Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Kobushi Factory – Butai “JK Ninja Girls” Original Soundtrack April 27, 2017

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 7:01 am

jkninjagirls

Track Listing

  1. I Love Ninja Girls -Tokyo vs. Osaka-
  2. Saru mo Odaterya Hitottobi
  3. Atama Warukute Kirigakurezu
  4. Erabu Mirai
  5. Kanashimi no Kakera
  6. Eiga “JK Ninja Girls” no Oshirase Special Talk!

1. I Love Ninja Girls -Tokyo vs. Osaka-

It’s been quite a while since an OST song brought me some smiles and I Love Ninja Girls is cute, very ninja-esque and vocally is quite nice going from strong lines from all the members to a bouncy unison section.  I find it compelling and strongly thought this was great as the theme for the play itself.

2. Saru mo Odaterya Hitottobi

It’s no surprise when it comes to valid vocal prowess, I’m not surprised that Saru mo Odaterya Hitottobi is a solo from Rei.  I really love the intro with just her singing with a VERY powerful presence.  She does tone it down once the music joins in which is bouncy and a bit cute.  I’m not exactly a fan of the synth horns, but OST songs tend to sound cheap so it’s not a thing that kills it, but it’s too noticeable.

3. Atama Warukute Kirigakurezu

Now Hamachan gets a solo as well and her track, Atama Warukute Kirigakurezu, is a simple song in comparison to all of the other tracks.  Despite being a song made by a CASIO (it feels like), I’m just not into this because Hamachan is using her squeaky voice to get by and I feel like I’m listening to some children’s song.  Just not my kind of song.

4. Erabu Mirai

Now we have a track that combines Rei and Ayano together.  Luckily, they both ditched the cutesy sound of their solo entirely for a simple piano/strings ballad.  Fortunately for them, they bring their A game and give a powerful, but short performance.  I kind of wish it wasn’t 2 minutes long, but what can you do?

5. Kanashimi no Kakera

The last track features all of the other Kobushi members that aren’t Hamachan & Reirei and I’m happy they at least focused a little on them with this track too.  It’s nice they also paired them like Ayaka/Sakurako/Minami & Rio/Natsumi/Rena for both verses and choruses and it worked alongside its acoustic guitar based arrangement.  Soft, but it definitely stood out.

 

 

Getting into this I guess preview OST, Kobushi Factory once again sounded decent for JK Ninja Girls.  Granted, 5 songs is not quite enough to satiate my interest in the play since it’s the group as Ninjas and all.  I would say most of the tracks were pretty decent with the only stinker being Hamachan’s solo track…that was a little too idol genki for me.  With their upcoming single featuring the theme for the JK Ninja Girls movie, it makes me wonder how Japanese they’ll make the song since the main theme for the play is kooky.

 

Ai Otsuka – LOVE HONEY April 21, 2017

Filed under: Ai Otsuka — solarblade @ 6:29 am

lovehoney

Track Listing

  1. HONEY
  2. Watashi
  3. QueeN
  4. TOKYO Sanpo
  5. Sakura Harahara
  6. HEART BREAK
  7. Monochrome
  8. make up
  9. FrogFlag
  10. HEY!BEAR
  11. Starting Pistol
  12. Hibi, Ikite Ireba

1. HONEY

Opening the album, we have the title track for the album and it starts lightly with Ai under a nice mellow tone.  Though I was mesmerized after the introductory lines as the tune turns into a smoother low-jazzy arrangement with some light sitar runs throughout.  If anything the song reminds me of some of her earlier works that took the listener to wondrous and flowing space.  It is the album’s shortest track though making above 3 minutes, but I felt that it was good enough so it didn’t feel like the track was going to start dragging.  Pretty nice for the opening track.

2. Watashi

As the lone A-side released, Watashi comes next and just having listen to it a couple weeks ago has still left a decent appreciation about it.  It still carries that dreamscape-y vibes that “HONEY” kicked the album off with, but it adds on a nice and light dance beat to carry the song in a happier motif.  Like I said on the review, it’s not her most extravagant song in her discography but it does no harm overall and feels right coming after the previous track.

3. QueeN

Back to new tracks, QueeN happens to focus more on the synth/dance elements that “Watashi” had started to move towards in flow on the album.  Listening to it, it does feel like a track that would’ve easily fit on her last album, “LOVE TRiCKY” just from the beat and overall EDM style.  Ai-chin also sounds pretty good here and she does some interesting things in general tone too!  Overall, it’s nice and a good track to just lose yourself to, or a great background song at a club…it kind of works both ways.

