and Mahiru marks as that song which might disappoint some who were hoping a for a break away from them.  Despite that, the song is seriously as pulled back as it can get for Kajiura…you know a song that’s only a damn piano as the acting melody while the trio has to use their vocals to get by.  Oddly enough, whoever sung 2nd (HIKARU?) sounded really bad here and really ruined what was clearly a nice moment for KEIKO and WAKANA.  Then it there’s the end which seriously took a minute to get to with the piano…honestly…wth.

3. Samidare ga Sugita Koro ni

Then we get the 3rd A-side and I was surprised at how anison it sounded (I mean not like Kajiura-like, but general anison).  It’s a mid-tempo pop tune and it’s kind of got this head-bopping feel to it, but it’s really a strange mix once you add in the trio and their super vocals.  It’s a song that’s gradually growing on me and the added ~la-la-la-las~ in the later half actually sound really pleasant to me…strange for Kalafina, but a nice breezy song from the group.

As the end their “far on the water” era, I was actually digging this single a bit more than their last couple (not to say they weren’t disappointing though :D).  One Light reminds me of their heavier rock themes out there and it sounded really good to me.  Samidare ga Sugita Koro ni was an interesting concept to listen to and I think I could get into this, but Mahiru was flatout bad…just boring to listen to…With the album tracklist, I’m a bit sad that that the singles used for the best albums (except “heavenly blue) won’t be on the album, but I think I can deal with the 4 A-sides that do get to be there.

 

Morning Musume ’15 – Oh my wish!/Sukatto My Heart/Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki

Filed under: Morning Musume — solarblade @ 4:44 am

2aEPCE7135_TP1A_O_prep.pdf

Track Listing

  1. Oh my wish!
  2. Sukatto My Heart
  3. Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki
  4. Oh my wish! (Instrumental)
  5. Sukatto My Heart (Instrumental)
  6. Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki (Instrumental)

1. Oh my wish!

It’s definitely something when you expect the usual, but with the first A-side…everyone was shocked and yet VERY happy with this.  Not only is that Mizuki, Erina, Riho, and Ayumi NOT singing in this track because they’re the dance group (which means they’re only visually important), Zukki and Duu actually are the main leads while Maachan and Odasaku are the secondaries.  Honestly, everyone has been wanting Zukki and Duu to lead in forever and to see that come to fruition is amazing!  The song itself though is in the same realm as many of their previous A-sides, but honestly with the change of lead vocals, I can let it slide and honestly it’s not a bad EDM song at all either.  Did I even mention that Akane and Oharu have a speaking role in the bridge?  Very energetic and has a lot of fire behind it…awesome song!

2. Sukatto My Heart

The 2nd A-side is also a song that H!P fans are familiar with and it’s the disco-funk styled tracks.  Of the 3 songs, I wasn’t too impressed with this one because it has a lot of similarities with older H!P songs and for some reason “Uptown Funk”.  Of course the usual suspects are leading which after “Oh my wish!” was going to happen anyways.  Still, I can’t seem to be too interested in this one for some reason…it’s just an OK song, nothing too memorable about it.

3. Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki

As for the 3rd A-side, I was surprised that Maachan and Miki were the fronts for the song (well mostly Maachan actually).  The tune is actually refreshing for Momusu though it could easily be paired with songs like “Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa” and “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe” due to it’s brighter nature and slight mix of EDM.  We even get to see solo lines from Miki, Eripon, Maria, and Harunan which is rather nice for a song like this, but I can’t exactly say I enjoyed Riho here…her voice seemed a bit too distracting (yet Sakura had an amazing low line in the chorus) it’s an interesting song though, but I enjoyed it too.

Momusu’s 2nd single of the year was at least better than their previous single, “Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru/Yuugure wa Ameagari/Ima Koko Kara” in just about every way.  Almost every member managed to stand out on this release and even 12th Gen had a couple bright spots too.  Oh my wish! and Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki were definitely the single’s highlights as one was an energetic EDM track with back members taking the reins while the latter was a little more unique.  Sukatto My Heart isn’t bad, just rather forgettable to me at the moment.  Overall good single!

 

Ayumi Hamasaki – sixxxxxx

Filed under: Ayumi Hamasaki — solarblade @ 4:06 am

sixxxxxx

Track Listing

  1. Step by step
  2. Summer diary
  3. Sayonara feat. SpeXial
  4. Sorrows
  5. Shape of Love
  6. Sky high

1. Step by step

Opening up Ayu’s mini, we have the sort-of promotional track for it (it was released as a digital single back in July).  I wasn’t sure what to expect coming after “A ONE”, but the song sounds like a pretty lively summer tune for her and I kind of enjoyed the mix of strings with this pop/rock sound as well.  I overall thought it was a nice track to open things up with and it’s one of the better songs she’s done in recent.

