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Tsubaki Factory – Engeki Joshi-bu Musical “Thank You Very Berry” Original Soundtrack November 28, 2015

Filed under: Tsubaki Factory — solarblade @ 6:31 pm

1bTGCS8954_FH1A_H1-4_prep.pdf

Track Listing

  1. Ano Ko ga Utau no wa Mitanda
  2. Kaijuu no Ballad
  3. Thank You Very Berry

1. Ano Ko ga Utau no wa Mitanda

As the first song off the single, Ano Ko ga Utau no wa Mitanda opens up with Maasa singing the first lines, but quickle actual group joins in shortly after.  I’m enjoying the kind-of wintry sound despite the fact it’s quite a Spring song (if we’re going by the cover).  The tune does get a beat after a while for the chorus.  I’m liking most of the vocals involved (Rikoriko sounds odd though, but she always kind of has).  It’s a nice first track overall and Maasa kind of stole the show (sorry Tsubaki!)

2. Kaijuu no Ballad

Of the three songs, Kaijuu no Ballad is the most upbeat of the three, but I was sorely disappointed that it’s only 1:20 in length, but what they got out of it was exciting and that chorus could’ve been amazing if only they had stretched the song out longer…Maybe the rerelease will fix that up?

3. Thank You Very Berry

As the main song for the play, Thank You Very Berry is quite familiar to me especially this year because Berryz Koubou had decided to resing it because this stageplay was originally done by them on their final album.  Tsubaki’s version changes the arrangement around a little bit with harps added in and some more flowing strings and less percussion.  Also the spoken dialogue in the bridge is omitted too.  As for the vocal performance, it was decent, a lot better than what “Seishun Manmannaka!” produced.  They are still a bit weak, but they could handle this tune.

 

 

Seeing as a trend of H!P of recent is to release a smaller cut of the OST before bringing in a much fuller release, Tsubaki’s stageplay single is OK for the most part.  Kaijuu no Ballad really needs a longer length because it has a lot of potential going on!  Ano Ko ga Utau no wo Mitanda is decent, but Maasa took a lot of the spotlight here.  Also with Thank You Very Berry, I feel like we were spoiled a bit much after hearing Berryz resinging it earlier in the year, so this feels unfortunately weaker in the long run.  I can only wonder what could be added on the rerelease (which I hope is coming soon).

 

Kanon Wakeshima – Kimi wa Soleil November 25, 2015

Filed under: Kanon Wakeshima — solarblade @ 4:36 am

kimiwasoleil

Track Listing

  1. Kimi wa Soleil
  2. Princess Charleston
  3. Kimi wa Soleil (instrumental)
  4. Princess Charleston (instrumental)

1. Kimi wa Soleil

I’m happy to see Kanon just be as active as she is.  Kimi wa Soleil is a bit of a departure from her strings by being a more airy and acoustic guitar pop/rock song (think of miwa or YUI), but taking a more mid-tempo route.  Not gonna lie, the song does kind of paints a different picture for Kanon, but I’m not sure her fans will think this song is of much flair.  I suppose it’s OK, but after “RIGHT LIGHT RISE”, this is somewhat disappointing.

2. Princess Charleston

Interesting to see Kanon bring back one of her older songs (an album track from her sophomore effort, “Shoujo Jikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~”), Princess Charleston wasn’t just a typical recut!  The song added about two minutes in length and the arrangement is a bit more fleshed out.  The updated version is quite nice and it’s fun and eccentric and Kanon sounds a lot more bubbly than I thought she did in the original.

So the 2nd single to the era, Kimi wa Soleil might not have been a strong single for her, but it wasn’t a complete failure.  The leading track is a bit devoid of the cello and it sounds a bit vanilla if anything otherwise.  At least this updated Princess Charleston made things sound better and nicer.  I’m just curious to see what’s next!

 

RURUTIA – don’t look at the color November 21, 2015

Filed under: RURUTIA — solarblade @ 4:23 am

dontlookatthecolor

Track Listing

  1. don’t look at the color
  2. Not Afraid
  3. Little in My Little

1. don’t look at the color

It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve heard RURUTIA last, but she quietly brought out a new single for us.  don’t look at the color was definitely not what I expected from her as she takes up rock atmosphere with this song.  The verses sound mysterious and something a bit like “Seirios” was.  Though I also feel like the chorus is a lot more mainstream sounding than other songs she’s done.  Overall, it’s a nice song a nice comeback (hopefully).

2. Not Afraid

Our first B-side sounds a bit more stressful of a song due to its arrangement which is ironically still feels a lot like “don’t look at the color” minus the weird electronic trips.  RURUTIA’s vocals do feel a bit weak here as she’s hitting thin notes here and there (mostly in the chorus) but I still like the guitarwork behind this one.  Though I have to say when she says the title, it’s like she’s saying ~not a fly~…kind of humorous lol!

3. Little in My Little

I’m really curious about RURUTIA’s liking of this echo-like filter that she sings in through all three songs…it’s a bit haunting and yet fits her vocals.  As the ballad of the single, Little in My Little will be familiar to fans of her music and I do really like the acoustic/piano arrangement…A nice haunting song and closes the single nicely!