4. TOKYO Sanpo

I almost wanted to say just from the intro that TOKYO Sanpo was going to be going in an Ondo route, but it doesn’t and reverts back to more EDM.  I’m not quite sure what to think of this song entirely.  It feels like “QueeN” but a little more complex and cuter overall.  It’s not bad though but for some reason it’s making me realize how much I miss the fact that “Joshi Shelter” isn’t anywhere on this album.

5. Sakura Harahara

That bitterness is also there because Sakura Harahara made it (the other B-side from “Watashi”).  Though I can’t be too mad because this was quite amazing in its own right as well.  This mid-tempo number is quite groovy and the chilled vibes I get are just wonderful, on top of the instrumentation/arrangement.  It’s still a nice song to listen to even after the single release!

6. HEART BREAK

We finally slow down enough for a ballad!  At least I felt like it did initially from the opening bars of HEART BREAK, but it does gradually build up to more of a mid-tempo ballad but with acoustic guitars to fill out the stereo with.  Now with this one, it feels like a leftover track from “LOVE FANTASTIC” because of the guitar-heavy arrangement.  That said, a lot of those album tracks from that album kind of flew over my head and I’m getting the same feeling here…

7. Monochrome

At least we get into an actual ballad with Monochrome which is led by very light guitar and a jazzy piano.  It’s hard to place this song where it lies amongst her numerous other ballads, but I do really like the arrangement of the tune and the buildup with strings and light synths are fitting and not so much intruding the feeling of the track.  Sounds like a wintry song for some reasons, but I found myself by lulled by it.  A lot more interesting than “HEART BREAK” that’s for sure.

8. make up

After the break, we jump right back into upbeat songs with make up and moving from a winter-esque ballad to a darker EDM type of track, make up is kind of a surprising twist and in a way kind of cool!  There are some psychedelic undertones to the track, but it also gives me Halloween vibes too but that may be from the chords and the synths lower register.  Ai-chin is also sounding more whispy and mysterious too…quite the oddball track, but I dug it a LOT!

9. FrogFlag

Hey, there’s a strange titled track here!  I guess if anything, her jazz songs seem to be getting the more oddball titles (“Toilet Paper Blues” & “Shachihata” anyone??).  Either way, her jazz songs also seem to showcare Ai’s vocals in a MUCH stronger light and like those songs before, Ai hits it out of the part with FrogFlag and it just catches my attention so quickly at how she held back this awesome voice!  Awesome song!

10. HEY!BEAR

Another oddball title for a song?  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this song because the jazz song was already taken.  HEY!BEAR is more towards the cuter side of pop mixed in with a dance beat!  I do like the funky guitar tones that back the whole thing and Ai sounds adorable (even though coming after “FrogFlag”, it’s a bit of a surprise at how different her tone is between the two).  Catchy song, but I feel like it could’ve been somewhere around “TOKYO Sanpo”.

11. Starting Pistol

The light tapping that opens up Starting Pistol caught my attention and then hearing acoustic guitar and Ai repeating the title was goofy, but luckily it doesn’t last too long.  The groove is very Samba-esque (not the carnivale kind, at least).  The track might be less energetic than “HEY!BEAR” but its got a nice thing going for itself.  The only thing that left me confused was the hip-hop breakdown in the bridge (she didn’t even sing during it either…).  Otherwise, this song is a light hip rolling song and I kind of liked that about it.

12. Hibi, Ikite Ireba

Closing out the album is oddly enough a digital single that was released last July so it stands that it was the first song to represent the album lol.  As a song itself it feels like the parallel opposite to “FrogFlag” by being a big band ballad.  Right from the start, I LOVE the muted horns melody before adding the rest into the track.  Ai’s voice is light and cute, but for some reason the mixture together gives me Seseme Street vibes and I’m not sure if I was that into that.  Still, it’s a nice rainy day song to just relax with a hot chocolate with.