2. Summer diary

Then we move into Summer diary which I initially thought it was going to be a ballad, but it’s more like a mid-tempo (that sort of harkens back to a more easier settting from “Duty”).  It’s still got the pop/rock accents mixed with the orchestral strings, but I don’t think it stuck as much as “Step by step” did because while it has a certain nostalgic kick to it, it’s really nothing much to gawk at.

3. Sayonara feat. SpeXial

What intrigued me the most was this track because not only it was a collaboration with a C-pop group (that I never heard of mind you) but it was produced by DAISHI DANCE and I wasn’t expecting the tune to be as electronically club-friendly as much as this!  Though I am enjoying this song quite a lot because it’s a change of pace for Ayu and SpeXial actually sounded cool as well!  I’m not sure why, but this song is just up Ayu’s alley (would’ve been cool on “Colours” honestly).  Easily my favorite of the release.

4. Sorrows

Then we get serious with Sorrows which like the title describes is a heartwrenching ballad!  Though I wasn’t expecting the song to open up with a powerful rock chorus which instantly reminded me of “Because of you” from her “Memorial Address” mini.  The tune has a cool buildup and Ayu’s voice suits the dramatic arrangement (though the transition is a bit off for me).  It’s still a pretty edgy song and one of her more powerful songs.

5. Shape of Love

Seems like we finally get our actual ballad in Shape of Love.  I really find myself loving the relaxing acoustic melody here and for some reason once the chorus kicks in, I feel like it reminds me a lot of “SCAR” which is not a bad thing because it was my favorite song off of “Duty”.  Ayu kind of sounds like she did from said song too which is just awesome to hear.  Good song overall!

6. Sky high

At first, I was like doesn’t she already have a song titled this, but I was mistaking this with “Fly high” XD.  Ending the mini-album off, I figured Sky high would be the song that would be obviously poppy and leaves the listener with finality.  I didn’t expect the song to sound a bit like something from 2000’s avex music.  It like a couple other songs from the mini sounds like it came from an older release and I have no problems with that.  Sky high though to me sounds slightly generic, but in the way that it sticks out nicely here to kind of stand out.  Decent song to close it off.

I was surprised when Ayu announced she was releasing sixxxxxx just 3 months after “A ONE” which was a pretty decent album overall.  Despite being just 6 songs, this mini-album was actually quite refreshing and in some respects better than the aforementioned album.  A lot of the tracks (like Sorrows, Sky high, and Summer diary) felt almost nostalgic to me and brought out the reasons why I fell in love with her music.  Even the other 3 tracks were good tunes in their own right too!  Not bad Ayu, not bad!

 

Country Girls – Wakatte Iru no ni Gomen ne/Tamerai Summertime August 5, 2015

Filed under: Country Girls — solarblade @ 3:48 am

wakatteirunonigomenne

Track Listing

  1. Wakatte Iru no ni Gomen ne
  2. Tamerai Summertime
  3. Wakatte Iru no ni Gomen ne (Instrumental)
  4. Tamerai Summertime (Instrumental)

1. Wakatte Iru no ni Gomen ne

Obviously, I wasn’t surprised that Country Girls would continue on this cute side of H!P for their next A-side, what I wasn’t expecting was so much Chisaki to be featured here (there’s a good reason at least).  While it’s mostly Chisaki and Mai as the leads, the tune features the other 3 in good amount as well.  The tune is a bit more kiddy in nature and the title being so similar to “Itooshikutte Gomen ne” & “Koi Dorobo”, I kind of figured it might not have been as memorable.  It’s a fun song though and the PV is quite a nice change of pace (and funny too!).  Not bad, but you can easily see and hear the hole where Uta should’ve been.

2. Tamerai Summertime

As for the other A-side, the group goes for a mid-tempo song (which has a certain old Country Musume feel) that caught my attention.  Like “Koi Dorobo”, it seems like Manaka, Risa, and Momoko take the majority of the lines while Chisaki and Mai act as secondaries.  It feels more like a spring song moreso than a summer tune (weird).  I find it soothing and calming to listen to, overall nice.

If you didn’t know, the group has been hit with the Country curse by losing Uta (in a similar fashion that Juice=Juice lost Aina Otsuka).  The fact that it was pretty sudden meant that the group had to redo the single and it’s clear that Chisaki wasn’t meant to be all over the single on purpose.  That said, the single isn’t quite as good as their debut single but it’s still a refreshing one as no other H!P right now is doing this sort of thing.