Wow, it feels like years since RURUTIA, well 3 years since her “NODE for R” album and literally 9 years since her last single, “Reirei Tenohira”…don’t look at the color is a rather obscure and strange timed release for a single.  Overall though it’s interesting seeing her kind of going the OLIVIA route here with both the leading song and Not Afraid taking a more rockin’ sound while keeping Little in My Little as her go-to ballad.  It’s nice, but I feel like I just want more from her on her next release!

 

Nana Mizuki – SMASHING ANTHEMS November 17, 2015

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 6:57 am

smashinganthems

Track Listing

  1. Glorious Break
  2. Never Let Go
  3. SUPER☆MAN
  4. Angel Blossom
  5. BRACELET
  6. Lazy Syndrome
  7. Koi Uta.
  8. Kindan no Resistance -Extended Mix-
  9. The NEW STAR
  10. Clutch!!
  11. Netsujou no Maria
  12. Ego Ideal
  13. Eden
  14. Ambivalence
  15. Exterminate

1. Glorious Break

Nana hardly ever disappoints when it comes to the opening track and Glorious Break is no exception to that rule fortunately!  It kicks off with this synth/orchestral intro that builds itself for a whole minute before Nana enters the song and the synths back off and the orchestra takes a punch, but then things take an unusual turn inserting some dubstep behind the horns and strings (what an odd mix though).  I do like how Nana still sounds epic with the arrangement switching back and forth.  It’s still no “Avalon no Oukan”, but that’s asking for a lot xD.  Still for the first track, this is really different but really epic!

2. Never Let Go

The album continues on with Never Let Go and I already knew that I was going to love this song with its emphasis on the punches of percussion and neat pop/rock sound!  While I didn’t expect the song to keep at the same time and not be overbearing on the heavy rock song, this was a solid track and Nana gave a powerful performance.  This is already becoming a quick favorite for me on the album and I haven’t even started on the rest XD.

3. SUPER☆MAN

Chosen as the album’s promotional track, SUPER☆MAN I thought was going to be a cutesy, upbeat track and while it does retain a little bit of that charm, the arrangement is a bit mixed with disco and techno beats and some violins too.  I do think it’s a bit slow for a song, but I do like the direction it wanted to take so I appreciate that about this one.  Also the PV…what? XD

4. Angel Blossom

Then we come to our first A-side on the album (specifically, the leading 3rd single).  Back on the single review, I thought Angel Blossom was OK, but quite generic as Nana songs go regardless.  On the album, it is the first of the anison-like songs though so it’s kind of nice to hear, but I still can’t really shake off that feeling that we’ve heard this before.  Though the chords and Nana’s vocals are surprisingly pleasant though so I would say the song is still continuing to grow on me.

5. BRACELET

I love the introduction to our next track, very mysterious and light!  Though once the remaining arrangement enters the song, yeah it’s another one of those songs that remind me of stuff like “PHANTOM MINDS” and “Silent Bible”, but I actually enjoy those songs immensely so this song fits right at home.  The guitarwork is a nice touch to the song and adds to the strings and piano that also accompany the song.  I would say this is a better “Angel Blossom” if it was handled differently.

6. Lazy Syndrome

As the B-side chosen to be added to the album (this one coming from “Angel Blossom”, Lazy Syndrome wouldn’t have been my choice to include (would’ve rather chosen “BLUE” or “No Limit” here).  It’s still a solid choice regardless because it would’ve been my 3rd pick.  I thought the intro reminded me of something from school food punishment, but it lays off that idea once the main focus of the song is introduced.  I enjoy the overall rock content of the song, but there’s something a bit flat in this song when compared to other songs on the album.  Though the rapping section was interesting hahah!

7. Koi Uta.

As the album’s ballad?  Koi Uta. is something else and nothing strong like “BLUE” was.  I think the acoustic/electric guitar mix and stringwork didn’t seem to work very well together and Nana vocally wasn’t all quite there and I felt things was just not connecting for me.  This track just felt draggy the entire time and I couldn’t even remember how it went after just one listen.

8. Kindan no Resistance -Extended Mix-

As the first single released for the album, Kindan no Resistance is the lone song to get some kind of edit on the album and it’s taken from one of her recent tours.  Opening with a really nice orchestral intro and Nana singing some new lyrics, I really love the addition and her emotion is carried out quite nicely before entering the main course.  I still love the embrace of Celtic sounds and her synth/rock style (that’s become a favorite of styles Nana tackles), Kindan no Resistance is still a favorite of mine and with the new intro, the song is that much better!

9. The NEW STAR

Back to new songs, The NEW STAR begins in some odd chords, but then it’s led to an even stranger direction.  Becoming this kind of funky, bass-heavy song.  I also noticed that Nana is singing in a lower register and I welcome the change since she can pull off songs in a deep tone.  I overall feel like the song could also use a speed boost, but this is pretty cool and just stuck out to me on the album with weird things like some ad-libbing during the dubstepp-y bridge.

10. Clutch!!

I would’ve expected a song like Clutch!! to be the promotional song because it’s a more upbeat and pop/rock sound that’s akin to some of the more cuter songs in Nana’s repertoire.  I think it’s OK, but there’s just something lacking in this one for some reason, but it’s not short of energy and spice, but there’s once again that feeling of I’ve heard this before like with “Angel Blossom”.