Tracks Recommended

  • FrogFlag
  • make up
  • Sakura Harahara
  • QueeN
  • Monochrome

Song of Avoidance

  • HEART BREAK

As this is Ai-chin’s 8th album, LOVE HONEY is actually quite decent all-around.  It feels like she kind of has a mix of stuff from her last two albums brought here and I kind of dug it and it felt cohesive too.  The only song that I wasn’t really into is HEART BREAK but that’s the only song that felt like it didn’t really add anything to the album.  Otherwise, I was pretty content with this one 😀

 

Juice=Juice – Jidanda Dance/Feel! Kanjiru yo April 19, 2017

Filed under: Juice=Juice — solarblade @ 2:35 pm

jidandadance

Track Listing

  1. Jidanda Dance
  2. Feel! Kanjiru yo
  3. Jidanda Dance (Instrumental)
  4. Feel! Kanjiru yo (Instrumental)

1. Jidanda Dance

It’s been a while since Juice=Juice has really done a goofy song so when I begun listening to Jidanda Dance, I was happily surprised at how funky and funny the song came off (especially the hooks it was passiong off).  I was also impressed with how much more Yuka and Akari have been pushed as vocalists.  Throw in a random section for Ondo-styled music and it’s a bit bizarre but it definitely stuck out to me a LOT!  Great A-side for the group!

2. Feel! Kanjiru yo

Though I can’t quite say the same for the other A-side for the single.  Unlike the bizarre upbeat and fun style of the previous track, Feel! Kanjiru yo is the opposite, a slow-paced ballad with a lot of synth horns *sigh*.  I don’t know, this just feels plain and slightly generic but considering that Juice=Juice hasn’t done a ballad since “Tsuzuiteiku STORY” and that was just a blah (even when there’s a sitar thrown in the arrangement).

Juice=Juice return with a new single and I’m half & half with it.  I really did enjoy Jidanda Dance a whole lot and seeing Juice=Juice with their hair down and having immense fun (like they did in “KEEP ON Joshou Shikou!!”) is always a treat to hear from the quintet.  Plus the music was off the wall and just left a smile on me.  Feel! Kanjiru yo though is just bland all over and really doesn’t do any favors for them as a ballad (couldn’t we have gotten “Giniro no Telepathy” instead?…or any of the other 4 unreleased songs they have…

 

Kyarypamyupamyu – Ii Suta

Filed under: Kyarypamyupamyu — solarblade @ 5:48 am

iisuta

Track Listing

  1. Ii Suta
  2. Todoke Punch
  3. Sai & Kou -extended mix-
  4. Ii Suta -instrumental-
  5. Todoke Punch -instrumental-

1. Ii Suta

Are we really doing an Irish jig intro for a song that’s roughly about Easter?  Yeah I feel like the title is supposed to be “Easter”…Anyways, it’s nice to see Kyary back to just her on the single and Ii Suta is a strong song but she’s always been about weird shenanigans.  I’m not sure if I’m down for the Irish jig to a March kind of style, but it’s definitely unique in her discography so I’m happy she’s back to that at the least.  Odd A-side, but something people can remember.

2. Todoke Punch

Ahh I’m happy for the return of a B-side here.  Actually, I really dug Todoke Punch for some reason.  It has the Kyary cuteness, but the arrangement is a lot heavier and reminds me something from her first album…it’s just a heavy synth sound mixed with Nakata’s 80’s-esque drive that really pulled me in.  It’s probably my favorite song she’s done since “Mondai Girl” and that was a while ago!

3. Sai & Kou -extended mix-

Of course we also return with more extended remixes, this time one for Sai & Kou which was two singles ago (plus “Harajuku Iyahoi” already got one xD).  I mean it’s a minute longer which is nice.  Sai & Kou is a song that I’m here nor there with, but the extended mix kind of helped it last longer in my conscience.

Kyary doesn’t seem to miss any holidays it feels like and now we have our Easter single.  Ii Suta is an oddball song fusing two unlikely genres and adding a dollop of cuteness to make a song.  For me, it’s a bit too out there for me, but I enjoy the creativity from Nakata.  For those looking for something normal, Todoke Punch may work better and I enjoyed it tons more!  The Sai & Kou extension was cool, but like most of the others…just kind of there for people who wanna completely listen to her discography.

