Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Mami Kawada – PARABLEPSIA September 23, 2015

Filed under: Mami Kawada — solarblade @ 5:03 am

parablepsia

Track Listing

  1. parablepsia
  2. Borderland
  3. I…civilization
  4. Enchantress
  5. Eager Eyes
  6. PIST
  7. fly blind
  8. here.
  9. HOWL
  10. It’s no big deal
  11. Replica_nt
  12. Break a spell
  13. Dendritic Quartz

1. parablepsia

Interesting that Mami opens up the album with the title track.  What a title though haha!  I was confused in which direction the song was heading because it was going towards electro and rock, but it kind of fuses together in a cool way (well, she’s been at this kind of style so it’s definitely right at home.  I’m loving Mami’s vocals here and she gives a stellar performance with a song that sounds like a continuation of songs from “SQUARE THE CIRCLE”.

2. Borderland

Talking about her last album we get Borderland which was a single released before that album was released.  I was sad it didn’t make the cut but here it is on this one (yet “FIXED STAR” and “Gardens” are inexplicably missing from this album).  Borderland though works on this one with it’s static-y electrorock sound.  Instead, Mami’s vocals are much lighter and under some filters and the energy is a little more quick-paced too.  I’m still a pretty big fan of this one and was very happy to see it here!

3. I…civilization

Since most of the album from here on is brand new songs, I was curious to see what Mami and her producers came up with.  Starting with I…civilization is pretty cool and dark (almost to the same heavy arrangements from MELL and KOTOKO).  This one took more to the synth-side of things and Mami’s lines sometimes sound a lot more MELL-like than it should, but I love it!  It’s a cool song and all, but I think the previous tracks stuck out much better!

4. Enchantress

Somehow I thought the feeling of “I…civilization” would’ve been through this song, but Enchantress takes up a more electro side by lacking the guitars and giving us this weird dance track, but it sounds so cool and yet mysterious especially with some of Mami’s lines in this one.  It’s definitely a cool song for the album and an early favorite!

5. Eager Eyes

Seems like the album is just digging deeper into electro I’ve and I’m loving this trek down that lane.  Eager Eyes is dirty and aggressive and Mami’s filtered vocals add this really cool effect that reminds me of stuff from MELL like “Red fraction” and “no vain” but it’s still pretty has its own identity that just sticks on me and love more and more!

6. PIST

For a song title as such, it’s not a shocker that it’s another aggressive track on the album.  Though unlike the cool trance vibes of the previous track, PIST is a little more heavy on the guitarwork here, but it still has some electro in it giving it this factory-kind of sound which is basically the best I can compare to.  There’s even parts where the arrangement lightens up and Mami’s filtered vocals sound a lot more soothing and cool.

7. fly blind

Next up, is fly blind and it’s strictly on the rockin’ side of Mami’s arrangements (almost on the level of some stuff from “SEED” and “SAVIA”.  It’s a pretty in your face kind of song and really comes punching in and out and I’m loving some of it.  The chorus includes some synths and piano which does throw some of the edginess out the window, but I think there’s something about the verses that really gelled together.

8. here.

Though the beginning of here. closes the door and we’re back to stuff that sort of sounds like “Borderland”.  here. has a cool intro with gritty guitars and synths.  I think this track does well with Mami’s take on MELL’s voice and it sounds really devilish, but then the chorus opens to a much lighter feel which like “fly blind” throws me off, but the chorus is decent too…it’s just that it sounds a bit like “Red fraction”…

9. HOWL

Man this album has just been so very aggressive so far and it’s a surprise to me especially since I’ve listened to all her albums.  I’m a little weirded out with the long introduction and the weird vocals choices Mami makes during the song.  I wouldn’t say this is a favorite of mine due to the changes this song goes through, but the effort is through the roof.

10. It’s no big deal

Of an album that has been mostly dark and aggressive and just angsty, It’s no big deal is the odd ball on this album having a more poppy vibe and the amount of noticeable Engrish is cool too.  Though I think by itself, the song is great and shows off a nicer side to Mami, this song probably should’ve been on “SQUARE THE CIRCLE” LOL.

11. Replica_nt

Oh hey a trance song comes next!  The beat is definitely the heaviest on the album here and I love those kind of tracks!  It even keeps at it through the entire track alongside a lower toned Mami which is always nice to hear too!  I love the thick amount of synths bouncing along the deep bass synth giving a really full sounding track.  Definitely a cool song overall!

12. Break a spell

I was shocked that Break a spell was the literal only A-side to make the cut (“Borderland” being released in the last album’s era and the lack of the other 2 A-sides released prior to this album.  Break a spell does take a bit from “Borderland” with the airy vocals, but getting strong for the chorus.  Though coming back to this, the song isn’t as strong as I remembered last year.  The slower tempo (in comparison to many of the songs on this album) is strange, though the intro is still the coolest thing in the track.

