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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 >.<

 

Morning Musume ’14 / S/mileage – Engeki Joshi-bu Musical “LILIUM -Lilium Shoujo Junketsu Kageki-” Original Soundtrack

Filed under: Morning Musume,S/mileage — solarblade @ 6:41 am

lilium

Track Listing

  1. Forget-me-not ~Watashi wo Wasurenai de~
  2. Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? (CD only) or Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? (Kanzen-ban) (CD+DVD only)
  3. Sylvatica Nante Iranai!
  4. Mayuki no Teaching
  5. Gensou Genwaku Innocence
  6. Princess Marguerite
  7. Aru Niwashi no Monogatari
  8. Hitoribocchi no Snow
  9. TRUE OF VAMP
  10. Kyoudou Gensou Utopia
  11. Mou Nakanai to Kimeta
  12. Himitsu no Hana ga Hokorobu (CD+DVD only)
  13. Sousou Shuukyoku “Stigma” (CD+DVD only)
  14. Anata wo Aishita Kioku
  15. Eien no Mayuki no Owari
  16. Shoujo Junketsu

1. Forget-me-not ~Watashi wo Wasurenai de~

Opening the album, we get a very somber and depressing intro with orchestral instruments.  I really do enjoy these darker arrangements already!  Seems like Sakura is the first to sing and as such she’s a pretty strong vocalist and her lighter almost flippant vocals are pretty to hear.  Once the chorus opens up, the rest of the cast joins in and adds a more unsettling tone of a stageplay and I quite enjoy it!  It’s a different way to open things up, but has definitely added more interest to the rest of the songs.  Though the ending passage to go on a bit too long for me, but it’s suspenseful!

2a. Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?

As it seems that the next song is the leading song for the stageplay (as it was put on “Petit Best 15”)  Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? unlike the first track, just kicked down the doors and gave us a pretty damn dramatic song.  Most of the solos went towards Riho, Ayaka, Nyon, Sakura, Fukuchan, and Meimi which is nice because I definitely think they were at the time the most well-known voices of their own groups.  I really like the energy from those 6 and the chorus isn’t so bad either as the rest of the cast joins up.  Very cool song and I can see why it was used to promote the group.

2b. Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? (Kanzen-ban)

On the rerelease of the album (though it included the DVD of the play itself), we get a slightly edited version of the tune.  At first glance, I wasn’t sure of what changed exactly, but I do know that it is 10 seconds longer than the version above.  There actually is an interesting addition and that’s this weird chanting slow chorale section after the first chorus and interlude.  Kind of weird outside of context because it doesn’t add much to the overall song which is still pretty ass-kicking.

3. Sylvatica Nante Iranai!

Though things change from the strong kick to something a little more playful with Sylvatica Nante Iranai!  While it is mostly a song centered around Riho, we do get solo lines from Ayumi, Zukki, Kanana, Takechan, and Rinapuu but they seem to mostly sing together most of the time (at least those 5 get a solo).  I do like the kind of creepy, but upbeat deep in the forest vibe I got here and Riho was pretty decent here.  Quick song, but pleasant.

4. Mayuki no Teaching

Then we enter the kind of weird place with Mayuki no Teaching.  It seems a bit more regal, but also sounds somewhat bumbling for some reason.  Being a duet between Nyon and Fukuchan, I actually found this kind of forgettable since the arrangement is like I said bumbling and kind of humorous in the slow way.  On top of that, I don’t think either girl shown much vocal strength here either which ended up making me somewhat frown, not the best.

5. Gensou Genwaku Innocence

Next up, it seems we return to that foreboding and depressing sound we heard from “Forget-me-not” but the difference is that this is an Ayacho solo and while I never thought of her as a strong vocalist (especially in S/mileage), her solo is actually pretty good as she doesn’t stress her vocals as much as she usually does (although the chorus is pushing it as her voice is thin and she’s taking big breaths).  As short as it is though, the arrangement was eerie, but really unique…a love/hate relationship.

6. Princess Marguerite

Then we come to the song that I pretty much loathe on this album, strangely enough doesn’t seem to fit either (lucky in the stageplay it does).  Mostly a Masaki solo, it does also include 3 Kenshuusei at the time: Nanami Tanabe, Kaede Kaga, and Rikako Sasaki.  As the shortest, it also left the worst taste because Masaki was using her squeaky baby vocals and I’m not a fan of that.  It’s almost disney-esque especially with Masaki playing said princess and singing about herself.  Just doesn’t work for me and while I do like that it’s the only song to feature these three KSS, it’s still just blech.

7. Aru Niwashi no Monogatari

Then we get into some acoustics with the next track.  After the abyssmal “Princess Marguerite”, this is pretty refreshing.  Predominantly sung between Riho and Sakura it’s a decent ballad between the two and they don’t harmonize too much.  Though there is a patch of lyrics where the rest of the cast sings for some bars but that area I kind of forget about because I’m more into Sakura and Riho’s vocal sections.  It’s not a bad track and another that’s ultimately short so it doesn’t leave too much of an impression sadly.