 

Mai Kuraki – Togetsukyou ~Kimi Omofu~

Filed under: Mai Kuraki — solarblade @ 5:16 am

togetsukyou

Track Listing

  1. Togetsukyou ~Kimi Omofu~
  2. Togetsukyou ~Kimi Omofu~ (Instrumental)
  3. Time after time ~Hana Mau Machi de~ TIME TRAVEL PARADOX REMIX (Regular only)

1. Togetsukyou ~Kimi Omofu~

I was wondering what Mai would bring with another song tied to the Meitantei Conan series (as she ALWAYS has a tie-in with the series it feels like).  Anyway, Togetsukyou starts off interestingly enough with some oriental sounds and a light air about it.  After Mai starts to sing, the song feels like something I would normally expect from her with the chill R&B vibe and light vocals.  Seems like the typical thing to get from Mai-K, but it’s a pleasant song to zone out to.

2. Time after time ~Hana Mau Machi de~ TIME TRAVEL PARADOX REMIX

Didn’t expect for Mai to bring back an oldie to this single, but here we are with a remix of her 15th single.  Time after time being remixed is a good upgrade because it does feel dated listening to it nowadays and giving it a new spin is ideal.  It does feel like it took a little of the arrangement of “Togetsukyou” to itself.  Though it disappoints me that we don’t hear Mai-K until way past the half mark…It’s nice, but it could’ve been handled a lil better…

Even though Mai’s last actual single was 2014’s “Muteki na Heart/STAND BY YOU”, I still wasn’t expecting Mai to release a single SO SHORTLY after her last album “Smile” (back in February).  Togetsukyou is a good song for an A-side, still keeping up with good leading songs.  Though I think I would’ve preferred something more than a janky remix of Time after time to appear.  Still, I hope this is a beginning of her releasing more singles.

 

Kalafina – into the world/Märchen

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 4:52 am

intotheworld

Track Listing

  1. into the world
  2. Märchen
  3. Haru wo Matsu
  4. into the world ~instrumental~
  5. Märchen ~instrumental~
  6. Märchen ~Anime Size~

1. into the world

As the leading track, into the world follows in the same veins as previous open-air songs like “Eden” and “ring your bell” with the kind of positive, flightly arrangement that we’ve been getting more and more of from Kalafina these days.  I mean I’m not dogging it for not being unique, but they have been pulling this card a LOT in recent times and I kind of want them to move on from it…it’s just starting to feel generic for Kalafina…

2. Märchen

Maybe that’s why there’s a second A-sides here because right from the start, Märchen kicks in for something new and something to push the group out again.  Hearing HIKARU lead is also a good sign because more times than not she gets the cool songs for the group.  I’m not sure where the song lands genre-wise, but it’s a decent mix of anison, rock, and folk blended into a cool and forceful track.  Definitely the more impressive track here!

3. Haru wo Matsu

Surprised the single included a B-side, but like majority of their B-sides have been, it’s a piano-led ballad.  As they’re kind of a dime in a dozen, Haru wo Matsu doesn’t really strike my fancy much, but the mood of the song is a little more uplifting than previous efforts which is pleasant, but for the people not into ballads, then this one won’t do you any good.

 

 

It feels like it’s been forever since “blaze” released, but the fact this single was announced quite a while before its actual release was shocking to me.  This single is odd, but still not up there amongst their bests.  I feel like I’m tired of the hopeful, bright sky-like songs from Kajiura and into the world was just generic to me.  I think most of my enjoyment is from Märchen with a more cooler drive and the members giving a stronger vocal performance.  As for Haru wo Matsu…it’s a ballad, you’ll either like it or not in this case…I just hope it doesn’t take forever for their next single.

 

 

GACKT – Tsumi no Keishou ~ORIGINAL SIN~

Filed under: GACKT — solarblade @ 4:30 am

tsuminokeishou

Track Listing

  1. Tsumi no Keishou ~ORIGINAL SIN~
  2. Tsumi no Keishou ~ORIGINAL SIN~ (Orchestra Ver.)
  3. Tsumi no Keishou ~ORIGINAL SIN~ -Instrumental-

1. Tsumi no Keishou ~ORIGINAL SIN~

As a theme to an anime, I was definitely excited to hear GACKT back in the game to deliver and boy did he ever with Tsumi no Keishou!  It’s been a long time since the song itself felt like a powerful song for GACKT and definitely pulls me back to the “RE:BORN” era with a powerful arrangement with heavy rock and a nice strings ensemble to add more dramatics.  GACKT himself gave an amazing vocal performance and he’s really putting a lot into this!  Wonderful song overall and I hope he keeps this up for future releases!