11. Netsujou no Maria

Seems like return to the anison songs with Netsujou no Maria and really there’s not much to differentiate it from other songs of similar variety.  Once again though, Nana’s lower register is very pleasant and the chorus does save it from sheer mediocrity, but mostly, it’s more of the same as I’ve heard from previous releases.

12. Ego Ideal

Oh!  The piano intro for our next track is really bouncy and upbeat for a song title like this lol.  I wasn’t surprised that the song quickly fizzled out as quickly as it did because almost immediately after the intro, Ego Ideal just kind of became another typical song.  I suppose I do like the piano taking precedence over the arrangement, but it’s like another anison track waiting to be filled up with the typical stylings.

13. Eden

Which kills me further that my least favorite of the A-sides, Eden is up next.  While it does to me strike me as the hardest hitting song with the overabundance of percussion, without it, the song just would’ve fell to the wayside even moreso than it should.  I do also like the chorale in the background in some specific parts of the track giving it this rather haunting kind of feel.  It still doesn’t rank high with me sadly…

14. Ambivalence

The last of the new songs, I thought we were going to get another “Ego Ideal”, but I’m happy we’re getting this light funky song as it shows a little more variation than the album has been giving out.  The groove of the song is really unique and Nana sounds wonderful and the whole laidback feeling I get from this song is really nice and breaks the monotony before the finale.

15. Exterminate

I found it surprising that Nana would end the album with Exterminate and not a ballad (it’s been a while since this has been a case).  Being released as the 4th single, Exterminate is definitely in the same vein as “Synchrogazer” and “Vitalization” which is always a plus to the song itself.  Being very aggressive and full of striking sections, this song is up there with “Kindan no Resistance” as best songs, but this still might make 2nd place.  I still find it strange that it’s the album’s closer, but still a cool song.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kindan no Resistance -Extended Mix-
  • Exterminate
  • Never Let Go
  • BRACELET
  • Glorious Break

Song of Avoidance

  • Koi Uta.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to get out of SMASHING ANTHEMS, but it seems to have affected me the same way “SUPERNAL LIBERTY” had which was that it started out pretty strong, but then faded out to essentially boredom during the second half (with some exceptions both ways).  I also felt like half of the A-sides were pretty bland too which is odd, but oh well.  Not bad, but she’s had much better.

 

alan – Michishirube November 15, 2015

Filed under: alan — solarblade @ 7:24 pm

michishirube

Track Listing

  1. Michishirube
  2. Over the clouds -RESURRECTION MIX-
  3. Michishirube Live version ~alan symphony 2014~
  4. Michishirube (instrumental)

1. Michishirube

I wasn’t expecting alan to come back to Japan, but once again she surprises us with Michishirube (even though this song was released as a digital single earlier back in March of this year).  The tune itself is interesting with the kind of clock ticking behind alan’s light but pleasant vocals.  I do like the marching drums that come in later and we even see a return of the Tibetan yell (even though it’s held back and the echo filters are in use).  It’s a pretty decent song and I like how it’s upbeat but still sounds like a ballad.  Decent track overall!

2. Over the clouds -RESURRECTION MIX-

Seems like the B-side comes in and it’s a remix of Over the clouds (which I can safely says still with avex).  This new mix really places heavy focus on the arrangement by changing it into this aggressive and dubstep-heavy sound.  Despite the short length (2:22), this track makes a unique spin of a song released a while ago

3. Michishirube Live version ~alan symphony 2014~

So it seems like this single also comes with a live version of the A-side!  Really the arrangement sounds almost the same to the studio version, but alan’s vocals do legitimately sound like she’s singing in a microphone.  Though I think the best part is when she does her Tibetan wails as she hits them with confidence.  It’s a pretty decent live version too!

With it being two years since her last single, Michishirube kind of came out of nowhere with little fanfare simply because the leading track has been out since March already.  The single itself is nice though with Michishirube being a lot more like her typical self “Dream Express” was a VERY odd single for here still.  The Over the clouds remix is cool, but pretty short and the live version is well still shows that alan is still an amazing singer all these years later.

 

Smash Bros. November! November 13, 2015

Filed under: ~Video Game Writing~ — solarblade @ 5:55 am

Hey! seems like I needed to update on Smash Bros. after the Nintendo Direct yesterday!!!…but first I should probably also update on the September update as well!

So in September, we didn’t get a new character, but we did get two new stages (though two of them are console/handheld exclusive!

  • Super Mario Maker – To kind of celebrate the release of the rather successful Super Mario Maker there was a stage based on the game released here!  Funny though, as of this post this stage has slopes whereas the actual game lacks it which is REALLY shocking.  Other facts on the stage is that each time you pick it, the layout is always different and plays with the 4 themes from SMB, SMB3, SMW, and NSMBWU (think of the Tortimer Island stage on the 3DS).  It’s a pretty cool stage though and embraces where it comes from…even if its DAMN RECENT!
  • Pirate Ship – We actually didn’t even learn about it until after the update was released, but Pirate Ship is returning from Brawl.  This stage was mad colorful and rather exciting to play on because of the random things that can happen from the ship crashing, getting hit by cannonballs, being lifted into the air by a tornado and more.  Only for the Wii U, it’s a pretty neat stage and happy it was chosen to return.
  • Duck Hunt – Even though I would’ve preferred something else to be included on the 3DS.  I mean it’s nice that the two games share this stage, but eh…it’s an interesting stage but I’ll talk about it more when I review it.