8. Hitoribocchi no Snow

So a sort-of solo for Ayumi comes up next and it kind of has the same bounce and tendencies with “Sylvatica Nante Iranai!” and “Himitsu no Hana ga Hokorobu”.  While I don’t think it’s as memorable as the two because Ayumi’s vocals are kind of flat and lack some emotion (in my opinion).  Masaki, Rinapuu, Zukki, and Takechan do have a solo each as well which is pretty nice and all 5 do start to sing together.  My favorite is the ending where they start to repeat the title and it slows down to the finishing point.  OK song overall.

9. TRUE OF VAMP

For a title to be in all caps, I was curious because well that and the fact ~vamp~ is in the title.  Sung between Riho, Ayacho, and Meimi.  Now we’ve had Peaberry to see how Riho and Ayacho worked and while their song was boring, they sound pleasant to each other.  With the already powerful voie from Meimi, I definitely was curious and Meimi showed off some emotional punch to Ayacho’s lighter vocals and Riho’s well…she was there haha.  Together they sounded epic and gave a strong performance.  Great song!

10. Kyoudou Gensou Utopia

What’s this?!? A Duu solo on here?  That’s amazingly surprisng and really cool that she got to have this spotlight for a bit (which does follow her heavily on “TRIANGLE”).  I will say I wish the song was in more of the dark and dreary arrangement for some reason.  I still do love Haruka’s voice in the song has her husky vocals are interesting and adds depth and maturity.  Her time singing is pretty short though as the cast starts to singing the chorus before we get a long instrumental ending.  Overall, Kyoudou Gensou Utopia is simple, but I enjoyed Duu’s presence.

11. Mou Nakanai to Kimeta

Next up is a Meimi solo and I was surprised she was given the minimal arrangement as this song has.  Just a lonsome piano and some low-lying strings to play around with.  While this showed a lot of Meimi’s skills and it’s just very impressive because she could be a powerhouse when it comes to things like this.  For as ridiculously simple this song was, I think it showcased Meimi perfectly!

12. Himitsu no Hana ga Hokorobu

So the rerelease of the OST included two extra tracks and I was surprised at the inclusion (and started a trend in H!P with stageplays sadly).  Having a similar sounding arrangement to “Sylvatica Nante Iranai!”, Himitsu no Hana ga Hokorobu features Ayumi, Zukki, Rinapuu, and Takechan singing and ironically they sound nice enough to have a track like this…though it’s funny they name various characters within the stageplay but I guess I’m used to it.  I quite liked this song and the quartet surprised me in a good way!

13. Sousou Shuukyoku “Stigma”

The other exclusive song seems to take from “Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?” in which it’s more rock-centered and a bit more gothic-style (especially the whole pipe organ intro).  As it’s sung by Riho, Nyon, Sakura, and Meimi…this quartet was more seen as a powerful bunch and this song definitely had that kind of powerful and grandiose kick.  It’s a pretty kickass song and another of my favorites from the album!

14. Anata wo Aishita Kioku

Honestly, this was about the time where I was still unsure of how Kanana and Rinapuu was turning out, but this song blew me away (at least for Kana).  A duet between Sakura and Kana…I was SO surprised at how mature Kanana sounded and honestly, if not for Meimi in this play, Kana had the best vocals from S/mileage!  As she’s got the most lines, her voice had seriously got mature and she even sounds better than Sakura :0.  The song itself is pretty straightforward, but the kind of marching punch is cool too.  Still vocally I was impressed heavily!

15. Eien no Mayuki no Owari

Next up, we get a Riho solo and I was curious with it’s muffled arrangement (kind of like machinery working).  I was enjoying Riho’s placement here and while I enjoyed the buildup and instant drop-off back to the rickety beat, it’s a different kind of song.  After a bit, the cast starts to sing the remaining lines and it’s OK, but I think I would’ve preferred this to have entirely just been Riho.  A rather dark song about death though, so it’s a cool song, but could’ve been better.

16. Shoujo Junketsu

Finally we’re at the end of the album and we have Shoujo Junketsu (which I believe was the final tune).  As an all cast song, it’s actually kind of weird as it’s as dark and somber like the rest of the stageplay (well disregarding the more playful songs).  With the rock elements included, I was kind of hoping for some kind of closure, but this one kind of dragged for me, but I don’t think it’s a bad song…just after an album like this, it’s kind of difficult to put this somewhere high.

Tracks Recommended

  • Sousou Shuukyoku “Stigma”
  • Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?
  • Anata wo Aishita Kioku
  • TRUE OF VAMP
  • Kyoudou Gensou Utopia

Song of Avoidance

  • Princess Marguerite

So as I’m beginning to review H!P’s stageplays of recent times, I thought to begin with the one that really kicked the uprise for them, LILIUM.  I think why everyone really loved this soundtrack and OST is pretty much of the fact that it was such a departure from H!P’s regular releases that anything out of the ordinary was welcomed and so LILIUM’s more goth-lolita vibe turned out to be pretty awesome.  Also, it showcased (at that time) a very strong assortment of vocals and a lot ended up impressing me or being a surprise that they had such talent (Meimi, Haruka, and Kana…I’m looking at you!  Overall, great album, but there were some meh songs.