2. Tsumi no Keishou ~ORIGINAL SIN~ (Orchestra Ver.)

Of course like in many of his more recent singles, he’s been adding orchestra takes of the leading track which are more or less spiced up instrumental of the song.  It would’ve been great to have heard GACKT in this setting, but it’s understandable why this is a thing.

GACKT kicks off a new era with a bang with ORIGINAL SIN.  I’ve been missing this type of badass, epic song (though his last two singles were quite there, the two before “Kimi Dake no Boku de Iru Kara” actually).  Either way, this song is just epic in every way!  One of his better songs in recent times.  Wished he’d release B-sides again, but having two instrumentals of the leading track, is a bit ehhh.

 

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – predawn/Don’t give it up

Filed under: TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE — solarblade @ 4:15 am

predawn

Track Listing

  1. predawn
  2. Don’t give it up
  3. predawn -Extended Mix- (CD only)
  4. predawn (Instrumental)
  5. Don’t give it up (Instrumental)

1. predawn

I was curious to see where the quartet would release next as an A-side.  predawn is definitely a step in a new direction away from the funky sounds of majority of the A-sides.  I really like this kind of cool, ethereal sound and then turned into a moombahton track in the chorus, but it’s very slight, but the essence is there for sure.  I definitely found this MAD refreshing and I do get a feeling of the morning here.

2. Don’t give it up

As for the other A-side, Don’t give it up follows with a bit of a pop/rockish kind of sound to it.  I have to say now, the group vocally sounds good and the level of talent feels like it’s getting better with each single.  As for the rest of the song, it’s a bit to the books for a song for the group like “Chiisana Kiseki” was.  It’s not bad, but not what I exactly came for.

3. predawn -Extended Mix-

30 seconds extra huh?  Well, I do have to say I quite prefer the intro to this here, the rest of the song is the same and a couple extra parts so it’s not a major extension, but it’s there for people who bought the CD only so I suppose you get the song in a better way maybe???

 

 

3rd single in with the quartet and I feel like TGS’ is starting to find a new identity away from the idol songs of yore.  I feel like predawn is an awesome example of this and the whole light club feel is just something that works with the group.  However, Don’t give it up felt like straight idol pop/rock and it just doesn’t connect to me in anyway.  The extension is here or there, makes no difference in the long run…still overall a good single from them!

 

Koda Kumi – W FACE ~outside~

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 3:42 am

wfaceoutside

Track Listing

  1. W FACE
  2. Ultraviolet
  3. insane
  4. Damn real
  5. Heartless
  6. Bassline
  7. Shhh!
  8. Bangerang
  9. Wicked Girls
  10. Cupcake feat. AKLO

1. W FACE

~Yes bitch, yes bitch, yes bitch, SLAY!~…Really now?  Hey, I could commend Kuu for opening this album on a kick.  I was thinking the song was going to be harder just from the intro, but W FACE is a little more mellow than I expected, but it does have its moments like the deep bass runs and trap rolls in the hook.  The verses though are smooth and cool.  It’s not a song that’s going to really hit the spot like older intros, but I appreciated the change overall!  Cool track!

2. Ultraviolet

After the cool first track, we enter Ultraviolet and one of the four songs chosen to promote the album from this disc solely.  Continuing from Kuu’s normal edgy and sassy songs, Ultraviolet feels like a K-pop song for some reason, but I kind of enjoy the music and the attitude is once again at the forefront (including some humorous machine gun impressions).  Interesting song overall!

3. insane

For a song titled as such, I was ready for something wild, but insane is a bit slower than “Ultraviolet” was.  A lot of Kuu’s urban pop tendencies make their appearance and I was quite interested in every turn the song took.  There are some points where Kuu seems to try a little to hard vocally (like the straining and nasal high tones, she pulls).  Still, the song is powerful and in your face mixed in with some desperation.  This is a song that will definitely grow on me in the long run even with its discrepancies and the PV helped too!.

4. Damn real

Ahhhh, I like that low bass that opens up our next track.  I even appreciated the low energy vibe of this song as it gives off this chill, yet uneasy setting with that track.  Though I was hoping the song would keep this sound for the whole way through, but the chorus (beat drops) happens and it’s like a very odd trappish mess.  Plus the repetition of ~do, do, do~ just gives me a headache from an otherwise cool ass track.