THE BIGGEST NEWS though was from yesterday and the announcement of a new character and stage!

cloud

Color me surprised, but Cloud was not the character that I was expected to see join the roster, but I’m still VERY excited and happily will get him.  Now many will clamor about how Cloud hadn’t been in a Nintendo game but he’s been in a couple: KH: Chain of Memories and both Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy games on top of the upcoming Final Fantasy Explorers.  With also the impending release of the FF7 remake, Cloud is definitely seeing an uprise again of relevance.  His moveset does remind me of a mix of Ike and Shulk, but faster than the both.

  • Midgar – Of course with a new character (at least with an original moveset) we get a new stage as well and Cloud’s stage is something else.  At first, it looked like a simple Battlefield clone, but the stage quickly turns the table when the stage hazards (the Summons) join in like Ifrit, Odin, Ramuh, Leviathan, and Bahamut ZERO do their signature attacks and affect the stage in different ways.  Really interesting stage and can’t wait to see it.

After the announcement though, it was announced there’s a special broadcast in December….so it might be the next post I’ll be doing.

 

ANGERME – Desugita Kui wa Utarenai/Dondengaeshi/Watashi November 9, 2015

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 5:21 pm

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Track Listing

  1. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai
  2. Dondengaeshi
  3. Watashi
  4. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai (Instrumental)
  5. Dondengaeshi (Instrumental)
  6. Watashi (Instrumental)

1. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai

I kind of chuckled when the song opened up with that horror fanfare line, but things really jump off the cliff.  The tune is definitely a shift in sound for the group taking a more speed rock kind of arrangement (partially because some of the song was worked on by Yuki Uozumi (a member of Reina Tanaka’s band Lovendor).  It makes sense since the song is just metal enough to raise some eyebrows.  To be honest though, while I do like the song mostly, the chorus with the speeding drums bothers me…just a bit too messy for my liking.  Though the group is just powerful and definitely kept up with the furious arrangement.

2. Dondengaeshi

If I thought “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai” was too chaotic, then Dondengaeshi is the controlled chaos.  Actually, it does come off slightly as an anison song, but I’m really enjoying the arrangement and the girls once again are really powerful sounding (a little less shouty than in the previous track).  Likewise, this song just punches you in the face with the guitarwork and heavy drumming, but I definitely felt like this was more cohesive as a track overall.  Definitely a badass track!

3. Watashi

After two rock songs, Watashi is a bit out of place and strange to be on this single.  HOWEVER, this song is solo song for Kanon Fukuda who’s graduating at the end of the month.  The kind of dance-pop arrangement is pretty nice sounding and does make some nods to dubstep as well (luckily it doesn’t come to the forefront.  Nyon sounds like what she was when she first joined S/mileage actually (squeaky and cutesy).  It’s good enough graduation song, but sticks out in a weird way being put next to two rock/metal songs.

As the 3rd ANGERME single, I thought this single is kind of good, but not as good as their last two singles.  Desugita Kui wa Utarenai is good, but it’s definitely way too chaotic for me to fully enjoy whereas Dondengaeshi fixed it right up and that made it my favorite song from the single.  While there’s not a lot of time for Nyon to perform Watashi, it’s a cute graduation song (a lot more better than Sayumi’s “Shabadaboo~”).  Still with this single out, we have to now wait for Nyon’s graduation and the impending addition of 4th Gen (if it’s going to happen)…

 

Morning Musume ’15 – Engeki Joshi-bu Musical “TRIANGLE” Original Soundtrack November 3, 2015

Filed under: Morning Musume — solarblade @ 4:54 am

triangle

CD Track Listing

  1. Triangle Alpha
  2. Sakura no Koi
  3. Urayameshi Gari ya no Dice
  4. Rosewood no Kokuhaku
  5. Furereba Kokoro ga Afuredasu
  6. Te wo Hanasanai

DVD+CD Track Listing

  1. Triangle Beta
  2. Nee, Milk
  3. Ten no Otsuge
  4. Urayameshi Gari ya no Dice (Kiri no Uwasa ver.)
  5. Iota no Koi
  6. Suwasuwa Tsukamaero
  7. Sakura, Tsukanoma no Shiawase
  8. Suwasuwa Shuushuu
  9. Furereba Kokoro ga Afuredasu (β ver.)
  10. Te wo Hanasanai (Sairoku ver.)

1. Triangle Alpha

The main theme of the stageplay, Triangle Alpha was not as electronic as I thought things were going to be.  It still is pretty synthy and upbeat, but it’s got flow from the stringwork that’s included.  The tune is quite nice though and since it’s mostly for Riho, Sakura, Haruka, and Ayumi (who are also the main characters of the play).  It’s nice to hear everyone sound actually decent especially Riho and Haruka, they surprised me in a good way with their vocals.  The song ends with some dialogue from Riho before ending.

2. Sakura no Koi

Things slow down for our next track, Sakura no Koi (which is a duet between Ayumi and Haruka) and with the stripped down arrangement (which is essentially only acoustic guitar and later some percussion and bass), it’s a simple song for the two and while I don’t consider Ayumi a strong singer, Duu sounded actually pretty damn good!  Otherwise, it’s an OK song but not amongst the best of the tracks.

