Kurayami Monogatari

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Crystal Kay – Shine January 6, 2016

Filed under: Crystal Kay — solarblade @ 5:27 am

shine

Track Listing

  1. Nando Demo
  2. I’m Beautiful
  3. Very Special feat. Ryuuji Imaichi
  4. Kimi ga Ita Kara
  5. REVOLUTION feat. Namie Amuro
  6. THE LIGHT
  7. Shooting Star
  8. #HEARTMELT feat. AK-69
  9. Kimi to Futari Nara
  10. Everlasting
  11. Someday
  12. Present
  13. REVOLUTION (PKCZ(r) Remix feat. SWAY)

1. Nando Demo

Opening the album, we have Nando Demo which was actually released as a digital single a month before the album released.  I shouldn’t be surprised that it sounds like a Winter song with the opening having jingle bells and the kind of cheesy mid-tempo beat.  Sounds like something from the mini-album, “Shining” xD.  I like that it’s more upbeat than I thought it as going to be at least.  Decent song, but seems weird to be the album opener.

2. I’m Beautiful

I suppose the cheesyness follows with the next track (our first new song).  It’s still quite upbeat and Kuri sounds pretty in this song, but there’s not much that I haven’t heard her do before in her discography.  I will say, the song has a nice message and it’s a decent tune by arrangement too.  I don’t know why though, but it kind of just flies on by.

3. Very Special feat. Ryuuji Imaichi

The first of 4 collaborations for the album, Very Special lands our singer alongside one of the many members from Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE and also the song itself is a cover too!  Sadly, I don’t think I’ve heard the original.  Keeping with her R&B style that we’ve gotten used to, the song is quite safe, but a nice listen overall, but I don’t think Ryuuji’s overly dramatic vocals rub me the wrong way.  If he wasn’t in the track, this would be an amazing song for Kuri, but otherwise it’s just decent.

4. Kimi ga Ita Kara

Of the two A-sides released for the album, I didn’t think much of Kimi ga Ita Kara because it was her first ballad in quite a while.  Like “I’m Beautiful”, this song kind of just flows by, but I can’t help but fall in love with Kuri’s vocals here!  I think after the single review, I kind of just forgot about it…Nice song though!

5. REVOLUTION feat. Namie Amuro

I think a lot of attention went for the big collaboration with the queen of Hip-Pop XD.  To be honest, I was looking forward to this song because for ladies are so good in their respective styles of music.  I actually wasn’t expecting the song to be kind of an uplifting track (especially the beat-driven chorus).  I think I was expecting more R&B than a dance track, but I’m not arguing it.  It’s one of the stronger songs from this album for sure!

6. THE LIGHT

Being one of the 3 B-sides from “Kimi ga Ita Kara” (surprised the other two didn’t make the cut), THE LIGHT does make sense since it was promotion material for cellphones.  I was kind of surprised with this inclusion, but it sounds nice after “REVOLUTION” at least.  The more synth-based arrangement is kind of different for Kuri (though “VIVID” was starting to head in that direction as it was).  It does seem a bit flat sometimes (the lyrics repeat a bit much).  I like the overall feel though.

7. Shooting Star

As the lone B-side from “REVOLUTION”, I was elated to see Shooting Star make the cut because it literally is the best song of the album!  I was hoping to see more aggressive songs come from Kuri as she aced them on her last album.  The beats are cool and the synthwork was handled so much cooler than before.  Pretty awesome song!

8. #HEARTMELT feat. AK-69

As the rest of the album (sans the final track) are new songs, it made me curious to what was going to come up.  #HEARTMELT actually might be the favorite of the new songs because it’s got a sensual kind of sound to it.  Plus it still carries the dance style quite well, though I can’t help but feel like it reminds me of Demi Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer” minus the rap section from AK-69 who sounds good.  Still, it’s a cool song and gives us the sexy Kuri!

9. Kimi to Futari Nara

Going back to Kuri’s safe zone of R&B, Kimi to Futari Nara I thought was going to feel like “Very Special”, but then the deep bass synths kick in and the song turns into this pretty smooth track for the long run.  I kind of like how Kuri shows more finesse in her songs than before and the arrangements are really suiting this change as with this song!

10. Everlasting

Then things slow down for the last stretch of songs starting with Everlasting.  There’s not much to really say beyond that she’s definitely versed in these styles.  The verses are quite minimal and focuses on Kuri’s singing.  Though on the other hand, it sounds like a 90s ballad too.  It doesn’t get more cheesier though than the chorus.  Hate to say it, while it is contrite, it’s pleasant at the same time…though there are far better ballads in her discography.

11. Someday

Well, I suppose I thought it was going to be a slow rush towards the end, but Someday is peppy and cute for Kuri.  I like the funky vibes out of this song and really lets Kuri let down her hair and just have a good time.  I love her lively voice going along the arrangement and she brought this nice brightness.  Yeah, cool song and a total surprise near the end of the album.

12. Present

As the final new song, Present wraps things up the same kind of way that “Nando Demo” opened the album…as in they’re both Winter songs which once again while fitting for the timing of the album, seems a bit cheesy to do.  I’m just not really into this song either…just a bit trite.

13. REVOLUTION (PKCZ(R) Remix feat. SWAY)

Though I’m not sure why the album had to end with this remix (which was already found on the “REVOLUTION” single).  I wasn’t the biggest fan of this one and continues to not really stick with me, though I suppose it’s a different take of the track, but I feel like we could’ve got a new remix instead of rehashing, just saying!

Tracks Recommended

  • Shooting Star
  • Kimi to Futari Nara
  • Someday
  • #HEARTMELT feat. AK-69
  • REVOLUTION feat. Namie Amuro

Song of Avoidance

  • Present

Given there was quite a while between this album and her last, “VIVID”, Shine is kind of a weaker album altogether.  I’m not sure why I feel like this is a weaker album since Kuri definitely showed a lot more finesse on this album.  Though it’s got a lot of forgetful songs on it sadly and the opening and ending song couldn’t be anymore cheesier >.>  I think I might enjoy some of the songs better, but overall, it’s an average album.

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