13. Dendritic Quartz

Closing the album out is Dendritic Quartz and by title alone, I was looking forward to listening to this one.  Though I was surprised that like “It’s no big deal”, it’s a happier song from Mami though its placement is nice since it doesn’t totally break the album.  I mean it does keep the dance beats and strong vocals, but it kind of zones me out after a while.

Tracks Recommended

  • Replica_nt
  • Enchantress
  • Borderland
  • parablepsia
  • PIST

Song of Avoidance

  • Dendritic Quartz

As I finish Mami’s 5th album all I can say is, wow this was one consistent album going between the things she’s known for and not taking strange risks.  A lot of these songs are quite decent (and even Dendritic Quartz has good things going on too!).  While I was worried with the time she took for this album (and “Gardens” being such a generic mess), I was worried PARABLEPSIA was going to be a misstep, but honestly, it’s probably her best album yet! *RECOMMENDED*

 

TEMPURA KIDZ – LOLLiPOP

Filed under: TEMPURA KIDZ — solarblade @ 3:45 am

lollipop

Track Listing

  1. LOLLiPOP
  2. Miira Killer

1. LOLLiPOP

If you want to talk about a catchy song, LOLLiPOP kind of ranks up their for TEMPURA KIDZ.  I’m loving that the vocals of the group aren’t as filtered like their previous singles had them so it feels more natural (well as it can get because the song itself is pretty dance-heavy as their stuff has been otherwise.  I’m a little surprised that there isn’t a whole lot of depth to the song especially with the chorus is repeating the title over and over again.  Still with that being its biggest fault, it’s still catchy and while it’s not as good as “ONE STEP”, this is definitely better than their last single.

2. Miira Killer

Now I’ve heard this song back when it was released but didn’t review it due to it being a digital single and looked more like it was a Charisma.com song (which by the way, this song is a collaboration between the two units).  Listening to it again, I was enjoying the kind of weird 80’s New Wave glow it had plus it sounded a little punkish in some areas.  At first it was hard to figure where TEMPURA KIDZ fit in the pieces because I heard a lot more of Charisma.com here.  Though they are there in the choruses and some lines so it’s a good collaboation in the end!

As the 3rd and last single before their first album, “Tenkomori” releases, LOLLiPOP is a pretty good single for the group!  The main song is really catchy and can easily become an earworm after giving some time and Miira Killer (while old) is a nice coupling song as well giving us a different feel with a collaboration.  Definitely curious to see how this album will turn out!

 

la la larks – Hallelujah

Filed under: la la larks — solarblade @ 1:30 am

hallelujah

Track Listing

  1. Hallelujah
  2. Q And A
  3. Shikisai
  4. Hallelujah (Instrumental)
  5. Q And A (Instrumental)
  6. Shikisai (Instrumental)

1. Hallelujah

That cool electronic opening of Hallelujah made me say that exactly!  The tune is a really interesting one having a different kind of non-sfp sound, but the experimentation continued with the chorus by including brass instruments alongside the band which gave this song an AMAZING and robust sound!  I’m really loving the atmosphere of the song and Yumi just sounds heavenly alongside this very wild and exciting track…there’s even a cool guitar solo!  Yeah, this is definitely a song to keep on my iPhone for sure!

2. Q And A

After being blessed with such an A-side, Q And A comes next and this sounds like something the band would have released.  Very familiar chords and arrangements as the song rolls on by and while that’s not a good thing I still can’t get the feeling that somehow school food punishment never really disappeared.  I think I’m pretty content with this a a B-side because if it was the leading song, I probably wouldn’t be as invested in the single otherwise.

3. Shikisai

It seems that fellow artist Maaya Sakamoto contributed to this song (payment back for having some people from sfp doing her A-side, “Buddy” maybe?).  I’m loving the chaotic chords being presented by the piano/keyboard giving this unsettling feel to the track.  As it continues, more of the familiar sounds of the band return, but the arrangement ends up being this wild and dramatic piece and it’s LOVELY, and the drummer is really kicking ass in this song xD.  Definitely a cool B-side and easily could’ve been a leading song!

I’ve been waiting for a new la la larks single for a while and I’m so happy their 2nd single turned out really well, even better than their debut (well “debut”).  Hallelujah blew me away when I first heard it and the different ideas clashing against each other made such a beautiful end product and easily is their best song yet, it even tops a LOT of their sfp stuff!  Same can be said for Shikisai with it’s own take on it’s wild mixture of sounds and chords…it was very cool and artsy for them.  While Q And A is good, it’s a safe song for them and really is the sound a lot of fans are used to from the band…Overall this was just an awesome single *RECOMMENDED*