3. Urayameshi Gari ya no Dice

In an interesting twist, our next song is actually the best song of the mini-album for sure.  Another duet, this time between Masaki and Haruna O., this is actually the first time we’ve got a decent amount of lines for a new 12th Generation member.  Masaki sounds tons better than the performance she gave in “LILIUM” and sadly, Haruna didn’t exactly sound like she was singing more or less speaking her lines haha..  The tune is funky and fun to listen to with the bouncy bass and fun brass moments, but ironically enough, it is the shortest of the mini-album.

4. Rosewood no Kokuhaku

Another duet, this time with Sakura and Ayumi begins with a pretty piano intro and some sparkling bells before Sakura actually starts to sing in a really nice light tone.  Another shorter song, it’s pretty simple and weird that Ayumi has just one section but ended up being more of a Sakura-led song.  It’s decent, but once again, nothing I’d totally come back to.

5. Furereba Kokoro ga Afuredasu

Riho comes up next up all by herself.  It does seem this song takes some melodies from “Triangle Alpha” and it makes sense because the title is actually a lyric in said song too!  Being a simple piano/strings ballad, I quite enjoyed Riho’s performance and while I wasn’t too keen on her high notes, she handled it quite nicely.  Hell, I wasn’t expecting it to be shorter than “Urayameshi Gari ya no Dice”…

6. Te wo Hanasanai

Opening with some interesting piano, Te wo Hanasanai is another short song featuring Sakura and Haruka singing together and like a lot of the other tracks, it’s got a simple melody and easy instrumentation so the focus is a bit more on the duo.  I still do enjoy Sakura here, but I think Haruka did a smidge better even if her higher register is a little bit too airy.  As this is one the last songs of the play, it’s a bit sullen and a bit too short for me.  Still, vocally it was pleasant.

DVD+CD

1. Triangle Beta

If you can’t guess, actually Triangle Beta is basically “Triangle Alpha” with a few changes concerning which girls are singing and some of the lyrical content is different as well.  Instead of Riho taking up the last batch of lyrics to herself, it’s actually Haruka’s character that takes those lines.  Interesting to include this even if the song remains mostly the same.

2. Nee, Milk

Was this really necessary?  I mean it’s only a 25 second track from Ayumi.  Add that there’s no music to really go along with this so it just becomes ONLY Ayumi…seriously, was it really needed on this tracklist???

3. Ten no Otsuge

Up next is an interesting march-styled song sung mostly by Fukuchan as she bellows at a message with marching drums and timpani and some horns behind her.  Granted, there are spoken lines from 12th Gen member Akane Haga and former Berryz member (still weird to say that), Maasa Sudo.  Short, but gets the job done.

4. Urayameshi Gari ya no Dice (Kiri no Uwasa ver.)

Seems we get an alternate version of the upbeat Masaki/Haruna O. duet.  Nothing has totally changed in this song beyond some different lyrics to fit the certain alternate stageplay.  Really, there’s not much else for me to comment on since the rest of the song is pretty good still lol.

5. Iota no Koi

Another new track, we get a duet between Fukuchan and Maasa and I was happily surprised to see Maasa involved (even if she only has one line again).  I thought the Peanuts-esque bossa nova vibes in this track threw the wrench in my face as it’s totally something different and cool.  Its chill arrangement while pleasant, doesn’t seem to gel too well with Mizuki’s vocals.  Sadly, after Maasa’s lone line, the song just abruptly ends…wow didn’t leave much of a mark.

6. Suwasuwa Tsukamaero

If the previous song didn’t make me think the stageplay was throwing randomness, this song would definitely cement that feeling!  Though it’s even shorter than “Iota no Koi”, this song managed to stick itself into my mind because of it’s hard rockin’ atmosphere.  It’s also the only time we get to hear Maria have a solo (even if it’s in Suwasuwa speak, don’t ask).  The other significant solo goes too Maachan and she rocked it nicely…MADLY disappointed that this wasn’t longer…

7. Sakura, Tsukanoma no Shiawase

Another Ayumi/Haruka duet?  While the song has some similarities to their other duet, “Sakura no Koi” but with more strings, I felt like Sakura, Tsukunoma no Shiawase didn’t exactly leave much of an impression.  Ayumi sings majority of the song while Haruka has two significant solos during this short song.  Yeah, it’s still kind of forgettable but once again nice vocals.

8. Suwasuwa Shuushuu

Now here’s the song that I would’ve thought the stageplay would have mostly sounded like.  Taking a much more electronic route in its arrangement and it seems like the only members involved are most of the background (or small role girls): 12th Gen of Momusu, Kenshuusei members; Risa Ogata, and Kurumi Takase, and Ayasa Onoda and Anna Ishii (these two are Engeki Joshi-bu only members).  Now I really love the arrangement and makes me think of Perfume or someone under Nakata.  Just saying, it would’ve been so much better as a full track to be honest.

9. Furereba Kokoro ga Afuredasu (β ver.)

Yup the last two tracks are basically brought back from the mini-album.  Originally, Furereba Kokoro ga Afuredasu was just a Riho song but this new version includes a new section just for Ayumi and Haruka.  I mean I guess it’s a thing, but I’m not sure if I needed a new section for a song like this.  Eh, I suppose it works.

10. Te wo Hanasanai (Sairoku ver.)

Really?  Change on line of lyrics and call it a new version?  Oi ve, it’s essentially the same song from the mini-album, no instrumentation changes…just a single line switch for Sakura which really blew over my head the first couple of times.