5. Heartless

Like with “inside” I wasn’t expecting ballads on this album, but there’s one here and Heartless is that track.  Funny enough, it has a REALLY simple arrangement of just piano and Kuu’s emotion-drenched vocals which funny enough worked better than it did on 90% of the other album which says a lot here.  There’s one point where I felt that Kuu’s emotions got the better of her and she cried a little bit.  This is probably her best ballad in quite a while IMHO.

6. Bassline

So drifting away from that emotional bomb, we move back into more upbeat tracks starting with Bassline.  Right from the start, the song feels a bit like a mix of “Ultraviolet” and “Damn real” with the mellower groove, but some interesting throws of sax in there.  There’s just something that’s so cool and clubbish (but muted).  Funky track overall and a good choice to get a PV

7. Shhh!

As the only A-side to really represent the album, Shhh! was a nice refreshing jump back to upbeat Kuu and on the album, it really pops out of nowhere thanks to its boom-clap arrangement and her epic first line!  I feel like of all the songs on this album, this track feels like something she would’ve popped out around the “Kingdom” era and I love the kind of throwback feel it has.  I enjoyed this song a lot and has grown a lot more since the single’s release!!

8. Bangerang

It feels like Kuu is loving saxes on this album, but I’m not complaining because it’s an awesome instrument to include in songs.  Bangerang I thought was going to be upbeat but after the introduction, the song drops and because a slower, sexier track that has a bit more punch.  I do think it could’ve been a smidge faster, but the crawling arrangement and lead-up to the chorus is nice (if not a bit mechanical).  Nice track overall though!

9. Wicked Girls

The 4th and final track to get a PV, Wicked Girls caught me attention early with the groovy arrangement, but after going through the album, I feel like this song could’ve had some worked done with it, but the chorus really is sassy and Kuu just always knows how to give it the right amount of punch.  Though I do find it funny once again that Kuu’s Engrish has slightly gotten better, but not enough because it feels like she’s saying ~weakened girls~ or ~weekend girls~.  Still a fun club song to really lose yourself to.

10. Cupcake feat. AKLO

Kind of funny that it begins with a cat meowing, but the final track, Cupcake feels very trappy and more urban than other songs on the album.  Not sure how to feel about this one, but she can pull off this darker vibe of this song.  AKLO doesn’t sound half bad in his rap either, so I feel happy that I can enjoy this more.  Although, its funny as hell as this song is called Cupcake and just feels anything but sugary xD.  Though I’m more surprised it’s a little over 2 minutes…Short huh?

Tracks Recommended

  • Heartless
  • Shhh!
  • W FACE
  • insane
  • Wicked Girls

Song of Avoidance

  • Damn real

Not surprised that I was more impressed by outside!  I mean already from the fact that it was going to be mostly upbeat and cool songs from Kuu helped me into this one.  I mean all of the tracks were good (Damn real, was only on the bottom because its chorus was terrible…).  Honestly, this is a pretty cool album overall and Kuu has finally found something to latch on to. *RECOMMENDED*

As a dual release, was it necessary?  I mean altogether 20 tracks is nothing unheard of in Kuu land so I was surprised she’d pull a Beyoncé “I Am…Sasha Fierce” situation.  Like both albums though, this concept fell flat when half the album was amazing and the other was just a snoozefest.  I would actually recommend W FACE ~inside~ just for the more stronger output.

 

Koda Kumi – W FACE ~inside~

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 2:01 am

wfaceinside

Track Listing

  1. BRIDGET SONG
  2. Bring It On
  3. Yorokobi no Kakera
  4. Stand By You
  5. Sukideshite
  6. Kimi Omoi
  7. On My Way
  8. What’s Up
  9. Promise you
  10. My Fun

1. BRIDGET SONG

Opening the album up, Kuu brings us BRIDGET SONG (which was used as promotional material, for this half of this album).  Considering that Kuu loves to open with a banger on majority of her albums, it’s a surprise that BRIDGET SONG is anything but.  Instead of a booty popper, we have something that’s akin to her more poppier and softer songs that seem to be more album fodder.  I do enjoy the bright atmosphere of the song and the more acoustic/piano-laced arrangement is pleasant on the ears.  Still getting used to this being the opening, but it’s a nice introduction.

