Kurayami Monogatari

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TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – REFLECTION January 6, 2016

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 7:08 am

reflection

Track Listing

  1. Reflection
  2. Never ever (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)
  3. illusion (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)
  4. White Snow
  5. READY GO!
  6. Dear Friend
  7. Junpaku no Yakusoku
  8. YOU & I FOREVER (YUSUKE from BLU-SWING MIX)
  9. White Snow (Royal Mirrorball Mix)
  10. Junpaku no Yakusoku (Royal Mirrorball Mix)
  11. Zutto Wasurenai. (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)
  12. YOU & I FOREVER (Type-C only)

1. Reflection

Opening the album is funny enough, the title track!  Reflection at least doesn’t end up being a ballad and it has definitely got its own identity as well having such a distinct sound that’s different from previous efforts.  The biggest thing to notice is that the group has slightly raised their tones for this song and they sound…more youthful than previous efforts.  Having a classier vibe, I found myself enjoying the tune a lot!  Simple, but definitely foot-tapping catchy!

2. Never ever (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)

Though it’s interesting to think that this was the only actual single to represent the album, I’m very much happy that the remix for Never ever was chosen over the original (as the latter was pretty much vanilla and sounds like every other thing TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE.  I LOVE THIS SONG, it’s just a nice breakaway from their typical producer and it’s club sound really suits the group almost perfectly, even when the group steps back and lets the remixers work their magic.  Though I hate to say that it’s a song to represent a change within the group, but I’ll mention that later.  Still what an amazing song for the group!

3. illusion (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)

Apparantly, illusion was actually released as an analog single back in October, but considering it isn’t a part of their major discography, I actually skipped over it.  Though, the original mix was forgotten (though, no surprise because the song is more or less what the group has been known for).  The remix was also on the single but it actually made the cut!  As the lyrics were done by Mei, it was nice to her pull it off, the remix isn’t quite as epic as “Never ever’s”, but you can hear the similarities between the two.  After a while, I start to notice that Mei is the only one singing in this track and that’s actually surprising if it was a single.  I liked it a lot, but it could’ve used less of the auto-tune.

4. White Snow

Finally some non-remixed songs!  I’m not sure who opens the song, but it feels like the other members are starting to pick up the slack.  After the opening lines, the tune once agains turns into a nice chill club track that actually reminds me of early avex.  It might not have the energy of the previous tracks, but it’s pleasant and shows off everyone nicely!

5. READY GO!

Oh, I love the ethereal opening of our next track a lot!  Though it quickly turns into this kind of funky dance track (with some odd sounding synth melodies).  It does reminds me of songs from “Killing Me Softly”, but it has its own charm as it’s one of a couple songs on here so it’s a nice break from the club beats.

6. Dear Friend

I’m not sure where the changes happened, but this album so far has exceeded my interest that their last album had.  Dear Friend comes up next and the tune is like their regular releases stripped down and given a nice bass synth melody.  While the song isn’t trying to push boundaries, the nostalgia is heavy on this one and I’m loving the quartet together!

7. Junpaku no Yakusoku

Chosen to promote the album, the next track surprised me with the acoustic guitar intro!  Though it does quickly change things up by adding the synths and beats, the tune really encompasses what this album is all about (minus the slight nod to dubstep, without hitting the wub-wubs).  It might be the slow glow of this song, but I didn’t connect with this one as fast as the other tracks here.

8. YOU & I FOREVER (YUSUKE from BLU-SWING MIX)

It’s kind of funny that this track is the only one to not include TJO alongside YUSUKE, but I feel like that’s a good thing to let one of them take the reins.  I do love the strings that open the song and how it builds up to take a more club-friendly arrangement.  Really I couldn’t tell what TJO does because it has the same things going on besides the addition of piano and strings.  The song itself is OK, without the dance beats, it could’ve made a decent ballad, but with the dance beats…it gets lost amongst the others.

9. White Snow (Royal Mirrorball Mix)

I actually feel like the album ends with the last track and here we are stuck with more remixes.  The first of them is of White Snow and while I’ve been at a love and hate relationship with the multitude of remixes from him alone, I was curious to see how well they’d fare against the BLU-SWING remixes.  This one is kind of classy sounding, almost an 80’s kind of feel and that was pretty cool.  There’s time where it’s a little messy and busy, but I ended up digging it!

10. Junpaku no Yakusoku (Royal Mirrorball Mix)

Well, the originality isn’t exactly felt in this remix of Junpaku no Yakusoku.  This runs in the mold of what I expect the group would sound like and it doesn’t help it sounds VERY similar to past remixes AND the remix for “White Snow” too.  Just very plain and boring.

11. Zutto Wasurenai. (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)

Another BLU-SWING remix???  Jeeze, so many of them.  Anyways it’s nice they chose to go back in their catalog to remix this song (originally a part of their last album, “Kiling Me Softly”).  I had sadly forgot how the track originally went, butthis remix is giving some HEAVY 80s vibes and I quite loved it and almost thought of CHVRCHES.  Really cool remix and while I sitll love “Never ever” this is a close second!

12. YOU & I FOREVER

Only found on the Type C editions of the album (thank god there isn’t multiple edition-only songs this time around!), we get the original mix of YOU & I FOREVER.  This is definitely in the vein of the usual TGS songs out there, but there’s something bright and upbeat which is a nice twist to the formula.  It’s fast-paced and gets ya movin’ real quick.  Interesting way to close the album though.

Tracks Recommended

  • Never ever (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)
  • Dear Friend
  • Zutto Wasurenai. (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)
  • Reflection

Song of Avoidance

  • Junpaku no Yakusoku (Royal Mirrorball Remix)

I was kind of surprised with the announcement of REFLECTION with just one single to represent it (simply because they’ve had a couple singles before that, but they ended up sending those to their best album).  The album itself is a nice upgrade after “Killing Me Softly” and it’s mainly just from having different producers this time around.  What is bigger is just from looking at the cover!  There’s only 4 members and that’s because Ayano Konishi announced that she was leaving the group (after this released) and it felt like she had NO appearance on the album besides Never ever and Zutto Wasurenai..  It’s going to be a little difficult considering she was my favorite member (and one of the best idol singers)…let’s just see what this now quartet is capable of!

 

 

One Response to “TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – REFLECTION”

  1. jinhwa Says:

    Thank you for your wonderful review. It’s very sad for me to know that Ayano had left the group. As long as Arai Hitomi is in the group, every thing will be fine. Because her voice is like the trade mark sound of this group. Just that the four of them need to work harder then before. I sincerely hope you will still review their future CDs as before.


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