Tracks Recommended

  • Suwasuwa Shuushuu
  • Triangle Alpha / Triangle Beta
  • Urayameshi Gari ya no Dice / Urayameshi Gari ya no Dice (Kiri no Uwasa ver.)

Song of Avoidance

  • Nee, Milk

Coming back to this OST, I’ve started to realize the problems from this one compared to the other stageplay releases I’ve reviewed.  Most of these songs never reach a good enough potential because of how short a lot of these songs turned out to be.  There wasn’t a whole lot of memorable songs out of this one (and yet my favorite is the one with the background characters >.>).  Not the best to be quite honest, not as mad generic like “Koisuru Hello Kitty” but pretty damn close.

 

Kobushi Factory – Engeki Joshi-bu Musical “Week End Survivor”

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 4:40 am

WES_CD+DVD_sleeve_ol

Track Listing

  1. Survivor
  2. Nemuri no Rondo – Introduce
  3. Koko Kara Dashite
  4. Nemuri no Rondo – Doubt
  5. Tsuzuku Omou
  6. Memory
  7. Sayuri ~Prelude~
  8. Nemuri no Rondo – Fluctuations
  9. Sayuri
  10. Sagashidase
  11. Nemuri no Rondo – Lost
  12. Koukai
  13. Nemuri no Rondo – Belief
  14. Sayonara

1. Survivor

Opening up the stageplay is Survivor which was also found on Kobushi Factory’s debut indie single (as the secondary A-side).  While I was expecting it to be slightly different because in the stageplay Maasa had the solo intro and not-so-much Hamachan.  On the single, I was definitely impressed with the really dark and edgy arrangement from Kobushi since fans weren’t totally sure where the group would land and “Nen ni wa Nen” didn’t solidify a genre.  I will say I’m still loving it and am very salty that it might not even appear on a future release for the group because I love the guitarwork and the group sounds pretty badass.  Still an amazing song!

2. Nemuri no Rondo – Introduce

Now on the release we get a BUNCH of interludes which may or may not interest fans.  For me, I couldn’t care less since I already know they’re just used for dance numbers and to kind of stretch the stageplay longer.  Introduce was probably the highlight for me because it was a bit of 70’s psychedelic mixed with the gritty guitarwork.  While I do think of the play when I hear this, by itself (and the other interludes, do make it seem a bit trite).

3. Koko Kara Dashite

Next track up and we get a slower ballad-like song with Koko Kara Dashite, well for a little bit because the angry arrangement kicks things up better.  While I do think the beat and pianowork is making this song a lighter affair.  I also notice immediately that the production isn’t as tight or worked on in comparison to “Survivor” but I can easily see why.  It’s a pretty cool track and a lot of the song is sung with smaller groupings, but I liked it a lot!

4. Nemuri no Rondo – Doubt

Here we are again we another interlude and it continues that dark, psychedelic theme, but it’s not as hard hitting as “Introduce” even though they are at the same length.  Really not much to say here, but I liked the former better as it had more fire behind it.

5. Tsuzuku Omou

Though I think the next track on the album is definitely a good song and one of my favorites.  Actually, for some reason I’m reminded of “Anata wo Aishita Kioku” from the “LILIUM” soundtrack, but I think it’s that marching kind of pulse of the beat that reminds me of it.  Though I’m loving this song a bit more as there’s more intrigue and hearing Reirei have a lot of solos is surprising and she sounds great!  The rest of the group is also sounding good without effects too.  Very cool track!

6. Memory

As a Hamachan and Ayapan solo track, Memory is a quiet ballad in amongst the songs, but I felt that their vocals are pretty unique.  I will say Hamaura’s vocals are kind of unusual to me as her voice is more squeakier in comparison to Ayaka’s more mature and controlled vocals.  Hearing them harmonizing is a bit shaky, but I thought it was nice for the most part.

7. Sayuri ~Prelude~

I do think this is the only case where spoken dialogue happens on the album, there’s a sort-of music-box and small accordion parts, but it seems like it’s only Rio involved here, but like I said, it’s a short interlude.  Interesting to figure why it was included, but I’m sure it’s supposed to make sense with “Sayuri”.

8. Nemuri no Rondo – Fluctuations

Another 40 second interlude (huh, two interludes back to back huh?).  Unlike the previous two, Fluctuations is pretty straightforward as a rock-lude.  Nothing major to really talk about, just another bridge to our next track.

9. Sayuri

Taking from the prelude, the same arrangement kicks off Sayuri and it’s kind of a haunting ballad with the flickering piano melody.  It’s a different kind of song and the light movement in the arrangement is unique.  I do love hearing the members get solo lines (but I don’t think all of them get one, I think it was just Sakurako, Minami, Ayano, Ayaka, Natsumi, and Rei).  It’s a pleasant track though and it’s got some cool unsettling parts too!  Cool song overall!

10. Sagashidase

Then the next track is up next and I’m liking the beat and cool guitar.  I’m also loving that Rei took up a lot of the lyrics in the track as her deeper notes are pretty cool!  Actually I figured she was talented, but she really outdid herself in this song.  It does seem that after a while Sakurako and Minami join in the song for some solo parts before all three come together.  It’s a cool song and I’m really happy to see these three paired up as such.