2. Bring It On

I was kind of expecting that Kuu do have split the albums between light pop songs and ballads and her more badass songs on “outside”, but it seems I was heavily wrong because Bring It On is quite the edgy rock track for Kuu to release.  It’s been a while since I’ve heard Kuu release something that has this much power and fierce attitude to it.  Makes me think of “FREAKY” and “Ningyo-hime” to “Can We Go Back”.  I thought this song was a surprise and strange coming after “BRIDGET SONG” to say the least.

3. Yorokobi no Kakera

Which is made even weirder that Yorokobi no Kakera , a ballad, would come right after.  Kuu’s 3rd track on the album really saps the energy from what was made from the previous track to give us a straight up piano/strings/a. guitar ballad.  Sadly, with an artist that has such a back catalog filled with many, many ballads it does feel like she’s just going for the flow here.  Sadly, this feels like a song she’s done MANY times before and it just doesn’t really stick out to me.

4. Stand By You

Yup, it gets even more quieter with our next track, Stand By You.  While it feels mostly the same instruments in its arrangement, the song feels more quieter and slow-driven in comparison to “Yorokobi no Kakera”.  A near 6 minute affair, Stand By You unlike the previous track feels like Kuu put a little more effort in her performance and I have to say she still sounds pristine and wonderful as a balladeer when she’s given a track that actually works in her favor.  I liked it quite a bit and the background vocals were a nice inclusion too…a much better-handled ballad!

5. Sukideshite

At least things don’t get into a crawl as we enter our next track, Sukideshite.  I do like the slight urban/jazzy feel of the song and it kind of retains the same light and fluffiness that “BRIDGET SONG” had funny enough.  I think whenever Kuu does cuter songs, they’re quite hit or miss a lot of the times.  Sukideshite is a case where it’s not an offensive track to listen to and makes for a nice easy listen.  Though I feel it runs in the middle between the greats and the not-so-greats cute songs Kuu has done.

6. Kimi Omoi

As the oldest track in the dual release, Kimi Omoi originally came from the “FEVER” limited release before “WALK OF MY LIFE” released.  Then it was a B-side off the “Shhh!” single where it was slightly updated for the single.  Not sure if I would’ve added it, but it’s technically the lone B-side released in the era, so it makes sense.  The song itself never caught on though and it’s apparent on this album that it’s just fluff for the album.  Kind of there, but not really allotting to much in the overall.

7. On My Way

Now I feel like majority of the album is ballads now and now makes a little more sense with the split dual release.  On My Way is at a weird middle where it’s a ballad, but it has a driving beat to push it along without it feeling dead.  I do like Kuu’s vocals in the song, but the track is a bit of a snoozefest sadly.

8. What’s Up

At least there’s another track that works to wake me up from the monotony and I wasn’t expecting a punk/pop sog ala Avril Lavigne-esque arrangement with gritty guitars and a heavy push of the drums involved.  Kuu actually sounds like she was having with this track and I approve as there wasn’t a lot on this disc.  It’s definitely a summer track and honestly it’s one of the better ones in her collection (much better than “Hashire!” that’s for sure).  What a fun song to come across!

9. Promise you

The only other song that was given a PV from this disc, Promise you was definitely chosen to represent the ballad of the 6 chosen to be given a PV.  It’s another simple ballad initially, but there’s a bit of a Kuu-esque groove to it to kind of give it more life.  At least the chorus is a bit more lively with more instrumentation giving it flow and color.  I can easily imagine this used in an encore in one of her tours for sure and I like the chants in it, maybe my favorite of the ballads on this album.

10. My Fun

The album ends off with My Fun and while I thought it was going to be more poppy and cute, My Fun is another light track, but funny enough has children involved (at least that’s what I think that is XD, but they’re WAY OFF the marker xD).  The song itself does get better the longer it goes on, but I feel My Fun is lacking a certain spark IMO, but I’m not sure how to make the song better either so, it’s a strange juxtaposition.

Tracks Recommended

  • What’s Up
  • Bring It On
  • Stand By You

Song of Avoidance

  • On My Way

Starting with the first half of the album, W FACE ~inside~ is a little bit weak on its own merits.  Despite having a couple upbeat songs to prevent it from being entirely a snoozefest, it wasn’t enough to completely rid of the z’s that it was creating on me.  I knew that it would be split this way, but I was happily surprised to see the top 2 tracks appear.  Overall, I wasn’t too impressed here, but let’s see how “outside” will fare!