11. Nemuri no Rondo – Lost

So the 4th interlude is pretty much the most hype of the 5 as it’s fast-paced and hard-hitting as an interlude, but as fast as it came, as quick as it goes and that slightly saddens me because this could’ve been a badass song tbqh.

12. Koukai

I’m surprised that our next song begun with a 40 second piano intro before Hamachan starts to begin singing.  Making it a shorter song on the release, Koukai is kind of the plain-jane song of the release which isn’t so bad, but I’m not really that interested in it lol.  Ayano’s vocals while on pitch, is like Karins where I don’t think it’s suited for ballads honestly.

13. Nemuri no Rondo – Belief

The final interlude, Belief returns us to that weird psychedelic arrangement, but it seems the rock elements are still punching and it included some strings as well giving a really cool battle theme almost which is impressive though once again too short for its own good.

14. Sayonara

As the closing theme (well “Survivor” and Nen ni wa Nen” closed it off, but that didn’t pertain to the stageplay, except the former).  Another ballad at play with Hamachan in front which didn’t interest me much, but after her lines the rest of the group joins in and the tune kind of goes into a mid-tempo ballad which is nice they added more oomph to it.  It’s a decent closer that’s for sure.

Tracks Recommended

  • Survivor
  • Tsuzuku Omou
  • Sagashidase
  • Koko Kara Dashite

Song of Avoidance

  • Koukai

After being terribly disappointed in “Koisuru Hello Kitty”, I was wondering what Kobushi’s stageplay and funny enough, Week End Survivor was pretty badass and fitting for such a group whose sound is right now a bit more pop/rock.  A lot of the songs were pretty good and really gave a cool vibe to this group.  My only problem is that there was WAY TOO MANY interlude here (almost half the album are interludes).  Still without that problem, this was a solid OST and if Kobushi hadn’t already caught my attention after their indies single, then I’m going to be heavily following their careers!

 

Juice=Juice – Engeki Joshi-bu Musical “Koisuru Hello Kitty” Original Soundtrack November 2, 2015

Filed under: Juice=Juice — solarblade @ 8:41 pm

koisuruhellokitty

Track Listing

  1. HELLO!
  2. Ningen no Sekai e!
  3. Diary
  4. Mittsu no Lulu (Omocha no Kuni ver.)
  5. Shooting Star
  6. Itsumo no Asa
  7. Nakayoki Koto wa Utsukushii Kana
  8. Todoke Todoke Todoke!
  9. Mittsu no Lulu (Ningen ver.)
  10. Ningen no Sekai
  11. Anata ga Wakaranai
  12. Tsubasa Ochiteku
  13. & YOU
  14. Only choice
  15. Todoke Todoke Todoke! (Reprise)
  16. Honto no Kimochi
  17. Good bye Kitty
  18. Ano no Ko Okage
  19. HELLO! (Reprise)

1. HELLO!

Opening the album up, we get HELLO! and yes I bolded 5 of the songs because I’ve reviewed the mini-album.  It opens up nice enough with Karin before the fanfare and cuteness overload takes over the song.  Now unlike the other stageplay albums, there’s a lot exposition and general spoken dialogue which does take me out of the loop with certain songs.  HELLO! though is nice and the slower section with Karin is actually really nice for some reason.  As such, it’s a good opening song, but I’m not sure I’ll remember it after the review (again).

2. Ningen no Sekai e!

Like the bumbling and goofy songs from “LILIUM”, it seems to follow on Koisuru Hello Kitty.  I do like Karin’s intro lines as she has the best cutesy voice.  I think I also hear Yuka singing as well which is pretty cool, but that upbeat section is cut short before spoken dialogue happens.  Though I was thinking it was more of a short song, but in reality, it’s about 5 minutes long :/.  The tune even changes directions throughout and gets more upbeat and poppy but then slows down again.  It’s a little too busy and changes way too frequently to generate a good impression…

3. Diary

At least the next track is short!  Being a Karin solo with some light instrumentation that incorporates harp.  As lullaby-like the song is and the pleasant fact that some of the other girls act as back-up is sweet, I still don’t find the song very much interesting.

4. Mittsu no Lulu (Omacha no Kuni ver.)

After more dialogue, the next track, Mittsu no Lulu begins with some more Sayubee and she gets a song that’s a bit similar with “Ningen no Sekai e!” and once again the kind of bumbling arrangement is just bothersome.  However, I do enjoy Sayuki’s vocals here but I’m not sure if she’s trying to purposely be mature.  I think the fact that Akari, Yuka, and I think Karin doesn’t add much to the song either.  Making the ending be a short dialogue with light acoustic guitar didn’t much help either.  Yeah no thanks.

5. Shooting Star

The second song from the mini-album, I actually liked Shooting Star and for me worked as the promotional tune too.  It’s definitely not the cutest song on the release and I think that’s what worked best for me.  Being a mid-tempo tune with some acoustic guitars at the forefront, I actually enjoyed it.  Yeah, it’s a catchy song too (could’ve been a decent album song).  Honestly, it sounds like an ending theme though haha.

6. Itsumo no Asa

Next up, Itsumo no Asa comes in continuing with some happy-go-lucky acoustics and piano and fortunately Tomoko is singing most of it and of course she sounds great and the upbeat feelings is actually nice to hear (almost giving a nice summer breeze kind of feeling).  It’s definitely an early favorite from the stageplay for sure.  Though I could do without dialogue thrown in.

7. Nakayoki Koto wa Utsukushii Kana

More of that kiddy bounce returns for our next track and funny enough Tomoko is once again at the front and she starts of really strong.  Unlike the breezy sound of “Itsumo no Asa”, this song more off shown Tomoko in a brighter and happier mood and she’s got a voice to have some brightness.  Fun song!

8. Todoke Todoke Todoke!

Another returning song, Todoke Todoke Todoke! is a stark difference from the previous two tracks as it has a more dramatic sound and once again Tomoko has such a powerful voice, but it contrasts with Karin’s girlier voice.  Though it is plagued with a lot of dialogue so it throws emotional value out the window for me.  It’s a good duet song between the two for sure and has a lot of oomph where most of the stageplay lacks it.

9. Mittsu no Lulu (Ningen ver.)

Seems we get a repeat song here with Mittsu no Lulu.  It feels like the stageplay went more of a serious tone after the previous songs so it makes sense this song sounds deeper.  While I’m not entirely sure who’s singing beyond Sayubee…I thnk Aarii and Yukanyan are present too.  Likewise, Sayuki’s vocals are crisp and strong to listen and the groove is pretty solid!

10. Ningen no Sekai

Opening with a lone piano and Karin singing, I thought it was going to be a cuter ballad, but it’s thrown out the window when Tomoko enters the picture and the arrangement goes back to that bouncy poppy sound that’s prevalent here.  It does slow down again, but that’s when it begins to just drag towards the end unfortuantely.

11. Anata ga Wakaranai

Now this song was my favorite from the mini-album due to its more serious sound and it definitely worked because it was such a tune to include Karin, Tomoko, and Sayuki.  To be quite fair, disregarding the dialogue, this would’ve been great on “LILIUM” for sure.  Even Akari and Yuka get a solo here which adds to how powerful the song is.  I definitely enjoyed this a lot!

12. Tsubasa Ochiteku

Following it up with another ballad, Sayuki’s character sounds heartbroken and the emotion is oozing in this song.  While I do like how it turns into this really cool ballad with acoustic guitar and strings/piano and just adds to the emotions all over this song.  It’s a good song if you wanna hear how talented Sayuki is.

13. & YOU

While I am starting to get bored with ballads being stacked next to each other, I do like that we finally get something with Akari and Yuka and while in the main songs they aren’t the most promoted members, this shows more potential for both of them even if this song is really vanilla and plain just being piano & strings.  It is a light song though so it just flies over by my head.

14. Only choice

Yup, ballads aplenty it seems and Karin starts up with some dialogue and then gets into the song.  While I do think the sweeping strings and piano melody is a lot more intriguing than in “& YOU” for sure, I still don’t think it rides high for me beyond some good dramatics from Karin herself.  It’s just once again nothing I’d fully invest coming back to.

15. Todoke Todoke Todoke! (Reprise)

Seems like we get another ballad but it is between Tomoko and Karin and uses Todoke Todoke Todoke! as its basis.  I do like violas here and it has a hopeful kind of arrangement and hearing certain parts of the melody of TTT! is pleasant.  I will say that first time rolling through this, I was about to pass out from boredom…

16. Honto no Kimochi

Which didn’t help that this song was next.  As it was my least favorite from the mini-album, it’s another goddamn ballad.  While it has a little more push than the last couple of tracks, this song still doesn’t do much for me.  I will say that Karin gave a good performance, but I just couldn’t really get myself into it after the buttload of similar songs.

17. Good bye Kitty

Seems like Karin gets another ballad solo but this has some harp and acoustic guitar together.  I have to say, I just wasn’t here at this point and unfortunately Karin doesn’t really make the song any better as her voice takes on a lighter sound.  At least it is a shorter piece at nearly 2 minutes.  Probably the most forgettable of the bunch.

18. Ano no Ko Okage

*sigh* Does this ever get better?  While I do think it is about saying goodbye to Hello Kitty (or something like that), Ano no Ko Okage has mostly a piano arrangement which gives a somber but bright feel.  However, the song doesn’t even begin until midway.  We also seem to get all 5 members involved which is great, but yeah meh…

19. HELLO! (Reprise)

Then it all comes to a close with a reprisal of HELLO! (which opened the stageplay), but it sounds like it’s repeating the same thing since they’re at the same time length so really it might just be a repeat with little changes overall.  I actually think maybe it’s different vocalists and lyrics.  It did try to wake me up, but I was like oh, I’ve heard this already…

Tracks Recommended

  • Anata ga Wakaranai
  • Shooting Star
  • Nakayoki Koto wa Utsukushii Kana
  • Itsumo no Asa
  • Mittsu no Lulu (Ningen ver.)

Song of Avoidance

  • Good bye Kitty

Not even gonna lie, I figured I wasn’t going to like the songs from Koisuru Hello Kitty for the most part after reviewing the mini-album (even though the mini had probably the best choices).  I think the big problem was was that second half of the release being entirely ballads which killed my interest.  Though the rest had its issues like too much spoken dialogue in songs, it actually took me out of numerous songs (weird that it is the only one of the stageplays of recent to do this).  Yeah, I’m definitely not gonna listen to this in full again >.<